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Choosing the right size

A guide to choosing the right sized bike

So you’ve decided which new bike to buy, now all you need to do is select the right frame size. Insuring that you choose the correct size is one of the most important things when buying a new bike. A correctly sized bike will be more comfortable, more efficient and generally more enjoyable to ride.

Choosing the right size can be a confusing experience when you’re first starting out. The correct size frame all depends on your height and reach, the type of bike you’re looking at and how you intend to use it. To help you choose the right size bike we have provided a suggested height for the various frame sizes available.

We would like to point out that this is only a rough guide. Ideally we would recommend that you visit our shop first to be sized correctly as there will always be variables in sizing between different people, brands and models. If you are at all unsure on what your best option is, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01628 477020 and one of our friendly staff will be more than happy to help.

 

How bike frames are measured

With the exception of childrens bikes which are measured by wheel diameter, the large majority of bikes are measured from the centre of the bottom bracket (at the crank bolt) to the top of the seat tube where the seatpost is inserted. You will find that most bikes are measured in inches although traditionally road bikes get measured in centimetres. The size indicated by the seat tube will give you a good idea of stand over height. As this height increases you will also find that the top tube (cross bar) becomes longer. This will increase your reach from the saddle to the handlebars effectively changing your posture.

 

Stand over height

Stand over height is the clearance between the top of the top tube and the bottom of your crotch. It’s important that you have adequate clearance in this area to avoid contact when you’ve stopped and astride the bike. For road and hybrid bikes 1 to 2 inches of clearance is required, mountain bikes require 2 to 4 inches. If you have a short or long inside leg measurement in relation to your height, don’t panic! Adjustments can be made to the bike to compensate this. Again we would recommend visiting the shop first as this will make the whole process a lot easier.


Mountain bike sizing chart (hardtail & full suspension)

Rider Height Frame Size Suggested
Feet and Inches Centimetres Inches Size
4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″ 148 – 158 13 – 14 XS
5′ 2″ – 5 ‘6″ 158 – 168 15 – 16 S
5′ ‘6″ – 5’ 10″ 168 – 178 17 – 18 M
5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″ 178 – 185 19 – 20 L
6′ 1″ – 6′ 4″ 185 – 193 21 – 22 XL
6 ‘4″ – 6’ 6″ 193 – 198 23 – 24 XXL

Women’s mountain bike sizing chart (hardtail & full suspension)

Rider Height Frame Size Suggested
Feet and Inches Centimetres Inches Size
4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″ 148 – 158 13 – 14 XS
5′ 2″ – 5 ‘6″ 158 – 168 15 – 16 S
5′ 6″ – 5′ 10″ 168 – 178 17 – 18 M
5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″ 178 – 185 19+ L

Road bike sizing chart

Rider Height Frame Size Suggested
Feet and Inches Centimetres Centimetres Size
4′ 10″ – 5 ‘0″ 148 – 152 47 – 48 XXS
5′ 0 “- 5′ 3” 152 – 160 49 – 50 XS
5′ 3″ – 5′ 6″ 160 – 168 51 – 52 – 53 S
5 6″ – 5′ 9″ 168 – 175 54 – 55 M
5′ 9″ – 6′ 0″ 175 – 183 56 – 57 – 58 L
6′ 0″ – 6′ 3″ 183 – 191 58 – 59 – 60 XL
6′ 3″ – 6′ 6″ 191 – 198 61 – 62 – 63 XXL

Women’s road bike sizing chart

Rider Height Frame Size Suggested
Feet and Inches Centimetres Centimetres Size
4′ 10″ – 5′ 1″ 147 – 155 44 – 45 – 46 XXS
5′ 1″ – 5′ 3″ 155 – 160 47 – 48 – 49 XS
5′ 3″ – 5′ 5″ 160 – 165 50 – 51 – 52 S
5′ 5″ – 5′ 8″ 165 – 172 53 – 54 – 55 M
5′ 8″ – 5′ 10″ 172 – 180 56 – 57 L

Hybrid bike sizing chart

Rider Height Frame Size Suggested
Feet and Inches Centimetres Inches Size Centimetres
4′ 10″ – 5′ 1″ 147 – 155 13 – 14 XS 47 – 49
5′ 1″ – 5′ 5″ 155 – 165 15 – 16 S 50 – 52
5′ 5″ – 5′ 9″ 165 – 175 17 – 18 M 53 – 54
5′ 9″ – 6′ 0″ 175 – 183 19 -20 L 55 – 57
6′ 0″ – 6′ 3″ 183 – 191 21 – 22 XL 58 – 61
6′ 3″ – 6′ 6″ 191 – 198 23 – 25 XXL 61 – 63

Children’s bike sizing chart

Rider Age or Height Size Suggested
Age Feet and Inches Centimetres  
2 – 5 years 2′ 10″ – 3′ 7″ 85 – 110 Runner bikes
2 – 4 years 2′ 10″ – 3′ 4″ 85 – 100 12 inch wheel diameter
3 – 5 years 3′ 1″ – 3′ 7″ 95 – 110 14 inch wheel diameter
5 – 7 years 3′ 7″ – 4′ 0″ 110 – 120 16 inch wheel diameter
7 – 9 years 4′ 0″ – 4′ 5″ 120 – 135 20 inch wheel diameter
9 – 11 years 4′ 5″ – 4′ 9″ 135 – 145 24 inch wheel diameter
11+ years 4′ 9″+ 145+ 26 inch wheel diameter

Folding bike sizing

As a general rule folding bikes are one size fits all catering for people from heights of 4′ 10″ – 6′ 4″ (148cm – 193cm).

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