What size bike do I need?
The only way to be absolutely sure of the right bicycle size for you is to visit an authorized retailer with a certified bicycle fitter.
It is possible to come up with some rough estimates based on your height, but these approximations are only a starting point for an appropriate fit consultation. Each person’s physical dimensions and attributes (arm length, torso length, femur length, flexibility, skill level etc.) are slightly different and can lead to different frame size and component needs, even for people of the same height.
Pablo Lopez is Outdoor Adventures' bicycle fit specialist and is the go-to guy when it comes to bike fitting in Southern New Mexico. He received his certification from the Trek Fitting Services Skill Course, and he has since fit hundreds of bicycle riders of various sizes and skill sets. Whether you're an avid cyclist or purchasing your first bicycle, a fit appointment with Pablo will ensure you experience optimum ride quality when you hit the road or trails.
If all these measurements and adjustments sound complicated, it's because they are. Bike fitting is an intricate process specific to each person's individual body.
However, if it's better ride quality you desire, this process will make all the difference, and you'll notice the changes in your first ride.
It's likely due to an improper bicycle setup relative to your dimensions or figure. Common issues associated with improper bicycle fitting include suffering from numbness in your hands, pain in your knees, saddle sores, a stiff neck, achy wrists or sharp back pain. These issues are often the result of small, but important dimensional issues requiring some tweaking and adjustments to your bicycle, and will typically subside after allowing Pablo to take your measurements and fine-tune the components on your bike accordingly.
The Fitting Appointment
After scheduling your bicycle fitting appointment with Pablo, plan on spending 30-60 minutes at our shop. It's important that you wear the attire you normally would when you're out on your regular bicycle ride. This includes your riding shorts or bibs and your tennis shoes or riding shoes. We have a changing room at the shop if you're unable to change before you arrive.
If you're debating on whether or not to transition to clipless pedals, take this time to dicuss with Pablo the advantages or drawbacks of switching to a clipless setup. This can be a great opportunity for you to not only get fitted for your bicycle, but to practice clipping in and out of your new pedals on the stationary trainer.
Also, don't forget to bring the most important part of your fitting appointment: Your bike! A proper bicycle fit will require you to get on the bicycle on a stationary trainer as we will need to see you pedaling, and may need to adjust your seat height and angle, handlebar rotation, shifter and brake placement, and other small but crucial elements found on your bicycle. Swapping out components may also be a necessary step in your fit, in which case Pablo will explain the options available to you as well as the importance these changes will have on your comfort and performance.
No matter what your riding skill set, take the time to schedule a fit appointment so that you know you're riding your best!