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  1. #1
    just ride
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    Advice on sizing!...please

    Hi Ladies!
    New here - and looking for advice. I'm in the market for a Cannondale 29er entry level maybe a Tango 29er SL4 or a bit less expensive
    Tango 29er 5 (both hardtail)
    I tried the medium and the small and lean toward the medium in both because on the small I seemed to run out of seat wanting to sit further back. However my inseam is 29" and when flat footed I was touching the bar - so I tried the SL and since the design was radically different I had more clearance.
    I have a couple concerns - their are no reviews that I can find.
    I'm somewhat new to mountain biking and concerned that running a medium frame at 5' 3 1/2 will be sketchy cause I'll be higher off the ground.
    However the medium did feel really stable on the test runs.
    eeer... any advice would be great!
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm not familiar with Cannondale's sizing and all brands differ...that said, I'm 5'8" and I ride a M in a Rocky Mountain, so it seems like a M could be a touch big? As to position, did you try sliding the seat back on the rails?

    I wouldn't worry about being 'higher off the ground'---what you really want to see is how maneuverable the bike is under you and how you feel on the bike. Particularly if you feel like your arms are straight or only slightly bent---this will definitely affect how much you can move the bike around. If this describes the fit--you want a smaller bike You may also want to think about what kind of riding you *hope* to advance to---if you think you're going to like more technical riding, you may well want to go with the smaller frame.

    That's the best I can provide.....

  3. #3
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    Bikes are fit by getting right leg extension ,then the right reach ,then comfort . Top tube determines basic reach ,stem fine tunes that. At 5'3" you are most likely on a small ,unless you are all torso and arms. Different manufactures measure different ,so you could end up on a medium.

  4. #4
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    I guess it's all personal preference, but I'd have to think IMHO that the medium would be too big for you. I am your same size (5'4, 29" inseam)...and honestly, almost ALL 29" Small frames I sat on felt too big for me. I like to have a lot of feel of control of the bike "under" me. I also have a pretty long torso for my size (women's packs, etc don't fit me).

    I ultimately decided to ride an XS frame - which is offered by Niner, the EMD9. I absolutely love it, rode it for 2 years now. I'm actually selling it now as I moved and the trails aren't suited for it, but looking at the options you posted it seems it may be a bit out of the price range you're currently looking to spend. GL msg me if you have any questions I can help with.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polka Dots
    Hi Ladies!
    New here - and looking for advice. I'm in the market for a Cannondale 29er entry level maybe a Tango 29er SL4 or a bit less expensive
    Tango 29er 5 (both hardtail)
    I tried the medium and the small and lean toward the medium in both because on the small I seemed to run out of seat wanting to sit further back. However my inseam is 29" and when flat footed I was touching the bar - so I tried the SL and since the design was radically different I had more clearance.
    I have a couple concerns - their are no reviews that I can find.
    I'm somewhat new to mountain biking and concerned that running a medium frame at 5' 3 1/2 will be sketchy cause I'll be higher off the ground.
    However the medium did feel really stable on the test runs.
    eeer... any advice would be great!
    Thanks
    So being someone who rode the equivalent of a medium and should have been riding a small for many years (height 5'4"), I find that even though a smaller bike is a bit less stable initially, it's a lot easier to maneuver tight and technical stuff than a larger frame. But if you're going to do just high speed and not much technical and tight, you might be happy on something bigger. Personally, I have a short torso and I like having a short reach of a small or even XS frame.

    It just depends on what you're comfortable with though--toso/arm length vs. leg length can make a huge difference on whether or not a small/medium or even x-small is for you.

    I've had a few manufacturers try to put me on a bigger bike than I was comfortable with, just because of my height. So ride what YOU are comfortable with.

    Go test ride more if you're not sure yet. Nothing wrong with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    Bikes are fit by getting right leg extension ,then the right reach ,then comfort . Top tube determines basic reach ,stem fine tunes that. At 5'3" you are most likely on a small ,unless you are all torso and arms. Different manufactures measure different ,so you could end up on a medium.
    Bikes should be fit by comfort first, bar none. Nothing like riding a bike that finally fits you and saying, "Wow! I didn't know I was supposed to be able to ride without my back hurting!"
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  6. #6
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    One thing to keep in mind is that when trail riding you will want to be in an elbows out "ready" or "attack" position, which will put your butt a little further forward. If you try it with a more straight arm position, like you may be accustomed to from casual riding, that could make the small feel to short (front to back), as your rear will be further back. I would give serious consideration to the small.

  7. #7
    just ride
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    Thanks for all the great ideas! I plan to go today to re-try the bikes I've been looking at.
    I like to have the attack position as that is what I am used to for riding dirt bikes.
    My gut tells me stay with the small frame as I feel it would be easier to do technical trails - I will be riding quite a mix - sand-clay and rock - mud - so I feel I'm going to need something versatile.
    I went to another LBS and the sales person suggested not doing a 29er - do a 27 1/2?... Now I'm like ???? I was thinking 29er would be a better choice overall to get over rocks and roots and wouldn't be a negative for just all around riding. The LBS said companies are getting away from the 29... Not sure
    Thanks So Much for all your advice and insight - really is helpful!

  8. #8
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    at 5'3 you may want a small, unless you're all torso. i'm the opposite so i need the smaller size and top tube. i'm also your height, and i find a small is more maneuverabileif you're not all stretched out. You can also scoot your saddle and adjust stem as well
    fap

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polka Dots View Post
    Thanks for all the great ideas! I plan to go today to re-try the bikes I've been looking at.
    I like to have the attack position as that is what I am used to for riding dirt bikes.
    My gut tells me stay with the small frame as I feel it would be easier to do technical trails - I will be riding quite a mix - sand-clay and rock - mud - so I feel I'm going to need something versatile.
    I went to another LBS and the sales person suggested not doing a 29er - do a 27 1/2?... Now I'm like ???? I was thinking 29er would be a better choice overall to get over rocks and roots and wouldn't be a negative for just all around riding. The LBS said companies are getting away from the 29... Not sure
    Thanks So Much for all your advice and insight - really is helpful!
    As somebody who's tried all wheel sizes, it's all preference, but in my experience, the bigger wheels are great for hard tails, but with full suspension, it matters less. (the more suspension, the less the bigger wheels matter). i'ts really hard to say where trends will go. 27.5 is pretty popular right now, but i cant really say it's the wave of the future either.

    i happen to ride a full suspension 29er, because at the time, 27.5 wasn't all that popular yet. Had it been, i might on one. I find it's easier to go up a wheel size and get used to it, than go down a wheel size because it may seem twitchy (big wheels can make you feel a bit over confident!). I have a 29 hard tail and FS, mostly because of ease of swapping parts between the two.
    fap

  10. #10
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    The wheel size debate should be added to list of topics (religion, politics) to not discuss at the in-laws house; as far as I can tell, it will never be resolved. Try some, don't stress about it, choose one and rock it. I rode a 29'er for a week in the alps---it was fine, didn't blow my doors off. Then I came back and started demo'ing bikes, rode a 27.5 and 29'er back to back on the same trail, liked the 27.5, hated the 29. Was it the wheel size or the bike? Don't know--so many variables, you could drive yourself insane. Bought the 27.5 b/c I didn't love the 29, and 26 wasn't an option in the bike I did like.

    Good luck! Bought a new bike this spring, and while it's fun, it's stressful too b/c you want to find the perfect one!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polka Dots View Post
    I went to another LBS and the sales person suggested not doing a 29er - do a 27 1/2?... Now I'm like ???? I was thinking 29er would be a better choice overall to get over rocks and roots and wouldn't be a negative for just all around riding. The LBS said companies are getting away from the 29... Not sure
    Thanks So Much for all your advice and insight - really is helpful!
    This sounds like that LBS trying to push inventory and just saying random things. I have yet to see a company besides Giant "get away" from 29ers... 26, yes. 29, hell no. Ride what you are comfortable on, not what the LBS is trying to tell you is right, or what is trendy, or what the manufacturers are doing

    That said, I'm 5'9" and ride a medium frame (large for women's specific), so I'd guess that a medium would be kinda big for you!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    This sounds like that LBS trying to push inventory and just saying random things. I have yet to see a company besides Giant "get away" from 29ers... 26, yes. 29, hell no. Ride what you are comfortable on, not what the LBS is trying to tell you is right, or what is trendy, or what the manufacturers are doing

    That said, I'm 5'9" and ride a medium frame (large for women's specific), so I'd guess that a medium would be kinda big for you!
    Sooshee is right. Ride what you like. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Also, don't let anyone tell you that there's "only an inch or so difference" between frame sizes. That's a huge deal.

    Sooshee: I'm confused. Based on that logic, ff an LBS was trying to get rid of inventory, wouldn't they try to get her on a 29 or 26? Not criticizing, just curious.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Sooshee: I'm confused. Based on that logic, ff an LBS was trying to get rid of inventory, wouldn't they try to get her on a 29 or 26? Not criticizing, just curious.
    Or they bought into the 27.5/650b trend and have a ton of those bikes to move (or are they a Giant dealer so by default they have to push 27.5 because there is nothing else?)... that's how I look at it. 27.5 is the next "big" thing so I see it as them just trying to push the newest fad on customers... especially when they're saying manufacturers are getting away from 29. I don't think there's been much or any evidence of that in the industry. Maybe the 27.5 bikes are a bit more expensive or have a better profit margin... who knows, I'm sure there's all sorts of conspiracy theories I could come up with.

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