How to Select the Right Electric Bicycle Size?

Last Updated on May 19, 2022 by Igor Karni

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I must admit that it can get really confusing when selecting an electric bicycle size for the first time. Have had a similar experience a few years back when I was getting my first e-bicycle. I wasn’t sure which size would work best for me.

Therefore, I sat down behind my computer and did some research on the same. I came to realize that there are so many factors that one needs to pay attention to when selecting an electric bicycle size. Here are my research findings.

What matters when selecting an electric bicycle size? When looking for the ideal size of an electric bicycle, you need to consider the saddle height, frame size, handlebar height as well as pedal position. Key factors are also your desired riding experience and comfort also play a role.

It is important to have an accurate understanding and knowledge about the correct e-bike size for you. The wrong size will make you uncomfortable and it will be hard for you to adapt. Not to mention that you are likely to have frequent falls and poor balance. In extreme cases causing neck and back pains.

Read also: Guidance for riding an electric bicycle with certain health conditions. And, Most common e-bike riding pains, how to prevent and cure.

I don’t know about you, but what I have seen is that most people will select their ideal e-bike sizes depending on the riding experience and comfort they want at the end of the day. This is certainly one of the key factors but what they don’t know is that there is more to choosing an electric bike than just that. In case you are wondering what’s more on this, read on, and let’s find out!

Why the right e-bike size matters?

Normally, the electric bikes come with power-assisted pedaling meaning that you can pedal for a longer period without slowing down. This makes your riding experience much more fun but this experience will not always be as fun as anticipated if you have the wrong size of the electric bike.

I know the type of bike one chooses matters a lot, but no matter your taste, just ensure that you pick the right size. This is because, when you get a correctly fitting bike you will have more fun, efficient and comfortable riding experience. And in that case, you will be able to bike for hours and longer distances with much more ease.

This means that as you consider the ideal fit for an e-bike, you need to pay attention to your riding style, inseam measurements, your height, and definitely the type of bike you choose. In line with all other factors, the bike type determines the kind of frame size and saddle height you get.

Read also: Most common pains when riding an electric bicycle, and how to prevent and cure them.

You also need to make sure that you know the exact use of the electric bike you want before you get down to the sizing. Do you plan to use your e-bike mostly for brisk city rides? Or for daily commutes to work? Or for longer trips to the countryside? All in all, this should be a pretty easy part of the whole process because you most likely have already put some thought into it.

Away from that, once the new bike gets home, you can always do some finer tuning to get things customized to fit your riding style. There are a few alterations that you can always consider making to your electric bike for the best biking experience.

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Frame size

This is one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to getting the correct electric bike size for you. This is because once the frame size is set there is rarely going back, that’s just it.

There are a few handy ways that you can use to measure the right size of the frame. We will discuss in more detail in the next sub-topic on “how to take body measurements for a bike”.

Saddle adjustments

This is also another very important aspect that you need to consider if you need to get the right electric bike size. This is because if the saddle is too high or too low the electric bike will not give you the anticipated riding experience.

To properly size ideal the saddle height, just take one of your feet then place it on the pedal while at its lowest point. This should give you a slight bend on the knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The ideal saddle height always allows more powerful downstrokes and less effort is applied on your knees.

Read also: How to prevent and cure back pain when riding an e-bike? And, How to prevent and cure knee pain when riding an e-bike?

Handlebar height and size

The electric bike handlebars often come in diverse configurations and widths. Therefore, to get the right size, ensure that you go for one that matches your shoulder joint width.

If you need more leverage and easier breathing the handlebar should be wider or narrower for a more aerodynamic ride. Also, if you get cramped or sore after the ride, you can raise the handlebars a little and you will feel better during your next ride.

How do I take my body measurements?

Most people will either get electric bikes that are either too high if not too short. However, when trying to find the ideal electric bike size, ensure that your first step is to take your body measurements so that you can get a perfect fit.

The bike sizes are determined by a person’s dimensions for the body frame and height and not weight as most people think.

Your overall height

If you are not sure about your full-length height, stand against a wall with your feet flat on the ground. Make sure that your shoes are off. The legs should not be more than shoulder-width apart from each other. Have someone help you take the measurements.

The inseam measurements

The inseam measurements are the inside leg measurements of your body. Most people will base this on their jeans size, which could be misleading. Therefore, to get the inseam measurements right, here is how you should do it.

  1. Stand against the wall with your feet 6 inches (15 cm) apart.
  2. Use a hardcover book and place it between your legs and against the wall too.
  3. Position your spine up and then raise the book until it snugs against the crotch. The book should mimic the bike seat.
  4. Have a friend or the bike expert take measurements from your spine at the top of the book all the way down to the floor.

This measurement should be from the bottom of your feet to where the bike seat will most likely be.

When you get these measurements right, it means that you will get ultimate comfort when riding. This is because your legs will be fully extended with a slight knee bend hence giving you the ideal riding position. Also, you will be less likely to expense thigh pains and cramps.

Leg inseam (in/cm)MultiplicatorYour frame size
City e-bikeinseam measurex 0,685= frame size
Mountain e-bikeinseam measurex 0,66= frame size
Road e-bikeinseam measurex 0,7= frame size

How do I know when the size is wrong?

In most cases, people will just go for electric bikes the experts and shop owners recommended for them. They are experts and they are knowledgeable in their field of expertise. But on a bad day, these people will just be interested in sales of the bikes in stock than actually caring if the bikes are ideal for the buyers.

This is really unfortunate for you who would have trusted the bike expert. Here are four ways to detect whether the bike you are getting at your local shop is the right size for you or not.

Read also: How to prevent and cure back pain when riding an e-bike? And, How to prevent and cure knee pain when riding an e-bike?

The wrong bike size could do more harm than good to your body. These signs are the ultimate indicator of a wrongly sized bike.

A too high saddle

You can easily tell whether the bike is good for you or not by the comfort and maneuverability it offers. At times you can feel that your saddle is too high and you can barely get the anticipated riding comfort. This means that you went for the wrong size of the bike and you need to consider a change.

Regular back pains

Bike riding should be a fun experience that you should always look forward to. But if all you do after a long bike ride is complain about endless back pains it simply means that you have the wrong bike size. It could be the frame size, the wheel size, or even the saddles that have an issue.

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A too-low saddle

When the bike saddle is too low, your biking experience will always be a struggle no matter how hard you may try to reach. This may cause stress in your muscles which may lead to muscle pains.

Inconsistency in your bike stem

The bike stem is one of the most important parts of a bike. And for that reason, you need to pay close attention to it every now and then. Therefore, if you notice some small changes every time, this means that the stem is not the ideal one and most likely not the original stem.

This means you will have to subject your bike to stem change which will further lead to constant mechanical fixings. Later on, this will only lead to your bike breaking down every now and then.

Related Questions

Are the electric bikes heavy? Typically, electric bikes are heavier than regular bikes. While a regular bike weighs 25 pounds (around 12 kg), the e-bike could go up to 50 pounds (around 22 kg) and more.

You will mostly feel the weight of your e-bike when climbing steep hills. The good thing is that the electric assist effectively makes up for this additional weight.

Read also: How much does an e-bike weigh? And, What is e-bike range on a single charge?

Do I really need to do a “Test Ride” for my new electric bike? When getting a new e-bike, the last thing you need to do is rush during the buying process. Take a short (or long) ride with the bike and get to feel its comfort, maneuverability, braking system, durability and so much more.

Yes, a test ride will always add value to the whole process of deciding if the bike is good for you or not.

Take a look at this quick e-bike sizing video:

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