All-Mountain sizing for a tall rider

You’re a tall fellow, and everyone tells you to get the XL. But would an L be better?

I just got a specialized enduro elite 07′ model. I have a 75 mm specialized pro stem with the +13 attachment inside and it feels and handles alot better with this shorter stem (it came with a 105).

I’m 6’3 and the guy at the shop and several others told me to get an XL so that is what I got. My question is: Do you think I should have got the Large? Would the smaller wheelbase on a large be better going over dips and such? I have long arms and legs and I dont really feel streached out on the XL.

I got on a large at the shop the other day and it felt kind of ok but the guy there still said I did right getting the xl. If you have seen the xl enduro it is big. What are the good points of being on it? Does the longer length help keep from going over the handlebars on dips? Please tell me what you think. Thank You


You can ride either size Enduro.

– The L will be more flickable and quicker-handling on the downhills.

– The XL will be more stretched out for climbing and more stable on the downhills.

Since you already have an XL, keep it. Try a 50mm stem. That’ll give you better handling, and you’ll still have that long wheelbase to help you through the bumps and dips.

Read this post and the comments: Enduro sizing for 6’4″ rider

This concept applies any time you’re weighing two sizes. Longer is more XC-able; shorter is more braaapable. A longer bike with a shorter stem is a great compromise.

7 replies
  1. Josh says:

    Long bike with a short stem definitely is a lot of fun. Especially if you’re not sure buying the bigger bike was probably the right thing, because a short bike with a long stem definitely does not feel as good (I absolutely hate it but it was very fashionable for a long time).

  2. Jay says:

    Yes that sounds right to me and the bike does handle well since I’m almost 6’3″. Before I got the buke, one guy at Specialized told me over the phone that he was 6’2″ and he had a Large enduro and he had to put a long stem on it, then he said he wished he got the XL. When I herd that and the guy at the shop also said to get an Xl and others on the phone at other shops also said this, that was when I decided to get the XL.
    When I got rid of the 105mm stem I noticed a big difference. I may keep the new 75mm stem because it seems to fit me good, the bars are lined right up with the wheel hub when looking down while riding on flats. I think if I had a Large it would feel like it was bucking me forward or back off the seat while going over so many roots and dips each day. Seems like long enough = stable; and a shorter stem is better usually. Thank the Lord, it sounds like I did the right thing with choosing the XL. Thanks

  3. tony says:

    I’m 6’3 1/2″ and ride XL Blur LT with 60mm stem and 27.5 inch 1.5 riser bars.
    When I drop my seat (Speedball R), I hit the downhill with much confidence and stability.
    Seat up, climb just fine.

    Had a Large Spec FSR-XC before the BLT and found the bike to be very twitchy, front end unstable on climbs and really choppy on downhills. Fun on flowy singletrack, but squirrly on anything techy up or down.

    For me, the longer wheel base of the XLarge helped smooth everything out.

  4. Chris Quain says:

    You guys have got me thinking; I ride two bikes a GT Brian Lopes with a 60mm stem and a Trek 17.5″ 6000 XC hardtail. The Trek is set up with a 90mm x -5 degree stem and a 1.5″ riser. Both bikes have the same width bars. This makes me a lot wider than anyone else I race XC against. The XC bike has an upright position, kind of like a big slalom bike, it manuals great, unlike a lot of traditional XC set ups.

    What I’ve noticed when I ride the lopes is it doesn’t handle rough terrain as good as the XC bike. Even though the XC bike has the seatpost up and longer stem. The Lopes is great for pushing into tight situations, but to rip through rocks and downhill bumps I almost feel like the XC bike does a better job. Is this due to a slightly longer wheel base on the bigger bike creating more stability? Or, is it because I’m less cramped up and able to move around better? i.e the distance between my feet and hands on the trek is definitely longer. The lopes definitely works for its intended purpose, that thing sings on a pump/mountain cross/bmx track.

    Any comments?

  5. jay says:

    LEE: I have a 75mm specialized 17 degree stem on the xl enduro now with 4 spacers. The handlebars are stock. I think a 50mm would be better for handling. (I’m 6’3″) so what degree rise should I get a 10 or 20 degree? Also should I add an extra spacer as well or take one off? I guess you dont want the seat too much higher than the bars for the DH.
    On another note, my avid juciy 5 brakes seem to seize up by themselves during the day when the bike is sitting all day on the deck and I think it is the afternoon sun and mayby a little too much fluid in the system. The front and back wheel wont turn. Then later at night they turn ok or if I go for a ride in the mountains, they free up later. Will letting a few drops of fluid out of the system take care of this?
    Thanks for the Science

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