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Thread: 29er sizing

  1. #1
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    29er sizing

    Hi guys,

    Last year I bought my first 29er: A new for 2011 GT Karakoram 1.0 - Large size.
    I'm 182 cm tall and something always felt a little off to me. Yesterday I tried my friend's new GT timberline 1.0 (which are great for the money) - M size, and it fitted me like a glove.
    It made me quite unhappy with my local bike shop who's fitted me with a L size.
    My question is, what should I do to make my bike feel more like the M size? New frame is out of the question, because of financial reasons. I've already moved the saddle a bit forward and there's a change for the better, but I've heard it not so great to compensate for long top tube with moving the saddle because of pedaling efficiency (I don't feel it - maybe because I moved the saddle only a bit forward). Other than that, I was given an advice to change for shorter stem. Currently, I got a 90mm stem. Which size should I get? 80mm\75mm\60mm?
    Thanks for your time. Much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I've read somewhere on there that LBS's sometimes let you try stems. I'd try the extreme first and go with that 60mm.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulic3 View Post
    Hi guys,

    Last year I bought my first 29er: A new for 2011 GT Karakoram 1.0 - Large size.
    I'm 182 cm tall and something always felt a little off to me. Yesterday I tried my friend's new GT timberline 1.0 (which are great for the money) - M size, and it fitted me like a glove.
    It made me quite unhappy with my local bike shop who's fitted me with a L size.
    My question is, what should I do to make my bike feel more like the M size? New frame is out of the question, because of financial reasons. I've already moved the saddle a bit forward and there's a change for the better, but I've heard it not so great to compensate for long top tube with moving the saddle because of pedaling efficiency (I don't feel it - maybe because I moved the saddle only a bit forward). Other than that, I was given an advice to change for shorter stem. Currently, I got a 90mm stem. Which size should I get? 80mm\75mm\60mm?
    Thanks for your time. Much appreciated.
    Makes sense at your height of 5'11" and change that you would be on the "short end" of a size L, or the "tall end" of a size M.

    Kark 1.0 TT - 622.54mm
    Timberline 1.0 TT - 605mm

    Top Tube difference of 17.54mm (less than 3/4")
    Head Tube length difference of 10mm (about 1/3")

    Kart 1.0 cost - $1150
    Timberline 1.0 cost - $550

    Without moving your saddle which you should keep set for the best pedal/knee relationship, find out what stem and bar combo your friend's Timberline 1.0 has. Dropping stem length from a 90 to a 75mm won't be exactly the same (bar, stem angle, number of spacers, etc... all come into play), but playing with the cockpit with stem length, angle, spacers, bar width, bar sweep are all ways to adjust your fit/feel if you think the Timberline fit you like a glove. Measure your set up, then measure your friends and see where you could tweak (BB to saddle; nose/rear of saddle to bar/stem; to of head tube to top of stem/bar; etc...).

    BB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    I've read somewhere on there that LBS's sometimes let you try stems. I'd try the extreme first and go with that 60mm.
    Thanks man. I'd rather not visit there again. I'm quite pissed that they just gave me what was in stock instead of what I really need. Thought about buying a stem of ebay and installing it myself. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Makes sense at your height of 5'11" and change that you would be on the "short end" of a size L, or the "tall end" of a size M.

    Kark 1.0 TT - 622.54mm
    Timberline 1.0 TT - 605mm

    Top Tube difference of 17.54mm (less than 3/4")
    Head Tube length difference of 10mm (about 1/3")

    Kart 1.0 cost - $1150
    Timberline 1.0 cost - $550

    Without moving your saddle which you should keep set for the best pedal/knee relationship, find out what stem and bar combo your friend's Timberline 1.0 has. Dropping stem length from a 90 to a 75mm won't be exactly the same (bar, stem angle, number of spacers, etc... all come into play), but playing with the cockpit with stem length, angle, spacers, bar width, bar sweep are all ways to adjust your fit/feel if you think the Timberline fit you like a glove. Measure your set up, then measure your friends and see where you could tweak (BB to saddle; nose/rear of saddle to bar/stem; to of head tube to top of stem/bar; etc...).

    BB
    Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative answer, much appreciated.

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    Any idea what stem should I use? 80\75\60?
    Is a 60 mm stem a too drastic change?

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    Go to a different shop. They will have a parts box with a selection of used pieces. Talk to the techs. It takes only a short time to change one out and test ride it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulic3 View Post
    Any idea what stem should I use? 80\75\60?
    Is a 60 mm stem a too drastic change?
    60 worked great for me on my size L TBLTc

  9. #9
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    im 5'11" in shoes. long torso made makes size M feel crowded

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    Well, I think I'll try the 60. Thanks.

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    I agree with what someone said earlier about spacers. Try moving one or two on top of the stem to lower the cockpit a bit if the bike fit still feels too large. Tweaking that in addition with a different stem length could work wonders for you.

  12. #12
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    A short stem on a 29 is usually the preferred way to go, so you might be pleasantly surprised by the fit and handling.

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    At 5'11" I don't think your bikeshop did you wrong by putting you on a bike with a 622 TT. A lot of fit is personal preference. I bet 50% of people at your height would go large and 50% would go medium. I understand your disappointment however when you discovered that you prefered the smaller bike. Definatly try a shorter stem like 60 or 70mm as everyone else has already stated a shorter stem can make a big difference. I think at your hieght you can be happy with the large with a short stem. Good luck.

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    Thanks guys! I've just ordered a 60mm stem. Will post back with result once I get it. Thanks again for sharing your expertise and time.

  15. #15
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    I have ridden a 16" 26er Scandal for a few years and when I built a new 29er scandal they only had the 18" in stock at 5'8-9" I could fit both but was a bit worried about the size, I dropped the stem from an 80mm to a 60mm to compensate for the longer top tube and flipped the stem to get the same seat to bar drop and it feels even better than my 16" 26er.

    If you are only doing XC / trails then the bigger frame is probably the better call anyway so I am sure you will be happier with the smaller stem.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by roybatty666 View Post
    I have ridden a 16" 26er Scandal for a few years and when I built a new 29er scandal they only had the 18" in stock at 5'8-9" I could fit both but was a bit worried about the size, I dropped the stem from an 80mm to a 60mm to compensate for the longer top tube and flipped the stem to get the same seat to bar drop and it feels even better than my 16" 26er.

    If you are only doing XC / trails then the bigger frame is probably the better call anyway so I am sure you will be happier with the smaller stem.
    Thanks man. Appreciate your output.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikecito View Post
    A short stem on a 29 is usually the preferred way to go, so you might be pleasantly surprised by the fit and handling.
    Unless you're 6'4" and above.

  18. #18
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    No Probs I have spent loads of time fretting over bike sizes as normally buy online as it is far cheaper but always a bit of a gamble on the size/fit front so know how you feel

    I think I posted these two pics in the On one forum but they show the Difference in the bike sizes and how changes to the cockpit and seat height crated a similar set up. Your weight is going to be slightly further back with a shorter stem but as has been said is normally what the modern frames are designed for.

    And something that didn't initially spring to mind is that bigger frames suit the bigger wheels a bit better aesthetically IMHO
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 29er sizing-20130327_172050.jpg  

    29er sizing-20130327_172018-1-.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by roybatty666 View Post
    No Probs I have spent loads of time fretting over bike sizes as normally buy online as it is far cheaper but always a bit of a gamble on the size/fit front so know how you feel

    I think I posted these two pics in the On one forum but they show the Difference in the bike sizes and how changes to the cockpit and seat height crated a similar set up. Your weight is going to be slightly further back with a shorter stem but as has been said is normally what the modern frames are designed for.

    And something that didn't initially spring to mind is that bigger frames suit the bigger wheels a bit better aesthetically IMHO
    Beautiful wheels. Thanks again my friend.

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