How to Buy the Correct Size Mountain Bike?

Listed below are some guidelines that will help you gauge what size bike to buy. Keep in mind there is no comparison to having an expert at your local bike store fit you on the proper bike.

Size and fit are the basic consideration when you decide to buy a mountain bike. Even the best biker could not ride well if the bicycle is either too big or small. You should purchase one that is the best fit and one that gives you a comfortable ride.

Here are guidelines on finding the right fit:

  1. Measure your inseam. Barefooted, stand against the wall with a book between your legs so it rightly pressed against your pelvic bone and the wall. Along the top of the book, place a mark and measure the distance from the floor to the mark in centimeters.
  2. Utilize the inseam measure to calculate a rough idea of your bike size. Multiply your seam measure by .65. If your inseam measurement is 83 centimeters, it will fit a 56 centimeters road bike (86 X .65). Many mountain bikes are measured center to top so to determine how to fit a mountain bike multiply your inseam by .67.
  3. Deduct an additional 10 centimeters and change the measurement to inches to determine a mountain bike frame size (estimated). So, if you fit a 55 centimeters road bike (c-c), you will fit a 46 centimeter or an 18 inches mountain bike.
  4. Don’t forget to take into consideration the top tube length. In many ways, this is the most essential aspect of sizing a bike. Two 18” mountain bikes may have different length top tubes.
  5. Unfortunately, in the past mountain bike manufacturers considered only men’s measurements so women have it difficult to find a bike that fits. But now manufacturers are making bikes designed specifically for women.
  6. Once you have chosen the right size bike, have a test ride to see if it fits you comfortably.

Here are more tips:

* Reach to handle – This is the most variable of measurements as it depends greatly on your flexibility.

* Frame size – This is based on your inseam measurement.

* Saddle position – Your front should be directly over the ball of your foot when the pedal is at 3 o’clock position.

* Seat height – Measure the distance between the bottom bracket to the top of seat.

* Cleat placement – Move your cleats on your shoes so that the balls on your feet is directly over the pedal spindle for maximum power transfer.

I hope this provided you with some information to determine how to buy the correct size mountain bike. Bottom line, make sure you are comfortable, safe and have an expert at your local bike store fit you on the proper bike.


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