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Looking for advise. I currently have a 2007 rockhopper 19' which is to longer reach and unconfortable to ride any distance. I am looking to upgrade to a giant XTC 1 29er but am having trouble with sizing. Bike shop states a 17.5 will be fine and have ridden one in the shop but still a relative long reach only 20mm less than rockhopper. I am leaning towards a 15.5 but if its to small im stuck with it.(its horizontal bar is 45mm less than the rockhopper)
rockhopper horizonal bar 615mm
XTC 15.5 horizontal bar 570 mm
xtc 17.5 horizontal bar 595mm

Im 170cm (5' 7) and have a inseam of 31".Am i better to have a bike to big or too small. I dont want to be stuck with a bike that not confortable.

Thanks
 

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You'll probably get better answers in the 29er forum.

If you want my advice, go 17.5 and dial in your cockpit for your personal preference. If it's too long of a reach, just get a shorter stem. I really think you'll feel too cramped on a 15.5. I'm guessing you'd also be looking at having a lot of seatpost exposed for full leg extension. At 5' 7 you really shouldn't have been on a 19 anyway. I'm 6' 0 and ride a 19 for my 26" bikes and on my 29er hardtail.

I was thinking I'd have to go a size down as well on a 29er, but it didn't work out that way at all. I went with the same size for my bike and it fits well. I did get a shorter stem for it though because of the longer top tube. You should really only need to go a size down if you're in between sizes. The bike shop sounds right. At your height a 17.5 should be good for you. See if they'd be willing to swap out a shorter stem for you. A lot of times they can hook you up with a like for like swap with no charge. It just depends on what they have lying around.
 

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Definitely go for a shorter stem and see if that helps with the fit. When I got a big wheel, I had the option to go to a bigger size than I normally use, but I stayed with my "normal" size and it worked out well. At your height/leg length, the 17.5 shold be okay - just try a shorter stem.
 
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