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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys/gals,

I started riding mountain bikes in 1992, and rode pretty consistently until about 1996 or 1997. I've taken the interim years since then largely off (couple rides here and there), but bought a 2003 Giant NRS-3 when it was new and promptly locked it away in my shed. Now my wife and I are looking to start riding bikes together (score!) and I am ready to enjoy the sport again.

However, I may have an all new problem or two with my bike, and not something that I even remotely expected to face. Last night when we purchased my wife's all new Trek 6500 from a local shop, we had them give her a fitment test and she came up with a 19.5 inch frame. She is 5'11" before anyone panics. However, I started to grow concerned that my own 18.5 inch frame might not be the best overall fit for me (I'm 6'0").

Today, having taken my bike down to the same shop for a tune-up, I had them do the same sizing test on me on my own bike, and they think my current 18.5" frame is too small for me, resulting in a pretty compromised seating position. They recommended the 20.5" size, if I wanted to stick with a similar bike. Naturally, I was pretty shocked by this!

Now, I grew up riding bikes in the early 90's, and I swear that I always had 18 or 18.5 inch sized frames (I've probably had about 4 bikes total since I started riding). Back then I know the size wasn't traditionally regarded as being wrong, and I definitely recall seeing a lot of high seatposts too. Has something significant changed or evolved in sizing frames for people over the last 4-5 years? Am I wrong to want a second opinion? Are people just more informed about what is considered anatomically correct now?

Finding a used Giant NRS frame in the 20.5 inch size actually seems reasonably easy...so cost or availability isn't my primary concern. I am now more concerned with making sure I actually have the right size frame for my body...to keep me comfortable and able to tolerate long rides without muscle aches and pain. Any input for me? Should I just stop by a few more shops and see if I can get some consensus? Thanks guys/gals...I appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I am planning to get a second opinion (different shop) on the fitment tonight, and won't tell them anything other than I want to get sized/fit for a mountain bike in order to not skew the results.
 

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Old man on a bike
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Not all frame sizes are measured equally, either. I don't know the bikes you've got or are looking at, but like JHB says, top tube length is important as well as the seat tube length (and both can be measured differently by different manufacturers). Your individual measurements, not just your overall height, is an important factor, too. Hard to judge what your particular fit is over the internet! Curious, what fit method did the bike shop use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In terms of what they did, they had me get on the bike and freewheel it slowly backwards, then looked at the angles of my legs as they related to my shoulders and torso (I think) and also my general arm bend position to ensure I wasn't too hunched over yet had a slight bend in my arms.

I'll be picking up the bike tomorrow and doing more sizing work with them. I really like this shop too, and hope to goodness that they're not just trying to make a sale. My current plan is to get recommendations regarding how to make my current frame work better for me (ie: seat slider placement, stem size, etc.). Hopefully I can hold onto my current frame a bit longer and enjoy it! :)
 

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I rode a frame that was to small for me for years with a set back post and long stem. It rode like crap. The stem messed up the handeling and the seat post put me in a bad position over the pedals. I hope you can make it work but an incorect frame fit is hard to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
That was pretty much the same information that the shop tech gave me today. We did an extended fitting, tried a few stems out, and concluded that I should sell the bike/frame and start over. So, I'll probably be looking to do that. Thanks again to all who responded.
 
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