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So im buying my first MTB. Its a Scott Scale 930. With the size M i get the perfect reach to the pedal with my heel. But only when the saddle is set to the very lowest/bottom. Should i get a size S instead? My height is 171 cm.

Thnx

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    The ideal size depends on more than just the length of your legs. How does, for example, the position of the handlebars compare for you between the two frames? Mar 19, 2017 at 13:15
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    Im not even sure how its supposed to feel to answer that. Both felt natural. I think i was more leaned over on the M size. Mar 19, 2017 at 13:30
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    I'd guess that you're going to need to get the small, but this is a lot of money for a first mountain bike. Note that you can tweak the fit with different sized stuff, like longer stems and longer seatposts if necessary (but if you're at the bottom on a medium, chances are you're somewhere in the middle on a small).
    – Batman
    Mar 19, 2017 at 13:45
  • Whats your intended use? For commuting and easy off road medium would be a good choice. For technical single track consider the smaller frame. At 171cm, I am surprised the medium is so large on you. I am 174 and ride a medium Spark with 200mm exposed seat post for technical single track (would lift another 25mm or more for 'road' ).
    – mattnz
    Mar 19, 2017 at 21:48
  • So ive measured my inner leg. And on a medium i have 2.6 inch standover clearence on a small i have 3.7 inch clearence. Does that give any indication to which i should chose? (Realized i can cut the saddletube anyway) Mar 21, 2017 at 15:42

3 Answers 3

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If you have to put the saddle all the way down, the frame is too small large. You need to have a comfortable clearance between the top tube and your crotch when your feet are flat on the ground - especially on an off-road bike, since you'll often have to dismount in a hurry. There are other aspects to getting a proper fit, but this is something you can't get around.

Also, if you're on the short end of things, I wouldn't recommend a 29er. They do make them in small sizes, but in order to get a smaller rider into a reasonable riding position between those two big wheels, they have to make some compromises with the geometry. You'd be better off with 26" or 27.5" wheels.

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    "If you have to put the saddle all the way down, the frame is too small". Don't you mean that the frame is too big?
    – BSO rider
    Mar 19, 2017 at 23:53
  • @BSOrider Yes, of course. Corrected. Mar 20, 2017 at 4:44
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    You should also mention that on MTB we often drop the saddle for descents. This is hard to do when it's already on the rails! Apr 4, 2017 at 10:45
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I agree with some other comments in that I think you should go for a small. You can change a lot on a bike and unless you go down the custom frame route, you will need to mod things to achieve the perfect position. The saddle to pedal/Bottom bracket interface is just the start. Get that wrong and you are floating down a creek without a paddle. Try the small and feel the difference when the saddle is set right in relation to the pedals. Hope it helps some.

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  • So ive measured my inner leg. And on a medium i have 2.6 inch standover clearence on a small i have 3.7 inch clearence. Does that give any indication to which i should chose? (Realized i can cut the saddletube anyway) Mar 21, 2017 at 15:31
  • Im 5'7 and have 32-33" inner leg. Mar 21, 2017 at 15:32
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On that style of bike saddle in the lowest position is OK. On the size cart you are right in between. Ask the shop. Hopefully they will let you ride both.

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