Size dilema: L or XL?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Size dilema: L or XL?

    Hey guys,

    First off, thanks for the wealth of information you have already provided! The support you have provided each other is outstanding.

    So, I am about 6'2" with a 35" inseam, putting me right on the borderline for L or XL. My gut feeling was to go with an XL, but it seems that some of you in the same size range as me have opted for the L - any regrets?

    For background, I am currently riding a 20" ti softail (23.5" TT, 43" wheelbase, 32" standover, 71deg HT, 73deg ST) that I really like, though it puts me a bit more bent over (ala typical XC race bike) than what I want in a long-ride comfy bike.

    Are there any bikes that one would find at the local LBS that you would recommend checking out for sizing comparisions?

    any input is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty close to your size...

    Quote Originally Posted by rockbender
    Hey guys,

    First off, thanks for the wealth of information you have already provided! The support you have provided each other is outstanding.

    So, I am about 6'2" with a 35" inseam, putting me right on the borderline for L or XL. My gut feeling was to go with an XL, but it seems that some of you in the same size range as me have opted for the L - any regrets?

    For background, I am currently riding a 20" ti softail (23.5" TT, 43" wheelbase, 32" standover, 71deg HT, 73deg ST) that I really like, though it puts me a bit more bent over (ala typical XC race bike) than what I want in a long-ride comfy bike.

    Are there any bikes that one would find at the local LBS that you would recommend checking out for sizing comparisions?

    any input is greatly appreciated!
    I'm 6'0" with a 34" inseam and I ride a large 5 spot. It fits me perfectly. You'll probably be just fine with the large. Any slack can be taken in/out with a longer/shorter stem.

    Just my $0.02...
    MCM# 2007.1

  3. #3
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    I, too, am 6'2" with a 35" inseam. Makes it hard to find pants. I ride a large Burner (the geometry is very similar - TT is 23.9, HT angle is 69 vs. 70) and use a 120x8 stem, and it fits great. The only problem is your head tube will be more slack, and that'll bring your steerer tube in closer. It'll probably be a wash since you gain a bit in the TT (from your old bike) and your seat tube will be a .5 degree back.

    A smaller frame will be a bit whippier and more nimble. I've also read on this board that you can make a small frame ride bigger, but you can't make a big frame ride smaller. Dunno if this helps.

  4. #4
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    I went with the Large 5er.

    I'm 6'2" with a 34.5 " inseam and I went with the large frame. Fits like a glove. I think you'll be happy with the large as well. Also, I recently switched from a 550# spring to a 500#spring on the Romic and the suspension is perfect. Mates up very well with the Z1 SL fork. I weight 185# in full riding gear. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Another bigun

    I'm also 6'2" but I have a 38.5" inseam so that puts me on the long side of things.

    I also opted to go with the large. At the time they didn't have the Sasquach frame so the XL was recommended for folks over 6'3" it seemed like a slight push for me to go that big. I felt I would have more control in tight and tricky situations if I went for the smaller frame. In hindsight I think I could have gone with either but I'm quite comfortable on the large. I don't feel cramped at all. I use either 120x10 and 120x15 deg stem (depending on my mood) and my seat is mid-rail on a straight seatpost.

    Note: I do slam my kneecap into my stem on occasion when I'm climbing something super steep and technical and I slip or spin. It may be just my clumsy nature or it may be my long legs on the smaller frame. If this is a major issue for you there's two choices...go bigger or wear pads like I do...

    FWIW my other ride (of 7 years) is a 21" hardtail w/a 130mm stem. The spot still feels incredibly natural despite the obvious geometry differences.

    IMO you'll be fine on the Large. If you are going to focus on technical riding, tricky, steep and otherwise scary stuff. that's the way to go. If you will be focusing on enduro, long grinding rides with swoopy turns and not a lot of snappy thrashing, the XL might have a slight advantage.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  6. #6
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    thanks!

    Thanks for the information!

    This is exactly what I needed to know - BZ, thanks for the input. I was especially curious about your thoughts as I had seen your dimensions listed earlier and would have thought you to be an XL candidate. It just seems that I have been going over the bars a lot on my XC bike, so I wanted to be sure that I got something upright and big enough.

    It certainly looks like it is easier to find a L to boot, so lucky me! Now to pick a color....

    thanks again!

  7. #7
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    More info for ya, I've got 2 riding buddys with 5 Spots.

    6' 0" w/32" inseam-L w/90mm stem
    6' 3" w/35" inseam-XL w/120mm stem

    Both love the fit

  8. #8
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    Just a few thoughts:

    1) You don't mention on your current bike the stem length or the seat to stem drop. Also are you on a straight or layback seatpost? Are you feeling to bent over because of the reach or do you have a large drop from the seat to stem? The reason I ask is that Turner prefers a straight post and if your current ride is using a 3/4" setback post and a 130mm stem, you have effectively increased your cockpit length to be the same as an XL Turner with a straight post and a 110 stem. If you are using a straight post and 110 stem you are comparing a large Turner to your current ride properly.

    2) It looks like you are slightly longer in your legs vs. your torso as I am 6' and 33" inseam which seems pretty average. Given that you would probably find the large to fit better.

    3) The Turner is going to shorten the effective top tube length .3" from your current bike. So for your seat hight (31.5") you will find the large Turner to be .1" longer than your current bike, or essentially the same.

    4) Based on the info you gave a large would be the right choice but be sure to look at the info above to make sure.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  9. #9
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    thanks

    Thanks cdmc for the in depth analysis. I need to double check some measurements tonite to see what it is I am looking for. A friend of mine (6'5"!) just bought a 23" Rockhopper, so I will ride it around a bit and measure the tubes for comparison as well.

    I am guessing I have a 2-3" drop from bar to saddle currently, and I think I am running a 90mm stem (changed from a 120 to try to keep from going over the bars so much!) with a straight post. Sounds like the large will do fine - I just wanted to make sure I wasn't too bent over or having to run a funky-long/high angle stem to get the bars up.

  10. #10
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    Before you go to a 90mm stem, I would suggest you find a stem with more rise and get the bars up a couple of inches. Given the geometry of your bike and your stem length and straight seatpost, I strongly believe the drop in the bars is what makes you feel like you are about to go over. Note that trailbikes generally have the bars about even with the saddle. Also note going from a 120 0 rise stem to a 120 15 degree rise, shortens the reach to be the same as a 105 0 rise, but raises your bars 1.25".
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  11. #11
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    XL Might be OK

    First: I am 6'2" and have a 34 1/2" inseam.

    I went with the XL and I am really happy with it. I can run a 90 - 100mm stem and have about 6" of post showing so everything is tight and solid. On my first rides I purposely went to the most technical sections I could find because I had psyched myself out thinking that stand over was going to be a problem if I needed to get of in an awkward position. No Problem. I can get off the back and weight the front with no effort. Top tube length is perfect and my back feels so much better on this bike than my old bike which was a large.

    In terms of handling I was concerned the longer wheelbase would make it a slug but for this bike it is not noticeable and I couldn't be happier with the setup.

    I had myself so freaked out when I first looked at the frame - it is big! I almost sold it. I am glad I waited because I am seeing no downside to the XL frame.

    If you get a chance to take a ride on an XL you may be pleasantly surprised.

    .02 for y'all

  12. #12
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    dilema again!

    Dang it sl33pdirt!

    I just knew it wouldn't be a cut and dry deal. I guess I better go back to the tape measure and ride a few different sizes (of whatever I can get my hands on) to see what feels right. All I know is that my XC bike starts feeling a bit small after a long ride, so I might just be leaning toward the XL.

    I'd sure appreciate any other input from you XL riders!

    again, thanks for taking the time to give detailed responses.

    Any L or XL riders in Central Oregon that want to meet up for a ride? There might be a beer in it for ya!

  13. #13
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    one more opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by rockbender
    Dang it sl33pdirt!

    I just knew it wouldn't be a cut and dry deal. I guess I better go back to the tape measure and ride a few different sizes (of whatever I can get my hands on) to see what feels right. All I know is that my XC bike starts feeling a bit small after a long ride, so I might just be leaning toward the XL.

    I'd sure appreciate any other input from you XL riders!

    again, thanks for taking the time to give detailed responses.

    Any L or XL riders in Central Oregon that want to meet up for a ride? There might be a beer in it for ya!
    Ok, I'll jump in. I'm 6'0", 32" inseam. I was considering a medium, about the same as
    all of my previous FS bikes. Due mostly to info on this forum I went with a large. I am blown away by the fit. I think my bikes have been too small all these years. I have about 7" of seatpost on a long climb, considerably less coming down. I set it up with a 100mm stem with the bar height even with the seat. This bike handles tight single track far better than any of my previous bikes (757, wild hare, superlight, tracer) and blows them all way terms of stability downhill and through stunts. Sounds like you'd have 2 more inches of seat post, meaning 2 inches more height in front if you want the bars about level with the seat. I'd seriously try to get some time on an XL in you case before I jumped into a Large.

  14. #14
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    XL Follow Up

    I forgot to mention in my last post. With 10mm of spacers under the stem and the seat post extended for pedaling the seat and bars are level. This has really improved the strain on my hands and wrists that I had with the large. On my old bike I needed 30+mm of spacers under the stem and I still couldn't get the bars and seat towards level. I had close to 12" of post showing. Also, when I lower the post for bombing runs it the cockpit feels like my old motocross ride.

    Again, what I really like is that with the shorter stem, less exposed post and less spacers the bike feels so tight and solid. You get this Formula 1 handling.

    Conventional wisdom was definately to go with the smaller frame and that is why I got myself all bothered about the decision to go with the XL. I think you are on the right track by trying to hook up with someone to ride and XL. I could not even sit on one until mine was built so I ended up worrying about it entirely too much.

    If you wind up in North County San Diego you are welcome to take a spin on mine!

  15. #15
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    xl wins more votes

    Thanks again for your input, fellas.

    I rode my buddies 23" rockhopper (that he is conveniently storing in my garage) around the cul-de-sac last night back to back with my ti softail and was just blown away by how good the big bike felt. Truthfully, I felt kinda bad giving preference to a $400 off the shelf bike vs. my $3k race bike! I know part of it was just being back on a stiff AL frame after being on a ti noodle, but the big bike just felt great. I know its hard to get a great feel by wheelie dropping a few curbs, but having the bar and seat the same height rules! (btw, the toptube on that bike is 25.2")

    The other thing is that I hopefully won't need to use the bail-out option much. Typically, if I don't think I can ride a section I usually don't try (because I usually can't!). I am really looking forward to having that rigid cockpit you describe sl33pdirt, and think that having a bit more frame would even boost a little confidence in the rough, making if feel like I actually have something under me... the motorcycle analogy is perfect. Thanks for the ride offer too!

  16. #16
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    For what it is worth:

    I am 6'3" with a 36" pant inseam.

    I have a XCE L (23.6" TT, 4.8" head tube, 19.5" seat tube), 130stem
    and Burner XL (24.8" TT, 6" head tube, 22" seat tube length), 120stem

    I don't cut the fork steerer tubes, use a 15deg rise and 2.5" riser bars and the handlebars are still a couple inches below the seat.

    I like the Large because it is nimble and great in tight switchbacks (1 year of use). The biggest problem is everyone telling me the bike is too small, and using a thomson seat post the insertion depth just works to get to top tube intersection - so no other seatposts would really work (as I'm 150lbs I'm not concerned about stressing a long seatpost, etc). I like the bike, but I like shorter top tube bikes and nimbler bikes - and top tube clearance is really confidence building in certain trail sections.

    The XL is nice too, (less comments about the bike too small...)
    handling is nice too, although haven't used it enough to really make lots of detailed comparisons - it is a new bike.

    I think my ideal bike would be between the two. 6" head tube, 24" TT and 20.5" seat tube.

    good luck,
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  17. #17
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    Spacers!

    Holy Moly! That is a lot of spacers and seatpost! Make sure that you don't take that picture over to the roadie guys... they tend to flame folks that use more than 3/4" of spacers!

    The comparison between the two bikes for your size, fullsusp, helps a ton! Thanks for posting those pictures... my goal would be to set up a relatively tight feeling rig without a lot of spacers and seatpost showing, so I think XL is in order.

    I'm off to ride with some new folks this weekend in a pretty heavily travelled mtb area, so perhaps I will 'spot' someone with an L or XL to check out.

    thanks and have a great weekend!

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