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Inherited bike- web search suggests it's all wrong?!

LiebkuchenLiebkuchen Posts: 19
edited April 2013 in MTB beginners

I'm a 5'3" female. Normal length legs, short body. My pregnant younger sister has let me have/ palmed off her MTB. Bringing it home today, I feel it just needs the seat put up to reach my hip. Otherwise, it feels perfectly comfy and I can actually carry it up and down stairs. Helmet- check. So I thought I was good to go for a 5 week bike maintenance course starting tomorrow.

Now, I'm having a minor panic. I've Googled my bike this evening plus information on frame sizes etc and all the written signs are that its far too small for me- that I should be on a 15", at least. Its a Bronx Equaliser Boy's MTB, 12 1/2" frame. If it otherwise feels comfy, perhaps requiring a seat post extension, can I just go with it or is there anything inherently wrong when its so much smaller than you need? To you, good folks, I defer.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    If it fits, it fits! There is a lot of rubbish written about frame sizes - usually daft guides that can't possibly know all your measurements. The listed size in inches is one tube length (seat tube) out of many - and even these can be measured differently! All the others could be anything ie top tube length.

    I'd just ride it! Always makes sure there is enough seat post in the frame though.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I'm 5'9" and ride a 16", plus as women tend to be longer in the leg/shorter in the body for the same height they need a smaller frame to shorten the cockpit length (saddle to grips), My daughters are both around your height, the the shorter (5'3.5") rides a 13" and the taller (5'4.5") one a 14", I would 'expect' a 15" to be too big for you.

    As SS says, a frame 'size' as quoted measures just one tube, and the most useless one at that (you can change the height of the saddle by a massive amount using the seatpost) whereas cockpit length (dominated by the effective (horizontal measurement) top tube is the most importanat dimension as you can only adjust that by about 3" maximum (and that by buying stuff, not just moving it!).

    If it fits you, it fits you!
  • Brilliant! Really excited- we've got a national cycle route through our town and it seems we're just a few miles away from some trails. Would quite like to get into the xc side of things in the long term.

    Thanks for being so helpful, the pair of you, and encouraging.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    A lot of advice for bike fit is geared more towards road racing bikes and doesnt quite fit in with MTBikes. The only way to be sure it fits is ride it and see how it feels after a few rides.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Just to add, not sure about the 'seat put up to reach my hip', your leg should be be nearly (but not quite) straight when sitting in the saddle and the pedal at the bottom of the stroke (no you can't touch the floor from there!), you may want to lower the saddle a bit on rougher terrain so that when you are standing up out the saddle it's not in the way as much, but only really by an inch or two.

    Don't set the saddle height so you can put you feet on the floor, it will be too low and tires legs faster and kills knee joints.

    Most important thing though - ENJOY IT!
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