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Trying to buy an XL/XXL bike

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Trying to buy an XL/XXL bike

Old 08-26-19, 09:46 AM
  #1  
rodgeman
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Trying to buy an XL/XXL bike

I am working with my local bike shop with a modest budget of under $1000. My current bike is a XL Specialized Sirrus with 40mm gravel wheels. The ride I usually do is half road and half gravel/dirt. The bike is good on the road but fishtails on dirt and is not fun on gravel. So a new mountain bike came to mind. The lbs is a Marin dealer. I am 6'3" so most large bikes feel cramped. Marin makes XL and XXL bikes. Here is the problem. All the 2019s in my price range are sold out. The 2020s are not shipping and no ETA. They are trying other brands. Orbea has not shipped the 2020s. I can get a 2019 from Spain if I pay over $150 for freight which puts it over my budget. I do not understand how bike manufacturers hype up the new model year and then are so slow to ship any. It is frustrating. I want to ride the bike before I buy it due to my size. Anyone else run into this? I live in the Phoenix, Az area and have gone to three or four bike shops and run into this.
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Old 08-26-19, 10:02 AM
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2020 Trek Verve 2, XL, tires 45mm

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Old 08-26-19, 10:08 AM
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2020 Trek Dual Sport 4, XL, tires 40mm



I'm 6'2, 200lb and both bikes fit me good

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Old 08-26-19, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rodgeman View Post
I am working with my local bike shop with a modest budget of under $1000. My current bike is a XL Specialized Sirrus with 40mm gravel wheels. The ride I usually do is half road and half gravel/dirt. The bike is good on the road but fishtails on dirt and is not fun on gravel. So a new mountain bike came to mind. The lbs is a Marin dealer. I am 6'3" so most large bikes feel cramped. Marin makes XL and XXL bikes. Here is the problem. All the 2019s in my price range are sold out. The 2020s are not shipping and no ETA. They are trying other brands. Orbea has not shipped the 2020s. I can get a 2019 from Spain if I pay over $150 for freight which puts it over my budget. I do not understand how bike manufacturers hype up the new model year and then are so slow to ship any. It is frustrating. I want to ride the bike before I buy it due to my size. Anyone else run into this? I live in the Phoenix, Az area and have gone to three or four bike shops and run into this.
Why wouldn't you look at 2018 models that the LBS has in stock (or can get from a central warehouse) and save some money?

Could the issue with your fishtailing on dirt be the wrong tires for the environment?
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Old 08-26-19, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dagray View Post
Why wouldn't you look at 2018 models that the LBS has in stock (or can get from a central warehouse) and save some money?

Could the issue with your fishtailing on dirt be the wrong tires for the environment?
Hi. My lbs did not have any 2018. I even told them I would consider used.

The tires were upgraded to Kenda Kross Pro 40mm from the existing 35mm slicks. It was more than the tires and it was probably not the right bike for me.

Now for some news. I looked at Trek's website since LeoGrand posted those pictures (thanks!) and looked up a dealer about 20 miles away. They had a Trek Marlin 6 XXL in stock.

Now it is mine (NBD):



My new Trek 29er
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Old 08-28-19, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rodgeman View Post
I am working with my local bike shop with a modest budget of under $1000. My current bike is a XL Specialized Sirrus with 40mm gravel wheels. The ride I usually do is half road and half gravel/dirt. The bike is good on the road but fishtails on dirt and is not fun on gravel. So a new mountain bike came to mind. The lbs is a Marin dealer. I am 6'3" so most large bikes feel cramped. Marin makes XL and XXL bikes. Here is the problem. All the 2019s in my price range are sold out. The 2020s are not shipping and no ETA. They are trying other brands. Orbea has not shipped the 2020s. I can get a 2019 from Spain if I pay over $150 for freight which puts it over my budget. I do not understand how bike manufacturers hype up the new model year and then are so slow to ship any. It is frustrating. I want to ride the bike before I buy it due to my size. Anyone else run into this? I live in the Phoenix, Az area and have gone to three or four bike shops and run into this.
Honestly, I bought sight unseen. It's staggeringly unusual for anyone to have in stock a bike in my size; I'm a little taller than you.
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Old 08-28-19, 01:35 PM
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I feel your pain. It's like shopping for shoes for me. Rather than looking at the styles, I ask "What do you have in a size 13?" and that narrows it down to two or three pair. If I ever window-shop for new bikes (not feeling the need for yet another one), I look at the 61-cm frames and it makes for a brief shopping excursion. On the plus side, when you find one, they usually want to sell it and will often discount generously, in my experience. Congrats on the new ride!
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Old 08-28-19, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rodgeman View Post



My new Trek 29er
Beautiful bike! The tires size is 2.2" Not to wide for the road riding?
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Old 08-28-19, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LeoGrand View Post
Beautiful bike! The tires size is 2.2" Not to wide for the road riding?
Not at all. A little slower but I make up for it riding offroad. I thought they would be much slower but they are not.
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Old 08-28-19, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by LeoGrand View Post
Beautiful bike! The tires size is 2.2" Not to wide for the road riding?
Thanks!

Last edited by rodgeman; 08-28-19 at 08:09 PM. Reason: posted twice
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Old 08-29-19, 07:57 AM
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How does a bike fishtail on dirt/gravel to the frequency of wanting a new bike? I ride dirt and gravel all the time- if Im seated it isnt the back that slides out when control is lost- its always the front due to hitting some soupy loose deep gravel or hitting some loose deep sandy area. The only time a bike would fishtail on gravel or dirt is if I were taking turns really hard as the back end has a chance to slide out then. Or itll fishtail if I lock up the rear wheel...but thats just how physics works.

Regardless, good to see you expanded your search. A metro like PHX will have plenty of bikes for someone thats 6'3. Even if the model is more expensive than what you can afford, if the fit is the same as the level you would buy(and it usually is), then that works for test rides. 6'3 just shouldnt preclude you from test riding in person- it isnt some extreme height.

Im surprised that bike you bought is an XXL size- the stack and reach of it look to be on the high end of what I would think you would need, but you added a stem extender on top of that. Neat bars- nearly infinite hand positions!
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Old 08-29-19, 09:41 AM
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good looking bike, digging the color and shape of the frame
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Old 08-31-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
How does a bike fishtail on dirt/gravel to the frequency of wanting a new bike? I ride dirt and gravel all the time- if Im seated it isnt the back that slides out when control is lost- its always the front due to hitting some soupy loose deep gravel or hitting some loose deep sandy area. The only time a bike would fishtail on gravel or dirt is if I were taking turns really hard as the back end has a chance to slide out then. Or itll fishtail if I lock up the rear wheel...but thats just how physics works.

Regardless, good to see you expanded your search. A metro like PHX will have plenty of bikes for someone thats 6'3. Even if the model is more expensive than what you can afford, if the fit is the same as the level you would buy(and it usually is), then that works for test rides. 6'3 just shouldnt preclude you from test riding in person- it isnt some extreme height.

Im surprised that bike you bought is an XXL size- the stack and reach of it look to be on the high end of what I would think you would need, but you added a stem extender on top of that. Neat bars- nearly infinite hand positions!
It was that combination and I was on a hybrid bike. The fishtailing was on 40mm gravel tires and not on hard turns. It came down to was I was not feeling secure riding it off road. I did take the new mountain bike on the same ride and was faster and more comfortable.

Due to the length of time since I owned a bike I was not sure of what size I needed.

I was surprised at the XXL size too. It just worked. The bike shop had gravel, dirt, and rocks to ride on and felt much more stable. I do appreciate the feedback.

Glad you like the handlebars.
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Old 08-31-19, 11:09 PM
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Dirt and gravel road riding on skinnier tires

I started riding on gravel and dirt roads in earnest about 10 years ago after moving closer to a very nice dirt country road area. I started on a MTB bike with 2.0 inch tires and have progressed down to 32mm tires on basically an older road bike. Sometimes really loose soil will cause rideability issues but usually the roads are hardpan or so compacted by auto usage that it rides like a rougher paved road. Even in winter I ride this ride after a rain by letting it dry for 8 hours or so. Otherwise the mud will bring you to a halt. My favorite width for dirt/gravel road riding is 40mm which is very close to a 1.75" tire size. I'm 6ft 5in tall and my road bike has a 67cm seatpost length. I usually buy older 27"x1 1/4" steel road bikes with fender clearance and switch over to 700c or just use the original 1 1/4" wheels. 1 1/4" tires are the equivalent of 32mm which I have found ride just fine on dry dirt and gravel roads. Switching to 700c has allowed me to run up to 40mm tires on older 10 speed road bikes. There are many options for the taller rider including bikes from the past. A little thinking outside of the box might open a very nice bicycling experience for you. I've hit speeds of 20mph on dirt/gravel roads fairly often with no control issues. It might be that you are very strong and causing the bike to swerve from side to side with pedaling effort. One also cannot fool with turning the handlebars much because it is easy to slide out on dirt. Steady pedaling with no great power surges in your stroke and a steady hand on the handlebar should steady your bicycle. My wife and I have ridden thousands of miles on the local dirt/gravel roads with no accidents for over 10years, knock on wood. Good luck with your new bicycle.
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Old 09-01-19, 08:13 AM
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Bought 2 in a day

I just had to go to two bikes. I have a Specialized hybrid elsewhere which I still enjoy for fit, but the variety of riding in CO made me get a road bike and a trail bike. The road bike is just that, a vintage 24Ē Douglas (in perfect condition found in a pawn shop), and Iíll use that for sawing miles and errands. The trail bike Iíll use for general getting dirty, short of mountain biking (68yo). Hybrids here are for cities only, IMHO.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
I started riding on gravel and dirt roads in earnest about 10 years ago after moving closer to a very nice dirt country road area. I started on a MTB bike with 2.0 inch tires and have progressed down to 32mm tires on basically an older road bike. Sometimes really loose soil will cause rideability issues but usually the roads are hardpan or so compacted by auto usage that it rides like a rougher paved road. Even in winter I ride this ride after a rain by letting it dry for 8 hours or so. Otherwise the mud will bring you to a halt. My favorite width for dirt/gravel road riding is 40mm which is very close to a 1.75" tire size. I'm 6ft 5in tall and my road bike has a 67cm seatpost length. I usually buy older 27"x1 1/4" steel road bikes with fender clearance and switch over to 700c or just use the original 1 1/4" wheels. 1 1/4" tires are the equivalent of 32mm which I have found ride just fine on dry dirt and gravel roads. Switching to 700c has allowed me to run up to 40mm tires on older 10 speed road bikes. There are many options for the taller rider including bikes from the past. A little thinking outside of the box might open a very nice bicycling experience for you. I've hit speeds of 20mph on dirt/gravel roads fairly often with no control issues. It might be that you are very strong and causing the bike to swerve from side to side with pedaling effort. One also cannot fool with turning the handlebars much because it is easy to slide out on dirt. Steady pedaling with no great power surges in your stroke and a steady hand on the handlebar should steady your bicycle. My wife and I have ridden thousands of miles on the local dirt/gravel roads with no accidents for over 10years, knock on wood. Good luck with your new bicycle.
Thanks for the advise. I will keep that in mind for a future project and have considered getting an older road bike and building it up. Right now the concentration is to keep riding and gaining confidence back on the bike.
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Old 10-20-19, 07:31 AM
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Sweet Bike!! I was in your boat a few years ago, I'm 6'7" with a 36" and had to order a '12 trek rumblefish XXL from the LBS. It fit nicely (luckily). I also have a 61cm crossrip that I bought off craigslist a few years ago that is slightly too small but not so much that I can't ride it. It's probably more suited for someone 6'3" to 6'5"
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Old 10-21-19, 08:22 PM
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proper bicycle sizing

I find that a little larger is generally better than a little smaller in frame sizing. Stand over clearance is really only an issue for mountain biking or if a person bought a ridiculously large frame for their height. I find that road and gravel bikes can have little stand over clearance and still be safe to ride. The main frame sizing criteria is the comfort you achieve when seated and pedaling. When looking at a new bicycle if it is generally your proper size but not quite comfortable, can adjustments or new handlebar/seats/stem/ect solve your problem. I find that seat posts way out of the frame can put large forces on the seat post tube and I've seen frames break on their seat post tubes due to this. Manufacturers like to build as few different sizes as possible and still call it XL/XXL when in fact the seat post could cause a frame failure. So the shorter the seat post is out of the frame the easier it is for a triangulated frame to support us and not fail there. A smaller frame can end up with a handlebar position that is quite low. This is fixed by adding stem extenders or higher bars or whatever it takes. Smaller frames can also have the handlebar position too close to your knees while pedaling. An extended stem can fix this or buy the next bigger frame size. It takes a while to find the optimum riding position, sometimes years of experience before honing in on the perfect set of adjustments and components that make your bicycle special and good. Test ride everything before buying so you know it has a chance to work and you like the bike.
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