Road Bike Size Chart: How to Choose Road Bike Frame Size

Many road bikes typically come in 2 styles that include sportive road bikes (that have short top tubes & high front ends for more comfort) and racing road bikes (these are long in their top tubes & low for fast riding at the front). Nowadays, there has been an increase in cyclocross bikes. These are typically for casual off-road drives. Hence, it has led to the invention of new adventure road bikes. They are drop-bar and lightweight bikes for a mixture of terrains, trails, and roads. For detailed information on the road bikes size chart, keep reading this article.

Road Bike Sizing Guide for men, women & Kids

You need to select an appropriate size of a road bike frame for a new bike that does make all the difference. It is so as when the bike fit is ideal, then you would feel more comfortable while riding. The handling of your road bike would be simpler, and you would enjoy the riding experience more. In this road bike size guide, we would tell you how simple it’s to look for the right bike size by simply using following bike size charts (men, women, and kids) for the particular road bike that you are quite interested in.

Road Bike Size Chart for Men

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HeightInside legMale’s bike size
47 cm to 152 cm/4’10 inch to 5’0 inch66 cm/26 inch47, 48 centimeters (XX S)
152 cm to 160 cm/5’0 inch to 5’3 inch69 cm/27 inch49, 50 centimeters (X S)
160 cm to 170 cm/5’3 inch to 5’7 inch71 cm/28 inch51, 52, 53 centimeters (S)
170 cm to 175 cm/5’7 inch to 5’9 inch76 cm/30 inch54, 55 centimeters (M)
175 cm to 180 cm/5’9 inch to 5’11 inch79 cm/31 inch56, 57, 58 centimeters (L) (Giant– ML)
180 cm to 188 cm/5’11 inch to 6’2 inch81 cm/32 inch59, 60 centimeters (X L)
188 cm to 196 cm/6’2 inch to 6’5 inch86 cm/34 inch60, 61, 62 centimeters (X Large, XX L)
196 cm+/6’5 inch+91 cm/36 inch62, 63 centimeters (XX L)

Road Bike Size Chart for Women

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Rider Height
(inches and Feet)
Rider Height
(in cm)
Frame SizeFrame Size (in cm)
4′10 inch to 5′1 inch147 to 1547 to 49cmXX Small44 to 46 cm
5′1 inch to 5′3 inch155 to 160X Small47 to 49 cm
5′3 inch to 5′5 inch160 to 165Small50 to 52 cm
5′5 inch to 5′8 inch165 to 172Medium53 to 55 cm
5′8 inch to 5′10 inch172 to 180Large55 to 57 cm

Every road bike might look quite similar. However, in case you try out some male’s bike, then you would quickly come to know that it isn’t quite as comfy as you will like. Hence, a good way to purchase a road bike is to see female bike sizes for several types of road bikes.

Surely, this is not a thumb rule, but it provides you a clear notion of what you’ll be looking for. When your road bicycle is delivered, then you might make some necessary adjustments on the handlebars and saddle and all other parts for making sure that you’ll get a perfect ride experience every time.

Road Bike Size Chart for Kids

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You can look at following road bike sizing chart for kids to see how kids’ road bikes are defined and measured. You will get a clear idea about what you are actually looking for while shopping for some specific road bike. A crucial thing to keep in mind is that you can measure children’s road bikes by using the tire diameter (outside). It’s just opposite to adult road bikes, whose measurement refers to the bike’s frame size.

AgeChild’s HeightOutside Tire Diameter
2 to 526 to 34 inch12 inch
4 to 834 to 42 inch16 inch
6 to 942 to 48 inch18 inch
8 to 1248 to 56 inch20 inch
Youth56 to 62 inch24 inch

One real challenge in picking a child’s road bike is to exactly knowing that the child would outgrow this not long after you buy a bike. Hence, you are facing a serious dilemma. Also, do you purchase a good road bike that would likely be a bit smaller? And, do you buy some big-box clunker that is a temporary and cheap solution? In this case, you are anticipating that a road bike does not fall apart at all or otherwise is such a bad choice which it does turn your child off to riding altogether.

This is a basic question without a simple answer, but probably a couple of other choices that you might explore to assist yourself out. First of all, do you’ve other children, younger or older, that you might give this road bike to them? If this is the case, then it does make the question even simpler about whether or not to consume money on some decent road bicycle.

How about your extended family members, cousins & the like? Also, are there any families in your neighborhood with children that you might set up a kind of road bicycle exchange with?

One more good idea is to resale the road bike. In case you have some connections with the other cycling lovers who have children, they are even more likely to come to know & appreciate the true value of a nice road bike. Offering this for sale, such as you will an adult’s road bike, is a great way to retake some of the investment.

Lastly, certain road bike shops & online retailers (that include Performance Bike) typically offer you some programs for buying children’s road bikes.  The main premise is that if you purchase a child’s road bike, you will get either guaranteed trade-in value on your old road bike in case it’s outgrown or some straight out discount offers on the future road bikes. This is quite advantageous because the child continues moving through the road bikes into the large sizes.

What is important to look out for when choosing the right road bike size?

Seeking the proper road bike size is not difficult anymore. All you have to do is simply measure your own height. Now, look at the above road bike sizing chart. You may also want the measurement of your inside leg as different bike brands such as Giant typically use this measurement and height in their particular bike sizing charts.

We have also teamed up along with different professionals to inform you how simple it’s to select the perfect size bike if you are going to buy it online. Also, we offer some useful tips about how to select the best size road bike for yourself when you’re in-between sizes.

Sizes for Different Types of Bikes

The mountain bike sizes and road bike sizes are a bit different. Also, the units that are there in different bike sizes differ, relying on the brand and type. The road bike size charts are generally in centimeters, whilst the mountain bike size charts are available in inches. By luck, our road bike size chart does take away the guesswork because it also tells you road bike frame sizes in inches as well as centimeters. It would be very helpful for you while buying a road bike.

There are a lot of bike manufacturers who typically quote their road bike sizes such as L, M, S, or large, medium or small, etc. on a few or all of their products. Children’s road bike sizes generally depend on the wheel size. Many MTB sizing guides would use inches whilst you may find a road bike size in centimeters. So, it is good for you to know both of them

Sizing in Store

In case you have a road bike just in front of you, just stand straight at the center of the top tube. Also, there must be clearance between the bike and you that is 2 to 4-inches for the mountain bikes & 1 to 2-inches for the road bikes. Are you worried about a seat height sitting properly? Stop worrying. Once you have found the exact size for your road bike from a trial test drive, you might easily adjust your bike to fit properly.

Sizing Online

In case you do not have a road bike just in front of you, then the most crucial measurement for you to know is the inseam. An inseam measure is typically the length from the crotch down to the feet. When you‘ve got this measurement, you can easily use your chart as a buying guide for the best road bike size.

How proper must a road bike fit look like?

As you have selected a right frame bike size; however, that does not mean your road bike fits properly. There is a lot more you should – can – do in order to tune the machine to your body. Why this?

  • To go further and faster
  • To avoid any type of injury
  • For greater pleasure and comfort

The following are the top five techniques to keep your road bicycle setup easy.

1. Adjust the Reach

If you stretch from a bike’s saddle to its bars, it determines the riding position. Plus, your spine must lean at about 45 degrees so you would be able to reach all parts of your bike’s bars conveniently. You should bend your elbows slightly. The excessive stretch is also very common, particularly for females, who usually have relatively short torsos as compared to males.

You might reset the reach along with long or short bars or stems with a totally different reach. Like, for instance, the aluminum OS-99 CSI, ultralight carbon, and aluminum SL-K provide stem along with the +/- 6º rise. It is there in all sizes that are from 70mm up to 140mm, which allows different adjustments. Amongst FSA’s different stems is an SL-K. It contains high-grade aluminum & weighs only141g in a hundred mm length.

2. Adjust the Bar Angle

You can easily neglect the old suggestion regarding drops parallel to the surface – it’d almost surely put so much weight on the hands. You can simply rotate your bars until you get a nice bend in the wrist. Plus, the hoods must not pull the thumbs, such as wishbones.

Your height is a major key. In case you are racing, you will need the bar a bit lower than your saddle. However, otherwise higher or even level is just fine. Its major defining factor is a great level of comfort.

In addition, carbon fiber also damps the vibration for more long-distance performance. On the other hand, a shallow drop, just like a 125mm K-Force Compact, is comfortable as well.

In case you are racing, then you still should not worry about as 150mm-drop K-Force New Ergo bar offers large-radius curves & a flat, wide top to decrease your fatigue.

3. Adjust the Saddle

As you know, seat height is very much crucial. Your knees must bend a bit at complete extension. You can also adjust via raising your saddle until the leg is completely straight with the heel on your pedal. In case your hips are rocking, then your saddle must be quite high.

Along with the level of pedals, the forward kneecap must sit properly above the road bike’s pedal axle. The laser pointer or plumb bob does assist here a lot. It is not a strict law, though: as you might also reset it to fine-tune your weight on the hands. Pressure must not be very much, but a little.

Lastly, the ‘right’ angle does not put much pressure on the center or front of the pelvis. You need to try to avoid the forward tilt of above some degrees, as it puts a huge weight on the wrists, which is not good at all. You must have a good and durable Seatpost for this. For example, lightweight SL-K posts give you incredibly great adjustments along with the fatigue-decreasing compliance of carbon too.

4. Adjust the Cleats and Pedals

Pressure hot spots typically cut circulation, whilst wrong angles put stress on your legs and knees. These things aren’t good at all for you! If clipped in, balls of your feet must be over your pedal axle, or a tad ahead of the pedal axle. In case you are straining your Achilles tendons or calves, reset your cleat towards your heel. When the arches are sore, then you need to move this towards your toe.

You should look down carefully when pedaling your road bike; the knee must be over the foot. You can easily adjust your cleat side to side; hence the feet are neither inside nor outside your knees. The cleats must mimic the toe-out/in an angle of the feet – and keep this in mind that they may not be similar on each side.

5. Check the Frame

When you are still trying hard to get a well-balanced position, then you might want to think again about the frame size of your road bike after all. The length of the top tube might just be not correct. As a casual guide, we will expect you to see:

  • 160centementer-169centemeter (5feet 3inches to 5feet 6inches) bikers on 52- 53centemeter frames
  • 171centemeter-181centemeter (5feet 8inches to 5feet 11inches) bikers on 54- 56centemeter frames
  • 183centemeter-193centemeter (6feet to 6feet 4inches) bikers on 56-58centemeter frames

Combining the above 5 tips, you must get the maximum road bike fit along with the advantages of cycling longer and faster in better ease, and avoiding any chance of injury.

Invest in a Road Bike Fit

Selecting a professional road bike fit before buying might make a great difference. That is why Missy Erickson, who is a fit specialist and owner at ERO Sports, suggests that the Pre-Purchase Bike Fit for every athlete. “This does not matter when you are purchasing a new road bike from some bike shop, ordering your road bike online, or getting off Craigslist,” she said.

“Knowing about every fit dimension & having a fit expert assist walk one through the whole process and not only makes sure that you’re getting the proper size but your road bicycle also for some specific requirements.”

The road bike fit would also offer all your detailed measurements. Like, for beginner athletes and cyclists, it might be very helpful. Erickson says, “Investing in the bike fit makes sure that you are about to have the right bike. Plus, you will also be going to set up your bike perfectly.

It would ultimately avoid any kind of discomfort, injury, and pain that would make roadside cycling more enjoyable as compared to this already is”.

What if I got my road bike size wrong?

If this happens, you should immediately tell your merchant, who will easily exchange that road bike. In case you do not need to do this, then you might do the following important things:

  • purchase a shorter or longer stem. This would change the position of your body
  • move the saddle backward or forward
  • to get a long seat post

You should give it some time to get the feeling right. As I remember that time when I bought my very first 29er road bike. This felt just like a huge ship & seemed too much tough to ride that in the forest or narrow trails.

However, I have become so much familiar with my bike after some time and could ride with full skill and comfort that while I sit on the 26″ road bike, it does seem so ridiculous how small it’s.

Road Bike Sizing Calculator

The road bikes come with thinner tires as well as light frames. They are specially made for riding on paved and smooth surfaces that include roads, paths, and streets. A few of them might even handle gravel roads or dirt. There are so many different types of road bikes. The road bikes are generally used for commuting, racing, and touring.

Whilst styles differ, the main approach to road bike sizing does remain the same that is using the rider’s leg length and height to determine proper frame size. There is a road bike calculator that recommends the road bike frame size, depending on the measurements that you take. In case you do not know about your leg length, then you would get a large range of different frame sizes in order to try them out.

Do you have an Appropriate Ape Index?

You must know when you need a short or long reach. It does mean that you want to look for your “ape index” (that is the arm span as compared to the height).

  • When you get the positive ape index (that is your height is smaller than the arm span), then you need a longer reach & you must also opt for the bigger of the sizes.
  • When you get the negative ape index (that is the arm span is smaller than the height), then you need a shorter reach & you must also go for the shorter of the sizes.

Try Before You Purchase

It is much overused and obvious suggestion out there. However, it is true: Seeing the bike for yourself in person, trying that out, & having a feel for it’s usually the perfect way to come to know whether it is suitable for you or not.

Most bike shops and bicycle brands give demo events or days for allowing clients to test road bikes. This also assists to ask a few important questions and directly speak to expert staff members. Also, as an additional bonus, the customer avoids some potential damage like from shipping. You will not need to assemble it yourself.

Conclusion

Getting the exact size of your road bike is quite significant, and if this is your very first road bike, then you must pay more attention.

The exact sized road bike would be more efficient, quite comfortable, and great fun for you to ride. You should know very well about your road bike size chart just before you purchase it. It would surely make the entire process easier.

By doing so, you will be able to set up for successful bike rides right from the very beginning. Quite often, however, there’re some other ways as well to know whether your setup is right or not like a poor fit. Happy Riding!