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Bike Size Chart – How To Choose? 5 Easy Methods

Jeff Balton

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

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

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

You should try your bike first! FALSE

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

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

Let’s start with the easiest

Method One: Bike Height Chart – The Easiest

Your height / Bike SizeHybrid Bike Size Chart

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


Method Two: Calculating the bike size:

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

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

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

or use the


Third Method: Bike Size Chart (advanced):

Mountain bike size chart

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


City bike (Also commuter/hybrid bikes) size chart


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

Road bike size chart

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

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

Bike size graph by bicycle Guider

Open me!

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

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



Read next: How to fit a bike


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

 Need Professional Fitting Service? Order From Amazon!

The easiest way is to

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

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

See also: Bike size charts & info on Bikexchange

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

Currently Hot:


If I Got My Bike Size Wrong?

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

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

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

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This Article Has 1,545 Comments

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  • Jo Reid says:

    Hi my names Jo, am female and looking at a womens 17.5 cm bike and I am 186cm tall. Should be comfortable?

  • Delia says:

    Hi there,

    I am a 40 year old female and 157cm tall. What size frame in inches should I buy? I’m currently eyeing a 26″ mountain bike 21 speed.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Delia,
      You should get a 15” / 16″ size MTB. This is under the “small” category. 26″ offers responsive navigation.

  • Sudipto says:

    Hi Jeff, I’m 174cm weighing 198 pounds, inseam 81cm. Planning to buy Trek Marlin 7 “Medium” since size “M/L” is out of stock. Will Medium size be okay for me or do I wait for M/L.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sudipto,
      Just my suggestion, it is better to wait and get the right size for you than venture into something that will cause you discomfort or even injury. Yes get a medium 16” / 17″.

  • Lynne Earnshaw says:

    I’m completely confused lol my daughter and I wish to purchase Mountain bikes – I am 5ft5 and she is 5ft 1 – what size frame should I be buying for us both… help !!

  • Seana Holy says:

    Hello… what size do you recommend for a 6’8” man?

  • Job says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great article. Ordered the Triban RC 120 as my first road bike in Size XL. I am 6’3, inseam 35 and weigh 220 pounds. Just checkin this is the right size for me, correct? Because i fall in the measurement from Decathlon a bit in between L (height 180-190 cm) and XL (height 190-200). In cm i am 191, and i read so much that they advice the smaller one. But i want a comfortable ride instead of agressive.

    Thanks in advance!

    Greetings, Job

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Job,
      Sizes recommendations do overlap. Here’s your chart:
      6`0″-6`3″ 183-191 cm 58-59-60 cm XL
      6`3″-6`6″ 191-198 cm 61-62-63 cm XXL

      So you still got the right size but not lower than 60 cm. You can do something with the length of the stem but that’s it.

  • Grant says:

    I am 169cm tall. and I weigh 70kg. I wish to buy a 29″ Mountain bike. Please advise.

  • Mark says:

    Hi Jeff I’m 6 foot 4 Inches in hight and my partner bought me a mountain bike but I think the fame is on a 26 inch.. What síze should I be using..

  • Jason Scott says:

    5’11 M 31″ inseam
    What size gravel bike would I need?
    Already have a large xc bike and it seems a bit large.

  • Christian says:

    Hi, my height is 177cm and I’m planning on buying a 29er. Is that a good one or 27er would do? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Christian,
      Based on your height, you need a frame size around 16” / 17″ under the medium category. It is really up to your riding preference. 29″ is bigger and will run smoother on gnarly paths like rock gardens etc. However, a 27″ would be easy to maneuver and is more responsive than the former.

  • Charlotte says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I am looking at getting a new hybrid, the one I like comes in a 15″ or 17″.
    I am only 5’4″ but have an inseam of 76cm. I have had a 16″ in the past and it has always felt to on the small side. Do you think the 17″ will be too big?
    I have used a larger bike before, I’m not sure what size exactly, which felt ok but I am looking to use this bike more often and want to insure I’m getting the right size. Unfortunately the stores around me are only open for click and collect so I cannot go in get any advise.
    What do you suggest?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Charlotte,
      Based on your height, your old bike has your ideal size. I suggest you stick to that one, or a 15”. 17″ will be too big.

  • med says:

    Hi I am 175cm and my leg inseam 81cm can I ride a 52 bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Med,

      Are you talking about a road bike? If that’s so then this is your size category: 5`9″-6`0″ 175-183 cm 56-57-58 cm L so the answer is no.

  • Gary says:

    I am 6 ft and have a 87 cm inseam
    Would a 58 cm road bike best ?
    I have a 59 cm now and am buying a second bike.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Gary,
      Here’s your chart: 6`0″-6`3″ 183-191 cm 58-59-60 cm XL

      Although I would also suggest a bike fit.

  • Adam says:

    I am going to buy Salsa Fargo. I am 185cm high and inseam 87cm. Will L be the right choice?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Adam,
      That’s a good brand! Their bikes are very popular now, with the bikepacking and bike touring fans. Here’s your chart: 6`0″-6`3″ 183-191 cm 58-59-60 cm = XL . You need a slightly bigger one for your size.

  • Lott says:

    Hello. Can I get a decent mountain bike under 400 dollars ?
    Family rides on the road but definitely want to hit the trails as well.
    I’m 6ft1 .

  • Darrell says:

    I am 6’2″ and recently changed from a 58CM road bike to a 56cm bike. According to the chart I should probably be on a 56 but it feels too small. I had to extend the headset and move the seat back. It helped a little, but when i am stopped at a light my foot prevents the turning of the wheel cause my shoe sticks out past the rear of the Front wheel.

    Is this common in the stopped position to be touching the front wheel with the up pedal foot?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Darrell,

      Yes this is a common thing among race bikes to have this issue. It is not something that you should be alarmed.

  • Roman says:

    I’m a bit confused. My height is 183cm and inseam 83cm. I’m going to buy Orbea ORCA and according to their sizing chart I need 53 frame size, however according to your chart I need 56. Orbea doesn’t have 56, there is either 53 or 55 frame size. Can you give me and advice what size should I choose?

  • Tia says:

    I purchased a men’s (I’m a woman) diamondback wildwood (city/hybrid/comfort) bike several years ago and have just decided to start riding it. I am 5’4 and the frame is 17”. I feel comfortable on it, but should I consider purchasing another bike in a small (15”) size frame? Thanks in advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tia,
      A 17″ frame is bigger for your size(even though you feel comfortable on it). I think that if you can upgrade to a new bike, have a suitable on that suits your size. Yes a 15″ should be perfect.

  • christian says:

    hi sir jeff im 169cm but my inseam is 73cm
    what size of top tube and seat tube do i get for my road bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Christian,
      Here’s your size chart: 5`6″-5`9″ ft (168-175 cm) frame size between: 54-55 cm Medium

  • Rick j mowrey says:

    I am 5’2” what size wheel should i ride

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rick,
      In cycling, it’s frame size that really matters. For you, 13″ to 15″ should be comfortable. 26″ would be easy to navigate.

  • Parker says:

    Hey Jeff, I’m 6’3 but only 14. I’m looking into a new downhill bike, most likely a YT tues pro. I would like to know if I should get a large frame or XL.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Parker,
      You better get a 19″ + (XXL) because you will be uncomfortable on large and XL frame. Get a proper bike fit too. Cheers!

  • Ray says:

    Hey Jeff, thank you very much for such an informative website! I can feel your passion by your frequent update to your articles. I also enjoy the very first picture of this article. 😀

    A question here, though. This article mentions many methods, which sounds great, but then what is the single source of truth?

    For example, my leg inseam is 29 inches (=74cm), the method 2 suggests that my city bike should have 0.685*inseam = 20 inches (=51cm) frame (which happens to be very close to the example you gave in method 2 already). But then, method 3 table 2 gave a “leg inseam 26~31 inches -> frame 16 inches” or “leg inseam 27~32 -> frame 17 inches”, those are noticeably smaller than the result of method 2. Which one should I trust?

    All that being said, is it true that, based on the theory of maintaining that “nice bend on the knee”, one should aim to find a frame such that “lowest seat height – lowest pedal height = inseam – several inches”?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ray,
      To answer your question Philosophically, the best source of truth is your own body. That means there is no ‘one size fits all’ even when we use the charts. All categorical sizes overlaps and a centimeter can make a difference in your comfort. If the bike is too big for you, then you can make adjustments in seatpost fore and aft or height. You can also make little adjustments on the stem length. So my method:
      1. Look for the frame size closet to your body size
      2. Do a bike fit and make incremental changes based on those things I have mentioned.
      3. Listen to your body. If you are too particular in the math you might forget the fact that we all have different body structures(longer torso/shorter legs etc).

  • Alfonso says:

    Hi Jeff regarding to my last comment I’m looking to buy a mountainbike frame but again the only size is XS and my height is 165cm and my best frame size is S should i buy the extra small?

  • Seema Gupta says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for the revert as you suggested to go for a smallest one but on that one her knees are bending ..and as per her inseam size 20 size wheel is suggested .though I find it a little bigger for her age but she is able to peddle .m totally confused ! Can you help .

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Seema,
      Ah ok thanks for adding that info. Indeed there are situations like that. How about this: you can get the 20 but also try to lower the seatpost. That would make it easier. Let me know about the update.

  • Seema Gupta says:

    Hi Jeff , my girl is appx 110-112 cm of height age 6 yrs and inseam size is appx 22 inches .should I go for a 16t or 20t size for her as 18t doesn’t come in kids range ( this is what I have been told by the dealers ) An early revert would be highly appreciated !


  • Alfonso says:

    Hi Jeff my height is around 165cm and im looking to buy a new bike frame but the only available is XS should i buy it or not? All of the outer sizes are not available anywhere

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alfonso,
      Below are the ranges that are suited for you(Small) supposing you are going for a different kind of bike:
      City Bike/Hybrid:63-76 cm 15” S
      Road Bike: 51-52-53 cm S
      Mountain Bike: 63-76 cm 15” / 16″ S

  • Jaka says:

    Hi Jeff
    I need a road bike for me. My height is 177cm and my inside leg is around 79cm-81cm. Right now i can buy FOCUS bike size L but I don’t know if I have to go with M or maybe witch frame size? 52? 54?
    Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jaka,
      I suggest you go with Large as it is your size range.
      Here it is: 5`9″-6`0″ 175-183 cm 56-57-58 cm L

  • Rakib says:

    Your methods are really easy to choose a perfect size bicycle.

  • Tonmoy S says:

    Hello Jeff, my height is 165cm and my inseam is 78cm. I want to buy a Trek Domane road bike. According to your website, my frame size will be 52cm, but at my nearest Trek store, the 54cm frame size is only available. If I need the 52cm one, I will have to wait till March 2021. I have checked the road bike at the store and I could easily stand over the bike with enough clearance from the top tube. Shall I purchase it?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tonmoy,
      You are size Small and the only available bike is a Medium. Clearance while standing is not only the thing to consider. You have to think of the reach when you grip the handlebars. This can be adjusted by stem length, saddle fore & aft etc. It is up to you but you need to think of comfort especially during long rides.

  • Vicki says:

    Awesome article Jeff, and so cool to see your responses to questions! Hope you can help us too. My son has outgrown his old hardtail so we’re looking for a replacement. He is 161cm tall with 77cm inseam, which puts him in both the small and medium frame sizes. Given he’s growing fast, and has such long legs, would you recommend the medium size or go with the small? Thanks in advance for taking the time to help us!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Vicki,

      That is a tricky question. Is he going to use the same bike for quite a while? You can get the size that’s recommended for him and then perhaps have it replaces after a year or two. I am thinking along the lines of comfort and stability.

  • Simon McCallion says:

    Looking at your different options, for me to have a road favouring hybrid, I would need a 20″ frame by my height, 6’3, or 21″ by inside leg (31.5″). But, your later chart suggests 19″.

    Is it therefore best to go for 19″ and raise the saddle (is that what is meant by lengthening the stem?)? If so, should I then raise handle bars with spacers as well, potentially?

    Your time and patience in responding would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Simon,
      Yes they do overlap and indeed sizing can be complicated. Yes to all your suggestions. Don’t forget stem length 😉



    Need a bicycle for fitness, my height is 5’10”, and weight is 90kg. Am looking fatty,can anyone suggest me which kind of bicycle is suitable for me.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi MD,
      Fat bikes are exciting. You can check out my post about it. You can also see if a cruiser is something you would consider. I also suggest you get a 17″ frame size which is under the large category.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hi, Jeff, thanks so much for this post! I am shopping for a new bike and keep coming back to this article for reference.

    I’m torn between an S3 and an S4 (M and L, essentially) mountain bike. I rode my brother’s large a few weeks ago and it felt a bit unwieldy (big, hard to turn) in the tight single track turns but was felt comfortable otherwise. This weekend I bought an S3 2021 Stumpjumper and it feels a bit small (front to back), except in the tight turns. (My brother’s bike is a L 2019 Stumpjumper carbon, mine is new but alloy–they changed the size labels since he bought his.) I’m torn!

    I only have about a half-inch left to move the seat back. Sunday’s ride (the only one on my new bike) was mostly sidewalks because the trails were too wet. I had a hard time getting comfortable and felt like I needed more “space” from my seat to my shoulders/hands. I also felt like the seat could have been a touch higher, though it was objectively fit to the right height before we started.

    I have an unusually long torso for my height (5’8″) but can’t find any metrics on using torso height and arm length to determine size. All of the other charts are slotting me into an S3 (leg length, height, ankle height, lower leg length, etc.).

    Any suggestions?? I’ve tried contacting the shop, and Specialized, but as I’m sure you know their phones are all busy and I only have until Saturday to return this one if it’s the wrong size. Also, the more opinions, the better right now! Thanks so much!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      That’s not a problem. There are times when sizes overlap. I suggest you go for the stem length. If the bike feels too big, shorten the stem. If it feels too short, lengthen the step. But word of caution: make incremental changes in centimeters.

  • Rohit sawant says:

    Hi this is Rohit and my height is 6 feet 3 inches, please suggest me proper size in hybrid bike.
    Thank you

  • GV says:

    My height is 179cm, leg inseam – 87cm.
    Looking by height I should choose 17″ frame for mountain bike, by inseam – 21″
    Which measurement is more accurate?
    Or I should go for something between 17″ and 21″?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      HI GV,

      Go for the 17″. That is within your range. If anything feels to big or too short, make an adjustment on the stem length.

  • prathima says:

    Hi Jeff, i am 5’6 (167cm) my inseem is 31 inch (79cm) which fixie bike i need? In my place only two frame sizes are available. M46cm and L53cm. These fixie bikes are said to be designed in England. should i purchase any of these or refrain from both and look for another brand/make?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Prathima,
      Fixies are still road bikes after all. You look for 54-55 cm or Medium frame size. These are way too small. I would prefer you look for something you can test or have a bike fit. If not, then go for something that has your frame size rance.

  • Lumantam says:

    Hi, I’m getting a city bike my height is 176cm and 52-53kg and my legs are way longer than my torso what bike size is the best for me

  • Xaris P says:

    Hi, I’m 5’2 should I get a 15.5-29er or a 17-27.5? Thanks!

  • Sunny says:

    Hi Jeff ,
    I am 1.65m height , 62.7kgs weight , 76cm leg inseam . May I know what mountain bike frame size suits me? Thanks in advance .

  • Angela says:

    I just bought a bike xs. The guy in shop said its a good size yet I’m 5ft 4in . What should I do?

  • JT says:

    Thanks for the post! Shopping for my young teen. Currently 5’5” inseam 30.5” but growing fast! Looking for sizing and hybrid bike recos!

  • Daniel Robinson says:

    4 foot and 11 inch tall female and need to know the right size bike for me. Please help

  • Herbert says:

    Hi im 6,2 with 88kg what bike size should i get?

  • Sergie says:

    What is the best MTB for me my height is 5’6ft and my weight is 147 lbs?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sergie,
      As long as you stick within the 15 – 16 inches range you will be ok. That’s Small by the way.

  • Matt says:

    I am 5’7, and 115 kg, what MTB fitted to me? L or M, and can 27.5er handle my weight? or should I go to 29er?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Matt,
      You belong to the “Medium” category. Yes a 27.5er can handle your weight. A 29er will run smoother on rock gardens.

  • Lana says:

    I’m the luckiest one 🙂 15” frame for a mountain bike feels so uncomfortable for me, and 16” seems a bit big. How can it be? “D

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lana,
      A cm can make a difference and your situation is normal. Try to make adjustments with the stem length(get longer or shorter one) and I tell you the change is dramatic.

  • Aseem Sharma says:

    Hey! That’s such an exhaustive post. I’m 177 cms and weigh 116 kgs and have a large frame. I’ve booked the Btwin Rockrider ST100. 27.5cm tyres, XL size (suited for 180-195 cms) Should I cancel?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aseem,
      Yes, centimeters can make a difference in comfort and handling. I suggest you get a frame size suited for your height.

  • Ryan says:

    Great article

    Im 176cm tall
    78.75 inseam

    Going from a BMC roadmachine in a 54, to a Tarmac SL7. I think the bikes will be way different but while i want the more aggressive position i also would like to make sure im not too stretched. Ive ordered the tarmac frame in a 54, which comes with a 100mm stem. should i consider a 52? Or stick with 54 and adjust seat, stem as needed?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ryan,
      You fall under the Large category and your size ranges are: 56-57-58 cm. 54cm is medium which is a little bit smaller for you.

  • Kimberly King says:

    Hi, I’m thinking of buying a Hybrid and not sure if I should get a XS or small. I’m 5’3.

  • James L says:

    Hi. This article is awesome, has made things make more sense to me.
    Any advice on what I should go for with an 86 cm inseam, 198 cm tall and about 130 kg weight? I know how to cycle, but never was into it. But now I am a daddy and my son is 4, loves his bikes rides and I don’t love the running after him no more. Need a bike for casual bike rides in the park with him. Maybe off road as well. Any suggestions please?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi James,
      You are quite tall so I’s suggest you get a frame size that’s 19″ under the XXL category. If you love both road and offroad riding then getting a hybrid bike is a good choice.

  • Jack says:

    Hi,I”m 5’8′ tall, going to take my new MTB.
    Isn’t 17′ frame size I can make it?
    And isn’t 27.5″ is too hard for me, or 26″ is better choice?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jack,

      17″ is perfect and it still falls under the ‘medium’ category. 27.5″ is just right. 26″ is too small imho.

  • Sier says:

    Hi, i’m 5’2 and 73kg not know how to ride a bike til now 🤣 planning to get my first bike. When i asked the sales man he showed me the kiddie size ☹️ For me. Im confused of bike sizing

  • Bill says:

    So I’m not sure I did a good job of explaining my question. I want to buy a used women’s modelDiamondback AirÉn two, 50 cm. I’m a male, 5′ 8 3/8″ tall, with really short legs, 28″ to 28.5″. The formula inseam X .7 for a road bike gives me right around 50 cm for my size, whereas my height would tell me I needed a larger frame, 52 to 54 cm. What do you think? If necessary, I could get a lay back seat post. Thanks again. I’ve really enjoyed reading all this info.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bill, I understand what you mean. Your height belong to the medium category with recommended frame sizes of 16 – 17 inches. That still translate to the same category for road bike but we have unique body builds so your legs might also need a smaller frame size. A layback saddle and a longer stem would help this. Also please have a bike fit that way you can explain your situation and have these problems solved.

  • John Zick says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m 5’8” with 29” inseam. Was able to obtain Cervello P3 triathlon bike that is 56 cm
    Is it worthwhile to get a professional fitting? Or is the bike just too big. Very helpful article

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi John,
      56 is still within your range but a bike fit will improve comfort in terms of finding the right saddle angle and stem length. Do get one. Cheers!

  • Sol says:

    Hi, I am 5’4.5” tall. I am considering buying a 21-speed bike from a friend. It’s 26”. Is that a good size? I am so confused 🤷🏼‍♀️… I want to enjoy my ride for exercise and movement.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sol,
      16″ is ok for your height but please test the bike first. Also get the frame size. Your recommended frame sizes are 15 – 16 inches.

  • Annabel says:

    Hi Jeff – Many, many thanks for this great article! This is so helpful!
    I am looking to get a secondhand road bike. It’s 16 in with 27.5″ tires and I’m only 4’11”.
    If it’s too big, do you think a shorter stem will help to make it fit better?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Annabel,
      For your height, the bike size should be 13 – 15 inches. That roughly translates between 47-48-49 cm range or XXS. You can shorten the stem but there will be an effect in handling. I suggest you get a proper bike fit.

  • Norliza Astang Esmael says:

    Hi, this article is so helpful. I am a beginner. My height is 5’5. What size of MTB is suitable for me to buy?

  • Christopher Jones says:

    Hello, I’ve found a “Road” bike I really like but it’s only available in a 55.5 cm frame. I’m 6ft 1 and a smidge, not quite 6.2. My inseem if I’ve measured it correctly is showing at roughly 83.7 cm.

    Will this 55.5 cm frame bike be suitable for me?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Christopher,

      The bike is medium size. You are bordering on the XL category. Although you can make some changes ike buying a layback seatpost and getting a longer stem, there will still be a noticeable odd feeling in terms of handling. You should be ok with frame sizes 58-59-60 cm.

  • Davids says:

    Hi, Nice post. I’m 179cm tall (in between size M and L) so I don’t know if I have to go with M or L. I don’t have my inseam measure right now :/ What size you recommend?

  • Laith says:

    Hi Jeff, this article is super helpful! I just need some final confirmation if you could help, that would be much appreciated!

    I’m torn between a very good 53cm Wilier and a good 56cm Cervelo. I’m 183cm/6’0″ tall and my inseam is 83cm/32″ and a bit. The seller insists that with a few adjustments (stem, seat, spacers), the 53cm Wilier will fit perfectly, whereas my heart tells me that the Cervelo even if it’s a bit older could fit me well without adjustments. Do you think the adjusted 53cm could work for someone with my dimensions? Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Laith,
      You overlap between L and XL. 53 is already small so even if you make adjustments it will still affect your handling. I’d say go with the larger bike.

  • Nir says:

    Hi Jeff, this article is so informative. I’m a 32 year old weighing 95KGs, could you help me out choosing the right frame size & tire size?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Tiziana says:

    Hello. I have just hired a Swapfeit bike for a long time, it should be a city bike I believe. My question for you is: does the size of the wheels matter and/or does it have anything to do witht the frame size? I have always used a mountain bike in the past, with smaller wheels than this, and it was more comfortable, not sure it’s just because I have to get used. I have used this bike today and there is something uncomfortable in riding it, from a first look seems that the wheels are too huge for one of my height (160cm). Could you please tell me if wheels diameter needs to be no greater than a certain number, considered my height? Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Tiziana,
      The most important thing to consider is frame size. The wheel is secondary. I would suggest you get a small frame. A 24″ cruiser tire will feel comfortable.

  • Robert says:

    I’m 6’2 , 250 pounds and don’t know what bike size I need? Help?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Robert,
      Are you riding a road bike or a mountain bike? For road bikes you fall under the 8-59-60 cm XL category. For MTB, get a 18″ / 19″ XL frame size. Oh, and don’t forget to get a proper bike fit.

  • Dimuth says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am so far riding with MTB and now want to change to a road bike, hoping to to long distance. my height is 5′ 4″, what is the best suitable road bike for me.

  • Ivaan Basu says:

    thanks for sharing the list of Bicycle it can very helpful for me to choose the best cycle for my kid.

    Bicycle Online Shopping

  • ramboCepay says:

    What have you been up to? I am fascinated about covid19. Can you talk about it? If the same thread is opened please redirect my post :). Thanks :).

    PS: I don’t know any people with covid and you? rambo 😀

  • Carl says:

    Good day, I’m 5’10.5″ inseam of 33″, tried a 58 it felt like I was stretched a bit and the 56 felt more comfortable, guy says go with 58, initial thought was 56 more comfortable. I’m used to riding a hybrid type, more upright. What say you?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carl,
      Your bike size belong to the Large category with sizes 56-57-58 cm. Choose what feels comfortable to you. A cm can make a difference.

  • WnC says:

    for someone who is 5’3-5-4′, does wheel size matter? I am interested in getting the Schwinn hybrid bike but I’m concerned it’s a 16″ frame and a 28″ wheel? Here’s a link with an example: https://buyingatbest.com/products/schwinn-discover-womens-hybrid-bike-700c-wheelswhite28

  • Adam says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for a great article. I’m looking at purchasing my first road bike (a Specialized Allez Elite) but I’m wondering on the size. I’m 171cm with a 30 inch inseam and they have both a 52 and 54 in store. I’m right in between the two sizes. I’m leaning toward the 52 so I can raise the saddle and/or handlebars to find a good fit rather than not having the ability to do that if the 54 proves to be too big.

    What would you recommend?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Adam,
      You fall within the medium range with recommended sizes of 54-55 cm. Sometimes the body adapts to whatever size it is used to. If the 54 proves to be too big, maybe you can lower the saddle a bit? Let me know what you think.

  • Alexander says:

    Hello, I have a vintage mercier colombus 55ctc or 57 ctt. I am 1.83 cm and my instead is 83cm. I feel it a bit short. I increased the stem from 9.00 to 11.00 cm and I feel better but again something seems to go wrong.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Alexander,
      That’s a pretty looking bike! You belong to the 56-57-58 cm size range(Large).Your sweet spot is 58 cm. So yes it is a bit short. You will definitely feel it as it is a wrong size for you.

  • Alexander says:

    Hello, I have a vintage mercier colombus 55ctc or 57 ctt. I am 1.83 cm and my instead is 83cm. I feel it a bit short. I increased the stem from 9.00 to 11.00 cm and I feel better but again something seems to go wrong. Any recommendations? Thank you.

  • Jason says:


    I’m 6’5″ and someone is selling a 29″ road bike. Is it large enough for me?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jason

      A category you should take note is the frame size. You belong to the XXL category with frames ranging from 61-62-63 cm.

  • Atila Pereira says:

    Hi, very nice website, especially for me who am considering buying a gravel bike right now
    I am 5.6″ (1.69cm) and thinking to buy a Jamis Renegade A1 51cm. Is this a good size or is it small?
    Thanks for the content.

  • LouB says:

    I am looking for a road bike for indoor use (i.e. zwift, etc). I am 5’2″, 125 pounds with 28.5″ inseam. Since it is strictly for indoor use, i am just looking for entry-level road bike types. I’ve seen Vilano bikes, are they any good? Any other bikes you want to suggest?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lou,
      I posted about our best entry level bikes for 2020 recently. I think you can find something that will suit you. As for the size, you need something in the XS category. Somewhere around 49-50 cm.

    • LouB says:

      I saw 17.5 inch road bike. What adjustments can i make other than buying a new frame to make it a 19-inch bike.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi LouB,
      Normally I would not recommend a bike size that is bigger than what’s recommended for your body size. But, there are things you can do to make something like that work for you.
      1. Lowering the saddle
      2. Buying a layback seatpost
      3. Getting a shorter stem
      Do let me know about the outcome

    • LouB says:

      Actually, the recommended size is 49-50 cm. The trek bike is 44.5 cm (17.5 inch). What adjustments can i make?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      If that is the case the following can be lengthened and replaced:

      1. Stem length should be longer
      2. Layback seatpost(ask your LBS about it if unsure)
      3. Saddle height

  • Richie says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Im getting a Vitus road bike from a friend, hes 6ft 4, im 6ft. Its my first proper bike, he used to race etc but the saddle looks super high, with that in mind would the frame likely be ok with for me with a lower saddle height?
    I dont know what frame size he has right now. But some of the sizes over lap, i think the lower end of his actual frame size could work with the higher height range of my suggested frame size.
    could it work?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Richie,
      That’s a good sportive bike for endurance ride. First what’s the frame size? He should be under the 61-62-63 cm XXL category. If that’s the case then you can lower the saddle. Also, check the saddle angle. Make sure it is level. Update me about the progress.

  • Caroline O’Dwyer says:

    I’m 6ft female readg to buy a a mountain bike, what size ?

  • Mark says:

    Hi Jeff

    Really appreciate the guide, thank-you! I am not quite understanding the bicycle frame size to order for myself. Wanting to purchase my first cyclecross bicycle. My height is coming in at 184cm ( charts above state 58cm bicycle) whilst the inseam is coming in at 83cm ( charts above state 56cm bicycle).

    Bicycle purchase options come in 56, 58 or 60cm frame sizes

    Do you have a recommendation as to which way to go before ordering online?

    Many thanks!,


  • Aaron says:

    Hi Jeff, I’m 5’8” with 29” inseam. Would I fit on a Small size for a BTWIN Riverside 100 or a Medium size? I’ve got an old bike that’s similar to the Medium size and I’ve been riding quiet comfortably on that. Also, when I put on shoes I have orthotics inside as I need it for my feet (which gives me another 0.8” in height). Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aaron,
      Yes, you still fall under the medium size range. I suggest you still get the same size because you had a comfortable history with that.

  • Josh says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m 6′ 1″ tall with a 31.5″ inseam. I have a large frame 27.5″ Diamondback mountain bike and I’m looking to get a gravel/ road bike. This will be my first graveler, so I’m not sure about sizing. Any advice would be appreciated.


  • Larry Scharff says:

    Hey Jeff I have a GT aggressor pro and I’m about 6-6’1 my bike is an XL is that ok for my size?

  • Carlos Colon says:

    Hi Jeff, loved the article and info you provided. In your expertise, what type of bike and measurements would you recommend for a 6’3” 220LB man that will be riding mostly on flat paved road and/or patches of rocky terrain?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carlos,
      Thanks for the positive feedback. A 19″+ or XXL falls under your category. If you go for trail riding that’s not too hardcore, then get a hardtail.

  • Larry Maese says:

    66 year old male with 5’4″ body frame. What type of bike do I need to purchase for riding about in the city and paved bike trails?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Larry,
      If this is your first time getting a bike, then a should be a perfect bike for you. A 15” frame should be a comfortable choice.

  • Laurie Granitto says:

    Hi! I am looking for a bike for my 11 yo granddaughter for her birthday. She is about 5’2″-5’3″. Long legs. It’s all so confusing! What size would you recommend? She will just be riding around our neighborhood.

  • Melvin says:

    Hi Jeff. Your article is a big help before I decide to buy my mountain bike. I am 5’5″ and inseam is 29.5″. I’m considering buying a 2021 Trek Marlin 7. S size is fine with me but tyre size is 27.5. I prefer a 29 tyre but its available starting from M size upwards. Looking at Trek size chart, it seems that the minimum inseam measurement for M is 29.9″. Do you think it will be difficult for me to ride the bike if I take the M size? Also, do you think a 29 tyre is too big for my height?
    By the way, I will be using the bike for weekend biking mostly on flat roads and uphill climb. No serious mountain biking stuffs.
    Thanks a lot!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Melvin,

      Not really. A 16” / 17″ frame under the Medium category works good on you. There other things that you need to consider to optimize comfort. These are saddle height, tilt and forward/aft position. I suggest you work on these when you get your bike and see which position feels comfortable.

  • sravya says:

    Hello, I’m 5″3 and haven’t ridden a bike since young but am looking to try learning again. I am looking for a bike to ride in the suburbs. I was recommended to get a hybrid bike with a size small at a bike shop. so I was wondering what tire size I should be looking for?

  • Shenee says:


    I am 5’8″. I measured with a 33 inch inseam. I will be purchasing a road bike. Both a 54 cm and 56 cm bike have been recommended to me. I don’t know which to purchase. I did test ride both. On the 54 inch bike the seat had to be raised to the max level. The 56 inch bike is usually recommended for people taller than I. How do I make a final decision? Thanks

    • Shenee says:

      Sorry for mixing up the cm and inches. should be 54 cm verses 56 cm as you know

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shenee,
      Yes they do overlap and can be confusing at times. You still fall under the medium category. You should be ok with 54-55 cm frame sizes. 56 is over your recommended size. If you can find a 55 cm then that’s good.

  • Aviva says:

    Hello. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood something but I’ve followed all of your steps and I got the following measurements.

    First I measured from the crank to the seat clamp and my bike is 51cm/20″. I am 5’7″/170cm. According to your chart my bike should be 16″….so that means my bike is huge. It’s a hybrid/touring bike with 1.35″ road-ish tires for city use. I’ll put my thicker (1.75″) tires back on for more wild rides (summer touring).

    Then I did the inseam, and my measurements were 76m which gives me the following”
    City- 52cm
    mtn- 50cm
    road- 53

    So the 51cm I measured (from crank to seat clamp) is just in the middle of the “inseam measurements.”

    Now what?


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aviva,
      Based on your height, the recommended frame size is a 16″. This falls under medium. For road 54-55 cm. For mountain 16” / 17″ M. Overall, find a bike under the medium category.

  • Rakesh says:

    Hi, My height is 5.7. But i bought a cycle of 19 inches. Not sure what to do. Is it ok or shoukd i sell it off? Please advise

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rakesh,
      Is that a road bike or a mountain bike? XL is too big for your height which falls under Medium. Yes I think you need a bike that is suited for your size.

  • Shyam dwivedi says:

    Hi , iam 6.2 feet in height and took 29 inch rim with 17 frame……is it ok to ride on .

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shyam,
      You are riding a frame smaller than your recommended size:19″ + XXL. I would not recommend it because it will cause discomfort in the long run. The wheel size is ok though.

  • Wanda says:

    Hey I’m a 62 yr old female my height is 5’10 I want to purchase a bike just to ride around the city r my hood can you recommend one for me please and thank you

  • Em says:

    Hey! I’m looking for a bike for my sibling who is 5”9. My concern is she is overweight so I need to make sure the bike can support her. Thoughts?

  • Arthur says:

    I bought my first road bike im 5’5 the owner of the bikeshop recommended me to get a medium size roadbike but i feel something is of is it just because im new to road bike or the road bike is small for me

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Arthur,
      The road bike chart is different from MTB chart. You might be labelled as ‘medium’ on MTB but you already fall under the ‘small’ category on the road bike chart. Your ideal range(s) are: 51-52-53 cm. 53 is your sweet spot. I you get a proper bike fit for those incremental adjustments.

  • Walter says:

    Hi I’m 6’2” and am looking at a bike with an 18” frame and 26” wheels. Does this sound ok?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Walter,
      Yes the frame size is ok. As for the wheels, it’s all about your riding style. 27.5 is the popular wheel choice these days, and they will look aesthetically pleasing for people of your height IMHO. Smaller wheels: manageable and light. Wider wheels: good for bumps and trails.

  • Walter Cline says:

    I’m 6’2” and was looking at a bike that has a 18” frame and 26” wheels.

  • Karunakar says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Am 5.10′ height, can you suggest which bike size will fit me, am looking for road bike with gear. Suggest me a good brand to start wirh.

  • Olivia says:

    Hello, I am 5’3″ with 30″ inseam. I tried the hybrid style in size small, but I had to extend the bike post so high. Unfortunately, they didn’t have size medium in stock that I can try. Could you advise the bike size that might fit me better between size small and medium? Thank you.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Olivia,
      Looks to me that you have chosen the right size for your height. A 15” frame size should be ok for you. You can try with the saddle tilt to see if it can make a difference in the riding comfort. Try to tilt it back a bit and see if it solves the issue. Try to also check the saddle fore and aft. Move it a bit to see if it accommodates your issue. Let me know about it.

  • Steve says:

    6’5” tall.
    What’s my correct bike size inches/cm?

  • Pankaj says:

    Hi, mu height is 5’9- 5’10 appx . I m looking for road cycle.Should I go for large size or medium size . Wheel size 26 or 27.5.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Pankaj,
      I assume you are talking about mountain bikes. Your frame size belongs to the large category. Choose 17″ / 18″. 27.5 is a good choice.

  • A A says:

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to all comments.
    I am 5′-11″ and have an inseam of 35″. I am looking at a road bike that is available in 54cm or 58cm. I believe I should go with the 58cm, but want to make sure this won’t be too big for me.
    Thank you

  • ZahidN says:

    I am a little confused, your table and formula calculations don’t match. For example using the mountain bike table for an inseam of 30″/76cm the recommended size is 16″/17″, but your formula suggests 30*0.66=19.8″ that is significantly off from the recommendation of the table. What am I missing here?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi ZahidN,
      We are talking about inches as opposed to cm. No, you should not compare road bikes with MTBs because they are different. Remember, these are just size range that’s recommended and should not be taken with accuracy. We all have different body types. Little adjustments like stem length, seatpost height should accommodate the offset.

  • Yogesh says:


    I’m 5.6″, nearly 100kgs. Need a suggestion of buying a bicycle for daily cycling 10kms. Awaiting your response. Thanks.

  • Rajeev says:

    Hi, Jeff
    Am 5 ft 9inch height, I ride MTB (mainly with in city) 27.5″ tyre size and 17.5″ frame. I feel a lot of pressure on my wrists while riding. What are the possible reasons and what is the solution to take care of it.
    If it’s a problem with bike what possible remedy (other than buying a new correct size 😊)

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rajaev,
      Simple solution for that is to adjust your saddle tilt. Tilting the tip down will put all your weight on your wrists. Tilting the tip up will solve this issue. Make small changes though. Try it and let me know if it works.

  • Pradeep says:

    Hi. Iam 157cms in height, approx 5.1.
    I want to buy a bike for exercise purposes and is got roads and pavement for the same… Hence would prefer the road bikes, but all the road bikes seems to be big and I have no clue what to do… Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. I even thought to go for a mountain bike due to the height, and change the tire to road types… Could someone advise me which type and size of bike should I go for…

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Pradeep,
      No bike is too large for anyone. You need to find the right frame size. According to our chars you need a frame size between 49-50 cm. This is under XS. Ask your bike dealer if they have this size. All road bikes have 700c tires. For beginners, a 28c or 32c is a good compromise.

    • Nevetz Nosnirc says:

      XS size or 49-50cm frame size for a road bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Nevetz,
      Yes, that’s what the chart suggests. May I know if this suits your height?

  • Avinash says:

    Hi l am 6.2, l am interested to buy a bicycle, which size suitable for me and also which is the best bicycle. Waiting for your references.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Avinash,
      A bicycle with a 19″ frame size is a perfect for you. As for the kind of bike you need, please provide me further information about your riding style. Do you like riding road or offroad? Do you like gears or single speed? For starter, you can browse our many categories:
      Mountain BIke

  • Veronica says:

    I’m 5.4’ .. what’s my bike size ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Veronica,
      You will be ok with 15 – 16 inches frame sizes. Your size overlaps between medium and small.

  • molly says:

    what’s my bike size?

  • Kshama says:


    From one of the post that you answered, I understand I need xs bike (4’11” & 150 lbs, 55 years old and have not ridden in years).

    My question is, how does XS convert into actual bike size? 20”,22”, 24” etc.? Thanks for your help.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kshama,
      When we talk about sizing we refer to ideal frame size. For example on road bike that’s around 49-50 cm. On MTBs that’s a 14″ and below, while on city bikes/hybrid that’s also a 14″ and below.

  • Waleed says:

    Thanks for it but i need to know what inch frame e.g 16 inch frame . Also why is it so hard to find a bicycle thats like 16 inch frame ?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Waleed,
      Assuming you are looking for a Mountain Bike frame that’s size 16. A 16″ frame falls under Medium. This size is for someone who stands between 5’5 to 5’9. Do you fall under this range. As for your second question as to why it is hard to fine me medium size frame these days, the answer is simple. It’s due to the pandemic. I posted an article about that. Feel free to read and ask me any follow up question.

  • Carlos says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m almost 6 ft tall and there are no hybrid bikes with large frames in my area. I’m testing a hybrid bike with an XL frame which I haven’t taken for a long ride yet. Should I be concerned if I’m right a the border line of the chart? Thank you for your help.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Carlos,
      Size categories can overlap. YOu said you’re almost 6 ft. Perhaps a frame size of 17″ should be ok. That’s under large. XL might be a little bigger for you.

  • Waleed says:

    Hi . I am 5 ‘6 . Looking for a road bike . Can you help me buy a road bike around 100-150 pounds
    Also whats my frame size is it 16 inch if its . I cqn’t find bike that are 16 inch frame can you plz help me

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Waleed,

      Your size fall under the medium category. Choose a road bike that’s around 54-55 cm. I posted an article about entry level road bikes. So far those are the only bikes you can have that will serve you well on your rides.

  • Ralph Vincent says:

    Hello Jef! Good day! I am planning to buy 2021 Trek Marlin 6. Can you help and recommend which frame size should I pick. I am 5’4″ in height with an inseam of 30-32″. Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ralph,

      That’s a good brand. You better get yourself 15” / 16″ frame size. That’s under the Small category.

  • Brandon says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I’m currently at 58cm bike which would be a large, would it be fine to get an 59cm bike frame as my bike is it’s the last in stock. Would this make a huge difference?

  • Natasha says:

    Hi Jeff, so kind of you to answer all these questions so professionally.
    I’m trying to buy my 9yr olds son’s next bike. He’s 4ft 8″ tall, inside leg 25″. Am I right in picking a 26″ wheel and I’m also a bit stuck on the right frame size?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Natasha,

      You are welcome and it’s always a pleasure to help. 26″ is too big for a kid’s bike. I wrote a cycling article about Hopefully this will answer your question. Feel free to post anytime 🙂

  • satish s says:

    Very useful

  • Patricia Carter says:


    Hello, due to the bike shortage I had to order a size I didn’t have a chance to personally try. I am 5 ft 8 1/2. I still need to measure my inseam but I know my legs are longer than my torso.

    I ordered the medium which is a 50 cm frame. Does this seem too small? Is it because the frame is lower?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Patricia,
      Actually, you are still within the recommended range. Try to make adjustments with the saddle height and angle and you should be good to go.

  • Amy says:

    Hi there! My 15 year old, 6’4″ (tall and thin, 34″ inseam) son started mtb racing this fall, and we are having a hard time finding a bike that he can lean around corners, but also that gives him the best power per push for his leg length. Any thoughts? Thank you immensely!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Amy,

      A bike with 29″ wheels will indeed be hard to maneuver compared to a 27.5″. You also need to ensure that he has the right frame size of 19″ + which is under the XXL category.

  • Glen Craig says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’ve been looking everywhere for a bike that fits me with a 36″ inside leg at 6ft 7 tall. I’m looking for a road bike and have been looking everywhere. This will be my fist road bike and looking around for roughly £1000 give or take £200. Is there any bike brands you suggest looking at that I may not have seen yet? Its so hard to find one my size!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Glen,
      I agree it is challenging to find a bike for someone your height. Your range is within the 61-62-63 cm.These are under the XXL category. In terms of bikes under the range you are looking for, you might be in luck. Check out my article about Best Road Bikes Under $1,000. I am sure these are brands you already heard about 😉

  • Elisa says:

    Help! I’m confused 😕 I’m 5’7″ and inseam 30″, riding a hybrid Trek 20″ frame. According to the charts I should use a 16 or 17″ frame but according to method 2, 30×0.685= a 20.5 frame. What am I getting wrong? I keep wondering what I should do because I don’t feel the bike is too big when I pedal, the only moment I feel it’s a bit large is when I place my foot on the ground while riding and I’m trying to understand why at 3 inches above my size I do not feel discomfort riding. I have a positive ape index. Your insight would be very helpful. Thanks.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Elisa,
      We do have unique body measurements. What these charts do it to categorize you based on the general standard population, in terms of what are the recommended sizes that fits mostly people your height. But then again, these cannot address our body size differences. There are other factors that play here, including seat port height, stem length etc. Although 16-17″ are still your recommended sizes, it is better to have a proper bike fit. Feel free to send me a follow-up question. Cheers!

  • Karen Davis says:

    Hi Jeff can you please tell me what size bike should I get, I haven’t rode a bike in years. I found a bike cruiser 26 inch and I have fallen off several times, I’m 4’11 @156 pounds and I’m in my 50 I’m short Lol but I don’t want a child like bike, I bike ride with my husband through the city and on some trails, what size and kind would you recommend. . Thanks🚴

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Karen,
      You don’t need a child bike. You only need to get a frame size around 14″ and that’s under XS. Good luck!

  • Sarah J says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah,
      It depends on your preferred riding style. Do you want to ride in a more upright and relaxed position? If that’s so then you need a hybrid bike. If you are into road riding then a road bike is the best one for you. If going off road is what suits you best, then go for a mountain bike. Do let me know which one you like to do best. As for the frame size, choose something that’s around 5 – 16 inches.

  • Sarah J says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Nishanth says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sam Rodrigo says:

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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Nazar says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Drew M says:

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

    What to do ?


  • Franck says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Ryan McFarland says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Vera says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • JP Biking says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Yusuf Matcheswala says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Yusuf,

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

  • Vicky says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Vicky says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jennifer says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Ed says:

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

  • Rey says:

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

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

  • Myles says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sujeewa Gurusinghe says:

    Thank you very much for extremely useful information.

  • Bea says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Nicole says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sean Mitchell says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Dhananjey says:

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

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

    1) Do I need to get 52cm bike?

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

    Plz help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dhananjey,

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

  • pravar says:

    hey there,

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Charles Wilson Fernandez says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Charles,

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

  • Julie Berard says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    Thank you

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Julie,

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

  • Ombir Srivastava says:

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

    What do you think?should I buy this bicycle?

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Marcia Johnson says:

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

  • Kristopher Long says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kristopher,

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

  • AL says:

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

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Maya says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Juan Olmo says:

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

  • FAHAD SHAIKH says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • FAHAD S SHAIKH says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Fahad,

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

  • Wence says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Cory says:

    Hi Jeff

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Erik says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • SherAnn says:

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

  • Hemant Barve says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jayne Andrade says:

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

  • Vivek muni says:

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


  • ivonne moreno says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Caesar macias says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • maddy says:


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

    thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • wes says:

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

  • John m says:

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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • George says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • George says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Lena says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lena,

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

    • Lena says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Ryan N says:

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

    What wheel and bike size shall I get?

    Also bonus question what is 700c or 650c?

    Thank you


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Barb Heim says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jay says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Lauren says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Lorraine says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Lorraine,

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

  • Murugan S says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Olivia says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Prashant says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Manuel Quimera says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • John says:

    Great article/website!

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

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

    Thank you for this great knowledge!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Denise says:

    Hi, Jeff. Thanks for all this information.

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Marvin says:

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


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sal says:

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

    Thank you for your time

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • sam says:

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

  • Adam says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Chris B says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

  • Whit says:

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

  • Whit says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Joy says:

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

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

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Pradeep says:

    Good information

  • Bhanu. K says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bhanu,

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

  • Marisa says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Hanif says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jay Id says:

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


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • A C says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Lua says:

    Hi, thank you for this great page!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Melissa says:

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

  • Shami says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Michelle says:

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

  • Jennifer says:

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

  • HT says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Very informative page. Thanks for sharing all the info.

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



    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Hugo says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Hailey says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Hailey,

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

  • Andy says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Esther says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jacki says:

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

  • Patricia says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Michael says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jesse says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Christine says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Stacey B says:

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

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

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Marilyn Mayhew says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Halina says:

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

  • Kiran says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Misha says:

    Hi fiends,

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


  • Marija says:

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

  • Anu says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

    Please suggest.

    Thank you!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jon says:

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

  • Ron says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Cathie Maclennan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jennifer says:

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

  • Tony Garcia says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Katy says:

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

  • Sharath says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Curtis Masami Nagao says:

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

  • Moin says:

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

  • Kadeem says:

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

  • John says:

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

  • Ruthvik says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ruthvik,

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

  • Kumar says:

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

    I am expecting your reply. Thanks in advance Jeff

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • IAN says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Henry W. says:

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

  • Joy says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Joe W says:

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

  • Joe W says:

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

  • Asif Mirza says:

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

  • RC says:

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

    Frame & inches?

  • Miha says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Rick Keil says:

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

    Thanking you in advance.


  • Clint Bollinger says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Kim says:

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

  • rajeev says:


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

    Thank you very much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Shawn rayzhall says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shawn,

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

  • Ahmed Mustafa says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

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

  • Raphael says:

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

  • Sarah says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Sam says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • suresh babu santhanam says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Richard Hartland says:

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

  • Asif Mirza says:

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

  • vidkar says:


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

    Thank you very much.

  • Peter says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Peter,

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

  • Garima says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Chance says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Elizabeth says:

    I need a cheap bike that’s 16 inches

  • Jehen Joshi says:

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

  • Koen Gysels says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    kind reagards

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Koen,

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

  • Jafer says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Nashla Fernandez says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Don says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jf says:

    Help me buy my bike please

  • Keara says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jehen Joshi says:

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

  • Tricia says:

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

  • Shabam says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Shabam,

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


    hi sir,

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

    thank you

  • RK says:


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

    Please advice

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi RK,

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

  • Annette Elliott says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Annette,

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

  • Ammu says:

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

  • David says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi David,

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

  • Aris says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aris,

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

  • Rob says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Rob says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • LaShon Malone says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi LaShon,

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

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

      The BSD of 700C tires is 622mm.

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

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

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

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

  • Sarah says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sarah,

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

  • Dawn says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Dawn,

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

  • Mike says:


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

    Thanks in advance,


    • Jeff Balton says:

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

    • Windle Alba says:

      Im 5’5 in height and 64kilos.

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Windle,

      Yes size 16″ is perfect for you.

  • Abel Carranza says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mike says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Mulmi says:

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

  • Gemma says:

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

  • John Lymm says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Michael McFadden says:

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

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Jan Holliday says:

    Hi Jeff, great article!

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jan,

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

  • Jonathan Smith says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    Thanks for reading.


    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jonathan,

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

  • Shane Logan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Vanessa says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • T says:

    Hey Jeff,

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

    My dimensions:

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

  • Amy says:

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

  • Gary Martin says:

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


  • james says:

    Hi Jeff Thanks for the article

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Cody says:


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

  • Jim DeSerrano says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Alex Cockayne says:


    looking at a carrera crossfire 2 hybrid bike.

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Alex says:

    hi, great article,

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

    Your expertise would be appreciated 🙂

  • Dora says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Liam says:

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

  • Pranav Pillai says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Florian says:


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

    Many Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Florian,

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

  • Cheryl says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Cheryl,

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

  • Lisa says:

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

    Thanks so much!


  • Stacey says:


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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Stacey,

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

  • Chancey says:

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

  • Vijay patel says:

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

  • Jennifer Bradley says:

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

    Thanks so much,

  • lfc599 says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ifc599,

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

  • Jason says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Jason,

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

  • Daniel says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Daniel,

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

  • Abhishek Bishnoi says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Abhishek,

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

  • Jo Nathan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Hector says:

    Hello Jeff,

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

    Thank you for your time and help!

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

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

    Please advise. Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Arman Chermakyan says:


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

  • Siobhan says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Siobhan,

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

  • Karen Holczimmer says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Karen,

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

  • Anil says:

    Hello Jeff,

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

    Thanks and regards.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Anil,

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

  • charol says:


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

    thanks you so much.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Charol,

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

  • Dawn says:


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

    Thanks so much, any advice appreciated.

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Shahid says:

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

  • Jim says:

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

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

  • Jake says:

    Hi Jeff,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • andrew rojo says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • James says:

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

  • Mike Reynolds says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Martin says:

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

    • Martin says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martin,

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Martin,

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

  • Carrie says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

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

  • Steve says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Steve,

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

  • Ahmed Ali says:

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

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Ahmed,

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