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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
please view this 44s youtube video + photos of me test riding the 19" paragon and let me know what you think of the fit & back posture. no footage of me test riding the 17.5" but i felt very upright and the handlebars seemed kind of low. my only fear of the 19" is the iffy standover.

today i placed a pre-order for the trek cobia 2011. going only by #s last week majority of the forum *suggested* that 17.5" g2 frame will fit me best. i'm 5' 9.3" + 32.5" cycling inseam. lbs told me that 17.5" was too small and 19" was clearly the better choice. he pointed that even on the 19" i had a high seat post.

some say that standover is overrated but ideally i want a comfortable amount of of that too. if i have such long legs to require a lot of seat post, why the iffy standover? something's not right. if i can't figure out a fit, as badly as i want the cobia, i'll have to walk away.

your feedback is greatly appreciated. thanks!


edit: i'm just mounting on the saddle that's why it seems i'm not sitting on it. when i'm riding i'm fully on the saddle and very comfortable!




 

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ballbuster
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Looks about right to me

How does it feel?

Then again, I get on just about any of my friend's bikes and I feel like they are way too short, even though most of them are roughly my same size. Maybe what I like is long and low more than they do.

I'm 5'10" with a 33" pant inseam and long arms. I tend to like bikes with a 24-24.5" effective top tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
pimpbot said:
How does it feel?

Then again, I get on just about any of my friend's bikes and I feel like they are way too short, even though most of them are roughly my same size. Maybe what I like is long and low more than they do.

I'm 5'10" with a 33" pant inseam and long arms. I tend to like bikes with a 24-24.5" effective top tube.
the ETT & handlebar height of the 19" feel good as far as i can tell from a brief test ride. *probably* better than a 17.5". these are the most important dimensions. was my seat post too high? the video and photos seem to show a slight bend of the knees at the 6 o clock so probably not.

i have a habit of hopping onto the top tube when i stop to take a water break. for the 19" i could straddle on the TT fine but when i jumped up and down (to simulate a hop) there was some discomfort. i don't want to put too much importance to #s because they don't always translate to reality and riding a bike. if the 2011 19" cobia has SO of 31.3" the this leaves only 1" from the TT to the pubic bone. theoretically this sounds very snug but hopefully in actuality that will not be the case.

this will be my first mountain bike and my second bike total so i still have tuned in my fit preferences. i do like high handlebars that's why i opted for the slack geometry of the 29ers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you for your clear, decisive feedback. although i take responsibility for the ultimate decision, i appreciate your input. so you, just like the lbs, suggest the 19 over the 17.5.

can you clarify this line? i didn't understand. are you referring to my seat post being too high?

customfab said:
could stand to come down a little as well.
 

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Standover is overrated

1) I think stand over height is your least concern. You spend hours riding and only a second to dismount. You could easily dismount to the side. Even in sticky situations, you can learn to dismount off to the side, instead of hopping forwards. And if the situation is SO sticky that you cannot dismount to the side, you wouldn't be too happy dismounting forwards either.

2) If you have short legs, or a long torso, or long arms or all of the above, any bike will probably never have enough stand over.

3) Gary Fishers bikes seem to always have a ton of seat post exposed (mine does too). That is why even though you have a bit of post exposed, you still have trouble with stand over. I might be generalizing, but it seems that Gary Fishers tend to have low stand over height relative to the ETT. Can someone confirm this? If this is a fact, the 19in Cobia is the way to go.

4) Looking at your pictures, I think a 19in definitely is your size. It even seems a bit small!

5) Also, looking at the bike specifications:
the 17.5in ETT = 60.2
the 19in ETT = 62.2
there is only a 2cm difference between the frames. If the 19in ends up feeling too stretched out, you can just get a 2cm shorter stem. I would prefer putting a 2cm shorter stem as opposed to a 2cm longer stem since a short one gives you less of an "over the bars" feeling while going downhill. Or as customfab pointed out, you might even need a longer stem!

6) Finally, it seems that when i got better at biking, my body got more and more stretched and flexible, so i had to go a frame size up. But, you said you have bought a bike before, so you may have already been stretched out.

In the end, if the 19in feels comfortable, just ignore the stand over and get the 19in. Stand over is overrated, I always dismount to the side, even though I easily clear my top tube :)
 

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Uncle
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I'd also say slide that seat up and back 1/4" in each direction or so -- something about seeing that much post while you're seated says to me that you're further forward than necessary. 1/2" might be a bit drastic, but take it too far, and then back it down a bit. You look a bit cramped on it, but the saddle adjustment could improve things.

Also, how does that saddle feel? I ask because you look like you're sitting on it oddly, and sometimes people do this when the saddle ain't right for their junk.

Anyway, to repeat: Raise the saddle, slide it back a bit, and do another test ride while really cranking on it. Maybe go up a hill too if you can find one near by.

After saddle adjustments, I'd support the longer stem recommendation mentioned above.
 

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Cars Hurt.
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I agree with Natzoo that you should go with the 19. If it ends up feeling too big it will be easier to shorten the stem or get one with a slight rise if you feel stretched out which wont be so easy to fix on the 17.5.

As far as having a lot of seatpost sticking out I cant see any disadvantage to that as long as it is in the minimum insertion length. Here is a video of Harlan Price who rides for Indy Fab. In the first minute of the video you can see his seat post sticks out over a foot. He says at some point in the video that he prefers it because its a side effect of dropping the top tube and stays for a low standover height.

http://www.cyclingdirt.org/coverage/234969-pro-bike-season-one/video/178730-harlan-price-pro-bike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
natzoo said:
1) I think stand over height is your least concern. You spend hours riding and only a second to dismount. You could easily dismount to the side. Even in sticky situations, you can learn to dismount off to the side, instead of hopping forwards. And if the situation is SO sticky that you cannot dismount to the side, you wouldn't be too happy dismounting forwards either.
first of all, thanks so much (everyone) for taking your precious time to help me.

natzoo said:
2) If you have short legs, or a long torso, or long arms or all of the above, any bike will probably never have enough stand over.
i can't figure out if i have long leg or short legs :p

natzoo said:
3) Gary Fishers bikes seem to always have a ton of seat post exposed (mine does too). That is why even though you have a bit of post exposed, you still have trouble with stand over. I might be generalizing, but it seems that Gary Fishers tend to have low stand over height relative to the ETT. Can someone confirm this? If this is a fact, the 19in Cobia is the way to go.
i think a lot of 29er hardtails have low SO clearance compared to ETT. most common complain i hear on the surly karate monkey is SO.

natzoo said:
4) Looking at your pictures, I think a 19in definitely is your size. It even seems a bit small!
thanks!

natzoo said:
5) Also, looking at the bike specifications:
the 17.5in ETT = 60.2
the 19in ETT = 62.2
there is only a 2cm difference between the frames. If the 19in ends up feeling too stretched out, you can just get a 2cm shorter stem. I would prefer putting a 2cm shorter stem as opposed to a 2cm longer stem since a short one gives you less of an "over the bars" feeling while going downhill. Or as customfab pointed out, you might even need a longer stem!
i am beginning to think that handlebar height is just as important as ETT. if it's too low then the bike is not as comfortable. its possible to become hunched over and have lower back pain. i'll have to put the 19" next to the 17.5" but the handlebars felt kind of low on the 17.5". makes sense since 19" has seat tube 1.5" higher and the TT to the headtube is parallel so handlebar is probably 1.5" higher too! i could be wrong because i'm no geometry ace :p

natzoo said:
6) Finally, it seems that when i got better at biking, my body got more and more stretched and flexible, so i had to go a frame size up. But, you said you have bought a bike before, so you may have already been stretched out.
you're absolutely right! i'm buying a nice bike to have calorie deficit with biking and lose the stomach flab. when i do i'll be more flexible, be able to stretch out more, and get a 45 degree back angle for great efficiency. although even when i do become fitter, i'll always go for comfort & ergonomics rather than speed. i ride for fun and fitness only. i got my first bike last august. it was a 19" flat bar road bike and the handlebars were too low (due to geometry + fork cut way too low). my back hurt and i only did 500 miles on it. so the first bike wasn't much of an indication on fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
105millimetersofpleasure said:
I'd also say slide that seat up and back 1/4" in each direction or so -- something about seeing that much post while you're seated says to me that you're further forward than necessary. 1/2" might be a bit drastic, but take it too far, and then back it down a bit. You look a bit cramped on it, but the saddle adjustment could improve things.
do you agree that i am showing a lot of seat post on the 19"? i don't know much about these things but i have a feeling that a lot of people on this forum (like the video of harlan kindly posted by "lets try science") have noticeably more seatpost showing.

105millimetersofpleasure said:
Also, how does that saddle feel? I ask because you look like you're sitting on it oddly, and sometimes people do this when the saddle ain't right for their junk.
i should hae clarified. saddle feels very comfortable! i thought all stock saddles were torture devices but not this one :) it looks odd because that screenshot was taken when i was just mounting on the saddle. that was the only 1 second glimpse of the seat post in my recording which i had edited to include only the angles that showed my fit. when i'm riding i'm completely on the saddle.
 

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That's a small 19" bike, or you are a big 5'9" :)

I'm 5'9" as well, and usually a 17 is the right size bike for me. I don't know what's going on here, but the bike in the video almost looks too small for you. You definitely should not go with a smaller frame than that.
It is somewhat hard to judge because your seat is too low. If the seat was higher, it would change your whole position, so the fit would be easier to judge.
But considering that there is no way a 5'9" guy would need a 20" or a 21", and no way you should go smaller than the 19, the 19 is right size for you.

You don't show any stand over shots but at the begininning of the video you appear to be comfortably standing flat footed straddling the bike. That's all you need.
 

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smilinsteve said:
That's a small 19" bike, or you are a big 5'9" :)

I'm 5'9" as well, and usually a 17 is the right size bike for me.
I find that GF bikes fit differently to everything else out there (what with G2).

Any other bike I ride a Medium, when I test rode GF I had to go up to a L (19") frame to feel like it had a proper fit.

For a guy at 5'9" that 19" GF sure looks small, sure it wasn't the 17" model?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
driver bob said:
For a guy at 5'9" that 19" GF sure looks small, sure it wasn't the 17" model?
i asked my lbs to bring out a 19" and a 17.5". it's unlikely that he picked out wrong sizes since he raised the saddle even more for the 17.5". too bad i didn't read the size labels. another indication that it was a 19" is that I noticed the reduced stand over clearance over what I'm typically used to. i could comfortably straddle over the top tube but if i jumped up and down there was some discomfort. i'm 5' 9 1/3" + 32.3" cycling inseam without shoes.

i don't want to get too # intensive because they don't always translate to reality (case in point me!) but i am worried that trek is changing the sizing scheme from 2010 to 2011. gary fisher 2010 models had 4 sizes 15.5, 17.5, 19, and 21. trek 2011s will have a 5th size which is 23". going by #s, the SO of the 2011s is supposed to be 2 cm higher than the 2010. so a 2011 17.5 will have the same SO as a 2010 19". hopefully these #s won't translate to actually trying the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
smilinsteve said:
That's a small 19" bike, or you are a big 5'9" :)
i'm almost tempted to call up the lbs and ask if what i rode was indeed a 19". i just don't want to inadvertently insult him because he was very nice, helpful, and honest. he even told me to consider a $300 cheaper hybrid bike for my modest uses. maybe i'll politely call up and ask.

smilinsteve said:
You don't show any stand over shots but at the begininning of the video you appear to be comfortably standing flat footed straddling the bike. That's all you need.
i could have put the camera on the ground and seen how much i could lift the wheels off the ground. i didn't want to take up the everyone's time with that because SO is especially about "personal comfort" so this is something especially that only i can decide. although other aspects of fit are subjective too, people can make helpful suggestions (like you and the rest of this great forum).

you are right, i was able to reasonably straddle over the top tube before mounting and riding. i still wish there was just a little more so that when i jump up and down over the TT there isn't that discomfort. of course, who buys a bike to jump over the TT :p but i personally like to hop off the saddle onto the TT when taking a break. maybe i'll have to practice the side dismount for breaks.

as long as trek doesn't cause more sizing confusion by the new sizing dimensions for 2011 over 2010, i'm pretty sure the 19" will be the clear choice. it'll ultimately boil down to my personal comfort of stand over (theoretically the 2011 19" will have 2 cm of even less SO clearance!) when i choose to buy the bike or walk away.

for overrated SO aside, the 19" seems like the intuitive size. i'm 5'9" which is average height and the 19" is the middle of 5 sizes. i notice a changing trend these days from the past. in the past everyone insisted on getting very small size mountain bikes and having 5" of standover :D but now the focus is large size for appropriate handlebar height and ETT which is the way to go :thumbsup:
 

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Your position is very good but the front wheel is too close to your body, you will go over the bar easily believe me. Also when you stand up, all your weight will go over the front wheel and compress the fork = less speed sprinting and much harder to go over the obstacles. That will slow you down radically. You already have a lot of seatpost showing up and a lot of spacers under the stem. That 19 inches seems small so forget the 17.5. I know according to the number it doesn't work but you should go 21 inches with a shorter stem. Yes it sounds like a foolish, stupid idea and your LBS will think your are out of your mind but give it a try first, on the trail if possible with rough stuff. One ride with the 19 and one with the 21. IMPORTANT you gotta keep the exact same position as you have on the video on both bike You'll figure out a longer bike make you gain speed over rough stuff because the front wheel has less weight to lift over the bumps, it kills the over the bar fear feeling because the front wheel is further forward and is more stable downhill because of the longer wheelbase.
 

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common_man said:
i'm almost tempted to call up the lbs and ask if what i rode was indeed a 19". i just don't want to inadvertently insult him because he was very nice, helpful, and honest. he even told me to consider a $300 cheaper hybrid bike for my modest uses. maybe i'll politely call up and ask.
You wouldn't offend him. A good bike guy knows how important fit is. You could just tell him you've tried other 19's that seemed bigger, so you wanted to double check that it really was a 19 you tried.

you are right, i was able to reasonably straddle over the top tube before mounting and riding. i still wish there was just a little more so that when i jump up and down over the TT there isn't that discomfort. of course, who buys a bike to jump over the TT :p but i personally like to hop off the saddle onto the TT when taking a break. maybe i'll have to practice the side dismount for breaks.
Remember also, that if you tilt the bike, even a little bit, to the side, you gain stand over clearance. It is kind of an intuitive thing to do, but when people check SO in a shop they hold the bike straight up and down, whereas on the trail it is typical to take one foot off the pedal first and tilt to one side.

I don't blame you for worrying about stand over, but if you really want a lot of clearance you should probably be looking at a bike with a bent top tube.

edit: when I said bent top tube I was thinking about full suspension bikes. It's hard to find a bent top tube hard tail, but some have more radically sloped top tubes.
I just realized this is a 29er we are talking about! You should compare a 26 incher. It would probably give you the fit you want with more SO.
 

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common_man said:
thank you for your clear, decisive feedback. although i take responsibility for the ultimate decision, i appreciate your input. so you, just like the lbs, suggest the 19 over the 17.5.

can you clarify this line? i didn't understand. are you referring to my seat post being too high?
down in the front, put some spacers on top of the stem and give it a try. You look more like your on a beach cruiser not a XC bike. On top of that ask the shop to swap the stem for something that is a centimeter longer than whatever that one is, for the same reason.
 

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One down side to having to raise the saddle on the smaller model is that since the seat tube is at an angle, the seat gets further away from the bars the higher up you bring it. I think if I were you I'd get the 19" and run a shorter stem. That's my preferred setup personally. I wouldn't worry too much about the standover. As long as you've got about an inch between your chode and your top tube it should be fine. In the end, if you have any doubts about either setup, maybe you should consider another bike? Have you ridden other stuff? Is this the best of the choices you've tried?
 

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Seems compressed, bars need to go down , seat back some. Your a young guy so you shouldn't have any major back and neck problems yet to be so upright.
 
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