Finding The Right Bike Fit

finding the right fit for your bicycle

Finding the right bike fit doesn't need to be that difficult. This article will examine 4 important factors used in determining your ideal bike fit. Height The first thing to consider when fitting a bike is your height. Most bikes are designed to fit riders between 5'2 and 6'2, but there are a few models that are available in smaller or larger sizes.  The second thing to consider is your weight. Most bikes are designed to support a weight of up to 220 pounds, but there are a few models that are available in lighter or heavier weights. With that said, let's take a look at the rest of the factors that will have you feeling more comfortable and performing more efficiently on your bike. 

Saddle Height

For cyclists, saddle height is the most important measurement. It's important because it affects your comfort level, your ability to crank out watts, and your knee health. It's the easiest to set, but also the most difficult to shift or slip. Knowing your measurement is crucial, whether you're removing the seat post for travel or just setting up a bike to demo at a shop. To find the correct saddle height, you have to measure the distance from the top of the saddle to the center of the pedal axle. Improper saddle position can cause numbness in your nether regions, and can also be a source of discomfort and injury. When you tighten the bolts on your saddle, you'll be able to move it forward and backward to find the sweet spot. Your kneecap should be directly over your pedal spindle when you're in mid-pedal stroke. Most bike fitters use a piece of string to determine if your knee is positioned correctly.

Saddle Position

If you experience pain at the front of the knee, it could be that the saddle is too low, which causes more force to travel through the front of the knee. It is possible to experience pain in your knees, back, and/or achilles tendon. The hip angle is an important factor in how well you ride. You will likely improve your performance if you adjust the position of the saddle. There is no one size fits all approach to finding the perfect position for your saddle. The recommended guidelines suggest that you go with what feels most comfortable for you.

Take a seat in the saddle with your thighs and pelvis level. Lower your body until your thighs and pelvis are level with the saddle. Put your butt in the center of the saddle by grasping with your hands.

Crankset Length

When it comes to finding the right fit for a bike, crankset length is an important factor. For people with longer bodies, longer cranks are a necessity. It is possible that shorter cranks are required for people with short bodies. If you have a short crankset, you may have a closed hip angle, which can make you feel like you're pedaling in a straight line. A longer crankset has been shown to be more suitable for people who aren't as flexible and have trouble putting their saddle as high. Having the right crankset gives you more control over the bike and allows you to pedal at a more comfortable and efficient speed.


The distance from your saddle to your handlebars is referred to as reach. If you stretch too far to reach the bars, you risk messing with your weight distribution across the front and back wheels of your bike. This can result in feeling uncomfortable and having trouble controlling your bike. A too-long reach can be just as bad as a too-short reach. When choosing the right fit for your bike, you need to be aware of the correct reach. You will need to measure the distance from your seat to your headset to know your reach. You should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars without bending or flexing your back. If you are 5'4 or shorter, you should reach the handlebars with your arms extended straight out from your shoulders. If you are taller, you should extend your arms slightly further. 

It takes a bit of time and adjusting but once you have the right bike fit you will be grateful for spending the extra time getting your set-up just right. If you're still not sure whether a bike fit is right for you, we suggest visiting a local bike shop or fitness center to get fitted. There, a professional will be able to assess your specific riding needs and recommend a bike that fits you well.

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