How to take an inseam measurement

In this video, Paul explains how to take an accurate inseam measurement, a vitally important first step in ensuring you purchase a bike that is the correct size for you.

Video Transcript

How to take an inseam measurement

Hello and welcome to this tutorial. In this tutorial we’re going to be walking through how to take an accurate inseam measurement. Now this is something that we would normally do in store for people. But if you can’t get into store, you’re looking at purchasing a bike, we still want to go through the process of getting accurate inseam measurement, it’s really important.


Over and above an inseam measurement, getting an idea again of an accurate overall height will give us our body proportions. So, our leg length versus or our torso length. Again, an inseam measurement can go across a couple of frame sizes, so to understand the overall height of the rider, and also the inseam measurement of the rider gives Criterium fitters a really good idea of dialling in on what your perfect frame size is going to be.


So to perform an accurate inseam measurement, we need a few things. Number one, we need a flat wall behind us. Number two, you can use a tape measure but we do recommend using a metre rule if you can get hold of one. And the other thing that you will need is a straight edge where you’ve got a straight edge that’s going to be placed between your legs, but also preferably it’s long enough with a back straight edge that will then go up against the wall. So you know that the straight edge that you’re using is absolutely horizontal. You don’t want it to be raised up, you don’t want it to be raised down because again, this is going to cause an inaccuracy to your inseam measurement and this is really important to be accurate.


The other principle that you need to know is that we need to take our shoes off as well. The inseam measurement is taken with your shoes off. So bare feet or just with socks on depending on what you’re standing on. So, that’s first job, we’re going to take our shoes off. What we’re then going to do is place the straight edge in between our legs and have it as high as it will go.


I can now feel that up against the wall and I’ve made sure that the back edge the vertical edge is absolutely square against the wall. So I know that this horizontal edge is absolutely at 90 degrees to the wall. We want to place our heels up against the wall itself. And then you want to be stood with your legs just hip apart. We don’t want you A framing your legs because again, that’s going to drop the pelvis down slightly. And again you don’t have to be absolutely legs together, but just legs hip apart, again made sure that that vertical edge on the backside of my straight edge is now square against the wall.


And now we can take our metre rule and it sounds very obvious, but we want to make sure that we’re measuring to the top of that, in this instance this number plate, not the bottom. So with that measurement, I’ve got my thumb against where the metre rule is going up against the top of the number plate, I can then remove the metre rule and I am coming out at 828 millimetres so 82.8 centimetres of inseam measurement. So that is how to gauge an accurate inseam. Again, it would then be handy if you could measure your height having somebody else do that for you is obviously the most accurate way of doing it. But again, just like in the old days, as long as we’re getting a reasonable measure of your overall height, it will just allow us to assess that “torso to leg” length for you.


So we hope you found that instructional video useful. There’s going be a load more how to adjust your bike and fit videos coming soon. Thanks for watching.