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Choosing a bicycle that fits well

I'm no expert on fitting bikes for people. I've collected some advice from others here.

How do you know if a bike is the right size for you?

The short, simplistic answer: While you straddle the bike, the gap between the top tube and your crotch should be about 2.5 cm (1 inch) for a road bike and 7.5-10 cm (3-4 inches) for a mountain bike.

How high should your raise the seat?

The short, simplistic answer: Enough so that, while pedaling, your legs never become extended fully straight, but come close.

For detailed opinions on getting a bike to fit you well, see these websites:

You will notice that the opinions in those websites do not exactly match. You have to decide whom to believe, I guess.

Be aware that, if you have uncommon body proportions, finding a used bike that fits you well might be difficult. You should buy a new bicycle from a dealer in this case.

The difference between men's bikes and women's bikes should be more than style. For example, bicycle designers expect women to have proportionally shorter torsos than men have. A woman might fit a men's bike if she has a long torso or if the handlebar can be tilted back. Otherwise, it will be worthwhile for a woman to seek out bikes that fit well. I hope that the following web pages will be helpful: