Bikes. Where Size does Matter.

Mountain Biking

When you're a beginner like me at mountain biking it feels like there is so much that you need to know how to do before you feel ready to be able to conquer the mountain.
little boy with an "oh no" expression
What kind of bike do I need? What kind of equipment do I need? What exactly is essential for me to have purchased brand new versus used? Do I have somebody check this out for me? Do I need to have somebody go with me when I go riding? It can be an overwhelming concept to finally just get yourself into it.
the koenigs mountain bikeing togetherIt took me almost 10 years to finally get my butt onto a bike and go riding.
I feel like so much time was lost with me putting it off all this time. (big sigh)
However; let's leave the past there and move on to the Future. So where do you start? Well, you need to start with a bike I suppose.
mountain bike with parts
There are several different factors that go into if you will fit a bike. The standover, the reach of your arms to the handlebars and your torso. 
Personally, I have a short inseam, but I have a longer torso so that puts me in an unusual sport for piking bike sizes. 
My first suggestion for you is to go to a bike shop, not Walmart or target, and talk to them about sizing you up to a bike. You don't need to buy a bike, but they can help you figure out your size range. 
 
If you don't really want to do that than you need to figure out your own measurements.  First, you need to measure the inseam of your legs. This will help determine your stand over that is needed for finding the right size bike.
If you're anything like me,  which is short, it's going to be a pain in the butt to find the right bike. I have an inseam of 27".   (SHORT LEG ALERT)measuring instructions for sizing up a bike
You can then follow up with measuring your height, torso length, and arm length. These three measurements will help with narrowing down if you need to make adjustments to the bike or not. 
Once you have an idea of what your stand over needs to be you can look at the types of bikes. There are many several styles of mountain bikes to search from: cross country, enduro, and downhill. So think about where you want to ride or how you want to ride.
bike styles
When you do start looking at bikes look all around because each manufacturer has variations on the sizes so not every small will have the same stand over so look around. I was lucky enough to have a husband that did all the legwork for me.
When it really comes down to it there are some many aspects of a bike that you can modify that will make it fit you like a glove. When you purchase a bike you are essentially looking for something with good bones. Over time you can upgrade as you go. Build a bike that fits you. ie: shocks, handlebars, riser, pedals, seat. 
I have gone through two different bikes now and let me tell you size does matter. I loved my first bike, a specialized, but it was just too tall for me. Once I found a bike with the right stand over my entire riding game changed. I felt more connected to my bike and it responded well. 
kari koenig selfie pic during riding
I'm a newb in the world of Mountain Biking I'm not ashamed to say it. However; I love it. I love riding and learning more about everything. I would love to answer your questions through research or experimentation.
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