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Is my GT Aggressor the right size? (small inseam)

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Is my GT Aggressor the right size? (small inseam)

Old 05-15-21, 03:15 PM
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Mickmeister
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Is my GT Aggressor the right size? (small inseam)

I just picked up a new GT aggressor. According to size charts - as well as guys in two different shops it should be the right size for me. It's a Large, and I'm 5'11. But after taking it home, I checked out the stand over height, and the bar is just touching the family jewels. The manual says if this is the case, don't ride it - not even around the block!

So I'm thinking of exchanging it for a Medium (they have a 24 hour return policy, which gives me another twenty hours, so not much time!). According to their sizing info, this would only give me about a 1.6" clearance. But they recommend a minimum of 2" for pavement, 3" for unpaved roads, and 4" for offroad. So does going to a Medium sound like the way to go, or maybe just forget this particular bike altogether?

BTW I plan on riding on paved and gravel trails, and maybe some easy offroad - nothing crazy.
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Old 05-15-21, 03:41 PM
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You didn't test ride both sizes? While I don't think top-tube clearance is the be-all end-all of bike sizing, it should certainly be a consideration. Take the L back to the shop and ride the M, then decide.
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Old 05-15-21, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
You didn't test ride both sizes? While I don't think top-tube clearance is the be-all end-all of bike sizing, it should certainly be a consideration. Take the L back to the shop and ride the M, then decide.
Therein lies the problem! I got it from Dick's Sporting Goods. They didn't have any in the store - I had to order it online, sight unseen...they had to ship it to my house then I had to take it into the store for assembly (I know...don't ask!) . Another shop I tried said they wouldn't have any more bikes in for another 3 or 4 weeks, if then. Test riding's a great idea, but not an option...I'm assuming this is due to the pandemic-related bike shortage.
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Old 05-15-21, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickmeister View Post
Therein lies the problem! I got it from Dick's Sporting Goods. They didn't have any in the store - I had to order it online, sight unseen...they had to ship it to my house then I had to take it into the store for assembly (I know...don't ask!) . Another shop I tried said they wouldn't have any more bikes in for another 3 or 4 weeks, if then. Test riding's a great idea, but not an option...I'm assuming this is due to the pandemic-related bike shortage.
Dunno what to tell you -- you can't reliably fit a bike without riding it. I would think that a medium would be too short in the top-tube length for you, and that's arguably more important than standover height. I can tell you that if I was 5'11", I'd be on the 19" frame, but everyone's leg/torso dimensions are different. Maybe wear shoes that have a substantial sole, to give you a little more clearance?
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Old 05-16-21, 07:07 AM
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Seems odd that the L is too tall for someone 5'11". The stand over is listed as 31". Are you sizing with the "jewels" hanging or properly secured in bike shorts? It's actually the pubic bone height that matters.
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Old 05-16-21, 08:47 AM
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I wasn't aware that bike short jewel securing was a thing...I just measured wearing regular cargo shorts. I also just noticed something weird about how they measure stand-over height: GT lists their Large at 31.6", and my inseam is 29" - so by their measurement my feet shouldn't even be able to touch the ground when I'm straddling the bar...but that's not the case. As Rolla says, there's no substitute for test riding.
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Old 05-16-21, 10:00 AM
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Is 29" your pants inseam? If so, that's not the measurement to use. Search on 'pubic bone height' to find out how to measure it. If you're 5' 11" and your inseam really is 29" - or even 31" - you may feel that your upper body is too cramped on a medium, but there's only one way to find out. I'm not quite 5' 7", and my PBH is almost 31", and my upper body is long for my height.

The verbiage in the manual is GT covering their corporate ass. If you come down on the top tube, you will be in pain, and I guess you could do permanent damage, but if you're measuring right, you have to choose between too small for your upper body or too big for your legs. The argument for too big for your legs isn't a bad one. I've come down on the top tube a few times and survived; I really hate needing a 15 cm stem to get the bars in the right position.
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Old 05-16-21, 11:26 AM
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Good info about the measurements, but at this point it's academic...I just got back from returning the bike (I had to do it within the 24 hour window). All measurements aside, the fact remains that there's no clearance above the bar whatsoever...if I'm standing over the bar it makes direct contact...which I'm not comfortable with.
The verbiage in the manual is GT covering their corporate ass.
I don't doubt that...having a 4 inch clearance doesn't sound like the real world. But I want at least an inch or so of wiggle room.

So it's back to the research phase again...buying a bike during the pandemic shortage really sucks!
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Old 05-16-21, 10:22 PM
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I wouldn't buy a bike at Dick's they aren't a bike shop and their name is not pleasant to say. Try and find a place that knows a thing or two about fit and keep in kind you might have to wait. Fit isn't just standover height it is a whole host of factors and while yes Dicks probably stresses that it is because that is the maximum training their staff probably has gotten about bikes because it is not really their focus, it is just another sporting good. Plus buying online doesn't get you far unless you have a decent enough understanding of geometry and how the frame will feel and parts and all of that.
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Old 05-16-21, 11:03 PM
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Personally, I think standover height has nothing to do with bike fit. Look at it this way ... you probably stand with the bike between your legs 1% of the time. So why use that measurement as a benchmark for fit? 99% of my interest is focused on how the bike fits while riding.

Do I feel stretched out, bunched up, seat can't adjust low/high enough. Handlebars can't adjust low/high enough etc...

This thought process may come from my experience riding motorcycles. I'm only 5'6". If I used my inseam to match seat height - I'd never fit/ride any sportbike! But since I only put my foot down when I stop - seat height has only 1% influence on my decision.
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Old 05-17-21, 04:12 AM
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GT Aggressor SOH is kind of on the high side compared to some other brands.
I also have a short inseam for my height, but do not ride my mountain bike much.

For me , the GT Aggressor sizing chart(s) is kind of confusing at Dicks.
They list the sizes in inches and at the main GT site has 29" sizes going for small to XL and 27.5" from XS to large.

You did right by returning the bike. Try a find a good LBS to find you the right size bike , but might have to wait.
Marin ,Specialized , Kona and Giant to name a few should have something closer to your size with all the different wheel size options.
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Old 05-17-21, 05:25 AM
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I have never used standover to size a bike. I go by what feels right while riding the bike. As someone with a very short inseam for my height, I used to often end up on mountain bikes with zero standover. I found it basically a non-issue.
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Old 05-17-21, 03:55 PM
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As I mentioned in my OP, the GT manual said you need at least 2" clearance for pavement, 3" for unpaved roads, and 4" for offroad. So I did a little quicky size comparison of different hybrid bikes by stacking up screenshots on different layers in Photoshop. Out of the bikes I compared, none have a standover height lower than the GT Aggressor that I just returned...which had a bar that came right up to my crotch with no clearance. My conclusion: The people who wrote the manual are living in a fantasy land...there are no bikes that I found that would have those kinds of clearances. I think my options now are either to go back to the store and buy back that Aggressor, or bag the whole idea of buying a bike altogether...all this research, phone calls, and trips to the store have really gotten to be a pain.

Last edited by Mickmeister; 05-17-21 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Minor wordsmithing
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Old 05-17-21, 05:03 PM
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Standard sized bikes work just fine for most folks but not for everyone. As you know, this is not a great time to shop for a bike. In another year or so bike shops will probably have stock and you'll be able to find a bike that fits or learn if you have special needs.
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Old 05-17-21, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mickmeister View Post
As I mentioned in my OP, the GT manual said you need at least 2" clearance for pavement, 3" for unpaved roads, and 4" for offroad. So I did a little quicky size comparison of different hybrid bikes by stacking up screenshots on different layers in Photoshop. Out of the bikes I compared, none have a standover height lower than the GT Aggressor that I just returned...which had a bar that came right up to my crotch with no clearance. My conclusion: The people who wrote the manual are living in a fantasy land...there are no bikes that I found that would have those kinds of clearances. I think my options now are either to go back to the store and buy back that Aggressor, or bag the whole idea of buying a bike altogether...all this research, phone calls, and trips to the store have really gotten to be a pain.
I never read the whole manual, but it sounds like they are trying to cover their butt.
Did your GT Aggressor have 29" or 27.5" wheels? What is your bike inseam?
Do not give up, almost everyone has their personal favorites on the size/brand bike they ride.
See what is out there to test ride, I would try a medium or go first with whatever the LBS suggest, and call ahead.



BTW I plan on riding on paved and gravel trails, and maybe some easy offroad - nothing crazy.
Maybe look into a hybrid or gravel flat-bar bike.

Last edited by Joeyseven; 05-17-21 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 05-18-21, 08:51 PM
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Okay so I found another store that had an Aggressor like the one I returned, but in Medium instead of Large...so I grabbed it. Some may say it's a bit small for my 5'11" height...but I haven't biked in decades and it seems fine by me. And it gives me a bit more clearance over the top tube...not the fantasy 2/3/4 inches that the manual insists I need or something terrible will happen, but I'm perfectly comfortable straddling the bar with my 29" inseam when I stop to rest.
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Old 05-19-21, 07:49 AM
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I picked up a GT Aggressor Pro Large a month ago at the store. Stood over it, felt that the bar was a little close to the family jewels. Read the sizing chart and me being at 5'10 with a 30" inseam, I was right at the M/L range. I asked the guy if they had a Medium to try and they didn't. Would have to go to another store and I didn't feel like doing that. Wish I had. I feel the Large is to big for me and a Medium would be easier for me to handle/maneuver on the trails. I feel I am stretched out over the bike and found myself sitting up right with one had on the handle bar to be comfortable when riding rail trails with my kids. I ended up getting a shorter stem, but I still regret getting the Large.
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Old 05-21-21, 05:37 AM
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The manual says if this is the case, don't ride it - not even around the block!

This is what happens when your country has 57% of the world's lawyers. At 5'11" you should be able to ride a large frame without causing a lawsuit-worthy injury to yourself. When I was 6 I was riding a 26" Schwinn Cruiser with a men's frame, and I had to sit on the top tube to pedal it. Standover height was irrelevant because sitting on the top tube, my toes were some 6" off the ground. This didn't prevent me from being able to get it up or father kids when I became an adult.
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Old 05-21-21, 07:36 AM
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Stand over height will be one of the least concerns in picking a bike for me. I would like to say that I might use it to pick one of several bikes that otherwise fit me perfectly. But truth is, stand over height will be well below even color and aesthetics.

Even when I stop, I usually just lean the bike and stay somewhat in the saddle with one foot on the ground, the other foot on the pedal ready to go.
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