What Size Bike Do I need? We’ve Got You Covered!

Getting a bike is actually harder than you think. No, we don’t mean the purchasing process; rather, getting a bike that’s proportionate to your body size. So, if you’re wondering, “What size bike do I need?” you’ve come to the right place.

Bikes are among the most convenient means of transportation, especially if you’re living in a city where traffic is just the actual materialization of hell. 

For those of you who drive to and from your workplace, you’ll know the pain of getting stuck in traffic. In that case, it makes a lot more sense to bike to work, that is, if your workplace is close by.

But that’s not all there is to bikes, is it? 

The applications of bikes are many, and that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing in our immersive guide.

Therefore, buckle in, and let’s dive headfirst into this article.

what size bike do i need

What Size Bike Do I need?

The size of your bike depends upon various factors. That includes your height itself and the bike type, among others.

Get Your Height Measured

You’ll need to know the measurement of your height in order to find out the bicycle size. Not only that, measure the inside of your leg as well.

Stand straight against any wall. Take a pencil and place it on your head. After that, go ahead and mark the wall. That should help you find the measurements of your height.

When it comes to the measurement of the inside of your leg, it’s somewhat similar.

Once again, go near the wall and stand straight against it. As you do that, take a book and hold it using inside your thighs. It should be reaching your groin area while making sure the book remains flat. 

When you’re in this exact position, you’ll need to take measurements of the distance between the floor and the book. 

Oftentimes, your measurements fall on the “cusp” range. If it does, it can get confusing to choose the right bike size for yourself. In such cases, the measurements of your reach play the deciding role.

Take measurements of the ape index to know whether you have a long or short reach. The formula for this is to subtract the length of your arm from that of your total body height.

You should select a larger bike size if you’ve got a positive ape index. On the other hand, choose a smaller bike size if it turns out to be negative.

Bike Type

The type of bike you choose will affect the bike size you will get. Your style of riding the bike may also affect the size of bike you will need. 

Here’s a simple example for you: Say you’re using a mountain bike and want to ride more aggressively. In that case, you’d prefer a bike that allows you more maneuverability.

For the same reasons, you’ll probably choose a bike that’s smaller in size than you would normally go for. 

Likewise, cross country bikers who are looking for a faster and flatter bicycle will prefer a bigger size.

This all comes down to the personal preference of the individual, so there’s no solid definitive size for you.

Therefore, choose the bike type that you’re comfortable riding for the purpose you’re going to use it for.

The Measurement Of The Bike

The length of the seat tube is used to measure a bike. It’s typically either from the bolt or the center of the BB or bottom bracket.

It usually varies from brand to brand. Some brands measure from the upper portion at the spot the tube at the top meets the one on the seat.

You can take measurements for mountain bikes by using inches. Brands even use other category of sizes such as Medium or Small. 

On the other hand, when it comes to road bikes, these are usually measured using a centimeters scale. Similar to the mountain bikes, brands also use Medium/Small sizes as well.

Hybrid bikes are a tad bit more versatile in terms of sizing. You can measure it in a variety of ways.

Chart of Bike Sizes Based On Height

Size Chart for Bikes/Bike Frames

4’11” – 5’3″13 – 15 inches  
5’3″ – 5’7″15 – 16 inches  
5’7″ – 5’11”16 – 17 inches
6’0″ – 6’2″17 – 19 inches  
6’2″ – 6’4″19 – 21 inches
6’4″ and taller21+ inches

Calculating The Size Of Your Bike:

We’re going to specifically guide you on how you can measure the size of your bike. That will, in turn, further help you find out what size bike do you need.

Use the following method to shortlist the perfect bike size.

Formula: Leg inseam x The Type of Your Bike = The size of the frame (in centimeters)

Type Of Bike: 

  • City bike: Leg inseam multiplied by 0.6.
  • Mountain bikes: Leg inseam multiplied by 0.6.
  • Road bikes: Leg inseam multiplied by 0.7.

Measuring The Leg Inseam: 

In order for you to take measurements for your leg inseam, you’ll need to take off your shoes. After that, stand firm keeping both your legs straight and apart.

Now take measurements of any one of your legs from your groin all the way to the floor.

Calculations:

  • City bike: 0.685 multiplied by Leg inseam measurement = The size of the frame (cm)
  • Mountain bike: 0.685 multiplied by Leg inseam measurement = The size of the frame (cm)
  • Road bike: multiplied by Leg inseam measurement = The size of the frame (cm)

Charts On Different Bike Sizes:

Road Bikes Size Chart

Road bikes are the most lightweight compared to all the other types. If you’re living in a city, it makes perfect sense to get a road bike.

The size of your road bike is heavily influenced by the seat tube dimensions. But that isn’t the only aspect you should be taking into account when sizing the bike of your choice. 

The length of the stem and top tube measurement, along with the overall reach of the bike’s handlebars, also affect far your back bends when you’re cruising on the bicycle. 

Some people might prefer the long reach, which will require them to excessively bend to grab the handlebars, making them more aerodynamic. 

However, if you’re someone who likes riding your bike casually, you will prefer an angle that’s much less aggressive and comfy.

Size of Frame                 Height
XXS (44)4’8” to 5’1” (142-155 cm)
XS (48)5’1” to 5’4” (155-163 cm)
S (51)                           5’4” to 5’7” (163-170 cm)
M (54)                          5’7” to 5’10” (170-178 cm)
L (56)                           5’10” to 6’0” (178-182 cm)
XL (58)                        6’0” to 6’3” (182-190 cm)
XXL (60)                     6’3” to 6’5” (190-196 cm)
XXXL (62)6’5” to 6’9” (196-206 cm)

Mountain Bikes Size Chart

The sizing of mountain bikes varies from the ones of road bikes. The same also depends on the year of manufacturing of these bikes.

The ones made before the 2000s used the same sizing and mechanism as you’d find in road bikes. Yes, we’re talking about the A-Frame geometry.

At the same time, the diameter of the wheel is much smaller.

Longer cranks were used to comfortably scale steep climbs. It also made use of flatter handlebars that would allow better control when moving sideways.

These old bikes come in different sizes like 21in, 19in, 17.5in, and 16.5in. Manufacturers didn’t switch these up to large, medium, and smal till the 2000s.

When compared with road bikes, the positioning of mountain bikes is indeed less aggressive. These bikes do the majority of the work, so there is no need to be hunched over. 

While riding these mountain bikes, your head needs to be up and looking at the road ahead to avoid any misfortunes. 

Size Chart for Mountain Bikes 

HeightFrame Size 
4’10” to 5’2”13” to 14”
5’2” to 5’6”15” to 16”
5’6” to 5’10”17” to 18”
5’10” to 6’1”19” to 20”
6’1” to 6’4”21” to 22”
6’4” to 6’6”23” to 24”

Mountain Bikes: Things You Must Keep In Mind

There exist a set of pointers so you can get the most out of your mountain bike. Consider this section a type of user manual. 

When you’re pedaling, your foot will reach the bottom, and you’ll notice that your leg bends slightly. 

Extending your legs up to 80-90 percent is the ideal method while riding a mountain bike.

This way, you’ll be able to pedal using the entire force of the muscles in your legs and scale elevated paths and ride across any types of flat rough terrain.

You’ll find all kinds of mountain bikes available in standard sizes. At the same time, the way you ride it will influence the geometry of the bike. 

Plus, you must think about the top tube length, your stand-over clearance, seat height, and the reach. That’s because you are not going to be riding a mountain bike like you do a road bike.

The distance that exists between the head tube and the seat tube is called Top Tube. The sizing between the base section that hurries to the middle head tube is called Reach. 

Most riders utilize their Reach in order to cover the length of the mountain bikes. At this point, remember that on the off chance that you’re sliding on a steep one-way path, you need to be wary of the bicycle’s length.

The Stand-over height is not the same for mountain bicycles. 

In contrast, when it comes to other types of bikes, a clearance of 2in will do the trick. On the other hand, when we talk about mountain bikes, the story is different. 

You’re going to need no less than 3-5in between your bike’s top tube and groin. While estimating height, you’ll need to wear shoes you consistently bike in so as to get a tangible feel of the bicycle’s size.

The justification behind the mountain bike requiring additional stand-over inches is so you’ll be able to comfortably hop freely from the bicycle. You don’t really know when the ride can turn out badly, and your bike begins to tumble down the hill. 

In such cases, you need to stay ready to jump freely from the bicycle. That means having sufficient space between the seat, the bicycle’s bar, and you.

Mountain Bikes: The Top Bar Sizing

A single variable that could causes variations in the inches required is the angle of the bike’s top bar.

Suppose the latter is heavily sloped. It’ll make available the required space to ride the bicycle securely. 

In this way, the stand-over level is certainly not to say that your body is compatible with the mountain bike.

You should consider the wide range of various considerations while looking for the right size mountain bike for yourself.

In any case, when you drop on a path, bring down the seat of your bike to around 3 inches from the rising position. 

It’s entirely expected for the majority of mountain bikers to ride their bikes with a seat post that’s been dropped lower. Such an adjustment will make it possible for you to rapidly change your path based on the type of terrain while never getting off.

Understanding Women’s Bike Sizes

Generally, men have much broader shoulder than women. Additionally, men possess longer legs. 

You’ll be able to find women’s mountain bikes that come with slender handlebars and frames that are shorter and compact. 

Many a time, women don’t usually need to stick to buying a women’s mountain bike. They can very well pick men’s mountain bikes without any worries.

If you’re a woman and are looking specifically for women’s mountain bikes, here is a size chart for you.

Women’s Bike Size Chart

HeightFrame
4’10” to 5’2”13” to 14”
5’2” to 5’6”15” to 16”
5’7” to 5’9”17” to 18”
5’10” to 6’1”10”+

Understanding Bike Sizes For Children’s Mountain Bike

Mountain biking is a fun and enjoyable time for the whole family. Many guardians feel the need to purchase a bicycle that is bigger, so their child will eventually grow into it.

Nonetheless, while riding dirt road single-track, having a bicycle that accommodates your child is very important. Your child ought to be comfortable while riding the bicycle. 

Stand over height for a kid’s mountain bike ought to average two to four inches clearance.

At the point when your youngster sits on the bicycle, they ought to have their legs somewhat bent when they reach the lower part of the pedal stroke. 

Additionally, while sitting on the bicycle, they should be holding the handlebars in an upright position.

Kids Bike Size Chart

Bikes for children are sometimes a bit harder to size and the other times, easier. But does the fit need to be perfect? Not exactly.

You’re going to burn through a lot of cash exchanging bicycles every year as your kid outgrows their bike. 

Cycling can be an incredibly costly sport. Not to forget the fact that children change their minds all the time about what they want or need to do. 

It’s nice to support their needs and wants, but in doing so, you should not be breaking your bank. 

A typical way is simply to get things a little bigger and allow them to grow into it. However, as mentioned above, it is also very important that the size is not too big that your child has a hard time riding on it.

Kid’s bikes are really small and can be found in various different sizes like 12in, 14in, 16in, 18in, 20in, and 24 inch bike wheels. 

If the above-mentioned bike sizes turn out to be too small for your child, a small adult-sized bike may also work. These bikes have around 26 wheels. 

Remember to keep looking for a good fit for your child, as it’s ultimately about the safety and wellbeing of your child.

HeightAgeBike Wheel Size
3’1” to 3’3” (90-100 cm)3 to 412”
3’3” to 3’7” (100-110 cm)4 to 514”
3’7” to 4’0” (110-120 cm)5 to 816” to 18”
4’0” to 4’5” (120-135 cm)7 to 920”
4’5” to 4’9” (135-145 cm)8 to 1124”

Size Chart For Hybrid Bikes

These types of bikes are best known for a daily commute and joy riding. Many of them have mountain bike styles, yet the tires are known to be narrow and smooth. 

These hybrid bikes have flat handlebars, which is not at all like normal road bikes. Below is a chart to assist you with getting the perfect-sized bike for your needs. 

The clearance between your groin and the top of the bike when you stand over the hybrid bike should be at least 1 inch.

HeightFrame 
4’10” to 5’2”13” to 14”
5’2” to 5’6”15” to 16”
5’6” to 5’10”17” to 18”
6’1” to 6’4”19” to 20”
6’4” to 6’6”23” to 24”

Calculating The Size Of Your Bike

It’s fairly an easy task to size a bike. For this, you will need a measuring tape and a calculator. Let’s get started.

There are three simple tasks to ascertain your bicycle size: 

Step 1: Take off your shoes and stand firm with your legs straight and part, so your legs are separated fifteen to twenty centimeters.

Step 2: Use the measuring tape. Start from your groin all the way to the floor. 

Step 3: Picking the type of bike. 

Calculate your bicycle’s size in light of the accompanying:

Street bicycle: Leg inseam multiplied by 0.70 = size of the bike frame

Off-road bicycle: Leg inseam multiplied by 0.66 = size of the bike frame

City bicycle: Leg inseam multiplied by 0.685 = size of the bike frame

If by chance, you’re not so much into the math part, you’ll find bike calculators on the web to help you with your bike size. 

All you have to do is put in the digits and the type of bike that you want for yourself. This will calculate the perfect sized bike for your needs.

Some Crucial Aspects That You Must Not Forget

The size of your preferred bike heavily relies on a few factors. You will need to keep in mind these things to get the correct sized bike for yourself.

The Inseam And Height Of The Bike

One important factor when picking out a bike is the length of your inseam and your height. That’s because everyone out there has a unique body type that’s different from others. 

What’s good for you might not be the best for some other person and vice versa. The same goes for women as well as children who want to get bikes for themselves.

Frame Plays A Big Role

In situations where the size of the frame isn’t the one that fits you, you’ll probably not have the best time pedaling. That’s simply because it will feel awkward and very uncomfortable. 

Your torso and legs can get cramped up if the bike turns out to be too small for you. That will result in you not outputting the max cycling power. 

The same applies in the opposite case: If the frame ends up being big for you, your legs might just not reach the pedals properly, which again will decrease your cycling power. 

Standing over the frame is the best way to analyze if the bike is big or small for you. Ensure your feet comfortably reach the ground.

The gap between the frame of the bike and your crotch should ideally be 1inch if it’s a touring, racing, or hybrid bicycle.  

The Frame Of Your Mountain Bike

Say you’ve decided to purchase one, the distance has to be around 2in between the frame of the bike and your groin.

What about kids? When you’re estimating it for a child, have them sit on top of the seat.

Put their feet all the way down, making sure there are no difficulties reaching the handlebars. 

A youngster ought to have twenty-five to fifty mm distance between the top bar and the groin area while remaining over the bicycle.

Position Your Bike Seat Efficiently

Everyone has a unique riding style. While the majority like the seat moved a little forward, the rest like it all the more in reverse position. 

While estimating a bicycle’s fit, have a seat situated in the manner in which you favor with your feet while pedaling. So when your legs stretch for pedaling, the feet are in total contact with the floor. 

Handlebars And Their Position Of Your Bike

A bicycle that fits perfectly has the handlebars placed accurately. When it is not in the ideal position, you may experience back pains, wrist pains, and strain on your shoulders.

When it comes to professional bicycles, you will observe that the width of their shoulders are proportionate to the handlebars.

When it comes to street bicycles, the handlebars are situated roughly an inch beneath the highest point of the seat. 

It’s even lower for mountain bikes. That allows for a more balanced and comfier ride. You’ll find high seating in Hybrids.

This multitude of positions isn’t fixed. The majority of bicycles make it possible for you to change the handlebars according to your preference. 

While measuring your bike size, keep in mind the handlebars and how the latter accommodates your style and body type.

Measuring Wheel Sizes

The size of the wheel is estimated by the width once you mount the tire. In most cases, you’ll eb able to clearly see the size of the wheel.

The primary use of the bike decides the wheel size. It’s 29in or 26 inch bike wheels for the majority of mountain bikes.

A person who’s bigger than the average size will enjoy riding the bike with a wheel size of 29in. These wheels on these bicycles are very wide as well.

Touring bikes, road bikes, and hybrids will, most of the time, make use of 29in slim wheel. The enormous wheel helps the bicycle to move easily across the terrain. 

A kid’s bicycle’s wheels vary. Here’s a size chart to make things easier for you.

AgeSize of Wheel
3 to 512″
5 to 716″
7 to 1020″
10 and over24″ or 26″

People Also Ask

What If You Fall In Two Different Frame Sizes? 

You might find yourself stuck in the results you may be getting from the bike sizing charts or the bike size calculator. 

That often happens when you get your measurements between two different bike frames that can fit you. 

This means that you are compatible with both bike frames. In simpler terms, it suggests that you fall into either a larger or smaller frame. 

So, to narrow it down and find the frame that will best suit you, you will have to measure your reach. 

This means how the bike feels to you when you are in that riding position. Your upper body influences your reach, which is also known as sitting height or trunk length.

If you see that your trunk length is above the average length, then we’d recommend that you go for the larger of the two given sizes. 

However, if you see that yours is shorter than the average, then we’d strictly advise you to go for the smaller size.

Is It Really Important For The Bike To Fit Me Correctly?

Among the most important things while riding a bike is that you should be riding it comfortably as it can also be an issue of safety. 

Yes, it might get very tempting to be riding your bike like how the pros ride, and you might want to emulate their riding style. At the same time, you have to put into consideration that you might not have the form for it. 

If you are sitting too far across the handle, this may cause your knees to hurt.

Among the most common results of getting the wrong bike size is Achilles pain. Your body might also suffer from numbness and hot spots. 

Furthermore, if you are placed too far back, it might cause your muscles to not transfer power accordingly. 

That’s why all these factors must be taken into consideration before getting a bike, as it needs to fit you perfectly to not cause any discomfort during or after riding the bike.

Do I Need A Women’s Bike If I Am A Woman?

In the section given above for women’s sizing chart, you will find one that may be a suitable choice for you. 

Women’s bikes are carefully designed, keeping in mind the narrow frame. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are to ride a women’s bike only. 

If you have a body frame that is larger, or you are more comfortable riding a bigger bike, you can always opt for the bigger ones. 

I Think I Got Myself The Wrong Bike Size. How Can I Know If I Really Did?

There are several ways you can detect if you have purchased a bike that might not be the one that fits you the best. 

Many a time, you might end a bike that’s recommended by a bike shop owner or an expert. Most, if not always, their interest will only lie in getting the bike sold and not really care about the customer. They won’t really care if that certain bike will be the best choice for you. 

In this kind of situation, here is a way to tell if you have got the wrong bike for you:

Back Pain: Having some kind of discomfort or pain in your back after or during riding the bike is a tell-tale sign. 

Most probably, it’ll be the case where that particular bike is not the best fit for you. 

The reasons are many: That include the size of the frame being either too big or small for you or the saddle being too high or too low.

Bike’s Stem: If it comes to your notice that the stem of the bike has had some changes, know that it’s not the original frame of the bike.

You might have to make further changes to the stem of the bike to fit you. That will require you to make several other changes to the bike, which will degrade the condition of the bike. Ultimately, these changes will cause a breakdown sooner or later.

I Got Myself The Wrong Bike Size. What Do I Do Now?

After making a purchase, you realize that the size you’ve got for yourself is not the size that fits you properly. 

In such cases, you can always make a request to the shop owner for a different size that fits you well. 

However, if it’s a case where you like the bike because of the way it looks or the color, here are a few things you can do:

Move the saddle of your bike to the front or back according to what is better for you. This will help in resolving the issue you might be facing about the pedaling force. 

To have a comfortable and fun experience while riding your bike, you must be in a position where you can exert enough force to move your bike at the desired speed. 

An imperfect positioning of the saddle can lead to an uncomfortable riding experience, not only that that might even demotivate you from cycling itself. 

If you’re frequent in cycling events, it might even pull you back as you don’t have the amount of pedaling force needed.

One other way could possibly be getting a longer or shorter stem. Doing so will change the position of your body and help you get the right frame to pedal smoothly.

A longer seat post change might also help you be seated in the right position. That will allow your legs to move freely and comfortably. 

If it’s a case where your seat is way too high for you, you will suffer from a lot of pain during cycling.

What Can You Tell Me About The Touring Bike Size Chart?

Touring bikes are a lot similar to road bikes. There are many things put into consideration while making a bike that will be best suited for you. 

The geometry of the frame of the bikes is among the most important things. Touring bikes will usually have a longer wheelbase. That means with every revolution of the pedal. The rider will not hit the panniers they carry with them on the rear rack. 

But if you happen to have long legs and small feet, this will not be an issue. In fact, there are people out there who tour on road bikes with shorter wheelbases than touring bikes.

With the touring bikes, you will be traveling quite a distance. That’s why you must keep in mind that you will be on that saddle for hours and hours. 

It can even continue for 5 days, a week, or even more. Therefore you would prefer not to hunch over or reach too far back.

At the same time, being in an upright position, which places you right on top of your saddle, will get really tough over a long period of riding.

It’s best to keep yourself at a 75-degree angle to the ground, which will distribute some of your weight to your hands. That will make coming out of the saddle a lot easier around the hills. 

This is also why you might notice that touring bikes have multiple positions to help the rider change their hand positions. It helps them stretch back or sit straight to relieve some bike tire pressure.

Keep in mind that it’s very important to be comfortable while having long rides like this. So, make sure your bike is dialed in before to ensure you don’t get into a bad habit of riding your bike with the wrong saddle height, handlebar reach, or cleat placement. 

Wrong fits can sometimes even feel comfortable as your body adjusts to them. At the same time, it’s doing much more damage on the inside to your bones, muscles, soft tissues, etc., than you realize.

Should I Refer To The Cruise Or Cross-Bike Size Chart?

Cruise or Cross Bikes are just different names for the same bikes. 

They are mostly one size fits all kinds as they are not made for performance. With a little adjustment to a different seat post, you should be fine. 

These bikes are generally meant to be ridden only a few miles at once.

Bike Wheel Size Chart, Is It Really Necessary?

Absolutely! You must avoid getting the wrong size bike at all costs.

There are three major measurements when it comes to the size of the wheels of a bike:

Diameter: Bikes are determined by which individual diameter group they are from. 

This measurement is taken in millimeters. It’s measured from the rim edge across the hub axle to the other rim edge.

Rim Width: You measure it by calculating the inside of the rim’s edges. 

This will also be measured in millimeters. It gives the measurements of the width of the tires.

Tire Width: When the tire is inflated, a measurement is taken, which is used to determine the rim width.

Summary

In the given article on “What Size Bike Do I Need?” we’ve shown a variety of sizing charts and tips for you to get the perfect bike for yourself. These charts will help you get the one bike that fits you the best. Whether you just want to ride a bike to commute or want to go mountain biking, you’ll find the information right here.

Don’t forget! Getting the right-sized bike is not only important for you to have a comfortable experience but also in aspects of safety. Be it ordering online or going to a bike shop to get yourself that bike you have always wanted, this guide will help you get the one bike you can truly call, Yours.

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