am i too short for a 29er- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    am i too short for a 29er

    OK, i am sure this has been asked before but i couldnt find a post on it. I am 5'6" and have a 30" inseam. I keep getting told that they are more for people 5'10' and over by every bike shop. What gives?

  2. #2
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    You're fine. I ride a on a larger size medium frame and it's at most just a tad too big. I'm 5'8" with a 31" inseam, I really have no clue why a bike shop would tell you that unless they want to get rid of some 26ers or they just don't ride 29ers and are misinformed. My bike is over 3 years old so I'm sure the newer geometrys are far better too.

  3. #3
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    You need to ignore people and go shopping! Certainly there are some frame designs that have a tall standover but you can find something that will fit you. I ride a 19" Marin Alpine with a 33" inseam and my "privates" just barely have room. It's a BIG bike. After having bought it I've seen plenty of others that would have given me better standover...no regrets (yet)

  4. #4
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    I'm 5'5" with a 28" inseam and ride a Monocog 29er with no problems. You'll be fine.

  5. #5
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    I am 5'6" and ride a 15" Monocog..fits exactly like the 17" Homegrown I was riding (26er).
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  6. #6
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    1/2 truth.... There are certain limitations to 29ers, but none that can't be overcome by careful design. There are a lot of builders that will not build anything smaller than a 17", 29er frame, and others that see no problem building frames for shorter than 5'8" riders. The way to eliminate uneducated shops is to go in looking for a road bike. If they can sell you a road bike with 700c wheels, they shouldn't be challenged when it comes time for you to buy a 29er.

    I hear wonderful things about the Redline Monocog Flight 29er. If you're going to go for broke, Lynskey makes some sweet Ti for a reasonable price in a 15.5" frame. Niner also makes small frames, but don't use their fork, it's silly long A-C (490mm).

  7. #7
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    29" inseam and ride two niner on 15.5" frame. You are fine.

  8. #8
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    My wife is on an EMD Niner and she is 5'2". She loves the bike and is taking on parts of the Mtn that she never even tried when she was on a female specific stump jumper.

  9. #9
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    30" inseam and just boughtt a 29er and after a few rides do believe I am going to love it. I think the key is to find a low standover height that has the right effective top tube as well. Can always use stem and front rear saddle adjustment to get the reach right. Check GTs frames.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  10. #10
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    EDIT Double Post
    Last edited by HEMIjer; 09-13-2009 at 12:17 PM.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  11. #11
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    5' 6" 29" inseam no problems. :-)

    Chris

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    5'7.5" on a medium GF. Awesome.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    5' 6" 29" inseam no problems. :-)

    Chris

    what size niner do you recommend?

  15. #15
    Time to go farther
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    wife is 5'6" on a small 9er, both Voodoo and Jamis. Luvs them.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    5' 6" 29" inseam no problems. :-)

    Chris

    Chris,

    Are you shrinking? I thought you were an inch taller in '05 when we had the fork conversation

  17. #17
    WNC Native
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    MY wife is 5'6" and has a 29" inseam. She fits fine on a 15.5 GF Rig & a 16" Voodoo Canzo. Mife mother also has ridden both of these bikes comfortably at 5'2" with a 29" inseam. She is on the market to buy a 29er now and has had 3 different shops tell her that she is too small for a 29er. It's sad what some shops will tell you just to try to move whats on the floor.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  18. #18
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    Yeah, what they said...

    5'7" with 29" inseam riding a Medium GF HIFI Pro 29er. Just got this ride 2 weeks ago and in my search for a new bike I had many different experiences at LBS's. This could be a new thread, but let's ride it out cuz I think the point is relevent.

    Wasn't sure what to get. I do solo 24's and endurance stuff. Coming off a Blur. Thinking of going 29er, but undecided. I live in a small town and know, at least casually, most of the people that work in the LBS's. Gave my spiel about how and what I ride, one dude tried to put me on a 5.5" Pivot. I test rode it on trails, great bike, but my needs don't call for that much travel. Talked to him about 29er's, he is the same heigth...no, no no, they don't work for dudes our size he said. Another buddy (and this dude is on my hocky team) said that since we live in the big mountains you will lose too much momentum and they don't work well around here.

    Well I have been mt biking for close to 25 years and read lots of bike related stuff and I know what I want to ride rather than the pimps at the LBS pushing emerging market trends on me. Went and visited another buddy in a shop (he is also on my hocky team) who likes to ride the same stuff I do, long xc. He said ********, here is the bike you want. And it was the bike I wanted.

    Get through the bs marketing cloud and decide what the right kind of travel, or no travel, that YOU want not what the dudes in the LBS tell you that is great. My third ride on my new bike was a solo 24, haven't really come across the drawbacks that these guys were talking about.

  19. #19
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    I wonder how many of these guys "our" size at the LBS have actually ridden a 29er? Seems like most the bad stuff I hear about 29ers are from people that haven't rode one and are just regurgitating false information.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooty
    I wonder how many of these guys "our" size at the LBS have actually ridden a 29er? Seems like most the bad stuff I hear about 29ers are from people that haven't rode one and are just regurgitating false information.

    To his defense he admitted he hadn't tried one yet? Dont get me wrong I love my local bike shop and this was not a bash on them but it just seems like I have had more than my fair share of bike shops tell me you are too short. It is starting to feel like not getting invited to the cool kids party because you are vertically challenged.

  21. #21
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    5'8" - 30.5"-ish inseam and my VooDoo Dambala SS (size 17") fits perfectly. I know they make a smaller size. I rode a Niner full susser for a week (don't know size, M?) and it fit perfectly too. I like 29ers so much I'm putting gears on the VooDoo (to pull kid in trailer) and getting another 29er SS (misfit dissent).

    Around here (NC) I've heard similar 29'er mis-information mongers saying the usual things about how 29'ers aren't good for this and that.

    Everything has limitations, but as others said, it's all about geo and picking a size/style that fits...and they not really different than a bike with 700 cc wheels.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECOdork
    5'8" - 30.5"-ish inseam and my VooDoo Dambala SS (size 17") fits perfectly. I know they make a smaller size. I rode a Niner full susser for a week (don't know size, M?) and it fit perfectly too. I like 29ers so much I'm putting gears on the VooDoo (to pull kid in trailer) and getting another 29er SS (misfit dissent).

    Around here (NC) I've heard similar 29'er mis-information mongers saying the usual things about how 29'ers aren't good for this and that.

    Everything has limitations, but as others said, it's all about geo and picking a size/style that fits...and they not really different than a bike with 700 cc wheels.

    I live in Colorado Springs and use to live in Ga and the trails are totally different. Most of the races consist of long fire road climbs and with technical down.

  23. #23
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    Right on...though I'm not sure if you are agreeing or dis-agreeing (no worries either-way).

    I used to live in Southern California and had the opportunity to ride that full susser Niner while visiting recently. I felt the bike did very well out there. Loooong climbs were tackled nicely; the descent was handled surprisingly well; it felt like the bike was pulling me through switchbacks (when I hit them right).

    I'm not too familiar with GA trails, but I've ridden the VooDoo 29er both in the Piedmont-area of NC and in the Pisgah National Forest. It may not be the Rockies, but Pisgah has some respectable terrain. It sounds similar to what you described--long fire road climbs with technical downhill. So far that bike has been a blast anywhere I've ridden it!

    Just this weekend I rode the VooDoo as a 1x9 in Chapel Hill (which has some really fun, hilly, rooty, rocky terrain). As someone somewhere said, it almost felt like cheating riding the big wheels with all those gears. I nailed steep, fairly technical climbs and obstacles that had defeated me on my 26'er full susser set to "climb mode" and had kicked my arse on the SS!

    I'd do what I can to find/rent a demo 29'er in your area to see what the fuss is all about and see if you dig it on your local trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkenn
    I live in Colorado Springs and use to live in Ga and the trails are totally different. Most of the races consist of long fire road climbs and with technical down.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECOdork
    Right on...though I'm not sure if you are agreeing or dis-agreeing (no worries either-way).

    I used to live in Southern California and had the opportunity to ride that full susser Niner while visiting recently. I felt the bike did very well out there. Loooong climbs were tackled nicely; the descent was handled surprisingly well; it felt like the bike was pulling me through switchbacks (when I hit them right).

    I'm not too familiar with GA trails, but I've ridden the VooDoo 29er both in the Piedmont-area of NC and in the Pisgah National Forest. It may not be the Rockies, but Pisgah has some respectable terrain. It sounds similar to what you described--long fire road climbs with technical downhill. So far that bike has been a blast anywhere I've ridden it!

    Just this weekend I rode the VooDoo as a 1x9 in Chapel Hill (which has some really fun, hilly, rooty, rocky terrain). As someone somewhere said, it almost felt like cheating riding the big wheels with all those gears. I nailed steep, fairly technical climbs and obstacles that had defeated me on my 26'er full susser set to "climb mode" and had kicked my arse on the SS!

    I'd do what I can to find/rent a demo 29'er in your area to see what the fuss is all about and see if you dig it on your local trails.
    I am the OP. Was just giving info on where I race.
    Last edited by jeffkenn; 09-14-2009 at 11:31 AM.

  25. #25
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    See my thread, "She rides like a girl!" In the single speed forum. She is 5.5.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

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