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How to choose the size of the bike: the instructions and calculation tables to determine the size of the bicycle frame and the height of the saddle.
The height and dimensions of the frame are a fundamental aspect to consider when buying a bike; an incorrect choice of the size of the bicycle frame can lead to obvious discomfort in use (with related problems in terms of "performance"), even physical problems such as back pain, tingling, muscle aches ... This is why we will see together how to choose the suitable size of the bicycle frame.
How to choose the size of the bike?
To safely identify the right size of the frame suitable for our body, it is better to rely on competent personnel especially if you use the bicycle intensively. In this case it is advisable to go to a good biomechanist.
If you are not going to spend money and time on a biomechanical visit, you can get the right frame size independently; in this case you will have to resort to the formulas and tables created ad hoc.
Obviously these formulas do not give a certain and absolute result; there are many variables in choosing the size of a bicycle frame; for this reason, these tables can be considered a general indication for starting to orient yourself.
How to choose the size of the bike, tables
Most retailers use the same method that is used for t-shirts to choose the right frame size: S (small) M (medium) L (large) These measurements can provide valuable information when buying the bike. The following table summarizes the correspondences between the height of the cyclist and the size of the bike.
Mountain Bike Model
Height Cyclist Size
140 - 150 XS
150 - 165 S
165 - 175 M
175 - 180 L
180 - 200 XL
Road bike model
Cyclist height Size
155 - 175 M
175 - 185 L
185 - 195 XL
How to choose the size of the bike, horse size
Another method to get the bike size is to measure the horse. The size of the horse goes from the ground to the groin but let's see how to obtain this measurement.
- Lean back against a wall and place a book between your legs
- Push the book well against the groin then with a tape measure, take the measurement at the top of the book.
To determine the size of the bike there are two simple formulas, one for road bikes and one for mountain bikes. If it is a road bike just multiply the horse size by 0.66 while if it is a mountain bike the horse size must be multiplied by 0.58. The measurement obtained will obviously be in centimeters, dividing it by 2.54 will give the equivalent measurement in inches.
Table to choose the size of the bike
There is still another method to choose the right bike size, although it is not very accurate. In this case you will need to use a table that takes into account people's standard physical values.
Cyclist Height Horse Size Road Bike Mountain Bike
155 – 160 69 – 73 46 – 48 38 – 40
161 – 164 74 – 75 48 – 50 41
165 – 168 76 – 77 50 – 51 42 – 44
169 – 174 78 – 81 52 – 53 46
175 – 180 82 – 84 54 46 – 48
181 – 186 85 – 88 56 50 – 52
187 – 192 89 – 91 58 – 60 52 – 54
As we have already mentioned, the table does not provide an exact measure for the choice of the bike, since the physical proportions of people vary from individual to individual and each has his own "riding style" that will never be the same compared to another.
Nor should it be underestimated that even two bicycles of the same size but of different brands can have differences between them in terms of adjustments.
How to adjust the height of the saddle
To adjust the height of the saddle, simply multiply the horse size by 0.885; this height must be applied starting from the center of the crank arm to the saddle.
Use this calculation method after you have become familiar with the bicycle as this adjustment will make you touch the ground just with your toes.
Another related article of ours that might interest you is the one dedicated to Measurements of racing bikes