Women’s Bike Size Chart: Guide to Ladies’ Bike Frame Size

This article explains everything you need to know about finding the correct and perfect bicycle size for women of different shapes and sizes.
By
John Watson
John Watson
Writer
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: December 30, 2022
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Gone are those days when biking used to be a sporting activity only familiar to men. Times have changed worldwide as equality and equity find their way into virtually every sphere of living. Women are rapidly becoming more engaged with this interesting sport and activity, and they can ask themselves ‘what size women’s bike do I actually need?’

This is where women’s bike size chart comes into play — to guarantee comfort and support safety. Several women often complain about the difficulty in getting a bike that will be very comfortable for them. And, this is resulting from the overwhelming number of male bicycles that are littered on the market. Most women do not find it comfortable to ride a man’s bike, and this is why a lot of details must be checked in the making of women’s bikes.

Why determining the size is important?

Using a bike sizing chart is the best way to know the bike size that’s right for you. Every distinct type of bike has its respective charts, and you should also know that there might be a slight variance when you compare a chart of a kind of bike to another kind of bike. For instance, a chart of women’s mountain bike sizing may not be similar to women’s road bike sizing. Nevertheless, there’s no need to be bothered by this because it’s possible to get the correct size that’s perfect for you when you look at the provided chart, and you are aware of your preferred kind of bike. The thing is, men’s bodies aren’t comparable to women’s, and the body differences between these two genders warrant that you’re conscious of the type of bike you choose if you want to enjoy convenience and comfort while riding. Look at our comparison of men’s vs women’s bikes and get a clearer picture of their differences.

To start with, a good number of men into cycling, either for fun or sport, tend to be taller, unlike women. There are notable differences between men and women, including the shorter/longer torsos and the shorter/longer legs.

A man and a lady can be of the same height, but there’s a high chance that the lady will have a shorter torso and longer legs while the man will probably have a long torso and short legs. And, because of the complete differences in body type, it becomes pertinent to be aware of how these differences affect the need for varied bike sizes. Read on to find out what size a ladies’ bike is. 

Guide to women’s bike frame size chart

It’s time to get into the real deal, that is, explore women’s bike frame sizes in relation to their height. There are lots of nice, quality, and affordable bikes for women, but our focus will be on the three common kinds of bikes, which are road, mountain, and hybrid bikes. With these ladies’ bike size guide and chart, you will be able to purchase the perfect bike that will not give you any pain while riding, and you’ll be eager to get your legs on the pedals as often as you can.

Women’s road bike size

Women’s Bike Size Chart: Guide to Ladies’ Bike Frame Size
These kinds of bikes are often used to cycle around, and they’re very comfortable; they can handle distinct terrains, they move fast, they’re sleek, their handlebars are either downward or flat, and their tires are thin.

Road bikes are not uncommon when it comes to cycling around, and it’s also quite interesting that nowadays, there are tons of amazing options for women’s road bikes available on the market. You can check out our reviews on the best women’s road bikes under $500 if you’re interested. Nevertheless, one major difference separating road bikes from other kinds of bikes is that they’re acknowledged to be best suitable for short rides. Experts recommend the Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike for women looking for a durable and quality road bike because of its advanced features and impressive price. You’ll find the women’s road bike size chart below:

Rider Height (Feet & inches)          

Rider Height (cm)

Suggested Frame Size

4′  10″ – 5′  1″

147 – 155

XXS

5′  1″ – 5′  3″

155 – 160

XS

5′  3″ – 5′  5″

160 – 165

S

5′  5″ – 5′  8″

165 – 172

M

5′  8″ – 5′  10″

172 – 180

L

Women’s mountain bike size

Mountain bikes are another kind of bike that’s pretty popular. These days, women also partake in mountain biking Trusted Source Why Do You Ride?: A Characterization of Mountain Bikers, Their Engagement Methods, and Perceived Links to Mental Health and Well-Being Mountain biking is an increasingly popular outdoor activity on the extreme sport continuum. Extreme and high-risk sports have been investigated using a variety of motivational theories with sensation seeking a dominant theme; however, behavioral and motivational homogeneity within these types of populations should not be assumed.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov , despite the injurious reputation the sport has. However, different pieces of research have proven that mountain biking may have its few injuries, but it also has its enormous benefits plus, there are safety tips that can be practiced with common sense to reduce the propensity of having an accident.

Mountain bikes possess an excellent braking system, several gears, a bigger tire diameter, a bigger frame, and they’re very fit for off-road riding. You’ll also be needing a mountain bike if you want to get warmed up in some jagged riding in steep terrains and unique conditions.

Rider Height

(Feet & inches)

Rider Height (cm) Suggested Frame Size

Suggested

Frame Size (cm)

4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″

148 – 158 XS 33 – 35 cm

5′ 2″ – 5′ 6″

158 – 168 S

38 – 40 cm

5′ 6″ – 5′ 10″

168 – 178 M

43 – 45 cm

5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″ 178 – 185+ L

48 – 50 cm

Women’s hybrid bike size

While road bikes and mountain bikes tend to steal the show when it comes to cycling usually, hybrid bikes aren’t doing bad either, as they do have their peculiarities and fine uniqueness.

These bikes are popular for the appealing level of comfort they offer, which makes them interesting to ride on; they’re adept for sharp turns and brakes, they usually have the good shock-absorbance capacity, and their tires and frame are usually thin.

If you’re riding in steep or rough terrains, hybrids may not be the best option for you, but they can be quite intriguing for some off-road, and they’re very fit for tarmac and pavement. Gravel bikes are also common with women, and they’re also a great buy for some great adventures like hybrid bikes. Consider checking for our review of the best gravel bikes for women as well. Here’s the women’s hybrid bike size chart:

Rider Height (Feet & inches) Rider Height (cm) Suggested Frame Size Suggested Frame Size (cm)
4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″ 148 – 158 XS 33 – 35 cm
5′ 2″ – 5′ 6″ 158 – 168 S 38 – 40 cm
5′ 6″ – 5′ 10″ 168 – 178 M 43 – 45 cm
5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″ 178 – 185+ L 48 – 50 cm

Do I need a women’s bike?

Though there are models specifically made for women, it’s not obligatory to consider only the. You still can opt for a unisex bike. 

Women’s bikes feature some components that can play a crucial role in selecting the bike. They have an anatomical saddle and a step-through frame which is perfect for riding with a skirt on. Plus, they have smaller frame sizes perfect for petite women.

What else to look out for when choosing a size?

Choosing ladies’ bike sizes comes with great responsibility, and you would want to cross your t’s and dot your I’s because you want to be sure not to make the wrong decision. As a lady, getting the right size for you is very important for the sake of your comfort. Besides checking inches in our women‘s bike size chart, you have to put some extra factors into cognizance, whether your plan is to flex your bicycle for catching sights of the landscape on your free days, racing, or commuting.

Back length

Women’s Bike Size Chart: Guide to Ladies’ Bike Frame Size
It’s very important that you can easily reach the handlebars when seated on the bicycle.

You’re likely to struggle with balance if the back length doesn’t suit you well in a case where there might be too much closeness to your chest, or reaching the handlebars may be extremely uncomfortable. You should be able to get a back length that’s so fine for you if you use the provided charts to choose the right size because attention is usually paid to specific back lengths for women’s cruiser bikes.

Shoulder width

Men’s shoulders cannot be compared to women’s — men tend to have bigger shoulders compared to women. And, it’s very important to consider shoulder width when getting your size because it also affects your level of comfort on the bike as it determines to what extent you will have to spread your arms.

You may get easily fatigued, you may not be able to ride long distances, and achieving full speeds will prove quite impossible if you choose a bike with a shoulder width that’s not suitable for you.

Hand size

Cycling is undoubtedly an interesting activity and a published paper on ResearchGate titled “Health Benefits of Cycling” notes that cycling helps to improve cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness and decrease the rate of cancer, mortality, and a host of other diseases — amidst other streams of benefits! However, while it could be interesting to hear of these benefits, cycling may put you at risk of accidents, and this is why they come with brakes to keep you safe. Now, imagine that, as a lady, you got a bike and you can’t reach the brakes easily, what do you think would happen? You’re likely to crash, of course. For women, bike sizes should have levers and handles that you can quickly and easily grasp, and the distance between them should be short.

Saddle shape

Women’s Bike Size Chart: Guide to Ladies’ Bike Frame Size
The shape of a saddle is very important for women’s bikes.

If you’re a man and have a man’s bike, your female friends may not enjoy optimum comfort when they ride it because of the scuffle they’ll probably have with it and their genitals. If a saddle hurts the delicate part, how will she enjoy biking? This explains why manufacturers now create female bicycles with saddles that are fit for them. These saddles guarantee the comfort of your pelvic bones and make leaning into your handlebars a zero painstaking plus, and they also erase unneeded pressure on your soft parts with the cut-out groove they feature. If comfort is your number one priority, you may have your eyes on bicycles with double-thickness seats. According to most reviews, one of the most comfortable women’s bikes on the market now is the Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike, as it features comfort in a sleek package, increased power, premium compact handlebars, and compact frame geometry.

Other Tips

    • Consult with a professional in a bike shop and get a fitting there. Before going to the nearest shop, check if they offer this kind of service. Although it can cost a lot, you will get a well-suited bike and ride safely with the right components.
    • Talk to your friends. You can also consult with your friends who are long enough in bike riding and can give you precious tips for choosing a perfectly sized bike. 
    • Ride before buying. If you’re buying in a local shop, they should provide a test drive ride around the block. You should stand over the frame with both feet flat and easily get on and off it. In addition, you should comfortably sit on the saddle. Check the handlebars too
    • If shopping online, take extra body measurements and use bike charts. Or consult with a customer service manager to get a perfect fit. 

Tips For Short Women

It’s rather challenging to choose the right small women’s size bike. Although if you follow the tips below, it must be easier. 

      • Check stand-over height. this measurement determines the height of the top tube of the bicycle. For a comfortable ride, you have to stand flat-footed over the top tube of a bicycle. 
      • Youth bikes might be a solution. There are more and more youth-sized 26″ and 27.5″ bikes which can be a nice compliment for a cycling short woman.
      • Choose a custom frame. It’s a rather costly option. However, it will be a perfect fit for those dedicated to cycling and who look for a bike for a 5 feet woman.

You can read through our reviews of the best bikes for short females and find your perfect pick.

FAQ’s

The women’s bike size chart often evokes a couple of questions, and here are some of the most common ones.

How tall should you be for a 26-inch bike?

A general guide states that if you’re between 5 ft. 7 inches and 5 ft. 4 inches or you have the height of an average adult woman, you’ll find a bike with 26-inch tires to be suitable for you. Nevertheless, it’s advised that before you buy, you should look for the size chart of the bike you want to buy, and most bicycle manufacturers do have this available. Speaking of mountain bikes, a 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheel will be perfect for a number of women, but if you’re not too tall, a 26 inches bike would be quite fine.

What’s the perfect bike size for a 5’7 – 5’8 woman?

A women’s bike frame size of 17 or 18 will cut it for you if you’re somewhere around 5 ft. 7 inches and 5 ft. 5 inches. Take note that wheel size and frame size are very important when you’re purchasing your bike as a lady, and if you don’t get these two measurements right, you may end up not being pleased riding your bike. You may even need to worry less about the wheel size if you can get the frame size right as it’s more weighty.

What is the perfect bike size for a 5 feet to 5’2 woman?

If you are 5’2 and want a hybrid or mountain bike, we recommend you chose a 35-38 cm frame bike size. However, if you are looking for a road bike, choose an XS bike frame size.

What bike size should I choose for a 5’4 – 5’5 woman?

For a 5’4 to 5’5 woman, we advise choosing a 38-40 cm hybrid or mountain bike and an S-size road bike.

Is a 24-inch bike too small for women?

This question doesn’t have a direct yes or no answer. The thing is, it’s how comfortable you feel and your weight that would play a role in determining that. As long as you do not have too much weight, you should be able to ride on 24-inch wheels, especially if you’re a woman who’s 5 ft. 4 inches or less. However, don’t forget that choosing the frame size that’s right for you is a great way to purchase a bike that’s perfect for you.

Final Thoughts

Without mincing words, women’s bikes need special care, and details and their sizing are very important. As earlier explained, a lady may get her private part injured and as well experience pains and aches in her back, knees, and kegs if she’s not riding the correct-sized bike she should. To make things worse, most women who are enthusiastic about cycling tend to jettison their bicycling passion because of the hurts they experience in different parts of their bodies. With the plethora of bike options on the market, the women’s bike size chart would do a lot of good in helping ladies who are cycling enthusiasts to find their perfect bike.

References

1.
Why Do You Ride?: A Characterization of Mountain Bikers, Their Engagement Methods, and Perceived Links to Mental Health and Well-Being
Mountain biking is an increasingly popular outdoor activity on the extreme sport continuum. Extreme and high-risk sports have been investigated using a variety of motivational theories with sensation seeking a dominant theme; however, behavioral and motivational homogeneity within these types of populations should not be assumed. 
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