Determine your frame size
A correct frame height and the correctly adjusted saddle are an important requirement for an unlimited cycling experience. The wrong bike frame height can lead to uneven pressure distribution, which can be exhausting and painful, especially on longer tours. An incorrectly adjusted saddle usually also results in incorrect posture.
Therefore: Determine your personal measurements in advance and calculate the correct frame height for your bike.
1. DETERMINE INSEAM LENGTH
The inseam length extends from the sole of the foot to the crotch. You can determine it quite easily at home by standing on solid ground without shoes. Hold a straight, elongated object horizontally between your legs. Ideally, you should use a spirit level, because the object should be exactly horizontal. Now measure (or have someone measure) the distance from the top edge of the object to the floor. The resulting measurement in cm is your inseam length.
2. CALCULATE STANDARDISED FRAME HEIGHT
Multiply the calculated inseam length measurement by 0.66. The resulting measurement is the frame height of a road bike in cm according to the Italian standard.
For the frame height according to the German standard, add 1.5 cm.
Inseam length: 80 cm; Frame height (Italian): 80 cm x 0.66 = 52.8 cm Frame height (German): 52.8 cm + 1.5 cm = 54.3 cm
Also use our interactive bike frame size calculator.
3. Adjustment of the frame height
The calculated measurement is ideal for road bikes. However, for bikes with a different geometry, a correction must be made due to their construction (different position of the bottom bracket):
Subtract about 3 cm for trekking bikes, subtract about 10 cm for mountain bikes.
Additionally, adjust the frame height to your physique. You can adjust the bike to your stride height by choosing an appropriate stem length and by the horizontal position of the saddle.
4. Correct position of the saddle
There are three important rules for the correct seating position after purchasing a bike: Paying attention to the heel measurement, the pedal plumb and the correct inclination of the saddle.
The heel measurement indicates that, when sitting on the saddle, the heel just touches the pedals with the leg extended.
Pedal plumb is the position where the knee and pedals are exactly in line. To do this, bring both pedals to a horizontal position. The knee tip of the leg in front should now be perpendicular to the pedal, which is also in front.
The ideal inclination of the saddle itself is quite easy to determine: If you push yourself into the saddle with some effort, only a slight pressure on the perineum should be felt. If pressure is felt in the genital area, the saddle is tilted too far up at the front. On the other hand, if you slip slightly from the saddle, it is tilted too far down at the front.