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Thread: Motolite Sizing

  1. #1
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    Motolite Sizing

    Hey guys. I'd appreciate some opinions.

    I'm about to order a Motolite frame and a little perplexed on the sizing. It seems like a medium has a tall seat tube (19.25"), but eff. top tube length (23.25") that you'd expect for a M. The large strikes me as huge with a 21.25" seat tube altho the eff. TT is 24.25" (seems typical for large). Is this just an effect of the seat tube extended past the TT??

    I'm coming from a large-sized Cannondale with an 18.7" seat tube and 24.5" eff. TT. I run this bike with a short (90mm) stem, and a no-setback seatpost since I'm probably in between a M and L.

    I'm 5-11 to 6-0 with 32-33" inseam BTW. Riding style....typical eastern woods XC.

    I think I could probably make either size work for me and am inclined to go with the M. Any opinions? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Lots of sizing threads on this board, and most seem to be for folks between M and L. Seems to me general consensus is it's easier to adjust the bike smaller with a shorter stem than it is to make smaller bike long. That said, it probably depends on your riding style and trail type. Some choose to go smaller hoping to get that more "flickable" feeling (I've never liked that term).

    From my ML experience I've found the bike wants to be ridden a little forward, that is to say when climbing it's most comfortable when I sneak up on the horn a little. For this reason I think it would be better to adjust a L frame back with a shorter stem (as opposed to extending a M frame back with setback seatpost). Just my opinion and YMMV.

    FWIW, I'm 6'0 with 33 inseam. I ride a L Motolite. It fits me well after changing to a 90mm stem. For rolling XC as you describe, it would seem the L might be a good fit, but the only real way to tell is to ride them both.

  3. #3
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    good input. thanks.

  4. #4
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    Same here. I'm 6'0" with a 33" inseam. Tried a medium and felt a bit cramped. Got the Large and love it.
    Saddle up, Effendi. We ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by YetiBear
    Same here. I'm 6'0" with a 33" inseam. Tried a medium and felt a bit cramped. Got the Large and love it.

    I agree as well. Get the large and run a shorter stem.

  6. #6
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    i'm 5'10.5". with a 33" inseam and run a M motolite. I feel like the relatively slack seat tube of the motolite compared to other similar 5" bikes makes the eff. top tube a little misleading when comparing to other more upright bikes. I have to jack my seat all the way forward to get in the proper pedaling position. this makes the cockpit length smaller. I have a long inseam for my height though. Medium fits be well thgough with a 90mm stem.

  7. #7
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    thanks to all for the help...i picked up a M and will get it built over the next couple days....visually, I think it's the right one for me. also, my seatpost height was 25" on my old bike...on the L frame, that meant the post would only be out ~4" (would look like a bike from 1988!!!). i'll post up some pics when done.

  8. #8
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    Medium

    I am 5'-11" with a 33" inseam
    In order for me to get the right position over the pedals I need a setback seatposst on most bikes (long femurs) so for me a medium with a 100mm stem and a setback Thompson elite post is right on.

    cheers
    what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

  9. #9
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    I'm 5' 10" with a 32" inseam. I was sized up by a reputable bike shop to be a large and that's what I bought. Once I got it built up, it never felt right. Luckily I was able to sell it and bought a medium. It fits perfectly. For you, I think a medium would probably be cramped.

  10. #10
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    I'm 6'0 with 33 inseam and I decided to go with the large FTM (same geo as ML). Still waiting so I cannot yet comment the size, but will do when I have it built up in about two weeks from now.

    Basically, I was also struggling with the decision between the M and L sizes. Even though the L felt like the correct one for me when reflecting to my previous bikes effective TT's, I couldn't help wondering why the f*#% the seattube has to be so insanely long. So I really see what steadite is meaning.. However, I got over it and chose the L, which TT is clearly the correct one for me with a 90mm stem.

    It would be nice to hear you thoughts of the M steadite? The drop of 1.25" from your Cannondale is quite significant.

  11. #11
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    I'm 5'11"+ with a 32" inseam and I ended up getting the Large Motolite. I went to the Motolite from a medium Switchblade that had a 100mm stem. I always felt a bit bunched up on the SW and didnt want to go any longer on the stem. With my new ML I put a 85mm stem on it and I feel a lot more comfortable on the bike. Also with the shorter stem I get a more stable steering. I have a longer upper body and big feet so I think the large ML with the longer top tube was best for me. I don't have as much standover clearance but enough to get buy. I'm pretty happy with the Large at my size.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving ~ Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    Well, for me, the M was the right choice. I actually like the shorter TT..doesn't feel so stretched out as my last bike. The pic shows how it's set up for me...a 110mm stem with several stem spacers (I may move one spacer above the stem).

    I've only ridden it in the driveway so far (it's either raining or 33 degrees here!), but it feels like it's going to be a lot of fun--can't wait to hit the trails.

    One question I had...what other options for the frt derailer cable are people doing? I zip-tied mine to the brace tube.

    Last, thanks to BikerBob--really good guy and he took good care of me.
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  13. #13
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    I'm actually getting frustrated in figuring out the size that I would need. My current bike has a 32.8" top tube and it feels fine for an XC bike. I'm 6' and have a 32" inseam and I just cannot figure out whether I'd be better with a M or an L. I rode a small and it was obviously too small, but I don't have the opportunity to ride any other size. I have a 90mm stem currently that I'd like to move over to the new bike.

    I want this to be a good long distance trail bike and to me the difference between the 23.25" of the Medium and my 23.8" is only 0.5", if I went for the Large I'd be going 0.5" over my current bike, which is an XC bike. It seems like it makes sense for me to go to a Medium for the ML, but of the many "what size am I?" threads that are out there for this bike (seems to be bad sizing on Titus' part) I still have no clear answer which I should be riding, seems many people say to go for Large if they're of similar height (though I have yet to read of anyone that's 6' like myself) but to me that is going to be stretched out, and 0.5" shorter could easily be solved with a setback post, couldn't it?

  14. #14
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    I measured myself (my height I mean...) last night and came in right at 6-0 in bare feet. I usually wear 32 or 33 inseam jeans. My crank center to saddle rail distance: 25".

    I think the answer is that either will work at our size, it's just a matter of what "feel" you're after. We've heard from several that the L works, and I (and a couple others) can tell you that the M works. Honestly, I was trying to get away from the "stretched out XC" feel of my previous bike and the M does that. It feels compact and maneuverable without being cramped. The seattube issue is simply that the tube is extended higher than usual..it's irrelevant to the fit and presumably makes the frame stronger.

    The only thing I miss from the L is the longer head tube (see third pic) and that's only cause I'm an engineering dork who is stuck on the larger distance between the headset bearings for strength (rather than having those spacers on top). In real life, I'm sure there will be no functional effect.

    Personally, I'm not a supporter of the usual "ride them and see which one fits" advice since you're unlikely to find a dealer who will be willing to spend 6 hours with you swapping stems/spacers/bars/seats/posts to find the best combination. The right sized frame, set up wrong, will feel wrong. I would advise: study the geo charts, compare them against a known (your current bike), and make the decision from there. You can always change stems or seatpost setback.

    Personally: I'd definitely get the M again.

  15. #15
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    I think you're exactly right. I have spent the past month with the M in mind for the reasons you stated and that I stated and then spent this morning doubting myself after reading so many posts.

    Thanks for your insight, you sound like you're dimensionally the same as me and I definitely want to lose the "stretched out" XC feel my 23.8" top tube gives me (relatively). In the end I doubt I'd even feel the difference of 1" in top tube length and certainly the seat tube extension is a wildcard on any frame and, as you say, the small frame is going to be a little bit more forgiving anyway.

  16. #16
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    med ML for me

    5'9.75" :-)

    32.5" inseam
    long arms, short torso, short upper leg, long
    lower leg (relative)

    large would be way too stretched out for me..

    also ride a Turner DW 5Spot (med) and it is a tighter
    cockpit than the Med ML.

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