What Size Bike Do I Need?

When it comes to choosing a bike for yourself, there are several things to consider.

But one of the biggest questions is what size bike do I need? A bike frame is important because it affects posture, bike fit, saddle height, and other important aspects of riding.

If you don't choose the correct bike frame size for your body size, you could end up hurting yourself and suffer an uncomfortable ride. Whether you're out on the road with gravel bikes or staying inside with a stationary pedal bike, the right size makes a huge difference. Keep this in mind when looking for the right size bike. Bike riding should be a fun and healthy activity that burns calories and stress.

Bicycle Frames

Buying a bike frame is pretty simple, especially with a helpful bike sizing chart. Generally, it all depends on your height. If you are anywhere from 5' 6" to about 5' 9", odds are you will need an adult bike with a frame of 54-55 centimeters. If you are about 5' 9" to 6' 0", you can probably expect to purchase a bike that has a frame of 56 to 58 centimeters. If you are about 6' 0" to 6' 3", look for a bike that is roughly 58 to 60 centimeters in frame size. Smaller children may need a smaller size, about a 20 inch bike.

You should also take note of your inseam measurement. The leg inseam length may vary somewhat depending on the cyclist, so be sure there's a comfortable amount of space between your foot and the pedal. Otherwise, you could be cramped up and unable to move properly.

You can usually find someone in-store to help you. Any store that sells bicycles should have a representative who will measure you and measure the bicycle you'd like. Most bikes also come in different sizes, so you don't have to like the style of one bike and have to choose the other. A better idea would be to go to a specialty bike store since there are trained people to make sure that you have the best biking experiences possible. And, you can always return a bike if it simply isn't working out.

Online Shopping

If you're going to look for your bicycle online, you need to keep those nifty measurements we discussed earlier in mind. Go by your height and purchase a bike within those frame listings to make sure you are buying a bike that will work well with your body size. If the website doesn't provide a bike size chart, ask a representative to make sure you get the right bike size.

Other important aspects include seat height and wheel size, both of which affect riding style. 

This is especially important for serious biking, such as when researching a mountain bike frame size. Mountain bike measurements come back to bite if you're unprepared for rough roads, so check sizes carefully on your BMX bike. If you don't, you could end up finding a bike that is either too big or too small for your size, resulting in a pretty uncomfortable ride.

When you order online, you can also probably return a bike. Still, it's not fun to do that, especially because assembly is required in most instances. Check the chart and go off of that as accurately as possible, but make sure the company you are ordering from also has a great return policy since not all bicycles are one size fits all situations.

Potential Injuries

If you get a bike with a frame that is too small or too large, you could seriously end up hurting yourself. It may seem silly to think about, but really, it's your body that would be cramped or stretched out, causing ligaments and muscles to become too stretched out and causing you injury. Think about it—a bike that doesn't fit doesn't help! A larger wheel size or bike frame size won't suddenly make your bike tougher. Instead, your shoulders become too stretched out due to a wider handlebar stance, and the muscles would become sore and uncomfortable.

The same thing goes for a too-small bicycle frame, as your muscles will have to bunch up to fit on the frame. Doing that could cause really painful cramping and soreness. The longer you ride a bike that is not shaped for you, the more potential there is for some long-term damage. Make sure you're getting a bike with a frame that can hold you. You don't want to risk any serious potential injury, and bicycle riding should be fun, so limit this risk by doing a little research ahead of time to prevent injury and discomfort.

Women’s and Men’s Bikes

Choosing between women's and men's bicycles is also something to consider because a women's bike will be smaller than a man's bike. That's not to say that a woman could not ride a men's bike, and vice versa, but you need to be sure that the bicycle fits your frame appropriately. Otherwise, it could be a painful ride.

Men typically have wider shoulders, and women typically have narrower bodies and shoulders, so the handlebar size and pedal size will come into play. You will feel it right away if a bicycle frame is too wide or too narrow for you, so keep these things in mind while looking for a new bicycle at the bike shop.

Have Fun!

Overall, riding a bicycle should be fun. Finding the right bike with an appropriate frame size doesn't have to be a chore. Just do a little research and know your own measurements when choosing a bike. Once you have a bike with the correct frame size, there'll be no stopping you. You'll see just how fun riding a bicycle can be. It's a great way to stay in shape, but you do need to make sure that your bicycle is perfect for your own body and you won't get into any painful trouble down the road.

In this case, size does matter, so keep your size measurements and use a bike chart to help you on your way to a pretty fun recreational sport that has so many benefits.