Riding a bike that is customized to your body's measurements ensures a more comfortable ride.

How to Measure Torso & Arm Length for a Road Bike Fit

by Dan Howard

Customizing the fit of your road bike is a sure bet for making long treks more comfortable and more enjoyable. Riding a well-proportioned bike also goes a long way toward minimizing your muscle and joint pain the next day. Get help from a friend to accurately measure your torso and arm length and ensure that the bike shop customizes your ride to perfectly match your dimensions.

Measure Torso Length

Take off your shoes.

Stand on a flat surface with your back pressed against a wall.

Spread your feet out so that there are about 6 inches of space between them.

Locate the top of the sternum, which is the point just below your throat where your collarbone forms a "V" shape.

Place a hardcover book on the ground in between your feet, standing up with the book spine pressed vertically against the wall.

Lift the book up the wall toward your inseam, stopping when the book rests under your body similarly to a bike seat.

Measure the distance, in inches, from the top edge of the book to the top of the sternum. The resulting measurement is your torso length.

Measure Arm Length

Hold your arms stretched straight out to the sides, with palms facing forward.

Grasp a pen in one hand and make a fist.

Locate the edge of your collarbone, just above the tip of your shoulder.

Measure the distance from the edge of your collarbone to the pen. This measurement is your arm length, in inches.

Items you will need

  • Hardcover book
  • Tape measure

About the Author

Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images