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  1. #1
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    Best Bikes for Tall Guys

    I'm 6'3 with long legs (36.5in cycling inseam) and have had a fairly difficult time finding a bike that fits properly. I like 29ers, but have found it tough to rely on manufacturer's sizing recommendations when trying to choose a frame size, so I thought I'd get some opinions from the tall guys on the forum to see what brands (in general) fit tall guys the best.

    My experience testing a few dozen bikes in the last two years: I'm usually right on the line between a L and an XL frame for most brands. Saddle height is usually 33.5in from BB to top of saddle for me, so bikes with a slacker seat tube angle don't work super well. I tend to need a lot of seat post extension, which slackens out the angle even more, and forces me to slam the saddle all the way forward, etc. In all honesty it's not that big of a deal, but I like feeling like I'm riding a bike that fits, and that I don't have to push the cockpit to extremes to make it work.

    Bikes that have fit well:
    Trek Stache 21.5 (my personal ride, and best fitting bike I've ridden)
    Santa Cruz Hightower XL
    Trek Fuel EX9

    Pivot Mach 429 Trail XL
    Ibis Ripley XL
    Niner Rip 9 L

    In general, the Pivot and Ibis felt small to me, despite being XL Frames. The L Niner frame had a 20.5in seat tube, but ended up being way too cramped for me, had too slack of a seat tube angle and required too long of a stem. What other XL frames actually feel like an XL, with adequate reach numbers, etc.?

  2. #2
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    Same height here as you, but my cycling inseam is an inch less than you which makes our fit a bit different. I'm on XL everything in mountain bikes.

    Brogo writes: Saddle height is usually 33.5in from BB to top of saddle for me.

    Wow! Mine is only 31.76in. On the other hand, I'm usually always trying to get my saddle back as far as I can - or use a setback post.

    I currently own and ride Yeti ASRC (XL), Karate Monkey (XL), Salsa Dos Niner (XL). The Yeti replaced a size XL JET 9 and XL RIP 9 (both of which I still have).

    All the XL's listed above allowed me to get my seat height, and preferred knee/pedal position dialed. Any tweaks at the cockpit were easily handled with the plumbing.

    Visual of how much post sticks out for me (if that at all helps you in terms of the visual)...

















    I rented the XL Ibis Ripley LS in Utah this past March for a week of riding.



    I rented the XL Santa Cruz Tallboy in California for a few days to do a race.



    Not trying to point out any particular bike as a suggestion, just giving you a visual of what worked for me. I can empathize with not being able to find many XL bikes in shops to sit on and try out. At our height, we're an outlier in terms of keeping inventory for the masses in size S, M, and L. I'm sure other tall riders will chime in with brands/bikes that they found to work. I've really had no issues with any XL I've ever tried. I ride a 64cm Specialized Roubaix road bike by the way. That's a big bike. ;-)

    The Tallboy comes in XXL which might be worth investigating the geometry/sizing (has as 73 degree seat tube angle). Ventana also makes bikes for tall boys which might be worth investigating. The El Rey has a 73 degree seat tube angle and they have XL, XXL, and XXXL frames. My Yeti XL has a 72.7 degree seat tube angle.
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 12-19-2016 at 07:12 AM.

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    Best Bikes for Tall Guys

    I'm also 6'3. My saddle height is 31.7 inches. I got a chance to do a quick test ride on a Devinci Django 29 (size XL with a 50 mm stem /760 mm 20 mm rise handlebar) and I found it fit me well unlike the XL Hightower which had way too low stack height for me to get the bars high enough without using some extremely high riser+many spacers. I like my bars about level with the seat. Interestingly the OP found the XL HT fit him well even with a couple inches higher seat. But that just shows how different we are as individuals.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    I'm 6'3 with long legs (36.5in cycling inseam) and have had a fairly difficult time finding a bike that fits properly. Saddle height is usually 33.5in from BB to top of saddle for me
    With 175mm cranks, the center of your pedal spindle to top of saddle is ~40", but your inseam is only 36.5". That doesn't seem right. My numbers are similar to Bruce Brown's.

    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    What other XL frames actually feel like an XL, with adequate reach numbers, etc.?
    The industry has caught up to you and are now spec'ing longer reach #s and steeper seat tube angles. Those bikes you said felt small (429T, Ripley, and Rip9) are outliers (assuming you're not referring to the new Rip9, which would probably fit you well in XL). You'll still need to keep an eye on seat tube length and making sure it works for you and the post you're running, but everybody is in that boat. There are dropper posts available that are longer than any standard posts I know of.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    With 175mm cranks, the center of your pedal spindle to top of saddle is ~40", but your inseam is only 36.5". That doesn't seem right.
    On 2nd thought, I run my cleats are all the way rearward, I'm pretty inflexible, and normally run a setback post, so I guess your saddle height sounds reasonable. And, well, you should know! I'm 6'2 w/36+" barefoot bike inseam. Floor to navel is 45.5" and navel to sternum is only 15" (3:1 ratio).

    Anybody care to post their navel-to-sternum measurement?
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    I tend to need a lot of seat post extension, which slackens out the angle even more, and forces me to slam the saddle all the way forward, etc.
    I'm 6 3 w/ 34 inseam and the pivot 429sl felt pretty good in xl, a liitle stretched out but with a really large 150mm head tube length the bar height was easy to dial in w/ the stock stem and a 40 mm rise bar for about seat level. It still felt too stretched so i reversed a 20 mm offset carbon seat post for a bit more of a forward position rather than go the shorter stem route

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    6'2" with 35.5" measured inseam. Riding a 23" Rumblefish and an XXL RM Instinct. Both fit great. The sizing sounds scary big but they ain't. No problem finding a comfortable position without resorting to sky high seat posts or jacked up riser bars.

  8. #8
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    This subject is fascinating to me. The fitting variables are endless. It took me a year to dial in a modern bike after being out of it for a while. I built a couple bikes that on paper were perfect fit (L), but never felt right, went up to xl territory (6'1") and was like a dream. Couldn't conceive of how slack, short stem setup (thought it would be cramped) would work. Fork size became major variable I learned. Besides the angles, heights, torso, arms, legs, etc, sizing variables....there was riding background, I grew up racing bmx in 70's and 80's, I think memories of those v-bar positions even played into my fitment on modern mid-travel trail bike. Anyway, love learning about sizing....

  9. #9
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    Not as tall as you giants i.e. 6ft in heels... w/ 32 inch inseam.

    I ride an XL Transition Bandit 29 1, it's a little cramped coming off a Kona Process 134.

    The prior owner of the Bandit was 6 ft 6 inches tall (must have had short torso/arms).

    FYI my wingspan is 6 ft 5 inches o_0

    PS - my 5 ft 7 inch tall wife likes my Kona ;-)

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    I'm 6'3 with long legs (36.5in cycling inseam) and have had a fairly difficult time finding a bike that fits properly. I like 29ers, but have found it tough to rely on manufacturer's sizing recommendations when trying to choose a frame size, so I thought I'd get some opinions from the tall guys on the forum to see what brands (in general) fit tall guys the best.

    My experience testing a few dozen bikes in the last two years: I'm usually right on the line between a L and an XL frame for most brands. Saddle height is usually 33.5in from BB to top of saddle for me, so bikes with a slacker seat tube angle don't work super well. I tend to need a lot of seat post extension, which slackens out the angle even more, and forces me to slam the saddle all the way forward, etc. In all honesty it's not that big of a deal, but I like feeling like I'm riding a bike that fits, and that I don't have to push the cockpit to extremes to make it work.

    Bikes that have fit well:
    Trek Stache 21.5 (my personal ride, and best fitting bike I've ridden)
    Santa Cruz Hightower XL
    Trek Fuel EX9

    Pivot Mach 429 Trail XL
    Ibis Ripley XL
    Niner Rip 9 L

    In general, the Pivot and Ibis felt small to me, despite being XL Frames. The L Niner frame had a 20.5in seat tube, but ended up being way too cramped for me, had too slack of a seat tube angle and required too long of a stem. What other XL frames actually feel like an XL, with adequate reach numbers, etc.?
    Pretty much any bike company that makes a 21" XL frame will work for you. You've got it pretty easy; you're not really all that tall, just a little taller than average. Ultimately, as you're discovering, it just comes down to personal preference, but you can make pretty much any XL frame work for your size, with the right components to dial your fit. Guys who are actually tall don't have it that easy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    Pretty much any bike company that makes a 21" XL frame will work for you. You've got it pretty easy; you're not really all that tall, just a little taller than average. Ultimately, as you're discovering, it just comes down to personal preference, but you can make pretty much any XL frame work for your size, with the right components to dial your fit. Guys who are actually tall don't have it that easy.
    True on those getting 6'4" and beyond do not have it easy when it comes to bikes, clothing, cars, kitchen sink height, toilet height, etc... .

    6'3" qualifies in the tall category for US Males (the blue line)...



    This US Male Population height distribution chart shows a good visual distribution of why more bikes are produced for shorter male riders in the US than tall drinks of water...



    Once you realize why being 6'3" and above is considered an "outlier" height for products (bikes, clothing, chairs, and what not) - you come to terms with the search to find the gear you need. Sure, to all of us who are tall - our height seems normal, but we're not normal. As Gigantic points out, it gets even more abnormal and increases the "outlier" with every inch in height you add.

    Great statistics page here: Statistics Part 1: Average and Standard Deviation

    Luckily, there are custom frame builders as well as a few companies (Zinn, Ventana, Santa Cruz, etc...) addressing the smaller numbers of the extremely tall.

    Back in 2013 when I bought my XXL Specialized Roubaix, they produced so few in that size that I really got lucky and snagged the last one available in the US.

  12. #12
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    6'4-1/2" Tall

    Was on a 2013 Rocky Mountain Element 970 RSL BC Edition - size XXL. Ran 60mm stem with 730mm bars.

    Now on a 2016 Yeti SB4.5c - size XL. Running 60mm stem with 750mm bars.

    IIRC, the top tube lengths are nearly identical between the two.

  13. #13
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    I'm 6'2" with 35" cycling inseam, riding XC full suspension bikes. I found that the XL frames on most bikes I've built "feel" right but the L "rides" better. I did get both frames and built up using identical components. I did this both with Giant Anthem Advanced and Niner Jet 9 carbon models. Ended up selling both the XL's and keeping the L.

    As I said the XL felt right from cockpit feel and seatpost/stem height. Riding the L felt more nimble, lighter and flickable. Think the longer wheelbase of the XL really adversely affected the handling/riding for me. Longer wheelbase was way more noticeable than any other factor, at least with these 2 XC bikes.

    I end up using a setback seatpost and riser bar to compensate. Still end up with more seatpost exposed than I would consider normal.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    I'm 6'2" with 35" cycling inseam, riding XC full suspension bikes. I found that the XL frames on most bikes I've built "feel" right but the L "rides" better. I did get both frames and built up using identical components. I did this both with Giant Anthem Advanced and Niner Jet 9 carbon models. Ended up selling both the XL's and keeping the L.

    As I said the XL felt right from cockpit feel and seatpost/stem height. Riding the L felt more nimble, lighter and flickable. Think the longer wheelbase of the XL really adversely affected the handling/riding for me. Longer wheelbase was way more noticeable than any other factor, at least with these 2 XC bikes.

    I end up using a setback seatpost and riser bar to compensate. Still end up with more seatpost exposed than I would consider normal.
    This is EXACTLY my experience. 6'2" 36+ inseam. When seated, a long front-center is problematic because I struggle to adequately weight the front wheel. I've tried steeper seat tube angles, but my body (knees, neck, back) won't have it, makes my CoG even higher, and just feels wrong. I don't contest that the new geo works for many/most, but I prefer a smaller bike and ~70mm stem. It keeps me happy and injury free.
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    Maybe not helpful, but at 6'-3" I have been pretty comfortable on 19-20" frames forever. With your extra leg (mine's ~34) you prob'ly need an XL frame. I say this because I am right at the limit of what most companies consider a "large" frame.

    I felt great on large Specialized, Niner, Canfield, GT. Not so good on Trek, Intense, Turner, Cannondale. Now I haven't tried many of these lately, but the ones I like I have tried lately.

    Current ride is a Canfield Nimble 9 with 90mm stem, and flat bars level with the saddle. I do have the saddle slammed forward.
    I am surprised an XL Niner did not suit you. Having less seatpost out, and room for a stem up to 90-100mm would seem to work, IMO.
    My Motobecane fatbike is also a great fit, but I'm not recommending their XC bikes. But don't take my word for it.

    btw - some people have been telling me for years that my frame is too small. I think it fits my riding style. If you are used to riding a smaller frame, the switch to a larger frame might feel awkward at first. Give it some time (I realize this is not always possible in a demo situation). I probably sit up slightly more than the "average" XC rider, but I can't sit heavy on the saddle so there is still some forward lean. If you lean more forward, then an XL is def. in the cards for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panttaani View Post
    I'm also 6'3. My saddle height is 31.7 inches. I got a chance to do a quick test ride on a Devinci Django 29 (size XL with a 50 mm stem /760 mm 20 mm rise handlebar) and I found it fit me well unlike the XL Hightower which had way too low stack height for me to get the bars high enough without using some extremely high riser+many spacers. I like my bars about level with the seat. Interestingly the OP found the XL HT fit him well even with a couple inches higher seat. But that just shows how different we are as individuals.

    I agree. I'm 6'2.5" and the XL Hightower felt cramped in reach and the bars were too low.

  17. #17
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    I'll chime in with a rec for Banshee, they make a decent XL size, Reach is 488mm for the Phantom and 484mm for the Prime for 2017. FYI I'm 6'2.25" tall, 35.25" inseam, 175mm and 180mm cranks, measurement from centre of BB to top of saddle is around 32.5" depending on which bike, what length crank and what shoes, generally like to run a 785mm wide bar and 60-70mm stem.

    I currently ride the earlier Phantom in size Large with 70mm stem/785mm wide bar (450mm Reach - 470mm with a 60mm stem would be ideal), have a pre-production Prime with 475mm Reach and would run that now with a 40-50mm stem after riding the Phantom as it's set up. Thinking of picking up a 2017 XL Phantom and expect I'd need to run a 35-40mm stem with it's Reach. As said, some geo changes to both bikes for 2017, including a shorter seattube giving more stand over, not an issue for you, but would allow you to run a 175-200mm dropper. If you ran the XL expect you'd need something along the lines of a 40-50mm stem.

    Almost forgot, the KS Link suspension is absolutely amazing, when I first got the Phantom and would look down at the o-ring on the shock and see it at the end of stroke, I would wonder where it had done that as I never felt it, always felt high in the ride, but uses suspension very efficiently and fully.

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  18. #18
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    XL bikes

    I will echo what others have said about the Hightower, it is a smaller bike with a low head tube, common for Santa Cruz. I had a beer with the Demo guy this summer. He said SC felt that addressed the XL needs by making the Hightower longer. I have no interest in running 3" riser bars and 2" of stack spacer to address the issue.

    I poured over all the Stack and Reach numbers I could until I saw that Specialized does a pretty good job with meeting my needs. I am 6'5" with a 36ish inseem. I ride the Camber Carbon Expert and it fits great. I run a 75mm stem versus the 110 I used on my old XL Tallboy Long travel. I am looking to get another bike for our vacation spot a few states away. I will likely get an XXL 27.5+ to allow for a shorter stem.

    Finally, I am surprised a Stash felt OK. Those seem tiny and, at our size, prone to BB flex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001 View Post
    I have no interest in running 3" riser bars and 2" of stack spacer to address the issue.
    Yup. I'm trying to avoid lots of spacers, big riser bar, long stems, sky high setback post with seat slammed back on the rails. Been there, done that, didn't always work out well!

    Sometimes I'd like a more 'flickable' bike but my first priority is getting my bad knee in a good position without any craziness required for my seat position. After all, 99% of my riding time is spent churning on the pedals. A poor knee/hip position will end my ride quickly.

    It took a few rides but I found that getting used to a slightly larger frame was kinda like getting used to 29" wheels. A few adjustment rides and then I was happy with the new-normal. I still haven't tried any of the new-fangled bikes with the really long front centres so I'll reserve judgement on those.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I'll chime in with a rec for Banshee, they make a decent XL size, Reach is 488mm for the Phantom and 484mm for the Prime for 2017.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm 6'2" riding a 2013 XL Prime. It's the biggest bike I've ever owned, but still not quite big enough for me. I've got a 3/4" setback post, seat slammed all the way back, and an 80mm stem. And I'd still like the cockpit a tad longer, but it's pretty close.

    I have long arms and that plays a role. The new Banshees are a little longer so may get one at some point. Not a Specialized fan, but they do make XXLs last I checked.

    Works sells a headset that pushes the fork 5mm forward without changing the HTA. Considered getting one, but not sure it's worth it for that small a change.
    Banshee Prime

  21. #21
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    Wow What width bar do you run? I ran a Thomson setback post and then got a 9point8 FallLine with setback head (think it's 20 or 25mm) and run my saddle about centered on the rails, have proportionate arms to match legs, i.e. long. Guessing your flexibility is much better than mine as when I was running my XL Prime I was using a 65mm stem/785mm bar and always had trouble with controlling the front end on fast, steep stuff. When I rebuilt it last year I tried a 45mm stem and the handling was amazing, no more front end control issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    I'm 6'2" riding a 2013 XL Prime. It's the biggest bike I've ever owned, but still not quite big enough for me. I've got a 3/4" setback post, seat slammed all the way back, and an 80mm stem. And I'd still like the cockpit a tad longer, but it's pretty close.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Wow What width bar do you run?
    Good question. Just checked and it's 730mm going straight across from the edges of the grips. I guess that is somewhat narrow and I've been running those bars for a long time. Tried wider in the past and didn't care for them, plus makes it harder to clear the trees. But it's a valid point that wider bars would effectively make the bike a little longer. I do have very wide shoulders so in theory should like the wide bars. Might try them at some point.
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    6' 5" riding a Framed Mn3, 22" stand over works with, 36" inseam. Bluto fork uncut works with trashed shoulders.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    Pretty much any bike company that makes a 21" XL frame will work for you. You've got it pretty easy; you're not really all that tall, just a little taller than average. Ultimately, as you're discovering, it just comes down to personal preference, but you can make pretty much any XL frame work for your size, with the right components to dial your fit. Guys who are actually tall don't have it that easy.
    Agreed that most XL bikes will work, but I'd argue that 6'3 is, actually, fairly tall. Yeah, I'm not 6'6, but I still have trouble finding pants that are long enough, let alone bikes that are big enough.

    Ultimately, I'm trying to come up with a list of bike brands to look at that have fit other tall dudes. From personal experience, Santa Cruz, Trek, Salsa, Kona, Evil, and Yeti make longer/bigger bikes with adequate reach numbers, while Pivot, Ibis and Niner have (traditionally) made shorter, steeper bikes that have been a littler weird on sizing for me.

    Granted, I rode a L Niner Rip 9, and I'm sure the XL would have been the right size. The reach on that bike was 16.7. The Reach on the current XL Pivot Mach 429 Trail I'm riding is 17.1... The XL Stache has a reach of 17.9, and the XL Hightower has a reach of 18.7...

    I also think seat tube length and angle play a major role for anyone with long legs. The Niner I used to have and now the Pivot have fairly normal (maybe even slack seat) tube angles. I need a lot of seat post height, and the higher the saddle, the more exaggerated that seat tube angle becomes. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I think that's why I usually have to slam my saddles forward on the rails. So, would it make sense to say that a steeper seat tube angle might be better for folks with long legs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    ...
    Ultimately, I'm trying to come up with a list of bike brands to look at that have fit other tall dudes....

    I also think seat tube length and angle play a major role for anyone with long legs. The Niner I used to have and now the Pivot have fairly normal (maybe even slack seat) tube angles. I need a lot of seat post height, and the higher the saddle, the more exaggerated that seat tube angle becomes. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I think that's why I usually have to slam my saddles forward on the rails. So, would it make sense to say that a steeper seat tube angle might be better for folks with long legs?
    Add Guerrilla Gravity. Our XL frames are made to fit people from 6'4" up to 6'8", and we've made a handful of semi custom frames that are even larger yet.

    As far as the seat tube angle, yes, the taller you get, the closer your saddle gets to sitting directly over the rear axle. A slacker ACTUAL seat tube angle accentuates this. Emphasis on "actual" because it is getting more common for bikes to have a slack actual seat tube angle, but a steep "effective" angle. The effective number is typically measured a fair bit below the seat height most people run, hence why it can be misleading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    I need a lot of seat post height, and the higher the saddle, the more exaggerated that seat tube angle becomes. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I think that's why I usually have to slam my saddles forward on the rails. So, would it make sense to say that a steeper seat tube angle might be better for folks with long legs?
    I agree with your line of thinking. With so many bikes now having a significant discrepancy between actual STA and effective STA, leggy riders running lots of post are more vulnerable to that discrepancy reeking havoc when dialing in one's preferred saddle position.
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  27. #27
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    Looks like we should add Spot to the list. The explanation of the geo for the Rollik is the best description I've read on why a steeper seat tube angle is good for tall folks:

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/14...51726792457439

  29. #29
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    And as a 6'2.25" tall guy with a longer than normal inseam for my height 35.25", I'll say I don't want a STA steeper than 73*, just puts me too far forward for where I like to be relative to the BB. Right now I run a setback head on my 9point8 dropper because of this and ran a setback Thomson before that on my Phantom with 74.5* ESTA, but on my Paradox with 72.5* ESTA I use4 a straight post to get me to the same place. Info on me, I love to climb, but I also like to do long rolling/pedally rides and for the DHs enjoy the slower, tech type the most or even fast, just tech not smoothed out dirt pavement bermed out stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    Looks like we should add Spot to the list. The explanation of the geo for the Rollik is the best description I've read on why a steeper seat tube angle is good for tall folks:

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/14...51726792457439
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    I'm 6'3 with long legs (36.5in cycling inseam) and have had a fairly difficult time finding a bike that fits properly. I like 29ers, but have found it tough to rely on manufacturer's sizing recommendations when trying to choose a frame size, so I thought I'd get some opinions from the tall guys on the forum to see what brands (in general) fit tall guys the best.

    My experience testing a few dozen bikes in the last two years: I'm usually right on the line between a L and an XL frame for most brands. Saddle height is usually 33.5in from BB to top of saddle for me, so bikes with a slacker seat tube angle don't work super well. I tend to need a lot of seat post extension, which slackens out the angle even more, and forces me to slam the saddle all the way forward, etc. In all honesty it's not that big of a deal, but I like feeling like I'm riding a bike that fits, and that I don't have to push the cockpit to extremes to make it work.

    Bikes that have fit well:
    Trek Stache 21.5 (my personal ride, and best fitting bike I've ridden)
    Santa Cruz Hightower XL
    Trek Fuel EX9

    Pivot Mach 429 Trail XL
    Ibis Ripley XL
    Niner Rip 9 L

    In general, the Pivot and Ibis felt small to me, despite being XL Frames. The L Niner frame had a 20.5in seat tube, but ended up being way too cramped for me, had too slack of a seat tube angle and required too long of a stem. What other XL frames actually feel like an XL, with adequate reach numbers, etc.?
    Brogo: I'm pretty much the same height, leg length and saddle height as you. I have long femurs so I'm not sure if you and I are the same in that respect.

    I have a custom built '15 XL Sworks Enduro 29 that I bought as a frame. It works very well for me. The Gravity dropper post has no setback and I run my seat near the middle of the range front to back. A dual position 160 Pike with 51mm of fork offset makes it a bit more nimble than the 46mm fork equipped stock bikes. Even more nimble with the fork set at 130 in really tight trails.

    I run a 46mm rise Enve High DH bar cut to 757mm on a 50mm Renthal Duo stem set up so that at full extension of the post the seat is half of an inch above the top of the middle of the grips and a half inch below when the GD post is in the one inch down mode. 180mm cranks.

    The bike fits me super well. It rips with great confidence and just constantly begs to go faster and hit every feature on the trail.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

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    Another 6'2.75" 36" actual inseam here (easy to measure, I can just fit over a yardstick), I used to be 6'3", but I'm old enough to have lost just a little.
    I use the chart in the old Lemond book, which I think still holds up, that puts my seat at 81cm/31.75" bb to top. I was road riding with a friend last summer and he stated that my seat was a bit too low, I raised my seat just a little on my road and cross bikes after that, raced cx once like that, and it felt so wrong over the rough stuff, all my 'suspension' was gone. I can ride road at 82cm, but off road is unbalanced for me like that, - all bikes are back to 81.
    The seat post would be really far extended at 33.5" and the bars low on L bikes, I can't imagine being comfortable on a normal L. My brother is 6'1", 34 inseam I think, he's always happy on Large, - I've got my 12 year old kid on a Large 26er, he's all legs, 5'9"+ with about a 34" inseam.
    I sometimes try my friends L bikes and they seem small. I'm happy on most XLs (21/22), 61 or 62 on the road/cx.
    Way back in the early 90s I used to travel to races with 2 brothers that were 6'6" and 6'7", especially back then it was hard for them to get a bike to fit, a lot of XLs had low front ends, the taller brother had a Zaskar, kind of a low front end. It was pretty funny that I felt like the short guy.

    Here's me on an XL Raleigh Talus Pro (21" from center of bb to top of seat collar), 81cm seat from bb with 36" actual inseam, the front end is relatively low on this bike, but I like it all around. Best Bikes for Tall Guys-lord-hill.jpg
    Last edited by jimPacNW; 01-12-2017 at 12:00 PM.

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    Been thru various XL bikes over the years and most did not fit well: top tube too short so stuck with life no stem or seat tube so angled my seat was always in a poor position and I was fighting to stay over the front end. Although the "new" trend of long n low bikes is great I have found the reach is often better but head tube length is now shorther than ever and it doesn't work for the lanky bean pole I am. Not to mention I want to support USA made so out goes Turner and in comes Gorrila Gravity with their Trail Pistol. Ride what fits and rip and that may mean it's not the latest carbon cookie cutter.

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    Weighing in late here, I am 6'7" with a 36" jeans inseam. Just picked up a Specialized Camber Comp 29er in the XXL frame. The bike fits me great and is a fantastic bike. I had a 170mm reverb stealth dropper put on it before I picked it up. Coming off a Giant Trance (26" with XL frame), this thing is night and day better, and I can't imagine being without a dropper ever again. I also had spec'd out a Santa Cruz Tallboy in XXL. The XXL only came in Carbon. I picked the Camber because to get the hardware I wanted, the Tallboy price gap was too big. Anyway, hope you got your bike

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    Another 6'2.75" 36" actual inseam here (easy to measure, I can just fit over a yardstick), I used to be 6'3", but I'm old enough to have lost just a little.
    I use the chart in the old Lemond book, which I think still holds up, that puts my seat at 81cm/31.75" bb to top. I was road riding with a friend last summer and he stated that my seat was a bit too low, I raised my seat just a little on my road and cross bikes after that, raced cx once like that, and it felt so wrong over the rough stuff, all my 'suspension' was gone. I can ride road at 82cm, but off road is unbalanced for me like that, - all bikes are back to 81.
    The seat post would be really far extended at 33.5" and the bars low on L bikes, I can't imagine being comfortable on a normal L. My brother is 6'1", 34 inseam I think, he's always happy on Large, - I've got my 12 year old kid on a Large 26er, he's all legs, 5'9"+ with about a 34" inseam.
    I sometimes try my friends L bikes and they seem small. I'm happy on most XLs (21/22), 61 or 62 on the road/cx.
    Way back in the early 90s I used to travel to races with 2 brothers that were 6'6" and 6'7", especially back then it was hard for them to get a bike to fit, a lot of XLs had low front ends, the taller brother had a Zaskar, kind of a low front end. It was pretty funny that I felt like the short guy.

    Here's me on an XL Raleigh Talus Pro (21" from center of bb to top of seat collar), 81cm seat from bb with 36" actual inseam, the front end is relatively low on this bike, but I like it all around. Click image for larger version. 

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    Do you still have that chart for seatpost height, would you be able to post it?

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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    I'm 6'1 with a 35.5" inseam. Lots of leg, not as much torso. Most XL bikes have adequate stack height for me, but feel very long, with poor agility and floppy steering.

    To evaluate a new bike, I take a profile shot of a bike that I know fits me. Then I go find a profile shot of the frame size of the bike I'm considering (EBay and Pinkbike Buy/Sell are useful here) and layer it on top, scale it, and then line up the bottom brackets. Then I can lower the opacity, copy and paste the seat tube to bring it to the right height, and see exactly where my contact points will be on the new ride.

    I've got a geometry chart with all sorts of useful numbers that I initially use to cull the available bikes (ETT, stack:reach, and stack and reach alone were all key), but ultimately, it's the visual that persuades me one way or another to try a bike.

    A more sophisticated approach would use Linkage or bikecad.ca to model the bike geometry.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexdi View Post
    I'm 6'1 with a 35.5" inseam. Lots of leg, not as much torso. Most XL bikes have adequate stack height for me, but feel very long, with poor agility and floppy steering.
    This is my experience. Long legs push me up and back, and my short torso/reach have me struggling to get enough weight on front wheel (esp. seated). I have the dimensions of someone 5'10, but with 4" of extra legs, so why would I want the reach of a XL bike? My saddle is every mm forward I can tolerate, and run 70mm stems. I like modern geo for descending, but that's about it. Which bikes have worked best for you?

    I think there are different "tall guy" problems depending largely on femur/torso/arm dimensions.
    2017 Diamondback Haanjo
    2016 Pivot 429T
    2011 Kona Unit

  37. #37
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    Enjoying this thread. I'm 6'6", and it's definitely getting better for us none-percenters. ;-)
    All's well that ends.

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    I can only comment on XC FS bikes. I started on a CS-036 Chinese frame with 617 ETT, 433 reach, and 626 stack. I got lucky, it actually fit pretty well with some spacers and a 60mm stem. I ended up replacing it with a Scalpel with 617 ETT, 436 reach, and 604 stack.

    Among other makes, Ibis fits, and to a lesser extent, Pivot. The original Ripley in size L is 607 ETT, 406 reach, and 625 stack. It's like they paired an XL front with M in the back. Ideal for long-legged riders. Among the modern geo bikes, I tested a Ripley LS XL that was borderline acceptable (640/448/632), but too long and stable to be much fun on an XC trail. Yeti's SB4.5 in L would have fit a bit better (630/444/622). The XL SB4.5 (655/465/636) felt like the front end was in another time-zone.

    One key measurement is the actual angle of the seat-tube relative to the bottom bracket, when the seat is at the correct height. A lot of FS bikes list steep ST angles, but they're only accurate with the seat at bar-height. With a strong ST kink, that angle gets a lot shallower if you go any higher. The Ripley's 72.2D angle is shallow compared to most, but it'll stay 72ish even with a seat above the bars.

    Here's the Scalpel:

    Best Bikes for Tall Guys-scalpel_new.jpg

    The stock stem on this bike was 120mm -9D with no spacers. To get the right height and distance, I ended up replacing the steerer and adding about 4cm of spacers with an 80mm +7D stem. My weight is probably an inch further back than Cannondale intended, but since I wanted the thing to be a trail bike anyway, it worked out fine.

  39. #39
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    I'm 6'4" with a 35 inseam and long torso. All bikes feel to small for me in XL. Tried an old Tallboy 2 XXL and it was great, but to much like my blur to upgrade.
    Test rode
    XL ibis mojo, ripley LS. both amazing trail bikes.
    XL santa cruz hightower. monster truck downhill
    XL evil following. just sat on it
    XL stumpjumper 29er. not my style
    All to small
    Ended up building a Santa Cruz Tallboy 3 XXL. second longest reach of all bikes made today.
    Fits like a glove and is a rocket downhill. with the 2.6 on the front, traction is unreal. It fits a 200mm dropper too.
    Last edited by alexbn921; 01-31-2017 at 08:32 AM.

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    Such a perfect illustration of the effect of body proportion. Our saddles are the same height, but you've got 7cm more ETT and reach on that frame. Pretty incredible.

    When I went to test bikes at a Yeti dealer, the owner asked my inseam and immediately told me to ride the XL model. Didn't consider the ratio to height at all. I took his word and spent the whole ride regretting it.

  41. #41
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    It's hard sometimes Alexdi to find things that fit us when we are out of the normal sizing.
    Not mine but a great reference for large mountain and road bikes
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...dNzjuRI8M/edit
    edit
    found the thread
    Mountain Bikes for the Very Tall

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    This is my experience. Long legs push me up and back, and my short torso/reach have me struggling to get enough weight on front wheel (esp. seated). I have the dimensions of someone 5'10, but with 4" of extra legs, so why would I want the reach of a XL bike? My saddle is every mm forward I can tolerate, and run 70mm stems. I like modern geo for descending, but that's about it. Which bikes have worked best for you?

    I think there are different "tall guy" problems depending largely on femur/torso/arm dimensions.
    Ryder1, great point. I guess my original question should have been "what bikes work for long-legged tall folks?" That seems to be the issue I run into most.

    What size 429Trail do you ride? This is a bike that's a good example of one that doesn't fit me super well... The angle of the seat tube requires me to slam the saddle pretty far forward (not to mention it's always felt a little short for me in the reach department).

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    What size 429Trail do you ride?
    I ride a L, straight post, saddle rails in the middle. I'm definitely an outlier and even avoided geared bikes for years because they always seemed ill-fitting (too small standing, or too long seated). Current set up is as forward as I can manage without my knees, etc. complaining. With so much weight rearward, I prefer a shorter reach frame so I can maintain enough weight on the front. Does it feel a bit cramped standing? Yes, but I prefer that to feeling too stretched seated. I'm still working at it though -- last weekend, after many previous attempts, I was able to slide the saddle a hair more forward (and raised the saddle) - seated climbs improved.
    2017 Diamondback Haanjo
    2016 Pivot 429T
    2011 Kona Unit

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post
    Ryder1, great point. I guess my original question should have been "what bikes work for long-legged tall folks?" That seems to be the issue I run into most.
    I am almost 6'5" with 37.8" inseam so I know what you feel. I have 23" 2014 Trek Superfly HT and the main reason why I picked it, was the seat tube length. I was afraid of seatpost esposure in smaller 21.5" frame (~284mm). I ended up with shorter 90mm stem and zero-offset seatpost. Week ago I was in Munich on vacation and I went to official Trek Store. I did a quick parking lot ride on 21.5" Fuel EX. I was surprised how nimble and comfortable it was. In fact seatpost was pretty high but it did not look bad. Despite low stack I felt pretty good as I am used to "XC standards". That gave me a second thoughts if I really need XXL bike. BTW, I am thinking of Fuel or Camber/Stumpjumper XL - does it make any sense?

  45. #45
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    I'm 6'8 and a 36inseam and ride a Giant 29er w/XL frame 22/23

    Sent from my Samsung Note 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpamDad View Post
    Weighing in late here, I am 6'7" with a 36" jeans inseam. Just picked up a Specialized Camber Comp 29er in the XXL frame. The bike fits me great and is a fantastic bike. I had a 170mm reverb stealth dropper put on it before I picked it up. Coming off a Giant Trance (26" with XL frame), this thing is night and day better, and I can't imagine being without a dropper ever again. I also had spec'd out a Santa Cruz Tallboy in XXL. The XXL only came in Carbon. I picked the Camber because to get the hardware I wanted, the Tallboy price gap was too big. Anyway, hope you got your bike
    I am 6'7" as well.

    My current bike is a 20 yr old Mongoose 22" frame.

    Looking at a Specialized Rockhopper Expert in a XXL. I sat on an XL and it did not quite feel big enough.

    Trying to track down an XXL frame to test it out. Sounds like LBS has one at another location they can transfer. It is a Comp, not Expert. But if the Frame feels ok might have them order the Expert.

  47. #47
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    Me on my XXL. Doesn't look like a huge 29er.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Me on my XXL. Doesn't look like a huge 29er.
    How tall are you ?

    Sent from my Samsung Note 5

  49. #49
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    I'm 6'4" with a 35 inch inseam and long torso. Running a 50mm stem.
    This is the trail we are dropping. Local pro riding it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r-VDvDr130

  50. #50
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    tiger, sorry for the super late reply, here's a site with the chart:
    My World From a Bicycle: Lemond's Sizing Chart and Hamley's Method Charted

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    I have tall guy problems too, long arms, long legs, short torso, I am 34.5" inseam and 189cm tall, but might just have found my ideal bike, have only test ridden it so far, but long reach, with steeper seat tube suits me, most large frame bikes I end up with lots of seat post out, and bars a bit low. A Giant Fathom 29er XL is 645mm ETT, 457mm reach, and 74 degree seat tube. Best Bikes for Tall Guys-20170816_135808small.jpg I've got a 6 degree rise 80mm stem fitted here. The head tube is 130mm but stack is the same as other L size 29ers I looked at, with room to drop 20mm of spacers out, or go to a zero rise handlebar (current 25mm rise), to adjust weight on the front wheel for climbing.

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    I'm not super tall, like 6'1", but my inseam is kind of long for my height at about 33.5". The bike that fit me best when I was shopping last year was the Kona Honzo. The low BB meant that I could get a large and still fit well everywhere else. I was in some awkward middle ground between L and XL in most of the other bikes I had access to at the time. The XL would probably fit some pretty tall folks well and could potentially be a good option if you have long legs. This is, of course, my own subjective experience, but might be worth a shot anyway.

  53. #53
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    I'm 6'3" with short legs (34"). I ride xl and xxl with the seat fully forward. Large bikes are just too short front center for my long torso.

    6'3" and built like a t-Rex you should ride a large tho.

  54. #54
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    Brogo,
    I'm super-tall and have been riding since 1988. So I've broken frames of all kinds of nature. So I'm here to tell you that you need to concern yourself with more than fit. You, because of your size, will be harder on frames. My recommendation is you find something with a good amount of travel built for all-mountain or enduro riding. And if your budget allows, go with carbon fibre because welds fatigue and crack, no matter the material. Good luck!

  55. #55
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    6'8" 250lb. I ride a Trek xxl fuel ex 8 with riser bars (27.4mm). Well, the riser bar hasn't come in yet, but I can't wait.

    Best Bikes for Tall Guys-20170904_201756.jpg

  56. #56
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    At 6'3", I've just learned that SOME L frames will fit fine, but I've always ridden XL. My philosophy is, that after a while, I will adapt to the frame size in terms of handling, as long as the fit is close. But I'm very leary of having a lot of seatpost exposed. To me, that's a deal breaker.
    "Caught my first tube this morning....sir!"

  57. #57
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    How old are you?
    I am 59, pedaling daily last 17 years in snow, ice, minus 40(no car),
    i started with long legs 40 years ago and with loosing about 1 inch of spine lenght my legs are crazy long compared to average. From your numbers we might be in the same situation. Either a bike is too low or too long, well after riding med/lar/xlar they all need serious modifications, that get simpler after years of testing.
    - First i put my seat at the proper height that was determined by a pro fitter 3 years ago to avoid knee pain.
    - Second i pull it all the way in front depending on frame and your bones a no setback seatpost might do, i sometimes reverse a seatpost(with 2 screws) to get a forward advantage
    - after testings, to be sure the seat is in the proper place, 4 hours rides without knee pain i adjust the front.
    - you might need a shorter stem
    - you might need a raiser bar
    - you might need a narrower bar
    - you might need an extender under your bar
    so when our body is far from average we do have to adapt some bike to us, all bikes do not fit us so i cannot tell you what to buy.
    I like a med, a large, an xl after i modify them but i hate them all the way they are built, i simply tried 30 bikes and none was comfortable so my solution is to buy used, resale if i cannot be comfortable.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    6'8" 250lb. I ride a Trek xxl fuel ex 8 with riser bars (27.4mm). Well, the riser bar hasn't come in yet, but I can't wait.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Your seat should be close to level and it looks way to low for your size.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    This is EXACTLY my experience. 6'2" 36+ inseam. When seated, a long front-center is problematic because I struggle to adequately weight the front wheel. I've tried steeper seat tube angles, but my body (knees, neck, back) won't have it, makes my CoG even higher, and just feels wrong. I don't contest that the new geo works for many/most, but I prefer a smaller bike and ~70mm stem. It keeps me happy and injury free.
    mind if I plug my own thread here ;-)

    handling/geometry relative to frame size

  60. #60
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    Might be better off in the tall riders forum.

    Here is someone who has done the research for you and compiled a lot of big bike fit data:


    Stack and Reach Charts for pretty much all XL Bikes


    And for those who sized down because of handling, I have wondered the same over the years:

    handling/geometry relative to frame size

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogo View Post

    Ultimately, I'm trying to come up with a list of bike brands to look at that have fit other tall dudes.
    Here:

    Stack and Reach Charts for pretty much all XL Bikes

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    I'm 6'1 34.5 inch inseam, tried both large and XL giant fathom frames, (74 degree seat tubes, 69 degree head angle, longer front centre, and 442mm chainstays, and went to the XL no problem(467mm reach).

    I was also concerned that I might not be able to keep the front wheel down on climbs, but in practice, the front gets a little light on climbs with a 60mm stem, but totally manageable with good technique, and makes the bike playful.
    I am all upper body though so my weight distribution is slightly heavy on the bars naturally, with the handlebar height equal to the seat height.

    I would suggest that you look at bikes with chainstay lengths that aren't too short if you have difficulty with steep climbs, then the modern geo with a long front centre works fine. Also, the modern longer reach geo gives you a more efficient out of seat climb position.

    I experimented with 70mm (in the picture) and the 80mm stem that came with the bike). I ended up going for a lower rise 750mm wide 15mm rise bar and 60mm stem instead of the 30mm rise 700mm handlebar/70mm stem setup pictured.
    20170826_084315 by Tim Friedel, on Flickr

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