So I decided to take up a new hobby recently, bike riding! Of course I was a die-hard bike rider up until about 16 or 17–I thought I had better things to do. Well, I miss the feeling of wind hitting my face and blowing through my hair (and I need to get back in shape!). As I shopped around I only had two criteria, the bike had to be stylish and comfortable. The following are some tips I picked up along the way that helped me purchase the proper bike for my height (6’1″-most of the height is in my legs, 34in inseam). The last thing I need is to end up with a bad back and knees!
First tip: bikes have sizes, who knew!! Remember I haven’t rode in years. Initially I purchased a 21” to take home and try out because my height is right on the border of a 21” and 23”. I decided to take the bike back and get a 23” because I didn’t like the fact that I maxed out the handle bar and seat extensions. I know I’m not going to grow anymore, but I had no room to adjust the seat because it was already up as high as it could go. Aesthetically it didn’t look right to me either because you could visibly tell the seat and handle bars were maxed out. So I am patiently waiting for the 23” to come in. Also note, most women bikes stop at 18”.
Adult Bike Size Chart
|Height||Inseam||Bike Fame Size|
|5'7" - 5'11"||29" - 31"||17 to 19 inches|
|5'11" - 6'2"||31" - 33"||19 to 21 inches|
|6'2" - 6'4"||33" - 35"||21 to 23 inches|
|6'4" and up||35" and up||23 inches and up|
Second tip: so how can you tell if a bike is the right size? There are a few ways. Extend your foot all the way to the ground with your foot on the pedal. If your knee is bent, the bike may be to small or you’ll need to adjust the seat to come up higher. Another way to measure is to stand over the frame with both feet flat on the ground. A properly-sized bike frame will give an inch or two clearance between the top tube of the frame and your crotch. Not too much, not too little. For more tips go to about.com. Mountain bikes and commuter bikes may differ in sizes slightly. Talk to your bike specialist.
So what did I end up purchasing? Well, I fell in love with the Jamis Commuter 3:
Unfortunately, they are all out of the 23” frames so I am now waiting on my 23” Jamis Commuter 4 to come in. It worked out because it has a few more bells and whistles, it comes in my favorite color green, and it’s going to fit great!
I hope this article helped a bit. Happy riding!