Riding a bike is one of the best ways to get around your town or city without leaving a high carbon footprint, all the while getting some necessary cardio. Picking out the ideal bike for your needs as an adult can be a tricky business considering the number of models and variations on offer.
For those of a smaller stature, there are a handful of factors you need to remember before making your selection. We break down these factors, along with a list of some of the best bikes currently for short riders in this feature.
The six best bikes for short riders in our list include:
How to Pick the Best Bikes for Short Riders
If you're a short rider seeking a bike that can serve your needs well and compromising no riding experience element, you should probably pay attention to these pointers while picking out a bike.
Match Your Height
It’s crucial that you measure your height before you pick out a model compatible with your stature. Even a couple of inches here or there could place you in a separate class altogether.
Knowing your height is absolutely vital while picking out a bicycle online. If you’re going to a store to shop for a bike, it’s always recommended that you do a trial run with various bikes to figure out your comfort levels.
However, when you're shopping online, you have very little to go by apart from dimensions to guide your decision-making in this department. The Diamondback Bicycles Century 2 Endurance Road Bike, for example, offers bikes in five different size classes to help you perfectly match your height to their bikes.
Finding the Ideal Frame
Apart from the bike's dimensions, you will also need to look closely at the frame of the bike to determine which variant best suits your needs. Step-through frames, for example, such as the one used in the Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Steel Women's Hybrid Bike, make it extremely easy for women to get onto the saddle.
The frame's comfort levels and height also tend to vary based on the type of bike you're considering. A road bike with a frame of 20 to 23.5 inches (45 to 60 centimeters), for example, would be ideal for individuals between the height of 4 feet 10 inches and 5 feet 2 inches.
However, the same individual would have to opt for a mountain bike or a hybrid bike with a frame of 13 to 15 inches (33 to 38 centimeters) because of how they design these bikes.
Sizing Up the Wheels
One last major factor to consider while picking out a bike is the size of the wheels being used in the model. Bikes tend to carry wheels ranging from 15 inches to 28 inches (more or less depending on the brand), and it’s up to you to pick out the right one for your unique physique.
As a general rule of thumb, short riders should pick smaller wheels as they offer better handling.
If you’re picking out a model between 24 to 26 inches, this is the average size of wheels used by average-sized individuals. If you’re not comfortable with the wheels this large, opt for smaller ones. You should remember that the smaller the wheels, the less equipped they are for various aggressive terrains.
Review of the Six Best Bikes for Short Riders
First up on our list is our top pick in this category — The Diamondback Clutch. This is a well-designed bike that’s ideal for short riders based on its overall height and dimensions.
This aluminum frame model comes with 130 mm rear travel tires, assisted with an x-fusion 02 Pro large volume rear shock absorber. Thanks to this winning combination, you’re guaranteed a smooth ride across a wide set of conditions.
The SR Suntour Aion fork at the front of the bike assists you by providing a comfortable ride in bumpy conditions and is equipped with 150 mm (6 inches) front travel suspension for better control at high speed.
The Shimano Deore drivetrain components used in this model allow for a smooth shifting of gears, while the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes let you instantaneously stop the bike with precision.
They have designed this bike to be suitable for short riders as it fits adults between the height of 5 feet 1 inch to over 6 feet.
Included in this purchase are the unique pedals of this bike and a five-year manufacturer's warranty on the bike's front triangle. You also receive a one-year warranty on the swing arm alone.
Customers have, however, complained about the durability of the bike, which they say could be better.
- Ideal for individuals between 5 feet 1 inch and 6 feet.
- Shimano Deore drivetrain allows for easy gear changes.
- Shimano hydraulic disc brakes offer excellent stopping capabilities.
- Five-year manufacturers’ warranty of the front triangle.
- Mediocre durability.
Next up on our list is this unique looking folding bike by the EuroMini brand that’s sure to delight short riders.
This is a lightweight model made entirely of aluminum alloy, allowing for an effortless riding experience. Using genuine Shimano Tourney seven-speed derailleurs offers a great shift system for riders.
Along with this gear system, you also find the use of Shimano Revo seven-speed shifter and stainless steel seven-speed cassette gears that accentuate the bike's performance.
Thanks to an adjustable stem, riders can shift the bike's size to suit their needs, which is an invaluable feature for the shorter riders out there. This feature allows individuals from 5 feet to 6 feet, four inches to enjoy this bike.
Folding this bike is extremely easy and takes much less time than similar bikes, thanks to the double-wall rims, ultra-light multi-terrain tires, and magnet catchers.
Despite being a compact bike, it has an impressive maximum weight capacity of 240 pounds.
The only reasonable concern customers have had with this bike is regarding the braking system, which could be improved upon.
- All aluminum exterior makes the bike ultralightweight.
- Excellent gear system thanks to the genuine Shimano Tourney seven-speed derailleur.
- Adjustable for heights ranging from five feet to six feet four inches.
- Maximum capacity of 240 pounds.
- Braking could be better.
Schwinn bikes are an absolute pleasure to ride, and it would be a shame to miss out on this experience due to your height. Thankfully, the brand has a set of bikes ideal for short riders, and this model, in particular, stands out in the crowd.
This is a sleek-looking bike with a steel cruiser frame styled with a vintage fork and a glossy red finish.
The use of a Shimano seven-speed drivetrain ensures that you have an excellent gear system. The addition of a twist shifter system to the gears allows you to make changes quickly to your gears on the fly.
They have also used a set of front and rear linear-pull brakes in this model to offer excellent stopping capability. You can also keep this bike's look preserved thanks to the fenders that provide weather protection while simultaneously completing the retro look.
Even the handlebar used here belongs to the classic cruiser era, allowing for an upright riding position that’s extremely comfortable.
The overall intelligent use of retro design allows this bike to remain accessible to short riders. Even with the 26-inch wheels, adults between the height of 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 2 inches can use this bike.
One last amazing feature of this bike is the limited lifetime warranty that’s offered by the manufacturers.
As this bike does not come pre-assembled, though, users have noted that it’s particularly difficult to put this bike together, and you may require professional assistance.
- Steel cruiser frame is robust.
- Vintage design and styling.
- Ideal for individuals between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 2 inches.
- Includes a limited lifetime warranty.
- Difficult to assemble.
No “best of” bike list would be complete without including at least one Sixthreezero product. This model is an excellent choice for short women riders looking for a hybrid bike.
A hybrid bike brings together the best of comfort bikes and commuter bikes, and this model achieves this balance to perfection. The Shimano seven-speed external derailleur ensures that you have a trusted gear system driving your bike forward.
This model has a swooping, low, 17.5-inch steel frame, making it extremely easy for shorter riders to step through and seat themselves on the bike. The upright riding position makes for a comfortable ride, all the while being gentle on your shoulders, back and knees.
You also achieve an excellent roll and a highly stable ride thanks to the 26-inch, semi-slick tires.
A beautiful teal finish makes this model pop out from the crowd, and the color is accentuated by the design of the fenders and brown saddle.
Some customers have complained that parts were missing when they ordered this bike, and that's something to watch out for when picking this model.
- Exceptional quality hybrid bike.
- Powered by the Shimano seven-speed external derailleur.
- Low, swooping frame makes for an easy step-through.
- All-steel frame.
- Some buyers have found parts were missing on delivery.
The Tomamaso Forcella is a lightweight and durable bike with a compact aluminum frame. The HCT carbon fork in this model plays a huge role in reducing the rider's vibrations, and it also helps keep the overall weight of the model to a minimum.
Despite its seemingly diminutive size, this is one model that offers a powerful and swift riding experience. As it's a road bike, it uses a 3 x 8 Shimano Claris Groupset to allow you to tackle a wide variety of terrains while offering multiple gear options for each riding condition.
Thanks to the Shimano Claris STI shifters, you can also achieve the perfect shift with pinpoint precision as you try to tackle these diverse terrains.
Some customers have noted issues with the quality of the wheels of this bike, and they believe that they can be of a higher quality to match the capabilities of this model.
- All aluminum-frame.
- Powerful performance.
- All-terrain bike.
- Compact frame.
- Wheel quality can be improved.
Our list's final selection is another road bike as they often feature a low-design and can be ideal for short riders. This model belongs to the Diamondback brand and is one of the best endurance road bikes in the market.
Diamondback has used A hand-built 7005 aluminum alloy frame to maximize the bike's durability while minimizing its weight.
They've also added DBR podium air-formed disc alloy forks to this model to improve the overall handling performance. This is further strengthened with the Tektro Lyra disc brakes that significantly boost the control on offer.
You can pick this bike up in multiple sizes ranging from SM (for riders between 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 7 inches) to XXL (for riders between 6 feet 1 inch to 6 feet 3 inches).
The only major flaw with this model is the lack of fenders to prevent it from getting dirty and weathering too quickly.
- Made using a hand-built aluminum alloy frame.
- Excellent handling and braking.
- Shimano 2 x 9-speed drivetrain increases performance.
- Lack of fenders.
Elevate Your Riding Experience
Your height should never be a factor that stops you from engaging in a fun activity like bicycling. To this effect, we’ve picked out six amazing bikes to help you hit the streets.
Our top pick in this segment is the Diamondback Bicycles Clutch, which offers an excellent riding experience for short riders thanks to its unique frame and lightweight design.
You will undoubtedly feel elevated in your riding experience once you hit the streets with this bad boy!