Oct. 5, 2007

    I am six feet tall and weigh about 200 lbs. I have been searching for a mountain bike and found one that I really like but it is a medium frame. The seller states that he is 5'10" and the bike fits him great. Would this bike work for me?

Jeremy T.

    I know of only one sure way to tell if a bike will fit you: Try riding it.
    Before we go down that road, however, let me wax a bit: Even if you and the seller had the same height, the bike could still fit him and not fit you.
    Sound nuts? Maybe not, when you consider that people of the same height can have different leg and torso lengths. This matters cuz both the length and height of a bicycle's frame significantly affect your fit. How to check for both:

  1. Stand over the bike (in front of, not on, the seat). If the topmost part of the frame touches your crotch, the bike has a frame too tall for you. (This might occur if the bike seller has longer legs than you.)
  2. Take the bike for a ride and pay attention to your upper body (including your arms, shoulders, and neck). You should feel comfortable, not cramped or overextended. Check that you can comfortably lean as far forward as you want.
    You might fix problems with #2 by moving the seat forward or back, replacing the handlebar stem, changing the handlebar stem's angle (if adjustable), and/or raising, lowering, or replacing the handlebar. Learn more from my book, Urban Bikers' Tricks & Tips.

Mr Bike

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