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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought an 18.5 Fuel EX9. Im 5' 6.75" literally, will usually just say 5' 7", but for discussion purposes I wont BS-lol. Anyways, initially I was looking at the 17.5". The got an 18.5" in and called me just to check it out untill mine came. When I rode it, it felt great. They had a 17.5 in a ex7 and I got on it and felt, at the time that the cockpit was to tight. So I bought the 18.5".

As my skills have improved and my terrains have broadened, Im starting too notice things. Like climbing steeps, very steep, I litterally have to have the tip of the seat post going you know where, not comforatable at all!:eek: Keeping the front end down is difficult. And through technical sections, the bike doesn't feel as nimble. Tight turns feel slow. Dont get me wrong, I love the bike and there are pros with the larger frame, stability, comfort on long non technical rides and so forth.

Im sure most will say at my height, I should of went with the 17.5". Did I make a $3,000 mistake? What are your thoughts? Did anyone buy a 17.5" and want to trade frames that wishes they would have got a larger one- LOL:madman: If i did make a mistake, any solutions, ideas etc.??
 

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That sounds familiar. I am 5'10" and 3 years ago I tried out a medium and a large Cannondale Prophet and edned up buying the large as the medium felt too short and cramped. After I had it a while I kept wondering whether I should have bought the medium.

This year I bought and 18.5" EX8. The shop didn't have a 17.5" to compare it with but they said they come up small. I trust the shop, they aren't the sort to try and sell you the wrong size bike.

I did find the bike a bit of a stretch though and they fitted a shorter stem for me. I also have to slide right forward on steep climbs, but I don't think the bike is too big. You could try sliding the saddle forward. I have done this, but you need to ensure your knee isn't too far forward of your toes when the pedals are parallel to the floor.

Doesn't the EX9 come with a TALAS fork? If so, try lowering the fork before a steep climb. This will help keep the front end down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I have the Talas. I always drop it to 90 on real steep stuff. Actually, this sat, I left at 90 through some twisty single track and really liked the way it felt through the quick turns. Maybe my imagination- LOL

"I did find the bike a bit of a stretch though and they fitted a shorter stem for me."
Are you refering to your ex 8 or your Prophet?? If your 5' 10" and you feel stretched on an 18.5", then I gotta be stretched!!! Funny thing is, I called trek right now and was telling him my delima, and one of his reccomendations was a longer stem to help wth the front end. I thought it would be the other way around.
 

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I was referring to the EX8 when I said I was stretched with the standard stem.

It all depends how you are built. Some people have long legs and short bodies and others have short legs and long bodies. If you have a long body then you have your seat lower and can have a longer stem. If you have longer legs then the seat goes higher. This also moves it back a bit due to the seat tube angle and this makes the reach to the bars further. I found it a stretch to the bars with the seat the way I like it with the original stem. I could have got away with it, but I prefer a more upright position rather than a racey position.

The shorter stem does mean it is harder to keep the wheel on the ground when climbing but overall it improves handling I think. A longer stem helps with climbing as it puts your weight further forward over the front wheel which helps to keep it down. Racers tend to like longer stems and downhillers have shorter stems. It is all a matter of personal preference.

You could try out bar ends for climbing, although they seem to have gone out of fashion.

If you are really worried about your frame size, see if you can test ride a 17.5" again to compare.
 

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Let me know if you want to sell your EX9. I'm 5 10 1/2 with a 32.5" inseam. I currently ride a 19" GF Hifi Carbon which fits me great. I think that the 18.5 EX9 would fit me just fine. You are probably better off with the 17.5 IMO.
 

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id have sat you in the 17.5, at just under 6 foot two i ride a 18.5 so yours seems very big for you.

if i were you id have gone with the 17.5 and just put a larger stem on it

quite an expensive mistake if you really find it uncomfortable try the shop you bought it from they might just give u a good deal replacing it

very nice bike though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
trekboy79 said:
Let me know if you want to sell your EX9. I'm 5 10 1/2 with a 32.5" inseam. I currently ride a 19" GF Hifi Carbon which fits me great. I think that the 18.5 EX9 would fit me just fine. You are probably better off with the 17.5 IMO.
I was going to send you a pm, but no option. then I was going to send you an email and it would not let me. Yes, if I would be better off with a 17.5, then yes I would be interested.
 

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leathernuts said:
I dont know if this helps, but I almost always where 32 in jeans. Bought dockers though and had to go with 30. My saddle sits form middle of crank to top at 28".
sounds like you have a typical inseam for your height of 5'6.75. i'd guess around 31+ inches (but only way to know is to measure it).

i asked because i'm 5'5".5 with a 30.2 inch inseam and feel quite comfortable on a 15.5" frame. i could fit on a 17.5" frame, but the front end would be a bit longer and higher than i like.

some of it is proportion, some is personal preference, and some is the type of riding you do. in the end, if you have the financial resources to address the situation, than life is too short to question your ride every time you go out. find a shop with a 17.5" frame, test ride it side by side with yours. if you like the smaller frame better, buy it and sell your old one.
 
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I've heard this said many times: alot of people buy a size too big. Don't know why, they just do. FYI I'm (almost) 5"6" with 29-30 inseam and ride a 15.5. 17.5 was just a tad too big. Like you said, you really notice it in technical (though on killer downhills a 17.5 would be nice!). Anyway your LBS should let you ride a 17.5 for a day, and not around the parking lot, and as was said, they should offer you a sweet deal, too. Your bike HAS to fit you, or you'll nevr be happy. And like it says on Trek's website, go smaller if you are in doubt. It's easier to make a small frame feel bigger than to make a big frame feel smaller. Good luck, and if you have to swap, look at the bright side - you get a new bike... again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got my 17.5

Well I never posted back. Thanks to all who offered advice and help. Anyways, my LBS hooked me up. They swapped the frame out for a brandnew 17.5". What a difference!!! It was a totally different bike. No extra charge, fees or anything. So basically, i got to demo an 18.5 for 8 months. Thumbs up to my LBS. I was really shocked that they did that, but they said their goal was my satisfaction:thumbsup:

So any of you torn between 2 sizes, definetly go with the smaller.
 

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Hi, just been reading your sizing issues and have a question of my own.
I'm impressed with the fuel ex bikes and looking to buy a 8 or 9; at 6ft should i go for a 17.5 or 18.5? Only had the chance to try a 17.5 which feels ok, but would the next size up be a better fit? And what's all this virtual / actual sizing?? Any opinions appreciated thanks.
By the way - what a shop you have there!!! You must be stoked!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Stoked Yes, because they hooked my up, but now Im torn because im demoing an Intense Tracer VP and was really impressed this morning. Anyways, thats another story.

Well you are quite a bit taller than me. Im only 5'7". You could probaly go with an 18.5", BUT, it really is something you should try " ON THE TRAIL". When i bought mine, the 18.5" felt great in the parking lot. And first day on the trail with the wow factor still in effect, the bike felt perfect. But as time moved on, I started to notice on steep hill climbs and fast downhill swtichbacks. The bike was controlling me vs me controlling the bike. Again, I dont think you would run into this even with the 18.5. But again, try to try them both out to make sure you make the right choice.

As far as the virtual vs actual, on a 17.5, the seat tube measures just that. However, the dip in the top tube makes it the actual size which in the case of my 17.5 a 16.5".
 

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I'm 5'10" and ride a 19.5" top fuel and love it. Tried the 18.5 and it just felt a little tight. But I'm in the tweener size based on Trek's sizing chart. I've also changed out the bars to a Bontrager XX Carbon set which always me to tip them back to shorten the length a bit.
I've will admit when demoing new bikes for some reason the size thats recommended always feels to small compared to the next size up. I really think when demoing the bike one should have the dealer set the bike up to your frame size to allow for an accurate demo. It only takes a minute or two and sure would save some time in the long run.
 

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18.5 pictures?

Still looking at the fuel ex, but havn't got any local shops stocking a 18.5 (actual) to try out.
Anyone out there who can post a picture of one - just to get an idea of size, to see how much bigger than the 17.5 it is? Cheers.
 
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