Sizing And Seating Big Mountain Bikers


What if you’re tall for a man, as in six-foot-plus tall? Finding a frame that's suitable for your body and lets you assume a less stressful riding posture is important if you want to ride comfortably and well. If you’re already feeling pains in your joints or aches in your neck and back, or need to recover from a debilitating physical condition, you’ll need a correctly-sized bike with a supportive seat.

Mountain bikes come in many different types and sizes to fit men of varied proportions. But thankfully almost all frame designs adhere in their specifications to customary sizing scales, which make choosing a properly-fitting model a simple matter. You’ll have a much easier time choosing an appropriate model once you have a few dimensions to key on.

Leg and Tube Dimensions


The first thing is to determine your pelvic area height, or inseam. This is a crucial dimension to know when looking for a best-fit frame.

  • The height of your pubic area is the extent between your heel and lowest part beneath your pelvis, which is the bottom of the pubic bone situated between your upper thighs.
  • To measure this, it’s best to wear some pants and slide measuring tape along it’s inside seam noting the dimension between the points mentioned.
  • It’s a good idea to put on your biking shoes and do the measurements from its sole, as that will be the part actually touching the pedal.

Getting Your Match


With the height of your pelvic area in mind, you can now go around matching this figure to the ones on size tables displayed in shops and online sites, to see which frames are nearest in fit.

  • When looking at a mountain bike, the height of its seat tube specifies its frame’s sizing and this should match your pelvic area’s height.
  • A six-footer rider will likely wind up choosing a size within a range of 18 to 20 inches in terms of his inseam dimension.
  • If your pelvic height measurements fit somewhere between the standard sizes, you may select the next larger size as you can always accommodate differences using taller seats or stems.

Fitting Out


You’ll need to raise the saddle to the ideal height if you want to ensure that the bike is finely configured to suit your body’s proportions. To do so, first stand the frame against a wall before mounting it, then continue to tweak the seating till you’ve found a good position.

  • You should be comfortable with either of your feet flat on a pedal cranked down to the lowest point of its arc and with that leg straight or somewhat bent.
  • Incline yourself towards the handlebars to grip them while adjusting the angle of the seat to a point where your entire weight rests on your hip’s bony parts instead of the fleshier areas of your thighs.
  • To achieve the best handling and balance, test the front stem’s length and the elevation of the handlebars. The stem’s height must be adjusted to bring the handlebars up from the headset to an elevation where you can comfortable reach the grips, and this extent varies according to the top tube’s characteristics.
  • Try out a few different heights and stem sizes until you find one that is the most comfortable for you.

On level terrain, you’d want to seat easily on the frame by leaning only slightly to the front, bending your arms somewhat as you loosen your shoulders.

Saddle Issues


Researchers have looked at seating positions in how they affect various anatomies, and they have established that time spent on unsuitable or badly adjusted seats may be harmful to a man’s health. Many researchers have advised that riding for too long in very forward stances may lead to health problems such as erectile dysfunctions, particular for bigger men who weigh more on the same seating. The problem lies in how saddles are normally designed, as well as how most cyclists shift their weight to the front. These factors usually result in constricted vessels and nerve endings in the pubic region.

Studies on the relative positioning between handlebars and saddles and its effect on riders’ bodies show that their perineums are subject to greater strains the more they lean to the front. Many now propose that saddles should not be elevated above handlebars so as to prevent assuming stances which bring much bodily stress. These issues are not unique to men, as even women who ride often also encounter similar stress experiences. Women also undergo much tissue compression in their bottoms as a result of too-forward riding positions, particularly if they use narrow seats which don’t offer enough supporting area.

If you’ve made a poor seat choice, as you ride longer you’ll experience progressively less feeling in your torso’s lowest parts as they slowly go numb. If this goes on long enough it could possibly lead to sexual dysfunctions. This may be less concerning to mountain bikers who spend more time hovering over their frames on trails and downhills. But it’s best to be cautious and try different seat options. You could try a more upright seated posture and also avoid spending too much time, on longer and flatter routes.

Ride On

These sizing and fitting concerns are real, but it does not mean big men should reconsider their enthusiasm for biking anywhere. There are always risks while riding anything rolling fast on wheels, and you can work around the problems as there are fixes or at least alternatives.

You can always avoid an iffy riding stance by using a supportive seat on a properly-sized and adjusted bike, which allows you to ride with a more comfortable upright posture that’s healthier in the long run.

About the author


Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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