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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay here is the situation. last year I bought a Specialized hard rock, size XXL on clearance. I call it the White Elephant, because it is so big and cumbersome. I rode it for about 6 months,and decided that MTBing is for me, so I started looking to upgrade. My riding experience before hand short distance college commuting. For the last 4 years I rode a $50 medium frame MTB that I couldn’t sit down on. Before that it was 20” BMX bikes. So I was used to being off the seat. I told my LBS guy that I wanted dirt jump geometry because I was used to being off the seat and more comfortable in a standing position. So I settled on a 4x bike. Of course the bike shop had to order it so when it came in so I owned it. On my first ride I told the LBS guy “are you sure this is the largest frame they make?” It was so after putting a crazy angle neck on it, it fit better.

I rode it around for about a month and my riding style sorta changed after a big crash. I decided in my line of work I couldn't afford a major injury. Because I like riding so much I decided to stick with long distance trail riding. My daughter and I really have enjoyed, riding dirt roads, paved stuff, and single track. I have a 14 mile commute by fire road to work which I ride a few times a week. Which puts me in the saddle more.
What I found was the Dirt jump bike sucks when you are on the saddle. And the White elephant sucks in tight trails. Plus I am riding more so I want to upgrade. So basically I was stuck with two bikes one too small and one too big. I tried to sell the dirt jumper to raise the funds for a new bike,but I had trouble selling it.
I scored a 20” Karate Monkey frame on EBAY for a pretty good price. So I bought it and took the best parts from both bikes and put them on the Monkey. I put about 50 miles on the monkey and noticed my neck would hurt because I was always looking up. My wife and Daughter said that it looks too small for me. I swapped stems and that up righted me quite a bit. So I rode the bike for another week. Then someone offered to buy the Dirt Jumper and I took it. Now the KM has no crank and Derailleur.
I found an El Mariachi on Craigslist and it is a pretty good deal. It is an XL, but after researching mostly on this site I concluded that the source of my bending over too far is the effective top tube length right? If that is the case then the XL would be too big. So I decided the 20” KM is the better choice and forgot about the 21” salsa.
Well last night pulled the wheels off the KM and put the trusty white elephant back together. I sat on the seat and thought “man it is soooo roomy”. I rode it to work this morning and noticed that I am sitting in a much more upright position; I can look around instead of straight at my front wheel which is the case of the Karate Monkey and the Dirt jumper. Should I think again at the 21” Salsa?
That doesn’t make sense!!!! The KM should make me more upright but it doesn’t. And perhaps that could be because of the stem and fork situation I don’t know, but everyone I talk to says that for my size, I should be on a large frame.
By the way my dimensions are:
200lbs all limbs and no torso , I have a 36” inseam and goofy long arms to go with that.
 

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I would think a 36" inseam would mean an XL or larger frame. The short torso should be offset by the long arms.
 

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So you are about 6' 3" or 4"? The Salsa sounds like the best frame size at that height. The KM sounds like it is too small for you, while the Elephant sounds too big. It sounds like your local shop doesn't know how to size a bike correctly.

Salsa's are great bikes. I would recommend going to the LBS Salsa dealer and sitting on a XL. I'm 6' 4" 210lbs with a 36" inseam. I had a XL Salsa Horethief that fit me good, it could have been a little smaller. Horethief's run big though. An XL is a 22" frame. 21" seems to be my sweet spot.

What year is the Salsa, and how much? Does the KM have a suspension fork on it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2012 El Mariachi 2 XL 21" with a frame bag for $800. No the KM does not have a suspension fork, the fork on it is not right. I think that 100mm suspension fork will help with fitment. I put the Suntour 80mm on the KM and it rose the front end quite a bit. I couldn't test ride it because the steerer is too long to put a cap on it. That thing is like 10 inches long!!! But that's just the thing I don't want to blow money on a fork, and stem and seat post and such, then still have a bike that isn't the right fit.
The problem with bike shops is I feel like they are always trying to sell me something. When I go in there I feel awkward because I ride this look at that, then walk out with nothing because they don't have "exactly" what I think I am looking for. Plus new bikes always have a flaw, like good derailleur and cheap forks, or good fork, cheap wheels. I just cant understand spending big bucks on something that is not the total package. But that is just a rant. By the way as I type this, I just got a call from the guy with the El Mar. and he just sold it. Problem solved, question answered I guess.
 

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The first thing I can suggest is for you to stop buying stuff until you figure out what the proper size is that you need. This can be difficult, especially for someone fairly new to the sport, because different bikes can range in sizes: one manufacturer's large could be another's XL, angles are different, top tube lengths are different, etc.

You need to determine your cycling inseam(different than your pants inseam), your correct saddle height, reach, and learn how different angles will effect how a frame fits. There are resources available to help with this, and you can ask questions here, but it's easier to help out with fit questions when they have a little more information behind them than "I'm 6'2", what size bike do I need?

Because everyone's different, and not everyone who's 6'2" ride the same size frame. The best thing you can do right now is visit as many bike shops as you can and ride as many bikes as you can in the different sizes, until you get an idea of the ballpark area where you are most comfortable. And then refine it from there.
 

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So how tall are you?, I agree your probably XL depending on the bike. Sounds like you need to get the fit dialed in with proper seat position, stem length and bar height, forget about how your previous bikes fit and just move forward.

There's a lot of great basic fit info on the internet but start with getting the saddle position dialed in, then move to stem length and bar height till your comfy on the bike. A more upright position is better than hunched over, your saddle and bars should be about the same height.
 

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The first thing I can suggest is for you to stop buying stuff until you figure out what the proper size is that you need....
+4846783567

You are riding bikes that do not fit you.
Go here:
Bike Fit Calculator | Find Your Bike Size | Competitive Cyclist
Use the fit calculator.
Now you have a basis to go by. Look at manufacturers frame geometry. Try the bikes that are close to what the fit calculator recommends. Adjustments can be made via stem length etc.
Completely ignore stand over. That is ancient "fit" guide left over from bikes with flat top tubes and suspension didn't exist.
 

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Here's exactly what you need to do - go to as many bike shops that you can and try a bunch of different bikes. The good bike shops will help you figure out what size is best for you. When you find a bike and bike shop that you like, buy that bike from that cool bike shop. Ride the bike for a few months and then decide if there is anything you'd like to change. Swap out those parts and sell the old ones on Ebay.

It's really pretty simple. All it takes is some patience. Of course bike shops want to sell you something, but they aren't like car dealerships and it's pretty easy to figure out which bike shops are good if you go to more than one.

If you follow my advice, you will actually save yourself a lot of money and frustration in the long run.

I
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had my buddy measure me, here are the specs. Standing flat footed feet together, with a board up my crotch my inseam is 36 1/2" my height is 74 1/2", my arm span from the tips of my fingers to the center of my chest is 38" Crotch to sternum is 24" and just for giggles I stood flat footed over my bike and with the seat crammed up my crotch, then measured from the floor to the seat and got 37"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
interesting, I did the math just now and I am 6' 1.5" 6"2' and everyone says 20" large is the way to go. But I have the limbs of a guy who is 6' 4" or better which anyone would tell you is a 22" XL fit. I'm a goofy fit, you should see me at the store trying to find 32x36" jeans, its always 32x34 or 34x36 UHHHggg.
 

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Completely ignore stand over. That is ancient "fit" guide left over from bikes with flat top tubes and suspension didn't exist.
Well, maybe not completely, as it gets you in the ballpark. But as someone with a longer torso and a short inseam, I prefer to fit my bikes front to back, and then standover ends up being whatever it is. Usually, I have little to none, but as long as I'm comfy on the bike and not feeling cramped up, I don't care.
 

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interesting, I did the math just now and I am 6' 1.5" 6"2' and everyone says 20" large is the way to go. But I have the limbs of a guy who is 6' 4" or better which anyone would tell you is a 22" XL fit. I'm a goofy fit, you should see me at the store trying to find 32x36" jeans, its always 32x34 or 34x36 UHHHggg.
So find the bike that feels good front to back, and don't worry about whether it is L or XL or XXL.
 

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We are really close in sizing. I have 10lbs on you and a longer torso with slightly shorter limbs, but the overall reach is very close it seams. I ride an XL Yeti SB95. Fit is perfect. I've had an XL Trek, XL Salsa, XL Klein, XL Fisher, and so on. The geometries varied slightly, but I've always been in the XL size or a 21" give or take an inch. The 22" frames always were a little too big, but definitely rideable.

Here are my measurements from the Competitve Cyclist calculator provided above:

Measurements
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Inseam: 36
Trunk: 31.5
Forearm: 14.5
Arm: 28.5
Thigh: 26.65
Lower Leg: 23.6
Sternal Notch: 62.75
Total Body Height: 75.13


XC
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Standover Height Range: 34.1 - 34.8 inches
Virtual Top Tube: 25.5 - 25.9 inches
Stem Length: 11.6 - 13.2 cm
BB-Saddle Position: 79.0 - 80.6cm
Saddle-Handlebar: 62.4 - 64.0 cm


All Mountain Fit
-------------------------------------------
Standover Height Range: 34.1 - 34.8 inches
Virtual Top Tube: 25.0 - 25.4 inches
Stem Length: 9.1 - 11.5 cm
BB-Saddle Position: 74.5 - 80.6 cm
Saddle-Handlebar: 60.5 - 62.3 cm


Gravity Fit
-------------------------------------------
Standover Height Range: 34.1 - 34.8 inches
Virtual Top Tube: 24.7 - 25.1 inches
Stem Length: 5.6 - 9.0 cm
BB-Saddle Position: N/A
Saddle-Handlebar: N/A
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't get it, just like you ptsube2002, the virtual top tube length for me according the competitive cyclist calculator is 25.5 to 25.9. The effective top tube on the XL Karate monkey is 24.9.
Standover height is 34.8 for me, the XL KM is 33.6.
The XXL Hardrock.
Horizontal top tube length is 25.7
Stand over height is 34.1
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Isn't that a Bi$5h, the best fitting bike is the one I started out on. I think I will just keep riding the trusty hardrock, and loitering the bike shop for the perfect fit.
 

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I think that fit calculator is a good tool but ETT can vary up to an inch even in the same size, depending on the bike. I was riding an XL frame with a 25.5" ETT before now I'm riding an XL frame with 24.2 ETT, diff style bikes but still. That XXL Hardrock certainly sounds too big from your description, maybe the ETT is right but the seattube is probably too tall and the wheelbase too long which is why it feels big. As far as standover goes the more clearance the better.

Look for an XL size frame with at least a 25" ETT and you can dial in the fit from there.
 

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Hence why you don't go by "size". Look at frame geometry as everyone sizes frames differently.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

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My stats:
I am 6'3"
34" inseam
37" reach(getting long sleeve shirts that fit is a challenging task)

All the shops were trying to fit me to an XL frame.... BUT I did not like the way it fit. The XL was 'too' big/bulky feeling.
The Large 19" frame fits perfect.

My take:
The 26'ers felt like BMX bikes
The medium frame 29ers seemed rather small and allowed my sz.13 foot to contact the front wheel and I felt like I was sitting straight up.
The XL was just way too tall/long for my liking. I felt that if I had to put my foot down I would crush my nuts.

I'm an all around biker. Some road here/there and roads to get to the trails. Very aggressive on the trails. While I can throw a 26'er around a bit more, I can do just fine with my LG frame 29'er. When I rode my fathers XL frame 29'er I felt very stiff and not very nimble at all. Was rather uncomfortable. The next guy prob feels differently and is why you need to try a few out for yourself.

You need to go to a few bike shops and ride a few different bikes. Stats don't mean anything if it's not what makes you feel comfy. They are a general guide to get you in the ballpark.
 

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I'm also 189 cm tall (6'2") with a 91 cm (36") inseam and shortish back. My proportions look even more funny because I only weigh 77 kg (169 pounds).

I have two 20" (L) mountain bikes (Surly Moonlander and Cannondale Prophet), and I had to install a shorter stem on both. I have a very comfortable position on both of these, can ride all day without finding any bones. For my drop-bar mountain bike I used a 18" (M) Titus Fireline frame to keep the cockpit length reasonable. Sadly I've had to resort to an unsightly spacer-stack on that, because the headtube is of course shorter on smaller sizes, and the drop-bar must be compensated as well.

A 22" (XL) bike from most manufacturers would probably be OK, if I wanted to have my front wheel further forward for stable descending. It would require a very snubby stem, though. I would not consider a frame larger than that, unless the geometry was really strange.
 
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