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How to Choose The Correct Bike Size



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- 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?

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