What size bike is right for me?
Sizing a bike is not an exact science, and ultimately the riders comfort should be the determining factor. It's important to also consider the type of riding you'll be doing, your budget and your experience level.
In an ideal situation, you could come into the store and we can use our experience to help you decide, or weigh up pros and cons of a given size. However, we've laid out the steps below to give you a head-start to figuring out the correct size bike for you.
General Steps to determining bike size
Sizing Hybrids, Light Duty MTB, Flat bar road bikes
- Measure your height and inseam: To determine the right size bike for you, you'll need to know your height and inseam (the distance from your crotch to the ground).
- Look at bike size charts: Most bike manufacturers have size charts that recommend a bike size based on your height and inseam measurements.
- Test ride the bike: Once you have a general idea of the right size bike for you, it's best to test ride a few different options to see which feels most comfortable.
- Adjust the seat: The seat should be adjusted so that your leg has a slight bend when the pedal is at its lowest point.
- Check the standover height: Stand over the bike frame and make sure there is at least 1-2 inches of clearance between you and the top tube.
- Check the reach: While sitting on the seat, make sure you can comfortably reach the handlebars and controls.
- Confirm the bike fit: Once you have made the necessary adjustments, stand over the bike again and make sure you are still comfortable and that the bike feels stable.
- Repeat the process for a different type of bike: If you are looking for different types of bike, like a road bike or mountain bike, keep in mind that the sizing may vary.
Sizing Gravel and Road bikes
Sizing gravel and road bikes is similar to the general bike sizing guide above, but there are a few key differences to keep in mind:
- Road and gravel bike sizing charts may differ from standard bike charts. Make sure to consult the manufacturer's size chart for road or gravel bikes specifically.
- Road and gravel bikes can have a more 'forward' riding position compared to some other types of bikes, which can affect the size you need. It's important to consider the reach and drop of the handlebars when determining the right size. While both handlebar reach and drop can be adjusted with replacement parts; It's important to weigh up the differences between each sized bike. The more aerodynamic riding position which can cause pain/discomfort in your back and neck if the bike is incorrectly sized.
- As with any bike, if you can, try to test ride the road or gravel bike before purchasing to ensure it is comfortable and the right size for you.
Otherwise the process is the same. Measure your height and inseam, consult the manufacturer's size chart, if possible test ride the bike and adjust the seat height, check the standover height, check the reach and confirm the bike fit. It's important to note that you should also consider your riding style, budget, and experience level when purchasing a road or gravel bike.
Sizing Mountain Bikes
Mountain Bikes are similar to the general bike sizing guide above, but there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:
- Full suspension mountain bike sizing charts may differ from standard bike charts. Make sure to consult the manufacturer's size chart for full suspension mountain bikes specifically.
- Full suspension mountain bikes have a more upright riding position compared to other types of bikes, which can affect the size you need. It's important to consider the reach and height of the handlebars when determining the right size.
- Full suspension mountain bikes come in different wheel sizes, such as 27.5 inches and 29 inches, so make sure to consider the wheel size when determining the right size.
- It's important to pay attention to the bike's suspension travel and geometry, as this can affect the bike's handling and overall ride quality. Otherwise the process is the same. if possible test ride the bike and adjust the seat height, check the standover height, check the reach and confirm the bike fit.
Rider comfort is key
Ultimately, the rider's comfort should be the deciding factor when choosing the right size bike. While these are some helpful steps to determine the correct size, it really comes down to how comfortable you are on the bike. Come in to Scotia Cycle and we'll help you choose the right bike for the ultimate ride!