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Mountain Bike Size Chart

Jeff Balton

Mountain Bike Size Chart

What Size Mountain Bike Frame Do I Need?

Ordering bikes online is becoming more and more popular due to there not being any shop keeping or warehouse costs, making the prices better.

And don’t worry about the old wisdom of trying a bike before getting it, that is quite definitely overrated. And very highly. Salesmen say this just as a means to get you to invest in a bike. It really doesn’t have to do that much with finding the right size for yourself.

You should try your bike first! FALSE

Another reason is that salesmen know that there are decent bikes on the online market and the option of getting to sit on one gives them an apparent edge over that market, but in actuality, it isn’t by any means necessary to choose a bike with the right size.

There are many good methods to choose a good bike. I’m gonna highlight THREE SEVEN METHODS if you don´t know how to measure a bike.

Related: Best Mountain Bikes Under $1,000

Feeling more confident? Good. There are actually three different ways to pick a size: you can calculate it or use the bike size charts below. Let´s start with the easiest. The bike size is measured from where the seat post starts down to the crank. You can also use the bike height chart.

 


#1 – Mountain Bike Size Chart

What mountain bike frame size do I need?

It’s easy!

Your height / Bike SizeMountain Bike Sizing

  • 4’11” – 5’3″ = 13 – 15 inches
  • 5’3″ – 5’7″  = 15 – 17 inches
  • 5’7″ – 5’11” = 17 – 19 inches
  • 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 19 – 21 inches
  • 6’2″ – 6’4″  = 21 – 23 inches
  • 6’4″ and taller  = 23+ inches

Or you can use the mountain bike frame size chart below…

mountain and road bike size graph

Need Professional Fitting Service? Order From Amazon!

Or you can use the…

#2 – Bike Size CalculatorLeg Inseam method

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

Right mountain bike sizing–  Leg inseam (cm) x 0,66 = Your frame size

For example: If your leg inseam is 76cm, then your right mountain bike size is 50 cm (20”)

 

 

#3 – Chart

Rider HeightSuggested Mountain Frame Size
Feet & InchesCentimetresFrame Size (inches)Frame Size (cm)Frame Size
4’10” – 5’2″148cm – 158cm13″ – 14″33 – 37X-Small
5’2″ – 5’6″158cm – 168cm15″ – 16″38 – 42Small
5’6″ – 5′ 10″168cm – 178cm17″ – 18″43 – 47Medium
5’10” – 6’1″178cm – 185cm19″ – 20″48 – 52Large
6’1″ – 6’4″185cm – 193cm21″ – 22″53 – 57X-Large
6’4″ – 6’6″193cm – 198cm23″ – 24″58 – 61XX-Large

Source: Evanscycles.com

Voilà!

Extra: Right Saddle Height

Right Saddle Height

Right saddle height has 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 its normal position, I lose about 25-50% of my force.

Stopping to fix it can cost me my position and about 15 seconds too, but then with the correct saddle height it’s not that hard to catch up with the group and even can get all the way to the next group ahead. So the right saddle height plays huge role!

 

The easiest way to find that height for you is to

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

Go out and ride. Does it feel good? If not, then adjust. Also, you can adjust the seat forwards and backward. TIP: When you have found the right position for yourself

Suggested bike by Bicycle GuiderBicycle Guiders’ TIP:

When you have found the right height for yourself, you can use a marker or a sharp object to mark the right position for your saddle as some of them can sink down a bit with time. Some bikes also come with height lines written on the post, that you can check and remember once you’ve found the right one for yourself.

 

EXTRA

 

If I Got My Bike Size Wrong?

Then tell the merchant, who can easily exchange your bike for the right one. If you don’t want to do that, then you can do the following things:

  • move your saddle forwards or backward
  • buy a longer or a shorter stem. It will change 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 it in narrow trails or the forest. But I’ve become so familiar with it and can ride with full ease and skill, that when I sit on a 26″ mountain bike it seems so completely ridiculous how tiny it is.


If you don’t know, what to buy, then read those reviews below

Mountain Bike Reviews

Hybrid Bike Reviews

Best Road Bikes

Found my work helpful?

P.S. If you find my guides useful, please share my page below. This keeps me motivated to keep the information on this site up to date and accurate.

Cheers,
Jeff

This Article Has 13 Comments

  • Clinton Cridick says:

    Very inciteful…tremendous guide for me as a novice,looking to buy my 1st Mtn bike.A lot of teaching,helpful information.Glad I found this site and it helped me become very knowledgeable in deciding what suits my needs.

  • EP says:

    your inseam chart is’nt much good either …

    my inside leg is 30 inches (76.2 cm) according to your chart I need to be on a 15 – 16″ bike – total nonsense

    I ride a 19″ I used to be 5’8″ but think I ve shrunk to 5′ 7″ stand over height is (midway) 30 inches

    • Jeff Balton says:

      According to the charts on the page, the correct size for your height is 19″, just as you say. However, everyone differs when it comes to body proportions. Some people have short legs and long torsos, others have long legs and short torsos. That’s why you should always use different charts and sources to find the right size. Happy riding. 🙂

  • Joe Bike Tech says:

    Don’t try out your bike before buying it? What??? I couldn’t read past that, cause that’s clearly BS, from someone in the pocket of online retailers.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Joe, there’s no such sentence in the text. When buying a bike, it’s not always NECESSARY to try it out first. You can get the right size by using size charts even if you do not give it a spin around the block first. But, of course, if possible, you should always try the bike out and see how it fits, I’ve mentioned this a lot of times before. 🙂

  • Jeff thanks for this information it’s going to help me with my purchase of a new bike. Simple cut& dry. Glad to come across this guide.

  • I want to get back into riding again. Im 50 now and my back is a possible issue with a road bike. I use to ride long distance and I know it will take some time to relax back into it. Any suggestions on bike types? Don’t really want an old man beach cruiser. Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Robert, you have several choices, depending on how much trouble your back is giving you. You can start with a hybrid bike or a road bike with a more relaxed geometry, avoid racing road bikes because they will put a lot of strain on your back. If you have more serious back issues, you could also consider recumbents. They look good, in my opinion, and will save you from a lot of pain. 🙂

  • Rayne Vandergriff says:

    Hey Jeff,
    Thanks for the helpful charts on how to choose the right size bike. I’m 46 years young now and just getting into mountain biking. I’ve been running on the trails this past year and met many people biking and they said they LOVE it! So I’m going to buy a bike and start riding. Do you think it matters if I buy a cheap used 200$ bike or a new 1200$ bike? I will be mainly riding mainly on trails around the lake that are not very technical. Thanks!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Rayne,

      You’re welcome. I’m glad that you’re taking up mountain biking! 🙂 It all depends on how often you plan to ride. If you intend to do a couple of easy-going rides per month, a $200 bike will suffice. But what if you like it and decide to do more? A new $1,200 bike might be overkill, but a mid-priced model with disc brakes, a decent fork, and mid-range Shimano or SRAM components would be a safer choice. A better bike means more comfort and less maintenance, so you should think about that as well.

  • Bob Wise says:

    Bought a ProFlex used mountain bike. Sticker on the bike says it is an 18″ frame. I’m 5′ 10″. The chart says i should have an 18 inch mountain bike. Bike feels small for me. Seat post is short (about 4 inches). The stem also seems pretty short. My inseam measurement is 33.5 inches. Couple of Q’s.
    1. How is the 18 measurement made? From the center of the crank axle to the top of the seat tube?
    2. Do you think I can get a satisfactory fit with a longer seat post and possibly a longer stem? Or, should i be looking at getting a bike with a larger frame?

    Thanks,
    Bob

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Bob,

      18″ should feel good for you in theory. You can try changing the stem and the seat post and see how it works since those are not expensive parts to change. If you still feel cramped, I’d advise getting a bigger bike instead.

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