Sizing issue 18in or 19.5?... 5'11"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sizing issue 18in or 19.5?... 5'11"

    Well, ive narrowed my choices between two bikes, an 18in trek 4300 or a 19.5 inch trek 6500. I am too far away to be able to sit on the bikes, so I am not sure what bike would be a better fit. I am 5'11" and about 190lbs. Thanks

  2. #2
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    You really should be sizing it based on the effective top-tube length rather than the seat tube. Do you have a current bike to compare against?

  3. #3
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    The difference in the geometry between the....

    two bikes is quite significant. Making a decision without being able to at least test ride both would be a mistake! First the 6500 19.5" is a Large, the 18" 4300 a Medium. With the 6500 you'd be running a full 1.6" longer top tube at 24.6", and 1.2" more standover height at 30.6", and a 71 degree head angle. This is more of a traditional XC/Race geometry. The 4300 is a more relaxed trial type geometry with a 70.5 degree head angle, shorter top tube at 23" and standover of 29.4". A more comparable size to the M 4300 would be of course a Medium 6500. But there are still signigicant differences in geometry. If you can't ride both bikes before making the trip to purchase them, I'd suggest saving for the most expensive of the two and then a test ride when you go to make the buy. If you are doing the ebay thing then I can't really make a recommendation because there is ALLOT more that goes into sizing than just top tube and stand over!

    I'd recommend that you go with snydaMTB's recommendation if at all possible. If you have a current bike compare the geometries of the 4300 and 6500 to it and go with which ever is closer.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  4. #4
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    Agree with the above posts.......

    is there a local trek dealer that you can go and test ride a those models.....even if not the same model....at least the same series...

    I personally find trek cockpit to be pretty small....no matter what their geometry data says......I am 5'10" and I ride a 2003 Trek 4900 as my winter bike (in 2003 trek 4900 and 6000 series was grouped in the same category and shared the same geometry)...

    Sometime I also ride my friends 19.5" Trek 4500.....it fits me fine.....

    One thing to remember tough, I dont do big jumps or stunts on my bike.......my riding style is more XC and general trail riding....

    I am assuming with 5'11" and with longer inseam (assuming), you could ride the 19.5....but again, test riding will tell you what to do...

  5. #5
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    I just got back from the lbs and sat on two bikes. The first was a Specialized Hardrock, which fit very well, and the second was a Trek 4300 medium. The trek didnt fit quite as well, but with a 300 dollar price difference, (the trek being used), i feel that im better off saving my money and learning on the cheaper bike. I think that I am going to go for the 18 inch trek.

  6. #6
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    No don't!

    the most important part of buying is the fit; would you buy shoes that didn't fit to learn how to run, or play basketball, or whatever? Feel the pain? Want to quit? Right!

    False saving and a bad choice, you will regret it, IMO only buy a bike that fits.

    OK, rant over, but I really believe this or I wouldn't be so vociferous.

    good luck, Jim

  7. #7
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    I'm 5'11" with a '06 trek 3700. It's a 19.5 inch, and I couldn't imagine anything smaller. Sometimes i wonder if i shoulda gotten the next size up. Personally I think 19.5 would be perfect, especially if you're starting out and doing basic trail riding.

  8. #8
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    The thing is is that the trek felt comfortable and seemed to fit me well (although i dont have the experience to know a perfect fit), but it didnt seem as good as the hardrock, (both were 18in frames). The problem is that being in college I am on a fixed income right now, and I wouldnt be able to afford a 500+ dollar bike until June.

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    then aim for this

    with your butt in the saddle and your hands on the bars, the "cockpit" should feel nice and comfortable... not too short, not too stretched out. If you feel lots off pressure on the hands, then your weight is too far forward; too little pressure, you're too far upright. Get the LBS to work with you. Don't let them tell you that a longer stem and lay back seat post will make the cockpit right, it won't. You should fit nicely on to the bike and feel like it was designed with your body in mind. Take your time, don't rush, do it right.

    Good luck, Jim

  10. #10
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    Well I ended up getting the Specialized Hardrock from the LBS, and i love it. It fits me perfect, and the ride is so much better then my last bike. Thanks for the help

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