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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Firstly, I have to say, no I'm not a bike expert, and no I've never worked in a bike shop.... don't even know anyone who does/did!!!

I'm hoping someone here can give me some suggestions and advice on getting a bike that actually fits. Don't believe I've ever had a bike that really fit me, or even came close.

Firstly, I am perhaps a bit of a freak of nature..... I have really long legs for my height. I am an honest 6'2" tall with a 36" inseam without shoes. I'm 48 years old, (some days I feel older, LOL) and weigh195 pounds. I ride mostly to stay in shape, but on occasion it's kind of fun to go through a boulder patch or down a staircase or two. I do like to ride pretty fast most of the time, can usually keep up with people quite a bit younger than me.

Like most everyone else here I've been riding since I was little, yeah I know that was a long time ago!!! First bike was a 20 inch stingray then moved on to a 10 speed in my teenage years. Still have the scars from the damn 10 speed!!! Skinny tires and gravel roads weren't a good mix!!!

I did take a break from riding for number of years, seems like I was spending way to much time working.

Well anyway, I got rid of the vintage 10 speed and was sold this Bianchi project 3 by a local bike shop, which I believe was one of the forerunners to the modern 29er.

Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Wheel

Bought this specialized full suspension bike to replace another suspension bike that didn't fit me.

Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel

Gosh, I didn't even realize how hideous these contraptions looked until I took pictures of them!!! LOL

After spending a lot of years trying to "make" various bikes fit me a lightbulb went off in my head I thought just may be a 29er would fitt much better.

So, after a lot of thought and discomfort I finally came to the conclusion that what I really need is a relatively short top tube and tall head tube to make a bike fit. I don't believe having the the bar height approximately the same height as the seat is too much to ask.

I know I want a full suspension bike and seriously considering the voodoo Canzo 29er or the Gary Fisher hi-fi 29er. There aren't any bike shops in town that stock either of these.

Well, if anyone can offer some suggestions or advice I would appreciate it.

My apologies for rambling and subjecting your eyes to these perverse images!!!
 

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Looks like you were sold a bike thats too small. IMO.

Is that an XL? If it is, and thats the way the shop fit you, I'd return it, flog the shop, find a new one, and look into a custom bike.

There are some threads here on bikes for big people....

Search previous posts for the past few weeks it should come up...
 

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Suffering Mightily
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You need...

a 29er! I'm 6'3 with a 35 inseam and after I rode a friend's Karate Monkey for the first time and then got back on my bike, it felt like a BMX bicycle! I immediately went out a purchased a KM and now, some years later, would not even consider riding a 26er anymore (unless somebody gave it to me...and it was really tricked out...maybe). Do yourself a favor, put your current rigs on e-bay and pop for a 29er. Best decision you'll ever make.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply. The first bike I was sold. The specialized I did to myself. I did have an XL, actually fit worse... the top tube was way too long to be comfortable. The big problem I find is while the top tube length increases in inches the head tube only in fractions. The difference between different sizes of bikes head tubes lenth is about a quarter of an inch..... not enough to make any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I do believe I need a 29er. Hopefully that will help solve a few problems for me. The big problem is no one around here carries much of that venue. I'd really like the opportunity to try out a few before I buy anything.
 

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Race,
Take a look at the Kona Kula 29er. They have shorter top-tubes relative to frame height than most others. Their top-tube lengths seem to be one size smaller per given size. That said, you could probably ride a 20" with a 90-100mm, 6-deg, upright stem and be pretty darn comfortable. Your seat-to-stem drop probably wouldn't be too much, if at all.
Do you have a Kona dealer nearby? If not, I can suggest a great shop located in Kyle, Tx that does great at getting folks the right bike and sells & ships nationwide. Talk to James.

http://www.konaworld.com/08_kula29_w.htm

www.nrcycles.com

J
 

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Bike Dork
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You are an exact candidate for a custom frame. The one thing custom frames do absolutely that production frames don't is fit. It sounds like you need a long seatube and short toptube. As you've now learned trying to fit a stock bike is a trial of of compromises. Since you want a FS bike that will limit your builder selection. If you don't NEED FS and can use a Thudbuster instead your options open up more. Or you can also look into softtail options too.
 

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If that is your seat height / bar height, then the shop did a disservice to you by sizing you on such a small frame. It's too bad you are so far away from Red Barn Bikes in Hamilton. Those guys know their stuff and I'm sure would do right by you. It might be worth a day trip to get you and your bike fit dialed in properly. http://redbarnbicycles.com/home.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
j-rocket, thanks for the info. The closest Kona dealer is about 130 miles, called them doesn't sound like they plan on carrying much for 29er's.

I didn't know it was possible to ship Konas, most major brands you can't. I hate it when these goofy shops say "well I can order it for you". Heck if they have to order it, I just as well do it myself. I'll have to check out the dealer you mention. Thanks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ssmike, thank you.... I've heard good things about that shop, but they're a long ways away from where I live. Might have to send them an e-mail.
 

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I don't huck.
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I am 6'2" 34" inseam with long arms. The HiFi 29er in a LG size was juuuuust a bit short for me in the TT. I bet a LG would fit you fine in the length, but be aware of this. If you use a smaller frame to get the TT there, you may end up with a lot of seat post sticking out. That can be a recipe for frame failure and the GF frames seem to be vulnerable to this.

Perhaps an XL GF HiFi with an 80mm stem instead of the 100 or 110 stocker.

The Canzo would be fine as well as they are kinda shortish in the larger sizes (and I bet are a bit beefier frame tubing wise).

Either way with a 29er you will end up with a taller head tube and stem height which is good for us big guys and you will, most likely, finally feel like you are riding a bike that fits you.
 

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ridin' Mary
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I'm practically your twin. 6'3", 36" inseam, 48 yrs old. But you've got more mass as I'm only 175lbs. I'm even a bigger freak of nature! :D

I rode 26ers for years. Last year I made the move to a 29er (Haro Mary), and I've been very happy with the fit. At last I'm riding IN a bike rather than just sittin ON a bike. I always felt top-heavy before with a saddle perched 40+ inches off the ground on little 26" wheels. With the longer wheelbase and bigger hoops, it's just a better balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Custom is a good suggestion, however I don't have much experience with these things.

I have become pretty frustrated trying to make a bike fit.... and I have a whole pile of parts to prove it!!! LOL Perhaps custom is the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OhNooo, I would like to get rid of a little of my mAss!!!

It seems like fit is becoming more of an issue as I get older, perhaps I'm not able to compensate as well as I once could. I do feel like I'm definitely riding on top of a 26 incher.... sort of like the monkey on a football feeling!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mtroy, thanks for the feedback, good information. I've never really been much of a Gary Fisher fan, the bike always looked and just felt a little "weird" to me. The frame issues sound like a valid concern. Maybe with the new G2 geometry the fit/ride might be a little better.

I'm awfully tempted to just order a Canzo from Jensen, but would really like to ride one first.
 

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Bike Dork
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Your profile says you're in Billings. I'd drop a line on Carl Strong at Strong Frames in Bozeman. That guy is one of the best in the business and can build you anything you want. A bit of a drive and you will have frame that fits and will last a lifetime.

Don't let some of the train wreck threads happening on this forum dissuade you from a custom builder, particularly not Carl. Just so you know, I don't have any connection with Carl just respect for one of the best.
 

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everyone here

has med really great suggestions. After years of uncut forks with massive stacks of spacers etc. on 2.6 bikes, I had a custom 2.9 made for me. It was the BEST thing I have ever done. It is just so great to have something fit like a glove. I may be a bigger freak BTW, I'm a fraction short of 6' with a 36.5" inseam.
 

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I don't huck.
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Race said:
Mtroy, thanks for the feedback, good information. I've never really been much of a Gary Fisher fan, the bike always looked and just felt a little "weird" to me. The frame issues sound like a valid concern. Maybe with the new G2 geometry the fit/ride might be a little better.

I'm awfully tempted to just order a Canzo from Jensen, but would really like to ride one first.
Well, fitment aside, I bet the Canzo holds little surprises as far as performance and value but I have not ridden one either. I prefer a slacker seat tube angle than 74 degrees and a bit longer TT if I can get it...and I can!

There is a nice large (complete bike) on ebay right now juuuust waiting for your bidding pleasure.
 

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Having a nice day!
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Call Chad at Red Barn and get him and Sherwood over at Ventana (www.ventanausa.com) to build the custom frame of your dreams. I am lucky enough to fit on stock frames for the most part, but I know not everyone enjoys that luxury. I have lost count of how many full custom and semi custom frames that my friends have built by Ventana. They have been extremely satisfied with each of them.
 
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