what size of road bike do i need

What Size Of Road Bike Do I Need?

A road bike is a form of bicycle designed for high-speed traveling on paved roads. Cyclists in marathons or races generally use these because of how they are put together. Size and structure are important factors to that can directly affect how fast a rider can go. For you to reach higher speeds, and still perform consistently at that level, all your features need to be aerodynamically sound.

Technical innovations play a huge role in this, but for this article, I’d like to primarily focus on how a road bike’s structure should be like and what its ideal size should be. Here are a few of my findings that I hope can help you.

Overall Size of the Bike Frame ​

How big the road bike you buy should be directly proportional to your own body size. It needs to be small and light to be easy enough to ride, but not too small that it becomes uncomfortable. Your legs and torso need enough space to pedal effectively. It’s about finding a perfect balance between these two.

While choosing a bike with the right size is highly subjective, here is a rough guide based on a ride’s height:

Rider’s Height

bike frame

152 cm

48 cm

168 cm

53 cm

175 cm

55 cm

183 cm

58 cm

191 cm

60 cm

As a basic rule, the size of the bike frame should be generally ⅓ a rider’s height. Of course, other factors like weight, built, and length of legs could also affect which one you buy. However, I believe that chart should be a safe estimate to strike a balance between function and comfort, and subsequently help you to ride more efficiently.

Seat Pad

Unlike mountain bikes, the seat pad on the road bikes is much more firm. It should also be shorter and angled in such a way that you are able to sit comfortably. This should cause you to slightly hunch your back forward as you grip the handlebars. Your bottom should remain firm on the bicycle as you start pedaling.

road bike seat pad

Most models give you the freedom to adjust the seat and this is something you should take advantage of. Experiment with different angles and height until you find a position that puts less pressure on your body. This is a clear indicator that your seat pad is modified properly.


Another important part of the road bike is the handlebars because its primary purpose is to steer the entire machine. Its secondary purpose, which is also very important, is to help you balance when riding at extreme speeds.

road bike handle bar

Like the seat pad, you can adjust the elevation and position of the handlebars. Make sure its low enough that it’s just slightly above where you are sitting. You want your body bent enough so that your body’s center of gravity is as low as it can be.

Frame Material

The material used can also greatly determine the weight and overall size of the bike. Normally, road bicycles nowadays are made from aluminum or carbon compounds. These are known to be very lightweight elements, which is beneficial for racing purposes. 

bike frame

Not only does it lessen the amount of weight you are carrying, but it also decreases that chances that you sustain any injuries. Racing entails a lot of pressure to be put on your body, so your safety and protection should be the top priority.

Final Thoughts

How big a road bike is can greatly affect how fast it goes. You need to strike the balance between comfort, durability, and aerodynamic design. It may seem like small details, but these can be determining factors to the overall performance. In this instance, it can be said that size does indeed matter.

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