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Bike Size Charts – How to Choose the Right Bicycle Size

By Sam Millers   /  Last updated - December 29, 2023

Picking the right bicycle size is one of the most important things when talking about bike fitting. There’s so much talk around this topic, which only makes it more complicated. However, we believe it’s quite simple and easy. (No, we’re not crazy!)

Bike stack and reach

Some consequences of riding a bike too small or too big for you are:

So, let’s see how to choose the right bike size for every bicycle type. We are going to show you various methods, so you do not need to worry about getting anything wrong.

Please note: When using different methods, you will get different sizes. It’s mainly because the leg inseam measure is more accurate.

#1 – Simple Size Chart

Your HeightBike Frame Size
4-11" - 5'3"13 - 15 inches
5'3" - 5'7"15 - 16 inches
5'7" - 5'11"16 - 17 inches
5'11" - 6'2"17-19 inches
6'2" - 6'4"19 - 21inches
6'4" and taller21+ inches

#2 – Advanced Bike Size Chart

There are different types of bike size charts. Let’s take a closer look at all of them.

Size Chart for Mountain Bikes

mountain bike

What size mountain bike do I need? Let’s see this mountain bike size chart

Height (ft/in)Height (cm)Leg inseam (inches)Leg inseam (cm)Suggested Frame Size (in)Suggested Wheel Size
4'10 - 5'3"147-160cm25 - 28"62-70 cm13 - 14"26"
5'4 "- 5'7"160 - 170cm25 - 30"63 - 76 cm15 - 16"26"
5'5" - 5'9"165 - 175cm26 - 31"66 - 78 cm16 - 17"27.5"
5'9" - 6'0"175 - 183cm27 - 32"68 - 81 cm17 - 18"27.5"
6'0" - 6'3"183 - 190cm28 - 33"71 - 83 cm18 - 19"29"
6'1" - 6'6"190 - 200cm29 - 34"73 - 86 cm19" +29"

*Never rely solely on bike size marks from XS to XL, because they are not standardized. Each bike brand has its individual size recommendation that should be looked up.

Size Chart For Road Bikes

road bike

What is the right road bike size for me? Well, have a look at this bike frame size chart below:

Height (ft/in)Height (cm)Suggested Frame Size(Size)
4`10”-5`0”148-152 cm47-48 cm(XXS)
5`0″-5`3″152-160 cm49-50 cm(XS)
5`3″-5`6″160-168 cm51-52-53 cm(S)
5`6″-5`9″168-175 cm54-55 cm(M)
5`9″-6`0″175-183 cm56-57-58 cm(L)
6`0″-6`3″183-191 cm58-59-60 cm(XL)
6`3″-6`6″191-198 cm61-62-63 cm(XXL)

*Choosing a road bike frame comes down to three factors – Leg length, inseam length, and also the reach of the bike.

Size Chart For Hybrid / City Bikes

hybrid bike

What’s the right hybrid bike size for me? Well, check this bike size chart:

Height (ft/in)Height (cm)Leg Inseam (in)Leg inseamFrame Size (Inches)Frame Size (Marker) *
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 cm 27 - 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)

Kids’ Bike Sizes

kids bike

What size bike should I buy for my child? Take a look below at bike size chart:

Wheel SizeAgeHeightLeg Inseam
12"2-42'10" - 3'3"12"-17"
14"3-53'0" - 3'6"16"-19"
16"5-63'5" - 3-9"18"-22"
20"7-93'8" - 4'5"20"-25"
24"9-114'3" - 4'10"23"-28"

Make sure to also read our detailed guides on kids’ bike sizes, how to choose a kids’ bike, and a guide on 24-inch bike sizing to learn more about the sizes and types of kids’ bikes.

#3 – Bike Size Calculator

  1. Measure your leg inseam. While standing with your legs either together or apart, you need to measure the length of your leg on the inner side.
  2. Calculate!
    Mountain bikes – x 0.685 = Your frame size (in centimeters)
    Road bikes – x 0.70 = Your frame size (in centimeters)
    City bike – X 0.685 = Your frame size (in centimeters)

Calculate your bike size

For example, if you are looking for the right road bike size, and your leg inseam is 70cm, the right size would be 70 x 0.70 = 49cm

#4 – Ask Your Local Merchant

Bike Size information

As you can see, it can be quite easy to determine the right size, just by checking the suggested rider’s height. If you need a more advanced fitting, you can also learn how to measure a bike frame and consider other dimensions, such as the seat tube length, standover height, top tube length, stack, reach, head tube length, and many more. However, in most cases, you don’t need those numbers.

How to Fix a Wrong Bike Size?

If your bike does not fit perfectly, you can do a quick DIY bike fitting to solve the issue. If that doesn’t help, we recommend going to a professional bike fitter or getting a different-sized bike.

Bike too small

  • Longer Seat Post – If your saddle is in its highest position, you can try to find a longer saddle post. Look for a 350mm long seat post. Just make sure it has the right diameter.
  • Longer Stem – The stem plays an important role in determining your position on the bike. Also, keep in mind the angle of the stem, which plays a huge role as well.
  • Saddle set-back – Saddle position is the next aspect that determines your position. Move it back and try to find a better position.

Bike too big

  • Shorter seat post – Some seat posts don’t go all the way in. Therefore, you might want to cut off your current post to make it shorter or buy a shorter one.
  • Saddle forward – By sliding your saddle forward, you’ll get a better reach to the handlebar. By doing that, you should feel no pain in your knees.
  • Shorter stem – You might want to look for a shorter stem. Inches here and there make a big difference in the position, which can save you from buying a new bike. Definitely worth trying.

Setting the right bike saddle height

bicycle saddle height recommendation

The right way to set the correct saddle height:

  1. Sit on the saddle, with both legs on the pedals.
    You can lean against the wall to do it, it is important that you are seated on the same position as you are riding.
  2. Place the pedal to the furthest point from the saddle.
  3. Stretch your leg.
  4. Place your heel on the pedal.

Now, in ideal, your leg should be able to spin the pedals so that there isn’t too much of an angle (saddle too low), or if the heel doesn’t touch the pedal on its lowest position (saddle too high)

  • When your hips are rocking when pedaling – the saddle is too high.
  • When your legs don’t stretch at least 70% of the capacity – the saddle is too low.

People Also Ask

Why you should not rely on markings from XS to XL?

The reason is simple – this bike size system is not standardized. We tested it and here are the results:

Bike size markers from XS to XL

As you can see, one manufacturer’s S is another manufacturer’s M. If you are looking for an XL frame, you can easily get a frame too big, or vice versa. Never rely on markings from XS to XL, because there is no logic behind them.

What if I am between two sizes?

When you fall in between two bike sizes, it is recommended to go for a size larger when your arm span is longer than your height. This means you have longer arms that are better on a size larger frame. If your ape index is shorter than your height, then go for a size smaller. In the mountain bike world, getting a larger size bike is only better when riding in a straight line at faster speeds, while a size smaller is better for technical trails.

If you are in between two sizes, I recommend doing the following. Take the bigger size if you are over 5’4″. If you are below that, take the smaller size. Of course, if you are still growing or you have very long legs or arms, you might want to take the larger frame.

Who are 26-inch bikes meant for?

Actually, there is no such thing as a 26-inch bike. There are bikes with 26-inch wheels, which are suitable for heights between 5’0″ and 5’5″. Anyone taller than that might want to look for a bike with 700c, 27,5″ (Same as 650b), or a 29″ wheel bike. Read our guide on 26-inch bike sizing for more information.

What size bike do I need? How to size a bike?

If you’re asking what size bike you need, then the answer is simple. Depending on your preferred bike type, take a look above. It’s easier than you thought, all you need to do is measure your leg inseam.

How to measure my leg inseam?

Stand with your feet apart or together and measure the length from the ground to your crotch. That’s it! If needed, convert it to inches by dividing the length by 2.54 (cm).

Read Next

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About the Author

Sam Millers

Sam Millers is the guy behind Bikexchange.com. From the early days of three wheels to conquering challenging mountain trails, Sam's love for cycling knows no bounds. With a background in web development, Sam seamlessly combined two of his greatest passions – cycling and technology. As the creative force behind Bikexchange.com, he shares insightful stories, expert tips, and engaging content for fellow cycling enthusiasts. When he's not exploring new biking routes or tweaking website codes, Alex enjoys sipping on a post-ride espresso and planning his next cycling adventure.