Are we riding bikes that are TOO big for us?

Are we riding bikes that are TOO big for us?

This thought has been on the back of my mind for awhile now and decided to make a video about it. I see many people basing their size decisions on the seated climbing position without making proper cockpit adjustments. What do you guys think? For those on the border, did you size UP or DOWN on your last bike purchase. Any regrets?

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Readers Comments (50)

  1. I’m 5’0 and l ride XXL BCOZ it’s the only size available when covid19 hit the planet.

  2. Me on an XL because i couldnt afford a large 😭😂

  3. I just happened to stumble onto this video, and what funny timing! Like you, I am between sizes at 5-10, and was just discussing this very topic with a friend and came to the same conclusions as did you! Thanks for voicing your perspectives and putting them to video.

  4. I think I am I bought a 29er GT zaskar 2020 hardtail large and I’m only 5ft6.

  5. I used to ask myself that same question whilst riding my penny farthing.

  6. (Male14 6’1") I recently ordered an xl santacruz hightower. At the moment I ride a large specialized enduro and I’m feeling naturally sized on it. I decided to go xl though because I know I’m still growing and I’d like the bike to last me a couple years. I think growing kids should go a size up so it fits them in the future years

  7. I’m a "tweener" size-wise, between small & medium. I just got a medium bike, and it’s been kind of hard to handle. I think I would’ve been happier with a small frame.

  8. What sort of reach do you recommend from someone 178-179cm?

  9. Yea I’m 5’8" I ride a medium santa cruz 5010 with the seat slide back. And a 10mm longer stem than stock and 10mm wider bars 780mm total. I have longer arms than average for my height but a large still isn’t for me. Its work out great I love the geometry of the bike now.

  10. I am 5’10 and I am riding on a size small…(not by choice) I think that for my next bike I will size up to a large because it is so much smoother and easier to glide over stuff without gettin bucked

  11. I’m 6ft and couldn’t find a LG in my range due to the “Kung flu”But found a trek in a medium/large so grabbed it. Still wish It was a LG I feel it in my low back. Any suggestions besides raising the stem like riser bars. I’m a newbie. Thanx

  12. Miroslava Sidorova February 17, 2021 @ 9:28 pm

    thank you. i’m 180 and just bought specialized trail bike M size. i wasn’t sure if it wouldn’t be too small…

  13. Burrito Bro's Videos February 17, 2021 @ 9:30 pm

    Ritchie rude is a pretty lame name lol

  14. Alexander Petkov February 17, 2021 @ 9:30 pm

    Nice music man

  15. Really glad I found this video! I’m 5, 8 and just bought a 2020 DH bike in M based off retailers recommendation. And common sense… Yet find the manufacture recommends an L?! Jump on my 29er, which is slightly longer reach than my DH bike… Feels a tank, so glad I went M.

  16. Geometry changing faster? Geometry in the 90s was all over the map. It reminds me of "Genesis Geometry" but with slacker head tubes.

  17. I’m 6 ft 5 , do you recommend going to max size on most bike brands?

  18. hey any "really good" bike shops you recommend in the bay area?

  19. Flowerhorn Keepers February 17, 2021 @ 9:33 pm

    I tried medium bike when I was in between sizes, I am 5’10" and my inseam is 33. After adjusting my seat to right pedal position, it was 2 inches above handlebar height. While I do get it that most enjoyable time is off the seat but considerable time was spent on the seat. My hands and shoulder were sore after a ride, did this for 2 summers, during that time I started riding less. This year I bought a different geometry with more stack height in large size that made up that 2 inch difference. So far it’s good. I am planning to stick to stack height than be concerned with other things.

  20. I’m so glad you’re talking about this. I’m a older xc racer that started racing as a junior in the mid 90’s. I’ve seen the progression of bike geometry over time (not even touching the wheel size issue here). I’ve raced many bikes and have LOVED some of them, but my last two will not be considered amongst those that I love. Why? I went with the trends. I sized up. I sit between small and medium and while the bike is indeed more stable in some situations I’ve lost all the “feel” of the bike… and I don’t think I like it. Maybe some day when I’m much older and speed and feel are no longer an experience I value when I ride I’ll prioritize stability over everything else but for now I’m not liking the “trends.”

  21. I guess the idea of lengthening the stem is just no longer possible? I mean, I know the longer stems of older style bikes had a negative impact on steering, but as short as today’s stems are, a slight increase wouldn’t affect it that much.

  22. AdventuresWithAlan-MTB POV February 17, 2021 @ 9:34 pm

    Will the bigger bike force you to get in better shape since it requires more muscle to move around? I def need stronger arms hahah. Im 5’3" and ride a medium Giant Reign 2015. The 2015 MEDIUM reign is actually only .5" longer than the 2020 SMALL reign…I like to think I saved a couple $$$ by buying a 5 yr old bike 🙂

  23. How does your inseam to height ratio factor in? At 5′ 11" I’m not short but only have a 31" inseam. With that much torso a medium feels small unless you put a longer stem on which makes the bike handle oddly for me.

  24. Are we? no I went from a 495 to a 520 reach and it could be bigger for decending. my next will be 535 or 555. 1328mm wheel base

  25. Anakin Skywalker February 17, 2021 @ 9:41 pm

    Is a 29er too big for me? (I’m 5’8" and currently 16yrs old)

  26. Right around 5’11" and with a combination of midfoot pedal positioning, a noseless saddle (a Nexride cut down to ~140mm wide), & short 140mm cranks, I’ve concluded that my ideal is probably:
    XL reach
    S seat tube
    80+ degree straight seat tube (none of this "effective" angle garbage that doesn’t allow a dropper to properly drop)
    Lower than average BB height

    Net effect is to have a seated & standing position that are extremely close to identical — with the noseless saddle it’s more akin to how you’d support yourself by leaning against the edge of a table vs. sitting in a dining room chair.

  27. I am 6′ 1.2" and happy having chosen XL for my 5010 V3. Maybe a special bike that still is playful and great for all corners. I don’t feel comfortable on smaller bikes. The back is Squezed and becomes rounded, when sitting. Standing on the bike is a different thing.

  28. I’m 5’5” and 105lbs (15yrs old) and I absolutely shred on extra small 160mm bikes for enduro races. I need my thick stanchions though!

  29. Great video

  30. Jose Manuel Reuss February 17, 2021 @ 9:52 pm

    Perfect video. Thanks!!!

  31. It all depends when and how you ride. I am 6-2 and chose an XL Hightower. I ride some park every year and the trails around the front range offer long, sustained, steep and rocky descents. I value stability. If I lived somewhere else with tighter terrain and more mellow terrain not huge rocky descents I would choose the L size. I might even go with a 27.5 wheel size bike.

  32. I have been ruminating over this question for so long and so many test rides. This video was really helpful. Thanks!

  33. After stressing I just bought the wrong sized bike… This video brought great relief!

  34. Interesting Im like 5 10 5 11 and I went with a large but its freaking HUGE

  35. Miguel Ortega Castillo February 17, 2021 @ 9:56 pm


  36. is large frame size too big for 27.5 in wheels?

  37. Finally someone sees my point! When I was a younger boy, I had a Stingray; yea, taller Handel bars and banana seat. It gave the ability to make jumps, and come down on the back wheel, and the banana seat made it where I could slide in position for riding, and a comfortable landing.
    When I was about 40, I remembered that stingray and put a banana seat on a Mongoose bike. I had a better leg position and could slide back a bit closer to the back axel and made jumps easier to handle. I wish they made the saddle a bit longer so I can sit a bit lower and have the full leg extension for jumps and fast, Sharp turns.

  38. But im 6’6 and my xl nomad v4 just feels so small compared to my buds meta am xl or new slash xl 😭

  39. I got a medium trance X 29. I going to head back to swap for a small. I have to be real with myself. I’m 5’4.

  40. RickShaw Philippines February 17, 2021 @ 10:00 pm

    I want a hover bike

  41. I think this depends a lot on your height, I am not a novice, I rode at 1998 NCAA XC MTB nationals, I would wear through rear wheel braking surfaces before I would wear through the front brake pads, because if I touched the front brakes too hard it was OTB for me. Even today on my XXL ProCaliber XC bike I had to resort to a roadie stem to get the correct reach(110mm), try finding a 35mm bar clamp diameter with a 110mm length, not gonna happen. My opinion bikes are still too small. I really want to try a Nukeproof Reactor XL with the 521.6mm(or 514mm, website is hard to figure out) reach as an XC bike, might just be big enough.

  42. Your video was helpful! I"m in between a S and M frames, and want to go up to a 29r wheel (SC Hightower or Revel Rascal). The problem is that there is such low inventory that I cant ride both sizes… I feel as though an M frame on a 29r might be a little big for turns, in comparison with a small…. But I liked your final advice about looking at the overall size of the wheelbase to chain length… TY!

  43. I mean, I’m gonna be riding a bike way to big for me. Im 14 and I’m getting a calibre sentry pro for Christmas. Because the bike is so expensive I had to go with a large so it would last me a few years. It didn’t feel to bad in the shop but look at the geometry😂

  44. I know I am. But the bike is from 2017 and it was designed in 2015.
    I have another 2017 bike in s size but the one I got this year is an l size . The s size was actually too small but I wanted a smaller bike because of the long rear triangle , the l size new old bike was more of I had no choice , it’s second hand and only 1 person was selling it.

  45. The book Dialed by Lee McCormack

  46. Well, I tell ya, I’m 5′-9" and just ordered an online bike from the British Sonder (Alpkit company.) brand in a large frame size. At my height Sonder says it will fit me, but I’m on the short side for this frame. My inseam is 34", so seems a bit longer than most people my height. I’ve been riding an old school 2006 Giant 26 wheel in a medium frame and it is a bit too small for me; I realize 2006 geometry is way outdated, and probably doesn’t compare to what a medium would feel like with modern geo. I’m 62 years old so don’t really have the ability anymore to whip a bike around, and was looking for more stability. As a "tweener, I struggled with the medium or large frame decision. We’ll see when it gets here in a few weeks. Thanks for the informative video, and keep up the good work.

  47. Great video. I’m 6’4”. I’ve been riding for over 30 years. When I could find an XL, that’s what I bought. 6 months ago I found Trek had XXL bikes. The fit is sweet. I’m to old for those all out down hills any more. You don’t heal like you use to. As far as cornering, I have no problem. As far as climbing, no problems there also👍

  48. This is a great video, I personally after seeing this would size down, because I like a bike that nimble, and easy to grow around and do tricks on.

  49. I am 6.8 do i can drive enduro bike, pls which is best for me, tell me

  50. The mega tower is the ultimate 🤟🏻

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