How to measure bike size for adults

How to Measure Bike Size for Adults

Do you know how to measure bike size for adults? If the answer is a no, I wouldn’t imagine a better place to be for the information. Did you know that like clothes and shoes, bikes also come in different sizes? That is why there is a need to know how to measure bike size for adults. With that knowledge, settling for the most comfortable bicycle will be effortless.

The straight answer is the bike frame is an important factor if you want to buy a bike that is right by your height. The frame is determined with  the height from the crotch to the ankle, the height without the shoes and your reach of the arm span to your height. But it is not that simple. Lets analyse further.

The essentiality of getting the right bike size is indispensable. If you get the right bike size that guarantees you a ride that is not only safe but also comfortable. It is okay to have a durable and one of the best bikes in town. However, if it is not the right size, it will water down the great features. It doesn’t feel nice riding,and you are also risking your health and life. Would you love to avoid such an ordeal? I guess yes. All you should do is to keep reading. The article discusses how to measure bike size for adults.

What size bicycle is right for my height?

When it comes to the right bike size for your height, there are some aspects that you should consider. The most important one is the frame size. Before settling for your favorite bike, ensure that the frame is neither too big nor too small. If it is relatively small, you will be cramped. As a result, extending your leg to the maximum will be hard if not impossible. On the other hand, if its size is too big, making a full drive in one leg rotation will be difficult.

The other factor is the seat position. For this particular case, the position of the seat should allow you to rest your feet on the pedals comfortably. As you extend your leg when cycling, it should almost be straight at the bottom. If a bike forces you to move the hips sideways to reach the pedals, neither the bike nor the seat is right for you.

The position of the handlebars is also essential.  If the angle is wrong, expect sore wrists, shoulder strains as well as back pain. When choosing the width, let the width of your shoulders guide you. If you are buying a bike for racing and touring, the widths of your shoulders and that of the handles should be the same. As for the mountain bikes, the width of the handlebars should be broader than that of your shoulders.

If you consider the above factors, it will be easy to answer the question, what size bicycle is right for my height?

How to measure a bike frame to your height

As earlier mentioned, the bike frame is an important factor. However, how to measure a bike frame to your height is not straightforward. It could be easy if the terms were different. For example, you could quickly test it if you weren’t buying your bike online. Why then should I not walk into a shop myself? That is a good idea,but it is no different from online shops. As far as most salespeople are concerned, a bike test will cost you money. What should you do then so that you don’t get it wrong? The end of your worries is here. Continue reading to put the matter to rest.

Important parts to keep in mind as far as how to measure a bike frame to your height is concerned.

How to measure bike size for adults

Measurements that are crucial in the process of how to measure a bike frame to your height

  1. Inseam Length

It is the most critical measurement. That is the height from the crotch to the ankle. That is why you should be attentive when measuring the length. Most preferably, ask your friend to assist you to take your height. It allows you to know the distance between the ideal position of the seat and the bottom of your leg. It is also a determiner of your stand-over height. For accurate figures, below are a few tips.

  • As you take the inseam, ensure that the interval between your legs is 6 inches.
  • Use a thick book to represent the bike seat.
  • Measure the length between the top of the book and the floor.
  1. Height

If you will use a sizing chart, your height is crucial. Ensure that you do that with your shoes off. In addition to that, stand straight. Equally important, let somebody else take the measurements. That way you will get accurate measurements.

  1. Reach

Sometimes, the two values above may put you in between two sizes. That is where your reach comes in. How do you determine if you have a short or long reach? Identifying your ape index will assist in that. It is the comparison of your arm span to your height. Is your arm span more significant than your height? If yes, that is a positive ape index. Therefore, the reach is long,and you need to settle for the larger size. If the arm span is smaller than the height that means that you have a negative ape index. As a result of that, you should go for the relatively small size.

Once you have the inseam measurements, the rest depends on the type of your dream bicycle. The major ones include hybrid bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes as well as BMX bikes. That is why there are details of these types below. Read on!

How to measure a hybrid bike frame

Thanks to versatility, the popularity of hybrid bikes is increasing. Settling for one is like killing two birds with the same stone. It is a road bike cum mountain bike. Therefore, it is ideal for mountain tours, riding in the forests and navigating in the cities. Regardless of the terrain, comfort is a guarantee. The gears are between 21 and 27. On the other hand, the wheels and width measure 28 inches and 35 mm, respectively.

Why should you consider buying a hybrid bike? The first reason is evident given the discussion above. If a need for the addition of touring equipment arises, installing them will be a breeze. Due to the large diameter of their wheels, you can ride at high speed without risking rolling.

If you need to reap the benefits, you should know how to measure a hybrid bike frame accurately.

There is a formula for how to measure a hybrid bike frame. We have discussed how to measure the leg inseam or inside leg. What did you get as your inseam measurement? Use that figure in the formula below for the frame size.

Frame size = Leg inseam in centimeters x 0.685

In addition to that, you can use the chart below.

Your Height Inseam Length Bike Frame SizeAdvanced
4 ft. 11 inch. – 5 ft. 3 inch.25 – 27 inches13 – 15 inchesXS
5 ft. 3 inch. – 5 ft. 7 inch.27– 29 inches15 – 17 inchesS
5 ft. 11 inch. – 5 ft. 11 inch.29 – 31 inches17 – 19 inchesM
5 ft. 11 inch. – 6ft. 2 inch.31 – 33 inches19 – 21 inchesL
6 ft. 2inch – 6ft. 4inch33 – 35 inches21 – 23 inchesXL
6 ft. 4inchesand above35 inches23 inchesXXL

 

How to measure a road bike frame

It is specialized to ride on tarmac roads only. Therefore, if that is what you are looking for, expect nothing short of excellence. It may have a relatively big budget, but it is worth every penny you spend to buy it.

 

Why is a road bike an excellent choice? Its aerodynamic riding position makes it an alluring product. In addition to that, it is fast and lightweight. Those are enough reasons for you to buy this kind. They are ideal for commuting, fitness as well as racing. The different frames make them versatile. Therefore, it is the frame size that will determine how you use your road bike. To make sure that what you settle for is perfect for your buying purpose, choose wisely. Let me help you with how to do that.

 

In the case of how to measure a road bike frame, follow the following formula.

Frame size = Leg inseam in centimeters x 0.7

If you are not comfortable with the calculations, the chart below can be of great help.

Your Height Inseam Length Bike Frame SizeAdvanced
4 ft. 10 inch. – 5 ft. 1 inch.25.5 – 27 inches46 – 48 cmXXS
5 ft.  – 5 ft. 3 inch.26.5 – 28 inches48 – 50 cmXS
5 ft. 6 inch. – 5 ft. 9 inch.29.5  – 31 inches52 – 54 cmS
5 ft. 8 inch. – 5ft. 11 inch.30.5 – 32 inches56 – 58 cmM
5 ft. 10 inch. – 6ft. 1 inch.31.5 – 33 inches58 – 60 cmL
6 ft. 1 inch. – 6ft. 3 inch.32.5 – 34 inches60 – 62 cmXL
6 ft. 4inchesand above34.5 – 36 inches62 – 64 cmXXL

 

How to measure a mountain bike frame

Regardless of how tough the terrain becomes, a mountain bike will never disappoint. It is the reason why it is the most common type of bicycle. Thanks to its design, it can easily traverse rough, forest and mountains. Some of its great features are large knobby tires, robust wheels, low gear ratios, powerful brakes,and suspension. The combination of all the elements makes it sturdy and worth it.

The unlimited advantages include great control. Remember that you will be walking in rough terrains. If the bike you are on will be hard to balance, there are high chances that you will fall. Despite the roughness, a mountain bike will allow you to ride at high speed. It takes the riding experience to a whole new level. If you were to choose between a hardtail and a full-suspension, here are some basics. The difference between the hardtail and full-suspension is that the former has a front suspension while the latter has two, one at the front and the other one at the rear side. The more the suspensions, the more burdensome and more costly the bike is. The full-suspension is more comfortable than the hardtail.

The formula for calculating its frame size is as follows.

Frame size = Leg inseam in centimeters x 0.66

Its sizing chart is the one below. It is identical to that of the hybrid bike.

Your Height Inseam Length Bike Frame SizeAdvanced
4 ft. 11 inch. – 5 ft. 3 inch.25 – 27 inches13 – 15 inchesXS
5 ft. 3 inch. – 5 ft. 7 inch.27– 29 inches15 – 17 inchesS
5 ft. 11 inch. – 5 ft. 11 inch.29 – 31 inches17 – 19 inchesM
5 ft. 11 inch. – 6ft. 2 inch.31 – 33 inches19 – 21 inchesL
6 ft. 2inches – 6ft. 4 inches33 – 35 inches21 – 23 inchesXL
6 ft. 4inchesand above35 inches23 inchesXXL

 

How to measure a BMX bike frame

First of all, BMX means bicycle motocross. Ever since their emergence in the 1970s, BMX bikes have been of great help to those who settle for them. They are ideal for tough tracks. Their outstanding features are low saddles and high straight handles. The sturdy metal frames make them durable. On the other hand, their big tires make them ideal for tough track riding. As you settle for a BMX bike, remember that there is a variety of them.  For instance, there are classic BMX and jumper BMX ideal for dirt tracks & racing and jumping, respectively. For sizing, refer to the chart below.

Your Height Inseam Length Bike Frame SizeSize
4 ft. 11 inch. – 5 ft. 3 inch.25 – 27 inches13 – 15 inchesXS
5 ft. 3 inch. – 5 ft. 7 inch.27– 29 inches15 – 17 inchesS
5 ft. 11 inch. – 5 ft. 11 inch.29 – 31 inches17 – 19 inchesM
5 ft. 11 inch. – 6ft. 2 inch.31 – 33 inches19 – 21 inchesL
6 ft. 2inches. – 6ft. 4inches.33 – 35 inches21 – 23 inchesXL
6 ft. 4inches. and above35 inches23 inchesXXL

 

Final Words

The above discussion answers frequently asked questions regarding how to measure bike size for adults. More importantly, it highlights how to measure a bike frame to your height. It is good to remember that a bicycle frame is not adjustable. Therefore, if you make a wrong choice, there are only two possibilities. You can either sell it or live with the mistake forever. Choosing the wrong one means having a ride that is unsafe and uncomfortable. It would be wise if you took the matter seriously. All the best and be thoughtful and heed the advice.