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  1. #1
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    I'm 6'5" and not very good at MTN biking... Karate Monkey or 1x1 decision needed

    I'm pretty tall and pretty good on a road bike. I mainly ride my fixie on the road because it's simple and nothin to mess with. I have a nice geared bike I use for longer 80+ mile trips, but it usually just collects dust.

    I've been on a 26 inch Gary Fisher mountain bike for about 3 years and never seemed to get the hang of it. I'm always falling over and getting hurt. The trails in the park I use are very bumpy and full of tree roots and big rocks, so in my opinion they are slow and technical. Others opinions may vary a bit.

    I feel like I'm always tipping over or having trouble because my center of gravity is so high off the ground and far away from the axles of the bike. Does that sound sensible?


    I'm wanting to ditch the geared mountain bike thing. I never ride it. I've always wanted a 1x1 or a Karate Monkey and saw a guy with a 1x1 in the park yesterday and fell in love.

    I just want something simple, light, and slow. I'm not in it for the sport of it, I just like to spend time in the woods and poke around.

    Would I have a better time on a Karate Monkey being as tall as I am? I would run it single speed but the only other 29ers I have been around were full geared rigs and felt VERY heavy. Not interested in a 40lb bike.


    If I get the 1x1 I can move most of the current bikes stuff to the new frame, wheels, tires, brakes, bars, etc. But if I'd be more fit the the KM in the long run, the extra money is worth it.


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    M_S
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    You're 6'5", I would get the 29er.

  3. #3
    Trail Ninja shaderider's Avatar
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    The Karate monkey is a 29er guys. The KM would definitely be ok if you were comfy on it. It comes in a 22" frame so that is a bonus. Well worth the money.
    If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first. -Kurt Cobain

  4. #4
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    Not too sure on the size that I'd need. I generally have to put a VERY short stem on my bikes. My torso must be short.

  5. #5
    Trail Ninja shaderider's Avatar
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    I am just guessing but at 6'5" i would say a 22". smaller than that would probably be cramped for you. I would most definitely test ride it first.
    If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first. -Kurt Cobain

  6. #6
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    22" doesn't sound big enough. Have you thought of a custom?

    Curtlo has a great rep. $900-ish for exactly the size and fit you need. You'd just have to wait 6-8 weeks... not sure how you'd feel about that.

  7. #7
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    I'd love a custom bike. Is 900 for just a frame? I generally ride a 58cm top tube (if it's a flat top tube / diamond style) frame and a 58cm seat tube. is that right? i'm drawing a blank on what that's called.

    No test rides around here. no LBS keeps them in stock, which sucks. I'll just have to get out the protractor and measuring tape and make measurements off of a similar bike and make some judgment calls about the size.

  8. #8
    I'm band already? lubes17319's Avatar
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    I stand just a hair under 6'4" & ride an XL (22") Monkey.
    I was a bit scared at first b/c of the SO height, but only played the Nutcracker Suite once in over 3 yrs.
    Run a 90mm stem & LOVE it!
    Who cares what your bike weighs, just ride it!

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    ok...looks like I am gonna go against the grain here. I am 6'5 and ride a 19" frame LONG. I like my bikes short with a long top tube. I can slam the seat for long downhills and raise it for climbs. As long as the top tube is long enough the bike will fit fine.

    I HATE =>22" frames. Too big and cumbersome for the way I ride. I find it less comfortable then a smaller bike

    Honestly, reading this thread is like a throw back to 2002

  10. #10
    M_S
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    ok...looks like I am gonna go against the grain here. I am 6'5 and ride a 19" frame LONG. I like my bikes short with a long top tube. I can slam the seat for long downhills and raise it for climbs. As long as the top tube is long enough the bike will fit fine.

    I HATE =>22" frames. Too big and cumbersome for the way I ride. I find it less comfortable then a smaller bike

    Honestly, reading this thread is like a throw back to 2002
    I'm not sure what you're getting at. I haven't looked at the Karate Monkey's geo numbers, nor do I have enough information to size the OP. However, ETT (effective top tube length) should of course be the most important measurement when sizing pretty much any frame.

  11. #11
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Not getting at anything you kind of agreed with me ...

    I have seen lots of 22" frames with absolutley monstrous height and minimal top tube. And I have seen visa versa. I tend to measure each frame based on what i like to ride, which as I said isn't height

  12. #12
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    I wouldn't attribute your size to your inability to balance on trail. I'm 6'4" and just got into mountain biking with a 21" framed geared bike and I haven't had any difficulties. Off the top of my head you might consider getting checked out for an inner ear disorder which could disturb your natural balance. Otherwise I'd find somewhere else to ride where it isn't too technical.
    Last edited by nbmtb; 11-20-09 at 08:52 PM. Reason: I always edit my posts for clarity.

  13. #13
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I'm 6' 3" and used to fall. I finally found a frame that fits and gives me real confidence in the ride. A good frame makes a ton of difference. I love the dusty trail. Pavement gets to boring for me. 29 sounds like a good option for keeping you outdoors and on softer surfaces. And the good thing about life in America, if you like like Monkey or 1X1 you can always trade for something else. We got options.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  14. #14
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    ok...looks like I am gonna go against the grain here..............
    That seems to be norm for a few of us on here.

    I really don't think falling has a lot to do with how big you are........
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  15. #15
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    If it feels like your center of gravity is off, I would bet it has to do with your weight distribution more than your height. Three years with no progression signals some kind of technique problem to me. Personally, I think the best use of your money right now would be to invest in some lessons. I went to a mountain bike clinic two summers ago. Best $100 I ever spent (as far as riding goes). After practicing the stuff I was taught, my riding partners actually commented on the improvement in my riding. Don't get me wrong, a good fitting bike is crucial. I've had the pleasure of riding a bike that fits me like it was designed for me, and the displeasure of riding a bike I picked up on Craigslist thinking it fit and later realizing it didn't, and I definitely ride better on the former. But no bike can replace technique.

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