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  1. #1
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    New question here. Advice on frame superlight size

    Dear all,

    I am embarking on a quest to build a superlight. However, I am still undecided on the frame size that would best fit me. I stand at 177cm so I'm kinda in-between that of a M and L-size. Thus I would like to seek the opinion of fellow SL owner's. What do you reckon would be a better option?

  2. #2
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    Got a medium Super Light

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinox73
    Dear all,

    I am embarking on a quest to build a superlight. However, I am still undecided on the frame size that would best fit me. I stand at 177cm so I'm kinda in-between that of a M and L-size. Thus I would like to seek the opinion of fellow SL owner's. What do you reckon would be a better option?
    I'm almost 5' 10" and also between sizes

    I also have a large Chameleon that I used to think fit me perfect until I started riding a medium SL and medium HT. I've found the smaller MTBS rocket upward better and are easier to throw around on the scary fast technical downhill sections.

  3. #3
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    Frame size for SL

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinox73
    Dear all,

    I am embarking on a quest to build a superlight. However, I am still undecided on the frame size that would best fit me. I stand at 177cm so I'm kinda in-between that of a M and L-size. Thus I would like to seek the opinion of fellow SL owner's. What do you reckon would be a better option?
    ************************************************** ***************************************
    (((( There was a math error in my calcs below... read my next post ))))
    ************************************************** ***************************************

    Sprecken ze English... If my math is correct that's five foot eight. I'm five eleven and ride the large Superlight. I have a 32 inch inseam and long long arms and short legs. The large Superlight fits me perfectly but, because of the tight cockpit, I have to use a 120mm stem and one 1/4" spacer under a thick Kore Elite stem. In my opinion you should go with the medium or you're going to be pushing a bigger bike than you can handle.

    Do a standover test too. First, put on some tight cycling shorts or whatever.. Next put on your cycling shoes. Straddle the SL top tube with your butt against the point of the seat. Take three fingers and vertically shove them between your crotch and the bike. They should fit in there comfortably. I doubt you could do that with a large SL.

    I can't swear by this, but the saying goes "If you spend more time in the air, go with a size smaller - if you spend more time crosscountry pedalling go bigger. But in your case I'd suggest medium. However the best thing to do is go talk to your LBS, that's what they get paid to do... fit you to a bike. You'll pay more but at least you get a bike that works.
    Last edited by whangen; 02-10-2006 at 10:42 AM.

  4. #4
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    redid my cm conversion...

    Quote Originally Posted by whangen
    Sprecken ze English... If my math is correct that's five foot eight. I'm five eleven and ride the large Superlight. I have a 32 inch inseam and long long arms and short legs. The large Superlight fits me perfectly but, because of the tight cockpit, I have to use a 120mm stem and one 1/4" spacer under a thick Kore Elite stem. In my opinion you should go with the medium or you're going to be pushing a bigger bike than you can handle.

    Do a standover test too. First, put on some tight cycling shorts or whatever.. Next put on your cycling shoes. Straddle the SL top tube with your butt against the point of the seat. Take three fingers and vertically shove them between your crotch and the bike. They should fit in there comfortably. I doubt you could do that with a large SL.

    I can't swear by this, but the saying goes "If you spend more time in the air, go with a size smaller - if you spend more time crosscountry pedalling go bigger. But in your case I'd suggest medium. However the best thing to do is go talk to your LBS, that's what they get paid to do... fit you to a bike. You'll pay more but at least you get a bike that works.
    Sorry. Dumb math error. 177cm is 5' 9.5" instead of 5' 8", as I so blithely calculated.

    Soooooo, I guess you are borderline large. Ignor all else above except take into consideration my advice in the last paragraph about "airtime vs ground time". Also consider my setup tips, tho I'm somewhat taller than you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by whangen
    Sprecken ze English... If my math is correct that's five foot eight
    I get 5' 9.68" (177/2.54) 69.68"

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks a million guys (especially to whangen )! I went down to our local distributor and tried both an M & L frame. I didn't have much of an issue with the standover clearance on both sizes. Both sizes seem to fit, although I seem to feel more comfortable on a M as compared to an L.

    At first the M felt a bit too small, but straddling the L frame felt kinda scary especially when I'm seated. If I were to ride a L, I'd probably have to lower the seat post by a fair bit. As for the M-frame, I guess I could easily overcome the problem by using a longer stem (>110mm). But I reckon the M would provide me with more maneuverability in singletrack.

    I've also sent an email to Scott Turner at SCB and got an instantaneous reply, that's excellent service for you! I've attached his response below:

    Correct fit really depends on the individual riders own personal preference, and is a little hard to dial in via e-mail, but I can give you my best general input.

    At 177cm tall you are kind of on the fence between sizes for the Superlight.
    It depends a bit on what type of riding you like to do, but for general cross-country riding at 177cm I would usually recommend the Large size frame. With the Large, you can run a shorter stem to get the reach to the bars where you like it, (Most riders seem to like short stems these days) and the standover height is only 1/2 an inch higher than the Medium, so this is not much of an issue.
    If you do a lot of technical riding (tight technical singletrack, log hops,
    etc.) and want a bike that you can "throw around" a bit easier go with the Medium.

    If possible, it is always best to actually sit on the size you are going to order, before you get it, just to make sure.
    Your local Authorized Santa Cruz Dealer should be able to offer more "hands-on" fit assistance.


    Thanks for everything guys, now it just boils down to getting the correct color. I'm eyeing the anodized slate frame, it is a very nice classic. Can't wait to get the new frame and transfer my existing parts on my HT to the SL!

  7. #7
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    Buzz killer... sorry.

    Sounds like you fell in love but here's several things you should know about the Superlight. IMO It's not terribly versatile on upper moderate to advanced singletrack where stability is a big issue. I rode mine for five years and found it was holding me back. Sure, I was way ahead of everybody going uphill, but downhill, even on fireroads I was last. I'd shrug it off, but after years of that, it gets embarassing. A five inch fork is WAY WAY too much for it. Going 3 1/2" to 4" is recommended by SC and they mean it - I'll also back that up.

    If you huck or jump you can do an SL, but be careful, they squirrel like crazy when landing on the rear wheel, but not so bad as to throw you on the ground. (generally). Keep the psi up on the Fox shock and rebound too. On big dropoffs, especially cornices, you have to steel yourself cuz your rear wheel isn't that far out in front of you and that's visually a little shaky. On my new Nomad I like to look out and see that big front wheel leading the way. Blurs have a slacker head angel too and you get the same feeling.

    So, depends what you like, but don't expect to become the master ST ripper with the SL -- a Blur will be more fitting in that role and will keep resale value (I think). The Blur will give you a lot of room for future growth, never a bad thing. IMO the SL's going to become just for overweight weekenders and racers who like the buff stuff. I live in Santa Cruz and that's also the buzz around the company boys (and girls). Whew, that was a lot to get out and I'm usually very loyal.... However, I been sitting on that for YEARS.
    Last edited by whangen; 02-13-2006 at 10:29 AM.
    RAIL OR F*!%#!*^G BAIL

  8. #8
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    Finally bought myself and SL

    Yup, I'm in love with the SL ... but seriously the price for the Blur and Nomad makes it too hard for me to justify the purchase to myself and most importantly to the missus.

    I finally bought the frame today, got myself an M-size anodized slate with RP3 shox. I'm gonna run a 4" Fox RLC upfront, as for the drivetrain I'd use mainly XT grouppo. Gonna use XT-4pod disc brakes coupled with goodridge cables.

    Hey Whangen, looks like you've got an awful lot of experience on the SL. Could the old swingarm design account to the problems that you've faced previously? I hope the SL doesn't hold me back, I think at this point I'd be the one holding it back. How's the ride on the Nomad? Unfortunately, the terrain in Singapore doesn't warrant a bike with a 6.5" rear travel.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinox73
    Yup, I'm in love with the SL ... but seriously the price for the Blur and Nomad makes it too hard for me to justify the purchase to myself and most importantly to the missus.

    I finally bought the frame today, got myself an M-size anodized slate with RP3 shox. I'm gonna run a 4" Fox RLC upfront, as for the drivetrain I'd use mainly XT grouppo. Gonna use XT-4pod disc brakes coupled with goodridge cables.

    Hey Whangen, looks like you've got an awful lot of experience on the SL. Could the old swingarm design account to the problems that you've faced previously? I hope the SL doesn't hold me back, I think at this point I'd be the one holding it back. How's the ride on the Nomad? Unfortunately, the terrain in Singapore doesn't warrant a bike with a 6.5" rear travel.
    Yeah, I've ridden the SL longer than anybody else I know. Got one of the first available at my LBS and just recently stopped using it as my main ride. Did have a Specialized FSR for six months--- big mistake.

    I was probably overly-rough on it in my review, but when you move up in capability you see things in a different light. For example, I jumped my first six foot ledge the other day on my new Nomad and it was a chinch. I'd of died of a heart attack doing something like that on the SL.

    Anyway, congrats on your new bike. Sounds like you got the size thing and parts you like dialed in. Don't go over 4.5" on the fork... 4" is the sweet spot! I used an XT mixed bag of parts throughout including hubs and never was sorry. When I checked out my Chris King headset after five years it was STILL SILKY SMOOTH! Gotta love 'em. I had a pretty long stem at 120mm but you won't need that with the medium frame. Ano is a good choice if it's wet there a lot of the year.... just wipe it down and oil the chain and forget about it.

    Have fun on your new bike. Whangen
    Last edited by whangen; 02-15-2006 at 06:19 PM.
    RAIL OR F*!%#!*^G BAIL

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by whangen
    Yeah, I've ridden the SL longer than anybody else I know. Got one of the first available at my LBS and just recently stopped using it as my main ride. Did have a Specialized FSR for six months--- big mistake.

    I was probably overly-rough on it in my review, but when you move up in capability you see things in a different light. For example, I jumped my first six foot ledge the other day on my new Nomad and it was a chinch. I'd of died of a heart attack doing something like that on the SL.

    Anyway, congrats on your new bike. Sounds like you got the size thing and parts you like dialed in. Don't go over 4.5" on the fork... 4" is the sweet spot! I used an XT mixed bag of parts throughout including hubs and never was sorry. When I checked out my Chris King headset after five years it was STILL SILKY SMOOTH! Gotta love 'em. I had a pretty long stem at 120mm but you won't need that with the medium frame. Ano is a good choice if it's wet there a lot of the year.... just wipe it down and oil the chain and forget about it.

    Have fun on your new bike. Whangen
    Ya, I understand your point. A person would tend to grow with a bike and eventually grow out of it. I reckon you've reached a level where the SL can no longer satisfy you and kind of holds you back. Can't really blame you coz you've been on your old rig for 5 sweet years.

    I would love to get the CK headset, but the price isn't really appealing. I'll need to run a long stem as well, my current Thomson is 110mm, so I think I'll stick with it. A short stem would make it an uncomfortable ride for me, dun wanna be too restricted in the cockpit.

    Thanks again for all the tips! Really appreciate it! Happy trails ...

  11. #11
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    178 cm tall and went with L sized SL

    Thanks for all teh info on this forum, the info posted here was of great value to me. I am 178 cm tall, which is 5'10'' or 11'' and could not decide between the two sizes. However, I tried the bike for myself this weekend and M was far too small... It definately felt cramped. L will be great. I am in the process of ordering one... will have to choose the color. Anyone here with a trans blue SL or ano blue... on the santa cruz website the colors look very different from what they are in reality. I rode the SL and must say it was brilliant. It felt so smooth compared to my Storck Bandit hardtail. I cannot wait to get the bike...

    Best

    Adam

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by adampoland
    Thanks for all teh info on this forum, the info posted here was of great value to me. I am 178 cm tall, which is 5'10'' or 11'' and could not decide between the two sizes. However, I tried the bike for myself this weekend and M was far too small... It definately felt cramped. L will be great. I am in the process of ordering one... will have to choose the color. Anyone here with a trans blue SL or ano blue... on the santa cruz website the colors look very different from what they are in reality. I rode the SL and must say it was brilliant. It felt so smooth compared to my Storck Bandit hardtail. I cannot wait to get the bike...

    Best

    Adam
    I just ordered a Heckler on Thursday. I'm also in that 178cm range, and after calling SC and all dealers listed within 100 miles of me in Socal, I went with the large. Five out of the eight people I called, including SC themselves recommended the Large size frame for me based solely on height and their past experiences.

    Enjoy your SL

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sway?
    I just ordered a Heckler on Thursday. I'm also in that 178cm range, and after calling SC and all dealers listed within 100 miles of me in Socal, I went with the large. Five out of the eight people I called, including SC themselves recommended the Large size frame for me based solely on height and their past experiences.

    Enjoy your SL

    I think you made a good decission. I rode the M size SL and it was too small, way too small... so L is the way to go. Anyway, a great bike, I rode the Blur too, but could not really say it was that much better - but it was very slippery, lots of ice and snow and I was on normal tries so I just got the taste of riding a Superlight. Hopefully it will get warmer where I live one day... probably beginning of April :-) at teh moment there is plenty of snow everywhere. Good luck with your purchase.

    Best

    Adam

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by adampoland
    Thanks for all teh info on this forum, the info posted here was of great value to me. I am 178 cm tall, which is 5'10'' or 11'' and could not decide between the two sizes. However, I tried the bike for myself this weekend and M was far too small... It definately felt cramped. L will be great. I am in the process of ordering one... will have to choose the color. Anyone here with a trans blue SL or ano blue... on the santa cruz website the colors look very different from what they are in reality. I rode the SL and must say it was brilliant. It felt so smooth compared to my Storck Bandit hardtail. I cannot wait to get the bike...
    I tried both medium and large as well, was kinda torn between the two. The cockpit on a medium is kinda cramped for me as well, but I reckon I can survive that with a longer stem. However a large feels kinda difficult to manouevre, especially for singletracks. I got the medium as I wanted to be able to "throw" my bike with ease rather than grapple with a monster. Anyway, as you may already be aware, I still settled for the medium eventually. Will likely set up the bike in 2wks time, too bad my new wheelsets won't be ready in time.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinox73
    I tried both medium and large as well, was kinda torn between the two. The cockpit on a medium is kinda cramped for me as well, but I reckon I can survive that with a longer stem. However a large feels kinda difficult to manouevre, especially for singletracks. I got the medium as I wanted to be able to "throw" my bike with ease rather than grapple with a monster. Anyway, as you may already be aware, I still settled for the medium eventually. Will likely set up the bike in 2wks time, too bad my new wheelsets won't be ready in time.
    I ordered my bike... L size Superlight with 5th element and Fox F100RLT plus some Thomson stem and seatpost - that's about that for now... the color is blue ano... it will be here in the middle of April, just in time for some early mountain trip.

    Best

    Adam

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