Bikes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In recent months, purchasing it online has grown popularity. There are fewer bicycles displayed and bought in-store. Although purchasing one online is more convenient and saves you time, the challenge comes in choosing the size. If you are unaware, they come in different shapes and sizes. Men have different-sized bicycles than women, with the former typically having a larger size than the latter.
Road Bike Size Chart
|Rider Height (in)||Rider Height (cm)||Frame Size (cm)|
|4’10” – 5’0″||148cm – 152cm||XX-Small (47cm – 48cm)|
|5’0″ – 5’3″||152cm – 160cm||X-Small (49cm – 50cm)|
|5’3″ – 5’6″||160cm – 168cm||Small (51cm – 53cm)|
|5’6″ – 5’9″||168cm – 175cm||Medium (54cm – 55cm)|
|5’9″ – 6’0″||175cm – 183cm||Large (56cm – 58cm)|
|6’0″ – 6’3″||183cm – 191cm||X-Large (58cm – 60cm)|
|6’3″ – 6’6″||191cm – 198cm||XX-Large (61cm – 63cm)|
Mountain Bike Size Chart
|Rider Height (in)||Rider Height (cm)||Frame Size (cm)|
|4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″||148cm – 158cm||XS (33cm – 37cm)|
|5′ 3″ – 5′ 6″||159cm – 168cm||S (38cm – 42cm)|
|5′ 7″ – 5′ 10″||169cm – 178cm||M (43cm – 47cm)|
|5′ 11″ – 6′ 1″||179cm – 185cm||L (48cm – 52cm)|
|6′ 2″ – 6′ 4″||186cm – 193cm||XL (53cm – 57cm)|
|6′ 4″ +||194cm +||XXL (58cm +)|
Kids Bike Size Chart
|12”||2-3||2’10”-3’4”||14-17” 35-42 cm|
|14”||3-4||3’1”-3’7”||16-20” 40-50 cm|
|16”||4-5||3’7”-4’0”||18-22” 45-55 cm|
|18”||5-6||3’9”-4’3”||20-24” 50-60 cm|
|20”||5-8||4’0”-4’5”||22-25” 55-63 cm|
|24”||7-11||4’5”-4’9”||24-28” 60-72 cm|
Dirt Bike Size Chart
|Age||Body Height (Inches)||Body Height (CM)||Seat Height (Inches)||Seat Height (CM)|
|12+ years||6″||182cm||37.5″+||95cm +|
BMX Bike Size Chart
|Rider Height (ft. in.)||Rider Height (cm)||Approximate Age||Suggested Bike Wheel Size|
|3’7″ – 4’0″||110cm – 122cm||5 – 7 years||16″|
|4’0″ – 4’10”||122cm – 147cm||7 – 11 years||18″|
|4’10” – 6’4″||147cm – 193cm||11+ years||20″|
We will go over several types in this article, including adults and children. Size charts are also available below for your convenience. The sizes will differ depending on the type, so triple-check before making any decisions. You can also check with the seller if they accept returns, which is helpful if you pick the wrong type or size.
A Short History Lesson
Manufacturers have produced millions of bicycles annually. However, do you know how these have come into existence? Do you know how handlebars, wheels with pedals, and the bicycle seat got their characteristics and features?
There is a varied history behind it. It went through several transformations throughout these years. Did you know one of the earlier models had no steering and pedals? When compared to the current model, it is far too different.
Around the 1940s, Leonardo da Vinci did a few sketches of varying bicycle designs. He was an Italian polymath. It then had the appeal of modernism. It was only during the 16th century that historians found these sketches. Another wrong belief on how bicycles came into existence was from Ernest and Pierre Michaux, the carriage-makers duo. Although they had used pedals and rotary cranks during the 1860s, there is no solid proof they were inventors.
It brings us to the question, “Who invented the very first bicycle?” Baron Karl von Drais was a German man. He invented the first bike in 1817. He called his invention Laufmaschine, which translates to “The Running Machine.” It had two wheels joined together by a single bar piece. It was reported the bicycle covered 13 kilometers in less than 60 minutes during its first run. At that time, it was impressive that weighing about 22 kgs could cover such a distance.
Types of Frames
Several types are available in the market, making it difficult to list them. Generally speaking, there are about 11 types of bicycle frames. We will discuss them below. Varying types exist because people have different needs. For example, a tourer won’t perform well in the mountains. Similarly, a mountain bike is not ideal for people with limited storage space at home.
If you are not too keen on bikes and already own one, you might not know its type from when you got it until now. Some people bought the first one they saw in-store or the prettiest one. The following types we will discuss below should give you a better idea of the different types and their recommended uses.
If you are looking for one, the first thing is knowing what to search for. While searching for one, you’ll have things to consider. The first thing a sales clerk might ask is, “What type are you looking at?” Some might ask, “Are you looking for anything specific?” You reply with whatever your needs. Mountains are an excellent option for bumpy, rocky terrains. Tourers are great for concrete, flat roads.
The decision is ultimately up to your personal preferences and needs. Certain groups of people are looking to join races, while others prefer doing tricks. Some like to have complete control over speed, while others prefer using it as they stroll down the park. Whatever your needs, at least one type works well for you.
Turned-down or drop handlebars are one of the primary identifiers of a road bike. These typically have skinny tires. The handlebars are lightweight, helping you in an aerodynamic position. What is the significance of a lightweight frame? It makes it easier when shifting through pavements, such as touring and long-distance riding.
The thin tires make it possible to breeze through different terrain with little to zero effort. The varying riding and hand positions provide control over speed. However, riding it on an unpaved trail may feel unstable and uncomfortable to a few users. It is likely because of the skinny tires. This type is not suitable for heavy loads, so not the best option for touring or commuting.
The tires typically have a lighter rim and fewer spokes when compared to a mountain bike. Because aerodynamics is significant, the tire rims are deeper when looking at the cross-section’s height. They are ideal for racing and have a tire width of 25mm. Others typically range from 28mm to 30mm. The very usual size is 54cm for this type.
A mountain bike is an excellent option if you take it on extreme or bumpy terrains. Its shock-absorbing features handle dirt trails and bumps. Roots and rocks are no problems. It works well on steeper terrain, explaining why it uses lower gears than other types. They weigh heavier and look more complex. They are not very efficient on smooth surfaces because the tire design is off-road.
Some of the notable features of these are as follows:
- It has a suspension fork
- The tires are large and knobby
- The wheels appear and are more durable than other types
- Brakes are significantly more powerful
- The extra-wide handlebars assist in balance over bumpy terrains
The tire sizes usually range from 26 inches to 29 inches. They are wide and knobby. It allows maximum effectivity over obstacles, like light mud and dirt. The components are rugged. It includes the frames, suspension, and flat handlebars. These assist the cyclist as he glides through rocky mountains. The terrain involves steep grades and loose dirt. More intense paths would have skinnies and rock gardens. They could also have log piles and wall rides, as well as gap jumps and log rides.
A touring bike has mudguards and a steel frame. It also has a long wheelbase. It usually looks a bit retro, but there is a reason for that. It uses a steel frame because it is heavy-duty. You can also equip it with several items because it has multiple mounting points.
The components in this bicycle are also durable. The solid, tough parts are more important than cutting down with a few grams. Its wheels will have the following characteristics:
- High spoke counts
- Strong double-wall or triple-wall alloy rims
- Well-sealed hubs
If you like riding at night, dynamo power is an important part. You can also use the same to power up a GPS computer. Some manufacturers include a dynamo hub to the unit, while others make it an optional accessory. The cable runs inside the fork leg, minimizing damages.
You can optionally add mudguards for a cleaner and more comfortable ride during the rainy season. Modern tourers come with a disc brake instead of a cantilever or v-brake. It is significantly stronger and works more consistently across different weather conditions. The downside is spare availability is lacking.
The chainstays and wheelbase are longer since it favors stability over anything else. It also has slack frame angles. The front mudguard or luggage will unlikely interfere with your pedal strokes because of the longer wheelbase. Varying your hand position is possible because of the drop bars. You can lower your frontal profile on windy days.
They are also heavy-duty because their design carries everything you need on a day out. You may need to bring cooking gear and a tent, which a tourer bike can.
Have you dreamed of having a bike you can fold and store easily at home? Maybe you have limited space, and a full-sized bicycle won’t cut it. Or you frequently travel on your bike. Regardless, a folding model is an excellent choice.
As the name implies, you can fold it smoothly and quickly. It allows it to fit in tight spaces, on the vehicle trunk or a boat. Some models come with a carrying bag, making it convenient to store or carry around with you.
The top three advantages of having a foldable are as follows:
- Theft Prevention – There is no need to lock it outdoor. You can easily fold it and bring it indoors, whether at home or the office. You may have to take a lock with you when running errands, as certain places do not allow it indoors.
- Portability – Most trains and buses do not allow a full-size. Foldable ones are okay, even during peak hours. It can also fit without issues in your car’s trunk.
- Small Footprint – You can tuck it inside your home because it holds down to a compact size.
The most prominent feature is the smaller wheels, usually around 20 inches in rim diameter. As a result, it handles potholes and bumps better. The saddle, handlebar, and folding frame are also adjustable. Some models also have an adjustable latch for easier collapsing.
Some cyclists refer to it as fixies. Athletes and racers primarily use this type for professional race competitions. It contains a fixed, single gear. As a result, freewheeling and coasting are not possible. Riders need to rely on their leg strength to prevent the cranks from turning and ultimately stopping the motion.
It may also contain more than one brake and varying handlebar styles. The frame has to be light and rigid. One might ask, “How are fixies different from roads?” A few differences are worth noting, with geometry as number one. Road bicycles have a longer reach and fuller fork rake. They also have a longer top tube than the others. On the other hand, fixies have a higher bottom bracket. It provides additional clearance.
Bicycle Motor Cross is commonly referred to as BMX. It has a single-speed typically used on dirt tracks. If your unit has a 20-inch wheel and single-speed, you can classify that as BMX. At first glance, you can identify a BMX with its smaller frames and wheels. Its simple design makes it possible to maneuver in rough conditions, such as pump tracks and skate parks.
The frame is lightweight, and the tires are thick for maximum stability and durability. If you are not too familiar with BMX, you will likely see it in urban areas. It includes things such as on the streets or in skate parks. There are a few types, which we will outline below.
- BMX Racing – It involves cyclists competing in a circuit. It consists of turns and jumps while aiming to finish first. BMX Racing is the original type. Alloy frames and carbon forks drastically reduce weight, improving acceleration and speed.
- BMX Vert – Riders compete in a large vert ramp while performing stunts and tricks on air.
- BMX Park/Freestyle – Riders compete in the same skate park while performing tricks. A panel of judges award performance-based scores.
- BMX Flatland – Competition on paved or flat surfaces.
It is a non-traditional bicycle because its seat is closer to the ground than other types. There are a few variations, such as short to long wheelbases and above seat steering. There are also two, three, or four-wheel varieties. The cyclist should rest his back on the unit’s backrest.
The most defining feature is not able to stand up or sit down while pedaling.
This type falls under the specialty bicycles category because of its specific features. It is mainly for leisure rides that you would have around the neighborhood. These have wider tires than other types and come with comfortable seats.
This type is a design combination of touring, mountain, and road. We classify it as a do-it-all type, catering to several uses.
It comes with large wheels ideal for smooth dirt and paved trails. The flat bar makes riding comfortable and with a great view. The disc brakes assist with impressive and responsive braking regardless of weather conditions.
Electric bikes are perhaps the most modern bicycle type on the market. An electric motor powers this type. However, it requires regular charging from an outlet for it to work. The electric motor provides additional speed as you peddle, resulting in faster speeds and easier uphills. Other bicycle types have an electric version, such as hybrid and mountain bicycles.
They come in different sizes. A 10-year-old kid may need a bigger one than a 5-year-old kid. Adults with similar heights may be compatible with the same-size bicycle. For example, a 5’2 woman and a 5’4 woman may choose to get identical units. On a different note, 56cm and 58cm are the usual triathlon bicycle frame sizes.
To measure, do follow the below guidelines in measuring the frame.
How to Measure Bike Size
- Locate the top of the seat tube just below the seat.
Take note of this area before proceeding to the next step. You can add a marking or tie a ribbon if it helps.
- Locate the bottom bracket’s center.
If you cannot find it, look for the part that holds the crank arms. It typically has all the parts connected with it. You can also draw a marking or tie a ribbon to mark the spot.
- Measure the distance between the points you marked in steps one and two.
We advise using centimeters for better accuracy.
- Record the measurement.
You can also record the inches equivalent.
The size depends on your height, which varies from person to person. The best way to find out is to refer to size charts.
Kindly refer to the “How to Measure Bike Size” section to know your frame size.
Yes. The best fit for a six and seven-year-old is a 20-inch bike.
A 24-inch bicycle works perfectly with a rider whose height is between 5’2″ and 5’5″.
A 26-inch bicycle works well with a rider whose height is between 5’5″ and 5’9″.