Bike Size Chart: Fitting Guide

With a new bike, you need to get the size right for an optimal riding experience, and the bike size charts below should help you do just that.
John Watson
John Watson
John is an experienced cycling enthusiast and a great asset when it comes to writing skills. He's a Bachelor of Arts and a talented journalist. John is in charge of our blog read more
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Jessica Kingston
Jessica Kingston
Expert Consultant
Jessica is our expert consultant on all things connected to biking - gear, technique, you name it. Being a pro cyclist in the past, she knows exactly how things work in and read more
Last updated: August 12, 2023
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It used to be that you had to go to a bike store to find a new two-wheeler, and often the staff would help you find the right fit depending on the type of bicycle you wanted. Currently, this is far less common, and most people typically order new bikes online. If this is you, how do you nail the bike size so you don’t have to ship the cycle back for a replacement that fits? Well, you use a bike size chart.

They come in different variations, e.g., road and mountain bike size chartssince the sizing may differ depending on the type of bike. As such, we’ve included all the different size charts below so you can get the size right on your first purchase attempt.

How to Figure Out Your Perfect Bike Size?

Figuring out your bike size may sound like an easy fit, but it certainly isn’t.

  • It is even more difficult because there is no universal measurement system for bikes, and many manufacturers will just measure their bike offerings how they see fit. As such, what may be considered one size by a manufacturer, say a size small, may be different on another manufacturer’s list of offerings.
  • Also, riders come in different variations as well. You can’t say that a bike size fits people of a certain height since there are differences in how long their legs are in proportion to the rest of the body. For instance, some riders have a longer wingspan than their height, while others have a shorter wingspan.
  • Other considerations that might make figuring out your bike size a little more complicated are your gender and age. Male bike sizes will be slightly different compared to female bike sizes. Also, kids’ bike sizes are totally different from adult bike sizes.
  • Lastly, even the type of bike and bike frame changes the sizing and how you can determine the right size for you. Often this is brought about by how you measure the size of the frame.

With road bikes, for instance, you can measure the size of the seat tube and use that to figure out the right road bike size for you. However, this may be impossible with the unique design of some of the seat tubes on modern mountain bikes. Even in hybrid bikes compared to road bikes, you’ll see a difference in dynamics, although the frames can be pretty similar.

Bike Size Chart: Fitting Guide
To get an accurate inseam measurement, you stand with your back against a wall and measure from the floor to your crotch. You shouldn’t be wearing any shoes as you do this.

Ultimately, this guide is here to help you navigate the different sizes and provide you with the right charts, whether it’s a road bike size chart or a mountain bike size chart for your needs. However, before that, you need to be aware of your measurements to correlate them with the size chart.

While you can use more advanced equipment to get your exact measurements, a standard tape measure should do just fine. You start by measuring your inseam, which should be one of the most critical measurements to get your bike size right. It’s the distance between your crotch and foot.

Another roundabout way of getting your inseam measurement is to measure your height and then your seated height with your back against a wall. Subtracting these two figures should give you your inseam measurement.

You should also measure your torso. This is the area from your crotch to your sternum. Finally, you can measure your arms. Start at the tip of your collarbone and extend the tape measure to where you would grip your bike handlebars. This should be right in the middle of your closed fist.

Bike sizing charts often add a few inches for the stand-over height depending on bike type. This is the distance from your bike’s top tube to the ground. Usually, you get between 1 and 2 inches added to a road bike frame and between 2 and 4 inches added to both commuter and mountain bike frames.

Method 1: Calculate Your Bike Size

If you’re unsure about using your height to determine the correct bike size, you can use the formulas below to calculate it instead. Here you must know the length of your leg inseam and the type of bike you want. As mentioned above, the inseam is the distance between your crotch and the floor.

You should measure it with your legs shoulder-width apart and also remember to take off your shoes since they might add a few centimeters to your inseam. Also worth noting is that you should ideally take the centimeter reading rather than the inch reading.

Once done, you can use the formulas below to calculate the ideal bike frame size.

  • City bike – Leg inseam (cm) x 0.685 = Your frame size
  • Mountain bike – Leg inseam (cm) x 0.66 = Your frame size
  • Road bike – Leg inseam (cm) x 0.70 = Your frame size

If you’re looking for a mountain bike, the formula consists of multiplying your inseam by 0.66. For example, if you’re between 5’7″ and 5’11”, your inseam is likely to range from 76cm to 81cm. The right mountain bike frame size is about 50cm or roughly 20 inches on the low end.

You should go for a mountain bike roughly 53cm or 21 inches on the high end.

With a road bike, a person that’s 5’11” will likely need a 57cm frame, and for a city bike, the same person should go for a 55cm two-wheeler.

Method 2: Bike Size Charts

Bike Size Chart: Fitting Guide

There are also specialized bike size charts that list all the measurements that can be used to determine your ideal bike size. You’ll even see most online bike vendors mention the heights for which specific bike frames are best suited. For instance, according to most reviews, the Mongoose Status Mountain Bike is an excellent option for adult mountain bikers and is particularly suited to those between 64 and 74 inches or 5’3″ to 6’2.”

They also provide inseam measurements for both metrics. However, since bike sizes are typically not indicated in centimeters, you only get the suggested frame sizes in inches or as a marker, whether small, X-small, or XX-large on the other end of the spectrum.

If you’re used to having bikes, you can likely hop on and get a feel for whether it’s your size or not. Alternatively, you can measure an older bike when you’re looking to get a new one if you forgot its exact size.

Mountain Bike Size Chart

In the past, mountain bike frame sizes used to be given in inches, and this would typically indicate the length of the seat tube. As such, if a mountain bike was a size 15,” it meant the seat tube was 15 inches long.

Rider height Leg inseam                                                Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Inches Centimeters Inches Size
4’10” – 5’1″ 148-158 cm 24″ – 29″ 61-73 cm < 14″ XS
5’1″ – 5’5″ 158-168 cm 25″ – 30″ 63-76 cm 15″ – 16″ S
5’5″ – 5’9″ 168-178 cm 26″ – 31” 66-78 cm 16″ – 17″ M
5’9″ – 6’0″ 178-185 cm 27″ – 32″ 68-81 cm 17″ – 18″ L
6’0″ – 6’3″ 185-193 cm 28″ – 33″ 71-83 cm 18″ – 19″ XL
6’1″ – 6’6″ 193-198 cm 29″ – 34″ 73-86 cm 19″ + XXL

Also see: mountain bike size chart

Some have described this as an inefficient way of sizing a mountain bike since the top tube would sometimes end up way higher than needed. Also, even when the top tube was high, the bike would sometimes be too short for the rider.

Now modern manufacturers are using size markers like X-small, which for the most part, are more accurate to the size of the rider. That said, choosing a bike based on the top tube worked fine and should still work for older bikes.

They also often correlate with each other. For instance, a size 14″ mountain bike or lower is likely an X-small. Conversely, any mountain bike larger than 19″ is an XX-large.

With size markers like X-small or XX-large, they’re less concerned with the seat tube length and more with the reach of the bike. This seems to be a more accurate sizing measurement, especially for taller riders.

Also, about mountain bikes, something like stand-over height has dropped in relevance over the last few years due to manufacturers dropping the top tube lower and lower with the new bikes they produce.

Road Bike Size Chart

With road bikes, it’s far more common for the sizing to be provided in centimeters instead of inches. Typically, these figures represent the size of the seat tube measured from the top of the top tube down to the middle of the bottom bracket.

Rider height Suggested frame size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Centimeters Size
4’10” – 5’0″ 148-152 cm 47-48 cm XXS
5’0″ – 5’3″ 152-160 cm 49-50 cm XS
5’3″ – 5’6″ 160-168 cm 51-53 cm S
5’6″ – 5’9″ 168-175 cm 54-55 cm M
5’9″ – 6’0″ 175-183 cm 56-58 cm L
6’0″ – 6’3″ 183-191 cm 58-60 cm XL
6’3″ – 6’6″ 191-198 cm 61-63 cm XXL

However, manufacturers sometimes differ in how they measure the seat tube. This means that a size 50 that’s always worked for you with a particular bike brand is smaller or bigger when you opt for a road bike from a different manufacturer.

So, how should you define the right size for your next road bike? If you already have one you’ve been using, you can measure it so you know how to size your next cycle. If you don’t, the road bike size chart below lists the best road bike sizes for your height and inseam measurements.

Hybrid (City and Commuter) Bike Size Chart

Hybrid bikes are the halfway line between road bikes and mountain bikes. As such, the sizing may differ from the more traditional bike designs. Nevertheless, the specialized bike size chart below should be ideal for your needs if you’re looking for a hybrid option.

Rider height Leg inseam Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Inches Centimeters Inches Size
4’10” – 5’1″ 147-155 cm 24″ – 29″ 61-73 cm 14″ XS
5’1″ – 5’5″ 155-165 cm 25″ – 30″ 63-76 cm 15″ S
5’5″ – 5’9″ 165-175 cm 26″ – 31″ 66-78 cm 16″ M
5’9″ – 6′ 175-183 cm 27″ – 32″ 68-81 cm 17″ L
6’0″ – 6’3″ 183-191 cm 28″ – 33″ 71-83 cm 18″ XL
6’1″ – 6’6″ 191-198 cm 29″ – 34″ 73-86 cm 19″ XXL

Gravel Bike Size Chart

With a gravel bike, you get the sporty geometry of a road bike, but it’s designed to work with wider tires for off-road capabilities. Use the gravel bike size chart below to get the perfect fit.

Rider height Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Effective top tube (cm) Size
4’10” – 5′ 148-152 cm 47-48 XXS
5′ – 5’3″ 152-160 cm 49-50 XS
5’3″ – 5’6″ 160-168 cm 51-53 S
5’6″ – 5’9″ 168-175 cm 54-55 M
5’9″ – 6′ 175-183 cm 56-58 L
6′ – 6’3″ 183-191 cm 58-60 XL
6’3″ – 6’6″ 191-198 cm 61-30 XXL

Also see: gravel bike size chart

Women’s Road Bike Size Chart

If you’re a bike enthusiast or have been to a bike store, you’ll notice different road bikes for men and women. Typically, women’s road bikes have a different frame structure. For instance, the top tube may be slanted, while most men’s road bikes have straight top tubes.

Rider height Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Effective top tube (cm) Size
4′ 10″ – 5′ 1″ 147 – 155 cm 44-46 XXS
5′ 1″ – 5′ 3″ 155 – 160 cm 47- 49 XS
5′ 3″ – 5′ 5″ 160 – 165 cm 50-52 S
5′ 5″ – 5′ 8″ 165 – 172 cm 53-55 M
5′ 8″ – 5′ 10″ 172 – 180 cm 56-57 L

Also see: women’s bike size chart

Alternatively, the top tube may be shorter to cater to a woman’s reach, even if it’s not slanted. Ultimately, this means that the road bike size chart above may not apply to you if you’re a woman. However, there is a specialized chart for you below.

There are no X-large, and XX-large bike sizes for women since most of them are shorter than 5’10”, which coincides with the average height for women Trusted Source Average Height for Women: America, World, Weight More In the 1960s, the average American woman was around 5 feet 3 inches tall. How tall is she today? Discover the average height for women in the United States and other countries around the world. Also, explore the relationship between height and weight, get tips if you’re overweight for your frame, and more. being about 5’4″.

In the same way, most bike manufacturers don’t typically cater to men over 6’6″ since they make up only a tiny portion of the population.

Also, aside from the sizing, there are other differences like the seat design, handlebar width, handlebar stem length, etc. With regard to seat design, women typically have wider pelvic areas than men; hence they need wider seats.

Women’s Mountain Bike Size Chart

Similarly, women’s mountain bikes differ from men’s, especially where frame sizes are concerned. Below is a women’s mountain bike size chart that caters to those between 4’10” and 6’1″.

Rider height Suggested Frame Size
Feet/Inches Centimeters Inches Size
4’10” – 5’2″ 147-157 cm 13″ – 14″ XS
5’2″ – 5’6″ 157-167 cm 15″ – 16″ S
5’7″ – 5’9″ 170-175 cm 17″ – 18″ M
5’10” – 6’1″ 177-185 cm 19″ – 20″ L


Also, with most mountain bike sizes catering to a larger portion of the population, there are only four sizes for women, i.e., X-small, small, medium, and large. If you’re unsure about the size, you may want to go for a budget-friendly option that’s easily replaceable if you don’t get it right.

The best women’s mountain bikes under $500 give you that kind of leeway and allow you to get a bike without risking too much money. That said, even in this budget range, you’d be surprised at the quality of the bike you can get.

Kids Bike Size Chart

Naturally, kids’ bikes are much smaller than adult bikes, and as such, they need a kid’s bike size chart of their own. In addition to providing the best sizes depending on your kid’s age, the chart also caters to the height and leg inseam measurements which are typically more accurate.

Age Height Leg Inseam Tire Size
Inch Cm Inch Cm
2 2’9″ – 3’1″ 85-90cm 12″ – 14″ 85-90cm 10″
3-4 3’1″ – 3’3″ 90-100cm 14″ – 17″ 35-42cm 12″
4-5 3’3″ – 3’7″ 100-110cm 16″ – 20″ 40-50cm 14″
5-6 3’7″ – 3’8″ 110-115cm 18″ – 22″ 45-50cm 16″
6-8 3’8″ – 4′ 115-120cm 20″ – 24″ 50-60cm 18″
7-9 4′ – 4’5″ 120-135cm 22″ – 25″ 55-63cm 20″
9-11 4’5″ – 4’9″ 135-145cm 24″ – 28″ 60-72cm 24″
11-14 5’+ 145cm + 28″+ 72cm+ 26″

Also see: kid’s bike size chart

Unlike adult bike sizes which refer to the size of the frame, kids’ bikes are matched with the tire size. For instance, those between 11 and 14 and over five feet tall are best suited for bikes with 26″ wheels.

This is the final size before you can graduate to 27.5″ wheels or larger, and bikes with tires these large are mostly adult bikes.

For younger kids, reviewers recommend the Schwinn Koen & Elm kids bike, which comes in various wheel sizes from 12″ to 18″. As such, these bikes are of excellent quality and cater to those between the ages of two and nine.

Check if a Bike Is the Right Size

Overall, once you have the bike in your hands and want to check if it’s the ideal size, there are several measurements you can take, i.e., the stand-over height, reach, leg extension, etc. Here’s a deeper look into each and every one of them.

Stand-over Height

Once you have a bike, you can check the stand-over height to ensure it’s sized correctly. The stand-over height is the space between your crotch and the top tube when you straddle your bike.

Ideally, your stand-over height for a road bike should be one inch or 2-3 centimeters. If it’s lower than that, you risk injuring yourself if you stop abruptly. Commuter bikes may also work with a similar stand-over height.

For mountain bikes, it used to be that you needed a 2–3-inch stand-over height due to the dynamics of mountain biking, where you ride while standing and are more likely to injure your crotch on a bump. However, currently, it’s not an excellent measurement standard since most manufacturers have lowered the top tubes for their mountain bikes.

Leg Extension

Saddle height and leg extension also matter. Fortunately, you can adjust the saddle height and leg extension with a few tweaks after you buy the bike. However, if it’s too small or too big, there’s likely nothing you can do but return the bike and get another.

To ensure you’ve got the right saddle height, you can stabilize your road bike with a wall and then get on with your hands on the handlebar. Then rotate your pedal to the lowest point. If you place your heel on the pedal and your leg is straight, you’re likely using the ideal saddle height and getting the leg extension necessary to deliver power to the pedals.

Also, your leg should be slightly bent once you clip in your cycling shoes.

You need to lower the saddle height if your heel doesn’t reach the pedal. Conversely, if your leg is bent even slightly when you place your heel on the pedal, you need to adjust the saddle upwards.


Another way to check if a bike is sized right for you is to check the reach. You can measure it using a tape measure, but that process is often long and tedious and may not give you the answers you’re looking for.

Instead, you can just get on the bike and gauge your riding position from your torso’s positioning and how you hold the handles. Your arms should have a comfortable bend in your regular riding position. If you’re stretching them too far ahead, then the reach is too long for you.

If the bike feels cramped when you hold the handlebars, the reach is likely too small for you. Unfortunately, reach isn’t like saddle height, where you can adjust it several inches. With reach, you should only adjust +/- 10mm; otherwise, you should get another bike.

Also, often changing the reach requires getting a new stem for your handlebars.

Handlebars and Their Position

Bike Size Chart: Fitting Guide
Often you can adjust handlebars up or down depending on the type of bike.

You also have to think about the handlebars and their position when sizing a bike. Your body will warn you when your handlebars are incorrectly placed. For instance, you might get wrist soreness or back pain Trusted Source Bicycling and Back Pain | Spine-health Information on how biking or bicycling sports injuries cause back pain, how to prevent low back pain when bicycling. every time you ride.

You can prevent this by getting the handlebars and their position right the first time. With road bikes, the handlebars should be the width of your shoulders and typically placed an inch below the saddle.

Mountain bike handlebars may be lower since you need a lower center of gravity when going downhill. Ultimately, a handlebar positioned incorrectly will likely feel awkward and even painful to use.

Wheel Size Measurements

As shown with the kids’ bike sizing chart, wheel size measurements also matter. The larger the wheel, the more suited it is to larger individuals. As such, you’re more likely to find someone over six feet tall riding a bike with 29″ wheels.

Shorter individuals are more comfortable with 26″ wheels. However, this also depends on the type of bike. Hybrids, touring bikes, and road bikes, for instance, typically come with 29″ wheels, although the frame can still be sized to match different individuals. This is why wheel size measurements aren’t used in the bike size charts for adult men and women.

What If I Got My Bike Size Wrong?

It’s highly recommended that you have the option to return a bike just in case you get the size wrong at purchase. That said, it may be that you can adjust the size by tweaking the positioning of the handlebars, raising or lowering the saddle, and even pushing it back. For most purchases, especially with newer bikes, this should be enough.

Final Thoughts

Overall, a bike size chart is an easy way to get the sizing right for your bike purchase, even if you know nothing about cycling. There are size charts for women, men, kids, and the different types of bikes. While you may still miss the mark, this happens rarely and will typically only happen to people with unique body proportions. Otherwise, a bike size chart is an excellent tool to have if you’re shopping online for your next road, hybrid, or mountain bike.


Average Height for Women: America, World, Weight More
In the 1960s, the average American woman was around 5 feet 3 inches tall. How tall is she today? Discover the average height for women in the United States and other countries around the world. Also, explore the relationship between height and weight, get tips if you’re overweight for your frame, and more.
Bicycling and Back Pain | Spine-health
Information on how biking or bicycling sports injuries cause back pain, how to prevent low back pain when bicycling.

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