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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Thread: Advice needed!

  1. #1
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    Advice needed!

    I am sure that this must be one of the most FAQ, but here we go anyway.... Is my bike the correct size (see photo)? I ride mostly all mountain, lots of steep climbs, fast downhills and switchbacks. The bike feels a tad small to me, but then again I like the fact that it is light ad I can really throw I around a lot. The only thing that is bothering me is that after 2 1/2 hours or so I develop lower back ache and slightly numb hands. I would consider investing in one size frame up, but I am not sure if the bike then would be too big. By posting the photo of my body position on my bike I am hoping to get some input from more experienced riders. Thank you in advance!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Advice needed!-image.jpg  


  2. #2
    All this harmonica stuff
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    Much too small - manufacturers guidelines are considered accurate, but if you've been riding that bike for any length of time - get to a shop for a re-size right away.

    I'm 6ft, ride a L/XL frame.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  3. #3
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    That looks really small to me. I am 5"9" and ride a medium to large frame depending on model

  4. #4
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    Yeah, looks small to me also.
    I'm 5-11 and ride medium, but could easily fit a large.

    You're not going to see all that much of a weight difference by going with a larger frame. I would see if you can go to the LBS and try out your same bike in a couple different sizes and see what you think.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for your advice everyone. I guess first step is to go to my LBS and try out the same bike one size up and see what happens.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Couple other things to try -
    - a longer stem. A little bit can go a long way.
    - angle your brake and shift levers down more. See how your arms break at the wrist in your picture?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    ^ yes. What he said.

  8. #8
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    Hi Bigb, what who said? Eddy Merkcx, AndwSwitch or any of the previous respondents?

  9. #9
    rebmem rbtm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    what who said?
    The '^' is pointing to the previous post.

    I guess first step is to go to my LBS and try out the same bike one size up and see what happens.
    Looking at the bike that you currently have which looks very small, it might be worth trying a bike with a frame that's a couple of sizes bigger.

    The bike feels a tad small to me, but then again I like the fact that it is light ad I can really throw I around a lot.
    The weight difference between different frame sizes wouldn't be very much and you probably wouldn't notice the difference.

    What size frame is that bike ?
    How tall are you ?
    Did a bike shop measure you up for that bike ?

  10. #10
    Shaman
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Couple other things to try -
    - a longer stem. A little bit can go a long way.
    - angle your brake and shift levers down more. See how your arms break at the wrist in your picture?
    Bike does look a bit small. Shorter stems mean better control in cornering and over-all handling so a longer stem should only be a temporary fix. Angling your brake levers down is great, but you'll be able to tell where they need to be when you're in your attack position. Arms bent, elbows out, chest lowered. That will help with the pressure on your wrists and hands.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for the great advice everyone. The bike is a Trek Fuel EX 7, virtual size 19.5" (actual 18.5"), 5 inch travel. I am 190cm, which I believe equates to roughly 6ft2. I live in Manila so bike choice is limited. I have looked around and two bike frames which are available at 21.5" are the Giant Anthem X (4 inch travel) and the Giant Reign X (6 inch travel - both frames 2012). Does any of you have experience with any of these and what would the difference be switching from the Trek Fuel other than the reduced travel and slacker head of the Anthem?

  12. #12
    All this harmonica stuff
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    If it's just to sprint-out rides, go with the 4" travel Anthem, but if there's an option to explore varied terrain, build the 6" bike. The Reign will feel a little slower responding, the trick is to stay ontop your pedal rpm, the bike stays lively that way. Have not ridden either, Giant has a good image and a good review always attached.
    I like Sand - I don't like Witches.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Did you take the Trek with you from elsewhere? Otherwise, your local Trek dealer should be able to get you another Fuel, if you'd prefer. I demoed one recently, and liked it. I remember being somewhat underwhelmed by the Anthem (or Trance? Whichever one I rode...)

    Nothing wrong with checking out some other bikes if you're curious. I would just be surprised if you have to change.

    Whether you switch bikes or not, dialing in the fit, at least in terms of working for your body, should give you some insight into the bike size you need. My favorite measurement lately is reach, although effective top tube is also popular. If the stem that makes the bike fit you right causes it to nosedive, going to a bigger frame should help.

    At the end of the day, the goal is to get you on a bike that you can set up so it doesn't hurt you and you have good range of motion, and that has the right weight distribution.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    To say what has already been said... The bike you have in the picture looks quite small. It is too short, and has too short a top tube (distance between seat and bars). You could go up one size, or maybe even two depending on the feel you like.

    I am 6'3" (190.5cm). I ride a Large Giant Trance full suspension (2009 26" @ 20.5" frame) and a XLarge Cannondale F29 hardtail (2013 29" @ 20.7" frame). My FS is just a bit on the small side, but I like it for agility. Whenever I see my reflection in a street window I always think "who's the fat guy on the little bike?"

    When I got used to my XL hardtail, I found I could maneuver it just as well.

  15. #15
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    This weekend I am entering a local all mountain (blue level) 25K competition. Mi am going to push my seat back a little and put on a stem that is 10mm longer and see how it goes. If that still causes the same issues I will go one size up, either another Fuel or the Giant Reign I guess. I am a little sad as I have come to like the amazing agility of this (small) bike. I also own a 21" hard tail (Trek Mamba) and hardly ride it anymore other then 3 hours + fire trail rides which we hardly do here in the Philippines. I shall keep you posted and in the meantime thank you all for your generous advice!

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Wait until next week to change stuff.

    Never screw with your bike right before a race.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Sound advice, which I will take!
    Last edited by Torsten; 12-09-2013 at 11:11 PM.

  18. #18
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    Did some more researching. Sadly not much good news. Trek does not sell "frame-only" for the Fuel so that idea is out of the window. As regards the Giant Reign, my next choice, they recommend a 160mm shock when I currently only have 120mm so I would have to invest in a new fork. Then the seatposts are different (30.9 for the Giant vs 31.6 for the Trek), so I would loose my KS Lev as well. Further adjustments to the rear axle and front derailleur would make changing to a Giant Reign a senseless and unaffordable exercise but sadly there is not much more choice here in The Philippines ( other than Specalized which is ridiculously expensive). Any great ideas out there, I could really use some...

  19. #19
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    I am sure there are many other Frame only options that would allow you to utilize your current components. I just googled "bike frame order" and several options came up.

  20. #20
    Redcoat
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    Advice needed!

    Can also try moving the saddle back along with the longer stem but that bike looks so small on you I don't think adjusting all that is going to make a huge different, not so much it stops playing on your mind the whole time you ride it.


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  21. #21
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    What is the 2nd hand market like in the Philippines? I'd try and source a used Fuel frame, swap the parts and sell your med frame.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Or just buy a new complete bike and sell your current one. As you've noticed, cross-compatibility isn't as easy as it used to be.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
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    I have a GREAT deal on a Giant Reign. I have read it is spec'ed for a 150mm fork. I cannot afford a new fork at the moment but I have a fox with 120mm from the Trek I could use for the time being. Could I ride the Reign temporarily with this until I have saved up enough for a new 150mm travel fork? What would be the consequence? Thank you in advance for your advice!

  24. #24
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    Relative to how it was designed to behave, the bike's going to have a steeper head angle, enough to notice, and a lower front end, possibly enough to give you trouble with your handlebar position.

    There are going to be other changes, but I'd expect them to be pretty minor.

    It's pretty slack, so I don't think steepening it would be so bad, in general.

    If you already use a setback seat post and slam your saddle all the way back, you may have trouble with your saddle position.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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