When buying a new bike, your height is one of the most important considerations. This will affect the size of the bike you should choose, especially the frame and the wheels. Shorter riders need smaller bikes, which will be more comfortable.
Looking for the best bicycles for short riders? If you are clueless about what to choose, keep on reading, and learn from the valuable insights we’ll be sharing.
Essential Considerations When Choosing Bicycles for Short Riders.
With too many options for a bike for short woman and man, which one should you pick? Below, we’ll talk about some of the most important things to consider.
1. Measure Your Height
The first thing that you need to do is to determine your height. Short is subjective. There is no exact definition of how short is short. However, in many developed countries, men who are below 5’7” and women who are below 5’2” are considered short.
Once you know your height, it is now easier to choose the right bike for you. In the case of most manufacturers, they will have a sizing chart. They will indicate the right height for the size of the bike that they have. See where you fit to find a mountain bike or any other bike that works for your needs.
2. Pick Your Frame
While you will find different bike frame materials, this is not your main concern when you are looking for bicycles for short riders. Instead, it is more important to determine its size. As a short person, you will benefit from having a smaller frame. This makes it easier to reach the pedals, making you move more efficiently. You can also easily grip the handlebars, which will have a huge impact on your comfort.
Generally speaking, for short riders, especially those who are 4’10” to 5’, choose a road bike with a frame of 44 to 61 cm. For a mountain bike and hybrid bike, the recommended frame size is 33 to 37 cm.
To help you choose a frame, below is a list of some of the most important measurements to consider.
A bike’s reach is the horizontal distance between the middle of the head tube and the bottom bracket. This affects the length of the cockpit, and hence, will have an impact on how you reach the bike’s handlebars. It will also indicate how long the bike will feel. If it is too long, then short riders will feel the need to extend their back, which can be uncomfortable in the long run.
The stack is the vertical distance between the middle of the head tube and the bottom bracket. If the stack is short and the reach is long, this means that you will be in a more aggressive position. On the other hand, if the stack is high and the reach is long, you will be in a more relaxed position. It will be an indication of how high the bike handlebars will be. If you are a short rider, you won’t want it to be high.
Bottom Bracket Height
The bottom bracket height is the distance between the center of the bike’s crank and the ground. This is largely influenced by the size of the tires. Bigger tires will slightly lift the bottom bracket. If the bottom bracket is high, then it will be difficult to get in and out of the bike. Therefore, if you are looking for a bike for short woman, look for a lower bottom bracket. When it is lower, it will also be easier to corner a bike.
3. Choose the Right Wheels
The size of the road bike wheels or MTB wheels will also matter when searching for bicycles for short riders. Fit, geometry, and handling will all be better if you choose a smaller wheel if you are a short rider.
It is best to stick on bikes with 26-inch or 650c wheels. However, if you choose smaller wheels, take note that it is not optimized for riding on aggressive terrains. It may not also be as stable as compared to models with larger wheels.
Some people might assume that you can go for larger wheels but smaller frames. However, this can do nothing but compromise geometry, comfort, and handling.
4. Look at the Length of the Seat Post
The seat post determines how high you will be sitting when riding a bike. In turn, this will affect your pedal stroke. Find a seat post that suits your height. Otherwise, your knees will hurt. This can also harm your pedaling efficiency.
It is a good practice to choose a bike with an adjustable seat post. This way, you can customize the height depending on what you find to be most comfortable.
5. Consider the Handlebar
One thing that is often ignored by many when looking for bikes for short woman is the handlebar. Generally, women, or even short men, will have narrower shoulders. If that’s the case, then you should be choosing a bike with a slightly narrower handlebar.
Having narrow handlebars are also known for delivering a wide array of other benefits. For instance, it has better aerodynamic. This also means that it will be easier for you to conquer tight spaces because the handlebar is compact. Bending your elbows will also be more comfortable and this won’t put a lot of unnecessary strain in your body, even if you are biking for a long time.
Tips and Tricks when Choosing Bicycles for Short Riders
Aside from the things mentioned above, here are some tips that will help you find the best bicycles for short riders.
Go Beyond Gender Stereotypes
You will see a lot of products marketed for a specific gender. However, this does not mean that a bike for short woman will not make a good bike for a short man. It is more difficult for guys than girls to find a bike suited for short riders. This is because men are generally taller, and hence, not a lot of bike manufacturers are offering models for short riders.
If you are a guy, do not hesitate to fit bikes for women. It will generally have a lower top tube, making it a great option for people who have short legs.
Choose a Folding Bike
When looking for bikes for short riders, do not ignore folding bikes. they might not be as aggressive as traditional bikes, but they are great if you are short. Most of these bikes are designed to be small and low. However, they are best only if you do city riding most of the time, such as for your commute to work or school. They are not built to handle rough terrains.
Fine Tune Your Ride
If you find that the bike is too big for you, consider several adjustments. One of the best things to do is to adjust the seat height, moving the fore and aft will also help. Swapping the stem for a different length or rise can also help.
Try the Bike
At the end of the day, this is perhaps the most important when looking for a bike suitable for short riders. The numbers are there to guide you. Nonetheless, do not let these numbers be the deciding factor.
It will be good if you have the opportunity to physically try and ride the bike before buying it. This way, you can be sure that everything is comfortable and suitable for your height. This can be a problem if you are buying online. One good thing to do is to check the specific brand and model that you want to buy, go to a retail store, look for that bike, and try it even if you aren’t buying on that store.
Which Bike is Suitable for Short Persons?
For short persons, women-specific bikes are the best. Even if you are a guy, these bikes can be great because they are designed for riders who have short torso. This means that it will be easier to reach the pedals and the handlebars. You will be more comfortable and efficient.
If you are looking for a specific brand or model, below are two of the products that should be on your radar.
Q: What is the minimum height to ride a bike?
There is no minimum height to ride a bike for adults. Although, in the case of most manufacturers, the minimum height indicated in their sizing chart is 4’10”. If you are shorter, consider buying a bike designed for youth, although, they will not be as feature-packed as bikes designed for adults.
Q: Which bike is best for short guys?
The best bike for short guys is one that comes with a short top tube. This type of bike is designed for those who have shorter legs, making it easy to reach the pedals without unnecessarily stretching.
Globo Surf Overview
The best bicycles for short riders will ensure comfort and efficiency in every ride. From the length of the frame to the diameter of the wheels, consider various specifications of the bike that you will buy, making sure that it is suitable for your height. Choosing a smaller bike is better as it is more comfortable for people who have shorter legs.