Tips on choosing the correct size mountain bike to maximise your performance

There are different types of mountain bikes available on the market, designed for different purposes. While bike manufacturers may use varying terms, there are four basic mountain bike types; trail bikes, cross country, downhill and enduro, and all-mountain bikes. Choosing the right one for you depends on several factors, such as your height and body shape, fitness level, preferred riding discipline, and the location and environment you’ll be frequenting on your rides. 

While these factors are all important, in this article, we’ll discuss choosing the right size mountain bike that will help you get the best fit to maximise your performance. So if you’ve been asking yourself, “what size bike do I need” or how to measure bike size and where to purchase mountain bikes in South Africa, keep reading below.

What size mountain bike do you need

Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, it can be a bit challenging to find the right fit. You might ride your bike for six months and realise in the sixth month that the saddle height, reach, handlebar shape, fork set up, and tyre pressure is not as perfect as you previously thought. It’s an ongoing journey that can take time to perfect. Of course, you can adjust the setup of your mountain bike, but sometimes the challenge lies with the fit.

That’s why learning which size bike frame to go for is crucial before surfing through the best mountain bike brands. Some bikes are simply listed as S, M, L, XS and XL, like those you’ll find on our online shop. So, it takes some calculating to figure it out, but that’s usually the hard part. You have the option of using a bike chart or speaking to a professional. You can use whichever option makes more sense for you. 

Measuring a bike size using calculations

The first way to determine a bike frame size is by calculating your height and inside leg to get a reference for your numbers when you’re in search of MTB frames for sale. For example, you can use this sizing formula; leg inseam (in centimetres) x 0.66 = the right frame size. 

Using a bike chart

A quick search on the internet will reveal the bike height chart, which you can use to determine the right frame for you. All you have to do is focus on the height and frame size listed next to each other. If you don’t know your height, start by measuring that first to be sure you’re looking at the right range. Typically, small frames are suitable for riders who are between 158 cm to 168 cm (or 5’6”), while extra-large frames are fit for 185 cm to 193 cm (6’4”). 

Speak to a professional

If the above two solutions are too complicated or you’re unsure how to navigate the numbers, your next best option is to speak to a professional. Fortunately, at Chris Willemse Cycles, we don’t just have mountain bikes for sale; we ensure that our customers receive a shopping experience worth their time, which can be useful long-term. So, you can connect with us to discuss your sizing challenges, and we’ll help you to the best of our ability. In the end, we want you to own a bike that will help you enjoy the journey and boost your performance to ultimately meet your goals. 

Final thoughts

Buying the wrong size mountain bike can delay your progress. Additionally, it can make your off-road adventures less satisfactory and can lead to injury. You want to avoid this at all cost. Use the information we’ve shared above to pick a mountain bike that fits like a glove. When you’re ready to shop for a bike or a bike frame, visit Chris Willemse Cycles to choose the right size. 

We also have other mountain bike tools and resources you might need, including cycling clothing, MTB shoes, accessories, and bike parts.