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This article covers the primary things to consider when sizing a bike, as well as how to fine-tune it to your specific needs.

Bike Size Guide

For Road, Gravel, MTB & Kids

“What size bike do I need?” It’s a question new and experienced riders alike often ask themselves when they start looking for a bike to buy. We'll cover the basics of how to pick the right frame size plus more in-depth things like stack and reach to fine-tune your bike fit.  And if in the end you want help from a pro bike-fitter, our Gearheads are here to take your call or chat and get you on the perfect ride.

Jump to the sections that interest you:  

  • Mountain Bikes
  • Road Bikes
  • Gravel Bikes
  • Kids’ Bikes
  • Shoppable Links/FAQ


Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bike sizing is ever evolving, but the industry has settled (temporarily, at least) on the school of thought that many riders can now choose between two or even three sizes of a bike model depending on their riding style. Each brand’s height-based recommended size is a great starting point, but it’s important to remember that everyone is different. Check out our chart below to see the recommended sizing from each brand based on rider height.


Ask A Gearhead

If you don’t have the ability to demo the bike you’re interested in, don’t fret—our Gearheads, A.K.A. customer service representatives, are here to help! They can answer your questions and they’re constantly testing the bikes we sell, so you may even chat with someone who knows the bike-in-question inside and out.


Choose Your Mountain Bike Based On Your Height

All of the mountain bike brands that we carry provide detailed recommendations for bike size based on rider height. We compiled some key brand recommendations in the chart above, but keep in mind that certain bike models may have more specific height ranges for each frame size. 


Mountain Bikes

Road Bikes

When looking at road bikes, you’ll likely see frame sizes listed in centimeters and standard sizes like “small” and “large.” Your height is usually the best indicator of which size will work for you, and our chart shows how your recommended frame size lines up with different brands you might be interested in. But keep in mind your height is just an indicator. You may be able to ride two or even three different sizes by changing the components you use. Contact our Gearhead Experts for advice on selecting your ideal bike size.


Ask A Gearhead

Sometimes, finding a demo bike in your ideal size close by is just not possible. Don’t fret. That’s where our Gearhead Experts® come in. They’re here to help with sizing your bike and dialing in the fit before it ships out. And often, there is a Gearhead Expert on staff who has ridden the bike you’re interested in, so we can chat about ride quality and modifications we’d suggest to make it perfect for you. 


Mountain Bikes

Gravel Bikes


Your gravel bike size will be very similar to your road bike size. However, the geometry between the two is quite different to match the ride quality with the ground surface. Gravel bikes generally feel a bit more upright feeling than road bikes, and more stable as well due to their slacker and longer geometry. Use our chart below to get started sizing your gravel bike.


Mountain Bikes

Kids’ Bikes

Kids’ bikes have their own unique features to consider in order to get the perfect fit. While training wheels have stood the test of time, more and more kids are going from push bikes (Strider and Specialized offer great options) straight to pedal bikes. Wheel size is also an important consideration for kids’ bikes, with many more options than typical adult bikes.


The Importance Of Wheel Size

Wheel diameter for kids’ bikes ranges all the way from 12in to 27.5in, so it’s important to understand which wheel size works best for your kiddo. Bikes with 12in or 14in wheels are typically balance bikes, and some can also accommodate pedals and training wheels. Once you get to the 16in to 20in wheel size range, all bikes will have pedal drivetrains. Some will even have multiple speeds (gears), which allow your kid to take on varied terrain types. This is also the wheel size range where you might start to see mountain bikes that are specifically designed for off-road trail surfaces. In the 24in to 27.5in wheel size range, kids’ bikes are essentially just miniature adult bikes with fully capable components, including options for mountain bikes and e-bikes.


To Stride, Or Not To Stride

The debate between balance bikes (the ones without pedals) and pedal bikes with training wheels lives on famously. Both options have clear advantages to your little one—balance bikes teach them how to lean the bike over in order to steer, while training wheel bikes teach proper pedaling technique. We recommend you go with your child’s strengths; if they like full control and commit to activities without hesitation, the balance bike might be a better option. If they are cautious and tend to opt for the safer bet, training wheels provide a nice blanket of security.


Shoppable Links



Q: What size bike do I need for my height?

A: Bike size is primarily determined by rider height. Brands also recommend slightly different sizes based on rider height. Reference the tables above to see which size is right for you given a specific brand and rider height.  


Q: Is a 26in mountain bike good for adults?

A: While bikes with 26in wheels were once the standard for adult bikes, this wheel size is now predominantly reserved for kids’ bikes. We recommended bikes with 27.5in, 29in, 700c, or 650b size wheels for adults.  


Q: What size person fits a 54cm road bike?

A: We recommend sizing a bike based on your own height and not based on the size of a specific bike you’re considering. Specific bike models fit riders of different heights depending on the brand. As you can see from our road bike chart above, a size 54cm bike will fit different heights depending on the brand.