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  • Bike Frame Size and Height

    The relationship between bike frame size and height is crucial when looking for the right bike. Aside from the two, your inseam measurement must also be factored in.

    Size Guide (Inches)

    Riders who are 5’3″ with an inseam of 28.5 inches can use a 19.3 inch frame. If you are 5’4″ with a 29 inch inseam, the recommended frame is 19.7. Riders who stand 5’4.5″ are better off with a 20 inch frame. 20.5 inch frames are ideal for 5’5″ bikers. 5’6″, 5’7″ and 5’8″ riders are better off with 20.9, 21.3 and 21.7 inch frames.

    If you stand 5’8 1/2″, 22.1 frames are most suitable. If your height is around 5’9″, 22.5 frames are more appropriate. 22.9 frames are for 5’11” riders and 23.2 for 6’0″.

    More about Bike Frame Size and Height

    Frame dimensions is simply the seat tube length. Sometimes the measurement is taken from the bottom bracket center to the uppermost part of the tube. Other manufacturers measure from the bottom center of the bracket to the top or top center. Mountain bike frames are usually measured in inches. On road bikes it is in inches. Other manufacturers simply use lettering conventions (S, M, L and XL).

    Clearance and Stand over Height

    The stand over height is the space between the ground and top of the tube. The clearance refers to the distance between your crotch and the top tube top. You can get the numbers by straddling on a bike. The stand over height makes it easy to know if straddling is possible. The clearances in road bikes have to be one inch minimum. For a mountain bike, it has to be double that or more.

    Notes on the Top Tube Length

    The length of the stem and tube indicates whether you will be stretched or upright when on the bike. You can get stem replacements if you want to change positions. But this is an expensive option.

    Other Information

    Taking all of these measurements seems like a lot of work, but it is necessary. Unless the fit is correct, riding will be a very uncomfortable experience. It is true that there are many charts to choose from, but there are limitations to their usefulness.

    The biggest limitation is the figures are based on averages. If your physique is larger or smaller than the average, you may not be happy with the recommendations. That is the reason why understanding bike frame size and height is so important.

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