Will a 20.5” top bar work for a rider over 6’00” tall?

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9/23/2020 6:19 PM

So, I am slowly learning by reading as much as I can. Meanwhile, I want to get a complete bike ASAP so that I can dip my toes in the water, rather than dive into building something from parts made by a bunch of companies that I’ve never heard of due to my age and how long I have been away from BMX.

I have narrowed down my contenders to two bikes.

1) A used Haro Top AM Race with a 20.5” top bar
2) A brand new 2021 GT Performer with a 21” top bar

The cost of the bikes is within $60.00 of one another although I may be able to talk the seller of the Haro down a bit. The specs on the GT look okay to me as a starting point, and I am fond of Haro because that is what I rode as a kid in the 80’s/90’s.

I know a lot of folks here would say to spend 3 times as much and buy something else entirely, but assuming that I am going to go with one of these, what should I do? I am 6’02” tall, so I worry whether the half inch difference in top bar length would make me regret buying the Haro.

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“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

9/23/2020 9:25 PM

I think getting a complete bike is a good idea. But if you went with a full cromo complete, you won’t have to worry about the frame breaking. Even part cromo with cromo forks would be better.
That said, of the two, the GT. Don’t get the Haro.
First it’s a race frame and so geared to racing. Light, but not very strong. Alloy can break bad. It’s also old. Probably around 10 years old so old geometry and maybe metal fatigue. Stay well away. The frame and components may also be incompatible with some more common freestyle parts.
And it’s too small. Half an inch doesn’t sound like much but you will feel much more confident and less sketchy on the longer frame.

But if you can stretch to something a bit better or keep hunting for maybe a second hand, lightly used cromo framed complete you’d be more likely to stick with it. People get nostalgic and buy a BMX and realise it’s not for them. Others don’t have the time, or lose interest and just want to be rid of it so they can have the space back. So you can often get a bike that’s only been ridden a few times.

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9/23/2020 10:59 PM

Dr Sarcophagus wrote:

I think getting a complete bike is a good idea. But if you went with a full cromo complete, you won’t have to worry about the ...more

Thank you for posting this. I sincerely appreciate the advice. From what reading I had done, it appears that the fork on the Haro is CROMO, however the frame is in fact aluminum. The one I am looking at is a 2009 model, although it looks like someone bought it, and put it in a garage. I can’t see a scratch on it from the pictures.

The size thing definitely worries me. I can sit on my son’s bike (a 2019 Haro Shredder Pro 20), but the handlebars sit too low for me to feel comfortable attempting to peddle it around much, and I am worried about damaging the low psi rated tires.

I need to stop reading about and shopping for bikes, and sleep on the advice you gave. I strongly suspect that you are right as the GT is brand new, has the longer top tube, and a steel frame which is probably better choice for my nearly 300 pound carcass to be cruising around on.

I may go look at the Haro tomorrow just to satisfy an itch, but I will probably just order the GT. Thanks again.

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“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

9/23/2020 11:19 PM

At 6’ get a 21” at least, it will be much better.
I’m 6’1 and I struggle to ride a 21”, 21.25” is good, currently on a 21.4”

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9/23/2020 11:26 PM

What Dr Sarcophagus and Francky said.

GT would benefit you in ever way without a doubt in my mind.

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9/23/2020 11:35 PM

Mine had 9” bars and I was getting a sore back. I changed up to a 9.4” and it was much better.

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9/24/2020 1:16 AM

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It’s all bmx

9/24/2020 6:59 AM

And, this is where my ignorance really shows through. Just looking at that bike, it appears to be well put together. However, I last looked at BMX bikes at a time when everyone was riding a Huffy, a Kent, or a Murray because those were what was available at Wal-Mart and K-Mart (does K-Mart even still exist?). A very few of us were fortunate enough to get our hands on bikes like the GT Performer, and the Haro Freestyler. I had the only Haro I had ever seen until I was an adult to put things into perspective. Mongoose was even considered to be a top tier bike at that time.

Now, I am seeing guys recommend a lot of bikes from companies that I never heard of until a few weeks ago when I started reading. Companies like Sunday, Kink, Cult, FIT, and DK have all been mentioned a lot and I have simply never heard of any of them.

Are these niche brands that are popular for a short bit then fade away, or have they been around for a while and are likely to be the new “classics” at some point? I am assuming that most of the folks here are quite a bit younger than I am, and as such have a much better idea of what is truly good vs bad in the world of BMX bikes. With that said, I think it’s always a good thing to seek advice from the “experts” and I would say that y’all are the experts in this subject.

So, to make a long story even longer... There is a part of me that wants to find a way to squeeze my fat ass onto that Haro, and stick to that familiar name that made me so happy when I was young. My gut instinct tells me that a larger frame is the smart way to go, although I am not as drawn to the GT brand for some reason and never was even as a kid. My GT is a Ford Mustang. Lol

I am however, trying hard to learn, and would probably be inclined to buy the bike in your link based on looks alone over the GT Performer if it weren’t for two things:

1) I’m not familiar enough with Sunday to know whether I am buying a fly-by-night product, or something that I could be proud to own a few years from now
2) The link appears to say that it can only be bought from specific dealers and the closest dealer to me is almost 50 miles away in a part of the city that I simply don’t go to under any circumstances


Sorry for the book. I’m just excited to get started, and so torn on which direction to go. Whatever I get will be used just for cruising around. No wheelies, no bunny hops, no jumping. The biggest trick I would pull is to hop a curb once in a while as necessary.

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“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi

9/24/2020 7:17 AM

Sum FatOld Dude wrote:

And, this is where my ignorance really shows through. Just looking at that bike, it appears to be well put together. However, ...more

sunday isnt a company that would fade away anytime soon i dont think. they're a sister to brand with odyssey who are one of the best and most trusted bmx brands.

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9/24/2020 7:45 AM

Sum FatOld Dude wrote:

And, this is where my ignorance really shows through. Just looking at that bike, it appears to be well put together. However, ...more

If you're just cruising around go with longer tt you'll feel more comfortable.

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9/24/2020 7:52 AM

Most of those brand bikes have been around since the early 2000's and not going anywhere.

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9/24/2020 8:31 AM

Thanks for all of the great input guys. I really do appreciate it. I talked with the guy selling the Haro, and let him know my concerns. I told him that I will have to pass on the bike, but that if I run across one of my kids friends who wants the bike, I will float them a loan so that they can buy it. I am now adding one more option to my list... a Haro Downtown 24.

I don’t think the looks of that bike are quite as cool as a 20” bike, but for my size and just literally riding rather than doing any jumps or tricks, it might just be what I need.

I am going to go to a local shop and look at one shorty, and if it scratches my itch I will buy it. If not, I believe I will go ahead and order the GT. Either way, I am definitely going to go for a larger bike thanks to your advice. You guys rock!

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“Don’t quote me boy cuz I ain’t said shit” - Ghandi