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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

  4. #4
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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?

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