I have been looking at sizing guides because I'm contemplating ordering a new bike and found out that I'm the totally wrong size for the bike I actually have.

I'm normal proportions and 5 foot 7, but according to the guide here

I should be 6 foot 2.

My issue is that my current bike feels very comfortable to me even though I can't stand flat footed if I stop the bike (just tried it now, I can only just put both feet on the ground at full stretch tip toes, it's a 29 inch wheel mountain bike if that makes any difference. Normally when I stop I just get off the seat and rest on one leg with the other foot on it's pedal. I have tried riding my wife's one which is a 26 inch and has the correct top tube length for me, but it feels horrible and I don't like the handling.

If I was to buy a big framed bike am I setting myself up for health issues in the long term, or should I just go with what's comfortable for me and not worry about it?

  • 1
    What's the frame size of your bike and your wife's bike? Comfort is important, but doesn't always mean efficient.
    – KeithWM
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:37
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    @KeithWM I measured the top tube length, mine is 22 inches, my wifes is 17 inches, we're actually the same height and relative proportions (different sexes though, thought I better mention that.) I feel much more efficient on my bike, hers just feels wrong and she has shorter pedal cranks which also feel weird as if I can't get the same leverage or something.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 11, 2016 at 14:46
  • How about the seat tube length - centre of bottom bracket to where the seat post inserts. That's a more important measure.
    – KeithWM
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:07
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    Why is it more important? It's not on any of the sizing charts? I could easily lower the seat to put my feet on the ground if I wanted I got it raised about 2 inches, just don't see a need, I'm happy to put one foot down and the other on the pedal when I stop. Gives my butt a rest from the seat.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:14
  • When bike manufacturers refer to frame size they are talking about the seat tube length. Bigger frames / bikes for taller riders have a longer seat tube. The top tube length doesn't define the frame size.
    – KeithWM
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


Further to the above comments: Your bike size sounds about right - see here: Evans size guide Stand over height is that you can stand over the top tube with your feet flat on the floor and raise the front wheel off the ground. When seated on the saddle you should be able to touch the ground with toes and possibly ball of your foot on one side at least. Look also at having your leg only slightly bent when your pedal is at the bottom of its stroke.

Before ordering a new bike visit a few cycle shops and try different frame sizes and wheel sizes. Mountain bike wheel sizes go from 26" to 29". Some riders prefer a frame on the larger size and some on the smaller size. "Feel" although it cannot be measured is a good indicator of a bike that is right.

Having a bike that is too big may not cause any noticeably negative effects, but handling and efficiency may never be as good as you would want.


  • 2
    no bike shops in my country or I wouldn't be bugging you poor people with questions all the time, very expensive to ship anything in so I need to get it right first time, but from the size guide I'm looking ok. Which means that my wife is on a totally wrong bike for her size...
    – Kilisi
    Jun 11, 2016 at 17:55
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    Good to hear yours is right, you may need to buy the wife a new bike instead. :-). If there are no shops then look at size guides on bike shop websites and manufacturer websites. If you have any cycling friends you could both try their bikes on for size.
    – KeithWM
    Jun 11, 2016 at 20:37
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    Just ordered 2 identical bikes, one for me and one for the wife, will see how it goes when they arrive. If she doesn't like hers at least I'll have a bunch of spare parts. Appreciate your input.
    – Kilisi
    Jun 11, 2016 at 21:56

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