Choosing the right bike can be a tricky decision, especially when there are so many good options out there. Finding the right type of bike is often a good place to start, before selecting your ideal size using our handy guide to point you in the right direction.
What type of bike do you need?
Road BikesFancy 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!
Mountain BikesThese 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.
Hybrid BikesAre 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 mix 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.
Word of warning: these are our bestsellers, so make sure you reserve yours quick!
Vintage BikesA vintage bike is a little like George Clooney: the older they get, the harder you fall for them. 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!
Single Speeds and Fixed Gear BikesSingle 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?
Folding BikesFolding 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 all the traffic in the race for home.
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.
Folding bikes are suitable for riders of all shapes and sizes!
Kid's BikesGive 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!
What size bike?
We've made finding the right size bike easy: simply select your height from the filter on the shop page and you'll see all the bikes that are right for you.
Please don't be tempted to squeeze onto a bike too big or too small for you – you'll be much more comfortable on a better fitting bike, especially over longer distances where you'll be in the saddle for more time.
Although our size guide works for 99% of people, every bike and every body is a little bit different. If your bike arrives and it doesn't quite fit then don't worry - we offer 14-day no quibble returns policy.
If your height is on the threshold between two sizes, try measuring your charmingly-named ‘ape index' - that's the length of your maximum 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 sized bike. If it’s negative, go for the smaller one.
How we size our second hand bikes
As you know, The Bike Project is utterly unique - and that holds true when it comes to sizing secondhand bikes as well.
Unlike most bike shops, we don't measure our second hand bikes using frame size or seat post length. We use the 'real top tube length' system developed by one of our amazing mechanics.
Why use the real top tube length?Our secondhand bikes come in every imaginable stylr, from road bikes and folding bikes, to hybrids, MTBs and everything in between. On top of that, our stock of bikes have a wide range of vintage to modern sensibilities
What that means is we can't necessarily rely on traditional size guides to calculate the perfect bike fit for you.
However, our system is SUPER easy to use and has only one straight-forward chart that covers all types of bikes.
Bike SIzing Chart*
|Bike Size||Rider Height|
|XXS||145-152cm||4'9" - 5'0"|
|XS||152-160cm||5'0" - 5'3"|
|S||160-168cm||5'3" - 5'6"|
|M||168-175cm||5'6" - 5'9"|
|L||175-183cm||5'9" - 6'0"|
|XL||183-191cm||6'0" - 6'3"|
|XXL||191-198cm||6'3" - 6'6"|
*These measurements have been rigorously tested on hundreds of bikes to make sure we give you the perfect fit. But it is important to note that this is just a guide because everyone's body is different! If you still prefer the old ways, there's a little info box that gives the frame (and wheel) size on every bike product page.
Kids bikes are slightly different again, and usually measured using the wheel size. Simply check the chart below for the perfect fit.
|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|
|2'10" - 3'4"||3'1" - 3'7"||3'7" - 4'0"||4'0" - 4'5"||4'5" - 4'9"||4'9" +|
|Approx Age||Rider Height|
|12" Wheel||2 - 4 years||86-102cm||2'10" - 3'4"|
|14" Wheel||3 - 5 years||94-109cm||3'1" - 3'7"|
|16" Wheel||5 - 7 years||109-122cm||3'7" - 4'0"|
|20" Wheel||7 - 9 years||122-135cm||4'0" - 4'5"|
|24" Wheel||9 - 11 years||135-145cm||4'5" - 4'9"|
|26" Wheel||11+ years||145-152cm||4'9" +|
It's as simple as that! If you have any further questions feel free to drop into the shop for a test ride. See you out on the road!