The number one question that we receive is: “Will this bike fit me?”
How do you know what size bicycle is the right size for you?
All of our descriptions contain the Frame Size in both inches and centimeters, in case you already know what size frame fits you, as well as the Stand Over Height. The Stand Over Height is the height of the Top Tube in inches above the ground. For example, if the description says that the Stand Over Height is 30″, then your inseam should be at least 30″ in order to be able to straddle the Top Tube when you’re stopped. You should be able to straddle the top tube with both feet flat on the ground.
How do you figure out what your inseam is?
These Charts can help you narrow down what size is right for you, but what really matters is how the bicycle actually feels to you.
Stand Over Height
Road bikes: If the bike has a traditional straight top tube that is parallel to the ground, you should have approximately 1″ of clearance between the ground and tires when you lift the bike as you’re straddling it.
If the bike has a sloping top tube (semi-compact or compact design) expect to have clearance of 2″ or more. Both men’s and women’s bikes can have compact frames.
Mountain bikes: When you lift the bike, you want 2″ minimum clearance between the tires and the ground. If your bike has full suspension, it’s okay to have less initial clearance (1″–2″) because the suspension compresses under your weight once you sit on the bike. That said, the amount of clearance is largely affected by the slope of the top tube down toward the rear wheel. For example, if the slope is dramatic, you’ll likely have ample clearance no matter what size the frame is. Because of this, you can’t rely solely on standover clearance to determine if a bike fits.
Hybrid bikes: If your hybrid bike is a city commuter, use the road bike guidelines. If it’s a beach cruiser or a step-through style, you don’t really have to worry about standover height. Most of these have steeply sloping top tubes that let you step over easily and put your feet flat on the ground when seated.
Having said all of that … the caveat is that these are general guide lines. Different types of bicycles fit differently and different people have different body proportions. The important thing is how it feels to you. These charts and measurements can get you in the ballpark but the only way to know if it fits is to ‘try it on’. Everybody is built a little differently.
Once you find a bike in your size, you’ll need to ‘tweak it’ to make it comfortable for you. Some things you’ll notice right away, like the Saddle is too high or too low. The Saddle should be set so that there is a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of your pedal stroke. Other parts you may not notice until you’ve ridden it for a few miles. The Saddle is too far forward, the brake levers are too close for your riding position. Every part of the bicycle that is attached to the frame is either adjustable for height or replaceable. For example: If the handlebars are too low, raise the stem. If the stem is still too short, then you’ll need a stem with a longer neck. Every bit of the bicycle is completely customizable to you and your riding style.