A series of available equations allows the yield and the tensile strength of low carbon ferrite-pearlite microstructures to be expressed as a function of the optical grain size, steel composition and interstitials in solution. Over the years, as the complexity of steel microstructures has increased, some additional terms have been added to account for precipitation and forest dislocation contributions. In theory, this opens the door for an extension of these equations to bainitic microstructures. Nevertheless, there is a series of difficulties that needs to be overcome in order to improve prediction accuracy. In the present work, different microstructures (ferrite-pearlite, bainite, quenched, and quenched and tempered) were produced and tension tested in a C-Mn-Nb steel. Optical microscopy and EBSD (Electron Back Scattered Diffraction) were applied and the results were compared as a function of the tolerance angle. Based on this work, an adaptation to Pickering's equation is proposed, including its extension to other microstructures rather than ferrite-pearlite. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.