What Size Road Bike Do I Need

Updated on June 6, 2022

It’s no joy to ride a bike that doesn’t fit you. While riding a bike that is too little or too large might be painful, not knowing what size bike to buy can be a confusing minefield. So, here are some tips to help you choose the proper size road bike.

Traditional, semi-compact, or compact frame shapes and sizes are key to finding the correct bike.

It’s important to know the major numbers that determine road bike geometry, what they mean, and how they effect fit and handling before you buy a road bike to guarantee that you’re getting the finest road bike for your needs.

What’s the Right Size Bike for Me?

The frame size is an important consideration when purchasing a new bike. Depending on the manufacturer, a bike may come in anywhere from three to six different sizes, each labelled either in centimetres or from small to large. There may be a wide range of sizes to pick from, or you may be able to order a completely custom-made product.

If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest route to finding the proper bike size, all you have to do is work with your height alone.

This should be a good fit if you have a normal body type and fall somewhere in the middle of the recommended size range. You should go with the smaller frame size when you are on the edge of deciding between two frame sizes; there is generally enough adjustment in a bike’s bar and saddle height, and the saddle’s fore/aft position, to allow you to set the bike up comfortably.

Your height / Bike Size

  • 4’11” – 5’3″ = 13 – 15 inches
  • 5’3″ – 5’7″  = 15 – 16 inches
  • 5’7″ – 5’11” = 16 – 17 inches
  • 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 17 – 19 inches
  • 6’2″ – 6’4″  = 19 – 21 inches
  • 6’4″ and taller  = 21+ inches

Calculating the bike size

Stand with your legs about 6″ to 8″ apart and remove your shoes. From the floor to your crotch, ascertain your height.

Make sure you know what kind of bike you want before you start shopping. Here, you can learn more about the various varieties of bicycles.

Now that you have your calculator out, you can figure out what size you need:

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

Women’s road bike sizes

Several bicycles are made specifically for women. Because of this, they can be used by people with smaller hands, narrower shoulders, and shorter arms. Just make sure you test it out first. There is no reason why you can’t ride a unisex or male bike, so don’t limit yourself.

Rider Height Suggested Women’s Road Frame Size
Feet & Inches Centimetres Frame Size (cm)
4’10” – 5’1″ 147cm – 155cm XX-Small (44cm – 46cm) View all XX-Small Bikes
5’1″ – 5’3″ 155cm – 160cm X-Small (47cm – 49cm) View all X-Small Bikes
5’3″ – 5’5″ 160cm – 165cm Small (50cm – 52cm) View all Small Bikes
5’5″ – 5’8″ 165cm – 172cm Medium (53cm – 55cm) View all Medium Bikes
5’8″ – 5’10” 172cm – 180cm Large (56cm – 57cm) View all Large Bikes

Women’s Bike Size Chart

If you’ve ever wondered whether men’s and women’s bikes are different in terms of size, the answer is yes.

Many details have been included in our guide to the finest road bikes for women, including what makes a women’s road bike female-specific.

Generally speaking, women’s road bikes come in smaller sizes, with the listed’small, medium, or large’ not being the same as men’s or unisex bicycles. A women’s small has a top tube length of about 48 centimetres, while a men’s/unisex top tube is 52 centimetres.

What Is a Professional Bike Fit?

It’s not just professional cyclists that benefit from a professional bike fit!

Investment in a professional bike fit is the best method to ensure that your bike will fit you and be set up correctly. A bike fitter will spend many hours with you, setting you up on a test bike indoors and having you ride it while they tweak the position of your saddle, bars, and other components, to evaluate how these adjustments effect your riding.

As a general rule, you’ll walk away with a set of measurements to help you choose the appropriate road bike and size for your needs. In the future, you may want to exchange bikes or buy a new one, so it should be easy to transport.

It’s important to remember that as you get older, heavier, and more flexible, your ideal fit may shift. Our page devoted to the five reasons why you should get your bike fit re-calibrated suggests that you do just that (opens in new tab).

Although some bike stores sell it at a discount or include a simple one free with the purchase of a bike, the process will be an additional expense. Indeed, this is one of the most significant components of what to look for in your first road bike (opens in new tab). Saves money and ensures you’ve got the appropriate specifications to buy the right size bike for your body type and height.

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