Bike Sizing & Choosing The Right Bike

Bike Size Guide

Choosing the right size

  • Adult bike sizes are normally measured from the top of the seat tube (where the seat post fits into the frame) down to the centre of the bottom bracket axle (the axle which carries the pedal cranks).

  • With the correct frame size you should be able to sit on the saddle with your feet on tip-toes touching the ground on either side, and you must be able to reach the handlebars comfortably.

  • It is sometimes worth considering a smaller frame with the saddle raised slightly in order to obtain a more comfortable reach. This is also true if you are an inexperienced /nervous cyclist or have mobility issues.

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  • The sizing charts below gives a rough guide to frame sizes against inside leg measurements. However this is only a rough guide. Everyone has different body dimensions and different bike manufacturers will have subtly different sizing.

  • The correct way to measure your inside leg is from your crotch to the floor making sure that your feet are flat on the ground.

  • You should be sure what size bicycle you require before purchasing.

For an easy to use online Bike Size Calculator we recommend using Raleigh's online calculator which is available by clicking the button below:

Adult Bike Size Chart

Kids/Youth Bike Size Chart

Choosing the Right Bike

Choosing the right bike

  • There are many options available and selecting the correct type of bike is important. First you must decide what your requirements are and the type of riding you will be doing. This will determine which type of bike is right for you. There are many types of bike available for every day use, recreational leisure or specific disciplines.

Size & Fit

  • We always advise where possible to come and try different bikes and let our staff help you select the right type and size of bike for your needs. You must sit on a bike to ensure it is comfortable. This will allow you to judge the reach and if your feet can touch the ground comfortably on both sides. Specific frame geometries and components will affect the riding position and adjustment.

Hybrid, Town and Comfort Bikes

  • This category is a hybrid of road and all terrain bikes. Designed for tarmac riding with occasional off road riding on towpaths, bridleways or cycle trails. These are sleeker framed bikes with slimmer wheels and tyres for faster rolling. This category is Ideal for commuters and recreational riders.

All-Terrain / Mountain bikes

  • This covers many products but generally you choose between hard tails and full suspension. Hard tail bikes have rigid frames and generally a suspension front fork whereas a full suspension bike incorporates rear suspension. All-terrain bikes are versatile and can handle off road conditions from rough rocky conditions to less challenging towpaths and bridleways. Hard tails are more responsive with the front suspension forks helping absorb the bumps with all the power pushed through the pedals transferring into momentum. Full suspension bikes are designed to handle more aggressive downhill conditions by adsorbing impacts whilst maintaining traction but on the flat some of your power will be lost due to the rear suspension.

  • Not all all-terrain bikes are designed for serious off road riding. You need to look at the component specification in detail to ensure the function and quality are right for your requirements, especially the gear set and shifters, brakes, saddle, grips and tyre tread pattern. Riding position is important – the more upright the less impact will be placed on your lower back plus your vision will be improved.

  • All terrain bikes tend to have wider heavier tyres to grip better off road so they are not as suitable for riders who will spend the majority of their time on road or cycle paths as they will not roll as fast and be more difficult to pedal.

Road Bikes (Racing Bikes)

  • Road Bikes are best suited for riders who want to do extensive longer distance rides on road. Road bike sizing tends to be slightly larger than other types of bike and puts the body in a more aggresive postion to use your muscles more. Road bikes are great for getting fit and putting in lots of road miles but might not be suitable for some users.

Other Bikes

  • Bikes come in many different shapes and sizes with many variations and specific uses – BMX, Dirt Jump, Downhill, Touring, Folding, Tandems and Kids bikes.