16

From what point to where do I start measuring? I suspect the bike I'm trying to measure is a 56cm because I usually ride a 54 and this is slightly too big, but I want to be sure.

  • do you mean measure a frame of unknown dimensions for its specified height, or how to measure based on comfort (ie how to know which size frame you want when shopping)? – mfg Aug 25 '10 at 19:43
  • The specified height of a frame. I already bought it unfortunately and am now very aware that it's not very comfortable. Now I'm going to try and sell it, but I figure I should specify the size of it. – Andrew Aug 25 '10 at 19:48
  • This guide will help you measure your bike correctly. ebicycles.com/article/how-do-i-measure-a-bike-frame.html – Mr.Lukash Jan 31 '17 at 9:49
  • Welcome to Bicycles. We recommend that new members take the tour to make best use of the site. Unfortunately, this post is what we call a link only answer, and is likely to be removed. In general answers should summarize the linked page, so that when the link dies the answer is still valid. In this it doesn't help, because the linked page doesn't actually say anything useful. – andy256 Jan 31 '17 at 10:44
  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review – Criggie Jan 31 '17 at 12:30
10

Centerline of the bottom bracket hole to the top of the seat tube (where the seat post goes in).

  • 2
    Unfortunately, that depends on brand. What brand and model of bike do you have? You said it is a 56cm? Where did you get that number. – zenbike Apr 18 '12 at 8:02
  • This only works on bikes with level top tubes – BSO rider Jan 31 '17 at 10:37
10

There are a few more tricks that you need to be aware of. The most important is that a lot of modern bike frames, particularly mountain bikes, have a sloping top tube. If you use the method described by @kkeilman you're size measurement will end up being too small. The trick in this instance is to get an assistant to hold a horizontal reference such as a yardstick, metre rule or broomstick aligned with a spirit level (or by eye) at the level of the top tube/head tube junction. You can then measure the size from the centre of the bottom bracket to this reference line, keeping the measuring tape in line with the seat tube.

3

My understanding is that most US mountain/road bikes are measured from the center of the bottom bracket shell to the top of the seat tube, European road bikes are center of the bottom bracket shell to the center of the intersection of the top tube and seat tube, and BMX bikes are from the center of the top tube intersections between the seat and head tube.

Summary:

  • US Road/MTB: Center to Top (C-T)
  • Euro Road: Center to Center (C-C)
  • BMX: Top Tube (TT)

This page backs that understanding up, with pictures.

  • 1
    Some frames are also sized as where the intersection of the top tube and seat tube would have been if the top tube was horizontal. sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html – armb Oct 18 '12 at 10:52

protected by andy256 Jan 31 '17 at 10:47

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.