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Bike Size Chart – How To Choose? 5 Easy Methods

Jeff Balton

Choosing the right size bicycleOrdering bikes online is becoming more and more popular because there are no shop-keeping or warehouse costs making the cost even less!

Don’t worry about the fact that you might think you have to try your bike first because I can assure you it is overrated. And very highly.

Salesmen only tell you this to get more money from you!

You should try your bike first! FALSE

Asking why? It’s because that is only told by salesmen who know that there are decent bikes on the online market. There are many good methods to choose a good bike. I’m gonna show you THREE (actually SEVEN!) METHODS if you don’t know, how to measure a bike.

Feeling more confident? Good. There are actually three (now SIX!) options: you can calculate or use the bike-size charts below. The bike size is measured from where the seat post starts and to the crank. So if you don’t know, what size bike do I need, here are the answers:

Let’s start with the easiest

Method One: Bike Height Chart – The Easiest

Your height / Bike SizeHybrid Bike Size Chart

  • 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 taller  = 21+ inches


Method Two: Calculating the bike size:

  1. Take off your shoes and stand with your legs about 15-20 cm(6” – 8”) apart. Measure the height from the ground to your crotch.
  2. Be sure of the type of bicycle you want: Mountain bike, city bike or road bike. You can read about the different bike types from here.
  3. Now you can take your calculator and calculate the right size:
    Leg Inseam method

City bike – Leg inseam (cm) x 0,685 = Your frame size
Mountain bike –  Leg inseam (cm) x 0,66 = Your frame size
Road bike – Leg inseam (cm) x 0,70 = Your frame size

(If your leg inseam is 76cm, then your right mountain bike size is 50 cm (20”), road bike 53cm and city bike 52cm)

or use the


Third Method: Bike Size Chart (advanced):

Mountain bike size chart

Rider heightLeg inseam                                                Suggested Frame Size
4`10”-5`1”148-158 cm24-29”61-73 cm< 14″XS
5`1″-5`5″158-168 cm25-30”63-76 cm15” / 16″S
5`5″-5`9″168-178 cm26-31”66-78 cm16” / 17″M
5`9″-6`0″178-185 cm27`-32`68-81 cm17″ / 18″L
6`0″-6`3″185-193 cm28`-33`71-83 cm18″ / 19″XL
6`1″-6`6″193-198 cm29`-34`73-86 cm19″ +XXL


City bike (Also commuter/hybrid bikes) size chart


Rider heightLeg inseamSuggested Frame Size
4`10”-5`1”147-155 cm24-29”61-73 cm14”XS
5`1`-5`5`155-165 cm25-30”63-76 cm15”S
5`5`-5`9`165-175 cm26-31”66-78 cm16”M
5`9`-6`0`175-183 cm27`-32`68-81 cm17″L
6`0`-6`3`183-191 cm28`-33`71-83 cm18″XL
6`1`-6`6`191-198 cm29`-34`73-86 cm19″XXL

Road bike size chart

Rider heightSuggested frame size
4`10”-5`0”148-152 cm47-48 cmXXS
5`0″-5`3″152-160 cm49-50 cmXS
5`3″-5`6″160-168 cm51-52-53 cmS
5`6″-5`9″168-175 cm54-55 cmM
5`9″-6`0″175-183 cm56-57-58 cmL
6`0″-6`3″183-191 cm58-59-60 cmXL
6`3″-6`6″191-198 cm61-62-63 cmXXL

To make it simple – Bicycle Guiders’ bike size graph.

Bike size graph by bicycle Guider

Open me!

Got the right size? Nice! And now go cycling!

Please note that frame sizes from XXS – XXL don’t have the same meaning for every manufacturer. Those sizes (like on clothing) show current model sizes.



Read next: How to fit a bike


The right saddle height Right Saddle Heighthas a very important role. If it’s too low, you won’t have enough power in your feet. In mountain bike racing, I have experienced that when the saddle falls one inch down from normal, I lose about 25-50% of my force. I better stop and let the group go, then fix it and lose 15 seconds but I do catch the group and can even get the next group ahead. So the right saddle height plays a big role!

 Need Professional Fitting Service? Order From Amazon!

The easiest way is to

  1. Lean to the wall with your elbow sitting on the bike (or let someone help you as shown on the picture)
  2. But your leg to lowest point but parallel to the ground.
  3. Move your saddle up or down until you have nice bend behind your knee. It should be something around 30 ° but don’t waste too much energy finding that exact angle.

Go out and ride. Does it feel good? If not, then adjust. Also, you can adjust the seat to front and rear. 

See also: Bike size charts & info on Bikexchange

TIP: If you got the right height, mark it down with some sharp object. That’s the best size chart ever 🙂 Some bikes have centimeters marked there, then keep this in mind.

Currently Hot:


If I Got My Bike Size Wrong?

Then ask your merchant, if you can send your bike back to get the right one. If you don’t want to do that, then you can do the following things:

  • Move your saddle to the front or rear
  • Buy a longer or shorter stem. It changes your body position
  • Buy a longer seat post

Give it time to get the feeling right. I remember when I got my first 29er mountain bike. It felt like a ship and seemed difficult to ride in narrow trails of the forest. Now I start laughing when I sit on a 26″ mountain bike because it looks so tiny.

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This Article Has 1,296 Comments

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  • Sarah J says:

    Hi Jeff. Please help me. I want to buy a bike. I didn’t have one since childhood so I want something simple and affordable now to get me started. I’m female 5”5 and 140lbs. What would you recommend? Thank you so much

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Since this is your first bike, a more upright riding is the way to start. Here’s a bike that might interest you.You can start with a Medium size bike.

  • Nishanth says:

    In my town there are so many uphills,slopes and turns. I am confused which cycle is suitable for these roads and iam 6 feet tall ,19 year old. Will 21 size cycle suits me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nishanth,
      Interesting question. I was thinking if I should recommend an MTB, a road bike or a hybrid bike. They are all great bikes for your type of riding. However, if you are not into off road, then I suggest you get a road bike . Road bikes are great for climbing because they weight less. I also suggest you get an XL frame size: somewhere between 58-59-cm.

  • Sam Rodrigo says:

    Hi. Thanks for all the advice. I’m looking to get a gravel / multi bike. I am 5 foot 5 “ with inseam 29/30. So website indicate I should get a bike frame of 52 and then it’s S. But others says XS. There is a Specialized bike at a store with 52 and an online model with XS. Would both be ok? What would you recommend? I was looking at a Canyon bike – and the sales rep said I would be 2XS based on my height. So assume diff manufacturers have diff starting sizes? Now I’m more confused!!


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sam,
      The thing about labels like Medium, Large, XL etc is that they overlap. I suggest you go for actual measurement. The right bike for you falls under small, specifically a frame size between 51-52-53 cm. Ask for the actual measurement so you’ll get the right bike for you.

  • Nazar says:

    Hi Jeff, I just got a new bike. It’s 2021 Trek Emonda SL5. The recommended frame size is 50cm. I’m curious if it’s the right size for me. I’m 5’7” height and just under 29” of inseam height.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nazar,
      You are 5’7, therefore your road bike should be under the Medium category. 54-55 cm are the recommended sizes for you. 50cm is small for you.

  • Drew M says:

    My height is around 5’7 1/2…I think my legs are shorter than usual lol 😂 What size road bike should I get? I was thinking 54 cm? Is that about right ? I’ve seen conflicting information, some going as low as 50 cm and some as 57cm.

    What to do ?


  • Franck says:

    I have two bike and sometimes ride my partner bike to .
    I have road bike xs which is to small and I have mountain bike that is small. My inside leg is 29 and half inches I have order a new bike size small with 25″ wheels will I be ok with small bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Franck,
      Do you feel comfortable with the bike? Categories like XS and S do overlap. It is more accurate to base the measurements on your actual height like how tall your are in inches/cm then we can conclude if you are riding a bike that’ too small or too big for you.

  • Ryan McFarland says:

    My wife is 5’9″…what size roadbike should I get her?

  • This is really useful for helping people navigate the many bike options out there. So here’s my question – how does tire size factor into this? By the charts I would need a 16-17″ frame (I’m 5’8″) but does that call for a particular tire size too?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jean,
      They do. For example smaller riders will feel more comfortable with 26″ tires compared to navigating using 29″ tires. Smaller: Nimble, fast acceleration and lightweight. Large: Slow acceleration, hard to control, but smoother on gnarly rides.

  • Vera says:

    Hi Jeff!! I am 5’4” female with inseam of 29”. Would a medium size frame with 29” tires be way too big for me? And what size would you suggest? I’m looking for a mountain bike for paved and dirt trails. Also what are the long term risks when buying a bike that’s too big?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vera,
      Although I would pay more attention to frame sizes that wheel sizes(your’s should be around 15” / 16″ frame sizes), Wheel size can have significant impact on riding. A 29″ might be considered big for your size but I have seen people your height riding them. You need to test the bike first in order to decide if these are the sizes you should go for. Bigger wheels can mean comfortable ride on rough trails. But they are heavier and they take a little longer to accelerate. A 27.5 is a better compromise. The risk of buying a bike that’s too big is getting lower back pain and other discomforts.

  • JP Biking says:

    Hello Jeff. First time to own a Mountain Bike.
    More of a tweener. 5’6-5’7. Shop has advised me i can do both S or M. But they only have stocks for S with the color I like. The M with the color I dont like. Can I really be S? What are the pros and cons? Thank you so much!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi JP,
      Good question there! The thing about categories such as XS S M L XL etc is that they overlap. I suggest you base the measurement on inches. For example, your recommended frame sizes are : 16” / 17″. These fall under medium category on our chart.Would you mind asking if they have frame sizes such as the ones I posted? The pros and cons aren’t that great but they will impact the quality of your ride. That is why it is best to find the right frame size(s) that fits you best.

  • Yusuf Matcheswala says:

    Hello Jeff, Thanks for the article. Great sizing tips!! When you say frame size is this the same measurement as in the graphic for method 1 from the crank to the seat post?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Yusuf,

      Yes they all follow the same standard method. The only variance is using the cm and inches. You will also notice that the standards vary(a bit) depending on the type of the bike. This has something to do with overall geometry.

  • Vicky says:

    Hi Jeff.
    I’m 43 year of age 5’10.5” with an inseam of 34.5”.I want bicycle for comfortable ride poster because of back problem.
    I have sorted out simple roadster bicycle(100 year old design) having tyre 28″*1.5″ in spite they are heavy wt . Now they have two frame size 22″ and 24″.
    In 22″ it is possible to touch ground in sitting on saddle which is useful during sudden brake.
    but in 24 inch give better riding quality .Can you suggest which one to choose. Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vicky,
      You need a frame size that’s 17″. This is under the large category. Smaller or bigger than this will give you back problems. I posted an article about chwinn Discover Women Hybrid Bike which is an example of a bike that is suited for your riding position. Let me know if you have a follow-up question. A 24 frame is way too bog!

    • Vicky says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Thank for reply.
      What should be height of saddle top from bottom bracket. I already have bike with 17″ frame

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vicky,
      The answer really depends on your level of comfort. There are people who prefer a saddle height with a bend or there are those who like full leg extension. I suggest you check out these helpful tips and see which one you should follow.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Jeff. I am looking to purchase a Trek Marlin 5 MTB. I am on the cusp for height. I am 5’4, inseam 29, with a positive ape index. Do I go small which is 15.5 frame with 27.5 tyres, or medium with 17.5 frame and 29ers? Thanks in advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      You fall under the Small category. You should be OK with frame sizes 15” / 16″. 27.5 is good enough for you.

  • Ed says:

    Hi, I’m looking for a tricycle that would be a good fit, for a taller man (6’9inch). It has become really hard to find a bike that’s gonna work for me. I currently have a disability that limits me to ridding on a tricycle to help me with stability while riding.
    Thanks for your help, Ed

  • Rey says:

    Hi Jeff I’m new on bicycle parts and was planning to buy a MTB for urban riding but I’m not sure what frame size or wheel size to get that fits according to my height. I’m 5’6″ with leg inseam of 27.

    And which is better steel or aluminum frames? . Thank you.

  • Myles says:

    Hey Jeff,
    I am 180cm tall, yet still ride a medium frame. Does that work/or what size frame should I purchase.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Myles,
      You should get a frame on the Large category (17″ / 18″). But be sure that you are doing it for comfort reasons. We do have different body structures so what works for another person might not work for you. The chart is meant to set the ‘acceptable’ standard based on body size but we understand there are rare exceptions.

  • Sujeewa Gurusinghe says:

    Thank you very much for extremely useful information.

  • Bea says:


    I have a question. My height is 4’11, weighing 102 Ibs and im planning to buy a mountain bike but im not sure if the size of the wheel matters? Is 26” will be okay considering my height? And any recommendations in what bike to use? Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bea,
      That’s is a good question. First of all, you need to address the frame size too. A 14″ is ideal for you. As for the wheel, 26″ is a good choice.

  • Nicole says:

    Hey Jeff.
    I’m looking at getting a bike, leaning towards a hybrid. Does weight play a factor in choose bike size? I’m 5’7″, inseam of 30″ and I weigh 245lbs. What size frame should I get? Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nicole,
      Hybrid is all about comfort and practicality. You fall under the Medium category, so you need a size 16” bike frame.

  • Sean Mitchell says:

    Hi Jeff. I’m 5’9.5” with an inseam of 31”. I’m looking at a bike seller right now that recommends giving yourself an inch of space between inseam and standover height, however the bike then that would work for me would be their extra small frame, 43cm and recommended for riders 4’9” to 5’1” with a standover height of 30.5”. Something seems off about this—I don’t believe my legs are particularly short. Their 54cm frame has a standover height of 32.5”. What is your recommendation here? Thank you for your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sean,
      That is strange considering that you should be ok with frame sizes 16 – 17 inches. There are factors that can affect these, like saddle height and stem length. I suggest you check the bike yourself first before you accept recommendation on paper.

  • Dhananjey says:

    Hi Jeff, You are doing a great job by giving professional advices.

    My height is 168.5cm (inseem seems 82cm when I pulled book up against crotch as if i am sitting on seat) I have Btwin Triban 54cm road bike which was bought in Decathlon. I am a beginner and I ride 1hour daily and weekly one long group ride up to 60-100km. I have developed a 20 degree bend in left elbow after an accident which means I can’t straighten my elbow ( due toMyositis ossificans developed after radial head fracture) once I was about to fall while steering with left hand while showing right hand signal at road crossing. My average speed is 20km/hr. I wish to reach 25-30/hr

    1) Do I need to get 52cm bike?

    2) can I shoten stem from 90cm to 80cm? Does this effect bike handling?

    Plz help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dhananjey,

      First of all the issue is never about the frame. If you’re comfortable with that size then keep that. I am sorry to hear about the elbow.
      Shortening the stem can indeed impact bike handling and you need time to get used to the new ‘feel’ of riding. But safety is our primary concern. Shortening the stem or slipping the stem can also help. Be sure to ask assistance from a bike expert during the process because it really helps when all angles/issues are considered.

  • pravar says:

    hey there,

    i am planning to buy a geared bicycle but the website i am checking mentioning size as 27T, 29T etc .

    what does it means and my height is 5ft 7inch so which size would be perfect for me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Pravar,
      These refer to wheel sizes. For your height, you should choose 16 – 17 inches frame sizes. You can be OK with either of the tire sizes. They all depend on your riding style anyway.

  • Charles Wilson Fernandez says:

    I would like to buy a road bike for myself but Im confuse about choosing the right frame size for me my height is 5’10 and my inseam is 82cm.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Charles,

      Your options are: 56-57-58 cm under the Large category. When you do, I recommend a proper bike fit.

  • Julie Berard says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I want to try out MTB, so I’m looking to buy a second hand bike. I’m 5’1″, 28″ inseam, right now I ride a XS Giant avail road bike which i love… I might be interested in a Gary Fishier Opie Small 15,5″ frame. Do you think it will fit me. I find it hard to find XS bike unfortunately.

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Julie,

      You can also try 15” / 16″ under Small. It looks like this frame is still OK for you.

  • Ombir Srivastava says:

    I am willing to purchase a bicycle with wheel size 27.5 and frame size 18.5 and my height is 174cm ,would it be comfortable for me ?

    What do you think?should I buy this bicycle?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ombir,
      18.5 is too big for you. You should get a frame size that’s 16” / 17″ under the Medium category.

  • Marcia Johnson says:

    I am trying to buy a bike for my son for college— and I have to choose one without him available. He is 5’9 and about 190 and athletic. He will use the bike to get around campus and to bike to the archery range. Every bike I have seen goes by tire size. Any recommendations for him? I’d appreciate the help.

  • Kristopher Long says:

    What size bike frame do I need? I am 31 years old 6″ tall. I would not suggest getting the bike from Walmart. My Stepdad bought a mountain bike from Walmart. He didn’t even get it out of the parking lot and the pedals came off. The people who the bikes together for Walmart don’t know what they’re doing.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kristopher,

      Your size falls under XL so you should get a bike that has a frame size of 18″ or 19″ XL. I think it is better to get from reputable stores. All the links that we provide here ensures quality. I would also suggest that before buying a bike, you should first get a bike fit to ensure you are taking home a bike that fits you well. Don’t second guess.

  • AL says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thanks for such an informative article.
    I have an opportunity to buy a Specialized Sirrus (Hybrid) at a really good price.
    Problem is, its a sixe XXS.
    My wife is 5’3″ with a 29 inch inseam. Is that too small?
    When I look at the major difference between XXS and S…(which I would buy without hesitation).
    It’s Seat Tube, 360mm vs 440mm.

    Some of the other measurements are 25-50mm (1-2inch) shorter.
    Top tube is 531 vs 559mm
    Head tube is 121 vs 147mm
    Reach is 373 vs 393mm
    Stack is 536 vs 562mm
    Seat Post Length is 300 vs 350mm

    What do you think. Should I buy this bike? Will it work?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Al,
      Thanks for the positive comment. XXS is too small for someone who is 5’3. A centimeter can really make a difference especially when it comes to road bikes. Her range should be 51-52-53 cm and they fall under the Small category. You should hesitate as it may cause her discomfort in the long run. I suggest a bike fit before getting any bike.

  • Maya says:

    Hi Jeff, I currently have a 26” mountain bike and I’m about 6’0 tall. I’ve put the seat to its tallest height but my legs still can’t get a full extension. Would it be best to get a new/taller stem?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Maya,
      Fist of all how big is your frame size? For someone your heigh, you should have a frame size that’s around 18″ / 19″. That’s under XL. 26 is also too small. At least a 27.5 or a 29″ wheel size is best. Check out the frame size before buying anything because you might end up trading the whole bike for one of your size.

    • Juan Olmo says:

      I have a Diamondback Edgweood bike which is great for 6ft and taller for sale. It’s way too big for me and still in almost new condition. Looking for an interested buyer.

  • FAHAD SHAIKH says:

    Hello Jeff, wow what a helpful post! Keep doing the good work.
    I am 36, 175 cms and have a lower back problem. I am looking for a used bicycle to commute to office (less than 8 mins ride) daily, and for some casual riding maybe 4 times a week (about 2-3 kms per day). Bikes with higher wheel sizes (27.5) appear more appealing to me, so thats what I am planning to go for. Is the Medium frame size (I dont know how many cms/inches!) ok for me? Also, is ride quality and speed better with these bigger tyres? Do consider the fact that I need to keep my torso upright to alleviate my lower backache.
    Lastly, can you point me to a blog which explains the basics of gear shifting. Thanks a ton!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Fahad,
      What you need is an urban bike designed for daily commute. There are two types of bikes that might appeal to you. One is a hardtail MTB and the other one is a cruiser/city bike type. Both have the kind of riding position you describe. Make sure you choose a 17″ frame which is categorize under Large. Bigger tires create smoother rides especially when you live in an area with potholes and gravel. The 27.5 tire size is common these days. So that is a good choice.
      Check out our post about Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes and also Best Commuter Bikes You Can Get

    • FAHAD S SHAIKH says:

      Thanks for the response Jeff. I managed to get a 17inch Mountain Bike (Upten River) with a 27.5 wheel size. Any recommendations of saddle height setting considering my backache? Also I am really not able to get the gears going, please guide me on it. Thanks a lot!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Fahad,

      I am glad to hear that! I would suggest you get a proper bike fit to ensure long-term confort. You can also make minor adjustments on your own and ensure that the set up feels ‘right’. You can also use this link as a practical guid. Remember, back ache can be due to a saddle moved further back. Good luck!

  • Wence says:

    Hi, I’m 6 feet and I’m thinking about a 26in wheel will work?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Wence,
      It all goes down to personal preferences. There is nothing wrong with getting a 26″ tire. People your height even ride in folding bikes with 16″ tires. It’s all about bike fit and adjustments. Try it first. IT it feels good then it is perfect.

  • Cory says:

    Hi Jeff

    I am 4 ft 10 inches tall, and I am looking for a new comfortable bike that would fit me right. I am not sure what size to get, do I go by my inseam measurement or bike frame or wheel size?My old bike is an Electra townie 7D and I think the print on the wheel says 24, is this the wheel size? But I find this bike to be too high for me, and hence not a very comfortable ride, and so I am looking to get a new bike that would fit better. Please help.
    Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cory,
      Yes the 24 refers to the wheel size which I think is a good fit for you. Look for a 14” frame size which I think will be a good fit for you. Check out our post about Best Commuter Bikes . Scroll below and I am sure you will find what you need. Look for something that says ‘low step’ on the description.

  • Erik says:

    Hello, my wife is just about 5 feet tall maybe 5 1 .. I was gonna get her the Diamondback syncr 24… it has all the components I want for her (Sram nx Hydro brakes etc) but sold as a kids bike.. Killer bike under 1000 if that would work for her..

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Erik,
      As long as the bike is under extra small category then it will fit her. Make sure to get her a bike with a 49-50 cm frame. Cheers!-Jeff

  • SherAnn says:

    Hi I’m a little under 5’2” age 56 200lbs will a 26” beach cruiser from Walmart work for me

  • Hemant Barve says:

    Hi…i am 41 and feel like i should start riding bikes again….your website is very helpful…..measured my inseam and its 82cm around 32 inches and my height is 183cm so as per ur chart a 17″ or 18″ bike frame size should suffice my needs. Here in Mumbai the specification is 26T….just wanted to clarify what that means and what should I go far ….preferably a city bike…

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hermant,
      The 26 refers to tire sizes. 26 used to be the standard for mountain bikes but now there are sizes like 27.5 and 29. If you choose the city bike types then an 18″ should be perfect for you. Please read my post about best bikes for commuting. Scroll all the way down, and you should be able to see the kind of bike you are looking for. Cheers!

  • Jayne Andrade says:

    what type of bike is comfortable for riding like 2 hrs . i have ridden on some rentals and 1 hr in they are sooo uncomfortable and butt hurts

  • Vivek muni says:

    Dear sir,
    I want a chart of bigger and smallest cycle .
    I know three types of cycle
    My son age 13.5 yr which cycle use increase height
    I don’t know which cycle
    .please guide


  • ivonne moreno says:

    i am an adult,180 pounds,5’1” but never have ride a bike before,what bike you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ivonne,
      A cruiser bike is the best entry bike for those who haven’t ridden bikes yet. These bikes are comfortable and great for commuting. Check out our post about best bikes for commuting and scroll all the way down to find the cruiser bikes that will fit you. If ever you have decided to get one, make sure you choose a frame size that’s 15” under the small category.

  • Caesar macias says:

    I’m 6 foot 300 lbs , what kind of bike should I get that fits good?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Caesar,
      Generally, you should be good with a bike that has a frame size of 17 – 19 inches. The kind of bike you should have depends on your preferred riding style.If you enjoy riding on paved surfaces and also off road, then a hardtail mountain bike with a 29″ wheels is something you will enjoy. If you prefer just easy cruising in the city then a hybrid or city bike is what you should get. Let me know what you prefer.

  • maddy says:


    Could you help me with sizing for a city bike? I am around 5’5/5’6 with leg inseam of 29.5″.

    thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Maddy,
      Get a 16” frame. It is categorized under medium size. I would recommend a bike fit as well.

  • wes says:

    Does any one know where to buy a Comfort/Beach cruiser for someone that is 6’1″- 6’3″. I am not seeing any 21″ frame, they seem to have only a few or don’t sell XL frames. Anyone know some sites to find bikes like that for that size?

  • John m says:

    Hi Jeff! I’m getting back into riding after a long time. I’m 6’6″ 220 with a 34″ inseam would love to hear your thoughts on frame size.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi John,
      For a person your size, you need a frame size that’s 21+ inches. Congratulations for getting back into riding!

  • George says:

    LOL, the first thing to be able to do is math! I just realized all my math was wrong. It helps to know the difference between cm and inches.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi George,
      That is true. The simplest way if to just look at the first chart above. However, if you want a more specific recommendation especially for road bikes then better consult the chart for that.

  • George says:

    I’ve got the problem of having a long torso. (6’2 with maybe a 33″ inseam). As a result, when I used the guides in the article I got as recommended sizes: 19-21″, 22″, 18″ and 17-18″. Basically, all they told me was that I’m tall. What may affect things is that I’m looking more at a city bike with a straight bar for exercise. If I’m getting the same workout, I don’t care how fast I’m going.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi George,
      If you look at the city bike chart you’ll see that you need a 19″ frame. There is a specific chart for that because city bikes/ cruisers have different geometries compared to sports bikes.

  • Lena says:

    Hi, I hope you don’t mind me troubling you with yet another personal enquiry!
    I’m a 5’8″ female with inside leg 32.5″ and according to the standard charts I should ride a 54/55com frame. I already have two bikes this size; one ~20 year old steel frame and the other ~12 year old Specialized Allez but both are too long/big for me. Both are fitted with 6cm stems and I have the saddles as far forward as they will go (aiming for my knee over the pedal). Due to the slightly less vertical seat tube of the Allez I had to reverse the seatpost to achieve this. (Required a custom clamp to maintain the horizontal position)
    I’m looking to upgrade and this time would like to get a bike that fits!
    I had a very brief go on a 52cm frame; the saddle was about 0.75″ too low, I couldn’t check my knee position and would need a shorter stem than the 10/12cm standard.
    Do you think a 52cm with reduced stem would be OK ….. or should I even look at a 50cm, perhaps with standard stem and longer seat post?
    I’d very much appreciate your suggestions/thoughts on this. Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lena,

      Your ‘sweet spot’ is a 55cm frame. However we all have different physique so sometimes the recommended frame can be bigger or smaller for us. If the saddle is too low then you can try to raise it a bit. Try raising the saddle first before going with the reduced stem to see if it works. Try to work with the saddle angle as well. Let me know if raising the saddle has made a difference.

    • Lena says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Thank you for your reply – but I’m not sure I explained myself properly.
      On both my current bikes the saddle is raised so that I have a ‘nice bend’ to my knee as indicated in your ‘How to fit a bike’ section.. This aspect of my set up is fine. My problem is that for the ‘correct’ frame size, the top tube is too long, necessitating the shortest stem I can get as well as moving the saddle as far forward as possible.
      Rather than going bigger as you suggest, I feel I need a more compact frame, hence looking at a 52cm (maybe 50cm). The thought being that this will reduce the reach whilst a longer seat post would enable me to get the right height.
      Maybe in these difficult days I need to make a ‘fitting appointment’ …

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lena,
      Yes I see how it makes you feel uncomfortable. I’ve observed this issue with fellow riders who seemed to have problems with reach especially on road bikes. Have you heard of afast forward seatpost? This will move you further forward making it easy for you to reach the handlebars and putting less strain on your lower back. A layback seat post can cause this issue. You certainly need to get a proper bike fit so that you can experiment with saddles, stems and also frame sizes that suits you. Who knows, maybe a 52 cm is indeed your sweet spot.

  • Ryan N says:

    Hi Jeff, I am 6ft(183cm) and have inseam 79cm.
    I want city hybrid bike but they sell in wheel size.

    What wheel and bike size shall I get?

    Also bonus question what is 700c or 650c?

    Thank you


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ryan,
      A bike with an 18″ frame is your ‘sweet spot’. The 700c is an ideal wheel size as it is the ‘standard’ wheel size for most road bikes. Remember, the bigger the wheel, the smoother the ride. But you also need to consider other factors such as tire sizes. Smaller tire sizes like the 25c is unforgiving on bad roads. A 32c is a good compromise.

  • Barb Heim says:

    I’m 5ft 2 inches, what size Adult trike would be best for me. 20 inch or 24 inch

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Barb,
      First of all, your recommended frame size is 15″. 20″ or 24″ tires will do fine for you. Note that, the bigger the tires, the smoother the ride.

  • Jay says:

    Hello sir first of all hope your staying safe in these days. Now my question is im looking into getting a beach cruiser and im 5’7 would a 26″ frame work for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jay,
      Thank you for your positive wish. This is indeed the new normal, so we have to hang in there until this blows over 😉 Actually, you need a 16″ frame and that’s under the ‘medium’ category. As for the tires, you can choose a 24″ or a 26″ and it doesn’t really matter. However, the bigger the wheels, the smoother the ride. Hoping you get the bike of your choice.

  • Lauren says:

    Hi Jeff. I’m interested in buying a second hand bike that’s 51cm. I’m 5’8 so it is small for my height but it has adjustable handlebars and saddle. Will it be okay?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lauren,
      Will you be able to try the bike out before buying it? I suggest you give it a test ride after making adjustments. It is smaller for your size. There are bikes that no matter how much adjustments you make, just don’t really feel comfortable.

  • Lorraine says:

    Hi Jeff. Thanks for you advice!! I am 5’5.5″ in ht. My inseam is 30 ” and I have long arms. I am wanting an electric bike, like the looks of a mountain bike although would like a more upright position. Wondering too how tire size affects things? Also would like to have feet close to ground when stopped…..what thoughts have you??

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lorraine,

      A city bike type or beach cruiser is the kind of bike you are looking for. The upright sitting position or low bottom bracket enables you to have an easy way to mount or unmount from the bike. Tires do affect things. The bigger the tires, the slower they are to accelerate. But, they are good with bad road surfaces, as they can easily roll on them. Smaller tires can be too responsive that you have to be mindful with your stirring. Check out my post about Best Electric Bikes Today and I am sure you’ll find what you are looking for. Cheers!

  • Murugan S says:

    Hi Jeff! You are godsend! I am about to buy a bike. I am 41 and around 220 pounds. I am 6 feet tall. Please recommend me one. The frame size etc. It will be mainly used for city commute. Thanks in advance.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Murugan,
      You have come to the right place! A wrong frame size will only give you pain and regret. For urban bikes, you need a frame size that’s 18″. This is under the XL category. For road bikes, your range fall under 58-59-60 cm, still under XL. For mountain bikes, choose 18″ / 19″under XL. Check out my post on the best road bikes of 2020 if this is something you think you want to get into.

  • Olivia says:

    Hi Jeff.
    Thank you for your advice.
    I am wanting to start riding a bicycle again, I am interested in the dutch style bicycles.
    I am a female just under 5’8, my inseam measurement is 85cm. Most of the frame sizes I have seen are at 53cm or 57cm. I am leaning more to the larger frame of 57cm. However, have been told conflicting messages on which frame I should opt for. I would greatly appreciate your opinion on this.
    Thank you again.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Olivia,
      Glad to hear that you are getting back to cycling! You are still within the medium range:54-55 cm when it comes to road bikes. For dutch bikes/beach cruisers/city bikes, you need to get a 16” frame. This is the type of city bike that you are probably thinking about.

  • Prashant says:

    Hi, Can u suggest a bike for an 5’3″ girl weighing around 55 kgs. The bike will be used on local plains and would be for starters. Just to get the feel of biking and exercise. Maybe 01 hour ride a day on tops.
    What should be the size of frame and wheels and any specific recommendations that you would suggest. This will be in New delhi India.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Prashant,
      I assume you are looking for a road bike right? If so, you need to find a frame with any of these measurements 51-52-53 cm. The list of these bikes will give you an idea as to what suits you best and your style of riding, so please check it out.

  • Manuel Quimera says:

    Hi Jeff! Great article. Just wondering if a Medium size frame on a 27.5er wheels can accomodate my wife of 4’11” height with around 22″ seam? I’m planning to use her bike too. I’m 5’7″, so a Medium size is a fit for me. Thanks.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Manuel,
      She needs a frame size that’s extra small (XS). Your bike size will feel too big, uncomfortable and unstable for her.

  • John says:

    Great article/website!

    I’m 5ft6 and like the look of a mountain bike, but will only be riding it in the city on concrete.
    Can i still get a mountain bike or should i opt for a hybrid or city bike? I just enjoy the sporty look of the bicycle.

    Also should i get a bicycle size where my feet can touch the ground with my butt still seated on the saddle? Because i hate getting off every time i have to stop before a red light. But i’m not sure if you’re supposed to get off or not.

    Thank you for this great knowledge!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi John,
      There are many ‘standard’ ways of mounting and also unmounting from your saddle. You just have to choose what’s comfortable for you. There are people, especially urban riders who prefer that the tip of their feet do touch the ground when mounting and getting off the saddle. This feels safe. Urban bikes like city bikes and most hybrids(or even road bikes) have lower bottom brackets that will allow this flexibility. Mountain bikes are designed to have higher bottom brackets for trail and to avoid obstacles on gnarly situations. There are people who prefer to ride mountain bikes in the city because of what you said, it has a sporty look. You can choose tires that are good for paved riding(smaller with less tread) if that’s what you prefer. I suggest to do a lot of shopping around first and also watch YouTube videos so you can compare the pros and cons. Let me know if you have made up your mind.

  • Denise says:

    Hi, Jeff. Thanks for all this information.

    We’re looking to purchase a mountain bike for our 15-year-old who is 6′ tall with a 32.5″ inseam (athletic build), and my issue is that all the different size charts I’ve seen tell me different frame sizes (anywhere from 18″ – 21″). What would you recommend? Also, do we need to be concerned about tire size, too?

    While I have your attention, do you recommend any brands that are good quality but not stupid expensive? My son isn’t an avid rider, but enjoys mountain biking with his Boy Scout Troop (and knows how to maintain & fix bikes). I appreciate your insight.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Denise,
      The sweet spot for his size is 18″. He can either get a 27.5″ or a 29″ tire size. If he is not really a hard core trail rider then you can get him a hardtail mountain bike. Check out the Cannondale Trail 5.

  • Marvin says:

    Thanks for sharing information with us. I have a question plz. What is the best way to know how long should I adjust my seat? Do you recommend this for me?? This theory?


    And how about the stem ?? Should I make seat and stem at the same level???
    I have road bike
    My height is 6.02”

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Marvin,
      My rule of the thumb is that when it feels good then it is ok. There are many ‘standards’ that are shown in YouTube. There are even cases when bike fit does not really translate well in real-life situation. The stem and saddle level should always follow your comfort and not because they ‘look stylish.’ I suggest you play with the adjustments and make incremental changes (a centimeter at a time), and see if you feel you have achieved the sweet spot.

  • Sal says:

    My height is 5’7” I want to purchase a mountain bike for on and off road.
    Would the size tires make a difference for my bike size?
    If so what size bike should I purchase?

    Thank you for your time

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sal,
      First, it is best to get a medium size bike for your height. A 16” / 17″ frame would be fine. A 27.5 is an ideal tire size-not too small or too big.

  • sam says:

    so im 14 years old & i’m 5’3. what size wheel should i get for a mountain bike?

  • Adam says:

    Hello, Thanks for all your hard work on this. I recently ordered a Kona MTB bike from a local retailer–that seems to be the only brand available right now. I am 5’10” and an inseam of 31″ according to the Kona size chart I am at the top of the medium and bottom of the large. I opted for the medium, but have been agonizing over the decision. The Seat tube on the Medium is 16.5 and the Large is 18.5. The reach on the Med is 450 which matched my current bike (hence why I chose the medium). Do you have any thoughts on this. I plan to test before finalizing as they said I could always get the large, but I would have to wait a few weeks for the bike to come in.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Adam,
      The thing about bike sizing is that they always overlap. Your sweet spot is a 17″ frame. The 16.5 is the closest so I think that’s something you should consider.

  • Chris B says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I just bought a Jamis Renegade thats 58cm. After reading your article I’m wondering if I bought the wrong size. I am 6’3 with a 36.5″ inseam. Is this bike to small for me? What size would you recommend? Thanks

  • Whit says:

    Jeff, thanks for the feedback. Would you mind removing my last name from the posting. I didn’t mean to include it. Thanks!!

  • Whit says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Very nice website. I’m 5-10″ and your recommendation for a commuter/comfort bike is a 17″ frame. In several other places I have seen 19″ as the recommendation for my height. Why the difference? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Whit,
      It depends what kind of ‘comfort bike’ they are featuring. If you look at the road bike size, you can see that it has a different recommendation(when converted to inches) for people your height. Every type of bike has a different frame geometry that will also influence the size recommendation. Here, we only focus on the hybrid/city bikes that I have already reviewed in this site. That is why I recommend proper bike fit because you can really tell if the bike you are buying fits you well based on your level of comfort while riding it.

  • Joy says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for such a detailed and informative article. It’s just what I was looking for!

    I’m sitting here with bruised knees because I just busted them riding my Dahon p8 folding bike with 16” wheels. Don’t get wrong. I think it’s a fantastic bike but I’ve had suspicions for years that it doesn’t work for my 5’-0” height. Maybe I was clued into that by the fact that I had to jump off the bike at every red light!

    I’ve always struggled to find the correct saddle height. If the Saddle height is adjusted to allow my legs to extend when I peddle (which is how the bike shops always set it up for me), then whilst sitting on the saddle my shoes are more than 6” above ground and I have to jump off the saddle every time I stop! If I lowered the saddle (which is how I Just busted my knees) I can accommodate touching the ground but I would always have bent knees when riding.

    Do you have a recommendation for how I can adjust the bike, or should I look into getting a new bike. If so, what do you recommend for a city bike for a vertically challenged 5’ footer like me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Joy,
      Unfortunately, all folding bikes follow the ‘one size fits all’ principle when it comes to geometry. The problem is that all of us have unique body structures. Some have longer torso and shorter legs. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. It looks like you have a bike that’s too big for your body.Try to adjust the saddle fore and aft and also the saddle tilt. These factors can contribute to how you are positioned on the bike. If these things don’t work, then you better get a right bike for your size. There are city bikes that should give you comfort while riding. If ever you try to decide to get one, then get a city bike with 14” frame size. This is categorized under extra small.

  • Pradeep says:

    Good information

  • Bhanu. K says:

    Thanks for sharing information with us.
    My height 5’6.5″ and inseam 30″. Suggest my frame size, wheel size and specify with detail category of bicycle for unpaved suburban commute of daily 40km in case my weight 68 kg.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bhanu,

      If you are getting a mountain bike, then your measurements fall under: 16” / 17″ Medium
      If you are choosing a road bike, then your size chart falls under: 54-55 cm Medium
      If you are using a bike mostly for commute then a hybrid/city bike is good for you. You can get a 16” Medium.

  • Marisa says:

    So I’m 4’10” – the Cannondale Women’s Adventure bike says the Small (there’s no XS in this bike) is good for someone with a minimum height of 4’11”. I have the chance to get a used one – would I have an issue putting my feet down? I’m a new rider with a 27” inseam and 29” saddle height (I think)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Marisa,
      You can make adjustments with the saddle height, like lowering it down a bit to accommodate your height. I think that size still covers your height and you are good with frame sizes 47-48 cm.

  • Hanif says:

    If my height 163 cm what frame size you can suggest??

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hanif,
      For a road bike, you are good with frame sizes:51-52-53 cm which are all under the small category.
      For a mountain bike, you are good with frame sizes: 15” / 16″, still under small. I hope this helps.

  • Jay Id says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I want to get my wife her first bike, we are both new to biking, I already have a road bike. My wife has said she wants something more steady (she considers my road bike to be too light). Please can you give us an opinion on the bike in the link below? She is 5’4 and we will mainly be using the bike around our community.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jay,
      I think that is a good bike for her to start. The suspensions make it comfortable on bumps and also off road cycling. You can get her a frame size that’s ‘small’
      around 15” / 16″. Send my regards to her and her journey into the world of cycling.

  • A C says:

    Very informative page. Thank you for the informations.
    I have to commute total 36 km in Indian Semi urban road. My height 5’6.5″ and inseam 75cm weight 65kg. Suggest frame size , wheel size with other specifications and also type of bicycle to commute.
    Give same information for my brother with height 5’10” and inseam 58cm weight 72 kg.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi AC,
      Commuting by bicycle is the new normal! A medium size frame is good for your height. I suggest a 16” frame. You can get a 700c wheels. 650c also works. Check out this link about the best commuter bikes we recommend before making a decision. You brother needs a 17″ frame size.

  • Lua says:

    Hi, thank you for this great page!

    I’m looking for a comfortable/city bike but that can also ride on easy dirt trails. I’m 5’11” and want to make sure my feet can easily touch the ground when I stop. I thought a Large frame size would do the trick but I saw a 700C and got confused. Would you know if I’ll be able to put my feet on the ground when still? Many thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      HI Lua,
      Yes, your can always make an adjustment on your bike to make your feet touch the ground easily. This is achieved by lowering the saddle. A 17″ frame is your recommended size. Now, a 700c wheel size applies to most road bike wheel size. Don’t let it bother you. And yes, you can still achieve that by making an adjustment that I have mentioned above. Check out my post about commuter bikes to give you an idea what’s best for you.

  • Melissa says:

    Hi there. I was wondering what size/type you would recommend for me in a ladies’ beach cruiser bike. I want something both easy & comfortable to ride. I am 5’4″ and weigh 190 lbs. , perhaps with a basket & cup holder, as I will solely be keeping it at our beach house and riding for exercise & quick grocery runs.

  • Shami says:

    Hey Jeff, I am a 5’5″ woman looking to buy a Felt FR30W Women’s 105 Road Bike. Only the 43cm is left at my bike shop. Would it suit my height? Wanted your opinion before I buy. Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shami,
      43cm is way too small. Below is your chart:
      5`3″-5`6″ 51-52-53 cm “Small”
      Anything above or below these will cause discomfort. Learn more about the best and comfortable road bikes in our road bike articles.

  • Michelle says:

    What would you suggest for an inexpensive bike for an 11 year old? He’s 5’3-1/2”. He suddenly wants to ride more, but he is an infrequent rider at best and he grows super quickly so I don’t want to make a huge investment that he will outgrow before he gets enough use out of it. Thank you so much.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m wanting to get my daughter an adult tricycle with basket on the back for college. She’s 5’1″. Would a 20″ be ok?

  • HT says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Very informative page. Thanks for sharing all the info.

    Need your advice in my search for a MTB. I’m 5’7”, 26” leg inseam (27” really but 26” to ensure comfort). I’m right in the middle of the Small and Medium size frames. What do you think will work best? Lastly, if I went for a Medium, will a 29” tire size work for me? This is what they have in stock right now.



    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi HT,
      That’s a challenging scenario regarding the only tire size they have available right now. There are pros and cons when getting a 29″:
      Pros: smoother ride over bumps and rock gardens. Acceleration is also good during descends. Extra stability and traction. More resistance to pinch flats. Less tire wear.
      Cons: They have heavier and weaker wheels. You accelerate slower compared to 26″. Braking requires more effort. Tight turns can be tricky. Feels awkward for shorter riders. I’d say go with the 27.5″ because it’s good for your size.
      16” / 17″ frames are ideal for you. Enjoy!

  • Hugo says:

    I just got my 11 year old a 26 inch bike, he is 4’ 11” did i mess up?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hugo,
      You mean a 26″ wheel size? It’s not really a huge issue as long as you have a frame size that’s 14″ or anything under small or extra small. Let me know if this helps. Oh, and have you tried bike fit?

  • Hailey says:

    Hello, I’m 5’10” and looking for a road bike. Would a 17” frame with 27” tires be a good size?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hailey,

      Those are MTB measurements. Road bikes use 700c wheels. By the way those are the recommended MTB measurements for you(if ever you are looking for mountain bikes).
      For road bikes:
      Height: 5`9″-6`0″ Recommended frame sizes: 56-57-58 cm Category: Large

  • Andy says:

    Hi, if my bike has a 17″ frame and has 26″ wheels then what is the total length of the bike please

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Andy,
      Correct me if I am mistaken, but I think you are confusing bike sizing with gear inches. A 17″ frame falls under ‘medium size’ on mountain bikes and “large” under city bikes. a 26″ wheel size is just your regular ‘classic’ MTB wheel size.

  • Esther says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Your website is very helpful. I need your help. I am 20, 5’3″ and weigh about 48kg. I have never ride a bike but I want to learn. Is it too late? If not, what type of bike and frame size do you recommend for me. I am from an African country and some of our roads are quite rugged.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Esther,
      I’d suggest you get a bike with a frame under the ‘small’ category, specifically, a size 15″. For first timers, the best bikes are those with relaxed geometry, like our Best Entry Level Hybrid Bikes. Do let me know if you need more info.

  • Jacki says:

    Hey there. I’m a woman and want a somewhat upright ride, something approaching city bike geometry. I’d kind of rather have a hybrid that is faster and lighter but don’t want to stretch out too far for comfort for my 59 year old neck, shoulders and back. I’m only 5’9 but my inseam is 34”. I’m afraid that a larger bike will get longer along the top tube and stretch me out more. Any advice? Many thanks.

  • Patricia says:

    Hello, so the article stated that you don’t need to test a bike out, find this wrong, different bikes have you sit different, lime the mountain bike, your back is hunch over, others you are seating straight up, others like the townie bike is just perfect, just saying, so if you don’t try them out how are you to know this, thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Patricia,
      The bike charts are there to give us the right bike size. But they are not the only way to solve issues like comfort and handling. Bike fit is essential because it eliminates future discomfort. While it is true that making small adjustments (on the saddle and stem length etc) can improve bike handling/comfort, bike fit is still very important. There are also people who are not very flexible, and are more comfortable with upright riding, compared to the aggressive position of road cycling. So, it is best to have an actual bike fit from your trusted LBS. Cheers!

  • Michael says:

    Hello, I’m looking at a Trek Superfly 100 mountain bike that’s on an amazing deal, although the one available is a Large (19”) frame and I am 5’8” with around a 30 inseam I believe. Would this be too large? Would it be ideal to get a medium, 17” frame for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Michael,
      Fantastic brand as far as I am aware!Yes, that would be a little too big for you. 17″ is ideal. The bike size chart provides sizes that are considered as the ‘sweet spot’ for a rider’s height. Getting a frame beyond your recommended size will cause discomforts such as lower back pain.

  • Jesse says:


    Thanks for the article and all of the helpful comments. I am considering buying either a road bike or a gravel bike in the near future (online), but I feel like the charts I see are often conflicting when it comes to height versus inseam and frame size. I think I’ve narrowed my size down to a 54 for a road bike, however I’m worried because I once owned a size 51 gravel bike in the past and felt like it was too tall even with the seatpost all the way down, but maybe I just needed to get used to it as you mention. My height is 5’9″ and my inseam is 29.5″. I comfortably ride a size 19 MTB. I think maybe my inseam is shorter than most; let me know what you think.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jesse,
      So glad you like the information posted here. Yes no two people have the same body measurements. These sizes are just ranges that are ideal for a particular rider size but then again we still need actual bike fit to be sure. You should be ok with a 56cm road bike. That’s under the large category. Riding a road bike after getting used to MTB is a new experience. The rider position is different because the geometry is more aggressive. It takes a while but you will get used to it.

  • Christine says:

    I REALLY appreciate you for taking the time to make this article. My son is 5′ 11.5″. I haven’t road a bike in over 23 years. I definitely need a large seat for comfort I’m 4’9.5″ what size should I get us and brands? Thank you in advance for your time and response.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Christine,
      Welcome to the world of cycling! You should get your son a 17 inches frame. You need a 13″ or 14” frame to accomodate your size. For beginners, check out this link. Let me know if this helps or you need another option.

  • Stacey B says:

    I am struggling to figure out a bike solution for my son. He’s a big boy and it seems impossible to find a bike that fits him and accommodates his weight.

    He is only 6 years old, so he still needs training wheels. however, he is already 4’5” (53” tall) and weighs 110 pounds, and his inseam from ground to crotch is 21” I believe he has inherited my long torso and short legs.

    I keep seeing various charts that say he should have anywhere from a 16-20” bike and i’m so confused.

    I would be forever grateful if you could help me find something for him. every time I think i find a good fit, the weight limit of the bike is well below his weight. Or if it accommodates his weight, it doesn’t fit his inseam.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,
      According to the Kids Bike Sizes – Choose The Right One, he should be ok with an 18″ and 20″. You can go to a store and give them the measurement and they should be able to figure out what is the right size for him. Most of the time, the measurements overlap. As long as it falls within his range, then he should be ok. Below are his size charts:

      6-8(age) 3’8″ – 4’0″(Height) 115-120cm 20″-24″ 50-60cm 18″
      7-9 4’0″ – 4’5″ 120-135cm 22″-25″ 55-63cm 20″

  • Marilyn Mayhew says:

    Hi Jeff, Just found this site with lots of good information, so thank you. I am considering purchasing an adult tricycle for myself, but only see the sizes listed for 24 or 26 inches. How does one determine which is the best size?
    Thanks so much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Marilyn,
      Riding a tricycle is all about comfort. There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ but rather, your body size should fall within the range of sizes that a tricycle can accommodate. This might help you.

  • Halina says:

    Hi Jeff
    This is a great article, but i’m Still a little worried. I have a small 15”hybrid, and i’m Looking to get a electric road bike for commuting. Looking at the bike first is not an option. The smallest frame size they do is a small. Will this be ok, although I am smaller than the recommended 1.60 m? As long as I can stand without the crossbar digging into my crotch I will be happy

  • Kiran says:

    My height is 5 feet 2 inch… What is the perfect cycle frame size and wheel size.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kieran,
      First of all you did not indicate what type of bike you want. Generally, you should be ok with a frame size that’s between 14″ to 15″. For the wheel size, you can choose between a 24″ and a 26″.

  • Misha says:

    Hi fiends,

    I’m 5’10 what size bike I need to buy?


  • Marija says:

    Hi i’m 5’1 will a 20 inch bike be okay? Tnx

  • Anu says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am 5 feet tall and my brother is 5.11 inches is there a common size which we both can use comfortably, if so what frame and tyre size would you recommend?

    We both are new to cycling and we are looking for a MTB to ride on flat city roads.

    Please suggest.

    Thank you!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anu,
      Your size: 15” / 16″ S
      Your brother: 17″ / 18″ L
      There is no MTB that has a “one size fits all”.

  • Jon says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I am trying to look for MTB or road bike for a commute on mostly flat, but sometimes very steep terrain (all paved). I am 6 ft and about 260 lbs. With the research I have done so far, most places are saying tire size only. What range for both frame and tire size should I look for?

  • Ron says:

    I have a rad Easton 67 can you tell me what size it is?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ron,
      You can measure the length of the seat tube and then you can compare that to the chart. Watch this video to give an idea on measuring.

  • Cathie Maclennan says:

    I am only 4’10” with a 27″ inseam. I’m so confused. I ride basic city trails with a few small hills. What kind of bike and fit would work for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cathie,
      Gravel bikes are hot these days because you can ride them both in the city and on trails. They are lighter than mountain bikes and are fun. Check out this link. Do let me know if you want other option.

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi! I’m trying to buy a bike for my daughter. Thankfully, she’s the same size as me, 5’4 approximately 116 lbs. I want a cruiser. I’ve never ordered one before and all these measurements are confusing. Will a 15 or 16 inch be ok?

  • Tony Garcia says:

    Hello I always ride on a 54cm frame and people used to tell me it was a little small for me. I started using a 56 cm and feels a big. I’m 5 11 and my inseam is 32. Small legs, large torso. Would it be better to ride 54cm with a long stem?
    What do you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tony,
      There are reasons why this is so:
      1. Although the frame was initially too big for you, your body has already gotten used to it
      2. Our body structures vary from person to person. Some have longer legs and shorter torso or the other way around and so that explains why bike charts don’t apply to us. Bike fit the the best way to know that.

      If that size feels right for you then go for it.

  • Katy says:

    Thank you for your post! I am looking for a ride bike. My height is 165 cm and inseam is 70cm. The bike I am looking for has 49 and 52 sizes. It looks like I am between sizes, which one is better to choose bigger or smaller? Thank you!!

  • Sharath says:

    Hi, Im 178 cms, 84 kgs and want to buy elife air (https://www.elifebikes.com/en/elife-air/) is this suitable for my height ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sharath,
      Folding bikes are made with a ‘one size fits all’ idea. That should be OK for you.

  • Curtis Masami Nagao says:

    I’m 6’2 what bike would fit my size

  • Moin says:

    Hi Jeff
    Really impressed with your work.
    I am new to cycling. I am 6ft . 110 kgs
    Want to start with a hybrid bike .
    I would really appreciate your advise on the size of the bike I need to buy

  • Kadeem says:

    Hey hope all is well. I’m 5’11. I just bought a 58cm bike but I’m wondering would this be too big of a fit for me? I’m also 135 pounds. With a pant size of 30’

  • John says:

    Hello. I’m 5’6.5″ tall (inseam is 30-inches) and usually ride small to medium-sized MTB’s. Saying that, I’m interested in a 29’er and was wondering what size frame you would suggest for said 29er?

  • Ruthvik says:

    Hello, im 5.11feet tall and, i weight around 105kgs , i need to buy a city bike, what frame size and wheel size would u suggest me for a comfortable ride sir

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ruthvik,

      You fall under the large frame category. A 17″ frame is good for you. Try getting 700c with 32 or 38c tires. These are comfortable tires to ride around.

  • Kumar says:

    Hi Jeff,
    You have done excellent article. It really very useful for me. I have planned to buy new bike or daily use of 15 kilometers in city roads . My height 180 cm, weight : 81 Kg, Inseam 79 cm , As per your article, i have opted 17″ Frame (Large) size. but I do not know that how to set/select saddle height, wheel size and handle bar angle .

    I am expecting your reply. Thanks in advance Jeff

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kumar,
      Good question. Getting a bike fit is important to ensure ride comfort. For saddle height, watch this. For wheel size, the most common and comfortable to ride is 27.5. For handle bar angle, watch this.

  • IAN says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I ordered the 2021 TCR ADVANCED PRO 1 DISC. My height is 5’5, one store recommended an XS and another store recommended Small. I ended ordering the Small. When I went to GIANT’s sizing guide my height is between XS and small. Please help me make the right choice. Here’s the link of their sizing chart . https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcr-advanced-pro-1-disc-2021. Thank you in Advance for your expert advise.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ian,
      I feel your worries. Size categories can overlap and that is why it is better to see numbers or ranges that will fit us. Look at the road bike chart below:
      5`3″-5`6″ 160-168 cm 51-52-53 cm Small

      As you can see, 5’5″ is categorized under small. As long as you get the frame sizes that are closer to your height then you should be ok.

  • Henry W. says:

    Hi Jeff, first mountain bike, 5`11′, inseam 76cm. negative ape index, should I get a 16.5′ (42cm) or 18′ (46cm)?

  • Joy says:

    Hello Jeff! (1) My son needs a bike with training wheels – he is 9.5 years old, and 4′ tall, about 55 lbs. He has been hesitant to learn, but I think now is a good time as any. What size bike can I get for him that still has training wheels? (2) I also need a bike for myself – I am 5′ and 125 lbs. I don’t mind getting a girl’s bike for myself so that it fits better. What size bike can I get for myself? Thank you so much!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Joy,
      It’s great to know you are getting your son early on cycling. Get him a bike with size 14″ wheel. For you, get a bike that’s under xs(extra small) with a frame size of 14″.

  • Joe W says:

    I’m 5’7”-5’8” with a 26-27” inseam, would I be better off with a 16 or a 17 inch frame?

  • Joe W says:

    I have a 26-27 inch inseam and I’m 5’7”- 5’8”. Would a 17” bike work be best or 16”?

  • Asif Mirza says:

    Hello sir
    What is the minimum height of a bicycle of 16 inch frame size and 26*1.95 Tyre size and will it be suitable for 170 cm height person

  • RC says:

    Hi, I’m 6’3, what size hybrid bike should I purchase?

    Frame & inches?

  • Miha says:

    Hello Jeff, excellent article, very useful! But it has put me in a dillemma and I would value your opinion. I’m 175 cm tall (5’9), with an inseam of 78 cm (30 3/4”). I have an old bike (advertised as a city bike but today we’d call that a hybrid – triagular frame, relatively narrow tires, straight handlebar). The frame size is 57 cm (22.4”) – measured like in the picture under “Method one” in your article. Judging by all info in the article, I’d have to conclude this bike is too big for me. Since I haven’t ever used a different bike, can you please tell me, what I could expect if I bought a smaller framed bike? How does the frame size itself influence the ride? Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Miha,
      Not really if you look at the Road Bike Chart: 5`9″-6`0″/175-183 cm = 56-57-58 cm(frame) “Large”. As you can see, you are still within the range.Just be careful with the conversion. I think you are OK with that size. I think your body should also be the judge when it comes to bike sizes. That is why bike fit is important because no two people have the same fit. The range is just there to show you that you are ‘safe’ as long as you don’t go below or above the range. Various factors like saddle height, stem length or handlebar angle can also contribute to the comfort of riding.

  • Rick Keil says:

    Hi Jeff. 1st road bike. 64 years old. 230 lbs. 5-11.5 , 30.5 inseam. Do I purchase a 56 or 58 bike.

    Thanking you in advance.


  • Clint Bollinger says:

    My son is 9yo but is already 154cm. He’s a tall skinny kid, at only about 95lbs. Has already outgrown his bmx style bike, and I think we need to jump him up to more of a mountain bike style. With him growing so quickly, what do you suggest? We looked at a medium, but it seems so big for 9yo, but then looked at a small and thought he would outgrown that in a year.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rick,
      I agree that he is in a situation where he needs a bike that fits his age group. I’d suggest that you need to get him the right size to avoid discomfort. You can always sell it once he outgrow the size. We are looking about 2 years, which isn’t really hard. Here’s the range for his size to give you an idea: 148-158 cm (which he falls under) 61-73 cm/ < 14″ (the range of sizes to fit him) XS.

  • Kim says:

    What’s the best size bike for a 6’7” man, with long leg length

  • rajeev says:


    I am close to 6.1feet, male 92k.g, and looking for bikes to ride. This is for riding in-roads with in the community. Can you suggest what type, frame size and wheel size should I buy?

    Thank you very much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rajeev,
      Get frame sizes between 17 – 19 inches. How about checking my post about hybrid bikes? This category might be something that will appeal to you. Do let me know what you think. Cheers!

  • Shawn rayzhall says:

    Hey, just bought a new M size trail mountain bike, but im seriously curious bout the sizing the bike shop recomend me L size but need to pre-order , couldnt wait much longer i just took the M size , im about 6 ” or around 183, so whats your opinion..?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shawn,

      Some categories overlap so it is safer to pay attention to frame sizes. As long as your bike falls under the 56-57-58 cm measurements then you will ok.

  • Ahmed Mustafa says:

    Hi, my height is 187 and I saw a product which says 26’ size mountain bike is right on my size

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ahmed,
      Here’s your chart: 6`0″-6`3″ 185-193 cm 28`-33` 71-83 cm 18″ / 19″ XL

      26″ can mean wheel size. Most mountain bike wheel sizes are: 26″ 27.5″ and 29″.

  • Raphael says:

    Please kindly advise me. I am 5feet 5inches tall. I am contemplating on buying a bicycle of model: 28 “inch city bike Shimano 21-speed. Please is it a good fit for me?

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Jeff I’m trying to determine my road bike size. I’m 5’9 and ride a large size mountain bike (Giant Trance) although for my height I should fit a medium. I could not ride the medium it was too small. My inseam is 34” and I have a short torso we caused the problem of size. Can you help me to determine which size frame to try as I want to buy used.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah,
      You can get a large one. 56-57-58 cm range of frame sizes are ok for your height.

  • Sam says:

    Hi, I am 5’ 5” and my inseam is 30“. Am looking for a bike and I don’t see many options online. Among the limited options currently available, is 26” wheel and 17” frame a good size for me? Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sam,
      Are you getting a road bike or a mountain bike? 17″ is too big for you. Get something around 15″ – 16″.

  • suresh babu santhanam says:

    i want to buy a mountain bike which my self and son ride (same one). i am 5.6ft and my son 5.3ft (12yrs old). What frame size and wheels size suitable for us? can you please suggest?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Suresh,
      You two fall under different categories in frame sizes. You need a frame size between 15″ – 16″, while he needs 13″ – 15″. But, if he is 12, then he can ride the same bike as you have soon. For wheels you can get a 26″.

  • Richard Hartland says:

    I’m 5’7″ with a large body frame (fat). I’m looking to move to Gravel Bikes from Hybrids. And not sure if I should go small or medium size frame. Please can you advise?

  • Asif Mirza says:

    Hello Sir,
    I am 170cm tall and I am going to buy elektron m368+ e bicycle of frame size 17.5 inch and Tyre size 27.5*2.1 inch .pls suggest is this ideal size of bicycle for me.

  • vidkar says:


    I am close to 5’3, female 140 lbs, and looking for bikes to ride. This is my first bike and unfortunately since not much bikes are available in stores, or online, am not able to check them before buying. This is for riding in-roads with in the community. Can you suggest what type, frame size and wheel size should I buy?

    Thank you very much.

  • Peter says:

    Hi, the product I just found only shows the bike size: “150x25x(59-70)cm/59×9.8x(23-27.5)in” on ebay. My height is about 169cm and I don’t know if the bike would fit me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Peter,

      You fall in the medium side. You need a frame that’s between 16 – 17 inches. Beyond that will cause major discomfort.

  • Garima says:

    Hello, I am 153cm in height. Looking to buy a city bike. While I understand that 14-15″ might be the size for me to go for, how do I really read the wheel size that’s given (20″, 24″, 26″ etc? Thanks for your help in advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Garima,
      Wheel sizes can contribute to the comfort of the ride. The bigger/wider, the more comfortable. The advantage of tires with smaller diameters (20″ or 16″) is that they are easy to store and they don’t weight a lot. It is up to you which do you favor most: portability or comfort.

  • Chance says:

    Hey Jeff I’m trying to find out what frame size works best for me. I’m 5’10 (or very close to it). I used the inside seam measurement method x.66 for mountain bikes. The measurement I came up with was 52.xx. Curious what size you’d recommend

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Chance,
      You need a frame sizes around 17″ / 18″. Any of these will work for you. They are under the large category.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I need a cheap bike that’s 16 inches

  • Jehen Joshi says:

    I am 5′ 5″. I am thinking to buy James trail x expert. The store has only 15″ frame (small). From the chart, I can either use small or medium frame. Jamis has only frame size of small (15″) and medium (17″) and does not have 16″ frame. Is it ok to use small frame or medium frame in my case?

  • Koen Gysels says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My height is 176cm (5 feet and 9.3 inches) and I have an inseam of 86,5cm (2feet and 10inches).
    Judging from the inseam, your tables tell me I need size 20 ” 21 ”. This is of course too big if you also take into account my height.
    Can you please help on this?

    kind reagards

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Koen,

      No, according to your chart this is the range where you fall :5’7″ – 5’11” = 16 – 17 inches frame size.

  • Jafer says:

    I am 158 cm height with inseam 73, what is my MTB size ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jafer,
      According to our chart, you fall under the 15” / 16″ range which is categorize under small.

  • Nashla Fernandez says:

    Hi i have a Daughter she is 11 and is 5 feet tall what wheel size should i get .

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nashla,
      Get her a size xs(extra small). We’re talking about a frame size that’s 14″ and below.

  • Don says:

    Hi Sir Jeff, I need your advise, My height is almost 5’4″ I’m thinking to buy this MTB bike,

    24″ inch wheels
    Frame Dimension
    Top tube length: 479.3 mm
    Seat tube length: 345 mm
    Chainstay length: 415 mm
    Seat post length: 370 mm
    Head angle: 68.2°

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Don,
      You can get a 26′ tire because that’s common. You also need a frame size that between 15” / 16″ under the ‘small’ category. I would suggest you also need to get a proper bike fit to avoid future discomfort.

  • Jf says:

    Help me buy my bike please

  • Keara says:

    Hi. My height is 164cm and inseam is 78.75cm. Looking for road bike — racing style/aggressive with short wheelbase. What size frame would you say would be best for me. Also I am a female and have decently long arms. Sizing charts and methods always fit me in between sizes and it’s hard to tell since they’re geared towards males.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Keara,
      You should be ok with bike sizes suited for riders around 5’3″ to 5’6″. These are under the small category. Make sure to look for frames with 51-52-53 cm sizes. Read my review of the best road bikes of 2020 here.

  • Jehen Joshi says:

    I am 5′ 5″. I am thinking to buy Jamis trail x expert. The store has only 15″ frame (small). From the chart, I can either use small or medium frame. Jamis has only frame size of small (15″) and medium (17″) and does not have 16″ frame. Is it ok to use small frame or medium frame in my case?

  • Tricia says:

    Looking to get new bike for my 13 year old. He’s already 5ft 6 and still growing. So wondering if a 17” is best option.

  • Shabam says:

    Im 5″7, -5″ 8 and i was looking at a large road bike stating 5″9+ , can i still buy this bike since its a good deal and nice bike?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shabam,
      I don’t think that is a good idea. That is why we have bike sizing charts and bike fit. You need to stick with your recommended size.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shabam,

      Just make sure it is categorized under “medium”. You should be ok with sizes of 16” / 17″.


    hi sir,

    looking for a 29er size, im 5’6” feet at 80 kls.
    small,medium for a 29er mtb hardtail?

    thank you

  • RK says:


    I am 5’9″ tall and my inseam measurement is 31″. I got a Cannondale synapse road bike on sale from a 3rd party and did not see the measurement. After I started riding, I measured the frame and is 51 cm. I don’t feel uncomfortable riding it but should I increase the saddle height to make it most comfortable. What is the optimum size for me in a road bike / City bike

    Please advice

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi RX,
      The optimum size for you is between 56-57-58 cm under the “Large” category. But then again, our bodies are built differently. You can try doing that to the saddle height to see if it works.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi RK,

      It is too small for you. Get the one that’s right for your size, which is large: 56-57-58 cm.

  • Annette Elliott says:

    Hi. I just sold a bike that was too big for my height. I’m 5’1 with an inseam 28. It looks like I need a small or extra small. I just want a hybrid. Looking at a Liv Flourish 4, but not sure on size. Any suggestions?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Annette,

      You need a frame sizes between 13″ to 14″. Yes that falls under extra small.

  • Ammu says:

    I’m 5’3 female looking for a mountain bike. What’s the best tire size and frame size for me?

  • David says:


    I’m looking to buy my first road bike. I’m 5’10” with a 30” inseam. The two sizes I am deciding between are 54cm and 56cm. I currently ride a 53cm track bike which feels good. I’m just concerned that the 56 is too big but most size calculators suggest 56cm. Thanks in advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi David,

      Yes you should be ok with size 56. This size should help prevent discomfort during long rides.

  • Aris says:

    Hello im looking to buy a new bike from amazon
    My height is 5-10ft or 178cm and bike measurement is this
    Frame size 22 inches
    Material type Aluminium
    Number of speeds 22
    Suspension None
    Wheel size 700 millimetres
    Included components bike

    This is a road Bike do you think that would good size for me
    let me because i’m eager to buy it 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aris,

      As long as you don’t go beyond the 56-57-58 cm frame sizes and you should be ok. Beyond that is too big for you. This frame is too big for you.

  • Rob says:

    Wow! You’ve really got a lot of great info here! I only wish I had read it before I bought my Journeyman. I’m 5’8, 5’9 with shoes😁, with a 30” inseam. I probably should’ve bought a 54”, but the store only had a 55.5” and with the bike shortage right now, I thought it would be fine. I replaced the handlebar stem with a shorter one and the seat is set pretty low. The bike feels good riding, but when I straddle it, the bar comes right up to the crotch flat footed. I can probably return it, but it would be a huge hassle (I drove about 3 hours away). Would you consider this bike fine as it is? Or worth trying to get a smaller size? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rob,
      If it feels good while riding then that should be ok. We all have different body measurements regardless of the similarities in height.55.5 is for someone who is already 5’9. It is worth trying to get a bike your size if you can. But, you can make other adjustments like the fore & aft or saddle angle. Get the feel of it and listen to what your instinct is telling you.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks for the reply Jeff. Good advice. Still experimenting with the saddle.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rob,
      You are welcome. Just remember, a millimeter can make a difference in comfort.

  • LaShon Malone says:

    What does 700c stand for in bike size. I’m 5’7″ with 32 inseam and I’m looking at a 28 inch 700c.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi LaShon,

      Let me quote from http://www.centurycycles.com
      “700C tires
      The modern standard for road, cyclocross, and many hybrid tires is 700C. You’ll also find 700C tires on some European-style cruiser bikes.

      The “700” refers to the rough outer diameter of the tire, although the actual outer diameter will vary greatly, depending on the type of tire and tread pattern. The “C” means NOTHING; it does not stand for “centimeters.” Think about it–a 700-centimeter tire would be HUGE, over 21 feet tall! And don’t say “700CC” unless you want to look like a complete newbie. For the origin of the term 700C, see “A Brief History of 700C” below.

      The BSD of 700C tires is 622mm.

      Most high-performance road bike tires have a width of 23 or 25 millimeters, although some are as narrow as 18mm or as wide as 28mm. Cyclocross and touring tires range from 28mm to 38mm (although the maximum width for officially-sanctioned cyclocross events is 32mm), and hybrid bikes use tires 35mm to 45mm.

      You’ll find the size printed on the side of most tires, e.g. 700Cx28. Sometimes, the manufacturers will put the “C” after the width number, e.g. 700x35C, leading some people to incorrectly read it as 700×350, which again, if correct, would be a HUGE tire!

      To make matters even more confusing, sometimes the size is printed on the tire as the width followed by the BSD, e.g. 23-622.”

      Better get a medium frame between 54-55 cm.
      28c is good for gravel riding.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi I’m a 5ft 2 female looking for a road bike. Size small in the women’s bike I’m looking at ends at 5ft 3 but I just can’t get hold of any. A mens size small starts at 5ft 3, would this be too big for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah,

      I don’t think so but you need to get a bike fit to ensure comfort. Recommended frames are based on your height.

  • Dawn says:

    Hi, where does a beach cruiser fall yo, category? I’m 5’ 5”, i want a bike without gears to mess with

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dawn,

      It falls under ‘comfort bikes’ due to its geometry. A single-speed beach cruiser is something you might probably want to check. Look for a 16” frame listed under ‘medium.” More on our commuter bikes here

  • Mike says:


    I’ve been looking for a new road bike. My bike shop is helping me but I’m a bit confused so thought I’d ask your advice. I’m looking at a second hand bike for not much money. My bike shop stated I’d need a 56 frame (I’m 5’10”). I saw him today and he had an old Montana road bike come in. He’ll do it up for me for 220 euros. However, on the frame it’s got 52 written on it. He showed me how he measures the frame and compared it to a 54 frame (on a trek road bike) to show how the bike for me is actually bigger. He seemed to dismiss the fact that 52 was written on it. I took it out for a spin and it seemed ok, but what do I know? This guy is well known here in the area of Flanders where I live and I’m a bit confused… whats your advice?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi MIke,
      While it is true everyone has differences in body structure, it is best to rely on standard charts that have been around for a long time. This is to avoid future discomfort. There are bikes who seem to be ok at first or second spin, but after a while you’ll notice a growing series of body aches and pains. The frame sizes that should be ok with you are: 56-57-58 cm. These fall under the large category. 54 is medium.

    • Windle Alba says:

      Im 5’5 in height and 64kilos.

      What is the best size for me? Do i get size 16?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Windle,

      Yes size 16″ is perfect for you.

  • Abel Carranza says:

    Hi im 6ft tall. with inseam of 32. Is there any way of me pulling off riding a 55 frame comfortably?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Abel,
      No, there is no way to pull that off. Even if you make seat post or stem adjustments, the size will create future discomfort. Remember that every centimeter counts. You should choose frames with 58-59-60 cm sizes and these are under XL.

  • Mike says:

    Looks like I will need a 21 inch frame. I am 6’4.
    Is there any consideration about wheel size for a 21 inch frame ?
    I will be buying a mountain bike for street and bike path only.
    Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mike,
      Yes, 21″ will be ok for you. That’s under the XXL category. The 27.5″ is the populate choice these days. You can also get the 29″ if you want to cruise rock gardens smoothly.

  • Mulmi says:

    My hight is 5’8 feet what size of bike should i buy?

  • Gemma says:

    Hi, I currently ride a size 56 road bike but looking to upgrade, I’m 5’10 with 34in inside leg measurement. Should I be looking to buy the same size again?

  • John Lymm says:

    Very informative article. Where would a small folding commuter bike fit (16″ or 20″) wheels fit into the sizing system please

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi John,
      It is categorized under City bike/ Hybrid commuter types. Note that the standover height of the bike is not really crucially affected by wheel choice.

  • Michael McFadden says:

    Hi, I’m 5′-10″ with an inseam of 31.5″. Looking for a road bike, would 56cm frame work or should I go down to a 54″ frame?

    Am looking at a used 56″ frame that I love, wondering if I could make that work.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Michael,
      You fall under these range: 56-57-58 cm otherwise known as Large. No, 54 is too small for you.

  • Jan Holliday says:

    Hi Jeff, great article!

    However the sizing for hybrid bikes confuses me here. Is this also for drop bar gravel bikes?
    First off, I am 1,89cm (~ 6’2″) tall with an 87cm inseam (~34″)
    I’m looking for a Kona Rove ST but my size chart on the website is right between 56 & 58.
    For gravel bikes, would the smaller size be easier to fine tune to my correct size, or the larger frame size?
    Also I have heard, that Kona bikes size larger than others. Your input is appreciated.
    Best regards,

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jan,

      Thank you! Gravel bikes still fall under road bikes and are using the same measurement system. Yes you still fall under 58-59-60 cm otherwise known as XL. 56 is too small for you.

  • Jonathan Smith says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I just bought a used 2012 Motobacane 29er, it is a 21″ frame. I’m 6′ with a 33.5″ inseam. For light trail riding do you think this bike is too big?

    Thanks for reading.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      No. It is just perfect. Do take note of other factors like saddle fore & aft, saddle setback, stem length etc that may influence riding comfort.

  • Shane Logan says:

    Thanks for the info. I am wanting to order a Canyon and where I live is almost impossible to test ride (MI) I am looking for the inflite and it is saying with my measurements 178cm height and a 82cm inseam that I am a small. I ride a 56 (lg) diverge and it feels great, seems crazy to go down two sizes. I get the more aggressiveness of a cx type bike in lieu of a gravel. Do you have any experience concerning the canyon sizing?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shane,
      I don’t know where you are basing the sizes but here are the actual measurements : 5`9″-6`0″ 178-185 cm(this is where you fall under. So, we are looking for a frame size between 17″ / 18″, under Large.

  • Vanessa says:

    According to all of the size methods, I would get a 15-16” frame; however, I’m only finding 14” and 17” frames available. Which size should I order. I’m 5’5” with a 30” inseam. Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vanessa,
      That’s the problem with ordering bikes without a proper bike fit. Is there a way for you to return the bike when it doesn’t fit you? Getting a smaller frame might create discomfort in the long run.

  • T says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I’m looking at the 6KU Single Speed but unsure on sizing – 55cm & 58cm frames

    My dimensions:

    Height – 183cm ish
    Arm Span – 190cm ish
    Inseam – 83cm ish

  • Amy says:

    Hi Jeff! 🙂
    I’m looking for a hybrid/city bike. My height is 5’5” with an inseam of 27.5. I saw one chart (height only) said a 15-16 inch bike was keen. On another chart I saw that my height and inseam calculated to 18” I’m not sure which way I should go to chose the right bike. I found an affordable used bike but it’s 24” is that too big? Your input is greatly appreciated. Tyia

  • Gary Martin says:

    Hi. I am 6 ft 6 in with 37 inseam.


  • james says:

    Hi Jeff Thanks for the article

    Im 5′ 8” male 30 inch inseam and im looking at commuter/city step thru bike that comes in size S/M 17.5 inch frame with 26” wheels and M/L 19” Inch frame with 27.5 inch wheels I cant decide between the 2 sizes.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi James,
      Actually you fall in the 16” category which is medium. The former measurement you have also works. Don’t go bigger than those.

  • Cody says:


    Thank you for this article, really helpful! My height is 5’4″ with an inseam of 28″ and arm length of 68″. Wondering which road bike frame size you would recommend?

  • Jim DeSerrano says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Interesting read.
    I am trying to get my girlfriend into riding – in her 40’s and hasn’t been on a bike since this summer. She started using her daughter’s but it is an XS frame Trek mountain bike. I’ve been telling her I think it’s too small. We have started to look at other bikes and looking at a dual sport that the handle bars are slightly higher. For one of the bikes we are looking at trying to choose between 15″ and 17″, would either size work or would one be more suitable than the other?
    She is 5″7″-5″8″ with an inseam of almost 31″ (30 3/4).
    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks… Jim

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jim,
      Wow that is too small. She should be ok with 16” / 17″ frame which is under ‘medium.’

  • Alex Cockayne says:


    looking at a carrera crossfire 2 hybrid bike.

    6ft tall with an inside leg of approx 33 inch. Getting conflicting recommendations of as low as 17/18 inch frame upto 20-21 inch! HELP! 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alex
      Good question! The reason why there is no exact number is because no two people have the exact measurement. But the range can give you an idea where you should be, and not to go under of over that range. You should be good with the 17 – 19 inches range. Other factors like stem length, saddle height, fore & aft can contribute to the comfort.

  • Alex says:

    hi, great article,

    currently looking into purchasing a carrera crossfire 2 hybrid – 6ft on the dot in height and a inside leg of around 33inch. Would the medium (18inch) suffice? states for heights between 5’8 and 6’1

    Your expertise would be appreciated 🙂

  • Dora says:

    I am 5 ft with an inseam of 27 and my husband is 5.5 with inseam of 30. we are looking for an easy mount bikes. What would you recommend and what size

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dora,
      For you, a frame of 14″ (XS) is good for you. Your husband will be ok with 16” / 17″ (M) frame.

  • Liam says:

    I’m 5’9.5”, 2ft 8inch inseam, what size road bike should I get

  • Pranav Pillai says:

    I found an XL frame road bike, and I feel most comfortable on it compared to a medium/large one, but I’m only 5″8?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Pranav,
      No two people have the same body structure. Trust your body and not simply base on standard measurement. If it feels good then that should be OK. There are a couple of things that can contribute to the comfort like the saddle height, the stem length etc.

  • Florian says:


    I am about to buy a new roadbike with a very classic steel frame geometry and I have two choose between 56 cm and 59 cm frame size. I can’t test it before ordering, so I am a bit unsure which one to pick. I am 182 cm which makes me think 56 could be enough, but with my inseam of 87 cm and arm span of 190 cm the 59 could be just doable although it sounds a bit high.

    Many Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Florian,

      You fall under the large category so these measurements are still good for you: 56-57-58 cm (L) Yes 59 is beyond your range.

  • Cheryl says:

    I am trying to figure out what kind of bike to get. I’m 5’ and I haven’t been in a bike for over 20 years. My little ones just learned how to ride and all are insisting I join them. Any suggestions on what I should look for? Thank you in advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      You can look into the hybrid category which is friendly for your body and riding condition. Choose a frame size under 14” (XS). Check out my post about Hybrid Bikes.

  • Lisa says:

    Hi there. Can you tell me what size electric bike size is best for me please? I am 5′ 9″ tall with a 31″ inseam.

    Thanks so much!


  • Stacey says:


    I’ve just bought myself a junior mountain bike with 24″ wheels. I am 5ft1 with an inseam of 27″. I have raised the seat as I felt I was sitting too low. I’ve been on a bike ride today and feel like I’m struggling so much. Also when I turn the wheel, it’s scuffs on the front of my shoe. Causing me to go off balance. Is there anything that I can do to make it more comfortable? Or should I return the bike and get a different size?
    Many thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,

      It looks like the bike is not the right size for you. Did you get a bike fit? It is very important. For your size, you need a frame size between 15” / 16″ under ‘Small’. Below or above that will cause discomfort.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,

      Bike comfort has something to do with the frame size. Choose a frame with 15” size and this is under the “Small” category.

  • Chancey says:

    Hi. I am 5’2. What size bike should I get? Looking for a road bike.

  • Vijay patel says:

    I am 6’3 and 88cm inseam. Want a bike which i can run in city and also work for my fitness. Which one and size you suggest

  • Jennifer Bradley says:

    I would like to start biking for fun with my son and for exercise. I will be riding on roads, bike trails, and gravel travels. I am 5’7 and my inseam is 32. I am currently looking at a used Trek hybrid bike with a 17″ frame. Do you think 17 is too big and should I stick with 16?

    Thanks so much,

  • lfc599 says:

    Of 3 measurements 2 say I need 17″ yet another 1 says I need 20″. Now I am still none the wiser

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ifc599,

      It is just a recommended range for your height. As long as you don’t go below or above the range then you will be ok. Remember that there are other factors that add to bike comfort like: seat angle, height, and handle bar position/length.

  • Jason says:

    Jeff can you help me out please 🙂 I’m looking to start cycling , I’m 6,2 ,11 ,5. Stone can recommend inch bike ,I don’t know what s to small or big.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jason,

      For your height of 6’2, choose a frame between 19 – 21 inches. You are under XL. Great to know you are going for the healthy lifestyle.

  • Daniel says:

    Hi, I’m 177cm tall and I’ve got a 80cm inseam.. Which size Merida Scultura 4000 would I buy if i’m gonna use it in races?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Daniel,

      You fall under the large category. You should be ok with sizes 56-57-58 cm. Good luck on those races.

  • Abhishek Bishnoi says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My height is 5.11 ft and weight 90 kgs. What size of bycycle do you recommend 24 or 26.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Abhishek,

      Your height translate into these compatible frame sizes: 56-57-58 cm, under Large category.

  • Jo Nathan says:

    Hey, I’m 6’4” and am looking for a mountain bike or road bike. What size dream should I be looking for in each category?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jo,
      You belong to the XXL category. For road bikes you look for these frame sizes: 61-62-63 cm. For mountain bikes, these: 73-86 cm 19″ +, under XXL.

  • Hector says:

    Hello Jeff,

    Wondering if you can please provide your professional guidance. I’m 5’8 and weight 178 pounds. Which mountain bike will best fit me? 24″ or 26″?

    Thank you for your time and help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hector,
      if we base your height on the standard bike size chart, you fall under the frame sizes of 16” / 17″. This is classified under “medium.”

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I want to learn to ride a bicycle and would like your help to pick the right size/type, please.

    I am rather tall, curvy woman- 5ft 7″ tall (170cm) with 34″ inseam (86.36cm). I would like to ride for pleasure while having some work out going on in the process.

    Please advise. Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Debbie,
      If that is the case, then you should pick up a city bike/commuter type of bike. You can also look for hybrid bikes. The suggested frame size for you is size 16”

  • Arman Chermakyan says:


    I’m Arman Chermakyan. I am very new to biking. I’m trying to look for a bike that can handle both well on the road and on the trails. My height is 5’11. What size bike is best recommended according to my overall height?
    I really appreciate you letting me know!
    Arman Chermakyan

  • Siobhan says:

    WOW! sizing is obviously very complex seeing all the comments. I’m looking to upgrade my bicycle. I have a 20 year-old very heavy ‘beach cruiser’. I’m looking at buying a Hybrid. I’m in pretty good shape but live in a very hilly town. I’m 5’9″ with a 37″ inseam (yep, long legs), weigh 150lbs. My current bike has 26″ wheela & the seat is at 38″ from the ground. What size of bike should I be looking at? The charts don’t really cover my height/inseam.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Siobhan,

      Look for a hybrid bike with 17″ frame. You also need to consider seat adjustment like the fore & aft, height and also angle. A cm can make a big difference in terms of riding comfort. Check out my post about Hybrid Bikes.

  • Karen Holczimmer says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Haven’t ridden a bike since I was a teenager so really nervous about riding again,but something I have thinking about doing recently. Really need to start thinking about my health and getting some exercise as I’m about to hit 50 !
    So really looking for a type of bike or any kind of recommendation . Can you help ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Karen,

      It is good to know you are thinking of your fitness. A hybrid bike will be a good choice for you because of its comfort and also stability. Check out my post about Best Hybrid Bikes.

  • Anil says:

    Hello Jeff,

    I am a male adullt with a height of 5’3″ with a bare feet in-seam length of 30″. I have zeroed in on buying a mountain bike of 14″ frame size. Can you please advise, if that’s the right size? The only other frame sizes available are 17″ and 20″ for the model that I am looking at.

    Thanks and regards.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anil,

      Something around the size of 15” / 16″ is good for you. That’s under ‘small.’ Anything smaller or bigger can cause discomfort in the long run.

  • charol says:


    My height is 167cm and inseam leg 76 cm. i have a road bike on size 52. should i to try on size 50 or just change a position of the saddle? should i upgrade stem to a smaller one? . i bought online so i didn’t fit the bike.

    thanks you so much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Charol,

      Size 50 is already extra small (xxl) so 52 is ok. You can get a shorter stem and also adjust your saddle fore & aft to give you better comfort. Here’s more on saddle fore & aft

  • Dawn says:


    My height is 155cm and inside leg 74cm. I have a 14 inch frame with 24″ wheels and it feels too small. would a 14″ frame with 26″ wheels be any better? I have tried a few 16″ frames which are just too big, cant get my feet down. I don’t want to make another mistake, especially ordering online.

    Thanks so much, any advice appreciated.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dawn,
      You should be OK with the current frame size that you have. If it feels too small, try adjusting the saddle height. You can also try to upgrade to a longer stem.

  • Shahid says:

    My son is 10 years old and he is 4’7. Would a 24′ bike be good for him? Or should we go bigger?

  • Jim says:

    My wife is 4’11” and has a 25 inch inseam. What size beach cruiser should she get?

  • hi!
    I’m 6’0 tall and am looking for a bike that will do well on bike trails and casual riding. I don’t know what size I am and want a bike that will last along time!

  • Jake says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I just bought a hybrid with a 20” frame. I’m 5’6 and although this bike is deemed too big for my height, I’ve lowered the seat all the way to make it comfortable. I want to ask, why is it that my recommended road bike size is 52cm; and while 20” is equal to 50cm…would that mean that this hybrid bike is actually my correct size?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jake,
      For your height, you need a frame from 15 – 16 inches. Now that’s size ‘small.’ So that hybrid bike is not your size. You should not get a frame size larger than 51-52-53 cm. It will give you discomfort in the long run. Remember that that basis for bike measurement is different. You got 58-59-60 cm which is for XL.

  • andrew rojo says:

    hi I’m 5’8” in height and my wife is 5’1”. we intend to buy one bike, can you recommend a frame size that we can both fit in?? thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Andrew,
      A frame between 16 – 17 inches is a recommended size for you. For her, it’s 13 – 15 inches. It is impossible to get a ‘one size fits all’ kind of bike because it will cause physical discomfort in the long run. I suggest you buy two bikes with recommended sizes.

  • James says:

    I’m 6’5 what size bike should I get, just something I can ride with my family.

  • Mike Reynolds says:

    I am 6’0” and am working on getting my weight under control. I want to start riding but I have no clue what type to get that is budget friendly. I literally just want to be able to go out and ride a bike for exercise and maybe get something higher end if i take to it. Also does my weight help determine the size of the bike or is it simply my height?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mike,
      It looks like you need a hybrid bike for your riding. Hybrids are easy on the body and they can help you with your weight loss. Check out my post about Best entry hybrid bikes For your height you need a frame under XL. Somewhere around 18″

  • Martin says:

    Very insightful article, thanks for all the tips. I have a more complicated question. I have a rather weird body, longer lower body and arms and shorter upper body or chest. I am roughly 5,8 when I stretch then 5,9 around that. My inseam length of my leg is 85Cms, I should have a 58 cms frame which I ordered and unfortunately the frame is too long for me. it can fit my legs and arms and all but because my upper body is short its too long. I have to send the bike back and now am bait confused ordering another bike online if I should go with 56 cms in relations to my height or I order a 54 cms frame? Whats your opinion on this? Please note that I adjusted the seat and this was already not helpful on the 58cms frame bike.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Martin says:

      If I may add on to this, am trying to buy a Gravel Bike. I also wonder if you have any recommendations where one could buy bikes online a reputable site to check out for Gravel Bikes.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martin,

      Please check my Best Gravel Bikes post before buying. These are the best in the market, so far.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martin,

      Yes not everyone has the same body structure. Try to make an adjustment with stem length and handlebars. There are small incremental adjustments you can so and they can affect your riding comfort. You can still go with the 56 provided you shorted the stem a little bit. You can also adjust the saddle fore & aft which can impact the comfort.

  • Carrie says:

    I am 5’2 ,115 lbsand haven’t ridden a bike in ions but I’m not in bad shape. I want to purchase a bike not too expensive, but willing to invest a bit. My udea is to ride on the streets, but maybe also on trails in Gettysburg on trips. What kind of bike and size would you recommend.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carrie,
      I think what you need is a gravel bike. Gravel bikes are the trend these days and you can use them on flats and off road. Check out my post on Best Gravel Bikes

  • Steve says:

    I’ve read through the sizing info but still have a question. According to my height (5’3″), I should be looking at a seat tube of about 15″. But, according to my inseam of 29″, I should be opting for a 20″ bike. What does the 20″ refer to?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Steve,

      20″ refers to wheel size. They are associated with small bikes or kids’ bikes.

  • Ahmed Ali says:

    I am 180 CM and when I placed my order on L frame Silverback 29MD it turned out to be out of stock and the shop is offering the XL frame instead, do you think I should take it? I fear that it will be too big

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ahmed,

      “Large” is the right size for your height. Yes, you can make little adjustments like the seat post height and stem length etc but, I would suggest you stick to recommended frame size to avoid discomfort in the future.

  • Melissa says:

    Hello trying to buy a bike for my 13 year old. He is 5’4 and has a 28 inch inseam. I was thinking a 26” bike with 18” frame. Is that a good size? I’m worried it’s too big but I know he will grow so I was thinking I would put the seat as low as possible. Please help

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Melissa,
      Yes, a 26″ bike with 18” frame is a good size! Remember that other factors such as seat height and handlebar adjustments can add to the comfort.

  • ORJ says:

    Thank you for this great information!

    How much does wheel size matter? I have a lot of 24 and 26 inch options, and don’t know whether it makes a difference.

    I’d like to purchase a mountain bike for my daughter, who is tall for her age (she’s only 11) and still growing. She is 62in tall, with a 29.25 inseam. Based on your article, I figure she needs a 15-16inch frame, but what size wheels?

    Thanks so much,

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi ORJ,
      It doesn’t really make a difference. You can still adjust the bike for comfort in terms of seat post height and angle. Cheers!

    • ORJ says:

      Thanks so much! One more thing (that I should have made explicit I was concerned about): is a 15-16in frame sufficient, or should I get an 18in frame to account for the fact that she’s not done growing yet (and likely to be pretty tall, as her father is 6ft and I’m 5’10)?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi ORJ,
      Yes, 18 is a safe bet since she is taller than most of the girls her age(and still growing). You can just make micro adjustments with the seat and saddle. Cheers!

  • Steve says:

    Hi. I would like to buy a bike for my 14 year old daughter. She is 5’4 with running shoes on and she has a 29” inseam with no shoes on. Since we are not able to go and try out bikes, the store I called recommended a 16” frame on a EVO Swift Ridge 5 commuter bike with 27.5” wheels. My concern is that she will out grow it too quickly. Would it be a big mistake to get an 18” frame and lower the seat as much as possible. I appreciate your help! Stay Safe!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      hi Steve,
      That sounds like a good idea too because she is growing up as you mentioned. Other factors that can contribute to comfort are seat post height, handlebars etc. You can make minor adjustments for comfort 🙂

  • Vishal says:

    I am after an MTB. My height is 171.5cm, inseam 76cm and arm length 56cm. I am in between sizes (small/medium). Should I go small?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vishal,

      That is a good question. You should go with medium. There are factors that can add to your comfort like stem length and seat height. Check out my post called Bike Size Chart

  • Jer says:

    Wow this has been the most in depth and helpful guide I have found! I am so thankful. So thank you! You have made it so easy to understand and now I’m excited to go find the perfect bike for me. I am armed with basic knowledge to purchase a bike to suit my frame.

  • Shaun says:

    Hi I’m 13 years old. I’m 5 foot tall with a 29 inch inseam.I’m not sure what size bike to get. I don’t know if I’m looking for frame size or tire size the guy at the bike shop talked a lot about both and I’m confused. I want to mountain bike or kind of like my dad says a hybrid because I also want to ride in the roads with my friends

  • Victoria says:

    Hi Jeff!

    I’m in the market for a bike, the first one in A WHILE and am overwhelmed by all the choices.

    I found one that I’m interested in. It is a Schwinn’s Women’s Hybrid bike. 15″ frame with 700c tires. I am 5’1″ with an inseam of about 30in.

    I was looking for a bike with 26″ wheels, as I felt this would be better. I can’t try this bike because we still can’t go into stores, so I would be purchasing online and then (because of COVID) I cannot return it.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  • Nikka says:

    Hi, thanks for great explanation. I have weird measurements here! although I always knew I have really long legs and arms but it doesn’t make sense now
    I am female, 5’7″ with 81 inch (32 cm) insim. Is my bicycle size medium or large? I am more inclined toward medium. What do you think?
    Thanks in advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nikka,
      You generally fall under the medium category. You also need to consider other factors like stem length and saddle height/positioning. For example:
      Saddle fore & aft: Move your saddle to the front or rear
      Stem length: Buy a longer or shorter stem. It changes your body position
      Seat height: Buy a longer seat post

  • JD says:

    Hi, I’m 15, 176cm tall and I’ve got a 80cm inseam. Which size road bike do you think fits me well??

  • Bakr says:


    I’ve purchased a carrera mountain bike (22inch frame) but am only 5ft 11. Not really thought about it at the time but now looking at online reviews it seems that for my height it’s a large however i weigh 250 pounds hence I went for the xl size. Would it still be possible to ride a xl frame? Is there any changes I could make instead of sending the bike back? Any help is appreciated.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bakr,
      A bike with a wrong size can cause issues. More here If it is the wrong size then you have no choice but to send it back and get the right one for you.

  • Omri says:


    Looking at the sizing for Road Bikes one size says I’m definitely size L – as I’m 5’11 (181) however my inseam measure is 80cm with says definitely size M (54 cm). Given it’s now a little difficult to buy in store and I can only order online what would be your recommendation ? M or L?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Omri,
      Yes you fall under the large category. There are also factors that can affect your riding comfort. They are : saddle height, saddle fore & aft, handlebar length, stem length etc. More here

  • Enrico Ballesteros says:

    I’m 16 years old and I’m 5’7 would a 56cm frame be too big for because I’m unsure of what frame size I should use because my current 42cm frame and it is too small I’m wondering what size if I can ride a size 56 or not?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Enrico,

      Welcome to the cycling community! Always refer to our Bike Size Chart when getting a new bike. There are charts for road bikes, mtb and city bikes. Choose the one you need.

  • S B says:

    Hi there. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to get your thoughts on a bike size for me. I’m 6’3″ with a 85cm inseam. I’m thinking of buying a GT Grade Carbon Pro (geometry: https://www.sefiles.net/images/library/features/G20_geos_grade.jpg). I suppose I should get the 61? What do you think?

    Thanks for your help and your wonderful site

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi SB,

      Your height falls under the XL bracket(58-59-60 cm). 61 already belongs to XXL. In cycling, centimeters can make a huge difference in comfort.
      More here Bike Size Chart

      Remember that frame sizes from XXS – XXL don’t have the same meaning for every manufacturer. It is recommended to have a proper bike fit.

  • Lisa says:

    Hi! I am a 5’10” woman with a 35” inseam. Yes, I am half legs. I recently tried a bicycle that fit my legs but I could barely reach the brakes. What do I choose? Smaller frame with a super high saddle height or larger frame? Looking for a road bike or possibly a hybrid.

    Thank you for any input!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lisa,
      You fall under the large category. However, there are factors that can affect bike comfort like stem length, saddle fore and aft, saddle height etc. Be sure to look into these things during the bike fit.

  • Chad says:

    Hi, I’m 6ft (183cm) tall and have an inseam of 32in (81cm) Should I be going with a large or XL for a mountain bike? Thanks.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Chad,

      Either way will work for you. Just remember that saddle height, saddle fore & aft, stem length and other factors can influence your riding comfort. Please refer to our Bike Size Chart

  • Leolo says:

    Hi, I am looking at gravel bikes and love the OPEN U.P. On their site they list that for a rider with height of 188-201 cm would be XL. I am 198cm tall with an inseam of about 98 cm. Would you say XL would fit me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Leolo,
      You are quite tall. Your height would fall under the XXL category when it comes to bikes. Please refer to our bike sizing charts for proper fit as we want you to avoid any back pain from improper fit. Scroll down to Road bikes in the Bike Size Chart

  • Jessica L says:

    My leg inseam is 30″ however I’m 5’8″ only because I have a long torso… So should I go 15″ because of my leg inseam or 17″ because of my height?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jessica,
      Physical differences in shape and height should be taken into account when choosing the right bike. By standards, all sizes should depend on the height but for your safety it is best to have a proper bike fit. Please refer to this chart for guidance: Bike Size Chart Remember that comfort depends on many factors like saddle height, handle bar stem, saddle fore and aft etc.

    • projie says:

      Hello Sir Jeff Balton
      Im 5’9 tall i might get confuse which bike frame size should i buy?
      Is 27.5 x 17 medium size or
      29er ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Projie,
      That is a good question! It looks like you fall under the Medium category as indicated in

  • Chandra says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for sharing your knowledge,
    I am 35, 5’2″ and 55 Kg, what bike and size should i buy ? I am scared to buy anything online currently as i am not sure of size or type of bike i should get. I am looking for some easy and comfortable options. I don’t want to go high end mountain bike neither very expensive ones. Do you recommend geared bikes ?
    Thank you

  • Mohammad Ali says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am 50 years old and I have a road ML Giant road bike. whenever I ride my bike, I have some problem with my hands. After sometime riding my hands go numb and I think it might be because the size of the bike.
    I am 176 cm (5′-9″) tall and my inseam is 82 cm (32″). I usually ride between 15-20 miles per day. Could you please help me to find the right size bike.


  • Ivan Vukovic says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Really like your article and think it is one of most useful when comes to picking the frame size but still bike industry doesn’t make it any easier when choosing the frame. I am looking for my first road bike and interested in purchasing second hand and wandering how will variation in frame seat tube length (FSTL) will impact my ride and comfort and is it really that important, and here is why.
    I am 190cm with inseam length of 92cm which gives frame sizeof 92×0.7=64.4cm. Looking at the different bikes Trek Emonda ALR5 suggests frame 60 or 62 frame with FSTL of 57.3 and 59.3cm (why not frame 64 with FSTL of 61.3cm)
    Canyon AL disk 8 recomends size L with FSTL of 56cm while Canyon Endurance CF8 recommends size XL with FSTL of 59.5cm. When i look and compare difference of all other frame dimensions, variaton is minimal ranging between 1 and 2cm between each frame size . I can not see how can that make an impact on my ride, please consider that I am very new in the road bike world and haven’t tested different frame sizes. Currently there is second hand XXXL bike frame for canyon with FSTL of 64.5cm and also Trek Emonda frame 58 having FSTL of 55.3cm . I like them both and would I be making terrible mistake for getting any one of them.
    What would be your advice when choosing frame and specifically best frame seat tube length for my height/inseam length.
    Many Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ivan,
      Getting the bike with your perfect fit is tricky. That is why you need to read our post about Bike Fit here.
      I would suggest you also get a proper bike fit to avoid problems like lower back pain among others. Consider the seat angle, seat height and also the fore and aft of the saddle. All these things are make or break your ride.

  • Gord Mosher says:

    What a great article especially during these Covid days. I want to do a cross-country tour and travel light and relatively fast so I’m thinking buying a gravel bike with drop handlebars and a geometry halfway between the aggressiveness of a racing bike and up-rightedness of a mountain bike. Seems I have freakishly long legs. My height is 5’11” and my inseam is 34.5″. What would you recommend? I appreciate the help.

  • Suzan says:

    Given the current situation, I can’t take my daughter to be fitted for a bike. She weighs 105lbs., is 5 feet tall and her inseam is 28 inches. What size bike should we be looking for her?
    Thank you!

  • Chris J says:


    Your site is a fantastic source of information. I am 170cm height and around 75 inseam. According to Ribble I am right in between a small and xsmall. What would you suggest?

  • Joe says:

    i need some advice regarding a road bike frame size. i look to buy a entry level model or second hand but i want to make sure the frame is the correct for me , i’m 5.9″ which indicates a medium size frame 54cm/55cm but my inseam is 87cm points to a larger bike. I’m 31 years old with slim build and will be using the bike for leisure use for fitness and adventure. what frame size and mayb a bike reccomendation would u opt towards ?


  • brian says:

    Hi Jeff, i do need your advice
    I am 173cm Inseam 80 cm and there is Pinarello Dogma Think2 65.1 available on the market with size 50
    Do you think it will work for me?
    thank you

  • Roy says:

    I’m looking for bike for casual riding / excercise sometimes in the city sometimes off road.
    I’m 5-7 height and leg inseam at 29 inches.
    What do you recommend (type of bike and size)

  • Leslie says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m looking to buy my first bike (all of my others were when I was a kid) and I’m looking at a Trek FX 3 Disc. Per their chart I could either get a size small bike or a medium. I’m 5’4″/5’4.5″ and my inseam is 77cm. What size do you think would be best? Thanks!

  • Paul OSullivan says:

    Hi Jeff, Thankyou so much for the help in this time when no stores are open.
    I have one question, by your calculations I would need a 19inch frame (which is about right as that is what my current bike is.) But the Voodoo Bizango that I am looking at comes in an 18inch or 20inch. What would you suggest going for? I am 5.8-5.9 but on the larger side also.
    Look forward to your help.

  • Yoann says:

    Thanks for your advice but I’m still lost. I am 1m76 and my crotch is 76cm. I am stuck between size S and M. What to choose? My practice is Mtb Trail, light enduro. I want to buy an Orbea Occam 2020.
    Thank you a lot for your advice.


  • Ryan B says:

    Jeff, you’re a unique soul! 🙂 The best. Thank you! Cannondale SystemSix Di2 HiMOD 54cm on order! Woohoo! Thx!

  • Devin says:

    I’m looking to get my soon to be 11 yr old son into riding, he’s currently 56″ in height , do you have any suggestions for a proper road bike to start ? I’m concerned because there isn’t many choices for kids road bikes and it appears i would have to get him into adult / female size frame. Would a 47cm be a good starting point? i just pray he doesn’t hit a growth spurt within the next couple of years. I appreciate the content/info provided..


  • Ryan B says:

    Youre the quintessential expert advisor especially helpful during COVID. My target bike isnt anywhere in town…but Im set on it: Cannondale SystemSix (2019) Ultegra di2.

    I am 170cm tall (67″)
    My inseam is 80cm (32″)
    My reach as measured from collar bone tp mid palm is 61cm.

    137 lbs with proportionally long arms and legs for by body height.

    I have my heart set on the above bike and have read sooo many threads by obsessive risers…and feel unsure without being able to demo.

    I really want the 54cm because I plan to slam the bars down no spacers because despite my smaller torso. my arms make up fpr it.

    I’ve looked at the whitepaper geometry of the SystemSix 51cm, 52cm and 54cm….and because I like a very low and foreard and aggressive position (as well an longer legs relative to height…the saddle to bottom bracket)…I am heavily leaning toward the 54cm. There are screaming deals on 54cm and also on 51cm (which seems odd for me…but I’m open to it if it’s right. All 52cm are pricier for some reason…

    What do you think is best? Will a 54cm Cannondale SystemSix 2019 work for me?

    So in short,

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ryan, a 54cm should be a good choice. You could slam it and extend the reach if you’re flexible enough. 51cm would definitely be too small.

    • Josue says:

      Hi Jeff need a lil advice here !! I have my eyes on a road bike but unfortunately they only have two sizes 49cm and 58 cm with 700c tires
      I’m 5’8 – 5’9 with 30 – 31 inseam .
      Which size should I go for !???
      Thanks In Advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Josue,
      Thanks for your question. 49 is too small for you and will result to discomfort and pain in the long run. If you have only two sizes, 58 is closer to your body size. Remember that other factors like saddle angle, fore and aft, and even handlebar stem length can impact your riding comfort. It is always good to get a proper bike fit if you can.

  • Alexis Colautti says:

    Hey Jeff, I am 150 cm with an inseam of 25/26 inches. I was looking g I to 24in bikes would that be to small? What size in adults would be best. Looking at mountain bikes. Thank you 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alexis, you can get a 24″ bike, but I think a better fit would be a 13″ – 14″ size frame with 26″ wheels. Some brands market these frames as XS or XXS.

  • Joe says:

    I have had trouble buying a bike in the past, and have never quite found a solution. Basically, I am 6’5″, and weigh around 148kg. I also live in Japan. I currently have a momma cherry, and when I try to take it any further than downtown it plays havoc with my arse. I’d like to go on a longer ride, so what type of bike would you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Joe, I don’t know what the situation in Japan is regarding frame sizes, but a 23″-24″ mountain bike, cruiser, or fat bike would all be good choices. 🙂

  • Jim says:

    I’m 6′ 3” and weigh 220 lbs. What size bike should i get?

  • Erika says:

    Hi there,

    I am really struggling with deciding what size I actually need.
    I am a grown up…. but a short one. Around 4’7” (145 cm) and 25 inch leg inseam.

    Would a kids bike 24 inch wheel be too small for me?

    Many thanks!

  • Danielle Matthews says:

    Thank you for such incredible content!
    I am buying a bike for my mom online – she’s 5’6’’ about 200 pounds and looking for a light weight, easy to ride and exercise on type bike. What do you recommend? Bike, size, website, anything? I don’t know much about bikes (:

  • rebecca Butler says:


    Wounding if could help me with road bike size of 174cm tall and my inside leg 32inch so I not sure if should be buying 54cm or 56cm female.


  • Tim says:


    I’m 5’11″with an inseam of 32.5 barefoot. What size road bike would work best for me? I’ve had a Cannondale R800 56cm for years and at times it does feel a little small.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Tim, I think you’ve answered your question. A 58cm size frame should be a much better fit. 🙂

  • Anne Prescott says:

    female, trying to fit hybrid with comfort in mind, ride both on and off road *leisurely*-5’6″ w apparently freakishly long legs?; 31 inseam. what frame should i be looking at? 17″?19″? I vaguely remember during my last bike shop fit them discussing me using a mens bike for better fit?…have been riding for a while but learned a lot from your site.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Anne, your legs are a bit longer than what can be considered average for your height. But I think a 17″ size hybrid bike is a good choice. Men’s and women’s bikes don’t really differ that much. Usually the saddle, stem, and handlebar are different, but you can swap these easily anyways.

  • Ian says:


    I’m a 20yr old guy. 187cm tall and with a leg inseam of around 92cm = 36 inches.
    My legs are pretty long so I’m not too sure what size bike to get.

    My eyes are set on one(second hand though) and the seller says the size is 26inch.

    Would it be suitable? I hope it isn’t a stupid question but I am very new to this world of cycling(learnt in the past few weeks on a bike meant for bike sharing apps).

    Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ian, if you’re planning to buy a road bike, I recommend a 58cm frame. If you’re planning to buy a MTB, I recommend a 21″ size frame with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.

      The 26″ size you mention probably refers to the wheels, which doesn’t really say much. However, if it refers to the size of the frame (which I doubt), it means that the bike is gigantic and you should pass. 🙂

  • Steve Bowman says:

    Excellent article Jeff, appreciate the effort. Just getting back to cycling after five years in the Middle East and online shopping is clearly the only choice given the state of the world right now. Need a bike again!!!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I’m happy you find it useful, Steve! The current situation is less than ideal for bike shopping, but we should try to make the best of it. Have fun cycling again!

  • Mexx says:


    Want to buy this bike https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/fully/bike/sl-amr-29-al-u
    I am 186 cm but my inseam is 82cm,arms 63-64 cm
    Is better M or L version of bike for me?

  • Jose says:

    Hello Jeff. As of now I am really stressed out. Unfortunately I am one of those people that is between sizes, I would say I am about 6’1 and have a 32in(82cm). I bought a cervelo c3 on 58cm an endurance bike which is supposed to be comfortable. I have never been somewhat comfortable on it. The top tube almost hits my crotch when.

    Because of this I this I decided to buy a 56 specialized Roubaix, or a trek Emonda, and salesmen tell me to get a 58, because of my height. I am not sure if cervelos run larger than other sizes. Hope you can help me out.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jose, a 58cm size frame should be a good fit for you. However, your inseam length seems a bit short for your height, perhaps that’s the problem? That would mean your torso is longer than average which would affect the fit.

      Both Cervelo C3 and Specialized Roubaix have detailed geometry charts available. I recommend opening both and comparing the reach and standover height to see whether or not a 56cm Roubaix would make a difference.

      Good luck!

  • Lena says:

    Silly question from newbie – is it ever going to work if you buy a bike with standover length slightly longer than cyclists inseam measured with shoes on? Would highly appreciate your kind response.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It can work if you don’t mind standing on your tippy-toes when you straddle the bike. 🙂 It’s definitely not recommended and not comfortable and you also run the risk of hurting yourself.

  • Ally says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Such a wonderful resource for people during COVID-19 when shops are shut. I’ve scanned through your comments to see if I could get any pointers on my height/inseam and appropriate bike size, but thought I would ask to be safe as it is such an investment to get a bike and couldn’t find a good comparable for a road bike!

    I am 177cm tall and have an 80.5cm inseam (both barefoot). From fingertip to fingertip (ape index) I am just under 173cm.

    I am going for a Specialized Allez E5 Elite 2020 Road Bike. I think I am exactly between a 54″ frame and 56″ frame and am really struggling to pick the best option. I am pretty comfortable on road bikes and recall sizing being an issue last time around, however, I can’t for the life of me remember what size frame I purchased last and it has been some years since I last rode due to an accident.

    Many thanks in advance!!


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ally, I think a 54cm would work well for you considering your arm span is quite a bit shorter than your height. Whichever size you end up choosing, you can make it work with small adjustments if you’re not 100% satisfied with the fit. 🙂

  • Danny says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I recently got a road bike that hurts my backside when I ride for more than about 5 minutes.

    I’ve been told that it may be a number of things, that the bike may be too big for me or that it’s because I haven’t ridden properly in over a decade.

    Any idea what it could be? I understand there are adjustments and accessories to help but surely they should only be needed to get you from one hour of comfort to two and not to help 5 mins?

    Do I just need to push on through?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Danny, as you’ve been told, it could be a number of things, so it’s very hard for me to give you advice without knowing more details. Some of the most probable reasons are wrong bike size, poor fit, or poor flexibility.

      If possible, I’d advise visiting a local bike shop or a bike fitter and checking whether or not the bike fits you. Improving your flexibility and mobility won’t hurt either. Definitely don’t push through it, though, pain is always our body’s way of telling us something important.

      Good luck!

  • Angie says:

    Hi! I’ve recently thought about buying a bike for fun and for exercise as well and was thinking a hybrid would be best for my purpose. I’m not looking to spend more than maybe $300-$400 at the most and I’ve read some of your articles on the best bikes in each category. I’m nervous to order online because of sizing and I’ve been looking on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as well. Depending on the bike, it looks like I’m always right on the cusp of two sizes and I’m not sure which way to err. I’m a woman who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and my inseam is 30 inches. Can I use just these two measurements and get a good fit? Thank you for any help!!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Angie, your inseam length is pretty much average for your height, so I don’t think you’d make a mistake going either way. If I had to choose, I’d recommend going for the smaller size when in doubt as it is easier to get the right fit.

  • Mickay says:

    First of all big thank you for the guidance!!! Here is my puzzle: Due to covid situation I have to order bike online – my height 176.5 cm (about 5’9.5), inseam about 53-54cm. Based on several methods listed for hybrid bike good fit for me is 17″. Manufacturer says that most 5’9 to 5’11 fit 20 inch bike. Exact bike geometry is available in the link below. Other options are 15 inch bike or 17.5 inch. 15 inch bike is too small, 17.5 inch may be a little too big, but manufacturer says get 20 inch…
    What do you think?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mickay, I’d go with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Not all bikes are made the same, so it’s good to take their recommendations as a starting point.

  • Rahul says:


    I have terrible lower back ache. Please inform the correct geometry for road bike. I am looking at some motobecane’s from BD, this would be my first bike after long time.

    leg inseam – 83 cms (with shoes)
    full arm length – 63 cms
    height – 172 cms (without shoes)
    28 y old male, avg body, sitting IT job

    Thank you

    • Rahul says:

      I saw this bike on a deal other site for 56 Cms – 5’10” recommended and wondered if that would have fit me well. Website says I need 54 Cms with height of my 5’8.5” (without shoes)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Yes, it should fit you well. If necessary, you can put a shorter stem to shorten the reach of the bike.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rahul, I’d go with a 52cm size frame. Even 54cm could fit you well depending on the manufacturer. Make sure to get a bike with a more comfortable endurance geometry which would relieve some strain from your back. Good luck.

  • Kai Johnson says:

    Hi there, great article.

    I am 6′-0″ with a 32″ inseam. I was a mountain biker for long time and stopped for a few years after some injuries and surgeries.

    I want to get back into riding and am looking at a gravel/cyclocross bike to transition to riding more road while still being able to use the fire roads and some trails to link up rides. I plan on doing long rides with a mix of about 60/40 paved/unpaved.

    I just bought a 56 cm Santa Cruz Stigmata (700c wheels) yesterday but was wondering if there is any worth to changing the frame size to a 58 cm as I do have the option within 30 days to make that request. The bike position is going to take some getting used to coming from a mountain biking background but I know that will just take time and some miles.

    I only had on my street shoes but when I stood over the top bar it was very close and almost touching my crotch area so I felt that the 56 cm was correct at the time as I wouldn’t want the top tube any higher. I also checked the pedal position with the center of pedal at the ball of my foot and while its close don’t believe I will get any toe overlap.

    I get a bit OCD and would like to ask what you thought.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      You have nothing to be worried about, you made a good decision. The standover height on the 58cm model is almost an inch higher, which would likely be too high for you. Ride as much as you can in the following days and then make the final decision, though. 🙂

  • Martynas says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I am 189 cm and i weigh around 80 kg. I am not sure wether to choose 58, 59 or 60 for frame size for my road bike. Thanks i advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martynas, it depends on your inseam length and your torso length, as well as on bike’s geometry. All three sizes could be a good fit. However, I’d say 60cm is the most common choice for your height.

  • Eliseo says:

    Hey Jeff,

    So I’m in that weird height bracket- 6ft tall- and I’m wondering about the kind of bike size I should be going for.

    My inseam is about 87cm and I’m currently looking for a road bike (preferably with a vintage frame- if that makes a difference manufacturing wise). I’d eventually like to get a touring bike too.

    It would be really helpful if you could please help me with both of these kinds of sizes. Thank you in advance! 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Eliseo, I think you can’t go wrong with a 58cm frame for both road and touring models. In case the touring bike you’re interested in is measured in inches, I’d go for a 20″ size frame. 🙂

  • Tina says:

    Hi, I am looking at a bike a co-worker is selling. It is a 26 ” mountain bike. I am 5’6″ . The bike is a 15 ” frame. Do you think this bike will be too small?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Yes, Tina, that bike will be too small for you. You need a bigger size frame. 🙂

  • Mimi says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I use to bike all the time when I was younger. I haven’t been on a bike in a while and looking to slowly ease back in. I am 5 ‘ and with the 26″ i do not feel comfortable when my feet don’t touch the ground. I am searching for a 24″ model – is this a good idea?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mimi, modern bikes are made in such a way that you cannot touch the ground with your feet while you’re sitting on the saddle. If you want to be able to do that, you should get a cruiser, such as Electra Townie. I don’t recommend buying a 24″ bike at your height.

  • Mike S says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Great comments and feedback!

    I am looking for a Mountain bike and have been quite confused with the options.
    I am 5.9′ in height and weigh 210 lbs. I discovered a bike that i thought i liked and went ahead and bought it – Genesis v2100 men’s mountain bike. This one is 26″. I believe the inseam /frame is slightly over 18″….unless i am measuring it wrong. I am now having second thoughts and wondering if i should get 27.5″ version Or some other bike. Will appreciate any suggestions or thoughts.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Mike, thank you! If you enjoy that bike and it doesn’t give you any pains and aches, there’s no need to change it. Personally, I am a much bigger fan of bigger wheels, so I think 27.5″ would give you more options in terms of where and how you can ride your bike. A 29″ bike could fit you nicely as well, if you plan on hitting some more serious trails. 🙂

  • Beth says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m looking to purchase a bike for my nephew He is 11 years old; 63 inches and has about a 27 inch inseam. He is a relatively new rider but I would ,Ike a bike that he can continue to grow into. I’m thinking a step through bike would be best for him. What are you suggestions on size, bike style and brand? Thank you so much for your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Beth, you could get a bike with 26″ or 27.5″ wheels and a 15″ frame. Co-op Cycles 1.0 is a decent choice, but you can also look into Trek bikes, they have some pretty good models with small sizes. Check out Trek’s Marlin series. 🙂

  • Marie says:

    hi! My 14 year old daughter is in need of a new bike. We were going to get her a standard mountain bike to use around our neighborhood for her birthday in a few weeks. She is about 5 feet 6 / 5 feet 7 with very long legs.
    1. What size should we get her? With covid, stores are closed and we’re unable to try anything.
    2. Is there a brand that you would recommend that is reliable but not overly expensive? She is hard on her stuff.
    3. Should we get her a women’s bike or a gender neutral one? is there a difference?

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Marie, at the moment, Trek Marlin series and Cannondale Quick or Quick CX series are very popular and have proven to be durable and reliable. I don’t think you need to be hunting for a women’s bike, a unisex model will do as well. The only difference is usually the saddle, which you can easily change if it proves to be uncomfortable.

      As for the size, I’d recommend Medium or Large, depending on the model you choose. 🙂

  • Jack says:


    Thanks for the insights on bike sizing. I seem to be right in between sizes with road/gravel bikes. I am right at 6′ 2″ and a 1/2 and I have a 34 inch inseem. Not sure if I am an Xl/L or if I should go for a 58 cm or 60 cm bike. Each brand seems just a bit different in terms of sizing. Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Jack, there’s no easy answer. I think 58cm is a good fit, but as you pointed out, it depends on the brand as well. 🙂

  • Anastasia says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I read through your article and the comments with great interest as I’m about to buy my first bike. I want to make sure that I’m going to order the right size because it will be from abroad so I can’t make a mistake.

    I’m female, 173 cm (about 5’8”) height and 82 cm (about 32”) legs. It will be my 42 birthday soon and this will be my present. 🙂 As I have never owned one before I’m more worried about my choice. I need a bike mainly for cycling on roads and some local cycle routes (dirt/gravel tracks). This is a bike I like (sadly it’s quite limited choice now due pandemic to order even online)

    So I’m confused if I need 50 or 55 cm frame?

    Thank you in advance,

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anastasia, you can go for the 50cm frame in this case because the geometry of this bike is different from ordinary hybrid and MTBs that our charts are intended for. It should fit you pretty well. Have fun and happy birthday! 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    Hi Jeff! Thank you for your comments. Well, I have an issue with ordering online bike. I bought L (19″) according to recommendation of the manufacture https://qayron.com/kola/trail–c6/carma-140-q-29–p12 that states 180-190cm (im 188,5)

    I have a feeling that bike is bit small to my size (6.185 feet) or I do not feel confident with chosen diameter. I do trails, jumps and tricks , sometimes ride technical AM.. Changing bike is kinda a big deal (post, packing etc.).. Do you think my size of the bike is wrong?

    thank you, kinda nervous now

    • Andrew says:

      After testing today, it seems like during clibing and flat road I have feeling like 20″ would be better, but during downhill, trails and manuals its kinda… emmh.. not really. Jeff, what do you think? Is this bike small for me? My internal is around 95

    • Jeff Balton says:

      The reach does seem a bit short, but then again, if your inseam is 95cm at that height, it means your torso is quite short, so it should fit you well. I think one ride is not enough to make such a big decision. Why not ride it a few more times and see how it feels after you get used a bit?

  • Dee says:

    I have a 13 yo daughter who had her bike stolen before she ever got to ride it when she was younger and she was so upset she refused to learn for years. She now wants a bike and wants to learn what size and type of bike would you recommend for her? She is 5’2 3/4″ tall and has a longer torso. Thanks for all your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dee, it’s nice to hear your daughter wants to give cycling a second chance. 🙂 I recommend getting a MTB for your daughter, it will help her be more confident because of wider tires and low standover height on most models. As for the size, a 15″ frame would be a good choice.

  • Kelly says:

    I am 6 foot 7 and I am looking to purchase a road bike needed for working as a messenger in a crowded city, so I don’t mind if the bike is a little smaller maybe than what would be advised for my height. What frame size do you think I should look for.

    Thank you in advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kelly, if you don’t mind the bike being a tad too small, then you can go for a 63cm size frame. It fits riders up to 6’6″ usually.

  • Eric says:

    Thank you for the information you posted. However, I am a bit confused and need some help.

    I am an experienced–yet amateur–mountain biker, and my last two bikes were bought without much effort put into sizing them (epic fail). I am looking to transition to a hybrid trail/road bike. I am 6’3″ and my inseam of 37″/94cm is off of your charts. I only see in your charts a 22″ bike being the largest, yet you mention a 29″ bike? Are some bike sizes by the frame size and others by the wheel size? I have always been confused by this.

    Thank you for your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Eric, the 29″ refers to the wheel size. Your inseam is quite a bit longer than average for your height, so I’d recommend fitting the bike according to your height/upper body. I think a 22″ hybrid bike would be a good fit for you. But, given your unusual proportions and bad experience, it’s best to try a few bikes to see how they feel.

  • Sam says:

    Hi Jeff, hope you’re doing well. If you’re still giving size advice, I’m 6’1 to 6’2 and looking for a mountain bike, no specific brand. What size would you recommend I go for? Thanks

  • Eva says:

    Hi Jeff! So cool that you are replying to all these comments – thank you! I’m 186cm / 34 inch leg inseam and am looking at a 22inch road bike – is that too small??

    Thank you!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Eva, road bike sizes are generally expressed using centimeters, not inches. If 22″ in this case corresponds to a 55cm road bike, I’d say that’s too small for you. You should get a 58cm size frame.

  • San says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m looking for a road bike for my sister now. She’s between 5’3” and 5’4”. What frame size should I be looking for her? Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi San, I recommend a 51cm or 52cm size frame.

    • Hope Esser says:

      Does weight matter when looking for a bike? I am also between 5’3″ – 5’4″ and looking for a new bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It doesn’t matter too much in regards to the fit. However, most road bikes have a 250 lbs. weight limit and most mountain bikes cap at 300 lbs. So that’s something to consider if you are struggling with weight.

    • Hank says:

      I’m confused I’m 5’9 1/2 with a 29 1/2 inseam looking for a rode bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Hank, 58cm should be ideal for you. 🙂

  • deborah southby says:

    Hi I wonder if you could help me, as im new to this, im looking to buy a womens hybrid bike, I am 5’5, and inside leg of 29 inches, do I need a 16,17 or 18 inch frame

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Deborah, I believe a 16″ size frame would be a good fit for you. Perhaps even 15″ for some models. But definitely not 17″ or 18″.

  • elliott says:

    I am 6 foot tall and have small legs. my inseam is around 30″ . I am confused at what size bike I need. I have a bike now that is WAY too big for me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Elliott, I recommend a 58/60cm road bike size or a 20″ mountain bike size. If your legs are short, it means your torso is longer, so you should need a bike with slightly longer reach so as not to feel too cramped.

  • Karen says:

    Hi Jeff,
    So kind of you to give all this advice! I am looking to buy a hybrid electric bike as I have a connective tissue disorder that sometimes flares up and would make it hard to always ride a normal bike. I am a 5’1 woman with an inseam of 28”. I find that overstretching can cause a flare up. I have found an ebike with 14.5” frame but it has 24” wheels. Do you think these wheels would prove very small for unassisted cycling as I want to not use the electrics when I am able? Thanks so much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Karen, there’s no simple answer. I’d say it can be good as it might put your body in a more upright position and prevent flare-ups. Though, I believe 26″ wheels would be a better choice.

  • Hanna says:

    Thank you for all the information and particularly for answering all of these comments! This is so helpful particularly when it is difficult to go visit any bike stores in town. I wanted to ask you, if you would have any specific model/brand recommendations for me. I am looking for an adventure/cyclocross/gravel/touring kind of bike, that is more robust and stable than a cross bike but fitting for longer daily trips, but my problem is that I am not used to men’s model and would most likely find it too uncomfortable not being able to reach the ground relatively easily (still without compromising good cycling position of course). I believe a saddle position of course matters, but would it in this case also make sense to look for a slightly smaller size of a bike than otherwise recommended for my height? Or just narrow the search down to the women’s models that are sadly rather rare it seems? I am 172 cm tall. Thank you so much for your time and I wish everything’s good with you and your family during these times!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hanna, I’m glad my answers can help! 🙂

      I don’t recommend choosing a smaller size because you might feel too cramped on it. Plus, it might force you to put a longer stem which will stretch you out over the bike.

      Not sure what your budget is, but have you considered Co-op Cycles? For example, ADV 3.1 or ADV 4.2? They have pretty low standover clearance and fit all of the other requirements you have. We wrote about it here, if you want to check it out.

  • Michael says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am 194cm. I also have a longer upper body and longer reach. What frames size do I need to use in mountain bike and road bike? What tyre size would be the best for me?

    I have looked at the GMC Denali road/gravel bike with frame size of 22.5 inches and 700c wheels but unsure if this is a good fit (size wise).


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Michael, I recommend a 62cm road bike and a 22″/23″ mtb. I think that Denali might be too small for you. On their site it says: Fits riders 5’8″ to 6’2″

  • Rama Shanker says:

    Hi Jeff
    My height is 5 feet 7 inch (170 cm). I bought a bike specialized Sirrus which is large(L) size. After reading the blog it look like I could have bought medium size. Unfortunately I can’t exchange it since I have used . Please suggest me what modifications I can do it to make perfect.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rama, you’re right, you would have been better off with a Medium. If there are spacers above your stem, you can move them under the stem to lift it up and shorten the reach. If that’s not possible, you can also replace the stem with a 1-2cm shorter one.

      Bring the saddle a bit forward as well (1cm) but don’t over-do it, as it might mess up other elements of the fit. Of course, if you can afford it, a professional bike fit would be the best choice at this point.

      If you don’t ride too much and you feel ok on the bike, then you shouldn’t be too concerned about the size.

  • Michael O'Neil says:

    Hi Jeff
    Looking at the cervelo c3 I am 5’7″ tall with a 31 inside leg. I fall between a 51 and 54 in the frame size category. What would you recomend. Obviously it’s an online sale due to lockdown. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Michele says:

    Hi Jeff,
    What is your road bike recommendation for a 5’8″ (173cm) female with a 32″ (82cm) inseam?
    My height puts me in the S-M section, while my inseam puts me in the L-XL section. Thanks much! (love the infographic too)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Michele, I recommend a 55cm road bike or a 17″-18″ mountain bike, which is usually referred to as Medium. 🙂

  • Simon says:

    I’m getting very different results.
    Based on method 1 (height = 169cm) I should get a 16″ bike.
    Based on method 2 (inseam = 74cm) I should get a 19″ bike.
    Based on Method 3, I should get a 16/17″ bike.
    Based on Method 4, I should get a 15/16″ bike.

    What am I to go for?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Simon, I could have helped you more if you told me your height and inseam length as well. 🙂

  • Mike says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Am I right in assuming I should go for a size somewhere between my road and MTB sizing for a gravel bike?
    I’m experience at both road racing and DH MTB.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Mike, gravel bikes have very similar geometry to endurance road bikes. I would just follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, the same as with road bikes.

  • Keith Davis says:

    Hi Jeff
    Thank you ever so much for replying to everyone it’s quite remarkable what you’re doing – well done. I have a dilemma my girlfriend is 5″1 with an inseam of 72 and she would like a Trek Merlin 7. However, the bike is only available is extra small 13.5 frame number. Would this size be ok? Unfortunately small are all sold out, there are a few medium but I think they’ll be too big.

    I’m also in a quandry myself. I’m 6″1 inseam 87 and the bikes I’m looking at have a reach of 435mm in size Large and 450mm in extra large, however I’m concerned the extra large will be too big despite the longer better reach, Do you think 435mm reach is too small? I’m looking at some trail, cross country and general riding. The head angle is 70.5 degrees and the seat angle is 73,5 on the large. I also have another bike I’m looking at which is only in size medium but the reach is around 450mm, standover is 819mm, seat angle 74.5 degrees and head angle 66.5 degrees – would that be too small?

    Thank you for the incredible support.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Keith, you’re welcome, I’m glad my answers provide some help with this confusing topic.

      As far as standover height is concerned, the XS size frame is a much better fit for your girlfriend. She’s at the upper limit of the recommended height for XS, but I don’t think that should be a problem — she’s still within the recommended range. So if XS is the only option, I would go for it.

      I think you have slightly longer legs than average, meaning your torso must be shorter. Therefore, I don’t think that a 435mm reach would be too small, even though 450mm would seem better for you in isolation. The other bike you mention seems a bit more slack and stretched out, but just considering the reach I’d say it should fit you well.

      That’s as much as I can help without knowing the actual models.

  • Narek says:

    hi Jeff
    i’m planning to buy Giant fathom 2, 2020
    I am 6 foot (183 cm) ,and i find out i must buy Large size, it comes in both 29er and 27.5 wheels.
    on both bikes, all components are the same except 27.5 inch one comes with dropper post.
    i would like to get the one with dropper post, but should i consider my height and get the 29er? or 27.5 is fine too for my height? i’ll be happy to get your advice.



    thank you so much, Narek

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Narek, the version with 27.5″ wheels is perfectly fine for you. You should choose the wheels depending on what you want to achieve with your bike and what type of handling and riding you wish to get out of it. The experience of riding 27.5″ and 29″ wheels is pretty different. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Hi Jeff,
    I am thinking of riding a bike again after three decades of not (too many dog walks). I am thinking of getting a BikesDirect.com 2020 Motobecane Elite Eight DISC with Genuine Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes +LockOut Forks that is not a budget breaker. It is a hybrid bike with 700×42 cm tires that has off-road capabilities. I am somewhere between 175.3-176.5 cm in height and have an inseam of 78.7 cm. The BikesDirect sizing guide for this particular bike recommends that I should go with a 17.5 inch frame. Should I order this bike with this frame size or should I go for the 19 inch frame?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mitchell, I think it’s best to follow their guidelines and go for the 17.5″ size frame. They made those recommendations based on the geometry of the bike.
      Anyways, it’s great that you chose to go back to cycling after such a long hiatus. I hope you fall in love with it all over again!

  • Sameer purwar says:

    Hi i planing to buy cannondale trail 7 online. What size should i order? My height is 175cm .
    Should i get M 27.5?

  • Mike says:

    Hi Jeff
    My wife and I are looking to get some bikes for us. Mainly would be riding on a gravel trails. Problem i am a large guy 6’3″ 315lbs.. is there a bike out there for me?? Want to start losing weight.. used to bmx race when I was a kid lol…my wife is 5’3″ what size for her.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mike, most MTBs have a 300 lbs weight limit. I think a hardtail MTB, such as one of the Trek Marlin models would be a good choice for those gravel roads if you dropped 15-20 lbs before purchasing. 🙂

      As far as sizes go, you could go for a 21″ size frame and your wife should choose a 15″ frame. Enjoy!

  • Erin Coffey says:

    Hi Jeff!

    I scrolled through quite a few comments but am still a little confused.I am 5 ft tall with a 27 inch inseam, and assumed i would need a children’s bike or an XS. Im looking at a Raleigh Cadent 1 ST, but i only see a size small, which it seems to suggest is for a height of 5’4″ to 5’7″. The geometry info on Raleigh’s website doesn’t seem to line up with measurements i’m seeing here. I cant find the frame size or the tire size so i’m worried it will be too big. The standover height is the only relevant measurement i can find, and it seems to be around 24 inches which i think is plenty of room?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Erin, standover height on that bike will not be a problem since it’s a step-through frame. When it comes to frame sizing, there are very few standards in the industry, which is why things easily become confusing. I think this bike could work for you, even though it might be slightly bigger than ideal. If you don’t plan to ride very long distances, it should fit you decently well.

  • Krista says:

    Hi Jeff!

    Thank you for your article. I’m 5’4” and just recently purchased a bike. It was marketed as women’s, but unfortunately I believe it may have actually been a child’s bike. The wheels are 24 inches. Will this be a negative impact on my ride? It’s a mountain bike. Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Krista, you’re right. Bikes with 24″ wheels are considered to be kids’ bikes or bikes for adults who are up to 5’0″ in height. A bike with 27.5″ wheels would be a much better choice for you.

  • Sammie says:

    I am looking at a comfort hybrid, I am 5.5 1/2 ft tall and have a inseam of 30 inches, I recently purchased a18” but wondering if that is too big, if the frame is too big? Otherwise when on it, my leg extended down in pedal is perfect!

    Can you please share what you think?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sammie, if you only listened to the charts, a 16″ size frame would be a better choice. However, if you listen to your body and it tells you it likes the bike, then keep riding it. 🙂

  • Magnus says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for taking your time to answer all these comments.

    I am quite tall and most charts don’t cover my height. I am 201 cm (6 foot 7 inches) tall and leg length of about 96 cm (37 inches). What do you think is an appropriate bike size for me? My local store recommends 24 inches but I think this is just because they don’t have anything larger than that.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      You’re welcome, Magnus! Your LBS is right, you need a 24″ or a 25″ bike (if you can find one). 24″ is considered to be for riders up to 6’6″ tall, but it will probably work for you as well with or without some minor changes.

  • YT says:

    Thank you for this.
    My 9 year old rode a a short adult neighbor’s road bike (size s) and did great on it, but he is 53″ with a 24.5″ inseam. We want to get him a Sirrus 2.0 from Specialized and I am trying to decide between the XXS vs the XS. I would like him to get one that fits well, but also that he will not outgrow in a year. What do you recommend?

    I am also considering an XS Trek Verve 2 Lowstep as I think having the lower bar will make it easier to mount and dismount.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi YT, if you get him the Sirrus 2.0, I recommend going for the XXS frame. Trek Verve 2 Lowstep will make it easier for him to mount and dismount and will give him more room to grow, but it might be a bit too big in the beginning. It all depends on how fast and how much he is going to grow.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Zakk, the information on the website regarding sizing and geometry is very obscure, so I can’t give you a definitive answer. However, considering it’s a bike with 26″ wheels, it could work. It’s best to try it out.

  • ALAN says:


    I am 173cm height with short legs (75cm inseam).

    For a road bike, from my height you recommend 54cm or size M. But for my inseam, I see it should be 50cm. In that case, what frame size to choose ? (for a road bike)?

    Also, is it mandatory to have Standover length on the bike equivalent or higher than inseam?

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alan, the fact you have slightly shorter legs than average means your torso is longer, so I’d recommend a 54cm frame, just like the charts suggest. Standover height is pretty important to consider — if it’s higher than your inseam length, you’ll bang your delicate region on the top tube every time you dismount. 🙂

  • Stacey says:

    I haven’t ridden in years and am looking at a purchasing a hybrid bike. However, looking at their sizing guide, I fall right between sizes & not sure if I should size up or down (15” or 17” frame). I’m about 167 cm tall with a 75 cm inseam. Thanks for any help you can offer!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey, check the geometry chart and compare your inseam to that bike’s standover clearance. If your inseam is longer than the 17″ frame’s standover clearance, I’d go with that one. If it’s shorter, choose the 15″ frame. Good luck!

  • Noah Gerstman says:

    Hi Jeff – Great website with really insightful advice!

    I’m looking to buy a Specialized Sirrus 3.0 Hybrid bike but can’t figure out what size I should order. I’m between 5’9 and 5’10 (slightly heavy build) with an inseam of 30 inches. It seems that I’m on the cusp between Medium and Large as far as I can tell. In your experience which is the best to take the plunge with? Clearly I want to avoid sending it back to the retailer if at all possible. Any thoughts?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Noah, both could work, but since you mention having a slightly heavy build, I’d recommend the Large size frame. If you’re over 5’9″, you’re already out of the Medium range. Hope this helps!

  • Darla says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I would like to purchase a bike. I am a 5’4″ woman. I’m looking at a 27.5″ wheel and 15″ frame. Is that an appropriate size for me? Or should I go up to the 17″ frame? Thank you so much for you input!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Darla, a 15″ or a 16″ bike would be a good fit for you. I believe a 17″ size frame would be too big. Enjoy!

  • Tess Marais says:

    Hi thanks for this article, like everyone messaging you I’m trying to work out which frame size and wheel size having not ridden for years. I want a classic style city bike
    I’m a lady and nearly 5’7.5” tall with an inner leg measurement of 31.5”
    or in cm height is 172cm and inner leg is 80cm

    I thought I had worked out by the multiply by 0.685 the answer was 54.8cm which is a 21.5 “ frame? But I saw you recommend another woman of a vaguely similar height to get an 18” frame?
    Am very confused and could do with some expert help! I really don’t want a bike that feels like a kids bike!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tess, mountain bikes are sized in inches and road/city/hybrid bikes are usually sized in centimeters. These cannot be compared because the geometry of the said bikes is different. So a 54 cm road bike is not the same as a 21.5″ mountain bike, the latter one is much bigger.

      In your case, I’d recommend you go with a 17″ frame considering your inseam is slightly longer than the average for your height, meaning your torso is shorter than the average. The equivalent in cm would be 54cm. Hope this helps!

  • Kathy says:

    I want to get a bike for my 14-year-old daughter. She is new to bike riding and will mostly use it on paved paths with some hills. She is 5’3” and has an inseam of 27 inches. Can you recommend a bike size for her and maybe a type of bike we should be looking at? I would like it to be a bike that she could still use for the next couple of years even though she is still growing. I appreciate your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kathy, a hybrid bike with 700c wheels or a mountain bike with 27.5″ wheels (with or without front suspension) are solid choices for all-around casual riding. As far as sizes go, I’d recommend a 16″/50cm frame.

  • Travis says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am in between 6’0 and 6’1″, with a 34″ inseam, What size (cm) bike would work best.

    I am a casual rider, looking to buy my first bike. I found a 61 cm bike for sale. Is that too big?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Travis, a 58cm bike would be a better fit for you. A 61cm bike could work, but you’d most certainly have to make some changes to shorten the reach, plus the standover height could be a problem as well depending on the model you’re considering.

  • Hi Jeff
    I am looking at purchasing a 2018 or 2019 Quintana Roo PRsix online and am trying to figure out my correct size. I am 5’7″ tall and have a 29.5″ inseam. it seems like I might be in-between sizes according your guides as well as the QR websites (50 or 52). I was leaning toward the 50 but I am hoping you can help narrow down what size could fit me better. Thank you for this amazing reference guide as well as your help.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Jeff, fitting a TT bike online is pretty tricky since getting the right fit is very important. I recommend measuring your torso length and contacting the Quintana Roo customer support team. They can help you out when you’re in-between two sizes, as far as I can see. Your inseam length seems to be average for your height, so it’s difficult to decide between 52 and 54 based on that. Sorry I could not help more and good luck!

  • Kayla says:


    I am 4’10 with a 24 inch inseam. My husband bought me a women’s hybrid bike with a 15 inch frame and it was too big. I’m thinking I might need a youth bike but I need to be sure what size to get. Please help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Kayla, you could get a kids bike with 24″ wheels, that would definitely work. However, adult bikes also come in 14″ (XXS) sizes, so you can look into those options as well. What size wheels does your bike have? If they are 700c, you would certainly be better off with 26″ wheels. That could solve your problem. Good luck!

  • Chris says:

    Hi there –

    Fitting a bike for my daughter, she’s 5′ tall with an inseam of 28″. Can you recommend a good size bike for her? She’s 10 years old, so will be growing.

    Thanks for any advice!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Chris, a 15″ size frame would be a good fit for her and give her room to grow up to 5’5″.

  • Sam Lam says:

    Hi Jeff

    I am 177cm with an inseam 80cm. I am wondering whether a 17(M) or 19(L) inch GT 29er full suspension mountain bike will fit me better?

    I have been always riding a conservative M size 17inch hardtail and the seatpost has to raise a bit higher. As the next size of GT bike is from 17 to 19inch, will need your advise.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sam, the 19″ size could definitely work four you, but I personally think a 17″ size frame is a better fit for your height. However, if you feel cramped and you think you’d be better off on a bigger frame, go for it.

  • Walter says:

    Hi Jay,

    Its walter again, follow up question, well i was thinking of getting the chameleon 27.5 small aluminum D+ spec which had a standover height of 27.01

    I measured again (embarassingly) and tip of my sack when let lose is at 27(inseam) i was thinking i can wear quarter inch shoes and i can get away with it.

    What are your Thoughts? My other option was getting the sc tallboy in xs but i didnt really need a full suspension. Do you have augfestion on a decent hardtail for my height?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Well, if that’s the case, I think you’ll be able to get away with it with shoes on. 🙂

  • Walter says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for this article. With all the social distancing cant really go to a bike shop to check.

    I am 5’2 with a 26.5 inseam. I am eyeing a santa cruz chameleon but on the fence if it will be too high for me or itvwill hit my balls when standong over

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Walter, the smallest size (S) shows a standover clearance of 27.28″ (27.5″ wheels) and 27.36″ (29″ wheels). So I’d say your nether region would be in danger. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Jeff,
    My height is 157cm and I am looking for a bicycle to ride around my townhouse, not actually on a road.
    I am 63 years old, since know I used to ride my kids bikes.
    I would like to know what kind of bike and what size should I look for.
    I appreciate your advice.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah, if you are in good physical health, a mountain bike with or without front suspension would be a good choice. Otherwise, I’d recommend a hybrid with a step-through frame that would allow you to get on and off the bike with more ease. As for the size, a 15″ frame should be the way to go.

  • Ryan says:

    Hi Jeff, the amount of feedback you’ve given the readers here is incredible! My wife and I are looking for our first adult bikes for riding around our lake, mostly roads and paved trails with the kids. Thinking mountain bikes, is that ideal?

    I am 6’1” and 33in inseam. She is 5’10” and 34in inseam. 19inch frame for both? 27.5 or 29 wheels?

    Thanks in advance!!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ryan, I’m happy to help whenever I can!

      I think a mountain bike would be a good choice if you don’t plan to ride too many miles. If you want to have long days and perhaps do some cycling workouts, trekking/hybrid would be a better choice.

      If you go with mountain bikes, 19″ for both of you would be good. Though an 18″ frame would still be a better choice for your wife, I believe.

      Have fun!

  • janet says:

    Hi Jeff

    I am 5.5 female with 32″ inseam…should I go with 52cm or 54cm….so torn? Trying to order online during isolation. 🙂 Trek Domane SL 7

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Janet, I think a 52cm size frame would be a better choice for you. You have longer legs than average for your height, so I think the smaller option with shorter reach would be better for your shorter torso.

  • Becca Stephens says:

    Hi Jeff! I’m looking to purchase a road bike. I’m 5’6 with a 32/33in inside leg. My legs are long but my upper body is pretty short so a lot of times I have problems with the reach being too far. What size bike would you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Becca, I think a 51-52cm size frame would be a good starting point. If your reach is too long, you can always put a few spacers under the stem and raise it (if there is room), as well as put a slightly shorter stem.

      Road bike geometries also differ from model to model. Get a road bike with endurance geometry which generally have shorter reach and longer stack. Hope this helps!

  • Hannah Whitley says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am wanting to purchase a new hybrid bike.
    I am 5ft 2.5″ and inseam is 71cm.

    I am unsure whether to go for a small 14“ or medium bike 16“ bike.

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Hannah, a 15″ bike would be the best choice. But if only 14″ and 16″ are available, I’d go for the smaller 14″ frame.

  • mark says:

    Hello Im 5’1 heights male and also a small legs
    and im looking for mountain bike or road bike. can i know what is the best size for me thanks for advise and answer and GODBLESS TO YOU

  • Vish says:

    Hi Jeff, this is a great article and thank you for taking the time to explain sizing.. very helpful.

    I am a beginner with road bikes and do about 30-40 mile rides through rolling hills in our area.
    I am 188 cms and 182 lbs. 33 inseam.

    I was so far using my friend’s 2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 (58 inch).

    I purchased this weekend a Trek ALR5 60 Emonda for myself.
    On my first ride yesterday, i struggled more than usual on the hills (felt i needed to put more effort and could have used another gear)

    I am wondering now if

    1. Its the geometry of the bike (and i should have gotten the Domane SL5 (endurance fit) instead. I believe Emonda is a H2 fit

    2. I should have gotten the 58, though 1 bike store felt i am better in a 60 and another said 58 🙁

    3. when i sit on the 60, i feel more comfortable (i think)

    Just wondering if i made the right choice or too soon to tell ?

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Vish, can you compare the reach on both bikes? Is it perhaps shorter or longer on your new Emonda? That can have an impact on your performance, you might have to switch out the stem. Emonda has an H2 fit, but that’s an endurance fit, intended to suit the majority of riders out there.

      Also, is gearing the same on your old and new bike? Perhaps you were really lacking a few extra gears on Emonda. 🙂

      If you feel good on a 60cm frame, then you didn’t make a mistake. Though, I believe it is still too early to say. You need to do a few long rides to really tell the difference. But I recommend comparing the reach on those two bikes and seeing if you can dial it in, in case it is different.

  • Liam says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Great article, I’ve already sent it to a few friends! I’m 5’9″ and currently have a 17″ bike with 26″ wheels. Being that I’m on the cusp of TIRE size charts, leaving bike-frame size aside at the moment, can you enlighten me with the difference between 26″ and 29″ wheels besides the obvious? I’m primarily doing trail riding with a mountain bike, and I’m curious if the larger diameter wheels would require less force to go over “slightly bumpy” terrain. What about the difference in hill-climbing? I guess I should’ve paid more attention in Physics class! My wife doesn’t own a bike, but I’m currently trying to outfit her with one as she would like to join me on the trails. This is how I reached this wonderful post. She is 5’2″, and at the moment I don’t have her In-seam measurement. I imagine startling her at 5am this morning to measure it could be quite interesting!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Liam! Thanks, I’m happy you find the article helpful!

      The difference in feel and performance between 26″ and 29″ is huge. 26″ wheels are smaller and lighter, thus they will accelerate much more easily and give you better maneuverability when cornering and avoiding obstacles on the trails.

      On the other hand, 29″ wheels are heavier, bulkier, and more difficult to “get going,” but once you pick up speed, they will roll over bumpy terrain with a lot more ease. They’re excellent for descending and speedy trail riding. 27.5″ wheels would be a good compromise that could do it all – ride around bends, climb, and descend.

      A 15″ size bike with 27.5″ wheels would be a good option for your wife, I think. Whereas you could go with either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels and a 17″ frame, in my opinion.

      Have fun!

  • Joe says:

    Hello I’m a 5’3 male and I have seen a Gary fisher sugar 4 21” for sale would this be okay for me?

  • Jerry says:

    Trying to figure out sizing for a hybrid bike. I’m 6’0 tall with a