Bike Size Chart – How To Choose? 5 Easy Methods

Choosing the right size bicycleLast Updated: June 2018 (Added fresh best bike deals)

Ordering 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 FIVE!) METHODS if you don’t know, how to measure a bike.

Feeling more confident? Good. There are actually three (now FIVE!) 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 – 17 inches
  • 5’7″ – 5’11” = 17 – 19 inches
  • 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 19 – 21 inches
  • 6’2″ – 6’4″  = 21 – 23 inches
  • 6’4″ and taller  = 23+ inches

Voilà!

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 the

 

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Third Method: Bike Size Chart (advanced):

Mountain bike size chart

Rider height Leg inseam                                                Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Inches Centimeters Inches Size
4`10”-5`1” 148-158 cm 24-29” 61-73 cm 14” XS
5`1″-5`5″ 158-168 cm 25-30” 63-76 cm 15” S
5`5″-5`9″ 168-178 cm 26-31” 66-78 cm 16” M
5`9″-6`0″ 178-185 cm 27`-32` 68-81 cm 17″ L
6`0″-6`3″ 185-193 cm 28`-33` 71-83 cm 18″ XL
6`1″-6`6″ 193-198 cm 29`-34` 73-86 cm 19″ XXL

 

City bike (Also commuter/hybrid bikes) size chart

 

Rider height Leg inseam Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Inches Centimeters Inches Size
4`10”-5`1” 147-155 cm 24-29” 61-73 cm 14” XS
5`1`-5`5` 155-165 cm 25-30” 63-76 cm 15” S
5`5`-5`9` 165-175 cm 26-31” 66-78 cm 16” M
5`9`-6`0` 175-183 cm 27`-32` 68-81 cm 17″ L
6`0`-6`3` 183-191 cm 28`-33` 71-83 cm 18″ XL
6`1`-6`6` 191-198 cm 29`-34` 73-86 cm 19″ XXL

Road bike size chart

Rider height Suggested frame size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Centimeters Size
4`10”-5`0” 148-152 cm 47-48 cm XXS
5`0″-5`3″ 152-160 cm 49-50 cm XS
5`3″-5`6″ 160-168 cm 51-52-53 cm S
5`6″-5`9″ 168-175 cm 54-55 cm M
5`9″-6`0″ 175-183 cm 56-57-58 cm L
6`0″-6`3″ 183-191 cm 58-59-60 cm XL
6`3″-6`6″ 191-198 cm 61-62-63 cm XXL

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

Right size bike - bike size graph by bicycle Guider

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.

BONUS: 

Voilà!


 

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!

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The easiest way is to

  1. Lean to the wall with your elbow sitting on 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. 

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.

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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 forest. Now I start laughing when I sit on a 26″ mountain bike because it looks so tiny.


Related Bike Reviews:

Mountain Bike Reviews

Hybrid Bike Reviews

Best Road Bikes

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