Bikes

Best Bikes for Tall People (6’4+ Riders)

This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more.

Being tall isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The person that no one wants to stand behind at the gig. Learning the skills of a contortionist to fold yourself into your aeroplane seat. The trouble you have finding clothes that don’t leave your midriff showing. 

OK, in a game of problem top trumps, these aren’t necessarily going the worst things to experience, but when it comes to finding a bike, tall people can have it tough. Today, most bikes are offered in a select range of sizes and being 6ft 4” or above can quickly narrow down the number of bikes which will fit you. 

Your author is 6ft 9”, so in his opinion, he’s well-versed in the subject of the best bikes for tall riders. In this guide, we’ll aim to impart some of the wisdom learnt over ten-plus years of searching, comparing and buying a bike for tall bike riders.  

Best Bike for Very Tall Person: Top 5

  1. Trek Emonda Bike

    Suitable for riders up to 6’7

    Trek Emonda 64cm

    Lightweight, performance aluminium frame for tall riders.

  2. Cannondale Quick Bike

    Suitable for riders up to 6’9

    Cannondale Quick 2XL

    Cannondale Quick 2XL is a versatile hybrid bike perfect for tall riders.

  3. Specialized Sirrus XL bike

    Suitable for riders up from 6’4

    Specialized Sirrus XL

    Specialized Sirrus XL comes in larger components for a better fit.

  4. Canyon Pathlite XL

    Suitable for riders up to 6’9

    Canyon Pathlite XL

    A versatile hybrid bike with a front suspension fork.

  5. Marin Four Corners XL bike

    Suitable for riders up to 6’4

    Marin Four Corners XL

    The XL bike frame provides a comfortable riding position, including tall riders.

Why You Can Trust Us

Discerning Cyclist’s expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing cycling products so you don’t have to.

Testing stylish gear since 2012

Hundreds of hands-on product tests

Unfiltered opinions from experienced cyclists

Learn more about Discerning Cyclist here.

What Size Do Bikes Normally Go Up To? 

Getting the right-sized bike is incredibly important for everyone, not just tall riders. The wrong-sized bike can at best ruin the enjoyment of a bike ride and at worst cause injuries that’ll put you off cycling for life.

In our experience, most run-of-the-mill bikes are available in four or five frame sizes. XS, S, M, L and XL are the most popular increments. The research we gathered when putting together our article bicycle size by height, suggested that most XL frames were sized for riders between 6ft and 6ft 3” – clearly no good for us long of leg.

IMAGE: LAWRENCE BYWATER

If you’re lucky, some bikes will be offered in an XXL size or occasionally even larger than that. Top-end road and gravel bikes are usually sold in more size increments (sometimes 8 or even 9 different sizes) than hybrid or mountain bikes, so some are manufactured in sizes to suit tall people. If that’s the kind of bike you’re after you might be in luck!

Road and gravel bikes tend to be measured in centimetres, and if you are 6” 4ft’ and above you’ll need to look for a bike that’s 62cm or above. Some mainstream manufacturers offer frames up to 64cm, 65cm or even 66cm. 

Bikes for Tall Riders 

That said, just plumping for the XXL or 62cm frame size because your 6ft 5” isn’t the wisest idea. This is because bike frames are all sized differently. One might be listed as an XXL size but it might be smaller than another bike which is listed as an XL.

IMAge: LAWRENCE BYWATER

If you’re tall like me, two bike geometry figures will quickly become your best friend when you’re searching for a bike that will fit you. Stack and reach. At first glance, they might seem confusing, or the preserve of bike nerds the world over, but bear with us here, this will help you find a bike to suit you. 

Stack and reach is a universal sizing method which overcomes the differences between frame designs. It’s also helpful when comparing different bike types. Looking at a traditional road bike frame and a step-through hybrid bike side by side, it can be difficult to determine whether a bike will fit or not. 

Effectively these two figures will tell you how tall (stack) and long (reach) the bike is. Stack is a measurement vertically upwards from the bottom bracket to the point at which it intersects with a horizontal line drawn from the top of the head tube. That horizontal line measurement is the reach. Both figures are usually given in millimetres (mm) to be as accurate as possible.

IMAGE: LAWRENCE BYWATER

Stack is important if you’re tall because it’s likely that your legs are long too. To find a comfortable pedalling position a bike for a tall person must have the right distance between the pedals and saddle. It’s the same for reach. Tall bike riders tend to have long arms and a comfortable riding position shouldn’t be too stretched out or too hunched. 

Whilst the reach is important, the stack is probably the more important measurement of the two. Adjustments can be made to alter a bike’s reach, but the stack tends to be the limiting factor when it comes to determining whether a bike will suit, or not. 

As a rough guide, if you’re 6ft 4” and above you need a bike with a stack of at least 630mm. Get clicking on those frame geometry tables people and find out what is, and isn’t a bike for tall people!

Where to Find Bikes for Tall Riders

Here’s the unfortunate news for us tall riders, there isn’t much choice out there! We searched two of our favourite online bike-buying websites for a road bike for tall people – in our book that’s something in a size 62cm or XXL and above. We found that of the hundreds of bikes that each retailer had available, only 7% and 12% of those listed were available in sizes to fit tall riders. 

In our experience, this has as much to do with the trends of online retailing, as it does about the availability of bikes for taller riders. Retailers generally like to stock the most popular sizes and won’t be keen on being left with bikes at each end of the size spectrum as the more popular sizes sell out.

Being tall you’re probably used to shopping ‘by size’ so it can feel deflating when online shops don’t offer the chance to filter by frame size. 

A better place to look for bikes for tall riders, online anyway, is the manufacturers’ website. If they sell directly to your door they’ll likely have the best choice of stock in their larger or extra larger sizes. 

A second place to look is your local bike shop. Whilst buying online can offer you a wealth of choice and information at your fingertips, there’s no substitute for getting sized for a bike in-store.

In most cases, if your friendly bike shop owner doesn’t have that XXL hybrid bike in stock, he’ll probably be able to get you one to sit on before you decide to part with your cash. 

The Best Bikes For Tall Riders

In this section, we’re going to recommend five bikes that will suit riders of 6ft 4” and above. We’ve tried to keep the bikes fairly affordable with all of them below £2000 or $2500, depending on the model some are much, much cheaper than that.  Where we have the price listed, this is for the entry-level model.

1. Trek Emonda 64 cm

  • UK Flag £1,125
  • US Flag $1,199
  • EU Flag €1,299

Prices are approximate

Type: Road bike

Suggested rider height: Up to 6’7″ (200cm)

Stack: 654mm

Lightweight, performance aluminium frame

Fun, energetic handling

Hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano gearing

If you’re a tall rider searching for a road bike, Trek are a good bet. Their lightweight aluminium option is named the Emonda. Whilst the basic model starts at just over £1,700 you’ll get a performance ride to match the price.

For tall riders, Trek have specced the 64cm frame with a longer stem, wider handlebars and longer cranks – all component changes that will help make the Emonda comfortable to ride.

Pros

  • A proper, modern road bike
  • Sleek internal cabling
  • Available in a basic colour and bright, sunset fade

Cons

  • There’s no getting around it, at £1700, the entry level Emonda is expensive
  • Maximum total weight of 125kg

2. Cannondale Quick 2XL

  • UK Flag £750
  • US Flag $960
  • EU Flag €999

Prices are approximate

Type: Hybrid bike

Suggested rider height: 193-205cm (6’4″ – 6’9″)

Stack: 650mm

Quick as you like

Comfortable and capable

Versatile

Beginning our list of the best bikes for tall riders is the Quick from Cannondale. This is a hybrid bike that’d be great as general runabout and a size 2XL has a quoted height range between 193cm and 203cm. The stack figure is 650mm, plenty enough for us lanky folk. The Quick 4 is priced sensibly and as simple 1x gearing that’s easy to get to grips with.

Pros

  • Plenty big enough for tall riders
  • Different models available
  • 32 spoked wheels to cope with extra weight

Cons

  • Not all Quick models are available in the 2XL frame size.
  • No option with mudguards pre-fitted

3. Specialized Sirrus XL

  • UK Flag £525
  • US Flag $650
  • EU Flag €650

Prices are approximate

Type: Hybrid bike

Suggested rider height: 183-193cm (6’0″ – 6’4″)

Stack: 633mm

The XL frame size is big!

Larger components to help the bike fit betterr

Various models to suit different budgets

Similar to the Quick, is the Sirrus from fellow bike industry big boys Specialized. Like the Quick there’s a variety of models at various price points. From top end options costing over £1000 to those starting at just over half that.

The XL isn’t as big a the 2XL Quick, but the Sirrus would happily suit someone who sits on the 6′ 4″ cusp. Specialized also fit extra large or long components to help the bike fit taller riders. For example the stem is extra long as is the seatpost.

Pros

  • Top-end brand performance from Specialized
  • Riding position should be comfortable for most
  • There are equipped models available with lights, mudguards and a pannier rack
  • Looks great

Cons

  • Humdrum colour options

4. Canyon Pathlite XL

  • UK Flag £999
  • US Flag $999
  • EU Flag €999

Prices are approximate

Type: Hybrid bike

Suggested rider height: Up to 6’7″ (200cm)

Stack: 678mm

The 2XL frame size is big!

Premium components

Canyon represent good value for money

The only bike on our list with a front suspension fork, the Pathlite is a super-versatile bike from Canyon. Equipped with the suspension fork and extra wide knobbly tyres the Pathlite will happily take on some genuine off road riding.

COMING SOON: a 2XL size for riders up to 6’11 (210cm)!

Pros

  • Good value when you consider the components on offer
  • The most versatile bike on our list

Cons

  • Cheapest model starts at a smidge under 4 figures
  • Bland frame colours
  • All 2XL versions were out of stock at the time of writing

5. Marin Four Corners XL

  • UK Flag £1,125
  • US Flag $1,199
  • EU Flag €1,299

Prices are approximate

Type: Gravel bike

Suggested rider height: Up to 6’4″ (194cm)

Stack: 677mm

Frame design makes it suitable for tall riders

Super comfortable riding position

Components make it easy for everyone to ride

Although the Four Corners is only available in 5 frame sizes, it’s upright, relaxed riding position makes it suitable for those of us who are taller than most. The XL frame size has a whopping stack figure of 677mm.

The Four Corners would make an excellent dedicated commuter bike, but it would happily adapt to a weekend touring, bikepacking or gravel riding.

 

Pros

  • Sensible gearing to ride across most terrain
  • Loads of bottle and gear mounts to carry extra items

Cons

  • The frame is steel so in an XL size its heavy
  • 3×9 gearing might take some getting used to
  • £1000+ might be difficult to stomach if just getting into riding

Best Bike Brands for Tall Riders 

We’d have to say direct-to-consumer specialist Canyon offer a decent range of bikes for very tall riders. Across most bike types there’s almost always an XXL or 2XL option available. 

If gravel bikes are your kind of thing give Kinesis, Salsa and Surly a tinkle on the keyboard. Honourable mentions also go to Gazelle (based in Holland – the tallest nation on earth apparently!) and Pashley for their range of city bikes for taller riders. They’d have made our list of best bikes for tall riders if they’d have added their stack and reach figures to their website. 

And if your budget can stretch to something super specialist or you are at the taller end of tall, then Dirty Sixer (noteworthy because they design their bikes around a larger wheel size), Clydesdale and Zinn bikes are all American-based specialists who design and make bikes for very tall riders. 

Cheap Bikes for Big Cyclists

Whilst several specialist manufacturers offer bikes for tall riders, three big players perhaps offer the best choice when it comes to affordability. US-based Specialized, Trek and Cannondale all have a decent selection of bikes for tall riders across a variety of bike types. 

3 Tips for Tall Cyclists 

There are several other considerations to bare in mind when searching for a bike for a tall cyclist. 

Tall can also mean heavy

Being tall can also mean that you weigh more than the average person. This added weight has implications for the durability of some bike components, and in some cases, the maximum recommended total weight a bike can carry

After purchasing my first road bike (an XL Giant TCR) that was too small, I finished most bike rides in frustration at the side of the road with one, sometimes two, broken spokes in my bike wheel. If you’re over 100kg like I am, it’s a good idea to look out for wheels that have 32 spokes at the very least. Although not guaranteed, the extra support from each spoke keeps the wheels running true. 

Before buying a bike, it’s also a good idea to look at its maximum weight figure. Manufacturers quote this figure from a warranty perspective and it’s most likely the figure they’ll have subjected the bike to in testing. For example, the Trek Farley, featured in our list of bikes for heavy riders, has a maximum permitted rider weight of 130kg. Incidentally, the XL size has a decent stack figure of 619mm too!

This is also important if you want to add a set of pannier bags or sling a rucksack over your shoulder and start riding to work.  

Minimum saddle insertion isn’t your friend

These days all bike seatposts have a minimum insertion mark for safety reasons. Leave this sticking out above the frame and you might suddenly find yourself riding with a bent bike frame!

For taller riders who are trying to adapt to a smaller bike, or those with extra long legs sometimes the seatpost can be adjusted only so far before the dreaded mark appears on the seatpost. Extra long seatposts can be brought as an aftermarket purchase but if you’re buying a brand-new bike this can be frustrating. 

Storing and travelling with your bike can be problematic

Big bikes don’t tend to fit into small spaces! In our experience, extra-large bikes can struggle to fit in train compartments, the back of the car and even some bike racks. More often than not this is because the saddle is so high that it clashed with the roof of the car or the frame of the adjacent bike. 

If you don’t always ride with an Allen key, a quick-release seatpost clamp can quickly overcome this problem. 

Ride in style

Join our weeky newsletter to get early access to our latest discoveries.

Related reads