Picking a bike and size guide
Whether you feel the need for speed, the thrill for hills or the get-go for retro, we've got your perfect bike. Now let's find it!
What bike size?
This might sound a little complicated, but don't panic – we'll get through this together and find your perfect bike.
First up, measure the intended rider's height in cm.
Decide whether you want a super-fast road bike, a rugged mountain bike or a versatile hybrid. If you're buying for a nipper, kid's bikes have their own separate chart.
Scroll down to the right chart and read off your height. Easy peasy!
For example: you're 175cm and you'd like a mountain bike because you love going off-road. So you scroll down to the Mountain Bike chart, read off your height and... boom! You're looking for a 17-18” frame size.
If your height is on the threshold between two sizes, you'll want to measure your charmingly-named ‘ape index’. That’s the length of your arm span minus your height. If you have a positive ape index (i.e. your arm span is longer than your height), you’ll probably want the larger size. If it’s negative, go for the smaller one. Chimptastic.
Please don't be tempted to squeeze onto a bike too big or too small for you – you'll only end up looking like a circus clown and wrecking your knees / back / street cred. Thanks.
Fancy the Tour de France, or even just touring France? Either way, what you need is a road bike. Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish did not go into races with a wicker basket on their bars.
Road bikes are designed with one goal in mind: speed on smooth surfaces. With dropped handles, feather-light aluminium or carbon frames and skinny tyres, they maximise the transfer of energy from your legs to the wheels. This efficiency gives you speed in the short run and conserves your strength over the course of a long day in the saddle.
That being said, our road bikes are just as happy shaving a few minutes off your morning commute!
|Frame Size (cm)||47 - 48||49 - 50||51 - 52 - 53||54 - 55||56 - 57 - 58||58 - 59 - 60||61 - 62 - 63|
|Frame Size (cm)||Rider Height|
|XXS||47 - 48||147-153cm|
|XS||49 - 50||152-160cm|
|S||51 - 52 - 53||160-168cm|
|M||54 - 55||168-175cm|
|L||56 - 57 - 58||175-183cm|
|XL||58 - 59 - 60||183-191cm|
|XXL||61 - 62 - 63||191-198cm|
These are the Bear Grylls of bicycles, happy as a pig in mud when they’re out in the wild. Break out of the city on an all-terrain adventure and get dirty grappling with rocks, roots, sand and shingle.
Deep tread tyres, 26” wheels, a lower gear range and built-in suspension provide the extra traction and stability needed for off-road encounters. If you're looking for extra comfort, hunt down seat post suspension and a mudguard.
Give a mountain bike a home today – just don’t leave it locked up too long!
|Frame Size (in)||13 - 14||15 - 16||17 - 18||19 - 20||21 - 22||23 - 24|
|Frame Size (in)||Rider Height|
|XS||13 - 14||147-157cm|
|S||15 - 16||157-168cm|
|M||17 - 18||168-178cm|
|L||19 - 20||178-185cm|
|XL||21 - 22||185-193cm|
|XXL||23 - 24||193-198cm|
Are you thinking to yourself “I want it all!”? Then you’re in the right place. Yes, a hybrid is the bicycle that Freddy Mercury and Queen wanted to ride.
The versatile love child of mountain and road bikes, the hybrid is as happy on the asphalt as it is over rougher terrain. Features you'll typically find on a hybrid bike include a wide range of gears, an upright riding position, 700c wheels, solid v-brakes and a strong alloy frame. Look out for bonuses like mudguards and a pannier rack.
One warning: these are our bestsellers, so get your clicking finger ready!
|Frame Size (in)||13 - 14||15 - 16||17 - 18||19 - 20||21 - 22||23 - 25|
|Frame Size (in)||Rider Height|
|XS||13 - 14||147-155cm|
|S||15 - 16||155-165cm|
|M||17 - 18||165-175cm|
|L||19 - 20||175-183cm|
|XL||21 - 22||183-191cm|
|XXL||23 - 25||191-198cm|
A vintage bike is a little like George Clooney: the older they get, the harder you fall for them. Others may disapprove of the age gap, but rest assured that The Bike Shop will make sure your new-to-you vintage model is in thoroughly modern condition.
Most of our vintage bikes are more than 30 years old, and many are from the '70s. Classic features of a vintage bike include the original steel frame, dropped handlebars, a range of gears with down tube shifters and that inexplicable design beauty. Keep your eyes peeled for original Brooks leather saddles and delightful vintage embellishments on the frame.
By definition, vintage bikes have stood the test of time: surviving and thriving is characteristic of their high build quality. It really is true that they don’t make ‘em like they used to!
Vintage bikes that are measured in centimetres follow the Road bike size chart above; those measured in inches follow the Hybrid bike size chart.
Single Speeds and Fixed Gear
Single speed cycling is the epitome of urban cool – but there are real, practical reasons why you might like to join the hipster revolution.
With fewer components to pack in, you get a lot more bike for your buck. Typically, our single speeds have quality components you'd usually only find on much more expensive road bikes. Then there's the visceral sensation of being tied to the road, just you and the power in your legs.
Plus, if there's no hills nearby, why bother with the constant maintenance hassle of gears?
Single speed bikes that are measured in centimetres follow the Road bike size chart above; those measured in inches follow the Hybrid bike size chart.
Folding bikes are the superheroes of the biking world. One minute you're quiet little Clark Kent, tapping away on your laptop on the train into work. The next you're flying down the road with your legs pumping, beating out the traffic in the race for home. Maybe take a spare shirt.
Check your local services, but folding bikes can usually be taken on National Rail and bus routes – even during peak times and, in London, even on the Underground. Amazing.
But forget all that for now these machines are actually great for cycling! Think about picking one that's got mudguards and a pannier rack so you can stay dry and stow your luggage.
Cast your eyes over these for your chance to join our superhero peloton.
Folding bikes are suitable for riders of all shapes and sizes!
Give a child a bicycle and you give them the freedom of the country – with the added benefit of tiring them out before bed.
Cycling is a skill for life that gives kids growing independence and a satisfying sense of achievement, as well as physical fitness and mental endurance. Buying your kid a bike might be one of the best investments you ever make – so much fun they won’t even realise it’s good for them!
|12" Wheel||14" Wheel||16" Wheel||20" Wheel||24" Wheel||26" Wheel|
|Approx Age||2 - 4 years||3 - 5 years||5 - 7 years||7 - 9 years||9 - 11 years||11+ years|
|Approx Age||Rider Height|
|12" Wheel||2 - 4 years||86-102cm|
|14" Wheel||3 - 5 years||94-109cm|
|16" Wheel||5 - 7 years||109-122cm|
|20" Wheel||7 - 9 years||122-135cm|
|24" Wheel||9 - 11 years||135-145cm|
|26" Wheel||11+ years||145-152cm|