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Is my 21" MTB ok?

dazzawazzadazzawazza Posts: 462
edited August 2007 in MTB beginners
I own a Giant Escape 21" MTB which I've used solely for commuting.
However, since buying a road bike I have dedicated it more to load-bearing or wet weather commuting; but also want do pure off-roading.
Now! It's only been since buying the road bike that I've realised the importance of having the right sized bike.
I'm 5"5' and looking on the Internet the recommended size for an Escape is 17", that's massively less than 21".
I now realise that the LBS that sold me the bike are cowboys. The 21" frame has been fine for my commute; it's comfortable and really fast with 1.0" tyres.
The question is, when I change the tyres will the bike be any good for heavy off road use, or is it just too big for me?


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Its too big! I would be suprised if you have any sort of standover height, which is needed off road.
  • dazzawazzadazzawazza Posts: 462
    After buying badly off an LBS, I'm starting to wonder if the Internet is a bad thing? At least you get a sizing chart.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Internet is still abad thing as all sizes vary, as do we. You need to try out a range of bikes and sizes. One 17inch is not the sam as another, rendering most of these charts as just rough guides.
  • dazzawazzadazzawazza Posts: 462
    I agree, but do you think that it's safer buying MTBs off the Internet than road bikes if it's based on the charts alone?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    No, its always unsafe unless you have sat and tried the bike.
  • Big Red SBig Red S Posts: 26,890
    It depends how well you want the bike to fit you.

    Depending on brand, I can ride a 17", 18" or 19" mtb.
    The variance with road bikes is 52 - 56cm

    Is there not another, half-decent, shop nearby?
  • dazzawazzadazzawazza Posts: 462
    Big Red S wrote:

    Is there not another, half-decent, shop nearby?

    Yes, but I was hoping not to have to buy a new MTB, considering I have one already.
    If i get serious I'll have to get a new one. My next purchase was meant to be a seriously expensive Italian road bike; in a few years from now.

    P.s. I'm impressed on the replies this time of night. Bikeradar forum is getting better.
  • bwoodybwoody Posts: 14
    damm that sounds a lot too big, i am 6' and ride a Giant XTC 18 inch frame.
  • dazzawazzadazzawazza Posts: 462
    My lodger (& friend) is 6"4', I might give it to him next birthday.
  • jaysonjayson Posts: 4,606
    21" is massively too big for ur height im afraid, im 6'1" and i ride a 19". You could always try sellin the frame on ebay and then put the money towards a smaller frame from from somewhere like CRC or better still Merlin Cycles.

    Merlin have some cracking frames for not alot of money and are definitely worth checking out.
  • Just dont ride a bike to big, I am 14 5'8 and i was using am 18' its horrible!
  • dazzawazzadazzawazza Posts: 462
    Could the larger bike actually be a slight advantage if used solely for commuting e.g. lower riding position? And ok for the occasional light trail or tow path?
    With the 1.0" tyres it's fast on the road; not much slower than my road bike in a stop/start commuting environment. Also I've never had any pain or injuries after riding it for over a year. And when standing over the bike I clear the top tube by about an inch, probably not suitable if in heavy terrain.

    Later on when I've got the funds I could buy a smaller frame or new MTB.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    If it's OK for commuting then keep at it but don't do any distance on it as it is clearly far too big or you.

    I'm 5'8'' and ride a 16'' bike
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Why do road bikes generally have bigger frames, with less seat-post sticking out?
    Surely it uses more metal, and makes the bike less rigid, and therefore less efficient?
  • PagemPagem Posts: 244
    Why do road bikes generally have bigger frames, with less seat-post sticking out?
    Surely it uses more metal, and makes the bike less rigid, and therefore less efficient?

    smaller frames are easier to 'flick' through tight corners and bends - hence the trend for this in mtb and bmx. however, these are less stable and comfortable at higher speeds.

    larger frmaes are more stable and comfortbale for longer periods and glide through bedns and gentle turns. hence their use in road bikes. the bigger frame does not make them less stiff. it's the materials, angles and joinign that does this. road bike frmaes are among the stiffest you'll find.
    Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Don't get me wrong, I know that road frames are indeed very stiff, I was just under the impression that by using shorter tubing, they could be made even stiffer?

    Also, I understand the comfort thing, as being related to more "give" in the frame, but I don't understand how a larger frame would make a bike more stable.
    I'm not saying it's not, I just don't see how/why that would happen.
  • Will SnowWill Snow Posts: 1,154
    just goin back to original point for a second, why not just slap some knobblies on the original bike??? At worst you've lost £30, at best youve saved a few hundred on a frame???
    i ride a hardtail
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