Riding a bike can be super fun, and there are undeniable health benefits. That’s if you’re riding one which is the right size for you. With the wrong size, you will not only feel uncomfortable, but it can also lead to major health problems down the line.
Got your attention? Good. Don’t worry, though. This article will be all about bike frame size chart inches.
You need to make sure that the bike fits your size when you consider your height and inseam length. Ideally, there should be a 1 to 3 inches gap when you stand on top of the bike. Then, you also have the reach. All these three together will give you the best fit. Let’s break it down further.
Why Is Getting The Right Size Bike Important?
Cycling is a fun activity. It’s exhilarating, and you can get quite a rush. If you do it with your buddies, then there is more reason to ride your trusty bicycle. However, a lot of new cyclists might not be aware that bikes need to be the right size for you.
Not having the right bike size can cause a lot of problems apart from being uncomfortable to ride. It can also be unsafe to ride a bike that isn’t the right size.
Some of the problems you’re likely to face with an improper size are:
- Back and knee problems
- Difficulty riding
Knee and Back Problems
A lot of people already suffer from back problems. This can be due to bad posture, or maybe they suffered an injury. The last thing you want is your bike to be one of the causes to add to that.
Biking or cycling is meant to be a fun physical activity that’s supposed to keep you healthy. There are a lot of benefits to riding a bike. It keeps your weight in check and is also just a fantastic cardio workout.
There is absolutely no reason why you should make a healthy habit like riding a bike turn into one that’s detrimental to your health.
Some riders will also face riding difficulties with the wrong size bike. You will see your performance slow down, and the whole experience, in general, will not be good.
There are two problems with this. Firstly, if you’re unaware that bikes need to be the right size for you and that there is a ‘bike fit’ for everyone, you might think that biking is just not as fun.
You can get demotivated to ride if you’re uncomfortable when you’re on it. This can lead to discouragement, and at worse, you may leave riding altogether.
Then, there is the problem of safety. Riding a bike that’s the wrong size for you can be a safety hazard as well. And when you’re on the road (or on the mountains off-roading), safety should be one of your top priorities.
Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. There are some solid guidelines that you can follow to pick out the exact size for yourself.
Picking Out the Right Bike Size
Alright, now that you know why it’s important to ride a bike with the right frame size, let’s jump into how you choose. There are three measurements you need to consider.
Those three are inseam and height and then also the reach measurement. But what do all these measurements mean? Let’s take a look at these in detail.
Inseam and Height Measurement
Inseam and height measurement is one of the most important measurements you need to think of when getting a bike. Especially your inseam length is particularly important.
It’s the length from your crotch to your feet. Getting a bike that has the crossbar just 1 to 3 inches below your crotch area is best.
This means you can comfortably stand over your bike. And in times when you need to suddenly stop, you can do without really hurting yourself. The 1 to 3 inches of clearance is applicable for both road and mountain bikes.
If your inseam and height measurement doesn’t give you a solid answer, you can use reach measurement. This is good when your inseam measurement puts you smack dab in the middle of two frame sizes.
When it comes to reaching, you should be looking for your ape index. The ape index is the length of your arm span compared to your height. Some people have the same arm span as their height, which means they have an ape index of 1.
If you have an ape index of 1, then you can go for the larger size bike. For others, the arm span can be a bit shorter than their height. If this is the case, then going with the shorter bike is the better option.
What about Women Bikes?
We will add an easy-to-read bike frame size chart later on in the guide. That will make deciding a bit easier. Till then, what about women’s bikes? Women bikes have smaller frames, shorter top tubes, and also narrower handlebars with smaller brake handles.
Women tend to have longer legs, and their torsos are shorter. That’s why you will see a lot of women’s bikes are specifically designed for that. That being said, don’t think just because you’re a woman you need a women’s bike.
Sometimes they will not be the right size even for a woman since everyone is different. This is why getting a bike fit is the best option. More on this a bit later, though.
You can look into women’s bikes if you’re shorter than 5’ 5” or have smaller arms. If you tried other bikes before and felt uncomfortable or stretched, then a women’s bike can also do the trick. This is true for both men and women.
Bike Frame Size Chart Inches
Let’s give you some solid numbers to go by. How does that sound? This will give you a better idea of what frame size you should be looking for and is a good place to get started.
Road Bike Frame Size Chart
|Height||Inseam Length||Frame Size (cm)|
|4’10” – 5’1”||25.5” – 27”||46 – 48|
|5’0” – 5’3”||26.5” – 28”||48 – 50|
|5’6” – 5’9”||29.5” – 31”||52 – 54|
|5’8” – 5’11”||30.5” – 32”||56 – 58|
|5’10” – 6’1”||31.5” – 33”||58 – 60|
|6’0” – 6’3”||32.5” – 34”||60 – 62|
|6’2” – 6’5”||34.5” – 36”||62 – 64|
Mountain Bike Frame Size Chart
|Height||Inseam Length||Frame Size (Inches)|
|4’11” – 5’3”||25” – 27”||13 – 15|
|5’3” – 5’7”||27” – 29”||15 – 17|
|5’7” – 5’11”||29” – 31”||17 – 19|
|5’11” – 6’2”||31” – 33”||19 – 21|
|6’2” – 6’4”||33” – 35”||21 – 23|
Choosing A Bike For Your Children
Why should adults have all the fun? Well, they shouldn’t. Any kid would love a good quality bike they can ride around with their friends. Not to mention it’s a great form of activity and physical exercise for them as well.
However, before buying your child just any bike, the frame size matters here too. There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when getting a bike for your kid.
Unfortunately, we have seen this time and time again. When people buy a bike for their kid, they often cheap out. Get a good-quality bike with the right fit. This will make sure that it’s safe to ride and the right size means it’s comfortable and easy as well.
Reality check, kids can fall off the bike. So, you don’t want to give them a bad bike that’s poorly made and end up hurting themselves.
Do Not Only Rely on Age Range
Spoiler alert! Just like our previous charts, we will also add a frame size chart for children’s bikes. You will see the children’s bikes are measured a bit differently, and the age range is not the only thing taken into account.
Here is the thing though, don’t rely solely on the age range. Kids of the same age can have different heights. The inseam and height measurement is still important for kids.
Your kid needs to be able to stand over the bike comfortably. This will make riding the bike comfortable and also safe.
Children Bike Frame Size Chart
|Age (Years)||Height||Frame Size (Inches)|
|2 – 5||26” – 34”||12|
|4 – 8||34” – 42”||16|
|6 – 9||42” – 48”||18|
|8 – 12||48” – 56”||20|
|<12||56” – 52”||24|
Getting Your Bike Professionally Fitted
To be really honest, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get your bike professionally fitted. It may cause you a bit extra from the get-go. But in the long run, it’s definitely worth it.
A professional bike fitting will make sure there is no guesswork involved. You will get exactly the right size bike for yourself. Whether you’re a new cyclist or have been riding for a while, if you have never done a bike fitting, you might want to give it a second look.
There are many reasons why you simply can’t ignore a fitted bike.
With a properly fitted bike, you will be able to produce more power when riding. Since the seat height and handlebar reach will all be perfect, your sitting position will allow you to ride faster and more effortlessly.
This is another major factor. Getting a bike that isn’t the right size will result in discomfort and even health problems. If you feel pain after riding your bike for a while, that means the size isn’t right for you.
Over time, minor pain can develop into more serious health problems, and we are sure you want to avoid that. So, a professional fitting is perfect in that case.
What Can You Expect from a Professional Fit?
To be sure you’re getting the full value of the money you’re paying, here is what you should expect from a professional fit. The fitter should ask you a couple of crucial questions. And a lot of these will include your current style, any difficulties you may be facing when riding, and more.
Some physical tests like flexibility and leg length should also be included. After that, you will be asked to sit on a stationary bike so the fitter can make more real-world tests to see how the bike should fit you.
They will make adjustments and give you a comprehensive fit in 2 hours or so. Sometimes, it can just take 1 hour as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all frame sizes fit everybody?
- No, every individual is different. It may be true that a single size can fit multiple people. But that doesn’t mean that all sizes will be right for everyone. That’s the main reason the frame size chart exists. You need to find the right size for you.
Is a professional fit worth the extra money?
- It most definitely is. A professional fit will give you more than just a perfect size. You will also get tips and best practices from your fitter. They will ask you questions and do tests to make sure you get what you paid for.
Do all manufacturers measure bike frame sizes differently?
- Unfortunately, yes. Manufacturers will measure the frame size differently, and it depends on the kind of bike as well. A road bike will be measured differently than a mountain or a touring bike. That’s why a professional fit makes much more sense.
Do I really need to get the right frame size?
- If you want to be comfortable, safe and also avoid major health issues, getting the right frame size for your bike is a must. It not only makes riding fun but also more comfortable.
How do I know I have the wrong size?
- If you’re experiencing back pain, fist pain, and general fatigue when riding, you probably have the wrong bike size. You should also have a proper seating position when you get on the bike without adjusting too much. If that isn’t happening, it’s another telltale sign your bike is the wrong size for you.
After reading this bike frame size chart inches, you should have a better grasp of why it’s important to get the right bike size and how to do it.
Although you can pretty much get a good fit when you go to the shop and talk to the salesperson, a professional fit is still the best way to go on about it.
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