Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I'm 5'10", 175 lbs. with a relatively longer torso and arms. I've been riding a red 19" Specialized Hardrock (no susp., for crying out loud!) for fifteen years. All that time I have felt cramped, with my butt trying to hang off the rear of the seat, even with an extended stem. I decided to stop torturing myself and get a real bike.
I've settled on the Gary Fisher Tassajara, but the plot thickens. They have only two at College Cyclery here in Reno...a 19" red and silver, (not red again!) and a 21" blue/grey, which I really dig. The red/silver 19" is Taiwanese made, while the cool, blue/grey 21" is made in the good old US of A, which I also prefer.
I've ridden them both around the neighborhood making minor adjustments, and I still can't quite get a feel for the correct size. Being 5'10", the 21" logically shouldn't fit. But I don't want to go through another fifteen years of feeling like I need a larger frame. Other than crotch clearance, what are some of the other factors that I should be considering in order to decide? What more can I do to lock this in? Anyone else out there ever have this problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
algae said:
Hi All,
I'm 5'10", 175 lbs. with a relatively longer torso and arms. I've been riding a red 19" Specialized Hardrock (no susp., for crying out loud!) for fifteen years. All that time I have felt cramped, with my butt trying to hang off the rear of the seat, even with an extended stem. I decided to stop torturing myself and get a real bike.
I've settled on the Gary Fisher Tassajara, but the plot thickens. They have only two at College Cyclery here in Reno...a 19" red and silver, (not red again!) and a 21" blue/grey, which I really dig. The red/silver 19" is Taiwanese made, while the cool, blue/grey 21" is made in the good old US of A, which I also prefer.
I've ridden them both around the neighborhood making minor adjustments, and I still can't quite get a feel for the correct size. Being 5'10", the 21" logically shouldn't fit. But I don't want to go through another fifteen years of feeling like I need a larger frame. Other than crotch clearance, what are some of the other factors that I should be considering in order to decide? What more can I do to lock this in? Anyone else out there ever have this problem?
I am by no means a bike fitting expert but I would not hold the crotch clearance thing to highly. I would go by cockpit length and how it feels. Ask you LBS to try a longer stem on the 19" and see how it feels as compared to the 21". Also don't buy the wrong fitting bike simply because it is made i nteh USA or you like the color better.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,029 Posts
Bike meaurements are all relative

To their own brand.

I've ridden 15" frames up to 18" frames. I'm right about 6'0".

I'm most comfortable on a bike that is about 16"-17" seattube (measured Center to top) and about a 22.5 top tube.

Specialized and Fisher bikes ride differently. I'm sure you've already noticed that. The Fisher might not fit right in either size, BUT you can tweak a bike with a different seatpost, or a different stem. I wouldn't do this for any great changes, but it is the tweak to make it fit right.

The bike shop should be helping you fit the correct size bike. Or - there are some online calucaltors (search google for "bike fit" and a bunch will show up.) Wrench Science was pretty close to how I had my bikes setup, and they feel right, so might be worth looking at.

You might want to take a look at what they have for top tube length listed and compare that to both the bikes you are looking at. There are some small bike companies that list their bikes by top tube length instead of seat tube lenght. I think it's because they feel it is a better measurement to fit a bicycle correctly.

As long as you feel comfortable while riding and standing over the bike, there are no 'rules' saying that you MUST buy a 20" or a 10" bike. It's about what will get you out pedaling on two wheels and everything else is just a guide.

Good luck!

JmZ

algae said:
Hi All,
I'm 5'10", 175 lbs. with a relatively longer torso and arms. I've been riding a red 19" Specialized Hardrock (no susp., for crying out loud!) for fifteen years. All that time I have felt cramped, with my butt trying to hang off the rear of the seat, even with an extended stem. I decided to stop torturing myself and get a real bike.
I've settled on the Gary Fisher Tassajara, but the plot thickens. They have only two at College Cyclery here in Reno...a 19" red and silver, (not red again!) and a 21" blue/grey, which I really dig. The red/silver 19" is Taiwanese made, while the cool, blue/grey 21" is made in the good old US of A, which I also prefer.
I've ridden them both around the neighborhood making minor adjustments, and I still can't quite get a feel for the correct size. Being 5'10", the 21" logically shouldn't fit. But I don't want to go through another fifteen years of feeling like I need a larger frame. Other than crotch clearance, what are some of the other factors that I should be considering in order to decide? What more can I do to lock this in? Anyone else out there ever have this problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,744 Posts
It's hard

to really test the fit by riding a few minutes in the parking lot. If you're too streched out on the bike, you'll notice neck and back soreness, but not until you've been on it a while. See if you can notice any hint of neck strain while on the bigger size. In addition to lengthening the stem, you can also get seat posts that position the seat slightly further back.
 

·
A Real Winner.
Joined
·
863 Posts
Cockpit length. That is the most important measurement. I know thats what a few people before me said, but it is correct. Forget about standover height, seattube length, etc., the comfort thing is most important. I'm about 5'8" and I have about a 22.5" toptube with a 120mm stem, and that work good for me. I have a friend who is about the same dimensions as me, and has a Gary Fisher Zig with the same seattube length as my bike, but the top tube is about an inch longer. He just likes it like that. On the Fisher website, they say "effective top tube-
The horizontal measure from the center of the headset to the center of the seatpost. The most important measurement when buying a bike, because it cannot be changed." I would agree with that, because, while you can technically change it byt adding a different stem, you would change the overall handling characteristics of the bike. Buy what is comfortable for you. So to recap. . .top tube length, top tube length, top tube length. IMO Fishers also run a little "long" with their toptubes.
-Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm gettin' it...

Hey, thanks for the helpful suggestions, ya'll. Top tube length...hmmm. VERY good to know that GF runs a little longer than others. Also, I did notice a slight twinge of neck discomfort that could be magnified by longer, more demanding rides. Feedback, after the fact is definitely helping to sort out the experience. I'm thinking that I would be very foolish to go with the XL frame.
I'm just getting the hang of the forum, and also discovered the "Trek, Gary Fisher, Klein, etc." thread, way down the list. There's some terrific GF info there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
wrench science

algae said:
Hi All,
I'm 5'10", 175 lbs. with a relatively longer torso and arms. I've been riding a red 19" Specialized Hardrock (no susp., for crying out loud!) for fifteen years. All that time I have felt cramped, with my butt trying to hang off the rear of the seat, even with an extended stem. I decided to stop torturing myself and get a real bike.
I've settled on the Gary Fisher Tassajara, but the plot thickens. They have only two at College Cyclery here in Reno...a 19" red and silver, (not red again!) and a 21" blue/grey, which I really dig. The red/silver 19" is Taiwanese made, while the cool, blue/grey 21" is made in the good old US of A, which I also prefer.
I've ridden them both around the neighborhood making minor adjustments, and I still can't quite get a feel for the correct size. Being 5'10", the 21" logically shouldn't fit. But I don't want to go through another fifteen years of feeling like I need a larger frame. Other than crotch clearance, what are some of the other factors that I should be considering in order to decide? What more can I do to lock this in? Anyone else out there ever have this problem?
If you go through www.wrenchscience.com fitting system it will give you a good idea of frame size and overall reach. Subtract the top-tube from your overall cockpit measurement to get a stem length.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top