Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    How does it feel to ride a frame one size to small? Is it doable?

    Hi friends
    I'm starting to accumulate enough spare parts that I can build another bike. I want to build a 1x9 xc hardtail. This is gonna be my spare bike but also a bike my wife can use so we can go biking together. The problem is that she is 5'6" and I'm 6'1". I figure I should get a medium since I know its better to ride a frame there is too small than too big.

    So, is this doable? Can I raise the seatpost and hit the trails and still be happy on a bike there is essentially to small for me or is it just gonna piss me off in the long run?

  2. #2
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    The word you're looking for is cramped. One can downplay it by saying "a little cramped", but in the end, it's still cramped.

    It's a compromise. Depending on how high or low your standards and expectations are, satisfaction levels will be questionable. If you have to question it beforehand, you probably have an idea that it's already not going to be a good idea for long term riding. One can reason that because it's a spare, it's not going to be a daily bike and some compromises can be tolerated.

  3. #3
    Clueless Bastard
    Reputation: WA-CO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by matw View Post
    Can I raise the seatpost and hit the trails and still be happy on a bike there is essentially to small for me or is it just gonna piss me off in the long run?
    Nah....that difference in you height will make you feel like you're riding a small bike. You might ride down to the grocery store on it, but you won't do any real biking on a bike that is THAT much too small.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    You should just commit to the idea that its for her, rather than a maybe sometimes spare bike for you that she will ride also. Then both your expectations will be met.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    +1. She should have her own stuff.

    And if she wants to keep riding her old Giant Cypress and go "hill biking" with you twice a year, you should stuff some fat tires with it, tune it to shift well, and go with it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Too small sucks more than too big I think. You two are too far apart in size to share a bike.

  7. #7
    R.I.P. DogFriend
    Reputation: jeffj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    6'1" on a medium: When you get up off the saddle in an 'attack' position, if you get down and behind the bars so it doesn't feel like it will toss you over the bars under hard braking, you will be hanging onto the bars and fighting your body weight that is cantilevered against you because the pedals are so far forward for someone of your size.

    Bottom line: It sux!

  8. #8
    > /dev/null 2&>1
    Reputation: Procter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Re: How does it feel to ride a frame one size to small? Is it doable?

    I'm just under 6' 1" and I rode a M for a while and it sucked. Even with a 110mm stem. Lower back hurt. Felt unstable at speed. Endo'd a lot because of the phenomenon Jeff describes.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Joules's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    will it work? No. 2 people that different in size can't share a bike.

    With 7" difference in height (and her legs are likely longer in proportion than yours)... when you ride it it will feel like a bmx bike (not in a good way), while still being too stretched out for her.
    If you want her to hate riding and never do it, your plan make sense. Otherwise, forget it.

  10. #10
    b1_ is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Certainly doable for me, I've been doing it for 15 years and road around countries over months on a bike that's supposed to be too small. I'm not 6'1" though, I'm 5'11" on a medium frame 26" mountain bike.

    The seat post is high, and my riding position is leaning over and compact. This means I feel like I get a lot of power when I push hard, rather than feeling stretched and reaching for the pedals. It feels like I can throw the bike around under me. If I go down a steep hill in position with head down butt up the seat sits under my thighs and my butt is off the back of the seat.

    No back problems or anything. Never felt uncomfortable. Maybe one of these days I will get a kinked seat post to get the seat back a little, or even adjust my seat back on it's current seat post.

    Just go try a medium frame at a store somewhere and see how it feels.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    The words I would pick would be "Pendulous" "Cramped" and "Doablebutnotthebest"

    Balance feels strange, handling is off, comfortability is way off.

Similar Threads

  1. Frame Size - Small or Medium? How tall are you ?
    By trek7100 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 06-08-2013, 06:42 AM
  2. Any riders on a size small frame Canzo?
    By sjs514 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-28-2011, 05:19 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-21-2011, 01:42 PM
  4. Doable??? Swaping Components from a Large frame to a Small frame????
    By Yellowr6 in forum Lights DIY - Do It Yourself
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-21-2011, 01:14 PM
  5. Shift R5 Owners, Frame size Small
    By ihaveagibsonsg in forum Haro
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-12-2011, 11:06 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts



VISIT US AT and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.