Between Bike Sizes – Should I Size Up or Down? – Ibis Ripley – Women's Mountain Biking

Between Bike Sizes – Should I Size Up or Down? – Ibis Ripley – Women's Mountain Biking

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Should I size up or down? Since I’m always right in between sizes, it’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. It’s not always a straight forward answer and I’ve owned smalls and medium frames over the years. Here are some of the considerations I make when choosing.

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Readers Comments (49)

  1. A truly useful video as opposed to another “oh no, I crashed my bike while riding” video.

  2. Nice video. Well done. I am between large and medium. I ride medium. Always test ride before making a choice. Go with what feels the most fun.

  3. On ibis…I’m 5’5” and in between S and M. I love the playfulness of small frames, but i would probably go M and put a 35mm stem on it. Great comparison 👍👍

  4. Probably more likely to size down to feel more nimble! Thanks!! Nice videos!

  5. Hi what’s your height and inseem?

  6. Just read about RAD a way of determining size. Seems like a pretty good way. You may want to check it out.
    Thanks for the great videos

  7. "I want to climb on the small and go downhill on the medium" time to adapt dropper post technology to make a telescoping top tube!

  8. Will The Thrill April 9, 2021 @ 11:38 pm

    The true gauge of how far you have come is how you intuitively went for the air valve to have more fun on the down hill. Good Job

  9. I thought that bike shop used to be over the edge Sedona, when did it change?

  10. I’m in a similar situation with M to L size and I have always gone with the L. The only caveat I have is the standover. Some manufacturers (like Trek) have been too high for me to standover. Others fit me better.

  11. Good question. For much of my riding life, I was often between a M and a L at 5′ 10" and usually sized down. But in the last few years the way bike sizing has changed I have been more solidly in the L range. Oddly enough, this "bit" me a few years ago when I bought a L Intense Primer and after riding it for awhile, my M Intense M16C felt small to me and I ended up selling it.

    I still bought a M Chameleon as for how I plan to ride that bike, I want it to be smaller and just more "BMX bike" like. Of course, it’s comical when I put my L Megatower 29er next to my 20" wheel BMX bike and yet both bikes "feel" fine when I ride them in their intended venues.

    Yes, bikes are expensive… I try not to think about how much money I have hanging on my wall right now. Especially since I’m injured and probably won’t be riding much again for the rest of 2020.

  12. I thought it was interesting to see cactus growing next to pine trees. Something you don’t see every day!

  13. Went from large to xl and I like the xl alot more, I’m also 6′-1".

  14. flapjackattack4 April 9, 2021 @ 11:44 pm

    I have a ripmo on backorder, and I’m also curious about the coil vs. air shock in terms of climbing and overall performance. Would be great to see

  15. As a beginning rider, I was worried my bike was too big because it doesn’t like tight turns. After studying the video, now I realize the longer wheelbase length is what I need to adapt to. Changing frame size from medium to small probably wouldn’t make that much difference at my stage of the game. But now I see what a huge difference demo-ing 2 bike sizes can make for higher-level riders. Thunder Mountain Bikes and the surrounding trails looks like a mountain biker’s paradise. Loved your video!

  16. Perfectly timed video as I’m on the fence between a medium and large Ripmo AF. I know your audience is somewhat geared toward women but as a guy, I love your content and find it extremely valuable!!!! Thank You!

  17. Very helpful video – height wise I’m usually between a S or M on the size charts. Can’t wait to see a review on the Ripley – the bike looks awesome!

  18. I’m 5’8", so my bikes have always been Medium, but when I got my Evil Offering I decided to go with the small since the reach was the same as my last 2 bikes. I prefer the snappy, nimble feel over a super long bike, especially in Sedona, so no regrets 👍

  19. It’s amazing how a bike’s geometry and size can change how a bike feels and handles. I had 5 different Hardtails that I was looking at and had test ridden. I literally had made a diagram of all the bikes overlaid in different colors of their respective geometries for comparison. Even though their geometry specs on my final two picks were relatively the same, riding them was truly the only way to actually determine which to choose.

  20. Nice i bought a second hand large but decided I wanted a new bike so bought a medium its feels so much better …I think to much people over size …

  21. Have you seen Lee McCormicks (Lee Likes Bikes) info on Bike sizing, RAD calculations. His stuff is really good. He literally wrote the book on the subject.(Title:Dialed)

  22. I can control a smaller bike better, whip it around, do cornering, uphill climbs, all much better than a larger bike. The only time I like a larger heavier bike is for long relatively straight downhill runs where the stability is more comfortable; but that’s only about 15% of my riding. At 5’10" I’m almost always between a size Medium and a size Large, I choose the size Medium.

  23. Thomas Middlebrooks April 9, 2021 @ 11:52 pm

    You should try the dpx2 on your ripmo and some light weight carbon wheels.

  24. I think stand over is key….great bikes thanks!

  25. Having demoed a Ripmo AF with an air shock, it had basically zero pedal bob, best tech climber I’ve ever ridden, perfect pedaling position for steep, techy climbs. Rock solid on the descent, but definitely more of the planted enduro bike feel vs poppy trail bike.

  26. 3:36 is that the new fox 34 with the grip 2?

  27. Great video. Would love to see comparison of air vs coil on the Ripmo AF

  28. FAT BIKE skinny legs April 10, 2021 @ 12:03 am

    girlfriend is 5’4", and I want her to experience as much dropper as possible.. she’s renting a small with no dropper, but I’m wondering if there is an XS with a dropper? Ill check Thunder Mountain, she gets to town on Monday, and I got one shot to impress Arizona on her to move here with me….

  29. Great video about this topic! Nice job.

  30. Interesting topic! I’m also in the range between a small and a medium probably. But I am in the reverse situation as you, where I ride mostly a Scott Spark and am looking for a bigger enduro bike. Right now I am looking at the Commencal AM Meta 29 for gnarlier rides. Now that’s a huge long bike and everything I’m reading is saying to size down. I might do that just because for that specific bike it’s so long, a medium is more like a large for the Meta.

    Did you happen to mention your height at all? I know sizing depends on many things like arm/inseam length, etc. but I feel like at least a mention of your height somewhere could provide a bit more context as to where you are located in the small/medium range.

    Very tough these days with bikes being so limited and rentals and demos also being tough with pandemic conditions. At any rate, thanks for sharing, this is steering me more towards a small in the Meta because it is a big bike to begin with, and what you said about laggier cornering will probably be even more exaggerated if I get a medium.

    Btw the Spark is in medium and it’s very rideable for me. It has the same 130/120 travel range and I do agree it’s a fun, fun bike. Thanks, and happy riding to you!

  31. Thanks!! I’m in between small and medium also! Appreciate your opinion!

  32. Something Else Here April 10, 2021 @ 12:06 am

    I didn’t realize that Over the Edge changed names (owners?). Glad you stood in front of that banner at the end, I was starting to question myself…

  33. Noob Mountainbikes Desert April 10, 2021 @ 12:07 am

    Adobe Jack was the first hike we ever did in Sedona. I can’t wait until we come riding up there in the near future. Now I just need to get a decent bike for my wife.

  34. best biking trails and scenery!!! top shelf skills too!!!

  35. Good to know about the bike rental situation, as I was suppsed to come over there and do the Grand Canyon camp ride with Western Spirit that you suggested this year, but along came Covid-19 and ended that dream for now. I will get over there eventually, and I probably won’t be bringing my bike, so rental it is! I am in Brisbane Australia, by the way. We seem to have nipped it in the bud here for now. Doesn’t look so good over there atm. Hope it improves soon.

  36. Love this vid! I have a small HT and a medium FS .. still not sure which size I prefer; think the small is faster but then being a HT, it’s a different ride altogether! Took me a few months to decide to get the FS in a medium and only used it a handful of times so hoping in time I’ll be thankful of my choice 🙂

  37. I love that Thunder Mountain Bikes has taken over the old Mountain Bike Heaven building. Lots of history there.

  38. Christian Peters April 10, 2021 @ 12:15 am

    I like to size up and roll with a mullet

  39. How tall are you and what’s your inseam I love all your videos I want to get a Mojo 4

  40. We love vacationing in Sedona. I think we’ll have to check out that shop and rent some bikes on our next trip.

  41. I’m 5ft11 but have 28 inch inseam (very short) so Ive been using a medium bike with shorter crank arms. Going to size up to a 20/large with short crank arms

  42. Im 5’10” and just got really into riding recently so I decided to go to my local bike shop and get the new 2021 stumpjumper comp alloy. The guys there told me that since my arm span is 6 feet that I should go with the S5 instead of the S4 so that’s what I did (they said I looked less cramped on the S5). I haven’t ridden it yet cause it’s too snowy but now I’m worried it might be too big but I mean they are the experts, so I should trust them, right? I do mostly uphill but I like downhill too and wanna get better at it. I’m just worried I won’t be able to maneuver the bike as good on an xl frame. Also, is the weight difference that drastic between frame sizes that I would notice?

  43. The struggle is real!. I look at geo charts and I’m like I wish they made a schmedium. But really just depends on the bike and my intentions of how I plan on riding it and what type of terrain

  44. Jennifer Sandoval April 10, 2021 @ 12:20 am

    In general, I think it is better to buy the bigger bike and then push the seat forward and use a shorter stem than to buy the smaller bike and have to push the seat back and use a longer stem. The Ripley does not have a real long reach/front-center(the distance from the bottom bracket to the front axle) so I would go for the larger bike. However, if I was buying a very long slack bike with a long front-center, I would buy the smaller bike. For you—Ripley=size medium—Ripmo=size small.

  45. Vladimir Tufekchiev April 10, 2021 @ 12:20 am

    XL 🙂

  46. BcA - Biciclind cu Axel April 10, 2021 @ 12:22 am


  47. I’m 5’4” with a 29” inseam and I went with a medium Ripley. I value stability as it’s my main bike other then my hardtail. I love it and have had it about a year. Recently swapped the fork for a fox 36 with 130mm travel which made it a bit more capable!

  48. I size up personally but I’m L to XL, unfortunately I have long legs so it’s a high seat post for me.

  49. Super helpful! I am new to Mountain Biking and am looking for my first bike According to size charts I’m right between sizes and I think this was helpful to encourage me to size up.

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