How does reach and ETT work in the real world?

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  • How does reach and ETT work in the real world?
  • Premier Icon rickon

    Hi chaps,

    I understand reach, and ETT, but it still confuses me. My Large Turner 5spot has a reach of 16″, the Medium Turner Sultan has a reach of 16.1″.

    With a similar setup, a 50mm stem on my 5spot, and a 70mm stem on the Sultan, the Sultan should feel longer. But it doesnt, it feels quite a bit shorter.

    How could that be?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    The effective top tube length is the horizontal distance from the top tube/head tube junction to the seat tube. This measurement has become significant as more and more bikes are designed with sloping top tubes.
    really depends on ho far up your seat is etc as to how it feels as I understand it.

    ETT is the distance from top centre of headtube horizontally to a seatpost at the same height, whilst reach is the horizontal distance between top centre of headtube and centre of BB. If you run your bars higher then that shortens both the seated feel (which ETT refers to) and the standing feel (which reach refers to). If you run your saddle higher then that lengthens the seated feel.

    If the stack is different then the reach and ETT will feel different even if they’re identical.

    Premier Icon rickon

    Cheers chaps,

    I should have explained better 😉

    I understand ETT, and have always used it to determine if a bike is the right size.

    Reach is the distance from the centre of the bb, projected vertically to the top of the head tube, and its that horizontal distance.

    This should be a good indicator for size, as the seat tube angle doesn’t matter in that case, whereas it does for ETT.

    Anyhow. With a similar setup, and a longer reach, why doss the sultan feel smaller?

    This is basically because I’m looking to buy a salsa spearfish, and the ETT is the same as my 5spot, and the reach is slightly longer. So should be a good fit, however the reach is shorter than the sultan… So… Is it a 29er thing?!

    Premier Icon sillyoldman

    shorter while standing or seated?

    Premier Icon nuke

    Also trying to get my head around reach as opposed eTT when gauging sizing…the hard part is that, whilst most manufacturers quote eTT, not everyone quotes reach. I tried using to figure it out but that needs wheelbase which isn’t always quoted either 😐

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    The best indication for size is to throw a leg over it.

    I’d agree that reach should give you an idea on how the bike feels being “ridden” or stood up etc, the ETT should be more of a guide for seated fit. So it also will depend on how you ride and what your riding.

    I tried to do a couple of comparisons for something the missus was looking at, all the numbers said no, getting on it said yes.


    ETT – How long it is when you’re sitting down.

    Reach -How long it is when you’re standing up.

    Stack – How high the front is.

    Also, sort of along the same lines as Mike above, if you haven’t been thinking about sizing in terms of reach before, you won’t of paid attention to what you’ve had before, so won’t have a proper idea of how it feels until you try it.

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