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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding bmx for over fifteen years, and over the past few years, I have developed a mountain biking habit.

I am 5 foot 11.5 inches, and my leg length is 34ish inches. By all accounts, I should be riding a 19" bike. However, I am considering a 17" because of my background in bmx. So far, I've enjoyed the nimble handling of smaller bikes than the current 19" that I am riding now.

My Question:

Is it weird for me to be drawn towards the smaller frames due to my bmx background? And what are the cons of having a bike that is too small? Is it inefficient energy wise? Could I compensate a little by putting a thompson laid back seatpost on?

The frame I'm going to buy is a http://somafab.com/groove.html I just need to decide on the 17 or 19. Once my friend Matt gets back with me on the size of his custom Jereco frame (that I absolutely love), I'll probably be able to make a better choice. The 17 inch frame has an effective top tube length that is 1" shorter than the 19" inch bike I ride now, AND the 19" inch Groove.

ps.
I do plan on racing a little this season; but I'm not taking it very seriously.
 

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thecentralscrutinizer
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The real question is, Are you comfortable on the bike? If so, you have your answer.
 

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My last self powered two wheeler used to be BMX too. That's like 10~20years ago. When I start back riding, I got a 17" (small) then later changed to a 15" (small). It's of different brand. Much more maneuverable.

From what I gathered, riding XC (all about speed and not much hucking/jumping), a more stretched out frame will work good for aerodynamically and physically. Something like a road bike.

If you're into jumping/drops/manuals/Jhops/Bunnyhops and etc, a tad smaller sized bike will be much more versatile.

Ofcourse there will be peeps who can do the above with a size too large for them too, afterall it's skills over equipment for the expert levels.

For me atleast, I need all the mechanical help I can get.

Between the two frames I owned, the difference in ETT is just a mere 2cm and it's whole world of difference in feel (both bikes ran a 50mm stem). I still can't jump/drops/manuals/Jhops/Bunnyhops, but it feels better for me to pretend to be doing it.

The downside is, riding uphills, it does feel a bit cramp. Especially negotiating tight uphill singletrack turns/switchbacks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well guys, I did some testing today and I'm definitely going to stick with the 19" Soma Groove frame, over the 17". Today I found out that the toptube on my bike is 5mm longer than on the Soma 19". I also rode my friends 16 inch toptube which has almost exactly the same toptube as the 17" Soma, and that bike was way too short, climbs felt weird, and the whole thing was just awkward feeling.

Still not sure what size my friend's custom Jerecho is... but I feel like I made a huge step in what size of frame to buy today.
 

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You may want to check out some other frames too.
The Soma Groove is very much designed towards XC and touring (kind of an old-school frame). There are other frames that are a little more BMXish than the Groove, but still designed for trail riding. There's a big hardtail thread in the All Mountain section that has a lot of those types of bikes. I have an On One Inbred 456 that fits nicely into the fun/aggressive types of trail riding but still is a very capable XC rig. And the 18" size might be just what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
trailville said:
You may want to check out some other frames too.
The Soma Groove is very much designed towards XC and touring (kind of an old-school frame). There are other frames that are a little more BMXish than the Groove, but still designed for trail riding. There's a big hardtail thread in the All Mountain section that has a lot of those types of bikes. I have an On One Inbred 456 that fits nicely into the fun/aggressive types of trail riding but still is a very capable XC rig. And the 18" size might be just what you're looking for.
Thanks you very much for the leads. I'll check both the frame and thread out!
 
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