1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    18'' size and 19'' size

    I am 5'11 tall. The local store recommends 19'' or 20'' for me. But I found a good deal on craigslist, which is GIANT REVEL 0 2012 18'' size. It is almost new but only asks for $600.

    I tried 19'' hardrock disc at a local store and it fits me very well. I am not sure that this 18'' size will be too small for me.

    I am not directly going for a try because that owner is pretty far from me. I am hesitating if the 18'' size is worth my trial.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    5'11'" is the top end for what most people would consider sizing to a medium bike (18").

    That being said, I am 6'0" and have ridden some mediums which felt fine and some large frames which felt too big. It really is more dependent upon how you personally feel on the bike in question rather than what some arbitrary sizing chart may say.

    It doesn't help matters that every bike manufacturer's frame is sized a bit differently than all the rest meaning that an "18 inch" bike from one model may feel and ride completely differently than a different "18 inch" bike.

    Best answer? Look at the bike and try it on for size. If you are comfortable on it and it rides well then go for it.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  3. #3
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    I was in the same boat as you when looking for my first bike. The shop was selling their rentals for 300 (Giant Revel 1, 18" frame) I'm 5'10" with longer legs so the 19" or 20" bikes fit better. If the 19" frame fits you well, go for that one. Being a poor highschooler, I opted to buy the cheaper bike and dealt with it. I couldn't justify spending twice the money on a bike that fit me ever so slightly better. I put a longer stem on the Giant and it fit me well enough to get me hooked on the sport. That being said, I cannot say for you how well the CL bike will fit. Ideally you should try both bikes. If you decide to go with the Giant however, talk the seller down on the price. $400 is a much more reasonable price but keep in mind that you do not get the LBS treatment.

    Just my $.02 (or $.04, this was a longer post than intended.)

  4. #4
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    I also have to agree that $600 is too much for a used bike that has an MSRP of $690..

    BikePedia - 2012 Giant Revel 0 Complete Bicycle
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  5. #5
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    That bike was purchased three weeks ago. It is 2012 version. The owner told me she used it three times. He just had a baby so decide to sell it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    I also have to agree that $600 is too much for a used bike that has an MSRP of $690..

    BikePedia - 2012 Giant Revel 0 Complete Bicycle

  6. #6
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    Still too much.

    $400, maybe.

    It's likely to be too small for you. Bike sizing is pretty dumb, but in general, 17" and 18" bikes are more comparable than 18" and 19" bikes. Think of 17" and 18" (and 17.5") as "Medium." They're often sold that way anyway. 19" and 20" and Large are often very comparable. Etc.

    Bikes lose 40%-50% of their value when you roll them out of the store. No value-added from the shop, and no warranty. Leaving you with the value of the hardware itself. They keep dropping value over time, and any big shifts in technology will have an impact too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingming View Post
    That bike was purchased three weeks ago. It is 2012 version. The owner told me she used it three times. He just had a baby so decide to sell it.
    $600 is still a fantasy price for that bike.

    Keep in mind that the original owner potentially paid less than MSRP for the bike in the first place and that only the original owner has any warranty claims for parts or frame failures or after purchase free service which may have been offered by the shop.

    Because of this my personal rule of thumb is that a "new" bike loses 30% of the MSRP the second it goes out the door even if the bike is in showroom new condition.

    So based upon that I can't imagine the seller getting more than $480 at best and in all likelihood a fair bit less.

    Honestly? If you really want that specific model and are willing to pay $600 for it then just go directly to a dealer and tell them that. Odd are they will make a deal with you for one new out the door and then you will have a truly new bike with all the warranty protection available to you for the same price.
    ~ 2011 GT Avalanche 2.0
    ~ 1993 Diamondback Topanga
    ~ 2012 Diamondback Overdrive Expert

  8. #8
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    I'm 5'11 and prefer 18", larger sizes feel more stretched out and less comfortable. Top tube plays a role here, as does age, how aggressive you like your riding position etc. ou will be at the top end on a medium but not necessarily too tall

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    5'11'" is the top end for what most people would consider sizing to a medium bike (18").

    That being said, I am 6'0" and have ridden some mediums which felt fine and some large frames which felt too big. It really is more dependent upon how you personally feel on the bike in question rather than what some arbitrary sizing chart may say.

    It doesn't help matters that every bike manufacturer's frame is sized a bit differently than all the rest meaning that an "18 inch" bike from one model may feel and ride completely differently than a different "18 inch" bike.

    Best answer? Look at the bike and try it on for size. If you are comfortable on it and it rides well then go for it.
    Agree'd

  10. #10
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    I'm only 5' 9" and I have been riding a L cannondale rush for awhile now. I think I would have been a lot happier with a M, but with a stem change the l fits ok.

    Sometimes it's hard to pass up a good deal...

  11. #11
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    i think it depends on how long of a stem you like to run. I ride 18" frames with a longer stem, and 19" with a shorter stem to get the same reach dimension.

  12. #12
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    Yes, I guess it depends. But I believe that 18 will be the standard size for your height,

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