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#1
Hiya,
Managed to get a nice new bike for myself, however im wondering if it is too big for me.
I am told that it is the correct size for me but I'm not so sure. I have the seat at the lowest position and can only get the balls of my feet to touch the ground.
Now If i adjust the seat to make it higher so I have only a slight bend in my leg with the pedal fully extended to the bottom.. I don't think i'm ever going to want to ride it on a public road because I'm not going to be able to balance myself correctly when I stop.

Naturally I am concerned about taking it on the road for this reason.

I'm about 5'8 the bike is 18 inches with 26 inch wheels.

Additionally I'm finding it almost impossible to get it up the slightest of hills without me having to get off and manually push it even in the easiest of gears. My heart is pounding and my legs like jelly for about 2 hours after getting home!
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#2
Approximate saddle height to start with:-
Put your heel on the pedal at it's lowest point and your leg should just about be straight, not stretched.
You only have to touch the ground with your toes when stopped to keep your balance.
I would say that at 5'8" that an 18" should be O.K.
Size is as much about reach to the bars as well as seat height.
You could get a smaller size but with the seat at the right height you still would be in the same position.

Is this bike designed for rough stuff / off-road (which it looks like because of the suspension and knobbly tires) then the bottom bracket may be slightly higher than normal which raises the saddle height the same amount.
(MTBs tend to have the BB about an inch higher than normal road bikes. On standard bikes the BB is about 10" from the ground.)

What type of use do you intend putting the bike to.
Rough stuff?
Shopping trips?
General road riding?
A mixture of above?
This bike may not be the right one for you and you would perhaps be better with a "standard" frame bike.
Would the shop be amenable to an exchange for a different model?


As far as riding do you really need all the extras that are shown in the photo.
If you don't then remove them. It's just dead weight. Riding will become easier when the muscles, heart and lungs get used to the exercise. But it will take time and patience.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#3
Hiya thanks for the reply!
Its going to be mainly used to get from A to B and through tarmac'd lanes but they can get muddy sometimes, the roads then change into an area with tiny gravel chippings before more tarmac/concrete.

I am told its a hybrid bike..

The last time I went out on it, I came back and had to avoid a car which was traveling a bit too fast and then hit a pothole.. so put my foot out and my legs at that point were a bit like jelly and couldn't hold my weight so i tumbled over with the bike!

I'm going to take it out in the morning to try it again. But a much shorter distance. At the moment there is quite a bend in the knee, i'm gonna play with it later and see how far i can rise it but I think at the height that it 'should be' I'm not gonna be able to touch the ground even with my toes..

If you mean by extras the bags then they will probably be used to carry a small laptop and other bits - they came attached with the bike but were empty when I tried it out. I have had to attach lights to it however perhaps the bag on the front can come off.
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#4
You should not stay in the saddle when stopping, otherwise you tip over easily (as you realized). If you stop, get off the saddle and put one foot on the ground. I usually slow down, unclip the left foot, stand up using the right foot to support my weight and when having almost stopped "step" down with the left foot. I then lift the right pedal up to start easier.
Starting: I just push down the right pedal, by this I also lift my body up and back into the saddle. Clip in the left foot and get up to speed.
Hm, tough to describe...
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#5
A bit of advice:- Make sure the tyres are pumped up really hard.
If you look on the tyre wall there will be the maximum pressure advised for the tyre. Pump it up to this pressure. This will help reduce rolling resistance making for an easier ride.

With my bikes I can just touch the floor (I'm 5'9") when in the saddle. But if stopping I will get out of the saddle for a better footing as Joe describes.
If there is a curb then I can stay seated and put my foot on the curb while waiting.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#6
(04-20-2010, 08:55 AM)cyclerUK Wrote:  A bit of advice:- Make sure the tyres are pumped up really hard.
If you look on the tyre wall there will be the maximum pressure advised for the tyre. Pump it up to this pressure. This will help reduce rolling resistance making for an easier ride.

With my bikes I can just touch the floor (I'm 5'9") when in the saddle. But if stopping I will get out of the saddle for a better footing as Joe describes.
If there is a curb then I can stay seated and put my foot on the curb while waiting.

OOh thanks for the advice on the tires, I have tried pumping them quite hard but thinking im gonna have to resort to a footpump, finding the pumping really hard to do with a hand pump, Ive seen some on ebay quite cheap that come with a pressure gauge. I also have a digital gauge that can be used too
As for jumping off while stopping, that will take getting used to, as a child I always used to stay seated but they say you never forget how to ride a bike, unfortunately its also hard to forget not to jump off!
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#7
If you do decide to get a pump then get one they call a "track pump".
Something along the lines of this:-
http://www.cyclexpress.co.uk/Products/Air_Tower_1_Trackpump__Dual_head_silver.aspx
These are also called floor pumps.

Obviously you leave this at home but allows a weekly check on the pressure and is usually quick and easy to use.
They allow fairly easy pumping to high pressures and also have a pressure gauge fitted.
If you go to a shop for one then try it before you buy it. Get the assistant to show you how it connects to your bike etc.

By all means use a foot pump and a digital pressure gauge.
I would be expecting in the region of 60 PSI for your tyre pressure? (maybe more or less depending on what it says on the tyre wall ????)

I would NOT recommend one of the small ones that contain a pressure gauge. They take a long time to pump a tyre up and the gauges are hard to read.
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#8
I had borrowed one similar to that from a neighbour, but found it very difficult to use...
I'll take a look now and see what the pressure says
but i was thinking something along the lines of this
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230453129031&_trkparms=tab%3DWatching
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