What Size of Mountain Biking Should You Get?

By: Alex Bristol

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The best mountain bike is one that matches your height and riding style because it will give you a comfortable feel. Again, it will boost your confidence and improve your handling when riding on challenging trails. You will find that mountain bikes may look similar but what you need to know is that they come as either electric or normal and also in different sizes. If you have never used a mountain bike before, it might be a bit difficult to determine the correct size. However, this article will reveal some of the most important things you should know concerning mountain bike sizing. 

How are mountain bikes sized?

Mountain bikes are available in different sizes which range from small, medium and large. The best way to determine the correct size is by considering your height. The good thing is that most of the bike manufacturers include a chart that outlines the height range of the bike. It is important to check that before buying. Having a general understanding of bike geometry is also important when determining the correct size. Some of the things you should be aware of include;

  1. Reach – This is the distance between the center of the bracket located at the bottom to the centre of the head tube. Reach is one of the best ways you can use to determine the length of the mountain bike. It allows you to experience how bike will feel when you are out of the saddle.
  2. Seat height – When you are determining whether the bike fits you properly, you need to adjust the height of the seat so that you can take the accurate height. You can easily adjust the seat by loosening the quick release lever that is located on the seat post. This will allow you to raise or lower the seat as per your requirements. However, you should be very keen when adjusting to ensure that you do not go beyond the minimum insertion point.
  3. The length of the top tube- Effective top tube refers to the horizontal distance between the seat tube and the head tube irrespective of whether you have a tube that slopes down or a straight one. The ETF will allow you to know how you will feel when seated.
  4. Stand over height – Ensure that you can straddle the bike when your feet are straight on the floor. Once you lift the bike, you should leave a clearance of at least 2 inches between the ground and the tires. This will ensure that you rare comfortable when you are off the saddle. Aggressive riders would prefer to have a clearance of 3-5 inches. When you are checking the stand over height, you should ensure that you are wearing your bike shoes because they may affect the length of your legs.


Sometimes you may find that the measurements indicate that two mountain bikes are suitable for your height which means that you can pick any. However, you can opt to choose the larger bike as long as it is comfortable for you.


1. What You Should Know About Mountain Bike Sizing –  Page on Live About

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