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: Bike too big?

  1. #1
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    Bike too big?

    How bad is a bike that is a little big. I found a Gary Fisher Wahoo that is a size large. According to the website this is a 19" bike. Everything I have read that I need around a 17.5"-18" bike. Would then 1" difference be too much ?


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  2. #2
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    How tall are you and what riding inseam do you have.
    Go in to a Trek dealer and ride some X-Cals and Marlins for size info.

  3. #3
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    Bike too big?

    I am 5'10. I don't know what my riding inseam is.


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  4. #4
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    basic test. stand over the bike, flat footed. If you've got 1-2" between the top tube and your bits, you're good.
    Top tube length is a better indicator for how the bike fits and rides, but that's more of a personal choice. some people like a longer/shorter top tube than what the sizing guidelines would indicate based on body size.

  5. #5
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    Standover is not that important. Top tube is because it is in play while you are on the bike using it.
    If you have a normalish 32" inseam you might get on a Wahoo with a 60mm stem.
    The fork on that bike is a poor choice for trail riding but fine for dirt roads and bike paths.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    basic test. stand over the bike, flat footed. If you've got 1-2" between the top tube and your bits, you're good.
    Top tube length is a better indicator for how the bike fits and rides, but that's more of a personal choice. some people like a longer/shorter top tube than what the sizing guidelines would indicate based on body size.
    can we assume you are kidding? Stand over has very little to do with your appropriate frame size...personally I feel reach is the most critical dimension...he was just kidding, wasn't he?
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  7. #7
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    Bike too big?

    Found it on Craigslist. Thought it would be decent but not sure about the size on it.


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    Like I said in my post (if you read it), top tube length (or reach if you want to include stem length and seat) is the most important for sizing, but not every bike manufacturer uses the same reach and top tube length for the same size, and everybody needs different sizes based on their torso length vs. height vs. inseam vs. arm length. If I said I was 5'10", could you tell me what size I needed to ride? I was just mentioning a very quick size test. If you can comfortably clear the top tube, you can ride it. If you can't clear the top tube, you can still ride it; but I wouldn't.

    I mention stand over and being flatfooted with clearance because damaging yourself is pretty important in my book. Last year I was on a XXL frame riding on some big rocks, I had to make a hasty bailoul. I could brush my toes against the ground, but my feet couldn't reach the ground properly because the standover was too tall. I racked myself, crashed, cracked a helmet, still have bone chips floating around in my elbow, and came home covered in blood. It might be because I suck at riding or I took on a larger obstacle than I should have, but either way, if my standover was 1" lower, I would have been OK.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    How tall are you and what riding inseam do you have.
    Go in to a Trek dealer and ride some X-Cals and Marlins for size info.
    Please do not suggest to people that they showroom their local bike shop. If you go in there to try bikes out, plan on buying from them please.
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  10. #10
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    19" is ballpark for someone 5'10". It's pretty hard to tell without riding it. Even then, if you haven't dialed in a bike for yourself before, it's pretty hard to tell without riding a bike on trails and living with it for a while.

    The Wahoo came out a while ago. This is a used bike, right? Go ride it. If it goes, stops, and shifts, the chain's not worn out, and it doesn't feel wrong or have other problems (play in the fork, for example,) buy it. Assuming a fair price, of course. Live with it for a while, try to dial it in for yourself, and if you end up using a silly-short stem or you can't make it fit your body right, resell it for what you paid and try again with a 17"-18" or 'M.'
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Like I said in my post (if you read it), top tube length (or reach if you want to include stem length and seat) is the most important for sizing, but not every bike manufacturer uses the same reach and top tube length for the same size, and everybody needs different sizes based on their torso length vs. height vs. inseam vs. arm length. If I said I was 5'10", could you tell me what size I needed to ride? I was just mentioning a very quick size test. If you can comfortably clear the top tube, you can ride it. If you can't clear the top tube, you can still ride it; but I wouldn't.

    I mention stand over and being flatfooted with clearance because damaging yourself is pretty important in my book. Last year I was on a XXL frame riding on some big rocks, I had to make a hasty bailoul. I could brush my toes against the ground, but my feet couldn't reach the ground properly because the standover was too tall. I racked myself, crashed, cracked a helmet, still have bone chips floating around in my elbow, and came home covered in blood. It might be because I suck at riding or I took on a larger obstacle than I should have, but either way, if my standover was 1" lower, I would have been OK.
    I would suggest not riding a XXL then...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by time229er View Post
    I would suggest not riding a XXL then...
    ah, there's an issue with that. the XXL has too short of a top-tube length. I have a long torso length vs. inseam. 6'5" with a 32" inseam. Ended up getting a new 21" bike (kept the old one because it's good on gravel). New ride has a longer toptube and wheelbase with a shorter standover. Each manufacturer & model is a bit different. End of day, if the OP think's it's close, have to try it out.

  13. #13
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    I am five foot six, most charts put me on a 16" frame, and that's what l always bought....15" or 16"

    When l was buying my last bike, l actually rode some bikes at the LBS, and found that l was much happier on the 17".

    Frame sizing is complex. On the Kona l bought, the 17" actually has a LOWER standover than the 15"!

    But the 17" is so much better for me, you would not believe. If you have a longer reach, the large size may actually be better for you, than the medium. And it won't relate to 1" less standover for every 1" increase in frame size, as l used to think!

    But as already stated, you HAVE to try before you
    buy, to be sure. As soon as you ride the bike, you will know if it's right for you.

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