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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm 5'7", and I'm looking at these 2 bikes. What size would fit me, small or medium? Back in 2009, I had a Specialized Enduro (with the dual crown) in size medium and I always felt it was a tad too big for me. For reference, I currently ride a 2015 Giant XTC (hardtail XC) in size small, with a 110mm stem, and this fits me perfectly. I believe with the slacker geo of these new gen frames, a rider would rather get a tad smaller frame than a tad bigger frame, and this is because a rider will need to bring the weight forward-bias when turning these slacker bikes, and with a larger frame it will be more difficult. So I'm thinking a Yeti in size small should fit me better than size medium? But..I'm also hearing that Yeti sizing runs a bit smaller than other brands, so maybe a Yeti size medium will be like other brands size small?

Unfortunately, there is no local shop where I can go demo these bikes.

Thoughts?
 

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Keep in mind that the longer reaches are typically matched with steeper a STA and shorter stem length.

Interestingly, I am 5'7" and moved from a medium 2014 Giant XTC (27.5) to a 2019 medium SC Blur and can't imagine riding a small XTC of that vintage. People and preferences differ. Anyhow, I love the Blur but plan to replace the bars to add a little more sweep and/or cut them down a little. When bike shopping I was looking at SB115's but never did score a ride on one.

Depending on the type of riding you do, I expect you will love whichever bike you get. The move from 27.5 to 29ers took a little adjustment but now I can't imagine going back. Climbing rocks/roots sections is much easier now. (FS didn't hurt either) Note this is SE Michigan riding so mostly flow with some rocky/rooty trails here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So I looked at the geo numbers of the XTC, SB130, and SB115.
It appears that the SB115 geo looks to be more akin to the XTC geo. So if I were to get the SB115, I could go with size small and use a long'ish stem just like my current setup on the XTC, or go with SB115 size medium and with a shorter stem.

Now the SB130 has geo representative of trail bikes (as it should), and it appears that I would be "bewteen" sizes if I were to go with this frame model. However, considering that I'm currently using a long'ish 110mm stem on my XTC (small), then I suppose I could go with an SB130 size medium and use a short stem?

The question is, what is the pros, cons, and handling differences between:
1) small frame with long stem, or
2) medium frame with short stem?

My riding style. I'm mainly XC oriented (coming from 10 years of intense road cycling). Going uphill is not a problem with me. However, while I have done mtb in the past but was a long time ago when I was younger with faster reflex. Nowadays, I'm a little gun shy of things I was not in the past. The terrain features is Socal, lots of single tracks, sometimes pretty damn gnarly features approaching double black diamond (but I won't do these sections). My goal/intents is to be able to ride anything less than a 3ft drop without having to "scout" the trail and/or pick a line around the drop. I want to be able to hit it and be assured that my bike has the capability to handle such drop (granted, the rider must have some intermediate skills). A highly skilled mtb'er could do it on a hardtail, but not me, so I'm looking for a bike that will allow me to do this (compensating for my lack of skills). Anything more than a 3ft drop I plan to skip.

XTC small medium
tt 575 595
reach 403 416
stack 580 585
SA 73.5 73

SB130 small medium
tt 571 602
reach 429 459
stack 612 614
SA 77.1 77

SB115 small medium
tt 576 607
reach 404 429
stack 604 614
SA 74 74
 

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most likely small. i'm 5'10 and ride a medium. GF is 5'7 and loved the small. in my experience if you are between sizes always go smaller. unless you like a roadie fit stretched out and ride only tame trails. the smaller bike will be easier to handle in the air, better at technicals and generally easier to handle. you customize fit with bar width and stem length.. the only exception would be if you're +1 or +2 on the wingspan. long arms usually size up if they are on the edge where as -1 and -2 size down

side note never trust online geo. go to the shop with a tape measure. i just sized my GF on a small revel rascal the other day. she needs 21.5" tip of seat to mid grip and 16.5 tip of seat to mid steer tube. it was a small even though on paper that frame looks smaller than most. she could have also went medium which was a 17.5" seat to steer but would have required a 35mm stem and 740 bar vs a 40-50 stem and 760 bar on the small. she's currently trying both stems
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
most likely small. i'm 5'10 and ride a medium. GF is 5'7 and loved the small. in my experience if you are between sizes always go smaller. unless you like a roadie fit stretched out and ride only tame trails. the smaller bike will be easier to handle in the air, better at technicals and generally easier to handle. you customize fit with bar width and stem length.. the only exception would be if you're +1 or +2 on the wingspan. long arms usually size up if they are on the edge where as -1 and -2 size down

side note never trust online geo. go to the shop with a tape measure. i just sized my GF on a small revel rascal the other day. she needs 21.5" tip of seat to mid grip and 16.5 tip of seat to mid steer tube. it was a small even though on paper that frame looks smaller than most. she could have also went medium which was a 17.5" seat to steer but would have required a 35mm stem and 740 bar vs a 40-50 stem and 760 bar on the small. she's currently trying both stems
So, I was finally was able to try out an sb130 medium. I was expecting it to be a tad long, but to my surprised, I found the cockpit to be smaller than my Giant XTC small (with a 110 stem). Very surprised, because all I have been hearing about these new geo is "long, low, and slung", and then finally found out that size medium didn't feel long at all. But like you said, don't trust what the online geo says, always try it out in person. I guess I'm used to the stretched out position. What feels weird is that while the medium sized cockpit feels small (to me), but the over bike does feel big, the 29er wheels alone make the bike feels bike, and placing it next to my Giant XTC (27.5 wheels), the SB130 looks significantly longer. So I guess I'm going with size medium. Besides, size small is almost impossible to find one used.
 

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So, I was finally was able to try out an sb130 medium. I was expecting it to be a tad long, but to my surprised, I found the cockpit to be smaller than my Giant XTC small (with a 110 stem). Very surprised, because all I have been hearing about these new geo is "long, low, and slung", and then finally found out that size medium didn't feel long at all. But like you said, don't trust what the online geo says, always try it out in person. I guess I'm used to the stretched out position. What feels weird is that while the medium sized cockpit feels small (to me), but the over bike does feel big, the 29er wheels alone make the bike feels bike, and placing it next to my Giant XTC (27.5 wheels), the SB130 looks significantly longer. So I guess I'm going with size medium. Besides, size small is almost impossible to find one used.
you got it. you're also comparing older xc focused geo which had almost more of a road fit with that long stem to modern trail bikes. as you can see just with the physical size, like wheelbase and whatnot actually riding it tells you the whole story. the larger bike is manageable so long as you aren't stretched out but imagine that big bike that put you too far forward being too big. that is where it gets terrible. sounds like the medium will work for you and yes i agree, smalls are impossible to find in all the good things. i just got the GF a small revel rascal and we were also looking at sb130s. there were none to be had and only one shop had a single small rascal. you do have some ability to bring it in should you need to with 35mm stems and if it has really wide bars also bringing those in should you need to
 
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