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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bikes for the Very Tall

    Hello all, I'm 6'7", 200lbs and its always a struggle finding bikes that fit me well. I've been doing some research to see which, if any, bikes would fit me well. I realized that perhaps my data will come in handy for some of the other very, exceptionally, ridiculously, or absurdly tall folks out there.
    If there are other super tall folks out there, let me know what you're riding and what you think of it.
    A few disclaimers:

    • This isn't a comprehensive list... although if you know of other good bikes or brands let me know and I might add them.
    • This list focuses on fat bikes and full suspension trail/all mountain kinda stuff. If that isn't what you want, make your own list.
    • I selected some of the geometry measurements that I find important, but if there is another measurement you'd really want to see on this list, let me know what it is and why you want it, and maybe I'll go through and update everything.
    • I've added a few XL (as opposed to XXL) bikes to this list; some because they are bigger than the average XL, some because I am interested in the bike and wish it was bigger.

    Anyway, here is the list:
    ========= MOUNTAIN BIKES FOR THE VERY TALL[1] ============

  2. #2
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    You are missing The Dirtysixer The only bike made for really tall people using 36" wheels as a base.
    Mountain Bikes for the Very Tall-p4pb9472446.jpg

  3. #3
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    And the Surly Krampus.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    I will say this.......
    You need to try the bike or at least compare the bike you ride to what you want to buy.
    Because looking at all the numbers, geometry and what ever effects your decision making does not really help you in finding the perfect bike.
    It helps narrow down you decision but ultimately sitting on the bike will tell you if it works for you or not.
    You are 6'7" but for example, however do you might have long arms and legs and a short back?
    Or you might have long arms but be proportionate having a long back and long legs.
    (Which I am at 6' 7")
    I have 2 Turners a XXL RFX and a older XL RFX.
    Love them both and the best bike I ever rode or want.
    Next bike will be a Burner XXL!!!

    I also ride a Surly Troll 20 inch for my Touring/road bike.
    One of my most favourite rides!!.

    Also depends on budget?

    Not sure if that helps....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by asollie View Post
    Hello all, I'm 6'7", 200lbs and its always a struggle finding bikes that fit me well.
    Why wouldn't you contact somebody like Lennard Zinn? He's a tall dude, knows the industry better than 99% of the hoo-ha out there and you KNOW he knows how to build a bike for a tall guy. He's built his company on that philosophy. His tech articles for VeloNews prove to me he understands bike builds and the tech too!

    Just a suggestion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WA-CO View Post
    Why wouldn't you contact somebody like Lennard Zinn? He's a tall dude, knows the industry better than 99% of the hoo-ha out there and you KNOW he knows how to build a bike for a tall guy.
    Perhaps they can't afford what Zinn sells? He certainly isn't cheap and he isn't local. That's fine when you get to a certain level in a sport but a lot of people like local support.
    As someone else at 6'7" I would say we're just on the cusp of being really tall ie there are mainstream brands who do manufacture for our size. A broad statement, but a 23" mountain bike will probably be plenty big enough for most at 6'7". I have a 21" hard tail and a 23" FS and both fit me just fine.
    Now my 72cm road bike was a lot harder to find!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Perhaps they can't afford what Zinn sells? He certainly isn't cheap and he isn't local. That's fine when you get to a certain level in a sport but a lot of people like local support.
    As someone else at 6'7" I would say we're just on the cusp of being really tall ie there are mainstream brands who do manufacture for our size. A broad statement, but a 23" mountain bike will probably be plenty big enough for most at 6'7". I have a 21" hard tail and a 23" FS and both fit me just fine.
    Now my 72cm road bike was a lot harder to find!
    Actually, I live in Boulder where Zinn Cycles is, so they're very local. There are several reasons I'm not too interested in Zinn though. (1) They're really expensive. (2) It does seem like there are some bigger brands that will fit me. (3) I have the feeling that Zinn bikes compromise a lot of performance and durability for a good fit. I want a bike that will stand up to abuse. (4) Getting repairs or replacement parts for a custom/rare bike would be really hard.

    Most of my height is in my legs (39" inseam) so I think there are a lot of XL/XXL frames whose top tubes are long enough for me. With my center of mass so high though, I have to find a bike with slack enough geometry to keep me from going over the bars every time the trail turns downhill.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgprimo View Post
    I will say this.......
    You are 6'7" but for example, however do you might have long arms and legs and a short back?
    Or you might have long arms but be proportionate having a long back and long legs.
    I believe most of my height is in my legs. I have a 39" inseam. I demoed a Salsa Horsethief XL and a Tallboy LTc XXL and both of those felt long enough. I'm going to another big demo event this weekend, so I'll get a feel for a lot of bikes. Part of the reason I made this spreadsheet was to be able to figure out why I like a bike after I've ridden it.

  9. #9
    Clueless Bastard
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    Fair enough. I just find it interesting that larger or bigger folks will sometimes complain about the fit of a bike (when it really won't) yet aren't willing spend the time, effort or money to really solve the problem. The step of trying to quantify the "why" is a good one. Me, I'm Lilliputian by your standards, so I can ride off the shelf, easy.

    Ride Bikes!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WA-CO View Post
    Fair enough. I just find it interesting that larger or bigger folks will sometimes complain about the fit of a bike (when it really won't) yet aren't willing spend the time, effort or money to really solve the problem. The step of trying to quantify the "why" is a good one. Me, I'm Lilliputian by your standards, so I can ride off the shelf, easy.

    Ride Bikes!
    Yep, that makes sense! I'm trying to do my research now so I don't have to complain after I get a new bike. Another reason I forgot to mention is that if you're going with a boutique custom bike you don't get the chance to benefit from all the reviews and opinions available online for the more mainstream brands.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    You are missing The Dirtysixer The only bike made for really tall people using 36" wheels as a base.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That bike is awesome. Where would you get tires for it though?



    I ride a 2011 Trek Cobia at 6'8". I saw the Surly 21" fatbike and it looked like it had enough room for me to fit on it. It was mounted on a display, so I didn't get on to see.

  12. #12
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    I'm 6'6" with a 6'8" wingspan and I'm riding a Stumpjumper in size XL with a 50mm stem.

  13. #13
    roots, rocks, rhythm
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    Quote Originally Posted by asollie View Post
    Part of the reason I made this spreadsheet was to be able to figure out why I like a bike after I've ridden it.
    I was just generalizing because the list you made is great, nothing personal but because those that are tall have to find bikes that work to our personal dimensions but all we have for selections from most manufactures is either XL or XXL if we are lucky. Unless you look at custom.
    As most of know not all XL are the same and neither are XXL.

    For myself I am 6' 7" with a 7 ft span and an inseam of 36 inch.
    So I need a long top tube to feel comfortable but not to long otherwise it feels like a ocean liner in the tight technical trails. I am not a big fan of too long of a Stem or a laid back seat post but have used them.

    And the reason I love riding my Turners is when I am on them I feel like I am riding in the bike or part of it and not bouncing along on top of it.......not sure if I explained that right?

    Good luck on your selection!!

  14. #14
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    Ventana, no question! I'm 7feet 260 lbs and am riding a Zeus/el capitan custom b9er. 140/160 rear, short chainstays, Pike 150 fork. Hands down best bike I've ever ridden. Stable at speed yet playful and flickable (as much as is possible under someone my size). Easily handles 4 foot drops (the biggest I've sacked up for so far) but could easily do more.

    Had it made with 67hta, 17 inch chainstay, 24 inch seat tube, and 27 inch top tube.

    Ventana has stock sizes up to a 25.5 inch seat tube, and they have semi custom and custom pricing options if you wanna do different geometry or tube lengths. Sherwood and Teresa are awesome to work with.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by asollie View Post
    I have the feeling that Zinn bikes compromise a lot of performance and durability for a good fit. I want a bike that will stand up to abuse. (4) Getting repairs or replacement parts for a custom/rare bike would be really hard.
    I certainly wouldn't put them as reasons not to buy (but the other two you give are fair enough). I don't see what performance aspects are compromised in his bikes - he uses fairly regular geometry, materials, components etc. His bikes have taken abuse for many years. As for repairs or replacements? It's only the frame that is different - the components are not unique. There would be nothing different about getting a bike repaired from Zinn as there would be from any other manufacturer. Indeed, most small manufacturers often give a better service because they are small.
    Geometry will always be a compromise. If you get a bike that is too slack, you'll be off the back every time you point it up a hill!

  16. #16
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    Post #7 mentioned a key factor that tends to get overlooked in Clydesdale bike fitting: proportionality.

    If your leg-arm-torso ratio is about standard, but you're tall, most bike shops will be able to sort you out with an XL frame, plus or minus a size and some parts tinkering.

    If you're very tall with weird proportions, though, you're in a world of hurt.

    6 foot 7 with a 39" inseam is leggy, so you may struggle with finding a frame that's tall and short enough. Personally I'm going custom: 6 foot 4 and a 40" inseam means I've got no hope with an off-the-shelf bike.

    You'll get plenty of good recommendations for great bikes here, but let me be the Marley of mountain biking and warn that over six feet, all bets are off in regard to fitting advice because human geometry goes haywire and it's easy to spend thousands of dollars trying to fix a problem that the bike industry has ignored for decades and still doesn't recognise.

  17. #17
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    Head tube length is the most important factor, imho

  18. #18
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    Now in my 4th year of riding, mainly XC 7-8 hrs / week and very competitive with average-size guys, at least on Strava. 6'8" 210…was 230 when I started and didn't want to lose weight, but now I can't keep it on. 39" inseam, long arms and can ride some XL and XXL.
    My (2) main bikes are Superfly's FS carbon, 2012 and 2014 XXL and they fit me well. Also have Jet9rdo XL, Spec Stumpjumpers FS and HT (SS) in XXL.
    I feel I can make most anything work well now, at least for XC. Long seat post is a given, longer stem and possible riser bar, then you can make it work as well.
    All-mountain or more aggressive riding, no idea, but we don't have those trails near by…..most everything in FL can be ridden on XC type.

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