If you ever cycled in your life then you know that choosing a road bike that fits you perfectly can be a daunting task. If you decided to take that step and you want to make sure that you spend your money wisely there are a few things you need to keep in mind when buying a bike.
Ordering a bike over the internet should rarely be an option. If you are a beginner and you are not familiar with bike sizes and equipment then the chances are you will get it wrong. The best thing you can do is visit your local bike shop. Talk to the employees and have them recommend a couple of models based on your height and overall build. Test out the bikes. See how they fit you.
The fit is the most important thing when buying a bike. Cycling puts a lot of pressure on your body as it is and cycling on a bike that is ill-fitted will cause you a world of pain. You can end up having back problems, pain in your joints, legs, and arms. To avoid this buy a bike that is appropriate for your height. Bikes are measured from the point where the pedals connect to the framing to the top of the seat tubing. These measurements are usually expressed in centimeters. Here is a list you can refer to when buying a bike. Keep in mind that while these measurements are generally applicable there are other factors you will need to consider as well when buying a bike so do not rely exclusively on them!
- 50cm = 5’3-5’5 (160 to 167 cm)
- 52cm = 5’5-5’7 (167 to 174 cm)
- 54cm = 5’7-5’9 (174 to 180 cm)
- 56cm = 5’9-5’11 (180 to 185 cm)
- 58cm = 5’11-6’2 (185 to 190 cm)
- 60cm = 6’1-6’3 (190 to 195 cm)
Measure the size of the bike from the pedals to the top of the tubing as we already mentioned but make sure that the seat tubing is adjusted to its highest setting. If you think you found the right bike size for yourself test it out. Make sure that you are neither too hunched down nor too stretched out. Handlebars and pedals should be easy to reach. Make sure your foot connects to the pedal in a way that it leaves your leg slightly bent (not over 20 degrees). This is the perfect cycling position and will make riding all that much pleasurable.
After you have the right size bike it is time to test it out thoroughly. Go out for a longer ride to get the feel of the bike. Pay attention to how the road bikes behaves on the road and also keep an eye on how your body is behaving in relation to the bike. If you are in good shape even a 30-mile ride should not put too much strain on your body and muscles. If you are feeling sore after the ride then some tweaking on the bike might be in order.
Make sure to adjust the length of the seat tubing so it is optimal for your height. You want you back and arms forming a 90-110 degree angle. If your hands are aching after a long ride do not neglect it. This could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Customize your handlebars and add some padding to them so your hand rests comfortably on them. If you are not able to do the necessary adjustments yourself visit a bike shop. Most professionals will be happy to give you a hand in tuning up your bike to perfectly suit your needs.