What Size Bicycle Do you Need: Bike frame sizes, charts and fitting tips

Before buy, gain some knowledge on bicycle size, bike size chart, bike fitting, bike frame size. In our article we will go through about all issues. If you are a new bike rider know the cycle anatomy first.

Before purchase you should do a fit to ensure the bicycle and bike frame size that best suits your riding style and needs is also the right physical size. Fitting the bike will go a long way towards how comfortable and successful it will be.

Before buy, it is better to know about frame sizes, road bike sizing ( if you are a road biker) and bike size chart. Bike size guide with a an expert bike trainer will be a good combination for choice the best bike fit with your body structure.

From where you buy the bike ensure that the dealer  would supply bicycle accessories in future.


A very basic thing required when shopping for bikes is the understanding of size and measurements for bike fit according to bike frame size.

Before purchase a bike, you’ll need to take measurements of your body. Bike sizes are built on a person’s height and body frame dimensions. You should need to know your height, inseam, torso length and arm length. Be sure to remove your shoes first.

  After knowing your accurate height and inseam measurements, you should be able to define what size frame will be most comfortable for you. Of the two measurements, height and inseam, inseam is more important. It would be a plus point if you get an expert bike trainer who will properly guide on bike fit.

height-measurement-in bicycle-buying

 What is Inseam length measurement for a bike: best bike fit tips

The most important measurement is your inseam length. Tips to measure for perfect bike fit

It will from your crotch, where the saddle would be, to your foot

Step-1 Stand with your back against a wall and spread your feet 6-8″ apart with no shoe.

Step-2 Place a book between your legs and up against the wall, spine up; raise it until snug against your crotch, actually this mimics your bike seat or saddle.

Step-3 Get another person measure from the top of the book (spine) down to the floor.

 Measuring inseam for a bicycle: Video

Measuring Your Torso Length: for bike fit according to bike size

  • Again, repeat the first three steps for measuring your inseam. It is important to measure the torso length for bike fit according to bike size.
  • Then measure from the spine of the book (the top) to the small “V” in your throat just above your sternum, in inches. Easily , say it will from your crotch to your sternum – the V-shaped curve below your neck

Arm Length

  • Measure from your end collarbone to the centre of your palm.

Bike size chart will help you for bike fitting

Road Bike Sizing Guide: bike size chart for bike frame size

Determining Your Road Bike Frame Size
Height Inseam Length Bike Frame Size
4’10” – 5’1″ 25.5” – 27” 46 – 48 cm
5’0″ – 5’3″ 26.5″ – 28″ 48 – 50 cm
5’2″ – 5’5″ 27.5″ – 29″ 50 – 52 cm
5’4″ – 5’7″ 28.5″ – 30″ 52 – 54 cm
5’6″ – 5’9″ 29.5″ – 31″ 54 – 56 cm
5’8″ – 5’11” 30.5″ – 32″ 56 – 58 cm
5’10” – 6’1″ 31.5″ – 33″ 58 – 60 cm
6’0″ – 6’3″ 32.5″ – 34″ 60 – 62 cm
6’2″ – 6’5″ 34.5″ – 36″ 62 – 64 cm

A bike that is too small for your size will rapidly uncomfortable and frustrate you.  And if the bike that is too big is also uncomfortable to ride and can be dangerous too.

The right size

overall, a bike will be nearly the right size if the top tube (the bar that goes between the seat and the handlebar) leaves almost two or three finger space below your groin (i.e., the inseam of your pants) as you straddle your bike with your feet flat on the floor.  If there is no top tube, sit on the seat.  You should be able to touch the ground with your feet, but only on tippy-toes, and even then maybe on one side or the other.

Also, when sitting on the seat, your feet should be comfortable on the pedals and you should be able to reach the handlebars comfortably without either being scrunched too close together.

What measurements do you need with your bike in shop?

Standover height

The leg measurement will determine your stand over height – this is the appropriate measurement between the top tube of the bike and your crotch when stood just in front of the saddle.



If your height and inside legs measurements put you in between sizes, your upper body should be the deciding factor as your reach to the bars will be affected by either size. To work out if you have a long or short reach, you need to determine your ‘ape index’ (arm span minus height).

  • If you have a positive ape index (i.e. your arm span is greater than your height) then we suggest you go for the larger of the sizes.
  • If you have a negative ape index (i.e. your height is greater than your arm span) then you will probably be more comfortable on the smaller of the sizes.

For example; 152cm (arm span) – 163cm (height) = -11, so a negative ‘ape index’ and should go for a smaller frame if in-between sizes.

height and inside legs measurements

 Some Bike buying extra guideline

 Inseam  measurement has great influence for right motorbike. It is best, if your own inseam plus another 1-2 inches are comfortable clearance of that top tube. Some bicycle trainer expert says that, road bikes require 1-2 inches clearance while mountain or commuter bikes need 2-4 inches.



 It is important to see what height the individual bike size chart relates to and  consider your own measurements.

Another formula is that of the top tube length. To figure out your ideal top tube length, do the following equation:

(torso length + arm length) / 2 = x

x – 6 = top tube length

Note and explanation: in this math, add your torso length to your arm length, divide that by two, and subtract six. The output will tell you what the ideal distance would be between your seat and handlebars (in inches).

Know the bicycle anatomy: bike frame size



Road bike Size Charts:



Hybrid Bike Sizing guide:



Mountain Bike Sizing guide:



Frame Sizes measurement for road bike and mountain bike

frame sizes according to bike size chart is very important. Measure your inseam, from the book’s spine to the floor. Multiply that number by 0.65; the result is your approximate road frame size. For example, 81cm x 0.65 = 52.65-a 52 or 53 cm frames (sizes are the seat-tube length). Note that compact sizing uses a virtual seat-tube length, so don’t go by the stated size unless it has the same virtual size. To convert to inch sizing, divide by 2.54. For mountain bikes, subtract 10-12cm from your road size. Oh before buy, any bike ensure about your bicycle accessories, if a dealer could provide you.

Seat Height
Your knee must have a small bend in it at the bottom of your pedal stroke. To check this, in cycling shoes, pedal unclipped with your heels on the pedals. Measure the distance between the bottom bracket and the top of the seat. This is your seat height. It should be very close to the product of your inseam (in cm) multiplied by 0.883.

When buying a bike, how well it fits you is the most important factor in how much you will enjoy it and how likely you will be to continue riding it regularly.  As such, it’s very important to pay attention to the size of the bike you are considering so that you buy the right one at the start for bike fit.

Join the discussion

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