Twenty-six-inch bike tires are for people up to six feet tall, but there’s more to a mountain bike than the tire size. Getting the right fit can mean the difference between a properly functioning bicycle and grave injuries or accidents.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find the right bicycle size for you. What size mountain bike is best for a six-foot man?
The best size mountain bike for a 6 foot man is 18 to 20 inches (54-61 cm). This size range encompasses standard Large through XXL bike frames because the correct bike size encompasses both the height of the rider and their inseam size. Deciding whether to size up or down is about individual comfort and body proportions.
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Best Size Mountain Bike For 6 Foot Man
Unlike Starbucks coffee, bike frame sizes go by simple names, and mountain bikes come in standardized sizes.
The best size mountain bike for a six-foot man is extra-large. However, size large will suit those with proportionally shorter inseams, and the XXL frame is better for riders with exceptionally long legs.
Most often, these frame sizes will come with 27.5 inch tires. However, it’s essential to verify since a larger wheel will make the MTB taller.
If you size up or down, you may also have a different wheel size.
What Size Mountain Bike Frame For 6 Foot Man
Like whole bikes, mountain bike frames are standard sizes, making it easy to find the right one.
Whether you’re replacing a damaged frame or starting a DIY build, I’ll help you snag the perfect size bike frame for a six-foot man. The chart below has frame sizes by height.
Frame Size By Rider Height
|Rider Height||Frame Size|
|4’10” – 5’2″ (148cm – 158cm)||13″ – 14″ (33-37 cm)- XS/Extra Small|
|5’2″ – 5’6″ (158cm – 168cm)||15″ – 16″ (38-42 cm)- S/Small|
|5’6″ – 5′ 10″ (168cm – 178cm)||17″ – 18″ (43-47 cm)- M/Medium|
|5’10” – 6’1″ (178cm – 185cm)||19″ – 20″ (48-52 cm)- L/Large|
|6’1″ – 6’4″ (185cm – 193cm)||21″ – 22″ (53-57 cm)- XL/Extra Large|
|6’4″ – 6’6″ (193cm – 198cm)||23″ – 24″ (58-61 cm)- XXL|
Can A 6 Foot Man Ride A 26 Inch Bike
A six-foot man can ride a 26-inch bike. The twenty-six-inch tire is the most common for bikes overall.
However, it’s not the one you find on most mountain bikes. Because of the rugged terrain, a more robust tire is called for.
Notably, there are also twenty-six-inch frames. Most six-foot men would not ride that size, and usually, the 26″ indicates tire size rather than frame toptube length.
Felt Racing explains, “In terms of the mountain bike size, 26-inch is not the most popular size. Actually, mountain bikes are used for tough terrains. When a rider (tall riders are fit too) heads over to a mountain bike, he will prefer to perform tricks and conquer difficult trails… 26-inch mountain bikes are just suitable for lightweight riders or experts who want the adventure. Since this dimension cannot offer the best stability, beginners will find it easy to lose balance and control when riding on it.”
How Do You Pick The Right Size Mountain Bike For A 6 Foot Man
Choosing the right fit when buying a bicycle for a six-foot-tall man is important. Most bikes won’t be too tall, but a too-short bicycle is dangerous.
Your knees should never hit the handlebars as you pedal because, in addition to hurting your knees, it impedes movement and safe bicycle operation.
Similarly, you should be able to reach and hold the handlebars in the proper riding position without pain in your arms, back, or shoulders.
Luckily, you already have half of the information you need to make an educated guess. You know the rider’s height.
The other measurement you need is inseam, and you can get this by measuring from the ground to the groin on the inside of the leg, but not quite the way you measure it for trousers.
When you buy pants based on your inseam, you want a measurement two inches shorter than your leg length because you don’t want the crotch of the pants snug against your body as this would be uncomfortable.
Measuring Inseam To Get The Right Size Bike
Measuring the inseam for a mountain bike isn’t about leaving room for your body since you press down on the seat as you sit there.
Instead, you need an accurate measure of how high the saddle will be from the ground when sitting on it with your full weight. To get this, you want a compacted measurement.
As Road Biker explains the process, “To find inseam length for cycle-fitting purposes, remove your shoes and any baggy trousers. Then stand with your feet about 8 inches apart and place a spirit level or other straight edge… pulling it up to the highest possible position so that the pressure is similar to what you feel when sitting on a bike saddle. Keeping the straight edge parallel to the floor, measure the distance from the top of it to the floor.”
Bike Size By Inseam & Height
|27″ or less||5′ to 5’4″||49 cm: XS/Extra Small|
|27″ to 29″||5’4″ to 5’8″||49-54 cm: S/Small|
|29″ to 31″||5’8″ to 5’10”||52-56 cm: M/Medium|
|31″ to 33″||5″10″ to 6′||54-58 cm: L/Large|
|33″ to 35″||6′ to 6’3″||56-61 cm: XL/Extra Large|
|35″ or more||6’3″ to 6’6″||61 cm or more: XXL bike|
Generally, inseams and heights that fall outside the given ranges above require specialty mountain bikes.
A man with unusually long legs or arms may need a larger frame or shorter handlebar rise than most to fit his body. Mostly this is easy to accommodate by moving up to an XXL bike.
Helpful Tips To Know About What Size Mountain Bike For 6 Foot Man
Picking the best mountain bike for a six-foot man doesn’t need to be a headache. Choose a bicycle based on your body’s proportions that are generally within the 18 to 20 inch (54-61 cm) range of sizes.
Here are more helpful tips to know about what size mountain bike to choose for a six-foot man.
- When sitting on a bicycle saddle, you should be able to touch the ground with your toes, but your whole foot should not sit flat.
- It would be best if you had both height and inseam to get a well-fitting bike because they help with different proportions on the bike. Your height enables you to find a bike that can fit your upper body, meaning you comfortably reach the handlebars. Meanwhile, the inseam is the best way to pick a bicycle you can straddle correctly.
- The rise of your handlebars will determine how comfortable your arms are while you ride. The handlebars on a mountain bike should be somewhere between level-with and three inches below your seat at full climbing height.
Many six-foot men ride mountain bikes, so it’s easy to find the right size. I recommend trying out the large, extra-large, and XXL frame sizes before buying because it will help determine what feels best to you.
Once you know what size mountain bike you need, it’s only a matter of choosing the style and brand you like best.
Fortunately, even without a local bike shop, you can usually determine the correct size based on your height and bike-inseam measurement, so you get a comfortable ride every time.