While trying to buy my first bike the main problem I have is sizing. I am 5’9”. Reading online, taking my measurements, and using a calculator puts me squarely in the medium frame category.
I’ve been on the Salsa Timberjack, Specialized Fuse and REI DRT 2.1. The LBS said the L TJ looked to fit pretty well but according to their site I’m definitely not tall enough. I test rode the medium DRT up a pretty big hill and hopped on and off curbs for about 15-20 min. I thought it felt like I could really throw it around and put it where I wanted it but the handle bars did seem a little close when I was just riding it down the street. Two guys at REI today both said the medium looked too small and put me on a large. It felt right while sitting there in a normal riding position but I ran out of time and didn’t get a chance to take it out. Hopefully they’ll still have both sizes when I go back next week.
From what I’ve read online everyone says if you’re in between make sure to go smaller. Right now I’m not so sure. If a large will be good on the trails I have a few more options on bikes but the mediums are mostly gone for on sale 2018 bikes. I just don’t want to end up with a bike I don’t feel comfortable with on the trails.