How Important is the Bicycle Standover Height?

The bicycle standover height is really important! If you can’t stand over the top tube without touching it, you run the risk of hurting yourself when you stop quickly.

If the top tube is higher than you are, i.e. you have “negative” clearance, you’re an accident waiting to happen. Landing hard on a piece of steel, aluminum or carbon fiber tubing isn’t going to be a pleasant experience. You won’t “get used to it.”

Bicycle Standover Height

Feet firmly on the ground with room to spare over the top tube!

Even if you just graze the top tube when you stand over the bike, you may still run into problems. The road surface isn’t always smooth. If you stop and put your foot into a divot in the road, you’ll be that much lower and you’ll run into the top tube. I know, you can always “lean the bike over”, but if you’re stopping unexpectedly, will you always remember to do that?

It’s too bad so many manufacturers neglect the petite rider. After all, she’s serious about her sport too and deserves the same good equipment as everyone else. Occasionally, a customer comes to me who is still an inch or so shy of fitting my smallest stock design. Ah, the beauty of a custom bike. Since I build to order, tweaking the geometry to fit that rider isn’t a problem, nor does it cost any more. You can’t put a price on your health and safety, so if you’re in the petite fit boat, consider a custom bike.

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One comment on “How Important is the Bicycle Standover Height?
  1. Harlan Weiss says:

    To me, the most basic issue about bicycling is to be able to do it safely. Proper standover height allows safe dismounting. Another thing is always to wear a helmet. Consumer Reports actually found one that is slightly safer than the others it tested. I switched to it immediately. The last thing is visibility. In addition to appropriate lighting, high visibility clothing on the top half of the body (jerseys or jackets) is important. I am in the process of returning a black jacket and a black jersey I bought before I realized how dangerous they are. Now, I only buy “high viz” colors.

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