How important is standover height?

Hi Lee,
I have relatively short legs for my height. I am 5’10” with a 30 inch inseam. How big a concern is stand-over height? Particularly in regards to 6″ travel bikes?

I want an “all-mountain” type bike. I’ve noticed as the travel get longer, the stand-over height gets greater. Due to minimal variety of bike brands in my area of Minnesota, I am finding no bikes that I’m interested in, (of this type) that have a stand-over height that “fit” me in the traditional sense of bike fit. Most size “mediums” are at or near 31.5 – 32.0 inches.

thanks in advance,

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hey Charlie,

Standover height is a very good thing. It isn’t the Holy Grail as we once thought — how often do you straddle your top tube with both feet on the ground? — but more clearance is better than less clearance.

At 5-10 with a long torso, you’re between a medium and a large for most bikes. Find a model with a relatively long top tube and whose medium and large have different standover heights, then rock a medium. A medium Enduro SL has a standover height of 29.5 inches and a nice, long top tube of 23.25 inches. A medium Nomad has good standover but a shorter top tube.

I’m currently riding a Specialized Tricross Expert cyclocross bike, and that guy affords me barely enough standover clearance to stand on flat ground. On my first ride, tripoding like a pansy down a steep rock garden, this felt like a major issue! But now that I’m learning to trust the bike and skim-skim-skim across the rocks, I have all the clearance I need.

Yeah, you can say BRAAAP with drop bars …

— Lee

2 replies
  1. Brian says:


    You should give the Yeti 575 a good look, especially the ’07 models now that they are on closeout all over the place due to the redesign for 08. Personally I prefer the ’07 models anyways as I’m not a big fan of the ’08 carbon rear an a bike like this. I’m 6 foot even and have been riding a medium 575 for 3 years and really like it(even more so after recently swaping the fork to a Pike), the ’08 models have standover listed at 29 and headtube of 23.8, I think the standover on the previous design frames may have been even better.

    That said, I’ve been drooling over the new Knolly Endorphin which I think has similar standover and toptube measurements.

    Good luck!

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