To perform a basic bike fit, stand over the bike to measure the height, check and configure the seat, and adjust the handlebars. Fitting a bike is easy, and much of it comes down to personal preference.
- Stand over the bike
For men's bikes with a straight, horizontal top crossbar, the first step is to stand over the bike with both feet flat on the ground. A mountain bike should have roughly 4 inches of space between the top bar to the bottom of the crotch. Road bikes should have 1 to 2 inches. Women's bikes have diagonal bars, so choosing the right height is a matter of preference.
- Check the seat
When you're sitting, you should be able to extend your leg almost fully straight when it's on the pedal and the pedal is at its lowest position. The seat should be high enough that only the tips of your toes touch the ground when you're seated. Adjust the seat to be as level as possible.
- Adjust the handlebars
Although everyone has their own handlebar preferences, it's important that you're able to ride without putting too much pressure on your wrists, shoulders and back. Move the handlebars around until you find an ideal position. If you're having trouble, bring the bike to a professional for a proper fitting.
- Do what feels right
Not everyone has the same tastes when it comes to fitting a bike. Adjust the bike to fit your body, and try to reduce strain as much as possible.