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  1. #1
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    Size Up with Giant or Specialized Frames

    Would appreciate some advice...

    Planning to get a bike - one of the following:

    Giant Anthem X (Medium or Large)
    Giant Trance X (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Epic (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Stumpjumper (Medium or Large)

    ... and I think that fit is probably more critical than other factors (eg 4 or 5 inches of suspension) assuming the above four models (8 if accounting for sizing) are all good bikes

    I am 182.5cm (a smidge under 6'0 - Giant sizing chart say Medium is compatible to rider heights up to 6'1 and the Large size range begins at 6'0)

    My inseam is 87cm (ie there is a fair amount of seatpost on bikes I ride)

    It seem that I am in a bit of a no man's land when it comes to the frame sizing charts, almost like I should be riding a Giant size Medium-Large, but they don't make that size for mountain bikes (unlike road bikes).

    Having test ridden most of the above combinations (sic), the two that feel best in terms of body position on the bike are the Giant Anthem X (Medium) and the Specialized Stumpjumper (Large). The Large Stumpjumper feels better (more comfortable) than the Medium Anthem X (which has a hint of upper back strain), but both feel reasonable (although the grips on the handlebars are about 4-5cm below my seat height on the Medium Anthem X), and I probably prefer the concept of the Anthem X.

    I am also more partial to Giant's Maestro floating pivot point suspension than I am to Specialized FSR Brain system. It seems to me that the Brain was invoked to deal with a suboptimal initial system as there seems to be a better pedal platform on the Giant (at least with the Brain thing turned off - and I'm not that into having a million things to adjust on the trail). The other reason I am more partial to 4 inches is that I am more inclined to off-road 'touring' (long and comfortable but not very hardcore trail rides) than I am to dropping, jumping or hanging out in rock gardens. So I would expect the bike to be comfortable over 3 to 6 hour rides.

    By comparison to the above two bikes, the Large Anthem X and Large Epic feel quite stretched out, as does the Large Trance X. The first two seem to create a hint of upper back strain as well. All three of these large size bikes also seem to have compromised handling - not enough weight on the front wheel - with me on them. The handling of the Large Stumpjumper is reasonable (with me on it) and the Anthem X is knife-like in its surety and precision.

    It's a pity that these companies don't produce the same choices of mountain bike frame sizes as they do road bike frames (for which a Giant Defy Advanced Medium-Large fits me perfectly, as does a Large Giant CRX for that matter).

    Any suggestions on which frame size (from the above mountain bike models) I should be dealing with, compromising with? I definitely don't want to plough thousands on a bike that gives me back strain of any sort. It's hard to tell whether the awareness of mild back strain is a result of adjusting to a new bike and that the sensations might go away over time, or indeed if the problem may worsen into something that causes me serious buyer's regret...

    Should I lobby the bike companies to make more sizes?

  2. #2
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    I'm no fit expert, and cannot say bike A is the one for you. Only you can decide which bike fits you and your riding style best. I am also 6' and run into this between size thing often.

    I find that USUALLY a L or M can be customized to fit me, with stem and seat post changes. I usually end up going with a large with a shorter stem, and a straight post.

    See if the shop will swap out stems and posts until you find your perfect fit.

  3. #3
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    Also, for what it's worth, I will be moving away from the FSR design to a maestro or dwl design with my next bike purchase.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    Would appreciate some advice...

    Planning to get a bike - one of the following:

    Giant Anthem X (Medium or Large)
    Giant Trance X (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Epic (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Stumpjumper (Medium or Large)

    ... and I think that fit is probably more critical than other factors (eg 4 or 5 inches of suspension) assuming the above four models (8 if accounting for sizing) are all good bikes

    I am 182.5cm (a smidge under 6'0 - Giant sizing chart say Medium is compatible to rider heights up to 6'1 and the Large size range begins at 6'0)

    My inseam is 87cm (ie there is a fair amount of seatpost on bikes I ride)

    It seem that I am in a bit of a no man's land when it comes to the frame sizing charts, almost like I should be riding a Giant size Medium-Large, but they don't make that size for mountain bikes (unlike road bikes).

    Having test ridden most of the above combinations (sic), the two that feel best in terms of body position on the bike are the Giant Anthem X (Medium) and the Specialized Stumpjumper (Large). The Large Stumpjumper feels better (more comfortable) than the Medium Anthem X (which has a hint of upper back strain), but both feel reasonable (although the grips on the handlebars are about 4-5cm below my seat height on the Medium Anthem X), and I probably prefer the concept of the Anthem X.

    I am also more partial to Giant's Maestro floating pivot point suspension than I am to Specialized FSR Brain system. It seems to me that the Brain was invoked to deal with a suboptimal initial system as there seems to be a better pedal platform on the Giant (at least with the Brain thing turned off - and I'm not that into having a million things to adjust on the trail). The other reason I am more partial to 4 inches is that I am more inclined to off-road 'touring' (long and comfortable but not very hardcore trail rides) than I am to dropping, jumping or hanging out in rock gardens. So I would expect the bike to be comfortable over 3 to 6 hour rides.

    By comparison to the above two bikes, the Large Anthem X and Large Epic feel quite stretched out, as does the Large Trance X. The first two seem to create a hint of upper back strain as well. All three of these large size bikes also seem to have compromised handling - not enough weight on the front wheel - with me on them. The handling of the Large Stumpjumper is reasonable (with me on it) and the Anthem X is knife-like in its surety and precision.

    It's a pity that these companies don't produce the same choices of mountain bike frame sizes as they do road bike frames (for which a Giant Defy Advanced Medium-Large fits me perfectly, as does a Large Giant CRX for that matter).

    Any suggestions on which frame size (from the above mountain bike models) I should be dealing with, compromising with? I definitely don't want to plough thousands on a bike that gives me back strain of any sort. It's hard to tell whether the awareness of mild back strain is a result of adjusting to a new bike and that the sensations might go away over time, or indeed if the problem may worsen into something that causes me serious buyer's regret...

    Should I lobby the bike companies to make more sizes?
    I can only comment on the AnthemX. I am 6 0' and with a 34' inseam (sorry, don't know what that is in cm) and started with an medium. I rode it a few times, liked the handling, but it was tight with a 130mm stem and the seat dropped back too. I spoke to a bike fitter who comfirmed my suspiscions that the Large was a better bike for me. I switched and have never looked back. At first, a couple of rides in, I wasn't all that comfortable on it. However, you can't expect to have it feel like a glove immediately if everything is not adjusted accordingly. I have too suggestions...

    1. Get the large, as the medium says right on it 5 7' to 5 10' recommended rider height and you are above that (this is a general rule)
    2. Get a proper fitting to ensure that the stem length, seat height and set back are configured properly to the frame size.

    Doing this you should confirm after a few rides that the large is the way to go. Just my $0.02.
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day doing anything else...

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  5. #5
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    Hi

    just a few thoughts to add to the helpful previous posts- I am approx 5ft 11" 3with an 3" in-seam and ride a large trance x with a straight seat post and a 90mm stem. The fit is great for me - I tried a Med and found it to be to short in the top tube, as per the previous post a straight seatpost and a shortish stem is far better than a seat right back on a layback post and a 120mm+ stem - making up for a short top tube. Incidentally, I think the geometry on the Anthem X is different i.e. longer top tube on both the med and large than the trance x. No experience of the Spesh's so can't comment.....

    cheers

  6. #6
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    thanks for the comments -

    do people who prefer the Large over the Medium with similar dimensions like it because it is more comfortable, or more stretched out (or am I contradicting myself)? Obviously I don't want to build tension and strain my upper back by being either too stretched or too cramped.

    Also, on deciding about the Large, did you find that it was less maneuvrable? Was that an issue for you?



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    I can only comment on the AnthemX. I am 6 0' and with a 34' inseam (sorry, don't know what that is in cm) and started with an medium. I rode it a few times, liked the handling, but it was tight with a 130mm stem and the seat dropped back too. I spoke to a bike fitter who comfirmed my suspiscions that the Large was a better bike for me. I switched and have never looked back. At first, a couple of rides in, I wasn't all that comfortable on it. However, you can't expect to have it feel like a glove immediately if everything is not adjusted accordingly. I have too suggestions...

    1. Get the large, as the medium says right on it 5 7' to 5 10' recommended rider height and you are above that (this is a general rule)
    2. Get a proper fitting to ensure that the stem length, seat height and set back are configured properly to the frame size.

    Doing this you should confirm after a few rides that the large is the way to go. Just my $0.02.

    interesting about the label you saw on the Medium frame. have not noticed this, however the official Giant sizing chart circulated in Australia does give a sizing range which 'theoretically' goes up to 6'1

    thanks for your input - i need all the $0.02 i can get

    also, you might be interested: 1 inch = 2.54cm

    if you put 'unit conversion' into Google there are calculators to convert all sorts of things, such as miles to kilometres - given the world doesn't speak a common language of numbers


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansevo
    Hi

    just a few thoughts to add to the helpful previous posts- I am approx 5ft 11" 3with an 3" in-seam and ride a large trance x with a straight seat post and a 90mm stem. The fit is great for me - I tried a Med and found it to be to short in the top tube, as per the previous post a straight seatpost and a shortish stem is far better than a seat right back on a layback post and a 120mm+ stem - making up for a short top tube. Incidentally, I think the geometry on the Anthem X is different i.e. longer top tube on both the med and large than the trance x. No experience of the Spesh's so can't comment.....

    cheers

    didn't quite get that inseam measurement...

    87cm is 34.3'' btw

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    interesting about the label you saw on the Medium frame. have not noticed this, however the official Giant sizing chart circulated in Australia does give a sizing range which 'theoretically' goes up to 6'1

    thanks for your input - i need all the $0.02 i can get

    also, you might be interested: 1 inch = 2.54cm

    if you put 'unit conversion' into Google there are calculators to convert all sorts of things, such as miles to kilometres - given the world doesn't speak a common language of numbers

    Thanks for the conversion...I actually did know the calculation being metric here in Canada, I was just too lazy to do it and for height references, we generally still use feet and inches. Medium up to 6 1'? That's ridiculous. That's way too tall even with all of the other variables such as stem and seat position maxed out. Someone should be smacked for that!
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day doing anything else...

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    thanks for the comments -

    do people who prefer the Large over the Medium with similar dimensions like it because it is more comfortable, or more stretched out (or am I contradicting myself)? Obviously I don't want to build tension and strain my upper back by being either too stretched or too cramped.

    Also, on deciding about the Large, did you find that it was less maneuvrable? Was that an issue for you?


    No issues whatsoever with handling going to the large. Don't buy a bike that doesn't fit and gives you tension in your back because it's too time. Again, get a proper fitting at your shop and you should be good to go. I can't tell you from experience that I found the medium quite twitchy and although fast, I am quicker now on the large. We aren't comparing a medium to an XL. Being 6 0' with a 34" (86 cm) inseam, the bike fit guru at the shop I bought it from said there was no way he would have ever put me on a medium (it was my doing originally). Another $0.02 for you.
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day doing anything else...

    http://www.apexracephotography.com

  11. #11
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    sorry typo - the in-seam should read 33". By the way. the trance x has headset spacers and a 1" stack thickness conical washer fitted (on my UK model bike but should be the same for rest of world) which puts the bars quite high up - so will help your back - my personal preference was to remove the spacers / conical washer to drop the bars as the front end is quite high anyhow!!
    Regarding manoueverability with the large - no complaints from me, the dropped top tube gives loads of standover and if you drop the saddle on technical singletrack the bike can be thrown around with ease, with the benefit of stability of the large frame - if that doesn't sound like a contradiction!!

    cheers

  12. #12
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    so you have all been extremely helpful

    and even though 70% of people would ride the large Anthem X (it seems), it's very hard to look past those who swear by the Medium size. (and even though handling on the large might be ok when one is up and moving the bike around underneath, i cannot see that being the case when one is riding seated or hovering above the seat - short wheelbases and probably weight distribution is often overlooked in trying to be comfortable, but unlike the old days, comfort is as important as handling, and aerodynamics is considered redundant for trail riding)

    this may sound like a cop out, but i am going to stay away from the Anthem X (in Medium or Large). it is certainly my favourite bike design - especially its characteristics on the medium frame for my dimensions - with the market leading Maestro suspension, 4 inches of travel, steep head angle, shorter wheelbase, and light weight

    the bike which fits me best is the Large Stumpjumper, and its a good bike, but not one that i have any great desire for, and it certainly does not have my preferred suspension design and definitely does not have my preferred geometry and weight - i would certainly not buy a new one though, and might get one second hand just to have a ride at the moment, or only get it if there is some deep discount on the thing, so i can be sure that the market is not getting the wrong price signals from me. Overall, the market will certainly get few of my dollars, Giant will lose their sale from me at the moment for not having a Medium-Large size, which hopefully they will bring into production in due course, but the Specialized company will not gain much either (because i am not endorsing their bike designs, only the fit, which should not be so hard to achieve for any manufacturer with a proper range of sizes), and so although i may be riding a Large Stumpjumper over the next couple of years, maybe, and somewhat reluctantly, as soon as Giant brings out their Medium-Large size, which is the gap in their frame sizes, BANG! I will be onto it

    well, i guess it is not really a cop because i have made the decision that BIKE FIT IS SO CRITICAL that getting the bike that fits properly (without excessive stem, handlebar, seatpost adjustments, etc) is more important that getting the bike you want (in terms of outright design and engineering prowess - a lot of people talk about how good Specialized's research capability is, but I'm pretty sure they just advertise it more than Giant do, which is unfortunate for the perception of Giant because research dollars translate directly into innovation and everyone wants the technology to improve, however Giant does do innovation pretty damn well, and they embrace complexity and sophistication over complication, what i am saying is that a lot of their design is more seamless with the bike, more subtle, at least as effective)




    another aside on bike fit: for those who know road bikes, i would dearly love to have a Giant TCR Advanced SL bike, but I simply cannot ride any of the sizes because the geometry is all wrong for me (i get bent over in a position that will do long term damage to my family prospects); on the other hand the Giant Defy Advanced is an excellent bike and fits me perfectly as it comes. (well i could ride a TCR if i was desperate to, but it would look pretty bizarre having a riser bar on that bike)

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