Short Legs. What Frame Size?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Short Legs. What Frame Size?

    Hi, I have a 30" inseam which is about the minimum standover height for bikes, which means I have hardly and clearance over the top tube. So how should I go about picking a bike size? I can imagine I'm not the first person with a 30" innerleg that has bought a bike before

  2. #2
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    I have a 30" inseam and I just bought a 2006 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 15" model. The 13" or 15" Rockhoppers should fit you just fine.
    2006 Specialized Rockhopper Comp

  3. #3
    cbc
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    I've also got a 30" inseam, and ride a "small" GT, but also a Medium Santa Cruz Bullit. The GT feels smaller than the Bullit, but they both seem to fit fine. I don't have standover issues with either (although it's sometimes difficult to get back on the seat of the Bullit!) but you also want to look at top tube size. If you have short legs but a long upper body, a small bike may not be comfortable, and you may feel cramped. If you have a short torso (like me) the small may fit you just fine. My GT was called a 16" at the time, and the Bullit is an 18".

    Good luck, the best thing to do is try the same model of bike in the two sizes & see which one fits better. Most bike shops should stock both sizes of whatever you are looking at.

    Clay

  4. #4
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    To be more precise, I have a 30" inseam and am 5'7", so I have relatively shorter legs compared to my torso. I rode a 17" Jamis Durango SX (before it was stolen) and my tender parts were right on top of my top tube when my feet were flat on the ground. The bike just felt a bit big then, but I didn't know any better.

    Can't I buy a different stem and move the seat back so I can get a smaller bike frame (13"-15") and still have room for my torso? Or... I guess my arms would be relatively shorter too if my legs are, so these adjustments wouldn't matter? I just want to make sure I get a bike that fits me just right this time around.

  5. #5
    cbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by soma
    To be more precise, I have a 30" inseam and am 5'7", so I have relatively shorter legs compared to my torso. I rode a 17" Jamis Durango SX (before it was stolen) and my tender parts were right on top of my top tube when my feet were flat on the ground. The bike just felt a bit big then, but I didn't know any better.

    Can't I buy a different stem and move the seat back so I can get a smaller bike frame (13"-15") and still have room for my torso? Or... I guess my arms would be relatively shorter too if my legs are, so these adjustments wouldn't matter? I just want to make sure I get a bike that fits me just right this time around.
    You sure can! Also, you may look at the different brands and the length of top tube associated with them. I think Gary Fisher bikes have longer top tubes, which would be better, Giant seems to have the longer top tube idea as well. Moving the seat back does different things, it seems to be more of a knee comfort thing for me, not really helping with the reach.

    My GT has a stem that's about 4" long, and the Santa Cruz has a stem that's near 2" long So that, along with the top tube length, are some numbers you want to look at. A short top tube will really make the bike feel cramped... so it is something you want to consider.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I'm built weird too--5'11" and a 29" inseam! I pretty much just gave up on having 3"-4" of standover and did my best to find a top tube that I was comfortable with. The TT on most "Small" frames is too short for me, so I usually go with a Medium.

  7. #7
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    FWIW, I am 5'6"
    2006 Specialized Rockhopper Comp

  8. #8
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    I finally went to a bike shop today and I tried out a Hardrock Sport. Good entry level price, unfortunately, not so good entry level components (upgrades will happen if I get this bike).

    I tried the 15" and didn't even go any smaller. The standover height was barely acceptable(less than an inch of clearance from my tender parts). When I took it out for a spin, the bike felt really nice, size wise. It felt a little cramped, but I think some adjustments to the seat and maybe a new stem (the stock stem was crap) would make things better.

    Either way, I've got an itch to get back on a mountain bike. Good thing there are credit cards.

  9. #9
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    Get the shop to

    fit you for the cockpit: the butt on seat to hands on the bars area. They may have to move the seat back/forward and phart around with stems, but keep at it until the cockpit feels just right. there shouldn't be any cost to do this unless you are upgrading the seat and/or stems. They should have a box of beater stems kicking around to swap out until you find one you like.

    FIT is key, get it right, take your time, or suffer (similar to buying wrong-sized shoes). The bike will not be ridden after a while as it won't fit correctly.

    Standover: many disagree but stand-over is a bit of a myth. You ride the bike and as long as you don't have solid connectivity with the Top Tube standing, even .5" is fine. Remember, you ride the bike, not stand over it.

    Good luck, Jim

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    Whatever you buy, get a frame size that is a good length for you. If you have a little standover clearance, too, it is good. (I am about 5'10" with shortish legs).

    Moving the seat back may put you too far back for efficient and comfortable pedaling.
    Getting a longer stem may change the steering response.

    Look for a frame that is long and low.

  11. #11
    Muhuhahaha
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    I have a 30" inseem and I ride a Rockhopper disk comp. Frame size is a 15.5. I like the standover on it, but really wish for a longer toptube. I changed to a 100mm steam and thast helped out alot.

  12. #12
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    Mmm... yes, the rockhopper. I noticed the standover is even lower on that than on the hardrock. Not bad.

    But I think I'm going to go with the hardrock because of the $$$ issues. Probably get a new stem upon purchase.

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