How To Choose The Correct Size Of Road Bike Frame

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I've seen recently that we did a video

of Simon Richard and explaining how to

do a fairly basic bike fit but we know

that a lot of you're just getting into

cycling either buying your first bike or

upgrading to something slightly better

so how do you know what size frame to

buy it in the first place we're back

down at BW cycling to enlist the

expertise of Olli Beckinsale triple

Olympian and mountain bike professional

Olli thanks for joining us we've had a

few viewers asking I'm 6 foot 2 I'm 5

foot 2 what size frame should I get but

is it as simple as that how do you go

about choosing your first frame size yes

obviously buying that first kind of

serious road bike can be a daunting

prospect and I think it scares a lot of

people and it's not as simple as a

certain size equals in height because a

certain frame size I wish it was that

simple and will be an easier place in

it'd be easier to just buy and sell

bikes but unfortunately a lot of

variables involved but we could talk

about a few of those and try make easier

for people to buy that bike so

presumably because some people that the

same height I've got different lengths

of legs or different lengths of the

torso so what's the most important

aspect of the bike when you're trying to

choose the frame size yes obviously the

free main measurements that effect the

frame size of a bike you've got the seat

you the top tube and the head tube okay

and they kind of combine together to

produce that frame size okay so you've

got your seat height and then you reach

so when you sit on that bike and it's

that reach that actually is the most

important measurement in my book so

actually the top tube

so effectively you've only got a few

centimeters really that you can make a

difference in terms of how far you are

because of the stem size but they said

the saddle can go up and down a fair bit

so but presumably depth on the settle

right down at the bottom or or - now you

want to get in the ballpark with a frame

bit like say you've got a lot of

adjustment in the seat post

okay bit like say you can move that up 2

or 3 inches either way and especially a

compact frames these days so the sloping

top she was even more adjustment

available but let's say what you can't

change a lot is the stem length okay so

you can adjust the stem for example on

this medium/large I've got a an 11

centimeter stem you could go up to maybe

a 1213 push before the handling really

starts to slow down so in terms of you

know how do you know that it's the right

top two of you in the right reached view

is it just a case of sitting on the bike

and getting to settle in roughly the

right position yeah feel best way is to

go and sit on the bikes try different

bikes look at different options and and

get a feeling first of all within one

shop or a variety of shops for what a

road bike feels like if you only go and

sit on one bike for the first period of

time how do you really know if that's

right or wrong sit on a variety maybe

it's different shops all different

brands within a shop so you actually get

a bit of a feeling a bit of knowledge

for what you're looking for so

particular is two ways of defining the

reach and the bike because of course

it's a how far forward Java is also how

low or how high you are up on the buy so

how do you decide what's the best

position for you in terms of the height

of the stem yes you're spot-on the two

work together to produce that reach what

we're trying to do is combine both so

that when you're leaning forward and

you're on the brake levers gear shifters

have such a kind of default position

you're trying to combine the replace a

to reach and the drop of a handlebar so

that that's within your comfort zone and

that's a really important determinant of

your frame size okay so and that's

actually been reflected in a lot of bike

design especially over the last five

years so most manufacturers now offers

it offer a sportif model or sportif

range and then they offer a race bike

range a good way of checking determining

which kind of model you are a real

simple toe touching testing which sounds

very basic but it can get you in the

ballpark if you're unable to touch your


you're probably more suited towards a

sporty frame so it's a slightly higher

and closer towards you into handlebar

and that's like to be more comfortable

and better suited so presumably most

professionals are a little bit more

flexible that's what allows them to get

low at the front end and be more

aerodynamic but many amateurs are less

flexible ones I need to have just a

slightly higher front end just for the

comfort is it mean yeah so it's it's

that flexibility of the hamstrings

glutes and back so the guys have been

riding and also it's how long you've

been doing it for so over a long period

of time the body adapts and presumably

also having a higher front end does it

make so much difference in terms of

aerodynamics really when you're doing 25

to 30 case now versus you know what

these guys in the Tour de France are

doing the thing is you can always make

yourself lower

you can literally just you can be in

your default position in comfort and you

just tuck your arms it you can always

make it ourselves lower you can't make

yourself longer so once you've set your

by calf and you've found one that feels

you know perfect in terms of you reach

is there anything to look for at all on

the CT I mean is there point where a

bike still too big do even though you've

got the right range or too small in

terms of the seat you yeah I mean so for

a seat tube minimum you need to be able

to stand over the bike comfortably so if

the bikes got horizontal top tube it'll

be more it'll be higher up but you need

to make sure that you can stand

comfortably over the bike party for

safety and partly for comfort as well

and then once you've set that seat it

sits it then becomes a bike bit issue

rather than the frame issue the big toe

and put a little dot on that one grow a

little bit on your shoe and then move on

to the bike and what we're looking to do

is to get the balls of the feet okay

okay come up