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: What size bike?

  1. #1
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    What size bike?

    I've been riding my 10yr 16" frame trek for a long time now so I'm use to the small size frame. I'm about 5'8" and when I into the bike store to test ride bigger bikes in 17 and 18" frames, they felt too large.

    Does that size sound about right for what I should be riding? I'm just use to smaller frames and now need to upgrade... want to make sure I get a proper fit.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Different frame manufacturers have different frame sizes. A 16" frame from one manufacturer might feel significantly smaller than a 16" frame from another. Also components (stem length, handlebar sweep and height and seat post design) all can make a difference in how a frame feels.

    I am the same size as you and just went from a 1995 16" Diamondback Axis TT to a medium Gary Fisher (17.5). It felt a little different at first, but now I like the feel of the size.

    My advice is to test ride as many frames from different manufacturers as possible. Don't obsess about the frame size of the bike, find one that fits your size and style

  3. #3
    Elsievo
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    The smaller frame will be slightly lighter, handle a little quicker. Stems, bars, seatposts can be changed to help make the bike fit. Our local bike shop will let you trade those items out to achieve a good fit.

    I'm 5'8" 180lbs and ride a 17.5 trek fuel. I could ride a smaller frame but prefer the slightly larger frame for stability and trade off the nimbleness that a shorter frame may offer.

    A long test ride would be nice if they have a demo that you could take on a trail. Or if you have a friend with similar bike that you can test. Those quick ones around the block that the shop is on don't really tell you a whole lot.

  4. #4
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    Would the pedaling motion be the same on a smaller frame with the seat raised compared to a bigger frame with a lower seat position?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tygger
    Would the pedaling motion be the same on a smaller frame with the seat raised compared to a bigger frame with a lower seat position?
    Yes, pretty much.

  6. #6
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    And would having a larger frame = larger wheel base = more difficult to maneuver since the wheels are further apart?

  7. #7
    Elsievo
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    If the suspension is set up the same way, slightly more difficult to maneuver. The trade off is the longitudinal stability of the larger frame on downhills. Then again if you're good at hanging the hind quarters behind the seat, that's not much of a problem.

    Again, if you can borrow, test ride a demo on the type of terrain you like to ride that would be best.

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