I am a MTB beginner and I just bought a used Giant stance 2. I knew from the beginning the bike is bigger than I should have, but it was a good deal. The bike frame is XL and I am 6’. Based on Giant size tables I should be 6’3”. I feel slightly stretched, but I don't feel bad on the bike, but I also haven't been on the bike for a long time.

What is your opinion about the bike size? I heard most people saying that is better to buy a smaller bike than a bigger bike, but my concern is if I will be able to ride the bike and have fun anyways. I suppose I will have to put more effort in stuff like manual, wheelies, but I should still be able to do that right?

EDIT: I am 24 so no longer growing.

  • Riding the bike you have is better than sitting around wondering if you should have a different one. Maybe consider handlebar or stem adjustments, if you get a chance to try something in a theoretically more fitting size do and see how it feels and decide if you want to change. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 2:17
  • The main issue is standover height. But that bike appears to have a lowered top tube, so standover shouldn't be a problem. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 17:29
  • 3
    "I'm vegetarian but I bought this steak because it was half-price. It was a really good deal!" No it wasn't. Having said that, if you can ride the bike comfortably, then the size chart isn't really relevant. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 22:17
  • 1
    @DavidRicherby usually stack and reach considered important if you actually ride the bike instead of just standing over it.
    – ojs
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 13:27

3 Answers 3


There are a few things you can do. I would be very surprised if the XL is that much too large it cannot be setup to be ridden by you reasonably comfortably, if not ideally. A bike that is too large may make some technical trails a bit more challenging, so how successful you are on that bike will depend on the type of trails you ride and what you expect to be able to achieve.

Aim here is to reduce the effective top tube length. Here a few $0 Cost, completely reversible things you can try.

  • Move the seat forward on the rails.

  • 'Slam' the stem - put the stem on the steerer first and put the spacers on top (can arrange stem and spacers any way you like).

  • If riser bars rotate the bars a little.
  • If really wide bars, as is popular these days, move the controls and grips inboard. This narrower position effectively 'lengthens' your arms.

Other things that might help if the above fails that cost a bit, but not a lot of money. - Flatter bars - Higher bars - Shorter stem - Longer seat

If the seat won't go low enough, trimming the seat post will help. If you find a position that works, you may consider trimming the bars or replacing with narrower ones. I would hesitate to recommend trimming the steerer as unlike bars and seat posts (which can be relatively cheap to replace), The forks are an expensive bit of kit.

Personally I suggest play with the above setups, get the bike as comfortable as you can. If you find after a few months its limiting your riding, it probably best to sell it and book this one up to experience. A bike that does not fit well is never a bargain.

  • With regards to your suggestion about moving the controls inboard: Some lock-on grips can't be moved that way. In that case, you can still try moving the controls inboard; if the position is comfortable (apart from the mis-aligned grips), you can shorten most bars by the apropriate amount.
    – anderas
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 6:13
  • Steerer spacers - some suggestion that there should always be minimum of one spacer between frame and stem to prevent rub. Can be a thin one of course.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 20:00

Riding a bike bigger than your typical size is good if you want a tame, planted, stable bike. It's also roomier. If the reach seems too long, you can adjust your saddle fore-aft or change your stem to a shorter one.

Some though, find big bikes too lazy and sluggish, especially if they're the type of riders who like to do jumps and tricks.

As long as you're not too finnicky with your bike fit, not riding steeze like a dirtjumper, and also given more saddle time, you'll get used to it.


Yes, you can ride a bike that's bigger than the standard for your size. I ride a 60cm track/road bike when I 'should' be riding a 50-55cm. That measurement is taken from the bottom bracket to the top of the top tube (around where it connects to the seat tube, essentially the length of the seat tube is the 'size' of the bike). I've had to make adjustments in the front to compensate for how deep my seat post is buried (it barely protrudes more than a few inches) by cutting off less from a new fork to accommodate the longer head tube, adding spacers, flipping my stem upside down, as well as positioning my saddle closer to the front. This makes for interesting control and dynamics of my high steel horse. if it's wrong, I don't care about being right. As long as you're comfortable and safe, you'll be fine.

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