Shorter guy frame question?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shorter guy frame question?

    I playing around with the idea of getting a bike and really like the Giant Revel 0, Trek 4500, or the Cannondale Trail SL 3. Problem is, I'm 5'6 with a stand over of 28.5. I am adding a additional .5" for the soles of my shoe, being that I won't have clippless, which puts me at 29 stand over.

    If my sources are correct, I should be looking for a bike with a 27 inch stand over (2 inch minimum cushion). My problem is, the smallest stand over for these bikes are: Giant - 28.5, Trek - 28, and Cannondale - 29.3.

    I'm thinking, I may have to go to a dirt/jump frame or custom to get that 2 inch cushion?

    TT will also be affected, but I'm not so worried about that as I have some play there with the stem, seat post and saddle.

    FS bikes are out of the question. They fit me just fine, but I'm not in the market for one yet.

    I

  2. #2
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    Reputation: mitzikatzi's Avatar
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    Many say standover height is over rated. Buy a bike that the Top Tube length fits you.

    "stem, seat post and saddle" are for fine tuning fit.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  3. #3
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    Most any modern 16" frame with a sloping TT will give you ample standover height, unless it has a lot of suspension travel.

  4. #4
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    Don't know if it helps, but I'm about your height, with a long torso, so especially short legs. I think my standover is about 28", and I ride a 15.5" Trek with an 80mm fork. I think standover is important, as long as you have some sort of clearance, but the geometry is more important. I tried out a couple of bikes with a 16" frame at my lbs before buying mine, and that 1/2 inch made a big difference for me. They didn't feel too big, but kinda bulky. It's just my personal preference, but I like the lower, more compact feel, as opposed to the slightly larger frames that let you sit more upright. You should hop on as many bikes as you can and see how you feel riding them.

  5. #5
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    Dont be afraid to look at "women specific" bikes. Alot of these bikes are identical to mens but tend to come in smaller sizes. Some also come in good colors too so they wont neccesarily look like a girls bike either. My girlfriends bike is pearl white and blue with silver accents. Looks like a 14.5" mens bike and I would totally ride it if it was my size. Change the saddle throw on your peals and go ride!

  6. #6
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    I wouldn't worry about standover too much, as long as there's some space. Like previously mentioned, I think top tube length is more important. I'm 5'4" and I ride a Kona(second one) and they seem to have short geometry down. My bike is a 16" and I have plenty of standover.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  7. #7
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    I'm exactly your dimensions. Here is the ideal sizing according to brand:

    1) Cannondale - Medium
    2) Giant - Small
    3) Trek - Medium
    4) Specialized - Medium
    5) Ibis - Small
    6) Gary Fisher - Small
    7) Santa Cruz - Small
    8) Titus/OnOne - Small
    9) Scott - Medium
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  8. #8
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    I am 5'6" so I feel your pain. Don't get hung up with standover. Top tube measurement and overall "feel" is more important. At your height, you will have a hard time getting 2" on most bikes that fit you.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  9. #9
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    I'm only about 5' 6 1/2" or thereabouts and have variously ridden small and medium framed bikes, some with only 1" of standover at the most. It rarely if ever is an issue. Size your bike by length and how the cockpit fits you.
    Less isn't MOAR

  10. #10
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    Sideknob...from one short dude to another...you are 5'6"...its okay, no need for 1/2" increments
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2018 Niner RKT 9 RDO - enduro AF

  11. #11
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    im 5' 8", ride a medium Giant Trance X. The standover leaves me with roughly 1" of clearance.
    In my ~3 years of trail riding, i cant think of a single instance where lack of standover left me in a risky situation. I also cannot think of a fall ive ever taken where my body ended up straddling the top tube.

    In conclusion, standover isnt THAT important. Just make sure you can in fact stand over the bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88 View Post
    im 5' 8", ride a medium Giant Trance X. The standover leaves me with roughly 1" of clearance.
    In my ~3 years of trail riding, i cant think of a single instance where lack of standover left me in a risky situation. I also cannot think of a fall ive ever taken where my body ended up straddling the top tube.

    In conclusion, standover isnt THAT important. Just make sure you can in fact stand over the bike.
    My first ever race(and eighth time riding) was a four hour race. On my last lap about 20 yards from the finish I cramped, hard. My feet wouldn't turn to unclip and down I went straddling the TT. I just laid there staring at the finish trying to will my body to move. I finally did. It took like six minutes for me to be able to ride the last bit. I was pissed. Good times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  13. #13
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    5'6" - 5'7" rider here and when I was looking for a bike, I was also concerned with the stand over. I have a 29" inseame, not really sure, and purchased a small SantaCruz Heckler. The Heckler has a 29" stand over and to date, have yet to have any issues with it. My brother, who is also my height, rides a small Heckler as well and is considering buying a medium Blur. Have to agree with the above posts, as long as it feels right while you're riding.

  14. #14
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    i have the same problem....And I would be very glad if you guys here could give me some tips..

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...-m-768460.html

  15. #15
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    5 to 5'4" small
    5'5" to 5'9" medium
    5"10" to 6'2" Large
    6'3" to 6'7" XL

  16. #16
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    Thanks all. I agree with everyone on the cockpit being key. I currently ride a 17 because it felt better and less cramped, unlike its little brother (15). Too bad the particular manufacturer didn't make a 16. I think that would have been perfect. But with that being said, the 17 is an entry level and heavy/larger, hard to manuver around sharp turns.

    After further research, it looks like this height is in the grey area for most manufacteurers. We're just left with having to decide to go with a smaller bike or a larger one. I did jump on the Trek 4500 16.......or was it 15.5?, but it felt better. I had a little more clearance as well.

    I think I have a longer torso and arms too? Simply because I had to move the saddle back to feel comfortable in my current 17. Prior to moving it back and lowering the saddle, I was getting pain in my wrist and my right cheek (butt).

    Do you guys ride with the saddle and handle bars at the same height? My saddle is lower by and inch or two. That may contribute to why the bike dosent handle as well on the trails? I'll have to give it a try. But I do feel like I'm going to fall forward when I ride with the saddle in the higher position.

    I've looked at the Kona bikes and from pictures it does seem like the tt slope a bit more. Ive got two dealer 1.5 hrs from me so I have a road trip ahead of me.

    The thought of ridding a womens bike never even crossed my mind. I would totally ride a womens bike and that opens up some options for me. I'll try out a trek sky in 16 and see how that feels.

    Now that I think about the few times I have got injured, I always flew over the bike.

    I'll have to try out as many manufacturers/makes/models as I can. Going to suck if I find one that I like, but the dealer doesn't have the two sizes in stock for me to compare.

  17. #17
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    I'm 5'6" and ride a 15.5" Trek. My saddle and handlebars are the same height, but I had to cut my steere tube, take out the spacers and switch to flat handlebars to accomplish that. I think it gives me better handling by lowering my center of gravity.

  18. #18
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    This is a problem I am having as well. I'm 5'8", but have short legs (29in inseam). I am hoping to get into an entry level bike soo. I have been going to the LBS and testing out hardtail mountain bikes and the standover distance worries me. My reach is almost always a medium (small frames feel too cramped), but on medium frames I have 0.5-1in clearance max. The only exceptions to this is the Schwinn Frontier Elite (not really looking at that one), and the GT Aggressor.

    As long as there is "some" clearance is that ok? Because I am definitely not going to get 1.5-2in clearance on a medium frame unless I go with the Aggressor. Like I said it just makes me nervous.

  19. #19
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    Seriously - don't worry so much about standover, guys. If you have to find yourself in a riding situation with both feet on the ground, straddling the top tube...you're obviously not riding hard enough!!!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  20. #20
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    On saddle height: It used to be the style to have it higher; it also used to be the style to have it lower. It is now the style to have it the same height. Ride what feels right. Higher: more "racy" you're more "on" the bike. Lower: more "comfort"; you're more "in" the bike. Same height: about middle ground. This is pretty basic but gets the point across the best I can in the least words.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

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