How to Choose The Correct Bike Size

How to Choose The Correct Bike Size


– When it comes to buying a new bike, it’s absolutely paramount
that you pick the right size. There are loads of different adjustments you can make to your bike, like the stem, the saddle, even the seat
post or the crank length. But, every different adaptation
you make to your bike will affect the way it
performs and the way it feels. Ultimately, if you’re
buying a too small bike or even a too big bike, it’s never going to feel quite right. So in this video, we’re
going to help you choose the perfect bike size for you. (upbeat electronic music) – Before we start, let me explain sizing. ‘Cause it’s not quite as simple as just basing the bike around how tall you are. Most manufacturers will label their bike in sizes small, medium,
or large et cetera. But others will also
label them with a number. These generally range from 48 to 62, and that corresponds to
measurement in centimeters from the bottom bracket,
which is down here, to the top of the top tube. There is however, nothing consistent about the way manufacturers
measure their bikes. Just because you’ve always
had a 54 from one brand, doesn’t mean that a 54 from
another brand will fit you. The effective seat tube length is just one of three really important ways of measuring your next bike. The other two ways of measuring your bike are known as reach and stack, and these are internationally
regarded standards. The reach refers to a center
line from the bottom bracket measured to the center
line of the head tube. And your stack refers to a
very similar measurement, but then includes the
height of the bike as well. It might sound slightly complicated, but hopefully the graphic
on your screen will help. It’s kind of like buying
a pair of trousers. Trousers come with a waist size, but they also come with a leg length. And much like buying trousers, you will have to try on several pairs, or ride several different bikes, to find the perfect fit for you. – Before we get onto that, though, let’s get one easy but fundamental point under our belts first. Now, that is what is our saddle height and how can we find it? Now, a really easy way is
to find a wall like this, get onto your bike, placing
both hands on the handlebars, place on pedal all the
way down to six o’clock. Now put your heel on the pedal. Now you should find your leg straight. Then when you go to clip in, and put it back into normal position, you find that your leg is slightly bent. Really easy, but really effective way of finding the right
saddle height for you. – Finding your correct saddle height is relatively easy and that’s because you’ve got plenty of scope for adjustment. When it comes to setting
your reach, though, you’re much more restricted
in the adjustments that you can make, even
though it’s potentially more important to your
comfort on the bike. Now, the reach of
different bikes will vary within a manufacturer, but
also from brand to brand and this depends on the type of riding the bike is designed for, but also the size of
the bike you’re riding. Racing bikes, like the ones
you’ll see at the Tour de France is generally really long and really low. Whereas a gravel bike will be a little bit shorter and higher. The numbers that refer
to how the bike will be are known as stack and reach, if you remember those from earlier. If you’re new to cycling,
you’re relatively more relaxed about your riding, or you’re
a little bit less flexible, you’ll probably favor something
that’s shorter and higher. Whereas if you’re into racing, you’ll probably favor something
that’s longer and lower. For example, of different
types of geometry, Canyon put their three bikes
into different categories, Pro, Pro Sport, and Sport geometry. So how will you decide on
where your bars need to go? Well this is going to
depend on a few things. If you have long arms, a long back, and you’re very flexible,
you’ll probably be able to get yourself into a
longer, lower position. If you’re less flexible, or you have a shorter back and arms, then the opposite is
of course true as well. And then finally, the
type of riding that you do is going to play a factor as well. Generally speaking,
though, with your saddle in the correct position, the relationship from your shoulder to hip angle should be 40 to 45 degrees to horizontal underneath your wheels, with
your arms then protruding at 80 to 90 degrees down the the bars. If you do need to adjust
the height of your bars, this is relatively quick and easy to do so by adjusting the spaces, whipping them out and putting them beneath
to raise your bars or vice versa to lower them. But if you do need to adjust the reach, this is going to be a little trickier. You’ll probably need to buy
a new stem, or in my case, you’d need to swap the
entire handlebar setup. However, if you do need
to adjust your stem by more than two or three centimeters, you probably should have
a different size frame. And whilst you can move
your saddle fore and aft by a few centimeters,
this should never be done to affect your reach. Your saddle should be
dictated only by your legs, so put it in the correct position, and leave that where it is. (upbeat electronic music) – So, you’ve found the
bike you absolutely love but you’re kind of in between sizes. Maybe it’s a 54 or a
56, a medium or a large. Now, the difference
between both of these bikes is the stack and the reach. The reach being this,
and the stack being here. If you’re a larger rider, you’re going to have a larger seat post, meaning you need the handlebars that little bit higher, hence the stack. But, if you want a more racier style and more racier feeling bike, then most riders go for a smaller bike and adding a longer stem. But, if you want a more stable and more upright position on the bike, then go for the larger bike
with that higher stack. Ultimately, you can pick a frame size on your height and your
saddle height alone. But you really need to ascertain what kind of frame you want. Do you want long and
low or do want upright? If you did enjoy this video, then make sure you give it a big thumbs up and for more how to videos,
why don’t you click on me?