What Size Bike Should I Get for My Height?

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An exceptionally essential condition required when looking for bikes is the comprehension of measurement and size. For many people, this aspect could be too boring to check, but trust me, this is the most important aspect to consider when buying a bicycle- how comfortably would I fit in? While this method could work out when shopping for a bike at one of the bike shops, it could fail greatly when shopping online for bikes.

Looking through Craigslist for the bike of your dream requires more bicycle information than you might think you have, including knowledge of accurate sizing. Whenever you are shopping for a bicycle, you are not only shopping for the bike that best goes in line with your riding style, but also for the one that houses your bodywork comfortably and by that you are looking for the frame size.

Going for a frame that is too small or too big could prompt uneasiness, pain, and injury. In spite of the fact that height is one of the key assessments you will require when you go to the bike shop, many factors are to be considered too when looking for the bike that best fits you.

Get your accurate height at first

In order to get the best bike fit, you have to be precise about your height. To determine your accurate height, all you have to do is stand on the bare floor with your shoes off and your back up against the wall. Your feet ought to be about hip-width separated and you can be measured from the base of your feet to the apex point of your head by a friend.

Since bicycles or bikes are measured utilizing either the metric or U.S. system, record the measurement in inches and in centimeters. In the event that your measuring tape does not have centimeters, multiply your height in inches by 2.54 in order to convert it to centimeters.

How do you measure the size of a bike frame?

Let me shift this to the best of your knowledge – bikes are solely measured based on the size of their frames. So how do they determine the frame size? I know this question popped up but here is your answer, the length of the seat tube is used to determine the bicycle frame, the upright part of the frame that gives support to the seat post and the seat assembly.

However, you have to know that, the comfort of your ride only lies in how perfectly you choose the right frame for your height and thus, this gives you absolute control of your bike. Although individuals vary, if you happen to be between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall, an 18-inch bike would be an ideal bike for you.

bicycle frame

Bicycle frame

A 16-inch bike would be good for a shorter individual, while taller persons would have more comfortable riding a 20-inch bike. In order to help you measure the bike frame accurately, I have assembled a few steps that could easily guide you through the process.

  • Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to locate the top of the seat tube. The seat post joins or enters the bike frame at this point and the seat post is actually the part where the bike seat is connected.
  • Step 2: Here comes the next step, which is to locate the bottom bracket. The bottom bracket is a cylindrical section at the bottom of the seat tube. Pedals are connected to the bike here.
  • Step 3: To get the accurate bike’s frame size, measure the length from the top of the seat tube to the center of the bottom bracket that I called the cylindrical section. Whatever measurement you get, is the bike’s frame size.
  • Step 4: As some bikes are measured in inches, some are also measured in millimeters. In some cases, a conversion may be necessary, but I will walk you through it. If you are converting inches to millimeters, you just only need to multiply the measured inches by 25.4. And when converting millimeters to inches, divide your measured millimeters by 25.4.

Bike frame size could be a useful guideline for purchasing the right bike. However, sizing a bike takes much more than that. To determine if a bike is right for you; there are three things you are required to look for when you are sitting on the bike. Your foot ought to be flat on the pedal, and your leg will be extended fully when the pedal is at its lowermost point.

When the pedal is at its uppermost point, your knee, in any case, should not come up to the horizontal seat tube. Lastly, check if your feet can touch the ground when the bike is standing. In the event that you cannot amend the seat to a point meeting these three conditions, then the bike is not of your frame size.

Road bike frame size chart

I deem it fit to introduce to you, what really a road bike is. A road bike could be termed as a bike exclusively made to be ridden on tarmac roads. These bikes are highly sophisticated and come with all that is required of a bike to perform excellently on tarmac roads. Most of these bikes are used for racing have made slight changes in materials and geometry.

Related: Best Entry Level Road Bikes for Beginners

Other road bikes are used for cycle touring and commuters utilize some as a medium of transportation to work. Additionally, when choosing a road bike, you can’t afford to get it wrong, in order to ensure this; I have painstakingly prepared a chart for you by which you can see what frame size is best for your height. If you can get your size right, then cycling should be more than fun for you.

Road bike

Road Bike

Road bikes frame chart for men

Road bikes frame chart for women

Did you know that road bikes are sometimes referred to as racers because they are speed machines? They are designed to take you for as far as your legs can hold – no limit. This bike secured its name from the medium by which it is designed to operate on and you would guess it is tarmac, yes tarmac. Interestingly, merely looking at this bike, you would see it hasn’t changed much throughout the years.

Mountain bike frame size chart

A mountain bike is a bike designed to be used for off-road activities. Although mountain bikes share similar features with other bikes they possess their own features, which make them stand out amongst other bikes. They are more durable and have enhanced performance to withstand all the roughness of the terrain by which they operate.

These commonly incorporate suspension on the edge and fork, extensive bumpy tires, tougher substantial wheels, all the more super-powerful brakes, and lower gear proportions required for steep grades with poor grip. I had the opportunity to ride one of these bikes some years ago and trust me, they are extremely powerful.

Moreover, mountain bikes are ordinarily ridden on mountain trails, logging streets, fire streets, single tracks, and other unpaved surfaces, where an adventure needs to be embarked on. These sorts of landscape ordinarily incorporate rocks, washouts, grooves, free sand, free rock, roots, and soak grades.

Related: Best Bikes for Road and Trail Both

From my own point of view, I could see that mountain bikes are manufactured to deal with this landscape and the impediments that are found in it like boulders, logs, and vertical drop off.

Mountain Bike

Mountain Bike

Since the introduction of mountain bikes in the 1970s numerous new subtypes of mountain bikes have been developed, for example, cross-country (XC) bike, a bike that is known for its all-day endurance attribute, downhill mountain biking, freeride biking.  Each of these bikes places unique requests on the bike needing diverse designs for ideal performance. In addition, MTB development has added an increase in suspension, ordinarily up to 8″ or 203mm, and the gearing system, up to 30 speeds, to aid quick climbing and fast descends.

If you are probably thinking of getting your mountain bike now, as I have stated earlier in the text, it’s really important to know the right frame size for your height. The chart below consists of different frame sizes and corresponding heights.

Mountain bikes frame chart for men/women

Hybrid bike size chart

Hybrid bikes generally have a level handlebar, similar to the one found with a mountain bike, as opposed to the drop bar you would see on a road bike. This implies braking and shifting segments are most times the same as mountain biking units, rather than being STI-style coordinated shift levers and brake as you will discover on all road bikes.

This enables an upright riding position – a position that many of us are comfortable with, and possibly more secure, in traffic. Hybrid bikes additionally tend to use bigger volume tires than road bikes, offering more solace than smaller road rubber. Some hybrid bikes are similar to mountain bikes than road bikes, and others fall closer to the paved area side of things.

Related: Best Hybrid Bikes for Women

Braking can differ from model to model; nevertheless, you will find V-brakes everywhere these days, as are hydraulic disc and mechanical system. According to my observation, hybrid bikes normally offer adaptable gearing; triple chainsets and colossal cassettes are common. There are exemptions, however – hybrid bikes can in some cases get centre point gears for close support free mile chomping, although single-speed models are also available if you prefer simplicity.

Hybrid Bike

Hybrid Bike

A few hybrids accompanied full curved guards, and much pannier racks, while most hybrids are made with the clearances and eyelets necessary to retrofit such items. To get the right frame size for your height when looking for a hybrid bike to buy, please check the chart below to see where your specification falls.

Related: Best Hybrid Bikes for Men

Hybrid bikes frame chart for men/women

Bike size chart for kids                                                           

Kids simply cherish riding bikes. Do you remember the sheer excitement of riding your first bike back then? Almost certainly, it is one of the moments you will always remember. It gets kids outside, gets them fit, makes them independent, and most all of riding is enjoyable. These are the bonuses that come along with a present like this. The sweet news is that children can begin riding bikes appropriately from around 3 years old.

Kid's Bike

Kid’s Bike

Nevertheless, kids’ size increases rapidly. Everybody knows this. That is the reason picking the correct bike for your child, can at first appear to be very confusing, but at the same time is important to their having the capacity to ride their bikes securely and with confidence. While choosing a bicycle for a more youthful individual, the most critical thing to ensure is that the kid feels and looks great on the bike and that they think the bike is cool. Do not get your child a bike that they will obviously not like, and expect they’ll change their opinions once you get home.

They may, and they may not. It is possible for you to harm your kid emotionally forever by getting them a Destructor 4000 Extreme when the exact bike they wanted to be the Princess bicycle with sparkles and a basket. I have been there, even did it. Kids have never had such a great amount of choice of quality when it comes to bikes. From teenagers to babies, there is a bike for your kid.

In any case, if you purchase a bike that is too small, your kid may be reluctant to sit on it, and furthermore feel cramped. Then again, purchasing a bike that is too big will be burdensome, hard to control, and weaken their capability on the pedals. Be under no delusion, the entire thing is an obstacle, however an obstacle you can cross. Here is a chart that will guide you towards selecting the right frame size for your kid.

Related: Best Balance Bikes for 2-5 Years Old

Kids’ bikes size chart

How big is a 20-inch bike?

Typically, when you hear a 20-inch bicycle, your mind would think bigger, however, this bicycle range is for children. That is the stunning truth. Equipped with lightweight frames and intense brakes, these bicycles are intended to give a comfortable ride over any surface for children. Forget about the training wheels your children are about riding with confidence.

With options like disc brakes and gears, your children will ride in circles around you instantly with these rides. There are a lot of bikes in the market suitable for your children, regardless of whether your kid is simply learning or needs an upgrade and a bigger bike. In the event that your girl or boy is aspiring to be the next Sarah Walker and race BMX, at that point a junior BMX is an ideal approach.

26-inch bike for what size person

Fortunately, the advancement of rims and tires has reached a sophisticated level. But what really makes a bike 26 inches? Let me show you how it works: Let’s begin with the 26 x 2.125 size that ended up plainly famous on heavyweight “balloon tire” bicycles in the late ’30s and still, stays on beach cruiser bicycles.

This size of the tire is close to 26 inches in genuine diameter. However, a few riders were disappointed with these tires and needed something faster and lighter. The industry reacted by making “middleweight” tires stamped 26 x 1.75 to fit similar rims. Despite the fact that they are still called “26-inch”, these tires are really 25 5/8″, not 26″.

This same rim size was embraced by the early pioneers of west-coast “Klunkers”, and turned into the standard for mountain bicycles. Because of the craving of the market, you can get tires as tight as 25 mm to fit these rims perfectly, so you end up with a “26-inch” tire that is more similar to 24 7/8″ in genuine diameter.

However, a 26-inch bike is mainly for individuals with 5’0″- 5’3″ heights. A 26-inch bike must have a 46 – 48 cm frame size thereby making it the right fit for individuals with 5’0″- 5’3″ heights. Examples of the 26-inch bike include Commencal Supreme Park (2015), Kona Stinky 26, and Rocky Mountain Maiden.

What size of bike do I need for my height of 5’6”?

When purchasing a bike, the x-factor to look for is whether the bike fits you perfectly or not, this determines how enjoyable the riding would be, and most importantly, how long you are going to ride the bike. With that in mind, you could see that it is essential to focus on the size of the bike you are buying, so you can purchase the correct fit at the beginning.

Figuring out your height and inseam measurement, you ought to have the ability to figure out what size frame is best for you. Inseam is more important of the two measurements.

A smaller bike will not be easy to ride thereby frustrates you eventually. Moreover, a bigger bike is also difficult to ride and could be unsafe the bike’s size is an issue. You can check the below chart to find out the best bike size for your height 5’6. However, as implied in the chart the best frame size for your height is around 52 cm to 54 cm.

Bike sizing guide

The chart above clearly shows different heights with corresponding frame sizes. However, bike frames are measured in centimeters as I have stated earlier in the text.  Bike sizing normally starts from around 46 cm, which is a good fit for a smaller individual while a taller individual could make do with frame size up to 64 cm.

Cassidy Bigsby

My name is Cassidy Bigsby.I’ve been racing most my life. In my childhood, it was go-karts across the Midwest. In high school, I fell in love with cross country and track. My passion for endurance sports continued through college where I competed for Boise State University. While attending school I picked up a part-time job as a bike delivery rider. An interest in two-wheels quickly grew.After graduating with an English Teaching degree in 2012, I moved to Eugene, Oregon – a hotspot for handmade bicycles and components. It didn’t take long to jump into group rides and racing. Bicycles have been my life ever since, whether it’s riding or tinkering. The physical test and high-speed competition have won me over and I see no turning back.

  1. I appreciate the time and humor you have put into this article, thank you! You have clearly explained the different types of bikes, their features and what size bike is suitable for me. You presented information I wanted to know to make an informed choice – but did not know I needed to know. So, thanks again and good luck.

  2. In the early 2000 many manufacturers of bikes featured a comfort bike. Giant had one and Cannondale. Bikes built for tall men and allowed you to sit up rather than constantly leaning over the handlebars. One I had was stolen and I am trying to find a good replacement height 6’3″

  3. It’s hard for me to find a bike to fit me. I’m not even five foot tall i’m somewhat sack of a potatoes for a body type. I don’t have the best of balance at all. What kind should of bike should i get?

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