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  1. #1
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    Frame too big? Set up tricks?

    I bought a used bike that I thought was a 19. It turns out it is a 21. I found out months later. I have been enjoying the bike, but am now wondering if I am sacraficing handling or something else. Also, what set up changes can be made to minimize the effect?

    I am just under 6 foot. My last 2 bikes were 19". This new on eis a 21". It is a great bike. 2013 Terk Superfly with top of the line everything.

    I rode my 19" Hard Tail bit and now feel the handling seems more stable up front. I wondering if the frame size was a factor? I think the 19" has less rake than the 21" too, so maybe that is it?

    I was thinking about moving my seat position forward to add more weight to the front and give a more aggresive stance. What are you thoughts on this guess?

    The stem is already fairly short on the bike. Not sure I should stretch it or shrink it more. More shrink will put the weight further back on the bike.

    Any feedback on running a frame size up and set up would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    If you've been riding the bike for months and are enjoying it why would you want to change something just because you found out the size was different then you thought?

  3. #3
    dru
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    The 21" has 3/4" longer effective top tube, and 3/4" longer wheel base than the 19".

    The bike will be slightly more stable and slower steering than the 19, and will have a little less weight over the front wheel too.

    This means you may need to manhandle the bike a bit to turn as well as using a bit of body english to weight the front in turns if the tire is washing a bit.

    The angles, chainstay length are the same.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  4. #4
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    I am about 2 years in to the sport. I like the bike, but I was coming off a low tier hard tail. I was kind of curious of the effects of the bigger frame.

    The suspension is softer on this bike than the other, so that has to impact the front end handling a lot, and maybe fore than the extra 3/4 inch.

    Thanks for the input Drew. You confirmed my hunch that I should try to get more agressive/forward in turns.

  5. #5
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    Are you washing out in the turns or feel like you might? You could run a shorter stem and lean forward a bit more to weight the front end better.

  6. #6
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    On a bike that is a bit too big for you, there are several issues that are similar to the problem that I usually have. I have long torso, short legs & arms. I always end up with poor reach (elbows too straight), it hunches me forward too much, and puts much of my weight on the front wheel (even on a size small bike). Pushing the seat forward makes it even worse.

    Short stem (40mm), and a riser handlebar with 2" rise x 10degree sweep back works perfect. This all positions you so that your elbows are properly bent, and you are not hunched forward so much. It also puts your weight back a bit so that you can still do manuals and wheelies.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVJon75 View Post
    Are you washing out in the turns or feel like you might? You could run a shorter stem and lean forward a bit more to weight the front end better.
    The front wheel just seemed more planted on the 19" HT. WHo knows, could be more a facot of rake angle and tires. It became noticable because the bike was in the shop for weeks and I rode the other bike a lot and re-adapted to it.

    I like the stem idea.

  8. #8
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    You are in good company: Trek pro riders choose their bikes to be one size up. I once talked to Sam Schultz at the Houffalize world cup; he is about 6' and went up from a Large (19") to an XL (21"). He said he liked the handling of the bigger bike... I guess stability is a good thing on world cup courses and he did not mind getting used to the tiny bit of extra rider input the larger bike requires to manouvre it.

    I'm with Blundar: Shorten the cockpit at the front, not by putting your seat further forward. Just put your seat in the position that you can put the most power down, you are balanced (not falling forward, requiring too much arm force to keep you up) and injury free. Work from that to where you want your bars to be.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like you weren't sure you had the "wrong size" until you found out it was 21.

    Sometimes it's not just the "size" but also the geometry. I wouldn't put too much stock into specific sizes (19, 20, 21....) unless you're comparing the same model of bike.

  10. #10
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    Frame too big? Set up tricks?

    My personal experience switching from an XL with a 90mm stem and 0 setback post to Large with 100 mm stem and 20mm setback is that smaller frame was much better. If in between sizes be sure to understand stack and handlebar height. I had to swap to a riser bar to get my cockpit a little higher, but my bike rides much better. YMMV.

  11. #11
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    One more thing that I forgot to mention... Take a look at your seat post to see if you have one with a setback. Most larger sized frames have setback seat posts to compensate for tall rider's long legs. If you feel some discomfort on your knees when you are pedaling up hills, then that usually means that your seat position is too far back. A "zero setback" seat post will usually take care of that and dramatically improve your power strokes...

  12. #12
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    I had a large Hardrock 29er and it rode great in the LBS parking lot. Once I got it out on the singletrack it handled like poo. I rode my wife's medium Talus that was too big for her and it handled much better. I did have to slide the seat almost all the way back on the rails and install a 100mm stem and 700mm riser bar to make it fit right though. Looks really dumb but it works.
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

  13. #13
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    At 5'11" the XL 21" (Trek/Fisher) was way too long for me and other folks my size even liked the Medium better. G2 offset changes the balance of the bike also, I would look for a new frame.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  14. #14
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    I am 5'8 and I ride a Lg specialized 29 stumpy fsr. I could ride medium easy, but like how stable the bigger size rides.
    "It Is What It Is" Phil 4:13
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