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How to fit a small MTB frame
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Lately, I've been wanting to get into some off-road triathlons. Main barrier so far was the lack of MTB. I have been offered by a relative to indefinitely borrow his bike since he doesn't use it anymore. The problem is that the bike is small for my size. I can ride it and I've been doing so without discomfort for around a week, but the handlebars are too close to the saddle. Do you have some ideas that I could use to try to fit myself to the bike?

So far I think I'll replace the stem with a longer one (maybe the longest I can find) and I'm also considering buying a handlebar with the sides higher than the center (I've had to put the saddle quite high so now handlebars are a bit too low).

Thanks,
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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Most mtb’s are speced with a strait seat post so you could also try a setback post if you don’t already have one. Besides stem length you could also try another angle, be careful though, if you get to long/low you might start getting odd feedback fromyour steering inputs, especially if you have front suspension.

Good luck
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [talking head] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for the tips. Particularly about the seat post, which I hadn't considered.
I'll look further into it and see if I can make it work
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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Another vote for a setback seat post and then slam the saddle back. The last thing you want on a mountain bike is to have your weight too far forward :)
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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Why not offer to sell it and put the proceeds to a bike that fits you? Seems like a much better idea.
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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If you haven't already found it, the Thompson set back post is really nice. I believe it moves the saddle back about an inch. A longer stem with some rise will help, as will riser bars.
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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getting too crazy with contact point adjustment (setback and longer stem) can result in a very funky handling mountain bike.

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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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AndysStrongAle wrote:
Why not offer to sell it and put the proceeds to a bike that fits you? Seems like a much better idea.

bingo

I'm racing 2019 IM Arizona as part of Team Smile Train. Will I implode? Will I finish strong? Donate to find out more!
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:
getting too crazy with contact point adjustment (setback and longer stem) can result in a very funky handling mountain bike.

This...

That said, some will depend on what's on the bike now. If it's a relatively new style bike with longer front centre & short stem, then you have a bit more leeway to stick a longer stem on it to force it to fit. If it's an old-school XC bike with short top tube and a 120 or longer stem (like mine) then sticking an even longer stem on it is a bad idea.

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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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The bike fits relatively well already, since I've riding it. I have no real point of comparison though since I only ride my road bike usually. Also, I don't think the stem is over 100, but I'll measure it.
I have a question regarding the seat back post. I always thought the relation between saddle and bottom bracket was intended to optimize power production and then, body position was managed with the stem height, length, etc. From my understanding, you want to shift my body further back on the bike, right? Is it not going to affect pedaling too much?
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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Obviously a good idea, but not possible for two reasons :
a) People grow attached to their bikes. It's a way for it to have a longer life.
b) Even if I was to sell it, I'd receive much less than what it's worth. It's a double suspension full carbon frame. Problem 26s wheels and triple rings in the front so not very aligned with market demands I'm afraid. Although if it was, reason a) still prevails.
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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Can we get some details on your bike? A 100mm stem on a mountain bike is freakin' enormous. Most trail bikes come with 30 or 40 mm stems. This keeps you balanced and makes the front end agile, easier to lift.

I tried to keep a well loved older mountain bike in service for years. It was my first MTB and it was hot stuff 15 years ago. I changed the drive train, handlebars, even put a POS dropper on there. When I finally went to a modern bike I was stunned by just how much better it was. A moderately priced plus tire hardtail with a dropper will almost always perform better (read: be faster and more fun) than an premium 26" bike from back in the day. There has just been too much innovation. Spend the day on a Timberjack or a Roscoe and you'll loose affection for your current bike real fast.
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [Justicebeaver] [ In reply to ]
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I was about to send a picture to the forum since I think it's the fastest route. It's not uncomfortable while riding, but it does look small when you look at it 😁
Stem is 100mm and handlebar is 600 so the position will also change a little when switching to a wider one.
(also I don't intend to ride trainers forever just don't have mtb shoes yet!)

EDIT: I forgot to upload the picture.
Last edited by: dfelicesm: Jun 19, 19 7:12
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [Justicebeaver] [ In reply to ]
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Justicebeaver wrote:
Can we get some details on your bike? A 100mm stem on a mountain bike is freakin' enormous.

pretty normal actually.


Quote:
Most trail bikes come with 30 or 40 mm stems. This keeps you balanced and makes the front end agile, easier to lift.

a "trail" bike has different needs than an "XC" bike.

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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:
Justicebeaver wrote:
Can we get some details on your bike? A 100mm stem on a mountain bike is freakin' enormous.

pretty normal actually.


Quote:
Most trail bikes come with 30 or 40 mm stems. This keeps you balanced and makes the front end agile, easier to lift.

a "trail" bike has different needs than an "XC" bike.

Yeah, I know some of the taller world cup guys are still running up to about 150mm stems. But they're insanely talented on the bike, that's a recipe for a faceplant for me...

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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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dfelicesm wrote:
Obviously a good idea, but not possible for two reasons :
a) People grow attached to their bikes. It's a way for it to have a longer life.
b) Even if I was to sell it, I'd receive much less than what it's worth. It's a double suspension full carbon frame. Problem 26s wheels and triple rings in the front so not very aligned with market demands I'm afraid. Although if it was, reason a) still prevails.

I'd put it out there and see what you can get. You never know. As far as point a. Its an asset that depreciates in value don't get attached to it.

Also once you start mtn biking more you'll realize that a 1x is hands down the way to go.
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:

a "trail" bike has different needs than an "XC" bike.

Indeed. However most riders are better served by a bike with a slightly slacker head tube angle, wide bars, short stem, and a dropper post. Pro MTB racers have an abundance of experience from which to get the value of a XC bike even on terrain that most mortals would consider advanced. But a cross over athlete on their first MTB doesn't have those technical skills and will benefit from the improved handling of a trail bike even if it gives up a fractional amount in climbing or flat ground efficiency.

If the terrain you are riding makes you wonder if you could just be on a gravel bike instead, a true XC bike is probably right. But it doesn't take many semi-technical descents to tip the scales in favor of a trail bike.

At least that's my theory. The variables of rider experience and type of trail might make all that irrelevant for someone.
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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dfelicesm wrote:
I was about to send a picture to the forum since I think it's the fastest route. It's not uncomfortable while riding, but it does look small when you look at it 😁
Stem is 100mm and handlebar is 600 so the position will also change a little when switching to a wider one.
(also I don't intend to ride trainers forever just don't have mtb shoes yet!)

EDIT: I forgot to upload the picture.

I post again to attract attention to the fact I uploaded a picture of me in my bike .
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Re: How to fit a small MTB frame [dfelicesm] [ In reply to ]
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Too much dude, too little bike....

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