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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    5'11 and a 17.5 in frame?

    Hi guys- just got back from my LBS and tried two different units. The first one was a Trek Cobia in a 19 in frame based on the salespersons recommendation. I felt very stretched out on the bike (very forward) nice ride tho!

    Than I rode the 17.5 in frame Mamba and I just felt more comfortable on this size. I'm curious if its a bad idea to go with the 17.5 er considering I'm 5'11 and man up to the larger unit?

  2. #2
    Wēk Ss
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    17.5 doesn't mean a whole lot, FWIW. You need to concern yourself more with reach and horizontal ETT. My bikes are any where from 17 inches to 19 inches. I'm 5'11" as well.

  3. #3
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    I am 5'11 and my bike is a 17.5 inch frame. I tried a 19, but it was to big. I think it depends on the bike. Some are 17.5 for medium, some companies use 18. Just make sure you are comfortable.

  4. #4
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    I'm 5'11" and my preferred 29er size is 17.5" with a 23.5" ett. I currently have two 29ers in this size. My previous 29er was a 19 and way stretched with no stand over. I'd rather it be a little small versus too big.
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  5. #5
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    I'm 5'11 and ride a 17.5 x-cal. The frame is a bit on the small side for me, and I will eventually switch out to a longer stem, but then I have monkey arms. Like others have said, what fits one person will not fit another. If the 17.5 felt good, then roll with it.

  6. #6
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    sounds about right. im 6'2 and and the 21" is a bit stretched. personally i liked it over the 19. i did move the bars up and in a bit.

    if you like the 17 over the 19 then get the 17.

  7. #7
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    Helpful info

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    i'll repeat what others have said just because i'm bored. 17.5" does seem a little small for someone who is 5'11 but it depends on your body. for example, my wife is 5'6 and felt more comfortable on 17.5" trek xcal frame compared to a smaller frame.

    my advice is right it enough (if you haven't already) to really make sure it fits better.

    regardless, enjoy!
    ez
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  9. #9
    CSC
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    It also depends on the type of riding you will be doing.

    I'm ~6', and have a 21" Spec Rockhopper. XC bikes will stretch you out, XCT/AM will bring you in, and DH/FR will, well, with 8+ inches of travel, whatever space is left is what you get, haha (tend to bring you closer, too).

    Body type matters too, though. I have a long torso, so the bigger frame works for me. Go with what is comfortable. The bike is as good as a garage coat-hanger if you are not comfortable on it!

  10. #10
    undercover brother
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    FWIW, I'm 5'11" and ride a medium (18") frame. Fits me perfect, but like a lot of people have said it's all about how you feel on the individual bike. Some will fit completely different depending on the frame style and riding style.

  11. #11
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    Definitely depends on your body type more then just your height. Different bikes have different geometries too obviously. I'm only 5'8, When I test rood a Trek 3700 the 18 inch was perfect. When I test rode the Marlin the 17. was stretching me to full extension. I ended up buying a 15.5. Other brands were totally different.

    Spend enough time testing it to find out what feels best. Try and ride the same bike in different sizes

  12. #12
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    Well, I've got pretty long legs and a rather short torso. Hence why I felt SO stretched out on the 19 in Cobia. I think with the 17.5 I'd feel more in control and would be able to throw the bike around more.

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