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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 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.

Read Next:

This Article Has 426 Comments

  • Ike says:


    I’m 5’10 with an inseam of about 33.5.
    it seems to be right on the borderline of being a medium or large mountain bike frame size.
    any suggestions?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ike, I recommend going for the Large frame size in your case. Alternatively, you can measure your Ape Index and make a decision based on that. 🙂

  • Roger Redmond says:


    I just purchased a used Specialized Sirrus Hybrid which is 54cm frame. I am 5’10” with 31″ inseam. Will this bike be the right size for me?



  • Kris says:

    PLEASE HELP… I’m looking at purchasing the 2020 Cannondale Quick 2 bike. (Hybrid) I am 6 foot and a half, 32 inseam. I cannot go into the store because of CoronaVirus closing ALL stores by me. I need a bike ASAP. I’m stuck on what size to buy.. Large or Extra Large?? Thank you so much for your time.. I REALLY appreciate any input.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kris, I recommend going for the Extra Large size in your case. Enjoy your new ride. 🙂

  • Hi Jeff,

    I am going stir crazy during the COVID-19 isolation & looking to buy a bike online – perhaps the Schwinn Freemont, I’m deconditioned but used to be athletic. I’m 5’4” & see so many ways to determine frame size. Is it better to err on the low or high side of the frame size. Most charts tell me 15” frame – inseam is 31” – any tips? Is this too much bike for me? the last one I had was a 10 speed Schwinn Racer (very uncomfortable) about 4 decades ago! I’ve just turned 70. Thanks for any suggestions… Stay healthy & safe!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Constance! It’s great that you want to get back into shape again. We all need some fresh air during this isolation. I recommend a 15″ frame as well, I think that would be a good size for you 🙂

  • Cheri says:

    Hi Jeff. I’m a tall girl with long legs and a short torso. I’m 176 cm tall with 87cm inseam. Looking at a good road bike to ride with a group and maybe do a couple Sprint distance triathlons. Height wise I think I need a 57cm bike. But with my inseam I’m calculating a 61cm bike. I’m currently riding a 60cm men’s bike and it feels ok height wise. But the reach for the handle bars is too far. My calculated top tube length is 43.1-45.1. I’m having a hard time finding a women’s bike that’s tall enough and a men’s bike that has a shorter top tube length. (I think I said all that right….I’m new to this measurement stuff)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cheri, I can’t really recommend a specific bicycle because I don’t know your other preferences or your budget. However, I agree that you should go a size lower than 60 cm and fit the bike according to your torso.

  • Dan says:


    I am 7’1″ tall with an inseam of 40″ I once had a bike that fit me in college but that was 20+ years ago. Can you suggest a place where I can order one now?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Dan, you’ll likely need a bike frame custom-made just for you. Try to do some research and see who does that in your area. However, that’s usually a pretty pricey option. Alternately, look for bikes with a frame size of 62 cm and above, they’re rare but you can find some used or new ones on eBay or Amazon.

  • Carliza says:

    Hi!! I can get my measurements later to get more precise on bike size. However I do know I am 5’4″. I am wanting to start riding outside of the cycle studio. Mostly paved maybe some flat dirt trails with a bike trailer with two kiddos. I’m thinking a Burley Trailer than converts to a jogging stroller as well. Why type of bike would you suggest?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carliza, a 15″/52 cm hybrid bike with 700C wheels and slightly wider tires would be a good choice for you. You could also look into some all-road/gravel bikes or even touring bikes. They’re all great for paved/unpaved surfaces and tugging a trailer along.

  • Rob Morgan says:

    Hi Jeff

    Thanks for creating this site.
    I’m 6 ft and inside leg is 34 inches / 86 cm which based on the guides probably makes 58cm the right size road bike. However, I’m looking at Bianchi and they only come in odd numbers so would you recommend 57cm or 59cm? In case it makes a difference, I’m 50 years old and normally cruise round on a city bike so the body might take a while getting used to road bike position.


  • Oliver says:

    Hi – I want to get an All-Road (Gravel) bike for my wife who is 5’3″ – 28″ inseam – 110 lbs. I figure her definitely in the Small or 50-56cm category. I was looking at the 2019 Salsa Journeyman 650b for her in 52cm.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Oliver, 52 cm is the right size for your wife’s height and inseam length. Good choice of the bike as well! 🙂

  • Delaina says:

    Hi there. I am trying to get back in shape. I am 5’2 and weigh 200 lbs. I have a weaker left knee and want to find the right type/size of bike. Recommendations?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Delaina, you haven’t really given me much information regarding what type of riding you’d like to do, how often, on what terrain, etc. A safe option would be a hybrid or a city bike with a 15″/50 cm frame. Have fun. 🙂

  • Gia says:

    Hello Jeff,

    I am 37 years old, 152 cm with aprox 66cm inseam. I believe, as you have said, that I need a bike 24″ wheel 14″ frame. right?or i can use a bigger one? To be honest I’m not sure what type of bike would be better for me , because I need it not only for going to work but also for any kind of road. London has plenty of hills.
    I have found a Ladies Soul Beach Cruiser UK Fat Tyre Black Stomper
    100MM BB WIDTH
    STAND OVER 27″
    WEIGHT / 1 Sp 45 LBS / 3 Sp 48 LBSs
    but I am afraid that it is too big and heavy for me. What do you think? Also I have to tell you that I have back pain , it’s not severe though but I want to have the best control of the bike and best body position, so Ι am sure that a road bike for me it’s not good at all. Can you recommend me some bikes?

    Sorry for the long text, and thank you very much in advance.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Gia, I wouldn’t say a fat bike is a good choice in your case since you’ll be riding around London, which means paved roads most of the time. Fat bikes are intended for extremes, such as snow, sand, rocks, mud…

      Instead, I’d choose a hybrid with a more upright riding position and 35-38 mm tires. That way, you’ll get a bike that’s easy on your back, and can tackle paved and unpaved surfaces. You can check here and here for some of our recommendations. 🙂

      As far as sizes go, an XS frame with 26″ or even 27.5″ wheels and a step-through frame could be a good choice for you as well.

  • Dave says:

    Hi, Please help!!!!!!!!!! Looking for a MTB for my son who is 10 and around 140cm tall. I dont want him to have a kids bike with 8 gears i’d like him to have 21 or above. Would a 13.5″ XS frame with 27.5 tires be ok for him?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dave, yes, it should work if you drop the saddle as much as possible. If he’s only going to ride to be active around the neighborhood, he should be perfectly fine. He’s likely to grow a lot more in the following years as well, so there’s nothing to worry about.

  • Adam Bage says:

    Hi Jeff, hope you don’t mind an additional comment / question.

    I’m around 6’4” tall, used to be very fit but now wouldn’t run if I saw a lion on the streets. I want to change that but have severe arthritis in my left knee – that means that I can’t bend my knee as much as I used to be able to and so sold my old mountain bike because I would raise my backside from the saddle when the pedal was at the highest point.

    My thought is that the best bike for me would be a cruiser on account of the more upright position, or a large mountain bike. Can I get your opinion please?

    Thanks, Adam

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Adam, I’d go with a cruiser as well. Try to find one that has the pedals positioned forward relative to the saddle, such as on this Electra. That will take a lot of pressure off of your knees. Recumbent bikes might be a good way to go as well, but I don’t know how practical that solution is considering your needs.

  • Bee Elvy says:

    Hi thanks for your helpful guide, just to be sure: I’m 5’11” and my inseam is 32ish. I’m thinking 55 or 56 frame size. I would prefer it be smaller than larger. Does that sound right? Thanks again.

  • Mary says:

    Hi! I am a 5’5 woman and I seem to fall right in between on the size chart (s-m). Inseam is 30″ and I am looking at the Ghost Square Cross 1.8. Any recommendations for frame size? When one falls perfectly in between, what is the determining factor for best size? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mary, in this case, your ape index is the determining factor. That refers to the ratio between your height and your arm span. If your arm span is longer than your height, you should choose the larger size, and vice versa. 🙂

  • Hakeem says:

    i am 5’8 curently using ridley noah 52 xs, i plan to get another road bike but im confuse about the size, pls advice, thanks..

  • Tom says:

    Hey Jeff, great website. My wife and I (both age 59) are getting back into biking after a long layoff, though we hike and lift weights regularly. We have older Trek hybrid bikes. Me a 21″ frame, she a 16″ frame. Our dimensions, I’m 6’3″, 34″ inseam and 37″ arms, she 5’3″. We are purchasing fat tire bikes with 29″ wheels. Getting her a Step Through frame that is 17″, and I’m considering a 21″ frame or would you suggest a 19″ frame.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tom. Thanks, glad you like the website! 🙂 A 21″ frame seems too large for your height. Once you switch to 29″ wheels, that could become a problem. Personally, I would suggest a 19″ frame in this case.

  • Sasa says:

    I am 176cm, with 82.5cm inseam. What frames size do I need to use in mountain bike, road bike and TT bike?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sasa, your ideal MTB frame size is 17″, and for road and TT you should be looking at 54-56 cm frames. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Mina says:

    I am Mina. I am researching about good size or common size for public bike sharing in defferenr country I would be grateful if you can help me about that.
    Thanks alot

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mina. Please send us an email at: hello(at)bicycle-guider.com or write to us on Facebook and we’ll gladly help you out any way we can. 🙂

  • Scott Meyer says:

    I’m 6’3″ with a 34″ inseam. What would be the proper road bike size to start with? I’m leaning towards a 61cm.

    My cross bike is a 60cm. Love the way it feels.

  • Arjun Patil says:

    I am 5’ 5” and inseam is 29 inches. I just got Trek FX2 Disc a 50 cm hybrid bike. Will this be okay for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Arjun, that seems to be about the right size for you. If it feels good, enjoy the ride! 🙂

  • Craig says:

    Hi, I am 6’3, 180 lbs, 37-37.5” cycling inseam. I own a 64cm Specialized Roubaix Expert but have the saddle all the way forward with the stock setback seat post and a 50 mm stem with rise. It looks silly but is fairly comfortable. I’ve tried smaller frames but the saddle to bar drop is too extreme. Do you have any suggestions? Is the short stem I’m using dangerous? Your opinion would be appreciated.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Craig, if you have been riding with this setup for a long time and you have no problems, there’s no need to change it. You have quite a long inseam, so I believe it’s a good solution. Consider getting a seat post without setback for an even better fit. In that case, you could use a slightly longer stem and get better handling.

  • Rivy Ng says:

    Hi, thank you for the article. I’m 5″7 and recently came across a 58cm Leader 735 bike frame. Would like to build myself a bike. It is probably too big and would it become a huge problem with my short height? I see small kids these days ride fixie way too big for them and seems not to be a problem. Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rivy, that frame is far too big for you. I wouldn’t recommend it. If you only plan to ride a few miles a day, it might work. But I wouldn’t recommend it for more than that. Ideally, you should aim for a 54/55 cm frame. 🙂

  • Catherine says:

    Hi! I’m trying to find a bicycle that I can ride to the grocery store and things since I don’t drive. I’m 4’11” and an inseam of 68 or 69 cm. So an xxs? What type of bicycle should I get? Im guessing a 24 in? I dont wanna spend an arm and a leg just for a bicycle to get to the store. I also have no idea what to get. Is 26 to big? That’s all I keep seeing when I look them up. I want to put a basket on the back for grocerys but really have no idea if all these bikes are just to big?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Catherine, at that height, you’re right in-between two sizes. I recommend a cruiser for your needs since you need a basket and you plan to ride short distances. You can feel free to choose one with 26″ wheels and a 15″ frame. One recommendation is Electra Townie, which we recently reviewed and talked more about. 🙂

  • Ethan says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am 5’8′, and I rode a Linus Rambler that is 21 inch. I am buying now a Priority Continuum Onyx and according to their size charts I should get the 19”. I kind of got used to riding high and concerned about getting a smaller size, what do you think?

    • Ethan says:

      Also inseam is 31 inch

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I recommend following the manufacturer’s size chart. Not all bike frames are made the same, so a Priority Continuum Onyx might be way too large for you at 21″.

  • Sami Sims says:

    Hey Jeff!
    I think its great that you’re helping people find their forever bikes. I am a 5ft 1-2inch women and struggling very hard to find a bike that will fit me. Your article makes it seem like I should fit a 50cm road bike (inseam is 72cm) which seems… wrong according to other websites sizing. I’ve seen lots of sites saying that a 50cm is more for 5.5 to 5.8 people. I even found a site that suggested a 44cm bike for 5.3 to 5.7 people. I am so confused! Please help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sami, bike sizing can be a bit confusing, I agree. The reason is that manufacturers still do not have a 100% standardized way of fitting their frames. Depending on the geometry of a bike and your body proportions, you might fit one size or another better. Considering your height and inseam, I believe a 49-50cm frame would be a good choice. But if you have doubts, it’s best to try the bike you’re planning to get (if that’s possible) and see how it fits. Happy riding! 🙂

  • Hi Jeff,
    I’m a big guy, 6’6″ tall with a 34″ inseam. I’m looking for an MTB but am really confused with frame choices, especially as I am something of a specialist case size wise. What size frame would you recommend?

    Thanks again for such an interesting site!


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Phil, I’m glad you like what we do! 🙂 Regarding your question, you need a 24″ mountain bike frame since you’re a pretty big guy. Most brands list them as XXL frames.

  • Christina says:

    Hi, I am wondering what size of bike I should get. I am 5’7 1/2, inseam is 32in. Looking for a mountain bike. TIA

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Christina. My guess is you should go for a 17″ size frame considering those measurements. Good luck! 🙂

  • Jon O says:

    Hi Geoff

    Fantastic article 🙂

    I have been looking at mountain bikes (Vitus, Trek, Whyte) and am finding I sit between two sizes. I am 5’8 tall (bike size medium) but have an inseem of 28.5 inches (bike size small). Do you have any advice on what size I should consider seeing as I seem to sit between two sizes?

    Many thanks,


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jon, I’d say it’s better to go for size medium in that case. You’ll get a longer reach which will better accommodate your longer upper body. You can easily adjust the saddle height to fit the length of your legs. 🙂

  • Tom M says:

    Hi Jeff, I am looking at a Cannondale Synapse Neo e road bike to supplement my Specialized Roubaix Comp 2010 which is a 60cm frame. I am 191cm 6ft 3 inches with a 91cm 36 inch inseam. The Cannondale in the XL seemed way longer (reach) than my Specialized to the point I felt too stretched out despite long arms but they didn’t have a L to try. I now want to buy online but would value your input. I am concerned if I get the smaller L with a 53.5 cm seat tube Vs the XL with a 58cm I will feel cramped or worse still won’t get enough seatpost extension to suit my leg length.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tom, a 4.5cm difference on the seat tube length is not small, it seems like the XL frame on the Cannondale is more similar to your current Specialized. You could potentially shorten the reach by changing the stem for a shorter one and changing the fore-aft position of your saddle, so I’d go for the XL frame. Of course, it would be best if you could try the L frame as well and then make a decision. 🙂

  • Csaba says:

    Hi Jeff,
    What frames size do I need to use for road bike if I am 183 cm and my leg inseam is 81 cm?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Csaba,

      You’re right in-between two sizes, but I’d go for the 58cm frame, considering your leg inseam.

  • Las says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m a freak. I’m short(174 cm,5 feet 8.5 inches) with even shorter legs(insame 75cm,29 inches) and my bike feels very painful on my back(22 inches seat tube road bike). What size of road bike would you recommend? I used to ride only MTBs and I haven’t noticed my strange ratios on them, but i want to get faster, hence I’m trying to stick to road bikes now. Road bikes are maybe just not for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Las, there is definitely a road bike for everyone out there. Don’t give up just yet. 🙂 Road bike sizes are always measured in centimeters, not in inches. I assume you have a 55-56cm road bike (equivalent to 22″), which I think is a good size for you. I recommend doing a bike fit to make sure that all of the parts are properly adjusted to fit your body and see how it feels after that. Good luck!

  • Emily Carroll says:

    HI Jeff –

    What size Cannondale Frame would work for my 12-year old daughter who is 5 foot one inch?? It is the Cannondale comfort hybrid??

  • Saman says:

    Thanks for your Info

    I am 33 years, 92 kg., My height is 175 cm and leg inseam 84 cm.
    Which frame is suitble to me? is it possible use wheel 29?
    note/my city is so hilly ?
    Thank you ☺️

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Saman. Assuming you’re intending to buy a mountain bike, you should be looking at 16″/17″ frames. A general rule of thumb regarding 29ers is that you should be at least 5’6″ in height (167 cm) to ride them comfortably, so I’d say you’re good to go. Just pay attention to the standover clearance.

  • Vince Warrington says:

    Hi Jeff
    I’m looking at the Merida Silex range and feel I’m stuck between Two Sizes could you please help.
    I’m 168 cm with inside leg of 73.66. What do you recommend as maximum seat post height ?

    I had a bike fit quite a while back and from crank to saddle I was informed of 673cm.
    I feel both the small and medium. Merida silex could work they come in at 47 & 50 cm respectively. Any help gratefully appreciated. Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vince, I’d recommend going for the 47cm frame, based on the information I could find regarding the Merida Silex range and your body proportions. The standover height on the 47cm frame is 731 mm, whereas on the larger frame is 760 mm.

  • Justin Hicks says:

    hey I am 6’0 with 33-inch inseam. I have tried all the calculators and charts. I am between sizes (56-58). I am looking at the allez Sprint, gaint defy, tarmac sl4 expert, trek domane 6.9, venge elite. None of the bike shops near me have these models. I would appreciate the help.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Justin, I recommend going for the larger frame and then bike fitting it to make sure it fits your body proportions perfectly. Alternately, when you decide which bike you want to get, contact the company’s customer support and ask what they recommend. That can be quite helpful.

  • Susanne says:

    Hi Jeff!
    I am writing because I am trying to decide between a small and a medium frame for a hybrid bike (more towards the cruiser end of things and less towards the mountain). Diamondbacks are my favorite bikes. I also like the Electra Townies (but they are too heavy!) . I am going car free so I will be using this bike all the time EVERY DAY! I will often be pulling a bike trailer behind it (approx 20 lb trailer) SO I do not want the bike any heavier than it has to be.

    I am 165.1 CM tall. Leg inseam of 73.66 CM; Arms from shoulder to wrist 54 CM; Wrist to middle finger 18 CM;

    I struggle with shoulder pain…have tried recumbents since my Dad has one and he let me try and I very much disliked being that low to the ground and hard to see in traffic. I also found the bikes hard to balance for some reason (seems like it would be easier) but I would not feel safe in a recumbent anyway as I am moving to Florence, OR soon and will have to deal with the HWY 101 and lots of tourist traffic.

    I do not like to hang over a bike in anyway (why I don’t do mountain bikes) and dislike feeling large in comparison to the frame yet I do not want to injure myself by getting a bike that is too small. My usual weight is 160 lbs even when in good shape (which I am not in currently unfortunately). I am not much above that but need to get in better shape, which I hope to do by biking everywhere, hiking and swimming (swimming relieves a lot of pain for me and I have an excellent wetsuit for the 48 degree water there). The pain I have now in my back and shoulders is why I have gained some weight and have gotten out of shape. I am 41 years old and have been an enthusiastic rider of bikes and of the car free lifestyle for many years until bursitis hit (Shoulder not currently severe). I am hoping that, while painful, losing weight through exercising more might bring me some relief. I truly wish I could use a recumbent bike. My athlete weight is 145 so I am rather stocky for a female I guess. Does weight affect bike choices too…maybe get one with suspension? Those have always seemed a lot more comfortable.

    Do you recommend the 16 inch frame or a smaller one for a Hybrid? Do you think a woman specific bike would be helpful for me? Also what is the most inoffensive upright bike brand/make for people with mild to moderate chronic pain? I am trying to not get old before my time. This back pain started for me at age 16 (undiagnosed mild sciatica and sports injuries). I can no longer run or compete in sports but I would like to keep moving. The doctor has cleared me for exercise after checking my joints and doing some x rays.

    Thanks Jeff! I am sorry about all the details. I need to buy a bike soon and only have three weeks to do it before I give up the car by the end of the month.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Susanne, it’s fantastic that you want to get back on the bike and ditch the car. I’m happy to try and help. Considering your history with shoulder pain, I’d recommend going for a cruiser as the weight distribution will be more toward the back of your body thanks to the upright riding position. Getting one with front suspension will definitely help as well since vibrations from the road might agitate your pain.

      However, Diamondback, even though a remarkable company, does not have any cruisers in their lineup. Electra Townie is a great bike, but you can also consider some sixthreezero models and Schwinn Discover, which checks all of your boxes. I don’t think you need a women-specific bicycle, just one that fits well. I think a 16″ frame could be a good choice for you on a cruiser.

      Good luck and happy riding!

  • Bhaskar Mohanta says:

    Hi Jeff,
    It’s great to see someone giving unbiased advice to people. You’re doing a great job. I’m after some advice myself. I used to be a cycling enthusiast and want to get back into it. I’m quite tall 6’4” in height (193 cms). Applying your charts above I need a road\city bike of 62 cm frame size. There’s not any I have come across, the most common ones are 56cm frame size. Is it possible to make slight adjustments to that one to suit my requirement?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Thank you! I’m glad I can help. 🙂
      Unfortunately, I don’t think a 56 cm bike could be adjusted to fit your height. There are actually many brands out there that make 60+ cm frames. For example, Specialized is one of them.

  • Maddie Guanzon says:

    Hello I’m a 5’2 1/2” female mountain biker . I want to buy a trek top fuel 9.7. Should I go for small size or special order a xs ?

  • Yolanda says:

    Hi Jeff; do you do the same measurements if you want to buy a cycle for a child? Considering he is 8 years and still growing. Don’t want to buy another cycle in a years time!


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Yolanda, kids’ bicycles are sized according to the wheel size and the age of the child. So you can choose by having those two things in mind. You should take the growing part into consideration, but definitely avoid buying a bike that is too big for your kid. It’s not safe and they would not have as much fun on it. 🙂

  • Asif says:

    My height is 150cm , which size frame snd size wheel is best for mr , can i use 26t tyres and 19 inch frame bicycle ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Asif, you need a 14″ frame and either 26″ or even 24″ wheels. A 19″ frame bicycle would be far too large for you.

  • Tom says:

    Thanks for the helpful article. I have long legs and short arms – the Competitive Cyclist fit guide is suggesting a 58cm frame with a top tube of 53.6cm max. There don’t seem to be many road bikes that fit these criteria. Any suggestions?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Exactly, those dimensions are hard to come by. However, you can easily tweak the geometry by playing with the saddle’s fore/aft position and changing the stem to get the correct size.

  • Feroz says:

    I am a male with height 172 cm and inseam 82cm. My friend has decided to sell his Fuji Hybrid bike having frame size 19″. Will it be suitable for me?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Feroz, knowing the exact model would definitely help me give you a more precise answer. With that in mind, according to Fuji’s size charts, I’d say a 19″ frame is too large for you. But I recommend borrowing the bike from your friend and riding it for a couple of days to see how it feels.

  • bradix says:

    My height is 170 cm and I plan on buying mtb. What is the right size for me?

  • Mumbaikan says:

    I am 5.11 1/2 ft but not 6 ft. I’m going to buy MTB Hybrid electric cycle hence I should go with 21inch frame, 27.5 tyre size. Please let me know if i calculated right. Please also let me know what size of bike should i go for fast tire / mountaineering bike ??

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I’d actually go for a 20″ frame considering you are slightly shorter than 6 ft. However, depending on the manufacturer and the geometry of the bike you choose, the perfect frame size could be different. The same goes for other types of mountain bikes. Happy riding 🙂

  • Gireesh Kumar says:

    Hi Jeff
    Can you please recommend me which wheel size I should get.
    I am 5.8 foot tall and I am planning to get 17.5 inches frame size
    But I am confused with the wheel size
    Btw it’s a MTB

    • Jeff Balton says:

      A 27.5″ wheel size would be a good choice. There are plenty of mountain bikes to choose from with 27.5″ wheels, so you’ll have an easy time finding the perfect one.

  • Zaitoun says:


    My Height is 173 cm and inseam 80 cm , is small frame (S) with 29er wheel good for me?

  • eriek says:

    Hi, i am 165cm and 73 cm inseam, looking for fit roadbike. according to specialized chart, i am inbetween 49 or 52 size.
    And find another chart, height 165 cm fit to size 51,. But inseam 73 cm fit to size 49.
    So compuse.. lol.
    Which one i should take? Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Eriek, if you’re planning to buy a Specialized bike, then make a decision based on the info in their charts. I recommend a 51 cm frame for your measurements.

  • Eriegen says:

    I am 5’0 height what size of bike do I need ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Eriegen, you forgot to mention what type of bike you’re planning to get. If you want a mountain bike, then you should go for a 14″ frame. If you’re looking for a road or a hybrid bicycle, then aim for a 48cm frame.

  • Reisha says:

    Hello there, my daughter’s in seam is 32 and her height is 64 inches. What size tyres and frame on a mongoose bike. How to tell if its mountain or city or road on the bike itself.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Reisha, a 26″-wheel bike with the smallest frame should fit your daughter well when it comes to Mongoose bikes. To learn more about different types of bikes, I recommend checking out this complete guide. 🙂

  • Megha says:

    Hey! I’m looking at buying a Trek Fuel Ex 9.7. I’m 5′ 3.5″ and am inbetween a Small and Medium frame. Since I’m a beginner, I was thinking of going for the smaller size.

    Size small on this model offers the option of 29″ or 27.5″ (2.6) wheels.. which option do you think I should take? (Wheel size option only available on Small frames. Xs is only 27.5 while M comes only in 29″)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Megha, considering your height, I’d go for a 27.5″ model. Size S seems to be a good choice as well. Enjoy your new bike! 🙂

  • kevin says:

    I’m 5’8”-5’9” with a long torso. My inseam is
    I went to a local bike shop and they told me I should get a 51” Cannondale. Does that seem small for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kevin, considering you wanted to write “51 cm,” yes, that does seem too small for your height. However, you forgot to write down your inseam length, which would help choose the right size. Give the bike a try since your shopping at a LBS and see how it feels.

  • Javier says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you so much for putting together such comprehensive guide!
    I am particularly interested in the Retrospec Motley hybrid bike. I can’t find anywhere in their website what the standover height is. I am a 5’7” male (29” leg inseam), would you recommend the S (16 in) or M (18 in) size? I figured you would have much more experience with sizing and maybe even knew about this particular brand.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Javier, the standover height for the S frame (16″) is 29.5″, so that’s the one I would go for if I were you.

  • AADITYAN. C.K says:

    Hey jeff!. I’m prolly 187 cm in height and weight 65kg. What size will fit me and what kind of bike should i go for if my purpose is just to commute to gym and back besides leisure riding in weekends?. TIA!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I believe a hybrid bike would meet your needs well. As far as size goes, a 58cm/18″ frame should fit you well.

  • Andrea says:

    I am totally new to riding! I am a female Height 5′ 3″ or 160cm. Wt 131.6 or 59.6kg. Our small town in North Carolina has a 17 mile trail. However, I am preferring a mtn bike for the tire size (makes me feel safer as a beginner). What size bike should I ride. I currently have a 24in mtn bike. Thank you for your VERY informative site!!!

  • brano says:

    hi, i am looking for help sizing giant road bike. i want o buy online but dont have a place nearby that carries them. the confusing part is that they list only sizes like L and XL. it seem i could fit both.
    i am 6’2″ and 34″ and i am not sure which size to go with.
    below is the link to the bike in question
    thanks for any advice

  • Octavio says:

    Im 5-11 and i ride a size 59 track bike is that to big for me ? What do you think

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Octavio, according to most charts, your ideal frame size is 56 cm, considering that you have an average inseam length for your height — 31″ to 34″. So, I’d say you need to downsize a bit.

  • Anthony says:

    Hey Jeff, I am 5’9.5″ with a 32″ inseam and a +3.5″ ape index. I tested out a Trek Marlin 7 18.5″ frame and an Trek xcaliber 7 21.5″ frame. I feel like I am between the two sizes due to my longer arms. They are both comfortable. The xcaliber is only $99 more, so I went with that but not sure if it is going to be too big on the trails. What do you think?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Anthony, 21.5″ does sound like too big for your measurements. Have you already tried it out on the trails? If you have and it feels goods, and you’re only riding recreationally, then it shouldn’t be a problem. If you feel any pains and aches or a drop in performance, consider changing it.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi I’m struggling in the right city bike (type with a basket) for my daughter, she’s 10 & measurements are inside leg 66cm, height 55”. I was thinking a 26” wheel & 16” frame, is that right?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      My opinion is that that might be too big for her. However, kids grow fast at that age, so she might be tall enough in a year. At least try getting a smaller frame, 14″ would be perfect.

  • Arie says:

    Hai..what size for rb height 168cm inseem 74.5cm

  • Christoforos says:

    Hi ! I’m 166 height 68 kg what size I must chose for road bike ?

  • Mark c says:

    Hi jeff,im 5’11 height,i have large tallboy 3 was good for me,my concern is just bought a xl megatower,dont you this xl is right for me??

    • Jeff Balton says:

      According to the size charts on Santa Cruz’s website, your ideal frame size is L. So yeah, I think XL could be too big for you.

  • Faheem Huq says:

    Hi Jeff my wifes height is 5 feet and leg inseam is 71 cm. planning to get a Giant Momentum ineed latte 2019, 26 inch wheel size and frame is 16inch. Will it be good for her?

    And I bought a Bianchi 27 inch wheel size with a 43 cm (16.9 inch) frame for myself. Im 5feet 10.5 inch tall. Is it ok?

    Waiting for your feedback.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Faheem, both of those sizes sound good for your measurements. Hope you’ll have fun riding together! 🙂

  • Randall Kincaid says:

    Jeff, I am 5′ 10″ with a 30″ inseam… ideal, 54″ or 56″? Randall

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Randall, assuming you’re asking about a road bike and referring to centimeters, I’d recommend a 56 cm frame. Happy riding 🙂

  • Ayoub says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am confused on which Pinarello Dogma F12 size to buy my hight is 178 cm, inseam is 83cm & arms length 56cm, please advise?

  • Aws says:

    Hi Jeff
    Thanks for all your answers here and work
    I bought the ebike kit of 26” wheel to convert the (future bike) to an ebike I’m 30 years old 172cm high and 85kg my weight and I’m confused about the size of mtb to get my size normally and after a lot of (googling) I found out that the wheel of 26” can fit also 27.5” frame is that right and What’s the size you think it would fit me !?
    Many thanks again

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aws, a 16″ frame should fit you well. Regarding your wheel size question—yes, you can fit a 26″ wheel on a 27.5″ frame, but note that that will change the geometry of the bike.

  • papapipom8 says:

    i’m 165cm tall., i want to buy a road bike pinarello FPuno online, available size is 44 is that ok? or is it too small?, considering adjusting saddle and stem

    • Jeff Balton says:

      A 44 cm frame seems to be too small for you. 50 cm seems to be the ideal size according to Pinarello FP Uno size charts.

  • Mohit says:

    I am 6.2″ male. Looking to buy a hybrid cycle of frame size 18.5″ and 700C wheel.
    Will it be a good choice?

  • Larry says:

    Hello sir…i am still confused about the mountain frame size (29er) that is suitable for me. My height is 165.7 cm and leg inseam is 77cm.

  • peter says:

    The frame size should be based on, what Colnago call: Effective Seat Tube Length.

    This is the distance from the BB to the intersection of the seat tube and a horizontal line going from the head tube backwards.

    This is most applicable to frames with sloping top tubes

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Good remark, Peter. The effective seat tube length is quite important, but the seat tube should be considered as well.

  • Kyle says:

    6’3 man 34″ Jean size for length. What size bike should i get? Just want something simple for additional exercise at night.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      If you just want a bike for recreation and exercise, you’re probably looking at hybrid bikes. In that case, an 18″/58cm or a 19″/60cm bike would be the best choice for you.

  • Rupesh says:

    Hi..I am 6ft tall. 51cm size MTB suitable for me?

  • Bob says:

    I am 6′ 1″ with a 33″ inseam, what size road bike do you recommend? I feel like I am in between sizes on many of the online charts.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bob, you should try with a 58cm frame. According to most charts, that’s the right size for you.

  • Susan says:

    Hi: I’m 57 and never road a bike before. I’m 5’4″ and temporarily weigh about 233 lbs…. And would like to know what’s a road bike, and what size would be good for me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Susan, props on choosing to begin cycling. It’s never too late! 🙂
      A road bike is a bicycle with narrow tires and drop bars, most suitable for smooth roads and high speeds. If you choose to buy a road bike, the best size to go with would be 52cm. Enjoy!

  • Ruben says:

    Thanks for the excellent information on frame size. Running through all your calculations and tables – I’m male, just under 5’8, with a 30.5 inside leg. Ideally I would need a 54cm frame, but the bike I want to buy manufactures frames at 53cm or 56cm. unfortunately I cannot try this bike! Would you suggest the smaller frame? Thanks again.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ruben, I would not suggest it with certainty, but it could definitely work out well for you. If it proves to be small, you can fit a bigger stem and pull the saddle backwards to compensate a bit. Good luck!

  • Scott says:

    Firstly, thank you Jeff for your very helpful guide and also all your responses to questions. I am 198cm with a 36 inch inseam and looking for a road bike to ride to uni. What size frame should I look for? And if it’s very hard to find good value bikes for this frame is it possible to compensate for a smaller frame, with larger wheels for example?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Scott, you should look for a 63 cm frame, ideally. There’s a pretty decent choice of bikes with frames that big, so I don’t think you’ll have any problems. Bigger wheels don’t really work for road bikes, 700c is the only option. 🙂

  • Sam says:

    Hi Jeff

    I’m looking to a purchase cannondale bad boy and I am torn between small and medium. I am 5”7 female, can you please advise frame size. 17” frame or 18” perhaps??

  • Rick says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Does the top frame bar from the seat to handlebars, come into play when properly sizing? I have seen as much as 2-3 inches difference between several similiar bikes? Do you adjust the handlebar height for comfort or do you take seat height into consideration for proper sizing? I am 5’10” with an inseam of 30″.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rick, not sure if you are talking about top tube length or the drop between the saddle and the handlebars. Both come into play when properly sizing. When it comes to length, you can adjust it by using a shorter/longer stem or adjusting the fore/aft position of the saddle. When it comes to the drop, you can raise the handlebars a bit by using spacers, but not by much. The difference in the drop is normal, as some bikes have a more aggressive (racing) geometry, whereas others have a more comfortable setup. Cheers.

  • Rupesh says:

    Hi, I’m a 6 feet tall man.iam planning to buy MTB.
    which size suits me ?

  • Clara says:


    I am a 5′-3″ woman with a 30″ inseam, longer legs, short torso, long arms, trying to buy a triathlon bike, which size would fit me best?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Clara, considering that you have a short torso and longer legs, you should be on the shorter spectrum for your height. Perhaps a 50-51 cm frame would be good for you. 🙂

  • Sheraz says:

    Hello Jeff,
    I am 172cm and my leg inseam is 83.82cm, so what size should i look for aero road bike and mtb?

  • Varun says:

    My name is Varun and I got a Cannondale Quick 7 (2019 model)yesterday with a large frame size. but I am still confused whether I bought the right size or I should have gone for extra large size ?
    my height is 6 feel.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Varun, your height is right in-between the two sizes. Both could work, depending on the type of your build. If you feel good riding it, then you made a good choice. 🙂

  • Rishi says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Would like to know the role tires play here.
    Would there be difference with 29er and 26, both M frame.
    I am almost 6ft. Getting a good deal on Fuji Nevada 1.1 29er with M frame.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for responding.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rishi, bigger wheels can make the bike feel bigger by increasing the standover clearance. However, the geometry of the bike will not change. A small frame will be small even with 29″ wheels. M frame for your size sounds like awfully small. You need at least L or XL.

  • mark says:


    Thank you for the great info. Im 5’11, 175 pounds. Inseam 33-34″. I was fitted for a Cannondale Topstone gravel bike in medium (56). I feel cramped in the torso and legs with the reach being good. I’m thinking about swapping for a large (58). Does this sound reasonable?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mark, sure, if you’re not feeling good riding it, definitely make some changes. You can adjust the reach on the larger frame by swapping the stem, if it proves to be too large. 🙂

  • Ade East says:

    Hi, looking at getting a voodoo bantu MB, I’m 5’8, my inside leg is 29″. What frame size do you recommend please? Thanks

  • Christine Adeyeri says:

    This was very helpful. I’m a female who is 5’3 but my inseam is 33.5in. I’m clearly all legs. What size mountain bike or hybrid bike would you recommend?

  • Bill Mathis says:

    I grew up riding my father’s old bike, which was really well built and once adjusting the seat etc. I never thought twice about it. Finally when I got into riding and racing more seriously I realized maybe these hills are so excruciating for some reason other than fitness. My father’s about 20 cm shorter and his legs even shorter than that proportionally. I’m about 198 cm and a lot of it’s in the legs – the inseam is 93 cm. The difference for a long time rider when I finally got a suitable bike – a long and difficult process haha – has been astonishing. Thanks for the article.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      You’re welcome, Bill. I’m happy you found it valuable. That’s a great observation on your side as well, getting the right fit makes all the difference, especially if you’re riding long distances. I’m sure there are many people out there who are familiar with your experience, including me. 🙂

  • Carole Lindner says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for all the charts and various ways to measure. A question though…

    Like me, my son is “long-waisted and short-legged”. So, even though he is ~ 5/10″, his inseam is ~24″. We are shopping for an e-bike, to assist with his college commute. He hasn’t ridden a bike in many years, so we are hoping for a very positive experience – starting with a good “fit”. Any observations would be welcome. Thanks. (Trying to go via ebay, so we can spread out the payments with a paypal credit situation. That’s why we’re trying to skip going to shops).



    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carole, long-waisted with short legs is much easier to fit than the other way around. You should just choose the standard bike size relative to your son’s height and adjust the saddle height as needed. Since your son is 5’10”, you should go for a 17/18″ or a 54/55cm frame. Good luck! 🙂

  • Azra says:

    Hi i am 152cm tall women
    What size of cycle will be good for me if i go with wheel size??

  • Harjeet says:

    I planning buy an Aero bike.I’m 5feet 9 inches.

  • lisa Snowden says:

    Hi there,? I’m only 5ft in height and looking for bike ? I think my legs length is 29- 30 I think .
    My hubby got my lovely pink Trax bike but unfortunately my tiptoes just touch floor . Gutted because I think the frame is to big, please cud u help ? Many thank yous

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Lisa, when you’re sitting flat on the saddle, your tip toes should, in fact, barely be able to touch the ground. However, if your saddle needs to be in the lowest position for that to happen, you should probably get a smaller size. For you, the ideal size would be 14″. 🙂

  • Cliff says:

    I am 6′ 3″ with an inseam of 34″ I want to buy a Trek Domane (geometry chart here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/475wrqw8n9elsz3/Geometry.png?dl=0)

    It seems to me that since my inseam is short for my height, my upper body is therefore long and I would need a relatively large frame (leading me to think I need a 62cm). Would you agree?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cliff, I think a 62cm frame would be an overkill for your height, even though your torso might be proportionally bigger. A smaller frame would be better in my opinion.

  • Tushar says:

    Hi Jeff I am 6 feet tall and looking for a city bike what size should I buy L,XL
    Please mention frame size and wheel size.thanks a lot in advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Tushar, the ideal city bike for you should have 700c wheels and a 17″/56cm frame. Enjoy your rides!

  • Beth Harper says:

    Hi, my husband is trying to find the correct size after ordering 2 different bike styles.
    He is 6’2” and weighs 230 lbs. We are thinking he wants a mountain bike.
    What size should we purchase?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Beth, your husband should look at bikes with an 18″ or 19″ frame if he is planning to buy a mountain bike. 🙂

  • Cynthia Wegner says:

    I have the hardest time fitting a bike. I am a woman, 5’11’ and have extra-extra long legs with a short torso. My inseam is 33″. My waist is short. Problem I face is that the seat has to be high and then the handle bars are too far away so basically I am bent forward way too much and this hurts my neck. I want a urban/city bike but NOT super low or high handles. I see so many bikes where the seat is horizontally at the same height as the handle bars and I don’t like this. How can I choose the right fit?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Cynthia, people with long legs/short torso generally have the hardest time to find a proper bike size. Ideally, you should choose your bike size according to your torso length and not your overall height as you can easily raise the saddle. If you do not care too much about the appearance, you should consider some comfort bikes. They usually have saddles lower than usual, so it will give you some room for adjustment.

  • Connie says:

    What about the handle bar height? I have the right size bike according to the chart, saddle is adjusted for leg length and comfortable, but I get a lot of pressure on heels of my hands while riding. Wondering if the handle bar is to low or needs adjusting?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Connie, if possible, try raising the height of the handlebar. If not, perhaps you need to push the saddle back/forward a bit and see if that changes anything for you.

  • Kira says:

    Im ten, and will a 26″ fit me? im 4ft 7 in. Or will 20″ and 24″ have to do?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kira, a 24″ bike would be a better fit for your height I believe. However, kids your age grow fast, so depending on how fast you grow, you might be ready for a bike with 26″ wheels soon as well.

  • Bungosana says:

    Hi Jeff!
    You wrote a very informative article. It will help me to write my next article about standard bike choosing.

  • Weatherman says:

    I am totally confused by this. I am in between and don’t know what to do. Every measure is different, it ranges from 55 to 58. I got all the different results from bunch of websites. I am 183cm in height and my inseam is 83cm. I think the 56 it’s the right measurement for me because that is the measurement I got the most times but I’m still confused and don’t know what to do.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I agree with you, a 56cm frame would be best for your measurements. If possible, try the bike and see how it fits. 🙂

  • Matthew says:

    Nothing about any of these methods is useful – all of it is antiquated and oversimplified information. Even as a bike shop manager and professional fitter, I appreciate the sentiment that some people want to save money by cutting out the middle man, but the reality is that these charts and methods are incredibly generalized and do not take into account the rider’s personal medical history, flexibility, reach (the absolute most important large dimension in bike sizing), or other physical restrictions or attributes, nor does it take into account the completely different geometry between subcategories of road bike and mountain bike, and the even more minute differences between bikes of the same subcategory from brand to brand. I, for example, have very low hip restriction, low flexibility in my lower back, and a short reach compared to my body dimensions (6’0″ with a 32in/81cm inseam). On most road bikes except for endurance geometry bikes, I either have to ride a 54cm frame with the saddle slid obnoxiously far back (2+ centimeters aft) for proper KOPS and deal with awful toe overlap and the near inability to get in the drops unless I sub the stem for (typically) the stock length at a greater positive angle OR ride a 56 centimeter frame to solve the issue of saddle-to-bar drop being too great for my flexibility with an obnoxiously short stem (70-80mm), which ruins handling in corners and at speed. None of this is even remotely uncommon – roughly 40 percent of the cyclists I fit in the course of a month experience similar peculiarities in their body dimensions, range of motion, flexibility, etc. My point is, for anyone reading this, do not take these methods as gospel. Bike fitting is a very individualized process, and I have yet to find a chart that takes any of these things into account – you wouldn’t order your clothes from a chart that said your height dictates you wear somewhere between a 30 and 34 inch inseam in pants and sticks you with a large shirt even if you need a medium because you have short torso and slender build, would you? No, that’s ridiculous. Don’t do the same with your bikes. Yes, some bike shops are out to squeeze you for money, but most consumers are smart enough to shop consciously and pick the most honest and reputable shop. Believe it or not, some of us know what we’re doing and want you to enjoy your cycling experience, even if it means price matching with similarly spec’d online bikes to ensure you get a proper fit. Cheers.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Thank you for your comment Matthew. I think it’s incredibly useful and valuable for anyone out there thinking about getting the right fit. I absolutely agree with you that nothing beats a professional bike fit.

      Still, I believe that the charts on this page are incredibly valuable for people who wish to save money by purchasing a bike online or simply do not have access to well-equipped local bike shops in their area.

      As I have mentioned a couple of times before, every person is different, but we’re also very similar since our bodies follow general patterns, which is what these charts are based on.


  • Kate says:

    Hi, sorry I feel I’m late to the party but….
    I’m a 37 year old 5 foot 3 inch woman, who has, at most, been on a bicycle 3 times in the last 2 decades. I’m not searching for a bike and need some help with the size. Most bikes I find have a 28 inch tire, but these are typically too tall for me when using actual measurements. I’ve found a bike with an 81 inch seat height (at lowest), and unfortunately I can’t test it out since it’s online.
    My question: what’s the ideal size for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi, Kate. You can’t be late to a party that never ends. 🙂

      I assume you’re thinking about buying a hybrid or a city bike. If that’s the case, the ideal size for you would be 15″/52cm.

  • David Gair says:

    Hi jeff, I have the opportunity to buy a whyte cornwall road bike with a 57 cm frame size at a bargain price. I am 6’3″1/4 with a 35 inch inseam and a negative ape index. Do you think this bike could work for me?
    Kind regards, Dave.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi David,

      57cm is one size smaller than ideal for you. However, since you have a negative ape index and your reach is smaller, that deal could still work for you after some additional tweaks.

  • Fatma says:

    Hi Jeff, I am bearly 5 feet women and petite, looking for a bike, but nothing heavy and want to be able to reach the ground. What size would fit me?

    Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Fatma,

      It depends on which type of bike you’re planning to get. Overall, you should look for a bike with 26″ wheels and a step-through frame, which will make it a lot easier for you to get on and off. Look for the smallest frame size they have. Most of the time, that’s 13-14″. 🙂

  • Maria K Cavendish says:

    Great article! Do you have a review for e-bikes, or pedal-assist bikes somewhere? I am female, and there are so many choices. It would be my first. So far have owned only mtn bikes….

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Maria,

      We are just working on an in-depth review of the best e-bikes out there, so stay tuned as it should be finished soon. 🙂

  • Maria says:

    Hi! I recently purchased a Fuji absolute hybrid. 17”. I am 5’5 female My hands feel a bit of pressure when I ride, but otherwise I love it. What is the preferred size for my height? And would I be able to tweek it to relieve the hand pressure? Advice?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Maria,

      That’s a beautiful bike. 🙂 According to the size guide on the Fuji website, you should have chosen a 15″ model (S). If you can, you should go to a local bike shop that does basic bike fitting and they’ll help you set it up to suit you better.

  • Maureen says:

    Thanks, Jeff!

  • Nerissa M. says:


    I am a 17 year old, 5’0” girl looking for a bike to ride on the streets of NYC…any suggestions ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nerissa,

      Look for a hybrid/city/cruiser model, depending on how much you want to ride. Ideally, try finding a bike with 26″ wheels and a 14″ frame.

  • Maureen says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I am a 5′-9” woman with a 33” inseam and I am looking for a bike that I can use on roads for +-20 – 40 km rides but also for rough gravel roads. I live on an archipelago, salt is also a concern. Don’t want a bike that is too heavy either. Do you have any suggestions re. type of bike and size? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Maureen,

      You should check out some gravel bikes, seems like that would be the best choice for your needs. We’ve already reviewed some gravel bikes made by Diamondback, which are quite good. A hybrid bike with slightly wider tires would do the job as well, depending on what kind of roads you will ride most.

      As for the size, you should look for a 53/54cm (16″/17″) frame. 🙂

  • Mike says:

    Jeff – thanks for the write up. It’s very clear. I’m 6’4″ with a 36/37 CM inseam..so mostly leg. I know “by the book” I should be on a road bike XXL frame ala 62cm and up for seat post measurement. Issue is there is a road bike that I’m really keen on and it only goes to XL @59cm. It an online source (in the UK, I live in the USA) so i cannot try.
    From your knowledge, would it be a no-no to go with it? It’s not cheap , so perspective would be great- thanks

    • Mike says:

      *correction * the XL is actually 57CM! not 59

    • Jeff Balton says:

      You’re welcome, Mike, glad you found it helpful! 🙂 I think it would be quite risky buying a 57cm frame considering you’re quite a big guy. I would not risk it, more so since you say the bike is costly as well.

  • Slow rider says:

    Trying a bike before buying it is NOT over rated. . . it is CRITICAL. You would be making a large error in ordering a bike on-line that you have never ridden unless it is a replacement for a bike you are familiar with or you are an experienced cyclist.

    Not only is this buying information very wrong, the author completely passes over the fact that a bicycle purchased sight unseen on-line has to be assembled properly and this may require both skill and special tools. If you do get the bike sized properly and then assembled properly – which is not a given – and you don’t like the bike then you are going to be facing a rather big job getting the bike disassembled and repacked in order to return to the warehouse. We are talking hours not minutes.

    Do yourselves a big favor. . . go test ride a bunch of bikes. You will find that the glossy on-line pictures and marketing hype are not a great basis on which to choose a bike. You will also be treated to invaluable advise from people that actually do know what they are talking about.

    After you have found a bike you really like in a size that is right for you THEN you can shop for the lowest price on-line and have the partially assembled bike delivered to you . . . mess up the assembly. . . put the broken parts in your car. . . go to a bike shop and pay more than you saved to have them repair the bike. . .

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Thanks for sharing your opinion on the topic! I agree with you that it’s always better if you can try the bike before you buy it, as I have stated a lot of times before. But, sometimes that is not possible. Some brands only sell their bikes online. In such cases, there are ways in which you can get the right fit most of the times, the best of which we have included in this article. 🙂

  • Dave says:

    Wow! What an informative, straightforward post. This is a keeper!

    I have a Marin 29’er Pioneer Trail that I just love. I’ve changed the riding geometry to suit my style. Being in the 70+ age bracket, I raised the handlebar height, made my rear 8-speed Acera Derailleur do what in never was designed to do (that being, easily climb up on a 40 tooth sprocket) and clamp on “L” bar ends.

    One thing to note for recreational MTB rides is handlebar width. I found the 26” bars so narrow I felt unstable. Shoulder width and a little wider is a good rule of thumb.

    The only bike I left “stock” is my ‘75 U09 Peugeot that I bought for $75. Simplex shifters (pure junk) and all. She’s still a beauty. I had to replace a failed front Derailleur with a Campy. Hard to find without a bike attached.

    Sorry but got off track.

    Regardless, great post!!!! Thanks.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dave, I’m happy that you found the article useful! Thanks for sharing your experience as well 🙂

  • Michael says:

    Hi. I am 5’6″ (167.6cm) and my inseam length is 30″ (76.2cm). For a city bike, I get:
    Method 1: height, I get a 16″ bike size. =M
    Method 2: inseam 30″ x 0.685 = 20.55″, 52.2 cm.
    Method 3: Size chart. For a city bike I choose the third line/range and get 16″/M. This is confusing, because my legs are short for my height, yet I’m toward the bottom of the height range on that line, yet toward the top of the leg length range? The size confirms method 1, height only.
    Method 3b16/30: Inseam (76cm) only chart gives 15-16″.
    Method 4: Amazon: By height I’m at the top of S/15″ range, by inseam I’m square middle of 17″. (Again, why am I bigger by leg length)
    I guess the consensus is a 16″ bike size, but it looks to me like the multiplier number for inseam/leg length number is off, although I’ve seen similar numbers elsewhere. A 30″ inseam is small in pants sizes, but comes out in a large bike size.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Michael,

      Yes, a 16″ bike would be the best choice for you. As for your confusion regarding the inseam length, humans come in different proportions. Some have longer legs, others have longer torsos. This discrepancy can usually be amended by fidgeting with the saddle height.

  • Brett says:

    Hello I’m 6 ft 6 what size bike do I need …mountain bike

  • Denis says:

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the useful article. I have bought Vitus escrape VR (650b) frame size L, but now I have doubt that I choose the right frame size. My height is 179cm and inside leg is 85cm, what do you think? Maybe is best choose for me M size?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Denis,

      I think you made the right choice. The L size suits your inseam length much better than the M size. You’re right in-between the two sizes and it’s always better to choose the bigger one. Enjoy your new purchase! 🙂

  • Ken says:

    Hi Jeff!

    I’m an adult standing at 5’2″ (I know, short lol) who hasn’t learned how to ride a bike but I’m trying to pick it up. I just need a good beginner bike to practice where I can set my feet on the ground for balancing purposes. What size bike should I go for?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Ken,

      It’s never too late to start enjoying cycling! It depends on which bike you choose, but I’d recommend looking at 15″ bikes. Have fun! 🙂

  • Katrina says:

    Won a bike, yay me! But I think the frame is too large. My Specialized Dolce Elite women’s bike sticker says “54” so I got a Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105 frame size 54 but it just feels much bigger. Am I crazy? I’m a 5’5″ women. Wondering if I should try to switch it out for a 52 or even a 50. Road bike. Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Katrina, congrats on your prize!

      According to Cannondale’s bike size charts that I managed to find online, you should go for a 50cm frame. According to Specialized’s size charts, the 54cm Dolce Elite, should also be too big for you. But since you feel it fits you well, maybe a 52cm Cannondale SuperSix Evo will fit fine as well. It’s best to try both sizes and see what feels better. 🙂

  • Maya says:

    I would appreciate your thought on the following – I am a “reborn” cycling lover; for the past two years I have been riding my old 26′ wheel bike. I intend to buy a new bike this summer and I have been advised multiple times to focus onto 27.5′ wheels the next time I choose a bike. I am only 159cm high (or short 🙂 ) female, and I’m not sure I should actually switch to a larger wheel size.ocasuonally,I feel like I would love a bigger wheel but, since I rarely ever ride my bike on flat ground and often struggle with hills and uneven surfaces ,I am a bit afraid because manipulating a bike with smaller wheels just seems more logical for a short person like me.

    Do you have any thoughts on that ?
    Btw, i ride only MTB

    Thank you I’m advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Maya,

      It all depends on the bike you choose and the size of the frame. 27.5″ wheels will not necessarily create a problem for you if the standover clearance is not too high for you. These wheels are not hard to get used to when switching from 26″ ones, but they offer a lot of advantages on the trail. Since you say you mostly ride off-road, I think that would be a good move, as long as the bike still fits good.

  • Ryan says:

    Hi Jeff, I am 5’4″. I am getting into cycling and want to buy a used road bike. There are not many options for a S frame bike. Would it be a stretch if I used a M frame road bike?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It depends on the manufacturer and the model. It could work out, but it could end up being too large as well. You should find out the geometry of the bike you want to buy and try to figure out if you could get it closer to an S frame by using a smaller stem and adjusting the saddle.

  • Josh says:

    Hi Jeff I’m new to biking at 37 years old, and I bought a 29″ Schwinn Knowles mountain bike. so far ive been happy riding but after some research im worried the frame size is too small for me; im 6’6 and measuring the frame its a 21″. Do you think this will continue to work for me? Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Josh,

      Ideally, you should have bought a larger frame. However, if you continue riding it and experience no major performance or health issues, I don’t see why it won’t work. 🙂

  • Johnn says:

    There is a new 2013 model Kona Kahuna mountain bike that’s ~27 pounds that looks to be a great deal online at $510, being 18″ with 29″ tires.
    I wrote the sales person, telling him I’m 5’7″ with 30.5″ inseam, and he said it’s the perfect size for me (of course, I’ve not sat on it and know of no local bike shops that sell Konas).
    I was skeptical until I read your comments here to “Shell on May 1, 2019 at 10:36 pm,” and she is 5’4″ with a 30.5″ inseam and you suggested perhaps a Trek 17.5″ with 29″ tires would be an ok fit. So this sounds similar to my situation.. hmm..
    I don’t know if Kona & Trek have similar geometry, so, I’m hoping you can offer some advice. $510 for a 27 pounder having 29″ tires seems a great price.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Johnn,

      Looking at Kona’s geometry, I believe a 17″ frame would fit you better. There’s a chance that 18″ could work as well, but it’s a risk.

  • Nobel Preet Singh says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My height is between 5feet 8inch to 5feet 9inch. I am from India and planning to buy a mountain bike. Which size will be suitable for me either M 17″ or L 19″. I am planning to buy BTWIN ROCKRIDER 500 model from my friend having M frame size. Could you please let me know whether M size would be fine as I am beginner and can’t differentiate.

  • Igor says:

    stupidest charts I’ve ever seen… Rider’s hight is in centimeters, frame size is in inches… DUMBASSES.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      The frame size is always shown in inches. The riders’ height is shown both in inches and in centimeters.

  • Florin says:

    Hi I m looking to buy a road bike, I m 1m73cm what frame I m looking for? Thanks

  • Hello! My son is almost 15, 5’11” and weighs 190lbs., he wants a BMX bike for his birthday but I don’t know what size to get. Can you please help me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Becky, your son needs a BMX bike with 20″ wheels. Best to take him with you and let him choose which one fits him best. 🙂

  • James says:

    Hello my son is 5 foot 10 inches tall and is almost 15 years old and growing fast. He has 29-30 inch inseam. He needs another bike. I found a nice road/hybrid bike that is 21″ frame. Would this be a good size for him? Would it fit him now with the seat down and when he grows he could raise the seat?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      That’s definitely too big for him, James. I recommend looking for an 18/19″ frame and upgrading when and if he grows much taller.

  • Jacques says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Very informative. Thank you.
    I have my eye on a specific bike, but the frame might be too large. I am 184cm in length, and said mountain bike is a XL. Could I get by by moving seatpost around a bit?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jacques, can you share what bike it is? It would help me to answer your question more precisely. XL means a different thing from one manufacturer to another. But, generally, an XL bike should fit your height.

  • JO S says:

    I’m looking to buy 2 bikes one for my wife and I. Our measurements
    5’10 with 31″ inseam (180lb)
    4″11 with 25″ inseam (125lb)

    Wanting to buy hybrid bikes. Can you help on on sizes?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jo, you should go for a 17″ frame, whereas your wife should go for a 14″ frame, in my opinion, and according to most bike size charts. Enjoy riding! 🙂

  • Brent Kabat says:

    I need help too, as I also fall right in the middle. Was it a good idea to go medium or go small for me?
    Trek FX3
    I am short male, 5′ 5.4″
    Inseam is 29 to floor.

    I was able to try both small and medium of these bikes.
    I did indeed feel a difference in the reach; obviously reaching farther with the medium.
    But, since I don’t really “ride” yet, I don’t know any better.

    Your advice?

    Thanks for all you do here,

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Brent, I always advise choosing the larger size when you are in-between two sizes. So, I recommend choosing Medium in your case. 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m looking at purchasing (online) a 2018 Diamondback Lux 3 mountain bike in a size small. My husband is concerned that it might be too small. I’m 5’3 with a 27″ inseam. Could I please get your input. Thanks.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Laura, that’s the right size for you, according to Diamondback’s sizing charts. You should go for the Small size with Lux 3. Enjoy your new bike!

  • Viktor says:

    Hi Jeff I have purchased a road bike and I don’t even know what size is the bike I think it’s around 55-56” I’m 5-10” what would be the right size for?me thanks

  • Rick Critchlow says:

    Sorry, I’m a little confused about the bike sizing. My wife is 4’11”

    She thinks she has to have a 24″ bike. I don’t think this is true as long as the seat adjusts low enough. What is your expert opinion? It’s also hard to find a 24″ that is not kid themed.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Rick, your wife definitely does not need to get a 24″ bike. A 26″ bike with a step-through frame would be fine. Just make sure to get the smallest size. 🙂

  • Giana says:

    Hi! I am a 5’5 twelve-year-old, and my old bike is too small for me. I know that the ideal size for me is a medium, but I want to keep this bike for a long time. What should I do?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Giana, you can get a one size larger bike than what you need right now if you think that you will grow into it soon. I’d advise trying it before purchasing and investing in a shorter stem to make it more comfortable in the meantime.

  • Arvind KaswaN says:

    Hey jeff, I’m 6’2″ living in India , I saw a mountain bike on internet with 26T tyres and 19 inches frame size. Will it suit me good or if not any suggestions please

    • Jeff Balton says:

      That sounds to be about the right size for you. You can always adjust the saddle position and the stem if need be. 🙂

  • Alicia Hatfield says:

    My son is 5’1” and is 10. What size would you think would be best. I was thinking 24”? Do you think it would give him enough room to grow or should i go up?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alicia, I think you can go for a 26″ bike since boys start growing rapidly around that age. Make sure to give your son a chance to try out the bike if possible and see whether he feels comfortable riding it. 🙂

  • Sarah Casey says:

    Hi Jeff. Hoping you can help to clarify. I have a growing son currently at 6’5″. Because he is still growing we do not want to spend a lot of money on a bike yet. Found one on Craigslist Schwinn 700c Mens adult. Sticker says measures 70L x 25.5w x 43h. And yet I still cannot determine if that is a 23 or 25, XL or TALL” frame which is what we have been told he needs. Can you shed any light here for my pea brain?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah, it depends on what these measures mean. If 70L is the effective length of the top tube, I’d say that would be suitable for your son. If possible, contact the seller and ask for more details before purchasing.

  • Stoyan says:

    Hi Jeff. Appreciate your site and expertise!
    I’m male, 174 cm / 78 cm inseam barefoot and I’m about to order Canyon Pathlite 5.0. Their calculator suggest I have to choose size XS, because they think I have rather shorter legs, but I don’t want to fo for XS, because it has 27.5” tires and I really wanted a bike with 29″ ones that are available in Pathlite size S and above. Looking at the geometry of the bike Size S is made for people of my height 168 – 178 CM but my inseam could be an issue. My biggest concern is the standover height of the bike. I currently ride a 17″ bike with 28″ tires and it doesn’t break my balls. But Pathlite Size S is 19″ plus its bigger tires could make a standover height higher than my crotch. Unfortunately, Canyon does not provide the standover height of the bike, even by request. They don’t have such info. If the bike comes taller than my crotch can I compensate wearing trainers with XL soles? Also, can I calculate a standover height of a bike by looking at its other dimensions? What would you suggest going for S or choosing XS which is made for smaller people 158 – 168 CM?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Stoyan, getting an S size is risky, but it might work out. As far as I can see, the seat tube length on the S size is 49cm, which leaves you with around 30cm to spare, but it all depends on how high the bottom bracket is. With a slightly higher sole, I think it might work.

  • Mikey D says:

    Hi, thanks for the info. I just got a Diverge 61cm. I’m just short of 6″3. Saddle is still fairly high. No discomfort. I guess I’m borderline? Should I have gotten 58? Or does it seem right? Sales said it was my size.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      If you have no discomfort, then it must be the right size. According to the charts, you’re spot on. Enjoy your new bike, you made a good choice. 🙂

  • Shell says:

    I am looking toward getting a trek marlin 5 in either a 15.5” or the 17.5” with the 29” wheel. I am a female, 5’4” tall, 30.5” inseam, 125#. The bike guy says I am in between sizes but that i look like i fit better (judging by the bend in my knee) with the 29”, 17.5”. I am used to riding a small, cheap walmart bike so getting on the bigger one has me on my tip toes. He suggested this bike with a shorter stem. Idk what to do. The smaller one feels like it fits better but idk how they are “supposed to” fit. I think the larger one may be just right with smaller stem once i get used to the height difference and feel of a larger bike. What should i do?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      According to Trek’s charts, you have both the right height and the right inseam length for the 17.5″ model with 29″ tires. It’s normal that a new bike feels strange at first, it takes some time to get used to the change. With a shorter stem, it should feel much more like your older one. 🙂

  • Caryn Naphakdy says:

    Hi Jeff, my 16 y/o daughter has had bike size problems forever. She’s 4’ 9” and weighs 100lbs. I suggested (and sounds like your charts do too) that she purchase a 24” wheel cruiser in the kids dept. She has purchased bikes too big (26” wheel) and always looks like she’s struggling when riding. She wants an adult bike, and loathes the childish looks of the 24” hybrid/cruisers. Do you have any suggestions please? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Caryn, have you tried out a MTB model? There are many with 24″ wheels that do not look childish at all. Alternately, you can check out the Sixthreezero cruiser bikes, they have one-size-fits-all frames, so one of their 26″ bikes might fit your daughter well.

  • Rob Wilson says:

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for the article.

    I’ll a bit confused on one point. I’m 5’10” (177cm) with an inseam of 31″ (79cm). Based on most of the tables it looks like a should get a 17″ frame. But, if I use method 2 based on my inseam I get 79*0.66 = 52cm = 20.5″, which is a huge difference.

    Looking at the tables again I think this might be to do with the conversion of frame sizes from cm to inches. Method 3 has two tables for City bikes, one in inches and one in cm. The 5’9″-6′ row has 17″ frame size in the first table and 56-57-58 cm in the second table. But 56cm=22inches!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      That’s right Rob, the conversion of frame sizes between centimeters and inches differs. The right size for you would be a 17″/56cm frame. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m pretty short at 4’9” was looking to get a hybrid. I’m just not sure what size, what would you suggest?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Lisa, you might consider getting a bike with 24″ wheels. Alternately, you can get a 26″ bike with the smallest frame size available, but it would be best if you could try it out before buying and see if it fits well.

  • Aakash S says:

    My height is 185.5cm but my inseam is 90cm what size should I go in Cannondale and Merida road bikes.?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      In my opinion, a 58cm frame would be a good fit for you. Your leg inseam won’t be a problem, you can lift the saddle to accommodate for it. It would be a bigger problem to get a larger frame and experience back and shoulder issues because of that.

  • David says:

    Hi Jeff im looking at purchasing a used Fondriest FT3 1.2 Size 48 Medium.
    My height is 1.78 and with no shoes on from floor to inner leg is 83.

    Could you please advice if this bike is ok for me

    Many thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi David, according to the charts, you need one size bigger frame than that. It could work with some slight adjustments, but nobody can guarantee that you won’t have problems in the long run.

  • RW says:

    Hey. My height is 6’3″. I am thinking of getting a vintage Specialized Rockhopper with a 20″ frame. Do you think this will work for me? Also, is it wise to get an old mountain bike and turn it into a hybrid?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I believe that is one size larger than what you need. It might work out, but you might experience some issues in the long run. As for the conversion of a mountain bike into a hybrid bike, that sounds like a fun project, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Share the results with us when you’re done. 🙂

  • Darren says:

    Hi Jeff
    Hope you can help… if you’re not getting bored of giving size advice?
    I’ve just bought a Specialized sirrus x comp carbon. The store insisted medium was the way to go. I’m somewhere between 5’10 and 5’11. They had to order the model into store for me to try. I did and it feels ok. I think. But most guides say 5’6 to 5’9 for medium. If a bike is to small for you what feels wrong? When gripping the handlebars I lean over at about 30 degrees(guess) and there’s a slight flex in my arms. Seats slightly above handlebar height and when I peddle the extension takes me to an athletic position ie not fully extended and definitely not cramped.
    Is there an advantage to a size up if you’re in between? My instinct says actually if inbetween then go smaller… theory being why drag extra weight around on a bigger bike? Hmmm overthinking?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Darren, sorry for the late response. Not bored at all, I’m glad to help whenever I can. 🙂

      As for your question, according to the charts, you should have gone for the Large frame. However, that means nothing if you’re feeling comfortable when riding. Judging from your explanation, I think you still made the right choice. So, don’t overthink it and enjoy the rides.

  • Frank says:

    Hi Jeff. I’m just a beginner and I want to ride. I want a road bike in particular. I’m 6’4-6’5. What size should i get? And what brand/type of road bike do you suggest? Many thanks.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      You should get the biggest frame with most models – 62-63cm.
      There are plenty of great bikes online. I’d suggest you start with the best road bikes. And if you need more choices, just move to the Road Bikes section where I’ve covered plenty of different price scales.

  • Amer Demirovic says:

    Thanks for the great article. I am planning to buy a Trek FX 6 hybrid (https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/hybrid-bikes/fitness-bikes/fx/fx-sport-6/p/24521/). In a place where I live they do not have it in stock (so I cannot try it), and I am just in between two sizes.
    I am 187 cm tall with 87 cm inseam and a negative Ape index.
    The manufacturer guideline is:
    L (seat tube 50.8 cm or 20”): height 174-187 cm; inseam 82-88 cm
    XL (seat tube 55.9 cm or 22”): height 185-197 cm; inseam 87-93 cm.

    The negative Ape index implies that I should opt for the smaller size (i.e. L). I guess that I would be fine with both sizes, but I am wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a smaller/larger frame.
    I would love to hear your suggestions or comments. Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Amer,

      It seems to me that you’re good to go with either L or XL frame. Since you need to choose one, I’d take the L because of the APE index.

  • GG says:

    I am 5ft0in and weight nearly 300lb. I am
    Looking to get a bike, but know virtually nothing about them. I hope to use it for riding around just for fun and exercise.
    Is there such a thing as a step through fat tire bike?
    What size bike do I need?
    What do you recommend for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:


      I’d suggest you choose some mountain or, even better, a hybrid bike. Co-op Cycles bikes, for example, have a lower top tube so it is easier to get on and off the saddle. I haven’t noticed a step-through fat bike. But, if you are choosing a fat bike, I’d suggest going for Diamondback. They have proper fat bikes available.
      Final thing I suggest is not to go too cheap, as the cheapest models won’t handle the weight well.
      Just make sure to start slowly, so as not to injure yourself.

  • Lou says:

    Hi im a 46 uear old male, im 5’11” and about 205. im looking at buying a felt decree frame in size medium 18″. Is this to small of a frame for me?

  • Nikolay says:

    I did a mistake trusting to the according tables.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nikolay,
      Sad to hear that. Could you share a little bit more? What bike and model? What are your measurements and how was it wrong (too big, too small)?

  • Abdelrahman salah says:

    Hi jeff,iam 172cm and my inseam 76 and i need a road bike what’s the frame is suitable for me

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I’d take the 52cm frame if I were you. But since your height and inseam ratio is quite different, consider the size charts provided by merchants.

  • Brian Nagy says:

    Jeff, I’m looking at a Diamondback recoil 29er. I am 6’2″ and an inseam of 32-33. The bikes sizes are M18″ or L20″. I’m worried About going too big. What would you recommend?

  • Amjed says:

    Hi Jeff
    I want to buy a mountain bike 26 inch or 27.5 inch and my height is 5 feet and 3 inch and my inseam is 28 inch which frame size should I consider and more comfortable. Thank you Amjed

  • Mark G says:

    Any different size advice for overweight people looking to lose weight? I’m 5’9″ but weigh over 250Ibs. Inside leg is about 30″. Is a smaller frame with the saddle adjusted higher a better option? Looking for a road bike.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Great idea to lose some weight by cycling! I’ve witnessed many friends getting great results by doing that.

      There are no benefits of having a smaller frame with a higher saddle. In most cases, the bigger frame and lower saddle combination is better if I have to choose one.
      If you are new to cycling, do not take huge steps at the beginning. I’d suggest you consider a hybrid bike because it has a quite relaxed geometry. On road bikes, you will risk potential injuries.

  • Nikhil Dharmendrakumar Rajput says:

    My name is Nikhil. I am 21. I want a bicycle for daily use of 20 kilometers in city roads and/or on highways. My height is 6’1.5″. My bicycle must be light in weight and maintenance free. What are the specifications my bike should meet?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Nikhil, it depends on the budget you have. But, if all you need it for is daily city commuting, you can go for an entry-level or a mid-range model. No need to spend a lot of money for those needs.

  • Peggy Mathis says:

    Hi, I am a 5 foot woman 145 pounds and about 27 inch inseam. I am interested in purchasing a cruiser, Which would be best for me to purchase, a 24 or 26? Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Peggy, both can be good in my opinion. A 24″ model will suit you well for sure. But, if you do not like the look of a 24″ bike, you can take a risk with a 26″ one as well. It might be a good fit as well.

  • Sunny says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for this article – I didn’t know where to start until I stumbled upon this.
    I’m about to buy an E-bike (brand new, not used) online but the Specs does not say its frame (or wheel) size… just that’s general adult. One reviewer says this is “One size: 53cm -CT, 48cm -CC” – What does that mean?
    it also says:
    seat height – 90cm to 111cm, 35″ to 43″
    tires – 700C x 28C (made specifically for ebikes
    I’m 5’5 (female) and not a super confident rider… from your article it looks like i should look for a 15-16′ frame. Does that “One size: 53cm -CT, 48cm -CC” work with what I hope to get?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Sunny, that bike would be too big for you. -CT stands for “Center to Top” and refers to the length of the seat tube from the bottom bracket to the top, where the seat post goes into the seat tube. -CC is similar and stands for “Center to Center,” it refers to the length of the seat tube from the bottom bracket to the point where the seat tube and the top tube meet.

      Measure your inseam length, if it is smaller than 90cm/35″ (which is the minimum seat height as far as I can see from your info) it means that you won’t be able to ride this bike. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Carlos Cervantes says:

    Jeff, I desperately need your help. I’m looking at the Santa Cruz Megatower 29er or the Specialized Enduro 29er, maybe the Stumpjumper 29er. I seem to fall between a L and an XL. I’m 6’1”-6’2”, inseam 32-33. Which size would you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carlos.
      For the Megatower, the 19″ (XL) would be the best fit. For the Enduro and Stumpjumper, I’d take the 19″ (L) frame 🙂

  • Prasanth says:

    Hi, I’m 5ft10inch high inseam calculates as 33inch. Saw a northrock xc29 it’s a 29er, good price but only 17.5 frame size. I rode it. But confused if that’s the correct size. Can you advise

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Prasanth,
      Yes, according to Northrock themselves, that’s the right size for your height. If you felt good when you rode it, feel free to go for it. ?

  • Kieran says:

    Hi I’m 5ft9.5 with a 32.5″ inseam and a hefty +15cm ape index! (monkey arms) I am looking at buying a 55cm orbea orca (they recommend a 53 on the website) I only have the option of a 55 as it’s clearance stock. They seem to recommend smaller sizes than most other companies.
    Do you think it would be OK?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kieran,
      Yes, considering your impressive ape index, I think it should be fine. If it turns out to be too large, you can use a shorter stem and make it fit better. Happy riding. 🙂

  • Seems like your article is written for bike height not frame length. A 6’5″ rider can end up with to much stress on their hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, lower back, hips, and knees from squeezing into a short frame with big wheels. You should add that. Meanwhile I will look elsewhere and hopefully find the info. What you did list was good though.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alan,
      Thanks for the constructive comment, it’s always appreciated. The 6’5″ height that you mention is an extreme and in such cases it is harder to find the right fit. But, it can still be done with some adjustments. However, riders of average height will have no problem fitting nicely into the sizes we mention in this article. 🙂

  • Shaheen says:


    My sis is 5ft. Im willing to buy a bicycle for her. plz suggest which bicycle should I buy?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shaheen,
      First determine whether you’d like to buy a mountain, a city, or a road bike for your sister. After that, check out the charts in this article to determine which size you should aim for. Hope your sister will like the gift! 🙂

  • David says:

    I’m 5’9″ with 32.5 inseam
    What size is good for me?

  • David says:

    Im 5 9″ what frame is good for me. I need a mountain bike.

  • Dawniece T. says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I really appreciate this article…but I am still a little confused. I am a 6’2″ woman with a 37″ inseam. Long limbs, with a short torso. I was going to attempt to purchase a commuter bike online, but the size charts do not line up due to my leg length not matching my height. Could you help please? Thank you so much!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hello Dawniece,
      My advice is to go for the regular frame size for your height which will match your torso nicely. You can always raise the saddle up afterwards to accommodate for your long inseam. 🙂

  • Norashidi says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’d bought Argon 18 go! (XS) for my wife and her height is around 162cm. Are this bike size really fits for my wife or I’d wrongly bought incorrect size (my friend told me i should get S size)….i’m a bit confusing right now.
    I plannning to get another bike for myself…most probably Giant TCR Advanced…my height is 164.5cm and one retailer suggesting me to get a XS size too. But i want to get S size,…is there any problem with my choice or should i listen to retailer’s advise and stick to XS size…? Thank you in advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Norashidi,
      XS seems about right for your wife. However, in your case, it seems that both S and XS would be good, according to Giant’s sizing guide. But, I’d recommend going for the larger size and choosing S.

  • Nabeila Ghazali says:

    Hi Jeff,

    It has been ages since my last time riding a bicycle. I am now looking for a city bike to use on weekend basis for recreational purpose. Recently, my husband bought a Retro Bike model: 7-SP, Brand: XDS. I found it a bit hard to handle as I am an asian petite woman (height: 149 cm, weight: 45kg), appreciate you could suggest the right size of city bike for me and perhaps the brand as well. Anyway, I want to ride a bike with my son seating at the back too.

    Thank you ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nabeila,
      It’s great that you want to go back to cycling. Being that you are petite, I think you should go for a 26″ hybrid or cruiser model with a step-through frame, such as the Sixthreezero. Check out this review of the best bikes for women to learn more. Also, stay tuned as we will soon publish an in-depth review of Sixthreezero, so you can see if it suits you. 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Hi Jeff
    I’m going to buy a Vitus Sentier 275 MTB. I’m 5’8″ with 33″ inseam. Medium would fit my length, large is recommended for this inseam.
    Which is the best choice?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anne,
      In cases like these, if it’s possible you should try both sizes and determine which one suits you better. If not, try measuring the length of your arm span and comparing it to your height. If it’s greater than your height, choose L; otherwise, go for M. 🙂

  • Nancy says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I haven’t ridden a bike in a while. Would a Women Hybrid bike be better for someone who doesn’t ride often and would a 26” be good for my height (5’ 3”)? Do you recommend a good brand?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Yes, I believe a hybrid bike would be great for you, as you can use it for multiple purposes. For your height, I would recommend a 15″-16″ frame size, either with 26″ or 700c wheels. Check out our Best Hybrid Bikes guide to find a great brand! It features some Women’s hybrid bikes as well, but all of them can suit you well with some minor changes. 🙂

  • Mack says:

    I am 192cm tall, what would be my correct bike size?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mack,
      The best bike size for your height is 18″-19″ or XL. It would be best if you first gave the bike a try if that’s possible since, depending on the manufacturer, an XXL frame might fit you fine as well.

  • Mollie says:

    What would be the proper advice when looking for a beach cruiser bike? I want to get bikes for my boyfriend and I so we can do this together but I’m finding this to be more challening than actually riding a bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mollie,
      Beach cruisers are bikes designed for leisurely rides, so the best advice is to get one that fits you well and that looks fun to ride. Check out our Best Hybrid Bikes guide to get some ideas and find something that you like. As with any other type of bike, make sure to choose the right size. 🙂

  • Kenny says:

    Hi there. Some asked this alr3ady but I was curious because 5’6″ is the cut off for two sizes on road bikes. It is the max at one size and the minimum on the next size up. Which is 5’3″ to 5’6″ and 5’6 to 5’9″. That is a big range. What do you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kenny,
      If possible, it’s best to give both sizes a try and see which one fits better. This is a foolproof method. 🙂 Alternately, you can try to figure out your “Ape index.” Measure your height and your arm span, and then compare the two. If your arm span is greater than your height, go for the larger size. Otherwise, go for the smaller size.

  • Isabela says:

    Hi Jeff, I’m 1,42cm 35y old woman, not very good with bikes, lol. I’m so short that I usually don’t find my height in the size charts. I have a 26” women’s mountain bike, It’s almost the right size but I still can barely touch the ground, I feel I could use a smaller one, but not sure how small (frame and wheels). Is there a mountain bike size you would recommend? Thanks a lot

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Isabela,
      There are some bike manufacturers that offer XXS frame sizes, so you should try to find some brand that fits your other requirements. Alternately, you can try a kid’s model with 24″ wheels, as these can be great for adults as well. Good luck! 🙂

  • Julia says:

    Hey Jeff! Thanks for this article. It’s great. One question. I seem to be on the cusp of small and medium sized frames. I’m a female, 5’5” and 3/4, with like a 78 cm inseam. I saw a used Trek road bike for a great price with a small frame (52), but based on their website I could go either way with a 52 or 54 frame. It’s a nice investment, so I don’t want to get stuck with a road bike thats too small. What would you recommend? Appreciate your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Julia,
      I believe that would be a good size for your height. If possible, visit some local bike shop and try a random Trek road bike with a 52 cm frame to get an idea on how it fits. You’ll know what to expect then. 🙂

  • James says:

    Hello Mr.Jeff,

    I owned a road bike ‘ Felt’ brand with the size of 54 cm frame. I’m 170cm tall. Is there anything wrong with the size of the bike? Before this, i used to ride with MTB for 80km with no problems. But with this Road bike, I ride only 30km and my legs get cramp always. Is there something wrong with my bike?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi James,
      That seems like the right size for you. Is your saddle properly adjusted? Make sure that it is not too low, there should be just a slight bend in your knee when you extend your leg. Also, road bikes put your body in a very different position than mountain bikes, so you might need some time to get used to the change. 🙂
      You can read the Bike Fit article on Cycling Advice section

  • Lee scales says:

    Hi I’m 5″9 and seen the perfect road bike for sale but it has a 21″ frame will this be to big for me? Unfortunately the bike is located quite a drive from me so trying it before I buy ain’t an option.
    Many thanks in advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lee,
      Yes, unfortunately, I am afraid that bike would be too big for you. Good luck finding one that suits you better. 🙂

  • Evan says:

    I’m looking to get a hybrid bike for my wife’s birthday. She is 5’2”. Would a 15” frame with 28” wheels work or does that seem to big?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Evan,
      That size sounds about right for her, but the standover height could be a problem. If it’s a step-through frame, then it shouldn’t be an issue at all. 🙂

  • Jessie says:

    Looking for a roadbike, but I’m seeing a lot of sizes in inches not cm. Do u have a conversion chart???

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jessie,
      Check out the Road Bike Size Chart in this article, it shows the bike sizes both in metric and imperial units. 🙂

  • Teresa says:

    My son is 4’5 100lbs and I’m not sure what size bike to get him

  • Marco Manzo says:

    This absolutely BS. Every person body is different so every person needs to try different frame geometries and sizes in order to find a good fit.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Marco,
      You are right in that every person is different, however, everyone is also very similar, as we all fall in several categories. Therefore, the idea is to choose the right bike size for your ‘category’ and then make small adjustments with the seat, stem length, and so on. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Vasiliy says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I wanted to buy a used Fat Tire bike on Ebay, but it is M size frame and I need XL for my 6”2 height.

    One thing I am trying to understand: the distance from the tube where saddle is to the tube where handle bar is. Is it the same for M and XL sizes?

    Could I just adjust the saddle on M frame to fit my height but still be comfortable on the bike?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your answer

  • Kick says:

    Hi jeff , i want to buy a bike . My height is 5.6 feet. What is my perfect bike size ?

  • Emmanouil says:

    Hi Jeff
    I want to buy a racing bike but I cant decide on the right size. I am 1.75 cm height which is the changing size between M and M/L on a Giant frame. I cant try the bike before ordering it
    What do you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Emmanouil,
      It’s best that you contact someone from Giant and ask what they recommend, they can surely help you out. Otherwise, you can measure your arm span and compare it to your height. If it’s greater than your height, go for the L frame. If it’s smaller, choose the M size. 🙂

  • Alif says:

    My height is 170cm and what should be my bike size?

  • V says:

    I am 5’ 8” tall withan inseam of 29 inches. I just got a 51 cm road bike. Will this be okay for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi V,
      That seems to be one size smaller than what you need. However, if you have no problems and it feels good riding it, just keep it up. Otherwise, you can make it fit better by fitting a longer stem and pulling your seat back a bit. 🙂

  • Medhat Ishak says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I have a question does the Amazon Fit Guide charts or any other chart of mountain bikes apply for the hybrid? because none of them mentioned the hybrid bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Medhat Ishak,
      Mountain bike size charts can differ from city/hybrid bike size charts, so you should not rely on them 100%. But, you can use them to get a better idea of what you need. 🙂

  • Micah says:

    I’m 6’9″ and 355lbs. Other than an immediate XXL mountain bike, what is a good way to find something I don’t feel I’m going to break? I have 3 kids 5 years old and younger and I want to be able to ride with them. I also don’t want to spend more than $400 on a bike so my best bet would be to find a used one. What are some models that I should be looking for?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Micah,
      I recommend the so-called “Fat Bikes” for you, as they have very wide tires and are very durable overall. They can carry riders of around 350 lbs. Check out the Kawasaki Mihara, which we have reviewed on our website. You can get a new one for less than $500. 🙂

  • David Miller says:

    I am easily confused, looking at the various ways to chose the right size road bike, I believe one chart shows an inseam of 78cm equals a bike size of 53cm. Another chart shows height of 5.9 to 6.0 feet equals a bike size of 56 to 58 cm.

    I am looking for a flatbar bike and I see the Kestrel RT 1000 Shimano 105 advertised for $1,115.00 but I am not sue what size to order.

    I am 5 feet 10.5 inches tall and an inseam of 31 to 32.

    Can you help me with what cm bike to purchase?

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi David,
      The best bike size for you would be 56/57cm or L. Your inseam of 32″ equals 81.82cm x 0.70 = ~57cm 🙂

  • Han-Lin says:

    Moving the seat back or forward may be okay for those who ride once in a while. It can affect power transfer or cause pain. The solution is to get the right bike fit. I once bought a used road bike that was one size too large. The staff didn’t seem to know that it was too large and I thought that feeling stretched out was normal. I ended up giving it to my friend who’s a little taller than me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Han-Lin,
      You’re right, nothing can substitute choosing the right size and it’s difficult to make it feel perfect if you have the wrong size. However, if you are in-between two sizes or you’re just slightly off, adjusting the saddle or changing the stem can be great solutions. 🙂

  • Ivo says:

    Hello, great text. I want to buy Cube Reaction Pro 2019 but don’t know right size, please can you help me..I am male 187 , but my leg inseam is 89 cm. Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ivo,
      According to Cube’s size chart, the right size for you would be 19″, or XL. 🙂

  • Gerald says:

    Hi I have a size 50 bike and my height is 165 and inner is 75 what should the saddle height be

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Gerald, it’s hard to say. Ideally, your leg should have just a slight bend in the knee when you extend your leg fully on the pedal. Play with it until you find a position that feels comfortable.

  • Shelby says:

    Hi, thank you for this guide.

    Im a 5’8 woman, slim build and a 31″ inseam.

    Im looking at a bike the owner says the seat tube is 19″ at its shortest. Im finding a lot of discrepancies on the internet about sizing. The bike is an Azuki Sebring if that helps

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shelby,
      That does not sound like the right fit for you. You should look for a road bike with a 52 cm frame or a mountain bike with a 16″/17″ frame. Happy riding! 🙂

  • Ross Turner says:

    Hi Jeff I’m 6 foot 6 will a 23 inch bike be big enough

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ross,
      Sure, a 23-inch bike sounds like a good fit for you. If possible, it’s best to give it or some similar bike a try, as it’s not a very common height and bike size. Good luck! 🙂

  • Srinivas says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Iam looking to by a hybrid for city ride and could you please help me in providing the frame size and tire size as well.. Iam 5’5..

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Srinivas,
      A 15″/16″ bike would be great for you. If the standover height is not an issue, feel free to go with 700c wheels as they have many benefits when it comes to city riding. 🙂

  • Rajarshi Ghosh says:

    Hi Jeff, I fall in between 2 sizes. I am 5th 6 inches which is the max height for S and minimum height for M. For a road bike which size should i choose?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rajarshi Ghosh,
      The best thing to do is to try both bikes and see which one fits better. If that’s not possible, you can measure your arm span and compare it to your height. If it’s greater than your height, go for the larger size; if it’s smaller, go for the smaller size. Good luck. 🙂

  • Rihit says:

    Hi Jeff

    I find your article very useful. Great work!

    I am 5’7″. I got a bike size of 58cm before reading your article (i wish i read it before). Do you see a problem in long run? Or adjusting saddle height and position is ok. I’m using it to commute to work, roughly about 16km every day.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rihit,
      Thanks, I’m glad you like the article! 🙂
      Regarding your bike, it’s definitely too large for you. Adjusting the saddle could make it feel better, but it will never make it feel perfect. However, if you feel no aches and have no problems during or after riding it, I say just go for it.

  • Adriana says:

    Hi Jeff, I also have a lot of trouble finding a good bike for me. I am 1.51cm height, 32-year-old woman, also I am not too good riding and get terrified of falling over. last time I bought a girls’ bike, with 24” wheels, because I wanted to be able to put my feet in the ground. But to be honest, I feel the bike doesn’t quite fit me! I am considering getting a new one. What would you recommend I look for?

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hey Adriana, I think a regular 26” women’s bike with a step-through frame should be good for you. It will fit you well, and it will be easy for you to put your feet on the ground. Good luck!

  • Joel Julian says:

    Hi there

    Does this information also apply to the BMX styles? I’m getting bit by the vintage restoration bug, and my 13yr old son wants an old school BMX. He is roughly 5’5….. just wanting the easiest method for sizing bmx styles- including the bmx style cruisers

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hi Joel, BMX bikes use a slightly different sizing method. The best size for your son would be the so-called Pro frame. It has 20” wheels and a top tube length of 20” – 20.5”.

  • Swapnil Desale says:

    Hi jeff,

    My height is 5”5 & inseam is 70 cm.. I want to buy Roadbike. Should I go for medium size? Is there any specific difference between mediuyand small size? Because one of my friend have medium size and he wants to sell it.

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hello Swapnil, it seems that a Small size would be more suitable for you. However, it depends on the proportions of your body. Since you’re looking to buy a bike from your friend, it’s best to give it a try and see if it fits. If it’s too big, try adjusting the saddle height and using a shorter stem. Cheers! You might want to check the bike fit article.

  • Pratap shingte says:

    She is 6 years old

  • Pratap shingte says:

    Hi Jeff

    I am searching a bicycle for my daughter whose overall height is 46 inch and inside leg height is 21 inch. This gonna be her first cycle for learning.
    1) Could you please tell what would be correct frame size, wheel diameter size for her.

    2) Does purchase from online sites like Amazon or flipkart, will land me in trouble by missing some items in package since they are partially assembled.

  • Darrell says:

    I want to try biking again and want to buy used to start. I’m looking at a ccm 26 inch frame I’m 6’4 would that fit me?

  • Diane Summers says:

    I have awful trouble with bikes… never seem to quite get the right size.!!!!
    I’m 6ft 3in and a 35in inside leg with size 8 feet and large hands ( I have Marfan syndrome) this means my body is not in proportion !!!! And on top of this….. I’m a woman who loves cycling ???????

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hi Diane,

      Since size graphs are quite standard, you might want to try bikes in your local bike shop. Be ready for some stem and saddle adjusts.
      Happy cycling 🙂

  • Erin M says:

    Thank you for this information! One question… how should we factor in wheel sizes? Is there a rule on choosing wheel size?

  • Mike Smith says:

    Hi. I’m 6’2″ and looking at a used Giant that is 56mm. would that work for me? I’m finding few 50-60cm for sale (used)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mike,
      It’s hard to tell since, according to the charts, that is one size smaller than the one you would ideally need. However, with smaller adjustments, you could make it work. If possible, give it a try to see how it feels.

  • Kay foulds says:

    Hi I need a three wheeler bike for my 5ft daughter will 24″ suit?

  • Chris says:

    Hi Jeff

    I seem to fall in between frame sizes. I am 6’4 with a 33” inseam. What would you suggest.

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hi Chris,

      Depending on the models. Look the merchant’s size charts. Everything above 19″ and 62cm on road bikes will work.

  • Dawie says:

    Hi Jeff! What is the best place for Christmas pressies? I want to buy a bike for my 2 y/o daughter.

  • Chris says:

    Hi I’m confused. Your charts have a maximum 22 inch frame. Yet you have a 29 inch, and think 26 is tiny. Are you a giant or am I misunderstanding something here…?

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hi Chris. 26″, 27.5″ & 29″ are bike wheel sizes. 22 is bike FRAME size. We make an update to clarify it 🙂

  • Vinoth says:

    Information which you have provided are really useful for the all people. Thank you so much for the information.
    But i need to know one thing, Let consider my height is 6.0” but i bought frame size M/L or ( 16” to 19”) frame size bike. Can I adjust the saddle based on my height or that is not recommended. If not recommended please let me know why?

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Yes, you can adjust your saddle to the right height. It’s a final tune to get the right fit.

  • Jordan Schleck says:

    I am 157cm. what frames size do I need to use in mountain bike 29, road bike and TT bike?

  • Bee says:

    Really helpful and comprehensive information on bike size. It’s to pick the right size for me without trying. However, with this bike size chart, I can easily find the most suitable bike. Already shared it with my friends and bookmarked it. Thank you for making the comprehensive guide and nice infographic Jeff.

    • Toni says:

      I am in agreement with Anna I am 5-8 and have an inseam of 32 and a bit and I see the author is saying for women choose by height, I would ask why?

      If you go by height then a person’s legs would be crammed in the space between the pedals and seat which means you have to raise the seat up a lot, why would it not be better to go by inseam and not have to raise the seat up so high?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Toni,

      That’s a good point, but most people are usually well balanced when we compare the length of the torso and the legs. This is even more true for women since it’s more common for men to have very long legs compared to the rest of their body. Therefore, women can usually make a good choice by just choosing by height, but there are always exceptions. 🙂

  • Anna Bean says:

    I find this very confusing! Also, I’m sure you have noticed that women tend to have much longer legs than men do for the same height, (while men have longer bodies) and your charts are clearly geared towards men. You need separate charts for men and women. Even your chat using inner leg length is way out for me (as a female).

    • Jeff - Senior Writer/CEO says:

      Hi Anna,

      You are right – leg inseam method is not the best for women. Feel free to choose your bike by looking for overall height.

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