Adult bikes, unlike kid’s bikes, are sized by frame size. The best and more reliable way to determine what size bike you should get is to straddle a bike standing flat footed on floor. As a general rule, there should be 1-3 inches of clearance between your inseam and the top of the bike frame. When you find a bike that has the right clearance, make a note of the size and get a bike that is that size. In order to get the right size bike you should really go to a cycling shop to buy your bike. The trained sales associates at a pro bike shop can help you find the right size bike.
For example, women need to pick a bike that can accommodate their leg length but also their shorter arm length. There are lots of small size adjustments that a pro bike shop sales associate is trained to look for that can make a big difference in whether or not the bike fits you properly. Your bike is an investment, but if it’s not the right size or it’s uncomfortable then you won’t ride it so it’s worth taking the time and trouble to find the right size and style of bike. Buying a bike that is the right size is also a safety issue. Your safety could be compromised if the bike is either too big or too small for you to ride it comfortably.
Adults have a lot of options when choosing a bike. Before picking a bike it’s necessary to decide how you’re going to use the bike most. After that, you will need to decide what frame material you want. The frame material you pick will also have an impact on the price of the bike. There are several different frame materials that are common for adult bikes:
Steel bike frames
Steel is the most often used material to manufacture a bike frame. Steel is the material that was originally used when bikes were first manufactured in the 19th Century and it has retained its popularity ever since. Steel bike frames are impact resistant, easy to take care of and fix, light, and are usually pretty affordable. If you’re going to be outdoors in inclement weather or if you will be leaving the bike outdoors a lot steel is not a good choice because it can rust easily. \
Aluminum bike frames
Aluminum bike frames have gained in popularity in the past few decades. Aluminum is very popular with bike messengers and people that use bikes to commute to and from work. They have a modern, sleek look. Aluminum frames are very light, which makes them easy to carry and maneuver but not good for rough biking, trail biking, or biking in bad weather. Aluminum bike frames are also fairly inexpensive.
Carbon bike frames
A recent technological innovation has been to use compressed carbon for the bike frame. Such frames are popular with competitive bikers. If you want a bike for competition or for serious fitness, look at a bike with a carbon frame. Carbon frames have a very modern style and are lightweight but are more expensive than steel or aluminum frames. Carbon bike frames will not rust, making them a good choice for anyone who will be leaving their bike outside a lot or people who will be riding their bikes in all sorts of weather.
Titanium bike frames
Titanium is stronger than steel and make the most expensive bike frames. Serious cyclists and biking professionals use only titanium frame bikes. Very sturdy but exceptionally light titanium bike frames can take a beating without breaking, rusting, or sustaining a lot of damage. If you are a serious cyclist planning to compete in national and international races you will need to invest in a titanium frame bike.