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.
mtn. biking 101
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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    Advise Trek 6500 gen riding question

    Just ordered a Trek 6500 19 inch frame im 6'1, and i was wondering what is best for all around riding when it comes to sitting more strait up in the bike or riding a bike where your more leaning forward. When it comes to this 19inch it seems like im sitting a little more strait up than some other bikes.

    Is it better to be sitting more strait up or bent over more, or is it completly up to riding style/comfort really need to know so i can possibly check out a bigger bike or different frame before I pay for it.

    On another note im new to the forums there great, this is my first mountain bike looking to get into it pretty hard over the next year or so and any advise besides the stance while in the cockpit is welcome thnkx in advance.

  2. #2
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    The general guideline for frame size is that you want a few inches clearance over the top tube when standing over the bike. Adjusting seat height will affect riding position too, a good bike shop will show you this stuff. Then you can tweak it to your preference.

  3. #3
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    I think it is a matter of personal preference. I am the same size as you and ride a 19" Rockhopper. It all comes down to how well the bike feels to you. I went to the LBS with an open mind and didn't care what brand I bought as long as it felt good to ride. I rode a bunch of bikes and picked the Rockhopper because it felt really comfortable. If you have doubts about riding comfort don't buy the bike because you will never use it. I have a friend who bought a Cannondale because of the brand name. He hardly rides it becasue he says "mounatin bikes are just too uncomfortable". Wrong, he chose the wrong bike which has turned into an $800 coat rack

    On a side note, I did notice that the Trek bikes do seem tio ride a little more upright vs Speciaklized which seems to strentch you out into lower the riding position. Again, it's all personal preference.
    Last edited by hulvhole; 05-12-2007 at 05:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    When it comes to bike size, there is no "rule of thumb", in my opinion. Personal preference only. I am 175 cm tall(or short, if you like) - must be around 5'9". I rode 20" Diamondback X-Link complete with long barends installed horizontally, with the saddle moved back to the end. It must sound like grandeur mania. The bike was extremely convenient to me though, both on climbs and downhill, even pretty technical.
    Anyway, I think, you may enjoy the best of both worlds if you install barends long enough. They allow to change riding position easily, helping a lot on ascents and even on level ride - still leaving you the option of sitting upright on descents.

  5. #5
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    Are you sure hulvhole?

    The head angle on the Treks are 71 degrees vs 70 degrees on Specialized, which make the higher Treks have more of a racy feeling than Specialized RH, which have more upright/trail position. Also Specialized has a long top tube in the geometry which further puts one into trail-type position. Check out the websites for geometry comparison.

    Ben, I just spent 6 months in your situation (Trek 6000's (lower end Treks have different geometry) vs Specialized RH- check out the older threads on both sections). Your bike shop should most definitely help you with this as well as with adjustments that need to be made down the line. That is why you go there and pay more vs ordering online. As far as I know any frame can be tweaked to a certain degree by changing stem, seat height, etc.

    Two things from my perspective:

    1. Do yourself a favor and definitely test ride the other frame size for more than a 10 minute parking lot ride (even 1/2 hour is not trail-accurate but more realistic).

    2. Decide which type of riding you will do: racing, speed, down-low position -or- trail, scenery position. There are effects of each position on downhill performance, center of mass, etc. but I am still learning this as well.

    Lastly, there is another rule of thumb: that a rider can feel comfortable with 2 sizes, but with mountain bikes you want to choose the smaller frame. And yes you are right about the fit as being (one of) the most important factors in choosing the bike.

    Good luck. One more thing, if you go to the what bike to buy forum Clyde (the moderator) can send you a link to a great article on fit...

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