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Sizing Your Mountain Bike

by Alastair Hamilton [January 29, 2007]

Getting the proper sized bike for your body and riding style can make a big difference in how much you enjoy riding and how comfortable your bike is. Personnel at your local bike ship can help you to find the correct bike for your riding style and your body. Consider the hints that are below, and your bike will be the perfect size for you.

Standover Height If you need to determine how the bike fits yourself, then the most important thing that you will need to consider is your inseam clearance. Make sure that there is enough space in the area between the top tube and your own body when you stop the bike. You want there to be clearance of about four to six inches from your inseam top to the top tube top.

Feet and Leg Position Determining the proper leg position for riding your mountain bike is simple to do. It is important that you find the right position for your legs, because you constantly have to shift your position on the seat, due to terrain changes.

Due to the changes in terrain and the constant shifting, you will want to position the saddle of your bicycle a little lower than you normally would if you were riding a different bike. It is important that you consider this lower position when you determine what size frame that you will need.
Riding Compartment One thing that you will want to think about and look at is the compartment layout for the rider. This is the distance that is located between the handlebars and the bicycle saddle. After you have determined the proper extension for your legs, you will want to ensure that the handlebars are one or two inches lower than the saddle height. The handlebars should never be at a great height than the height of the seat, unless you have a problem with your upper body.

Dual Suspension Bicycles You want to make sure that the weight of your body is concentrated more in the center of the bike to make sure that it is distributed equally between the rear and front suspension units, which will help them work more efficiently and in tune with each other.

You can accomplish this quite simply by choosing to use either a shorter or higher step to help raise the height of your hands. This will help to move the height of the upper part of your body up and it will move the weight towards the rear of the bike. This increase should be no greater than two inches, so that the reach difference is no more than two inches.

Take a Test Ride After you have considered each of these points, then it is time to take a test ride on your bike. It is important to wear your helmet, even while testing. Make sure that your tires are inflated to the right tire pressure and that the bike has been properly adjusted for your body. Then you are ready.
An employee from the bicycle shop should watch you when you are riding to make sure that the position and ride height is correct for you. If not, then you may need some additional adjustments. You should start your riding slowly and then gradually speed up when you get a better feel for the bike.

After you have ridden the bike for a while, then you may find that something seems off about the bike or it is not working right. If this occurs, then you want to have the problem corrected before you decide not to purchase the bike. It may be a simple adjustment that can make it into the bike of your dreams.
The greater number of bikes that you try out, the simpler that you will find it is to determine the similarities and differences in the types. It may take up to several years or just a few weeks for you to gain a greater appreciation for the handling of a particular bike. Talk to other bike riders to get recommendations and hints. This will help you gain more knowledge concerning locating the right mountain bike for your particular body and riding style.

About the Author
Alastair Hamilton use to write on mountain biking and subjects for http://www.bikecyclingreviews.com. For additional information on cycling or mountain bike reviews subjects have a look at his web.