A few weeks ago I found out about this web page and I think it’s a fantastic tool for any kind of a biker. It’s inspired by the real world needs, well planned and rather well technically realized.
After few minutes of testing it I was pleasantly surprised with usability of the service and I started wondering why nobody made this before. I believe that most of people will need just few minutes of playing with it to completely understand all the options.
As you all experienced riders know, there is no bike that fits everyone. As for me, I’m quite short (about 5.7” – 171 cm) and I regularly have problems with bikes with higher seat… people of my size know what I’m talking about; getting on/off the bike and stopping at crossroads, such common operations, can become pain in the ass for us with short legs. There are different stories that some tall guys will tell you – on undersized bikes (for them) their knees are bended too much and on some bikes they feel like riding a children's toy-bike.
The seating position is not serious problem for riding around town, but going a bit further can easily give you pain in the back and/or wrists...
This web page can really help you choosing your next bike. You can eliminate some bikes before even seeing them in person.
A brief guide
Before choosing a motorbike, enter your height and set the other options the way you like. Choose a motorcycle. Now you can play with the options as you wish, for example, test "Place feet on the ground” option, “Bar rise”, “Bar pullback” and “Seat rise”. You can also involve some more bikes and compare the ergonomics between them.
When you enter the mode with more than one bike, there is a cool feature you'll probably like: place mouse cursor over the motorbike image and just scroll the mouse wheel slowly... and see what happens - an almost perfect and very easy method to compare one or more bikes.
And that’s it.
Above the picture of the bike there are three links you could eventually need, check them out.
Suggestions and critics
I actually don't have any real critics; I only have few suggestions that could help these guys to make their service even better.
First of all, I would like to have the possibility to see the seating position of the passenger – the position of passenger’s knees and feet could tell me how often I will have to make a break while traveling – on my passenger request.
Another option would be the information if the bike has the passenger’s grab rails and possibility to show the passenger with hands on the grab rails or with the hands holding the rider. I hope I'm not asking too much.
Since I intent to inform the authors about this little description of their website, I really encourage you guys, if you have any more good ideas that could improve this website - please write it down as a comment. Let’s hope they will read this, and if there are anymore ideas, I will include them all within the message that intent to send... Just try to be realistic and to stick with the topic.
A short story – a few years ago I got myself a new bike, and I wasn't really worried about the seat height, it never occurred to me that it could be the problem. I’ve picked the tall one. After one clumsy, but successful climbing on the bike, I went straight to the gas station. On my way there, I forgot about the "climbing", as it felt fine during the ride. As I arrived, I tried to get off the bike, and wasn't expecting what came next... I couldn't reach the ground, and I let the bike lean on the side, but I was still holding it… then I tried to pull over the other leg but my foot grazed against the seat and I lost the balance. The bike fell down, not too hard though – I protected him with my leg! Fortunately, there wasn’t a single scratch on the bike… the leg wasn’t that lucky.
Next time I was buying a bike, I was much pickier. I also learned how important seating position is for longer rides, and not only for me, but for the passenger as well.
More than half of the time I spend on the bike I have a passenger behind me, and that’s almost always my lovely wife. I’m telling you – this passenger does not hesitate to complain on any kind of discomfort during any ride, and those complaints are sometimes capable to ruin all my joy.
Therefore, whenever I get chance to test a bike, or at least to seat on it to check the comfort, I try to have her near me, so she can express her opinion as well. You young riders may be laughing at this right now, but if you plan to keep riding, soon you will have a lady who will want you consider her opinion... or just buy a single-seater - in that case keep it safe and good luck! ;)
Bye for now and ride safe!
P.S. And check the website: http://cycle-ergo.com/