I'm in the process of searching for my first "real" MTB. I've ridden road bikes in the past but my main ride for the last two years has been a Trek commuter bike. I recently moved to CO and am interested in checking out the singletrack nearby, hence the MTB.
After reading this forum I wanted to check out the 2010 Rockhopper Comp 29er. The LBS had two in stock and I really liked the way it felt when I rode around a bit. The only question is whether the frame was a bit small. My commuter is a 20" frame but they put me on a 17" Rockhopper. The seat was up high but not ridiculously so and it felt good, I just wanted a second opinion. They didn't have a 19" built up so I couldn't compare when I was in but I thought if this all sounded good to all of the riders on here. The LBS personnel said you typically want to size down a bit for trail riding and by having a smaller frame it would help navigate the 29 inch wheels a bit better rather than being stretched out. The price is definitely right ($675) and I want to jump on it but I just wanted to ask here first.
A fat tire & a skinny tire & two others I loaned out
How tall are you? I'm 5'10 & the 17" frame felt a little better to me than the 19". I would have been happy with either though, I just like to go a size down if they don't have an 18" to be able to sit a little upright to give the back a break if I need to.
I'm just under 6' but I have a rather short inseam (I buy 30" length pants). It sounds like as long as the bike felt right I will be good on it. Having never ridden on a MTB trail before I wanted to get a (some) second opinions.
I went back to the shop again today and did another test ride. The bike felt right and I really liked it so I jumped on it. The people at the LBS were different today so I made the salesman explain to me how he would size it (w/o telling him what I was told yesterday) and his explanation was very similar and made a lot of sense. He was about my size and said he wouldn't go with a 19", but especially because I am planning to ride it off-road a lot.
I pulled the trigger and got a great deal. I can't wait to take it offroad this weekend.