The Right Bike For You
At Prostate Pedallers while we do some road cycling most of our fitness and stamina building rides are off road on mountain bikes. In general, if you can only get one bike, your first choice should be a mountain bike. Take a look at the short video below.
If you are thinking of getting a bike the most important thing to get right is its frame size. This will make all the difference to how well (how efficiently) you can ride and how comfortable you feel after riding for several miles. If you get the frame too big this can impede your bike handling skills and could lead to accidents when mounting or dismounting. On the other hand a frame that is too small will impact on your riding technique meaning you have to work harder and will move more slowly. Also uncomfortable movements of your legs and knees repeated hundreds of times over several miles could lead to painful strains and injuries. There are a few measurements you should know about that you should apply to ensure you land up with a bike that is right for you and that gets used regularly rather than just cluttering up the garage
Your inside leg measurement. (Not the one you use when you get a new pair of slacks)
Your inner leg measurement or "stand over height" should be made minus your shoes and can be measured by placing a hard back or rigid spine book between your legs with the spine uppermost and pressed snugly. into your crotch. Waddle off to the nearest wall and pencil a mark on it at the top of the book spine. You can then measure this mark from the floor to find your measurement. For a road bike, you should be able to stand flat footed with 1 to 2 inches of gap between your crotch and the cross bar but for mountain bikes the measurement should be a little more say, between 3 or 4 inches
Posture (torso and arms)
You need to know your torso and arm measurements to make sure you select a bike frame with the correct "top tube length". This is vital to your posture when riding With the book between your legs again, spine uppermost, measure the vertical distance to the top of your breastbone. This is your torso measurement (T). Measure your arm length (A) by making a fist and hold your arm out to your side so that your thumb points to the ceiling and your arm is parallel to the floor. Measure from the end of your collarbone to the middle of your fist.
A bike’s top tube length is the horizontal distance between the head tube (where the handle bar strut sits) and the saddle tube. The top tube length you require is given by ((T + A) /2 - 6) inches. That is the sum of your torso and arm lengths divided in half minus about 6 inches.
Bike manufacturers usually have charts to help you select the right bike size but there is no substitute for actually sitting on one or
riding it before you purchase.