How to buy a plus size bike? Tips and advice

William Adams
 min read

These days, there are tons of bikes available. This makes the procedure of selecting and buying one quite intimidating. Especially if you happen to be plus-size and are wondering how to buy a plus size bike.

how to buy a plus size bike tipsBikes can be divided into 3 main categories: road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes.

There are variations within these categories but a great starting point is considering the type of bike you want.

Think about your personal goals as well as your body and weight.

Bikes are relatively versatile devices but each type has its limitations. Hence, selecting the right one is important!

How to buy a plus size bike? Introduction

What kind of bike do you want? This is an important question!

Are there flat-surfaced and peaceful roads where you plan to cycle? Or will you be going off-road and riding on rough terrains?

You can think about all 3 types of bikes if you plan to do much cycling on roadways.

Road bikes have a similar style as racing bikes since they have lowered handlebars and thin, lightly treaded tires.

They are light but still solid and trustworthy. One thing to consider is that your riding position on a road bike is relatively low.

You need to extend your body to hold the handlebars. You may find this uncomfortable if you are not that flexible.

Another alternative for riding a bike in traffic are hybrid bikes.

These can range from road bikes with flat handlebars to bikes that are basically mountain bikes.

Hybrids are ideal for cycling since they have thinner tires than a mountain bike.

This gives you excellent control and a more upright riding position compared to a road bike.

As a result, hybrids easily provide you with an excellent all-round vision in traffic.

Hybrid bikes with larger treaded tires are fine for riding off-road, too.

Pick a mountain bike if you plan to do most of your cycling off-road.

Mountain bikes have excellent suspension to absorb the rough effect of bumpy terrain.

Mountain bikes are fine on the road too but their greatly treaded tires can slow you down!

Handy tips for selecting a bike

The benefits of cycling for overweight women and men cannot be underestimated. Investing in a top quality bike can give you years of enjoyment!

Once you have a clear vision of how you will use your bike and where you will ride it, you can start consulting bike purchasing guides such as the Best Bikes For Fat Guys And Plus Size People.

The guidelines will give you a practical view of just how much you will need to invest.

Afterwards, you can select your brand and bike manufacturer with care.

Is a website or sales representative trying to offer you a bike that is too big or too small, above your budget, or a different type than what you need?

Then you should just find another service!

Mountain bike buying tips

Buy a mountain bike with a damped suspension system as they are the most reliable.

Tip: There should be 3 to 4 inches between your crotch and the top bar when balancing the mountain bike with both feet on the ground.

Hybrid bike buying pointers

Choose V-brakes and knobbly tires for both off-road and city riding.

Make sure you can sit upright and look behind if you plan to use the bike for commuting to work or school.

Road bike buying ideas

Carbon-fiber forks help cut roadway vibrations while dropped handlebars enable an aerodynamic body position.

Triple chainsets are best for beginners and if you want your rides to be hilly.

Bike features to pay attention to

Picking the right size of bike frame

Proper frame size is essential if you are looking for a sturdy bike with enough weight carrying capacity.

The correct frame size is also crucial in order to obtain a proper riding position on a bike.

Measure your inside leg from groin to floor, and check out these guidelines:

Inside leg measurement: 29.50 – 30.75 in

  • Road bike frame: 48 – 51 cm
  • Mountain bike frame: 14 – 16 in
  • Size: Small

Inside leg measurement: 31.00 – 32.25 in

  • Road bike frame: 50 – 54 cm
  • Mountain bike frame: 16 – 17 in
  • Size: Medium

Inside leg measurement: 32.50 – 34.00 in

  • Road bike frame: 53 – 57 cm
  • Mountain bike frame: 17 – 18 in
  • Size: Large

Inside leg measurement: 34.25 – 35.50 in

  • Road bike frame: 56 – 60 cm
  • Mountain bike frame: 19 – 21 in
  • Size: Extra large

Plus size bike saddle

Don’t be seduced by an extremely padded saddle.

It won’t be as comfy as a precisely shaped male- or female-specific one that efficiently supports your weight.

Male-specific saddle

This is a narrow and long fit, but it can be helpful.

Female-specific saddle

The back of the saddle is somewhat broader than the male-specific one.

Plus-size specific saddle

An excellent bike seat for large-sized cyclists is a saddle that supports your body weight.

It should also be slightly wider at the back for more comfy seating.

Bike wheels and tires: How to buy a plus size bike

Here are a few of the most common bike wheels and tires.

Off-road mountain bicycle tire

A knobbly tread pattern offers the very best grip.

Knobbly, wide tires are great for off-road riding.

Smooth road tire

Light tread patterns are perfect for smoother road riding.

Smooth, narrow tires on wheels with few spokes are great for road riding.

Multi-purpose tire

Its tread patterns are made for good grip and smooth riding.

Multi-purpose tires are OK for occasional off-roading. However, they are much better for riding on smooth, asphalted roads.

How to buy a plus size bike? Other factors to consider

You should also think about some of the essential features below when picking a bike that fits your needs:

  • Women should think about a female-specific saddle for more comfort
  • Adjust the seatpost up or down to get the correct saddle height
  • Check if you can reach the handlebars easily while sitting in the saddle
  • Some hybrids and road bikes have caliper brakes, while other hybrids and all mountain bikes have V-brakes, or in some cases disc brakes
  • Triple chainsets fitted for mountain bikes and hybrids have three chainrings for a wide range of gears (better for hill climbing)
  • There is a wide range of tires and wheels available. Always select gear which matches your needs and body.
About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More