Does Road Bike Frame Size Matter? (Must Read)

Does Road Bike Frame Size Matter

When handling any tool or vehicle, we are conscious of the size. The size of a road bike is related to our body size.

In this article, I will explain why a road be frame matters and how it relates to you.

The road bike frame size matters; this factor determines the level of comfort and efficiency you will enjoy when riding a bike. You should pick the road bike frame based on your body size.

What Size of Road Bike Frame Do I Need For My Height?

Does Road Bike Frame Size Matter

The size of the road bike frame you need depends on your body size. The taller you are, the greater the bike frame size you will need regarding height.

Road bikes are made to fit into three sizes; small, medium, and large. The road bike sizes are broken down into specific frame sizes within these general blocks.

The frame size of the road bike is measured by taking the distance from the center of the crank axle to the top of the seat tube.

The distance between the crank axle and the top of the seat is known as the seat tube length.

Concerning these sizes, important indices that affect your choice of the bike frame size are measured by your height and inside leg length.

Having a standard index for measuring the exact bike frame size that suits you is essential.

This standard measurement is important because manufacturers may have varying sizes of the road bike they produce for a category.

Whatever the variation, your height and inside leg length would remain constant. You would now have to take a proportion of these measurements to find an accurate road bike size.

Your height can be measured from the crown of your head to the sole of your feet while you look forward without putting on shoes.

The inside length of your leg is measured from the uppermost part of your thigh to your ankle.

Both measurements are necessary to determine which road bike frame best suits your height and your inside leg height.

Road Bike Frame Size Chart?

Now that you know what is important in getting that perfect road bike size, we can look at the range of sizes you can choose from.

Depending on your height and inside leg height, you can choose from several sizes that would best fit you.

The chart below presents a range of heights and inside leg height and their corresponding fitting bike sizes:

Rider Height in InchesRider Height in CentimetersSuggested Frame Size in InchesSuggested Frame SizesIn Centimeter
4’ 10” – 5’ 0”147 – 15213”32.5
5’ 0” – 5’ 2”152 – 15814”35
5’ 2” -5’ 4”158 – 16315”37.5
5’ 4”– 5’ 6”163 – 16816”40
5 ’6”-5’ 8”168 – 17317”42.5
5 ’8” – 5’ 10”173 – 17817” – 18”42.5 – 45
5’ 10” – 6’ 0”178 – 18318“– 19”45 – 47.5
6’ 0” – 6’ 2”183 – 18819”– 20”47.5 – 50
6’ 2” – 6’ 4”188 – 19321” – 22”52.5 – 55
6’ 4” +193+23”57.5

What Happens If a Road Bike Frame Is Too Small?

When you ride a road bike that is too small, you will be uncomfortable and inefficient. You may have to fold in to find a suitable position to ride on the road bike.

Getting a road bike that fits your size accurately is better. You can modify the road bike to suit your size after you purchase a small one.

Regarding the lack of comfort, riding a road bike that is too small for you would indeed bring stress and strain on you.

Depending on the distance you cover, you may feel pains in every part of your body involved in the ride. You may feel pains around your neck, back and hands.

This pain is felt because you are struggling to get accommodated in the small frame size.

You might also feel pain in your back and thighs because you constantly stretch to reach the pedals. 

Since the bike frame concerns your body size, you will likely not transmit enough power to the handle.

This reduced effort is because most of the energy you apply is channeled into keeping the balance rather than pedaling. The effect is less speed and often less balance.

Does a Road Bike Frame Size Make a Difference?

Yes, the size of a road bike frame makes a lot of difference. This size is directly related to your bike’s comfort, speed, and strain.

When riding a road bike, there is an optimal posture to take so that your ride can be quick and pleasurable.

When the bike frame size is small, you feel pain driving long distances. You know a bike frame size is small when you hunch over while riding.

You can also tell if your bike frame size is too large for you if you struggle to make turns on the pedal or stand up straight to reach the handlebars.

In all these positions, the comfort you enjoy from riding is greatly reduced, and the stress increases.

The road bike frame size makes a difference because the bicycle frame is a vital component of the bicycle. This component is composed of two triangles arranged in a diamond format.

The road bike’s frame is the skeleton on which the other components of the bike hinge. It is made to be studier and larger than the mountain bike frame.

This variation in size is a significant difference in comparing the road bike. The frame of the road bike is made from high-grade carbon fiber.

The high-grade carbon fiber is light but durable. These are very expensive materials

Road bikes are meant to be light but fast. This architecture differs from the mountain bike, which is made for rugged outdoor and heavier.

The material needed to make this bike needs to be heavy. The risk of materials breaking on a mountain ride makes the mountain bike cheaper. 

Is It Better to Get a Bigger or Smaller Bike Frame?

It is advisable to pick a road bike frame size that is exactly your size. The chart above shows you a road bike frame that matches your size.

A smaller bike frame size is not good, nor is a bigger bike frame size. You should only consider a frame size if it fits into the comfort, power, and efficiency index.

A small road bike will fold you, making it very uncomfortable. On the other hand, a large bigger bike size would stretch you too far, making your journey strenuous.

Whenever you are unsure of the size of bike to pick, you can make the decision based on the perception of your body size.

If you think your arm span is bigger than your height, you can go for a bigger bike frame size.

If you think your arm span is less than your height, you can opt for a smaller bike frame size.

You must understand that this is not an accurate system of measuring the bike to go for.

To have an accurate road bike frame size, you must know your height and inside leg length. 


Of course, road bike frame size matters. You need just the exact size for you to go on that ride.

Before you pick a frame size, you must know the measurement of your height and your inside leg length.

When a bike frame size is too small, you will not pains feel pain but also lose speed and efficiency. You should pick up a bike that suits your body size accurately.

Josh Matthews

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