5'10" - 5'11" riders: Medium or Large?- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: What is your height and frame size?

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  • I'm 5'10" and ride a Medium

    8 40.00%
  • I'm 5'10" and ride a Large

    4 20.00%
  • I'm 5'11" and ride a Medium

    1 5.00%
  • I'm 5'11" and ride a Large

    7 35.00%
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Some guy
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    5'10" - 5'11" riders: Medium or Large?

    Trying to buy a bike for my wife in the Coronavirus world where it's difficult to test ride bikes. She is 5'11" and seems "okay" on my medium Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt (I'm 5'10", no jokes please ). But not being a regular rider (yet!) I'm not sure she would really know if the feel is good or not.

    I'm also wondering for myself if I'm riding a smaller bike than I "should" be. Other riders in my group are shorter than me by an inch or so and are on large bikes, and most size guides have me on the small end of large. So just curious where most riders in this height bracket tend to fall.

    Before anybody says so, I know there are a huge number of variables here and every rider and every bike model is different. I'm just interested in the general trends.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: SoDakSooner's Avatar
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    Trend seems to be toward larger bikes. I'm 5' 11" and have always ridden mediums. My current bike is a large and feels really good.

  3. #3
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    I am 5' 10" and ride a large Transition Sentinel which is a pretty large bike. I prefer a longer reach and wheelbase but I am a fairly advance rider. I think for a beginner sizing down and keeping the bike as manageable as possible is a good idea.

  4. #4
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    I am 5'7" and ride mediums. So at 5'10" or 5'11" I would stay probably a large, but body proportions as well as frame specifics can play a role.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    This is getting to be 'tweener range for the medium/large split. I'm 5'8 with long arms. I can ride many larges, but I tend to prefer longer mediums. In Santa Cruz, I prefer larges. It just depends. Your wife is quite possibly on the other end of that. Might prefer most larges, but some mediums will feel better.

    My own wife is also a bit of a tweener, but for her, the decision process is between smalls and extra smalls. Her height would suggest smalls would mostly be better. But she's got a negative ape factor, so her arms are almost invariably stretched out farther than she likes on the larger size. The extra smalls tend to give her more range of motion to work with. On older geo bikes that had shorter reaches, she could get the fit she liked with a short stem. But modern smalls with already short stems don't give the ability to shorten them more.

    I suspect that's not going to make your wife's decision process any easier, given that her preference will probably vary depending on the bike.

  6. #6
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    I am 5'10" and being on the boarder of medium/large frames in almost every brand is the reason I have stuck with Trek bikes. They seem to be one of the few (only?) that have the M/L in between option. I go crazy seeing size guides show M recommended for 5'6 - 5'10" and L recommended for 5'10" - 6'2". The M always felt a little small and the L always felt a little big. Trek offers the M/L right in the middle.

    Like others have said though, at 5'11", I'd go large.

  7. #7
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    Ive ridden both and neither are perfect. Medium is more nimble, easier to push the bike over stuff. Large holds a line a lot better through rocks, corners better.

    I think for a beginner a medium would be better, the bike will be less effort to move around and doesnt need as much technique. Once you start getting better and are going faster a large will have more advantages because of increased stability at speed.

  8. #8
    Some guy
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    Based on the reading I have been able to find for people in this height range, it seems like 5'10" is where people are divided with most on larges, but a significant minority (including myself) on mediums. 5'11" seems to be the breaking point where just about everybody goes for the large.

  9. #9
    Bikesexual
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    5'11" ride large bikes.
    Surly Krampus
    All City MMD
    Kona Unit

  10. #10
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    conventional wisdom holds that women generally have shorter torsos for their overall height compared to men. The theory goes that most women would benefit from a bike with a shorter reach compared to a man of the same height. YMMV and all that.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 04-23-2020 at 06:25 AM.

  11. #11
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    Like brand spanking new, needs to work on basic fundamentals? I would lean towards the smaller bike in that case only. Extremely new riders can gain some confidence from the lower standover. I think shorter travel bikes help too. Even 140mm feels "big" for someone who hasnt been on a bike on dirt.

    Once they're a little more up to speed, then I think getting on a larger, longer frame has some benefits.

  12. #12
    jcd's best friend
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    May depend on brand. at 5'11" myself, most brands I fit on a large. When I owned a Giant, I fit on a medium. On my current bike (Salsa Timberjack), I fit on a medium as well. Just comes down to the geometry numbers.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  13. #13
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    I'm somewhere around 5'10 or 5'11 and I have 2 bikes that are Large frame size and 1 that is Medium. Honestly I prefer the Large overall for comfortability, could also be that the Medium is a 27.5 so it feels much lower to the ground.

  14. #14
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    It depends on the reach and your inseam length.
    I'm 5'11" with a 32" riding inseam. So longer torso.
    I'd like a reach around 460mm+.
    That lets me use a 40mm or so stem with rise and a bar width of 760+ with 15mm rise and 9* sweep.
    No setback on the seat post.
    You get to use these different components to get a position where you're comfortable moving back and forth to put weight on the front or rear wheel.

    If your wife has a longer inseam with shoes she would look for less reach and vary the measurements of the bars, stem and post to fine tune her feel.

    Reach on a TBolt is 430 M 453 Large. I'd take a L.
    1189mm wheelbase for a Large is compact.

  15. #15
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    I'm a lovely 5' 9 3/4", almost made 5' 10", and I always ride a medium. I have been told I have too much post showing in the past, but I HATE long reach, and prefer to stay a bit tighter,which has the added benefit of nimbler handling.

  16. #16
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    One thing to keep in mind is the effective top tube length. My large Sentinel has a reach of 475 which sounds a bit on the long side for me being 5' 10" but the effective top tube is identical to my old large HD4 which had a reach of 455. So, it feels very similar from a seated position and I have found I much prefer the extra room to move around when standing.

  17. #17
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    Just shy of 5’11” and ride a large GG Smash.
    “NICE ASS!”

    -Sheriff Buford T. Justice

  18. #18
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    5'11" and all the demos I did last year were large frames. I ended up buying a 5010 in large, fit is perfect. I was looking at Thunderbolts also, and would have gone large.

  19. #19
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    my wife is 5'9" rides a hardtail that is kinda strange sized bike. the frame is a a small but a 29" wheel. It works very well for her. I ride an XL bike but I find her bike fun to ride. kinda like a big kid on a bmx bike. I can throw it around more than my big bike.

    we were both fitted for our bikes and I know everyone is different. She has short arms lol. I would go with a medium personally.
    Dont make me go all Jonathan Winters on this gas station.

  20. #20
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    I'd go for the medium, definitely.

    If the bike is slightly too short it might not be optimal but she'll be more upright and comfortable. She won't hate the bike. If the bike is too large she probably will.

  21. #21
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    Large. Im 5'11" and started on a medium, then went to a large. Much more comfortable on a large!

  22. #22
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    Go into a shop and get her fitted for the right size.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    The answer is the most likely the same as you!....

    Now you really need to start looking at the numbers in this height and size range.

    One brands medium is anothers large and vise versa.

    I like to look at reach and tt length to determine big size. The below website is cool!
    You can compare bike spec's

    I compared my slayer v bronson and enduro. The size medium enduro is massive and has a longer reach than the size large slayer and bronson......

    Morel of the story is to decide what dimensions you enjoy. Then go about finding a bike the suits those spec's. That could be a medium or a large.

    https://geometrygeeks.bike/compare/r...son-hi-2019-l/

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