27 Inch Bike For What Size Person? (Detailed Answer!)

27 inch bike for what size person

Have you ever thought of getting a comfortable bike for yourself? I mean, a bike that will suit your size without requiring amendment. There is no need to ride a bike that will discomfort you. That’s why you need to know your size with the bike’s size that suits you most before going bike shopping.

Nonetheless, out of many bike sizes, you should know a 27-inch bike. However, it might not be popular, but who knows if that would be the best size for you.

As a result, I’ll explain everything you need to know about 27-inch bikes, including the general sizing guide, the frame size calculation, and the differences between 27-inch, 27.5-inch, and 700c bikes.

27-Inch Bike For What Size Person?

A 27-inch bike is suitable for an adult and exceptionally tall teenagers, but it doesn’t suit a kid or short riders. For example, an 8 years old child, 3’6″ tall, can not ride a 27-inch bike but can comfortably ride a 20-inch bike. Basically, a 27-inch bike is suitable for adults within the height range of 5’3″ to 6’6″.

For a more precise understanding, let me start with what a 27-inch bike is.

What Is A 27-Inch Bike?

When referring to a 27-inch bike, we are talking about a road bike whose wheels are 27 inches in size. People often mistake it for the frame size because road bikes means a 27-inch bike should be a frame size of 27 inches. Therefore, always remember that whenever we talk about a 27-inch bike, we address the wheel size, not the frame size.

27-inch bikes are called road bikes because they are used on smooth surfaces made of asphalt, concrete, or other pavement material. They are used for racing, and riders who can maintain an average speed of 18mph to 22mph even more, can enjoy using a 27-inch bike.  Nonetheless, you must maintain your bike because a well-maintained bike will keep you safe and ensure smooth running.

History Of 27-Inch Bike

In the early 50s, the British started using 27-inch rims (630mm) on a few models of bikes. These 27-inch rims, in the late 50s, replaced the EA/1, which had a rim size of 597mm. The EA/1 bikes were best suited for rougher roads and terrain, but when better and smoother roads were constructed, they needed to be replaced by skinnier wheels and frames of the 27- inch rims. During this period, race bikes used 700c tubular (French sizing).

However, in the early 1980s, 700c bikes began to gain more popularity than 27-inch bikes. Riders preferred 700c clincher rims instead of the 700c tubular and 27-inch rim clincher bikes used in the 50s. This can be because 700c clincher rims are stronger, durable, and easy to install.

Size Chart Of 27-Inch Bike

Alongside the wheel size, you need to consider the frame size of your bike. A 27-inch bike can have frames of various sizes, that is, small, medium, large, X-large, and XX-large. X stands for extra.

The bike frame holds the entire bike up, including the rider’s weight. The bike’s frame size determines how much weight the bike can hold; the larger the bike frame, the more weight it will hold. In addition to this, larger bike frames provide room for taller riders to be comfortable as well as improve their handling skills.

The table below sheds more light on the size chart of 27-inch bikes.

     Frame SizeRider’s Height [ Ft/In]
Small (51 – 53cm)5’3” – 5’6”
Medium (54 – 55cm)5’6” – 5’9”
Large (56 – 58cm)5’9” – 6’0”
X – Large (58 – 60cm)6’0” – 6’3”
XX – Large (61 – 63cm)6’3” – 6’6”

How To Determine Your Frame Size

You can know the frame size suited for your height by calculating your inseam length (in cm) and multiplying it by 0.70 (the factor used for road bikes). If it’s a mountain bike, a factor of 0.575 would be used for the calculation. However, the formula is:

Frame size = Inseam length (cm) X 0.70

Your inseam length is the distance between your crotch and your ankle bones. If you want to measure your inseam length, follow these steps:

  • Make sure you remove your shoe so it won’t complicate the measurement.
  • Create a distance of 6-8 inches between your feet.
  • Measure the distance between the uppermost part of your thigh/ crotch/ pelvic girdle to the ground with a tape measure.
  • Now, you can multiply your inseam length (cm) by 0.70 to find your ideal frame size.

After calculating your frame size, you can compare it with the table below:

Frame Size (cm)Frame Size Name
51 -53cmSmall
54 – 55cmMedium
56 – 58cmLarge
58 – 60cmX – Large
61 – 63cmXX – Large

Differences Between A 27-Inch And A 700c Bike

In the 80s, 27-inch bikes used to be the standard road bikes. But now, 700c bikes are currently the standard size for road bikes. 700c is named after the size of the bike tire. According to the ‘French system,’ 700 represents the approximate outside diameter of the bike tire in millimeters. The ‘c’ beside 700 does not represent centimeters but the bead seat diameter, and it is also regarded as the 622mm inner diameter.

A 27-inch bike shares differences with a 700c bike in the following features: Rim diameter,  tire width, and wheel diameter. You can  understand better from the table below

   Features 27 Inch   Bike  700c Bike
Rim Diameter27 inch28 – 29 inch
Tire Width25 – 27mm20 25mm
Wheel Diameter680 – 684mm622mm

From the table above, the results between 700c and 27-inch bikes proved that a 27-inch bike has:

  • a larger rim diameter
  • a smaller tire width, and
  • a smaller wheel diameter.

Another difference between these bikes is that 27-inch bikes are vintage bikes while 700c are hybrid bikes. 27-inch bikes are vintage because they still retain the same look as when they were first manufactured, while hybrid talks about being compatible with other bikes like city and MTB bikes.

Differences Between A 27-Inch Bike And A 27.5-Inch Bike

You may wonder if there is any other difference apart from the additional 0.5 inches that a 27.5-inch bike has. A layperson, if given the same opportunity to state their differences, will think in the same line. Nonetheless, there are many other differences.

A significant difference between these bikes is that a 27-inch bike is a road bike while a 27.5-inch bike is a mountain bike known as ‘tweener.’

27.5-inch bikes have a bigger and broader tires, while 27-inch bikes have a larger wheel diameter. The table below will provide you with the exact values of the features for the different bikes.

 Features 27 Inch Bike27.5 Inch Bike
Bikes Road bikesMountain bikes
Rim Diameter 27 inches 27.5 inches
Tire Width 25 – 27mm Up to 56mm
Wheel Diameter 680 – 684mm 584mm

Other differences between these bike’s features are:

Bike Weight

A 27.5-inch bike is more weighty than a 27-inch bike. The bigger rims of the 27.5-inch bike make the wheels heavy, impacting the bike’s overall weight.

Handlebar Type

The handlebars of 27.5-inch and 27-inch bikes are designed with flat and drop bars, respectively. The flat bars of the 27.5-inch bikes enable riders to be upright when riding, while the drop bars of 27-inch bikes place riders in an aerodynamic position.

Type Of Terrain

Mountain bikes like 27.5-inch bikes are designed for off-road riding. This bike can move on unpaved surfaces because its tires have knobs. However, 27-inch bikes are road bikes with smooth and skinny tires for riding on paved surfaces.


27.5-inch bikes have a mountain bike geometry so that the rider can attain an upright position, while 27-inch bikes have a geometry of a race bike for more aggressive and speed-oriented purposes.

Pros Of 27 Inch Bike

As mentioned above, the 27-inch bike might not be popular as 700C bikes and others. But, some features differentiate it from other road bikes, even mountain bikes.  Compared to 26, 27.5, and 29-inch bikes, some riders prefer getting a 27-inch bike because of these reasons:

Better For Taller Riders

A 27-inch bike is suitable for tall riders compared to a 26-inch bike for short riders. At least riders between 5’3″ and above can still ride a 27-inch bike comfortably. The larger wheels fit the geometry of the bike better for talk riders.

Maintaining Average Speed

You can maintain your average speed faster with a 27-inch bike than a 26-inch bike. For example, maybe you average 1 mile per hour more quickly with 27-inch wheels than a 26-inch bike a few days after getting it. If you continue riding a 27-inch bike for a month-long tour, you could travel a couple of 100 miles per hour.

Better Traction

A 27-inch bike has better traction than a 26-inch bike. This is because it has larger wheels that allow more of the tire to contact the ground better, and at the same time, you can run it at lower pressure

Its Wheels Roll Better

Because a 27-inch bike has a larger diameter of wheels, it’s more comfortable when you hit a bump in the road. This can also save you from unnecessary fatigue after riding.

More Lighter

A 27-inch bike is lighter than 27.5 and 29-inch bikes. This makes it easier to carry if you can’t ride in a particular terrain. Also, its lightness makes it easier to maneuver than a 29-inch bike.

Cons Of 27 Inch Bike

These are the reasons why a 27-inch bike might not be suitable for some riders:

It Isn’t Ideal For Shorter Riders

If your height is less than 5’3″ or so, a 27-inch bike is not suitable for you. You’ll probably be okay with 26-inch wheels instead. The larger wheels have affected the bike’s frame size, so the stand-over height of the bike might be higher than your inseam length.

Not Popular

27-inch bikes are not popular as other road bikes. Because 700c can fit in some of its features, most people prefer getting a 700c instead of a 27-inch bike.

Scarce Components

As a result of its unpopularity, 27-inch components are so scarce to get. Some people usually swap 700c inner tubes for 27 inches because their rim diameters are close. The parts are also expensive.

More Expensive

27-inch bikes are not popular alone; they’re also expensive. Compared to some other road bikes, some people can’t afford to get them. Instead, they prefer getting another road bike that can suit their budget.

The Wheels Are Heavier

Compared to a 26-inch bike, its wheels are heavier. Therefore, it might not be convenient for some people to handle.


Conclusively, after you have understood what a 27-inch bike is and the range of size suitable for it, you can find a 27-inch bike that suits your inseam length and start enjoying the comfort of riding

Though they’re rarely made nowadays, you can still find a few options in the market that are sized similarly to 700c road bikes.

People Also Ask

What’s The Actual Diameter Of 27-Inch Bikes?

27-inch bikes have a rim diameter of 27 inches and a wheel diameter of 680-684.

How To Maintain Your Bike And Make It Last Longer?

Keep your bike clean regularly by washing it and ensuring you wipe the water off by using a clean, dry towel to prevent rusting. Lubricate the chain and other moving bike parts at least every month. Don’t allow weighty objects to rest on the bike frame because there is a scale of weight a bike can hold.

Is A 27 Inch Tire The Same As 700c?   

No, a 27-inch tire is bigger than a 700c tire. Although they have almost the same rim diameter, 27 inches for a 27-inch bike and 28-29 inches for a 700c bike, their tire width and wheel diameter are not the same. The tire width of a 27-inch bike and a 700c bike are 25-27mm and 20-25mm, respectively, while the wheel diameter of a 27-inch bike and a 700c bike are 680-684mm and 622, respectively.

How Tall Should You Be For A 27-Inch Bike?

Your height should be 5’3”- 5’6” to ride a 27-inch small size, 5’6″ – 5’9″  for medium size bike, 5’9″ – 6’0″ for an X-large bike, and when it’s an XX-Large option, your height should be 6’3″ – 6’6″. Therefore, anyone above 5’3″ can fit into a 27-inch bike.

Can a woman ride a 26-inch bike?

Well, technically, yes. Women can ride a 26-inch bike without any issues. Twenty-six inches is what we can call the ideal bike size for women. This size could fit well for women with a height of around 4’10” to 5’8”.

However, women with long legs will find the 26” size more suitable. Those above 5’8” inches might still be able to ride the 26” size, but it will be a bit shorter for them. Just make sure to have the back straight and hands bent and are in a comfortable position while riding the bike.

Here’s a general bike size chart for women. You can refer to this article for more information about Women’s bike sizes.

Rider Height Suggested frame size
Feet and inchesCentimetersSizeCentimeters
4ft 10in – 5ft 1in147 – 155cmXXS44 – 46cm
5ft 1in – 5ft 3in155 – 160cmXS47 – 49cm
5ft 3in – 5ft 5in160 – 165cmS50 – 52cm
5ft 5in – 5ft 8in165 – 172cmM53 – 55cm
5ft 8in – 5ft 10in172 – 180cmL55 – 57cm

How big is a 26-inch bike?

A bike with a 26-inch size is neither too short nor too taller. 26-inch bikes are among the most common sizes today. It generally comes with a 26-inch wheel diameter and is suitable for average women and a bit shorter men. It’s the best fit for people between 4’10” to 5’8”. If you are taller than this, then you might consider buying 27” bikes.

26-inch size is more famous for women since most women are between 4’10” to 5’8”. However, women and men can get this bike, including some teens slightly taller than their average height. You can read more about the 26-inch bicycle here.

What age is a 26-inch frame bike for?

A 26-inch bike could be a good choice for kids above 12 years old age. Anyone older than 12 years can ride the bike comfortably. Whoever, picking a bike size based on age alone would not be enough to fit the rider’s requirements. The same age group may vary significantly in height and body structure.

Most kids around 11 to 13 years old will have a height of about 4’8” to 5’5” inches. A 26-inch frame kid bike will be a good choice for them. The kids taller than their general age group can opt for the 26-inch adult bike size. A 26-inch adult bike will generally have a more oversized frame than a 26-inch kid bike.

Though the minimum age for a 26-inch bike size is 12, this does not mean that adults can’t enjoy them. 26-inch bike size is also suitable for women and men who are relatively shorter than the average height group.

Check the article to read in-depth about what age is a 26-inch bike for.

Is a 26-inch bike for kids or adults?

The answer to this question again depends on the height and size of the person riding the bike. As discussed above, a 26-inch bike is upright for kids and adults. 26-inch bike size is fine for teenagers with an average height of around 4’7” to 5’4”.

At the same time, women with an average height of 5’6 inches will find a 26-inch bike the best fit. As far as the men are concerned, if they have a shorter size than ordinary people, they can also find 26-inch bikes ideal for them.

26-inch bike good for what weight?

When picking the right bike size, one should consider the weight too with other factors like the person’s height, structure, and age. Generally, 26-inch bikes can be tooled by anyone weighing 80 to 150 lbs.

It doesn’t matter if a teenager is riding a bike or an adult. If they are comfortable enough and have a good posture, they are good to go with a 26-inch bike size.

Try to pick the bike with a sturdier frame so that it can bare the weight of the rider as well as offer better handling.

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