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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    Could use some help on sizing

    I bought a Trek 820 18" in 1991 and it has been a great bike for me. I figured id start with Trek first since i had a good experience with mine. My LBS told me i looked like an 18" or 16" so i rode the 3500 16" and thought meh. Then I rode the 3500 in a 13" and loved it: comfortable on the road and felt great popping through the ditches. Went to another LBS to check out Giant. Guy was my height and told me he rides an 18" bike. I tried to stand over one and it just grazed my jewels. I have plenty of clearance over my current 18" (frames have changed quite a bit in 22 years).

    I know from watching my 5 children grow that smaller bikes are easier to handle and kids will ride a smaller bike for as long as they can. I have been reading through the forums and there are many people with the opinion "if it feels right, its right" and "get the one that fits best" so naturally i am loving the 13" However, I dont want to buy a bike that I outgrow technically in a few rides.

    Anyone have any thoughts? BTW im 5'8" with 29" inseam

  2. #2
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    13" seems really small. My 4'10" daughter rides a 13" frame with 26" wheels. At your height I would say a 15" to 17" would be much more appropriate.

  3. #3
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    Also, watch some of the videos in this forum. Lots of good info on technique, sizing, pedaling efficiency, etc

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