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Thread: Giant and Specialized Frame Sizing

  1. #1
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    Question Giant and Specialized Frame Sizing

    Would appreciate some advice...

    Planning to get a bike - one of the following:

    Giant Anthem X (Medium or Large)
    Giant Trance X (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Epic (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Stumpjumper (Medium or Large)

    ... and I think that fit is probably more critical than other factors (eg 4 or 5 inches of suspension) assuming the above four models (8 if accounting for sizing) are all good bikes

    I am 182.5cm (a smidge under 6'0 - Giant sizing chart say Medium is compatible to rider heights up to 6'1 and the Large size range begins at 6'0)

    My inseam is 87cm (ie there is a fair amount of seatpost on bikes I ride)

    It seem that I am in a bit of a no man's land when it comes to the frame sizing charts, almost like I should be riding a Giant size Medium-Large, but they don't make that size for mountain bikes (unlike road bikes).

    Having test ridden most of the above combinations (sic), the two that feel best in terms of body position on the bike are the Giant Anthem X (Medium) and the Specialized Stumpjumper (Large). The Large Stumpjumper feels better (more comfortable) than the Medium Anthem X (which has a hint of upper back strain), but both feel reasonable (although the grips on the handlebars are about 4-5cm below my seat height on the Medium Anthem X), and I probably prefer the concept of the Anthem X.

    I am also more partial to Giant's Maestro floating pivot point suspension than I am to Specialized FSR Brain system. It seems to me that the Brain was invoked to deal with a suboptimal initial system as there seems to be a better pedal platform on the Giant (at least with the Brain thing turned off - and I'm not that into having a million things to adjust on the trail). The other reason I am more partial to 4 inches is that I am more inclined to off-road 'touring' (long and comfortable but not very hardcore trail rides) than I am to dropping, jumping or hanging out in rock gardens. So I would expect the bike to be comfortable over 3 to 6 hour rides.

    By comparison to the above two bikes, the Large Anthem X and Large Epic feel quite stretched out, as does the Large Trance X. The first two seem to create a hint of upper back strain as well. All three of these large size bikes also seem to have compromised handling - not enough weight on the front wheel - with me on them. The handling of the Large Stumpjumper is reasonable (with me on it) and the Anthem X is knife-like in its surety and precision.

    It's a pity that these companies don't produce the same choices of mountain bike frame sizes as they do road bike frames (for which a Giant Defy Advanced Medium-Large fits me perfectly, as does a Large Giant CRX for that matter).

    Any suggestions on which frame size (from the above mountain bike models) I should be dealing with, compromising with? I definitely don't want to plough thousands on a bike that gives me back strain of any sort. It's hard to tell whether the awareness of mild back strain is a result of adjusting to a new bike and that the sensations might go away over time, or indeed if the problem may worsen into something that causes me serious buyer's regret...

    Should I lobby the bike companies to make more sizes? :(

  2. #2
    Kung Fu Panda Daver's Avatar
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    I would run a large Anthem and shorten the stem a fraction- they come stock with reasonably long stems. AFAIK a medium Anthem has a 110mm stem, so a Large with a 95mm stem will have a shorter reach, while being more stable at speed.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member leftieant's Avatar
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    I'm 183cm with a 91cm inseam, and ride a large (21 inch) XTC. This is quite comfortable for me - a medium just feels like I'm riding a monkey bike.

    Worthwhile jumping on an Ergotech if the bike shop has one to measure yourself up properly - this will give you ideal top tube length as well - and this should be the guide when picking a frame. Seat heights you can adjust until the cows come home, but there is very little you can do to adjust the top tube length.

    Q - how good is your flexibility and core strength? If they are poor-ordinary, the medium will feel better as you are less stretched out. But as they improve you will be able to stretch onto a longer frame which will then handle better.

    Also get a mate to look at you when you're on the bike - if your shoulders are hunched or rolled down, then the top tube is too short for you.

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    At 178.5cm am I kidding myself trying to get onto a Large 2008 Trance 2?

    Another week and a half before I can get into the store to try it out and would like to spend the rest of my time looking around for other deals if I should infact be on a medium.

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    I have a friend about your height who is very happy on his large stumpjumper.

    Have you been able to take one of any of those bike for a decent test ride, as it is hard to tell by riding around a carpark. I know Specialized used to have some demo bikes floating around.

    Also, be a bit wary of using a shorter headstem on any of the bike you feel too stretched out on, as you said they already felt like there wasn't enough weight over the front, a shorter headstem will make this worse.

  6. #6
    Senior Member akashra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daver View Post
    I would run a large Anthem and shorten the stem a fraction- they come stock with reasonably long stems. AFAIK a medium Anthem has a 110mm stem, so a Large with a 95mm stem will have a shorter reach, while being more stable at speed.
    A medium Anthem has a 100mm stem, a small a 90mm.
    I've switched to a 90mm stem on my M Anthem, the 100mm went onto the XTC (which had a 105mm Syntace) - want to go down to 95mm, if I can find one.
    --Tim Rowe
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  7. #7
    Senior Member GOD12A's Avatar
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    Heya looking :)

    I have just had a "bike fit" for my Large '07 Stumpy.
    Im 6'2", long inseam (cant remember) and used to comfortably ride a Large Giant XTC.

    I had to run a longer seatpost than std to fit my legs, but then found i couldnt climb in the saddle. The combination of longer post and the shallow seat tube angle pushed the saddle right back over the wheel. It felt extremely weird to climb in the saddle, i couldnt sit at all, i had to get out of the saddle.

    During the bike fit i explained the situation and the fitter agreed whole heartedly my saddle position was an issue. So i now have a straight, 410 long, Thomson post to pickup that should give me a bit more movement forwards (the clamp is inline with the post, unlike the std one that has a lay back head). In doing so, i also went from the std 80mm (maybe 85mm) stem to a 100mm to move my whole body forward on the bike.

    I will have this on the bike by tomorrow night (Thurs 19/2/09) and if the weather holds on to the sun i have coming thru my office, ill punch out some kms friday arvo!!

    Hope it helped some :)

    Mark!!
    PS: This is something i completely overlooked when choosing the Stumpy over the Epic... Apart from that, Stumpy + BRAIN FTW!! Extremely happy indeed :)
    I have a wang...

  8. #8
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    Hi Lookin,

    Just wanted to give me experience. I am only 175cm and bought a large epic under advice from the shop. This however I feel now is too large for me and need to move back to a medium (will probably be looking to sell my epic shortly if anyone is interested). One thing with the bikes you are looking at that should also be considered is that the anthem and epic are the XC race bikes, and tend to be setup with longer TT lengh so you are more drawn out. Trance and stumpjumper are more trial bikes and tend to have a more upright feel.

    Either way all nice bikes. From experience the Brain works very well (remember the eipc and stumpjumper brains are tuned differently) if thats what you are after (peddling efficiency)

    Cheers

    Liam

  9. #9
    Junior Member Jason B's Avatar
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    Hmm
    Every bike is different, so size or quoted size aint that important, best thing to is stand over it and if you have what is consider is a comfortable clearence it should be fine, 5-10cm is what is reccommeded.

    The Top Tube lengths will be different as the fame sizes go up, the larger frame will be longer than the medium, so you might be more comfortable being stretched out that what you may be experiencing with your back.

    Putting the saddle back in the rails on the medium frame might have the same effect, generally if you want ride more aggressive go the smaller frame if you can get away with it.

    It all personal if you go the smaller fram make sure you have enough seat post in the frame, not past the max line..

    Quote Originally Posted by lookin View Post
    Would appreciate some advice...

    Planning to get a bike - one of the following:

    Giant Anthem X (Medium or Large)
    Giant Trance X (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Epic (Medium or Large)
    Specialized Stumpjumper (Medium or Large)

    ... and I think that fit is probably more critical than other factors (eg 4 or 5 inches of suspension) assuming the above four models (8 if accounting for sizing) are all good bikes

    I am 182.5cm (a smidge under 6'0 - Giant sizing chart say Medium is compatible to rider heights up to 6'1 and the Large size range begins at 6'0)

    My inseam is 87cm (ie there is a fair amount of seatpost on bikes I ride)

    It seem that I am in a bit of a no man's land when it comes to the frame sizing charts, almost like I should be riding a Giant size Medium-Large, but they don't make that size for mountain bikes (unlike road bikes).

    Having test ridden most of the above combinations (sic), the two that feel best in terms of body position on the bike are the Giant Anthem X (Medium) and the Specialized Stumpjumper (Large). The Large Stumpjumper feels better (more comfortable) than the Medium Anthem X (which has a hint of upper back strain), but both feel reasonable (although the grips on the handlebars are about 4-5cm below my seat height on the Medium Anthem X), and I probably prefer the concept of the Anthem X.

    I am also more partial to Giant's Maestro floating pivot point suspension than I am to Specialized FSR Brain system. It seems to me that the Brain was invoked to deal with a suboptimal initial system as there seems to be a better pedal platform on the Giant (at least with the Brain thing turned off - and I'm not that into having a million things to adjust on the trail). The other reason I am more partial to 4 inches is that I am more inclined to off-road 'touring' (long and comfortable but not very hardcore trail rides) than I am to dropping, jumping or hanging out in rock gardens. So I would expect the bike to be comfortable over 3 to 6 hour rides.

    By comparison to the above two bikes, the Large Anthem X and Large Epic feel quite stretched out, as does the Large Trance X. The first two seem to create a hint of upper back strain as well. All three of these large size bikes also seem to have compromised handling - not enough weight on the front wheel - with me on them. The handling of the Large Stumpjumper is reasonable (with me on it) and the Anthem X is knife-like in its surety and precision.

    It's a pity that these companies don't produce the same choices of mountain bike frame sizes as they do road bike frames (for which a Giant Defy Advanced Medium-Large fits me perfectly, as does a Large Giant CRX for that matter).

    Any suggestions on which frame size (from the above mountain bike models) I should be dealing with, compromising with? I definitely don't want to plough thousands on a bike that gives me back strain of any sort. It's hard to tell whether the awareness of mild back strain is a result of adjusting to a new bike and that the sensations might go away over time, or indeed if the problem may worsen into something that causes me serious buyer's regret...

    Should I lobby the bike companies to make more sizes? :(

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by monc View Post
    I have a friend about your height who is very happy on his large stumpjumper.

    Have you been able to take one of any of those bike for a decent test ride, as it is hard to tell by riding around a carpark. I know Specialized used to have some demo bikes floating around.

    Also, be a bit wary of using a shorter headstem on any of the bike you feel too stretched out on, as you said they already felt like there wasn't enough weight over the front, a shorter headstem will make this worse.

    you are right about me fitting well on a large stumpjumper - probably one of the best bike fit positions I have experienced. My preference is for a 4 inch bike, but it seems to me that fit is so critical it is almost worth changing slightly the style of bike to get the right fit - what do you think?

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