What Size Bike Do I Need – Bike Size Charts for Adults & Kids

what size bike do I need

What Size Bike Do I Need?

Many people find themselves faced with this question at some point. What size bike do I need? Finding the right size bike for you will help narrow down your search if you’re in the market for a bike.

Just like people, bicycles come in various forms and sizes. The best one for you is based on your body type, cycling needs, and personal preferences.

A good-fitting bike is comfortable and enjoyable to ride. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to choose a bike that’s the right size for you, so stick around.

How Do You Determine Your Bike Size?

bikes lined up in a bicycle shop

It’s not much fun to ride a bike that doesn’t fit you well.

Figuring out the right size bike for you is an important first step before you start shopping.

It takes more than having the right frame size to find a good fit. Your bike should be comfortable at all major contact points. Such as the saddle, handlebars, and pedals.

Take some time to learn about the important factors to help you select the perfect bike for your needs. Factors like frame geometry affect the fit and handling of your bike.

If buying a bike in a store, the obvious option is to try it out first. This will help you evaluate the bike’s handling and make sure you’re comfortable with it.

If buying in-store, you may have a professional bike fit measurement. This will ensure the bike size matches your dimensions.

Bicycle Frame

bicycle frames displayed on a wall

Picking the right bike frame size is essential for your comfort. Proper frame size also decreases the chance of injury and body strain.

Many cyclists aren’t aware of how important proper size frame is until it’s too late.

A bicycle’s frame is its most important component. The frame connects all the bike’s parts and is made of one piece. The frame is tubular (hollow) rather than solid metal.

Top tube length is the most important factor when it comes to deciding the right frame. Length of the seat tube is often used to gauge proper size, but it’s not the main factor.

bicycle mechanic aligning rear bike wheel

How to Measure the Bike Frame Size

Manufacturers don’t all measure frame size the same way. So you’ll need to compare apples to apples by looking at a few basic metrics.

  1. Find the seat tube’s top (this is what holds the seat post in place)
  2. Find the center of the bottom bracket (this holds the crank arms together)
  3. Take a measurement between these two places
  4. Take note of the measurement in both cm and inches
  5. This is the Bike Frame Size

Riding Style

Some bikes are made for riders who want a more aggressive racing position. Others allow riders to cycle much more casually, in an upright position.

Racing-oriented cyclists tend to choose bikes with longer top tubes. These have more of a drop between the seat and the handlebar. More casual riders prefer bikes with shorter top tubes and less of a drop to the handlebar.

man comparing bikes in a bicycle shop

Type of Your Bike

The size of the bike you buy will be determined by the sort of bike you choose. The sort or style of riding you undertake will also affect the size you require.

Similarly, a cross-country rider seeking a flatter and faster mountain bike may select a size larger than they typically would.

There’s no such thing as the “correct” or “wrong” size; it all depends on personal preference and what feels comfortable.

How Do You Determine Your Bike Size?

Selecting a bike size is determined by the type of bike, your inseam height, riding style, frame measurement, and geometries. Now, it’s time for size charts to show how to choose the right bike size for you.

Bike Size Charts

The charts below can help you determine the appropriate bike size. At the end of the day, you’ll have to try on a few sizes to figure out what fits best. I’ll break the chart down by type.

Rider’s Height & Bicycle Size

Height (ft/in)Height (cm)Leg inseam (inches)Leg inseam (cm)Suggested Frame Size (in)Suggested Wheel Size
4′ 10 – 5′ 3″147-160cm25 – 28″62-70 cm13 – 14″26″
5′ 4 “- 5′ 7”160 – 170cm25 – 30″63 – 76 cm15 – 16″26″
5′ 5″ – 5′ 9″165 – 175cm26 – 31″66 – 78 cm16 – 17″27.5″
5′ 9″ – 6′ 0″175 – 183cm27 – 32″68 – 81 cm17 – 18″27.5″
6′ 0″ – 6′ 3″183 – 190cm28 – 33″71 – 83 cm18 – 19″29″
6′ 1″ – 6′ 6″190 – 200cm29 – 34″73 – 86 cm19″ +29″

Mountain Bikes Size Chart

Rider heightLeg inseam                                               Suggested Frame Size
Feet/InchesCentimetersInchesCentimetersInchesSize
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

Commuter Bicycle Size Chart

Rider heightLeg inseam                                               Suggested Frame Size
Feet/InchesCentimetersInchesCentimetersInchesSize
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

Road Bicycle Size Chart

Rider heightSuggested frame size
Feet/InchesCentimetersCentimetersSize
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

Bike Size Calculator

The Bike Size Calculator is one of the easiest and quickest ways to determine your ideal bike fit.

While there’s no substitute for a professional bike fit, this calculator will get you pretty close.

Check out this Bike Size Calculator for reference.

A good bike fit is pretty much the difference between discomfort and having a great time on your bike ride. Trying on various sizes and options isn’t always possible.

There are many different sorts of bikes, including mountain bikes, road bikes, city bikes, exercise bikes, touring cycles, and urban bikes. The appropriate frame size for the same person varies depending on their activities.

children on their bikes in the grass

What Size Bike Do I Need for My Child?

Bikes with the same wheel size can have wildly different overall sizes.
Consider the following tips to get your child the right size bike:

  • Measure Your Kid’s Inseam and Height
  • Measure both your child’s inseam and height.
  • Take measurements in inches (or convert to inches once you’re finished).
  • Make a note of those measurements and have them ready for the next step.
  • Choose the Wheel Size Based on Inseam and Height
  • Narrow down the bike size options to fit your child by figuring out what size wheels they need.
  • Determine which of the one or two bike wheel size groups your child falls into using their inseam.
  • In general, larger wheel size is better as long as your child’s inseam is suitable for the bike. Larger wheels provide more stability and allows more room for your child’s growth.

childrens Bicycle Size Chart

Wheel sizeAgeHeightInseam
12”2-32’10” – 3’4”14-17” 35-42 cm
14”3-43’1” – 3’7”16-20” 40-50 cm
16”4-53’7” – 4’0”18-22” 45-55 cm
18”5-63’9” – 4’3”20-24” 50-60 cm
20”5-84’0” – 4’5”22-25” 55-63 cm
24”7-114’5” – 4’9”24-28” 60-72 cm

The Wrap-Up!

Cycling can be a fun & satisfying activity. But if you’re riding a bike that doesn’t fit you, that joy will quickly turn into discomfort and fatigue.

Hopefully, with the aid of this guide, you’ll be able to pick the right size bike for your needs.

What’s Next?

If you enjoyed this article, go check out What Is Cadence In Cycling – How To Measure & Improve Yours!

Happy Cycling! ????‍♀️

About Informed Cyclist
I’m Michael, a cycling fanatic and the founder of Informed Cyclist. I started this site to give back to the sport I love! My mission is to bring the very best cycling advice & know-how to my readers. I hope you enjoy this site as much as I love working on it. I put a lot of heart & effort into it!