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8/2/2020 12:49 PM

Just looking for other people's opinions on something. I've got a 21" ATF ordered but it is not in stock. The store does has a 20.75 and a 21.25 available in the color I want. I'm currently riding a Fit 22 with the 22.125 TT, which I really like for cruising around but when I hop it feels like I'm hopping a cruise ship. I'm just looking to build a smaller, more responsive 20" bike. I'm 6 feet tall and a little older if that matters (34). I don't do anything crazy right now, just hop up curbs, fail at 180's and do bad manuals but I would like to progress like everyone else. I ride 100% street right now but would be open to trying a skatepark.

The 20.75 is a lot shorter that what I'm used to but I think I could make it work with taller bars and more reach on the stem. The 21.25 might make more sense in theory being 6' tall but I feel like it would be really similar to the frame on the Fit that I already ride and feel like is really long.This is where my head's at, anyway.

I understand its all personal preference because there's 5'8 guys on 22" top tubes and 6'4 guys on 20.5's, but I guess I'm just looking for input on what my next move should be. Would you get the 20.75 and a longer reach stem and get used to it? Am I wrong about the 21.25 being too similar to my current frame? Or should I just wait for the backordered 21? Help a guy out please.

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8/2/2020 2:31 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/2/2020 2:39 PM

go 21.

if you were roasting jumps i'd say go longer but i would not go shorter at 6 feet tall.

I have never seen a 5'8" person on a 22 inch bmx bike (20 inch wheels). top tube size goes up as wheel size goes up so you can't compare the two.

I have 20, 22, 24 and 26 inch wheeled bikes. the top tubes get longer as the wheel size goes up. no way would I want to ride a 22.25 top tube on a 20 inch wheel. but my 24 frame is that size and rides great.

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8/2/2020 4:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/2/2020 4:43 PM

Given your height it would be a tough call. Being that I'm 6'3" I'd always go with the .25" bigger option...

Have you looked at the 21" DTF frame? The DTF having a 13.30"-14.05" CS would give you the most adjustment in having a street, park and even trail frame. It also has a 5" tall HT, so you can run a normal steerer tube fork with only a dust cover spacer, or get the 172mm Widemouth XL fork and run it with a 10mm-ish spacer. It also has a taller standover height, built in chain tensioners and a slightly lower BB height vs the ATF.

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8/2/2020 5:28 PM

I think it comes down to just personal preference and what feels right for you. I have an S&M Tallboy 21.25, which for my height, feels great (I’m 6’).

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8/2/2020 7:25 PM

Thanks for the input everybody. I guess my holdup with the 21.25 is that the whole reason I'm wanting to do this is so I have a bike that feels totally different/more compact and responsive than my current bike, and that top tube just seems too similar. I'm leaning toward the 21 but I'm still on the fence about trying the 20.75, just because I don't plan on getting rid of the Fit and I'll have it for trails or dirt jumps or whatever. It also seems a little easier to make a smaller frame seem bigger than the other way around with longer stem, taller bars, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows.

I really haven't looked at the DTF frame, and maybe I should. I did consider the BTM, but it seems pretty aggressive compared to the ATF, which appears to be close to a scaled down version of what I'm already riding and I'm used to. I'm actually pretty sure the 22" wheel ATF and the Fit 22 are the same frame specs size-wise. That's the main reason I was leaning towards the ATF.

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8/2/2020 8:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/2/2020 8:12 PM

I went from a 21” down to a 20.75” when I got my S&M HD, I’m also 6’. I honestly prefer it, I feel like it’s slightly easier to maneuver

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Noah Farver

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8/3/2020 8:43 AM

I own the Fit 22, and agree with your points, though I will say getting a 26mm Pitchfork made a difference in weight and maneuverability. The stock fork weighs three pounds.

The 22" ATF has a pretty mellow HT angle at 74.25, compared with 74.5 on the Fit and 75 on the 20" ATF.

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8/3/2020 1:08 PM

rob3 wrote:

I own the Fit 22, and agree with your points, though I will say getting a 26mm Pitchfork made a difference in weight and maneuverability. The stock fork weighs three pounds.

The 22" ATF has a pretty mellow HT angle at 74.25, compared with 74.5 on the Fit and 75 on the 20" ATF.

I noticed this when I read OP's reply. If the Fit 22" frame is identical to the ATF 22" wheel frame the 20" wheel ATF frame is going to feel way more responsive (in any size).

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8/3/2020 3:04 PM

I’m 6’2 and have ridden 21.25 my last couple frames but I love 21” also. I’d hold out for the 21, it’s not small enough to hold you back and you’ll get that feel you want. Don’t totally count out the BTM... I rode a 21” btm for like four years just got rid of it beginning of this year. The 11.5bb makes it really stable despite the short chainstay.
For reference, I went from a 21” btm to a 21.25” tall boy in like January, and the btm felt night and day more stable to me. Chain length is the same on them, so the only difference was the longer tt, 0.5 degree steeper headtube on the tall boy and the longer headtube, and then the 0.3” taller bottom bracket on the tall boy, and that made a huge difference in the stability for me. Honestly the tall boy felt way more unstable than the btm which was crazy to me from all my research. That’s what turned me off the atf also is now I’m sketched out about going any higher than like 11.6” bb haha. I’m on a ccr now cause I wanted to go with something totally different like you are. Anyways, good luck, and try other people’s frames at the skatepark and see what feels good. That’s what sold me on a btm was my buddy Henry’s btm it felt soooo good. I miss it haha. And worst comes to worse, you can always sell it to someone who can’t afford a brand new frame and recoup a bit of your loss if it feels like garbage

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8/3/2020 3:59 PM

Again, thanks for the info and input everybody. I just had an idea, tell me if I’m way off base in my thinking here...

Being honest with myself I know I’m not a good enough rider to need/want a (relatively speaking to my Fit) SUPER small, maneuverable street bike. I’m definitely going to go 21 if not 21.25, after thinking about it. Just going from 22” wheels/tires to 20’s will already shorten the bike considerably, not to mention chainstays being shorter, etc... how about a 21.25 top tube for the roominess but steeper 25mm (or whatever) offset forks to shorten the wheelbase even more and keep some responsiveness? Good idea? Dumb idea?

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8/4/2020 7:44 AM

Seems to me (and I speak from experience) that you're overthinking it and that you should probably wait for the 21". What fork do you plan to use?

I saw your post in the 22" Facebook group, considering an 22" ATF. I'd personally rather have the 21.625 TT ATF frame myself. But I think even if you got the shorter frame, as long as you're using the stock Fit 22 fork, it's still going to be a heavy lift.

And in any event a 22" will never feel like a 20". It'll be close, but never the same.


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8/4/2020 8:53 AM

Haha, yeah I put something in that group too, you caught me. I was thinking of like a 25mm if I went with the 21.25, and a 33mm offset if I went with the 21. I haven’t even gotten to the point of considering brands. Pitchfork or Odyssey probably.

I don’t know man, I’m 100% overthinking it at this point. I’m hung up on less than a half inch and in reality I’m not a good enough rider to be worried about it. I appreciate everybody’s patience and help as I tried to talk myself through this.

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8/4/2020 12:05 PM

You realize .25" of an inch is not that big. I guarantee that you will never notice.
People freaking out about it is just BS

You will get used to whatever you get.

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8/4/2020 12:51 PM

baglagrupie wrote:

You realize .25" of an inch is not that big. I guarantee that you will never notice.
People freaking out about it is just BS

You will get used to whatever you get.

I guarantee you I'd notice it, because I'm a tall large lump... lol

Also, OP I see that S&M has the DTF in 21" for sale on their site for $299 + free shipping.

Showing only 2 left: https://www.sandmbikes.com/product/hardgoods/frames/dtf-frame/

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8/12/2020 2:33 AM

im 5ft 3-4 short guy and I ride a 21 inch united mothership bike, I have interesting thoughts, firstly the bike is big for me, this is most notable in actually park, because it takes longer for the back end to get off the lip, its also harder to hop, much harder compared to my old totalbmx killable (which was stolen so I ride this). also I don't think freecoaster helps for beginners, makes simple thing a bit scarier.

however, its true that a longer frame makes a real difference regarding stability, if I go fast on this bike, I don't have to be as worried about looping out

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8/12/2020 5:56 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/12/2020 5:59 AM

baglagrupie wrote:

You realize .25" of an inch is not that big. I guarantee that you will never notice.
People freaking out about it is just BS

You will get used to whatever you get.

If .25" wasn't that big in BMX, then they wouldn't buy/sell/make parts in MM, dude.

OP - Get the 21.

I'm 6'1" 36 and a bigger guy and I won't go lower than a 21.25" I started on a 20.75 and when I moved up it was like the gateway to properly doing tricks was opened.

Heres my reasoning:

The biggest difference you're going to feel is rotational weight. That's why it feels like you're jumping a cruise ship! 22 inch wheels are HEAVY compared to 20". Once you move down to actual BMX geo, it'll be fine.You'll have 4" total of weight shaved off the front and back of your bike by going with smaller wheels.

IMO it's better to learn on a slightly longer frame. Why? Bike control comes from time on the bike. If your 21.25" bike is 15% easier on your back, knees, etc to ride, you'll spend more time on it. More time on the bike means you're better on your bike. Smaller bikes are fun, and I don't know how you ride, but sometimes I'm riding a good 30-40 mins between spots, so I need something that can cruise comfortably

The backend will make a big difference in comfort and squirrely feelings. I have a 21.25 Kink backwoods. It's geared towards trails, but I use it in the street and parks. I've ridden my friends Stranger RPG 21" frame with a REALLY short back end...it was horrible. It felt like the bike had a mind of its own. I have the highline stem with 9.5 bars. It's a great setup. The stem pushes my bars up and out without feeling like I've effectively lengthened my entire bike.

So like I said, go with the bigger (more comfortable and suited for someone your size) frame and mess around with the small dimension parts. That's how a lot of us do it. We buy a setup, ride it, decide to change it, etc.

Good luck! (and get the DTF)

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

8/12/2020 5:57 AM

baglagrupie wrote:

You realize .25" of an inch is not that big. I guarantee that you will never notice.
People freaking out about it is just BS

You will get used to whatever you get.

Bryan91 wrote:

I guarantee you I'd notice it, because I'm a tall large lump... lol

Also, OP I see that S&M has the DTF in 21" for sale on their site for $299 + free shipping.

Showing only 2 left: https://www.sandmbikes.com/product/hardgoods/frames/dtf-frame/

YES. I was shopping for the DTF before I got the Backwoods. I love that frame.

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

8/12/2020 7:25 PM

I’m 6’1” and I too ended up with a Backwoods but I went for the 21.5tt. I’m 34 years old and getting back into the sport from mountain biking. I’m considering getting a 21.25tt but also want to try a little steeper head tube since most of my riding it street or slow skatepark stuff.

Would I notice the shorter TT or the head angle more? Both frames would be the same 13.5 chain stays and similar bb height...

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8/13/2020 8:58 AM

RagingMotoholic wrote:

I’m 6’1” and I too ended up with a Backwoods but I went for the 21.5tt. I’m 34 years old and getting back into the sport from mountain biking. I’m considering getting a 21.25tt but also want to try a little steeper head tube since most of my riding it street or slow skatepark stuff.

Would I notice the shorter TT or the head angle more? Both frames would be the same 13.5 chain stays and similar bb height...

How long have you been riding it? I know I say this from a skewed perspective but if you can find someone else with the bike size you want, try that. But - 21.5" is pretty big for street/park.

I'm not really *that* up on geometry vs effective geometry, but I would say off the top of my head that you would notice the shorter TT (especially since its .25" difference) before the head tube angle.

My out-of-the-ass reasoning behind that is I don't think any feasible head tube angle would change the effective length of your TT by that .25".

IMO a top tube and/or back end size change are the most drastic.

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BMX over 30: Eat clean, Stretch, and Pray.

8/13/2020 10:53 AM

RagingMotoholic wrote:

I’m 6’1” and I too ended up with a Backwoods but I went for the 21.5tt. I’m 34 years old and getting back into the sport from mountain biking. I’m considering getting a 21.25tt but also want to try a little steeper head tube since most of my riding it street or slow skatepark stuff.

Would I notice the shorter TT or the head angle more? Both frames would be the same 13.5 chain stays and similar bb height...

TheDarkEnergist wrote:

How long have you been riding it? I know I say this from a skewed perspective but if you can find someone else with the bike size you want, try that. But - 21.5" is pretty big for street/park.

I'm not really *that* up on geometry vs effective geometry, but I would say off the top of my head that you would notice the shorter TT (especially since its .25" difference) before the head tube angle.

My out-of-the-ass reasoning behind that is I don't think any feasible head tube angle would change the effective length of your TT by that .25".

IMO a top tube and/or back end size change are the most drastic.

If you're tech street or park get the steeper head tube and shorter back end. Twitchier and more responsive. Longer back end and mellow head tube for more stability. I'm 6'3 and ride 21 with short back end. May go 20.7 for next frame...

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