The simple method used in the past was to stand over the top tube of the bike (with shoes off). Your crotch was supposed to be 3-5 cm (1-2 inches) above the tube for road bikes. Presently, this method is no longer considered accurate, mostly because of the wide range of bike frames used. An example of this is the difference between classic geometry with the horizontal top tube frame and frames with sloping geometry.
Crankset length is based mainly on the height of the rider and their riding style. Longer cranks are recommended if you are used to riding in harder gears (and at a lower cadence), as longer crankset gives you more leverage.
If you ride at a higher cadence, shorter crankset is recommended. The general recommendation for mountain bikes is to have a crankset from 2.5mm to 5mm longer than for road bikes. This means that if you have a road bike crankset length of 172.5 mm, you should have a mountain bike crankset length of about 175 mm.
As a neutral base, we recommend a frame size and crankset length as shown in the table below:
|Rider's Height||Inside Leg||Men's frame size suggested||Ladies' frame size suggested||Cranks length|
|feet and inches||cm||inches||cm||cm||size||cm||size||mm|
|4'11" - 5'1"||150 - 155||26" - 28"||66 - 71||46 - 47||XXS||44 - 46||XXS||165|
|5'1" - 5'3"||155 - 160||27" - 29"||69 - 74||48 - 49||XS||47 - 49||XS||167.5|
|5'3" - 5'5"||160 - 165||28" - 30"||71 - 76||50 - 51||XS/S||50 - 52||S||170|
|5'5" - 5'7"||165 - 170||29" - 31"||74 - 79||52 - 53||S||53 - 54||M||170|
|5'7" - 5'9"||170 - 175||30" - 32"||76 - 81||54 - 55||M||55 - 56||M/L||172.5|
|5'9" - 5'11"||175 - 180||31" - 33"||79 - 84||56 - 57||M/L||57 - 58||L||172.5|
|5'11 - 6'1"||180 - 185||32" - 34"||81 - 86||58 - 59||L||58 - 59||XL||175|
|6'1" - 6'3"||185 - 190||33" - 35"||84 - 89||60 - 61||XL||60 - 61||XL||177.5|
|6'3" - 6'5"||190 - 195||34" - 36"||86 - 91||62 - 63||XXL||62 - 63||XXL||180|
Once the right frame size and crankset length is determined, the next important step is to set up the saddle height. For the recommended saddle height, sit comfortably. Set the saddle high enough so that your heels (with shoes on) just about touch the pedal with your leg comfortably straight, with the pedal at the bottom of your heel and with the crankset making a line with the seat tube.
To set a nominal saddle height we recommend using the calculator/ trigonometric model and instructions HERE.
The saddle should be adjusted horizontally or tilted slightly forward. For common riding styles, is best when the saddle is positioned horizontally. If you prefer a slight tilt forward (for example, if your handlebars are well below the saddle level), we suggest the tilt does not exceed more than half an inch (1 cm) at the nose of the saddle.
The usual set-up of the upper side of the handlebars, including the transition to the brake hood, is at a horizontal plane. See the picture below:
An alternative option for the tilt on road bike handlebars may be the bottom edge of the handlebars. The bottom edge of the handlebars and the head tube should be at an angle of 45 degrees (for classic handlebars with a single-bend). For the modern two-bend handlebars their bottom edge and the head tube should have an angle of about 80 degrees. See the picture below:
The basic rule when pedalling is that the pedal’s axis should pass just below the centre of the big toe joint. The base of the big toe joint should be directly above the axis of the pedal. This way the transfer of weight on the pedals is most effective and it burdens the foot least.
Using bike shoes with cleats makes keeping the right position on the pedal the simplest. The position of the cleat on the sole may be adjusted to an individual rider’s preference.
When pedalling, the foot should be parallel to the crankset.
Right choice of frame size, crankset, and the right set-up of saddle height and feet position on the pedals are the most important factors needed for proper set-up.
The fore-aft saddle position should be set so that the plummet going from the bottom edge of the kneecap intersects with the axis of the pedal.
The crankset must be in the horizontal position during this test.
When applying this rule, it is important to sit comfortably in the basic position, i.e. in the centre of the saddle.
To set the fore-aft saddle position, we recommend using the calculator/ trigonometric model and instructions HERE.
This is based mainly on your upper body proportions (arms and body length) and your riding style (especially upper body bend).
The usual upper body bend should be as follows:
To set a nominal handlebars distance, we recommend using the calculator/ trigonometric model and instructions HERE.