What size bike do I need? A comprehensive bike size guide

(Image credit: Colin Levitch)

The most crucial factor when buying a bike is to make sure the frame fits. Just like how you might wear a size 10 shoe in Nike and a 10.5 in Adidas, there is no standardisation when it comes to bike frames, and sizing can vary drastically from brand to brand. Worse, trying to decode a geometry chart for some can be as hard as wrapping their heads around quantum physics.

While minor adjustments can be made with stem length and saddle setback, ultimately if a bike frame is too big or small, the amount of available adjustment won't be great enough, and it will influence the bike's handling characteristics as well as cause issues when it comes to comfort. This is especially true when riding one of the best road bikes because you will essentially maintain that same position for the duration of the ride, and if it’s wrong, you’re in for many hours of pain — the bad kind, that is.

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Bike size chart
How tall are you?Header Cell - Column 1 Bike size
CentemetresFeet and inchesEffective top tube length
148 to 152cm4ft 10in to 5ft 2in47 to 48cm
152 to 160cm5ft 0in to 5ft 3in49 to 50cm
160 to1685ft 3in to 5ft 6in51 to 53cm
168 to 1755ft 3in to 5ft 9in54 to 55cm
175 to 1835ft 9in to 6ft 0in56 to 58cm
183 to1916ft 0in to 6ft 3in58 to 60cm
191 and up6ft 3in and up61cm to 63cm

Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 

Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine.