If you've never bought a bicycle before, understanding the measurement considerations can be challenging. Depending on the type of bike you want, the frame style and the fit will vary. Here are a few basic guidelines to consider as you start looking at those bicycles for the first time.
Test The Frame Height
The frame height is an important consideration with any bicycle. You need to be sure that you have enough space to stand over the bicycle with your feet flat on the ground. To check this, straddle the bicycle with your feet flat on a level surface. You should have at least an inch of space between your body and the upper tube of the bicycle's frame. Remember that the sole thickness on the shoes you wear will also affect this, so try to wear the shoes you'll be riding in.
Check The Seat Position
The seat should be positioned so that your feet reach the pedals easily and your knee is only slightly bent when the pedal is at the very bottom of its cycle. Most bicycle seats can be adjusted up or down to help you reach this position. You'll just need a wrench to loosen the bolt.
Consider The Handlebar Stem
The stem of the handlebars plays a key role in how your upper body sits when you ride. It determines how far you reach to grasp the handlebars. Ideally, the handlebars should be at an easy, comfortable distance for you to reach without having to stretch your back or your shoulders.
Some bicycle stems are adjustable, allowing you to raise or lower the handlebar position. In those cases, you'll just need a wrench like the one you need for the seat. Adjust the handlebars until you're comfortable sitting on the seat and holding the handlebars. You don't want your elbows locked out straight, because this transfers vibration from the front bicycle wheel through your shoulders and can be damaging.
If you don't have enough adjustment room in the stem or it isn't an adjustable style, you can have it replaced by a technician at a local bicycle repair shop like Sarasota Cyclery Inc.
The proper sizing is key to a comfortable ride with your bicycle. Not only are these tips important for proper sizing, they're also important for ensuring that you don't cause undue muscle strain or other damage. Now that you know what to look for, you'll be better equipped to get the bike that best fits your body.