When you are new to cycling the first question you ask yourself is“What size bike do I need?”.It isnot a complexquestion,butit isone that can cause a lot of fear and sleepless nights!There seem to be a million bike frame sizes. There is a lot of advice,so wehave decided to bring it all here for you in a simple format with a handybike size chartto help guide you.
Our easy-to-read size chart will show you thebike size optionsfor your height. We will then give you a rundown on a few simple tips to help ease your mind about bike frame size. Finally, we will break down some myths andgive you real informationso you can go into any shop and know what you are being told is true—not just a sales pitch.
Bike Frame Size Chart – Check the Bike Size in an Easy Way
The simplest way to find out if a bike isthe correct size for you is to look at our handybike frame sizecharts. We have broken these down intothe various types of bike available.
Mountain Bike Size Chart
Mountain bike sizing can be affected by suspension and your tire choices. So, make sure you look at a tire size chart and try a full-suspension mountain bike for size before buying. For standard hardtails,our mountain bike size chart should be a god send.
|Your height||Your leg inseam||Suggested frame size|
|4`10”-5`1”||148-158 cm||24-29”||61-73 cm||14″||XS|
|5`1″-5`5″||158-168 cm||25-30”||63-76 cm||15” / 16″||S|
|5`5″-5`9″||168-178 cm||26-31”||66-78 cm||16” / 17″||M|
|5`9″-6`0″||178-185 cm||27-32”||68-81 cm||17″ / 18″||L|
|6`0″-6`3″||185-193 cm||28-33”||71-83 cm||18″ / 19″||XL|
|6`1″+||193 cm+||29”+||73 cm+||20”+||XXL+|
Not sure which mountain bike to buy? Check out our mountain bike reviews.
Hybrid Bike Size Chart
A hybrid is your fastest way aroundtownand you’ll find their sizes sit in-between road bike and mountain bike sizing. We have set this hybrid bike size chart in inches as it is the most common way to buy hybrid bikes, some fast models will be measured incentimeterslike road bikes.
|Your height||Your leg inseam||Suggested frame size|
|4`10”-5`1”||147-155 cm||24-29”||61-73 cm||14″||XS|
|5`1″-5`5″||155-165 cm||25-30”||63-76 cm||15”||S|
|5`5″-5`9″||165-175 cm||26-31”||66-78 cm||16”||M|
|5`9″-6`0″||175-183 cm||27-32”||68-81 cm||17″||L|
|6`0″-6`3″||183-191 cm||28-33”||71-83 cm||18″||XL|
|6`1″+||191cm +||29”+||73 cm+||19″||XXL+|
Not sure which hybrid bike to buy? Check out our hybrid bike reviews.
Road Bike Size Chart
Our road bike size chart will work like a very simple road bike size calculator. Make sure your bicycle sizing is spot-onwith this chart. Youno longerneed to wonder:“Whatsizebike should I buy?”
|Your height||Your leg inseam||Suggested frame size|
|4`10”-5`1”||148-152 cm||24-29”||61-73 cm||47-48 cm||XXS|
|5`1″-5`5″||152-160 cm||25-30”||63-76 cm||49-50 cm||XS|
|5`5″-5`9″||160-168 cm||26-31”||66-78 cm||51-54cm||S|
|5`9″-6`0″||168-175 cm||27-32”||68-81 cm||54-56cm||M|
|6`0″-6`3″||175-183 cm||28-33”||71-83 cm||58-60cm||L|
|6`1″+||183-191 cm||29”+||73 cm+||62cm+||XL+|
Not sure which road bike to buy? Check out our road bike reviews.
BMX Bike Size Chart
If you want to get rad downatthe skatepark or race track,this is a quick guide to getting the correct BMX size. BMX,unlike other bike sizes,can be changed by preference. The sizewill not biomechanicallyimpedeon you.
|Your Height||Suggested Race BMX Size||Suggested Park BMX Size|
|4’2″ – 4’10”||127 – 148 cm||Mini||18” Wheel|
|4’6″ – 5’1″||137 – 155 cm||Junior||20” Wheel18 -19.5”toptube|
|5’0″ – 5’4″||152–163 cm||Expert||20” Wheel19.5- 20.25”toptube|
|5’2″ – 5’6″||157–168 cm||Expert XL||20” Wheel20.25–20.5”toptube|
|5’3″ – 5’8″||160 – 173 cm||Pro||20” Wheel20.5 – 20.75”toptube|
|5’7″ – 6’0″||170 – 183 cm||Pro XL||20” Wheel20.75 – 21”toptube|
|6’+||183 cm+||Pro XXL||20” Wheel21”+toptube|
What you will see in these charts is that adult bikes are generally measured by their bicycle frame size. Wheel size is a very important metric if you are a childbecauseyou need to be able to stand over your bike if you want to ride it,and wheels that are too big won’t let you do that.
Does Wheel Size Affect Sizing?Is a Bike Wheel Size Chart Needed?
On road bikes and hybrids, no, as these bikes will all have a similarly sized wheel. However, on a mountain bike, the answer is yes. Mountains bikes now come in three different wheel sizes. You can find them with 26” wheels, 27.5” wheels, or 29” wheels. If all threehave a15” frame, there will be a height difference between them due to their wheel size. Bike frames are measured from the middle of their bottom bracket to the end of their seat tube. Your wheel axle height sets your bottom bracket height.
If we take the 26” wheel as the base height, the axle height for a 27.5” wheel will be 0.75” higher. If we then look at the 29” wheel, its axle will be 1.5” higher. This is because the axle sits in the middle of your wheel.We then divide the difference in wheel height by half to getinformation onhow much higher the axle sits.
A15” frame will be 15.75” on a 27.5” or 16.5” on a 29”. Some manufacturers have worked on the mathematics and geometry to keep the differences closer than this. Others havenot.Thegood news is, we have the option of knowing stack and reach,andthis will tell us how close the fit is for you. We have more on stack and reach below.
A Separate Women’s Bike Size Chart isNot Needed
You might not believe it, but the charts above also work for women.They are all the perfect women’s bike sizes. We have been fed so many tales about how women need specific bikes and kits. We have all heard the stories of women having a smaller torso than men,therefore needing smaller top tubes.
If you take a woman and a man of the same height, the man will have longer legs, and the women will have a longer torso. Themythis purely anecdotal and is not helped by high heels and the cut of women’s trousers. It is a prevalent myth,and one that needs to die. There are references below if you want to know more.
The secret to a women’s fit is a women’s specific saddle. There is a caveat to this though:10% of women have a pelvis shaped like a man’spelvis. What women need is a bike that fits,sodon’t be taken in by the“shrink it and pink it”marketing. Trek, for instance, hassizing charts that don’t change due to gender, but they do pink bikes with a women’s specific saddle.
The bicycle size charts are not the end of the story.You can further dial your bike fit and size needed by knowing how to calculate your bike’s saddle height. Your saddle height is the most important contact point that you have with your bike.
Kid’s Bike Sizing Can Be Done in Various Ways
Getting the right sized bike for your child does not need to be a complicated process. We think this topic needs its own post so we wrote this kids bike size chart article that covers all aspects.
How to Measure Your InseamLength
Measuring your inseam is pretty easy,andit is the first step in how to measure yourself for a bike. You will need four things:a hardback book, a tape measurer, a friend, and yourself.
- Find a nice wall.
- Stand with your back against the wall, as flat as possible and with no shoes or socks.
- Place your feet shoulder width apart
- Take your book and runit up to the top of your inner legs.
- Get your friend to measure from the top of the book to the floor.
- You have your inseam length,andit will more than likely not be the same as your trouser leg measurement.
These steps will not only allow you to calculate your frame size, they will also allow you to measure your saddle height.The Greg LeMond method has been shown to be pretty accurate here. What you do is take your inseam measurement in centimeters and multiply it by 0.833.
You then take this measurement and go up your bike’s seat tube with your tape. Once you have reached the magic number, this is where the top of your saddle should be. The number for your saddle height is one of the most critical metrics for bike sizing and fit.
You can then use your inseam to calculate frame size by using some sums, or you can use one of the various online bike fit calculators. If you want to know the sums then to find your road bike frame size, take your inseam length in centimeters and multiply it by 0.70. For a hybrid bike,take your inseam and multiply it by 0.69. For mountain bikes,take the same measurement and multiply 0.6, you will then need to change the centimeters into inches.
The calculation here will give you your bike’s frame size. Bike frame sizes are measured in the same way for all styles of bicycle. To measure your bike’s frame size,take a measuring tape and place the tape in the center bolt of your bike’s cranks. If it is just the frame, this will be the center point in the bottom bracket shell.
Now run the measuring tape up your seat tube. When you reach the end of the seat tube, you have your frame size. It isfairly simple.
Bike Fit Calculators
When searching online for advice about bike sizing, you will come acrossbike fit calculators. The simplest bike size calculators will use your height and inseam length. The frame size they give you will then just be taken from the bike size charts we have posted above.
The more complicated versions of this calculator will ask a lot of questions, including such questions as “what is your arm length?” To measure your arm length, you will need your friend and tape measure again.
- Stand straight, with one arm out to your side level with your shoulder.
- Clench your fist.
- Get your friend to measure from the start ofyour collarbone to the middle of your clenched fist.
The measurement you have just taken will be your reach. You will see many manufacturers now quote their bike’s size in stack and reach. Some will even have stack and reach on their bikes instead of frame size stickers.
Stack and reachisa great toolthat can tell you how a bicyclewillfit. It enables you to escape the limitations of just using a single number for sizing purposes. It means you can tell the difference between one manufacturer’s “Medium” and another manufacturer’s “Medium.”
Your stack is the distance from thecenterpoint of your bottom bracket to thecenterpoint at the top of your bike frame’s headtube. Your reach is the horizontal version of this distance. It is a much more technical bike sizing method, but it is slowly becoming the preferred method, especially amongst higher end bikes.
Stack and reachisthe perfect number for how to determine bike size.
What toDoIfYouGot Your Bike Fit Wrong
As a rule, if you sit between two sizes on a road or hybrid bike, go smaller.Fora mountain bike,go larger. That will make any future part changes easier.
Your bike comes made from many parts, andall ofthese parts can be changed to make a bike fit you better. One of the key ways to know if you have a problem is to listen to your body.
There is an old cycling rule that knee pain at the back of your leg means your saddle is too high. If you are having pain in the front of your knee, then your saddle is too low. You will find that road cyclists generally have their seat too high. As with all rules,remember that these are just guidesand not gospel.
When you are setting your saddle height always remember that you can change seat posts. Some seat posts supplied may be too small, and some may be too long.
If your seat post is too short, it is a trip to a bike shop to sort the issue. If your seat post is too long, all you need to do is hack off a bit.Wear a mask if you’re cutting carbon fiber.
If you feel the reach is too much or too cramped to your handlebars, then you can move your saddle forward or backward. Look at your saddle rails,astheywill have maximum lines for movement. Going beyond these lines will likely cause your saddle to snap.
If you need to go beyond these lines, it might be worth changing your stem. You can change your stem to either a longer or a shorter stem. There will be an effect on the way your bike handles,though. A shorter stem will make your bike feel twitchier, and a longer stem will make your bike feel more lethargic.
- Top tube length.
- Seat tube length.
- Reach and stack – and why they're important numbers.
- Chainstay length.
- Front centre.
- Seat tube and head tube angles.
- Bottom bracket drop.
|Rider Height (feet/inches)||Rider Inseam (inches||Bike Frame Size (centimeters)|
If you're buying a bike online and wondering how do you measure yourself for a bike from afar, simply measure the length of your inside leg (with your shoes on) and subtract two centimeters from that measurement. This will give you the stand-over height of the bicycle that is right for you.How do you tell if a bike is big enough for you? ›
Look for listed standover heights, and compare that number to your inseam. The difference between your inseam and the standover height should fall within the target ranges. (For example, if you have a 30” inseam, you'll want a road bike with a 29” standover height.)How do I choose a bike frame for my height? ›
- 4'11″ – 5'3″ = 13 – 15 inches = X-Small.
- 5'3″ – 5'7″ = 15 – 16 inches = Small.
- 5'7″ – 5'11″ = 16 – 17 inches = Medium.
- 6'0″ – 6'2″ = 17 – 19 inches = Large.
- 6'2″ – 6'4″ = 19 – 21 inches = X-Large.
- 6'4″ and taller = 21+ inches = XX-Large.
When you look at a bicycle, it's easy to see that the frame is the most important part of this vehicle. Not only is the frame the one that holds the entire bike up and together and allows you to sit on and steer it, but it also attests to the quality of the materials used.What does bike size number mean? ›
Frame size generally refers to frame height, the length of the seat tube from the bottom bracket (crank bearing) to the top tube.What does 24 or 26 inch bike mean? ›
What is a 24-inch Bike? A 24-inch bike is typically a kids bike and the 24” measurement refers to the diameter of the wheels. The smallest kids bikes have tiny 12” wheels but move up incrementally to 26” wheels. 26” wheel bikes are normally reserved for preteens and teenagers as well as many traditional adult bikes.Is a 26 inch bike good for what height? ›
A 26-inch bike works well for people who are 4'10-5'7, or 147 cm to 170 cm. Also, it works well for people whose leg inseam is 25-30 inches, or 63-76 cm. However, the frame size may need adjustment depending on your height.Is it better to have a bike slightly too big or too small? ›
When you're between frame sizes, it's better to buy the smaller size. You can always make it bigger by replacing the stem and raising the handlebar and a seat. Making a bigger bike smaller is more difficult, as there is only so much you can do. A smaller frame also gives you more control when riding.
If you're 5'6' or taller, you should be able to find a 29er model to fit you. Riders more than 6' tall can rejoice: You'll definitely enjoy a more natural riding position with the size and frame geometry of a 29er.Should my feet touch the ground on a bike? ›
The height of your saddle is important for the most comfortable position and safe riding style. When you sit on the saddle, both feet should reach the floor and the balls of your feet should be touching the ground.Does wheel size matter on a bike for height? ›
Wheels are a major component to any bike and the size of the wheel affects a lot of other things that you might not think of. In particular, frames need to be engineered around the wheels. In general, bikes with larger wheels will have longer chainstays, wheelbases and taller stack heights than smaller wheeled bikes.What height is a 20 inch frame bike for? ›
|Height||Bike Size||Mountain Bike Size *|
|5'10” – 6'0” 178 – 183 cm||L||19” (48cm)|
|6'0” – 6'3” 183 – 191 cm||XL||20” (51 cm)|
|6'3” – 6'5” 191 – 196 cm||XXL||21” (53 cm)|
|6'5” – 6'9” 196 – 205 cm||XXXL||22” (56 cm)|
The frame is also usually the most expensive part of the bike and the most involved to replace.What are the most expensive parts of a bike? ›
The 8 most expensive road bike parts in the world
- Wheel rims.
The main parts of a bicycle are wheels, frame, seat, handle bars, and components. We also could consider the helmet as a key safety issue.What does 26 inch bike mean? ›
The 26 in a 26 inch bike refers to the wheel size, so that measurement isn't always the best way to judge how big a bike is. Some youth bikes are measured by this wheel size, but more commonly you'll find 26-inch wheels on a variety of adult frame sizes.What does a 24 inch bike mean? ›
So when we talk about kids bike sizes in terms of 14, 16, 20 or 24, those numbers indicate the diameter of the wheels on the bike in inches.What size is a 17 inch bike frame? ›
|Rider Height feet & inches||Rider Height cm||Frame size inches|
|5'1" - 5'6"||155 - 168cm||17 inch|
|5'6" - 5'11"||168 - 180cm||19 inch|
The difference between the strike angle of a 26-inch wheel and a 29-inch wheel (over the wooden block) is only about 5 percent, but the cumulative effect of rolling up and over a 5-percent steeper angle thousands of times a mile adds up quickly. The larger-diameter 29-inch wheel has noticeably less rolling resistance.What age is a 27.5 inch bike for? ›
26″ & 27.5″ Wheels (Age 10 years and above)
As children become young teenagers their options open up even more and bikes become more specialised. A 24″ bike offers much of the same tech, features and benefits of an adult bike but built around a slightly smaller wheel size.
Most adult bikes that are small enough for an 11-year-old or 12-year-old will most likely come with 26 inch or 27.5 inch wheels.Can a 6 2 person ride a 26 bike? ›
Riders with a height of 5' and above are typically tall enough to comfortably fit on bikes with 26” wheels. However, riders taller than 5'5” may be better suited to the slightly larger 27.5” or 29” models that offer better traction and stability.How tall should you be for a 28 inch bike? ›
A 28-inch bike is best for riders between 6 and 6 feet 3 inches tall, with a leg length or inseam of 28 to 33 inches. The typical frame size of a bike in this category is 18 to 19 inches.What height is 24 inch bike for? ›
In more modern times, pros often use a smaller frame that a similarly sized recreational rider because they want to ride a big drop to the handlebars. As head tubes continue to grow for a given frame size, pros are forced onto smaller frames to maintain their positions.Does a heavier bike slow you down? ›
Even at the steepest grade he tested (7 percent), a one-pound difference between bikes only saves about 2.5 seconds—and the lightest bike only reaches the top 7.5 seconds faster than the heaviest one.What happens if you get the wrong size bike? ›
If you can't get the bike to your ideal position, it is not recommended to ride more than just around town as an improperly fitted bike can cause injury specifically to your knees and back but other areas as well.Are 20 inch bikes for adults? ›
20" wheel BMX bikes are ridden by children and adults of all sizes but the minimum age for this style of bike would be between 7 and 8 years.
Yes, the recommended age for a 20” bike is between 5 and 8 years old. If your child is relatively tall, they may be ready to size up to a 24” bike.Is 27.5 inch bike good for what height? ›
What height is a 27.5 inch bike for? 27.5 inch bikes are suitable for adults between 5'2” and 5'10”. That said, adults of all heights can ride this wheel size. Some brands claim that 27.5” wheels are especially useful for riders 5'7” and under.What is the best seat position on a bike? ›
The ideal position is to have your knee directly above the pedal spindle (known as the Knee Over Pedal Spindle, or KOPS, rule) when the crank arm is in the three o'clock position.What is the best bike position? ›
As a general rule of thumb, your knee should have a slight bend in it when you're at the bottom of the pedal stroke. As a starting point, you can achieve this by setting a saddle height that, with your heel on the pedal and pedalling backwards slowly, your knee just barely locks out at the point of maximum extension.Why does my bum hurt after riding my bike? ›
It's normal for your butt to feel slightly sore after a ride, because when you sit on a bike seat, most of your weight gets distributed on two very small bones on the bottom of your pelvis. That can lead to soreness, especially if you're on a long ride, explains Maddy Ciccone, a SoulCycle instructor in Boston.Do I need a 26 or 29 bike? ›
If you are under 5'6” tall, a 26-inch mountain bike is still likely to be a better fit. If you're 5'6' or taller, you should be able to find a 29er model to fit you. Riders more than 6' tall can rejoice: You'll definitely enjoy a more natural riding position with the size and frame geometry of a 29er.Is bike frame size important? ›
One of the most important things to get right when choosing a new bike is the frame size. Although there's a lot you can adjust on a bike so that it fits better, if you start off with a frame that's too small or too large for you, you may be placed awkwardly and uncomfortable as you ride.Is it better to have a slightly bigger or smaller bike? ›
When you're between frame sizes, it's better to buy the smaller size. You can always make it bigger by replacing the stem and raising the handlebar and a seat. Making a bigger bike smaller is more difficult, as there is only so much you can do. A smaller frame also gives you more control when riding.Is a 29 inch bike faster than a 26-inch bike? ›
The difference between the strike angle of a 26-inch wheel and a 29-inch wheel (over the wooden block) is only about 5 percent, but the cumulative effect of rolling up and over a 5-percent steeper angle thousands of times a mile adds up quickly. The larger-diameter 29-inch wheel has noticeably less rolling resistance.Why is 27.5 better than 29? ›
27.5-inch wheels are typically quicker to accelerate when compared to 29ers, which is mainly a result of their lower weight that requires less effort to spin. This can be great if your local trails include a lot of slowing down and accelerating through tight turns and short uphill sections.
These dimensions can be found on your tire: Diameter x Width. The first number is the diameter of your wheel. Sizes such as 26, 24, 20, 27.5, 29 and 700c are common tire diameters.What height is a 26 frame bike for? ›
A 26-inch bike works well for people who are 4'10-5'7, or 147 cm to 170 cm. Also, it works well for people whose leg inseam is 25-30 inches, or 63-76 cm. However, the frame size may need adjustment depending on your height.What height suits a 26 inch bike? ›
26-inch bikes are a common size for adults. Riders with a height of 5' and above are typically tall enough to comfortably fit on bikes with 26” wheels. However, riders taller than 5'5” may be better suited to the slightly larger 27.5” or 29” models that offer better traction and stability.Should your feet be flat on the ground on a bike? ›
The height of your saddle is important for the most comfortable position and safe riding style. When you sit on the saddle, both feet should reach the floor and the balls of your feet should be touching the ground.How much bigger should a frame be? ›
Often times the standard rule is to select a frame that is an inch wider and taller than the print, or poster. The frame shouldn't be any bigger than the standard as it will make the picture or print look odd.What type of frame is best for a bike? ›
Carbon (High-Tensile) Steel
Steel is the most commonly used material in bike frames. Carbon or high-tensile steel is a good, strong, long-lasting steel, but it isn't as light as its more high-tech brother, the steel known as chromoly.
There are mostly two issues with bikes that are too small: A frame that's too short may cause problems for steering (toe strike against the back of the front wheel and/or the handlebar colliding with your legs). This is safety critical. It may not be possible to put the saddle at the appropriate height.