Learning All About Lacrosse

5 Secrets For Riding Comfortably As A Tall Cyclist

by Ashley Kelley

If you are a tall person and interested in getting started in cycling, there are a few things that you should know about putting together the ultimate riding kit. Securing the proper riding equipment, from a bike that fits your size and supports your weight to a bib and jersey that stays in place, can make the difference between a fun, comfortable ride and feeling awkward or embarrassed while you are riding. When you are first getting started, the wrong equipment can turn you off of cycling altogether. To realize the full potential of this sport, you should follow these five tips. 

Measure Your Torso and Your Inseam

Ideally, all riders will measure their torso and inseam before they begin shopping for a bicycle or riding gear. This is because both your torso measurement and your leg length contribute to getting a proper bicycle and clothing. This is an especially critical step if you are taller than average and are looking for larger gear, because you need to know which proportions to search for, such as when looking at tall cycling jerseys or plus size clothes. 

One common mistake many taller women make is to simply purchase a bike designed for a male. However, since many bikes designed for males have a longer top tube, many women may find that their torso is too short for these taller bikes and they need a custom option instead. 

Consider Custom Options 

There are some great bikes and gear on the market specifically designed for taller or heavier riders. However, if you are unable to find items in your area, you may want to consider custom ordering bikes and riding clothing to fit your shape. This is the best way to ensure that you can achieve the maximum comfort and efficiency while you ride. 

You can usually place custom orders online or with your local bike shop. Alternatively, you can go to a community bike workshop and learn how to build your own bike. 

Don't Accept What Is Available If You Want Something Different 

Before you begin shopping, it is important to know what style of riding you want to do. For example, if you really want a cruiser, you should not be pressured into buying a mountain bike because it is the only bike available in your size. Often, taller riders will go into shops without a clear idea of what they want because they do not expect to have many options. But you will likely be happier with your purchases if you take the time to clearly define your riding goals before you begin shopping and then stick to them. 

Try On Jerseys, Bibs, and Shorts in Your Riding Position 

Most people try on riding clothing standing up. While this gives you an idea of how the clothing will fit, it is difficult to tell how comfortable the clothing will be once you are in your riding position, especially if you ride a road bike and are regularly bent over in a drop position. When you try on clothes, you should squat, sit, bend over and move to make sure they do not bunch and that the jersey fully covers your lower back when you are bent over.  

Explore More Options Than Bibs 

Bibs can be a comfortable option because they do not slide down on your waist as you cycle. However, if you have a long torso, you may find that many sets of bibs are uncomfortable and create pressure in your crotch area or over your shoulders. You should not discount shorts and pants. Try out pairs with wider elastic around the waist that sit at waist height instead of lower on your hips. 

If you are a taller rider, it is imperative that you find the right riding equipment from the start. This will make riding more enjoyable and help prevent you from developing bad habits.