What Size Bike Do I Need For My Height?

So, you wanna ditch the sofa safari, drop a few, and get buff? Biking is your ticket to the gun show (and we’re not just talking biceps here, folks).

Pedaling away is like a triple threat to laziness: you’re bulking up the legs, carving out that core, and making your heart hustle harder than a caffeine-fueled squirrel.

Now, if you’re about to hop on the biking bandwagon or you’re already pedaling like a pro, there’s something super crucial you need to nail down: finding your bike soulmate.

Yep, it’s not just about picking a color that matches your workout gear.

We’re talking wheel size, seat height, the kind of wild adventures you’ll be having together, and, of course, strapping on a helmet that doesn’t cramp your style.

But here’s a fun fact: a lot of folks totally overlook how tall their two-wheeled companion is. And trust me, size does matter here.

Why? Imagine cruising on a bike that’s either trying to kneecap you or one you need a ladder to mount. Not cool, right?

So, how do you find the Goldilocks zone in bike sizes?

Before you start your journey from couch potato to Tour de Fitness Champion, let’s talk about getting you equipped with the right gear.

Because, my friend, the first pedal to becoming a cycling legend is making sure you and your bike are a match made in heaven.

Methods to Calculate the Height of a Bike: The Chart

bikes for sale in shop

It is important to find the right bike for height; however, with so many people ordering bikes online, it is more important than ever to know how to find the right bike without seeing it in person.

One of the tried and true methods of finding the right bike is to simply take the individual’s height and equate this to the bike.

The chart is as follows:

  • For people between 4 feet 11 inches and 5 feet three inches, the bike height should be between 13 and 15 inches tall
  • For those between 5 feet three inches and 5 feet seven inches, purchase a bike between 15 and 16 inches tall
  • Individuals between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 11 inches should look for a bike between 16 and 17 inches tall
  • People between 6 feet tall and 6 feet 2 inches tall need a bike between 17 and 19 inches in height
  • Those between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches should look for a bike between 19 and 21 inches in height
  • Riders over 6 feet 4 inches tall should purchase a bike that is 21 inches or higher

As long as people know how tall they are, this is a pretty easy method to follow.

Of course, there are some downsides to using this method.

The most obvious issue is that people are proportioned differently.

People who are equal in height could still have legs that vary in length.

This means that, even though they are the same height, they are going to be more comfortable with bikes of different size.

road bike size image
more info at RB Inc bike shop

The team over at RB Inc have some sizing charts that you can look at here, or use our charts below.

Men’s Road Bike Size Chart

Rider heightSuggested frame size
4’10”-5’0″148-152 cm47-48 cmXXS
5’0″-5’3″152-160 cm49-50 cmXS
5’3″-5’6″160-168 cm51-52-53 cmS
5’6″-5’9″168-175 cm54-55 cmM
5’9″-6’0″175-183 cm56-57-58 cmL
6’0″-6’3″183-191 cm58-59-60 cmXL
6’3″-6’6″191-198 cm61-62-63 cmXXL

Women’s Road Bike Size Chart

Rider heightSuggested frame size
4’10”-5’0″148-152 cm44 cmXXS
5’0″-5’3″152-160 cm48 cmXS
5’3″-5’6″160-168 cm51 cmS
5’6″-5’9″168-175 cm54 cmM

Mountain Bike Size Chart

Rider heightLeg inseamSuggested frame size
4’10”-5’1″148-158 cm24-29″61-73 cm< 14″XS
5’1″-5’5″158-168 cm25-30″63-76 cm15″ / 16″S
5’5″-5’9″168-178 cm26-31″66-78 cm16″ / 17″M
5’9″-6’0″178-185 cm27″-32″68-81 cm17″ / 18″L
6’0″-6’3″185-193 cm28″-33″71-83 cm18″ / 19″XL
6’1″-6’6″193-198 cm29″-34″73-86 cm19″ +XXL

Hybrid Bike Size Chart

Rider heightLeg inseamSuggested frame size
4’10”-5’1″147-155 cm24-29″61-73 cm< 14″XS
5’1″-5’5″155-165 cm25-30″63-76 cm15″ / 16″S
5’5″-5’9″165-175 cm26-31″66-78 cm17″ / 18″M
5’9″-6’0″175-183 cm27″-32″68-81 cm19″ / 20″L
6’0″-6’3″183-191 cm28″-33″71-83 cm21″ / 22″XL
6’1″-6’6″191-198 cm29″-34″73-86 cm23″ +XXL

Calculating the Desired Height of the Bike

For those who ride on a regular basis, it might be better to invest in a bike whose height has been calculated more precisely.

This method is done using both the height of the rider and the length of the legs.

In order to do this, use the following steps:

  • First, take off the shoes and stand with the legs about two to three inches apart
  • While still in this position, measure the distance between the inseam of the pants and the floor
  • Using this measurement, the proper size for different bikes can be calculated

Use the following formulas to find the right bike size for the right terrain:

  • For a bike in the city, multiply the inseam height by 0.685
  • For a mountain bike, multiply the inseam height by 0.66
  • If someone is looking for a road bike, multiply the inseam height by 0.7

Because different bikes handle different terrain better, people who ride regularly might realize that they prefer bikes of different sizes for different terrain.

It might be a good idea to have different bikes in the garage for different purposes.

Trusting the Professionals

Some people may not be comfortable purchasing a bike online without seeing it in person first.

This is understandable and acceptable.

For this reason, anyone who has doubts about whether or not they are getting the right bike for their purposes should visit a local store and ask a professional for help.

The professional might take a few measurements and then offer up a few suggestions.

Ultimately, some people may need to ride the bike around the parking lot before deciding which one is right for their needs.

Do not hesitate to ask to test-ride the bike before making a purchase.

Most stores are more than willing to let this happen. Just be sure to put on a helmet first!

The Fine-Tuning of the Bike: The Seat

Most people are going to feel comfortable riding range of bike sizes; however, it is still vital to make sure that people feel as comfortable as possible while riding.

If the height is not correct, people could be applying extra stress to their core, back, and knees, which can wear them out quickly.

In order to prevent this from happening, it is important for everyone to adjust the height of the seat as well.

It can be a challenge to loosen the seat, adjust the height, and tighten it again.

Because of this, do not hesitate to ask a professional for help.

When people ride in a bike that has the proper seat height, they will probably find that they can ride further and faster than ever before.

Better yet, this will help preserve the muscles for the next day’s ride as well!

Take a few minutes to adjust the seat to the right height.

In the end, there are many ways that people can improve their biking.

In addition to adding miles and speed, it is important to make sure that everyone has the right equipment as well.

This means investing in the right clothing, the right helmet, and the right bike.

Make sure not to overlook the height of the bike.

Riding too short of a bike could place too much stress on the knees as they bend more while pedaling.

If the bike is too tall, people could wind up stressing their core and their back as they strain to reach the pedals.

Finally, do not forget about the height of the seat as well.

Make sure to adjust the height of the seat after deciding on a bike.

Ultimately, those who have questions or concerns about finding the right sized bike for their height should meet with a professional to have the bike sized.

Who knows, maybe some people are interested in investing in a custom-made bike as well!

Improve the quality of the ride with the proper bike.

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