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Thread: Frame size

  1. #1
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    Frame size

    Hi all-

    I am new here, so thank you for any help you can provide.

    I was recently contacted by a girlfriend of mine who just bought a new bike and offered me her old 1993 Gary Fisher Paragon. It's a hard tail, good shape, she had it overhauled, and is asking $150 for it.

    I have an old Trek 930 (1992 vintage - I'm the original owner) which I love and is in great shape, but it has no suspension, and I am at a point where I'd like front suspension at least. I just got back into back into biking last year, don't have much money, and so this is a great opportunity for me.

    The problem, though, is that I think the frame is too big for me.

    I did the standover test, measured my inseam, and it feels a little too big, and the charts indicate it is too big. My inseam is 28", I'm 5'3, and I think the frame, if I am measuring it correctly, is 17". My old Trek is 15", I believe, with lots of room to lift the front tire without, well, giving me a wedgie (not to be crass). This Gary Fisher, on the other hand, probably has about 1/4 inch clearance when I do the standover test, and when I try to lift it, well, it hits my crotch.

    I am going to ride it offroad tomorrow to test ride, but am wondering if it is worth it to get the bike. I rode it a bit, and it definitely feels bigger than my old Trek. But maybe I'll get used to it?

    I ride probably once a week at most, up about 1000 feet and down. I like to go fast downhill.

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  2. #2
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    I'm the same size as you and there is no way I would fit a 17" frame. 15" are definitely the right size in general. Maybe finding a deal on a used fork might be the better option... not sure (haven't listened to any discussions on used forks yet).

    I was going to say that there are a bunch of cheap suntour forks out there, but I don't want to get negative rep. lol.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks, Desidus. Bummer about that bike. I want it!!
    What is the downside of it being too big?
    I really don't want to start mucking around with forks.
    I wish I could get front suspension for my Trek. Have asked two different places in 5 years and both said frame geometry, if I am remembering correctly, has changed so much in 20 years that there is no way to put suspension on my Trek.

  4. #4
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    It sounds too big to me too, let us know how your test ride goes. A too-big bike will be klunky to maneuver. But you could buy it, have a shop swap the forks (I'm assuming they are compatible since they're close in vintage, but this may not be the case, yours may have the old style threaded headset), ride it to make sure you like the new feel (and the fork is OK), and then sell the rigid one for $100 or so - commuters love old rigid Treks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobcatGirl View Post
    Thanks, Desidus. Bummer about that bike. I want it!!
    What is the downside of it being too big?
    I really don't want to start mucking around with forks.
    I wish I could get front suspension for my Trek. Have asked two different places in 5 years and both said frame geometry, if I am remembering correctly, has changed so much in 20 years that there is no way to put suspension on my Trek.
    Bummer... I guess ride your trek for a bit longer and start saving up for your next ride. That's basically what I am doing and I just bought it this year. lol. My brother was right I should choose a cheaper hobby. Oh well...
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  6. #6
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    Currently in the process of abandoning my 17" for a +/- 15". If it feels big, it is! You will never feel 100% confident on it. Yes, you can ride it, and even handle it on most trails but it just won't feel right. It took me a year to admit it (a little pride issue) but my current ride is just too big. It is a beautiful Cannondale Jekyll and I will be selling, trading or keeping it as a loaner. I could have saved myself the expense by more carefully fitting a bike to my size. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyNAZ View Post
    Currently in the process of abandoning my 17" for a +/- 15". If it feels big, it is! You will never feel 100% confident on it. Yes, you can ride it, and even handle it on most trails but it just won't feel right. It took me a year to admit it (a little pride issue) but my current ride is just too big. It is a beautiful Cannondale Jekyll and I will be selling, trading or keeping it as a loaner. I could have saved myself the expense by more carefully fitting a bike to my size. Good luck!
    This. It took me two years to realize the Ventana I ride was too big Definitely look at the reach measurement and compare. It's helped me immensely figure out what works for me.

    I replaced my "small" Ventana with a "small" Ibis Mojo HD. Both are smalls, but one has a reach of 15.7" and the other has a reach of 14.3" HUUUGE difference.

    Every year, there's a thread on things you want to work on for the year in this forum. Funny how riding a bike the right size (instead of too big for you) can help with those things on the list. You feel more in control if the bike isn't too big.
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  8. #8
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    Frame size

    You could probably get away with an old 1" marzocchi bomber fork since they were about 63mm so it won't jack up your frame too badly but I think that GF sounds too big for you. Not a bad bike but I think it's listed as a 17.5"?

    Look for a used bike on your local Craigslist. Lots of surprisingly nice bikes for way below what they're worth. So glad to hear you're out there on your rigid trek!
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