What Size Bike Do I Need? Find Out Everything You Need to Know

Cycling is one of the most exciting ways of exploring the Colorado Mountains and our bike rental shop is always ready to help you get started on your adventure. But, when you walk into our shop, the first thing you need to know is how to choose the bike frame size by height. Also, you have to consider the road bike tire size, as well. Suddenly, the simple action of choosing a bike for rent is not so simple anymore.

This is where we step in to help you with this detailed guide on standard bike sizes for road cycling. You will learn how to read the road bike size chart, measure a frame, compare it to your body type and find the best bike, either for woman or for man. And, even if you are not certain that you understood these explanations, please remember that our friendly staff will help you help you find the best road bike size for you and everyone else in your group.

How to Select the Bike Size for Height

The correct posture on the bike is essential to enjoy a good cycling trip and avoid injuries. The standard road bike frame size chart is your best guide to choosing a bike that fits your height. So, let us show you how to measure the road bike size for height.

First, you need to measure your leg inseam. This is the length of the interior part of your leg. For this measurement, you must stand without your shoes and with your legs about 20 cm apart. Measure the distance from the ground to your crotch, and you have your leg inseam. 

Finally, multiply this value by 0.70. This will give you the ideal bike size for height. However, you must ensure that you use the resulting value to select a bike size from the chart corresponding to your sex. The women road bike size chart is different, because a woman has small and narrow shoulders and her legs are longer than the torso. These anatomic particularities change the dynamics of the movement astride a bike.

Using the chart to determine the bicycle size by height is the simplest way of finding the perfect bike for you
Choose your bike size carefully to enjoy a safe ride

What You Need to Know about the Road Bike Tire Size

Another important aspect to the overall answer to “what bike size do I need?” is the tire size. A road bike tire size chart does not vary as much as in the case of mountain bikes. In general, the diameter range is between 22 cm and 28 cm.

Recent trends show a preference towards large road bike tire size. This type of tire offers more comfort and improved traction. Also, we recommend wider and softer tires (by contrast to the narrow and fully inflated type), especially for beginners. They conform better to the features of the road and give you better control over your bike.

Interpreting the Table of Road Bike Sizes

If you want to choose the best bike for you in terms of size, it is not enough to know how to measure yourself for the road bike size. The second part of the task is how to measure the road bike frame size (more on this later in this article).

In many cases, you may find out that you are in between sizes – for example, a person with the leg inseam of 168 cm can choose either a size S and a size M bike. In this case, each of the choices is good, because you can adjust the handlebar and seat

A Few Words on Bike Sizes for Women

Women’s bikes have a different build than bikes for men. As explained above, the top tube is placed diagonally, and the overall relationship between leg height and bike frame size is different. 

Make sure you look for your ideal bike in the chart of bike sizes for women, not the chart for men.
Use the chart for bike sizes for women every time you want to rent a bicycle.

For the best cycling experience, always make sure that you refer to the chart of bike sizes for women, not for men.

How to Measure Road Bike Frame Size

Here are the key elements you need to measure in order to determine the road bike size:

The Top Tube Length

The top tube length is the horizontal tube between the handlebar and the seat bar. In the case of measuring for women road bike size, this tube is not horizontal, but diagonal. Also, you must know that there is no standard set of measurements agreed by all bike manufacturers. One company’s small bike size is another’s medium size. So, when looking for the road bike size you need, always take measurements.

The Seat Tube Length

If you have experience in how to measure road bike size, this can be a little tricky. The actual measurement starts at the junction of the seat tube and the top tube, not at the saddle itself. The reason for this is that the seat and the handlebar is usually adjustable by height.

Some cyclists prefer a lower seating position, while others are accustomed to a higher seated position. In time, you will find the best seat and handlebar position for your cycling style.

The Wheelbase

The wheelbase represents the distance between the front and the rear axles of the wheels. A longer wheelbase offers improved stability.

Not Sure How to Select the Best Bike Size for Height? We Can Help!

Carvers Ski & Bike has 23 years of experience in the same place in the Colorado Mountains. We are a family owned and operated business, always ready to answer your question: what size road bike do I need?

Come to our shop in Breckenridge, CO to check out our offer and the road bike size chart or call us: 970-453-0132!

Thank you for a great summer! Carvers will be temporarily closed from 10/2-11/6. We will reopen 11/7 for ski season!

Thank you!