3 ways to measure and buy the right bike

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3 ways to measure and buy the right bike
3 ways to measure and buy the right bike

Today, the incredible number of sizes and types of bikes available makes buying a two-wheeler feel like a chore. However, the good news is that your own comfort is more important than a scientific fit. With a basic understanding of parts and sizes, you can feel confident in purchasing the right bike for you after taking a couple of test rides.


Method 1 of 3: Buying a Road Bike

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 1
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 1

Step 1. Buy a road bike if you plan to drive primarily on pavement

There are many different types of road bikes available for different styles and functions. However, they are all designed for rough, generally level terrain (such as city roads or smooth riding). These are the most common bikes and can be divided into the following subcategories:

  • Racing or road bikes:

    these are aerodynamic, fast and light. They are the most common warriors on the road. They have thinner tires and lighter frames, and are generally not designed to handle additional weight. Its components are designed for speed in a variety of geographies, from high hills to long plains.

  • Cross bikes:

    These feature wider tires and a stronger frame. In addition, they are designed for a variety of terrains, from city streets to bike lanes and light commutes. They are generally designed to support light weight, so they work well for commuting to work or shopping and taking short-range trips.

  • Touring bikes:

    These bikes are sturdy and simple, designed for long, independent rides, and can withstand shocks and a lot of weight. Due to this reason, they also serve to commute to work or walk around the city.

  • Bicycles for triathlon or time trials:

    These pricey beasts are built for speed, light as a feather, and have special handlebars that allow you to lean for minimal wind resistance.

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 2
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 2

Step 2. Learn to measure the size of a bicycle frame

The main factor in buying the right bike is the size of the frame. This element is the metal body of the bicycle, and it is measured at three key points. Although most frames use only one measurement for calibration, it is important that you learn how to position all three to get the right size bike.

  • Seat tube:

    This is the vertical bar that sits between the seat and the pedals. It is measured to the center of the crankshaft, which is the circular disc to which the pedals are attached.

  • Top tube:

    This is the horizontal bar that sits between the seat and the handlebars, and it affects your "reach" to the handlebars.

  • Head tube:

    This is the small vertical area on the front of the bike, measured from where it starts to branch around the front wheel and the handlebar stem. It also affects your "reach" to the handlebars.

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 3
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 3

Step 3. Measure your inseam

Stand with your feet 6 inches (15 cm) apart and measure up to the pubic bone from the inside of the foot (where the leg meets the hip at the crotch). You should take this measurement in centimeters, as all road bikes are measured this way.

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 4
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 4

Step 4. Multiply 0.67 by your inseam measurement to find the length of the seat tube

You must do this to get the suggested seat tube. For example, if your inseam is 85 cm, the seat tube should be 56, 95, or 57 cm long.

Typically, the seat tube is measured (but not always) from the top of the tube to the center point of the crankshaft

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 5
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 5

Step 5. Make sure you can stand comfortably with the top tube between your legs

At some point, you are going to run into an inevitable red light and should be able to stand with your feet on the ground while you wait. Get on the bike and make sure you can stand with both feet firmly on the ground. If this is not possible, you should reduce the size of the box.

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 6
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 6

Step 6. Try a variety of bikes to determine your "reach."

There are many different formulas to determine the appropriate scope, but the truth is that each person is different and you need to discover what is most comfortable for you. When testing bikes, you should take into account the length of the top tube and head tube, as well as the length of the stem, the smallest piece that connects the handlebar to the frame, and write down the desired measurements in case you decide to buy your bike. via Internet. A comfortable scope should:

  • let your hands rest comfortably on the handlebar and allow your fingers to move freely
  • keep your elbows slightly bent (not locked or pressed)
  • let you easily reach all parts of the handlebar, especially the gears and brakes
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 7
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 7

Step 7. Keep in mind that comfort always takes precedence over measure

The lengths of each tube may mean little compared to the final fit, as the angles at which the frame is attached affect the distance between the seat, pedals, and handlebars just as much as the size. For example, studies have shown that a longer top tube can result in the same fit as a smaller one, depending on the length of the head tube. These measurements can be starting points as you browse stores, but they are not perfect metrics for proper fit.

You should always request a trial of 3 or 4 bike brands and try a size above and below the one you measured. Your personal geometry is unique, so you need a bike that adapts to your body

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 8
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 8

Step 8. Buy a road bike with a level handlebar at seat height if you are just starting out

It's easy to get your hands down on this bike (especially with a curved “dropped” handlebar). Although serious riders tend to prefer lower handlebars, cycling novices or those who struggle with flexibility almost always prefer bikes with handlebars even at seat height.

  • Flat handlebars are rare on road bikes, unless they are designed for casual or boating rides. It is difficult to go long distances with flat handlebars.
  • The drop handlebar is the classic double C-shaped bar with two front brakes and a variety of hand points for greater comfort.
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 9
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 9

Step 9. Buy a "stand" if you plan to travel with your bike

This mount allows you to pack things on top of the rear wheel, but not all bikes are compatible with this item. In general, road bikes are not designed to support the weight of a rack, although touring and cross-country bikes are. Bicycles that have two holes at the top of the "v" that runs from the seat to the rear wheel and two more holes at the rear of the frame will allow you to install a rack.

Saddlebags are bags specifically designed to clip onto a bike rack and are essential if you plan to transport a large amount of merchandise or want to travel long distances

Method 2 of 3: Buying a Mountain Bike

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 10
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 10

Step 1. Buy a mountain bike to ride hard over a variety of terrain without going as fast

Mountain bikes are made to take a beating and endure. Even city dwellers or small town dwellers like these bikes as they can roll off the dirt stretches, ride the curb, and get a bit dirty without worrying about the vehicle breaking down. However, the true purpose of a mountain bike is to safely traverse the paths covered in roots, stones and sticks (which they handle accordingly).

  • Off-road bikes are great multipurpose mountain bikes that you can handle light and difficult rides, as well as pavements and dirt roads quickly.
  • All mountain bikes are designed for tough technical rides and serious riders.
  • If you plan to test rides, it is almost always worth investing a little more money for safety and comfort.
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 11
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 11

Step 2. Measure your inseam to determine the size of the square

Stand with your feet 6 inches (15 cm) apart and measure from the inside of the foot to the point where the leg meets the waist, between the crotch and the inner thigh. Multiply this number by 0.67. Then subtract 4 or 5 inches (10 or 12 cm) from your answer to get the estimated length of the top tube, which is the part of the frame that extends from the handlebars to under the seat. Use the top tube for your measurement whenever possible, as seat tube measurements (from pedal to seat) are difficult to determine and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

  • If you have a 33-inch (83 cm) inseam, you will need a 17.5-inch (44 cm) top tube, as:

    83 cm (33 inches) x 0.67 = 55 cm (21.75 inches)

    55 cm (21.75 inches) - 10 cm (4 inches) = 45 cm (17.75 inches)

  • Specialist bike manufacturers Lapierre and Neil Pryde feature a different geometry. You should multiply your inseam measurement by 0.62 instead of 0.67 if you really want one of these bikes.
  • If the bike store tells you the size of the frame times the length of the seat tube, you must multiply your inseam by 0, 185. The number should be the distance between the top of the seat tube and the middle of the crankshaft (the part circle that connects the pedal to the bicycle).
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 12
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 12

Step 3. Let comfort take precedence over calculated measurement

Since the angles at which the different tubes meet affect the distance between the seat, the pedals, and the handlebars, these measurements can vary from bike to bike and rider to rider. A good starting point is to measure yourself, but you need to get the bike that you feel most comfortable with. You should try different brands and a measurement above and below your calculated size. You will not be able to determine if a bike is the right one if it is the only one you have tried.

  • Your hands should rest comfortably on the handlebars so that your fingers feel free.
  • The goal is that the elbows are slightly bent, not locked or pressed on the handlebar
  • Most mountain bikers prefer handlebars 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) lower than their seat height as it lowers the center of gravity.
  • You should be able to reach the gearshift and brakes without losing your balance on a properly sized bike.
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 13
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 13

Step 4. Determine if you want a double or single suspension

All mountain bikes feature shock absorbers on the front wheels, allowing you to easily overcome obstacles and maneuver over rough terrain. However, serious riders should consider double suspension.

  • Rigid:

    this is another name for simple suspension. These bikes only have shock absorbers on the front wheel. They are lighter and cheaper options, and they make a better transition to the pavement.

  • Full suspension:

    These bikes are designed for technical and difficult rides. They are heavier, but much more maneuverable and useful for serious mountain bikers.

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 14
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 14

Step 5. Get a frame designed for larger wheels for greater comfort and ease during tough tests

Bigger wheels are becoming more and more fashionable, but you can't switch to smaller wheels if your frame is made for bigger ones. In general, you have three options for the size of the wheel.

  • 73 cm (29 inches):

    These gigantic wheels are excellent for traversing rocks and roots, as they provide more grip during the ride. These bikes handle downhill momentum well, allowing you to go faster, but they are more difficult to accelerate.

  • 70 cm (27.5 inches):

    These hybrid wheeled bikes have a bit of the speed of a classic 26in (66cm) with the most movement over rocks and roots found in a 29in (73cm).

  • 66 cm (26 inches):

    This is the size of the traditional wheel. They are light and fast wheels that still work well on the road. Until 5 or 10 years ago, they were the standard mountain bike wheels.

Method 3 of 3: Choosing the Right Bike

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 15
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 15

Step 1. Buy a bike that fits your skill level but allows you to increase it

Bicycles are expensive and you don't want to buy one simply because you wanted to save on the first one. If you're serious about cycling, whether it's mountain, road, touring, or commuting, you need to invest a little more in a good bike now so you can save money in the long run. You must ask yourself what your current fitness level is and what you want to achieve. You should get a bike that helps you reach a middle ground.

  • Beginning or intermediate mountaineers can start with smooth rides that do not require good suspension. However, you should move quickly through more difficult routes that require a better bike if you love the sport.
  • Road riders can get off to a good start on a heavier and cheaper bike, but you will suffer on group rides or races as you gain more experience.
  • The frame is the most expensive part of the bike, and it should be your first concern. Brakes, gears, wheels and handlebars can be retrofitted or renewed later. However, good components resist wear and tear and allow for a smoother ride.
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 16
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 16

Step 2. Get a comfort, cruiser, or hybrid bike if you just want to ride around town occasionally

These bikes come in a variety of shapes and purposes, but they have one thing in common: they are not made for long distances. If mountain bikes or road bikes seem too specific to you, you should try the following. They generally come in standardized sizes (S, M, L, XL), so you should choose one that allows you to comfortably reach the handlebars. Your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal's travel.

  • Fixed gear:

    These are simple, lightweight bikes made almost entirely for an urban tour, as they don't offer you any extra gearing. They are easy to maintain and operate, although they work best on flat terrain.

  • Cruising:

    These bikes are also known as "beach" or "comfort" bikes, these vehicles are designed for comfort, with raised handlebars that allow you to ride almost completely in an upright position.

  • Hybrids:

    commuter or city bikes are hybrids and have larger tires than road bikes, but feature similar geometry that keeps them light and fast while allowing you to overcome bumps and crevices with ease.

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 17
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 17

Step 3. Test bikes in person before purchasing online whenever possible

Shopping online is a great way to get the perfect bike for you and potentially save money, but you should never buy a bike online without trying it out first. Once you've narrowed your search to 3-4 types of bikes, you should call your local stores and check if they are available. Head downhill and try them on to make sure they fit well and you can travel comfortably in them before you buy.

Online reviews are a great place to get acquainted with a bike. Take a look at bike blogs and magazines on the internet and check reviews about bikes. You should read customer testimonials to see if there are any persistent problems with the bike that you want to avoid

Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 18
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 18

Step 4. Understand gear ratios and gears

The changes may seem confusing, but you have to remember that they come down to two factors. First, more gears mean more options when riding, allowing you to find the perfect resistance when going up or down hills. However, the shifting adds to the weight of the bike, which is undesirable if you are a runner or a cyclist heading uphill too much.

  • The classic gearbox for road and mount bikes is 3-speed at the front and 9 at the rear, resulting in a 27-speed bike.
  • Compact cranks are smaller, lighter gears up front, giving you just two large sprockets to reduce weight.
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 19
Measure and Buy the Correct Bike Step 19

Step 5. Understand the different types of brakes

There are two major subdivisions of brakes: rim and disc. Almost all mountain bikes (aside from entry level) use discs, while road bikes feature much more variety.

  • The rim brakes They come in many forms, but they all work by holding onto the edge of the wheel and staying in place to slow down. There are two large pads on each side of both wheels that tighten when you release them. These items are cheaper and easier to repair and maintain than discs.
  • The disc breaks they sit on a separate steel disc attached to the wheel that the brakes hold to slow down. They are often more sensitive than rim brakes, and the tight spacing between the brakes prevents sticks, leaves, etc. they catch on the brakes and ruin them mid-ride. However, they are more difficult to maneuver and calibrate without prior knowledge.


Children's bikes are measured by the diameter of the wheel, so be careful not to confuse the size of the frame with the size of the wheel diameter


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