/ Mountain bike frame size advice

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Tyler - on 13 Mar 2013
I went to pick up a mountain bike and although it was apparently sized correctly (18" frame and I'm 5' 9") it seemed big. I know nothing about bikes but assumed a small frame would be required to make it more 'chuckable''. I could only just get both feet flat on the ground when straddling the crossbar. What are the pros and cons of a small bike frame? Should I just go with the size chart? Do some people prefer a smaller frame for the reasons I've given or am I being daft? I'll probably mostly be off road on hilly terrain
sleavesley on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler: I prefer a smaller frame for the reasons you give.
1m71 and ride a 16 inch frame fwiw
Go with what your happier with
Horse on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:

I'm 5'8" and ride a small (16") Cotic, an 18 would be like riding a gate. Last one was a 17 Orange P7 and that felt a bit on the big side. If border line go for the smaller size and fiddle about with other bits like seat post and stem to get the right feel. A proper small frame is very chuckable and fun down but a bit of a pain going up.
neil the weak - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler: Mountain bike sizing is as inconsistent as rockshoe sizing I'm afraid. Standover height, top tube lengths etc are not at all consistent between brands and sizes. Having said all that though....

If you're 5,9 then an 18 is almost certainly much too big if what you are after is a "chuckable" bike rather than a glorified road bike for sitting on and munching miles. I'd want plenty of space when "straddling" not just for maneuvering the bike, but for dabs and crashing...One that is nearly touching the lads is not right.

I would guess 16, 17 or "med" are your most likely sizes but it will vary from bike to bike. If you're trying to buy a fun bike, then which model you pick is pretty important too. If you buy a steeper head angled, higher cross country type frame it's just never going to fit and ride as a more aggressive bike would even if you do get the size right. It is also possible to go too small though, creating a cramped an uncomfy position when climbing.

Which bikes have you been looking at so far out of interest?
balmybaldwin - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:

Definitely go for a size down, you need a couple of inches crown jewels room otherwise you will hurt yourself with an unexpected stop.
AlasdairM on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler: I'm 6'0" and I ride a 17.5" and a 17" frame, both of which are chuckable for my height. Go a size down and you'll notice the difference.
Wee Davie - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:

I'm 5'7" and the max I'll ride is a 16" frame. I like mtb's to be really compact and BMX like (I did a lot of BMX in my youth). The smallest framed bike I've had was an old rigid steel 14" Kona Cindercone back in the 90's. It was great- I used it cycle couriering as well as offroad.
Tyler - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to neil the weak:

> Which bikes have you been looking at so far out of interest?

I'm going to buy a Voodoo Hoodoo from Halfords as that seemed to be the best bike available for my £500 budget according to reviews. As it turns out Halfords are the only company my employer deals with on the cycle to work scheme so I'm not going to change that aspect.
Welsh Kate - on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:
Funnily enough, I've been looking at the Voodoo Hoodoo at Halfords as well, but their website only has them available in 18" and 20" frames and I'd want a 16"
rmt - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler: I'm a shade under 5'9", and according to the geometry chart my bike measures 17.3" BB to centre of top tube, with 150mm of suspension. That's plenty chuckable for hitting 6ft drops and decent size gap jumps, so whilst 18" does sound a bit big, I wouldn't say that it would be horrendous. I'd try and find a friends bike that you can ride, and see how it feels.
Voltemands - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler: The next model up from the Hoodoo (bakuroo?) is being discontinued shortly, I was advised to keep an eye out for a few weeks - apparently if they need to reduce them they'll be a similar price to the voodoo. Could be better value.
brokenbanjo - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:

Have a look at the Carrera Kracken, everyone seems to be raving about it and it may be about to become a hell of a lot cheaper.
ti_pin_man - on 14 Mar 2013
yes, definitly look at a size down, say 16 inch, ideally you need to take it for a ride to be sure.

Its a myth about standing over a bike and the top tube being close to the crown jewels is a real problem. When you stop or mount the bike you should always be tipping the bike to one side to get your foot on the floor. Clearance space on a top tube is more am mental thing than really a physical thing ... BUT it is good to have a bike that is more chuckable, so slightly smaller frame.

p.s. halfords are often the only named supplier on bike to work schemes but they used to source any bike brand you wanted if you ask. I bought a litespeed from them, weird but true.
Tyler - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:
I've asked them to get me a 16" hopefully I won't end up looking like this:


AndyBeach on 14 Mar 2013 - 5e036259.bb.sky.com
In reply to Tyler:

16" or 17" frame would sound more like it. I am 5'11 and ride 17" anything larger feels like riding a "gate"
Bloodfire - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Tyler:


I bought a bike from the Halfords cycle scheme but other shops also accept these vouchers so you are not stuck!

My Example.

I work for Birmingham City Council, I got a £1000 Halfords Cycle Scheme Voucher and purchased a Brompton from On Your Bike (in Birmingham) and they accepted the Voucher. I checked this with Halfords and they were perfectly ok with another shop using that voucher. There are other shops that do this too.

Tyler - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Bloodfire:

That's interesting because the Letter of Confirmtion actually has Halfords logos all over it. It doesn't really matter to me as the bike I'm getting comes highly recommended but hopefully this will help someone else

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