Sizing a bike for a 17-year-old or for any age, for that matter, is not an easy task.
The vast number of bike sizes, wheel and frame sizes along with the different types of bikes, brands, and models can make this affair a totally confusing one.
But finding the right size bicycle is also a worthwhile endeavor in that your teen would get to enjoy the bike and the whole outdoor biking experience so that they would not resort to sedentary activities that can be unhealthy.
Below we try to make this task for you an easier one so that you can take an informed decision as to what size to go with:
What Size Bike For A 17-Year-Old Boy Or Girl?
A 17-year-old who is between 64” and 69” tall will find a medium (M) sized bike with a frame length of 17 to 18 inches to be a good fit.
However, teens of the same age can vary very much in terms of their height, and going with age alone is not the right way to size bikes.
So, if your teen is shorter than an average 17-year-old, you can look at a size small (S) bike with a frame size between 15 to 16 inches.
And for a taller 17-year-old, a large-sized frame with a length of 17-18 inches would be a good fit.
What Size Bike Frame For A 17-Year-Old?
A 17-year-old who is between 5’3” and 5’75” will do good with a size medium frame that is between 17 and 18 inches in length.
But, 17-year-olds can vary very much in terms of their height.
If your teen is shorter than this height range, consider a small-size frame that can be a better deal.
The best way to go about this is to test out the different sizes, if possible, and see which one he/she is comfortable with, and then go with that size.
Comfort and confidence with the bike are the major factors to look for when it comes to sizing bikes.
What Size BMX Bike For 17-Year-Old?
For a 17-year-old who stands between 5’3” and 5’75” in height, a 20-inch wheel BMX bike with a top tube length of 20.5 inches would be a good fit.
If your teen is shorter than this height range, consider a top tube length of 20.25 inches, and for tall kids, a top tube length of 21 inches would fit better.
When it comes to BMX bikes both the wheel size as well as the frame size should be taken into consideration.
The 20-inch BMX category is a very popular one and you’d get to see varying frame sizes for the same wheel size.
So, getting your 17-year-old to test some, if possible, is a better way to size the right bike.
What Size Mountain Bike For A 17-Year-Old?
However, if your teen is shorter than this height then a size Small with a frame size of 15 to 16 inches can be a better fit.
Likewise, for a very tall 17-year-old, a size Large frame with a length of 19 to 20 inches would also be ideal.
However, keep in mind that with bigger sizes, the weight of the bike will also increase and some young riders may find this increase in weight to be a not-so-fun experience.
Other Factors To Consider When Sizing Bikes For 17-Year-Olds:
Along with the frame and wheel size, the weight and geometry of the bike are two factors that need to be considered when sizing bikes.
This is because, even if you can get the size right, a heavier bike with a nonoptimal geometry can play spoilsport for the rider.
Weight: The weight of the bike is an often overlooked aspect and one that can play a major role in how the 17-year-old finds the whole biking experience to be.
For a young adult, the body is still not fully developed, unlike an adult, to push and lug around
weights that are heavy in proportion to their body weight.
A small increase in weight can translate into a big increase in effort while biking.
Also, lighter bikes made from aluminum frames can be expensive compared to steel frames.
So managing cost, weight, and size are all important before deciding on the bike size for the teen.
Geometry: The geometry of the bike can vary depending on what type of bike you have in mind for a 17-year-old.
A mountain bike’s geometry will be different from that of a road bike or a neighborhood cruiser.
So, keeping this aspect in your mind goes a long way in ensuring that you get the right type of bike.
A mountain bike will have a slacker head tube angle (the head tube is the part that connects the handlebars to the fork).
This is for better control and handling especially during a downhill ride on a gnarly track with lots of obstacles.
A road bike will have a steep head tube angle that can increase the length of the frame. A road bike is built for speed and so aerodynamics is the key element here.
On the other hand, hybrid bikes and neighborhood cruisers try to straddle between comfort, control, and speed.
So, taking into account all these aspects while sizing bikes will provide you with adequate information to get this task accomplished without having to break a sweat.