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Frame Size - Why are sizes important?

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Frame Size - Why are sizes important?

Old 10-11-07, 09:43 AM
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whitephatt
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Frame Size - Why are sizes important?

I haven't been able to find any good information on the site regarding why I seem to be only finding seemingly smaller frame sizes on good bikes as opposed to walmart bikes.

That's not to say that the information isn't out there.. I just haven't been able to find it.

So here's the thing.. I am *redacted* about *redacted* lbs according to what I've read I should be on a 18" frame, yet all my wally world suck bikes have been 26".

I can understand for DH purposes smaller frame allows easier maneuvering and tighter turning and all that.. I think?

What's the dealio? I've sat on smaller frame bikes before and they just seem to look ridiculous.. Like a kid on a monkey bike! ..Well, not that bad.. But the scale seems off..

Additionally, as you all probably know, and I have come to accept.. There are no real bikes in a 26" frame size. So anyway, if someone can fill in the blanks as to why that would be great.

Also.. I'm not looking to do a whole lot of hardcore trail action since my current bike sees more road use then about anything.. Would it hurt to get a 20 - 21" frame bike? or is that a big no no. ??

Thanks!!

Last edited by whitephatt; 02-21-15 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 10-11-07, 10:27 AM
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I guess I'll tackle this one...

You're looking at 2 different measurements and assuming that they are one in the same.

18" is the size of the frame, typically measured from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat tube (sometimes measured to the center).

26" refers to the wheel size. Most mountain bikes use 26" wheels, although 29" wheeled bikes are becoming more popular.

Given you size (and having no idea about your legs vs. torso measurements) I'd say you should look in the 18"-20" range. If you plan to do "hardcore" trail riding, you'll want to stay on the smaller end of the scale so that your "boys" don't bounce of the top tube too much on impact.
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Old 10-11-07, 10:34 AM
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That's good information.. I figured there was some fallacy in comparing the two measurements. That seems similar to the whole 4:3 vs. 16:9 TV measurement, and for wally world to market in that way is not surprising in the least.

If anyone else wants to chime in, I'm all ears.

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Old 10-11-07, 10:42 AM
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Firstly, yes wally world bikes are sized by the tire size, the frame is a one size fit's all.
Next, a smaller frame allows more standover, is usually stiffer than the same frame in a larger size, and is generally easier to throw around. At 5' 11" Any where from a 17.5 to a 19.5 should work, but fit is determine by other factors than just standover height, so a trip to your local bike shop is probably the best place to get the answers your looking for.
As for the 20/21 inch frame, If this was a road bike you could get away with it, but on the trail, I like more standover height. Especilly if you like to try new challenges, that aren't always cleaned the first try.
Obviously I can't size you over the internet, So please treat this as an example

EDIT: nevermind, someone already beat me to it!
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Old 10-11-07, 11:25 AM
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I am 5'10" and ride an 18" GT Riochet. GT's tend to be longer though (at least when I got mine in 1994) and I probubly could use a 16". I rode a 16" Giant over the weekend and at first it felt tiny but after getting adjusted to it it worked well for me. Go test ride a few different sizes and see what you like, who knows you may end up with a 16" 29'er
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Old 10-11-07, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by whitephatt View Post
That's good information.. I figured there was some fallacy in comparing the two measurements. That seems similar to the whole 4:3 vs. 16:9 TV measurement, and for wally world to market in that way is not surprising in the least.

If anyone else wants to chime in, I'm all ears.

-Matt

Yep...Frame sizes are usually indicated by the seat tube length, but a lot of mfg's are now using S, M, L, XL to designate the size. It's much more meaningfull as each mfg has their own specs, and the seat tube varies with the geometry of the bike.

The most critical measurement on the bike is the top tube length...buying the wrong size can cause a lot of pain.

I ride a medium frame...and have medium bikes with 17", 19", 20", and 21" seat tubes...all fit me well because they have a 23" top tube (the variable here is the head tube length which dictates the size of the front triangle)...my 17" is HUGE...the saddle comes up to my wife's shoulder

At 5'11", you'd probably ride a medium, but it depends on your build. You have to sit on them to know what works best
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Old 10-11-07, 01:25 PM
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Here's an analogy for you:

Buying a bike from Wal-Mart is like buying a pair of jeans that's one size fits all.

I hope that helps you to understand more about real bikes.
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Old 10-11-07, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by norco_rider77 View Post
Here's an analogy for you:

Buying a bike from Wal-Mart is like buying a pair of jeans that's one size fits all.

I hope that helps you to understand more about real bikes.
no kidding...here's a pic of my 17" medium
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Old 10-12-07, 07:40 AM
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whitephatt
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When I think of 'one size fits all pants' I always think of those elastic ones. hahaha

Last edited by whitephatt; 02-21-15 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 10-12-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by whitephatt View Post
When I think of 'one size fits all pants' I always think of those elastic ones. hahaha

-Matt
awww that reminds me of my grandma
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