Sizing for long torso but short legs- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 30 of 30
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    9

    Sizing for long torso but short legs

    I'm having trouble getting the right bike. I want to get a trek superfly AL 29er 2012 on special but they only have a medium. I am 5-7 but my inseam is 28 inches so I am unable to standover comfortably but the reach feels good. I can get a scott scale 29er 960 2013 for the same price in a small but they want to extend and flip the stem and I am worried it will affect the handling. What thoughts does anyone have on the models and what about the size?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: joeinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    470
    Quote Originally Posted by Slow&Steady View Post
    my inseam is 28 inches so I am unable to standover comfortably
    Can you elaborate on your inseam measurement? Is that from the floor, feet about 6-8" apart and without shoes? (the standard way to measure) I'm trying to understand just how uncomfortable you are.

    Generally speaking, comfort on the bike is the primary concern. If the Superfly feels like a good fit, then you shouldn't rule it out. I'm similarly built and, honestly, prefer an inch or two of standover clearance. But you'll be on the pedals 99% of the time, so it really doesn't come into play that often.

    Flipping stems so you get a negative rise will put more weight on your hands and the front tire. If you move the saddle back simultaneously, you can keep the center of gravity in its original position. It then becomes a matter of whether you're comfortable with the extra weight on your hands ... and that usually takes time on the trail to assess.

    Same story with a longer stem. Forward weight shift on front tire and hands. Depending on how much length or drop you add, the difference could be negligible OR quite noticeable. It's usually best to assess the current setup, make one change at a time, test it out and then reassess. Repeat with next tweak.

    Your best bet is to find a bike that's close to a good fit out of the box.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  3. #3
    Picture Unrelated
    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5,123
    Do you want to stand over your bike or ride it?

    Always size your bike for riding; in a perfect world we wouldn't have to make these decisions but not everyone is the average body proportion. I have a pretty low standover on my bike as well, I "graze" the toptube when I'm standing flat footed. I have yet to have a bail which has caused me undue trauma due to standover. You almost never bail two feet flat to the ground, you always bail to one side. If anything, I've caused myself far more pain by hitting the stem during OTB maneuvers.

    Historically, the Fisher bikes (now Trek's Fisher collection) have had a long top tube so it's no surprise that you feel comfortable on it. I'd pull the trigger on whatever you feel better on and stop worrying about crashing in ways that rarely occur.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  4. #4
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Slow&Steady View Post
    I'm having trouble getting the right bike. I want to get a trek superfly AL 29er 2012 on special but they only have a medium. I am 5-7 but my inseam is 28 inches so I am unable to standover comfortably but the reach feels good. I can get a scott scale 29er 960 2013 for the same price in a small but they want to extend and flip the stem and I am worried it will affect the handling. What thoughts does anyone have on the models and what about the size?
    What makes you think that 29er would be better for you. If you can however get a small, not that it would improve stand over much but 5'7" with short(er) legs would not be a good fit on a med 29er. I like smaller bike for mountain biking.

  5. #5
    Is not amused
    Reputation: Hutch3637's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3,205
    Stand over is irrelevant. It's a myth. Like zebrahum said "Do you want to stand over your bike or ride it?" Putting a longer stem and flipping it will just put more weight on the front end and a tiny bit more room for your upper body so your not cramped. Can't speak for the Scott but I own a Superfly 100 and was torn between getting a 17.5 or 19.

    Went with the 19 and took out the stem stacks and flipped it. If I went with the 17.5 I would have had to get a huge stem and setback seat post. As for stand over I have about an inch of clearance with both feet on the ground. I would get what feels best for you and best right from the get go.

  6. #6
    I4NI
    Reputation: S_Trek's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,222
    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    What makes you think that 29er would be better for you. If you can however get a small, not that it would improve stand over much but 5'7" with short(er) legs would not be a good fit on a med 29er. I like smaller bike for mountain biking.
    Yeap, this. Had med 29ers(zero stand over, just cleared) in the past but went back to a small 26er. 5"6" tall here.

    You do have to stop once in a while to enjoy the little things. Most of the time it is on uneven terrain which makes it worst. Why not have that little insurance? We all dont race 100% of the time
    Last edited by S_Trek; 09-14-2012 at 06:23 PM.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    116
    Great thread, I'm in the same boat almost exactly as the OP (same height, same inseam). When I stand over a medium Superlight i can put both feet on the ground but my precious bits are cramped. It does feel like the right size when riding vs a small however.

  8. #8
    ****** to the dirt
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,122
    I am in the same boat. Small legs longer torso. Right now I am riding a 17", I got a longer stem to make up the difference. What stand over is for is if you have to stop suddenly and you come off the bike just imagine where the bar is going to end up. Now saying that when in the near future I buy my new bike I am moving up to a 19" or large, for a better fit when riding.

    What stand over is for is if you have to stop suddenly and you come off the bike just imagine where the bar is going to end up but to fix that you can always lean the bike to one side when you stop. Take both out for a ride and see which is more comfortable riding. It is the riding comfort that you need.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    116
    Depending on the manufacturer the stand over for a small is nearly the same as a medium. In my case the difference doesn't make much of a difference in comfort.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LaLD's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    432
    Same here. I'm 6'2" with a 30" inseam. Larger bikes fit better to ride. I have very little stand over if any on my EMD9 (size large). The only problem I have is getting going. I've learned that banks and rocks are my friend.
    2011 Niner EMD
    Wounds Heal, Chicks dig scars, Glory lasts FOREVER!

  11. #11
    Tool
    Reputation: StageHand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    272
    If they want to swap stems for you, ask if you can ride it with that stem first. There are some generalizations to make about how stems affect handling, but it's really hard to say without seeing you on the bike. When I've suggested changes like this, it's usually based on something I see on the bike. I suggest longer stems when a rider's body is more or less in the right place, but their hands and arms look funny. I tell people to start a fit by getting the saddle positioned relative to the crank, then adjusting the cockpit as needed.

    If you get a chance, ride three different bikes in quick succession, paying attention to how your torso is positioned and how much weight is on your arms.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1,073
    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch3637 View Post
    Stand over is irrelevant. It's a myth. Like zebrahum said "Do you want to stand over your bike or ride it?" Putting a longer stem and flipping it will just put more weight on the front end and a tiny bit more room for your upper body so your not cramped. Can't speak for the Scott but I own a Superfly 100 and was torn between getting a 17.5 or 19.
    Another +1 ... and especially when people think putting both feet down is a good way to cope with some problem. It's a recipe for disaster or at least a Darwin award contender.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1,073
    I want to get a trek superfly AL 29er 2012 on special but they only have a medium.
    For anyone with a different body geometry than whatever the manufacturers use as a base...trying a bike properly before deciding what you want is the most important thing you'll do.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,371
    My sizing problems are the opposite of yours, but I still
    Have fitting issues compared to those that fit average bikes. You need to find bikes that fit, and narrow choice to the one you want from there. Look for the shortest seat tunes and stand overs, coupled with the longest reach possible. That may mean a comparatively shorter stack, too, as a short stack increases reach. Once you get an idea of what brands run along those lines, you can start looking. There is no point in looking at a good deal that will never fit.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 12-03-2016 at 08:07 AM.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1,073
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    My sizing problems are the opposite of yours, but I still
    Have fitting issues compared to those that fit average bikes. You need to find bikes that fit, and narrow choice to the one you want from there. Look for the shortest seat posts, coupled with the longest reach possible. That may mean a comparatively shorter stack, too, as a short stack increases reach. Once you get an idea of what brands run along those lines, you can start looking. There is no point in looking at a good deal that will never fit.
    Given the huge differences from DH to XC bikes it's amazing to me just how different manufacturers tend to fit different people almost across the range.

    I hired the most basic entry level Whyte 901 hard tail and the DH and stuff inbeteeen and own a trail T-130 (because it fits me) ... when I've hired some other brands they just don't seem to feel right from the off...
    When I hired I've been much more comfortable and had more fun all round on the basic hardtail with components really a bit past end of life than a almost new much more expensive bike that just doesn't fit me.


    Our local trial is GB£15 for 3 hours for the basic bikes and I think you get a really good idea of how the whole range will fit even on the most basic... it's money well spent in my view... much better than going for something because it's discounted and spending every ride not feeling quite right.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,371
    Did you check out this thread?

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-corner/help-i-have-freakishly-short-legs-1027205.html

  17. #17
    ****** to the dirt
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,122
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    For anyone with a different body geometry than whatever the manufacturers use as a base...trying a bike properly before deciding what you want is the most important thing you'll do.
    This right here, every manufacture uses different geometry. One 19 from one fits different from another. The only way and best way is to try them out and give them a ride to see what is the best fit. Also every one that rides has a slight difference and what works for one may not work for another.
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    There's some strange folk out there 'bouts. They have no sense of humor.
    My Blog

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    44
    Bike fit is a simple three point triangle with two of the points basically fixed. The seat tube angle on most bikes is within a small range of degrees and the distance from the bottom bracket to your butt is pretty much fixed to a small range from bike to bike. What changes is the length and height of the handle bars from your seat. This will change the angle of your back and hips and how vertical your arms are and how much weight is forward on the bars.

    If the medium feels right, get it. A small frame will usually have lower handlebars and then flipping and extending the stem will make them lower again. This would put you in an aggressive racing posture. Great for flat racing, not so stable or maneuverable for tackling single track.

    Stand over height is a sacrifice. I can't comfortably stand over any bike I own because of a 30" inseam on a 5'11" frame. I need a large frame to get an acceptable reach. I feel cramped on a medium frame (at least any I've tried).

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    611
    Screw standover height. Archaic measurement of mountain bike fit.

    5'7" here with short legs but the torso and arms of a six footer. I tend to end up on mediums with wide bars/short stem setups and I'm happy. I'm a fan of smallish bikes but size smalls usually feel a little too cramped.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,665
    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    What makes you think that 29er would be better for you. If you can however get a small, not that it would improve stand over much but 5'7" with short(er) legs would not be a good fit on a med 29er. I like smaller bike for mountain biking.
    I second that.

    I ride smalls and preferably 16 inch frames in 26 and 29ers. I'm 5'8-9 with about 29 inch inseam. my wingspan is roughly 6 feet and my vertical reach is 7'6'. Stay off the mediums IMO. Look for bikes with a dropped top tube if available.

    I fit great with the stock 80MM stem inverted for more drop. My seat is not setback.

    People who don't understand the need for standover must not ride in areas where the ground at the crank is lower than rock ground under your tires in bailout situations. To make matters worse, one usually fails when traction stalls going "up a rock feature" which means the front wheel is even higher.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1,073
    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post

    People who don't understand the need for standover must not ride in areas where the ground at the crank is lower than rock ground under your tires in bailout situations. To make matters worse, one usually fails when traction stalls going "up a rock feature" which means the front wheel is even higher.
    No I think that's the point... unless the standover is HUGE you will never put both feet down and even if you do as you point out one usually fails when traction stalls going "up a rock feature" which means the front wheel is even higher and the last thing you want then is one leg either side trying to reach the ground that is WAY WAY AWAY ???

    Just trowing the numbers but 8/10 times you try and do both feet in that situation not only do you end up falling but your wrapped around a bike whereas if you get a foot on one side (keeping it upright and rolling backwards) even if the bike falls when you have one foot you can semi-gracefully keep hold of the bars and stop both you and the bike ???

  22. #22
    ****** to the dirt
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,122
    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post

    People who don't understand the need for standover must not ride in areas where the ground at the crank is lower than rock ground under your tires in bailout situations. To make matters worse, one usually fails when traction stalls going "up a rock feature" which means the front wheel is even higher.
    If you are bailing in a way that you are going to be straddling the top bar you are going to be hitting your crotch onto the stem any ways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    There's some strange folk out there 'bouts. They have no sense of humor.
    My Blog

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,665
    This is kind of silly that we are actually arguing where one lands when they fall and telling someone they dont need/want clearance for their specific Physiology.

    You will not fall forward into your stem while climbing up hill and up technical features. You ideally lean the bike over and put a foot down. I ride clipped in so am never in a dismount situation where I am trying to put two feet down. Yes I need and want the lower top tube height. If climbing something super steep and rocky (>15%) you are going to shift your weight forward in front of the seat and put a foot down. You are also going apply both brake at this moment to keep from rolling / sliding backwards.

    Flying forward and hitting the stem usually occurs at lower speeds when your front wheel hits a hole or rock that stops you and you lack grip on the pedals. At high speeds you just endo if your weight is up too high


    There are certain bikes, i.e. trek M hardtail (17.5/18.5) That I am literally on my pelvis, and a 30 inseam dress slack fits me perfectly. No thanks.

    I am rarely off the bike and rarely stop, but I know that is not normal from riding with non racers.

    I know not everyone's trail experience is the same and that terrain is very different in certain parts of the country. Here is some of ours.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZphUr7mVa8
    Last edited by FJSnoozer; 12-06-2016 at 02:10 PM.

  24. #24
    ****** to the dirt
    Reputation: deke505's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    5,122
    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    This is kind of silly that we are actually arguing where one lands when they fall and telling someone they dont need/want clearance for their specific Physiology.

    You will not fall forward into your stem while climbing up hill and up technical features. You ideally lean the bike over and put a foot down. I ride clipped in so am never in a dismount situation where I am trying to put two feet down. Yes I need and want the lower top tube height. If climbing something super steep and rocky (>15%) you are going to shift your weight forward in front of the seat and put a foot down. You are also going apply both brake at this moment to keep from rolling / sliding backwards.

    Flying forward and hitting the stem usually occurs at lower speeds when your front wheel hits a hole or rock that stops you and you lack grip on the pedals. At high speeds you just endo if your weight is up too high


    There are certain bikes, i.e. trek M hardtail (17.5/18.5) That I am literally on my pelvis, and a 30 inseam dress slack fits me perfectly. No thanks.

    I am rarely off the bike and rarely stop, but I know that is not normal from riding with non racers.

    I know not everyone's trail experience is the same and that terrain is very different in certain parts of the country. Here is some of ours.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZphUr7mVa8
    Good the lower bar works for you but if you listened to what people are saying is that one needs to get the bike that feels comfortable. That may mean taking the bike that doesn't have much top tube clearance if that is the bike that is more comfortable for the rider.
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus View Post
    There's some strange folk out there 'bouts. They have no sense of humor.
    My Blog

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch3637 View Post
    Stand over is irrelevant. It's a myth. Like zebrahum said "Do you want to stand over your bike or ride it?" Putting a longer stem and flipping it will just put more weight on the front end and a tiny bit more room for your upper body so your not cramped. Can't speak for the Scott but I own a Superfly 100 and was torn between getting a 17.5 or 19.

    Went with the 19 and took out the stem stacks and flipped it. If I went with the 17.5 I would have had to get a huge stem and setback seat post. As for stand over I have about an inch of clearance with both feet on the ground. I would get what feels best for you and best right from the get go.
    You can't say stand over is irrelevant and then say you have an inch of clearance, for some vertically challenged people like myself 1" of clearance would be awesome. most of the time I would be happy to find a 29er that give me .3"-.7' inches worth of clearance. I do agree stand over is overstated and there is no golden rule on how much you need

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: White7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    574
    6'3" with a 30" inseam here,,size the bike for your height and add a dropper post to take up the inseam slack,,,works for me may work for you ,,I ride an XL with a dropper

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    64
    what ^ said... I'm normally a medium frame at best, 6 foot but 30 inch inseam and my latest pickup is an XL san quentin 1, And its still short for my tiny legs. adding a dropper post, longer fork and riser bars! try a few bikes and frame sizes to fit what suites you or is close to it! go with base frame first then do add on's! good luck!
    19 Marin San quentin 1
    01 Specialized Hemi Team Cruiser
    V-link pro carbon build up in the works!

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    152
    Having a long torso w short limbs, my main sizing suggestions are: look for long reach, high stack, steep seat tube. Shorter “effective” seat tube lengths and low stand over feels more confidence inspiring too. So the modern trend of bike geo really is helping our body type.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wickerman1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,408
    Kona Process 134 27.5 medium. Tons of standover and long reach. I couldveven ride it at 6’2ish.

  30. #30
    jcd's best friend
    Reputation: Battery's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2,812
    Quote Originally Posted by jrasero View Post
    You can't say stand over is irrelevant and then say you have an inch of clearance, for some vertically challenged people like myself 1" of clearance would be awesome. most of the time I would be happy to find a 29er that give me .3"-.7' inches worth of clearance. I do agree stand over is overstated and there is no golden rule on how much you need
    Why on Earth are you responding to someone in a thread from 2012? I highly doubt you will get a response from the dude. Better yet, why are you responding to multiple posts from several years ago?
    Salsa Timberjack | Salsa Cutthroat

Members who have read this thread: 6

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.