Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Bikes: Priority Bicycles Continuum, Priority Bicycles Eight
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FWIW, I am 5' 8", and I have good luck with Specialized 17-inch frames, Gary Fisher 17.5-inch frames, and, oddly enough, an 18-inch hybrid bike. 15-inch frames generally feel too small for me. I've ridden 16- and 18-inch Giant Trances, and could never make up my mind between those two sizes of Trance. I mostly ride trails. While I like to think I'm aggressive, I'm sure that I'm not when compared to a college-aged kid.
But you know what? Why not take the kid out shopping after he gets there? That's what I'd do. Take the kid shopping. Spend some time w/him. Etc.
And good on you for helping your friend's son out.