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Bike Size Chart – How To Choose? 5 Easy Methods

Jeff Balton

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

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

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

You should try your bike first! FALSE

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

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

Let’s start with the easiest

Method One: Bike Height Chart – The Easiest

Your height / Bike SizeHybrid Bike Size Chart

  • 4’11” – 5’3″ = 13 – 15 inches
  • 5’3″ – 5’7″  = 15 – 16 inches
  • 5’7″ – 5’11” = 16 – 17 inches
  • 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 17 – 19 inches
  • 6’2″ – 6’4″  = 19 – 21 inches
  • 6’4″ and taller  = 21+ inches


Method Two: Calculating the bike size:

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

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

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

or use the


Third Method: Bike Size Chart (advanced):

Mountain bike size chart

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


City bike (Also commuter/hybrid bikes) size chart


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

Road bike size chart

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

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

Bike size graph by bicycle Guider

Open me!

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

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



Read next: How to fit a bike


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

 Need Professional Fitting Service? Order From Amazon!

The easiest way is to

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

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

See also: Bike size charts & info on Bikexchange

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

Currently Hot:


If I Got My Bike Size Wrong?

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

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

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

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This Article Has 984 Comments

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  • LaShon Malone says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi LaShon,

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

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

      The BSD of 700C tires is 622mm.

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

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

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

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

  • Sarah says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah,

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

  • Dawn says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dawn,

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

  • Mike says:


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

    Thanks in advance,


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Windle Alba says:

      Im 5’5 in height and 64kilos.

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Windle,

      Yes size 16″ is perfect for you.

  • Abel Carranza says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mike says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mulmi says:

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

  • Gemma says:

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

  • John Lymm says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Michael McFadden says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jan Holliday says:

    Hi Jeff, great article!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jan,

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

  • Jonathan Smith says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    Thanks for reading.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jonathan,

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

  • Shane Logan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Vanessa says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • T says:

    Hey Jeff,

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

    My dimensions:

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

  • Amy says:

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

  • Gary Martin says:

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


  • james says:

    Hi Jeff Thanks for the article

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Cody says:


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

  • Jim DeSerrano says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Alex Cockayne says:


    looking at a carrera crossfire 2 hybrid bike.

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Alex says:

    hi, great article,

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

    Your expertise would be appreciated 🙂

  • Dora says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Liam says:

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

  • Pranav Pillai says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Florian says:


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

    Many Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Florian,

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

  • Cheryl says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cheryl,

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

  • Lisa says:

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

    Thanks so much!


  • Stacey says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,

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

  • Chancey says:

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

  • Vijay patel says:

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

  • Jennifer Bradley says:

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

    Thanks so much,

  • lfc599 says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ifc599,

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

  • Jason says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jason,

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

  • Daniel says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Daniel,

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

  • Abhishek Bishnoi says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Abhishek,

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

  • Jo Nathan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Hector says:

    Hello Jeff,

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

    Thank you for your time and help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

    Please advise. Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Arman Chermakyan says:


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

  • Siobhan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Siobhan,

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

  • Karen Holczimmer says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Karen,

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

  • Anil says:

    Hello Jeff,

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

    Thanks and regards.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anil,

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

  • charol says:


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

    thanks you so much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Charol,

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

  • Dawn says:


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

    Thanks so much, any advice appreciated.

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Shahid says:

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

  • Jim says:

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

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

  • Jake says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • andrew rojo says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • James says:

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

  • Mike Reynolds says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Martin says:

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

    • Martin says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martin,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martin,

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

  • Carrie says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Steve says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Steve,

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

  • Ahmed Ali says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ahmed,

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

  • Melissa says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • ORJ says:

    Thank you for this great information!

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

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

    Thanks so much,

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • ORJ says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Steve says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Vishal says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vishal,

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

  • Jer says:

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

  • Shaun says:

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

  • Victoria says:

    Hi Jeff!

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

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

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

    What are your thoughts on this?

  • Nikka says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • JD says:

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

  • Bakr says:


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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Omri says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Enrico Ballesteros says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Enrico,

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

  • S B says:

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

    Thanks for your help and your wonderful site

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi SB,

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

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

  • Lisa says:

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

    Thank you for any input!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Chad says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Chad,

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

  • Leolo says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jessica L says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • projie says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Chandra says:

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

  • Mohammad Ali says:

    Hi Jeff,

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


  • Ivan Vukovic says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Gord Mosher says:

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

  • Suzan says:

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

  • Chris J says:


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

  • Joe says:

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


  • brian says:

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

  • Roy says:

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

  • Leslie says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

  • Paul OSullivan says:

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

  • Yoann says:

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


  • Ryan B says:

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

  • Devin says:

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


  • Ryan B says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So in short,

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Josue says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Alexis Colautti says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Joe says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jim says:

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

  • Erika says:

    Hi there,

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

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

    Many thanks!

  • Danielle Matthews says:

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

  • rebecca Butler says:


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


  • Tim says:


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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Anne Prescott says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Ian says:


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

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

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

    Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Steve Bowman says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mexx says:


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

  • Jose says:

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

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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

      Good luck!

  • Lena says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Ally says:

    Hey Jeff,

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

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

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

    Many thanks in advance!!


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Danny says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

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

    Do I just need to push on through?


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

      Good luck!

  • Angie says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mickay says:

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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Rahul says:


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

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

    Thank you

    • Rahul says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Kai Johnson says:

    Hi there, great article.

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

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

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

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Martynas says:

    Hey Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Eliseo says:

    Hey Jeff,

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

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Tina says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mimi says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mike S says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Great comments and feedback!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Beth says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Marie says:

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

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Jack says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Anastasia says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

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

    Thank you in advance,

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Andrew says:

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

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

    thank you, kinda nervous now

    • Andrew says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Dee says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Kelly says:

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

    Thank you in advance

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Eric says:

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

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

    Thank you for your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sam says:

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

  • Eva says:

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

    Thank you!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • San says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Hope Esser says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Hank says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • deborah southby says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • elliott says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Karen says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Hanna says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

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

  • Michael says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Rama Shanker says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

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

  • Michael O'Neil says:

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

  • Michele says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Simon says:

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

    What am I to go for?

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mike says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Keith Davis says:

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

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

    Thank you for the incredible support.

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

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

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

  • Narek says:

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



    thank you so much, Narek

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sameer purwar says:

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

  • Mike says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Erin Coffey says:

    Hi Jeff!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Krista says:

    Hi Jeff!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sammie says:

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

    Can you please share what you think?

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Magnus says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • YT says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • ALAN says:


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

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

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

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Stacey says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Noah Gerstman says:

    Hi Jeff – Great website with really insightful advice!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Darla says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Tess Marais says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Kathy says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Travis says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Kayla says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Chris says:

    Hi there –

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

    Thanks for any advice!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sam Lam says:

    Hi Jeff

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Walter says:

    Hi Jay,

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

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Walter says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sarah says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Ryan says:

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

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

    Thanks in advance!!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

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

      Have fun!

  • janet says:

    Hi Jeff

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

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Becca Stephens says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Hannah Whitley says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • mark says:

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

  • Vish says:

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

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

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

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

    I am wondering now if

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

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

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

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

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

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

  • Liam says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

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

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

      Have fun!

  • Joe says:

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

  • Jerry says:

    Trying to figure out sizing for a hybrid bike. I’m 6’0 tall with a 32” inseam. Would a 17” frame in a Fuji Sunfire be too small for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It depends. I believe an 18″ frame would be a better fit, but a 17″ size frame could work as well, it depends on your build.

  • Nina says:

    Hi Jeff! I thought I should give a try and ask!
    I’m 5″1 with short legs, I’m looking at a 24″ tire bike. Will that be okay for my size?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Nina. At your height, you could easily ride a bike with 26″ or even 27.5″ wheels. What do you think about Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0? You can also check out some models with 24″ wheels from Co-op Cycles’ REV range.

  • Jake Pina says:


    I’m a 6’1″ 270lbs male with a 34 inch seam. What size and what road bike should I purchase.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jake. A 58cm size road bike would be a good fit for you. Considering your weight, I’d go for a touring bike or a gravel bike because of stronger wheels and bigger tires. Have fun!

  • Seth says:

    Hi! Great article!

    I’m a big guy…6’5, 34 in inseam, but I also weigh 255 lbs. I’ve been shopping around and some places list bikes by wheel size and others by frame size, and most bikes I’ve looked at only have a 250 lb weight limit. Being a taller, heavier guy, I’m having trouble figuring out which is best and I can’t tell if the wheel size or frame size have any type of relationship in general. I’m also debating between a road and a mountain bike, but it seems like the mountain bikes tend to be a bit more sturdy. Any advice?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Seth, adult bikes are measured based on frame size, but wheel size is important as well for other reasons. At 6’5″, a 62cm road bike would be a good fit for you. You could get a touring or a gravel model because they have stronger wheels and frames and are built to withstand more.

      Most mountain bikes have a 300 lbs. weight limit, so finding one that can support your weight should not be a big problem. Trek Marlin series is a good example. They also have XL and 2XL size frames.

  • Glenn Norfleet says:


    I’m looking for a 3 wheeled bike for my 69 year old mom. She’s 5′ feet tall and is a little chunky. I am uncertain of the correct size frame to order online. I would like to get her one with the low step over frame. Looking for any recommendations.

    Thank you in advance

    Best regards,
    Glenn N

  • Chrissy says:

    Hi Jeff,
    This is a great article and very helpful since all of the stores are still closed in my area. I am looking to get into biking. I would like to purchase a mountain bike but I’m requesting some help from you since my shopping is limited to online. I am 5’8 165 lb my inseam is 181 cm. Would a 26″ tire or 24″ tire size be better for a mountain bike? Sometimes it’s hard to find frame size? Any recommendation would help. Thank you in advance.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Chrissy, if you are 5’8″ tall, I recommend a bike with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. The frame size should be around 17″-18″.

  • Josh says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Firstly, how amazing that you have replied and offered helpful personal advice to so many people in these comments! When I saw that I thought I might be able to ask for some advice too. Really great.

    Looking to buy my first Gravel bike. I understand they have more in common with road bike geometry in all the sizing tables and not hybrids or mountain bikes. I am 6ft with inseam of 90cm. I have an XL mountain bike that fits me perfectly. The options on the gravel bike I like are 54cm frame or 58cm. Which do you think is a better option?

    Thank you so much for any help you can give and for all the great advice you have been giving everyone here.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Josh! Thanks for the kind words, I’m trying to help as much as I can.

      Yes, you are right, gravel bikes have very similar geometry to endurance road bikes. I think a 58cm size frame would be a really good fit for you. A 54cm frame would definitely be too small. Have fun riding gravel!

    • Josh says:

      Amazing, thank you!
      Really good to hear I am thinking along the right tracks.

  • steve says:

    Looking to buy a hybrid bike i’m 6ft with a leg inseam of 32 what would be my perfect size?

  • Tayebe says:

    Hi dear Jeff,
    I am looking for a bike for my mom for mother’s day. She is going to use her bike around our town hous in our compartments. I wonder if I have to order a round or mountain bike.
    Her height is 170 cm.
    What size of bike should I order for her.
    I appreciate your time.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tayebe, a city bike or a hybrid would be a good choice. If your mom is an elderly woman, consider choosing a step-through frame, she’ll be able to get on and off more easily. As for the size, a 16″ frame would be a good choice. Hope your mom likes the gift!

  • Tommy says:

    Hi all m 5’10 looking to get into biking. Saw a good priced bike I’m looking to pick up tonight but of course with limited show rooms being open can’t shop around very much and not looking to throw alot of money right now until I build up the hobby
    Shows 18″ frame. Would this be a good fit?

    Schwinn GTX-2 Men’s Hybrid Bike, 700C

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hello Tommy, welcome to the world of cycling. 🙂 That 18″ frame would be a good fit for you. Have fun!

  • Sarah says:

    I am trying to buy my first road bike but due to closures cannot visit a store. I am 5’3″ with a 25-26″ inseam. I’ve found several bikes at amazing prices on BikeIsland and BikesDirect (which I have read are legit stores but if you know otherwise please let me know). The affordable ones I’ve found are 47″ – will that be tall enough for me or should I go bigger?
    Thank you so much for the helpful article!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Sarah, BikeIsland and BikesDirect are legit stores as far as I know. As for the size, a 50cm frame would be a much better choice for you, in my opinion. I think a 47cm frame will be too small.

  • Jy says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am looking to purchase a 2020 Motobecane
    WhipShot CF RX600 gravel bike. I mostly mountain bike and have both a 29er and Fat bike. Both frames ate 18”. I am 5”5 with an inseam of 28. No concern with top tube height. I am more concerned with reach.
    The Motobecane size charts seem off to me. I have bought two bikes from them in the past a 26er and Fatbike. I got the 18” frame instead of the suggested small for my height per their chart. Not sure if it is the same with gravel bikes. This is a different world for me, but per the calculations in your article above my frame size should be a 49. I am thinking of going with the Motobecane Frame that states it’s 49, but for a taller person.

    Are my calculations correct? Should I get the 49 Medium?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Jy, the geometry between gravel bikes and mountain/fat bike is different. They’re more similar to endurance road bikes. Looking at their charts, if you’re not worried about the standover height (as you state), I think their 49cm frame would work for you.

  • Ade says:

    Hi Jeff. thanks for this article. unfortunately due to the isolation, i cant test out bikes. i am 36 and just want to learn to ride a bike on my own, watched some videos and they all say for learners, you should have a bike that your legs can stay flat on the ground easily. so i am not sure which size to buy. plus the sizes are not universal. i am 168cm tall and my inseam is 75cm. what would you recommend – i just need a bike for keep active. i saw this online- https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/6000198834120 do you think this is a good size for me. i think its 26in

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ade. It’s fantastic that you want to start cycling. 🙂 This bike has 700c wheels (larger than 26″), but there’s no information about frame size or geometry, so I can’t help you more. If you want to be able to touch the ground easily, I recommend a city bike or a cruiser. Though, if you get a 16″ mountain bike, you’ll be able to do that as well.

  • Monica G. says:

    Hi Jeff,

    What bikes do you recommend for heavy women (300 lbs.)? I am 5’4″ tall and have short legs.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Monica, you can basically ride any mountain bike or fat bike. They are built to support 300 lbs. A 16″ mountain bike would suit you well. 🙂

  • Matt Freeman says:

    Hi Jeff, I am 6.3 with a 34inch inside leg. I want to buy a Trek Domane SL 6 2020. The Trek website says I need a 60 frame. Sat on the Trek Emonda In the shop (Which is only a Trek dealer) which was a 58 frame. The chap said a 58 would suit me better. What is your view. Should I take use Trek website info or go with the chap. I don’t want to spend over £3k on a bike and it turning up too small or big.



    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Matt, we’re all different. I think there isn’t one definitive answer. How did you feel on that 58cm frame? Did you try the 60cm size as well? I’d listen to my body first and then to Trek’s charts and go for the 60cm frame if I’m not sure. 🙂

  • Mekay Mowers says:

    I bought a bike that was tall enough but the distance between the seat and handlebars is too close and not a comfortable ride. Is there a different measurement for that?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mekay, what you’re talking about is called “reach” and refers to the “length” of the bike. If you feel that way, you need to put a longer stem and perhaps lower the handlebar a bit. It’s best to consult with someone experienced in bike fitting.

  • Jake says:

    Hi Jeff, I’m looking at buying a mountain bike and can’t go in to the store to try. I’m 5’7 (168cm) with a 30 inch inseem.
    Would a 16” frame be too small? The next size up is 18” but I really don’t want to be straining on my tip toes if I need to stop!

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jake, I think a 16″ frame could work, but without knowing the exact bike, I can’t help you more.

  • Josh says:

    Hi, I am looking to replace my bike and have seen an 18 inch road bike on eBay that is within range for me to collect. Being a 6 foot 1 male would this be the correct sort of size to go for or is is not right for me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Josh, road bikes are generally measured in cm, not in inches. Still, at your height, you’d need a 19″-20″ bike. So, the one you’re looking at is one size too small.

  • Enn says:

    Hello Jeff,
    That a nice guide, but being new on bicycle reading I’m confused if for touring bike I must relate to road bike?

    I am 180cm with leg inseam 80cm.
    A 54cm size frame bike would work well for me?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Enn, a 56cm size frame would work a lot better. Touring bikes have similar geometry as endurance road bikes, so the sizing is similar.

  • Michael L Payne says:

    I’m 5’9, inseam 32 inches. Found a great entry level road bike at 54 will this size work for me or donI nee 56

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Michael. It will work. 🙂 You might have to put a longer stem and perhaps lift the handlebar a bit. But it all depends on the bike’s current setup.

  • Thomas Bradford says:

    Hi Jeff! Thank you for the article! I’m looking to get my first road bike. I’m about 5’10’ with a 78.5cm inseam. Many side charts have me between a 54 and 56 – if I’m looking for a more comfortable/less aggressive ride, what would be my best bet size wise? Looking at either Felt,Scott, or Fuji. Thanks for the help!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Thomas, I’m happy you find it helpful. 🙂 I’d go with a 56cm frame, it should put you in a more upright and comfortable position, which is what you’re looking for.

  • Wendy says:

    I am completely overwhelmed looking for a bike. I have no idea what to look for in a bike. I am 5 foot 5 with a 30 inch inseam. What size would I need? What would you recommend for doing trails with the family?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Wendy, I believe a 16″ frame would be a good choice for you. 🙂 I recommend you check out our recommendations for the best cheap mountain bikes here and here. Any one of these would be a good choice for family trail riding. 🙂

  • Toni says:

    Hello! I am looking to get my first road bike, but currently my local bike shops are all closed. I’d really appreciate your recommendation. I am 5’1″ with an inseam of 26 inches (short girl with short leg problems). Would a 42cm frame be too small? I was also looking at another bike with a 47cm frame. I’m worried about the top tube being too high and uncomfortable. I’m used to riding step-thru bikes, so the top tube is new to me.

    Thanks for any help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Toni. You should be able to fit on a 47/48cm road bike without any big problems. Just make sure that the standover height is under 26″, you can find that measurement in the geometry outline of the bike. A 42cm will be too small for you.

    • Ashley says:

      im 5’0 and im short too with short legs. I got a junior size 44 and its good for me. I feel comfortable

  • Jeff Benefield says:

    Hello Sir!!! I have been looking for my first bike…I am 46 you and 6’1 with a 32″ inseam. I have looked for a Giant Fathom 2 and now I think I need a hybrid…I have found the Trek Dual Sport 4…But it is sold out everywhere in the Large. There is only an XL available. Will the XL bike be too large for me or am I in the transition area? I know the measurements overlap at times.



  • sandra says:

    Hi Im 59
    it this bike a good fit: Womens Mountain Bike, Adult 26″ Trail Runner Outdoor play

    • Jeff Balton says:

      According to Huffy, it fits riders between 60″ and Adult height. I can’t give you a more specific answer because the available information is quite vague.

  • Jeanette Agnew says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great site lots of wonderful insight and information, I am 57 4’11” inseam 61cm Can you please recommend a bike for riding back and forth to work. Nothing serious I would like to sit up and not be all hunched over like my last bike. The sizing I am reading is xxs or xs for a city bike. Please assist as I don’t want to spend money foolishly.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Jeanette, I recommend getting a cruiser or a hybrid. You can check our resources about the best cheap bikes we recommend here and see if you like something.

      Electra Townie could also be a good fit for your needs. 🙂

  • Beata says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am looking for a bike for my daughter, sadly due to the isolation we can’t try the bike on. She is 5’5 or 165. She will be learning on the bike, too. I saw some youth bikes with 20”- will they be too small? Should I look into the adult sizes? It would be for a regular rides around the block, which I think mountain is? What size would she need? I am 5’10 myself with 31 inseam, and can we ride the same bike?

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Beata! Your daughter will fit nicely on an adult bike, she is more than tall enough. You can get a mountain bike, a cruiser, or a hybrid bike, any would be a good choice for a few miles here and there. As far as sizes go, I recommend a 16″/52cm frame. 🙂

  • Kathy says:

    Jeff –

    Can you help please? I have two kids that I want to get bikes for. Just for riding around on paved trails, to the store, out to lunch, etc.

    My 14 year old growing son is 5’9″ with 32″ inseam (81cm)
    Test 1: Bike size 16-17 (is this frame or tire size?)
    Test 2: 21″ (is this frame or tire size?)
    Test 3/biker’s guide: 17 – 18″ frame

    Does that mean 21″ tires and 18″ frame would work for him?

    My 12 year old daughter is 5′ with 29″ inseam (74 cm)
    Test 1: Bike size 13-15 (is this frame or tire size?)
    Test 2: 19″ (is this frame or tire size?)
    Test 3: 14″ frame
    Biker’s guide: 15 – 16″ frame

    Does that mean 19″ tires and 15 or 16″ frame would work for her?

    What type of bike would you recommend?

    I am getting confused on finding one online (can’t go to retail stores to try them out). Most give a tire size, not a frame size.

    What is a reasonable price for the bikes?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Kathy, bike tires exist in the following sizes:

      Kids’ bikes: 12″, 16″, 20″, 24″
      Adult bikes: 26″, 27.5″, 650b, 700c, 29″

      When talking about kids’ bikes, we only take the wheel size into consideration to find the correct fit, NOT the frame size.
      When talking about bikes for adults, we talk about both wheel size and frame size.

      All of the measures you listed in your comment refer to frame sizes.

      As for choosing the correct size for your children, I’d recommend an 18″ frame size for your son and a 14″/15″ frame size bike for your daughter. Your son can ride a bike with 700c or 29″ wheels, whereas I recommend 26″ or 27.5″ wheels for your daughter.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Hi…. I am after a sizing for a MTB for my 13 yr old son. He is 173cm tall with a 83cm inseam… ?

    I may use the bike too occasionally. I am 179cm with a 80cm.

    What size should I consider ? Thx

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Tony, a 17″ frame would be a good size for your son and you could ride it as well occasionally. Have fun!

  • Lenno Cristobal says:

    Hi! I’m all the way from the Philippines! I’m 177cm tall and have a 79cm leg inseam. What size of a bike should i get? Thank you! 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hello Philippines! 🙂

      It depends on what type of bike you want to buy. If you’re looking for a MTB, I recommend a 17″ frame. If you want a road bike, a 56cm frame would be a good choice.

  • heather says:

    hi there.
    i am looking at a raleigh skyline hybrid, 19 inch. i am 5’10 and i swear my inseam was around 29/30. the charts say everything from 17-19 inch bike would be good. could you help with some advice. wondering if you think this 19 inch raleigh would be ok? thanks so much!

  • Mike says:

    Hi Jeff, great article BTW.

    I’m 171cm in height, and have an inseam of about 29.5 inches. I’ve seen a 2020 Trek FX 2 Disc Mens Hybrid Bike, the medium frame is 17.5″. Would this be ok for me, as I can’t go sit on it. The one below is a 15″. I’m unsure what to go for. I’m pretty new to biking.

    Thanks mate.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mike, glad you like the article. Yes, 17.5″ is a good size for you. Half an inch will not make a big difference. Enjoy!

  • Victor says:

    Hello Moderator,
    Please kindly advise, I am 183cm tall and with an inseam of 90cm. From you chart I realize I will need a MTB of 21 inches (52cm) Frame and for a Cross bike i will need a bike with about 60cm frame. Unfortunately the cross bike I will like to buy is only available up to size 58cm with 28cm tyre size. Can you please advise with your discretion if this will be ok. Here is the link to the bike am considering.


  • Kagira Kagz says:

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for the article. I’m 180cm tall with an Inseam of 78cms. Looking for an MTB. From the chart I should go for an 18″ . The specific bike I want to purchase comes in 17″ and 19″ which size should I go for?

  • moshe pinsky says:

    i’m trying to figure out the best for two of my daughters that are close in size and i’m a little confused about the types of bikes. I’m looking for bikes that my girls can use to ride to school and back and around town.

    My daughter are the following:

    13 Years Old: 30 inch inseam and 63″ height
    14 Year Old: 28″ inseam and 62″ height

    Since they are close in size i’d rather get them a bike on the larger end so they have for longer.

    I also have a soon to be 6 year old: 19″ inseam and 44″ height.

    Your advice would be very helpful.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Moshe. I believe a MTB with 26″ wheels and a 15″ or 16″ frame would be a good choice for your daughters. Your 6-year-old would need a kids’ bike with 16″ wheels. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    I am looking for a mountain bike for my son who is 4’9″ and has a 27″ inseam. Is he still in the range of a 24″ kids bike? I’m having trouble figuring out where that ends. And if not, what is the next size up? It looks like some bikes start at XXS and others at XS.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jennifer, your son is at the upper limit of kids bikes with 24″ wheels. I recommend going for a 15″ frame with 26″ wheels. That will give him some room for growth as well. 🙂

  • Scott Hoekstra says:


    I am looking for the right bike to buy, it will be used for general riding with my family. I am 6’3 and about 370lbs and have a inseam of 30″ any info you can provide that could point me in the direction of what size bike I should get would be awesome!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Scott. Most mountain bikes have a maximum weight limit of 300 lbs. So I would recommend getting a fat bike (those bikes with massive tires) with a steel frame. If you want an e-bike, you can check out Rad Power Bikes and their RadRover model, we wrote about it in this article. 🙂 As for the size, a 19″/61cm frame would be a good choice.

  • Hi there. I rode a 48 cm Bridgestone XO1 until it was stolen two years ago (broke my heart) and I’m looking for a bike that is a similar ride. I found a Trek 950 8744 48 cm at an honorable used bike shop but they say the standover height is 31.5 and they say it will be too big for me. 5.5 on a good day. Can’t try it out because of stay at home. They are trying to sell me smaller bike. I measured my inseam roughly at 29 (kind of hard to do on your own) what do you think? Last year I test rode a Bianchi 49 cm but didn’t buy it because it felt so different from my beloved Bridgestone. Should I pop the large sums of money I will have to borrow to replace my Bridgestone with Bridgestone? Will I ever find a comfortable bike again? This is an awesome resource by the way. Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Sally, so sorry to hear about your bike!

      If the standover height is that much higher than your inseam length, I think that Trek would not be a good fit. If you plan to ride often and ride long, spending some extra money on a bike that you like and enjoy is a good investment. 🙂

  • C A says:

    Hi trying to choose between a 21 inch frame and a 19 inch frame. I’m 6’2” with a 33” inseam. Also I don’t want to have to ride with the seat jacked way up as it’s harder on my back.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It depends on what type of bike you want to buy. But, it seems like the bigger 21″ frame would be a better choice for you.

  • Julia says:

    Hi! What is the difference in the numbers for bike sizes? The last bike I had fit me vertically but the frame was way to stretched out horizontally in a way that was uncomfortable. How can I compare the numbers given online to figure out what would fit me best/how is the horizontal stretch communicated?

    Thanks so much for the article!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Julia, the “horizontal stretch” measurement you’re talking about is referred to as “reach” and “effective top tube length” (they’re not the same thing). Perhaps your torso is much shorter than your legs? For most people, just fitting a bike according to their height is a good way to go, but some people have uncommon body proportions. 🙂

  • Bryn says:

    Hi Jeff.

    Just read your article and saw all of the reply’s and your responses to them all so thought I’d ask.

    I’m 5ft 7 with a inside leg of 29 inches.
    I’m looking at an electric MTB.

    Can you let me know what size frame would suit me and is it better to go a bigger or smaller frame if I can’t get the right size also would a 29er be a different size for me compared to 27.5

    Many thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Bryn, a 17″ frame would be a good choice for you. 🙂 29″ and 27.5 bikes don’t differ much, except for standover height. The distance between the ground and the bike’s top tube will be higher on a bike with 29″ wheels compared to 27.5″ wheels even if the frame is the same. But other dimensions stay the same.

  • Jun says:

    hi jeff, i want to ride a bicycle as a new hobby, my choice is road bike. my height is 154 and my inseam is 75, is the bike with frame 52 suitable for me?

  • Niya says:

    Hi. This was a very helpful article. I’m 5’3″ and this makes me think it’ll be ok to order a girls bike.

  • Anand says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m looking for a bike for my girlfriend, she’s about 5 ft 2/3 and I’m not sure what frame / wheel size she needs for a mountain or road bike?

    Also along with this, she has never ridden a bike before so I have suggested potentially using some stabilizers, what are our thoughts on this and how I can help get her riding?

    Your help would be so much appreciated 🙂 Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anand, a 15″ MTB or a 50cm road bike would be a good fit. I wouldn’t recommend stabilizers, I don’t think they are a good way to learn. I recommend going to a park with grass and trying to ride there. You can try lowering the seat as much as possible at first so she can just push with her legs and try to coast while balancing before trying to pedal. 🙂

  • Dan says:

    Hello, I am right at 5 foot 10.5 inches tall. My leg inseam is 29 inches (73.66cm). I have been told I have a longer torso than most people my height. I’m trying to figure out what a good mountain bike size would be for me.

  • Sara says:

    Hi, great article, thanks so much!
    I am 166 cm and have long legs (77,5 cm inseam) and therefore shorter torso.
    How do I choose my bike size, either hybrid or road?
    Many thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sara, you’re welcome. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂
      You can get a 52-53cm frame and install a shorter stem to create a better fit for your shorter torso if necessary.

  • Nick says:

    Hi Jeff
    your article is absolutely awesome. Can you help me to select a bike? I am 6.44” and I can’t decide what bike I actually buy. Already I discuss with many people but I do not agree with their proposal.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Nick. If you’re looking for a mountain bike, I recommend going for a 21″-22″ frame. If you need a road bike, a 60-62 cm frame would fit you well. 🙂

  • Cindy Crum says:

    Hi, my son wants to build a bike and Im guessing that we start with a frame. He will mostly do paved riding with a few trails so I believe a hybrid is best for him but size has me confused. He is 16, currently 6’3″ ….but may still grow a couple of inches and is currently about 170 lbs. Can you steer me in the right direction? My goal is to equip him with a few of the larger parts and make him figure out the rest….totally within his ability. Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Cindy! It’s amazing your son wants to get some grease on his hands this way! 🙂
      I agree that a hybrid would be the best choice. I think a 60 cm (21″) frame would be a good choice that would give him some room to grow as well.

  • captain says:

    hi jeff.
    i want to start riding again
    and i have already a bike but, the bike was fit for me when i was 5′ 10″ and the bike size is 18in frame, 27.5in wheel but now im 6′ 3″ and 92cm inseasm with 8in apart between feet i want to know can i still use mine or i should buy one?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I think a 19″ frame would be a better fit, but if you don’t feel any issues when riding then you can stick with it for a while more.

  • Lionel says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the explanation of the bicycle types. Now with the wider range of possibilities, I am not sure what I want to choose. My original research was to determine the difference between the mountain bike and the folding bike design(smaller wheels and longer poles) and which would be easier to use.

    My aim of getting a bike is to get from one part of the city to the other but because there is so much construction and roadworks everywhere, its is not smooth tarmac I’m riding on only and I was mainly considering a MTB because it’s the only one I’m familiar with back in the 80s/90s.

    But as I read further down the bike varieties, the folding bike(which is a more common type I see in the public these days), city bike, and hybrid bike. Each had a feature of the purpose I was looking for. I also want to be able to hold a small amount of items when I go around, so I was thinking the city bike design would help.

    So far those are the types which also have prices that start off affordable for me. But now it is the confusion of selecting which type but I’m a bit closer to either MTB or hybrid. I was thinking the multiple gear/speed would make it easier to start cycling from stationary when at traffic junctions.

    So if I was about 65 with an inseam of 29, which size and type would fit my requirements the best? Thanks for your help.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Lionel! Glad I could help! 🙂

      I think a hybrid bike would definitely meet your requirements. It’s great for city rides and for mild off-roading. You can get a decent hybrid bike for occasional use for as little as $500, or you can spend more for a higher-end model.

      As far as sizes go, I could help you more if you told me your height. But, relative to your inseam, I’d recommend a 15″/52cm bike. Have fun! 🙂

  • San says:


    I’m helping my boyfriend find a road bike. There is a 2010 track madone 4.5 WSD road bike 51.1cm. He is 5’8” with an inseam about 29” or 73.5cm. Would this fit him? It’ll be his first road bike and planning to just ride about 50-60 miles a week.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi San, I’d say that’s too small for him. His ideal size would be 54cm.

    • San says:

      Hi Jeff,

      If 51.1cm is too small for my bf and ideal size would be 54cm, but currently I am unable to find a decent road bike that’s 54cm. Would a 52cm be a better second choice where he could just adjust the saddle or would a 56cm road bike be okay? Please and thank you!!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      If you had to choose a different size, I’d say a 56 cm would be a better alternative. I definitely don’t recommend a 52 cm frame at that height. 🙂

  • Donatas says:

    Hello, Jeff

    I need advice on choosing a bike. I’m 178 cm tall, looking for mtb hardtail, I’m thinking about 29er frame size L I think it’s 19” , can it be to big for me? Or I should choose 27,5er?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Donatas! I think a 17″/18″ frame would be a better fit. I’m worried the standover height on a 19″ 29er would be too high for you, among other issues.

  • Jay says:

    Hi, Thanks for this post. I’m new to the world of bikes and was hoping to get my first Bike. I’m 5 10″ tall and would link to know your opinion on the bike in the link below.


    Thanks again

  • Mary says:

    Hi Jeff – this article is very helpful however, I am still feeling daunted about picking the right bike for me. The last time I tried Citi Bike, my feet could not reach the ground and I’d have to immediate jump off it or else the bike and I would topple over (my feet didn’t reach the ground). This typically would be find in a quiet suburb but not on the bustling bike lanes of NYC!

    I am JUST about 5’0″ and according to the measuring chart, have an inseam of 28. I’m interested in a hybrid bike (something I can take on the road but also on a trail) and not looking to spends thousands of dollars for a customized bicycle. Do you have any suggestions on what might work best for me?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Mary, I assume the standover height on your previous bike was too high. You should aim to get a hybrid with a step-through frame which would take care of that issue. How about Sixthreezero Evryjourney? We wrote about it here, along with other affordable models.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks for the reply!

      I found the sixthreezero EVRYjourney and Around the Block on Amazon, each have a 24″ and 26″ option. Three questions given my height (barely 5’0″) and inseam (28):

      1. For the EVRYjourney, can I get away with 24″ or is 26″ be more appropriate?
      2 – It appears as though the Around the Block bike pedal positions are higher than the EVRYjourney, so would the 24″ work better for that model? (I would think it would allow me to touch my feet to the ground)

      Thanks in advance (again)! I love your site. Very helpful.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I still recommend going for 26″ on both models, you’ll fit well on them and 26″ wheels ride much better than 24″.
      Hope you find this helpful! 🙂

  • Ran says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you very much for this much needed article. I am still a bit confused because I fall on a margin. I am 168 cm and the inseam measure is 78 cm. I am a lady and looking into buying a Scott Sub Cross 40 Lady. Shall I get an S or an M?

    Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Ran! Both would work, but I believe the Medium-sized frame would be a much better fit for you. Have fun! 🙂

  • Gonzalo Lopatin says:

    Hi! Thanks a lot for all this info!

    I’m trying to get a Mountain- enduro Bike for me and for my girlfriend.

    She’s 167 cm Weights 64 kg and this would be her first ever bike. We saw a 2017 cannondale habit 3 women’s small frame and 27.5 tires . Do you think is the right size ? Too small maybe ?
    This is the bike https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/580704962653397/

    I’m 177 cm 82 kg and I saw a Santa Cruz heckler large frame 27.5. It would be my second bike . Good size?

    What do you think on the prices ??

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Gonzalo, you’re welcome, glad you found it helpful!

      I think your girlfriend would fit better on a medium-sized Habit 3. Small is recommended for up to 165 cm tall riders.

      As for you, Large frame should be a good fit. 🙂

      Unfortunately, I can not enter that Facebook market, so I can not provide any insight on the prices. Plus, gauging the price of a used bike without inspecting it in person is very difficult.

  • Milhan Bustam says:

    Great Article. I feel like I’m stuck in between sizes. I’m 175cm and my inseem is around 78.5cm (31 inches). I know theres a difference between mtb frames and roadbike frames. Can you suggest me a good size for both types? Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Milhan! You’re right, you’re right in-between two sizes. I recommend going for a 56 cm road bike frame or a 17″ MTB frame. Both should be a good fit. 🙂

  • Alicia Jensen says:

    I’m looking for a cruiser. I have short legs and a long torso. I’ve had a very hard time finding a bike that fits. I am 5’6″ with a 28.5″ inseam. I currently have a 26″ Huffy. I can barely touch the ground with my tip toes or my knees are in my chest. Please help me. This is the first bike I’ve had since a teen. Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Your inseam does not really seem to be too short compared to your height. I think an M-sized hybrid (16″/54 cm) should be a good fit. To fit the bike even better, you could fit a longer stem to accommodate for your slightly longer torso. Hope that helps. 🙂

  • Valerie says:

    I’m looking for my first bike in decades. My momma had a custom made one n 2007/2008. I can’t think of the brand by the frame says ‘Allox Butted’ (I think, it’s half worn off) on it. It is a 7 speed bike. She is a few inches taller than I am, and have tried to ride it in the past and one foot always slips off the pedals. My uncle even removed the back light (as I would only be riding around my street during the day, when only a few cars come through all day) so he could lower the seat for me. This did not help any, and I still had the problem. When I was a pre-teen/teen (1990s) I had a 10 speeder that I fit on fine. Again, I can’t remember the name or anything but it was sold by the big box stores. My gramps had an old bike from the 1960s/1970s or so that I would ride to and from work with no issues and believe it was a road bike; I could be wrong though as it looks (just from photos) a lot like a Schwinn Wayfarer Retro Hybrid.

    I’m not sure which type of bike I would need – as I would just be riding around the streets/sidewalks (I know you aren’t supposed to ride on sidewalks, I just don’t feel as safe in the streets) – but I like the grip on mountain bikes. Would I go for a hybrid bike? When standing are your feet supposed (or straddling the bike) to be flat on the ground? I’ve notice with the one my momma has (she doesn’t ride it which is why I was going to take it off her hands lol) I would always be on my tip-toes. Yet the other two bikes I mentioned, if I remember, my feet were flat on the ground when just standing/straddling the bike.

    I am a female, 4’11-5’0 (149-152 cm) with an inseam of 24″ (58 cm). Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Valerie! I think a cruiser would be a good fit for you. You can check out Electra Townie, we wrote about it here. I think it would be a good fit for your height and your requirements.

      Otherwise, any hybrid/mountain bike with a 14″ frame and 26″ wheels would be a good match. When you’re off the saddle, your feet should be flat on the ground. However, when you’re sitting on the saddle, you should not be able to reach the ground without leaning the bike on the side a bit.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

    • Valerie says:


      Thank you so much for the reply. I will check out the link you gave and copy the information as far as wheel size, etc goes so I know when I start looking offline. I thought my feet were supposed to be flat when standing but whenever I mentioned that, people just told me I was wrong and that just can’t balance right… and it never made sense lol. So happy I found your site 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Happy I could help!

    • Valerie says:


      I have another question. I am looking to stay in the 250-300 price range but as I am still researching, etc that price may go up once I find something I like. You mentioned a 14″ frame and 26″ wheels. I am having a hard time finding a bike with both; on Amazon (for example) you can choose the wheel size but not the frame size. Even going by their sizing, that would be an XS frame, and I can’t even find the option to select frame size at all, just wheel size. Am I just not searching correctly, or would these be custom measurements?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It depends on which bike you’re looking at. Some have a one-size-fit-all frame and just differ in terms of wheel size. Getting the smallest frame available (whether it is XS or XXS) with 26″ wheels is a good way to go.

  • Peter says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I’m 5’9″ (right in the middle of two different sizes) and am trying to find a bike that would work both on paved roads and rougher gravel. No real intention of off-roading / mountain-biking. Do you have any sizing preferences? Should I go for the Medium or the large, since I’m in the middle?

    I’m budgeting in the $500-700 arena (give or take a bit on either side) for a solid bike that fits my needs. Do you have a recommendation?

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Peter, a Large frame is definitely a better option for you since you’re in-between the two. As for recommendations, I think that any hybrid would meet your requirements. A gravel bike would be an even better match (such as Salsa Journeyman 650 Claris or Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure), but that’s slightly above your budget.

  • Rima says:

    Hi..I would to buy a bicycle …my leg inseam is 75cm . I was riding a bicycle since 25 years and now I want to buy one. But I need it for a beginner and road bike. So what size should I buy for lady?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rima. I could have helped you more if you told me your height as well. But, judging by your inseam length, I’d say you should go for a 52-53 cm frame. Enjoy!

  • Kimberely says:

    Hi I am 5″7 and an inseam of 29 I would like to start cycling for weight loss purpose. I am considering a hybrid. Your article is very helpful to help me find what I am looking for. I am basically starting out but my question is with me being overweight what size tires should I consider? My weight is over the 300 lb mark. Could you please help me to decide so I could start this new adventure.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kimberely. Almost all hybrids come with 700c wheels, so you should choose a model with wider tires, such as 40 mm and above. You can also consider some MTB model, they’re sturdier and will be able to carry 300 lb without any problems. 🙂

  • Matthew says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I was thinking about getting a Cannondale Mountain bike. I was looking specifically at a trail 3 or 4. I am 5’9.5″ with a 32″ inseam. Their site says I should get a large but I am concerned about the standover height. The large has a standover height just over 32 inches. Should I be concerned about this? Am I definitely a Large? Should I be looking for another bike with a shorter standover height?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Matthew! I think you should get a Large. The standover clearance should not be an issue since you’ll be adding an inch to your inseam length when you put your shoes on. So you should have just enough. 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    I’m a 61 yr young male , 5’8 with a 28” inseam looking at a Specialized Turbo Como low entry…due to hip issue.
    Would the small size fit? Or would you recommend large?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Kelly! I believe an M-sized frame would be a good choice for you. L could work as well, but you might feel a bit too stretched out. 🙂

  • Joanna says:

    Casual rider – looking for a new bike. I am 5’1 with 29″ inseam. Can you advise on frame for me since I am petite?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Joanna! If you’re planning to get a mountain bike, I recommend a 15″ frame. If you prefer a road bike, then a 50 cm frame would be a good fit. Enjoy riding! 🙂

  • Arber says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am planning to get a Trek Dual Sport 2 (2020) but not sure about the size (will order online). I am just shy of 6″1′ (184 cm) tall, and inseam of about 34-35 inch. This is the first time I am buying a bike and not really sue how to get this right. Which one would you say I should go fo – L or XL? Thank you so much!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Arber! I recommend choosing the bigger XL size since you’re right in-between two sizes. If you’re taller than 5’6″, it’s better choosing a bigger size when you’re in-between two. 🙂

    • Arber says:

      Thanks Jeff! Guys at Trek suggested I go with XL, too. The order is in!
      Cheers 🙂

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Enjoy your new bike! 🙂

  • Kathleen Gavin says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I am 5’4″ with an inseam of 29.5 inches. I looking at hybrids or mountain bikes. I mainly want a bike to ride around neighborhood streets but be able to take occasionally on dirt trails at local parks. Can you suggest styles/brands (that are a good value) as well as sizes. I appreciate it!

  • Beth says:

    Hi Jeff

    I’m looking at a gravel bike. Cannondale or something equivalent. I’m 5’6″ with 29″ inseam, female in mid 40s. I cycle regularly but current have trek urban bike I take to work that’s 14″ 34.5cm. My mountain bike is old and uncomfortable and clearly not the right fit.

    For road bike I feel like I’m somewhere between a small and med frame. Since getting a proper fit will be challenging with COVID19 restrictions, any recommendations on proper size. I’m anxious to get something and kicking myself I didn’t buy last fall.

    Thanks! Beth

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Beth! Gravel bikes are sized similarly to road bikes. I believe a 54 cm frame would be the perfect fit for you. Btw, that 14″ frame is definitely too small for you! Have fun riding gravel! 🙂

  • Ayoosh says:


    I am interested to get Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 7.0 , my inseam is 74cm and i don’t need my leg to touch the ground while stopping. Usually I stand on the top tube. Which size is correct for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ayoosh, it’s hard determining your ideal frame size without knowing both your height and your inseam length. However, just measuring by your inseam, I’d say you’re ripe for a 51-52 cm frame. That would be the M frame on Canyon.

  • Raad Shinoda says:

    Hi, I’m 5ft 8, and looking for a road bike that will suit me. Been looking online for a bike. Just getting confused with the titles of the bike where they have numbers in inch. Is that the frame size? And which size should I look for? TIA

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Raad, your ideal road bike frame size would be 55-56 cm. Road bikes are not measured in inches but in centimeters. When it comes to mountain bikes, the wheels are sized in inches (27.5 in., 29 in.), as well as frames (16 in., 17 in., etc.).

  • Christian Bork says:

    I’m looking to start riding a road bike to work, specifc a felt FR, or a Canyon Endurace.

    I have a short torso, being 181cm’s tall and having inseam of 88cm, my arm length is also like an orangutang.

    In terms of the Felt should i go for a langer frame 58 over the recommended 56, then refit it with a shorter stem, trying to avoid too much seatpost compensation?

    So my limbs are long, is it then better to go up a frame size and reduce the stem-length. This to avoid backpain from a very high seatpost position if I went for the smaller frame?

    BR Christian

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Christian! Yes, you’re thinking in the right direction. The saddle/handlebar height difference would be too extreme on a smaller frame with such a long inseam length. A 58 cm frame should do the job. If you can, it would be a good idea to pay for a professional bike fit. They’ll change your stem and do any other necessary adjustments. 🙂

  • Gemm Gulliford says:

    I,m 5ft 1 with a 28 inch leg!
    Would I be able to fit correctly on a girl’s 17inch frame with 24 inch tyres?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Gemm! I think you might find that bike to be a bit too small for you. I believe a bike with 26″ wheels would be a better fit for you.

  • Mike M says:

    I’m 198cm tall with an inseam of 92cm. I’ve measured my standover height at 78-81cm. I’m looking for a Hybrid/Road bike. I’m having trouble finding bikes with the right size pairing of for the wheels and the frame. Any suggestions?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Mike, I can’t suggest any specific bike because I’m not familiar with your preferences and budget, but any hybrid/road bike with a 20″/21″ (62 cm) frame would do. 🙂

  • Susan Antunez says:

    Please help. Researching best size for my 9 1/2 yo daughter and I’m so confused by the different charts on the web. She’s 52″ tall, 27″ inseam. The kid cruiser bikes (Huffy) I see only refer to wheel size. I was leaning toward 24″ wheels but am thinking we won’t be able the reach the floor. Do I need to go down to 20″?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Susan! I think your daughter will be able to ride a 24″ bike. The approximate inseam requirement for 24″ kids bikes is 23″-28″, whereas the approximate rider’s height range is 50″-60″, so she falls right within. 🙂 Btw, kids bikes are generally sized relative to the wheel size, not to the frame size, as is the case with adult bikes.

  • Anthony says:

    Hi there! I am 5’6, and my inseam is 29. I am looking to get the santa cruz 5010 or the tallboy! I am having trouble figuring out if i will be a Medium or a Small. The 5010 does have 27.5” tires and the tallboy does have 29” tires. Can i get a suggestion?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Anthony, I recommend choosing the bigger, Medium size. That’s what Santa Cruz’s charts for these bikes recommend as well. Have fun! 🙂

  • Barbie says:

    Hi so I am 5’9” inseam of 32 what bike would be the best for me? I’m having trouble finding one without being able to go to the store!!! Please help!!

  • Caitlin Rambacher says:

    Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for your thorough explanation on bicycle fits. I am 5’6 & 3/4″ with an 30″ inseam. There is a used bike I’m looking at, Diamondback Vital 1, 15″ frame. Do you think this would be too small for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Caitlin! You’re welcome. Glad I could help. 🙂

      It seems to be half a size too small, but that’s not too significant if you’re not planning to ride too much or too often. Ideally, you should get a 16″ frame.

  • Bex says:


    Im looking to order a bike online.
    im 5’8 and looking to get KTM PENNY LANE 27.5 “- M (47cm),
    but now after looking here this bike would be to small ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Bex! Mountain bike sizes are measured in inches. An M-sized Penny Lane is 17″, so that seems to be the right size for you. 🙂

  • JB says:

    Hello from Miami !

    First off, Kudos to you for responding to all of the comments here! Due to all of the restrictions in place in Miami, traffic is minimal and we can bike with barely any cars on the road…unheard of here and a delight with kids. I am in need of a bike and this article was very helpful.

    I would like to buy a bike online and this was helpful since I cannot try one out. What feature can I look for in a mountain bike (for casual riding) that will allow for more comfort in the reach to the handle bars? I do not feel very comfy when I have to lean too far down to reach them, over time, it aches my back…but I do not want a cruiser bike.

    Is it the tilt of the handlebars, the height? Whatever feature it may be, are such features typically mentioned in the bike’s specific details/descriptions?

    Any recommendations are appreciated. I am 5’4.5 with inseam of 30.25″ and it seems that I would fit on a 15-16″ , aka, size medium. CUrrent bike is size Small and a friend thinks I will be more comfy on a Medium.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi JB! I’m happy you find the responses helpful! Yeah, lack of traffic is a silver lining in this situation for all the cyclists out there. 🙂

      I believe that you should be looking at hybrid/trekking bikes. You want a bicycle with a more upright geometry, without a big difference between the handlebar/saddle height. They often have wider tires (38 mm+) and front suspension, so you’ll get a similar experience as with a mountain bike.

      Your friend is also right, a Medium-sized, 15″-16″ bike would be a better fit for you.

  • Alfonso says:

    Hi ,

    I have been looking at the Boardman hybrid bike – which is a 55cm frame size.

    Looking at different websites its become confusing of which size I need. I know I am a medium in the road bike version.

    I am 178cm and 32 inch inside leg. Can you help please???



  • alfie says:


    Ive been looking at a Boardman hybrid sports mx race bike but I bit confused about the size to get.

    I am 5ft10.5 and have inside leg of 32cm ish.

    For the same bike in road version I know I need a medium. But I see different frame sizes for the hybrid version on different website guides. Would the 55cm Boardman frame be ok or to big???

    advice please.



    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Alfie, I’ve answered your other comment without seeing this one. The 55 cm MX Race seems to be about the right size for you. Definitely not too big. 🙂

  • Gonca says:

    Hi Jeff!

    Great website, thank you so much! It’s insanely helpful for someone like me who knows very little about bikes 🙁

    I actually want a commuter/road bike cos I like speed but I might also choose a mountain bike, haven’t decided yet. I got a little confused with the charts though. I am 164cm and my leg inseam is 75cm. So if I go for a commuter, it’ll be 52 cm but with the mountain bikes, is it 20″ or 15″-16″?

    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Gonca, I’m glad you find the website useful! 🙂

      Yes, you are right. You need a 52 cm road/commuter bike or a 15″-16″ mountain bike. Have fun!

  • Tabitha says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I am 5ft 2″ and inseam measurement is 27″. I’m looking to buy a mountain bike and have found one that has a 14″ frame and 24″ wheels, would this be too small for me?
    – Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Tabitha. Yes, I’m afraid that’s too small. I recommend a 15″ frame and 26″ or 27.5″ wheels for your height. 🙂

  • Jay says:

    Hi Jeff
    I’m 1.75cm tall and have inseam of 80cm.
    The shop assistant suggested I should get 51 size, however given the guidelines above, that seams small. He suggested it’s the right size given the fact they are modern methods for sizing.
    As it’s a quite large investment, could I have your opinion, please?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jay, that seems too small to me as well. I wouldn’t go lower than 54 cm, considering your measurements.

  • Hi
    I am looking at the Lapierre Aircode SL 900 Ultimate road bike in size XL. I am 196 cm tall and inseam 92-93 cm.
    Do you think that can fit me, or is it to small?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mads, I think it will be good since you’re right on the upper limit. After the purchase, I’d invest in a professional bike fit, just to dial everything properly. Great bike, btw! Enjoy! 🙂

  • Diego Rost says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Loved your post., quick one! I am looking for a Road Bike.

    You have matched 75cm against 5 to 5.3 height… My inseam its 75cm but I’m 5 ft, 7.3 in (171cm).

    So just puzzled if I should go for a 50 / 51 / 52 / 52.5 (depending on the method I use!)

    any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Diego, everyone’s body proportions are different, which can make bike fitting more complicated. In your case, I’d recommend a 54-55 cm frame.

  • Austin says:

    I’m a 6’8” guy about 300lbs. I have a friend that said the cinelli hobootleg geo mtn 21” bike would fit me. I was wondering if you thought this would be a good fit for someone like me that would use it mostly on bike paths and around town.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Austin, I think the size will fit you, but I’m wondering about the maximum load, as I cannot find any information about Cinelli Hobootleg. Try sending them an email and check if they think the bike can withhold that weight. 🙂

  • Olivia says:

    Hi! I am a pretty short girl, 4”11 but 26 years old. I just had my first bike ride ever this year and I’m looking to buy a mountain bike. I’m not sure if I should stick strictly to the sizes that is recommended for my height or if I can get away with slightly bigger sizes. I’ve been reading 24” is for my height but can I get away with something like 27”? Also, frame size recommends 14-15.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Olivia, I don’t see why not if the standover clearance is lower than your inseam length. That’s what you should be worried about when thinking about different size wheels. Google these terms if you don’t know what they are and you’ll get a good idea of what I’m saying. 🙂

  • Paul says:

    Hi Jeff!

    My height is 178 cm & inseam is 83 cm.. I want to buy road bike Scott Foil. How would you recommend me? 54 or 56?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Paul, I believe a 56 cm frame is a much better fit for you. Enjoy your new bike! 🙂

  • Gediminas says:

    Hi Jeff,

    My height is 184-185 cm with 88-89 cm inseam. Should I go for 61 cm hybrid bike or a size lower one?

  • Andrew Cahill says:

    Hi Team,

    Looking at ROAD Bike frames.

    I am 1.73m Tall with a 83cm inseam.

    Would a 54 Frame work for me?

  • Rosalia says:

    So my inseam is 28”, looking to start road biking. I’m considering a Used Trek WSD 1000 as my first bike, I’ll be taking a look at it in the next few days when I’m in town. Figure I would reach out and see what you recommend? I should also note my torso is extremely short. For example, my legs are the same length as a friend of mine at 5’5 but I’m 5’1. From the many forums I’ve read on sizing, without being in store because my town is basically shut down from the pandemic, I should be either an XXS or XS. The frame size I’m considering doesn’t seem to match what is on this forum. Any help or thoughts would be appreciated as I am brand new to road biking!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rosalia, an XS frame (50 cm) would be a good fit for you. If you can find an XXS frame (48-49 cm) that would be even better, since your torso is shorter than usual. 🙂 Enjoy your new hobby!

  • Jeff,
    I also read your review on the Cannondale CX3 and it also looks like a good fit. I see one in a Large. The REI website says that would be 5’10” to 6’1″. Might be too big??

  • Hello Jeff,
    I really have to applaud you for your commitment to answering all of the questions that have been posted and that is really why I figured I would ask you. Your knowledge base seems really reliable as well. I am considering looking at/purchasing a Trek DS 8.4 17.5″ frame. I am 5’9″ with an inseam of 30.5″ to 31+” depending how high I go. What is your opinion on this fit?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Keith, glad you like the content and find value in the website! 🙂 According to Trek’s charts, you’re right in-between the two sizes, but I believe that frame would be a good fit for you. You might have to make some slight adjustments, though.

      To answer your question from the other comment, I don’t think it’s ideal, but definitely not too big. It could work with some bike fitting.

  • Craig says:

    Jeff, I’m 6’3” 270 what size bike would you recommend? Thanks for your help, be safe out there!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Craig, a 19″ MTB or a 60 cm road bike would be a good fit for you. Have fun! 🙂

  • 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.

    • Adam says:

      Dirty sixer bikes will fit you. Shaq and Bill Walton and Nowitski all ride them. But $$$

  • 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.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rob, I’d recommend a 57 cm frame size in your case. Have fun! 🙂

    • Robert Morgan says:

      Hi Jeff, thanks for this.

      I’m still apprehensive about buying without first trying for size, but visiting a bike shop is not an option at present due to Coronavirus . In case I get the bike and it’s not quite right, please can you advise which problem will be easier to adjust for – a 59cm that’s too big, or a 57cm that’s too small?

      Thanks again

    • Jeff Balton says:

      As I mentioned in my previous comment, I believe a 57 cm frame would be a good fit for you, according to Bianchi’s size guides. If, during bike fitting, you need to make any changes, I believe 57 cm is a better option.

  • 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. 🙂

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