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How To Size & Fit Your Bicycle

! WARNING: If your bicycle does not fit properly, you may lose control and fall. 
NOTE: Correct fit is an essential element of bicycling safety, performance and comfort. Making the adjustments to your bicycle which result in correct fit for your body and riding conditions requires experience, skill and special tools. Always have a professional make the adjustments on your bicycle; or, if you have the experience, skill and tools, have a professional check your work before riding.


When selecting a new bicycle, the correct choice of frame size is a very important safety consideration. Most full sized bicycles come in a range of frame sizes. These sizes usually refer to the distance between the center of the bottom bracket and the top of the frame seat tube.  The ideal clearance will vary between types of bicycles and rider preference. This makes straddling the frame when off the saddle easier and safer in situations such as sudden traffic stops. Women can use a men’s style bicycle to determine the correct size women’s model.

A. Standover Height

Standover height is the basic element of bike fit (see Image 1 below). It is the distance from the ground to the top of the bicycle’s frame at that point where your crotch is when straddling the bike. To determine standover height, measure your inseam with your shoes on.


B. How to Size Your Bike

  1. With shoes on, measure from your crotch to the floor. This gives you your inseam length.
  2. Find the stand-over height on the bicycle sizing chart ("A" in the illustration below).
  3. Check the bicycle manufacturer's specification to determine the stand over height of the bicycle you are interested in purchasing. 
  4. Allow adequate clearance between yourself and the frame of the bicycle to avoid injury. Note: If your crotch touches the frame, the bike is too big for you. Don’t even ride the bike around the block. A bike which you ride only on paved surfaces and never take off-road should give you a minimum standover height clearance of about one inch (2cm). A bike that you’ll ride on unpaved surfaces should give you a minimum of about three inches (7.5cm) of standover height clearance. And a bike that you’ll use off road should give you about four inches (10cm) or more of clearance.


5- Each frame size will have a different standover height.  See the example below:

Frame Size: Standover Height

12" XXSMALL  26.3"

14" XSMALL 27.4"

16" SMALL 28.6"

18" MEDIUM 29.9"

20" LARGE 31.7"

22" XLARGE 33.3"

(The geometry above is for a 2010 Diamondback Outlook bike)



The information provided here is intended to be used as a guide.  Please consult a professional to insure a proper fit.