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
    mtbr member
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    New question here. Bike fitment preference

    Hey all,

    I just sold an old car project of mine to get some mountain bikes. I ended up picking up a Treck 3700 19.5" frame and a Treck Wahoo 15.5" frame for $400 for the pair. I think I did okay on the price.

    Anyway, I am 6'2" and have been riding the 3700 on the street for a little. I have made some changes to the seat position and that and we put an older WTB confort seat on the Wahoo for my wife. I went ahead and took the Wahoo seat post all the way to the marks and went and rode it around a little and it felt fine as far as fit.

    My question is, What is your preference? Would you rather have more room to move your seat down and out of the way, or have the frame that more matches your height?

    the reason I ask is that I have seen a lot of bikes that have the saddle adjusted way high. It has made me think there is some advantages to being able to adjust the saddle down and out of the way.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    I'd rather have a bike with the right wheelbase for my height. Everything else is secondary.

    Mountain bike frames have compact geometry. The old designs had a horizontal top tube. A sloping top tube exposes more seat post, but saddle position is still about the rider. Most people seem happiest riding road, XC, or at least climbing on flat bar bikes with the saddle roughly level with the bars. More XC-oriented riders tend to put the bars a little lower and more DH-oriented riders tend to put the saddle a lot lower. Freeride, AM and dirt jump types do too.

    I set my saddle for good leg extension and forget it. My newest bike doesn't even have a quick release on the seat tube collar. I usually spend more time figuring out where to land my handle bars. Aside from the convenience of being able to straddle my bike, I don't really benefit from having a compact top tube, but if I spent more time on pump tracks, I'd want to be able to drop the saddle way down. So there's a real advantage to being able to do that.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Mountain bike frames have compact geometry... A sloping top tube exposes more seat post,
    Exactly. It's pretty typical for mtn bike that fits a rider properly to be showing quite a bit of seatpost.

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