How to Fit Your Bike for Best Comfort and Performance | Complete Guide to Geometry Charts Pt. 1

Comprehensive Guide to Geometry Charts Pt.1. I’ll show you how to decipher those scary numbers on the geo charts, so you can know if a bike fits and how it handles before you ride it.

Bike Fit Calculator

Stem Calculator

Sheldon Brown on Bike Fit

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bill cipher says:


bill cipher says:


Jonatan OTW says:

Off-topic question / video suggestion:
I’m about to get my first “real” (read, not cheap) bike and use it more for everyday commuting to/from campus and around the city. But I’m worried about the weather, how should I approach this when it’s winter?
I watched your video about commuting on bike and it was great, but it didn’t mention this. I assume I might not live in the best part of the world for this (northern Eu), but I’m still curious.

Johnny C says:

Frame stack & frame reach is more important than top tube length. The top tube length can be misleading to how far you reach on the bike because the seat tube and head tube angles plays a major role in determining reach.

On every bike, frame stack & reach is measured the same way, hence a more consistent measurement across bikes. Of course a lot of bikes being sold still dont have the specs for frame stack & reach available, but companies are becoming more aware of it.

Also standover height is somewhat important since you need to know you can stand over your bike without hitting your crouch, as well as get a general idea how far you need to bend to reach the handlebars (or a gist of how high you need to raise the stem).

macmurfy2jka says:

Personally if you had to use only three measurement to choose a properly fitted bike they would be Standover, Reach, and Stack.

These rely almost entirely on the frame size. The rest can be adjusted but the frame will always be the frame. If you are buying a bike, just pick up a tailors tape measure or use string and a ruler to find fit; the extra effort is well worth it.

bill cipher says:


bill cipher says:


bill cipher says:


Nauj Aral says:

Thank you for sharing the knowledge, i think this is the best info i had on fitting/geometry look forward to part 2 🙂

Andrew Palafox says:

Zach you should just come with me to buy my bike because honestly I’m more confused then ever before 🙁

Surf Pile says:

Good video. So many people just don’t get it.


For engine 11’s how can you tell what size the frame is, it only has the options of small, medium, and large

Sarah Mohawk says:

Hey Zach, you should do a video on problems to look out for when buying a used bike. I think a lot of people would find it useful.

Mats Blankenau says:

Hey Zach!
I’m thinking of buying my first ever nice bike. However, I have a hard time finding a bike that I really like that isn’t too expensive. I live in Sweden, so many good bikes cost a lot to ship. I’d be using the bike to commute to university and want something with a regular handlebar and that still looks really good. I’m thinking of buying the “diamond” bike from BikeID. It’s a Swedish company based in Stockholm. It would be awesome if you could give me some advice. Your videos have been really informative and interesting, thanks!

bill cipher says:


Mung Mane says:

Hair doo on point

Sebochan says:

Hey Zach, is it a necessary to have a high seatpost when you’re riding a fixie? Because i noticed that my seatpost has the same level as my handlebar. So i was kind of wondering if my frame size is wrong. And my tube is hitting my no no zone, it doesnt hurt but you know, well maybe a little.

bill cipher says:


Sebochan says:

Hey Zach, is it a necessary to have a high seatpost when you’re riding a fixie? Because i noticed that my seatpost has the same level as my handlebar. So i was kind of wondering if my frame size is wrong. And my tube is hitting my no no zone, it doesnt hurt but you know, well maybe a little.

Bruce Wolny II says:

Thanks, Zach.

bill cipher says:


Angelo Medina says:

How to deal with a big Headtube? Seems I bought my bike with a longer-than-usual Top Tube and a bigger headtube that does not let me adjust the fit quite as how I want to… comes with a 80mm stem, (tried a 100mm since that’s what I’ve been accustomed to for some years now, and didn’t felt comfortable in long distances, altough: better handling; but had to go back to 80mm) and it does feel quite as how it was intended, but not how I would like… Spacers are all the way up, meaning the stem is now at it’s lowest. Would adjusting the saddle a little forward help? Or perhaps changing handlebars? Currently on drops, with shimano Sora STI levers . . . Also, it’s a compact geometry, so top tube is going almost to the middle of the seat tube.

Travis W Rigg says:

I would also add that it’s possible that your top tube and stem might be the right length but your handlebars are the wrong shape and size if you feel comfortable on the tops (the flat part of your handlebar) but feel sore in your lower back when you reach for the hoods (those things that have the levers that stick off the front of the bar)

Obviously I know that you, Zach Gallardo, know this terminology but most of this comment is directed at riders watching this video to get their fit dialed in.

Anyway, back to you, the reader. If you have smaller hands you’re probably going to be more comfortable with what’s called a “compact bar.” Compact bars have shorter reach and shallower curves in the drops.

Also all of this relates to drop bars which are those curvy type bars that the maker of these videos, Zach Gallardo, seems to prefer. I also prefer them because they give a lot more hand positions for longer rides. You can put your hands on the tops, on the ramps, on the hoods, in the drops, and who knows, you’re creative, you can probably come up with another place to put your hands that I haven’t thought of. If you prefer riser bars, then yes. All you really need to worry about is the top tube length and the stem length.

Also do make sure that you’re getting bars that are a sensible width. If you get bars that are too narrow you can get shoulder pain when you ride and that’s no fun. Your bike will also be harder to control, even if it does look cooler. I have yet to see any research that indicates that having wider bars will make you uncomfortable, but I’ve seen some much wider bars on bikes lately that I would have ever thought would be comfortable. The nice thing about wider bars is that you will get more stability in the steering of your bike. This comes at the cost of aerodynamics.

As far as handlebar width goes, the traditional way to do it is to measure the width between the pointy parts of your shoulder joints and then get a bar that same width. Modern bike fitters are trending towards recommending bars a little bit wider than that for women and smaller riders. This is because smaller riders already are on bikes that are twitchier due to their shorter wheelbases. A slightly wider bar gives a little bit more control over this. I myself am a smaller rider and like to get a bar that’s a little bit wider than my shoulders.

Long story short, your handlebars are an important part of your bike fit.

bill cipher says:


Riley Goss says:

This calculator is fucking dumb.

bill cipher says:


timothy weigall says:

Great video , Zach is spot on with his advice , it will get you closer to choosing your next ride.

bill cipher says:


bill cipher says:


Diego Marin Diego says:

Thanks thanks thanks! Btw, nice color correction 😉

bill cipher says:


Tobzzz77 says:

I need some advice on a bike to buy. I live in Australia so all your vids are a little irrelevant, sadly. I’m looking to become a bike messenger and currently own a shitty 19kg single speed. I need a lighter bike since i only weigh around 66kg, but it has to be under $300. I keep seeing Propgear come up everywhere, thoughts? Also the Vilano just comes under 300 AUD. Also the Yahto? Please help me i need to find a suitable bike and im just overwhelmed with the choices.

Thankyou very very very much

bill cipher says:


bill cipher says:


Pedro Godoy Quiñonez says:

You should do a video about handle bars…you know, for people that doesn’t know what type to choose, raisebar, bullhorn, straight etc etc…

Stef Fix says:

Everybody on YouTube talking about bike fit and geo charts and I’m just sitting here wondering if ever get a fixed gear with a frame size of 63cm or more.
Any suggestions?

Minhaj Ali Shahid says:

Great Video, thanks for explaining the process that is very complicated in a very understandable way.

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