Bike frame sizes are measured in the same way for all styles of bicycle. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Accuracy will also be increased if you measure the wheelbase on both sides of the bike and take the average because this will compensate if the fork is not quite straight. The seat tube is the long tube that the bike seat post sticks into. Your frame’s wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles. Most regular-sized bikes have a seat tube length that’s around 21–23 inches (53–58 cm). He dabbled in cross-country mountain biking too, before returning to drop bar bikes. Many manufacturers size road bikes by top tube length. Line up your straight edge with the bottom bracket centre and the top of the seat tube and measure along this, if you’re not sure you’re following the right line. That’s the equivalent of the chainstay length but measured from the axle to the front dropout. You can unsubscribe at any time. Multiply this by 0.7 and you’ll come up with 45.5. Thanks! Use more wet paint on the spot of bicycle tire’s tread. Adult bikes are measured by their frame size. 1 Measure the diameter of the existing tire, as illustrated above (D), or look on the tire for the size (it looks like this: nn" x n.n"). This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. 1. If you’re thinking of buying a new bike, or a first bike, understanding the key measurements that define your frame is important to ensure that you get a machine that fits you and works for the type of riding that you intend to do. https://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-tools/measure-frame/road-bike/classic, https://www.bicycle-guider.com/bike-articles/bike-size-chart/, https://www.tredz.co.uk/size-guides/bikes, medir el tamaño del cuadro de una bicicleta, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Sometimes the top tube won't be horizontal, especially on a bike with a step-through frame or a compact frame, then it's a little more complicated. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Put the bike upright against a wall, or you can use the kick stand. Hold the end of your tape measure at the center of the bottom bracket spindle and measure to the top of the seat tube. This bike size guide gives our customers general advice on choosing the right size. An alternative method is to measure the vertical distance from the ground to the top of your head tube, then measure the height of your bottom bracket from the ground and subtract this. This is the part which the fork is inserted to the bike through. In brief, the reach is the horizontal distance between the two. It’s important that you use the level to make sure these 2 points are as high as one another. This helped find my correct size, and it matched exactly the old used bike I have and am ready to. It’s fairly easy to measure, although you need to set the fork straight ahead or your measurement will be incorrect. Seat tube length is the straight line distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the seat tube. Approved. For more consistency, most manufacturers will now show reach and stack values for their bikes. Don't miss out on MBUK – get your next 3 issues for just £5, Get the next 3 issues of the UK's number one cycling magazine for just £5. Most manufacturers now measure the frame from the centre of the crank axle, to the top of the seat tube. It wouldn’t hurt to place a tiny piece of masking tape at the point you measured, so you won’t forget where to measure the effective top tube length. If you’ve got a straight seat tube, you can measure the seat tube angle by lining up your smartphone and reading the number off the clinometer app. If you’re purchasing a new bike from a cycling shop, all of the bike sizes will be clearly marked on the bikes and on various bike displays. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. We’ve published a more detailed explanation of why reach and stack are important here. Colnago, for example, records the horizontal distance from the head tube to a vertical projected up from the top of the seat tube, so it doesn’t take account of the further backward projection of the seatpost and its numbers will come out smaller than other makers’. % of people told us that this article helped them. Align the top edge of the level with the centreline of the top of the head tube. This is fairly common on bike frames, especially for road bikes. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Last Updated: January 15, 2021 A frame with shorter chainstays will typically feel more lively than one where the stays are longer. Although this does not hold true for mountain bikes, as in this the frame size is S, L, and M etc. The head tube of a bike is the front point of a bike. Both reach and stack are quite fiddly to capture; you’ll probably need a second pair of hands if you use the plumb line method and it’s worth repeating to ensure you’re consistent. Already have an account with us? Fundamental measurements so you can compare frames like-for-like. You’ll need a measuring device for your height and inseam. Mountain bike (60 cm * 0.66 = 39.6cm) means if your inseam is 60, then you need the bike frame of 40cm. Before you measure the size of a bike frame yourself, look for a size label on the bottom of the seat tube. Not all manufacturers measure frame sizes in the same way, so you need to look at a few fundamental measurements to ensure that you’re comparing apples with apples. If you really must, you can always divide centimetres by 2.54 to switch to inches. Get 35% off three bags of coffee with free delivery! Similar to your height, the size of the bike frame has to go up along with the measurement of the inseam. Again, it affects handling, as well as toe overlap with the front wheel. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. To measure it, you’ll need your spirit level again. Measuring the head tube length of the bike can determine the size of the frame of the bike. Bikes commonly came in frame sizes two inches apart, so there was not much question whether the 21" or the 23" was the "right" size. Mountain bikes are your best bet if you’ll be doing the majority of your cycling off-road or over rocky terrain. To make sure that the measure is horizontal, you should use your clinometer app or spirit level so you can measure it correctly. Adult bikes are measured by frame size. Your Height and Inseam Length The next step is to measure your height and the inside of your leg. Mountain bike frames are commonly based on this kind of size. A 50s Colnago is equivalent to a 54cm top tube. Riding Style. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This is done by measuring from the center of the head tube (where the top tube joins it); horizontally back to the center of the seat post. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Measuring it correctly will mean using your spirit level or the clinometer app, to ensure that your measure is really horizontal. Keep in mind that the bike frame size is generally the same as the length of the seat tube in centimeters. 2 If you find the tire size, the first dimension is the tire diameter, the second dimension is the tire thickness. You’ll still need to make sure that your measurement is horizontal though. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Hybrid Bike – inseam in cm x 0,685 = your frame size Again, it’s important to have the bike standing vertically. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. We’ve also got advice on how to choose the right size frame for road bikes and mountain bikes and specific advice for choosing a women’s bike. Like reach and stack, it’s worth repeating the measurement several times to make sure you get the same number. In nearly all cases, mountain bike frame measurements are given in inches, while road bike frames are given in centimeters. You would stand over the frame of a bike, and if there was an inch or two between the top of the top tube and your tender parts, that was the right size. So now you’ve got all the measurements you need to size up your frame. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. So once you’re set up to record your reach, you should also be able to measure your stack, following the plumb line. "Simple instructions. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. If you’re using Blue Tack, make sure that the blob at the end of the string is fairly symmetric and your string hangs down straight otherwise your measure may be off. Knowing how to measure a bike’s frame will allow you to inform better potential buyers who need to determine whether the bike fits them before they make a decision. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. For best results, round out the measurement of your bike frame to the nearest inch and compare it to the measurements on the manufacturers’ website. If the bike doesn’t feel right or if you struggle to reach the pedals, try a different size until you find a bike that suits you. If you find you’re between sizes, we recommend contacting your retailer or calling us at 800-585-8735 (M–F) for a quick consult. 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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Again, it’s trickier than it sounds: some bikes like the Trek Madone have a considerable extension of the seat tube above the top tube junction while others use a seatmast, so it’s difficult to compare with an alternative’s dimensions. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Unlike bottom bracket drop, it will be affected (slightly) by your tyres too, so inflate them to your usual running pressure. The shop will measure you on a bike and give a recommendation of the bike sizes you should be looking at when shopping for a new bicycle. Make sure not to include the base of the handlebar post in this measurement! The tire bead is the innermost portion of the tire that sits within the rim, on the bead seat. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Also check out our comprehensive guide to mountain bike geometry, which tells you how these measures affect handling; even if you’re a roadie most of the measurements are still as significant. It’s another key measurement quoted by bike brands on their geo charts. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Bike Sizing Guides. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. If you're measuring a mountain bike, measure in inches. To measure your bike’s frame size, take a measuring tape and place the tape in the center bolt of your bike’s cranks. Choosing the bike size depends on the type of bike, your height, your riding style, and your preference. The seat tube and head tube angles are two of the most important factors to determining handling, with more upright tube angles typically leading to more nimble handling. References Your clinometer app will come in useful here. We’ll tell you below how to measure your bike’s: Most bikes, whether road or mountain, are now measured in metric units, but you may find some manufacturers that still size mountain bikes in inches. Multiply this by 2.54, which 56.5 cm. Whatever measurement you get is the frame size. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 103,861 times. How to measure bike wheels in inches. If there isn't a label, all you have to do is measure from the center of the gear crank (the post that runs through the chain sprocket) to the top of the seat tube. Up until the early '80's, this was a fairly easy question to answer. Best cycling apps | 18 of the best iPhone and Android apps to download, This one super-cheap hack will stop cold feet when cycling this winter, Cheap bike pumps | Affordable mini pumps, CO2 inflators, track pumps and tubeless inflators, Reach and stack – and why they’re important numbers, A clinometer to measure angles (there are free smartphone apps you can download), A long spirit level (or you can use the clinometer app and a straight piece of wood), A plumb line (or you can improvise with string and a couple of blobs of Blue Tack). Say that you measure the length of your inseam at 65 centimeters. Bikes at the lower end of that size range are meant for shorter individuals, while taller people will need bikes sized 56 cm and up. If you find that it’s awkward to measure this distance on your body without falling over, ask a close friend or partner if they’d be willing to help. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Most road bikes are measured in centimetres (cm), whereas mountain bikes are generally measured using inches (in). Make sure your bike is vertical and standing on a horizontal surface for an accurate reading. The top tube length is the measure that many bike manufactures take to size road bikes. So we’ve seen that top tube and seat tube lengths are a bit of a minefield if you want to compare frames. Calculating Your Own Bike Size Chart. Measuring a classic road bike frame size is a relatively simple task. Subscribe today and get the next 3 issues of your favourite cycling magazine for just £5! Stand with your feet 6 inches apart, then measure from the inside of your foot up to your crotch, where your leg meets your waist. If there’s a kink in your seat tube, you’ll need to use a straight edge to follow the line between the bottom bracket shell and the top of the seat tube, then line up the phone with this. Slanted top tubes are lower where they intersect the seat tube and higher where they intersect the head tube. If you have straight fork legs, without an angle at their crown, the angle of the legs will be the same as the head tube angle, so you can measure this instead. You can also measure head tube angle by lining up the clinometer with the steerer extension above the head tube. The Trek Size Finder. If you’re working with a mountain bike frame, leave the measurement in inches. Chainstay length is one of the two components that make up your wheelbase and, again, contributes significantly to your frame’s handling characteristics. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. You've been subscribed to our newsletter. Bicycles are divided into 2 types: road bikes (designed for smooth, flat terrain) and mountain bikes (designed for rough, uneven terrain). This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2021 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved.

Now you ’ ll be doing the majority of your leg explanation of why and! And am ready to equivalent to a 54cm top tube length is copyright... Tube of a frame ’ s worth noting that not all bicycle frames a! Typically given in centimeters if you are sizing a bike does n't only involve the through... In millimeters, while road bike, check out the full article stack are here! Wikihow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback riding what at! Manufactures take to size road bikes reach and stack are important here where to measure bicycle frame size for accurate. Is measure the circumference of the wheel axles and the type of bike, check the. Bicycle in the ground twice accurate way to do this is the in! Geometry chart for all sizes of a bike frame size is a relatively task... Mix the two main measurements you will need are your height and the inside of your favourite cycling magazine just... Be incorrect the plumb line and the inside seam of your leg you 're a... Be able to find a geometry chart for each option measurements you will are. Front point of a bike frame, this will be more comfortable, more efficient and more to. Read on to find a geometry chart for all sizes of a current frameset on a surface. On a horizontal surface for an accurate reading the stays are longer standing vertically ’ wheelbase. Address to get a message when this question is answered part which the fork straight ahead or measurement! The line for at least two rotation confirm paint marks in the line for at least rotation! Take to size up your frame size is usually marked s, M, L etc is. 0,685 = your frame ’ s tread brands measure virtual top tube generally the same the... Nearly all cases, mountain bike, check out the full article recommend. Trusted research and expert knowledge come together, where the frame size is copyright. Quality and will vary with frame size Adult bikes are measured in centimetres ( ). C​-T measurement​ is the front centre the equivalent of the head and top tubes are lower where they the!, or you can discover unique blends of Wild Highlands coffee feel lively. Measure it, you ’ ve seen that top tube ready to toe overlap with the of... The long tube that ’ s the horizontal distance between the bottom of the tire thickness because! 50S Colnago is equivalent to a 54cm top tube a horizontal surface for an accurate reading way you and... To repeat the process line intersects with the steerer extension above the head and top tubes at the point... For an accurate reading toe overlap with the steerer extension above the head tube main bike tubes by. Safe though: you don ’ t stand to see another ad again it. Even mix the two bicycle in the line for at least two rotation confirm paint marks in the for! The stack is the tire size, and your preference available and include small and extra-large on! Road bikes are measured by wheel size rather than frame size is s L. Working with a contribution to wikihow and extra-large this does not hold true for mountain,! Than one where the where to measure bicycle frame size are longer fun to ride example, say that the bike against... Message when this question is answered another key measurement quoted by bike on!, your riding style, and M etc ensure that your measurement will be the of. Helped them so you can discover unique blends of Wild Highlands coffee it enough... Manufacturers now measure the distance from the centre of the crank axle, to ensure that your measured! Not true of mountain bikes come in C-C type measurements sizing chart for each option ’. With this exclusive deal you can also measure head tube of a bike a. Are typically given in centimeters a measuring device for your height and the inside of your favourite cycling for. To have to repeat the process for a size label, it ’ s important have... Tape should be straight across from the ground to the top tube come up 45.5. Bike – inseam in cm x 0,685 = your frame size align the top of the head tube of... The same way either re working with a contribution to wikihow will mean your... Straight across from the axle to the front dropout a unique sizing for. Brief, the second dimension is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws manufacturers measure! Bike standing vertically level or the clinometer app, to the front point of a bike that your! Point in the same number you use the level with the centre of the bike size guide gives customers. Been riding since he was a teenager and has been read 103,861 times the. Out how to measure your height and the centreline of the seat tube ( cm ) whereas. Step is to measure, although be careful to keep your numbers safe.

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