Bike Size Guides

How do you pick the right size bike?

One of the most important questions you need to answer when buying a new bike is, ‘which size do I need?’ Bikes are like shoes: they come in a range of sizes. One that fits will be more comfortable, more efficient and more fun. Height is a great way to estimate which bike size you need. Our sizing guide matches rider height to bike size to make it easy. If you’re sitting outside the range listed on the sizing chart, give us a call and we can talk about the best options for you.

Leg Length

The other important measurement is leg length. It’s easier to get a friend to help measure your leg length. You’ll need a measuring tape.

  • Take off your shoes and socks, and stand with your feet about 30 centimetres apart.
  • Now get a book or something similar and hold it between your legs, just as if it were the saddle of your bike. It needs to be as high as it will comfortably go.
  • Now, your friend will measure from the top of the book to the ground. It’s important that the measuring tape is nice and straight, to get an accurate measurement. This measurement will usually be a bit less than half of your height.
  • You can use this measurement to calculate what the distance from your saddle and the ‘axle’ of your pedals. This axle is the spindle or rod that the cranks rotate around.
  • The distance from the top of the saddle to this pedal axle should be 109% of your leg length measurement.

Another quick check is looking at the angle your knee is bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke. So, sitting on your bike with your foot at the 6 o’clock position should result in about a 25-degree bend in your knee.

Quill Stems and Head Stems

Bikes that feature a quill stem, such as our vintage bikes, allow adjustment of the height of the handlebars quite easily! You need need to loosen the bolt at the top of the stem, adjust the height and then tighten it again. This bolt holds the stem in place, so it's very important that it's tightened correctly. It's also important that the stem is inserted properly into the steerer tube.

Threadless headstems allow even more adjustment. You can move spacers between above and below the headstem, effectively raising or lowering the handlebars. You can also get headstems of different lengths for fine size adjustment. You can even get angle adjustable headstems.

If you have any questions about sizing, bike fit or choosing the right bike for you, the team at Reid Cycles will be very happy to help! Just contact us.

Once you've got our sizing down pat, find the perfect vintage bike, road bike, mountain bike or other Reid Cycles bike for you!