Simple answer, the taller you are the larger the frame size needs to be, so lets look at some of the things you should look for in the best bikes for tall men guide.
Biking is a fun a low impact activity that can benefit your body in multiple ways. But riding on a bike that isn’t the right size will not only ruin the fun. But it can damage the bike components.
And you don’t want to be having to purchase a new bike for those reasons.
Today’s post will answer the following questions and hopefully lead you to choosing your next mountain bike.
- The problems tall men find when looking for a bike
- What size wheels are best for a tall person?
- Does the bike frame material matter?
- What frame sizes should a tall man be looking for?
- Useful extra add on parts for tall riders
The problems you find when looking for a bike
One of the main problems you’ll come across is finding a suitable sized frame for your height. We’ll specifically talk about the recommended frame sizes further on, but not having the right size frame can lead to pain in your joints and an uncomfortable riding experience.
If you have a smaller frame then you’ll run into the problem of not having a comfortable leg extension. So you’ll end up burning energy quicker due to not being able to use your maximum power.
Another problem you’ll find is the handlebars not being tall enough. There are two ways in which you can solve this problem but it does require additional parts. The first being a handlebar raiser, this as you’d expect lifts the height of the handlebars so they’re easier to reach. Another way to solve this is by purchasing bike bar-ends. Bike bar-ends provide an upright or diagonal extension if you have the problem of the handlebars being too low or too close to you.
Believe it or not the seat post not being long enough is one of the problems that tall riders find when riding a mountain bike. This again refers to the problem with not having the correct frame size. You’re not able to properly extend your legs. So looking at seat post extenders increase the overall height of the seat.
What size bike is good for 6 foot tall man?
According to bicycle-guider for riders between 6’1” and 6’6” you should be looking at a 19+ inch frame. Most bike manufactures offer 21 inch frames. This would be the best frame size for that height range.
Obviously there are slight alterations between the different brands. This is down to the geometry of the frames. But if you’re between 6’1” and 6’6” you should be looking at 21 inch frames.
We’ll talk about this later. But like with alternate products getting the bike perfect for you will require small alterations here and there. And this is where the additional useful parts we’ll talk about at the end of this post will come into play.
You’ll find that you’ll get the right size frame but the handlebars might be just a bit too low. But that’s not a problem because you can buy handlebar raisers fairly cheap.
Likewise if the seat post isn’t tall enough you can get a tall seat post again for a fairly cheap price.
So when you’re looking for a bike for tall riders, the one primary thing you need to get right is the frame size because the smaller problems can be easily fixed for a very small price.
What size wheels on a men’s bike do I need?
So does wheel size matter? On a mountain bike the three common wheel sizes are 26, 27.5 and 29 inch wheels.
Wheel size doesn’t necessarily matter. The main focus would be getting the right frame size. So whether the bike comes with 26 or 29 inch wheels shouldn’t be your primary concern.
Are 29 inch wheels better though? If you can get 29 inch wheels then I’d suggest you look into that option more. 29 inch wheels are slightly better to taller riders but there’s no point anyone could make that they’re better.
You’ll find more 29 inch wheels primarily down to the fact that wheel size increases proportionally with the frame size. And because you’ll be looking for a large frame size you’ll more often than not find the bike will have 29 inch wheels.
But if it doesn’t don’t be too concerned. Unless you’re planning on taking the mountain bike on difficult trails where you’ll be mounting over a lot of rocks and trails covered with roots. At that point I’d 100% recommend 29 inch wheels.
For rocks and roots the larger the wheels the easier you’ll find it to get over those obstacles. 29 inch wheels will also provide better steering over roots compared to a 26 inch wheel.
But for normal single track use, there isn’t much difference between the 26 and 29 inch wheels.
The only time you should really be looking at 29 inch wheels is if you’re a heavy rider.
How do you determine bike size?
Bike frame size which is what you should be looking for as a tall man is measured quite simply. The frame size is measured by the length of the seat post tube.
Getting a bike with the right size height should ultimately mean that your leg should still have a slight bend when at full stretch.
Does the bike frame material matter?
Frame material doesn’t matter when it comes to the best mountain bike for tall man. The material your frame is made from is primarily down to the budget you’ve got.
Under $300 and you’ll be looking at steel frame bikes.
$300 – $1200 and you’ll be looking at aluminium.
And $1200+ you’ll be looking at carbon frames.
Unless you’re a cycling enthusiast and looking for a performance based mountain bike then a carbon frame would be recommended.
But if you’re just looking for a normal mountain bike then a aluminium frame would be recommended. Aluminium keeps the bike lightweight. Which is especially important for taller riders as you’ll be having a larger frame which uses more materials, which will be heavier.
Aluminium not only is lightweight but it’s strong and durable. It’ll take some force to damage the bike. You’ll be able to hit the trails and go over jumps with so force without damaging the frame.
Ultimately the frame material is down to your budget. And they’re on a lot of good quality bikes within the $300 to $1200 range that make you question. Why would I spend more than that on a mountain bike?
What is the best bike for a tall man?
We picked out four of the best mountains bike we could find that would be perfect for a tall man.
We’ll all four bikes meet the requirements we’ve spoken about. There all 21 inch or XL frames. Which is suitable for riders up to 6’6”. If you’re slightly taller then you may need to buy a couple of additional parts such as the extended seat post. This will allow you to find the perfect seat height for a comfortable leg extension length.
They all come with high quality shimano gearsets. If you didn’t know shimano is the best bicycle gearset manufacture.
As well as all including front and rear disc brakes. Having disc brakes over the standard linear pull brakes has many benefits. With the main and most valuable benefit being that disc brakes provide by far a greater amount of stopping power.
Although the downside would be the added maintenance that disc brakes need.
But they’re worth it.
Hopefully we’ve explained enough about what you should be looking for in a mountain bike as a tall rider.
Let’s look at the bikes. Let’s face it that’s probably what you’re here for.
Mountain bikes for big and tall guys
Mountain bikes for tall riders
Raleigh Tekoa 29 inch mountain bike
The XL frame supports even the tall riders out there. The Raleigh Tekoa includes a 27 speed 3×9 shimano/sun tour shifter. Having 27 gears comes in very handy, whether you’re climbing steep hills or just travelling at fast speeds on flat surfaces. It’s suitable for almost any adventure you could have.
The sun tour fork has around a 100mm travel but the nice feature which is extremely effective for climbing hills efficiently is the HLO lockout. Something you only find on the more premium forks.
The dual 29 inch rims help ride over almost any terrain whilst providing good steering keeping you in control and on track. The fast rolling wheels help you gain high speeds. Combined with the 27 speed shifter gives you enough speed for anyone’s needs.
And whilst you can travel at fast speeds you’ll need some good brakes to keep you safe. And well the front and rear hydraulic brakes do just that. They’re the Shimano MT200 so you know the quality will be top notch.
The grippe Vie rubber tires provide good grip on most terrains. Although it could be worth looking at some knobbly grip tires if you plan on hitting those difficult dirt trails for maximum grip.
Diamondback Overdrive mountain bike
The Diamondback Overdrive is actually a really good mountain bike to say it’s Diamonbacks lowest priced bike. So you know the quality will be high and reviews will be extremely good.
It’s a 29 inch wheel hard tail. Hard tail means no rear suspension. So at the less than $1000 price point having a hard tail bike normally means you get more quality components.
A 24 speed shimano shifter gives you enough gears for all terrains. It uses 3 front gears and 8 rear gears to get to the total 24 gears.
Similar branding on fork to the Raleigh, it uses a SR Sun tour XCT fork which uses 80mm of travel so slightly lower travel and it also doesn’t include the HLO lockout which is useful for climbing.
The frame as you’d expect is an aluminium frame which provides a lightweight yet stiff and sturdy frame.
The 22” frame size is of extremely good quality. So unless you are taller than 6’5” you’ll find the bike a good fit.
Likewise, you may need to purchase additional components such an extended seat post. But you wouldn’t know this until you’ve got the bike in your hands.
But this would work out a lot cheaper than buying a mountain bike with the extended seat post already fitted. And well if you don’t need it you’ve saved yourself a lot of cash.
Diamondback Hook MTB
Diamondback hook is similar to the Diamondback overdrive but with a few extra added components.
They offer a 20” and a 22” inch frame size.
Once again a Sun tour front suspension fork has been use with this one offering a whopping 120mm travel. Great for hitting the more difficult trails.
Speaking of trail riding, the hand-built aluminium frame is designed with a low-slung geometry which is perfect of trail riding performance. It’s strong and durable so you don’t have to worry about thrashing it on the trails.
A single 8 gear SRAM ring is used for simplicity. Also provides less maintenance. But the SRAM also provides smoother shifting especially on the more difficult terrains.
Front and rear disc brakes provide great stopping power. They are mechanical and not hydraulic which should be mentioned.
Diamondback Sync’r MTB
Diamonback Sync’r is diamonback’s top range aluminium hard tail mountain bike. It pretty much has all the components you’d expect before you start looking at the very top performance models.
It is a 27.5 inch wheel based. But the extra-large 22 inch frame makes it perfect for the taller riders.
If you’re wanting a fork that can take all the hits. Then this is the one the RockShox suspension fork offers a 140mm travel.
We’re also talking at Shimano’s MT500 hydaulic disc brakes so you’ll not have to worry about stopping. As the Shimano MT500’s will stop you on a dime.
One of shimano’s enthusiast level drive trains the Shimano SLX 1×11 has been paired with the Race face cinch cranks which provides one of the most accurate and smooth shifting you’ve probably ever had on a mountain bike.
Then onto the wheels the tubeless design provides the rider with maximum traction.
Overall the Sync’r is one the best mountain bikes under the $1500 price point. If you’ve got the cash and looking at this price then you’ll be in for a treat at what you get for your money.
Useful extra add on parts for tall riders
We’ve mentioned these earlier on. Not one bike will be perfect for you out of the box. Especially for taller riders. Without being rude, manufactures focus on designing bikes for the mass population. So as a tall rider you should understand that you’re probably gonna have to do small alterations here and there to get the perfect bike.
The good thing is these alterations are fairly cheap.
With the only downside is you’ll not know if you need them without actually having bought the bike in the first place.
But let’s talk about the main ones.
Mountain Bike Handlebar Risers
Handlebar risers are useful to avoid over stretching or if you feel uncomfortable and need the handlebars rising above the maximum manufactures range.
Most extenders are made from aluminium and can raise your handlebars by up to 70mm.
They’re easy to fit and can be adjusted to the perfect height. They range from $5 – $20. Which would work out a lot cheaper than buying with one already attached.
Bar-ends are primarily made to provide better comfort and handling however, they’re also extremely useful for taller riders.
The majority of bar ends are around 120mm in length. Perfect for small and large hands. And once again range from around $5 – $20.
Extra-long seat posts
One problem you’ll find as a tall rider is the seat post isn’t long enough to provide a comfortable ride. You’ll find yourself having to bend forward much more than you should.
So this is where extra-long seat posts come in. For less than $30 you can find seat posts that can extend around 45 cm’s. Perfect for taller riders. It means you don’t have to lean forwards as much. Some also have greater tilt angles than the standard seat posts.
Although I’ve only really heard people moan about how much the seat can tilt on road bikes. But it can come in handy on mountain bikes.