Size advise gravel bike (with pictures)


New Member
Hello all I need your expert opinion.
I am new to gravel bikes and am looking to order one but don't know about the size.

It is for a bike holiday of about 14 days doing about 100 to 175km a day with panniers. For solo road and single track and forrest rides, and the occasional group ride with road bike riders.

I am 178cm, 86 inseam.

Cube’s calculator for this bike says I need an M.
The website of another bike shop says:
  • Between 170cm and 178cm = S
  • Between 176cm and 184cm = M

So I can be on the very recommended height for the S, or just above the minimum height of the M
What would you experienced gravel riders advise me to get?

Here are some pictures of me on the bike (bleu is M, beige is S). They were not allowed to put paddles on these because these are demo bikes, which makes it a little hard for me to really feel the bike. Delivery will only be in week 8 at quickest. So I better order the correct size first time right..... ;-)

(sorry the difference in angle does not really make it much easier)

Schermafbeelding 2020-10-13 om 21.45.30.png


Schermafbeelding 2020-10-13 om 21.45.46.png

Schermafbeelding 2020-10-13 om 21.45.51.png


West Yorks
Without pedals it'll be really hard to get a feel for the bike, if you are using panniers, check to see if your heel will hit them when pedaling, if that's the case you could use the large seat pack/frame bag/handlebar bag combo that look something like the bike in the link.
then I'd be comparing the two to see if I was not too stretched out (too big), or too upright (too small), I think if you're serious about placing an order, the shop should put some pedals on it so you get a true idea of how it feels, it's very difficult to advise on the photos alone as there doesn't seem too much difference between the two.


One observation is that on those bikes you seem to be able to touch the floor whilst sitting on the saddle. This is in indication that the saddle is too low.
Search saddle height on here and you will find lots of tips. If the seat post can be raised without going beyond the safety marks then you are OK.


Legendary Member
Based on your images I would chose beige (S) and alter the position by raising the saddle and possibly move it back very slightly.

On the blue bike you look to be stretching, have an arched back and putting a lot of weight through your arms.
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Pale Rider

Legendary Member
They were not allowed to put paddles on these because these are demo bikes
Unhelpful and daft attitude from the shop.

It's understandable they don't want you taking a brand new bike outside, but you should be able to swing your leg over it - with pedals - in the showroom.

Sizes vary from maker to maker, so medium in one bike may not be the same as a medium in another.

For what it's worth, both of those Cubes look a little small to me although the medium could suit.

If you are having that model Cube, I suggest you also try a large, which may mean finding a dealer with a better attitude.

alone as there doesn't seem too much difference between the two.
I thought the same.

The head tube on the medium is longer, so maybe the main difference is at the front end.

I think Cube put geometry charts on their website, although they are of limited assistance because the OP is riding a bike, not a diagram with numbers.


Über Member
As succinctly / unconclusively as I can... I'm similar (IIRC 177cm, 85cm ish inside leg). We both have long legs, potentially with correspondingly short reach so on paper favouring a smaller frame. I agonised over the size of my CdF (S or M) which apparently had similar sizing to what you describe (on height alone I'm at the upper end of M). I went with the medium as toe overlap with guards would have been a killer (I clip the guard on the med but it's no big deal).

Although I never rode a small model to compare the two directly I don't regret buying the medium and have covered many, many very happy miles on it. Of course we have the ability to adapt and fit must be remembered to be a subjective spectrum, rather than simply "correct" or not...


West Yorks
My Marin is a 56, I’m the same height, not sure how that would compare with the Cube though, but I’m guessing it’s similar to the medium, I agree about the ridiculous attitude of the shop, a demo bike that’s impossible to demonstrate, it’s a joke, if you’re tipping up the money for a new bike, you should be able to check the feel of it properly, it would be literally 5 minutes to put some pedals on.


I'm 6 feet tall and ride a 58 on my Cube.Its hard to judge for someone else but at 5,10 I wouldn't have thought a small frame.
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