Tall people usually have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to bicycles. However, there are a number of points to keep in mind when selecting a bicycle according to your stature apart from the size of the bike. The average rider height is 5’8″ and most bikes are designed for these people. But there are some special bikes out there especially made for people who are 6 feet and taller. With wheel sizes ranging from 32″ to 36″, these bikes offer the rider to maintain an upright position throughout the ride and be able to roll over obstacles quite expertly.
In this article, we will look at some of the best bicycles for tall riders in different categories.
The Best Road, Mountain, Hybrid, & E-Bikes For Tall Riders
Road bikes generally come in two frames: standard and compact. The size of a road bike is measured by their seat tube length, which can range from small to extra large. In order to know what road bike size would be best suited to your height, you need to pay attention to your inside leg measurement and your reach. You need a frame size of 58cm to 62cm if you fall in the height range of 6 feet to 6’5″. And if you plan on buying a compact road bike, then look for a large or preferably extra large frame size. Following are the best road bikes for tall people;
Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0
This road bike has been found to be one of the best for tall riders. It is available in XL and 2XL varieties with a head tube length of 202mm and 219mm respectively. The stand-over height these bikes offer is 851mm for XL and 874mm for 2XL. Both come with a crank length of 175mm and a wheel size of 28″. The bike is recommended mainly because of its fairly good head tube length. One downside is that, it is quite expensive. However, if you’re looking for an ultimate bike for use on the road that would not only be suitable to your stature but will also last a lifetime, look no further.
Specialized Tricross Comp Double
It is versatile and available in a wide range of sizes. 61cm size is recommended for tall riders for a smooth and comfortable ride on the road. It is also reasonably priced and quite a stunner as far as the looks are concerned. However, there is one downside to this fun bike and that is its speed. You won’t be able to compare it to many other and especially the latest road-racing bikes available on the market.
Just because you don’t want to spend more than $500 on a road bike doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal. It is made with high quality components from manufacturers you can trust. Its steel frame combined with rim brakes and a tire width of 700x25c make it an excellent road bike for tall riders.
Mountain bikes are usually designed with performance in mind and therefore they are available in typical sizes only. One thing that you need to pay attention to is the frame material when it comes to buying a mountain bike for a tall person. The frame must be strong and durable enough to carry the extra weight. Although the choices are limited, there are some really cool bikes in this category suitable for heights up to 6’2″. Most of the bikes would come with a standard crank length, though, which could mean a downside for tall riders.
Here are our picks of the best mountain bikes for taller individuals:
This bike has been specifically designed for tall people and is available in sizes up to 5XL! DirtySixer is a popular bike among seasoned riders and has also been endorsed by NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Player Association). It is a bit more expensive than most 29ers out there, but definitely worth the price. Its MTB version comes in an aluminum frame with 42mm wide rims and 11-speed derailleur. It is a tough bike suitable even for riders who weigh up to 130kg. This amazing bike is fit for riders as tall as 7’4″!
Raleigh Bikes Venture Comfort Bike
This one is affordable, has received a fairly good rating and has been specifically designed for campground trail. The XL model of this bike is perfect for riders as tall as 6’4“. Its rough and tough steel frame makes it a durable choice for relaxed riding throughout the journey. Keep in mind that it’s not a high-tech model so don’t expect the luxury features that often come with high-end bikes designed for tall and heavy people. Despite its low price, it’s a good pick especially for casual and occasional off–road trips.
Electric or ebikes are getting more popular day by day. The most prominent feature that distinguishes them from traditional and hybrid bikes is their speed.
Tall people often forego the idea of buying an ebike because they think it would not be able to withstand their tall stature and weight.
It’s true that electric bikes are designed to be quite sophisticated with all those high-tech features.
At the same time, it is also possible to find a few amazing ebikes that have been specifically designed for tall riders. What you need to find in an ebike is a stronger frame and tires with higher thread counts.
Bikes that come with more durable brakes, such as hydraulic brakes are preferred for people with a large frame.
These bikes offer greater control and more safety especially on uneven and unpredictable terrains.
High and wide handlebars also make it easy to ride an ebike more comfortably and with more confidence. Here we will review three ebikes to help you choose the best model according to your requirements and budget.
Cube TouringHybrid EXC 500
It is not only affordable but also adaptable according to your riding needs. The frame is specifically designed to offer longer life and durability because it also has to house a battery.
The bike not only offers a safe ride to all types of riders but also stylish looks that would make both men and women fall in love with it.
It comes with easy to shift Shimano 9-speed gears that makes riding even more fun.
The bike does not need a lot of maintenance and therefore offers great value for your money. It has been constructed with high performance aluminum and the latest and reliable Shimano brake system.
Cube Cross Hybrid Pro
A do-it-all bike designed for maximum performance that comes in two color variants is something you have got to check out if you’re looking for a smart and affordable ebike.
The frame is compact but offers greater stability and smooth performance. Made from high performance aluminum, the bike is reliable and safe on almost all types of terrains.
The powerful Shimano hydraulic brake system makes it a reliable and easy to handle bike. Both these bikes make use of the Bosch performance CX motor system and are recommended by the experts.
Sduro Hardlife 4.0
Again featuring the Bosch performance CX motor system and many other features that would appeal not just to tall but also to heavy bikers out there, this bicycle is suitable for both men and women.
It is a bit more expensive but definitely worth the money. The maximum range it can cover with a single battery charge ranges from 40 to 120 miles.
In addition to this particular model, the company also produces some other topof-the-line ebikes for all types of riders.
These include hybrid and mountain bike for people with average and tall statures.
These bikes are made to last a long time because of their innovative and high-tech features. They are also quite safe and reliable.
Hybrid commuter bicycles are preferred by a large number of riders out there owing to their many benefits over traditional bikes. They are designed to offer the best of both the worlds; the performance of a mountain bike combined with the convenience and efficiency of a road bike. They might not be as lightweight as most road bikes, but they are equipped with features like wide handlebars and tough frame to cater to the needs of most tall and bulky riders.
The AllRoad model of the famous DirtySixer comes with 42mm wide rims and a frame composed of aluminum and steel. If you’re looking for one of the best bicycles for tall riders, look no further. It includes hydraulic disc bakes along with proportionate long cranks, both of which are excellent features that favor tall people. It is able to withstand weights up to 130kg and is available in many sizes from 2XL to 5XL. Even if you are taller than 7’4″, the manufacturer offers custom sizing to design a bike that perfectly fits your stature.
If you are not yet ready to spend a huge amount on a bike, check out this hybrid bike available in various sizes with the largest being 22″. It is made with an aluminum frame and is suitable for different terrains.
You can use it as a road bike as it offers a comfortable ride because of its zoom suspension fork and upright handlebars. It is suitable for riders as tall as 6’8″.
After reviewing the DirtySixer, it may not feel like an elite bike but it does offer many benefits over traditional road and mountain bikes.
No matter what type of bike you’re looking for, there are some common features that must be present in the bicycle you choose if you want to enjoy it despite your height. These include:
- Proportional crank lengths
- Wide handlebars
- Large disc brakes
- High quality suspension forks
- Long wheelbase
Why Look for the Best Bicycles for Tall Riders
While some people despite their large frames and extra height may get away with standard bikes, there are reasons for choosing a bike specifically designed for tall riders. Not only would it feel more comfortable under your weight but will also be more stable and safer on the road.
Here are a few reasons why you should find the best bike if you are tall and large:
Not only the quality and built of a bike but also its size determines its overall convenience and level of comfort. If you choose the right size, you not only ensure that the bike will offer a comfortable ride all through the journey but that the handlebars, stem length and other features are also according to your height and stature. When you have a proper posture on the bike, you feel more comfortable and hence safer and more confident on the road.
2. Better Performance
There are many types of bikes available out there ranging from road bike to ebikes and hybrid models. One thing that you want out of every bike is performance no matter what purpose you’re buying it for. If a mountain bike designed for tall riders is not capable of climbing difficult trails because of the extra weight, it is of no use. So, you need to look for special features apart from size to make sure all your requirements are fulfilled and you are getting a bike that will offer great value for money.
Safety is the number one concern when you’re out on the road. A wrong bike with faulty components can put your life at risk when you try to use its full potential. Unfitting bikes are sometimes not able to withstand the pressure and weight of a tall and bulky rider. As a result, they end up crumbling down hurting the rider.
Keeping your own safety on the forefront, it is important to look for a rough and tough bike that will also offer good performance and efficiency. You need a bike that not only feels comfortable but is also capable of carrying your huge stature effortlessly.
The best fitting bikes can make riding all the more fun and an exciting adventure. Some of the top quality large frame bikes designed for tall people are incredibly expensive. So, before spending that huge an amount on a bicycle, it is highly recommended that you do your research, consider a few models and then pick the best among them. It is also a good idea to dig into some user reviews and experiences narrated by real riders out there.
Features to Look For in Tall Bikes
Here we will discuss some important features that taller people would find useful in the bike they plan on buying. These include wheel size, crank length, and frame materials.
1. Crank-arm Length
The length from the center of the bottom bracket axle to the center of the pedal axle is referred to as crank length. Regardless of the size of a bike, this length is usually fixed at 175mm. But the range varies from 160mm to 185mm and even 200mm in some bikes. So, the rider has the choice of selecting a bike that has a longer crank. Particularly, if you plan on buying a mountain bike, then you must look for an extra-long cranks. If the bike is large and its crank length is just average, it might not offer optimum performance. Keep this in mind when searching for the best bicycles for tall riders.
An issue with long cranks, however, is that they might not be suitable for standard bicycle frames. This is because the height of the bottom brackets is almost the same regardless of the size and therefore a longer crank may not adjust well with this arrangement. Although most experts would tell you that shorter cranks make a bike more comfortable to ride on, the rule changes slightly where tall people are concerned. The newest bikes are being designed with crank lengths of 160mm to 165mm keeping an average rider in mind with a height of 5ft 8in to 5ft 10in. So, basically longer cranks offer more comfort and a slight increase in performance for tall riders.
2. Wheel Size
Another parameter that remains untouched is the wheel size in bikes that come in different frame sizes. Wheel sizes typically come in measurements of 26″, 29″ and 36″. Out of these, 29″ is mostly preferred for mountain bikes today and 26″ for dirt jumping. Some of the factors that influence the choice of a wheel size include:
- Attack angle
In addition, the weight of the rider, which increase with height, also plays a major role in choosing the wheel size. 32″ and 36″ wheels are more capable of carrying the person effortlessly thereby offering a comfortable and smooth ride.
3. Frame Material
Bikes are made from many types of materials, such as titanium, aluminum, steel and carbon fiber. All these materials have their pros and cons. For example, while aluminum is lightweight and rust-resistant material, it might not prove to be a suitable material for bikes that are going to be used by tall people.
Carbon fiber is even lighter in weight and offers a comfortable ride because its low density serves to absorb road vibration better than any other material for bikes.
However, the best frame materials for tall bikers have been found to be steel and titanium. Carbon steel, also known as high-tensile steel, is by far the most durable and strong material identified for all types of bikes and especially ones made for tall riders.
Titanium is also preferred because of its corrosion resistant properties and because of being lighter in weight than steel. Despite its higher cost, titanium is recommended for heavier and taller riders. And when it comes to high stress of mountain biking, you need a frame that would withstand all those stresses. So basically, if your wallet allows, you must go for titanium and if not, the second choice would be steel.
Nothing feels more inappropriate and irritating than riding a bike that is not suitable for your stature and height.
Tall people enjoy a number of perks in daily life and one of them is to ride an amazing bike with features like 36-inch wide wheels with a higher bottom bracket and increased stability on the road. While that’s true, it is not possible for tall and bulky riders to just visit a local bike shop and buy a bicycle off the rack.
They not only need to take into account some extra features but also give the bike a test ride to determine if it is comfortable, safe and convenient. It is recommended to go for a hybrid bike when you need a do-everything bike suitable for your tall stature. Some of the features that you must look for in a suitable bike for tall people include a crank length proportional to the size of the bike, thicker axles, large disc brakes and a tough frame made from titanium or steel.
These features will not only improve the comfort level while riding but also the power of the bicycle and its aerodynamics. The size of the bike matters especially when you have to buy a road bike. If you plan on getting a mountain bike and have an extra large frame, go for DirtySixer 36er.
It is currently the largest bike that has been specifically designed for tall and heavy riders. Some people also like to assemble their own bikes by buying the components separately.
The best off-the-shelf frames are currently offered by Soma in different varieties, such as Soma Double Cross, Soma Wolverine, and Soma ES.
They offer a frame size as large as 65cm. Another manufacturer that produces even larger bike frames is Gunnar.
Taking into account your own requirements and budget as well as the features mentioned above, you can get your hands on one of the best and most suitable bicycles that has been specifically designed for tall people.