I am a total newbie to mountain biking and made a purchase of a 19" Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc a couple of months ago. Foolishly, I went into the bike shop during the last day (hour) of a sale and picked out my bike based on looks, Specialized reputation, and price without testing out any other bike in the shop. I just went with what the sales rep recommended.
My dilemma now is that I don't feel really comfortable with the standover height of the bike. I am male standing 5'9" with a 30"-31" inseam. With my feet flat on the floor, my "boys" are resting on the rear half of the top tube. If I happen to make my way forward on the top tube, it starts getting really uncomfortable. The cockpit seems to be okay though. I might even be able to scoot my seat back a bit for a little more room.
I talked to the store manager and he said it's possible to swap out the frame to the next smaller size, 17". He was roughly my height and said he owned a 17" frame for more technical riding. I rode around the parking lot on a 17" Hardrock and it had the comfortable standover clearance of an inch, but the cockpit felt pretty cramped. A longer stem and pushing the seat back would help, but I've read other forum threads saying the steering would be "heavy" and have a tendency to endo.
I'm a newbie, so I don't know if I'll be doing anything really "technical" anytime soon. Going to ride more mellow fire trails at first and see how that goes. So what should I do?
Option 1: Stick with the 19" and get used to the idea of my man junk feeling perilously close to the top tube, but have ample cockpit length.
Option 2: Swap frame size to the smaller 17", but have to adjust components to create cockpit length.
Option 3: Try to sell my lightly used bike and get a frame that actually gives me both standover clearance and cockpit length. Would lose a good chunk on resale and don't have more money to throw at a new bike.
If you have any ideas, i'd like to know what style/kind of riding you do yourself (i.e. aggressive, casual, technical, downhill, etc...).