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  1. #1
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    In between bike sizes?

    I picked up a Felt Nine 60 about a month ago. LBS said L was the way to go. That said, I didn't get a chance to ride the XL in same frame. Fast forward a few weeks and I've added 35mm to my stem, pushed seat back and gotten wider handlebars. My LBS is willing to order the XL frame in same bike and swap everything out.

    I'm 6'2 220lbs with longer torso, 32" inseam and long arms. Best to err on larger bike or smaller bike?

    P.S one thing is for certain - my helmet is too small.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails In between bike sizes?-image.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I believe it's better to size down, but that's really just a personal preference. In my experience the smaller bike handles better, but then I'm not 6'2" either. At your size and proportion you may find that the XL rides better since it'll let you use a shorter stem and not lock you into having the seat shoved all the way back on the rails.. Obviously it'd be best if you could test that size frame, because you sure don't want to be wishing you hadn't traded after the deal is done.
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  3. #3
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    I too prefer borderline too small over anything too large for the riding I do.

    Sounds like your LBS is taking care of you–great. Maybe you can at least parking lot ride the XL or something with similar geo? It would blow to wish for the L after making the swap. Good luck with that and the helmet

    Mike

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    Thanks...after reading about sizes, etc. I think I will be ok...will dig some more and see what else I find.

  5. #5
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    If you do a fit calculation like the Competetive Cyclist one I'm betting you'll find that that bike is WAY too small for you.
    If you can make it work there's no arguing with that, but you should at least ride a bike that is fit better for comparison. It might seem OK until you know the difference.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    If you do a fit calculation like the Competetive Cyclist one I'm betting you'll find that that bike is WAY too small for you.
    If you can make it work there's no arguing with that, but you should at least ride a bike that is fit better for comparison. It might seem OK until you know the difference.
    I went through the entire fitting just now only to get an error on their site...I saved my information and will try again...thanks.

  7. #7
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    I just signed up for the one at Wrench Science: Custom Bicycle Builder Online - Road, Mountain, Cyclocross, Track Parts and here are my results. 460mm handlebars? Come on.


    WS Recommended Mountain Sizes

    Frame Size center-to-center: 16 in
    Frame Size center-to-top: 17 in
    Overall Reach: 82.74 cm
    Saddle Height: 69.53 cm
    Handlebar Width: 46 cm

  8. #8
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    I think a little too small is better than a little too bug, because on a mountain bike handling is more important than optimal pedaling position. The fit calculators all throw you in a position that I find is too far bent over to handle the bike well.

  9. #9
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    I'm 6'3" and like you went back and forth between L and X/L. I rode them both multiple times and although everything I read said err on the side of smaller, I just felt better on the X/L.
    Also like you I have a long torso in proportion to my legs, and felt the longer cockpit was more comfortable.
    Like others have said it would be best if you could ride both side by side for comparison.
    Kudos to your Bike shop for working with you.

  10. #10
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    You look pretty upright in that picture --- that position is ok for casual riding but you might have some problems if you do any distance or technical riding. But too long a stem messes with your weighting on the bike and creates handling issues.

    I'm actually in the reverse position as you with xl legs and a L torso. I've always heard the conventional wisdom is to fit to the top tube.

    I've never fit niner, specialized, or cannondale terribly well. You might check out their geometries.

    You could also go custom, but that can get pricey.

    And this may be sacrilegious on ths forum, but you'd probably get a nice fit on some xl 650b frames.

  11. #11
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    Oh and I've read here that vassagos feel like they have a longer top tube.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddublu View Post
    I just signed up for the one at Wrench Science: Custom Bicycle Builder Online - Road, Mountain, Cyclocross, Track Parts and here are my results. 460mm handlebars? Come on.


    WS Recommended Mountain Sizes

    Frame Size center-to-center: 16 in
    Frame Size center-to-top: 17 in
    Overall Reach: 82.74 cm
    Saddle Height: 69.53 cm
    Handlebar Width: 46 cm
    46cm sounds like a road width. For comparison I ride a 42cm on my road bike and I'm 5'8"/Medium across the board. FWIW, road bar-width is more of a fit thing that MTB bar-width, where we have some degree of preference.

    Anyway, while generalizations are difficult, I feel that smaller size yields better handling/flickability and larger size yields better efficiency and power. I would rather have my XC and Road bikes a little bigger, and my AM and DJ bikes too small. I of course mean geometry (e.g. sizing & top tube length) as opposed to bike size--an AM bike is obviously going to be overall bigger.

    That said, there are many valid arguments in the other direction. Some racers try to ride a bike that's too small, for example, so that they can run a long stem and get more weight over the front wheel.
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  13. #13
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    It all comes down to what you like. I prefer a longer top tube with shorter stem over a shorter top tube with longer stem. I found myself right on the border between med and large on Niner's fit chart. I bought the large and am happy with it.
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  14. #14
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    I deal with the same thing, I am 6'2 with a 29" inseam I ended up with a large..
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    If you do a fit calculation like the Competetive Cyclist one I'm betting you'll find that that bike is WAY too small for you.
    If you can make it work there's no arguing with that, but you should at least ride a bike that is fit better for comparison. It might seem OK until you know the difference.
    When this site provided the data for each measurement it gave a range...from hardtail to full suspension....my recommended numbers below were the very bottom of the range so there is a bit of room with each one. They also fit for XC, All Mountain and Gravity Fit...I chose the XC based on my riding. Here are the results from this site using my precise data...the results were actually surprising.

    Some changes I had made a few days before this were - added 35mm in spacers to stem, set seat back and raised seat just a bit. Any insight into this?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails In between bike sizes?-measurements.jpg  


  16. #16
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    I happen to prefer the larger size as long as standover is not an issue. I recently switched from a L to XL Sensor 9r, and for me it was all good. On the tightest parts of the trail I was still snaking through just fine. I like being able to stretch out, and like the longer wheelbase as it provides better stability on rooty or rocky descents.

    Like others have said it comes down to personal preference. Looking at the pic, I'd want a larger size.

  17. #17
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    I just put 10 miles on it after lowering the seat a tad and moving it forward about a half inch. I felt more over the handlebars....would the XL fix that? I'm a pretty strong guy and dont think that I would have much issue with maneuvering another 2 inches in length through the trails I ride. What do you guys think of the measurements above?

  18. #18
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    Saddle movement of. 05 inch is a drastic change. Saddle setback should be used to position pedal position not handlebar reach. If you feel like you have to much pressure on your hands-arms moving the saddle back remedies this. Not knowing the handling characteristics of the felt I can not speak of the stem length. For XC riding with a relatively steep HA the longer stem may not be a bad thing. I like smaller frames with long top tubes but can fit a wide range of sizes depending on head angles and for rake-length as the stem length changes handling

  19. #19
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    Hand pressure

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    If you feel like you have to much pressure on your hands-arms moving the saddle back remedies this.
    Is that right? I'd have thunk that moving the saddle forward- thus putting the rider in a more upright position- would reduce hand pressure. Shows what I know.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    Saddle movement of. 05 inch is a drastic change. Saddle setback should be used to position pedal position not handlebar reach.
    +1.

    You probably shouldn't adjust the saddle to change your reach to the bars. Saddle fore/aft IMO is left for adjusting your hips relative to the bottom bracket. I'm not saying the move was for the better or for the worse, but I think you made the adjustment for the wrong reason.

    If you're too far back, you'll use too much of your quads. Too far forward will use too much hamstring. Once seat fore/aft is set, handlebar reach is best adjusted by swapping stem length. If you get the reach right, and the stem is excessively long and you have too much weight over the front wheel (or you're otherwise not happy with the fit), I think you should consider moving to the XL.

    One more thing, another reason why your arms might be uncomfortable is if your seat is angled too low (or high). If it's pointed too low, for example, you'll be using your arms to push yourself backward as you slide forward down the saddle while riding.
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  21. #21
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    Back when toptubes were horizontal and stems were long going smaller was the trend. Nowdays a longer toptube and shorter stem seem to be the trend. Just looking at your pic and reading your height i'd say go xl....

  22. #22
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    Based on your results from the Competitive Cyclist calculator, your body is out of proportion: you're legs are a couple inches short and your upper body and reach is a bit long for your height of 6'2". This means that in general, for a particular size bike, you are going to prefer a bike with a longer reach/top tube, but you might be uncomfortable with the next bigger sized bike, because your legs are short. On the Large Felt, according to the measurements you provided, your crotch is probably already touching the top tube when you dismount. The XL size is more than another inch taller, so keep that in mind

    Another thing to consider: because your legs are short, you don't have to raise your seat very high to achieve the proper stroke. This affects sizing in 2 ways: it shortens the horizontal AND vertical reach to the handlebars, and it puts the saddle horizontally closer to the bottom bracket. This basically creates a cockpit that is more cramped for your long torso, and also makes you have to sit more upright. I believe this is why you felt more comfortable with your seat slid back on the rails, while also using the longer stem. If you were to choose a larger frame, then the seat would need to be raised even less, potentially exacerbating these dimensions (plus the XL frame also has a 10mm taller head tube and "stack").

    So what I'm basically saying is that neither bike size is going to be ideal for your proportions. If your inseam was 1-2" longer, then yes, the XL would be the ticket. But it's not. I think sticking with the Large frame and using a longer stem and sliding the seat back a little is the best compromise. You might even benefit from flipping the stem upside down, to put the bars a little lower compared to your seat height, or at least remove the spacers you added under the stem. This will increase your reach and make it so you are not sitting so upright like in the photo you posted earlier.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioPT View Post
    Based on your results from the Competitive Cyclist calculator, your body is out of proportion: you're legs are a couple inches short and your upper body and reach is a bit long for your height of 6'2". This means that in general, for a particular size bike, you are going to prefer a bike with a longer reach/top tube, but you might be uncomfortable with the next bigger sized bike, because your legs are short. On the Large Felt, according to the measurements you provided, your crotch is probably already touching the top tube when you dismount. The XL size is more than another inch taller, so keep that in mind

    Another thing to consider: because your legs are short, you don't have to raise your seat very high to achieve the proper stroke. This affects sizing in 2 ways: it shortens the horizontal AND vertical reach to the handlebars, and it puts the saddle horizontally closer to the bottom bracket. This basically creates a cockpit that is more cramped for your long torso, and also makes you have to sit more upright. I believe this is why you felt more comfortable with your seat slid back on the rails, while also using the longer stem. If you were to choose a larger frame, then the seat would need to be raised even less, potentially exacerbating these dimensions (plus the XL frame also has a 10mm taller head tube and "stack").

    So what I'm basically saying is that neither bike size is going to be ideal for your proportions. If your inseam was 1-2" longer, then yes, the XL would be the ticket. But it's not. I think sticking with the Large frame and using a longer stem and sliding the seat back a little is the best compromise. You might even benefit from flipping the stem upside down, to put the bars a little lower compared to your seat height, or at least remove the spacers you added under the stem. This will increase your reach and make it so you are not sitting so upright like in the photo you posted earlier.
    Thanks. I should have posted a picture after the changes I made to my bike. My seat is pretty high up on this bike. While I know my torso is long I don't think of my legs as short. I read that inseam measurement wasn't the same as pants size. Didn't realize that. I do feel like I am closer to the handlebars and over them more than I'd like to be. Yesterday, I rotated my handlebars forward but it felt like a chopper would feel. Didn't feel like I had as much control in that position. As far as standing over the top tube, I've got some room there if I'm not too forward. I don't think I'm going to be happy until I have them get one in for me to try. Sucks I can't just ride another brand with similar geometry to know.

    I really appreciate everyone's insight. Happy thanksgiving.

  24. #24
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    What if I switched frames to something like a Soma Juice with the drop down top tube?

  25. #25
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    I wonder if a longer stem would help?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBuc View Post
    I wonder if a longer stem would help?
    Wouldn't that put me even more over my handlebars?

  27. #27
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    It would move the bars an inch or so further out. So it would be a true 'feel' decision. Perhaps your LBS has a 110 or so stem they could swap out as a tester. At least long enough to spin in the parking lot.

    I was considering this because I was having the very same issue..if on a much smaller scale lol

    My crampness seems to have been resolved by moving the seat an inch+ or so "too high". But it sounds like your seat position already works for you.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddublu View Post
    Thanks. I should have posted a picture after the changes I made to my bike. My seat is pretty high up on this bike. While I know my torso is long I don't think of my legs as short. I read that inseam measurement wasn't the same as pants size. Didn't realize that. I do feel like I am closer to the handlebars and over them more than I'd like to be. Yesterday, I rotated my handlebars forward but it felt like a chopper would feel. Didn't feel like I had as much control in that position. As far as standing over the top tube, I've got some room there if I'm not too forward. I don't think I'm going to be happy until I have them get one in for me to try. Sucks I can't just ride another brand with similar geometry to know.

    I really appreciate everyone's insight. Happy thanksgiving.
    As I stated earlier, my comments about your legs being short for your height of 6'2" were based on the measurements your posted


    For reference, I'm 6 '2.5" and these are my measurements


    Now, I'm aware that I have relatively long legs and a shorter upper body for my height, so my measurements are certainly not the norm. You can see the huge (4.7 inches) difference in the recommended stand over heights between me and you. This is based totally on the inseam measurement you entered into the calculator, so either you didn't measure correctly, or you have short legs. When you take this measurement, you need to make sure you use a large level and have the top rest firmly against your crotch, make sure the level is "level", and measure from the floor to the top of the level. This is all stated in the directions. Perhaps you measured wrong?? I take anthropometric measurements for a living, so I know my measurements are accurate. My inseam is 36" measured this way.

    If your inseam measurement is wrong (i.e., 2" shorter than it really is), I would say that you would fit better on the XL frame for sure

  29. #29
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    Just based on the picture you posted the bike looks too small. Actually no, too short front to back.
    When you ride down a steep hill do you get the sensation "I could go over these bars pretty easy"
    That's the feeling I get just looking at the picture.

    Sorry not very technical just my 2 cents...
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  30. #30
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    Now that I'm considering a different size I've started thinking about different manufacturers. Is that a total waste of time? I like the Felt product but have been doing touch reading and not enough riding (traveling for Thanksgiving). I just need to get the XL in and swap everything over. I'm going to remeasure once again and run the numbers. I do feel like I could go over the front now that it's been mentioned. In fact, I went over there last week as I went over a small gulley that was totally covered in leaves. Caught myself on a tree but it sure felt like it happened too easily.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    Just based on the picture you posted the bike looks too small. Actually no, too short front to back.
    When you ride down a steep hill do you get the sensation "I could go over these bars pretty easy"
    That's the feeling I get just looking at the picture.

    Sorry not very technical just my 2 cents...
    Best of Luck
    Thanks. I'm going to post a pic tomorrow now that I've made the previously mentioned changes to see if it still looks that way. Thanks.

  32. #32
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    Here is a couple shots after putting a 120mm stem on it and moving the saddle back slightly. Went to my LBS yesterday and a few folks said that moving to an XL in the Felt may help me with my cockpit position but my standover could be very tight. That's what had me thinking about the Soma Juice...Longer cockpit but that little drop so I could stand over the bike with no issues. Fit wise, how do these pics look?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails In between bike sizes?-photo-1.jpg  

    In between bike sizes?-photo-2.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Too small.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbruce View Post
    Too small.
    Just left another bike shop and tried a 21" Wahoo on for sizing only. Stand over height was fine and it felt better....I agree at this point...thanks.

  35. #35
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    I'll be worth it in the long run to go through the hassle of getting the right size. Actually with the 120 stem your position doesn't look terrible, but you'll get better handing with the larger frame and shorter stem. Good luck!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbruce View Post
    I'll be worth it in the long run to go through the hassle of getting the right size. Actually with the 120 stem your position doesn't look terrible, but you'll get better handing with the larger frame and shorter stem. Good luck!
    Yep...just need to figure out what will work and what wont work from my bike to the Soma. Can't find specs to save my life on that bike.

  37. #37
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    you'll never know till you ride both sizes and different stems. welcome to the world of upgraditis.

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    In your case I would go XL with a shorter stem and wider bar for that frame. That being said the ETT measurement only goes so far when you factor in the seat tube angle and how high you have your seat. The higher the seat the farther back it moves. Ideally you want your seat level with the bars or above the bars 1-2". If your seat is below the bars it will take too much weight off the front end and make the bike hard to handle in corners. For example, I am 6'-2" with my seat level at the bars and the ETT on my bike is 24.75" & SA is 71.8. I ride with a 80mm stem and 700mm bars. The fit for me is spot on. I also have a bike with a 25.5" ETT but I dont ride it much because it is just too big for me. It might be that Felt geometry is just not for your proportions and you should keep test riding before you decide. The bike must fit you above all else.

  39. #39
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    i would got with a bigger frame and a shorter stem

  40. #40
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    Ok, so here is where I am....Below is a snapshot of measurements of my current bike, the Soma Juice in a 20" and 22" frame and a Trek Wahoo. I went to a different bike store yesterday just to test out the larger frame and liked it better. There are apparently one or two of the 20" and 22" frames left out there that I can get today or tomorrow. Based on what you've read so far can you offer more insight, especially since I wont be able to test ride the Soma frame.

    One more thing, my bike mechanic is running this identical frame and my identical shock (SID XX 100mm) but I am being told that the shock wont fit the Soma Juice...My Felt has a tapered head tube but the Soma apparently doesn't. Why would it work on his bike?

    Thanks for all of the assistance.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ddublu View Post
    One more thing, my bike mechanic is running this identical frame and my identical shock (SID XX 100mm) but I am being told that the shock wont fit the Soma Juice...My Felt has a tapered head tube but the Soma apparently doesn't. Why would it work on his bike?

    Thanks for all of the assistance.

    Many forks are available in tapered and non-tapered (traditional), yours is probably one of them.

    The tapered fork has a larger diameter where the steerer meets the crown, which allows for more stiffness and longer travel single crowns. It's rapidly becoming more common.

    A non-tapered fork will fit in a tapered frame with a special headset bottom cup. A tapered fork will not fit in a non-tapered frame under any viable circumstances.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddublu View Post
    One more thing, my bike mechanic is running this identical frame and my identical shock (SID XX 100mm) but I am being told that the shock wont fit the Soma Juice...My Felt has a tapered head tube but the Soma apparently doesn't. Why would it work on his bike?
    It's not identical. He must have the non-tapered version.

    The Soma frame is SHIS 34, which is the standard for conventional, straight steer tubes that are 1-1/8" in diameter.

    The inside diameter of the Soma head tube is 33.95mm.

    Tapered forks have an outside diameter of 38.1mm.

    So as you can see, a tapered fork won't even fit inside the head tube, let alone have space for a cup, crown race or bearings.
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  43. #43
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    Wow, in the pics it looks like you are walking down the street, not riding a bike (someone photoshop that LOL). I'm surprised that the LBS would try to put you on a Large, but I'm no expert. I "suffered" on an L that was recommended by the LBS (that's all they had at the time). It was ok, but I always felt cramped, and the XL is much better. Regarding the standover, just check the difference for the XL and compare to the L and see if you can handle it.

    It's your money, take your time and pick the size / brand you want. I personally like the stability of a longer wheelbase and don't mind working a little harder on tight switchbacks. I've gone OTB plenty of times, but only once on the current bike.

  44. #44
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    Looks like the bike is to short (for you). The height is OK.
    XL will be a bit longer, but also higher. I wouldn't go for the XL.
    Might just be that Felt is not the best choice for you, but that's too late I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thasingletrackmastah View Post
    Looks like the bike is to short (for you). The height is OK.
    XL will be a bit longer, but also higher. I wouldn't go for the XL.
    Might just be that Felt is not the best choice for you, but that's too late I guess.
    It's not too late thus my post here. I would rather have a longer bike that fits and deal with a little tightness in the crockpit....

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    Well, this sucks...I apparently was told that I bought a L Felt Nine 60 but it appears it was a 20"...If I look small on the 20" then no doubt I need to go with the 22" Soma, right? Here are the specs.


  47. #47
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    Pull out a tape and measure up your effective toptube. Sure doesn't look like a 20" in your pics but you need to confirm what you're on.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbruce View Post
    Pull out a tape and measure up your effective toptube. Sure doesn't look like a 20" in your pics but you need to confirm what you're on.
    I hear you. I measured from center of BB to top of seatpost. 20" there.

  49. #49
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    I went back in and sat on my current bike and the 20" Soma and went ahead and changed my order from 20" to 22".....thanks again for all of the input.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddublu View Post
    I hear you. I measured from center of BB to top of seatpost. 20" there.
    Careful, not all frames are measured that way (link).

    Revisionist Theory of Bicycle Sizing

    It could be that Felt is measuring to the center of the top tube. I would compare the other measurements to make sure.
    '12 Santa Cruz Superlight 29 | '12 Santa Cruz Butcher | '06 Specialized Allez Comp | '81 Schwinn Converted Fixie

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