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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-10-07, 08:53 AM   #1
TallRider
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proper fit for tall rider on SS mtb to ride on trails?

So I've got a number of road bikes and have a good sense of fit there.
But I've never had a mountain bike, and am now building up an old Diamondback Sorrento as a singlespeed, to ride on trails. It's got horizontal dropouts and no derailer hanger. Gearing is 38/20 if you were wondering.
I'm 6'5" and have large bikes, and this one is no exception. It has a 59cm top tube, and I've got the seatback seatpost (I have long femers) and a 120mm-extension stem with 5-degree rise.

I'm looking for some quick feedback on the fit setup of this bike. I have no pics of me riding it, but just a picture from the side. The bars are way below the saddle, but it's a comfortably aggressive position (as much as I can tell while riding circles in my driveway since I haven't installed the brakes yet) and I'm wondering if this looks within normalcy for a suspensionless mountain bike. Thanks.



My Schwinn Le Tour commuter is the only other bike I've had with a flat bar, and the bar is much higher (but also further forward) on that bike - there's a 63cm top tube and I'm using a 90mm negative-rise stem. But that bike isn't for aggressive riding, just a comfortable cruising position.

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Old 05-10-07, 09:04 AM   #2
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I go about 6'3" I like a bit of handlebar drop. This is a 21" frame
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Old 05-10-07, 09:10 AM   #3
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It's an old frame so you will need a bigger one to fit then you would with a modern mtb.

That saddle bar drop is too much for real mtbing(and I like more then most). Riser bars will help some but if you can't get the stem up high enough you may have to go with bmx bars if the reach feels right for you. If not try to find another frame.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:12 AM   #4
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Mary bars.
Cool bike.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:12 AM   #5
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I would guess that for a SS mtb you'd want a similar fit as you would on a regular mtb - I can't say from experience because my fixed "mountain" bike just happens to have knobbies and a disc brake, but is modified from a Kona Smoke commuter bike with a very low bb, and my setup is as a commuter. I'm 6'5", but my "extra" size is in my torso, as my inseam at 35.5" isn't on the extraordinarily big side. I ride this bike up and down Mont Royal, but that's essentially a very easy fire road or a very dirty and bumpy paved road, not a trail.

Both of my 26" wheeled bikes (the above and a hardtail mountain bike) have a similar setup - both have a 63cm top tube and a setback seatpost and a 120mm or 130mm stem, but the above has the stem right at the headtube with the stem flipped down, and the mountain bike is about 2" above the headtube with a rise, and also much slacker with a 5" fork.

So, all that said, your bike looks to maybe be a titch on the short side tt wise - my older rigid bike looked to be the same size and had a 59cm tt, and even with a 150mm stem and a layback post I was all squished. I think I have my mtb set up closer to a road bike or an XC racer to accomodate my length and flexibility though, I see lots of people on mtbs that are very fit and seem to have good riding form where they've fit to have a couple inches of leeway to get behind the saddle and a very upright posture.

woohoo, I get to post a picture again!

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Old 05-10-07, 09:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ieatrats
leeway to get behind the saddle and a very upright posture.


That's what I'm talking about.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:24 AM   #7
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edited: those bars and stem look dodgy as hell. For mellow, non-aggressive riding it could work fine though I guess. By that definition of 'aggressive' I mean aggressively riding with your arse behind the saddle, not sitting on it.

Last edited by dudezor; 05-10-07 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 05-10-07, 09:40 AM   #8
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You want a 29er.

I am 6'5" about 190lbs. I raced on 26" mtb's for a few years, and I never found a bike that felt right. The center of gravity for tall people gets messed up on mtb's.

I got a 29er last year and this baby rocks. I had been looking for a 29er with disc brakes for years at a reasonable price. I ended up buying a Gary Fisher Rig. No regerets. This bike fits. I would like to have built one up on my own but I didn't have the time.

There are some great 29er bikes out there so shop around!
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Old 05-10-07, 09:57 AM   #9
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I second the riser comment a little saddle to bar drop is ok but that seems excessive
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Old 05-10-07, 10:34 AM   #10
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i agree the seat to bar ratio is too big. profile designs makes a nice riser bar with two inches of rise. it might help. ditch that flat bar for sure.

i also think you should go with a 29er. i finally got one built up at the end of the summer last year and absolutely love it. mountain biking is a whole new experience for me. i went with the xl on-one, with a 0 degree 100mm stem, with slight rise riser bars. fits me sooo well. it has something like a 24 inch top tube. sweeeeeet.
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Old 05-10-07, 12:04 PM   #11
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Great, thanks for the responses. I will be riding trails with this bike, but I guess not so aggressively since it's not an ideal bike for hilly stuff. It's a cheap SS conversion, not a lightweight bike, and I'm not expecting to get perfect handling characteristics out of it, but I'd still like it to handle as well as I can get it to handle.

The top tube is indeed 59cm horizontal (or nearly) - the seat tube is 23" and it's an old mtb with nearly horizontal to tube. I've got the saddle slid all the way back on its rails, on a post with setback. I can do road bikes with 59cm top tube, but road bars reach more forward from the flat section (and flat bars don't) and you don't need to worry so much about getting your weight back behind the front wheel on steep dowhills.

But y'all are right, I'd ideally have a longer top tube than 59cm for real mtb riding, and preferably 700c wheels as well. If I really dig the trail riding, I may get a 29-er eventually.

I've got a (steel) 1" rise bar sitting around, and will mount that on the bike. It's too bad b/c they're a lot heavier than the flat (5-degree bend) aluminum bars, but then again it's not a light frame or wheels anyway - it's a cheap singlespeed conversion, done b/c the horizontal dropouts.
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Old 05-10-07, 01:02 PM   #12
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finding old mtb quill stems on the internet is a lot easier than finding quill road stems (cause NO one uses them in the mtb world anynore).

i have a nice tioga t-bone steel stem attached to an al riser bar on my 1" fixed gear streetbike. got the t-bone free from the LBS casue it was in the junk bin and they had no use for it...
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Old 05-10-07, 01:21 PM   #13
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Good thought - I know that my LBS has a junk bin of old stems, mostly MTB, and I'll go and check there. A longer stem (135mm or so) would be nice here.
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Old 05-10-07, 03:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by max-a-mill
finding old mtb quill stems on the internet is a lot easier than finding quill road stems (cause NO one uses them in the mtb world anynore).
why not?
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Old 05-10-07, 09:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope
i agree the seat to bar ratio is too big. profile designs makes a nice riser bar with two inches of rise. it might help. ditch that flat bar for sure.
Ida know about that - I've never had a bike with the seat even close to level with the bars, and if 2" of drop isn't weird on a "normal" sized bike, that doesn't look so dramatic except that the tt is so short. I don't know how tall you are sope, but I can't even imagine what a bike that fit me with a level saddle and bars would look like set up, except when I see those crazy people with tiny frames and stem extenders.

I'm a fan of flat bars myself, but the nice ones only seem to come in 580mm lengths or narrower, vs risers that get insanely wide. I would guess the preponderance of riser bars is because everyone uses threadless stems these days (no height adjustment unless you don't cut yr fork), or because they're wider, but I don't find them to be inherently better for reasons beyond that. Unless the sweep is different on them, probably more dramatic to go with the widths, but my Hellbent bars have the same sweep as the flat bar on my mtb.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
why not?
the standard for mtb's moved to 1 1/8 the same time road bikes did i believe.. but unlike roadbikes there are no mtb's still made with 1" headtubes.

also there are not many old classic mtb's still in use; at least not the way there are old classic roadbikes being converted to fixed gear all the time.
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Old 05-11-07, 01:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max-a-mill
the standard for mtb's moved to 1 1/8 the same time road bikes did i believe.. but unlike roadbikes there are no mtb's still made with 1" headtubes.

also there are not many old classic mtb's still in use; at least not the way there are old classic roadbikes being converted to fixed gear all the time.

No it switched long before 1" just didn't make sense for mtbs. All of the normal problems of threaded are magnified for mtbs(especially steerer tube length) and there was no tradition of threaded so threaded was ditched shortly after the switch to 1 1/8".
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Old 05-11-07, 07:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by isotopesope
i agree the seat to bar ratio is too big. profile designs makes a nice riser bar with two inches of rise. it might help. ditch that flat bar for sure.
I dunno... 3"-6" drop from seat to bars was the norm before long-travel forks and full suspension came along. They climb very well but steep descents are a bit trickier. If you can get your butt back behind the seat on the way down, I'd say you're doing very well.

As an aside, dutret is right about threadless headsets on mtn bikes coming well before those on road bikes. By 1993, most new mtn bikes came with threadless headsets, while road bikes didn't switch until... what, 2000? Later?
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