Talking Bike Fit: Taller Rider

This is the second in a series of posts about bike fit. Check out our post about shorter riders here.

Whether you’re closer to the ground or sky as you walk this world, you deserve a bike that really fits you. So we’ve asked two people to share their perspectives on how the bikes Vie carries fit their bodies, to help you figure out what you might like to ride. Today we’re sharing the perspective of someone on the taller side of the spectrum.

The average male’s height in the United States is about 5’10”. And folks of this height can generally assume that a bike will be built with their fit perspective in mind. But plenty of men (and women) are significantly taller. We’ve done a good number of test rides with people who are much closer to 7′ than 6′, and we want to be sure that they feel comfortable when they ride.

Jake Donham is 6’2″ and has been riding bikes for a very long time. He owns a few (!) bikes but generally gravitates to city bikes, not racing bikes. If you’ve ever ridden with Jake, you know that he’s very particular about bike fit; in fact, you may find yourself waiting a few minutes here and there while he adjusts handlebars, seats, etc en route, to get them just right. Here’s what he has to say about the bikes we carry:

Bullitt: “Feels pretty good. I like that it feels really rideable. My pedaling really has impact, which is different from the family bikes I’m used to. A little more leaned over than I like, but other than that it feels pretty good. It’s probably my favorite to ride overall.”

Spicy Curry:Pretty comfortable. I like having the small back wheel. A little more bent over than I like, but generally fine. This bike feels really rideable in terms of pedaling and I like how solid it is going down the big hills.”

MK1: “Feels good. It’s more upright than the Bullitt, which I like. Took some getting used to, but I had a lot of fun on this bike. I’m fascinated by this bike’s design.”

Haul a Day: “It fits OK. But I found it to be really flexy with the seat all the way up (and the frame fully extended). I bounced around as I went up the hills. I own a folding bike — among others — so I’m used to the feel of the two small wheels.”

BodaBodaSmall – “Doable but too small.” Large – “Fine. When I have the seat up high enough so that it pedals well, it’s hard for my feet to reach the ground. I like that it has a nice upright position. The weight in the back of the bike is a little high up but it’s not too bad.”

Overall: “I’m aware that being taller gives me more leverage over all these bikes, so some of the more wobbly ones are probably easier to handle for me. I’ve noticed that I seem more comfortable than my wife (who is 5’7″) on some of our bikes, which I think has to do with my height since she’s a very strong rider. So though I care a lot about bike fit, her fit is more of the limiting factor when we’re shopping for a family bike. It just means that I get to geek out on customizing the bike to also fit my tastes, which suits me fine.”