7 Things to Consider to Achieve the Perfect Road Bike Fit
Riding a bike is considered a fundamental life skill because we learn to do it as early as we are children. As a child, most of us probably thought we were riding a Harley-Davidson while pedalling our bikes. However, as we grow up, we become more aware of different types of bikes, such as road bikes.
As the name suggests, road bikes are designed for riding on pavement. However, this isn't always comfortable because the pavement isn't always smooth. This is where the bike fit determines the ideal size and position of the bike's components to fit the rider for maximum comfort. While finding the perfect bike fit is tricky, you can make it easier by considering the following:
#1 - Bike Frame Size
The bike frame's size matters because it's the foundation of the overall fit. This is because the frame size will determine the position of the handlebars, seat, and pedals.
The frame size is measured from the top tube, the horizontal tube that connects the seat tube to the head tube. The measurement is usually given in centimetres (cm). For example, a 54 cm frame would suit someone about 5'4".
#2 - Handlebar Height
The handlebar’s height matters because it affects your posture while riding. If the handlebars are too low, you will be hunched over, which can cause back pain. On the other hand, if the handlebars are too high, you will be sitting upright, which can cause neck pain.
The ideal handlebar height allows you to ride comfortably and uprightly. To find the right height, place your hands on the handlebars and adjust the seat until your arms are slightly bent at the elbow.
#3 - Saddle Material
Most bikers view the saddle as nothing more than the seat. While true, it performs a vital function for maximum comfort. For this reason, the saddle material should be considered because it affects how much padding and support you will get while riding.
There are three variants of saddle materials: leather, synthetic, and gel. Leather saddles are the most expensive but offer the most comfort, while synthetic saddles are less costly but not as comfortable. On the other hand, gel saddles are the least costly but offer the most support.
#4 - Saddle Height
The saddle height also helps with posture, which ensures comfort. There are three things to consider when choosing the right saddle height: your inseam, bike type, and riding style.
Your inseam is the distance from your crotch to the ground. You can use a tape measure or a yardstick to find your inseam. Your bike will also affect the saddle height because some bikes have a higher seat than others. As for riding style, you will probably be more comfortable with a lower saddle if you're a casual rider. However, if you are a more aggressive rider, you will probably be more comfortable with a higher saddle.
#5 - Handlebar Height
Most handlebars are made of metal, so little thought goes into them. However, their height makes the difference; too high and you’ll be hunched over, causing lower back pain; too low, and you’ll be reaching up, causing shoulder and neck pain.
The ideal handlebar height is when your elbows are slightly bent while holding the bars. You can adjust the handlebar height by loosening the bolts that hold the stem in place and raising or lowering the stem.
#6 - Pedals
While pedals are made of metal, they are designed to be comfortable to ride, so the size of the pedal also matters. A larger pedal has more surface area for your foot and will distribute your weight better. A smaller pedal concentrates your weight on a smaller area and can cause pain.
#7 - Cleat Alignment
Cleats are attached to your shoe and are the part that attaches to the pedal. Cycling shoes have them built in, so it's only a matter of finding one that suits you. Of course, the cleats should be aligned properly to avoid pain and injury.
A road bike's fit will determine how enjoyable and comfortable your rides are. Because of this, you should always take the time to make sure that everything is in order. If you're new to road biking, you should go to a local bike shop and ask for help.
If you’re looking for a bicycle saddle, Cushbike has what you need! We also offer other selections for bike accessories, such as lights, repair kits, and replacement parts, all for affordable prices. Simply go to our website and take your pick!