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  1. #1
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    Any tall Clydes (6'5" or more) riding a 21" frame?

    I'm thinking I'd like to get an AM 29er this season, but the selection is rather limited, in terms of companies that make an XXL frame. I'm curious if any of you really tall guys are riding 21" frames and how they work for you. What ergonomic modifications did you have to make in order for the bike to work for you? I'm 6'8" & wondering if this is even a viable option, or am I stuck paying more $$$ for a custom frame?

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    I'm 6'4" and I use a 23" specialized rockhopper with a 670mm eff top tube and 10.5cm saddle setback. I use a 70mm stem for downhill worthiness.

    Basically a longer frame with a shorter stem and wider bar for increased handling.
    Now that said the bike is too short for road or pure xc racing. I think it's kinda allmountain but I'm not up to speed with mtb definitions.
    For road or xc I would need a 90mm stem or longer.
    If I had a normal xxl f with a 640mm eff top tube I would need a 100mm stem for all mountain and 120mm for xc.

    I'm under the impression that really large enough frames are seriously rare. You might need a custom

  3. #3
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    I don't think it works. I bought a 21" Specialized HardRock recently for a really good price, but it just doesn't fit. Even with the tube all the way extended and the seat pushed as far back as possible, it's too small (my heels tend to drag the ground if I try to fully extend while seated). It feels like a kid's bike.

    I'm 6'6". If there are customizations that can be done to it to make it work, I don't know of them.

  4. #4
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    Yes I have and no it didnt work so well. I'm 6'9" and rode a 20" XL Santa Cruz chameleon for a while, was a ton of fun but too short for XC riding. Turned it into a dirt jumper. 70mm stem with 140mm fork felt the best but couldnt get enough weight over the front end on climbs. Put on a 90mm stem and then the bike didnt feel as fun anymore.

    Spent the last year riding a 23" Access 29er (650mm eff TT) with a few different stem/bar combos. That bike never felt right (slow geometry, not in the fit) so I sold it and am building up a 22" Banshee Paradox (644mm eff TT). The Access is sold as an XXL, the Banshee is an XL. Reach and Stack are almost identical between the frames. Should fit just right with a 70mm stem and 780mm bars.

    Are you looking for a full suspension or a hardtail? 29ers seem to be bringing in a lot of taller riders, look a few threads down in the Clyde forum and there's a thread with a full listing of tall friendly manufacturers.

    And to clarify, El-Carpaso, that Rockhopper has an effective top tube of 644mm and it fits you just fine, right? The 670mm is the diagonal top tube measurement, worthless for fitting purposes.

  5. #5
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    I'm looking for an All-mountain 29er, so yeah, full suspension, more than 120mm of travel...
    Fwiw, I made the thread on the tall-friendly manufacturers; I'm just frustrated with the availability and pricing of XXL frames. Case in point: why do manufacturers like Specialized only make full-squish XXL frames in Carbon Fiber? WTF? not only is it super costly, but it's not as durable (in my experience) as aluminum... There are times when I lament being 6'8"; this is one of them.

  6. #6
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    I'm 6'6" and have been riding a 21" Cannondale 29er for the last year. The ETT is about an inch too short, which I've compensated for with a setback post and longer stem, but other than that it's a pretty comfortable ride. I feel like if I were even a half inch taller it would be a problem. It's getting replaced with an XXL bike in a few weeks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    I'm looking for an All-mountain 29er, so yeah, full suspension, more than 120mm of travel...
    Fwiw, I made the thread on the tall-friendly manufacturers; I'm just frustrated with the availability and pricing of XXL frames. Case in point: why do manufacturers like Specialized only make full-squish XXL frames in Carbon Fiber? WTF? not only is it super costly, but it's not as durable (in my experience) as aluminum... There are times when I lament being 6'8"; this is one of them.
    wait what? Carbon fibre should be more durable than aluminum or steel. There was a video a while back, where they banged a steel frame against a concrete block, and the steel tube just folded like paper. Then they banged a CF frame against the same block and nothing. And you can see from the video that there was some serious force involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    And to clarify, El-Carpaso, that Rockhopper has an effective top tube of 644mm and it fits you just fine, right? The 670mm is the diagonal top tube measurement, worthless for fitting purposes.
    670mm horizontal aka. effective and 644 diagonal aka actual. Sounds weird I know but that's how it is. And the 670mm fits me fine.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by El-Carpaso View Post
    670mm horizontal aka. effective and 644 diagonal aka actual. Sounds weird I know but that's how it is. And the 670mm fits me fine.
    Still wrong. The 670mm is diagonal/actual center to center from the headtube to the seatube. 644mm is horizontal/effective, the distance from the center of the headtube to the center of the seatpost coming out of the frame level with the top of the headtube. Just trying to correct you so you know the correct measurement when you are bike shopping in the future.

    Kona has a really nice pic that is displayed with their geo charts to picture this:
    KONAWORLD

    And here are numbers to your Speshy:
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Depending on the difference in angles between HA and SA along with standover considerations (longer/lower top tube), effective top tube can be more or lass than actual top tube.

    CF is not in my budget for now and most of the big companies wont make an XXL frame in aluminum because of the added stresses big guys will put on the frame.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    I'm thinking I'd like to get an AM 29er this season, but the selection is rather limited, in terms of companies that make an XXL frame. I'm curious if any of you really tall guys are riding 21" frames and how they work for you. What ergonomic modifications did you have to make in order for the bike to work for you? I'm 6'8" & wondering if this is even a viable option, or am I stuck paying more $$$ for a custom frame?
    Somebody 6'5" could get away with it. But if you're 6'8"....

    Look at the sizing charts and bikes and Leonard Zinn to get an idea after plugging in your measurements of what you really need. I'm just a hair under 6'4" and am riding XL Niners, but even I've got 120mm stems, setback posts and what not. I can imagine at 6'8" it wouldn't be the best fit. At the very least, use the fit calculator at Zinn (sternum to floor, shoulder to wrist, cycling inseam) to get a range of top tubes, stems, etc.... that you would need for the mountain bike options (aggressive fit, recreational fit, casual fit). If the geometry charts are not in the ball park at the bikes you are looking at - forget about it. You'd be wasting your money and time trying to "get by". Tall guys should not have to "get by", but nobody that isn't tall cares. So you have to take care of yourself.

    Specialized carries the Carve and Camber - at least some of the models - in a 23" (XXL size). I'm sure some of their other 29"ers come in the 23" frame as well. This Clyde forum should have lots of links for the big and tall rider looking for bikes.

    BB
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 04-01-2013 at 02:42 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    Still wrong. The 670mm is diagonal/actual center to center from the headtube to the seatube. 644mm is horizontal/effective, the distance from the center of the headtube to the center of the seatpost coming out of the frame level with the top of the headtube. Just trying to correct you so you know the correct measurement when you are bike shopping in the future.

    Kona has a really nice pic that is displayed with their geo charts to picture this:
    KONAWORLD

    And here are numbers to your Speshy:
    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Depending on the difference in angles between HA and SA along with standover considerations (longer/lower top tube), effective top tube can be more or lass than actual top tube.

    CF is not in my budget for now and most of the big companies wont make an XXL frame in aluminum because of the added stresses big guys will put on the frame.
    This is a direct quote from the specialized site for the 23" model.
    Top Tube Length (Horizontal) 670mm
    Top Tube Length (Actual) 644mm
    Specialized means effective when they say horizontal. The road bike range only gets the horizontal measurement and no actual.

    That's what actually freaked me out when I bough the bike. I had the whole time thought that the horizontal length had been 644mm which was the recommendation given by the competetive cyclist fit calculator (albeit, with a 100mm stem)
    How surprised was I when I realized at some point that the horizontal top tube length was 670mm and not 644mm. I thought I had a bike way too big for me. Luckily it wasn't actually and now I can use a shorter stem also.

    I know there isn't a typo on the specialized page, because the carve has similiar measurements in 23" and I measured the horizontal length myself once.

    i haven't seen many bikes as long as this one, but the kona satori 22" has the same reach as the rockhopper. Then again the seat tube angle is 74 degrees so that explains it and a taller rider might (will surely) need a setback seatpost.

    I don't know how big a role saddle setback plays in mountain biking, but in road (from where I converted to MTB) it's paramount. Taller riders usually need ridiculous amounts of setback to get the knees in the right spot, so with that the reach to the bars also lengthens. Which is a good thing in my opinion.

  11. #11
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    I'm 6'7" and just went from a StumpJumper XXL 23" HT to a XL Jet 9 Carbon, and couldn't be happier. I've got long arms and legs and am actually able to climb better/easier than before.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tall_bryce View Post
    I'm 6'7" and just went from a StumpJumper XXL 23" HT to a XL Jet 9 Carbon, and couldn't be happier. I've got long arms and legs and am actually able to climb better/easier than before.
    what's your inseam and sleeve length? I'm interested in either a RIP 9 or a WFO 9.

  13. #13
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    Here's my numbers using the following approach:
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pdf/fit_details.pdf

    Don't flame me if you d'ont like/agree with this methodology, I just wanted to use something that could be reproduced by others in a consistent fashion, so use it as a reference point.

    Inseam: 39.4
    Trunk: 29.75
    Forearm: 16
    Arm: 30
    Thigh: 27
    Lower Leg: 24.5
    Sternal Notch: 66.5
    Total Body Height: 79

  14. #14
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    I appreciate your thoroughness, but pant inseam and sleeve length would have sufficed.

  15. #15
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    'Standover' is more important than 'inseam' for bike fit.

  16. #16
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    The XL Banshee Prime might be worth a look, it seems a bit bigger than the Rip9 and WFO in reach (475 Prime vs 440 R9 vs 456 for WFO), the Rip9 stack is a little higher though (648 for R9, 633 Prime). Effective top tubes are pretty much the same at 645mm. The frame is plenty stiff torsionally too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    'Standover' is more important than 'inseam' for bike fit.
    How so?

  18. #18
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    Hey Gigantic, been following this thread and when I saw you mention a WFO, thought I'd chime in. I'm 6'5" and I ride an XL WFO. I love it and it's super comfortable but I have pretty short legs with a long torso (like my pants are usually only 32" inseam) (sleeve length is 38). But, the setup I have on it now is a 90mm 0 degree stem with a Thomson setback seat post (and have almost 40mm of spacers under the stem as I didn't cut the steerer tube at all). Not sure how you're built, but you might be able to run a 100-110mm stem and be ok (I have to run a 100mm stem on my 26" AM rig). It's a super fun bike and pedals way better than my XL 26" AM bike and the XL is a really big bike. Also, btw, I test rode a XL RIP before I bought my WFO and I didn't fit as well on the RIP even though I know there's not much difference.

    Can you try riding one before you throw down the cash for it?

  19. #19
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    Kind of a newb here. Wait. Let me correct that. Newb here. Trying to buy my first bike. I've been on several test rides. How do I tell if something is big enough? I'm kind of in love with the Salsa El Mariachi but don't know after a 30 min test ride if it's big enough and this thread got me worried. I'm 6'6".

    I ride a 64 cm Surly Disc Trucker and 61 cm Specialized Roubaix on the road, and the Salsa felt good, unlike a couple others that felt big (Scott Scale) or cramped (Kona Taro). Any thoughts for a newb would help!
    Last edited by Sherpa41; 04-03-2013 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Added height

  20. #20
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    I'm 6'4 3/4" and I ride a 21" Stumpjumper. I recently rode a Surly Krampus that belongs to a guy that's probably 6'7". We had to drop the seat a couple of inches but I was totally comfortable on the bike.
    I'm assuming it's the biggest one they make. May be a good choice for you.
    I like turtles

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpa41 View Post
    I'm 6'6".

    I ride a 64 cm Surly Disc Trucker and 61 cm Specialized Roubaix on the road, and the Salsa felt good, unlike a couple others that felt big (Scott Scale) or cramped (Kona Taro). Any thoughts for a newb would help!
    Hmmmm.....I'm 6'4" and just got a new 64cm Roubaix. Fits like a glove, but I will probably be trimming the steerer tube a bit once things warm up outside.

    2013Roubaix64cm

    Love the super tall head tube and the more "relaxed" fit as a result. Toss up a picture of your 61cm Roubaix. I tried out the 61cm Secteur and thought it felt tiny to me out of the box.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Hmmmm.....I'm 6'4" and just got a new 64cm Roubaix. Fits like a glove, but I will probably be trimming the steerer tube a bit once things warm up outside.

    Love the super tall head tube and the more "relaxed" fit as a result. Toss up a picture of your 61cm Roubaix. I tried out the 61cm Secteur and thought it felt tiny to me out of the box.
    Hm. I don't think I have any pictures of it other than when I first got it. Ah. Here's one.
    Any tall Clydes (6'5" or more) riding a 21" frame?-misc-4-037.jpg
    In 2007 the 61 cm was the biggest frame they made. Seems to fit me pretty well so I'm ok with that. I was just worried about getting an XL MTB frame instead of searching around for an XXL. I'll keep looking to see...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherpa41 View Post
    I was just worried about getting an XL MTB frame instead of searching around for an XXL. I'll keep looking to see...
    Did you run your measurement numbers at the Leonard Zinn Fit Calculator (great for us tall men)?

    Outside of the few models in supersize that Specialized, Ventana, Gunnar, and Trek sell for mountain bikes, custom is easy and pretty economical through Quiring (and others). This remains one of my favorite threads on a custom HT built for a 6'6" mountain biker (Padre). Nice tall headtube requiring no spacers, good top tube length and it looks right when he is sitting on the bike.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    How so?
    For most people, inseam is the trouser length they wear. Standover is the crotch-to-floor which is far closer to the distance they will need from saddle-to-pedal, thus giving a far more accurate and useful number. Inseam is for trousers, not bikes.

  25. #25
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    Re: Any tall Clydes (6'5" or more) riding a 21" frame?

    I'm 6'6" with a 39" cycling inseam. I run my road bike saddle at 35" from BB center and MTB at 34" respectively (lets me move around a bit more on the MTB).

    My 21" Fuji Tahoe 29er fits reasonably well with a 400mm seatpost and 120mm stem, maybe a little more "aggressive" fit but not cramped. I recently bought a 22" Salsa Spearfish which fits a little better yet. I'm going to try a setback Thompson seatpost with it to try and get my knees over the pedals.


    (Saddle looks higher than it really is with the rear wheel off the ground.)

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2

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