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I'm short but solid (5'6, 29 in. inseam, 205lbs). Prefer to ride semi technical singletrack, some smaller drops 3-6 ft... working up to the much more technical Whistler stuff.

The weight seems like less of an issue, but I'm concerned about SM Frame durability. In theory, frame builders calibrate the frame strength based on size- right? (if L/XL frames are designed to handle 200+lbs., does that mean 205lbs on a SM frame will be an issue?)

Can you provide any insight for a smaller statured guy? I guess I should lay off the weights.

Am I a Clyde if I'm not 6'5?:) Thanks!
 

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Gus, just Gus.
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I would say, yes you are a clyde! Screw the 6'5 stuff! ;)

As for the frame, I don't think the frames are essentially stronger as the size goes up... some builders may do this, but most mass produced bikes are going to use the same tubing cut to shorter lengths. In case of shaped tubes, the smaller frames might even be stronger because of the more acute angles.

I am talking above my head when it comes to frame building though, so maybe someone else around here may have a clue for ya!

Also, welcome to the forums!
 

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I'm about the exact same build as you, about an inch taller is all. A really good bike to start of with is a Kona coilair, they're fairly reasonably priced, bullit proof and can still pedal well, I rode one for a year and was very happy with it, I used it as my one bike for cross country, freeride and downhill. Some other bikes to look into would be a Santa cruz Nomad, IH 6 point, Turner RFX, Specialized SX trail, Ellsworth Moment or a Rogue. It just all depends how much you want to spend, and much you want to sacrifice pedaling and weight for big hit ability.
 
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