Road bike sizing

Last updated: Jul, Wed, 2020

Physique positioning becomes a little more crucial on a road bike, a few millimeters here or there can be the difference in between a pleasant ride and harsh(for you and your riding partners that may have to notice your gripes).

bike wheels size

how to measure a road bike size

Road bikes are usually sized either in centimeters or using a general size like small, medium or large. It’s the frame size(NOT your bicycle’s wheel) that confirm road bike sizing. Here have 3 ways of expression.

  • Classically, frame dimensions are through the length of the seat tube, calculated from the centre of the bottom bracket towards the top of the seat tube.
  • But currently, if a road bike has a sloping top tube. A few manufacturers will certainly measure the centre of the BB to the top of the top-tube(centre to top).
  • Or even, based on centre of the BB to the centre of the top-tube (centre to centre).
road bike sizing

They can be converted by trigonometric if you didn’t return your math knowledge to your teacher so far.

What should you pay attention to? If you searching a 52cm road bicycle, you may be heading in the wrong direction. One maker’s medium size is not the same as the next, that may be worth the 54cm from another one.

Here has another case. The frame angle is different by different manufacturers. If the seat tube tends to the rear wheel, which means it’s far from your size and the top-tube will longer, so you should pick a smaller one now.

Select the appropriate size to get a road cycle is easy, it not also complex both. All you need to carry out is determine your height and inside of your leg, and then use your record to get a fit from the manufacturer’s size chart.

A good fit will mean you are more comfortable when you riding, and handling will be easier as well as able to journey more efficiently.

Also, in the 90s, you must leave a 2cm gap above the top tube for avoiding bruising. This means that if you’re 48cm, you should pick up a 50cm size when going to a level top tube.

But you hardly need to add additional clearance to your bike size now. AS a compact road bike has been done.

Due to compact, a suitable range from compact size has enlarged that fit more riders. The benefit is the sloping top-tube helps the manufacturers reduce inventory pressure. So the manufacturers no longer need to prepare 10 sizes for you.

The following is the theoretical data of the 90s, just for reference. Your bicycle usually does not deals with 10 sizes. These data are not valid to someone.

Road Bicycle Size Chart
Size Inseam Height
46cm, XX-small 25.5” – 27” 4’10” – 5’1″
48cm, XX-small 26.5″ – 28″ 5’0″ – 5’3″
50cm, X-small 27.5″ – 29″ 5’2″ – 5’5″
52cm, small 28.5″ – 30″ 5’4″ – 5’7″
54cm, Medium 29.5″ – 31″ 5’6″ – 5’9″
56cm, Large 30.5″ – 32″ 5’8″ – 5’11”
58cm, X-Large 31.5″ – 33″ 5’10” – 6’1″
60cm, XX-Large 32.5″ – 34″ 6’0″ – 6’3″
62cm, XX-Large 33.5″ – 35″ 6’2″ – 6’5″
64cm, XX-Large 34.5″ – 36″ 6’3″ – 6’6″

Sizing will still vary between brands. Some manufacturers like to use odd number listing, just digit plus one by the number of the list above or subtract. They are not different.

  • A 44cm, 45cm or 46 cm road bike will suit a rider who is 143-155 cm or 4’8″ to 5’1”. This is roughly the height of a middle school student who started to be 11 years old, maybe 12. If this is what you are looking for, I believe you are a great parent. If your child is only 9 years old, look at 24-inch road bikes.
  • The 47cm, 48cm, 49cm road bike will fit a teenager or adult who height 152-160 cm or 5’0″ to 5’3”. In this range will marked extra small or XXS. I feel your pain, very hard to find a bike when you are shorter. Some missing design of manufacturers will store a pair of 650B(27.5inche) wheels to replace 700c(29in).
  • 49cm, 50cm, 51cm road bikes suggest rider height from 157cm to 165 cm or 5’2″ to 5’5”. You just a little lower put in this size than around people. Sometimes you think that if taller bit you will believe the existence of God.
  • 51cm, 52cm, 53cm road bikes suggest rider height from 162cm to 170 cm or 5’4″ to 5’7”. This is a size just lovely on the passing line for someone. Not low and not tall. It’s easy to find where tagged small or medium.
  • 53cm, 54cm, 55cm road bikes suggest rider height from 167cm to 175 cm or 5’6″ to 5’9”. This size brushes past you if you’re 5ft 5. It’s big for you. That doesn’t mean 54 isn’t right for you, but your proportion needs to be quite extreme.
  • 55cm, 56cm, 57cm road bikes suggest rider height from 172cm to 180 cm or 5’8″ to 5’11”. From here on, it’s basically the realm of tall men. Those bikes will be marked to large, X-large or XXL.
  • 57cm, 58cm, 59cm road bikes suggest rider height from 178cm to 185 cm or 5’10” to 6’1”. If you here, you may start to worry about being tall. Anyway, I rarely run into up to 62 or 64 who looks for. Taller or shorter, there seem to have own annoyance.

Over the past few years, adjustment proposals have changed. As mentioned above, because manufacturers now produce compact frame designs with inclined top-tube, which means that rider installing 56cm frames in old days may need different size now.

A road bike model should offer 5 or 6 sizes that can be nice. One aside, if there store much then is not also a good turn. That will put you between two sizes, or across three sizes.

Anyhow, if you obtain stuck, I suggest would be to choose the smaller size. The reason being it is simpler to make a little bike larger compared to create a large bicycle smaller(by adjustment the seatpost height or even replaced stem to an extent).

A scientific method is to measure your arm length. First off, Lift your hands up and keep them horizontally with the ground. Then measure the fingertips from left finger to the right. And then, take the number what you get minus your height. If you are getting a negative, pick up the smaller one. Conversely, go bigger.

Of course, you choose comes down to personal preference. And, the sizes recommended comes the manufacturer’s chart will be suitable both for you.

women’s road bike

Maybe you’ve realized that the bike top-tube represents your upper body — this determines your stretching distance, and the seat tube matches your lower body/inseam.

Ordinarily, women are apt to have shorter superior bodies that men, nevertheless as this does not necessarily affect the seat tube length.

The difference is definitely the women’s specific road bikes tend to have a shorter top-tube as compared with unisex bikes.

Here is based on the fact that two rider belongs to the same size(not is the same height). That bike size chart is suitable for either unisex plus women’s road bikes.

Do I need a women’s bike? Maybe. My opinion is you are under 5ft 5 think about that.

A visible advantage is that opting for a women’s bike are include a women’s specific saddle, and also that the ranges tend to run to smaller sizes to suit shorter riders.

Just only as the bike is tagged to be for a female doesn’t mean it’ll meet your needs. After all, just part women are made the same. You will probably find the unisex bike far better, especially you are a taller rider, or you enjoy aggressive riding placement.

You may be disappointed while expecting to about “Women’s-specific bicycle design”. Sometimes, it’s also tie in your budget. Less popular brands no women’s models for entry-level markets.

Every brand has its own way of designing bicycles with the development of manufacturing technology, biometric and ergonomic information. An invisible cost.


Riding an ill-fitting bicycle is not fun. It’s uncomfortable for bones and joints. The on-site trial is not working for you to place an order online. Employees at local stores may not be smiling at you either.

The easiest way to determine your size is to use the chart as guidance by the bicycle manufacturer provided. When choosing to a size needs to be taken top-tube into the shape of the bike frame geometric — traditional or compact.

Once your frame size makes up one’s mind, the next step is to set the handlebar and the saddle height when it comes to your door.

Now all you have to do is search those bikes for your budget and filter them by riding purposes.