Weighting the front bars, what’s the deal?

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Weighting the front bars, what’s the deal?
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Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 0:57 Quote
I keep reading that you really need to get up and over the handlebars to get good front end grip on the yeti sb130 and sb150. I haven’t heard that about the Hightower2 despite searingly similar geometry? I’ve also read that you need to do that with all new school geometry bikes. So what’s the deal? Which geometry numbers are causing the need for this? I’d love to be able to read a bikes geometry numbers and know if I’m going to need to ride like that to get the most out of a bike.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 4:45 Quote
The newer slacker/lower geos are making the bikes more capable for downhilling or moving at high speeds. As such there is a few trade offs. One being slow to turn, or kind of lazy to turn, And the geo has a tendency to keep the rider on the back end of the bike more because the forks are raked out soo much that it puts your front tire out front more. So when ascending the natural position is going to be a bit further back than usual which could be argued that this is causing newer bikes with the geo like u describe to want to lift the front or skid the front end around when one is really on the gas in the saddle on a steep climb. Did this help?

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 7:10 Quote
I guess that all makes sense, but why is the sb130/150 seemingly the bikes I've heard thats that it effects most? They're not the slackest bike out there but they're the ones I've read the weighting issue about repeatedly. So Is it simply the head angle that effects that? If the head angle is slacker the front wheel is farther in front and therefore harder to weight? Is this an issue with downhill bikes then?

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 7:13 Quote
It does also seem to matter going downhill. I have a Ripmo and I notice that it tracks tighter on most downhill turns if I move my weight forward. It definitely rips downhill, and I definitely take a rearward bias when smashing straight ahead. But as a turn approaches, it takes a conscious effort to move forward in order to know I'll have the traction I need. This seems to be related to the raked out forks and the long wheelbases that make these bike do so well in the rough stuff. The best way to get more info on this subtle difference between bikes, besides demoing, is to watch videos of multi bike reviews because this issue does usually get addressed. The Bible of bikes test at bike magazine has the 130 and the 150 mixed in. I recommend starting there.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 8:53 Quote
Wnyouknowit wrote:
I keep reading that you really need to get up and over the handlebars to get good front end grip on the yeti sb130 and sb150. I haven’t heard that about the Hightower2 despite searingly similar geometry? I’ve also read that you need to do that with all new school geometry bikes. So what’s the deal? Which geometry numbers are causing the need for this? I’d love to be able to read a bikes geometry numbers and know if I’m going to need to ride like that to get the most out of a bike.

The ratio between front centre and rear centre is a big factor in this.
Long reach combined with short chainstays shifts your centre of gravity rearward and can make it difficult to get enough weight on the front tyre.
Ideally, as front centre increases, the chainstay length should increase proportionally.

Some manufacturers like YT, Norco, Geometron etc do this but the majority don't.

Posted: Oct 20, 2019 at 1:01 Quote
I don't think new style geo in general is to blame for this, more like these specific bikes'geo. To me it sound like the rider's position is not balanced. That could be front to rear centre ratio, too much stack height or something else.

The last bike I came across that was critisized for needing to actively weigh the front all the time was Whyte's G160, their previous enduro bike. It had a very long top tube and reach, but very short chainstays. The next version had longer cs and they dialled back the front centre, which apparently fixed the issue.

That said, some people's style naturally loads the front, for those the long front/short rear may be ideal.

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