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Discussion Starter #1
I know short people have no reason to live, short people are scary, short people tend to be anti-christs (Napoleon, Hitler), etc, etc, etc...
Being part of the vertically challenged in life, I am feeling that the bike industry shows a bias against us. I recently was on vacation in Southern California and wanted to rent a mountain bike to get in some riding. After finding the only bike shop that rented actual mountain bikes and not just beach cruisers, they told me they did not have any small framed bikes for rent. It would take three days to see if they could get one that I could rent. Since I was leaving in 2 days, no mountain biking for me.
I live in Hawaii where the racial/cultural makeup of the population results in a lot of the population being 5'9 or below. I had to pay extra to special order my bike because the LBS does not normally carry small frames. Saw a lot of large and x-large frames on the sale room floor though. Since we have one LBS (with multiple stores) that carries Specialized on Oahu, my options were limited. You would think in a place where maybe much of the population is not over 6 ft tall, an LBS would order more small/medium frames.
We have bikes made specially for the heavy and tall (the "clydesdales") and 29ers which seem to benefit the tall folk mainly.
Maybe the typical biker in general is over 6 ft tall. But if we are trying to spread the passion of biking, lets not forget about us short folks too. Don't know if other vertically challenged bikers feel this way too.
 

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Are you gonna eat that?
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I can tell you that at 6'2" tall with reasonably long legs I nearly always end up taking the largest frame available from most manufacturers (usually 21" frames), I only just about fit on my new 5.5 and that's the largest frame in that model (they make an extra small, but no extra large, go figure).

From what I've seen, guys much taller than me start having real issues finding frames, there are a few 24" frames out there, but Specialized, for example, don't make frames with seat tubes over 21" and the largest Kona make is a 22", even for their Clydesdale bike, the Hoss, so no, I wouldn't say that the industry is geared towards tall people, it's geared towards people who are around the 50th percentile which means 5'10" tall.

God help you if you happen to weigh much over 200 lbs, then your options start to get really reduced if you want to buy components that last much longer than a single ride.
 

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I think everybody who is not average has to do some searching to end up with a bike that fits. You might have to look at several brands.

At around 5'10 (176.5 cm) things should be easy for me but being over 200 lbs (not sure exactly, not in the habit of weighing myself) and having a longish torso/shortish legs, I figured I need a bike that is low/long enough and tough enough, and ended up with a LBS building a bike for me. The frame is the only "nice" part but the Deore wheels have been working OK for a couple of years now..
 

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you've got to be kidding!
every major company makes a wsd or something meant for riders under 5'. I'd bet the rent money that there are more riders over 6' than under 5' yet, while everyone is catering to the short ones no one caters to taller riders, like kyoseki said, many of us taller guys can't get bikes that fit.

you have to have a bike orderd? boo f-ing hoo. I have to have one made.
 

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The manufacturers make whatever sells and people at both ends tend to have a hard time finding stuff in their size. I would imagine in a place like Hawaii or Mexico a dealer might find himself stuck with too many large or xl items. My observation is that smaller, shorter people can usually find a bargain. If you go to any of the internet sites and check out the really heavily discounted bikes and frames they almost always are in small and xs. Also clothing and shoes thats discounted heavily is usually small sized.
 

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Don't touch me!
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Gflash said:
I know short people have no reason to live, short people are scary, short people tend to be anti-christs (Napoleon, Hitler), etc, etc, etc...
Being part of the vertically challenged in life, I am feeling that the bike industry shows a bias against us. I recently was on vacation in Southern California and wanted to rent a mountain bike to get in some riding. After finding the only bike shop that rented actual mountain bikes and not just beach cruisers, they told me they did not have any small framed bikes for rent. It would take three days to see if they could get one that I could rent. Since I was leaving in 2 days, no mountain biking for me.
I live in Hawaii where the racial/cultural makeup of the population results in a lot of the population being 5'9 or below. I had to pay extra to special order my bike because the LBS does not normally carry small frames. Saw a lot of large and x-large frames on the sale room floor though. Since we have one LBS (with multiple stores) that carries Specialized on Oahu, my options were limited. You would think in a place where maybe much of the population is not over 6 ft tall, an LBS would order more small/medium frames.
Let me get this straight: You have a problem with the entire bike industry because one Southern Cal bs and a chain of Hawaii bs order their rental bikes on the average (medium) and above average (large) male.

Gflash said:
We have bikes made specially for the heavy and tall (the "clydesdales") and 29ers which seem to benefit the tall folk mainly.
Maybe the typical biker in general is over 6 ft tall. But if we are trying to spread the passion of biking, lets not forget about us short folks too.
They do make bikes with 20" and 24" wheels. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
beeristasty said:
Let me get this straight: You have a problem with the entire bike industry because one Southern Cal bs and a chain of Hawaii bs order their rental bikes on the average (medium) and above average (large) male.



They do make bikes with 20" and 24" wheels. :D
These were two instances that were very disappointing, first an opportunity to ride someplace new which most mountain bikers really look forward to including me. Living on an island, these are rare opportunities for me. Not being able to do this beacuse I was not able to rent a bike that fit me was really a let down. You would figure a place that rents bikes would try to cater to riders of all sizes. Although I wanted to rent a full suspension, I would have settled for a basic hardtail but even that was not available in a small frame. The second instance mentioned being my bike purchase, as any usual working stiff, you want to find the best price possible. Paying extra for shipping which is always inflated when you have to send something to Hawaii. For some reason we always get higher shipping rates in general. Although an extra $90 for shipping may seem like loose change to some with deep pockets. Maybe the LBS knows it can make money by special ordering smaller frames and since they are the only specialized dealer in the island/town, if you want one you gotta pay for it.

It is interesting to see how it is on the opposite end of things. I guess we will all encounter problems if you are on the extreme ends of the size scale. Maybe my rant should not be to the entire bike industry but to two specific business establishments which given the specific and simple situation, finding or purchasing a small framed bike, the two specific establishments made a simple situation harder than it would normally be.
 

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I am 6'2" and had to have the LBS special order an XL Stumpjumper for me. I demo'ed a L Stumpjumper and it was not comfortable at all but I went out on a limb and got the XL hoping it would be a better fit. Glad I did.
 
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