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  1. #1
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    Weirdly comfortable on a small bike

    Today I spotted the SS Surly Cross Check marked down to a nice price. That's a pretty rare thing around here, so I asked for a test ride even though it's a 54cm frame and I'm 195cm/6'4".

    And it felt great. The drop to the bars was a bit severe, but it's a low-rise stem and the bars were rotated downward, so a steeper stem and/or riser bars would bring it up by quite a bit. It also seemed just the right place to get drops on comfortably. The only time it felt weird is standing up to pedal, when it felt a bit BMX-y.

    Based on height I shouldn't really be on anything less than a 58cm, but I've also had heaps of trouble getting a good fit on what should be a proper size, because I've got a short, inflexible torso on massively long legs.

    So am I kidding myself? If I buy a bike this size will it start to feel uncomfortable after a short while?

  2. #2
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    Did you have a full leg extension, were you well positioned fore and aft over the pedals and was there enough between your knees and the bars when turning?

    As for the feel when stood up - the wheelbase won't change much if at all. I'd personally doubt it looks right and that's probably a lot of seatpost. Don't convince yourself because it is a good price.

  3. #3
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    I've always had frames that were a smaller size. At 6'1" I currently ride a 17" SE Stout and a "long" TR Double. If you are comfy, get the bike. BMX-y = Fun!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Did you have a full leg extension, were you well positioned fore and aft over the pedals and was there enough between your knees and the bars when turning?

    As for the feel when stood up - the wheelbase won't change much if at all. I'd personally doubt it looks right and that's probably a lot of seatpost. Don't convince yourself because it is a good price.
    Seat was at the right height, but pretty much at max on a 300mm post, and the knee clearance seemed okay. Pedalling was fine when seated, but a bit jackhammer-y standing.

    I'm not sure if the feel when standing is just because the bars were low, with the MotoAces oriented downward. It actually rode a lot like my 22" 1x1 before I got some good rise on the bars.

    You're right that I'm partially trying to talk myself into it because I like a bargain, but it didn't feel wrong, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by pebbles View Post
    I've always had frames that were a smaller size. At 6'1" I currently ride a 17" SE Stout and a "long" TR Double.
    Internet says that's a 23.7" TT on the Stout. Pretty long. What's the ETT?


    I was careful not to buy the Cross Check on impulse, so I might go back tomorrow and see if they'll get the bars right so I can try again. It seems Quixotic, but I've had so much trouble getting a bike to fit that I'll try something odd!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Seat was at the right height, but pretty much at max on a 300mm post, and the knee clearance seemed okay. Pedalling was fine when seated, but a bit jackhammer-y standing.

    I'm not sure if the feel when standing is just because the bars were low, with the MotoAces oriented downward. It actually rode a lot like my 22" 1x1 before I got some good rise on the bars.

    You're right that I'm partially trying to talk myself into it because I like a bargain, but it didn't feel wrong, either.


    Internet says that's a 23.7" TT on the Stout. Pretty long. What's the ETT?


    I was careful not to buy the Cross Check on impulse, so I might go back tomorrow and see if they'll get the bars right so I can try again. It seems Quixotic, but I've had so much trouble getting a bike to fit that I'll try something odd!
    6'4" on a 54cm frame?

    Too odd. Walk away and save yourself the money and hassle of figuring out it is way too small later (like when the front end goes into a nearly uncontrolable shimmy).

    Much better, if you have an odd torso/arm/leg length combination, to get a custom frame designed for your unique blend of body parts.

    I'd say go the other way. Move into 61/62/63/64cm frames at your height with stems/spacers/bars that dial in your fit.

  6. #6
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    You'd make the bike fit by having too much seatpost and then too much stem & bar. They would give you far more flex than you would have if the frame were bigger and that isn't a good thing for a big guy. The bigger bikes also have 5mm longer cranks which would be a small improvement for you as well.
    Don't kid yourself because it is interesting and cheap. Look at the Soma ES road frame for something nice, a little bit different and available in sizes to suit you!

  7. #7
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    Weirdly comfortable on a small bike

    Cheers all. I'll take a deep breath and walk away from this one.

    Next time, Gadget.

  8. #8
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    Okay first of all I'm kind of a Nicolai whore so when a friend offer me this size Medium frame I was a little concern with the size but I decide to give it a try any way and so far I like it a lot even if is a inch to short..


    For reference I'm almost 6.2" with 33" legs (short ones)

    This Maverick ML-7 is my typical size..
    Weirdly comfortable on a small bike-img_5211-m.jpg

  9. #9
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    That Maverick isn't typical anything!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    That Maverick isn't typical anything!
    Well it fits me like a glove..

    Ps: all the parts are pretty much standard Maverick parts..

  11. #11
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    It might be, but for a guy with short legs you have an awful lot of seatpost showing. With the angle of that seatpost you have a lot of weight very far back and close to the rear axle. I'd guess it rides light on the front wheel. I used to have a Scott Genius with a seat position like that before I found bikes that were better suited to me and that wheelied anywhere because my weight was so far back.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    It might be, but for a guy with short legs you have an awful lot of seatpost showing. With the angle of that seatpost you have a lot of weight very far back and close to the rear axle. I'd guess it rides light on the front wheel. I used to have a Scott Genius with a seat position like that before I found bikes that were better suited to me and that wheelied anywhere because my weight was so far back.
    Oh you are totally right she does look kind of strange, I have the saddle all the way forward and still feels a little far back, but in reality it rides super nice, in fact I have 30 bikes (well 26 are my size the rest my wifes) and the ML-7 is my favorite bike to ride..

  13. #13
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    300 mm seat post is nothing. A lot of us tall guys use a 410 mm seat post (on mountain bikes) and extend them most of the way. I say if you are happy with how it rides, go for it.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, 410mm on my Double makes it work for XC stuff.

  15. #15
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    Not doing this to resurrect an old post, but I'm using a lot of stem on a 2011 Diamondback Outlook I picked up the other day, but the XL was only 22", and the L I have is 20". But like pebbles said in post #3, it gives you a BMXy feel. (=fun).

  16. #16
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    I used to ride a bike to small.
    It felt light, snappy and looked kinda cute
    Then I rode a bike truly my size.
    Rolling thunder between my thighs
    Over and up anything my fitness can deliver
    A properly fit bike is a winner
    Keep pedaling no matter what

  17. #17
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    The bike, it is said,
    is a variable steed
    with types and sizes
    to fit any need.
    Some like a big frame,
    and other like small.
    But ride what you've got.
    For right now, that is all.

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