It depends on your height, leg length, and maker. While standing above the bike, you should have a few inches of clearance. If you are buying online, they will have detailed sizing charts. As an example, I am 5-10 and have a 17-inch frame. If in doubt get the next smaller size.
Most mountain bikes are made to fit a man’s proportions, and so it’s easy for them to find the right sized bike. Women have more difficulty, as they are typically shorter than men, and with shorter torsos.
Whenever you buy a new bike, it is important that you get a bike that is the right size. If the bike doesn’t fit, it will ruin the enjoyment of biking altogether, can even cause knee or back injuries, as they try to compensate for the poor fit.
Remember also that the majority of adult bikes are made for adult males, and that adult women are typically shorter than men, and weigh less. They also may have long legs, but shorter torsos. So women have a more difficult time finding bikes that fit
When the average person thinks of a “woman’s bike” – he or she thinks of those bikes in which the top tube is not horizontal, as in a “men’s bike,” but sloping. This type of bike is easier to mount if you’re wearing a skirt, but in the general scheme of things they are not as sturdy as a “man’s bike” and should be avoided.
Does the bike fit?
When you stand astride a bike – you’ll want plenty of room between yourself and the top tube. (This is called the “standover height.”) It is best to have around three to six inches of clearance between the tube and your crotch. If you have to come to a stop suddenly, you’ll appreciate that this clearance is essential – and you don’t ever want to ride on a bike – even for a few minutes – if you’re too short for it, because you’ll learn your lesson painfully.
Have someone hold the bike still while you sit on it. Extend one leg down to the pedal at its lowest extension…your leg should not be at full extension, but rather slightly bent. Only when this occurs is the saddle at the correct height. Also, always ensure that the seat is level – tilting it forward or backward for whatever reason will only lead to discomfort.
If you’re planning on mountain biking or going over any uneven terrain, you’ll be rising off your bike seat all the time, in reacting to the terrain. You’ll probably lower the saddle an inch or so to compensate for all that bouncing around.
If you’re a woman, pay careful attention to the length of the top tube, which separates you from the handlebars. You don’t want to have to stretch forward uncomfortably while you ride.
If you already own a bike and want to have the handlebars raised or lower by purchasing a new stem through which the handlebars go, that costs money.
When you find a bike you like, take it out for a test ride. Indeed, don’t just settle for test riding one bike. There are many different types of bikes on the market – frames made of different materials, full suspension or front suspension, etc. that you’ll want to get the feel of each one of them.
After you’ve had the experience of riding various kinds of bikes, you’ll be able to make your own decision in a more informed manner.
Getting the properly sized bike for your body and riding style can make a big difference in how much you enjoy riding and how comfortable your bike is. Personnel at your local bike shop can help you to find the correct bike for your riding style and your body. Consider the hints that are below, and your bike will be the perfect size for you.
Feet and Leg Position
Determining the proper leg position for riding your mountain bike is simple to do. It is important that you find the right position for your legs because you constantly have to shift your position on the seat, due to terrain changes.
Due to the changes in terrain and the constant shifting, you will want to position the saddle of your bicycle a little lower than you normally would if you were riding a different bike. It is important that you consider this lower position when you determine what size frame that you will need.
One thing that you will want to think about and look at is the compartment layout for the rider. This is the distance that is located between the handlebars and the bicycle saddle. After you have determined the proper extension for your legs, you will want to ensure that the handlebars are one or two inches lower than the saddle height. The handlebars should never be at a great height than the height of the seat unless you have a problem with your upper body.
Dual Suspension Bicycles
You want to make sure that the weight of your body is concentrated more in the center of the bike to make sure that it is distributed equally between the rear and front suspension units, which will help them work more efficiently and in tune with each other.
You can accomplish this quite simply by choosing to use either a shorter or higher step to help raise the height of your hands. This will help to move the height of the upper part of your body up, and it will move the weight towards the rear of the bike. This increase should be no greater than two inches so that the reach difference is no more than two inches.
The greater the number of bikes that you try out, the simpler that you will find it is to determine the similarities and differences in the types. It may take up to several years or just a few weeks for you to gain a greater appreciation for the handling of a particular bike. Talk to other bike riders to get recommendations and hints. This will help you gain more knowledge concerning locating the right mountain bike for your particular body and riding style.