Going for a larger frame size for a hybrid bike than recommended


New Member
I've been looking to buy a Specialized 3.0 IGH Step throught - and I'm pretty damn small. 151 cm, so around 5'0 - inseam around 25''? This means I *really* should be an S. However the S dealers are sold out for months, and I found an M today at a store and got the step-through in M. I test-rode a Tero (the only S they had in the store) and it just felt small. I tried the Vado (non mid step) in the M and I had the seat about 1inch from the lowest setting and it felt good. I rode comfortably in it, I tend to like riding more upright. I also like the feel of the bigger bike, more stable and more height?

However I am SO far from the manufacturer recommendations I am just feeling the dread, 3700euro is a lot of money for me - and I'd like to hear some thoughts about whether an M would be fine, or would be a terrible terrible mistake. I will be using this to commute to work, sometimes tow a trailer, or a kid on the back. Maybe bike tour as well.

Thank you :)
I went the other way and ordered a size smaller than recommended. I did it mainly to get enough seat rail to seat post clearance for a quality suspension seatpost.
I'm not familiar with the Specialized models but if the bike feels good and you ride it comfortably, I don't see a problem.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with your new ride!
Consider the mfg chart an estimate. There are more body dimensions than a chart can accurately predict for best size.

If a bike size feels good, that's probably the correct size. Only caution is check the actual geometry dimensions for what you rode are real close to the dimensions of the one you are buying if it is a different model. There can be differences between models for the same size frame.
Looking at the geometry of the Tero vs the Vado ST:
  • The small Vado and the medium Tero have the same reach
  • The medium Vado and the small Tero have the same stack
These don't seem like two bikes which are good proxies of each other for fit, even though the size guides say the same height ranges for both.

There is a 30 day return policy, and some comfort items aren't going to be noticeable until you take longer rides anyway, so you may just have to take a leap and buy one.
If you rode the bike before you bought it, and feel comfortable on it, I wouldn't worry too much about being outside recommended parameters. As mentioned above by Ben, ride the bike, and if you experience things you can't live with during the 30 days, return it. You're not stuck, at this point, and it's going to take some riding to figure out if you're comfortable with your choice.
I ride a large and my wife has a medium, otherwise same bike. I can ride hers and get the seat high enough, the only difference I notice is the handle bars are closer. A size to large might make the reach for the handle bars to be a little farther but if it feels good, I’d say go for it.
Be careful @felinousforma. Vado 3.0 IGH size M step-over has the standover height of 771 mm. Unless you have long legs compared to the torso, you might "hang" on your private parts on the Vado top tube. On the other hand, Tero is a taller e-bike than the Vado. If you could safely mount a Tero size M, then the standover height of the Vado is shorter (good for you).

Can you have the Vado 3.0 IGH ordered by the Specialized store? What you see online and what you can order via the store are two different things. My Specialized store in Poland takes pre-orders but you do not pay anything until you are convinced and buy the e-bike.

How was the Summer Solstice in Finland this year? (I spent it in Helsinki last year!)
My local Specialized store requires prepayment when you order a bike.

I just had an uncomfortable thought… I tried the XL Vado SL, and it was very uncomfortable, painful within 5–6 miles. It stretched me out too much, put too much weight on my arms. So after trying some other bikes, I tried a L Vado, and it was great. But the bike shop guy said it was obvious I needed an XL (I’m 6’4” = 193cm), so that’s what I ordered. I hope the uncomfortable part of the SL was the SL bit and not the XL bit!