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  1. #1
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    Upset Stand over height q

    I think I know the outcome here...but need your expertise:

    my mail order bike just arrived - a 20" frame. After assembly, "my boys" are slightly resting (more than grazing...resting) on the top tube when standing flat footed, despite proving all my measurements to the shop prior to order. I'm 5'11.5" w a 33" inseam, if you care . My old 19" Specialized gave 'em 1.5-2" of clearance which was all the freedom they've ever needed.

    this new 20" bike is too big, right? "My boys" are telling me to repack and send back...but what a pain. Agree? What is the lesser of the two pains?

  2. #2
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    Hard to tell without hearing what top tube (and reach) measurements are on both bikes. I don't look at seat tube measurements (or sizes) at all when looking at new frames at all, because they're more or less meaningless to how one fits in riding position--and can be slightly different brand to brand. With all that said, it clearly sounds like you won't be comfortable on this bike, no matter how you 'fit' on it; sounds like you already know what you want to do.

  3. #3
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    Stand over has very little to almost nothing to do with proper fit.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stand over has very little to almost nothing to do with proper fit.
    Then WHY is it mentioned in almost EVERY fitting guide I've ever read???

    To the OP my boys have less than zero standover clearance but the bike fits great when I'm actually on it. I'm 5' 7 and ride a medium frame but I have short legs and would need to ride a kids bike to get the recommended standover clearance.

  5. #5
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    tape em to your belly, lol

  6. #6
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    I agree with TwoTone stand over has little to do with bike fit. If you like the bike and the size is right keep it. Don't worry about hitting the boys how often do you crash on to the top tube with bike staying straight.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    Then WHY is it mentioned in almost EVERY fitting guide I've ever read???

    To the OP my boys have less than zero standover clearance but the bike fits great when I'm actually on it. I'm 5' 7 and ride a medium frame but I have short legs and would need to ride a kids bike to get the recommended standover clearance.
    Because it's an old, generic out date method that won't die.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stand over has very little to almost nothing to do with proper fit.
    Agreed 100% but a 5'11" guy has no business riding a 20" bike (which I assume will have a 25"+ ETT).
    I am 6'2" tall and that is what I ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    Then WHY is it mentioned in almost EVERY fitting guide I've ever read???
    Because it is vitally important for people who spend large periods standing over their bike with their feet flat on a level surface.

  10. #10
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    Stand over height q

    Sending back will be a hassle for about a week. I agree that stand over clearance doesn't have much to do with riding geometry, but I'll bet very, very few riders are on a bike with less than 1" clearance. Send it back.

  11. #11
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    The bike fits otherwise, and I sent a half dozen measurements to "the pros" before purchasing. It's my only hesitation, but seemingly doesn't matter all that much accd to you all.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjeffcampbell View Post
    The bike fits otherwise, and I sent a half dozen measurements to "the pros" before purchasing. It's my only hesitation, but seemingly doesn't matter all that much accd to you all.
    Have you got incredibly short legs and an incredibly long torso and arms?
    What is the ETT of this mystery bike?

  13. #13
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    It's an airborne goblin.

  14. #14
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    And I'm normally proportioned...lol.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR View Post
    Agreed 100% but a 5'11" guy has no business riding a 20" bike (which I assume will have a 25"+ ETT).
    I am 6'2" tall and that is what I ride.
    It's 24.5 ETT so could I think it probably fits.
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  16. #16
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    Well that is fine then.
    Most 20" ST bikes I have seen lately have a longer than 25" ETT.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjeffcampbell View Post
    I think I know the outcome here...but need your expertise:

    my mail order bike just arrived - a 20" frame. After assembly, "my boys" are slightly resting (more than grazing...resting) on the top tube when standing flat footed, despite proving all my measurements to the shop prior to order. I'm 5'11.5" w a 33" inseam, if you care . My old 19" Specialized gave 'em 1.5-2" of clearance which was all the freedom they've ever needed.

    this new 20" bike is too big, right? "My boys" are telling me to repack and send back...but what a pain. Agree? What is the lesser of the two pains?
    The boys are wise... Pack it up

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    Sending back will be a hassle for about a week. I agree that stand over clearance doesn't have much to do with riding geometry, but I'll bet very, very few riders are on a bike with less than 1" clearance. Send it back.
    Plus one

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stand over has very little to almost nothing to do with proper fit.
    +1 on this.
    I have a 6 Berth Motorhome that I rent out . It is based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    Then WHY is it mentioned in almost EVERY fitting guide I've ever read???
    Because bad/mis-information persists forever.

    The only relationship of standover to bike fit, honestly, is potentially about bailing out off the bike.

    Stand-over is the easy-sell in the shop to make people comfy with buying a purchase, and dates back to rigid-only bikes. It has contributed heavily towards where most (and I mean *most* as in 75%+) of the MTBs sold are smaller than they should be to fit the rider properly.

    Once you factor in front- and full-suspension bikes, an larger wheel sizes, it's not hard to imagine how completely wrong it is to size a bike based upon stand-over.

    All that said, if it really bothers you, return the bike. If you can. And go to the LBS to find what you are comfortable with.

  21. #21
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    Bike is too big, replace!
    Do your boys touch when you stand with one foot in the pedal and one foot(on tip-toe on the ground)?
    When you crash you go OVER the bars, NOT on the bar, or you go over sideways...but your bike is too bike. Will it work, yes...but even on full squish you want to be able to move around on the bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    ...All that said, if it really bothers you, return the bike. If you can. And go to the LBS to find what you are comfortable with.
    This. While stand over may not relate to fit, it may very well relate to clipping your nads if you ever find yourself stepping off the saddle in a losing-control situation.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  23. #23
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    Stand over height q

    I don't have any first hand experience with Airborne, but my perception is that they have fantastic customer service and enjoy engaging riders on their manufacturer's forum. I like to stick my head in occasionally to read the kool-aid crew rave about their bikes. Heck those guys get stoked at the thought of probably buying a bike at some point in the near future. I would ask BDF for some advice in the forum. Their website reports that they will work with you on a fit problem. At 5-11 you are probably in between size M and L, so this is a fair question. But for me, Im usually in between size XL and L, and at 6-1.5 I'd buy a 20" Goblin, and not a 22".

    My personal experience in switching from an XL 29er with a 24.8" effective top tube (with 90mm stem and zero setback post) to a L with 24.3" ETT (and 20mm setback post plus 100mm stem) is that I like the fit of the smaller bike a lot better. **With the stem and post setup, and minor saddle rail adjustment, my riding position and cockpit geometry is almost exactly the same on the two bikes, but the smaller bike rides better.** There are definitely other factors driving this subjective assessment, since the new bike is a better, lighter bike, but I'm convinced the smaller bike fits me better. YMMV.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stand over has very little to almost nothing to do with proper fit.
    Someone has never sat on his boys

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider View Post
    Someone has never sat on his boys
    No I'm someone who has crashed plenty over the last 20 years and have yet to crash, land both feet flat foot and hurt my nuts. I also haven't in those twenty years spent any time just hanging out flat footed on my bike or known anyone that does. If I'm out riding and I take a break I move off the trail and grab a tree, or lean over and put my foot on a rock, tree etc...
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogii View Post
    Bike is too big, replace!
    Do your boys touch when you stand with one foot in the pedal and one foot(on tip-toe on the ground)?
    When you crash you go OVER the bars, NOT on the bar, or you go over sideways...but your bike is too bike. Will it work, yes...but even on full squish you want to be able to move around on the bike.
    Based on what?
    Did you look at ETT or just the frame number? 24.5 ETT is in the right range for someone his height.
    Now if plans on just hanging out drinking a beer, talking to his buds while sitting on the TT, then yea it's too big.
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  27. #27
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    Stand-over matters to me. In the US, I am short (5'8" with 30.5" inseam). I won't buy a bike with good top tube length, but no standover height. I do occasionally stand flatfooted on bikes - long red light, BSing after a ride. I don't think a crash is the only time it is a concern. Ever tried to put a foot or two down when you don't make it up a steep climb? - hello top tube/seat tube.

    While standover height alone is not sufficient to fit/size a bike. Completely ignoring it is not sufficient in fit/sizing a bike.

    I think one reason the industry (broad generalization) is saying standover does not matter is because people of my height/proportioning and less cannot standover normal showroom bikes (spec., cannondale, trek). Also disappointing is the new 650b HTs having higher standover than similar sized 29er (Jamis, KHS).

    I also believe some people think bike size is proportional to the size of twig and berries. It is a personal attack to suggest trying a smaller frame. I have a secret women (non-cycling variety and broad generalization) don't care about bikes. Guy on bike = guy with no car = guy they have no interest in. They really don't care how big your bicycle frame is.
    Last edited by crit_boy; 04-29-2013 at 08:28 AM.

  28. #28
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    crit_boy FTW for the best over-generalization yet. :^)

    Sorry you feel "short" but you're less than 1" shorter than me and I'm a solid "medium" so I don't think you are. We do have about a 1-1.5" difference in leg length though, differently proportioned. You have a longer torso. Or neck. Or a really tall head. Dunno which.

    FWIW, I've racked myself on the stem MUCH more than the TT. Usually the TT gets me in the leg during a crash.

  29. #29
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    Maybe we need a Leatt Crotch Brace
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  30. #30
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    Thanks for all the insight here - and creative descriptors of your man parts (twig & berries, boys, nuts)!

    I put a few miles on the new bike today and everything else fits great, so leaning toward keeping it (and am over the standover height issue - to your point, I don't fall flat-footed).

    Based on this ride though, i now have another issue (lol!): toes hitting front tires on turns - normal?

    I guess you can't order a bike over the internet un-tested without expecting a few hassles and issues...but appreciate the help from you all!

  31. #31
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    I've been riding mtb for 14 years, and due to having VERY short legs for my height have ended up on many bikes with no standover.

    It is a non-issue. Total. Non. Issue.

    Yes, all else being equal, I would like a little more room, but on my list of priorities for a bike frame, it is really low. In fact, can't think of any other geo aspect I care less about. Heck, even seat tube length matters more because it determines how long a dropper post I can use.

    The real question is whether the rest of the bike fits.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  32. #32
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    My current ride is a 19" steel hard tail. I consistently bend the seatpost. I ride the seatpost as maximum safe extension. Even my new Thompson is starting to get a little bent.

    Despite a 21" bike crowding my junk, it will also provide more support to my seat post.
    GIS/GPS Pro using ArcFM for Utility Mapping - Always willing to connect with other MTBers in the industry.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjeffcampbell View Post
    Thanks for all the insight here - and creative descriptors of your man parts (twig & berries, boys, nuts)!

    I put a few miles on the new bike today and everything else fits great, so leaning toward keeping it (and am over the standover height issue - to your point, I don't fall flat-footed).

    Based on this ride though, i now have another issue (lol!): toes hitting front tires on turns - normal?

    I guess you can't order a bike over the internet un-tested without expecting a few hassles and issues...but appreciate the help from you all!
    I ride on flat pedals. My toes connect with the tire when I am on my wife's medium Tallboy.

  34. #34
    squish, squish in da fish
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    put the spindle at the balls of your feet, get it, balls, not the middle and u wont hit your tire. how long have u been riding? i get mixed feelings. hope u can take a joke

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    My current ride is a 19" steel hard tail. I consistently bend the seatpost. I ride the seatpost as maximum safe extension. Even my new Thompson is starting to get a little bent.

    Despite a 21" bike crowding my junk, it will also provide more support to my seat post.
    Are you using a 400mm seat post?
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  36. #36
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    Stand over height q

    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    I ride the seatpost as maximum safe extension. Even my new Thompson is starting to get a little bent.
    Collegially....... BS.

    I'd like to see a photo of a bent Thomson post.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjeffcampbell View Post
    i now have another issue (lol!): toes hitting front tires on turns - normal?
    I see you accidentally had the fork on backwards. Now that it's corrected, your top tube will be a bit lower.

    Now make sure your wheels are all the way into the dropouts.

    Practice landing on your toes instead of flat footed, and maybe you will be okay.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball the Mystery Cat View Post
    I see you accidentally had the fork on backwards. Now that it's corrected, your top tube will be a bit lower.

    Now make sure your wheels are all the way into the dropouts.

    Practice landing on your toes instead of flat footed, and maybe you will be okay.

    This thread needs to come with at least a video or two.

    Glad he got the fork situated correctly.

  39. #39
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    I'm waiting for GoPro to intro their line of GoNotSoPro - then video will be posted

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Stand over has very little to almost nothing to do with proper fit.
    Correct, it's all about how you fit while RIDING.

    Quote Originally Posted by Furball the Mystery Cat View Post
    I see you accidentally had the fork on backwards. Now that it's corrected, your top tube will be a bit lower.

    Now make sure your wheels are all the way into the dropouts.

    Practice landing on your toes instead of flat footed, and maybe you will be okay.
    And land to one side or the other, not the middle.

    OP, glad you got the forks corrected too. Hang around here reading and be sure to get out and ride often.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  41. #41
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    OP: I bought a Motobecane Fly Ti 29er 6 months or so ago and was sort of in the same situation as you. I had previously owned (and loved) a 21" Spesh Stumpy Comp 29er... I wanted something nicer and newer (and I've always wanted a Ti bike) so I opted for the Moto. The geometry was somewhat similar, but the Stumpy had a slightly curved TT and the Moto has a straight TT. When stradling the bike my junk is just slightly above the TT (not hitting, but it's close). At first I was convinced that the bike was a poor fit, but after ~300 miles, and some cockpit adjustments, I have to say I'm very happy with it. I'm about 6'1" but with the same inseam (long torso and arms).

    One thing I will say about a larger frame is that I love the stability in climbs and long, straight descents... but it is harder to maneuver and toss around... but that is also a 29er thing as well. I don't know, just food for thought.

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