When it comes to choosing a bike for yourself, there are a lot of different things to consider. What style would you like? Do you want a road bike or a terrain bike? What do you plan to use the bike for? Fitness or racing or recreation? One of the biggest questions you need to ask yourself is what bike frame size do I need? A bike frame is important because this is basically the skeleton of a bike and you need it to fit your body perfectly.
If you don’t choose the correct bike frame size for your size of body, you could end up really hurting yourself and experience a truly uncomfortable ride. Keep this in mind when you go out looking for your next bike, because bike riding should be a super fun and healthy activity that will keep you fit and help burn off some stress in the process.
Choosing a bicycle frame is actually pretty simple and there are a lot of helpful charts out there to help you find the accurate size. Generally, it all depends on your height. If you are anywhere from 5’ 6” to about 5’ 9”, odds are you are going to need a bicycle that has a frame of 54-55 centimeters. If you are about 5’ 9” to 6’ 0” you can probably expect to purchase a bike that has a frame of 56 to 58 centimeters. If you are about 6’ 0” to 6’ 3” make a plan to look for a bike that is roughly 58 to 60 centimes in frame size.
What’s also helpful is that you can usually find someone in-store to help you. Any store that sells bicycles should have a representative that will be able to measure you and measure the bicycle you’d like. Most bikes also come in different sizes, so you don’t have to like the style of one bike and have to choose the other. A better idea would be to go to a specialty bike store since there are people who are trained to make sure that you have the best biking experiences possible. And, you can always return a bike if it simply isn’t working out.
If you’re going to look for your bicycle online, you need to keep those nifty measurements we discussed earlier in mind. Go by your height and purchase a bike within those frame listing to make sure you are buying a bike that will work well with your body size. If you don’t you could end up finding a bike that is either too big or too small for yours size, resulting in a pretty uncomfortable ride.
When you order online you can also probably return a bike, but it’s not necessarily a fun feat when it comes to having to ship back a bicycle, especially because assembly is required in most instances. Check the chart and go off of that as accurately as possible, but make sure the company you are ordering from also has a great return policy since not all bicycles are one size fits all situations.
If you get a bike with a frame that is too small or too large, you could seriously end up hurting yourself. It may seem silly to think about, but really, it’s your body that would be cramped or stretched out, causing ligaments and muscles to become too stretched out and causing you injury. Think about it – how beneficial could it possible by to get a bicycle that is too large, especially if you are using a bicycle for terrain or off-roading? Your shoulders would become too stretched out due to a wider handlebar stance and the muscles would become sore and uncomfortable.
Same thing goes for a too small bicycle frame, as your muscles will have to bunch up to properly get to riding and this could cause really painful cramping and soreness. The longer you ride a bike that is not shaped for you, the more potential there is for some long term damage, so make sure you are getting a bike with a frame that can hold you. You don’t want to risk any seriously potential injury and bicycle riding should be fun, so limit this risk by doing a little research ahead of time to prevent injury and discomfort.
Women’s and Men’s Bikes
Choosing between women’s and men’s bicycles is also something to consider as a woman’s bike will be a bit smaller in frame than a man’s bike. That’s not to say that a woman could not ride a man’s bike, and vice versa, but you need to be sure that the bicycle fits your frame appropriately otherwise you could find it painful to ride.
Men typically have wider shoulders and women typically have narrower bodies and shoulders, so the handlebar size and foot to pedal size will definitely come into play. You will feel it right away if a bicycle frame is too wide or too narrow for you, so keep these things in mind while in the market for a new bicycle.
Overall, riding a bicycle should be fun and finding a good bicycle with an appropriate frame size doesn’t have to be a chore. Just do a little research and keep your own measurements in mind when it comes to choosing a bike that will fit you. Once you have a bike with the correct frame size, there’ll be no stopping you and you’ll see just how fun riding a bicycle really can be. It’s a great way to stay in shape, but you do need to make sure that your bicycle is perfect for your own body and you won’t get into any painful trouble down the road.