Intense Sniper XC sizing question

Good Day Gents,

I’m a total newb when it comes to MTB and need help on sizing.

I want to get into XCO and currently looking at Intense Sniper XC. … tion-build

My height is 169cm and I ride Cervelo size 51. For road bikes, I’m always used to sizing down if i’m between sizes.

Should I go with medium or small? According to their sizing chart, I should be on medium but I always sticked to small and XS for my road bikes.

Thanks for the help

I’d look at it in terms of stack and how much drop you want saddle-bars. For MTBs I generally suggest riding the largest size where you can hit your drop numbers, as that will let you run a shorter stem and keep that front wheel out in front of you. It looks like the Sniper XC has a pretty slack front end for a XC bike.

Of course, the best possible way to do this is to go to your local bike shop and try some bikes. Then buy a bike from said local shop, and maintain a good relationship with this local shop. Everyone wins that way.

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You really need to make sure the fit is right, its hard to get everything right just by looking at the numbers. Normally though, I’d recommend sticking with the suggested sizing unless you have a specific reason not to.

This bike is designed around having a fairly long reach. If you size down, you loose some of that. You can always shorten the stem if you need. If you ever think you may swap up to a fork with more travel, this will reduce reach by a decent amount.

I almost had to swap to a shorter dropper when I bought my last bike. I have to slam it all the way down to get my saddle in the right spot. It was close though. The medium has an extra 25mm of drop, which could matter for you.

There’s not a big difference in stack, just 5mm. Unless you’re the type to always slam your stem and get as low as possible, you can probably just adjust either to have the same effective drop.

And +1 for trying to find a local shop to demo. If you know what you want, pick something with the right numbers and a good deal. But if you’re still unsure, there’s no substitute for actually getting on the bike and riding.

What’s the terrain like where you live? Will you ride/train on trails with extended climbs and technical descents? If so, I would definitely go with a M, which will feel more stable at speed particularly over rough terrain. I would only consider sizing down/picking a Small if you will really only be using this to race on fairly smooth and generally flat courses. If I were in your shoes I’d pick a Medium for sure.

Note also that you can’t actually shorten the stem much. It ships with a 50mm stem, and 35mm is the limit in terms of shortness (this is c-c with the steerer and bar basically touching.) But, I wouldn’t expect you to need to.

One other note on the Sniper (I’ve been riding one for the last 18 months): Definitely order the optional cross-brace ($30) when you get the bike. Adding it to the upper link really stiffens up the ride and will prevent bearing play issues long term. All 2020s ship with them, but the 2019s they’re blowing out right now don’t, so order it as a separate item and install before you ride, it’s a really useful upgrade.

About 2 months ago I was seriously considering a Sniper XC.

I am the same height, and went to a demo because I was torn on sizing. My 2 previous mtb’s were both smalls, but after riding a small and medium back to back the medium felt much better.

Thanks for all the good info guys!
The bike is only available in Medium at my LBS at the moment.
I’ll test ride it and if it feels good I will pull the trigger.

What did you go with? I am considering this bike, slightly taller than you. But comparing reach, stack, etc to my medium Pivot Les, the SMALL Sniper is still bigger than my Les.

Getting demos isn’t all that easy right now. And I am pretty experienced on MTB, just rarely have the budget for a new bike (frame in this case).