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  1. #1
    little mad riding hood
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    yet another Anthem X sizing question - small guys/women?

    Hi all,

    Girl here. I'm 5'4" with a 30.6" measured inseam. I just test rode the Women's Anthem X in both small and medium at the shop. Guess what? Women's geometry doesn't work for me, which I sort of figured, since I've ridden the small end of men's stock sizing for two decades with no issues. I am somewhat average/long waisted for a girl.

    The Women's small Anthem X was way, way too short/upright in the length for me, and while the M felt right in the cockpit, it's too "tall" for me to get comfortable on or feel confident with whilst riding singletrack. There's barely any standover clearance on the Women's M at all.

    They did not have a Small in any model of the men's / unisex Anthem X to try out at all, else I wouldn't be posting this.

    I have a week to decide on a team propurchase deal. I *think* I want the men's Small. I currently have a men's X-Small in the Trance X and it is TOO small/short... I am selling it to get the Anthem X.

    Please help me out - any small dudes or smallish/average girls chime in on what you think. Thanks!

  2. #2
    little mad riding hood
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    and a followup question / musing: I am a roadie and have never ridden a dual suspension bike prior to the Trance X. Is the "tall" stance of these rigs something I just need to get used to / get over?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    yes MTBs are taller - for offroad clearance and to account for suspension travel (it's all caused by the necessity of a higher bottom bracket which will be higher or lower depending on what style of offroad riding you are into - Anthem X should have lower BB than the Trance X, and Reign will be higher than both, although often Downhill bikes have a lower BB than Freeride bikes to maintain a lower center of gravity, which as you probably know is better for turning)

    on the sizing issue, can't really help as I am 6', but I understand the problem. I am between Giant's Medium and Large sizes for the Anthem X. I like the design of the bike (like the 100 mm travel although I wish they kept the steeper geometry of the old Anthem - both of which are better than most XC bikes out there, but still, here's hoping they reintroduce it for 2010).

    However, I will only buy the ANTHEM X in 2010 (and I'm planning on the carbon model) if they produce it in a MEDIUM-LARGE frame size.

  4. #4
    little mad riding hood
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    thanks for the input lookin, I was actually kind of looking more for someone of my size / measurements who had experience with the issue, but I guess there just aren't that many small folk who ride Giants. Honestly, one can tell just from a brief glance at the forums that you have an axe to grind with Giant's sizing as you post almost exactly this rant in nearly every comment. Perhaps it may serve you better to take the issue up direct with Giant rather than flog it all over the site here?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    fair comment. i have taken it up with Giant. i believe they already have a fair degree of customer feedback on this issue because they mentioned that it is something that various parts of the company are already pushing for, so i imagine there is already internal debate on the issue. i'm just hoping they can speed it up so i can get a new bike i want to ride. i would not 'rant' if i thought i was being selfish and i was the only one who would benefit though. i'm 6' which is average height for a man (ie more men around this height than any other, therefore my cause is broader than myself), therefore there must be a stack of other people who feel that they slip between the sizing gaps also. if you look at Giant high performance road bikes for example, they brought out a more extensive sizing range a few years ago. anyway, just responding to your query about my 'rant' - and don't worry, i'm more inclined to wait than 'rant' from now on anyway. if Giant want to sell me a bike they'll make it, otherwise i already have one, and i'm pretty busy with the rest of my life; but hopefully other people will realise they don't have to fall between sizing gaps, that companies will respond to the needs of the market if they want to sell products, and that they should make their needs as customers known, to clear up this asymmetry in the marketplace (or more specifically between Giant and its potential customers).

    anyway, i hope that you can find the right bike for yourself

  6. #6
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    I thought Men's average height was 5' 9".

    To the OP, not sure what you mean by tall. My understanding is that Giant, compared to most other manufacturers, tend to have lower bb heights, allowing the rider to have a sense that they are more "in" the bike than "on" the bike. So the bike shouldn't feel tall, at least relative to other full suspension frames.

    But if by tall, you mean the front end bar height, maybe it's simply a matter of removing some spacers from under the stem to over your stem, or flipping the stem for a negative rise, to get the bars to a height you prefer.

    Regarding the top tube height. I know a few short female riders who are happy if they can get "any" clearance from the top tube. I've read on this site and others that top tube clearance is over-emphasized, and that finding the best top tube length is key (when fitting bikes). While I completely agree, i must admit that I've never had a clearance issue, so I don't know how that lack of clearance "feels" on the trail. Perhaps this might be worth asking about in the MTBR women's forum?

    Good luck, and post pics when you get your steed.

    edit: Sorry, just re-read your post and noticed that by tall, you meant top tube height. As lookin' stated, FS mountain bikes will generally have higher top tubes than other bikes. Still, there are frames from other manufactures with lower TT heights in comparison to the Anthem X - Specialized and the Titus are two brands that come to mind. Not sure if they're better rides, tho.
    Last edited by antonio; 02-26-2009 at 07:17 AM.

  7. #7
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    (more important than what exactly the average height is should be the principle of adding more sizes to the range - that way all heights (wherever you deem the average to be) are much more likely to get an accurate bike frame fit - hope that makes sense - as a thought experiment, imagine your chances of fitting on a bike if a company makes one size compared to ten sizes with much finer gradations - i'm staying out of lonefrontranger's way, this is her thread, i don't mean to broaden her specific request out any further)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    (more important than what exactly the average height is should be the principle of adding more sizes to the range - that way all heights (wherever you deem the average to be) are much more likely to get an accurate bike frame fit - hope that makes sense - as a thought experiment, imagine your chances of fitting on a bike if a company makes one size compared to ten sizes with much finer gradations - i'm staying out of lonefrontranger's way, this is her thread, i don't mean to broaden her specific request out any further)
    Wow, you're a little condescending in your posts (explaining concepts that are easy to understand, then asking people if they follow). Your thread on countersteering was (ahem) insightful.

    Seriously, lookin, it's time to move on. Stop trying to create an issue where one doesn't exist.

  9. #9
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    don't mean to be condescending at all. this sort of forum is a pretty low-fi way to communicate, forcing implication, imputation and assumption constantly, and it's pretty clear from reading some of the other threads that people misunderstand each other all the time, so i was trying to avoid that sort of problem by erring on the side of verbosity at the risk of prolixity (which clearly annoyed you), although i guess we will always run into this time-poor, context-free problem with an inhuman method of communicating...

    (the same way i would never attempt a serious conversation with someone by SMS, and would always prefer to have it in person rather than by phone)

    just trying to be helpful and create an environment of sharing and cooperation (without the narcissism to think i could possibly do this on my own of course), and neither are my remarks intended to be personal

    if you are interested, i am about to add an excellent link to the origins of my understanding for the technique i use for drifting (will put it on the countersteering thread...)

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookin
    don't mean to be condescending at all...
    Don't deny it, justify it, or explain it away. Embrace it.


  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    looking at our profile photos, you may think i'm condescending (most people don't) but i'm just a humble donkey and you are a roaring panther!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    You're not familiar with Thundercats?!?!?!

  13. #13
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    oh - that's a blast from the past! i had completely forgotten. no doubt they'll make a film about it one day!

  14. #14
    little mad riding hood
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    hi antonio - what I mean by "tall" is how far up I feel off the ground. I think what my issue is, is I'm so used to riding hardtails and road bikes, that the extra height bothers me a little. Even my XS Trance X (which is too short for me lengthways and hurt my back on longer rides) felt very "lofty" once I was in the saddle. The first few rides I was tentative as I just didn't feel like I could get a foot on the ground easily in case of a screwup. The more I rode it, the more I got over it tho.

  15. #15
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    Yeah, it's all relative. When I first rode my Trance X (men's M) I was so impressed with how much "lower" and more centered I felt on it in comparison to my 575, which was only 1/4" taller and about an inch longer in the wheelbase.

    You do get used to the height, I believe. My wife loved her old 2003 ETSX, even tho it had, IMO, a REALLY tall 13.75" bb height. For references sake, she's 5'3", with long limbs, and her current ride ('07 575 - we're Yeti fans) has a 22.4" tt length, which she rides with a 90mm stem.

    It makes sense you'd prefer a more stretched out cockpit, with your road background. I hope you find an Anthem X that fits.

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