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  1. #1
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    Need advice. 19" bike too big for 5'10" height?

    Hi guys,

    I recently purchased a 2005 Specialized Rockhopper (19"). I rode it in the trail a few times but seem to have an easier ride with my friend's 17" bike than mine, especially when I am climbing. I am afraid that I may have picked the wrong size bike.. There is approximately 1" to 1 1/2" between the frame and my crotch. Is my bike too big for my size??

    Another question. Since it's brand new (plus twice in the trails..), what can I expect from the store I bought it from? Would they give me a new/different bike? I'd like to know ahead of time what I could reasonable expect.. If they won't take it back, what are my other options? Are there places that buy used bikes? If so, what percentage from the original price can I expect to receive??

    Thanks for your tip!

    Ginta9999

  2. #2
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    You typically need at least 2" clearance to be comfortable, without seeing you on the bike though its hard to say either way. 5'10 will TYPICALLY be a 17/18" frame, though, but is based on inseam and reach.

    If its only been a few days and its in new condition (no wear) wipe it down with Pledge and take it back... they should have known it was the wrong size for you to begin with.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginta9999
    Hi guys,

    I recently purchased a 2005 Specialized Rockhopper (19"). I rode it in the trail a few times but seem to have an easier ride with my friend's 17" bike than mine, especially when I am climbing. I am afraid that I may have picked the wrong size bike.. There is approximately 1" to 1 1/2" between the frame and my crotch. Is my bike too big for my size??

    Another question. Since it's brand new (plus twice in the trails..), what can I expect from the store I bought it from? Would they give me a new/different bike? I'd like to know ahead of time what I could reasonable expect.. If they won't take it back, what are my other options? Are there places that buy used bikes? If so, what percentage from the original price can I expect to receive??

    Thanks for your tip!

    Ginta9999
    I think this will vary by shop. You probably have about a 50/50 chance of exchanging the bike. If you can't take it back your next best bet would probably be ebay. People often pay more than the original price for bikes on there. You may even actually MAKE MONEY!

    As far as people buying used bikes elsewhere, you just have to find the right person. That is where Ebay is handy because the people find you. I too agree that it is up to the LBS to size you properly. If they didn't take the time to even do that i would have to wonder about the rest of their customer service. (being willing to return it)

    One last thought: If you paid by credit card you have a lot more authority. You can work with your credit card company cancel the purchase and it will likely cost you nothing so they will have to take the bike back.

  4. #4
    Some guy McGuillicuddy's Avatar
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    Yeah. That bike is most likely too large for you. It really was their responsibility to help you find the right size. It would be completely different if they recommended one size and you bought another, but I'm assuming that didn't happen. Really take the boots to them if they don't want to exchange it for you.

  5. #5
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    I am five ten with longer than everage legs. I NOW ride a 17 inch bike, and at first I thought it may have been to large for me. It's perfect. I used to ride a 15.

  6. #6
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    no its not
    5'10-5'11 riding 19"

  7. #7
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Ummm, it's the reach or control of the front end. I would think a no neck stem, maybe you can fit,...but really IMO, with mtb, it's better to over power the frame by riding SLIGHTLY smaller bike frames than say how you'll fit road.

    My mtb has bmx 'ideas' going for it, but running a 16 seat, 20 toptube, when I fit a 17-18 is o.k. Harder as I had to custom, but control is super.

    Because mtbing can be agressive, the ability to really muscle the front end is important.
    Over extending your shoulders etc will make it very hard to pull the front wheel up.

    If you have to keep it, shorten the stem, If an inclined frame, this should pose no problem.

    a horizontal level toptube will make the seat position change a bit if shorting the stem.

    IMO, yadda,yadda.
    >jef.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wunder's Avatar
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    I'm 5'8" and ride a 19" frame, which the guy at the shop reccomended. I knew nothing about mountain bikes at the time, and now I am a little upset that I didn't research sizes a bit more before I bought it.

    I really don't like how big it is...at all, but I can live with it until I can afford a new bike.

  9. #9
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Well for referance I am 6'1" with a rather long inseam and a long reach riding a 19" bike... always have ridden 19's and probably always will. Seatpost is at max. extension but I definately feel far more comfortable on a slightly smaller bike than I do on a slightly larger one. Just my 2c though.

  10. #10
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    I'm 6'2" and riding a 19.5"

  11. #11
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    Thank you all for great tips! I'll call the shop to see if they can exchange it with a 17'' bike.. If not, ebay is my next option. It's not completely painful to ride with a 19" bike but I know I ride much more comfortably with a 17".

  12. #12
    Senior Member Tom Pedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I'm 6'2" and riding a 19.5"

    I'm 5' 10" tall, sold Specialized when I owned my store. I would definitely ride a 17" frame which is exactly what I have.

    I'm not sure what kind of process you went through on the sales floor, but part of that discussion should have covered intended use of the bike. When I owned my store, it was possible for some 5" 10" folks to go out the door with a 19" frame if it was being used strictly for the street and they wanted to sit "tall in the saddle" (not lean over). In these cases, we were careful to explain what the downside of buying a bike with less than ideal standover clearance was. In spite of our cajoling, if a customer wasn't taking our recommendation on size, invariably they bought the bike one size too large.

    However, if you're using the bike off road, extra stand over clearance is critical, since on off-road uneven surfaces, the bike can bounce around and/or you may be required to dismount it quickly...without bruising your huevos...

    The smaller size is also easier to maneuver and "throw around" trail obstacles. You can always adjust fit to lengthen the cockpit with different stem length and rises to accomodate rider fit preferences.

    If it were me, I'd thoroughly clean the bike and tires with cloths and soap and water (do not just spray with garden hose) so it looks showroom fresh. I would then go to the shop, explain that a different size is needed. If the bike looks re-saleable as new, your probability of an exchange will be enhanced.

    Good Luck!
    "Learn how to handle hot things. Keep your knives sharp. And above all, have a good time" - Julia Child

  13. #13
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    did u try cutting the seat post? I also bought a bike that was too big for me and i cut the seatpost a couple of inches and it was perfect.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Pedale
    I'm 5' 10" tall, sold Specialized when I owned my store. I would definitely ride a 17" frame which is exactly what I have.

    I'm not sure what kind of process you went through on the sales floor, but part of that discussion should have covered intended use of the bike. When I owned my store, it was possible for some 5" 10" folks to go out the door with a 19" frame if it was being used strictly for the street and they wanted to sit "tall in the saddle" (not lean over). In these cases, we were careful to explain what the downside of buying a bike with less than ideal standover clearance was. In spite of our cajoling, if a customer wasn't taking our recommendation on size, invariably they bought the bike one size too large.

    However, if you're using the bike off road, extra stand over clearance is critical, since on off-road uneven surfaces, the bike can bounce around and/or you may be required to dismount it quickly...without bruising your huevos...

    The smaller size is also easier to maneuver and "throw around" trail obstacles. You can always adjust fit to lengthen the cockpit with different stem length and rises to accomodate rider fit preferences.

    If it were me, I'd thoroughly clean the bike and tires with cloths and soap and water (do not just spray with garden hose) so it looks showroom fresh. I would then go to the shop, explain that a different size is needed. If the bike looks re-saleable as new, your probability o

    f an exchange will be enhanced.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks everyone! I cleaned and took the 19" back to the shop and they exchanged it to the 17" bike. Your advice really helped!! It's time to ride!

    Ginta9999

  15. #15
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    i am exactly 5'10 and i do have a size 17 frame

  16. #16
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    I think it differs by bike. I'm 5'10", and I have two 17.5 inch bikes. I road an Enduro, and liked the Large better which I thought was about a 19". The bike shop should have found a good fit for you. You getting them to exchange it is a different issue though. I'd start out saying I think "you" guys put be in a bike that is too large for me. See how they respond. If they don't want to help you, then I'd mention well I could always cancel the credit card charge, but then they might say, yeah and I'll say you stole the bike too. It could get nasty, but you did just drop some cash, or credit. I'd just clean it up as best as you can and go talk to them.

  17. #17
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    It's probably too big for you.
    Last edited by willtsmith_nwi; 08-09-04 at 07:16 PM. Reason: edit

  18. #18
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    Standover height aside, go with what feels comfortable. If 19 feels too big, it is, go with 17 or 18. Geometries can vary considerably by manufacturer. Try different brands, get the most comfortable.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member BlackDiamond's Avatar
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    What size frame should you choose?

    Choosing the right frame size goes a long way toward enhancing your riding experience. Unfortunately, different manufacturers measure their frames in different ways - so a 19" frame from manufacturer A may vary wildly in size from a 19" frame from manufacturer B.

    Frames are commonly measured in two ways: from the center of the bottom bracket, along the seatube, to the center of the top tube (called "center to center"); and from the center of the bottom bracket, along the seat tube, to the top of the top tube (called "center to top"). You'll need to determine how the frame you're interested in is measured to determine the proper size.

    Mountain bikes are measured in inches, while road bikes are typically measured in centimeters.

    Fitting a mountain bike

    The key to properly fitting your new mountain bike is standover height. Cross country style riders will want at least 2 inches of clearance between the bike's top tube and your crotch. More aggressive style riders may prefer even more clearance - perhaps 4 to 6 inches.

    The right frame for you is one that is small enough to allow proper standover height, while still allowing the seat to be raised high enough for athletic pedaling.
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