Sizing a Downhill Mountain Bike
No one would wear a pair of shoes that didn't fit - it's just too uncomfortable. Why ride a bike that doesn't fit you, either? The size of a downhill mountain bike frame is important when purchasing a mountain bike: it will determine how comfortable your ride is, how fast you can go, and how efficiently you can operate your bike and conserve your own energy. A grown man wouldn't ride a kid's bike - why should he have to ride a bike that doesn't fit him at all, then? Make sure that when you buy your downhil mountain bike you are sized and given the correct size frame.
No matter what mountain bike you decide to purchase, whether it be a downhill mountain bike, a freeride mountain bike, or a cross country mountain bike, it is important to gear the bike's ability towatrds what you are capable of, as well as to ensure the mountain bike frame, stem, seat height and handlebar width are all appropriate for your body. Miscalucalations in any of these areas will result in an uncomfortable, even painful, ride.
A good way to size a downhill mountain bike is to stand over the bike as if you were about to sit on it. Does the cross bar rise all the way up your inseam, or are there a few inches of room? Leaving a few inches of room between your crotch and the cross bar is deal, as it will come in handy later on if youever fall off your bike or need to make an emergency dismount on the trail.
Riding a downhill mountain bike with a seat either too high or too low will affect your speed and efficiency, but more importantly, it will affect your comfort. Bike seats are already not the most comfortable cushions around - so do everything you can to make sure yours is raised high enough to match your height. You also want to give your legs as much room as possible to push your mountain bike pedals efficiently and comfortably.