Frame Fit? (MTB)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Thunder9 Nospam, Apr 25, 2003.

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  1. Help me buy a mtb?

    Ok I'm a newbie here looking to get a mountain bike $500 to $800. I'm 38 yr, 5'10", and looking to
    "have fun" on trails. I'm not interested in racing and not interested in busting my arse on big
    jumps, though I probably will enjoy technical aspects of balance challenges and generally just
    enjoying being outside in nature instead of being a couch potato.

    I've read over and over here, "Make sure the frame fits you." Most shops I go to say I should get a
    19" frame. Other that that, what should I look for in "fit"? Realize that I'm a newbie, and don't
    have much "frame of reference" to judge. I think I'll be consigned to just trust that my bike shop
    owner will give me the "best fit" from "what he has in stock" and "my little ride around the parking
    lot." But that doesn't sound too reliable. <Sigh>

    FWIW, I live in NE Florida, but plan on taking some trips to N.C. FYI
    - I just got a Specialized Elite Cr-Mo and I love it!

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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] wrote in news:[email protected] 4ax.com:
    > I've read over and over here, "Make sure the frame fits you." Most shops I go to say I should get
    > a 19" frame. Other that that, what should I look for in "fit"? Realize that I'm a newbie, and
    > don't have much "frame of reference" to judge. I think I'll be consigned to just trust that my
    > bike shop owner

    I think you should find a good shop and trust them to fit you. Go on a weekday when they're less
    busy and try to get one of the more senior people to fit you, instead of a teenager who may or may
    not know what he is talking about. Also, don't worry about numbers, since they will vary from
    brand to brand.

    In general, you want enough room under your crotch (2 inches or more) so you can get on and off
    quickly. You also want the front end to be long enough so that you can use your back muscles on
    climbs and bend over low enough to keep your front wheel on the ground when the going gets steep.

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  3. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Help me buy a mtb?
    >
    > Ok I'm a newbie here looking to get a mountain bike $500
    to $800. I'm
    > 38 yr, 5'10", and looking to "have fun" on trails. I'm
    not interested
    > in racing and not interested in busting my arse on big
    jumps, though I
    > probably will enjoy technical aspects of balance
    challenges and
    > generally just enjoying being outside in nature instead of
    being a
    > couch potato.
    >
    > I've read over and over here, "Make sure the frame fits
    you." Most
    > shops I go to say I should get a 19" frame. Other that
    that, what
    > should I look for in "fit"? Realize that I'm a newbie,
    and don't have
    > much "frame of reference" to judge. I think I'll be
    consigned to just
    > trust that my bike shop owner will give me the "best fit"
    from "what
    > he has in stock" and "my little ride around the parking
    lot." But
    > that doesn't sound too reliable. <Sigh>
    >
    > FWIW, I live in NE Florida, but plan on taking some trips
    to N.C. FYI
    > - I just got a Specialized Elite Cr-Mo and I love it!

    Look for something with an "effective" top tube length of around 23". By that I mean measured level,
    instead of along the tube itself, which slopes. Measure from the center of the steerer (at the top
    of the headset) to the center of the seatpost. With most brands this puts you in a "Large," though
    it might be on the edge of "Medium," too. Manufacturers' sizing charts are usually a great place to
    start. Look up some of your favorite brands on the web, and check 'em out.

    Matt O.

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  4. On 25 Apr 2003 17:30:01 GMT, Ken <[email protected]> wrote:

    >[email protected] wrote in news:[email protected] 4ax.com:
    >> I've read over and over here, "Make sure the frame fits you." Most shops I go to say I should get
    >> a 19" frame. Other that that, what should I look for in "fit"? Realize that I'm a newbie, and
    >> don't have much "frame of reference" to judge. I think I'll be consigned to just trust that my
    >> bike shop owner
    >
    >I think you should find a good shop and trust them to fit you.

    Besides the basic measurment, "oh you're about a 19", they say, "well besides that, its just a
    matter of preference really..."

    "doesn't really matter as long as you are comfortable with it"

    You know, in a way, I can't blame them. They prob get this same question over and over, and they
    probably find that they can explain all they want until they are blue in the face and then the
    customer will choose this one because it has the color they want, or because the seat hight is
    better on that one. Eventually they realize that newbie customers simply don't have the reference
    background necessary to make sense of what they tell them. It would be a rare combination to find
    someone who enjoys bikes, is a good salesperson, and knows how to understand/decipher people's needs
    when they don't really understand them theirselves.

    >Go on a weekday when they're less busy and try to get one of the more senior people to fit you,

    I think even then, they still need to respect that I know at least a little. And that will only come
    if I can ask the right questions.

    >instead of a teenager who may or may not know what he is talking about. Also, don't worry about
    >numbers, since they will vary from brand to brand.
    >
    >In general, you want enough room under your crotch (2 inches or more) so you can get on and off
    >quickly. You also want the front end to be long enough so that you can use your back muscles on
    >climbs and bend over low enough to keep your front wheel on the ground when the going gets steep.

    This is good information! Maybe there's a website like Moutain Bikes for Dummies? Hey maybe there's
    a book named that?

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  5. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Help me buy a mtb?
    >
    > Ok I'm a newbie here looking to get a mountain bike $500 to $800. I'm 38 yr, 5'10", and looking to
    > "have fun" on trails. I'm not interested in racing and not interested in busting my arse on big
    > jumps, though I probably will enjoy technical aspects of balance challenges and generally just
    > enjoying being outside in nature instead of being a couch potato.

    Sounds like you have realistic expectations. I'm sure you'll reach those goals and have a lot of
    fun. Your price range sounds good. There is a lot to look at in that price range.

    > I've read over and over here, "Make sure the frame fits you." Most shops I go to say I should get
    > a 19" frame. Other that that, what should I look for in "fit"? Realize that I'm a newbie, and
    > don't have much "frame of reference" to judge. I think I'll be consigned to just trust that my
    > bike shop owner will give me the "best fit" from "what he has in stock" and "my little ride around
    > the parking lot." But that doesn't sound too reliable. <Sigh>

    Actually, this is just what you should do. As long as you're getting the basic frame size that's
    correct, you can do some adjusting to fine-tune it. The saddle can be moved fore-aft a couple of
    inches, and raised/lowered to fit you perfectly. You can swap the stem for a different one (shorter,
    longer, taller, etc). Different handlebars will make a big difference in fit. It's all adjustable.
    Generally, stock stems are chosen to provide the best possible steering "feel", so varying the stem
    length will affect handling. It's better to find a bike that feels "right" when you ride it. During
    your test rides, try doing some difficult balancing maneuvers. Try hanging off the back of the
    saddle, pretending to go downhill, and see how it feels to you. Pop a wheelie. See if you can take
    the bike off-road a bit and test the fore/aft balance and general handling. You will notice a
    difference between bikes.

    Top tube length is the dimension which will largely determine fit. I have a long-ish torso (for my
    height), so I look for extra-long top tubes. Different brands offer different frame geometries.
    Gary Fisher's Genesis frame geometry, for instance, has a very long top tube. Other brands are
    less so. Personally, I prefer mountain bikes with lots of standover clearance, too, and that means
    a radically sloping top tube. Lucky for me, that is becoming the dominant design in mid- to
    high-end MTB's.

    > FWIW, I live in NE Florida, but plan on taking some trips to N.C. FYI
    > - I just got a Specialized Elite Cr-Mo and I love it!

    Great! I like CrMo steel bikes. My Soulcraft Royale CrMo road frame should arrive any day now. Can't
    wait to try it out.

    -Barry

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