Do you want to get familiar with the BMX standover height? Or, as some call it, seat tube height?
Even though every frame spec list has the standover height in there, no one really talks about it.
Now, I know many will say: “Dude, it matters to me!”
I know it does.
This post covers:
- Does Standover Height Really Matter?
- How To Measure Standover Height
- Two Examples Of Complete Opposite Standover Heights
- Conclusion: Know Your Frame Specs
Does Standover Height Really Matter?
In short, it’s more of a personal preference.
However, those that say standover height matters are usually park riders. It’s because a LOWER standover height makes the bike more responsive and easier to whip around.
On the other hand, street riders usually opt for frames with TALLER seat tube height.
Not only does it make the frame look better, but it’s also much easier for pinching the seat when it comes to barspins. Plus, the riders who primarily pull single whips never complain about taller standover.
If you have an 8.75″ or a 9.5″ seat tube, you’ll still be able to pull a whip – without the frame getting in the way.
Sure, if someone is about double, triple and even quadruple tailwhips, it’ll be much easier to pull any of those stunts with a low seat tube height frame.
How To Measure Standover Height
The seat tube is the vertical tube that connects the frame’s top tube and the bottom bracket.
It measures from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube, like in the picture above.
The market has frames ranging from around 6.5″ and up to 10″ in seat tube height.
At this stage, I also feel it’s important to mention the seat tube angle.
Not only will the seat tube move the top tube higher or lower, depending on the angle, but it can also make it shorter or longer.
But here’s a CATCH.
A frame with a low standover height (example: 6.95″) won’t see as much of a difference in top tube length when the angle is at 69 or 71 degrees, but a frame with a 10″ seat tube will.
And because of all the extra material, a frame with a taller seat tube will be heavier than a frame with a lower seat tube.
Two Examples Of Complete Opposite Standover Heights
Here are two extremes examples of frames that differ in the seat tube height by almost two inches (!).
Total BMX 657 X Frame – 6.95″
The Total BMX’s 657 X is Alex Coleborn’s signature frame, which you can tell from a mile away it’s for building a park machine.
Check my collection of the best BMX park frames.
WeThePeople Battleship Magnum Frame – 9.75″
On the contrary, the WeThePeople Battleship Magnum frame has a whopping 9.75″ standover, which is one of the tallest on the market today.
I thoroughly tested this frame, especially because of the seat tube height and absolutely loved it.
And no, it didn’t cause any issues with getting the frame around and my legs over it when doing a tailwhip.
I also have a collection of the ultimate BMX street frames.
Conclusion: Know Your Frame Specs
The standover height makes a BMX frame look completely different.
In short, when it’s LOW, it makes tailwhips easier.
And when it’s HIGH, it’s easier to pinch the seat with your knees, so barspins become easier.
Is one better than the other?
Regardless of the frame you choose, both are barspin- and tailwhip-friendly.
So, in the end, it really is more of a personal preference.
Still, if you’re about whipping the frame around multiple times, you’re better off with a low standover height.
On the contrary, if you’re only doing single tailwhips and are more into (technical) street riding, then going with a tall standover will do the trick.
Hence, it’s important that you don’t overlook the not-so-talked-about standover height.
I always check it because I like frames with higher seat tubes, like my BSD Raider frame with a 9.5″ standover.