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  1. #1
    xls
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    Eduardo Naranja
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    Frame sizing, new frame, new bike or just save money?

    Ok, this all may be just because the weather here sucks right now and I can't go ride.

    Last year, I bought a 19-inch frame 2006 Jamis Exile SS 26er complete bike ( ~$400 like new on CL, but I think it originally came from Jenson). This was mostly an experiment to see how I would like SS. I now know that I really like it and that I'll probably always want to have one in addition to a geared FS.

    The 19-inch frame is on the large size for me (I'm 5-9 / 32" inseam -- 18 would probably be right). I'm at a point where I want to change the Axel fork (despite its name it really isn't all that good...) and the brakes. Now Jenson is selling the Jamis Exile frames for $199. If I go for the 17-inch frame I could fit a longer travel fork. I wouldn't go for anything more than 100mm (stock is 80mm) but for the 19-inch frame, I think even 100mm would make the standover height bad for my boys. The smaller frame would give me a few more options for finding a used fork.

    How does frame size affect ridability for SS? When mashing, the 19-inch frame seems perfect. It seems very easy for me to ride this thing smoothly up pretty steep slopes. Would a smaller frame make this much harder? When I climb sitting down is the only time when the frame feels a bit big (long). I have the seat all the way forward (adjusted according to this: http://www.caree.org/bike101bikefit.htm).

    While I'm ok doing wheelies on my geared FS (Epic) it takes a lot of effort to just lift the front wheel on this bike (which probably makes going up steep stuff much easier).

    As I see it, I can

    a) buy better brakes and fork only (upgrade the headset and maybe a shorter stem)
    b) but a new 17-inch Exile frame from Jenson, sell off the 19-inch one, I'd probably lose $100 or so in the process, plus I need to transfer all the parts.
    c) buy a completely different (better?) Singlespeed bike. I have no idea what. I generally don't care too much about the shopping process and staying on top of the latest trends / bikes, etc.
    d) quit thinking about this and ride the b***h once the weather gets better.

    Someone's gotta think of the economy, right?

    Thanks for any comments / recommendations. I'm especially unsure about the SS-specific aspects for frame size.

  2. #2
    xls
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    Eduardo Naranja
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    Ok, I am bored and I wrote a lot. I'd still like to hear some experienced folks' opinion on the frame size. On my geared bike, I generally prefer a smaller frame but I think that for SS, the larger frame helps me going up steep stuff. I don't really have to do much work to keep the front wheel down, mostly just mash smoothly (is that even possible?) to keep traction at the rear wheel.

    Will a smaller frame make this much worse, meaning I'd have to deal with front wheel coming up or is that mostly a problem when on a geared bikes?

  3. #3
    EXORCIZE
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    Been thinking similar thoughts. I've been finding a longer cockpit allows me to lean forward more when standing and get more power down. If cramped, steep grades can be a problem b/c your front end may wander/lift and you're not getting as a good an angle on the cranks. You're experiencing the opposite, which is good. So maybe for SS the longer bike is right for you.

    Have you tried a shorter stem? The Easton stems have been selling for $7 and up online, allowing for low-risk fit experiments. Since your front is well planted but the sitting reach is stretched, a shorter stem might help your sitting reach without much of a downside.
    ride natty ride

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    When I converted my bike from 27 speeds to one, I soon noticed that I tended to be too far forward on the bike when climbing out of the saddle: too easy to lose climbing traction. A shorter stem (from 110 to 90mm, in this case) helped.

  5. #5
    xls
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    Eduardo Naranja
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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm not totally sure I have a good grasp on how frame size affects rideability differently when singlespeeding. But a longer bike will be harder to wheelie, making the front wheel "heavier" (similar for endos, I guess). I'm going to play with the stem a little bit. I have a couple of shorter ones at home, all mounted on other bikes but I'll just "borrow" them.

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