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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought a 2018 Large Frame Cannondale Trail 7 a few weeks ago on clearance, picked the large as it was the only size available. Bike ended up having issues and as a nice gesture the shop upgraded me to a 2019 Trail 5 and let me choose what size. Due to almost non existent standover height on the large I went with a medium. Picked up the bike today and now I'm not sure if I screwed up. I did go from about half an inch of clearance to about 1.5. I'm 5'11 with a 32 inch inseam using the hard book method. However the more I'm reading the more I'm worried I should have ordered another large as everything seems to point to a 19 inch frame (large is 18.9 medium is 17.3) for my height and inseam. I'm a complete newb so not even sure what proper position should be but felt comfortable riding the large one when we went riding for about 15 miles a couple weeks ago. I bet vast majority of my riding will be paved trails with my girlfriend but would like to try some novice trails with her one day (she has a Cannondale Forray 2). Trying to figure out if I should contact the shop and say I think I made a mistake...
https://www.cannondale.com/~/media/...mon/Geo Images/2018 Geos/MY18_GEOS_TRAIL.ashx
 

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I feel the same Polish. I bought a Hardtail large frame Giant Fathom 1 29er 2019. Such a great bike! Love it! I'm only 5'9/10 too! However, I got the bug to pick up a full suspension. So I got a great deal on a 2018 Jekyll 3 Carbon medium frame, 27.5 Wheels. I felt the bike was so much smaller. Definitely a much more wild stallion bike - it feels like it wants to ride itself. Goes where it wants to go. But I'm having second thoughts. =( I'm thinking it has more to do with the smaller wheels than the smaller frame.

Thinking of taking a loss on the Jekyll and picking up a 29er - maybe a Giant Advanced Trance 29er.
 

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Polish you've prioritized the wrong thing. Standover doesn't apply to mtbike riding. Standover is for when you're on a flat shop floor. Cockpit fit affects how you can ride. Reach is a primary measurement. The geo chart says 425 for a medium. 447 for a large. I have your dimensions and I can't ride the medium. Get the large.
 

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Polish you've prioritized the wrong thing. Standover doesn't apply to mtbike riding. Standover is for when you're on a flat shop floor. Cockpit fit affects how you can ride. Reach is a primary measurement. The geo chart says 425 for a medium. 447 for a large. I have your dimensions and I can't ride the medium. Get the large.
Exactly!
 

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Good luck with the swap!

I think stand-over height is very important. Saying it doens't apply to mountain bike seems silly to me. I mean you come off ANY bike and land on the top tube, will the first thought be "oh, well it's okay I smashed myself because I'm on a mountain bike but I sure am glad I didn't do that on a road bike." ;)
Do we never stand over our bike in places that are not on a concrete floor only in a shop?
I think the only place I have never stood over my bike(s) is in the bike shop.

I think them medium frame is too small for a 5'11" rider. I know brands vary and they have charts suggesting what is optimal. Even with 32" inseam the large seems okay (hard for me to say as a 5'8" rider though).

I hope they are able to trade you up for an appropriate size.


I have had one or two incidents where I was super happy that Specialized designed the low stand-over on the FSR Stumpjumper line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I emailed my contact at the LBS, I'll keep you guys posted on what they say. I think if I didn't just come from pretty much the exact same bike but large I would never give it a second thought but I have that back to back comparison.
 

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Good luck with your lbs. I would think they would help out. They should take some responsibility in sizing/fitting it right for you. I am a newbie and about the same height as you, 5'10" with a 31" inseam and everything I read before going to the lbs was that I was right in between the medium and large. The guy at the bike shop was very helpful and insisted that I needed a large. I wasn't sure at the time because with the 29 inch wheels it seemed big. But I'm glad I listened and got the large.
 

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Good luck with the swap!

I think stand-over height is very important. Saying it doens't apply to mountain bike seems silly to me. I mean you come off ANY bike and land on the top tube, will the first thought be "oh, well it's okay I smashed myself because I'm on a mountain bike but I sure am glad I didn't do that on a road bike." ;)
Do we never stand over our bike in places that are not on a concrete floor only in a shop?
I think the only place I have never stood over my bike(s) is in the bike shop.
Standover clearance has absolutely zero bearing on FITTING a bike or choosing the size. It is a non-factor WHEN RIDING, which is how a size is chosen. It might have some relevance in other situations, but it's not a factor for fit. That misconception is a relic from the days of road bikes with perfectly horizontal top tubes.

On mtb's, today, with the prioritization of reach and stack dimensions for sizing, and some other even more esoteric dimensions by some sources, standover just doesn't factor.

Now, that's not to say that I don't think that mountain bikes should prioritize as much standover clearance as possible. That is pretty obvious. Stuff happens on mtb's that's not riding. Like crashing. Riders who prioritize airtime or technical riding move around over their bikes A LOT and want as much range of motion as they can get.

Part of the reason standover clearance gets conflated with frame sizing even now comes from people with edge-of-the-bellcurve body dimensions - namely, long torsos and short legs. Measuring your inseam and comparing to size charts in those cases will suggest a smaller frame size. Think about it this way. The most important reason to measure inseam is to set saddle height. There are equations that do a pretty good job of this, but they're somewhat fungible due to shoe/pedal thickness. There are other equations you can use to ballpark a frame size from inseam (they work best for road bikes, though), and it's called the "Lemond Method" if you want to look it up. But the problem here is that the length of a bike is the least adjustable dimension (with the saddle height being the most adjustable). You can get a couple cm of adjustment, at most, with a stem swap without screwing up handling. But even at the most extreme (ignoring the effects on handling), swapping stems will never get you as much adjustment as you can get from raising or lowering the seatpost.

When I worked at a shop that heavily used the Lemond Method, I would ALWAYS have to step back and look at the person I was measuring. Were they a long torso/short legged, equal proportion, or a short torso/long legged person? If equal proportion, the Lemond Method was often bang on. If other, then I'd have to fudge the frame size from what the Lemond Method recommended. Usually one size up or down. But I did measure some people (usually really short torso, really long legged tall guys) where I had to fudge 2 road bike frame sizes.

Another part of the problem is that cheap bikes often lag behind more expensive ones on various trends of standards, geometries, and such. So while my Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead frame has gobs of standover clearance (other higher end all mountain hardtails are similar in this regard), I've never seen a sub-$1,000 bike with a similar focus. You occasionally still see the old "step through" frames in the much lower price points. But these don't have more standover clearance for the same reasons OP wants more standover clearance. There are oftentimes major design compromises that weaken the frames and make them unsuitable for aggressive mtb riding.
 
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