In 90% of cases, when a cyclist wants to buy a bike they head out to a bike shop to test-ride different models. More knowledgeable cyclists look at the brand name and components, but most of the time less experienced riders go by price and color!
The bike shop might carry two or three different brands and most of the time they will suggest the one that they need to sell. This means that the salesmen don’t necessarily focus 100% on whether that specific bike will fit the cyclist. They will look to see that the cyclist’s reach to the pedals is OK and that he/she is not too far from the handlebars. If the cyclist likes it and feels good for the most part, and the price is right, it’s a done deal!
In many cases, the rider test-rides the bike with jeans and sport shoes. This is very common with less experienced cyclists. The problems begin when the cyclist rides the bike for longer than half an hour. They start experiencing different issues such as back problems, numb hands, knee pain, numb toes, etc. Unfortunately, they think that these issues are not that bad and with a little more practice everything will go away — WRONG.
These problems don’t just go away, unless the cyclist can stretch/shrink their arms and legs or become more flexible over night!! The sad thing is that by this point the cyclist may have paid anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000+ and now own a bike that just isn’t right for them.
In the past (25 years ago), there wasn’t much you could do about customized sizing since every manufacturer had the same geometry with only minor differences. So for example, a
52 cm bike would basically fit the same, and it would be more about personal comfort/preference by brand.
Now with new technology, manufacturers are changing the old system of measuring the bike size to a completely different sizing approach. The geometry of the bike changes from one to another, affecting frames, top tubes, saddles, handlebars, etc.
The cyclist could have a short torso and long legs or vice versa, body build, weight, age, etc. Consideration of all of these factors and more point to the importance of sizing yourself before you purchase your bike.
The correct sizing is crucial to having a good/comfortable/successful cycling experience.
If you’re considering a personal bike fit, but still need more information, please send us an email or give us a call. We look forward to answering all your questions!