hello again and welcome to another bike chick wednesday! i will start right and apologize for all the crotch shots but your crotch is an important consideration while searching for that special bike!
bike chick tip #3 : bike fitting
it is very important that your bike fit you in a way that is comfortable for you as well as efficient. as i mentioned in my last post going to a bike store is the most convenient place to try out a bike. this way if you have never rode a bike before you can stand over different models and see what size bike fits you best and what is most comfortable. it is best to go to a bike shop where they sell old and new bikes this way you can feel the difference between old and new bikes. often new bikes are sold small, medium or large where as old bikes are sized in cm/inches like: 49cm, 52cm, 60cm....the frame size is measured from the seat tube to the center of the bottom bracket...often they also go by the standover height.
these #'s are especially important as many people use these two types of measurements when selling on craigslist and is an easy way to spot if a bike will be too small or too big for you. so here are some images of what comfortable stand over height looks like...
ladies or mixte frames have a sloping top tube(s) which make the stand over height different then a road bike so it is also important that when riding any bike when pedaling that your leg is able to almost fully extend so that your knees aren't tired while riding and so that you also get the most power while pedaling. this type of bike makes it easy to get on and off a bike as well as being the best for riding in a dress or skirt :D
mountain bikes also usually have sloping top tubes but a less severe slope. but since the top tube is slightly sloped you still have to swing your leg around to get on or off the bike.
just remember that getting a size frame that fits you is the most important! you can change out seat, seat post, handle bars and handle bar stems later which i will also go over :D
if you have any questions just let me know and i will be more than happy to help out!!