Hybrid bike sizing guide

Hybrid bikes are the perfect choice for commuters, tourers and everyday cyclists. The best hybrid bikes are comfortable, quick and built for adventure making them a great choice for all cyclists.

Riding the correct size hybrid bike is crucial to your comfort and performance. If you’re looking for a new men’s hybrid bike or women’s hybrid bike, then this hybrid bike sizing guide is for you.

Why choose a hybrid bike?

Hybrid bikes are, as the name suggests, a combination of the best bits of a road bike and the best bits of a mountain bike.

You’ll find most hybrid bikes are built from metal (aluminium or steel) and come fitted with mudguards. Most modern hybrids have disc brakes for superb stopping power and larger tyres than your performance road bike, to stick to the road. You’ll get a wide selection of gears for tackling all types of terrain, all from leading brands including Shimano.

Flat-handled hybrid bikes offer a more upright riding position, which is comfortable for commuting and gives you a better view of the road. The frame design is less aggressive than a road bike but lighter and more manoeuvrable on the streets than a mountain bike.

Hybrid bikes are the go-anywhere, do-anything bike for most people. There is also a new range of electric hybrid bikes that come with a fitted motor for added pedalling power.

Hybrid bike fit basics

Riding the correct size hybrid bike is crucial. A bike that’s too small will leave you feeling cramped while you ride. A hybrid bike that’s too large will be difficult and potentially dangerous to ride.

Bike fit on hybrid bikes, as it is on road bikes and mountain bikes, is a very personal thing and we’d always recommend you try before you buy. However, there are some shortcuts to helping you find the correct sized hybrid bike for you.

Here are three hybrid bike fit fundamentals:

  • The should be a gap of around 2 inches (approximately 5cm) of clear air when you are standing over your frame with your feet on the floor.
  • Pedalling should be comfortable, with a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of each stroke.
  • You must be able to comfortably reach both brake levers.

These rules apply to both men’s and ladies hybrid bikes.

Hybrid bikes are sized according to the seat tube length, which is measured in inches. In some cases, it may be classified according to size (small, medium, large and extra-large), but you should know the size of the seat tube before purchasing it to ensure it’s the right size.

How do I choose the right size hybrid bike?

To ensure you choose the correct sized hybrid bike, you need to understand your anatomy. It’s time to start measuring!

To start, you’ll need three different measurements:

  • Your height
  • Your inside leg measurement
  • Your reach


The manufacturer of your bike will provide some basic details of which frame is suitable for your height. The system is crude, but it can help you to narrow down your search.

On the Halfords website, you’ll find size guides for both Carrera hybrid bikes and Boardman hybrid bikes which should help you to find the appropriately sized bike.

Inside leg measurement

You inside leg measurement is used to calculate your standover height. The standover height is the distance between the top of the bike frame and your crotch. As explained above, there should be at least a 2-inch gap.

The two-inch gap gives you enough space to jump on and off the bike as required and ensures that you can handle it, whether you’re on the road or off it.


If after measuring your height and inside leg measurements, you’re stuck between two sized bikes, then your reach can be a good deciding factor.

To get a figure we can use, we need to measure your Ape index, essentially whether your arm span is wider than your height or not.

Stretch out your arms and get someone to measure the distance between your two most extended fingers. Now, subtract that from your height. If your arm span is greater than your height, you’ve got a long reach so we’d recommend the bigger frame. If it’s less, we would advise you to choose the smaller frame.

The perfect fit

Finding the right bike is more than numbers on a sheet, but about how it feels to ride. While you may already have a good idea of the right sized frame for you, be aware that sizing can differ across manufacturers.

When riding, you want to feel comfortable and confident. It may be that you need to make some adjustments to your bike, such as a new saddle, a replacement stem or a set of narrower handlebars.

Alongside one of the UK’s biggest ranges of hybrid bikes, you can find a massive selection of replacement hybrid bike parts for men’s and women’s hybrid bikes at Halfords. Together, we can help you find the perfect pedalling partner for the road ahead.