Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883

    I'm 6'1" can I get away with an XL bike or do I need L?

    Just got a small raise at work and seriously considering upgrading to a new bike. Thinking about waiting until the spring, but I doubt the supply chain issues will have been resolved by then and used bikes will probably cost more (correct me if Im wrong).

    Im looking at getting a ~120mm travel carbon 29er that weighs 26lbs or less. I hope to ride the Kokopelli and White Rim this fall but I do 95% of my riding in the SLC area. Looking at something along the lines of a Spark, Epic, Scalpel, Oiz, Lux, etc. Ideally would like x2 water bottle cages. Would like to spend around $3000.


    My question is, can I get away with buying an XL when a L will probably be a better fit? I am 61 with a 35 inseam and 63.5 armspan. Im mostly arms and legs with a relatively short torso. In the past 10 years Ive ridden L and XL bikes, with Ls feeling a little small and XL feeling a little big. Now that top tubes have gotten a lot longer in the past few years I could probably get along well with modern L bikes, but it looks like L bikes cost at least $1000 more than equivalent XLs. Could I get away with an XL like I have in the past or have top tubes gotten too long? Right now I feel pretty good on a 2018 Orbea Alma in XL with a 70mm stem, but most newer XLs have longer top tubes and Im afraid it would feel strange to ride a XL cross country bike with a 50mm stem.


    Im taking a look at a XL Scott Spark this afternoon, built with XX1 eagle and carbon wheels and the owner is asking $3200 which seems like a really good deal (even if its clearly been ridden a lot). If there were an equivalent L Id buy in a heartbeat, but the best deal on a L I can find with a similar build has a $4700 asking price with much heavier wheels. Should I suck it up and pay more for an L or take the deal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    21,752
    Gonna depend on seat tube length, reach, etc.

    You can always change the stem, stem height, bar, bar roll, controls spacing and angle, seat height, tilt, fore/aft position, the whole damn seat, the grip, etc.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Gonna depend on seat tube length, reach, etc.

    You can always change the stem, stem height, bar, bar roll, controls spacing and angle, seat height, tilt, fore/aft position, the whole damn seat, the grip, etc.
    Despite modern trends I like riding a setback seatpost with the seat slammed back to accommodate long femurs, which will make a too-big bike feel even bigger. Standover is never an issue though

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    10,493
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Despite modern trends I like riding a setback seatpost with the seat slammed back to accommodate long femurs, which will make a too-big bike feel even bigger. Standover is never an issue though
    Wouldnt a larger frame make pushing your seat all the way back unnecessary?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    livin the dream
    Posts
    4,717
    Im 6-2 built like an Orangutan 64 wingspan, 32 inseam.

    I ride an XL for most frames

    Go test ride. Best part of buying a new bike is test riding all the offerings.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Best Skier on the Mountain
    Self-Certified
    1992 - 2012
    Squaw Valley, USA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Wouldnt a larger frame make pushing your seat all the way back unnecessary?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I push it back because I like having my kneecap directly over the pedal at 90 degrees, and my femurs are long so I need to have the saddle back to get this position, it has nothing to do with the reach. I get sore knees when the seat isn't pushed back far enough

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    10,493
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    I push it back because I like having my kneecap directly over the pedal at 90 degrees, and my femurs are long so I need to have the saddle back to get this position, it has nothing to do with the reach. I get sore knees when the seat isn't pushed back far enough
    Oh youre a Bontrager acolyte, KOPS and all that.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    11,105
    Yeah, Stuck's right. Completely depends on the frame. Stated sizes are fairly useless these days. One company's XL is another company's Medium. And particularly with your preferences on knee over the pedal, that'll significantly vary with both actual and effective seat tube angles, both of which are all over the place with modern bikes.

    You seem to have at least a decent idea of how you want your bike to fit. Look at the geo chart for a bike you own. Compare it to the bikes you're looking at. Buy accordingly. Then go in the rant thread and complain about how the geometry charts aren't actually accurate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Oh youre a Bontrager acolyte, KOPS and all that.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Yep, KOPS Is BS. However, knee pain can be tricky to solve, so if youve found a position that works for you then its not necessarily a bad idea to stick with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    You seem to have at least a decent idea of how you want your bike to fit. Look at the geo chart for a bike you own. Compare it to the bikes you're looking at. Buy accordingly. Then go in the rant thread and complain about how the geometry charts aren't actually accurate.
    I've agonized over the geometry charts and I should be able to replicate the fit on the XL Spark to the XL Alma I have by using a 50mm stem, but like you are saying I hesitate to believe the geo chart because the XL Spark looks bigger than the number suggest

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    BC to CO
    Posts
    3,657
    For more XC type riding you sound more like a XL.
    I never thought I would say this but I like how Specialized explains their sizing. Go smaller for a more nimble riding style and shorter wheel base, or go larger for a longer wheel base and a more stable ride.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    11,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    I've agonized over the geometry charts and I should be able to replicate the fit on the XL Spark to the XL Alma I have by using a 50mm stem, but like you are saying I hesitate to believe the geo chart because the XL Spark looks bigger than the number suggest
    I checked the geo charts for the Alma and the Spark. For whatever it's worth, the Alma looks tiny to me. The reach on the XL Alma is shorter than my medium Specialized, and the top tube isn't all that much longer. I'm 5'9" and I think I could ride the XL Alma reasonably comfortably.

    And while the XL Spark is bigger, it's still pretty small by modern standards. Again, the Reach on the XL is still shorter than some other bikes I've owned, and the top tube length isn't particularly massive.

    So yeah, geo charts aren't to be trusted, but I think there's no question an XL would be the appropriate size Spark for you. Even if the bike is significantly larger than stated, it's still not a huge bike. Note that for 2022, the wheelbase on the XL Spark grows by something like 57mm - the bike gets over 2" longer. Most of that is the Spark's geo getting more in line with modern (longer) bikes, because the 2021 version was so small.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    in the trench
    Posts
    13,677
    You sound like you know your fit better than anyone. Same torso length as me but all arms and legs makes it hard for me to comprehend the little adjustments that would work for you. Despite my long torso im of the impression a lot of bikes have now gone too long and seat angles a touch too steep. Both are pretty ez to work around though with sizing and maybe 10mm more on the fork or flip chip or offset bushing or a combo of 2 of those. There are bike still with not overly long reaches though. Just checked and yt has xl izzo's in the US near the end of october. A large yt is still 15mm shorter reach than a medium commencal.
    https://us.yt-industries.com/product.../preview#tech2

    Orbea and devinci seem like theyre not overly long and well priced as well
    Also, works components make offset reach headsets and you can alter your reach by 5-8mm depending on headtube size. 5mm with the headset and 5mm change in the stem length is pretty close to half a size adjustment and 5mm stem length change is usually quick to adapt to.
    Im hesitant to alter my bar sweep or roll but maybe you have wide shoulders and currently have a bar with 9degree sweep. Less sweep might fit/feel better and gain you some reach or the opposite narrow shoulders/less sweep currently and a switch to more sweep would b more comfy and shorten reach.
    If you hang off the ends of your bars , 10mm longer equates to 5mm longer reach as well

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    4,207
    Im close to you

    61, 34 inseam pretty normal sized. I decided on an XL ripley v4 last year. Road the large and it wasnt even close. Standover was nearly identical.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC burbs
    Posts
    3,017
    If you're thinking Orbea and want to throw a leg over a Large Occam (2020 version) hit me up. I think at your size I wouldn't even consider a size L, you'd look like the dudes in the DH videos from the early 2000s, gigantic hoomans on toy sized bikes.
    "Your wife being mad is temporary, but pow turns do not get unmade" - mallwalker the wise

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883
    Thanks everyone for the great advice. I drove across town to look at the bike and it definitely fit. I took a quick look and paid the seller, but right after he drove off I noticed a crack in the frame near the seat collar (he had a QR collar installed, probably overtightened it). He didn't answer my calls or texts for a long 10 minutes while Tgapp gave me emotional support, but eventually he came back and was willing to take the bike back. Seems like its not too hard to repair that spot but I didn't want to deal with it.

    If anyone is selling a lightweight L or XL bike let me know!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    in the trench
    Posts
    13,677
    If it was an orbea theres a great chance the seller could get the frzme warranteed and thdn sell it to you. I hear orbea are pretty good with cs

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    between campus and church
    Posts
    7,866
    Quote Originally Posted by detrusor View Post
    Im close to you

    61, 34 inseam pretty normal sized. I decided on an XL ripley v4 last year. Road the large and it wasnt even close. Standover was nearly identical.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Im 61, 32 inseam and monkey arms. I ride a XL Ripley LS (v3).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by grinch View Post
    If it was an orbea theres a great chance the seller could get the frzme warranteed and thdn sell it to you. I hear orbea are pretty good with cs

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app
    Really? The bike was a 2017 and I imagine using a QR collar voids the warranty

    The bike I was looking at was a Scott Spark, I have an Orbea now

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    in the trench
    Posts
    13,677
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Really? The bike was a 2017 and I imagine using a QR collar voids the warranty

    The bike I was looking at was a Scott Spark, I have an Orbea now
    Ah sorry, forgot that. 17 gets a little dated at this point. Might be for the best

    Sent from my SM-G950W using TGR Forums mobile app

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Snowmass
    Posts
    453
    6'1" with long limbs here. I have found 480-490 reach with a 40-50mm stem to be about perfect for me, which is usually around a large in most modern bikes. Any longer and I have to look at narrower bars or I feel a little too much like a passenger, shorter and I feel cramped.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central VT
    Posts
    4,597
    I'm 6'1" on an XL SC Hightower with a 490mm reach. Its the first XL I've ever ridden - I've been riding L bikes forever and the long reach on the XL is just perfect.

    The trend lately is much shorter seat tubes and longer reach but not all companies are sizing bikes like this. If you're looking at XC bikes, they're probably sized more traditionally so if you do go XL, you'll want one with ample stand over.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    7,250
    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the great advice. I drove across town to look at the bike and it definitely fit. I took a quick look and paid the seller, but right after he drove off I noticed a crack in the frame near the seat collar (he had a QR collar installed, probably overtightened it). He didn't answer my calls or texts for a long 10 minutes while Tgapp gave me emotional support, but eventually he came back and was willing to take the bike back. Seems like its not too hard to repair that spot but I didn't want to deal with it.

    If anyone is selling a lightweight L or XL bike let me know!
    Fuck that must have been a brief but intense roller coaster of emotion. Glad he came back and set things straight. Good luck on your search!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    883
    Quote Originally Posted by bennymac View Post
    Fuck that must have been a brief but intense roller coaster of emotion. Glad he came back and set things straight. Good luck on your search!
    Thanks, it was too good to be true I guess. Full XX1 drivetrain, XTR brakes, 23lbs with pedals for $3200.. in this economy? Im probably just gonna stick it out on my hardtail at this point, hopefully we will be skiing in 5-6 weeks

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    25,476
    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Gonna depend on seat tube length, reach, etc.

    You can always change the stem, stem height, bar, bar roll, controls spacing and angle, seat height, tilt, fore/aft position, the whole damn seat, the grip, etc.
    Not a large or XL but I have done that whole try to make a wrong sized bike fit by swapping components, on a cheap or free bike ok but if you are spending the $$$$ or even the $$$$$ get the right sized frame IMO/IME

    I bought an almost virgin 56cm Vitus for 300$ to see if I wanted a roadbike, I went to a shorter stem and slammed the seat forward but getting out of the saddle was always a chore, when I got properly sized for a CAAD7 buddy tells me I fit a 52cm, no wonder it was never really right

    As opposed to L or XL I am pretty solidly a medium but the same applies, get the right size

    One should always actualy try the bike on just in case you really don't like it, which flys solidly in the face of buying site unseen on-line,

    when shop bro brought out my last bike, I told him I won't get it dirty but for 12K I'm gona ride it around the block > once to make sure i don't hate it before we cha-ching
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •