How to Measure a Bike Frame?

Are you wondering how to measure a bike frame? Here is the in-depth guide for beginners.

Besides, the efficiency and comfort riding of a bike also comes with selecting the accurate size. To determine it, you should understand how to measure a mountain bike frame.

If you have tried measuring on your own and haven’t been able to figure out the right size, this article is for you as it contains all the information regarding what to measure, how to measure, and why to measure a bike frame.

What to measure?

If you are a complete beginner in bicycle riding, you might not even know the pipe names that your bike frame uses. But this is not a problem because you’ll gradually learn them when buying your bike parts or by reading more about bicycles.

For now, we’ll help you with everything you’ll need to find the correct measurements. Before we move to measure the bike frame, you need to measure your height and the inside arm. 

The best way to find the height is to remove your shoes and stand straight against the wall. Placing a small pencil mark on the wall leveling the top of your head will be your height. You can use a measuring tape to find the distance between the floor and the top mark. 

To measure the inside leg, stand with your legs shoulder-length apart, with your shoes off. Measure the length from the floor to the top of your thigh. Finding this length is essential to determine the bike’s standover height. 

This is the difference between the floor and the bike’s top tube. For better comfort and efficiency, the distance between your bike size and inside length should at least be 1 inch.

Also Read: How to Paint a Bike Frame

How are bikes sized?

The sizing technique of the kid’s and adult bicycle differ significantly. In an adult bike, the frame size determines the bicycle sizing, whereas wheel size measurement is required for sizing purposes.

What are the things required to measure the bike frame?

For an adult bike, you’ll need the following products for accurate size measurement.

  • A measuring tape
  • Clinometers applications on your Smartphone (these applications measure angles within a bike
  • A plumb line

Another thing you should note here is to keep the measurement units constant. Usually, the measurement is in cm or inch.

What are different tubes in a bike frame?

Below are the names of different tubes in a bike frame:

  • Seat tube
  • Top tube
  • Headtube
  • Wheelbase

How to find the right size seat tube?

You should find the tube in which the seat post sticks, this is the seat tube. Keep your measuring tape at the center of the crank bolt and extend it to the center of the top-most bike pipe for the exact measurement.

While measuring the seat tube, don’t forget to exclude the extension of the seat tube. It goes beyond the top pipe and doesn’t have to be part of the measurement. In some situations, the seat mast could be hiding the actual point that you have to measure. So, be vigilant.

If you are measuring a mountain bike, there would be an additional kink with the seat. You don’t have to include it in the measurement.

How to find the right size of the top tube?

Finding the length of the top tube is easy. Place your measuring tool in the middle of the head tube. Keep in line with the tube going across the back. Extend the measuring tape to the middle of the seat post. The measurement you’ll get, as a result, is the accurate length of the top tube.

How to find the length of the head tube?

The head tube is the front tube available just beneath the bike handle. Measure the frame from the headset cut at the bottom to the headset cut at the top of the frame to find the accurate size of the headtube.

How to find the reach and stack?

Although these terms are included in the measuring charts recently, they help newbies measure the proper size. These measurements are independent of the frame type. Thus, you don’t have to identify the traditional or sloping bike frame to start the measurements.

The perpendicular distance between the top of the head tube and bottom brackets measures the reach and stack.

To measure it, you’ll need to push your bike against the wall. Use your measuring tape to find the distance from the top of the head tube to the bottom bracket. Subtract one of these values from the other, and you’ll find the size of reach and slack of your bike.

Also Read: How to build a bike frame?

How to measure the wheelbase?

The difference between the front and rare axles forms the wheelbase. You can take the measurements a few times to get an accurate reading. Measuring the distance from both sides will make it easier for you to get the accurate length of your wheelbase.

Summing Up:

You can measure the frame in cm or inches, whatever you like. After getting the measurement, you can convert it to cm or inches, depending upon your needs. If you are in doubt once when measuring, you can re-measure to ensure minimum or no errors and get the right parts for your bicycle.

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