Tall guy can't decide on a frame size-help please!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    AJ1
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    Tall guy can't decide on a frame size-help please!

    So this is my first mountain bike and I was initially all set to order a Seeker 22, emailed Airborne to check on sizing and was told 22 for sure. Nice and straightforward, but it turned out the 22 was out of stock. Over a facebook conversation one of the Airborne guys was helping me with finding some alternatives, asked for my measurements and then said I would probably be fine on a 20, but I read around and I'm not sure. Every bike shop I walked in to wanted to put me on an XL size but didn't have any. The only bike I was able to sit on was a 21.5 Trek X-Cal, which initially felt a little stretched out but I liked the feel around the shop. If I go for the 20 I would have to spend more $$ on a longer seatpost and maybe riser bars as I'd have several inches between saddle and bar height, but I'm already at the limit of my budget. I don't know if I'm just an awkward size that will need some modification anyway or is a 20 just too small? The competitive cyclist fit calculator puts the 20 at slightly below the minimum recommended effective top tube.

    Here's the measurements from the fit calculator:
    Actual inseam 36.5 in
    Trunk 28 in
    Forearm 14 in
    Arm 27 in
    Thigh 25 in
    Lower leg 24 in
    Sternal notch 63 in
    Total height 76 in (6'4")

    And this is what it suggested for an XC fit:
    standover height range
    34.1 - 34.8 inches
    virtual top tube length
    24.7 - 25.1 inches
    virtual top tube length
    stem length
    10.7 - 12.3 cm
    BB saddle position
    82.8 - 84.4 cm
    saddle handlebar
    58.2 - 59.8 cm

    If any tall riders could chime in with details of their measurements, frame size and how they have their fit set up I'd be really grateful. Spent so much time trying to figure it out but I'm just going in circles.

  2. #2
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    Personally, I would recommend the 22. The 20 will feel small to you, and you may have issues with getting the seatpost high enough for proper leg extension on the 20. I have a measured 35 inch inseam and I need a 400mm post to fit on my 20. With an additional 1.5 inches in inseam you may not be able to make it work.

    Jeremy

  3. #3
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    Just an FYI Big Daddy used to work for Airborne, so he has a small clue on how they fit. If you provide a bit more info, people would have a better idea to maybe provide some insight as to which way to go - age, fitness level, flexibility, type of riding you plan to do.

    They still are behind the times and don't list the Reach or Stack, but going from other bike manufacturers who do, with the ETT and Seat Tube Angle, I'd say definitely the XL/22" and then adjust fit using stems to get it how you like.Personally I'd have to say stick to the 22", if it's not in stock, then wait for it to get in stock, because trying to make a bike fit that's too small is a PITA. FYI I'm 6'2.25" with 35.25" inseam and like BDF,I am on a "Large" right now with a 19" Seattube and I have a 410mm post in there and it's pretty far out, but the Reach on the Large works for me with a 65mm stem and 785mm wide bar, XL would have been too big, somewhere in between would have been perfect.
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  4. #4
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    This is where all the manufacturer's different sizing messes with us. One guy's 20" is another's 21", which is another's 19".

    I'll leave it to the OP to compare frame sizes and geometry, but I'm 6'5" with a 34" pants inseam (assume 35.5" measured inseam?) and I ride a 21" gravity 29.1. The geometry is good, and the 350mm seatpost works fine. I tried a 19" motobecane fantom 29er, and it just felt small.

  5. #5
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    Im 6"4 and all 4 of my bikes are 21" frame feels great

    michigan

  6. #6
    AJ1
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    Awesome, thanks for the feedback everyone, basically covered all the things I had concerns over. Jeremy, thanks for your input, that's really good to know, I don't want to be pushing the limits of the fit of a bike I'm buying unseen. Although I'm young, fit and flexible I'd rather start out in a more neutral position than a more aggressive xc fit on a smaller frame until I figure out if I prefer a certain type of riding. There's no restock date for the Seekers so I think I'm going to have to look elsewhere. Perhaps the Trek or the Rocky Mountain Flare/Soul/Fusion/Trail head series. They all have tapered head tubes on the 2015 models which gives me more fork upgrade options.

  7. #7
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    You're welcome! My intent wasn't to steer you away from the Airborne, but if they don't have a 22 in stock with no anticipated date then the right thing to do is buy a bike that fits properly; unfortunately that's from another company. You're less likely to enjoy riding a bike that doesn't fit well and ultimately that may dictate whether you stick with it or give it up for some other sport/hobby/addiction.

    Best of luck!

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  8. #8
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    If you were willing to go with Airborne, I'll guess you'd be OK with bikesdirect too. This is a much better version of the bike I have. If I were to buy one right now, this is the one. $900 even, no tax, no shipping, for a good bike with a Reba. And it comes in your size too.
    Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29Point5 29er Mountain Bikes

  9. #9
    AJ1
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    You're welcome! My intent wasn't to steer you away from the Airborne, but if they don't have a 22 in stock with no anticipated date then the right thing to do is buy a bike that fits properly; unfortunately that's from another company. You're less likely to enjoy riding a bike that doesn't fit well and ultimately that may dictate whether you stick with it or give it up for some other sport/hobby/addiction.

    Best of luck!

    Jeremy
    I knew you weren't trying to do that, but the bike has to fit and I can't get that from Airborne right now. It's not much different from most shops I've been in who had almost nothing in my size, it's a shame though as I'd like to support Airborne for providing great value, plus I like the idea of supporting a group of people making a living out of something they love.

  10. #10
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    not sure if you pulled the trigger on anything but i was torn when deciding on size too; i was literally right on the line between 20 and 22. after a conversation on the phone with someone at Airborne I went with a 20, based on the advice they gave me, saying it's easier to make a bike that's just a little too small fit you than it is to make one fit that's a little big. no regrets, but full disclosure i also rode frames that were probably a little too small for me anyways my entire life before this bike (my last new bike was a model year '96, 19.5" frame).
    VILLAGE RACING

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