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(first post) 6' 2", but bought a 17.5" Trek 7.3 **********???

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(first post) 6' 2", but bought a 17.5" Trek 7.3 **********???

Old 06-05-11, 10:50 AM
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buddhafrog
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(first post) 6' 2", but bought a 17.5" Trek 7.3 **********???

Newbie post, sorry for the length. First of all, I live in Korea. It's hard to find a bike shop that I can communicate with, and it's pretty hard to find bikes big enough for me. I haven't had a bike since I was a kid. I'm 40 and decided to get healthy again. I'll be usually riding on smooth bike paths along a river. I won't be doing any very long touring. Most bikes in Korea are mountain bikes but I wanted a hybrid. I know very little about bikes (but I've learned some from this site over the last couple days - thanks to the users - you've been very helpful)

I went to a shop recommended by another foreigner. Nice store and the owner spoke English and seemed very honest. I was amazed at the price$$$. There were truly no real options in my size and price range. He then suggested I look at the Trek - largest size was 17.5". He added an extension to shift the handlebars forward and put the seat up high. They spent a good hour tweaking the bike and measuring me, re-tweaking and then measuring me on the bike. I bought it. I got a *great* price on it in Korea: $500 (plus 2 years full service/tweaking, which to a newbie is very valuable)

It rides nicely; in fact I *love* the bike. I can't say I feel cramped really at all - but I have no experience to compare it to. The palms of my hands did hurt somewhat. This could be due to the handlebars being lower than the seat, could be b/c I'm new to riding again, or just that I could use better grips. I emailed the owner and he said to bring it in and we could raise the handlebars and/or look at the bike.

Question finally: Is this foolish to get the 17.5"? My pant inseam in 34". But if the bike is properly tweaked and handlebars extended, etc, is it possible to get a good enough fit? I did find a 20" Trek 7.1 online for the same price of $500. But I'd have to return the 7.3 (if even possible) and probably lose access to that shop and find another shop to get the 7.1 assembled at.

Truly, I want you to tell me the 17.5" is OK. But more truly, I want to know the truth.

Thanks a lot for helping this newbie.
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Old 06-05-11, 12:19 PM
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mjwithtwins
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Well, I am a hair under 5'8 and I ride a 17.5 very comfortably so that sounds pretty small to me.
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Old 06-05-11, 12:25 PM
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That bike is probably way too small for you.
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Old 06-05-11, 01:29 PM
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The bike should be too small but it can work, depending on how high you want your saddle and other factors like your arm and leg length.
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Old 06-05-11, 01:48 PM
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Before you try and buy a whole new bike, or handle bars, try a decent pair of cycling gloves. I use to get numb hands until I bought some. Overall the bike is way to small for you, I'am 6'0 and have a 20 inch.
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Old 06-05-11, 01:56 PM
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this is ridiculous. you should be on a 22.5" +/- i size (i.e. 20 or 25"). i'm 5'9 and used to ride a 17.5". when i purchased a 20" - THEN i realized what i was missing. you don't realize what you're missing. changing grips or stems or whatever are mere compromises - you should get the correct size from the start. proportions vary but a tall 6'2 guy has no business being on a 17.5"
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Old 06-05-11, 02:59 PM
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I'd love to see a picture of a 17.5" hybrid set up for a 6'2" rider. How much lower are the bars relative to the saddle?
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Old 06-05-11, 03:10 PM
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"Question finally: Is this foolish to get the 17.5"? My pant inseam in 34". But if the bike is properly tweaked and handlebars extended, etc, is it possible to get a good enough fit?"

Answer: No.

I am 5' 8" and a bit; I can comfortably fit either a 17.5 or a 20 FX -- the 17.5, though, is the "right" size for me.

Given your proportions, the 17.5 is waaaaay off; no amount of "tweaking" will ever make that frame right for you. As commonman said above, probably the 22, and possibly the 20, would be right for you.

This ("He then suggested I look at the Trek - largest size was 17.5".) is the reason you were sold the 17.5 ... the dealer wanted rid of what he had on the floor. Take it back, and insist on a full refund, and never go near that shop again.
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Old 06-05-11, 05:45 PM
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Thanks for your advice, disappointing as it is. Can you explain to me what the problems would be having a bike this small, also assuming the bars were extended forward and upward and the seat height adjusted correctly... besides the fact that is will look silly.
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Old 06-05-11, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by common man View Post
this is ridiculous. you should be on a 22.5" +/- i size (i.e. 20 or 25"). i'm 5'9 and used to ride a 17.5". when i purchased a 20" - THEN i realized what i was missing. you don't realize what you're missing. changing grips or stems or whatever are mere compromises - you should get the correct size from the start. proportions vary but a tall 6'2 guy has no business being on a 17.5"
Could you try to explain what it is that you were missing compared to a smaller bike that was tweaked and had extensions added? I can't test ride a bigger bike and thus have no idea but would love to know.

Anyone?
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Old 06-05-11, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by buddhafrog View Post
Could you try to explain what it is that you were missing compared to a smaller bike that was tweaked and had extensions added? I can't test ride a bigger bike and thus have no idea but would love to know.

Anyone?
let me emphasize, i used to think the 17.5" was fine until i tried the 20". so as i describe you may think - that's no problem - you're fine. that's not the case. sadly, no explanation can substitute the easiest solution - test riding 20 or 22.5" - which i know you said you can't do.

i rode a 17.5" with a 400 mm seat post. i was really high up on that bike so when i was braking downhill, my body (high up) wanted to roll forward. there was more weight on my butt than needed. i wasn't pedalling as efficiently and i was riding slower. the bike didn't feel natural. i felt like i was on top of a moving bike rather than riding it.

when i got on the 20", those weight / balance issues vanished. the bike felt very natural to my body. we matched up. i went faster even when relaxed (not that speed is the goal here - i'm just saying). it's hard to describe. the 20" bike without mods was so much better than the 17.5" with all the tweaking. besides, you making mods costs extra money.

you should really return that bike and get something your size. i don't know if i'd wanna give business to a guy that sells a 6'2 man a 17.5" bike.

Last edited by common man; 06-05-11 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 06-05-11, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
I'd love to see a picture of a 17.5" hybrid set up for a 6'2" rider. How much lower are the bars relative to the saddle?
*** internet magic ***


you can see that they installed a (insert correct name here) to extend the handlebars forward.
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Old 06-05-11, 07:44 PM
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I have a 2011 7.5 FX. I'm barely 6'1", i have a 22.5, you need at least that size. Even if your not sure you need to at least test ride a 22.5. The problem is just the geometry of where everything is positioned for your height, if you test ride a 22.5 you will be much more comfortable.
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Old 06-05-11, 08:06 PM
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If you can return and get your money back, that's probably a good suggestion.

The bike doesn't look horrible though. Is your leg almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke? Are you sure the minimum insertion mark on the seatpost is inside the seat tube?

A bike that is too big and a bike that is too small ultimately run into the same problem, difficult to reach handlebars without bending too far forward. In either case a shorter stem, not a longer stem will help remedy the situation. Why is the nose of your saddle sloping down? Is that to make it easier to reach the bars? What is the angle of your back seated with elbows slightly bent?

If you have strong lower back and upper arms and flexible hamstrings and a willingness to sacrifice comfort for performance, this might work. If you can't return it,.. install a taller stem with more height/less reach (ideally you don't want all those spacers between frame and stem), and handlebars with more rise. Even with these changes, I think you will be in a very aggressive position.

Check out the handlebar/stem on my daily driver.

Last edited by qmsdc15; 06-05-11 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 06-05-11, 08:33 PM
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I'm 6'1" and just picked up my 7.5 FX in 22.5 inch frame.
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Old 06-05-11, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
If you can return and get your money back, that's probably a good suggestion.

The bike doesn't look horrible though. Is your leg almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke? Are you sure the minimum insertion mark on the seatpost is inside the seat tube?

A bike that is too big and a bike that is too small ultimately run into the same problem, difficult to reach handlebars without bending too far forward. In either case a shorter stem, not a longer stem will help remedy the situation. Why is the nose of your saddle sloping down? Is that to make it easier to reach the bars? What is the angle of your back seated with elbows slightly bent?

If you have strong lower back and upper arms and flexible hamstrings and a willingness to sacrifice comfort for performance, this might work. If you can't return it,.. install a taller stem with more height/less reach (ideally you don't want all those spacers between frame and stem), and handlebars with more rise. Even with these changes, I think you will be in a very aggressive position.
I understand that ideally I'd be getting the 22.5in. I'm wondering if it's possible to make a 17.5in work. I think I'll try and get a refund (only rode it home, less than 10km).

I think the saddle is correct and horizontal. The pic cuts out the back making it appear sloping. I'm pretty sure that I have the correct leg extension: knees not locked but nearly straight at the bottom of the peddle stroke. I was tested on the bike for this and readjusted a couple times. I don't see a minimum insertion mark so I assume I'm OK with that.

I really have no idea what my arm/back angle is. I've seen diagrams online on the correct posture but am too new to really tell if my posture is correct. If ya'll don't mind, I'm going to post a pic of me hulking over this bike.
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Old 06-05-11, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
Are you sure the minimum insertion mark on the seatpost is inside the seat tube?
Actually, I took off the bike lock clamp and... wouldn't you know, "minimum insertion line" clear and center. Nice that they covered that up. I guess this makes returning the bike even more justifiable. I should say that I'm about 240lbs as well, so I'm not light. Not safe.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by buddhafrog View Post
Actually, I took off the bike lock clamp and... wouldn't you know, "minimum insertion line" clear and center. Nice that they covered that up. I guess this makes returning the bike even more justifiable. I should say that I'm about 240lbs as well, so I'm not light. Not safe.
That's just evil man!
They purposely covered up the minimum insertion mark there to fool you.
You should not only DEMAND your money back but you should also threaten them with legal action just to make them feel unsafe and stupid.
Good thing you checked it ... a rocky track might have cracked your seatpost and you could have been seriously hurt.
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Old 06-06-11, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for your help everyone. I'll be checking the board to try and learn other hybrid bike options I can buy in this price range (and more problematic, are available in Korea). I bought a matching helmet from this guy - if my next bike isn't blue, I don't want it. Should I be able to return the helmet as well? I know there are safety reasons no helmets can be returned, right?
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Old 06-06-11, 07:54 AM
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I'm 6'1" and the first trek i bought (the 2009 fx 7.2) was a 20" - i soon realized it was the wrong size. the top tube lenth is shorter on the smaller sizes and i felt like i was smushed when riding. the 7.7 i bought was 22.5" and that's when i realized that 22.5" is the perfect size. my arms and my back feel stretched but not in a bad way - in a comfortable way.

so can you ride a 17.5" trek at 6'2"? probably, but not comfortably IMO.

regardless of what you wind up doing, i suggest going to a bike shop and taking a test ride on any fx model that is 22.5" in size - that way you can feel the difference and decide from there.

cheers.
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Old 06-06-11, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by buddhafrog View Post
Thanks for your help everyone. I'll be checking the board to try and learn other hybrid bike options I can buy in this price range (and more problematic, are available in Korea). I bought a matching helmet from this guy - if my next bike isn't blue, I don't want it. Should I be able to return the helmet as well? I know there are safety reasons no helmets can be returned, right?
Sorry, nothing constructive to say as I'm shocked at with your terrible experience.
Here, there are bike shops everywhere, which I though would be the same over there. Scotts, Treks and Giants would have to be available there, under that price, and available in all sizes. Some examples to look at...

Scott SUB https://www.scott-sports.com/gb_en/category/10055/hybrid

Giant Escape https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/....1/7374/44054/
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Old 06-06-11, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
Sorry, nothing constructive to say as I'm shocked at with your terrible experience.
Here, there are bike shops everywhere, which I though would be the same over there. Scotts, Treks and Giants would have to be available there, under that price, and available in all sizes. Some examples to look at...
Thanks. The problem is that Koreans are relatively short, and that mountain bikes are so much more popular here. Both of these factors makes finding larger hybrids almost impossible (at least at prices under $1000 - I haven't looked at more expensive bikes yet). This also leads me to not being able to test different sizes. I'm going to end up purchasing a bike online with the only knowledge I have being what I'm trying to learn from this board. So far, I've found a handful of 20" and no 22.5" yet.

I've found one Fuji Absolute in both 21" and 23", and I'm intrigued. It's an "Absolute S" only available in Japan and limited in a few other Asian countries. I think it's modeled after the 3.0, so yeah, I'm on the road to possible bike redemption.

Last edited by buddhafrog; 06-06-11 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 06-10-11, 06:54 AM
  #23  
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I have a Trek Navigator 2.0 with a 17.5" frame, which I always thought was too small. I just bought a 7.5 FX 20" and love it. I am 6' tall, but my inseam is 30". Guess I have short legs for my height, but the 20" seems just right.
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Old 06-10-11, 08:55 AM
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What happened when you took the bike back? I hope you got a full refund and an apology! I'd take the helmet back and anything else back too. Inexcusable that they covered up the insertion line on the seatpost. Horrible.
Good luck getting an appropriate bike!
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Old 06-12-11, 07:36 PM
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I returned the bike for a full refund - they were real friendly and apologized. I think my situation is a little different than most - finding my size in Korea is really almost impossible. I did find one mountain bike in 20", but I don't want a mountain bike and even 20" is probably small for me. While I might be naive, I feel they were mostly just trying to sell me the best option they could find. At least mostly this is what I feel. They said no to the helmet return. I didn't push it. It's blue/black/white and will probably go well with my next bike.

I was able to find a few bike options that I could order online. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts about these - remembering that I can't test ride any of them or anything like these. Nothing is available in my size unless I drive about 5 hours to Seoul.

Fuji Absolute "S" - Japan only version of the Absolute 3. I could buy this in either 21" or 23". About $475
Japan only Fuji Absolute "S", basically an Absolute 3 with some cosmetic mods. I'm liking the all white. I have some concerns about having an even narrower tire - 28mm - than the 32mm Trek Fx. I'm almost always on paved bike paths, but I have to ride one kilometer through rough city roads to get to my bike path.

Giant Escape 2, but the biggest size is 20". About $350.
Escape 2

Giant Seek 3 - Probably 20" is the largest I can get, although there is a chance I could get one size larger. $575.
Giant Seek 3

Giant Tradist 2 (guess size, yes 20") $370
Giant Tradist 2

Last, I believe, is Giant's Idiom City. Size 20" at $400
Giant Idiom City

I can also buy the Trek 7.1 Fx for about $475 in the 20"
Trek 7.1

or Trek 7.2 for $550, again 20"
Trek 7.2

I'd so much appreciate your thoughts. I"m thinking that the 20" might be too small, but I've also heard that the Giant runs a little big? I did love the Trek, but maybe that 20" would be even smaller than the Giant 20". I love speed over comfort (ZERO cyclocross available). Not sure I understand the difference between the various Giant models or how the Fuji Absolute compares with them.

Yikes - thanks!!! Hope to be riding soon.
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