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Hi All,

I am a total newbie to mountain biking and made a purchase of a 19" Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc a couple of months ago. Foolishly, I went into the bike shop during the last day (hour) of a sale and picked out my bike based on looks, Specialized reputation, and price without testing out any other bike in the shop. I just went with what the sales rep recommended.

My dilemma now is that I don't feel really comfortable with the standover height of the bike. I am male standing 5'9" with a 30"-31" inseam. With my feet flat on the floor, my "boys" are resting on the rear half of the top tube. If I happen to make my way forward on the top tube, it starts getting really uncomfortable. The cockpit seems to be okay though. I might even be able to scoot my seat back a bit for a little more room.

I talked to the store manager and he said it's possible to swap out the frame to the next smaller size, 17". He was roughly my height and said he owned a 17" frame for more technical riding. I rode around the parking lot on a 17" Hardrock and it had the comfortable standover clearance of an inch, but the cockpit felt pretty cramped. A longer stem and pushing the seat back would help, but I've read other forum threads saying the steering would be "heavy" and have a tendency to endo.

I'm a newbie, so I don't know if I'll be doing anything really "technical" anytime soon. Going to ride more mellow fire trails at first and see how that goes. So what should I do?

Option 1: Stick with the 19" and get used to the idea of my man junk feeling perilously close to the top tube, but have ample cockpit length.

Option 2: Swap frame size to the smaller 17", but have to adjust components to create cockpit length.

Option 3: Try to sell my lightly used bike and get a frame that actually gives me both standover clearance and cockpit length.

Thanks!!!
 

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Granny Gear Guru
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I am an inch taller than you and I ride a 17" frame, I'd never consider a 19". I would swap frames if you can or get a new 17" bike.
 

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I'm about the same height and ride a 19. We can ride either, depending on preference. Some like being on a smaller frame for tech. riding because it's easier to throw it around. Having a comfortable cockpit is more important to me.

You will soon find that it's easier to stop and start with one foot on the ground instead of trying to straddle the bike - it will become second nature. I've only racked 'em once in a spill. Having a lower top tube wouldn't have helped in that instance.

I'd stick with Option 1.

Of course, if you have plenty of money to throw at it, Option 3 wouldn't be bad either. You're going to take a big hit on resale.
 

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I'm taller, but long in the body (nice way of saying short legs! :D) Top tube length is more important IMO, shorten/ lengthen reach with a shorter/ longer stem and you'll be fine. Saddle can be moved on the rails as well if need be. I find my nads gently resting on all my top ubes, but crashes tend not to involve nad. toptube interaction....
 
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