Shorter Riders: How I Adjusted My 26" DJ Bike to Fit Better

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Shorter Riders: How I Adjusted My 26" DJ Bike to Fit Better
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Posted: Nov 21, 2020 at 8:08 Quote
I wanted to post this for the shorter riders out there--on the forums I've seen shorter guys and lots of ladies having trouble finding a 26er DJ that fits them. Here's what I did to adjust as someone who's about 5'8" with shoes.

Most 26" DJ bikes have top tubes no less than 22.5". Some are slightly less, like mine (22.3"), but many are 23" and above. When considering the chainstay length and reach length, it's tough to find the right feel for a 26er DJ bike. The bikes seem so big. I made these adjustments:

Stem: I found a 30mm stem by ProTaper on eBay. The original stem on the bike was 42mm, so going down to 30mm removed a solid 1/2". Not bad.

Chainstay: By removing a link or two off your chain, you can push the rear wheel forward a bit, instead of pulling it back to tighten the chain, thus reducing chainstay length.

Pedals/Shoe Soles: Thicker pedals essentially give you longer legs as far as stack height and reach length are concerned (That is, the bike frame can't tell the difference between your legs actually being longer and being artificially extended by pedals or thick soles) Odyssey sells thick pedals. Also, thicker shoe soles has the same effect. You can try either or both.

So, those are the things I've done to make the bike "feel" smaller. Two other adjustments I'd like to try:

Handlebars: Right now, mine are 3" rise. I wonder what going down to 2" or 1" would do? Or, what about up to 4"?

Fork: It's got an 80mm travel fork. What impact does fork length have on the feel, if any? I was thinking of trying a longer one.

Last, and I'll post this as a separate thread at some point down the road, I'm thinking of getting a custom made DJ frame. Specifically, a 26er that fits shorter riders like you and I! Probably something with a 21" top tube. It would be expensive, but worth it to have a better fitting and feeling bike. They simply don't make 26" DJs for shorter riders. Any shorter DJ riders out there who would be interested in this? I suspect we can get a discount if made and ordered in bulk.

Posted: Nov 22, 2020 at 20:22 Quote
If you get an older model DJ frame, like a Black Market Mob (Small or Medium), Black Market Riot (21.5"tt), Transition Trail or Park (21.5"), etc., you'll find them very short and they'll fit well. In fact MOST DJ frames were pretty short reach until the current trend of longer-reach Enduro bikes sort of bumped all the DJ frames longer as well.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 5:55 Quote
The shorter ones you mentioned are expensive and/or tough to find!

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 18:41 Quote
MTB84 wrote:
The shorter ones you mentioned are expensive and/or tough to find!

Where are you located? What have you been looking at?

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 at 11:00 Quote
cmc4130 wrote:
MTB84 wrote:
The shorter ones you mentioned are expensive and/or tough to find!

Where are you located? What have you been looking at?

I'm in Louisiana an hour north of NOLA. I looked online at the Black Market frames you mentioned.

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