A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Learn the basics of bike sizing

So – you’ve pulled your bicycle out of storage, or maybe you’re heading to the bike shop for a new set of wheels.

Either way, you’ll want to make sure the bike you’re going to ride is the right size for you, otherwise it can be a real pain.

Proper bike size is important

Hopping on a bike that’s the wrong size could leave you with back and knee pain, said Denny Riedel, owner of The Sports Den in Marshfield.

Knee pain is the most common problem that affects bicyclists, said Marshfield Clinic physical therapist Dean Brix. Some cyclists experience neck and lower back pain.

Not only will a correctly sized bike help prevent injury, you’ll be able to pedal more efficiently and ride farther.

Riedel recommends checking these three points on any bike you may ride:

  • standover height.
  • seat position.
  • handlebar position.

Bike sizing guide

The sizing guide below, which applies to most road, mountain and fitness bikes, will help you figure out how your bike measures up.

If you’re a serious rider, you have a history of pain and injuries, or your bike still doesn’t feel quite right, consider taking it to a bike shop to get fitted. An expert will take measurements and fine-tune your bike’s seat, handlebar and pedal positions for a fee.

You’ll be cruising comfortably all summer with a properly sized and fitted bike.

Bike sizing infrographic


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