Women’s Bike Size Chart – How to get the Right Women’s Bike Sizes(Nov Updated 2021)

*Please note that this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them, we may get a small commission on any sale.

Why do you need women’s bike size chart?

If you ask many women who actively use bikes to get around or for sport, you will hear an all too familiar refrain – that it took them forever to find a bike that they felt comfortable on.

It is no surprise; when it comes to women’s bikes the age-old wisdom (not so wise now that we know better!) was always to “shrink it and pink it.” In other words, if the bike was smaller, and in a cute color, a woman would be able to ride comfortably on it. Today we know that specific women’s bike sizes are just as important as men’s.

Here’s the thing you need to understand about why women’s road bike sizing is so important: if a woman is riding on the wrong size of bike, not only will she suffer the usual aches and pains in the legs, knees and back, she will also injure her lady bits which are positioned directly on the saddle. In fact, many women will not bother to become serious cycling enthusiasts because their first experience hurt in more places than they care to mention.

Determining Women’s Bike Sizes

The best way to know what size of bike is best for you is to use a bike sizing chart. There are different kinds of charts for different kinds of bikes – a chart for women road bike sizes may be slightly different from womens mountain bike size chart. This shouldn’t befuddle you – so long as you know what kind of bike you want, you can look at the chart that is provided for it and come up with the correct size.

Caution: You will find that on some of the top biking websites, experts say that women don’t necessarily need different sizes of bikes from men, and they can ride just as comfortably on a bike that is made for a man of the same height. This is not necessarily true.

Women’s bodies are built differently from men’s in two ways that matter when it comes to choosing bike size. The first is that men are generally taller. If you use just a regular bike chart to choose a bike size, you may have a hard time finding one that fits.

The other important way in which men differ from women is that they tend to have shorter legs and therefore longer torsos. This means that you can find a man and woman who are exactly the same height but the man will have short legs and a long torso while the woman will have longer legs and a shorter torso. These are two completely different body types that need different sizes of bikes.

Womens Bike Size Chart

Women’s Bike Size Charts

Now let us get into women’s bike sizes vs. their height. We will look at three different charts for the most common types of bikes. If you want to buy a type of bike that isn’t included here you can find its chart online.

a). Women’s Road Bike Size

Main features and uses of road bikes:

  • Mainly used for short rides on pavement and tarmac.
  • They have thin tires, flat or downward handle bars, they are sleek and move fast and can handle different terrains. They are also very comfortable.
Rider Height
(Feet & inches
)
Rider Height
(cm)
Suggested
Frame Size
Suggested
Frame Size (cm)
4′  10″ – 5′  1″147 – 155XXS44 – 46 cm
5′  1″ – 5′  3″155 – 160XS47 – 49 cm
5′  3″ – 5′  5″160 – 16550 – 52 cm
5′  5″ – 5′  8″165 – 172M53 – 55 cm
5′  8″ – 5′  10″172 – 180L55 – 57 cm

Recomendation: Getting into cycling? Check out our review for Best Entry Level Women’s Road Bikes

b). Women’s Mountain Bike Size Guide

Main features and uses of mountain bikes:

  • Mainly used for rugged riding in off-road conditions and steep terrains.
  • They are the best for off-road riding as they have a bigger frame, bigger tire diameter, several gears and an excellent braking system.
Rider Height
(Feet & inches)
Rider Height
(cm)
Suggested
Frame Size
Suggested
Frame Size (cm)
4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″148 – 158XS33 – 35 cm
5′ 2″ – 5′ 6″158 – 16838 – 40 cm
5′ 6″ – 5′ 10″168 – 178M43 – 45 cm
5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″178 – 185+L48 – 50 cm
 *You might like our review on Cute Bike Helmets

c). Women’s Hybrid Bike Size Guide

Main features and uses of hybrid bikes:

  • Good on pavement and tarmac as well as some off-roads (not too rough or steep).
  • Thin frame and tires, good shock-absorbance capacity, can do quick turns and brakes and are quite comfortable to ride on.
Rider Height
(Feet & inches)
Rider Height
(cm)
Suggested
Frame Size
Suggested
Frame Size (cm)
4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″148 – 158XS33 – 35 cm
5′ 2″ – 5′ 6″158 – 16838 – 40 cm
5′ 6″ – 5′ 10″168 – 178M43 – 45 cm
5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″178 – 185+L48 – 50 cm

Recomendation: Looking for a Hybrid bike? Check out our review here Best Schwinn Hybrid Bikes

What else should you look out for when looking at women’s road bike sizes?

One quick note – when you are shopping for women’s bikes you may find that on some websites they talk about bike size while on others they talk about frame. These two terms are interchangeable and mean the same thing.

What else should you look out for apart from women’s bike frame size? The most important factor for a bicycle is comfort. Whether you plan to use your bike for commuting, racing or just seeing the landscape on weekends, take the following additional factors into account before you buy:

#1. Back length

When you sit on the saddle you should be able to reach the handle bars with ease. If the back length is off you will either strain to reach the handle bars or they will be too close to your chest and either way you will struggle with balance.

Women’s cruiser bikes are made with specific back length in mind so if you choose the right size according to the charts provided above you will get a back length that’s just right.

#2. Shoulder width

Most women have smaller shoulders than men of similar height. Shoulder width is important because the wider you have to spread your arms to hold the handle bars, the more air you trap and therefore the more the resistance. The result is that you require more energy to achieve full speeds on your bike and you will not be able to ride long distances as you will tire rather easily.

#3. Hand size

You need to be able to reach your bike’s brakes with ease. If you try out a man’s bike you will find that it has a longer distance between the handle bar and the brake lever. If you try to brake suddenly and miss the brake lever you will crash. Women’s bikes are made with a smaller distance between the bikes handles and the brake levers for a quick and easy grasp.

Why should you cycle more often? Read our guide on the benefits of riding bikes

#4. Saddle shape

Remember at the beginning when we talked about ladies hurting their delicate bits on the saddle? Manufacturers are now taking this into account and they create bikes with saddles that are specifically designed for women.

Most have a cut out groove on the saddle so that when you sit up there is no undue pressure on your soft parts and when you lean into your handle bars your pelvic bones aren’t crushed to your insides. You can also buy a bike that has double thickness seats for added comfort.

Women Bike Sizes Chart

This video explains how you can find the best bicycle size at home

Summary – Women Bike Sizes

All bikes may look the same but if you try out a man’s bike you will quickly realize that it is not quite as comfortable as you would like. The best way to buy a bike is to look at women’s bike sizes for different types of bikes. Of course, it is not an exact science, but it gives you a fair idea of what you should be aiming for. Once your bike is delivered you can make a few adjustments on the saddle and handlebars and any other parts to make sure that you get a snug ride every time.

FAQ – Women Bike Sizes Chart

1. How tall should you be for a 26 inch bike?

To ask the question more accurately, “how tall should you be for a 26 inch wheel bike?” A bike with 26 inch tires will suit the average adult woman. It can be used by anyone between 5 ft. 4 inches and 5 ft. 7 inches. However, this is a general guide. Most bike manufacturers provide their own bike size chart, so check before you buy.

Please note that when it comes to mountain bikes, 26 inches is ideal only for very petite women. Most will be okay with a 27.5 inch or 29 inch wheels.

2. What size bike should a 5’7 woman ride?

For women between 5 ft. 5 inches and 5 ft. 7 inches, a bike frame size of 17 or 18 inches is ideal.

There are two measurements to take into account when buying women’s bikes: frame size and wheel size. Frame size is more important, and if you get it right you don’t have to worry much about the wheel size.

3.What size bike does a 5’2 woman need?

A woman in this height range will be fine with a bike frame of between 15 and 16 inches. Again, it depends on the type of bike you’re buying and the manufacturer so check their bike size chart to see what they recommend.

4. Are 24 inch wheels too small for a woman?

It depends on the woman’s weight and whether she feels comfortable on it. Generally, women who are 5 ft. 4 inches and below can ride on 24 inch wheels so long as they aren’t too heavy for the bike. The safer and more reliable method to find a suitable bike is to go by frame size.

1 thought on “Women’s Bike Size Chart – How to get the Right Women’s Bike Sizes(Nov Updated 2021)”

Comments are closed.