Cyclocross bikes are the all-terrain vehicles of the biking world. A cyclocross bike is equipped with tires and frame suitable for mountainous and off-road terrain, as well as for traditional road biking. As with any bike, you need to properly size it to suit you personally. An over- or undersized bike can prove to be difficult to control and can make for an uncomfortable ride. Sizing a bike is dictated by your height, or more specifically from your inseam.
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Things you need
- Book (spine width equal to front tip of bicycle seat)
Measure your inseam. Take your shoes off. Stand with your back firmly against a wall, and place a book with a spine width equal to that of the pointed front of a bicycle seat directly under your crotch, as you would normally be sitting on a bike. Mark the wall at the top of the book with a pencil. Measure from the floor to the mark to determine your inseam measurement.
Convert your inseam to centimetres. Multiply your inch measurement of the inseam by 2.54 to get the centimetre measurement. For example: 33-inch inseam x 2.54 = 83.82 centimetres.
Multiply your inseam centimetre measurement by 0.65 to get the frame size from centre to centre. For example: 83.82 x 0.65 = 54.4 centimetres.
Subtract 1 or 2 centimetres from your frame equation to get a suitable frame for cyclocross bikes. Cyclocross racers typically ride with a slightly smaller frame than with their road bikes, according to the website STLBiking.
Test ride the bike. Ensure that you are comfortable with the frame size and measurements. Try a couple of different sizes, one size up and one down from your initial frame measurements to ensure that you've explored all options to find a comfortable fit.
Tips and warnings
- If sizing a bike frame measured centre to top, add 1.5 centimetres to the initial frame measurement.
- Always ensure that you wear adequate safety gear when riding a cyclocross bike on rough terrain, such as a helmet and knee or elbow pads.
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