It likely doesn’t come as a surprise that the best bicycles for tall riders are not the same as the ideal bicycles for shorter riders. Choosing the right size bike for your weight and height is essential for ensuring you can safely and comfortably enjoy your ride. For help choosing a bike that best fits your body type, follow the steps outlined in this guide.
1. Identify the Type of Bike You Want To Purchase
The size charts used to indicate this ideal bike size for riders depending on their measurements vary depending on the type of bike purchased. Before you can even begin navigating what size is right for you, first decide on what type of bicycle you want. While there are several different categories of bikes to choose from, the main three types are cruisers, hybrids, and mountain bikes. Cruisers are meant for leisurely use on paved roads. Mountain bikes feature thin tires that can handle the wear and tear of dirt trails. Hybrids are designed to be primarily used on paved roads but have tires with a medium thickness that can venture off-road when necessary.
2. Check the Weight Capacity on the Bike
While most bikes have a weight capacity of about 300 pounds, there are models that may accommodate less and others that can handle more. For instance, there are bikes for heavy people that weigh 400 pounds or more. It is almost important to consider the weight of any cargo you may be taking with you. Also, take a look at the wheels. In general, heavier riders should search for wheels with thick, wide rims and stainless steel spokes.
3. Measure Your Inseam and Height
While most people already know how tall they are, you likely don’t already know your inseam length. This measurement is the length starting from your crotch down to your feet. Make sure your shoes are off for this measurement. Many size charts show the correct bike size that correlates to both your height and your inseam size, so both are useful for choosing a frame size and identifying the best bikes for short adults and tall riders.
4. Test Out the Bike
If you’re shopping for a bike in person you can easily test it out before purchasing it, but buying a bike online can make the testing process trickier. As soon as you have the bike with you in person, test it out to make sure it is a good fit. When straddling the top bar of the bike, there should be at least one inch of clearance for road bikes and two inches for mountain bikes. You shouldn’t feel like you need to over bend your knees or stretch too far to reach the pedals. You should only have a slight bend in your arms when grabbing the handlebars.
Always take the time to figure out your measurements and select the corresponding size before buying a bike. Finding the right bicycle for your weight and size allows you to use your bike efficiently and avoid unnecessary discomfort as you ride.