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Bike fit for a new rider

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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and donít know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. Itís more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, youíll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here yaí goÖ..the location for everything fit related.

Bike fit for a new rider

Old 10-11-23, 06:23 AM
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Bike fit for a new rider

Hello everyone,

Iím new to cycling and looking to get a road bike and donít know what size I should look for. Iím 6ft, does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 10-11-23, 08:36 AM
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Have you ridden a bicycle? What type bicycle? What brand and model? What did you like about it and what didn't you like about it?

What type of road riding are you imagining yourself doing? Just a relaxed easy ride around some neighborhood's. Or will you be more like a adrenaline crazed junkie riding as fast and as far as you can in short time you have to ride any particular day? How long do you think you'll be riding each time and how often?

Bike sizing isn't really as simple as one and only one size will fit a person of 6ft height. Most of us can ride several sizes and some of us can ride a huge range of sizes with comfort.

My recommendation is to look at the sizing recommendation given by the bike manufacturer/brand of that model of bike. And don't assume that another model bike they make will be the same sizing recommendation. Frequently it is, but not always. Also get the recommendation of the people at the bike shop and add that to your judgement of what size or sizes to consider.

Try out the bikes for as long as they will let you. A parking lot ride will not tell you the same things a 10 mile ride in the conditions you'll use the bike will tell you. Many shops now probably won't let you ride that much. Especially for a inexpensive model. So ask about their return policy.

And realize that on a road bike that fit doesn't mean that you will like the proper fit that bike is made to give. Essentially there are road bikes that will give a very aggressive fit where your body is leaned over and very aero. Others will give you a more upright or relaxed fit. And many will give you a fit somewhere in between. So figure out which position you want as quick as you can. If you don't want the more aggressive fit, then don't be swayed by their more appealing looks. It's not as simple as just raising the bars to make them give you a more upright position.

Welcome to BF!


Long arms, long legs, short arms, short legs. Those will all make some difference to what size might feel good to you. Some sizing guides account for that, others don't.

Last edited by Iride01; 10-11-23 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 10-11-23, 09:11 AM
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Getting started, It was hard for me to know what the best fit was. It's partly about getting used to riding a road bike, so the fit might feel better after a few weeks.

I'd want to test ride. My local stores let me go for an hour when I was buying (9 years ago).

The bike shouldn't be maxed out, leaving room to adjust the fit some more. The spacers below the stem can usually only go to a max of 40mm -- that's 4 standard spacers. So if the bike is already at 4 spacers, you can't bring the bars higher without using a steeply pitched replacement stem. I'd want to leave an extra spacer above the stem, so that the steerer tube isn't cut too short when the bike is new.

The saddle should be reasonably in the middle of it's front-to-back range, too.
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Old 10-11-23, 05:02 PM
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Simplest thing is to get someone to help you take your measurements to use in this calculator: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp

Then take the numbers produced by the calculator to a bike shop. They'll have size suggestions. If it's a really good bike shop, they'll put you on an appropriate and correct size bike and let you ride it on a trainer so the bike shop person can make adjustments.to get you looking right on it. Because maybe then you'll buy the bike or a similar bike. Of course before that, you'll have to decide what sort of bike and how much you want to spend.
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Old 10-12-23, 01:16 PM
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On a mountain or hybrid bike you would be on a Large. On a road bike, 56-58 cm, depending on your leg and arm length. A good shop will usually size the bike correctly at the test ride stage and make fine adjustments before you take it home. Most riders will want to live with a bike for at least a few weeks before going in for a full fitting.
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Old 10-15-23, 10:18 PM
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58 or equivalent is the most typical for 6 feet, unless you know that you have fairly atypical proportions, like short arms.

Bikes get longer as they get taller, so height is the most useful predictor of frame size because long torso people need the reach of a 58 and long legged people need the height of a 58. Everything else gets worked out by selecting a saddle height and stem length.

Some 6 footers might end up preferring a smaller bike, but you will never have a genuine fit issue if you just stick to 58.


I think the Competitive Cyclist sizing thing is a way to take 20 measurements and still end up with a goofy suggestion. K.I.S.S.
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Old 10-16-23, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
58 or equivalent is the most typical for 6 feet, unless you know that you have fairly atypical proportions, like short arms.

Bikes get longer as they get taller, so height is the most useful predictor of frame size because long torso people need the reach of a 58 and long legged people need the height of a 58. Everything else gets worked out by selecting a saddle height and stem length.

Some 6 footers might end up preferring a smaller bike, but you will never have a genuine fit issue if you just stick to 58.
My problem is I have long legs and short arms, so I require a big frame, but with a high set of handle bars that have a long sweep back towards me to comfortably ride.
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Old 10-16-23, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by George Mann
My problem is I have long legs and short arms, so I require a big frame, but with a high set of handle bars that have a long sweep back towards me to comfortably ride.
In cases like that people often look for a model with the tallest stack height (longest head tube) and go down a size to get the height of the bigger bike without the reach.
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Old 10-16-23, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
I think the Competitive Cyclist sizing thing is a way to take 20 measurements and still end up with a goofy suggestion. K.I.S.S.
Ditto. I entered my numbers and got some pretty weird ****. I think their algorithm goes non-deterministic if your arm or leg dimensions deviate from average.

It helps to know your build type. Are you a gorilla, spider monkey, tyrannosaurus, dachshund, or just average?
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Old 10-19-23, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
58 or equivalent is the most typical for 6 feet, unless you know that you have fairly atypical proportions, like short arms.

Some 6 footers might end up preferring a smaller bike, but you will never have a genuine fit issue if you just stick to 58.
I think this is good advice.

Iím 6 ft tall with long arms and fairly long legs. All my road bikes have been 58 cm frames. I could fit on most 56 cm frames too but with my relatively long reach I always choose 58 cm.
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