Find your optimal mountain bike reach with this easy-to-use calculator. It’s, tailored for all riding styles between XC, Trail and DH. Also, learn the importance of reach in MTB sizing and bike fit, and its impact on comfort, handling, and performance further down.
MTB Reach Calculator
Recommended Reach: - mm
How to use this reach calculator
To use the mountain bike reach calculator, follow these steps:
- Select your gender (Male or Female). The calculator uses slightly different factors for male and female riders to account for differences in body proportions.
- Select the type of mountain biking you plan to do. The options are:
- Cross-Country (XC) / Trail: Trail riding, or long-distance riding that’s more uphill-focused.
- All-Mountain (AM) / Enduro: Riding which involves a mix of climbing and descending on technical terrain.
- Downhill (DH): For riders who primarily ride fast, steep and technical descents, primarily on a DH bike.
- Enter your height in either centimeters (cm) or feet (ft). Make sure to select the unit you used from the dropdown.
- Click the “Calculate Reach” button. The result is an estimate of your recommended reach in millimeters.
Please note that this calculator provides a general guideline for finding a suitable reach. It is essential to test ride different mountain bikes and consult with experienced riders, bike fitters, or bike shop staff to find the perfect fit for you. Other factors, such as arm length, torso length, and personal preferences, can also influence your ideal reach.
What this calculator does
This mountain bike reach calculator is designed to provide a general guideline for finding a suitable reach for your mountain bike based on your gender, type of riding, and height.
It works by using the median body proportions of adults. The calculator also takes into account the general differences in body proportions between male and female riders, as well as specific requirements for different types of mountain biking (Cross-Country/Trail, All-Mountain/Enduro, and Downhill). By using a combination of these factors and your height, it estimates the recommended reach in millimeters for your mountain bike.
Please note that this calculator is intended to serve as a starting point in finding your ideal reach. The perfect fit may vary depending on individual factors such as arm length, torso length, inseam, and personal preferences. It is essential to test ride different mountain bikes and consult with experienced riders, bike fitters, or bike shop staff to find the best fit for you.
Reach for different MTB disciplines
However, it is important to note that individual body proportions can vary significantly from these median values. In particular, riders with relatively long or short upper bodies (i.e., long or short legs) may find that the calculator’s results are less accurate for their specific needs.
This discrepancy is more relevant for cross-country (XC) riding, where riders spend a significant amount of time seated, and the bike’s fit is crucial for efficient pedaling and comfort. In contrast, the impact of body proportions is less critical for downhill (DH) riding, where riders predominantly ride standing up and the body’s full height is used.
Please keep in mind that this calculator is intended to serve as a starting point in finding your ideal reach. To find the best fit for you, it is essential to consider your unique body proportions and test ride different mountain bikes. Additionally, consult with experienced riders, bike fitters, or bike shop staff to gather insights and recommendations. By doing so, you can ensure that you find a mountain bike with a reach that suits your specific needs, preferences, and riding style.
Why reach matters for MTB sizing
The right reach is essential for mountain bikers for several reasons, as it significantly affects the bike’s fit, handling, comfort, and performance. Here are some key aspects that highlight the importance of finding the correct reach:
- Comfort: A suitable reach helps ensure a comfortable riding position. If the reach is too short, you may feel cramped, which can cause discomfort and limit your range of motion. Conversely, if the reach is too long, you may experience strain in your neck, back, and arms, leading to fatigue and discomfort during longer rides.
- Bike control: The right reach enables better control and maneuverability of your mountain bike. A proper reach allows you to maintain a balanced and centered position on the bike, which improves handling, particularly during descents, cornering, and technical sections of the trail.
- Stability: A suitable reach enhances the bike’s stability, especially at high speeds and on steep or rough terrain. The correct reach helps distribute your weight evenly between the front and rear wheels, ensuring adequate traction and preventing the bike from becoming too twitchy or unstable.
- Efficiency: The right reach can improve your pedaling efficiency, particularly for cross-country and trail riding, where efficient power transfer is crucial. A proper reach allows you to maintain a more comfortable and effective seated pedaling position, which helps optimize your energy output and reduce fatigue during climbs and long rides.
FAQs about MTB Reach
What is reach in mountain biking?
Reach is a critical geometric parameter in mountain biking that refers to the horizontal distance between the bottom bracket (the bike’s central pivot point where the crank arms and pedals are attached) and the center of the head tube (the part of the frame that houses the front fork’s steerer tube). Reach is an essential factor in determining a bike’s fit, handling, and overall feel, as it significantly impacts a rider’s positioning and weight distribution on the bike.
How do I measure the reach on my mountain bike?
To measure your MTB’s reach you’ll need a measuring tape and a string. Now measure from the center of the headset towards your saddle while keeping the ruler horizontal. Let the string hang down horizontally until it’s right next to the bottom bracket’s center.
Start by placing the bike on a flat, level surface. Ensure that the wheels are on the ground and the bike is upright. You may add some weight (like a pen) to the end of the string to make it easier for you
This distance between the headset and the top of the string is your bike’s reach.
How do I find the right reach for my body and riding style?
To find the right reach for your body and riding style, consider factors such as your height, gender, type of riding (XC, AM/enduro, or DH), and individual body proportions. Online calculators like this one can provide a starting point for finding your ideal reach.
However, it’s essential to test ride different mountain bikes, consult with experienced riders, and seek professional advice from bike fitters or bike shop staff to find the perfect fit for you.
How do I adjust the reach on my existing mountain bike?
Adjusting the reach on your existing mountain bike can be done through a combination of stem and handlebar changes. Swapping the stem for a longer or shorter one can effectively alter the reach, while changing the handlebars to ones with more or less sweep can also have an impact. Keep in mind that drastically changing the reach through these adjustments may affect the bike’s handling characteristics, so it’s essential to make small changes and test ride the bike to ensure it still performs as desired. Consult with a professional bike fitter or bike shop staff to get personalized advice on adjusting your bike’s reach.
Do men and women require different reach measurements for mountain biking?
Men and women may require different reach measurements due to differences in body proportions. Generally, women have shorter torsos and longer legs compared to men of the same height. As a result, women might need a slightly shorter reach than men to accommodate their body proportions. Online reach calculators and bike fitting guidelines often consider these differences to provide more accurate recommendations.
How does reach differ between cross-country (XC), all-mountain (AM)/enduro, and downhill (DH) mountain bikes?
Reach differs between cross-country (XC), all-mountain (AM)/enduro, and downhill (DH) mountain bikes due to the unique demands and riding positions associated with each discipline. XC bikes typically have shorter reach measurements, as riders spend more time seated and require a comfortable, efficient pedaling position. AM/enduro bikes have a longer reach to provide better control and stability during aggressive descending and technical terrain, while still maintaining pedaling efficiency for climbing. DH bikes often have the longest reach, prioritizing stability and control for high-speed, steep descents.
How do I know if my mountain bike’s reach is too long or too short for me?
To determine if your mountain bike’s reach is too long or too short, pay attention to your riding position, comfort, and bike handling. If the reach is too short, you may feel cramped, which can cause discomfort and limit your range of motion. If the reach is too long, you may experience strain in your neck, back, and arms, leading to fatigue and discomfort during longer rides. Additionally, an incorrect reach can negatively impact your bike’s handling, stability, and pedaling efficiency.
Can I trust online calculators and guidelines for finding the right reach, or should I consult a professional bike fitter?
Online calculators and guidelines for finding the right reach can provide a helpful starting point, but it’s important to recognize that they may not fully account for individual factors such as arm length, torso length, and personal preferences.
To ensure the best fit, consult a professional bike fitter or bike shop staff, who can provide personalized advice and recommendations based on your specific riding style and body proportions.
Additionally, test-riding different mountain bikes can help you better understand how different reach measurements affect your comfort and performance on the trail.