Philosophy, Methodology and Baseline Bicycle Fit


The Bicycle Business has been fitting customers to bikes for more than 30 years. In that time we have developed what we believe is a holistic, practical methodology. We take more than body measurements into consideration when helping our customers choose a new frame. Proper bike fit is the process of balancing comfort with efficiency, while taking into consideration the riding style, flexibility, and injuries or medical conditions of the rider.


Our baseline fit methodology is nothing new; it's based upon proven industry standards and formulas. To make bike fitting simple to understand, it can be broken down into four areas:

  • A - Saddle height, a function of the rider's inseam and type of riding.

  • B - Saddle setback, a function of femur length.

  • C - Reach, a function of torso and arm length and type of riding.

  • D - Drop, a function of flexibility, comfort or effect desired and type of riding.

We use the Wilfried Huggi and Cyrille Guimard formulas made popular by Greg Lemond's book "Complete Book of Bicycling" for calculating baseline frame size and saddle height.

Formulas Used in Calculating Baseline Measurements

Frame Size
  • Inseam x 0.65 = Center-to-Center Frame Size
Baseline Saddle Height
  • Inseam x 0.883 = Saddle Height (as measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle)
Baseline Saddle Setback
  • Measured by placing the rider at proper saddle height with shoe and cleats setup with the ball of the foot directly over the pedal axle. Then, taking a plumb line off the front of the kneecap with the crank arm at 9 o'clock, the plumb line should intersect or fall behind the pedal axle by no more than one centimeter.
Baseline Reach
  • (Sternal Notch Height – Inseam + Arm Length)/2 + 4
Baseline Drop
  • Recreational Riding = +3 to -3cm

  • Sport Riding = -3 to -7cm

  • Racing = -7cm or more