Sizing Question: 5'll", Medium or Large??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sizing Question: 5'll", Medium or Large??

    The time has come to invest in a new XC bike, and I could really use some input. I am 5'11" tall, and wear a 32" inseam pant. I really feel like I am inbetween M/L. I have test ridden frames of both sizes, and feel like I could go either way. I am hoping that some XC racers in my height range could give me some input.
    I have my eye on a Trek Top Fuel. A medium would put me at 18.5" seat tube, 60.5 cm effective top tube. A large means 19.5" seat tube, 62.5cm top tube.

    Thanks for the input!!

  2. #2
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    Im about your height and ride a large SuperFly. I had a large Niner but never got along well with the geometry and handling but I really like the feel of the large Fisher. The problem for me comes from most frame manufacturers shorten the seat tube two to three inches on their 29ers between Med. and Large. But one inch on the Top Fuel isn't a big difference. I was maxing out 400mm seat posts on medium frames.

  3. #3
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    With your inseam I'd go with the large. My inseam is about 34" and I'm 6'3" and I ride an XL top fuel.

  4. #4
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    I'm 5' 9.75" barefooted. 32" inseam and normal arm length. (I'm not long armed by any means).

    I owned a medium Superfly and medium Sugar, and I felt I was on the high end of it's size. I used a 110mm stem on both (instead of the stock 90).

    If I was 5'11", I would definitely have gotten a large. You also have to realize when going to a larger size, the drop between saddle and handlebar will be less.

  5. #5
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    I am the same. 5'11" 32" inseam

    Large for XC/Trail
    Med for Trail/AM

    The sweet sport for me on an XC is 24.5-25" ETT, 18.5-19" seat tube length and run 90mm stem (I switched to 70mm recently to increase handling) but that is dependent on reach and terrain.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    Your right in between, do yourself a favor and get professionally fit. More then likely you could fit on either a large or medium with the proper seat adjustment and stem length. The details are what will make you feel more comfortable on the bike.
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  7. #7
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    I'm guessing a large, but I agree 100% with DavidR1. You need a bike fit. I would also purchase the bike from a shop that will give you a free basic fit to make sure you are buying the right size. If you are not fit properly, it's likely you'll be comfortable or injure yourself. A pro fit would be more performance related and really only necessary to get the most power, control and comfort.
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  8. #8
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    So since I'm about 5' 8" inseam of 29 definately a medium then. They said they'd fit me when I come in to order the bike. I'm waiting until February to get one. I'm getting three bikes 2 are for my wife and daughter but I'm looking at getting either a Talus 29 Elite for $1200, Talus 29 Comp for $700, or a Talus 5.0 for $450 for myself. They sell Raleigh and seems like they are selling me the other two bikes at about $75 less than what I can find on the net and these others a lot more off retail of what I can find.
    Should I just get the Elite and be done?

  9. #9
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    Are you planning on flipping the stem down? I'm 5'11" and I bought a medium Stumpy Carbon HT. I was thinking I needed a large but the guy at the shop said no, definitly a medium. Felt tight but when I flipped the stem and slid the seat back a little, it's perfect. The medium in specialized is a 17.5.

  10. #10
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    Short legs/long torso.

    Large.
    I don't rattle.

  11. #11
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    Just ordered a large Cannondale Flash. I'm 5'10 . Test rode the med and large. XC racing you'll be fine on the large. Go get properly fitted if youre unsure.

  12. #12
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    Wow, 24.5 TT for someone 5'11" seems long. I'm 5'11" with a 34" inseam and would definitely go medium (18.5)
    "Do not touch the trim"

  13. #13
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    I was kinda thinking medium as well. The bike I'm on right now puts me at a 24.3" ETT, and it definitely doesn't feel too small, maybe a little big.
    I'm thinking the 18.5" (23.8" ETT), and maybe do a 100mm stem if needed.

  14. #14
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    As a shorter rider, I have learned to error on the side of caution and go with the smaller of the two. I feel that I can make adjustments with smaller frames to fit, you can only go down so much from a larger frame. However, this piece of my opinion doesn't beat a professional fit.

  15. #15
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    I am roughly the same size, maybe officially a 33" inseam I usually ride an 18 or 18.5, I like riding a smaller bike, I feel like I can handle the shorter wheel base a little better, I have no problem with seat height and I run a 90mm stem for great handling. I probably am a little upright but it works well for me, I have my seat post almost maxed out, 175mm cranks, and my stem flipped and slammed so I can get a really aggressive attack position. This works for me. A little while ago I got to try out the new Rocky Element I tried both the med and large and on the trail the med definitely felt better.
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  16. #16
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    It's hard to say for certain as it will come down to personal preference. Personally if I was your height I would go for the medium no question. I would buy the large at just over 6'1, I ride a 19" and wouldn't want to go much bigger than that, but I prefer to ride a bike on the smaller side.
    By that I don't mean small for me but I just prefer the bike to be a bit more nimble.

    I used to like to ride a bike that was on the bigger side, as found the extra length made it feel more stable down hill but my now my downhill skills are my strong point I find larger bikes a bit annoying in tight xc trails. They feel too much front wheel then back as opposed to feeling connected but obviously different bikes have different geometry but just an over all impression If that makes any sense at all! It makes sense to me but it is very personal.
    I prefer to "flick" the bike about and a slightly smaller bike makes this easier. Plus I really don't like having the top tube to high, not so much for clearance but just having a lower top tube make it easier to move around the bike. I also prefer the look of more seat post, bikes with not that much seat post showing look wrong to me, that includes some of my previous bikes.

  17. #17
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    I am 6'1". After years of riding various large and X-large frames in both 26" and 29" wheeled versions I have come to the conclusion that I prefer the X-large frame sizes. And have settled on 29" wheels. Usually there is 3/4" (20mm) difference horizontal cockpit dimensions given the same stem length. I'd rather make that up with a shorter stem and / or bar with sweep than going with a longer stem than say 100mm or 105mm.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringman View Post
    I was kinda thinking medium as well. .
    Posts like this are curious: sooner or later the OP posts what they want to hear.
    I don't rattle.

  19. #19
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    im 5'11" w/ 34 inch inseam an ride a 17.5 (medium) superfly and 54 cm scott addict. Both are perfect fit.

  20. #20
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    I'm in a similar boat, 5'11, 32 inseam. Have test ridden both mediums (17.5) and larges (19) and cant make up my mind. I think the mediums feel like better simply because they seem easier to control but I really feel like either one would work fine.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexgonzalezmi View Post
    Are you planning on flipping the stem down? I'm 5'11" and I bought a medium Stumpy Carbon HT. I was thinking I needed a large but the guy at the shop said no, definitly a medium. Felt tight but when I flipped the stem and slid the seat back a little, it's perfect. The medium in specialized is a 17.5.

    Whats flipping the stem? Sounds like this might work for me as well since I was eyeing some 17.5 frames too....

  22. #22
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    I am your same size, and rode medium Santa Cruz Hecklers for years. It was fun going downhill, but cramped feeling on climbs....I got a Large Santa Cruz Blur XCc and just put a little shorter stem on it to get the same bars to seat distance, and it feels great. Get the large and run a shorter stem. Works great.

  23. #23
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    I'm pretty much exactly the same size. I ended up going from a medium Anthem X to a large. On the medium I would have had to run a really long stem to avoid feeling cramped during longer pedaling sections and with the long stem my weight was way out over the front wheel, leading to generally bad handling on downhill sections. On the large I can run a shorter (70mm) stem and I feel a lot more centered between the wheels. Not quite as easy to manipulate the bike in the really tech sections, but overall I feel a lot more balanced on the large.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebarker9 View Post
    I'm pretty much exactly the same size. I ended up going from a medium Anthem X to a large. On the medium I would have had to run a really long stem to avoid feeling cramped during longer pedaling sections and with the long stem my weight was way out over the front wheel, leading to generally bad handling on downhill sections. On the large I can run a shorter (70mm) stem and I feel a lot more centered between the wheels. Not quite as easy to manipulate the bike in the really tech sections, but overall I feel a lot more balanced on the large.
    My experience as well. 5'11" with and inseam of 33". I would love to make a swith to a medium and realize improved handling in downhill techy situations but I would have to go with too long of a stem. I ride a large Motolite with a short stem and love it.

  25. #25
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    I'm 5_11" and ride medium. Short legs too ( long torso) 30" inseam.

    I have ridden both medium and large but medium seems to work best for me.
    Try to be good.

  26. #26
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    I'm effectively your same size 5' 10.75" and 32" inseam.

    I got fitted several years ago by a great shop in SoCal for a Gary Fisher HiFi in a large. A buddy of mine who is about an inch taller rides a medium and was convinced the bike was too big for me, though I never asked his opinion

    Fast forward to this year, I spent time at two of the top bike shops in Austin, TX. I went in to test ride new Med frame Gary Fisher XC bikes. The shop told me I should be on a large after watching me ride. I went to another shop and test rode a bunch of Specialized bikes. After watching me ride, they recommended a Large. I never made any suggestive comments, just ask for Mediums and always got refitted by the shop for Larges after watching me ride.

    Two states, three bike shops, same result...LARGE. Just food for thought.

    I would probably go Large if I were you but I was set on Mediums until I actually rode the bikes. In hindsight, the Large frames just feel better to me and apparently they look like they fit me better too. You should do yourself a favor and try to ride several brands in both M and L to see what works best.

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