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  1. #1
    Cannondale Snob
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    Frame size for 6'4" man?

    My brother is riding a bike that was given to him, an old Wal-Mart Special, rigid 21-speed thats probably a "medium" size. He's 6'4" tall and ~230LBS. He wants to get into mountain biking, but he's so cramped up on that bike that it's really holding him back. I figured this summer I would buy him a good frame, and maybe a fork, and we could transfer the parts on his bike to the new frame to get him riding for now. As I upgrade one of my bikes, he could have the old parts, etc.

    But I've got to know- how big of a frame should a tall guy like him ride? I want it to be a surprise, so I can't go asking for his inseam measurements, etc. My best friend is just over 6' and he rides a 21" bike and it fits him well. I was thinking (hoping) a 21" or 22" would be big enough for my brother...?
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  2. #2
    Former Bike Wrench
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    If its in his budget ($1000 and up) he should look at a 29er for his height. The more important measurement is the top tube length...that is what is causing the "cramped up" issue. A good LBS should be able to fit him properly as a set size can vary from one manufacturer to another.

  3. #3
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    Wow... thank you for not reading my post and giving me an entirely useless reply.

    Again- I want to buy him a frame. Not a bike, just a frame. I want it to be a surprise, so taking him to a bike shop and having him fitted would sort of ruin that, ya think? A larger frame has a longer top-tube length, for people who's limbs are proportionate to their height. He's hands aren't down to his knees, so I'm sure I could find something "close enough". However, I'm 6" shorter than him (and ride a "medium" ~18.5"), so I'm asking what bike size would be correct for a 6'4" guy.
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  4. #4
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Nice attitude

    Quote Originally Posted by RiskEverything
    Wow... thank you for not reading my post and giving me an entirely useless reply.
    So you can't understand that its really not possible to give a size because like I said, sizes run completely different from one manufacturer to another?

    You also can't understand that top tube length is more important than seat tube length (which is usually used for the "size" of a bike)?


    Good luck with that

  5. #5
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    So he'll fit on a medium-frame bike with a super-long top tube, that's what you're telling me, right? And companies make bikes like this and I can just go to the LBS and pick one up? Of course not!

    He's cramped because he's riding a medium-frame bike designed for people much shorter than him. Shorter people with shorter torsos and shorter arms, etc.

    What? You think they make XL frames with the same length top-tube as a M frame? No. They use a longer top-tube because the frame is designed for taller people with longer torsos and longer arms.

    So you can't understand that it really is possible to give a size because "close enough" is all I'm asking for?

    Next time, READ THE WHOLE POST, and if you don't have the answer, don't bother to reply.

    A little more online research (and figuring that his pants have a 34" inseam) tells me that a 21-22" frame will be close enough. This is the same size my best friend uses, and since they are within a few inches of each other, that makes sense. A longer stem and set-back seat-post can always stretch the cockpit out some more if he needs it. Especially since every component will eventually be replaced and he can pick the right size pieces when that happens.
    Last edited by RiskEverything; 07-07-2007 at 01:39 PM.
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  6. #6
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    What mtnbiker72 is saying is

    you simply cannot size the frame correctly without a fit in a shop. Each bike mfr. is different. Each model can vary. Just like shoes. Would you buy him $1000 pair of Italian loafers and hope they will fit? you're' simply guessing and hoping. For $1000 that's a big gamble. Heck even different models of Nike don't fit the same.

    So try this: find a shop, and work a deal whereby you can get a frameset that's close to present to him with as the surprise, THEN RETURN FOR FITTING LATER. Arrange to have him fitted for the bike before it's built up. That takes care of the fit, which is the most important part of a bike purchase. Because like the shoes, if the frame doesn't fit, the thing will be a $1000+ dust collector in the garage/closet.

    Good luck, Jim

  7. #7
    I don't huck.
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    I would put him on a 24.5" TT length minimum. I am 6'2" and I need a 24" TT and my last two bikes were 24.25". I rode a Cannondale XL Prophet that actually was too big for me at 25" TT, but he might fit that size.

    I bought a LG which is probably like a 20-21" frame.

    Obviously stem length can play into this and set post set back, etc to fine tune things.

    Be aware of standover issues. I rode two bikes that fit me TT wise and I barely had any standover clearance. With 5" plus travel bikes and BB's getting higher off the ground, a level to the ground designed frame may not get it done. I had to look for a frame with a dropped TT.

  8. #8
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    If you are going to buy a frame and fork, don't bother with putting the components from the walmart bike on-that would be sacriligious. Besides, the wheels will certainly have to be replaced due to the fact the ones on the walmart bike will crumple beneath his weight when he has a bike at least close to size he can really ride.

    I'd suggest a 20-23 inch frame. An effective top tube around 24.5-25." 29er all the way. A L or XL Surly Karate Monkey frame would be a good choice. Or for just a couple more bucks, a Redline Monocog 29er as a complete bike (just loose the option to run gears).

  9. #9
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    I'm only spending a couple hundred bucks at best. I don't have a thousand to toss around on a present.

    A club member that is pretty much his size and weight is going to sell me a Trek Fuel for $400. He rides a Specialized now and doesn't need two bikes. Frame size is XL / 21".
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
    '04 Cannondale F600 SOBE -STOLEN!
    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

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