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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at the Marin and the Kona website. I noticed that full suspension xc/trail bikes have higher standover height than their hardtail of the same size. The longer the travel (for those adjustable) the higher the standover.

Does that mean that if I get a full suspension bike, I have to get a size smaller compared to the hardtail equivalent to maintian a good standover clearance?
 

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ttt said:
I was looking at the Marin and the Kona website. I noticed that full suspension xc/trail bikes have higher standover height than their hardtail of the same size. The longer the travel (for those adjustable) the higher the standover.

Does that mean that if I get a full suspension bike, I have to get a size smaller compared to the hardtail equivalent to maintian a good standover clearance?
Yes and No.

Lots of bike frames are designed with the "bent" top tube or the "V" shaped tubes to maintain good standover while accomodating today's taller longer travel forks, like the Specialized Enduro or Ellsworth Joker frames for example. So no need to go smaller if the frame accomodated it. Enduro example:


But you may have to go smaller if the the top tube is a straight design like the Kona Dawg, Weyless XP or Trek Liquid. It's okay to go smaller if the effective top tube length is still within your sizing.


There are some straight top tubes that accomodate for more standover by designing it t be more compact and welding a gusset to the longish looking seat tube, like the K2 Razorback or Iron Horse Hollowpoint. these don't require any smaller than normal sizing.


With all that said, I think top tube clearance is sometimes overrated. It all comes down to what kind of riding you do and the trails you ride. If you are just a XC distance fireroad rider, than top tube issues are rare an non issue really. But if you are riding rocky tech sections or hucking, then yes top tube clearance is important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks dirtpaws. I ride trails that are rocky and rooty so I should be careful in choosing a bike/frame especially if I decide to buy them through the net.
 

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ballbuster
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Forget standover....

ttt said:
I was looking at the Marin and the Kona website. I noticed that full suspension xc/trail bikes have higher standover height than their hardtail of the same size. The longer the travel (for those adjustable) the higher the standover.

Does that mean that if I get a full suspension bike, I have to get a size smaller compared to the hardtail equivalent to maintian a good standover clearance?
Standover is not an acurate sizing method for mountain bikes at all. In addition, for get the 'inch' sizing as well. I have a 16" k2 Razorback and a 19.5" Giant Yukon that are virtually the same size. Same whelebase, same virtual Top Tube length. Go figure.

You will have better luck going by Small/Medium/Large. Both of the bikes I mentioned here are Mediums, and I'm 5'10" with a 32 inseam and longer than average reach... and I like my bikes a tad on the cramped side.

The important part to measure on a mountain bike is reach, which is the TT (or virtual TT) measurement, but in reality, that can vary as well, depending on the frame design.

The more travel a bike has, the more standover it will need to have, because the suspension has to travel somewhere, usually down. If you made a 6" travle bike the same height as a rigid bike, the chainrings would nearly bash into the ground when landing big hits and you would be striking pedals on stuff all over the place.

The best sizing method is to go ride the goofy things and see if they fit.
 
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