Equipment Mountain Biking

How to choose the right mountain bike size

Getting the right mountain bike size for you!

Getting the right mountain bike size for your body can be the difference between a great ride and a terrible ride that will haunt you in days to come.  Why?

  • Your back may have poor posture
  • Your legs over extending (saddle too high)
  • Your legs not extending enough (saddle too low)
  • Your arms too extended, limited control of the bike
  • Your arms too squashed up, uncomfortable steering of the bike

What influences the bike size?

Frame size this is the height and length of the frame.  This is a key thing to get right
Saddle height This is a key parameter to get the leg spinning the pedals at the right angles.  Mountain bikes are designed so there is a lot of adjustment possible, it’s unlikely you’ll every ride with the saddle all the way in, touching the frame.  
Saddle position you can move the saddle forwards and backwards, although on a mountain bike this is rarely changed.
Handle bar stem length this is rarely changed given the adjustment possible on the saddle.

How to choose the right size?

  1. First choose the right frame size, based on your height
  2. Adjust the saddle to fit your leg length.
  3. Go!

A typical size chart:

Bike Size
Rider Height (inches)
Rider Height (cm)
5′ 2″ 5′ 6”
158 168
5′ 6″ 5′ 10”
168 178
5′ 10″ 6′ 2”
178 188
6’ 2” 6’ 6”
188 198
There are size charts for every bike type from every manufacturer.  There is no standard however sizes hover around the same ranges.  So if you’re a medium on one bike then chances are you’re a medium on another bike, unless you’re at the boundary of the range.

How does Leap choose the right bike frame?

We think getting the right bike size is hugely important for a great ride so we ask for the height of the rider to help determine what size you’ll need. Since there are so many bikes, shops will possibly stock different brands of a certain bike type so the sizes may vary slightly.  With the height of the rider the bike shop can decide on the best size, they’re the experts and know their bikes.
Be concerned if you book somewhere and they’re not asking you for it, you might not get the bike you need especially if you’re a Small or X-Large as they carry fewer of these models.

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