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  1. #1
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    Standover height?

    So I am still in the process of picking out a bike.

    I thought I was going with the Kona Kahuna Deluxe, but seem to be stuck between two sizes (the 18" and 19" frame.)

    I am 5' 11 1/2" tall and when i measure my legs/inseam I get about 31". So I am guessing that means a slightly longer torso?

    Anyway, first the dealer had me sit on an 18 inch frame and said yea that works. Well in the process of price shopping, I called another dealer who (over the phone) said he really thinks I need to be on a 19" frame based on my height. He mentioned something about the way Kona's geometry seat/handbars/something or other. He said there wouldn't be enough distance between seat and hands. So that led me to really wonder about the other dealer (who is closer.) So I went over on my lunch break today. They had a 19" 29er Kona there in the window so they let me peddle it around the lot. This time the rep said, yea, 18" is going to be too small. I can tell by looking. You need the extra length between seat and hands. Apparently the guy on the phone (I never even told them I've been calling around) was right! Only problem is, when I stand there, my rocks feel pretty damn squished against the bar. I envision stepping down from a long ride some day and feeling like someone kicked me right in the business. Ouch. What to do?!

    Anyway, according to Giant's website. The XTC in a 20inch frame has a standover height of 30.5?! 2 inches UNDER Kona's 19" standover. Maybe that's a better option for me, just based on my body shape? Or maybe they don't even all measure standover height in the same way?

    Good lord, I'm so very confused at this point.

  2. #2
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    Don't dismount straight ahead Lean off to the side.

    Your best bet is to ride a handful of bikes from different manufacturers and see if the standover works for you. I wouldn't trust anything to actually be what manufacturers state and you can imagine they don't all measure the same to begin with.

    For what it's worth I am 6'2" and have a 34" inseam and my custom bike has 32.25" of standover measured at the middle of the top tube (as that is where you end up standing when dismounting etc). The method I use is to stand in front of the saddle straddling the top tube and grab the bike in front and behind you. When you lift, you want some room, how much is up to you. 1-2" is plenty for me as my unplanned dismounts are generally me hitting the ground, not coming off the bike straight ahead.

  3. #3
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    Yea, and I don't have ANY room when standing over the 19inch Kona. Which according to their site, has a 32.7 standover height. And since I'm in the 5'11" range, it seems weird that I have have a taller bike than you. I think if Giant can get me on a 20" frame and give me a stand over height of 30.5, that's the way to go.

  4. #4
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    Well at 31" inseam that makes sense that you don't have any room. That 32.7" could be 33" or more also (or less for that matter). Height doesn't have much to do with bike "size" really. How the seat tube is measured has everything to do with it.

    Some manufacturers measure from the center of the bottom bracket tot he center of the top tube (center-to-center), while others measure from the center fo the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube (center-to-top).

    My custom bike would measure 16.1" center-to-center but easily 18.5" center-to-top even though I ride a production 19-21" frame depending on who males it. But it doesn't end there. My top tube slops down quite a bit to give me the right standover based on a 29er Lefty front end and a 12" bottom bracket height. If I had a lower BB height and lower front end I could end up with a longer seat tube and frame "size" with exact same standover. Or if I had a bent top tube that gave me the same standover I could be riding the same frame but a larger measurement.

    Lot's going on there but in the end all that matters is if it fits you. Sounds like the Giant is a better fit for you. Don't be afraid to look some more if you aren't pumped about the Giant specifically. Lot's of bikes out there.

  5. #5
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    I have the same issue. I'm 6'4" with not much more inseam than you which means I need the standover of a 19"/L but the top tube length of a 22"/XL or bigger. Just about every mass market frame with enough top tube will result in crotch to top tube contact if I put a foot down. As of right now, I ride a frame that's too small, slide my saddle towards the back of my seatpost, and use a stupid long stem. When I win the lottery, I'll get a custom frame.

    You definitely cannot believe manufacturer standover numbers. Some post a responsible measurement at the middle of the top tube with no suspension sag. Others give you the ridiculous height where the TT hits the seat tube with sag.

  6. #6
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    I understand your concerns. But I would suggest place stand over height very, very close to the bottom of items to look for in a bike. Go for comfort and proper fit on every other aspect. If you find two bikes that are equal in every way except stand over, then maybe it is worth considering. You will very soon realize that stand over height is really overhyped.

    Anyway, good luck ,have fun.
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  7. #7
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    I am the same height as you but my inseam is 29.5" I checked my old receipts on my Kona Hoss and noticed it is a 17" frame and not an 18" like I mentioned to you in your other thread. It was the smallest frame I had ever ridden, In the past I was always told to ride a 19" frame. The only issues I ever had with the Hoss was with the shorter top tube on the17" I found climbing out of the saddle always felt a bit cramped like I was to far over the bars. Seated to give me more space I put the seat back as far as I could and the bike was great. Kona does measure their SO heights differently, I spoke to one of their techs about it. Most of their frames seem to be almost 2" higher than other manufacturers comparable frames, Being that we have similar body types and are both big guys, I would lean towards 18" frames for you, but that is just my opinion. I would look for an effective TT length of 23-24". I would also be wary of the guy at the shop just trying to sell you what he has on the floor. You do not want to be sold a frame size just so they can move in stock product off of their sales floor. I think they tried to do this to you when they tried to sell you that 21" Kona Hoss which is obviously to big. You can always play around with stem length and seat position to fine tune the bikes fit for you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJZ74 View Post
    I am the same height as you but my inseam is 29.5" I checked my old receipts on my Kona Hoss and noticed it is a 17" frame and not an 18" like I mentioned to you in your other thread. It was the smallest frame I had ever ridden, In the past I was always told to ride a 19" frame. The only issues I ever had with the Hoss was with the shorter top tube on the17" I found climbing out of the saddle always felt a bit cramped like I was to far over the bars. Seated to give me more space I put the seat back as far as I could and the bike was great. Kona does measure their SO heights differently, I spoke to one of their techs about it. Most of their frames seem to be almost 2" higher than other manufacturers comparable frames, Being that we have similar body types and are both big guys, I would lean towards 18" frames for you, but that is just my opinion. I would look for an effective TT length of 23-24". I would also be wary of the guy at the shop just trying to sell you what he has on the floor. You do not want to be sold a frame size just so they can move in stock product off of their sales floor. I think they tried to do this to you when they tried to sell you that 21" Kona Hoss which is obviously to big. You can always play around with stem length and seat position to fine tune the bikes fit for you.
    Yea, I was thinking 18" too, but they said it's not big enough when I'm riding. I don't have enough room between the seat and stem. I mean, I can stand over the 19" but I'm all the way back to the saddle and I can't really lift it off the ground per se. I was in Boston yesterday and checked out the Giant store and they said I'm a large, no doubt. Which is a 20" frame. I rode around the block a few times and it felt pretty damn good, minus the severe ass pain.

  9. #9
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    It sounds like you're on the right path. If it was me, I'd just ride as many comparable bikes as I could. Once I found one with the geometry and measurements I liked, whether its BB height, TT length, CS length or whatever, I would check the various manufacturers sites and try and find a frame with the most important ones built into their spec.

    Case in point, a good friend of mine just bought a Raleigh XXIX in an 18", and even though I'm taller by a couple of inches (6'0) I felt the standover was really high for me. He loves it, but I'm not sure it would work for me.

    Just my .02c, but unless you can spring for a custom, you'll have to settle somewhere.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by debaucherous View Post
    I understand your concerns. But I would suggest place stand over height very, very close to the bottom of items to look for in a bike. Go for comfort and proper fit on every other aspect. If you find two bikes that are equal in every way except stand over, then maybe it is worth considering. You will very soon realize that stand over height is really overhyped.

    Anyway, good luck ,have fun.
    I agree with this. There is no need to straddle your bike. Unless you are very short, I just don't see standover as an issue. unless you only have an inch of seatpost out at xc height, but if you are that short you wouldn't be posting here, at least I'd hope.

  11. #11
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    You don't sounds like a clydesdale to me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    You don't sounds like a clydesdale to me.
    Hope you're not talking about the OP.....he's almost 6ft 300lbs.

  13. #13
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    Well I am 5'11.5" (230-240 lbs depending on the season...I am setting a goal of 210 and inseam is just about 31.5) I personally ride Kona bikes. I actually ride either a 20" or 22" frame (I have both sizes)....I adjust my seat height accordingly, set the seat where it feels comfy and adjust by bike the way it'll ride best. I personally like bigger bikes, it is what feels right for me. My wife has a 17" Kona and she is 5'7, when I do work on her bike and do test rides, I feel like a clown on a tricycle....I also have an 18" Kona which is used by us both on the trainer. When I first rode the 18" frame, I felt as though it was a tad bit small for me, didn't feel comfortable, and yes I adjusted it many times over.....I went straight to a 20" and then the 22" By far I love the way the 22" frame feels and handles. But then again that is just me and my preference.

    What I may suggest is testing the various sizes. And as it was mentioned, go with what feels good for you. SO height IMO is a sales ploy. Now if we were talking about a road or cyclocross bike, that may be different issue.
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