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  1. #1
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    Top Tube Measurement on Giant's Website - Actual or Effective?

    I sold my Santa Cruz Superlight 26" after 10 years of use and am now shopping for a new ride. I am focused on FS 29ers (Anthem X, Marin Rift Zone) but am also considering a carbon hardtail (XTC, Marin CXR), which some say will not beat me up too bad with 29" wheels, a lower pressure tubeless tire set up and maybe even a Thudbuster.

    I am looking at bikes at local shops and trying to compare sizes. At 6'2" with a 35.5" inseam, I find myself preferring the XL size in the most brands. My old Santa Cruz was an XL. Most sizing charts have a person with my dimensions on the border between L and XL. The Giant bikes seem like they might run a bit big, however. I have not been able to sit on a L and XL Anthem yet, but the top tube measurements seem a bit longer than the other big brands, if I am reading the geometry charts correctly.

    My question:

    On the Giant website is the top tube measurement shown the "actual" top tube or the "effective" top tube? Some other brands show both actual and effective top tube, with effective being longer since it measures head tube to seat tube at seat height instead of at frame height. Anybody know?

  2. #2
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    Pretty sure it's effective as I was researching the same thing when deciding what size Ragley Piglet frame I needed.

    I think an XL would be too big for you. I'm a little under 6'3" and am comfortable on a L size Trance X with a 65mm stem (down from the OEM 100mm pole).

    I do have the seat a fair way back on its rails but I wouldn't really want the top tube any longer.

  3. #3
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    I am 6'2" and 34" inside leg.
    I ride an Anthem X29 in large with a 100mm stem and a XTC 29 in XL with a 90mm stem.
    They are both comfortable with the Anthem more chuckable which I use for trail riding.
    I use the XTC for XC racing and it feels suited to the task.
    The Anthem feels good in a large but I tried a few hardtails in 29 and large always felt small.
    They both suit their jobs well.
    Horses for courses!
    I would try both before you decide.
    Thanx,
    Max

  4. #4
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    Max,

    I am still going back and forth on whether I want a HT for something new or if I will stick with another FS bike (see another thread I started: First 29er for AZ Trails - New 2013 Marin CXR HT vs. Used 2008 Turner Sultan?) If you skim the first post in the thread, you can see my riding style.

    Since you own both and Anthem and an XTC, you are the perfect person to suggest whether I should try a HT or not for my type of riding. You have already helped in clarifying that I should probably lean to an XL if I do go HT.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by my12by60 View Post
    Max,

    I am still going back and forth on whether I want a HT for something new or if I will stick with another FS bike (see another thread I started: First 29er for AZ Trails - New 2013 Marin CXR HT vs. Used 2008 Turner Sultan?) If you skim the first post in the thread, you can see my riding style.

    Since you own both and Anthem and an XTC, you are the perfect person to suggest whether I should try a HT or not for my type of riding. You have already helped in clarifying that I should probably lean to an XL if I do go HT.
    Hi,
    I must say a couple of years ago I was a fs devotee and even raced on fs.
    The reason I went for the hardtail was for something lighter and maintenance free.
    Our local trails are a mudfest and destroy bearings!
    I would say the 29 wheels make a hardtail more capable but if I ever am going somewhere more technical or the unknown the Anthem would be my first choice.
    It will cope well with the rock gardens,even against long travel rigs but is still light enough to ride more mellow runs.
    Mine is weighing in around 26 lbs.
    The hardtail is always going to be lighter,mines around 21.5 lbs (alloy!)
    But if I was keeping the one bike it would be the Anthem.
    I might even use it for certain races next year.
    Thanx,
    Max

  6. #6
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    Good info. I don't have the space or the budget for two bikes, which is really the perfect solution -- take the HT on smoother, faster rides and the FS on rockier runs.

    Everybody seems to love the Anthem. Unfortunately, that means that less Anthems show up in the resale market and the price commanded usually is not in the bargain zone that I like to operate in.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by my12by60 View Post
    I sold my Santa Cruz Superlight 26" after 10 years of use and am now shopping for a new ride. I am focused on FS 29ers (Anthem X, Marin Rift Zone) but am also considering a carbon hardtail (XTC, Marin CXR), which some say will not beat me up too bad with 29" wheels, a lower pressure tubeless tire set up and maybe even a Thudbuster.

    I am looking at bikes at local shops and trying to compare sizes. At 6'2" with a 35.5" inseam, I find myself preferring the XL size in the most brands. My old Santa Cruz was an XL. Most sizing charts have a person with my dimensions on the border between L and XL. The Giant bikes seem like they might run a bit big, however. I have not been able to sit on a L and XL Anthem yet, but the top tube measurements seem a bit longer than the other big brands, if I am reading the geometry charts correctly.

    My question:

    On the Giant website is the top tube measurement shown the "actual" top tube or the "effective" top tube? Some other brands show both actual and effective top tube, with effective being longer since it measures head tube to seat tube at seat height instead of at frame height. Anybody know?
    FWIW, I'm 6'1.5" with a 34.5" inseam, and I ride a size XL Giant HT 29er. I could've gone with either XL or large, but the guys at the shop told me I looked better on the XL. They said I looked a little too cramped on the large. It felt that way to me, too. On the XL, I dropped my stem length to 90 mm, when I first bought the bike, and have since dropped even further, to 75 mm, after putting on a wider bar. I'm a bigger dude, too; tall and stout. I weigh about 245 - 250 pounds with complete ride gear. You didn't mention anything about your build, but even at your height and inseam length I really doubt you're going to fancy a large over an XL.

  8. #8
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    I think your 10 year old Superlight had a short top tube by today's standards. My 2001 superlight top tube is 1.5 inches shorter than my Intense 29er, both mediums. I was running a 120mm stem back in the day, now I'm running a 60 on my new bike.

  9. #9
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    dshoe - Thanks for the info on sizing. BTW, I am lanky and 165lbs. When I was in a Giant shop the guy that was helping me also said that I looked too cramped on a L and recommended an XL. The shop only had a Trance in L for me to cruise the parking lot on.

    smilinsteve - I was able to find the geometry chart for a 2001 SC SL on line. I could not find the chart for model year 2000, but I don't think any geometry changes took place between 2000 and 2001. The "actual" top tube measurement was 24", which is more like the actual top tube on many bikes today in the L size vs. my XL Santa Cruz. My old Santa Cruz did have quite a long stem, however. I think the original owner was a tall guy that had to modify the XL to make it fit him as well as possible.

  10. #10
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    I was surfing for info on the Giant XTC and came upon this link.

    2013 Giant XtC Advanced SL 29er 1 carbon xc race bike - Shop Giant ? The Official Giant Bikes & Gear Shop

    So Giant is recommending a large size for my height (6' 2") and inseam (35,5"). Yet a few riders with my size profile feel better on the XL.

  11. #11
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    We're all in a tough spot. I'm 6'2.5" and a 34.5 inch inseam. I weigh 200lbs. I ride XL cross country bikes and Large all mountain/trail bikes.

    My Anthem is an XL but I shortened the stem from the stock 110mm to 100mm and on the Giant seatpost you can swap the rail clamp around to near zero offset so I've done that. Now it fits perfectly. On the Trance X29er, I definitely ride a large. The XL felt huge and I didn't feel like I had room to move about the bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by my12by60 View Post
    I was surfing for info on the Giant XTC and came upon this link.

    2013 Giant XtC Advanced SL 29er 1 carbon xc race bike - Shop Giant ? The Official Giant Bikes & Gear Shop

    So Giant is recommending a large size for my height (6' 2") and inseam (35,5"). Yet a few riders with my size profile feel better on the XL.
    According to that link, Giant "recommends" a size large for me, also. I rode both large and XL, back-to-back, during a same visit to the LBS. The guys there said I could go with either size, and just adjust the stem accordingly. I felt "better" on the XL, while riding around. They were afraid that with the large, I would need a fairly long stem and that would put me too far out over the front wheel. I agreed. The XL, for me, provides a more stable ride. Also, my LBS told me (and I've read/heard the same thing from plenty of other sources) that the utmost important subject about choosing a new bike frame is effective top tube length. Supposedly, nothing else is as important, within reason. You're first message, which started this thread was about top tube length, too, so you're on the right track with that. I know it's likely difficult to do, but the only sure fire way to tell for certain what your body really prefers is to be able to ride both large and XL sizes back-to-back, like I did. Another thing you can do is see what the Zinn Calculator says about you. Do a search for it. I did the measurements, long after buying my size XL, and Zinn says I need an XL according to my measurements and Giant's geometry specs (not Giant's generic, overall body height measurements).

  13. #13
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    I went and found the Zinn Calculator which produced some interesting results. The recommended top tube length for an aggressive rider with my dimensions was 24.7". I had to laugh because that is almost dead in between the L and XL top tube length for some of the bikes I have been looking at. Another interesting result was that very long cranks (187mm) were recommended. I read that Zinn sells some of these very long cranks and is a big advocate of the idea that many riders are using cranks that are too short. I don't think I want to mess around with custom cranks, but the exercise of using that calculator was interesting, nonetheless.

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