Pilot How To: Determine the perfect frame size

Riding a bike that is not the right size is can be a (literal) pain in the ass. You might not feel it at first, but when you ride a bike that does not fit you, you are likely to change your position so that you feel better on the bike. And bad habits are not easy to let go!

Now that we are unable to receive you and advise you face to face, we have to make sure that your bike is the right size by doing something different. Luckily, the right measurements of some body parts are far more important than a short test ride on a parking lot. So if you do the measuring, we will advise you about the right frame size. The following sizes are essential when you are looking for the perfect bike size.

So let’s start measuring! These 6 steps will teach you everything you need to know in order to determine the right frame size. You might need an extra pair of hands, so make sure you have someone around to help you!

All steps are visualized in the drawing below


The easiest of the 6. Simply stand with your back and your heels against the wall, stand up straight with your feet approximately 15 cm apart and measure from the ground to the top of your head. (Or just check your passport)


Find the dent just above your sternum. Stand up straight, but this time your nose is pointed to the wall. Put the rear end of a pencil just above your sternum and mark this height on the wall with the tip of the pencil. Measure from this point to the ground to calculate your torso height!


One of the more important measurements is the inseam length. Stand with your back and heels against the wall again and make sure your feet are about 15 cm apart from each other. Pick up the book, push it firmly between your legs as if it were a saddle and hold it against the wall in a 90 degree angle. Then measure from the top of the book to the floor.


Measuring the length of your upper leg is easier when you sit on your knees like the silhouette in the picture. Let the book function as a saddle again and measure from the top of the book to the floor.


If you put your left hand on top of your right shoulder and wave with your right arm as if you are warming up, you should be able feel the pivot point in your shoulder. Make a fist as if you’re holding a handlebar and measure from the pivot point in your shoulder until the centre of your fist.


To determine the right width of the handlebar we would like to know the width of your shoulders. Try to find the pivot point in your shoulder, just like you did at step E. Do the same on the other shoulder, measure the space between the two hinge points and there it is: your shoulder width!

These are all the measurements we need to know in order to determine your perfect frame size. Now you’re ready to fill in our configurator!


Do you need some more information about your ideal frame size? Send an email to info@pilotcycles.com and we’ll do whatever we can to help you!