Bike Size Chart: What Size Bike Do I Need? –

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People buy bikes for different purposes: For racing, road-biking, mountain-biking, touring or commuting. Whatever the reason you have for spending your hard-earned money on purchasing a bicycle, it is very important that you get the perfect bike for yourself. Or else, you would be throwing away your money.

In this article, you will discover the different bike size charts for the mountain bikes, kid’s bikes, hybrid bikes, balance bike, road bikes, and the city/commute bikes. It is generally believed that the most appropriate way to increase cycling pleasure is to know what exactly is good for you. These charts and other vital information presented in this article will help you accomplish your goal in choosing the perfect bike.

What Size Bike Do I Need?

One of the most common questions asked by bike shoppers is, “What size bike do I need?” or “What size bike should I get?”

Although it’s simple to find a bike style that you adore, selecting one that fits you well can be more challenging. Bike sizing may seem like a complicated and tiresome task, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you consider all the factors involved, you can find a bike that is correctly sized for your body and requirements.

Let’s dive in! Here are three easy methods:

  • Method One: The Easy Bike Height Chart
  • Method Two: Calculate Your Bike Size
  • Method Three: Bike Size Chart

Method One: Bike Height Chart (Easy)

This formula is very simple: Your height / Bike Size

Here is an easy to follow bike size chart by height. Many people also call the following information a bike frame size chart. The chart takes into consideration your height and the size of the bike’s frame. Clearly, certain heights compliment certain frames. The following table is the criteria followed to make the bike size determination.

Mountain Bike Size Chart / Frame Size Chart

Road Bike Size Chart

Please remember, if you have the correct frame size for your height then other components on the bike can be easily adjusted to fit your needs. Also with most bikes, the handlebars and saddle post rise and lower.

Method Two: Calculate Your Bike Size

This method involves using simple math to calculate the correct bicycle size.

Bike Rider Measurements

The Formula: Bike Type x Leg inseam = Your frame size (in centimeters)

Follow this simple formula to get the perfect bicycle size for you:

  1. Bike Type: Select your bike type from the following:
    • Road bikes – x 0.70
    • Mountain bikes – x 0.685
    • City bike – x 0.685
  2. Measure your leg inseam: To determine your leg length, start by taking off your shoes and standing upright with your legs positioned approximately 15-22 cm apart. Next, use a measuring tape to gauge the distance from the ground to your crotch, as shown in the image above.
  3. Calculate:
    • Road bike – 0.70 x Leg inseam = Your frame size (cm)
    • Mountain bike – 0.685 x Leg inseam = Your frame size (cm)
    • City bike – 0.685 x Leg inseam = Your frame size (cm)

For example, if your leg inseam is 65cm and you are looking for Road bike, the correct size would be 65 x 0.70 = 45.5cm

Tip: Try our bike size calculator

Method Three: Bike Size Charts For Men, Women, and Kids

Below, we’ve provided size charts for road bikes, mountain bikes for men and women, hybrid bikes, gravel bikes, and kids bikes. It’s worth noting that no single bike size chart applies universally to all brands or styles. Different bike manufacturers may have slight variations in their sizing, but the charts below can serve as a useful starting point.

1. Road Bike Size Chart

Road bike size chart

Road bikes are traditionally sized by their seat tube dimension. That is the distance from the top of the seat tube to the center of the bottom bracket cup. However that is not the only dimension you should pay attention to when size your bike. The top tube measurement along with the length of the stem and reach of the handlebars are also important in determine the angle of your back as you are riding. For some riders a long reach will have them hunched over into the bike and thus also being more aerodynamic. For casual riders a less aggressive angle means more miles in the saddle and less pain on the back.

The seat tube is measured in centimeters usually starting on the small end around 46cm and ending in the large end somewhere around 64cm. You can imagine the longer this distance is the longer all the measurements on the frame are going to be as well as bike manufacturers have a pretty good range of frames corresponding with the different sizes of people out there.

Below is a road bike sizing guide. Now, sizing guides are not the be all end all of your bike fit. You might find that a bigger bike fits you better in top tube dimensions or you just the like the aggressive feel of a smaller bike.

My track bike is a 56cm, my touring bike a 54cm and my road bike a 53cm. Different types of bikes have different feels to them based on the different measurements of the tubing.

Following is a road bike size chart that matches your height to the bike’s size.

Some manufacturers have started using small, medium, and large for road bikes as well as changing the road bike geometry by putting in a more sloping top tube like a mountain bike. Sizing conventions like this can accommodate a wider range of riders; all they need is a longer seat post. The Cannondale Synapse and GT Grade are good examples of this. If you ride an extra small you might have to sacrifice the 700c wheels for 650b’s.

Additional Resources:

  • The 7 most important road bike sizing tips
  • Why you need to worry about road bike sizing and fitting
  • How to size your cyclocross bike (Cyclocross will follow the same conventions as road bikes.)
  • Another road bike size guide (from Evans Cycling)

2. Mountain Bike Size Chart

Mountain Bike Size Chart

Mountain bike sizing conventions are different than road bikes depending on the age of the bike. Pre 2000’s bikes used the same A-frame geometry of road bikes, but used a smaller diameter wheel and pulled the bottom brackets further from the ground. They made use of longer cranks to get leverage for those steep climbs and flat handlebars for more side to side control. Old bikes would come in sizes like 16.5 inches, 17.5 inches, 19 inches and 21 inches. It wasn’t until the 2000’s when major manufacturers switched it up to a small, medium, and large convention, did mountain biking and modern technology really take off.

Of course you want to find what is comfortable but think of smalls as for people who are 4’11” to 5’4”, mediums are for those 5’5” to 5’9”, and larges for those 5’10” to 6’3”. There are extra large and extra small frames for those of you on either side but you may have to sacrifice tire size for a comfortable fit. What I mean is someone who is really small may not be able to comfortably ride a 29er.

Mountain bike seating positions are usually less aggressive than road bikes and plus the bike does most of the work so there is no need to be hunched over churning super hard. Your head needs to be up looking for obstacles and dangers. Find a bike you feel comfortable on and make sure you are satisfied before you pay… and of course use the following bike size table!

Mountain Bike Size Table

Related: Mountain Bike Size Chart, Guide, Frame And Geometry

Important Things to Know When Sizing a Mountain Bike

Sizing mountain bikes is a little different than other bikes. With MTB, you truly need a ride that fits your body because you might be traversing some perilous trail conditions. You simply ride a mountain bike differently than you do other bikes.

When you are pedaling, and your foot reaches the bottom of the stroke then you will only see a slight bend in your leg. Ideally, your leg should be 80 to 90 percent extended so you can pedal with all the power of your leg muscles to climb hills and ride a cross rough flat terrain.

Mountain bike fitting

Mountain bikes are available in standard sizes, but the bike’s geometry is a bit different and the way you ride matters. Also, you must think about the top tube length, your stand over clearance, seat height, and the reach because you are not going to be riding a mountain bike like you do a road bike.

Looking Closer at Bike Sizes

Let’s take a closer look at the mountain bike sizing considerations before we explore the size chart:

  • Top Tube (effective top tube ETT) is the horizontal distance that is between the seat tube and the head tube. You will look at this tube when measuring the mountain bike.
  • Reach is the expanse between the bottom bracket that runs to the center head tube. Most riders use the reach to measure the mountain bikes’ length. Remember, if you are descending on steep single-track then you want to feel the bike’s length as you ride.
  • Stand over is height is completely different from a mountain bike than other bikes. With others, a two-inch clearance will suffice but with a mountain bike, you want at least three to five inches between your crotch and the top tube. When measuring the height, you will want to wear whatever shoes you regularly cycle in to get a true indicator of the bike’s size.
Mountain Bike Wheelbase
Mountain Bike Wheelbase

The reason for the added standover inches needed with a mountain bike is so you can jump free of the bike. You don’t know when a tough trail ride can go wrong and you can start to tumble. You want to jump free of the bike which means having adequate inches between you, the bike’s bar, and the saddle.

The Top Bar of the Mountain Bike and Size

One factor that might change the inches required is if the slope of the top bar is extreme which would provide you with the needed room to safely ride the bike. Therefore, the standover height is not a true indicator that the mountain bike fits your body. You must take all the other considerations into account when shopping for the correct mountain bike size.

However, when you descend on a trail, your seat should be in a lowered position that is about 3 inches different than in the ascent position. It is not uncommon for most mountain bike enthusiasts to ride with a dropper seat-post which allows you to raise or lower the saddle with a push of a button so you can quickly adjust your ride to the terrain without ever having to dismount.

Understanding Sizing Women’s Mountain Bikes

Women are typically narrower in the shoulder than men and many also have longer legs than their torso. You can purchase women-specific mountain bikes that have narrow handlebars and compact/shorter frames. However, many women do not require a female mountain bike and instead opt to ride men’s’ MTBs

Learning Sizing Kids Mountain Bikes

Mountain biking is fun for the entire family, you and old alike. Many parents want to buy a bike that is larger, so their child has time to grow into it. However, when riding backroad single-track it is important to have a bike that fits your child. Your little one should be comfortable riding the bike. Stand over height for a child’s mountain bike should average two to four inches clearance.

When your child sits on the bike, they should have their legs slightly bent when they reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. Also, when sitting on the bike they appear in an upright position while holding the handlebars.

Additional Resources:

  • How to find your best mountain bike frame size (Must-read!)
  • Our bike size calculator

3. Women’s Mountain Bike Size Chart

Women mountain bike size

As mentioned, some women prefer a mountain bike designed specifically for their feminine size. Overall, the frame is normally just narrower on a female MTB? However, other women might prefer the standard MTB sizes (often referred to as men’s bike sizes).

Women’s Mountain Bike Size Table

4. Hybrid Bike Size Chart

hybrid bike size

Hybrid bikes are popular for commuting and leisure riding. Many have MTB styling, but the tires are always very narrow and smooth. Unlike a road bike, a hybrid has flat handlebars. Below is a chart that will help you find the right size hybrid bike to meet your needs. Also, when you stand over the hybrid bike, you should have a minimum one-inch clearance between your crotch and the top of the bike.

Hybrid Bike Size Table

Additional Resources:

  • Pick The Best Hybrid Bicycle

5. Gravel Bike Size Chart

Gravel Bike Size Chart

When it comes to sizing, most gravel bikes use the seat tube length in centimetres or T-shirt-style sizing. Gravel bikes generally have a more relaxed and upright position compared to road race bikes to help balance and steer over obstacles and provide comfort over uneven terrain. However, if you’re interested in gravel racing, a longer and lower position may make you faster. It’s important to pay attention to the geometry of the bike and choose one that matches your riding intentions.

Gravel Bike Size Table

Additional Resources:

  • Gravel Bike Size Charts: Ultimate Guide
  • Best Gravel Bikes

6. Bike Size Chart for Kids

kids bike size

Kid’s bikes are a little harder to size and at times, a little easier. First, some disclaimers; does the fit have to be perfect?


You are going to spend so much money trading up bikes year after year to try and keep your child on the perfect size bike. Cycling can be an extremely expensive sport and kids change their minds all the time about what they want to do. I think you should support them in their endeavors but no need to break the bank. A common strategy is just to get things a little bigger and let them grow into it. I see no reason why that strategy shouldn’t work here.

Kid’s bikes are so small, that the measurement you often end up looking at is wheel size. They have bikes with 12in, 14in, 16in, 18in, 20in and 24in wheels. If any of these frames seem too small then they might be able to fit a small adult 26in wheel size bike. I am not sure that someone under 4’11” could comfortably ride a 700c wheel whatever the frame size may be. Keep these things in mind when you are looking and make sure to try out a few options.

Below, you will find a basic bike size chart for kids:

As you can see from the above chart, children’s bikes are measured by wheel size. Remember, sizing is important with a child’s bike because if it is too big or small then the kid will have a hard time balancing correctly.

Additional Resources:

  • Guide to kids bike sizes and bike size charts for kids (Everything you need to know.. literally!)
  • The worlds biggest reseller of kids bikes
  • How to find the correct bike size for your kids

Additional Ways to Calculate Your Bike Size

Sizing a bike isn’t difficult.

You’ll need a tape measure to complete the task. Without a doubt, you will also need a calculator. Three easy steps to calculate your bike size: Stand with your shoes off so your legs are spaced 15 to 20 centimeters apart and now measure from your crotch to the ground. Choose the bicycle type Calculate your bike’s size based on the following:

  • City bike: Leg inseam x 0.685 = bike frame size
  • Mountain bike: Leg inseam x 0.685 = bike frame size
  • Road bike: Leg inseam x 0.70 = bike frame size

If you don’t enjoy math, then you can always use a free online bike calculator to determine your bike’s size. You simply input your measurements and the bike type you want to buy calculates the perfect size to fit your needs.

Bike size fitting

Important factors to know:

What size of bike you get depends on a lot of things. You’ll want to take these crucial factors into consideration to ensure you buy the correct size bike for your needs.

Height and Inseam

Your physical height and the length of your inseam matters when picking out a bike. Interestingly, everyone has unique body styles. A man who stands 6’2” might have a very long torso and only have an inseam of 32” but another man who is the same height might have a very short torso with long legs which makes him sport an inseam of 36”. The same is true for the physical build of a woman or child.

Leg Inseam

Frame Importance

If the bike’s frame size is not correct, then you might have a hard time pedaling the bike and feeling uncomfortable. When a bike is too small, your legs and torso become cramped and you cannot fully extend your leg to maximize cycling power. However, if the frame is too large then you simply won’t attain the leg rotation required to successfully pedal at higher speeds. The best way to check the frame size of the bike is to simply stand over the frame. Make sure both of your feet are on the ground. Ideally, you should have an inch between your crotch and the bike’s frame if it is a hybrid, racing, or touring bike.

Bike Size Chart: What Size Bike Do I Need? - Icebike.orgMountain Bike Frame

If the bike is a mountain bike, then the distance should be about 2” between your crotch and frame. Remember, when you are measuring the bike’s frame for a child, then have your little one sit on the bike’s seat and place only the balls of their feet down on the ground while still being able to reach the handlebars in comfort. A child should have only 25 to 50mm between their crotch and the frame’s top bar when standing over the bike in the above-mentioned position.

Position of the Seat

All riders are different. Many like the seat tilted a tad bit forward and others like a more backward position. However, the most popular remains level. When measuring a bike’s fit, have the seat positioned the way you prefer so that your feet rest on the pedal and when you extend your legs, your feet almost completely touch the ground. Your hips should never sway from side to side to enable your feet to reach the pedals or ground.

  • How To Fit Your Bicycle
  • How to set-up the seat height and saddle position on your MTB
  • How to get your road bike position right + seat position
  • How to adjust your bike seat (with pictures)

Handlebars and Their Position

A bike that fits right has handlebars in the correct position. When positioned incorrectly, you can suffer from back pain, wrist soreness, and shoulder discomfort from the strain. With racers or touring bikes, you will find that the handlebars are the width of your shoulders. Road bikes have their handlebars positioned approximately an inch below the top of the saddle. A mountain bike has even lower handlebars to create a greater center of gravity. Hybrids have a high seat, so your body is positioned in a very upright fashion. All these positions are not written in stone. Most bikes allow you to adjust the handlebars. When sizing a bike, you must think about the handlebars and how it fits your body and riding style.

Wheel Size Measurements

Wheel size is measured by the diameter of the wheel when the tire is mounted. You’ll notice the size written on the sidewall in most cases. The size of the wheel is dependent on the primary use of the bike. You’ll find that most mountain bikes have a 26” or 29” wheel. A larger sized person who enjoys mountain biking often opts for a 29” wheel. The tires on mountain bikes are also wide.

Hybrids, road bikes, and touring bikes usually have a 29” wheel that is slim (only 18-25mm). The large wheel enables the bike to roll effortlessly across the pavement. Years ago, road bikes regularly had 27” wheels. BMX bikes typically come in two sizes: 20” or 24” wheels. The wheel size is a huge deciding factor in the bike’s size. A child’s bike’s wheels differ but are usually 12” wheels for a child age 3 go 5, 16” tires for a child age 5 to 7, 20” for a child 7 to 10 years old, 24” or 26” for those 10 and over.

what bike size to get

FAQ: The Most Common Questions


In this article, we have outlined a wide array of sizing charts and pointers on what size bike you need. Above all, you will be able to use the bike size chart for your needs so you can find the perfect ride. Whether you are trying to size a road bike, mountain bike, or kid bike, the charts outlined are all beneficial. Remember, having the correct size is imperative so you enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling ride. Whether you are ordering online or buying from a bike shop, this bike size guide will undoubtedly prove indispensable.