I am admittedly a beginner and looking to purchase a used single speed bike just to casually use around the neighborhood. I came across this listing:


I am 5'9" (1.75 m) with a 30" (0.76 m) inseam. The seller claims he is also 5'9" and the 22 inch (56 cm) bike should work for me, but after some research I've been getting mixed answers. I spoke with a bike shop employee and he said this frame would be much too large for me, but there's a chance the seller didn't measure it properly. I was wondering if this size would work for me.

closed as primarily opinion-based by mattnz, RoboKaren, Argenti Apparatus, Grigory Rechistov, Benedikt Bauer May 16 at 20:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • We cannot answer this question - however if you insist on an answer, the frame is too big. Whether you can make it work will depend on the actual frame geometry and your own flexibility and so some extent tolerance for discomfort over the length of time you plan to ride. – mattnz May 1 at 22:28
  • Hello Ben, and welcome to Bicycles SE. I've edited your question to add SI units. This ought to help a lot of people who might answer it. Please feel free to revert or change it yourself if that was not ok for you. Since you are new here, would you have a look at the tour if you haven't done so already? – gschenk May 1 at 22:30
  • A typical 56 road bike frame is at the smaller end frames i can comfortably ride. But I am 1.086 times taller than Ben (1.90 m). – gschenk May 1 at 22:33
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    I'm 5'9" with a 32" inseam and when I bought my road bike I tested both a 54cm and 56cm bike (different brands). I bought the 54cm bike, but the 56cm bike didn't feel much too big. Again, brands differ. If it were me, I wouldn't buy any bike I didn't ride first. – Eric Shain May 1 at 23:02
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    Get a leg over the bike before buying. Most sellers understand that a sight-unseen bike is like buying shoes online... 95% likely to disappoint. – Criggie May 2 at 7:24

Unfortunately it is not possible to give you a definite answer.

A typical road frame of that size (56 cm) is usually too large for someone of your size (175 cm).

However, the bike may not be typical. Neither is there a typical rider. A bike that feels too stretched out for one rider may be just not cramped for another, assuming about the same height for both.

For a definite answer you either have to try the bike out. Or compare the geometry of the bike with a bike you already know.

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    "the bike may not be typical" or the rider may not be typical, which is just as important. I rarely ride the recommended size based on bike brands' height charts because I have a short torso for my height. A friend of mine is the other way around, so despite being a lot shorter than me, we ride the same size frame. – Carbon side up May 2 at 1:17
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    @Carbonsideup long inseam/short torso person here as well. I have the same height as the OP but my inseam is 4 inches longer. 56 can work for me depending on the reach, I suspect most frames will be too tall for the OP. – Rider_X May 2 at 13:40

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