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  1. #1
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    Is my Distance to big for me?

    When I bought my Distance, I was told by a great bike fitter, and an Ellsworth dealer, that I should have the 19" size. I am just over 5'10.5", with long arms and legs. The fit feels good and I love the bike! When I ride fast fire roads, or steep downhill, I feel very confident on the bike. But on tight singletrack I feel I am having to "manhandle" the bike and it seems big to me. Should I be satisfied with a bike that I feel confident on and fits good, or regret that in curtain situations it is hard to maneuver and trade it in on a 17"? Would the 17" take away some of the "confidence" I now feel with the larger size?

  2. #2
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    What do you mean by having to "man handle"? Takes too much effort to turn, too hard to jump?

    You obviously are very happy with the bike in certain conditions but not in single tracks. I guess you also have to ask yourself what do you ride most of the time?

  3. #3
    Time is not a road.
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    There's also other variable in maneuverability like fork height, stem length and bar width. I don't think the geometry between the 19" and 17" is that significantly different.

    I was using a 120mm stem and reduced it down to 100mm. I find that it takes less effort to make a course adjustment. Concurrently, I cut down my very wide DH bar by 20mm on each end, which aligned my shoulders better and made climbing more stable. With a wide bar, you tend to overcorrect which causes this kind of osciallation as you climb. Wide bars are great for straight line stability and leverage, but they affect turning ability.

    Tell us more about your components.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad1433
    There's also other variable in maneuverability like fork height, stem length and bar width. I don't think the geometry between the 19" and 17" is that significantly different.

    I was using a 120mm stem and reduced it down to 100mm. I find that it takes less effort to make a course adjustment. Concurrently, I cut down my very wide DH bar by 20mm on each end, which aligned my shoulders better and made climbing more stable. With a wide bar, you tend to overcorrect which causes this kind of osciallation as you climb. Wide bars are great for straight line stability and leverage, but they affect turning ability.

    Tell us more about your components.
    Thanks to both of you for posting. Yes I do 80% fast fire road riding which I really enjoy (because of my motocross racing in the past). By "manhandling" I mean that the bike seems to have a mind of its own when I am going slow. I want to go one way and it ends of going another way. Also on slow single track, I am a bit apprehensive with clipless pedals because I fear not being able to get out in time if I stall.

    I also think my bar (Ritchey) is alittle wide. I will talk to my LBS about that. I already have a 100mm stem (Thomson) which is perfect for me. I guess the bike feels big at times because my road bike is a 54cm Specialized Roubaix which is a dream to ride. All in all, when I am blazing down a fire road, my Distance feels like a dream also, so with you saying that there is not much difference between the 17" and 19", that gives me comfort that I have the right bike. Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Depending on your exact dimentions, you could easily fit "in between" the sizes, meaning that there will be distinct disadvantages with both the 17 and 19" models. I'm about 5'11" and I feel that I fit an "18 inch" frame perfectly, and I ride one right now. In the past I've been on larger and smaller bikes, but I've never really been comfortable when I went a size "bigger", but 17" could feel pretty cramped. Again, you may be unhappy with both, for different reasons. The best thing would be to make up the differences with components depending on which bike you choose.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
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    Like you I am 5'10". I to also ride a 19" Distance. I know exactly what you mean by the "manhandleing". In very tight stuff I sometimes have to "lift and shift" the end. I will tell you through experience ( I fit customers with the Body Scanning fitting system) I was little nervous when a 19" was suggested for me. I have since gone to a 70mm stem down from a 100mm and cut my bars down a bit. The distance has quit the long wheelbase, I am sure that has somthing to do with it to. Seems to be better now. Can't say enough about this bike and Ellsworth (looking forward to carrying them in the spring)

  7. #7
    Time is not a road.
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    I just changed from a Med to a Small frame and lost about 1" of wheelbase and TT length each. With the components I had on my old frame transfering to the new frame, the bike is much more maneuverable. And I gain 2" of suspension travel and the BB is higher, too.

    It's hard sometimes to find the best fit. Custom - that's the future...

  8. #8
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    If you switched distance frames, how could you ever gain 2" of suspention travel? A shorter wheelbase is quicker in the tight stuff but less stable at speed. A shorter stem can drastcially improve steering response.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by poorboy006
    If you switched distance frames, how could you ever gain 2" of suspention travel? A shorter wheelbase is quicker in the tight stuff but less stable at speed. A shorter stem can drastcially improve steering response.
    Also, according to Ellsworth, BB height does not change according to frame size.

  10. #10
    Time is not a road.
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    The TT length on the med Isis and Med Moment were the same. Comparing the Med and Isis and Small Moment, I lost an inch of TT length, an inch of wheelbase, elevated the BB and gained 2" of suspension travel.

    Comparing two different bikes, same manufacturer.

  11. #11
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    whoops, my bad...

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