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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building/refitting a frame for light trail. greenway, etc. riding and have a couple of questions. I have a 16 inch older Access XCL frame and a newer 17.5 Trek 3700 frame (for reference, I am 5'11" give or take with a 32" inseam). Which frame would you recommend? Whichever is getting primarily Shimano Deore components and either a Dart3 or J1 fork. Thanks in advance.
 

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mofologic said:
I am building/refitting a frame for light trail. greenway, etc. riding and have a couple of questions. I have a 16 inch older Access XCL frame and a newer 17.5 Trek 3700 frame (for reference, I am 5'11" give or take with a 32" inseam). Which frame would you recommend? Whichever is getting primarily Shimano Deore components and either a Dart3 or J1 fork. Thanks in advance.
5'11" sounds too tall for a 16" frame, my brother's about your height or shorter and rode an 18" access comfortably... I had one too and both were fine doing pretty standard XC stuff. I imagine either would be more than adequate for your intended use, I'd go with the larger of the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The reason I was considering the 16 inch frame is because of my lower back problems and the likelihood that I could get a more upright riding position instead of being stretched out over the cockpit.
 

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poor fit (like someone 5'11 riding a small frame) will give you back issues. riding a bike that properly fits you wont, even if that means being more stretched out.

the more stretched fit is more comfortable when you get used to it. your body weight is more evenly distributed across your bike and arms/legs/butt for more comfort. sitting upright puts all your weight in one place and makes you hurt.
 

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The fisher is probably to big. The trek will probably fit better than the others and with a set of riser bars and a short elevated stem aught to get you pretty upright. This is all just educated guessing though, there's no substitute for getting on the bike and seeing if it fits.
 

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I just made a similar frame decision for my wife. She has a 2008 Trek 3700 19.5" bought for neighborhood cruising. She got into trail riding with me, but had too little standover clearance. TT was about right at 580mm. I swapped the frame for an Access XCL-26in in the 16.5" size b/c the TT was the same at 580mm but with much better standover. Everything swapped (same seatpost dia) except the BB (68mm on Access). The 18" Trek 3700 has a TT of 565mm. Trek top tubes are shorter, size for size, than the Access TTs.
 

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How to fit a bike 101

OK, when you buy shoes you know to try on lots as makes and styles offer a different fit and feel, right? bikes are no different. Get a bad fit and you wo't ride and won't use the bike.

Use frame size as a reference like mtnbiker72 says. then sit on it. With your butt on the saddle and hands on the bars, you should feel like the bike was made just for you. Not too upright, not too far forward with too much weight on the bars. this is the "cockpit", get this part wrong, and you'll enjoy the bike as much as a poorly fitting pair of shoes (think: bike hanging in garage collecting dust and $ wasted).

You need to figure out your effective top tube length (ETT). Get the LBS to fit you, or find a way to figure it out yourself, perhaps from your last bike or a friend's?

Cheers, Jim
 
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