Guide to Mountain Bike Sizing

Mountain bike sizing can be a little bit confusing, especially for a novice mountain biker. Your height and leg inseam length will affect the bike frame size that you need, meaning a bicycle that fits your brother may be too small or big for you. Here are some tips to help you find the right mountain bike for your next downhill mountain biking excursion. 

The simplest way to determine the appropriate mountain bike size for you is to use a sizing chart. You should be able to find a mountain bike sizing chart at any bike shop you go into. You'll need to know your height as well as your inseam length. This is the length from your crotch to the ground.


Mountain bikes are sized according to their frame size. Bike frame sizes range from about 13 inches to over 24 inches. Obviously the shorter you are, the smaller the mountain bike you will need. If for some reason your height and inseam length do not correspond on the sizing chart, you should go by your inseam length. Of the two measurements, that is the most important.


Another factor that you should take into account when sizing your mountain bike is the tilt of the saddle. You want your saddle to allow your pelvis to be level to the ground. Because of this you'll probably need to purchase a new saddle. Generally people who don't purchase a new saddle end up tilting the saddle that comes with their bike at an awkward angle, which isn't good for your body. Once you have your saddle on your bike, get on it to make sure that the height is right for you. You want your feet to be just touching the pedals when the pedals are at their lowest point.


You should be pretty comfortable on your mountain bike at this point. You may need to make some adjustments, but hopefully they will be minor; raising or lowering the handlebars or the seat. The height of the handlebars is really a matter of preference rather than a science.

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