For grown ups: Size does matter
Bikes come in different sizes just like clothes and finding a bike that fits you right is important. The right fit just makes your bike ride feels more comfortable which means that it will also be more enjoyable too! There are two great ways to help figure out if a bicycle fits you the way it should: Casual Ride Fit and Customized Fit.
The “Casual Ride” size check.
Most adult bikes have 26″, 27.5″ 29″, or 700c wheels, but the part that varies in size is the frame. In order to find which frame is best suited for you it is important to size up the bicycle to your inseam (the same inseam that you find in your jeans). If you plan on riding your bike for casual or recreational purposes this guide is a great way to see if a bike fits you right:
- First, stand flat-footed on the floor.
- Then, straddle the bike
- The best fit? A minimum of 1 to 3″ clearance between your inseam and the top tube of the frame.
When you head out on your bike search, try to:
- Wear the same shoes you would wear while riding
- Have some idea about where you’ll use the bike (neighborhood, trails, off-road, etc.)
- Have someone tag along to check out how each bike fits
But maybe you want to dabble into something a bit more intense; you want to do the MS150 or are thinking that racing would be cool. Maybe the doctor is prescribing 3 rides a week to lower your blood pressure or reduce the waistline? In this case, you and your Schwinn will be spending a lot of time together and you should spend some time to get serious about finding the right size.
The key in this case is to have your neighborhood Schwinn bike shop help you figure out what general size you are. This is critical for comfortable riding. Back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain and neck pain are NOT a normal part of riding a bike, but rather a sign that the bike you are riding doesn’t fit. Plus, a bike too large or too small can be difficult to control. Your ideal frame size is based on two body measurements: inseam and torso length. Torso length determines the “reach” of the frame (how long it is) while inseam determines seat-tube length. Your Schwinn dealer can help you figure out these two measurements and how to find the frame size that fits you, but in general, bikes get longer as they get larger.
When your bike is adjusted correctly, you’ll have a saddle height that leaves a slight bend in the knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke and a reach that leaves a slight bend at your elbows when you are gripping the handlebars. (That slight bend in your elbows actually forms a shock absorber for your upper body).
Helpful hint: Every Schwinn bike sold at your neighborhood bike shop has a sizing label on it that tells you the general range of heights the bike will fit.
Fine-tuning the fit:
After your dealer has helped you find the right size bike, he or she can help you fine-tune the fit – just like a tailor does alterations on a suit or dress. Your dealer may make adjustments to your riding position and/or swap out different components – such as the handlebars, stem or saddle — to solve any comfort and fit issues. Some more common areas of discomfort can be the neck, back, arms and butt. If it hurts, you likely need to fine-tune your bike’s fit. Bike fitting should be done by a trained professional and will cost an additional $75 – $250 depending on the length of the session.
KIDS: THEY GROW UP SO FAST (But our bikes grow with them)
Since kids change so quickly, children’s bikes are designed to adjust to their overnight growth spurts The rims of the bike’s tires serve as a good measurement for size.