Mountain Bike - Aug 00

Sheldon Brown’s revisionist frame sizing:

This is the bike world’s Mr. Know-It-All, and he happens to be right about a lot of things. Despite the density of the arguments, Sheldon still rules – and the page also includes links to other sizing sites, including a bike fit polemic by Keith Bontrager.


 Even geekier is Edward Zimmerman’s “Competition Bicycle Size/Proportions Analysis” page, which “attempts, on the basis of anthropometric measurements, to assist in the determination of one’s optimal bicycle position.” However, the page does nothing to give \you a life.


 In between: Somewhat technical – but still clear – is the Colorado Cyclist’s “how to Fit Your Custom Bicycle” page. Probably the most useful of all the sizing resources we’ve found.


 Step by step: Learn2, a site devoted to basic instructions on all sorts of things, has very clear, numbered directions on getting your bike to fit. When you’re done reading that, you can also learn (we’re not kidding) “how to tell your significant other you have a sexually transmitted disease.” Stick to bike riding.


 Huffy Weighs In: Once again, the country’s biggest bike maker surprises us snobs by offering a simple – but authoritative – discussion on frame fit. Especially good for people smart enough not to care.


 For Kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics has a safety-oriented tip sheet on bike fit for children. Again, the emphasis is on clarity, not the arcane philosophies bike insiders tend to dredge up when discussing the topic.


 For Women: The Wombats website offers a pretty basic page for women trying to figure out what size bike to buy. Important, because a lot of bikes that seem to be the right “size” are actually constructed for men; this site tells the ladies how to derive comfort and performance in a world over-oriented towards guys.


 Mountain Bike - June 00

Uncle Knobby

(On shorter frame versus longer)

The top-tube length is the most important dimension, given that you have plenty of stand over clearance. Most riders can tolerate a loss of almost an inch with no ill effects, and having a sufficiently roomy frame is very important for efficient power production. You can gain the most of that lost top-tube length back, were you to go to the smaller frame, with a longer stem and a slightly rearward saddle position, but you’ll be twitchier at speed, and more likely to endo.

Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to abeckman@outdoorssite.com.

Copyright © 2008 Art Beckman. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: March 9, 2008