Am getting closer to an Ibis SL purchase. I've done the research. I've used the Competitive Cyclist fitment guide (I'm a M). I'm using 15+ years of riding experience, but am having an issue deciding. I'm 5'10 with a porportional torso, 186lbs, 31 in inseam and 33 in arm.
Since finances are now in place, I went to an Ibis dealer and rode some bikes. I rode special blends in M and L, both had an 80mm ibis stem. The medium felt a little small to me. Not so much like a cramped cockpit feel, but that feeling that too much of your body extends over the front wheel in a stand up on the pedals decending riding stance. Clearance between my knee and elbows seated while pedaling felt/looked right.
The large was better in the stand up over the front wheel descent stance, but I could definately feel the longer reach in my lower back. So going from a 80mm down to a 50mm stem would give me about 1 in less reach.
I also considered what I'd be using the bike for primarily. XC and singletrack. Guy at the store recommended the M. I understood why. Shorter wheelbase, good for tight switchbacks, M frame is very "huckable" for a person my size. I just can't get over that "this bike is too small for you feeling" when I'm standing over the front wheel.
Past experiences with Specialized, Giant, Trek, GT, Moto have always been medium frame. Larges have always been too big. However, Ibis is a different animal, both the feel and the ride.
I was able to get comfortable on both bikes for the most part. Playing with saddle height took care of this. Each frame was right in one or more places but not in another. I just don't have a solid gut feeling about what is right in this case. Based on my research, I know that most don't neccessarily ride in as much of a relaxed position on a mojo, but I prefer this. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.
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Thread: Another what size frame thread