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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All, I'm struggling with what to do. I bought a Saracen Mantra Pro last year and rode it a while. I rode it last night and I'm really not getting on with the frame size. Its a bit difficult for me to reach the handlebars. (I have muscle tightness on the left side) The right side is fine ish. But have no idea how I can make it better for myself? New Frame? New Handlebars? I know this question is very nooby. But I don't know anything about bikes or what to buy to improve the situation so any help would be grand. Many Thanks. Michael.
 

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Anchorage, AK
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You could try a shorter stearing stem. They can be found on ebay for about $20-30. Differently shaped handle bars might also help, but that's more expensive.
 

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Here, diagonally!
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Pic of you on the bike would help greatly if that is possible.
 

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^^ If the above does not work for you, then the alternative is to sell the bike. Sucks, but if you are not really enjoying your bike because the frame is to big. You will be much happier riding a frame that fits you. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Its a 19 frame I think??? I am 5ft 9. Saracen Mantra Pro 2014. I will try this shorter stem. But which one should I buy?

Says for Hardtail Mountain Bikes the recommended size is 17-18inches for 5ft 8+.

Rubbish. :( It fits fine on the leg length. Just the handlebars.... As its quite new. Could I not buy a hardtail frame 650b and everything else should just bolt on?

I thought the frame swaps were difficult if you go from an old frame to a new. Steel to Alloy etc?
 

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How tall are you and what size is the frame? I see that the bike comes with a 70mm stem and a 15mm rise handlebar. You can try a shorter stem, like someone suggested. Maybe try a 40mm stem with a 20-25mm rise handlebar. Can probably get a set up for under $60 at Chain Reaction. A cheap way to see if you can make the bike work before looking at other options such as selling it and buying a smaller bike.
 

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19" frame. I am 5ft 9.
I'm 6'1 with a 32" inseam and ride a 19" frame. But it all depends on your length of limbs. The difference of the top tube from the 19" and 17" (in the Saracen Mantra Pro) is 25mm. So even though there is a 2 inch difference in size, there is less than an inch difference in the top tube. If you have good stand over clearance, then a shorter stem and higher rise handlebar could really help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Getting on the bike is a little difficult. But I have cerebral palsy and can't really get my leg over (wheyey). But Ill try it again when I am home from work maybe see what it will be like with a shorter stem. Maybe make a couple of adjustments to seat height and whatever.

Otherwise it's probably better off buying a new bike? Seems like such a hit to take on a bike that has hardly been rode. Bike resale value sucks lol.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Getting on the bike is a little difficult. But I have cerebral palsy and can't really get my leg over (wheyey). But Ill try it again when I am home from work maybe see what it will be like with a shorter stem. Maybe make a couple of adjustments to seat height and whatever.

Otherwise it's probably better off buying a new bike? Seems like such a hit to take on a bike that has hardly been rode. Bike resale value sucks lol.
for a mountain bike, it's generally better to ride a bike that is a size too small, than a size too big. Considering that you have some mobility issues due to particulars with your health, I'd say that's especially true for you.

A bike that gives you a maximally efficient pedaling position (assuming perfect health and mobility) won't do you any good if it's hurting you somehow or is difficult to get on. First and foremost, you want to be comfortable on the bike. Nonstandard modifications are also a possibility to accommodate specific issues you might have. I have a friend who recently went through a similar process with a bike fitter and a physical therapist.

Kudos to you for getting on a bike in the first place with cerebral palsy. I have a friend with the condition who would love to ride a bike, but hers is severe enough that her balance is heavily affected and she would need a trike of some sort. Either a recumbent trike, or possibly a handcycle. And she just can't afford those.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Balance definatly is an issue. I only learnt to ride a couple of years ago. I'm still not very competent and will wimp out of the bigger drops/ jumps. I can't let it stop me. I will do some minor adjustments myself if that doesn't work I will take it to a bike shop. If that doesn't work. Someone recommend me a 17inch framed mountain bike haha.
 

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One option is to upgrade the frame. For £224.99, you can get an On One 45650B frame. You'd also get a handlebar, stem, seatpost, saddle and grips. Your drivetrain and fork should swap over easily. Even if you could sell your frame for £100 or so, then you'd get a frame that fits and that is an upgrade. On One are great bikes. Assuming your bike has 27.5" wheels.

On-One 45650B Steel Pick 'n' Mix Bundle | On - One
 

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If you're pretty handy around a bike, you can probably do the swap yourself. There is pretty much a video on youtube for everything. You'd just need some tools. The On One only comes in a 18" which should fit you.
 

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If you spent enough on the bike you have, it MIGHT be possible to do a frame swap and avoid at least some of the financial loss of selling your current bike and buying new. But that assumes doing all the labor yourself, and a full frame swap is a fairly advanced level of bike wrenching. And most likely will require a new bottom bracket, headset, and seatpost. Possibly a new front derailleur.

There's a break point where it can be difficult to justify a frame swap financially. Where the possible resale of your existing frame wouldn't offset the cost of a new one plus the parts necessary to make it all go together.

I would start with some adjustments to your current bike. A shorter stem MIGHT make all the difference in the world. The challenge we have now is that we don't see you on your current bike, so have very little clue how well it fits you at the moment. Some types of new handlebars might work, too. A super sweepy alt bar might work to help bring your hands back some, too, or at least put them into a position that's more comfortable. It can be hard to say.

Alternative or "Alt" Mountain Bike Handlebar Round Up
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I paid £600 for my current bike.

I have a few friends who are bike guys that could help with the swap. So no labour cost. The gear on it is alright. Hydraulic brakes and shimano gearsets and shifters. So not uber cheap but not expensive. I doubt I'll get more than 250 for the bike. Unless I'm all wrong on resale value. So unless I can get a better bike for £575 ( value of bike and new frame) it looks like I'm better off frame swapping.
 

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You could probably get more than 250. And sometimes the used market is weird. I once sold a 10 year old hardtail for more than 50% of MSRP. I also once sold a rigid singlespeed for $100 MORE than I spent to build it. *shrug*
 
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