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  1. #1
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    taller guys 6'3 and up riding 19" bikes?

    i have 21" 29er now and it feels SO BIG maybe bc I am used to riding bmx or my smaller cannondale I just love the feel of a 19" bike even thought it is considered to"small"

    i love the feeling of being able to throw the smaller bike around and i can bunny hop and jump 10x better

    anyone else feel this way??

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Peccary
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    I ride a smaller hardtail than I really should, for pretty much this reason.
    mike

  3. #3
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    I have the same feeling of slowness on my 21" hardtail. Meh, just gotta get used to it, I guess.

  4. #4
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    I am 6'4" and have a 21" 29er also. My old hardtail 26" mountain bike was an XL (21") Cannondale and always felt a bit too stretched out for me. I was worried about the same issue with my recently purchased (mail order) 29er - but it feels right.

    In the intervening years between my last mountain bike and the 29er, I have been road riding a lot; I think that may have changed my perception of what fits well. I spent a lot of time and measurement finding the right fit for my road bike. The cockpit on the 29er - which I measured from the widest part of the seat to the handlebars - comes out exactly between the distance measured on my road bikes from the seat to the straight part of the bar, and the seat to my hand position on the brake hoods.

    The thing that I would worry about going with a smaller frame is that my seat tube would really be sticking out of the bike a lot, and it would probably entail getting a higher rise on my stem to manage a comfortable drop from the seat to the handlebars.

    But I also take into account that if I switch between my road bike and my cross bike after not riding one of them for a while, it always feels a bit weird. I think the point of my post is really that with time I am able to adjust to the feel of a bike. So probably after a bunch of rides on this one, a smaller bike would feel weird. Like the last post... I'll just get used to it (although I already really like the feel.)

    While I am consciously not looking back or second guessing, if I shopped in a store and was able to do some longer rides on both sizes my decision could obviously be more informed. You are also an inch shorter than me... maybe you can find a way to try out a smaller frame.

  5. #5
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    6'9" and rode a 20" Chameleon for almost 2 years. Lots of fun for anything but grinding up long climbs.

    I'm thinking of rebuilding that bike as a DS/4X type of build that can still be trail worthy but mainly focused for gravity riding since the frame fits me the way that DJ frames fit my shorter friends.

    A lot of shorter guys spec AM bikes smaller than XC bikes so that they have a shorter bike for more maneuverability, you just end up running tall seatposts. Me riding a 20" frame is just like my riding buddy who is 5'10" riding his 16" Morewood.

  6. #6
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    6'5" - 21" frame on a 29er. It feels great! I can ride for hours and have no back pain! :-)

    I have a hard time knowing if the maneuverability is me or the bike. I need to ride my mountain bike more and get more skilled!

  7. #7
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    i'm 6'4 and ride a 19" GF cobia- it has a 24.5" ETT so i feel good on it. i probably could also be comfortable on a 21". i also have a shorter inseam (around 32"). i feel i'm in between GF sizes but with other manufacturers the XL is too big.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
    - 2011 Salsa El Mariachi XL
    - 2011 Kona Unit (singlespeed) XL

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dairyman
    anyone else feel this way??
    Oh yes.

    For the last 2years I've been riding an 18inch hardtail (I'm 6ft 5). The feel is much better than the 'riding a gate' sensation of of most 20 inch plus frames. With a 400mm post pedalling has been fine, the post still has plenty left in the frame and can be shoved down out of the way for downhills.

    The only problem I've had with it has been the top tube, much too short. Grinding climbs are a pain but the real problem has been my knees. Standing up to pedal has had me mashing them against the bars. The eventual solution has been a custom frame, 18in seat tube but the reach and top tube of a XXL frame. Hopefully problem solved, we'll see when it arrives.

    Manufacturers don't seem to get XL frames. They tend to just extend the seat tube so you end up sat somewhere over the rear axle, nevermind.

  9. #9
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    I'm 6'8" and used to ride a Trek 6700 in a 19" frame. Loved it on smoother terrain where I could throw it round like a BMX but when we moved towns the trails were a lot rougher and my trim (can't think of the non-sailing term but mean the forward and back balance) was so much more critical. Have been riding an XL Trance for 6 weeks now and finding it heaps nicer. Fewer back issues as well which is good.

  10. #10
    Cars Hurt.
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    Basing fit on seat tube measurement may just be very misleading. Like most have mentioned its more about the effective top tube length as well as your stem. My current GT may only be a 20" (I'm 6'6" but it has an ETT equal to many 21"-22" frames.

    In looking for a new frame the 23" frames I looked at had top tubes varying from 24.75 up to 26.25. Your stem can also be a 70mm or 120mm which is almost a 2" difference in your reach.

    Being a big guy I realized I had to avoid seat tube measurements and start looking at top tube. My current bike has a 25" ETT which makes climbing and descending a bit sketchy. If I was back east on tighter flat singletrack I may prefer a smaller frame to be more manuverable.

    It really depends on what your doing and the overall geometry not just the seat tube.

  11. #11
    Ride & Smile
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    I’m 6’5” with a 36” inseam. I purchased the 22” Kona Unit because I liked the top tube length of 25.5” and the head tube length of 6.3”. I am changing the stock stem to a 80mm 17 degree one and adding a 1" riser LUV bar which will bring the handlebar height even with the saddle height. If I had a smaller frame I would have ended up with too many spacers on the headset or too long of a stem.
    Last edited by KanzaKrūzer; 04-12-2011 at 05:53 AM.
    KanzaKrūzer
    Salsa Warbird | Kona Unit

  12. #12
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    I'm 6ft5 and have a Large 2010 Enduro and 19" 2010 Orange P7. Both are on the small side for me but I love the way the smaller Enduro handles. I've decided the P7 is just too small though and it's going - looking for an XL chameleon instead.

  13. #13
    is buachail foighneach me
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    I'm 6'4", 36" inseam, long arms, and tend to prefer 19-20" frames for xc, endurance, play and bikepacking/expedition racing. I've also done extensive touring on an 18" framed Surly 1 x 1. I never had any comfort issues on that bike running a 100mm x 10* stem and 2" riser bars. I like a @24.5 ett, a lower top tube, short headtube, usually 90-110 mm stem and wide flat bars. I come from a bmx and trials background.

  14. #14
    I do what I want
    Reputation: Guy.Ford's Avatar
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    6'4" and with @ 35-36" inseam, I tend to ride the smallest bike I can that has a 24" ETT and I can get full pedal stroke on. I run 425mm Gravity Dropper post and use W-I-D-E bars (780 min) and short 50mm stem. The really wide bar requires short stem and allows for shorter TT.

    My current ride is 19 and has 24.5 ETT and using 50mm stem with 800mm bars (gravity lights), next ride will likely be 19" with 24" ETT and same bar/stem setup.
    Guy.Ford

    I'm not really an @sshole, I just act like one online.

  15. #15
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    6'4", 34 inseam and riding a Large 19.5 hardtail frame. I'm coming from a 21" XL Gary Fisher and it just feels so much better and alive.

  16. #16
    Old Punk
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    I'm 6'3" and ride a 21" because I got used to my xl road frame. I love it, first mtb that actually fits.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

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