Table of Contents
- Standard Bike Frame Sizes
- Mountain Bike Sizes
- Road Bike Sizes
- E-Bike Sizes
- Children’s Bike Sizes
- What Happens if You Choose the Wrong Bike Size?
- Can You Alter a Bike to Make it the Right Size?
- What Can You Do if You Are Not One Size or Another?
- How do I Know What My Inseam Is?
- Do I Need to Try a Bike Before I Buy It?
If you’re looking to buy a new bicycle, then the first thing that you need to consider, above all else, is the size. Choosing the wrong bike size can cause you discomfort. It can also mean that you don’t get the most out of your purchase. The last thing you want to do is to invest your hard-earned cash on a bike that you don’t enjoy riding.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find the right bike size. But you need to know what the different charts mean. You’ll need to know precisely what you need to measure so that you get the right size.
We’re going to look at the different sizes that bikes come in, as well as what measurements are required to calculate what bike is best for you, and then we’ll answer the most important questions related to choosing the right bike size. Let’s get going.
Standard Bike Frame Sizes
The size of a standard bicycle tends to be determined by the size of the frame. Six different sizes are available, and they will suit a range of heights. They are:
• 13″ to 15″ – This frame is ideal for people between 4’11” and 5’3″.
• 15″ to 16″ – This is the next size up and will suit anyone that is between 5’3″ and 5’7″.
• 16″ to 17″ – The next sized frame is perfect for people who are between 5’7″ and 5’11”.
• 17″ to 19″ – This sized frame is suited to people who are 5’11” to 6’2″.
• 19″ to 21″ – This type of frame will be the choice of taller people who are between 6’2″ and 6’4″.
• 21″ + – If you are taller than 6’4″ then you’ll need to find a bike that has a frame with at least this size.
Mountain Bike Sizes
Mountain bikes are slightly different to standard bikes. You’ll need to choose one that doesn’t just have the right frame size but also has the right sized wheels. You will need more information to choose a mountain bike. You’ll also have to check what your leg inseam is.
• 13″ to 14″ Frame and 26″ Wheels: This is the choice of people who are between 4’10” and 5’3″, and who have an inseam between 25″ and 28″.
• 15″ to 16″ Frame and 26″ Wheels: If you’re between 5’4″ and 5’7″, and you have an inseam between 25″ and 30″, then this is your mountain bike size.
• 16″ to 17″ Frame and 27.5″ Wheels: This is recommended for people who are between 5’5″ and 5’9″ and have an inseam that’s between 26″ and 31″.
• 17″ to 18″ Frame and 27.5″ Wheels: People who are between 5’9″ and 6′ with a leg inseam of 27″ to 32″ should choose this bike.
• 18″ to 19″ Frame and 29″ Wheels: This is the choice of people who are between 6’0″ and 6’3″ and have a leg inseam between 28″ and 33″.
• People who are between 6’1″ and 6’6″ and have an inseam between 29″ and 34″ will need to choose a bike with a frame more than 19″. They will also need 29″ wheels.
Road Bike Sizes
Road bikes tend to come in specific sizes. And it’s best to choose the size depending on your height.
• XXS – Ideal for people between 4’10” and 5′.
• XS – For people between 5’0 and 5’3″.
• S – Small is for people between 5’3″ and 5’6″
• M – This is the size for people between 5’6″ and 5’9″.
• L – This one is for anyone who is between 5’9″ and 6’0″
• XL – If you’re between 6’0″ and 6’3″, you’ll need an XL.
• XXL – This is for people between 6’3″ and 6’6″.
E-Bikes usually are available in six different sizes. You’ll choose your size based on your height and your leg inseam.
• 14″ – You should be between 4’10” and 5’1″ and have an inseam between 24″ and 29″.
• 15″ – This is for people who are between 5’1″ and 5’5″ with leg inseams between 25″ and 30″.
• 16″ – This size is ideal for anyone who is between 5’5″ and 5’9″ and has a leg inseam between 26″ and 31″.
• 17″ – This is the choice of people who are between 5’9″ and 6’0″ who have leg inseams between 27″ and 32″.
• 18″ – This size is for people who are between 6’0″ and 6’3″ and whose leg inseams are between 28″ and 33″.
• 19″ – The largest size is for people who are between 6’1″ and 6’6″.
Children’s Bike Sizes
If you’re looking for a bike for a child, you can determine the right size based on the child’s age. Of course, all children grow at different rates, so you’ll always want your child to test the bike. It’s always a good option to get a bike that’s slightly too big for a smaller child, as they will soon grow, and it’s best not to have to replace the bike so soon after purchasing it. Children’s bike sizes tend to be determined by the size of the tires rather than the frame.
• 10″ Tires – This is perfect for 2-year olds.
• 12″ Tires – This is for children between 3 and 4.
• 14″ Tires – This is for kids between 4 and 5.
• 16″ Tires – These tires are great for 5 and 6-year olds.
• 18″ Tires – This size is for kids who are 6, 7, or 8.
• 20″ Tires – These tires are for 7, 8, and 9-year old children.
• 24″ Tires – This is the right bike for 9, 10 and 11-year olds.
• 26″ Tires – This is the last size for children, and it is the choice of any child who is between 11 and 14.
What Happens if You Choose the Wrong Bike Size?
Choosing a bike that isn’t the right size for you will have a lot of negative impacts on your enjoyment. And it can also lead to injures too. If you ride a bike that isn’t the right size, then your joints will be under more strain than they should be, leading to knee pain, ankle pain, and even elbow pain. You can also damage your back by riding a bike that’s not the right size for you. The biggest problem is that you won’t be comfortable. Riding a bike should always be a pleasure, so picking the right sized bike will ensure that.
Can You Alter a Bike to Make it the Right Size?
It’s possible to adjust several parts on your bike if you happen to find that it doesn’t feel right after you’ve bought it, or if you suddenly have a growth spurt, which is common for teenage bike riders.
If you’re too big for your bike, then there are three things you can do. The first is to purchase a new seat post. If you buy one that’s longer, then you’ll be able to raid your saddle higher. You should try to adjust the saddle position before you do this, though, as you might be able to get it into a more comfortable position. And purchasing a longer seat stem can also help you to sit in a better position.
If your bike is too big for you, you need to do the opposite of what we’ve just recommended. You need to adjust the saddle so that it’s lower, or, if this isn’t possible, then purchase a new stem or seat post smaller than the ones currently built into your bike.
What Can You Do if You Are Not One Size or Another?
If you look at the available sizes and find that every bike you try is either a little too small or a little too big, then you’re always better investing in the larger bike. It’s easier to adjust. Although, this isn’t recommended to anyone smaller than 5’4″. In this case, you’ll be better going for a smaller bike than a larger one.
How do I Know What My Inseam Is?
It’s quite simple. You just need to get a tape measure and use it to determine how long your inner leg is. To do that, you should measure from your crotch down to where your foot meets the floor.
Do I Need to Try a Bike Before I Buy It?
It’s always a good idea to get on a bike to see how it feels before you purchase it. But there are many good deals on the internet, that it might make financial sense to order a bike online, rather than from your local bike shop.
Don’t worry, though. All the important information regarding a bike’s size will be found on the bike’s product specifications page. You’ll be able to see the size of the frame and the wheel size. Most websites will even tell you who the specific bike is recommended for. That means that if you have normal proportions – as in that your legs and arms are proportional to your body – then you can simply choose a bike based on your height. This is an easy option. And remember, most sellers will give you a certain amount of time to return the product if you’re not satisfied with it. If you follow the charts in this article, you’ll end up with the right size anyway.
It isn’t difficult to find out what size bike you need to get, but it’s extremely important. To determine the size of the bike you’ll need, you have to check what size the frame of the bike is. This is unless it’s a mountain bike, where you’ll have to find out what size the wheels are. Different sized frames will suit people of different heights and with different leg inseams. So, before you get looking for a new bike, you should get the measuring tape out, and find out how tall you are and what your leg inseam is. That’s it. Armed with these statistics, you’ll be ready to pick your next bike.