How To Size A Road Bike

Cycling is a wonderful sport. We experience it every time we go out on a ride. In addition to maintaining our mental and physical health, cycling makes us competitive, sensation-seeking and optimistic. However, in order to reap the myriad rewards which come with cycling, learning how to size a road bike is crucial. For, if we are not able to find the bike which fits our size, we’ll be only laboring our way through while riding a bicycle.

​Thus, with nobody comfort or bike control at our disposal, a badly sized bike would soon make us hate the sport. For this reason – and many others, it is our responsibility as cycling enthusiasts to learn how to size a road bike.


Questions you need to ask before Sizing a road bike?

Man or Woman: Although some feminists might not like it, there are a lot of differences between men and women’s road bikes. Starting with the frame, the top bar is skewed down towards their seat on a women bike. However, in men bikes, the direction of the bar is parallel to the ground.

Also, if you’re not going for a cheaper road bike, the seat shape would also be different depending on your gender. For example, for a women bike, a wider seat is normally given to accommodate the sitting and pelvis bones. As for the men, they are accorded a narrow, longer seat.

The width between the two handlebars is another area where the difference is visible. While the handlebars tend to be 42-44cm apart in men’s bike, the distance between them is reduced to 38-50cm on women’s bikes. As you might guess, this is done to accommodate the narrow shoulders of the ladies.

Type of Seat Post: Generally, seat posts are made up of five different materials. Starting with the aluminum seat post, most cyclists usually go for it due to its low price and rust-resistant ability. However, it isn’t the strongest.

Secondly, as for the carbon fiber seat posts, they are usually used by the professional cyclists. Since they have an indefinite lifespan, these seat posts are normally expensive.

Thirdly, if you want to subject your road bike to rough terrain – which we won’t advise, go for a titanium seat post. Robust towards physical destruction, you would have to throw this seat post of a cliff to damage this MOC.

Lastly, we turn our attention to the good old steel. Even since the formation of the wheel, steel was mostly used to manufacture the entire bicycle – let alone its seat post. In the recent years, however, this trend has thawed for obvious reasons.

Thus, while you won’t get a 100% steel bike anymore, you could still get your hands on a steel seat post. However, due to the fact that steel is normally heavy, many experts don’t recommend it for road bikes.

Standover height of the bike: If you want to straddle your bike flat footed, choosing the right standover height is a must. For those who aren’t aware with the bike jargon, standover height is the distance from the ground to the top of the “top tube” of the bike.


How to Size a Road Bike?

Step 1: Choose the type of the frame. They usually come in two types: C-C or C-T. Regardless of the frame type, make sure that both your feet touch the ground.

Step 2: Measure your inseam. For this purpose, stand with your back facing a wall. Now, stand a book in the horizontal direction between your legs. Measure the distance from the ground to the upper side of the book. Congrats, you have measured your inseam.

Step 3: Measure your height while standing in the abovementioned position. For this, ask someone to measure the distance from the tip of your toe to the top of your head.

Step 4: Depending on the type of your frame, next step involves the calculation of frame size. For, if you are using a C-C frame, multiply your inseam by 0.65 to calculate your frame size. However, provided that you have gone for a C-T frame, multiply the inseam amount with 0.67.

Step 5: In order to assure your comfort, next step involves the measurement of total reach. Total reach is nothing but the distance your arms could cover while you’re mounted on a seat.

First, stretch your hands in the horizontal direction. Afterward, using a measuring tape, ask an accomplice to measure the distance from the tip of one hand to that of other. Note down this distance. For convenience, we denote this measurement as A

Secondly, repeat the first part of Step 2. After standing an upright book in your crotch, ask someone to measure the distance from your crotch to the shoulder height. This measurement is denoted as B.

Now, add A and B and divide the resulting amount by 2. Add four to the resulting amount to calculate your total reach. In simple words, use this formula.

Total Reach = (A+B/2) + 4

Final Step: Using the above-calculated amounts, all you have got left to do is to select the bike which fits you the best. For the selection, you could also use a sizing calculator.


How to Size a Road Bike (video)

About the Author Daryl Monson

I am Daryl Monson. This is my personal blog, I’ll mostly talk about Cycling. I have an in-depth experience in writing about Cycling. I would also provide some information about bike and bike accessories. In short, you’ll find a lot of valuable information regarding bike and other bike related stuff.

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