Can I get away with riding a Large bike if I am 6'4"?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Can I get away with riding a Large bike if I am 6'4"?

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    • #254245

      I am looking into getting my first real bike. My budget is $2000-2500. Ideally I would like to buy a used bike from the local classifieds to get a better bike that is still in my price range. However, the selection of XL bikes around me is pretty low. How bad would it be for me to use a large bike instead? I have only ridden large bikes before and have not really felt any discomfort. But I don’t know how that affects people in the long term. Thanks!

    • #254246

      It might depend some on the bike.  Brand, model, geometry, etc.  The right size for me (I’m 5′-10″) may be a large or a medium, depending on the bike itself.  The biggest differentiator for me has been top tube length.  Keep in mid that there is some wiggle room for fitting adjustments… stems, seat adjustment, bar rise and width, etc.  I’d try to find a used bike at a bike shop so they can help assess sizing for you.  Or, if possible, have a private seller meet you at a shop and ask if they’d help (with the potential of a future returning customer 😉 ).

    • #254247

      At 6’4″ you’re going to be pushing it on a size large bike from most, if not all brands. I’m 6’3″ and even some XL bikes end up being a little too small.

      That being said, if you’ve ridden large bikes that feel OK, note the geometry (focus on reach, stack, seat tube length, and effective top tube length) on those bikes and try to find something similar. I have found a few large bikes that work out ok, and the upshot is they tend to feel more playful.

    • #254248

      As Jeff and Fred stated it really depends on the bike, i.e. specs and geometry as well as what feels most comfortable to you (some also swear by Ape index, i.e. your wingspan compared to your height).  At 6’2″, I’m usually spec’ed between a L and XL but, for most bikes, I would opt for a L as I prefer a more playful bike provided I don’t feel too cramped.  If you have a specific bike or two in mind you can probably get some good feedback.  But whatever you do, DO NOT spend that kind of money for a bike just because it’s not available in your size.  Waaaay too many good options out there.

      • #254455

        Thank you so much everyone

    • #254286

      I agree with Jeff Barber and others – in general its going to be tough for a 6’4″ to fit most Large. Can you ride a Large? Sure, you can probably find a model that doesn’t feel too cramped, maybe slide the seat back to the max and get a longer stem and/or riser. But also know that you’re likely going to have a center of gravity a little higher than intended, making you more prone to endo.

      You really need to get on a few different bikes to see how they feel. Doesn’t seem fair to send you to the local bike shop if you have no intention of buying, but maybe find some friends’ models and/or rent a couple models.

      If you do have $2500 budget, don’t give up on a brand new model. There are some good alloy models out there that start close to that point: Santa Cruz 5010, Specialized Stumpjumper, Trek Fuel, several more. My recommendation would be to not give up on working with a couple local bike shops to find something new.

      One last thought – just remember the “best” bike is the one that gets you riding. Good luck!

    • #254302

      I’m 5’9″ and when I bought my last trailbike, the stock size L bike fit but I bought the XL. I pushed the seat forward and put on a shorter stem and gave the bike a more Enduro-ish geometry. The bike feels great and handles well. I’d be very nervous recommending a bike that is too small. Pushing the seat back and putting on a longer stem might make the bike fit but it will diminish the handling. The reason that most bikes now come with Enduro geometry (steep seattube, long toptube, short stem) is that it really makes bikes handle better. At you height, I would be looking for a 29er XL bike with a longer than average toptube and a fairly short stem (50mm or less). In my mind, it’s better to get a bike that is too big as long as you can shorten the stem than to get one that is too small. Better to get a lower quality bike that fits right than to get a higher quality bike that’s too small.

    • #254465

      Get the yt Jeff’s or Capra both available in xxl


    • #254867


      The case is also about weight and size and fit. You should know that heavy and large riders like me (6,4 and 250lbs) are hard to find factory bikes for that fit AND will last. My advice is born from buying and breaking several frames over the years and not from doing stunts and jumps – just riding.

      Good news it can work without buying custom built therefore pricey stuff.

      My first bike was a Trek hardtail and I LOVED IT and it broke after about 2 yrs. Worth the investment – yes! But prepare yourself for this kind of experience if you are large and over 220lbs. Good news, Trek replaced frame no problems, no questions. It broke later too. Anyway, I’m trying to tell you a story that will help.

      Broken several brand name dual suspension units too.

      The point is:

      Large hardtail of steel and carbon fiber are just stronger than the dual suspension frames. Lots of sizes available.
      Yes SVteam is accurate – YT does make an XXL which would likely be a great fit for you. However you should investigate with knowledge that the frame will likely die sometime.
      Trek, Specilaized have great sizing and frame replacement warranties but these often have to go through the local bike shop which may help or hinder your frame replacement. Santa Cruz, Pivot etc all have great warranties too but the buy-in price can be high. AND the sizing is just too small for your body.
      Recommend a Thomson setback post.
      Recommend a long reach, riser stem.
      Recommend a riser bar too.

      My opinion is that a smile on the trail is worth the price in time, worry and money. You should sit on a ride some bikes from LBS and maybe a few from Craigslist to know what is important to your body. Again, the bigger the smile the better the choice.

      I know this is a lot for a request for a simple answer but realistically there is often just more to it.

      My current answer is a Soma Juice XL hardtail, steel, Fox 36 with 29er wheels, Thomson setback post, riser stem and riser bars. Because I wrenched this myself I saved some shop costs but it still falls within the $3-4K range. Fits the best frame so far and is easy to replace when it fails. I learned to build/fix bikes because I don’t have the budget or the temperament to keep purchasing whole bikes just to have them fail and then have to start over again with mismatched parts, incompatible suspension components, etc.

      Good News – my hardtail keeps me cranking and smiling with the best of them.

      See you out there and good luck with your search.

      Oh almost forgot to say that GT and Marin make nice size bikes with decent components and would make a great starter bike. I rode a Marin for a few months. No it didn’t break but was stolen after a few months so who knows 🙂

    • #502116

      If you failed to look into the sizing guide before buying it, it may lead to knee and back injury. Make sure that you’re riding the correct sized bicycle according to your body height.

      This guide will help you to find the best sized bike according to your body height –

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