Sometimes finding a small touring bike is hard work. I know because I fall on the other end of the spectrum; I’m always looking for a bike big enough!
Many smaller/bigger cyclists look to custom built frames to get what they’re after, but this list will allow you to find a bike that will fit without going down the costly and time consuming path of getting a bike built for you. Please let us know if you’re aware of other bike manufacturers who make small bikes.
I’ve also put together a list of every ladies step-through touring bike available for those requiring additional frame stand over.
I recommend getting a professional bike fit before buying a bike. At a cost of $100-500, a two or three hour consultation will have you set up perfectly on a stationary bike. The bike fitter will ask you questions like, what type of riding you do, how often you do it, and what your goals are.
The measurements that come out of your fit will allow you to be comfortable on your new bike, and provided you have stack/reach data, you’ll be able to use this resource to find your next bike!
Stack and Reach
Although you will find bikes with what manufacturers tout as small sizes, not all bikes measure up. Just take a look below, some “48cm” frames can actually be smaller than other “42cm” frames!
Stack and reach are the two measurements I use to compare bikes on an even playing field. They have their limitations, but are the best tool we have to compare frame sizing from various sources.
If you’ve got long legs for your height, you’re going to need to take a close look at the stack figures. With a high seatpost, you’ll most likely need a tall front end to match.
You can read much more into frame geometry HERE.
26″ Wheels and Flat Handlebars
You’ll notice that many of the smallest stock bikes around use 26″ wheels. These wheels are more proportionate to smaller frames compared to 700c and offer the advantages of less toe-overlap and greater frame standover. To put it simply, they make sense on a small touring bike. You can read our article on wheel size HERE.
The bikes with longer ‘reach’ numbers are designed for use with a flat handlebar. Flat handlebars reduce how far you have to stretch out compared to a road handlebar, so you will need to go up a frame size if you would like flat bars. This also means that if you did a flat bar conversion to any of the bikes with road handlebars, you would get an even smaller bike! You can read more on bicycle touring handlebars HERE.
Small Touring Bike List in Reach/Stack Order
These are the smallest touring bikes from manufacturers who had sufficient frame data on their website.
Brodie Elan 48cm (26″): Reach 355mm / Stack 487mm
Salsa Fargo XS: Reach 356mm / Stack 608mm
Salsa Vaya 50cm (26″): Reach 358mm / Stack 512mm
Soma Saga 44cm (26″): Reach 359mm / Stack 523mm
Vivente World Randonneur XS (26″): Reach 360mm / Stack 504mm
Gunnar Grand Tour 48cm (26″): Reach 363mm / Stack 513mm
KHS TR101 XS: Reach 364mm / Stack 546mm
Cielo Tanner Goods 49cm: Reach 366mm / Stack 541mm
Velo Orange Campeur 51cm: Reach 366mm / Stack 518mm
Surly LHT 42cm (26″): Reach 367mm / Stack 497mm
Trek 520 48cm: Reach 368mm / Stack 540mm
Co-Motion Pangea 44cm (26″): Reach 370mm / Stack 506mm
Rocky Mountain Sherpa S: Reach 372mm / Stack 534mm
Cinelli Bootleg Hobo XS: Reach 372mm / Stack 506mm
Wayward Nullabor 48cm: Reach 372mm / Stack 546mm
All City Space Horse 46cm: Reach 374mm / Stack 526mm
Kona Sutra 47cm: Reach 374mm / Stack 527mm
Traitor Slot S: Reach 374mm / Stack 597mm
Jamis Aurora 47cm: Reach 375mm / Stack 533mm
MTB Cycletech XS: Reach 376mm / Stack 509mm
Surly Troll XS (26″): Reach 376mm / Stack 551mm
Surly ECR XS: Reach 384mm / Stack 592mm
Van Nicholas Amazon 50cm (Flat Bar): Reach 384mm / Stack 582mm
Koga Randonneur 50cm (Flat Bar): Reach 385mm / Stack 522mm
Ridgeback Panorama 47cm: Reach 389mm / Stack 537mm
Fuji Touring XS: Reach 390mm / Stack 542mm
Specialized AWOL S: Reach 390mm / Stack 593mm
Stevens Camino 17″ (Flat Bar): Reach 397mm / Stack 549mm
Thorn Raven & Sherpa 500S 26″ (Flat Bar): Reach 398mm / Stack 479mm
KTM Life Lontano 46cm (Flat Bar): Reach 406mm / Stack 553mm
Id Worx All Rohler 48cm (Flat Bar): Reach 412mm / Stack 602mm