As a beginner it's easy to assume that once you get on a bike you're stuck with the way it fits. Not true! Here are a few tips on getting the perfect fit...
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The charts above will give you a sense of the size bike you need and the following tips will lead to a fun and safe biking experience. Once you've found the correct sized bike for your build, its time to make some minor adjustments to your seat and handlebars so that it fits just right. Here are some handy rules for you to begin understanding bike fit.
While they seem simple, these measurement techniques are 100% customized to your body size and have been tested in an M.I.T. study of more than 700 cyclists! Talk with an expert at your beginner-friendly local bike shop to double check the settings on your bicycle and help you make any of the final adjustments you need to be comfortable and have a great ride.You can find your local beginner-friendly bike shop by checking your local My City Bikes app here.
1. Saddle to Stem: In addition to the bike frame being the right size for you, bike seats move forward and backward. This measurement will help ensure your bike is the right length and your seat is in the right position for a safe ride. Standing beside your bike with your elbow touching the front edge of your seat, the tip of your middle finger should end exactly in the middle of your "steer tube," the tube that comes up from the front wheel and attaches to the handlebars. Move the seat forward or backward to adjust as needed.
2. Seat Height: Proper adjustment of your seat height will give you the most power to pedal and help prevent injury to your back and knees. Before you begin your ride, stand next to your bike, place your armpit on the bike seat in the same place you would if you were walking with crutches. With your arm fully straight, the tip of your middle finger should just touch the top edge of the "bottom bracket." The bottom bracket is the circular center of your "crankset" which connects to your pedal. Move the seat up or down to adjust as needed.
3. Stem Position: The "stem" of your bicycle is the piece that connects your steer tube (see "Saddle to Stem" above) to your handlebars. Place your hand on the side of the bike stem with the outside edge of your ring or pinkie finger touching the top rim of the steer tube where the stem is inserted. From the rim of the steer tube to the top where the bike stem goes forward toward the handlebars should be 3-4 fingers in height. Adjustment of this part may require a new stem. Speak with your local beginner-friendly bike shop about the options for your bicycle and for some basic bicycle maintenance tip you can click here.
With this knowledge you’re on your way to an awesome and safe biking experience! Time to ride! Keeping these three bike fit checks in mind will lead to safety and comfort on your bicycle. For more ride tips on safety and biking comfort check here.
In addition to bicycle comfort, you'll want to take in some tips for biking on the road to make sure you're safe and prepared.
You can bring your entire family in to your local beginner-friendly bike shop and get everyone fitted to their bikes properly before setting out on a family or group ride. For more info on family biking click here.
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