What Size Mountain Bike do I need? – 2022 Guide

A question that commonly comes into everybody’s mind is which mountain bike size will be best for me? To enjoy a ride to the fullest, you need to choose the proper bike size. Each bike company has its own size chart. Whether you purchase a bike from the market or online, you have to be conscious of size.

When buying clothes, shoes, and accessories, you pay special attention to your size. Similarly, choosing the right mountain bike size is essential. Sizing determines your comfort zone.

If your bike size is small, it will result in an uncomfortable and twitchy ride. Not recommendable for longer rides at all. If a bike is too big, you will have difficulty controlling it, and on rough grounds, you may struggle. So a bike not fitting your size can be frustrating.

Sizes are easily available on size charts. Kids and adults have separate size charts. However, male and female sizes in adult size charts are different since they differ in size and physique. Mountain bike sizes are measured in inches.

What Size Mountain Bike Do I Need

It would be best if you considered a few things while deciding a bike size for yourself. First, note down your height and also your inside leg measurement. Here’s how you can check and note down your height and the inseam measurement.

For height, take off your shoes and stand straight while your back against the wall. Your legs must be 15-20 feet apart. Hold a pencil parallel with the ground, and with a pencil, mark the point on the wall above your head. With the help of measuring tape, measure that mark by holding the tape from the ground to the wall’s mark. Reading can be in feet, inches, or centimeters.

Now for inseam measurement, grab a hardcover book, a pencil, and measuring tape. For a better result, ask your friend to help you with the measurement. Stand against the wall in an upright position. Hold the book between your legs and press it slightly in the crotch area. The book will act as a saddle of a bike. Write down the measurement by holding the measuring tape in centimeters, inches, or feet from the ground to the book’s top.

There is also another traditional method of finding the bike’s size. It is known as the stand-over height or height of a bike. When getting a mountain bike or any bike, the top tube’s standover height to the rider’s crotch with the clearance of 1 in inches and 2 or 2.5 in centimeters. However, this method is not very applicable since many mountain bike manufacturing companies have different frame size charts.

To have a comfortable bike fit, you can then rely on a size chart. The size chart of every bike manufacturing company is different. So it would be best if you spent some time while scrutinizing the size chart. A size chart includes the rider’s size and frame size in inches, feet, centimeters, and the descriptive size that is small, medium, large, and extra-large.

You may have a similar height to that of the rider’s height in the chart. However, different and unique physiques such as the dissimilar measurement of legs, crotch, and arms may vary. Here’s how you can decide your mountain bike size; mostly, bike size starts from 13 to 15 inches for kids and goes on up to 32inches for adults with extra-large stature. If you are buying a mountain bike from a market, see if one of your feet or the other should touch the ground.

The bike will be smaller for you if both of your feet are touching the ground. Similarly, if none of the feet touch the ground, then that bike is too big for you. Place your feet on the bike’s pedal and try to reach the handlebar without struggling or stretching yourself. If you can reach the bike handlebar without leaning too much forward, then that’s the bike for you.

Furthermore, remember there is a difference between a mountain bike and a regular road bike. The mountain bike is smaller in comparison to a road bike. The purpose behind a smaller size is to give a comfortable ride on harsh grounds.

If you are shopping online and want to have a bike that fits your size, then for the right-sizing of a mountain bike, multiply 0,66 with the inseam measurement. This will give you a calculation for your bike frame. Inseam measurement X 0,66 = bike’s frame. For instance, your inseam measurement is 90 cm, so the bike’s frame size will be 59 cm and 19 inches.

In any case, you get stuck in between sizes, then that totally depends on your preference. A smaller size frame will be agile to handle, while the bike with a larger frame has more stability and comfort on rough terrain.

Another good way of finding the bike’s right size is to try the bike out before buying it. You can try out different bikes to see which one fits you properly. You can also take advice from the bike specialist there in the shop. They will help in selecting the right size for yourself. They also fix and adjust a few things like lowering and raising the bike’s seat and tuning.

Looking for the right size mountain bike also relies on wheel size as well. There are two types of wheels in size. The smaller size ones are very much agile and lightweight. At the same time, the large size wheels are made for harsh terrains.

The 26’’ wheel, which has been considered a standard wheel for all mountain bikes, is replaced by the arrival of 27.5’’ wheel and 29’’ wheel. The use of 26’’ wheels is limited for kids’ bikes at present. It is an excellent choice for good grip and maintaining momentum on higher lands. But it gives a bumpy ride and needs more energy to have control of the bike.

The 27.5” wheel is famous for maneuverability, comfort, and proportional ride. In comparison to 26 and 29’’ wheels, 27.5’’ the wheel is an all-rounder. It does not require much energy and effort as it allows you to have a smooth ride. The use of a 27.5” wheel is quite common nowadays.

The bike manufacturing companies are introducing 29’’ wheels for professional mountain riders. The design of these wheels is such that they cover rough grounds with agility. They provide good traction. However, they are not for unprofessional riders. It’s hard for small riders to have control of these wheels.

If you’re an adventurous person, then a mountain bike with a 29” wheel is just for you. But if you are looking for a comfortable ride, then go for bikes having 27.5’’ wheels.

A major question which people frequently ask about the difference between male and female bike size: then Yes, there is a difference between the size of women’s bikes and men’s bikes. When it comes to females to so, they choose to go after a unisex bike.

Females, in comparison to males, are smaller and delicate in physique and also in stature. Bike manufacturing companies also have different size charts because small or medium male bike sizes will not be the same as female small or medium size.

Nonetheless, when it comes to measuring size, the size calculation is the same. Nowadays, many companies introduce bikes for females with female-specific geometry and size frames to have a good fit.

There are different types of mountain bikes you can go for. The first type is a Trail bike you can use for racing and for local purposes like going to school or meeting your friends. It serves different purposes, and you use it on different terrains. It provides comfort, joy while riding it.

The second type is Cross-Country Bikes. It is lightweight and famous for its fast riding. It is a good choice when it comes to racing. With a travel suspension of 80-100mm. The third type is Flat-Tire Bike which is most suitable for beginners due to flat tires. They offer grip even in sandy and snowy areas.

The fourth type is All Mountain Bikes. It is created to give excellent traction for uphill rides. This is the best option to ride on rough and mountainous terrain with good speed and descents. It is also budget-friendly. The fifth type is Downhill/Park Bike. They are huge bikes for which you need to wear a full-face helmet, gloves, and knee pads for bumpy rides.

Mountain bikes are lightweight and budget-friendly. Not all mountain bikes feature rigidness; however, they do not have suspension. The suspension offers comfort, but this quality is absent in Flat Tire bikes. The wide tires are rigid, due to which they absorb bumps and shocks on rough grounds.

Mountain bike frames are made up of aluminum alloy, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber. Making a bike frame with aluminum alloy is very common. The quality of aluminum alloy depends on the manufacturing company. Whether they use good quality aluminum alloy to make a bike frame. A bike with a fine-quality aluminum frame tends to be expensive.

Steel is less expensive than aluminum. Though it is not mostly used for mountain bike frames due to its heavyweight. Titanium features a lightweight and strong build, but it is quite expensive. Carbon fiber is expensive. It is most commonly used in mountain bikes such as Cross-Country and flat tires. Carbon fiber’s common usage in making bike frames is because of its lightweight and durability.

There is a huge difference between a road bike and a mountain bike. From afar, their appearance can be deceiving, but on a closer look, the two differ in many ways. Road bikes consist of narrow tires for fast rolling and reduce friction on the road. They have faster pavement. The thin tires also reduce friction.

Whereas mountain bikes have wider tires made for climbs and steep descents. They also have wider handlebars for more control. It also offers good traction. When it comes to peddling, they are hard to do. They have more suspension. It also offers plush comfort, which absorbs shocks and bumps by itself and protects the body in the process. They possess a strong frame to bear rougher terrains.

Mountain biking also has many benefits health-wise. Being busy with work all the time makes us prone to overstress. With outdoor activities, one can actually release their stress. Mountain biking is a perfect outdoor activity. According to a U.S report, a population of 40 million people goes mountain biking.

It improves health and reduces heart disease chances by 20 %, obesity and helps you release stress. It builds up stamina. For those who are suffering from insomnia, mountain biking is an excellent exercise. It works out the body and helps you sleep.

Exposure to sunlight during mountain biking also improves sleep and nourishes the body with vitamin D. Not only that, but you can also get to enjoy nature. It refreshes your mind. You can treat yourself by taking a break from your hectic life and relaxing with bike riding.

Related Info Guide: Can you use Mountain Bike on road? | How to Jump on Mountain Bike


What size mountain bike is right for my height?

You can consult a size chart for a better size fit. Calculate your inseam length for the right mountain bike frame size.

How big is a 27.5 mountain bike?

The 27.5” mountain bike has a large tire with a diameter of 56mm wide. They are commonly known as tweeners.

Should my feet touch the ground on a mountain bike?

Your toes must touch the ground on a mountain bike. If your whole feet touch the ground, then that bike frame size is short for you.


You find the right bike size for yourself with a size chart. However, each bike manufacturing company has its own size chart. So this can be a tricky job, but it’s not difficult. You need to invest some of your time. For a comfortable ride, you must find the right mountain bike for yourself.

Photo of author
Sonia Seale loves to take her bike to the mountains near her place, the bike track has provided her the opportunity to go mountain biking since she was a child. That's where she developed a great deal of interest in cycling, no matter if it's electric or mountain bike, she's all over the place and loves to fix her own bikes along with exploring the new features coming along in the industry. That's why she's here, sharing her experience and learnings with you guys.