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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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Upgrading stem and handlebar - need some assistance

    I currently ride a 2008 Giant XTC 2 (frame size: medium). I initially tried the size large and I felt good on the bike (not to stretched out, just perfect), but the standover was just not cutting it for me so thus I went with a medium. I'm 5'11 by the way. Now i'm looking into getting that fit on my medium right now with a Race Face stem (going to change out the handlebar to a Race Face Dues XC, as well), but I want to see what sizes would get me close to the specs of a large XTC. I'm a total newb to this type of stuff, and any input would be of great assistance. Thanks!

    The Geometry of the Medium and Large frames are below. As well as the link to the specs of the stem and handlebar of the bike.

    Geometry:




    Specs:
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...in/1265/29356/

  2. #2
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    I forgot to mention the stem I have right now says it is a 90mm length, 10deg rise, and 31.8mm. The handlebar I have no clue, it does not have any numbers on it.

  3. #3
    AKA Dr.Nob
    Reputation: gumbymark's Avatar
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    Frankly, buying a too small bike it (in my opinion) silly.

    Can you get it changed?

    Get a 20mm (horizontal) longer stem and lifting the bars up 15mm might get it close.

    Lengthening the stem will slow down the steering and will put more weight over the front wheel.

    But you can't lengthen the wheelbase.


    I think that standover is the most useless frame measurement used. Bikes should be ridden and standover has nothing to do with riding.
    Not that all teenagers are evil mind, just most of them.

  4. #4
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    Theres a .8 inch difference in top tube lengths which works out to be about 20mm. You "could" buy a 20mm longer stem since all the extra length would be up front you might have a position thats too forward for your liking. You could also look for a seat post with more setback to get the seat back farther. Moving the bars 10mm forward and the seat 10mm back would be a good start to see how you like it. You might be able to do this without spending a dime. Check to see if your seat is mounted as far back on the rails as it can, if not... adjust. Also, if you have riser bars, can you rotate them forward?

    You also mentioned your current stem has a 10deg rise while most of the Race Faces have 6deg rise/ The lower rise will put you slihtly more forward by itself. Most anyone here can give you the numbers but we cant make the bike fit for you. I hope this helps a little, if not, see your LBS to get you bike fitted with a new stem, even if they dont have the exact one you want they'll probably have something cheap and will at least let you know what you are looking for.

  5. #5
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    Hey now, different strokes for different folks.

    A smaller frame can be a good thing for some riding styles. A smaller frame is easier to maneuver beneath the rider, and honestly, it provides a new rider with a bit more versatility to develop their own riding style. I'd say if the standover height is too-close-for-comfort on regular pavement, go with the next size down. Go back to your bike shop, and do some measuring of the two sizes. Measure the height from the stem clamp (by the bars) to the ground, and from the seatpost to the bars. See if you can replicate those measurements with a stem they have in stock. I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

    Just think of that moment when your front tire gets bogged in the mud and you come flying off the saddle. By the time your feet sink in the mud, your kiwis will be on the toptube, and you'll either be wishing you wore platform disco shoes, or you got the next size down.

    I went with the XL frame when i bought my Gary Fisher back in the day. I'm 6'4", but sometimes I wish I had gone with the L so I had a more "flickable" bike for messing around and doing lame tricks on. My bike is fantastic for XC riding, though, which is what I usually use that bike for.

  6. #6
    Ride the dream
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    Before you try swapping it... try getting the stem lower.


    If you go to a longer stem, you would need a narrower bar to get the handling to balance out - not the best idea in the world.


    Try getting all the Aheadset spaces on top of the stem and see if thats any better.
    If thats not enough, you could even run the stem "upside down" (negative rise) which would get you even lower..... Stems are designed to work either way up, and if that solves the issue without having to replace components (and hence alter handling) then it could be worth it. Only downside is you'd look like a roadie

  7. #7
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    Thanks for clarifying things up. I will see what I can do, and I think i'll go ahead and try some different stems out.

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