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Cycling Safely - Sizing Your Bike

There are a variety of bicycle types on the market. Whether you're choosing a touring, sport, mountain or hybrid bicycle, it should fit properly—making it easy to control and comfortable to ride.

Bikes in a store

Check these important fitting points on your bicycle from Ontario's Guide to Safe Cycling:

Frame size

Frame size varies by the type of bicycle. But, as a general rule, you should be able to stand flat-footed over your bike's frame (top tube) with two to five centimetres of space. For a woman's frame bike, when sitting on the seat, the base of the seat should be at least five centimetres above the seat tube when the tips of both feet touch the ground.

Seat and handlebar height adjustment

Seat

Positioning your seat properly will help make pedalling more efficient and reduce strain on the knees. To ensure your seat is at the correct height, sit on the seat with the balls of your feet on the pedals. At the bottom of the pedal stroke, your legs should be almost straight, with your knees slightly bent.

Bike rack

Handlebars

In a normal riding position, your weight should be evenly balanced; allowing you to rest your hands lightly on the handlebars. You can adjust the tilt of your seat, and the height of your handlebars, to achieve a good balance of weight.

The handlebar stem and seat post must be at least five centimetres into the frame. Note that both usually have a mark that indicates the maximum extension point. Longer seat posts and stems are available if you need them.