Biking can be a fun sport that gets your heart pumping while you enjoy the outdoors. Whether you bike for fun, exercise or both, it can be an opportunity to explore and get together with friends.
As you increase the miles you are spending on your bike, you might become more aware of how it fits your body. While a short ride down the road may feel ok, going on longer treks can start to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
Here are a few tips for making sure your bike fits well, so riding is safer and more fun.
Finding the right fit
When you were young and learning how to ride, you may have learned to adapt your style to whatever bike was available. As you endeavor to bike longer distances, finding a bike that works with your size and skill is beneficial.
As you are shopping for a bike, you should consider factors such as:
- Standover height. A road bike with a traditional straight top tube should have about one inch of clearance when you stand over it.
- Body position on the bike. You should aim for a 45-degree angle between your torso and hips for road bikes.
- Seat (saddle) height. Your seat should be high enough that you get about 80-90 percent extension of your leg.
Taking the time to ensure your bike fits you well can make for a more comfortable ride while you are out on the open road.
The dangers of a poorly fitting bike
A well-fitting bike also means you can be safer on the road. The environment around you is constantly changing, and you need to be able to react quickly and safely.
When your bike does not fit well, you may feel unbalanced and unstable. While an ill-fitting bike may not feel unstable enough to make a difference, if you need to make an abrupt turn, you will need to depend on the balance of a bike that fits.
An essential part of bicycle safety is making sure your bike fits you and your biking style. Making changes to find a better-fitting bike can help you avoid accidents and injuries.