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What size bike?

We get asked a lot what size frame people should ride! Here's some thoughts.

READ THIS SECTION TWICE: You probably need an 18in frame...

Not you, maybe, but on average we sell four times more 18in frame than anything else. So chances are you need an 18in model. We recommend them for riders as diverse as 5ft 9in to 6ft 2in. At each end of that scale, say an inch or two in height, you can easily go up (at the top end) or down (at the bottom end).


Other stuff to consider:

1. Our top tubes are consistently long.
Our 16in frame has a half inch (ish) shorter top tube than our 18in frame. Our 20in frame has a half inch longer than our 18in frame. It's not much. Make a stem 10mm longer or shorter, and move the saddle forwards or backwards and you can exceed that change. So don't get too hung up on things.

2. Sliding your saddle back will make you do wheelies.
Ramming your saddle back on the rails on a small frame will make you do wheelies on climbs. This is fun, though not always what you want for getting up steep things if you're sat down. If you're riding a singlespeed though, go for it. As you'll be out of the saddle when climbing anyhow.

3. Our frames have quite a short headtube.
Couple of things here - if you like HIGH bars (and by that I mean at, or higher than saddle height), you're going to need a higher rise stem than on other bikes. If your fashion tendencies are offended by pointy up stems, then stop right now and go choose another brand. Using a short headtube means we stress the top tubes of our frames in a certain way that gives a very compliant ride. Short headtubes mean that the top tube is low, so you won't catch yourself when you come off. We like it.

4. 29ers are almost the same size as 26ers.
However, at that lower end, we'd move it up a bit. 16in 29er are a little bigger than the 26in one, so maybe riders under 5'10" should be on a 16in one.

5. We're talking about using 400mm posts here.
When I say 6'1" riders can get on an 18in frame, I'm talking about using a 400mm post (our Twelfty one).

6. Tall chaps like big wheels.
If you are over 6'2" then seriously consider a 29er. The only exception to this is if you're very heavy. Right now we think that REALLY big lads are served better on 26in wheels with big 2.5in + tyres, rather than 29er wheels. But we're working on stuff. And when I say 'big lads' I mean them over like 25 stone.

Kieran Hart-Brooke
Height: 4'8" /1.41m (just big enough for Go Ape at Dalby!)
Inside leg:25 inches / 63cm
Weight: erm...about 6 stone? Dunno!
Frame size: 14" Inbred (bought in yer price shaggers sale last year...Ta!)
Stem length: 456 60mm
Seatpost type: Planet X (the one that came with my Sportive. I went carbon, he got rid of a shitty Ritchey lump)
Comments on fit: Really Really good. Very confident on it, can handle it really well. Kieran is 10 now and was riding this bike last summer just fine. The Bike was built with bargain Hone kit from merlin, with saddle, stem, fram and headset from Priceshaggers last march. The bike now has the Fleegle pros and lock on grips that you kindly gave me. The bike is not the lightest, but it is intended to survive the abuse of a 10-14 year old boy! If his sister is really good she may get a Scandal with Carbon forks when she gets to the same age!

Sean Davey
Height: 65.5", 166 cm (5' 4'')
Inside leg: 31", 77cm
Weight: 75Kg
Frame size: 14" Inbred (red one, cause its faster)
Stem length: 80mm x 6
Seatpost type: Easton EA 50 27.2mm x 350mm
Comments on fit: Superior fit, Agile and stiff but plush. "The Harder I ride it, the better it gets - and the more I ride it the more I love it." Geometry is near perfect with an almost long travel fork (135mm). but I will leave the techie talk to you guys. Its my first bike and it RULES!

Kai Meng
Height: 5 ft 4 in
Inside leg: 29 in
Weight: 61 kg (9.6 stones)
Frame size: 14 in Ti 456
Stem length: 70 mm (0 deg)
Seatpost type: Inline with 23 cm (9 in) of the post above the top of seat tube
Comments on fit: Length from tip of saddle to middle of 600-mm long handlebar is 475 mm. Fork is 2009 Fox TALAS RLC 140. Very comfortable fit in every situation. This great bike allows me to crank & accelerate very easily, even on climbs. The handling is responsive with the 70 mm 0 degree rise stem. I love the geometry, especially the low sloping curved top tube. Thank you for this special build!

Rob P
Height: 5ft 5"
Weight: 11st
Inside leg: 28 inch (without shoes)
Bike size: 14inch
Stem: 60mm 0 deg
Seatpost: half inch layback, only 220mm showing above clamp. An inline post would probably put me too far forward.
Comments on fit : Fork is a Magura with 125mm travel Still getting used to it so may change stem if necessary later. Bike fits well overall with lots of standover clearance even for a shorty like me. Slacker head angle is good.

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Eugenie Frerichs
Height: 5'5" (and a half)
Inside leg: 31.5in
Weight: 125lbs
Frame size: 16in
Stem length: 60cm
Seatpost: inline
Comments on fit: At first I was worried it might be too long, but with an inline seat post, a short stem and a flat bar with a sweep (Surly Torsion Bar), it has a lovely, precise handling, with a suitably upright position for touring - which is good, as that is this little tank's primary purpose. It's not particularly light anymore (frame weight was 4.9lbs) which is no surprise as it's now finished with no nonsense, reliable kit: mainly Deore with a smattering of XT, Schwalbe tyres and tough Rigida Sputnik rims. For load carrying, there's a Tubus rear rack - the struts were just long enough - and an Old Man Mountain Sherpa at the front. I like the glittery finish. And, it just survived a pretty harrowing accident (where my arm popped out of its socket) without a scratch.

Susie Bell
Height: 5'6"
Inside leg: 30" (she says, but maybe she was standing on a book)
Weight: 9st
Frame size: 16" slot dropout InBred (with lovely Alfine hub gear)
Stem length: 80mm x 35 On One 3D forged, Mary bars
Seatpost type: inline, with only 130mm of seat post outside the frame.
Comments on fit: Susie has a longish body in proportion to her legs, and I thought she might need a 14" frame, but with the short high stem the 16 works. Apart from the horrible old forks and consequent V brakes, which are being replaced very soon (only a year late...) the bike was built to Susie's requirements. She tells me it's perfect. Luckily.

Gabor Kulcsar
Height: 5' 7"
Inside leg: 31"
Weight: 75kg
Frame size: 16" 29er
Stem length: 80mm with Mary bars
Seatpost type: stock
Comments on fit: felt a bit long first, got used to it, now I don't like anything shorter. No toe overlap, standover clearance is OK, although this comes at a price, I had to install an additional bottle cage onto the handlebar. This bike climbs like no other and will roll over anything if I have the courage to try...

Steve Kirk
Height: 5'9"
Inside leg: 31.5"
Weight: 13st 12lbs
Frame size: 16" 456
Stem length: 80mm
Seatpost type: inline/offset.: offsetComments on fit: Also 20mm of headset spacers with riser bars gives a well balanced and reasonably upright position. Frame model is an early 16in 456 in "that blue"...

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Martin Perry
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 12st 2lb (79kg)
Inside leg: 32"
Frame: 456 16"
Stem: 80x6
Seatpost: offset 10mm
Comments on fit: I have about 20mm stacked under the stem and with Fleegle pros this puts the bars level with saddle when the forks are at 130mm. I've always found this the most comfy all round. This bike is awesome, love it!I'm going to order a Pompino next week, since I found enough bits in the shed to build nearly a whole bike, including bits off my 86 rockhopper!

Gary Vallance
Height: 5'10"
Inside leg: 32.5"
Weight: 12st 8lb
Frame size: 2006 18" Geared Inbred (Ginbred?), 90mm travel fork
Stem length: 80mm
Seatpost type: 1" offset
Comments on fit: Beautifully versatile. From "just riding about" to multi-day Adventure Racing - neither cramped in a climb, nor stretched on the flat. Very flicky in the twisty stuff, phenomenally capable when pushed hard and fast. Always confidence inspiring.

Tim Lake
Height: 5'10.5"
Inside leg: 35" to floor with a book wedged up there - ouch
Weight: 11st 8lbs
Frame size: 19.5 Inbred 29er
Stem length: 80 with Marys
Seatpost type: inline/offset. 12mm offset with seat nose is 60mm behind BB
Comments on fit: On paper I should have had the 18 maybe even the 16 - Why the 19.5? Well my monkeytastic span is 5" more than my height and I wanted the top tube length of the 19.5 to keep the stem short. If I switch over to straight bars I need a 90-100 stem which is ok. If I ran straight bars on an 18 I'd need a 110-130 stem. The Marys seem to give that bit more reach without the reach if you know what I mean - wider with the same back angle. Never had a problem with standover.

Waynes World hd

Mark Baron
Height: 5'11"
Inside leg: 32"
Weight: 16st ish
Frame size: 16"
Stem length: 40mm
Seatpost type: inline
Comments on fit: spot on for my needs - which are more often than not gravity feed type of riding with the seat nice and low when with my mates but its still long and big enough to put the seat up and go ride route when im on my own.

Mike Blanchard
Height: 6'
Inside Leg: 33"
Weight: 81Kg
Frame Size: 18"
Stem Length: 80mm x 6 degree rise
Seatpost: On One Twelfty 400mm
Comments on fit: The digital image attached probably doesn't show it properly but compared with my old Cannondale it feels perfect, roomy but not too much of a stretch.

Mike Foster
Height: 6ft
Inside leg: 33inch
Weight: 12.5st
Frame size: 18"
Stem length: Hope 90mm
Seatpost type: Promax carbon off set
Comments on fit: Fit is good as I like to ride a smaller frame with plenty of standover height. Stem is longer than your recommendation but I have long monkey like arms. Rides fast with sharp handling for a longish top tube. I like it so much I'm gonna get a 29 version for the winter and make this a single speed.

Simon Lockwood
Height: 6-1
Inside leg: 32 inch
Weight: 13st
Frame size:18 inch 456 with 5 inch fork
Stem length: 70x0 with 10mm of washer stack and 1 inch riser bars.
Seatpost type: inline with about 250mm showing.
Comments on fit: Steep ups require wrist dipping and elbow bend to hold the front but never need to perch on the nose of the saddle (could drop fork height but never remember to). Set up works well for night play in the woods or XC stuff in the White Peak. Never get back ache or todger tingle so fit must be about right.

Rich J
Height: 6 foot 2
Inside leg: 34
Weight: 12.5 stone
Frame size: 20 inch
Stem length: 2 inches but I'm wondering whether a longer one would be better - nearly went over the bars a couple of times
Seatpost type: inline old one
Comments on fit: 20" is just right for my chilled XC riding and should be perfect for Scottish tours. A friend has an 18" on one inbred and I had a go on that - just a tad small for my liking.

Dmitri
Height:6'2"
Inside leg:34-35"
Weight:185-190 lbs
Frame size: 19.5 slider Inbred and 21" Slot dropout Inbred (all 29ers)
Stem length: 110 on 19.5; 100 on 21"
Seatpost type: inline/offset: Zero offset
Comments on fit: Felt a little too much forward over the bars when climbing on the 19.5, but it was really easy to "throw" the bike around. On the 21 I feel more comfortable, especially on the climbs, still pretty easy to control it. Now with the Ti Inbred 29er slight bend in the seat tube, it seems to have put the saddle a little further back than it was on the steel Inbred, and even easier to manual the bike, still plenty stable on the climbs.

Alec Farquhar
Height: 6'3"
Inside leg: 36" bare foot with book wedged up in crown jewels
Weight: 16 stone
Frame size: 19.5" Scandal 29er
Stem length: Thomson Elite X4, 110mm x 10 degree
Seatpost type: offset. Thomson Elite set-back 7 degree x 410mm long
Comments on fit: Perfect size for me (Thanks Brant) Saddle in midway point on rails . Handlebars flat NINERS (nice and wide) with 30mm of spacers under stem. bike rides/handles like a dream. Thought i needed a 21.5" one and i had my heart set on that size but Brant convinced me it was a 19.5" i needed, Boy was he right. Got road tyres on at the moment for commuting VERY FAST.

Rob Thornley
Height: 6' 4"
Inside leg: 33" / 34"
Weight: 15st 8lb+Frame size: 20"
Stem length: Planet X 80mm with 30 degree rise
Seatpost type: inline/offset. On-One in line
Comments on fit: I was concerned that a 20" frame would be too small for my height. The 456 came with an 80mm stem & I took Brant's recommendation and swapped it for a 100mm 6 degree rise stem which was a bit of a stretch. I'm currently experimenting with other stem options (thus the odd coloured Planet X stem). Plan to try the On-One 100mm with 35degree rise next. Yes a 20" On-One bike will fit a 6' 4" (and a bit) rider.

Tim Halsey
Height: 6'4"
Inside leg: 37" (measured)
Weight: 14 stone
Frame size: 20"
Stem length: 100mm 17 degree rise
Seatpost type: inline/offset. Inline syncros carbon
Comments on fit: Fantastic! Fits really well. Picking bikes when my height is quite easy, just go for the biggest one... Hoping to try a 29er at some point.

Want to help others with sizing advice? Mail us with the details, as above, and we'll add you.