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Five feet, nine inches.
That's the average height for a man, but we probably don't need to tell you that not all men clock in at this exact height. Some men are taller, while other men are much shorter. And it's needless to say, but sometimes height can pose some difficulties - like when you're shopping for the appropriate bike. In a previous post, we covered tips to look for if you're tall and searching for a new bike. In this post, we'll cover the opposite and share tips and strategies to follow if you're a short man and looking for your next ride. Hint: It's not just a matter of adjusting the seat to the lowest setting. Another hint: Don't think you can make aftermarket modifications to just any bike - most only permit minor modifications. Yes, it's important to find just the right model.
Here's a closer look at what you need to know:
What to Look for in a Bike for a Short Rider
Let's start by discussing some of the key features you'll want to look for in a bike if you're a shorter than average-sized man. Here's some of the considerations that you'll want to weigh:
Get Fit Tested
Don't just find a bike that you think looks cool and purchase it. Not all bikes are created equal, especially when it comes to fit - and it's imperative to select a bike based on your body type and size. The good news is that it's fairly easy to get properly fitted for a bike so you know which one would suit you the best. In fact, you can do it either in person or even online. Simply visit your local bike shop to be properly fitted one or find an online fit test and go through the process in a matter of minutes. The results will significantly influence the type of bike that's best for you. Please note that if you do elect to have your fit test performed in person, make sure that you visit a bike shop and not just a store that sells bikes. This helps ensure that you'll be fitted properly for a bike.
Make Sure it's a Men's or Unisex Bike
There are both men's and women's bikes - and the main difference between the two is the size of the bike frame. For instance, because women tend to have shorter torsos, bikes made for them tend to have a shorter overall reach. Aside from this, the aesthetics might be a bit different as well. While it's not unheard of for a man to ride a women's bike - or vice-versa - it's typically best to stick with the gender that the bike was initially designed for when it comes down to fit. Some bike manufacturers also build and sell unisex bicycles as well, which can be a viable option. We're not saying that a woman's bike would never be the ideal fit for a man, but in most cases, it's best to stick with a man's bike model. There's a reason why bikes are made specifically for both men and women.
Find the Right Bike Frame to Fit Your Posture, Riding Preference
We have already discussed the importance of getting properly fitted for a bike, but it's also important to find a bike that fits your posture and riding preference. For instance, if you intend to take your bike off road in the back woods, you're not going to want to purchase a bike that's designed primarily for commuting and casual riding purposes. Conversely, if you're looking for a bike that's comfortable and smooth, you're not going to purchase one that's designed for rugged riding. Maybe you want a hybrid or an electric bike to help you out with some pedal assist while you're out on the road.
It's important that the bike you select will meet your riding preferences and work well from an ergonomical standpoint. Again, this is part of the reason why a fit test is so important. It's also a key reason why we suggest taking your bike for a little test spin before making the purchase to make sure that it's a comfortable fit for you. While most bikes allow you to make certain adjustments to the fit (i.e., like raising and lowering the seat), you don't want to purchase a bike that's uncomfortable to ride.
Pay Attention to the Wheels
When we talked about the best bikes for tall people, we mentioned how a larger wheel size and greater amount of spokes is often a good thing to consider as a means of properly supporting any excess weight that a tall person will likely bring while riding. The opposite is true for shorter men. Just as how taller men tend to weigh more than your average person due to their excess size, shorter men tend to weigh less. As a result, you can typically get by with purchasing "less" bike. Bike wheels will often fluctuate with bike size, so the smaller the bike, the smaller the wheels tend to be. Keep in mind, however, that smaller wheels do have their limitations. In fact, smaller wheels may be more ill suited to aggressive riding. It goes back to making sure to consider your riding preference when shopping for a new bike.
Generally speaking, the shorter you are, the less you're also likely to weigh. That said, if you're a shorter man, you can likely get by with a bike that doesn't quite have the weight limit of a standard bike. It's certainly something that you may want to consider when bike shopping. Often, bikes with lesser maximum weight limits are also likely to cost less. But when you're determining the maximum weight necessary for your next bike purchase, also be sure that you take into consideration not just your own weight - but also the likely weight of any cargo or items that you might be bringing along with you on your ride.
Best Bikes for Short Riders
Now that we've gone over some of the key considerations that you'll want to weigh when shopping for a new bike, let's take a closer look at some of the best bikes for shorter men that are on the market today. Maybe one of them is right for you. Here are five that we really like:
Mikko and Huron Beach Cruiser (Schwinn)
When it comes to brand names, you can't go wrong with a name like Schwinn. And the Mikko and Huron Beach Cruiser from the brand just so happens to be among the best you can purchase if you're a shorter person. This cruiser features a steel frame, a seven-speed drivetrain and front and back brakes. While it's not as flexible as the EvryJourney and is best suited for men as short as 5-feet, 4-inches, it's a robust option with a classic design. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind purchasing.
Century 2 Endurance Road Bike (Diamondback Bicycles)
Remember above when we talked about how important riding preference and riding purpose is for bike selection? While the first two bikes on this list are more for cruising and recreational biking, what if you're looking for a bike for endurance riding purposes? That's where the Century 2 by Diamondback Bicycles comes into play. Designed to suit men as short as 5-feet, 4-inches tall, this bike is ideal for performance riding. It features a hand crafted aluminum frame, great handling and fast braking. Just be sure to search for the "SM" size, which is purpose-built for riders between 5-feet, 4-inches and 5-feet, 7-inches in height if your stature falls in the aforementioned range.
Anything by Bike Friday
We'll call out special attention not so much to a particular bike model, but a bike brand in this section. Bike Friday creates a wide range of bikes - from touring bikes to road bikes to city bikes to electric bikes. And one nice thing about this brand is that it also has specific models for shorter individuals, no matter whether you're just shorter than the average man or a little person.
Like the option from SixThreeZero that we noted at the beginning of this list, the ZiZZo is nice in that it can accommodate shorter riders as small as 5 feet in size. It's also nice that this is a lightweight model - only weighing a total of 27 pounds - but can support a maximum weight limit up to 240 pounds. What's more is that this bike can fold for easy storing and portability. It's a great option for men that fall below the 5-feet, 4-inch minimum height that many of the bikes on this list recommend as the smallest riding height.
Our Pick: The SixThreeZero EvryJourney
When you factor in affordability, versatility and quality, you can't go wrong with the EvryJourney from SixThreeZero. Able to support riders as short as 5 feet in height, the bike has a much lower minimum height than most of the other bikes that are purpose-built for shorter men. And with a durable frame and an affordable price tag, you won't break the bank by purchasing it either. Ideal for leisure riding, the bike is also comfortable to boot - both when it comes to its features and its ergonomic riding posture. And with a weight limit of up to 300 pounds, you can ensure that you can load it up with cargo and accessories. While the EvryJourney is our best pick for short male riders, also note that there's a women's version of it on the market too that can adequately suit women riders. An ideal all-purpose and affordable bike, you can't go wrong with the EvryJourney from SixThreeZero.
Contact SixThreeZero Today
For more information on the SixThreeZero EvryJourney, and all of the other types of bikes that we make and sell, contact us today. In addition to the EvryJourney, we also make a variety of other types of bikes for all different body shapes and sizes. From hybrid to fat tire to comfort to commuter to electric and beach cruisers, we have a bike for everyone - regardless of your personal preferences and your riding style. Contact SixThreeZero today to browse all of our bike models, get fit tested and learn more about what type of bike would best suit your body and your lifestyle. Contact us today for more information.
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