How do I choose the right size bike for me

How do I choose the right size bike for me

By David Hanney

Want to find the perfectly sized bike for you? We've made figuring out the right size bike a whole lot easier. In this guide Tom from our Sonder Sales team will help you find the right size bike for you.

  1. How are bike sizes measured
  2. What size bike is right for my height
  3. How do I know what bike size to buy for a woman
  4. How to tell if a bike is the right size for me
  5. What wheel size do I need for my bike
  6. Should my feet be able to touch the ground
  7. What to do if you're in between size
  8. Sonder Bikes size chart

How are bike sizes measured

Unfortunately there isnt a common system for measuring bike sizing across brands. Historically the bike size was the length of the seat tube measured in centimetres for road bikes and inches for mountain bikes. But with recent changes in bike geometry the seat tube length isnt a reliable measure for bike size particularly when comparing bikes from different brands.

What size bike is right for my height

The two key measurements to size a bike is your height and your inside leg length.

To measure your height stand against a wall and llightly mark the wall with a pencil at the point where a ruler, book (or other flat object) meets your head. Use a tape measure — ideally a metal one that will remain straight — to measure the distance from the floor to the mark on the wall.

To measure your leg length place a tape measure as close as you can to your crotch and measure the distance from your crotch to your ankle (where your trousers would naturall finish).

To convert your leg length into stand over height add a minimum of an inch from the toptube to your crotch to give you enough seatpost adjustment to find your optimum saddle height.

How do I know what bike size to buy for a woman

While some brand offer women specific models with designs that aim to incorporate better fitting components, there is no substantial difference between men’s and women’s bike sizes.

A good bike fit adjusts your saddle, saddle height, crank length, stem and handlebars to your individual body and biodynamics.

Both women and men can use the same adult bike size charts below to find a great fit.

How to tell if a bike is the right size for me

You should feel comfortable on a good fitting bike and be able to

  • Stand on the ground with at least 5 cm of clearance above the top tube
  • Pedal with a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke (6 o'clock position)
  • Reach the handlebars and brakes comfortably

What wheel size do I need for my bike

Adult wheel sizes tend to come in 3 sizes from 26" to 29" or 700c with 27.5" or 650b in the middle.

29" wheels are best for most riders for comfort and control. Some smaller riders find 29" bikes a bit unwieldly and prefer the smaller 650b or 27.5" wheels. We recommend 29" wheels for all riders from S to XL and for riders of XS bikes to consider a 650b option.

Should my feet be able to touch the ground

Typically your feet would not be able to touch the ground riding a bike. When standing ideally you would have at least 5 cm clearance from the top tube.

What to do if you're in between size

Being between sizes is no issue as a good bikefit will adjust the bike to your individual body and biodynamics.

You may find a smaller bike is more responsive and agile whereas a bigger bike may be more comfortable. Accordingly we tend to suggest to size down for mountain bikes and size up for road bikes.

Sonder Bike size chart

At Sonder we give our bikes T Shirt style sizing from XS (extra small) to XL (extra large) according to your height:

Extra-Small: Riders between 4ft 10in and 5ft 3in (147-160cm)
Small: Riders between 5ft 2in and 5ft 7in (158-173cm)
Medium: Riders between 5ft 6in and 5ft 10in (170-177cm)
Large: Riders between 5ft 9in and 6ft 2in (175-187cm)
Extra-Large: Riders 6ft 2in and over (187cm +)

You can also take into consideration your standover height to ensure you pick a bike that will be a good fit. If you measure your inside leg and ensure there is a minimum of an inch from the toptube to your crotch this will give you enough seatpost adjustment to find your optimum saddle height.


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