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Am I the only one ?

Old 10-10-19, 05:15 PM
  #1  
kirby999
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Am I the only one ?

Im 511+ with a 28 1/2 stand over .
I just bought a new medium frame Specialized Rockhopper and Im having trouble with it fitting me . When I stand over the toptube, Im touching . With the seat post all the way down , I having to hop on the saddle as I push off to get rolling .
I feel like a little kid trying to ride a big guys bike .
Im not a small guy , Im just out of proportion.
Once Im up on the bike , I feel like Im riding a road bike , all of my weight is on my hands and its killing my 68 year old wrists .

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Old 10-10-19, 07:55 PM
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I'm 5' 10" tall. I was sized at Specialized with their computer system that measures everything and I was sized as a Large. I got a Large Rockhopper Comp 1x. I first rode the Large and thought, it seems big. I the looked at a number of bikes and rode Larges and Mediums and once I was on the Medium I realized the Large indeed was the right size. Yes the top bar just about touches the nuts when I stand up. But I step to the side so the bike is leaned over a bit so there is plenty of clearance. I suggest trying different brands and sizes to find the one that fits u best.

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Old 10-10-19, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
I'm 5' 10" tall. I was sized at Specialized with their computer system that measures everything and I was sized as a Large. I got a Large Rockhopper Comp 1x. I first rode the Large and thought, it seems big. I the looked at a number of bikes and rode Larges and Mediums and once I was on the Medium I realized the Large indeed was the right size. Yes the top bar just about touches the nuts when I stand up. But I step to the side so the bike is leaned over a bit so there is plenty of clearance. I suggest trying different brands and sizes to find the one that fits u best.
No way would be able to straddle a large . Nor would I be able to climb up on the saddle of a large . I pushed the seatpost all the way in and just barely was able to hop up on it as I pushed off to ride .
id probably be better off with a small in the stand over department. But then the handlebars would be too close .
Bike companies need to start offering a 26 version of their bikes . The 29 wheels make the bike too tall for some of use .
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Old 10-10-19, 08:42 PM
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Did u try the pitch? Its basically a rockhopper 27.5. The medium standover height is just about 28.5. Thats 2 lower than the Rockhopper standover height.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Im 511+ with a 28 1/2 stand over .
I just bought a new medium frame Specialized Rockhopper and Im having trouble with it fitting me . When I stand over the toptube, Im touching . With the seat post all the way down , I having to hop on the saddle as I push off to get rolling .
I feel like a little kid trying to ride a big guys bike .
Im not a small guy , Im just out of proportion.
Once Im up on the bike , I feel like Im riding a road bike , all of my weight is on my hands and its killing my 68 year old wrists .
I'm your height but with 34" standover. You must have a tall upper body, or measured wrong.

Probably need very long topbtube and a frame with unusual low standover for a long top tube.
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Old 10-11-19, 06:37 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Im 511+ with a 28 1/2 stand over .
I just bought a new medium frame Specialized Rockhopper and Im having trouble with it fitting me . When I stand over the toptube, Im touching . With the seat post all the way down , I having to hop on the saddle as I push off to get rolling .
I feel like a little kid trying to ride a big guys bike .
Im not a small guy , Im just out of proportion.
Once Im up on the bike , I feel like Im riding a road bike , all of my weight is on my hands and its killing my 68 year old wrists .
You sure the bike is a Med?
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Old 10-11-19, 06:56 AM
  #7  
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Although the dealer is a Specialized dealer , they had very few Specialized bikes in stock . No Rockhoppers or Pitch’s for me to try . I had to order without trying one .
the “ fit guy” spent about ten minutes with me explaining , how , with my odd body geometry, the Rockhopper medium was best for me . He said I needed to learn how to ride the bike the way it “fit” me .
I’m 68 years old , I can’t ride with my tail end higher than my hands .
The bike is very twitchy .
I’ve ordered an adjustable stem and a 30mm riser handlebars . I hope the cables are long enough to use both .
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Old 10-11-19, 09:00 AM
  #8  
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I'm nearly 6' 2" and believe current mtb geometry has insanely long effective top tube length. It forces you to sort of lean forward and prop yourself against the handlebar which places strain your hands, arms, and shoulders. Modern geometry 29ers especially also have waaaay too long wheelbases and it feels like driving an 18-wheeler truck. It's better to have shorter ETT and use longer stems if you need that extra reach. The too-long ETT geometry bikes effectively limit your options though.

The too long ETT length combined with the too high headtube also makes current geometry bikes twitchy because it's impossible to get adequate weight on the front wheel especially riding uphill. I absolutely loathe the current "forward geometry" fad.

People have the intuitive sense that sitting more upright on a bike is going to be more comfortable but I've discovered by experience that having the bars much lower than the saddle is desirable because it lowers your center of gravity and allows more weight balance between the wheels. Doesn't that put too much weight on your hands though? No, if your bars are low enough weight comes off your hands and is transferred to your spine, pelvis, legs and feet. This lower position can cause problems for people who are overweight with limited mobility though.

Currently the geometry of bikes is biased toward excessive reach but I prefer the geometry of vintage mtbs with their bias of lower front ends (and rigid forks). The older bikes had shorter ETT. The only liability of first and second generation mtb bikes is their weight, they are usually heavy steel frames. I'm hoping that someday the traditional "square geometry" mtbs make a comeback but with 27.5 wheels and made from lightweight 853 tig-welded steel or carbon.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 10-11-19 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 10-11-19, 10:34 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
I'm nearly 6' 2" and believe current mtb geometry has insanely long effective top tube length. It forces you to sort of lean forward and prop yourself against the handlebar which places strain your hands, arms, and shoulders. Modern geometry 29ers especially also have waaaay too long wheelbases and it feels like driving an 18-wheeler truck. It's better to have shorter ETT and use longer stems if you need that extra reach. The too-long ETT geometry bikes effectively limit your options though.

The too long ETT length combined with the too high headtube also makes current geometry bikes twitchy because it's impossible to get adequate weight on the front wheel especially riding uphill. I absolutely loathe the current "forward geometry" fad.

People have the intuitive sense that sitting more upright on a bike is going to be more comfortable but I've discovered by experience that having the bars much lower than the saddle is desirable because it lowers your center of gravity and allows more weight balance between the wheels. Doesn't that put too much weight on your hands though? No, if your bars are low enough weight comes off your hands and is transferred to your spine, pelvis, legs and feet. This lower position can cause problems for people who are overweight with limited mobility though.

Currently the geometry of bikes is biased toward excessive reach but I prefer the geometry of vintage mtbs with their bias of lower front ends (and rigid forks). The older bikes had shorter ETT. The only liability of first and second generation mtb bikes is their weight, they are usually heavy steel frames. I'm hoping that someday the traditional "square geometry" mtbs make a comeback but with 27.5 wheels and made from lightweight 853 tig-welded steel or carbon.
Good post . Thanks !
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Old 10-11-19, 02:32 PM
  #10  
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I found that climbing steep hills, if I stall & have to bail by straddling the top tube, it helps if the top tube, on level ground is NOT touching me, cuz on the uphill that bar comes even closer to my crotch. I can't imagine riding a bike that is already touching me up a steep incline
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Old 10-11-19, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Although the dealer is a Specialized dealer , they had very few Specialized bikes in stock . No Rockhoppers or Pitch’s for me to try . I had to order without trying one .
the “ fit guy” spent about ten minutes with me explaining , how , with my odd body geometry, the Rockhopper medium was best for me . He said I needed to learn how to ride the bike the way it “fit” me .
I’m 68 years old , I can’t ride with my tail end higher than my hands .
The bike is very twitchy .
I’ve ordered an adjustable stem and a 30mm riser handlebars . I hope the cables are long enough to use both .
Sounds to me like it doesn't fit. I would go back and say they need to get you a Pitch. 27.5" Wheels, lower top tube. Raising the bars and the stem seem like it would put more weight on the rear and that sounds like it would be less stable and more twitchy, although maybe more comfortable. Also contact Specialized directly and give them your measurements. They may disagree with the "Fit Guy" at the dealer.
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Old 10-11-19, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
I'm nearly 6' 2" and believe current mtb geometry has insanely long effective top tube length. It forces you to sort of lean forward and prop yourself against the handlebar which places strain your hands, arms, and shoulders. Modern geometry 29ers especially also have waaaay too long wheelbases and it feels like driving an 18-wheeler truck. It's better to have shorter ETT and use longer stems if you need that extra reach. The too-long ETT geometry bikes effectively limit your options though.

The too long ETT length combined with the too high headtube also makes current geometry bikes twitchy because it's impossible to get adequate weight on the front wheel especially riding uphill. I absolutely loathe the current "forward geometry" fad.

People have the intuitive sense that sitting more upright on a bike is going to be more comfortable but I've discovered by experience that having the bars much lower than the saddle is desirable because it lowers your center of gravity and allows more weight balance between the wheels. Doesn't that put too much weight on your hands though? No, if your bars are low enough weight comes off your hands and is transferred to your spine, pelvis, legs and feet. This lower position can cause problems for people who are overweight with limited mobility though.

Currently the geometry of bikes is biased toward excessive reach but I prefer the geometry of vintage mtbs with their bias of lower front ends (and rigid forks). The older bikes had shorter ETT. The only liability of first and second generation mtb bikes is their weight, they are usually heavy steel frames. I'm hoping that someday the traditional "square geometry" mtbs make a comeback but with 27.5 wheels and made from lightweight 853 tig-welded steel or carbon.
Funny, I was thinking the opposite when I was riding. My old Rockhopper Comp FS was the "old" style geometry. Basically a road bike with dirt tires from the 90s. It was unstable, especially if the wheels came off the ground. I NEVER got comfortable on that bike. I accepted it, but I was used to BMX style bikes and jumps and air was nothing on that bike. My thoughts were the new MTB design was much more like a big BMX bike than a road bike with knobby tires and I was much more comfortable in the dirt on the new bike. Different folks for different strokes. I guess its what you are used to and how you like the bike to feel.
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Old 10-12-19, 08:08 AM
  #13  
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Stand over height is one of the most important dimensions of frame geometry IMO and is why I bought my Giant Sedona comfort bike. It has one of the lowest next to a girls bike with a big enough frame.

My Sedona comfort bike not only shifted the weight off my wrists to a suspension seat post, But makes it one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden. I had a mountain bike before, It was awful for recreational riding.

For most folks, the frame sizing charts of most bike manufacturers is probably a good start., However it is very important to check the stand over height too before we buy.

Some of the bikes that make your shortlist may not pass the stand over height test. But others might. You might even have to look at other alternatives.

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Old 10-12-19, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
I'm nearly 6' 2" and believe current mtb geometry has insanely long effective top tube length. It forces you to sort of lean forward and prop yourself against the handlebar which places strain your hands, arms, and shoulders. Modern geometry 29ers especially also have waaaay too long wheelbases and it feels like driving an 18-wheeler truck. It's better to have shorter ETT and use longer stems if you need that extra reach. The too-long ETT geometry bikes effectively limit your options though.

The too long ETT length combined with the too high headtube also makes current geometry bikes twitchy because it's impossible to get adequate weight on the front wheel especially riding uphill. I absolutely loathe the current "forward geometry" fad.

People have the intuitive sense that sitting more upright on a bike is going to be more comfortable but I've discovered by experience that having the bars much lower than the saddle is desirable because it lowers your center of gravity and allows more weight balance between the wheels. Doesn't that put too much weight on your hands though? No, if your bars are low enough weight comes off your hands and is transferred to your spine, pelvis, legs and feet. This lower position can cause problems for people who are overweight with limited mobility though.

Currently the geometry of bikes is biased toward excessive reach but I prefer the geometry of vintage mtbs with their bias of lower front ends (and rigid forks). The older bikes had shorter ETT. The only liability of first and second generation mtb bikes is their weight, they are usually heavy steel frames. I'm hoping that someday the traditional "square geometry" mtbs make a comeback but with 27.5 wheels and made from lightweight 853 tig-welded steel or carbon.
I totally disagree with most of this.
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Old 10-12-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
I'm nearly 6' 2" and believe current mtb geometry has insanely long effective top tube length. It forces you to sort of lean forward and prop yourself against the handlebar which places strain your hands, arms, and shoulders. Modern geometry 29ers especially also have waaaay too long wheelbases and it feels like driving an 18-wheeler truck. It's better to have shorter ETT and use longer stems if you need that extra reach. The too-long ETT geometry bikes effectively limit your options though.

The too long ETT length combined with the too high headtube also makes current geometry bikes twitchy because it's impossible to get adequate weight on the front wheel especially riding uphill. I absolutely loathe the current "forward geometry" fad.

People have the intuitive sense that sitting more upright on a bike is going to be more comfortable but I've discovered by experience that having the bars much lower than the saddle is desirable because it lowers your center of gravity and allows more weight balance between the wheels. Doesn't that put too much weight on your hands though? No, if your bars are low enough weight comes off your hands and is transferred to your spine, pelvis, legs and feet. This lower position can cause problems for people who are overweight with limited mobility though.

Currently the geometry of bikes is biased toward excessive reach but I prefer the geometry of vintage mtbs with their bias of lower front ends (and rigid forks). The older bikes had shorter ETT. The only liability of first and second generation mtb bikes is their weight, they are usually heavy steel frames. I'm hoping that someday the traditional "square geometry" mtbs make a comeback but with 27.5 wheels and made from lightweight 853 tig-welded steel or carbon.
Depends on your trails.
On my tight twisty trails, I "feel" faster on my On-One Inbred (635mm ETT with 80mm stem and 71 deg head angle):



vs my Bardino with 659mm ETT and 40mm stem and 65 degree head angle.



Strava says otherwise though.
I basically have both bikes set up the same though including similar bars and identical saddles.
I don't feel that I am resting on my hands or have any pain in my shoulders or neck on my Bardino as you have suggested (and I should not as the overall saddle to bars measurements are actually shorter and closer to level than on the Inbred).

I am not a good enough rider to say what the difference is (outside of repeating what I read esewhere), so I will just stop at saying that they ride differently. Not better, or worse. Just different.
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Old 10-12-19, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Stand over height is one of the most important dimensions of frame geometry IMO
IMO, only important if you spend lots of time standing over your bike with both feet flat on completely level ground.
There is no time ever in my riding life where I have crashed or had any kind of uncontrolled off where I was able to do so with both feet flat on level ground. The likelihood of you being able to do so and so somehow need to rely on say an inch of standover so that you don't slam your nads on the top tube is pretty much none.
Absolute most important measurement is ETT and reach.
About the only measurement I ever look at on any bikes I buy (road or MTB).
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Old 10-13-19, 02:43 AM
  #17  
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Sounds like you have a disproportionately long torso. Truth be told, you're going to have some challenges getting a bike that fits and handles well for you.

Part of the issue is that hardtail mountain bikes <$1000 are nearly all essentially based off of cross country race bikes, where having a relatively low handlebar position combined with a relatively long stem is intended to keep weight over the front wheel during steep climbs. This is unfortunate for riders who do not ride at that same intensity and may not have the flexibility for a lower riding position.

Standover varies a fair amount between bikes, and to a certain point is a matter of personal experience, feeling, and experience as to how important it is. I have a moderately disproportionately long torso (I'm also 5'11"), but I'm also an experienced, relatively fit, rider in my 30s, and so I'm not particularly concerned with standover so long as I don't think I'll actually injure my genitals during an unexpected dismount. I touch on my road bike, on my full suspension bike it is sometimes awkward to mount with the saddle up , etc. For you standover is understandably more important.
Maybe consider a bike with a dropped top tube--this may be marketed as a women's bike, but get the bike that works for you!

Also, you said you have the saddle all the way down. Is this to make mounting/dismounting easier or is that a height that gives you a full leg extension with a slight bend in your knee (the correct pedaling height)? If its at the right height for pedaling with the saddle slammed, and you're 5'11 on a medium frame, you have crazy off the chart body proportions and will have to either compromise in some significant ways or have a custom frame built.

As for handlebar height--hand pressure is in part a function of core strength and power output. If you put sufficient power into the pedals, you will actually be pulling up on the bars. The lower your core strength and power output, the higher your bars need to come. The best ways to raise your bars are to use a high rise stem and/or a high rise handlebar. Note that if you need to raise the bars significantly, you will need new cables and housing. If the bike has hydraulic disc brakes and they need to be lengthened, the whole hose will need to be replaced and the brakes rebled, which can lead to a relatively expensive service bill. The disadvantage of raising your handlebars or shortening your stem in this case is that it will speed up the steering of the bike, possibly to the point of being twitchy. I'm a professional bike mechanic and I test ride a lot of customer's mountain bikes that have very high handlebars, usually bikes by older riders who mostly use them on the street. You can get used to a lot of steering characteristics, but these bikes ride really twitchy, and I would not prefer their handling on a single track trail.

I hope you get things sorted out to get you comfortable on a mountain bike!
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Old 10-13-19, 05:30 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
Sounds like you have a disproportionately long torso. Truth be told, you're going to have some challenges getting a bike that fits and handles well for you.

Maybe consider a bike with a dropped top tube.
I hope you get things sorted out to get you comfortable on a mountain bike!
With my long torso and shortish legs , I am an oddball. This is not my first time having bike fit problem , but its the worst one Ive encountered.
The person at the bike shop should have recognized the issue and recommended a different bike instead of trying to convince me it fit and that I needed to learn to ride that way .
Yesterday, I add a 110mm 60 degree stem and 30mm riser handlebars. It helped , but Im still not comfortable. I think a 650b bike would have been better for me . The 29 tires just make a too tall of bike for me . I've been researching a wheelset change , thinking going to a 650b setup on this frame .
I'm not going to be riding any thing off road that would be considered difficult or fast . Im looking for a bike to leisurely ride some dirt trails .
In hindsight I should have purchased another Roll and bought some off-road tires for it .
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Old 10-13-19, 07:20 AM
  #19  
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Couple things....

27.5 and 29 wheels dont make a bike fit taller. That is a very common misconception. BB height is independent of wheel size.

Something sounds screwy, here. My inseam in only 1 longer than yours (I too am freakishly proportioned) and even frames with 19 seat tubes (large) and top tubes I could not stand over leave me with almost 6 of exposed seatpost. I cant see how it is possible you cant easily get on the bike with the saddle all the way down.

Something is just not adding up, here.

how long is the seat tube on a Medium? 17? Even with legs as short as yours, you should have at least 5 of seatpost showing at full riding hieght.

Something is missing from this story.
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Old 10-13-19, 08:42 AM
  #20  
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You should be riding a large with short legs and long torso at 5' 11"
MTBs have a high Bottom Bracket for clearing rocks. If you are just riding easy trails look for a frame that has a lower bottom bracket, hence your saddle will be lower, easy to mount.
And I would say with 28 inch stand over your legs might be too short for a 29r.
Take bike back.
Look for 27.5 trail bike
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Old 10-13-19, 02:21 PM
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I received my stem riser today . 70 mm . With the stem riser , 30mm riser handlebars, and the adjustment stem , I’m happy to report my new Specialized Rockhopper now feels comfortable to ride . I only got to cruise around the neighborhood for a little while before the rain started . But I look forward to putting some miles on it now .
The bike is no longer twitchy . It handles like my Roll .
I don’t know why the bike store guy would tell me raising the bars would ruin the bikes handling , it improved it .
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Old 10-13-19, 05:45 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
I received my stem riser today . 70 mm . With the stem riser , 30mm riser handlebars, and the adjustment stem , Im happy to report my new Specialized Rockhopper now feels comfortable to ride . I only got to cruise around the neighborhood for a little while before the rain started . But I look forward to putting some miles on it now .
The bike is no longer twitchy . It handles like my Roll .
I dont know why the bike store guy would tell me raising the bars would ruin the bikes handling , it improved it .
So you are running a 30mm riser bar AND a 70mm stem riser?
Sorry, but you have bought the wrong bike if you have to set it up like that.
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Old 10-13-19, 06:01 PM
  #23  
kirby999
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
So you are running a 30mm riser bar AND a 70mm stem riser?
Sorry, but you have bought the wrong bike if you have to set it up like that.
May be . But whats done is done . The fine print on my receipt says no returns on bikes . So I adapter it to fit me .
I had to do the same with used bikes Ive had .
Without the industry going back to 26 wheels , I will continue to have a hard time finding a bike that fits off the rack . Even then , some adjustments would have to be done .
just the curse of a strange shaped body .
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Old 10-13-19, 06:04 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
May be . But whats done is done . The fine print on my receipt says no returns on bikes . So I adapter it to fit me .
I had to do the same with used bikes Ive had .
Without the industry going back to 26 wheels , I will continue to have a hard time finding a bike that fits off the rack . Even then , some adjustments would have to be done .
just the curse of a strange shaped body .
Sorry, your bike shop stitched you up.
But you decided on buying a MTB when from what you have done to the bike it would seem you should have bought something very different.
Oh well, what is done is done.
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Old 10-13-19, 06:23 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
May be . But what’s done is done . The fine print on my receipt says no returns on bikes . So I adapter it to fit me .
I had to do the same with used bikes I’ve had .
Without the industry going back to 26” wheels , I will continue to have a hard time finding a bike that fits “off the rack” . Even then , some adjustments would have to be done .
just the curse of a strange shaped body .

A bike shop cant suggest an ill-fitting bike and then force you to keep it. SPECIALIZED themselves won't allow that. (ridercare@specialized.com Customer service: 1 (877) 808-8154), a few phone calls and I guarantee the bike shop will say come back and lets figure it out for you....
The pitch has 27.5" wheels and a lower standover height. There also other frames that work as well (Rockhopper woman's?). So there are bikes off the shelf that will work better than what you have. Specialized has a computerized fit system where they take all your body measurements and it tells them what bikes will fit properly, seat height, what handlebar width is ideal, etc. Did this bike shop use that or some guy that said "This will work for you."? Just curious...which Rockhopper did you get?

Last edited by jrhoneOC; 10-13-19 at 06:26 PM.
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