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Thread: Am I Weird?

  1. #1
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    Am I Weird?

    Okay, so, question. I am about 5'11", closer to 6 foot. I ride and always have ridden medium size bikes. My mountain bike is a medium and I've never had a problem with pain other than some knee pain every once in a while (it's worth mentioning that I just have bad knees and have had a few dislocation issues).

    Regardless, I also have a Specialized Crosstrail that I love for messing around off-road and around town, which is also a medium (the medium sizing for the Crosstrail is listed as being for 5'5" to 5'9"/10"). Due to the smaller size, I do feel a little cramped on the bike and it is a little bit uncomfortable on the saddle at times, but to tell the truth, I absolutely love the smaller size of the bike.

    I feel as though I get so much control over the bars and can really whip the bike around the way I want to.

    My question is: Is it odd that I enjoy riding such a small bike?

  2. #2
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    Cycloross, AKA "Gravel Bikes" most often run larger. Not weird. Have a great day

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Cycloross, AKA "Gravel Bikes" most often run larger. Not weird. Have a great day
    What does that have to do with this thread?

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    It is a bit weird. But not that weird.

    Its worth mentioning that a "medium" frame these days is larger than some larges of just a few years ago. So by "downsizing" you may not actually be on a bike all that much smaller than you "should" be on.

    People used to downsize on bikes all the time to save weight, or just get something more playful/poppy/flickable.

    Interestingly, it often seems to be due to background. Lots of BMX guys like smaller bikes, as it feels more natural to them. Myself, I grew up riding dirt bikes. And I think that makes me like larger bikes.

    One question though. Does do your back hurt at all? Or do your knees hit the bars?

    Small bikes (especially low stack height) make me curve my back in a normal riding position. And that ends up hurting after a while. And if its far too small, I have hit my knees on the bars when turning tight, which personally I'm not a fan of. But if you don't have those problems, then there is no reason to second guess your choice of frame size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    What does that have to do with this thread?
    You are far to young for such grumpiness.


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  6. #6
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    Other reasons that people use to "always downsize" was that the larger frames were ridiculous, as in 8 or 10" long head-tubes, crazy high top-tubes, and there were no 35mm stems available. So they always tried to convince people that you can "always make a frame bigger, but not smaller". And there were some decent reasons due to the frames like I mentioned above. These days, it's not valid because you can effectively do both, but starting with something too small is usually going to compromise handling and the person ends up running a 100mm or longer stem with narrower bars at like 720 or skinnier. These days the frames are not designed so ridiculous and carbon and hydroformed aluminum allows the top tubes to drop down far enough and the manufacturers realize lower stack heights and letting the end-user adjust the stack is better than jacking it way up and giving no option. Modern geometry just doesn't hold people back like the old stuff did so now when you "upsize" you don't really take a hit. I did "downsize" a few times in the past when I shouldn't have and the only thing I'd do it for now, being sometimes in-between sizes, is for a park-only bike that will never see uphill pedaling. Even then I'd try both and decide based on the ride.

    This is all relative to being in-between sizes though, which some of us often are.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Getting my first long reach bike was a revelation.

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    Nope my back never really hurts and I've certainly never had my knees hit the bars either.

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    FYI, OP is talking about a hybrid bike, not a cyclocross bike or a mountain bike. that changes the whole conversation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    FYI, OP is talking about a hybrid bike, not a cyclocross bike or a mountain bike. that changes the whole conversation.
    It is technically a gravel/cyclocross bike without drop bars if we wanna get technical about things.

  11. #11
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    no, the Crosstrail is clearly categorized with the "fitness" bikes on Specialized website. it's a hybrid. you could use it as a gravel bike (you basically can use any bike as a gravel bike f you want to), but if we're talking about how the manufacturer classifies bikes based on intended use, the Crosstrail is a "fitness bike." It looks like Spec has gotten away from using the term hybrid as it's confusing to customers, but that's what that is. every manufacturer that makes a similar bike also classifies it as a hybrid.

    They have bikes like the Crux for cyclocross racing and the Diverge specifically designed with gravel roads in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    no, the Crosstrail is clearly categorized with the "fitness" bikes on Specialized website. it's a hybrid. you could use it as a gravel bike (you basically can use any bike as a gravel bike f you want to), but if we're talking about how the manufacturer classifies bikes based on intended use, the Crosstrail is a "fitness bike." It looks like Spec has gotten away from using the term hybrid as it's confusing to customers, but that's what that is. every manufacturer that makes a similar bike also classifies it as a hybrid.

    They have bikes like the Crux for cyclocross racing and the Diverge specifically designed with gravel roads in mind.

    Fair enough. I have gravel/hardpack tires on it right now so that's where my confusion stemmed from.

  13. #13
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    If you like whipping a bike around, check out trials or BMX bikes. They're tiny for a reason.
    What, me worry?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    If you like whipping a bike around, check out trials or BMX bikes. They're tiny for a reason.

    I guess I mean more like that I enjoy being able to get it sideways and stuff on trails. Plus they're lighter.

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    when I got into mountain biking, I was a dedicated BMX rider—street, skateparks, dabbled in flatland. riding a small bike made sense to me, so my first few mountain bikes were size small, usually a 16" frame. I am 5'9" and clearly should have been riding medium bikes. No one could rationalize riding the smaller bikes but me. I finally bought a medium frame eventually after owning several smalls with long stems. so much better!

    it was hard to understand at first, but smaller bikes can be good when I was riding short distances and wanted something that is easier to toss around and wrangle over terrain. however, once I started riding longer distances, being shoe-horned into a bike that is "too small" starts to wear on me, especially my lower back and shoulders. I learned to relax and let the bike flow under me. Eventually I gained the skill and strength to ride a bike that fits the way it was designed, but I could still wrangle it like I did on my smaller bike.

    that said, my medium bike is still a bit small. the frame has a more compact design than the modern long reach, big wheelbase bikes most people are riding. it's an evolution and I think I've found a happy middle ground: big enough for me to fit "in" the bike, but not disappear into the bike like some of the bigger "medium" bikes I have tried.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    when I got into mountain biking, I was a dedicated BMX rider—street, skateparks, dabbled in flatland. riding a small bike made sense to me, so my first few mountain bikes were size small, usually a 16" frame. I am 5'9" and clearly should have been riding medium bikes. No one could rationalize riding the smaller bikes but me. I finally bought a medium frame eventually after owning several smalls with long stems. so much better!

    it was hard to understand at first, but smaller bikes can be good when I was riding short distances and wanted something that is easier to toss around and wrangle over terrain. however, once I started riding longer distances, being shoe-horned into a bike that is "too small" starts to wear on me, especially my lower back and shoulders. I learned to relax and let the bike flow under me. Eventually I gained the skill and strength to ride a bike that fits the way it was designed, but I could still wrangle it like I did on my smaller bike.

    that said, my medium bike is still a bit small. the frame has a more compact design than the modern long reach, big wheelbase bikes most people are riding. it's an evolution and I think I've found a happy middle ground: big enough for me to fit "in" the bike, but not disappear into the bike like some of the bigger "medium" bikes I have tried.
    Yeah. For example, my mountain bike 18" is totally fine. I always feel comfortable in the saddle and always have great control over the bike. However, I got on my hybrid yesterday and felt seriously cramped compared to my mtb. Like I said earlier, I'm no way getting rid of my hybrid, but it was just an interesting comparison for me.

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    At first I was reluctant of newer longer bikes since I ride twisty technical trails. But as I try longer bikes I'm more comfortable and get used to it. Now I always have the 10 more millimeters would be nice feeling 😂

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytimecyclist View Post
    Yeah. For example, my mountain bike 18" is totally fine. I always feel comfortable in the saddle and always have great control over the bike. However, I got on my hybrid yesterday and felt seriously cramped compared to my mtb. Like I said earlier, I'm no way getting rid of my hybrid, but it was just an interesting comparison for me.
    you might be making and apples-to-oranges comparison. the bikes are not the same bike and they are most likely being used in different ways. a modern medium mountain bike probably fits like a large hybrid. hybrids are designed to be upright and "comfortable" for casual riding ... for a rider of a given height. switching from one bike to the other will be difficult.

    try this: find the geometry for your two bikes and plug them in at bikegeo.net so you can see how different they are. for a more specific comparison, measure the distance from the BB to the grips in the center of the bike. are the saddles on each bike exactly the same height? is the saddle offset and cockpit length even close to the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    you might be making and apples-to-oranges comparison. the bikes are not the same bike and they are most likely being used in different ways. a modern medium mountain bike probably fits like a large hybrid. hybrids are designed to be upright and "comfortable" for casual riding ... for a rider of a given height. switching from one bike to the other will be difficult.

    try this: find the geometry for your two bikes and plug them in at bikegeo.net so you can see how different they are. for a more specific comparison, measure the distance from the BB to the grips in the center of the bike. are the saddles on each bike exactly the same height? is the saddle offset and cockpit length even close to the same?
    The saddle on the hybrid is higher, the saddle on the mtb is farther back. The cockpit is about the same length, with the frame of the hybrid being slightly taller. It's not uncomfortable to ride, just a little awkward.

    Additionally, yes, they are being used in different ways. I use my mtb for heavy technical trail riding and my hybrid for dirt and gravel for the most part.
    Constantly trying to justify riding old bikes when in reality, I'm just too cheap to buy a new one.

  20. #20
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    Some people think they are weird no matter what. I've decided, after 60 years of witnessing this phenomena an others and yes, in myself too, to just "embrace the weird"
    and fuggetaboutit.
    Just call me Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    Some people think they are weird no matter what. I've decided, after 60 years of witnessing this phenomena an others and yes, in myself too, to just "embrace the weird"
    and fuggetaboutit.
    Fair enough lmfao
    Constantly trying to justify riding old bikes when in reality, I'm just too cheap to buy a new one.

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