How to Size a Cannondale Bicycle

Written by jeremiah blanchard
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How to Size a Cannondale Bicycle
Learn how to size a Cannondale bike for a proper fit. (woman on a bicycle image by Wimbledon from

Cannondale, owned by Dorel Industries Ltd., makes bicycles that are world renowned for master craftsmanship and superior riding ability on all terrain. Cannondale recently added the lightest carbon frame bicycle in the world to their 2010 mountain hardtail series. Cannondale bikes, like all other bikes, need to be properly fitted to suit the rider. The wrong size bicycle will have a rider struggling to pedal, and cause significant discomfort during extended riding. Though sizing charts are available, these shouldn't be followed to the letter, but rather used as a guide to find the right fit. Field testing a Cannondale is the best way to size the bicycle to fit you properly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Measure your inseam using a tape measure. Note that this measurement will not be used as a universal method for fitting a Cannondale bike, but it will assist you in finding the right frame height.

  2. 2

    Consult a bicycle sizing chart available at a Cannondale vendor in your area. Cross-reference your inseam measurements with the appropriate frame height as listed on the chart. Choose the bike with the exact inseam/frame measurement, and also pick out bicycles one size up and one size down from the measurement. Ask the dealer to let you test ride the three bikes.

  3. 3

    Adjust the seat up or down on the bike to meet your riding style, and to give appropriate clearance between your buttocks and the seat. Some aggressive riders like a lower seat, to allow for four or five inches of clearance for hard riding. Road bikers may want a seat with about two inches of clearance for easier riding. Seat tilt will also be a critical factor. A straight horizontal seat is typical, but a forward tilted seat is sometimes favoured by aggressive riders who rarely sit on the seat, such as mountain bikers, racers and cyclo-cross bikers.

  4. 4

    Adjust the front handlebar tube height up or down. The handlebar height, and the appropriate distance from the seat to the handlebars, should be dictated by your arm length. You shouldn't have to reach and pull your butt off the seat to grab the handlebars. You should feel comfortable sitting on the seat and grabbing the handlebars without reaching forward. Some riders like to lean a little further forward onto the handlebars, while others prefer an upright posture. Adjust the bars to your riding style.

  5. 5

    Adjust all three bikes to your particular riding preference, and choose the one that feels the most comfortable as you ride it. This is all up to you and your riding style. All bodies are built differently. People with short legs may have a longer torso, and people with long legs may have a short or long torso. Use the sizing chart as a guide, but choose the bike that fits you best and feels the most comfortable. As a rule of thumb, the right bike will make you feel like you're wearing a perfectly fitted tuxedo or gown.

Tips and warnings

  • Cannondale recommends that you consult with a trained professional to properly fit a bicycle.

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