Who rides a SMALL size frame and what's your height?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Who rides a SMALL size frame and what's your height?

    My bud and I just bought new bikes. We've always ridden MEDIUM. He's 5'5" and I am 5"6".

    We tried a bunch of bikes and found some SMALL frames that just felt right. Like the leverage is more to our advantage, less burning of the leg muscles on big climbs.

    It is a little strange sitting upright though, instead of stooped down. But then, it's less stress on the neck.

    So who rides small and how tall are you? How do you like it. Anybody out there 5'6" and below riding MEDIUM? My son does, he doesnt like our SMALL frames. But I'm thinking at my age, Ive got nothing to prove and mechanically, it feels that I can get more power into the pedals.

    Any theories as to why? Is it better to err with a slightly bigger frame?

    Thanks!

    Bing
    Last edited by bing!; 07-21-2010 at 08:23 PM.

  2. #2
    TRANCER
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    Definately small frames. But some brands vary from others
    Ride

  3. #3
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    I'm 5'4" and ride a small 16" bike. I can ride a 17" but would have no stand over clearance at all. I have my seat up by about 5-6 inches when I rise up/flat.

    5'5" is usually the borderline small and medium.

    Keep in mind, just because 2 different bikes brands are size smalls doesn't mean they have the same geometry.

  4. #4
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    Some of our confusion comes from the fact that all the MEDIUMS passed the stand over height test. Thanks for the replies.

    /bing

  5. #5
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    5'4" and I ride a small frame. 16" currently, 14.5" previously. Stand over clearance has always been so minimal, zero to none, that I just don't consider it a factor. I've ridden "medium" frames in the past and just don't feel like I have enough overall control of the bike for very active trail riding...it's just fine for riding bike paths though. Small vs. medium (whatever that measures out to be) is not really an issue for me on road bikes but it definitely is on MTBs.
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
    "MOMMY, I WANT TO RIDE LIKE THAT FAT KID!" true story.

  6. #6
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    Tested a "small" 15.5 GF Hifi Deluxe, it fit pretty good with a slightly longer stem and shifting the seat back. Ended up buying a 17.5 2008 Trek Top Fuel though, it feel sperfect (at least test riding it, and so far!). I am 5'7 and 3/4

  7. #7
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    I am 5'6 and when I first started riding a year ago all I know about bike sizes were S (16 ins), M (18ins) etc..so I went ahead and bought a 17in bike. At first it felt good but 6 months later I had this pain in my neck and soreness in my perineum area which started to cause numbness. That's when I started to do some serious research about bike fitting in this forum and discovered that the top tube length (reach) is actually the size to look out for. I realized that I have been leaning down too much becos of the longer reach and putting pressure on my perineum area. So I trade in my 17 in bike for a giant trance x 3 size XS 14.5 in with a much shorter reach and immediately felt the difference. I am so much comfortable in an more upright position and the pain in the neck has gone away. I replaced the saddle with a selle smp with a long cut-out and I can ride for hours now. But I'm 50 y.o. and I cycle mainly for health so I guess younger guys who's into competitive cycling may not like this upright position.

  8. #8
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    5'5'' and ride size 14.5-16in. Stand over height is BS

  9. #9
    tma
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    I have a buddy who's 5'3" and rides a medium.
    Its amazing because he does all kinds of crazy shits and still lives to tell everyday.

    I warned him though because his stand over is like almost negative, told him that if
    he trashes on some root or rock, that's instant omelette down there hahahaha!
    "It's the driver, not the car..."

  10. #10
    dirtbag
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    I'm 5'6" and ride a mix of small and medium frames. My '98 Stumpy is a 17" frame with a 120mm stem that I used to race back in the day. I like the stretched out position on low bars, but now it's set up as a commuter and bar/saddle height is even. My '08 Stumpy FSR is a medium, I tried the small and the cockpit was too short and came with 170mm cranks. With a Thompson setback seatpost the medium bike feels much more comfortable. The most recent bike is a small 29er and the fit is just about perfect, haven't tweaked it for fit.
    Amolan

  11. #11
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    5'6 and i usually ride a small, but with a top tube of at least 22"+

  12. #12
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    I am only about 64" with close to 30" inseam.

    I now ry to get small mtn frames.

    I made the expensive mistake of going with a Mojo SL medium and ended up selling it to get a small.

    don't compromise fit


  13. #13
    local trails rider
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    All Mediums, or Smalls, are not created equal.
    I'm about 5'9", or so, and on Medium frames. Looking at geometry numbers some brands' Larges look good to me, while other brand's Smalls might actually work...

  14. #14
    I4NI
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    5'6" here and ride both a "Little Giant" (small) and a Med Trek. Both works well for me.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  15. #15
    the catalan connection
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    Good point the sizing thing.
    I´m 5.9, and I´ve been on a 21" Rockhopper which was my first serious bike and couldn´t pass away the deal the shop was offering me...(I guess it felt "right" becouse I was used to borrow my taller brother´s Stumpjumper). After a while, got the same in 19". That was better compared to the ultra large 21". The next was a 19" Explosif, which was fine, but could be smaller. And now I have a 17.5 Blizzard. There was no 18" in 2006 as it is now, and the distributor said it would suit me better than a 18.5". With a 120mm stem and a setback Ritchey post feels fine.I can say I´m still looking for my perfect fit bike after more than 15 years riding them...
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  16. #16
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    its all down to how it feels to you, just because a chart says your meant to be on a specific size does not really make it so

    im 6'1 and im on a medium giant trance. i felt to stretched out on the large

  17. #17
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    I am 5'5.5" and ride a Small FS bike

  18. #18
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    5' 5"
    30.0" inseam
    26 hardtail frame
    15.5" ST
    22.0" TT
    I love the hills, but the hills don't love me back.

  19. #19
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    I'm 5ft7 and ride a small/16"/49cm. I have a long torso and short legs though

  20. #20
    Singapore
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    i am 5'6" and riding a 15". my frame has arrived and i am waiting for my exams to end now.

  21. #21
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    5'7" riding a GIANT S size with 50mm stem and a riser bar. Been working on the ideal seating position since I started, I think I nailed it this time. I prefer a more upright seating position.

  22. #22
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    I am 5'6, ride a HT 17 with a 22.5' top tube and 90mm stem, while a FS 16 with a TT of 22 with 90mm stem

    I think that one of the more important issue is the Top tube and stem length

  23. #23
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    I'm 5'4" and I ride a small 15" specialized hardrock. Feels great to me...

    Go for a good fit. My last bike was a medium and it was huge.

  24. #24
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    I'm 5'8 and ride a Small Fuji Tahoe comp 29er.

  25. #25
    I like mtn biking, too
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    I am 5' 6" and decided to go with a small Ibis Mojo, and yeah I know it's a tough choice for us. 5'6" is smack dab in the middle of S and M for most bikes, so it really comes down to the bike's dimensions, your personal preference, your reach and upper body length. There is really no substitute for riding and trying out both. I have found that if you can shorten your stem, you will have more control, and it is easier to lift/unweight your front end (obviously). So, I think that if switching to a small frame would require lengthening your stem, it's a sign you should just consider staying with the medium w/ a short stem. Also, stand-over height is more of a rigid or hard tail bike method of measuring. It is really a totally different issue when you're talking about FS due to the rear sag. I regret that I did not get a professional fitting before purchasing my bike. Knowing what I know now, I might have gone with the medium, or at least have gotten a professional bike fitting, and/or googled the topic of bike fit extensively before making such a huge financial commitment, like buying a new frame, or bike! I do get knee issues on long rides - over 30 miles and 4000' of climbing. It kind of sucks because I really love long rides. So, I think the type of riding you do also is also an important factor to consider....
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  26. #26
    I <3 bikes
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    I'm 5'6" and ride a 15.5" full-suspension (Felt Comp.3). I was on a 17.5" ht before I bought the Felt. I was really worried that the Felt would be too small (internet order) but I put my faith in the bike shop I ordered it from and the fit is great. Much more comfortable than the larger hardtail.

    It is typically better to go with a slightly smaller frame as you can install a laid back seat post and longer stem.

  27. #27
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    I'm a shade below 5'5" with inseam of 30". I ride 16" Motobecane with top tube length 21.5". I would prefer the top tube to be an inch longer. Since the stem is already 100mm, I'm sucking it up and getting used more upright position.
    Last edited by light3monkey; 08-09-2010 at 06:53 PM.
    '09 Giant Anthem X, 26er; '14 Lynskey Ridgeline-650b

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by light_monkey
    I'm a shade below 5'5" with inseam of 30". I ride 16" Motobecane with top tube length 21.5". I would prefer the top tube to be an inch longer. Since the stem is already 100mm, I'm sucking it up and getting used more upright position.
    What about trying an off set seat post?

  29. #29
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    I'm 5'6'' with a shorter torso(31'' inseam properly measured). I ride a small because the standover gives me "oh sh*t" room in a panic and the short top tube makes my back feel better, and keeps all the weight off my wrists.

    Whatever you feel more comfortable on. I've only ridden small bikes so I don't have experience on a medium. Like others have said all bikes are different though. My Mtn is a 08 Trek 6000 small and my CX is a 2009 Redline 52cm

  30. #30
    T.W.O.
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    I'm 5'7", I own small and med Ibis mojo. I fit them both fine. I've also ridden the large which I clear the stand over, and rode it without any problems. However the Small is my fav because I can flick it around a bit.

    Like many said not all bike are created equals. I've thought I'd fit my wife's XS racer X but turns out I rode it just fine as well. I most prefer to ride Small but I demoed so many bike and most are offer in Med or Large, so it's not a problem.

  31. #31
    the catalan connection
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic
    I do get knee issues on long rides - over 30 miles and 4000' of climbing. It kind of sucks because I really love long rides. So, I think the type of riding you do also is also an important factor to consider....
    I thought that bike size would affect knee-over-pedal position too, but seat tube angle don´t change that much (if any) between sizes. What changes the KOP more is saddle height, and with a small frame you´ll have just more seatpost exposed, but not a bad KOP position. When the seat tube angle changes a bit it can be easily compensated with a setback post or moving the saddle back a bit.
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  32. #32
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    I'm 5'6.5'' and Im riding a 15.5'' Gary Fisher Pirihana. When I first got it I was concerned it was a little small for me I felt a little hunched over. But after a short while I fell in love, It fits like a glove I feel like I'm one with the bike, not like the bike is taking me for a ride

  33. #33
    EDR
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    I'm barely just over 5'7 without shoes. I now ride a small 575 but rode a medium 575 before that. I switched to the small when the newer style 575's went to a 1/2'' longer TT. Rode a 90mm stem on the old and the same 90mm on the new. I could ride either and be pretty happy but the small really works better for me on the technical terrain and slow chunky stuff. It's just so much easier to control and 'flick' around as needed. It's also been an improvement on very technical step-ups and rocky climbs. The only plus side to larger frame (for me) is stability at high speed, long d/h's. I feel a bit cramped on my small in those situations but slow technical trails with drops and big step-ups far, far, far outweigh the long, fast d/h's that I ride.

    My vote: For technical riding smaller is better. The smallest frame you can ride comfortably without hitting your knees on the bars/stem works for me. For long fast stuff, stability is key, and a longer TT and wheelbase work better. Pick your poison.

    Another HUGE plus for me is I can run a 5'' adjustable post...and I use most of that. That wouldn't be possible on a larger frame for me.
    Last edited by eatdrinkride; 08-11-2010 at 12:24 AM.

  34. #34
    Bike Geek
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    I'm 5'8 & ride small frames. I have a 15.5" & 16" 26'er & 2 16" 29'ers. All of them have an average of 22.5" ETT & 29" standover. I can go medium with the 26'ers but i would have a problem with standover clearance with the 29'ers. I can work around the ETTs of the bikes by adjusting with the stems. I use 100mm for XC/trail & 80mm for AM.

  35. #35
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    Currently riding a 15.5" Gary Fisher. Just picked it up actually.

    Before this, I ripped around on an 18". I'm just under 5'7".

    Gotta say, after riding around on the smaller frame I was a little concerned at first it might be too small. I'm 99% sure I just have to adjust though, got used to the larger 18".

  36. #36
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    Im 6' 4" and ride a small. They say I look cool and can rip it up!!!! lol

  37. #37
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    5'2" and I ride a giant XS 14"

  38. #38
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    5'7" and a 17" gt Sanction 1.0. Sanctions run positively gigantic - not much clearance on that top tube! I think that XS gets a little weird with that big ol' 36 Talas RC2 fork so I compromised with the small. I literally couldn't climb aboard a medium Sanction 2.0 for sizing purposes.

  39. #39
    Trail Ninja
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    I'm 5' 7" w/30" inseam and have always ridden medium/17-18" 26" bikes, but a GF Rig 29er in 17.5" feels too big for me. I never had issues with standover. I put a 50mm stem on my Rig to make it fit a bit better, but the different stem length really changes the handling characteristics, so I prefer to just get a better fitting bike.

    I'm about to try a new 29er in 15.5" with a 22.5" (570mm) ETT. I like it just under 23" and the 17.5" is a 23.75" (600mm) ETT. I figure it's too small when your knees start banging on the stem/handlebars.

    Oh crap, 4 week old thread... I guess it might still be useful I suppose, though probably not for the OP.

  40. #40
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    im 5' 7 .. im riding a size 15.5 Jamis Durango 1.0

  41. #41
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    5'6" here, and riding a 16" frame.
    Did a lot of BMXing, so the small frame feels right to me. But as someone put it before, top tube length is as important as the seat tube length.

  42. #42
    Token Hillbilly
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    Quote Originally Posted by superjesus
    5' 5"
    30.0" inseam
    26 hardtail frame
    15.5"
    22.0" TT
    ^^^This on an '08 Fisher Marlin

    I also have a 16" '05 Trek 3700 built up out of spare parts. Not sure what the TT length is, but I managed to adjust it out to where it fits nicely.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

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