Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Retro bike frame sizing
  • covestiff2016
    Free Member

    Good morning all

    so I’m on the look out for an old mtb maybe a Raleigh Amazon, Marin , Dawes, 80s kinda era. Seen a few local to me but I’m unsure what size frame togo for. I’m 5ft 6 with roughly a 28” leg so short 😂 if I understand correctly old mtb were quite short compared to modern ones which are huge. So based on my height what would be a good size?

    thanks

    tom

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    I didn’t think retronerds actually rode their bikes enough to be concerned with size?

    small/medium? 16” frame?

    finbar
    Free Member

    16″ ish for sure. Basically you need to choose on standover, not length.

    There seems to me to be a mistaken belief that because 26″ wheels are smaller, the bikes come up smaller too. Yes, they’re shorter, but the toptubes aren’t super low or anything – not even on old Konas or similar ‘low slung’ frames.

    Choosing an old bike based on a desire for a longer frame = recipe for smashing your nuts IMO.

    covestiff2016
    Free Member

    So something around a 16” and check I can standover it without parting my nuts on the

    top tube ? 😂😂

    chestrockwell
    Full Member

    Pick the size you would in a modern frame, retro works the same way. Shorter top tubes are overcome by longer stems. 150mm on one of my old Oranges!

    covestiff2016
    Free Member

    So my modern bike is a 16” which I believe is a small and I’m happy / comfy with that.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    I’d have suggested a 16″ or 17″ frame…

    fossy
    Full Member

    I’m 5-9 and on a 17″ 90’s Diamond Back, so 15-16ish. Remember you’ll generally have a longer stem than modern bikes..

    andrewh
    Free Member

    I’m 5’11” and I always had medium/17″, so I’d say small/15″ for you.

    As above, standover is the main thing to watch for

    covestiff2016
    Free Member

    Thanks everyone for the help it’s given me a direction togo and some good advice.

    👍👍

    If going for a retro build, I’d be inclined to go down the Kona route. They aren’t as good as the rose tinted specs would have people remember but still seemed slightly ahead of the game – especially in the ’90’s

    tonyd
    Full Member

    I’m about the same size as you and ride a 16” ‘93 Kona Cinder Cone, fits me perfectly. Disagree on the rose tinted specs – love mine to pieces, although don’t ride it off road much.

    Disagree on the rose tinted specs

    I’ve had one for 27 years. In fully original spec it was bloody awful to ride on anything technical 🤣

    With some alterations (riser bars for a start), much better

    slackboy
    Full Member

    I’m 5ft 6 with roughly a 28” leg so short

    If you want the full retro experience, then probably a 20″ frame that the shop assistant convinced your parents you’d “grow into”. 🙂

    But seriously, a 15″ frame with sounds like it would be fine. Most pre ’90s bikes were pretty upright, but some brands like Kona introduced sloping top tubes earlier.

    Head over to retro bike.co.uk, I’m sure you’ll get lots of advice.

    slackboy
    Full Member

    If going for a retro build, I’d be inclined to go down the Kona route

    Oddly enough, I’ve just bought this:

    Screenshot_20240405-080121

    uniqueusername
    Full Member

    @slackboy I was just about to say similar 😂 my Amazon was a 21″ I believe. An era when I would have appreciated a dropper, albeit there not being much room to drop.

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