This book is about general bicycle fit for road bike riding.
It also covers fit specifics for recreational, climbing, sprinting, time trialing, and cross-country mountain biking.
I not only give you my recommendations, I tell you why–discussing conventional wisdom, empiricism, logic, and scientific study.
I offer information into the behind-the-scenes debates of other experts.
In each section, I put the important stuff first, then I provide details for those interested.
I also show that some traditional advice really has no
The right size bicycle frame and components, and their adjustment, is important. Proper fit allows you to be comfortable, ride safely, and work effectively. It reduces or treats overuse injuries. Proper fit makes you a better rider.
Bike Fit Rules-of-Thumb Summary
These and other bicycle fit elements are discussed in detail throughout this book.
There are numerous exceptions to almost all rules of thumb.
● Frame Size
Road: 2/3 inseam.
Mountain: subtract 14 from inseam in inches.
Inseam to 31 inches: 170 mm.
Inseam 31 to 33 inches: 172.5 mm.
Inseam 33 or more inches: 175 mm.
● Foot-Pedal Fore-Aft
Ball of foot over pedal spindle.
● Saddle Shape and Angle
Choose shape for comfort.
● Seat Height
Bend knee 30° at bottom of pedal stroke.
● Seat Position Fore-Aft
Front of knee and pedal spindle in vertical line.
● Foot/Pedal Rotation Angle
Point toes the way you walk.
● Handlebar Width
Road: width of the shoulders.
Mountain: hands slightly wider than shoulders.
● Handlebar Shape
Select for comfort and riding style.
● Brake Levers
Tips in line with handlebar drops.
● Handlebar Angle
Point ends to middle of seatstays.
● Stem Height
Handlebar tops to fist width below saddle.
● Torso Angle / Reach
Stem extension, height, and rise set comfortable torso angle.
● Shoulder Angle
90° with hands on hoods and elbows bent 15°.