How to choose a bicycle frame size?

how to choose a bicycle frame size

You measure how to choose a bicycle frame size? You have a few centimeters between the frame and the crotch, so it’s good. Yes, but the frame consists of several pipes, not one. Dependency: height and the size of the bike frame should be treated with a ruler and experience, not with the eye and the feeling. Come, let me tell you how to consciously choose the size of the bike frame before you waste your money.

Choose a bicycle frame size

I have received a lot of questions from you about buying new or used bikes. You are more interested in accessories, gears, and color than the actual size of the frame. Not to mention geometry. Somehow, it’s been assumed that you have a good size until you beat the eggs on the frame. Later, you type in Google phrases such as: why my penis is numb, my neck hurts or my knee. The bicycle frame is the only element of the bike that is not mentioned. Well, the exchanges, but extremely rare. You will soon buy a new bike. Rama is, after all, the most important element of the bike. It is time for you to stop oiling the subject and learn how to choose the right size of the bicycle frame.



The size of the bicycle frame is placed on the seat tube. You have an example in the header picture. If this sticker is missing, measure it yourself. Do you need a result in inches? Divide the value obtained by 2.54. How to measure? Suggest the following photo. Unfortunately, the exact method of determining the size of the frame is complicated, though it should not. Do you want to know more? Read more because the topic is described in more detail in the paragraph entitled Measuring frame size and complications.



Maybe in this way, I will be able to convince you to read this post? If you buy a bike in the wrong size, you will see something from the following list:

  • faster fatigue, numbness or even injuries (incorrect position on the bike)
  • difficult control (reduced maneuverability) that can drive you under the car or into a ditch
  • ineffective transfer of muscle strength to the wheel (the leg does not work in full range of movement)
  • reduced driving comfort (too stretched or shrunken position)



The size of bicycle frames is determined in inches, eg 15, 17, 19 inches, or in centimeters: 54 cm, 56 cm. The S – XL size is also valid. With the choice of the size of the frame is like with clothes. You seem to wear M’ka, but not what clothes hang, pull under your arms, or even push your leg over the calves. Similarly, it can be with a bicycle. That’s why it’s worth trying on the frame before buying. After all, measuring does not cost you the truth? Not measuring, however, can cost a lot. Why? Because you will buy a bike that will not be in your size. The exchange does not have to be so easy. You may have to sell your “new-old” bike and buy another one. Alternatively, you can change the frame itself, but it is equally annoying and requires service knowledge and tools. I mean dismantling all parts from the frame.



It has been accepted that road bikes have a given frame size in centimeters and the other bicycles in inches. It is more and more common to combine a 17.5-inch connection with a designation like in clothes (M). Another category is children’s bikes that have frames from 14 inches down. Bicycle frames are available in the following sizes:

  • Road frames: from 47 to 67 cm.
  • MTB frame: from 15 to 22 inches
  • The trekking and city frames: from 15 to 23 inches



The bicycle frame consists of six pipes. They are connected in a diamond (also called a double triangle) construction. The front triangle consists of 4 pipes. Nice mindfuck not? The main triangle is the head of the frame, the upper tube, the bottom tube and the seat tube. The rear triangle consists of a seat tube and upper and lower fork. Depending on the size of the frame, the pipes grow proportionately. Of course, there are various types of bicycle frames that break this convention. Due to the purpose of the frame, these proportions will vary. Of course, there are also unusual frame constructions: horizontal, goods, Pedersen, etc. I describe the classic frame in this entry because it is the most popular one.

Learn more- Beginners guide: How to drive bicycle 300 km in one day?



I do not want to mix and make a huge mare from this post, which is why we will deal with this topic in a separate post. Do you want to read about it? Write it in a comment!



Bike, whose upper tube is lowered near the bottom, we call colloquially “a lady”. This construction was to make it easier for women to get in and out of the bike. It was most likely dictated by riding in a skirt. We have gender and racial equality, and by 1919 women would not be wearing trousers. Leaving the tube did not mean that the ladies are less supple. It was about “what people will think about”.

Fortunately, there is a feminine-positive trend among bicycle companies. They not only started noticing women. They even create women’s cycling shorts (different construction of the insole, cut, and even the arrangement of braces), bicycle shoes in size 36, etc. After some time, it turned out that the bike for Ladies is not just a townspeople/trekking with the upper pipe lowered. Ladies do after all DH, XC or road cycling.

More and more how to choose a bicycle frame size? frequent views are also road and MTB in women’s colors. Fortunately, this is not the end because their geometry has been prepared for the fair sex. Women have slightly different proportions and their center of gravity is different. If you are interested, please refer to Are Women’s Body Proportions Different From Men’s post. – That’s why ladies I suggest looking around for a woman’s version of the bike. If there is not one, maybe it is worth looking for another manufacturer?



Rise and size of the bicycle frame how to choose the frame of the bicycle to increase the size of the bicycle frames what frame to grow the choice of the frame for growth

The size of the frame is the length of the seat tube. It can be expressed in centimeters or inches. Unfortunately, it is not quite clear how to measure it correctly. Well, the old standard was to measure from the center of the carriage to the end of the seat tube (fastening the saddle clamp). For unknown reasons, some manufacturers have come to expect that they will measure from the point of joining the upper tube to the axis of the seat tube. Still, other bikes have a strongly protruding seat tube in relation to “normal bikes”. Some of them should be measured to the top of this pipe and the part to be connected to the upper pipe.

As you can see, the brothel is comparable to the size of bicycle tires. If you do not know what I’m talking about, read How do you read the size of a bicycle tire? ETRTO, millimeters, inch and atypical tire sizes. Returning to the frame. Such discrepancies in measurement mean that two bikes of the same size can have different dimensions! Summarizing. It’s good to measure the frame as long as you know how to do it. Often the producer on his website shows a picture with dimensions of the bike. There are marked lines showing how the seat tube is measured. For example, Canyon is doing this. In any case, remember that …



Because you can not rely on the other one anymore. The length of the upper tube really affects the position of the cyclist. It’s about the so-called “Reach” or range. This parameter affects whether you will be strongly stretched forward or straight and relaxed. Buying a large bicycle is unreasonable for obvious reasons. If it does not then start reading from the beginning, but this time slowly 🙂 But why not buy the frame a little too small? The smaller bicycle will be more maneuverable and the saddle height will be adjusted with the longer seat post. The position can be changed by replacing the bridge for longer. The smaller bicycle will be more maneuverable and a bit lighter (due to the size of the frame). I describe it in more detail in the paragraph entitled Something does not fit? Not everything is lost! This is only important for people who are racing or riding in the mountains.

Interesting fact: the bicycle crank is in sizes from 165 mm to 175 mm. Why and why? About this in the next post! you must be with your cycling computers regularly-



The most popular calculator in Poland is the one created by Competitive Cyclist. It does not require the purchase of expensive instruments. Just a long line (50 cm), a book, a measuring cup, a piece of paper, a pencil and someone to help. I think that it is tailored to every person who wants to consciously buy a bike at the same time without spending a bucket of money on instruments or specialist help. After reading this entry to the end, go to the website and select the gender, driving method (road, MTB, triathlon) and the unit of measurement (centimeters or inches). Click continue. The rest is very transparent.

Other ways

  • Calculator – Competitive
  • The principle of using the New England Quick Fit Kit and the product
  • – professional Bike Fitting



Ok from the calculator how to choose a bicycle frame size? you came out that the upper frame tube should have a 56 cm + 10 cm bridge. Unfortunately, you have already bought a frame whose top pipe is 54 centimeters. You also have an 8 cm bridge and you feel a bit compressed. Fortunately, you can replace your bridge by 12 cm and then you will achieve a very similar effect as 56 + 10 = 54 + 12 cm. Bridges are available in sizes from 50 mm up to 150 mm. Just remember. If your frame is 2 – 3 or more sizes too large, sell it. Fastening a 5 or 15 cm bridge will significantly affect the maneuverability of the bike. It can become hyperactive (very short bridge) or react more slowly (very long bridge). I know that selling the frame or the whole bike hurts. The muscles and spine hurt more. It’s just that we sometimes have to learn from mistakes. Let it be my fault. I could have prepared this entry much earlier. What I wrote about a moment ago is illustrated by the following, hand-made graphics. Maybe the problem is not the wrong size? Check the entries: Stop crushing your penis! How to set a saddle in a bike?  and How do you set up door-owners on your bike?



Okay, you bought a bike and it does not fit. What now? Write in the mail that the bike is in the wrong size and you want to replace it. Most manufacturers will not make problems. Especially Canyon, which sells bikes only by mail order. If you are afraid that you will not accept a bike, then scrape your e-mail in advance. The foremost always insured 🙂 Packing, sending back and waiting for another bike is a life-threatening one. Do you know what makes life even more troublesome? Driving on a small/big bike!



Remember that the most important thing in a bike is the frame. Choose a proven, branded bike manufacturer. When buying a new bike/frame, rely on numbers and, above all, on experience. If you have the opportunity to try the bike before buying, do it. It may turn out that for example, geometry does not lie to you. Although the calculations were supposed to be perfect. Not everyone will love the sports position on a triathlon bike or other road. Even if you dreamed of such a bike. Write to me, what is your problem, and I will try to help you. It can also be an idea for an entry!

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