How to Find the Right Size Bike

Getting the best performance out of your bike starts with making sure it’s the right size.

As is the case with your helmet, riding shoes and riding apparel, you want to make sure that your bike is the right size for you. Not only will the right size bike offer the most comfortable ride, it will also let you get the best performance out of your bike. The last thing you want while riding is bumping your knees on the handlebars because your bike is undersized, or not being able to pedal smoothly because your bike is a bit too big.

Whether you’re looking at various bikes in the store or searching online, sizing is a very quick and easy process.

SIZING IN STORE

If you have the bike in front of you, pick a bike that you are interested in and stand over the middle of the middle of the top tube. There should be some clearance between you and the bike — typically, 2-4″ for mountain bikes and 1-2″ for road bikes.

Don’t worry about the seat height because once you’ve done the step-over test and have found the right size bike, you can easily adjust the seat to fit you properly.

SIZING ONLINE

If you don’t have the bike in front of you, the most important measurement to know is your inseam. The inseam is the length from your crotch down to your foot. Once you have that measured, use the chart below as a guide to select the best size bike for you.

bike size chart

If your measurements fall between two sizes on the chart above, there’s no need to worry. Going for the larger size is recommended, because you’ll be able to adjust the seat to create that perfect fit for you.

Regardless of which method you use, finding the right size bike is really a simple process. Have fun in searching for your new ride, and remember that the proper size will help give you the best performance on the road or trail.