6’5 trail bike options?

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6’5 trail bike options?
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O+
Posted: Sep 28, 2020 at 21:58 Quote
Hi fellow bike nerds. I am looking for a new ride and would value input on fit options for a large-fitting XL trail bike. Ideally a rowdy/aggressive trail bike or all-mountain rig that climbs and pedals. I am 6’5 215 with a 34” inseam. Currently on a 2016 Giant Reign which has been amazing but I am wanting a change. For my next bike I would like a 2020 or 2021 29” that’s a bit more trail-oriented.

I am in BC Canada and looking at the brands I can buy locally, many of the XLs don’t seem quite long enough. I am thinking 510mm reach at minimum?

Unfortunately I don’t have many options to test drive, and there’s not much in print on how bikes fit people in my size class.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 at 22:11 Quote
I can make suggestions if you provide some filters:

• Travel range?
• Brand restrictions?
• Budget?
• Any other preferences or constraints?

O+
Posted: Sep 28, 2020 at 23:01 Quote
YT Jeffsy XXL. Base aluminum model is only $2,300.00, carbon comp is right at $3K. I'm 6'6", 225# and I am loving mine!

O+
Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 8:37 Quote
Travel range 120-160ish.

No brand restrictions but locally I can buy Kona, Rocky Mtn, Specialized, Giant, Trek, Norco, DeVinci, Santa Cruz, Transition, Yeti, and probably a bunch of others that I am forgetting.

I would like to keep costs to max of about $7K Canadian. I would buy used if I could find something really clean that fits me.

I rode a DeVinci Troy XL 29 that felt amazing, but a bit too short maybe. Trek Fuel a couple years old felt too much like a XC bike to me. I was wondering about options like Norco Sight or Optic, RM Altitude or Instinct, Kona Process 134/153, Yeti SB 150/130, or ? Longer travel doesn’t scare me as long as I can pedal/climb.

I saw a lightly used 2020 Giant Reign and maybe should have bought it, as I really like mine (but want to go to a 29).

O+ FL
Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 8:45 Quote
I'm the same height but a 36" inseam. I like Santa Cruz XXL bikes because they're not only long but the stack height is pretty high too. There's lots of long bikes out there but not many long and tall bikes. My lower limit on stack height is about 650mm. Also remember that a bike with a higher stack height compared to a bike with equal reach is longer when you normalize stack height (IOW, the steering axis is further away, aka the bike is actually longer).

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 8:58 Quote
Of those filters, only the price significantly restricts the choices, which is something I don't track. Most of the results can be eliminated via price or convenience.

Below is a list of all bikes with reach (recalculated to account for stack) equal to or greater than that of the XXL YT Jeffsy. The final number is the reach difference from the Jeffsy; a blank indicates it's less, with a difference of less than 0.5 mm, so I included them in the list.


Make Model - Size ∆ reach
Antidote Carbonjack - XL +1
Bionicon Slye Enduro - XL +12
Bionicon Slye Trail - XL +12
Bird Aeris AM9 - XL +5
Bird Aether 9 - L +0
Bird Aether 9 - XL +33
Commencal Meta AM 29 - XL +10
Commencal Meta TR 29 - XL +1
Cotic FlareMAX v3 - XL +0
Cotic FlareMAX 135 - XL +0
Cotic RocketMAX v2 - XL +5
Cotic RocketMAX v3 - XL +5
Giant Reign 29 - XL +1
Giant Trance X 29 - XL +0
Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol - XL +16
Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol - 4 S
Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol - 4 L +9
Guerrilla Gravity Smash - XL +17
Guerrilla Gravity Smash - 4 L
Kavenz VHP 16 - XL +5
Kavenz VHP 16 - XXL +25
Kona Process 153 29 - XL
Last Coal v3 - 195 +9
Last Glen - XXL +10
Last Glen v2 - XXL +15
Last Tarvo - XL +9
Marin Alpine Trail - XL +3
Mondraker Crafty XR - XL
Mondraker Foxy 29 - XL
Mondraker Superfoxy - XL
Nicolai Saturn 14 - XL +1
Nicolai Saturn 14 - XXL +25
Nicolai Saturn 14 ST - XL +1
Nicolai Saturn 14 ST - XXL +25
Nicolai Geometron 13 - XL +15
Nicolai Geometron 13 - XXL +46
Norco Sight 29" - XL
Nukeproof Mega 290 - XL
Nukeproof Mega 290 - XL +1
Pole Evolink 131 - XL +13
Pole Evolink 140 - XL +21
Pole Evolink 158 - L +3
Pole Evolink 158 - XL +28
Pole Machine 160 - L +7
Pole Machine 160 - XL +32
Privateer 141 - P4
Pyga Slakline - XL
Raaw Madonna v2 - XL +6
Rocky Mountain Altitude 29 - XL +0
Santa Cruz Hightower - XXL +13
Santa Cruz Megatower - XXL +13
Santa Cruz Tallboy - XXL +8
Starling Murmur - XL +2
Transition Sentinel v1 - XXL +4
Transition Sentinel v2 - XXL +12
Trek Fuel EX 29 - XXL +6
Trek Slash - XL +13
YT Izzo - XXL +2
YT Jeffsy 29 CF - XXL

O+ FL
Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 10:52 Quote
Im a similar height (just over 6'4") and my inseam is also 34". Take a look at the Norco Optic, its right in the wheel house of what you are looking for and fits me great.

O+
Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 11:23 Quote
Wow this is some phenomenal input. Thank you all.

My intuition is that seat tube angle would have greater effect on reach than stack does, while in a climbing/seated position.

Ultimately what I need to know is - when seated in optimal climbing/pedaling position, how do reaches compare?

RMR’s great list is recalculated for stack, but I don’t understand how this considers seat tube angle?

Posted: Sep 29, 2020 at 14:56 Quote
Longshanks73, it seems there's a misunderstanding of reach.

Reach is measured horizontally from BB to head-tube. Seat-tube angle doesn't even enter into it. Effective top-tube is the dimension from the centreline of the seat-tube to the top of the head-tube. This dimension is still inadequate for a tall rider, as your seat will be far above the head-tube, so the actual - as opposed to effective - seat-tube angle has a large influence. I use the inelegant, but intuitive, term "butt-to-bar distance" to capture what you seem to be getting at.

I'll explain how stack comes into it:

First, imagine a bike with zero stack, i.e. the head-tube is level with the BB. Obviously unrealistic, but bear with me! Imagine it has a "large" reach, such as 500 mm. You'll need a skyscraper of stem spacers to get your bar at a decent height, but that's fine. You add these spacers under the stem, but they don't stack vertically, they stack along the head-tube angle. By the time your bar is high enough, the stem is nearly at the nose of your saddle - so much for that "large" reach! This is why I calculate the "normalized reach" at a standard stack height. Makes little difference what stack is used, as long as it's constant for all bikes being compared.

The reason I focus on normalized reach, not effective top-tube length or butt-to-bar, is because the former is an intrinsic property of the frame that can't be altered, while ETT poorly captures your actual seat height and B-to-B can be altered by stem length or saddle rail position.

O+
Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 9:36 Quote
Thanks for the great explanation RMR. The logic makes sense to me.

My present XL Reign has 604mm stack and a reach of 480. Pretty much everything about the bikes in your summary look to be larger than my Reign. The main difference I can see is that with a seat tube angle of 73 degrees, my Reign gives ample butt to bar room when the seat is up... a Norco Sight with 78 degree seat tube is going to not necessarily feel longer when seated, even though reach is measured at 35mm longer.

I am going to do my best to wait and ride before I buy.

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 10:35 Quote
Glad I could help.

Yes, the normalized reach of your current Reign is 50 mm less than the XXL Jeffsy that we used as a baseline in the database dump I pasted above. You may end up using a shorter stem on the new bike and yes, the seat-tube angle is likely to be steeper, so the butt-to-bar could be less on the new, larger bike. It's still a larger bike, though, because you have the freedom to spec a seatpost with rearward offset to replicate your current seat-tube angle and a long stem to replicate your current (assumed) stem length. Once you've created this "apples to apples" comparison, the new bike would be considerably larger.

If you want a modern, steep seat-tube angle and short stem, there's simply no way around the different relationship between reach and butt-to-bar. Mountain bikes used to be designed in a single "mode" on flat ground, as we had done for road bikes since the advent of bikes. Now, designers are starting to realize we need to design mountain bikes as two halves, in two modes: design the rear half for climbing and design it on an incline; design the rear half for descending and design it on a decline. Inevitably, this creates geometry that's compromised on flat ground, but we can't have everything without adding complex, shape-shifting elements that usually cause more problems than they solve.

As you said, there's no substitute for testing these parameters for yourself. Keep in mind your Reign was released in 2014, implying it was designed in 2012 - 2013, based on rider experiences from maybe 2010 - 2012. You'll probably purchase a bike in 2021 and keep it until maybe 2027. This life-cycle of the design spans almost twenty years, so expect new bikes to feel very different. Give yourself time to adapt and don't be afraid of something that initially feels foreign.

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 11:05 Quote
Longshanks73 wrote:
Hi fellow bike nerds. I am looking for a new ride and would value input on fit options for a large-fitting XL trail bike. Ideally a rowdy/aggressive trail bike or all-mountain rig that climbs and pedals. I am 6’5 215 with a 34” inseam. Currently on a 2016 Giant Reign which has been amazing but I am wanting a change. For my next bike I would like a 2020 or 2021 29” that’s a bit more trail-oriented.

I am in BC Canada and looking at the brands I can buy locally, many of the XLs don’t seem quite long enough. I am thinking 510mm reach at minimum?

Unfortunately I don’t have many options to test drive, and there’s not much in print on how bikes fit people in my size class.
extra large santa cruz tallboy

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 19:53 Quote
I concur with jeremy3220. I'm 6'5" as well and found the xxl Santa Cruz Megatower and Hightower fit exceptionally well. These are what I'm riding now. 180/180mm on the Megatower while the Hightower is set up at 140/140mm

I also have a lot of time on an xxl Jeffsy 29 that was a great bike just a tad smaller feeling. In addition - I had one ride on a new xxl Sentinel and it felt/fit good too.

Bikes are so good these days. Whatever you get - I'm sure you will love it.

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 at 20:02 Quote
bakemono wrote:
the xxl Santa Cruz Megatower and Hightower fit exceptionally well. [ ... ] xxl Jeffsy 29 that was a great bike just a tad smaller feeling. [ ... ] I had one ride on a new xxl Sentinel and it felt/fit good too

Yep, that agrees with the table I posted!

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