1 Question - How Long, Low And Slack Can We Go?

Jan 5, 2016
by Olly Forster  


The phrase "longer, lower, slacker" has been cropping up a lot in technical jargon recently and for good reason. Bikes have been gradually getting that little bit longer, lower and slacker for some time now, and in their wake, an increasing volley of questions from would-be consumers unsure of what this all means. So what does this all mean for the average rider looking to buy a new bike right now and what does this all add up to on the trail? How far will the engineers responsible for designing these new bikes push the limits and does a limit even exist? For whom are these new bikes for, if anyone in particular and at what point do these so-called extreme angles and numbers start to work against us?

To get to the bottom of these questions and more, we did what we do best and pinned down an elite group of industry heavyweights to get their views on the subject. From as far afield as Bavaria, the Swiss Alps, the Welsh valleys and on to the rolling hills of Santa Cruz and the iconic landscapes of British Columbia. Our panel of experts are as varied in the homelands as they are rich in their knowledge of all things MTB. Over to the team...


1 Question - How long low and slack can we go




Ben Walker - Progressive Bikes Marketing Coordinator, Scott Sports

American expat Ben Walker knows a thing or two about the extreme end of mountain biking with the hallowed slopes of Champéry and Morgins only a stones throw from his Swiss mountain home. With such steep and demanding trails on his doorstep - many of which he's also responsible for creating - testing bikes and gear to their limits is all in a days work.

bigquotesWe can go as long, low and slack as needed - it's all about finding that happy place. If you put the rider in their happy place for their speed, style and location, it will all come together. Faster riders with steeper and looser trails on their doorstep will benefit from more extreme geometry while other riders who perhaps find themselves on less progressive terrain might find that such geometry is too extreme for their style and trails, and will ultimately make them slower. The bike needs to disappear under the rider and become an extension of their body.

The advantages of such extreme geometry allows riders who regularly find themselves on demanding terrain, the ability to ride with the kind of speed and style they always dreamed of. The drawbacks are that they climb a little slower than a bike with traditional geometry and the front end tends to wander more than it would do on a bike with a steeper head angle. As long as the bike is confidence inspiring and encourages you to take the most aggressive line that your mind can envision, then we are on the right track, providing, of course, that's what you want and need.

Ultimately though, I think it's all coming together. On the whole, riders are getting better as well as the quantity and quality of the trails out there, which in addition to all the frames and components, which are also getting stronger and lighter as well. I think it's a combined effect and geometry is merely catching up. These new evolutions are another tool to put the end user on the best possible bike for their needs. If someone wants to ride a certain trail in a certain way then we need to cater to those needs. For me, living in the Alps with Champery on my doorstep, a longer, lower and slacker bike suits my riding style and the spots where I like to ride. I love trying out extreme setups to see if I can push harder and get through sections with more speed and control and in the right situations and where such attributes are a huge advantage. I think we - as an industry - are not even close to the limits. Sure, there are a few examples out there, but overall we are creeping towards these more extreme geometry setups. However, moving forwards, we will probably have to steepen up the seat tubes to keep them climbable as there's far more to extreme geometry than just slack head angles, low BB's and long front centres. The evolution continues...





Chris Porter - The Boss, Mojo Suspension

Hailed by many as an eccentric with an unhealthy fascination for gigantic bikes and extreme geometry, Chris Porter is actually a certified free thinker within the bike industry and someone who doesn’t give a damn about hearsay or fashion. The mastermind behind the Geometron bike range and someone who is quickly becoming a global authority on not only challenging the norm when it comes to MTB design, but your Strava times as well. Chris is someone we should all be paying close attention to...

bigquotesBikes that are both longer and slacker handle better than those that don't. It's as simple as that. Bikes with slacker head angles roll faster and are as stable around corners as much as they are in straight lines. The extra length allows the rider to weight the wheels independently and focus on being more dynamic on the bike. Such bikes also allow the rider to be more pro-active with their steering, removing that nervous twitchy handling sensation we've all experienced. But here's the problem. You can't simply fit a steep seat angle (for climbing!) and a slack head angle into a frame unless you grow the bike in the first place.

A limit may exist as to how long and steep we can go with bike geometry, but we haven't gotten there yet. Why don't we turn the question around and ask where the limit sits for bikes that are too short and steep? There are limits in both directions, but right now, we're at the sh-t end of the handling spectrum, especially when we exist in a more fashion-focused world. A world where I've seen 29ers with steeper head angles than some road bikes. I've heard some people say that this 'new' geometry is only for experts. So we should let the novices, beginners and weekend warriors all ride the sh-t bikes then? Are we (the industry) trying to kill our customers? Experts and beginners alike can all benefit from a bike with a more dynamic geometry design.

The biggest misconception surrounding this subject is that it's merely a trend. It's not a trend. A trend is 'this season's' pastel shade of pink or blue and wearing goggles and an open face helmet. Making bikes handle better should be at the heart of the MTB industries efforts right now, but seemingly not many people actually designing bikes, understand how they really work. There are however many people in the industry who understand exactly how high their socks should be this season or whether they should have stickers underneath or on top of their helmet peak. Geometry is engineering not fashion.





Israel Romero - International Communications and Product Development, Mondraker Bikes

Speedy Spaniard Israel Romero and has been working in the bike industry for a lifetime and knows a thing or two about trends, past and present. Working for Mondraker, a brand heralded for its stance on progressive geometry, Israel has seen the encroachment of radical bike design and what it can do in the hands of the right rider and on the right trails, first hand.

bigquotesWe could make a statement that today's bikes, which are increasingly longer, lower and slacker, represent "modern MTB geometry" as we know it. Looking back most of the old school bikes were in stark contrast short, steep and tall, with slack seat angles, which ultimately made them very awkward going both up and down, especially on steep terrain.

Looking at a solution to counter these performance shortfalls is not just a matter of going longer, lower or slacker, but about getting the best compromise for the application at hand, be it XC, trail, enduro or downhill, At Mondraker we started to experiment with the original idea of 'Forward Geometry' back in 2011 by just going longer in the front center and maintaining everything else as is, which proved to be a good approach five years ago.

We initially started experimenting with the Foxy, our mainstay trail / AM chassis, welding an XL top tube (which was 60mm longer) onto a medium sized bike. This would normally have a 70mm stem, but utilising a super short 10mm stem instead helped offset the growth in reach gained through a longer front centre. Doing it this way allowed the riding position to remain the same, but the level of control, handling and confidence evolved to a whole new level. On the Summum DH bike with Forward Geometry, we had Damien Spagnolo finish 2nd at the 2011 downhill world championships in Champery, Switzerland, proving the concept worked in the most demanding of environments.

Forward Geometry was later officially introduced into production bikes in 2013 and today's Mondrakers share the same principles of the original ones: longer, but not the slackest or the lowest. Geometry as a whole, for any bike, needs to be proportional to the task at hand. We have seen other brands go crazy slack on the on some of their trail or enduro models, but doing so sacrifices performance on everything except steep downhill trails.That is unless you only ride downhill trails and rely on shuttles or chairlifts to get you back to the top. But how far can you push things? Is a 65-degree head angle too slack and a 13" BB too low for a trail bike? It just depends on the bike, the rear suspension design, its intended use, plus a whole host of other factors that make modern geometry more complicated than simply adopting a longer, lower and slacker approach. At Mondraker we do believe that Forward Geometry inspired other brands to follow suit and that is something, that as a small bike brand, we are really proud of.




Joe Graney - COO, Santa Cruz Bicycles

Graney's new title at Santa Cruz Bicycles is that of the Chief Operating Officer, but he's also the brains behind some of their most heralded designs, including the new Nomad and 5010c. Having been with Santa Cruz since 2001, he built and ran their test lab that we visited back in 2012, and has never been shy with his opinions on so-called industry standards.

bigquotesThe premise of the question supposes that all things must go too far in a given direction, and then reverse back to some "perfect solution." But it's nowhere near as simple as that. This is something evolutionary that riders and bike designers explore and influence together.

Bottom bracket height dictates only the height of the BB (not the handlebar) and choice comes down to a balance of rider preference versus terrain. Some riders prefer increased clearance over cornering stability while others will trade pedal strikes for that rad drifty control and only the rider can make that judgment call. If your BB height's so low that you're on the limit of clearing features on your home trail - then that's probably low enough.

If a rider doesn't have enough front wheel traction to corner effectively then maybe the bike is too slack for their riding style. Slackness impacts other considerations such as the ability to climb certain terrain or navigate switchbacks for example, but on the whole, we're noticing traction as the principal driver behind head angle choice.

At least no one is trying to ram new head angle or reach standards on anyone. If you don't like the geometry of a model or size you don't have to ride it. Our job is to make bikes people feel good riding. It's about enabling riders to find their own specific preference or sweet spot and not forcing people to like the same thing that I do.

Take the Syndicate for example. The V10 we custom built for Peaty's World Champs win in 2009 was considered "huge" by our standards back then, with a whopping 431mm reach - that's medium Bronson territory these days. Shortly after, Greg won two World Championships on the new XL size with a 446mm reach. In 2015, he won World Cup races on an XXL V10 with 470mm of reach. So one could assume longer is faster right? Not quite. Josh Bryceland is almost identical in height to those guys yet chooses to race on a large V10 frame with 424mm reach. Those guys choose the reach they feel most comfortable with. The more comfortable they are, the more fun they have, The more fun they have the faster they go. And that's about the only thing we can all agree on.




Owen Pemberton - Senior Design Engineer, Norco Bicycles

Owen Pemberton cut his engineering teeth working for Rolls Royce in the UK before jumping the big blue pond to Canada where he joined Norco over 6 years ago. Having witnessed the recent explosion of new standards first hand, Owen is well vested to see where things might be going next.


bigquotesThis is a great question and it's something I've been thinking about for some time now. Mountain bike geometry has come a long way in the past few years and my gut tells me that there is still some way to go. Will things get longer? Most probably, but I don't think we can go any lower as we still need to pedal these things after all. It's the issue of a slacker head angle where it gets really interesting and it's where I also think we need to look at this question as (initially) being more category specific.

In the 200mm (downhill) category, where geometry is generally being pushed more than any other category, I can't help but feel we are reaching the limits of steering geometry already. I think bikes might continue to get a bit longer here, but I think future DH improvements are coming, but from somewhere else.

For the 150-170mm (enduro) category we have seen significant advancements over the past few years, and modern 'enduro' race bikes have geometry that is starting to approach that of DH bikes. The biggest thing holding back steering geometry in this category, are fork offsets. With current fork offsets we can't push head angles (slacker) without negatively affecting the ride experience. It all comes down to that trail number!

Now the 140mm (let's call it 'trail') category is where I see the biggest opportunity for geometry improvement. Most people would look at me like I was crazy if I pitched a 120mm travel trail bike for the masses with a 65-degree head tube angle. But hey, why not? Think about that one for a minute...




Daniel Oster - MTB Brand Manager, Canyon Bicycles

German buy-direct brand, Canyon, have been turning heads with their well-priced bikes for some time. But thanks to their revolutionary Shapeshifter technology and longer ‘race geometry’ they’ve quickly put themselves on the map for their progressive ideas towards bicycle design, which MTB brand manager Daniel Oster knows all about.


bigquotesWith more purpose built trails and better bikes these days, people can ride faster than ever before. A direct result of that extra speed is the need for longer bikes to increase control. Longer wheelbases are good for better stability and delivering a smoother ride on fast and rough trails, help to reduce the risk of going OTB when it gets steep, and keeping your front wheel planted when climbing. That makes longer setups not only beneficial for DH or enduro, but for short travel disciplines too. It also doesn't matter if you're a first timer or an experienced rider.

But length should only increase relative to the speeds being ridden. We need to find the right balance between agility and stability while also ensuring that the center of gravity is positioned evenly to both wheels. We can't simply keep extending the front center because you still need to apply enough pressure through the front wheel - otherwise, cornering becomes a problem.

For me, enhancing a bike's stability through its front center is more about hitting the right compromise between reach and head angle in relation to cockpit length and width, in addition to chainstay length. Extending reach, slackening head angle and fitting a short stem with wide bars delivers extra stability from the front center, handling agility from the cockpit, plus enough pressure on the front wheel. By altering chainstay length we can either increase stability or agility depending on whether you go longer or shorter. The most important thing while playing around with these different factors is to ensure that the center of gravity remains central.




Michael Prell - Design Engineer, Cube Bikes

Michael Prell is more than just the chief bike designer and engineer at Cube, residing as one of the brands three founders. With such an explosive rate of growth since they first opened their doors in 1993, Michael and his colleagues have been responsible for navigating this German juggernaut into new markets and through a series of minor and major advances in MTB design.

bigquotesEverybody is using the words "modern geometry" right now and over the last few years there has been some noticeable changes with regards to angles, BB drop and reach. To say how far it's possible to go with these parameters is - I believe - not possible. Depending on the bike and its intended use (defined by the travel) we will always have to consider that that there will be no pair of riders with the exact same physical measurements. But there is also such a big diversity in riding skills amongst consumers who all buy the same bike making it even harder to presume how far is too far.

Granted, a racer can benefit from a longer reach, but the average rider might have problems. As a frame designer, I always have always worked to find the best balance between these parameters to get the best possible bike for (nearly) everyone, but in the end we all want to sell bikes. However, looking at the diversity of the different bike categories available, it is more or less possible to evolve a bike in a certain direction. An enduro bike, for example, can be more extreme in its geometry than a trail bike due to the smaller group of possible buyers. On a downhill bike, these parameters can be more extreme yet again, but there are limiting points. At the moment, everybody is experimenting with these parameters and I think that most of the products that are available on the market now are within these borders, but perhaps not all.

We must also not forget that these geometry changes came from extreme riding conditions and with that in mind, we might not get the same (positive) results across the board. This is evolution, plain and simple and done by trial and error. So geometry improvements are more or less a steadily on-going process that will probably not end. And there are so many parameters that influence this process such as the trails we now ride and the advances in kinematics and suspension technology we now have at our disposal. We're all riding so much faster now as well and with that speed comes the need for more control, especially when things get too nervous on the front end, needing more effort to get it around a corner for example. Currently I see most of the extremes on the market being focussed towards a small group of customers and their preferences.




Colin Hughes - Lead engineer, Ibis Cycles

Colin Hughes and his colleagues at Ibis Cycles are well versed in the terms ‘longer, lower and slacker’ adopting many of these elements into their current fleet of carbon super bikes. Having made the decision to go down this path and considering the tooling costs associated with their material of choice, Colin did his homework and knows his mountain bike geometry inside and out.

bigquotesLong: It seems there's still some room to go longer. It used to be that you'd want to keep the wheelbase short to get around tight corners. Today, suspension is allowing us to go faster and the trails are being built specifically for mountain bikes. That means that the cornering radius are larger and you don't need that tight wheelbase to snake through turns.

Low: Looking at static BB height is not a very complete picture. What really matters is where it's going to be when you're riding and it's not as simple as where you set sag. Some bikes that have a very flat spring rate through the middle of the travel are going to have you between 25 and 75 percent and cause a lot of pedal strikes. A frame with a more progressive spring rate will keep you closer to the sag point more often. That means it will have less pedal strikes even if it has the same or slightly lower static BB height.

Slack: Just talking about head angle is over simplifying things, as 'trail' is the most important number. How much trail you want depends on what speed you want your bike to be optimized for. The trail on the HD3 and LS for example are around 100mm - more than that would make the steering feel more stable at even higher speeds, but feel way too slow at low speeds. If speeds get higher and trails get straighter we'll add more trail, but it's all a compromise.




Luke Beale - Owner, Designer and Engineer, Level One Engineering

Owner of Level One Engineering, Luke Beale is a freelance gun for hire in the world of bicycle engineering. With a resume packed to the rafters with notable brands and iconic bicycles such as Transition's popular new Giddy Up range, Luke’s seen more than his fair share of fads and fashions come and go and understands implicitly what is and isn’t going to work out on the trail for the end user.

bigquotesToday's downhill bikes established the current limits for both head tube angles and wheelbase lengths. These are now pretty similar to off-road motorcycles and I think it's safe to assume that DH bikes aren't going to get much slacker or longer. This progression has established the operating limit for head tube angles at around 62 degrees, but I also think that head angles in the range of 62-63 degrees will be used on any bike where stability and speed are important.

Away from DH bikes, the growth in 'reach' has been driven by the increasing number of capable 160mm travel bikes (you can call these 'enduro' if you like) that have flooded the market. These bikes use slack head angles similar to a DH bike, but unlike a thoroughbred DHer, need to pedal efficiently uphill as well. The bar and pedal position (stack and reach) are what counts when you're pointing downhill, but for an AM bike, the seat position - which is important for climbing - adds another element to consider. Utilizing a steeper seat angle helps to keep weight over the front wheel when climbing and prevents the front wheel from wandering - especially on a bike with a slack head angle.

Lowering the BB helps to keep the center of gravity nice and low, which is great for going downhill, but at the same time, can adversely affect an AM bike thanks pedal strikes. Because of this issue, BB height is limited by a rider's tolerance to catching their pedals - I think that the average 160mm bike can get quite a bit slacker and longer, but I don't think there is really a need to go any lower. Reducing the center of gravity can be accomplished in a lot of other ways such as thinner pedals or even thinner shoe soles for example. As a frame designer, I look at the BB drop relative to the rear axle instead of the actual height of the BB from the ground.





Has that helped answer your questions on this matter or has it created some new ones? Let's hear your thoughts...





237 Comments

  • 337 7
 "How long, low and slack should we go? We don't know, but we can all agree R&D testing should be done by the consumer, one tiny change at a time, so as to maximize profits year after year!" Wink
  • 6 0
 Got in one!!
  • 38 0
 Are you sure you don't already work in the bike industry?
  • 32 7
 I like my women short, wide and steep for the ultimate ride.
  • 4 2
 Didn't know Chris Porter act in Games of Thrones.
  • 6 0
 Or leave it to the garage guys

youtu.be/BbAXDAJcp1Y
  • 10 0
 Though of this quote from Peep Show after reading this lol:
"I thought you were a business brain, Mark, but you're better than that. You're someone my grandma would call a real piece of shit."
  • 3 1
 its fun to see the faces of the brains behind the geometry of the bikes we love so much
  • 3 0
 ....And then say that the reason bikes are so expensive is because of R&D
  • 3 0
 It's either R&D or ADD, either way we going to pedal thru it.
  • 149 11
 Personally, I don't agree with Chris. Longer, slacker isn't always the right direction. We are eating marketing sh-t and everybody is on enduro bikes even though they don't need to, the type of riding doesn't justify it. I wish more people would realize that a nice, compact trail bike is more fun than a barge. It's more fun to ride a slow car fast, than a fast car slow.
  • 8 22
flag somismtb (Jan 5, 2016 at 4:30) (Below Threshold)
 See: Do it all bike. Jumps, park, trail. My Spartan kills it
  • 6 1
 can you provide an example of a compact trail bike?
  • 15 15
 Exactly. The geometry of even the current trail bikes is way too slack and low. Not everything is a fire road climb, and some trails have climbing and flat pedaling. BB heights lower than 13.5"?! Where are these bikes being ridden without pedal smashing and landing on one's head?
  • 27 1
 SC 5010, Transition Scout, Evil Following are my most wanted.
  • 12 0
 Agreed.. I love low and long, but in the end just find that even though I live in Colorado and we have plenty of steep loose terrain, 90% of my rides are just regular rides and a fun, snappy trail bike is just more fun for me. I settled on a 2016 stumpjumper, its low for sure, but not terribly long. Seems to be a great balance for me and my trail choices...
  • 7 1
 @toronte don't you think that both the Evial and Transition fall into the long, low, and slack category?
  • 10 1
 @AGR97 No. The Scout has a WB of 1147mm and a 67° HA. The Following is 1140 and 67 -ish depending on configuration. Personally, I don't have anything against being reasonably low. IMO that's 335-340-ish in this category. On the other side a Foxy has a WB of 1193mm. A typical enduro bike is also 1170+ and around 66-65 HA, and that's with a long fork, which further extends the front. The Stumpy is another good example. You just can't go wrong with it.
  • 17 0
 Agreed. I find that trail bikes are progressing way faster than our local trails. It's awesome that bikes are so much more capable these days but most of the trails we still ride have not adapted the way bikes have. A lot of bikes want to be ridden faster and harder and a lot of the trails do not allow for that.
  • 14 0
 @toronte touches on a point that I feel is often lost on this website. That is, buy the the bike for the trails you ride 90% of the time. When I lived in an area with mostly tight, rolling hills I loved my XC-oriented bike (100mm hardtail). When I moved to an area with steep, nasty mountains I bought a slack, 160mm trail bike. I recently made a trip back to the midwest with on my Enduro and it was actually kinda boring and slow.
  • 9 0
 I ride a Devinci Atlas. It's faster up and down than my old enduro rig. Short wheel base. 68.5 head angle. But I don't ride bike parks. I ride trails in the woods.
  • 5 2
 @toronte I agree that there are loads of people riding bikes that are so far ahead of their abilities not only are they not using the geometry to its full potential but they are probably even hindered by it. At least that's what I see on my local rides here in the midlands UK. But there are also riders who are out there absolutely destroying the place and all the more so because they finally have a bike that allows them to, no longer having to reach for either the DH bike and push up or the XC bike and limp down. Anybody that doesn't see the point in low, slack, long bikes just isn't who they're aimed at.
I even find a slacker head angle rides better uphill, I got on a 67° bike the other day and was wobbling about all over the shop, switched it to 65° and the world was good again. Also tried this short chainstay BS, the ride quality is just awful.
All I'm saying is that we're not all the same, and it's not even necessarily about how fast you go or the terrain you ride, whatever feels good to you will always be more fun.
Fwiw I ride what I consider a do it all bike - Vitus Escarpe with a 65° HA and the BB is at 335mm and sized up. Weirdest thing is I love it on dirt jumps.
  • 1 0
 I'm on an "enduro" bike even though I don't need to be (most of the time) because it's nearly as good as my AM hardtail which I use for my neighborhood trail and which (as I get older) is beating the crap out of me more and more. Someone listed the Transition Scout and the 5010 which are both bikes that are in the range of what I would love to see more of: 120 rear 120-130 front, long(e)r and slack(er) and light(er). For me, unless I'm riding a fireroad with the wife and kid, it does make a difference.
  • 4 5
 So you guys want 120-140mm bikes to pedal like a 160mm bike? That's what you guys are indicating. I don't see any hint of logic.
  • 8 2
 @dualsuspensiondave it sounds like maybe you've not ridden any good LLS bikes? For me pedalling and uphill abilities are mostly to do with the seat angle - whatever the rest of the bike looks like, if the SA is too slack then I'm having a bad time. I need to have the cranks underneath me not in front of me, I prefer a LLS bike for climbing as long as the seat angle is steep as can be, longer means I'm not cramped and lower finds more traction when I have to put the power down and slam my pedal strokes. Sorry for abbreviating, I didn't want to use the E word, especially since that's not really what we're talking about! Like I said before, not all riders like the same feel as per the Ratboy/ Minaar example. But LLS doesn't necessarily mean you can't pedal it, especially with some of the modern dampers.
  • 6 2
 @ThomDawson - I ride the epidomy of the bikes we are talking about. I come from DH and Enduro racing. The new crop of short travel trail bikes are terrible at pedaling compared to their predecessors. For example, the perfect balance of aggressive yet fast was the 2013-2015 5010 models, compared to the new model. The Bronson in the same regards. It's not too bad with seated pedaling, however at least half the time I'm standing while pedaling. The BB being so low almost guarantees that I'll have to roll sections that I pedaled through before. It's not really even fun to ride a short travel bike that pedals just like my Nomad. I just think that we were at our peak last year with geo, we needed to just do some better things for fit and finish of bikes and possibly drivetrain changes.
  • 4 3
 It's as I suspected, you haven't ridden any good LLS bikes. Santa Cruz are terrible, I thought everyone knew that? :-P seriously though...I'm joking. But seriously.
Just goes to show I guess that one way isn't gonna work for everybody. Unless we're all taught to ride the same way, which would be the most boring thing ever. Here's to the crazy ones, etc, etc.
  • 4 4
 Canfield doing it right since 2011. Canfield one has 64 degree ha. 1170 wb. And longer reach than others in the segment. Not to mention 8 inches of travel and it climbs better than most 160mm enduro bikes... If only it was carbon and 650b...
  • 2 1
 I think that suspension plays a large role. 120mm is much better than 160mm on a flow trail. However, with today's air sprung stuff, just pump up your suspension. Lets say you run 1/3 sag. On 120mm that is 40mm, 160 is 53mm. So just run 40mm sag on 160mm bike. Also adjust compression and rebound to match the trail.
  • 2 0
 My 2012 blur lt feels pretty compact. Still a good bike tho
  • 5 0
 Ok, but what if you drive a fast car FAST?
  • 4 0
 @maks77 lol, exactly! Reminds me of when people say 'slow and steady wins the race' - no, fast and steady wins the race!
  • 44 2
 Great article!

As a member of the "tall" community its good to hear (I) stacks aren't going any lower and that attention is being paid to (ii) seat angles getting steeper.....

We need Large and XL frames to have higher stacks so we aren't reaching down to the bars and over-squatting to keep hips low enough when descending!......... we also need the seat angle and chain stay lengths to work together so we don't end up with our buts over the rear axle when climbing!
  • 7 1
 ...or our ifs...
  • 4 0
 oh yer I forgot to say that HA are low enough in IMHO...My Capra is 65, that maybe too low most of the time on the trails? the Tues is 63.5 that feels about right for DH.
  • 9 0
 I agree. At 6 ft and 4.5 inches I only fit XL or XXL frames and dammit I often wheely on climbs. Also more bikes should be designed better, so they don't look odd in larger sizes.
  • 6 1
 Came here to say this.
  • 5 6
 Why wouldn't you want low stack heights?
You can always add to stack with headset spacers, high rise bars and stems, but it's much more difficult to adjust downwards
  • 9 4
 If you were tall and or had very long legs I wouldn't have to explain it again....
  • 5 0
 Who wants to ride a bike with 2" of spacers plus high riser bars. Seems reasonable enough to me that if you're in the market for an XL bike, the stack, SA and stays are dimensioned accordingly
  • 2 1
 Dude I'm 6'4". Not a monster, but tallish.
If you weld on a massive headtube it only limits the number of people that will want to buy the bike. I'm fine with headset spacers and riser bars
  • 4 0
 @IllestT you must have low-stack favourable proportions.

Its widely accepted that larger frame sizes fail to scale up correctly....The Stack/reach ratios drop significantly for most bikes from medium to XL. Looked at another way this implies tall people have relatively shorter legs and or longer arms than average height people.

To make matters worse a lot of steerers are cut so low you cant realistically move up the stem from the start position by more than 5 or 10mm.
  • 1 1
 I do use a load of headset spacers and riser bars, but I just don't see what the problem is. I don't want a massive headtube - its just not necessary
  • 2 0
 A longer head tube has benefits in addition to making a frame look right in larger sizes. It allows for a larger area for the down tube and top tube to weld to making for a stiffer front end. I think we can all agree an XXL should have similar adjustability as a medium, however, currently to have a similar reach:stack ratio an XXL requires a disproportionate number of spacers.
  • 21 0
 Considering only one parameter and taking it to the extremes is retarded. Wide bar, lower bar, longer wheelbase, slacker headangle, lower BB and the more extreme the better. It makes no sense if you don't consider the trails you ride on, your physical (body) parameters. It is like saying the taller you are, the faster you will be. There are a handful of factors you need to optimize to get the best result in the circumstances you are in. All there factors are effecting each-other. Try to ride as much you can to get first hand experience, think, take everything with a grain of salt, and don't eat all the marketing BS. My 2 cents...
  • 4 1
 If they create properly designed bike right away what they're gonna sell day after tomorrow?
  • 21 1
 Long and slack doesn't add up for me. On fast open tracks maybe, but there's not many of them here in Oz. I like slack and normal length, but maybe that's my body type. I also don't like clipping rocks too easily. I like sub 50mm stems and short chain stays, especially on all but DH bikes. Each to their own. Long and slack needs to be ridden aggressively or its dud. So if your not on your game, it'll run wide and handle dopey.
  • 19 5
 It seems that there must be a relation between how tall you are and what the wheelbase should be for a given purpose/speed, just as it is with length of skis. The relation of how high is the COG of your body, what is the range of movement it has in relation to BB and then to tyre contact patches. I loved Joe Graneys take comparing Ratboy to Minnaar. Joe is always capable of delivering food for thought. I wish he restarted his blog Wink . Fantastic article, I only missed Kirk Pacenti here, since he has built so many different frames.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I reckon. I'm 194cm andhave been getting longer and longer bikes and am happy as. Don't really care about slack, trails here aren't generally fast enough. My last dh bike I ran a +1 head cup to get it to 64 as 63 was horrible on west Australian tracks.

The one issue mentioned above is that often as the reach gets longer Cs stays the same, and I find that hopeless for anything other than moderate downhill. Even no good for steep stuff, too far over the back and unbalanced. Uphill is impossible. Flat is fine I guess...
  • 7 1
 @Waki - agreed. The geometry on a small frame and XL frame should not be identical.
Norco has to some extend addressed this with chain stay length varying by size - what they are calling Gravity Tune.
Basic premise being the goal is not to make the shortest CS, but rather optimize the riders position on the bike.
  • 5 0
 What we need is Kona's magic link to come back, but refined and improved. The real benefit wasn't the pedaling improvement ( you can make any bike pedal well with a propedal switch or $2k of electronics) it was the geometry changes. When you pedaled you had a steeper HA, higher BB, and much shorter wheelbase. When you were cruising on smooth stuff, it would slacken out and lower a little bit. When you were in the rough, steep, or on the brakes it would get way longer, lower, and slacker.

I had two Coilairs with the Magic Link, and I put a 180mm fork on one. It put the HA at around 65.5 degrees when pedaling, but the BB was so high that it didn't feel too slack. When I was really charging it the HA was closer to 64 degrees and the BB dropped over an inch. It was magical. I didn't realize how slack it was until I sold it and got my Enduro 29er with a HA that feels like I'm on a road bike compared.

If a magic link could be put on a bike that had similar geometry to the Giant Reign when it was pointed downhill, but steepened it up by a degree and raised the BB when pedaling that would be a machine!
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez

Canyon does use a similar system but with a climb switch which I prefere over the self switching Kona version!
  • 2 0
 I haven't ridden the canyons shapeshifter, but why add the complexity of a switch when it could work automatically? The magic link wasn't an on/off switch; it varied inbetween based on the input from the back wheel, brakes, and pedaling forces.
  • 1 3
 Damn you waki and your sensibility.... Make your own blog...oh yeah. Wakileaks...
  • 1 0
 Have a little read on head angles vs fork rake in relation to trail. That will help you understand why the enduro 29er is... 'Different' to the 650b.

I doubt many people would buy the 29er enduro in it's current form if it wasn't for a predominantly American media telling us it's the best bike ever.

Personally I think it's a poor choice for 160mm travel but until people who get paid to review bikes stop telling people it's a great bike it will have to be a bike I can show to customers.

What we need to be talking about in a discussion about long low and slack is more than just head angles, bottom bracket heights and stack/reach lengths. It's wheel size, wheel base, fork rake and in turn the generated trail of fork travel, rake and head angle.
  • 2 3
 that-monster - that is off course true, unless you take a step back and ask questions about the prerequisites themselves - why exactly has industry decided to increase fork rakes and steepen up head angles in the first place? The answer is simple: to make it is easy for Joey's to manage the big wheeled bike at lower speed. Now, bikes like Specialized, Trek or Giant are designed with Joey in mind so any attempt at high-fly engineering discussion on average-end-user-biased design as if it was top-racing-performance is a bit off...
  • 18 6
 Chris Porter summed it up perfectly, and promisingly some manufacturer's are extending their geometry to be somewhere near the Geometron. Which can only be a good thing if you like to ride fast and hard.
  • 8 1
 This was my favourite part, "not many people actually designing bikes, understand how they really work. There are however many people in the industry who understand exactly how high their socks should be this season or whether they should have stickers underneath or on top of their helmet peak".
  • 7 0
 Chris Porter really knows his stuff from every angle. For example, I was at Bike Park Wales about 18 months and my Covert with Fox Ctd both ends didn't feel quite right no matter how much I messed with its setup. Chris was there offering advice, he took both my rear shock & forks apart, changing a few bits inside them. I am pretty much the same size and weight as he is and on the basis of this he disappeared on my bike for a couple of minutes and reappeared with the bike superbly dialled in. The bike handled beautifully thereafter! All I can say is "Thank you Chris Porter!"
  • 6 2
 Chris was dead on with his assessment. There is no reason that new riders should be on classic XC geometry. Just kills the ride. As for long low bikes not being snappy, I think people are confusing suspension setup with geometry. The Bronson which is longer than the Nomad is way more poppy and fun to ride on mellow trails despite it being even more progressive in terms of front center length.
  • 13 3
 So do you Nomad, Reign, etc riders just not ride uphill? Or do you use 150mm cranks? I don't get it because every time I test ride a bike with an ultra-low BB I just continuously smash the cranks on the way up and even occasionally catch the pedals in the way down too, which can be quite scary at speed. No thanks, I'd rather maintain my ability to pedal than have a great handling coaster bike.
  • 5 1
 I had a problem with pedal strikes until i found the magic spot of pressure in my rear shock. When i got that dialed, all was right in the world.

I do a lot of climbing on my nomad, it's actually quite good at it. It's not the fastest, but that's ok. I did keep the monarch plus and put a lighter wheelset on to help the longer climbs. One of my favorite loops includes a 1:30-2hr climb depending on my mood. (Armstrong/pinecone)

I do actually use all of it's travel as it's the bike that fits a lot of the local trails i ride (park city and trips to moab/st george). Some of the calmer canyons i dont, (corner canyon) but the geometry still rocks and it's a good enough all rounder i dont really care.

I was faster in spots with my trail bike (trance sx) but don't really care. I'm way faster in the rough stuff and it climbs the same. The geometry is spot on for me as I'm finding i like a larger wheelbase with a shorter reach.
  • 3 0
 Yep I climb 2K of vertical on almost every ride and did 163 rides last year. I also live in the land of rocks AKA Socal and have a bunch of technical climbs by my house. The Nomad just eats them up. A few things though, 170 cranks help a lot (don't know why SC specs 175's), and get it out of your mind that the bike can't handle tight switchbacks. Most people are defeated mentally by this before they even start. I almost never pedal strike and make it up everything an "XC" bike can climb including tight switchbacks.
  • 1 1
 Completely agree this super low BB trend is just outright stupid. Makes any technical chunky climbing difficult and also makes pedaling through high speed chunk dangerous.
  • 8 0
 I bought a Honzo frame after reading all the hype about long front-center, short stays, low BB, and slack headset. It was awesome going fast on buff trails, but was a handful when things got technical and slow. Also, I was striking pedals and hanging up chainrings all the time. I sold it within 3 months to another PinkBiker. Hope it works better for him. Moral of the story--different horses for different courses.
  • 8 1
 Perfect geo/travel is different for every terrain, but DH is pretty much dead in North Van. Longer, steeper AM rigs that can pedal, make sense. And most of them are awesome, Knolly Chilly, Banshee Rune, Transition Suppressor/Patrol, Giant Reign and the list goes on and on, it's a good time to be shredding.
  • 3 0
 Trail bikes nowadays have similar geo to DH bikes of less than a decade ago, so it's not surprising. Couple that with improvements in suspension and frames, and bingo.
  • 8 2
 I often think a lot of what Chris Porter says is just personal opinion conveyed as fact, but i agree with everything he's said there. It seems manufacturers are stuck in a world of set geometries and travels that are determined by what marketing buzzword you're going to sell them with. Each manufacturer varies by a degree here and a couple of mm there, but most don't vary that much.
With all the latest trends most manufacturers have just fallen into line yet again, none have truly innovated. I ride a Kona Process and liked the fact that they started with the angles and lengths they wanted and let the travel determine itself, its the most different (good thing) bike ive ever ridden but i still think it could be better.
Chances are selling a bike with numbers too far out there would be risky for a manufacturer
  • 3 0
 Yeah I agree. I think most brands don't won't to risk coming out with a slacker/longer bike which has a reach 50mm longer than the previous year's model for example even though testing might show it to be way better. Thus we are stuck with small incremental changes every year...If you want to buy a bike with 2020 geometry this year check out: www.polebicycles.com/bicycles/mountain/enduro/evolink-150-hd-275
  • 6 0
 I think a few of them mean the same thing but are saying it in different ways. Ben Walker I agree with. He summed it up the best: "The bike needs to disappear under the rider and become an extension of their body."

Every rider is different. Different mind set, different sizes, different attitudes, different riding style and different trail environment.

And Joe Graney makes a great example of this:

"In 2015, he won World Cup races on an XXL V10 with 470mm of reach. So one could assume longer is faster right? Not quite. Josh Bryceland is almost identical in height to those guys yet chooses to race on a large V10 frame with 424mm reach. Those guys choose the reach they feel most comfortable with."

Seriously, buy the bike that feels right for you and for your riding needs. (easier said than done I know)
  • 8 3
 To me, some current bikes are already too slack and too low. I frequently strike my pedals on my "E"-bike (nduro, no lectric!). And that makes me roll in sections where I would normally pedal. And anything below 64° head angle becomes extremely hard to steer for the average user.
As for length, try fitting such a Geometron bike into a normal cars' trunk. Won't be an issue with pickup trucks, but for regular cars it is. Also for air travel bags.

TL;DR: No slacker, no lower, no longer.
  • 5 0
 I think the bike geometry should depend on your physical appearance and riding style. Take two riders with the same hight, one with long legs and short torso the other with the opposite. They should probably have different bike geometry.

I for instance have long legs and short torso and I have found that bikes with longer reach suit me much better. That is kind of strange because I probably should prefer shorter reach due to my short torso but that is not the case. Until I bought my Kona Process 153 (L) I have always struggled with finding the right center of gravity. On my older bikes with the "old school" geometry (short reach) I was either to far back or to far infront. I got it right about just 5% of the time. With the Kona I´m right on spot 80% of the time. The large Process has a reach of 460mm and I think I actually could go for 20-40mm extra reach to get the optimal centre of gravity. That would probably give me the right amount of pressure on bought wheels 100% of the time.

My conclusion is that ALWAYS try out the bike you´re buying. If possible try some other bike, with different geometry and compare. I believe that different bikes are optimal for different body compositions and different riding style. You just have to find what works for YOU.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. I have short legs and long torso and found surprisingly That i need a shorter frame. my previous bike had a longer reach and a steeper Head angle, cornering at high speed was always a twitchy operation. My font Wheel always felt too light and drifty, i learn to live with That but i had to "think" about it. Now different bike shorter reach slacker HA same stem and bars This thing tracks like crazy, my weight seem to be in the sweet spot at last . I dont feel Much difference while climbing
  • 1 0
 That actually strengthens my observation. Rider with short legs and long torso seem to prefer shorter reach compered to riders with long legs and short torso that prefer long reach.
  • 5 0
 I am the same but you should reflect on your arm lengths as well.
  • 2 0
 Travel66 nailed it... short legs and long arms, i am 6ft2", have a 32" inside leg, and long arms.... have always felt cramped on large bikes (20"), so compensated with 750-800mm bars, this had my weight ending up to far forward especially descending, narrowing the bars pushed me back, and i was having problems weighting the front... ok, with a lot of thought you could achieve some sort of balance, but it took time..... My solution ? Mondraker Dune XR in an XL, initially with a 30mm stem and 750mm bars.... time will tell, but it does what it says on the tin ;-) a learning curve for sure with the forward geo, but i definitely don't feel cramped :-)
  • 2 1
 @steve-skidvd I am 6'2" but have very long legs (37"), short body and only average arms with wide shoulders so I need high stack, only medium to long reach and very wide bars............... oh and a steep seat post to stop my ars hanging over the rear axle climbing!

I have the weight forward problem descending due to only average arms and relatively high hips (due to leg length)......need high stack but not too long a reach. I run 800mm bards on Trail bike and 820mm on DH

I am sure an article on how to profile our own geometry and finding matching bikes would be helpful to many.....

good luck steve!
  • 2 0
 Very interesting hearing about different body compositions and bike sizes/geometry.
I agree with you @Travel66, an article on this would be very helpful. I have never read one about this so it could be a first.
  • 2 0
 I'm assuming all bikes are based on average body type... the point you make about profiling is surely relevant, maybe for us with not so average bodies could be aimed in the right direction... Listening to advice from others sends you in a spin, a friend runs a Dune in a medium, and he is over 6ft, slim build with 34" inside leg, and reckons my XL will be like a barge (which it ain't ;-) ) I also have a Titus RaceX in a large (21"), i also have had to have a high stack and riser 740mm bars, any wider and it gets ungainly, and i still feel i am going over the bars on steep descents.... Definitely an article on geo based on body type would be useful...
  • 1 0
 @steve-skidvd maybe your stem needs to be shorter?

Other than that I have to wonder if the Dune is right for you...the stack isn't that high, an XL is very long and the stem is already very short?
  • 1 0
 With the Dune set up with a 30mm stem, 750mm bars with 30mm rise and 9 degree pull back, it feels right, the stack set a little high, but possibly will drop it in time... what i have found is i can centralise my weight over the bike without stretching or pulling in, weighting up the front wheel is simply a case of bending my elbows, and getting over the back, extending and bending at the knees... I still haven't gained full confidence in the turns, but it definitely feels better
  • 1 0
 Dude if your going over the bars on steep descents then your either too stretched too far forward and or your stack is too low....
  • 1 0
 This is the point i'm trying to make, now i am not, or at least not feeling like it, but i am on a bike that in principle is the wrong size, an XL Mondraker Dune XR.... but with a long body, and equally long arms, the cockpit feels great..... still practising, but with high hopes...
  • 3 0
 I think something got lost in translation... Good luck with the Dune!
  • 3 0
 I think there's a risk of misdiagnosing the cause of a light front end. CS length needs to increase as the front centre lengthens. The trend for short CS ignores this and places the rider behind the centre line of the bike.
  • 3 0
 @twebeast I think your right and the "cure" that the industry seems to be forcing is low stack to move weight forward. But then you end up in a difficult neutral position all stretched out flat.....like on a Mondraker

CS should be proportional but I can only think of a few where CS varies or there is any adjustment possible...but what the hell its only the rear triangle!!! LMAO
  • 3 0
 Really good points @twebeast and @Travel66
  • 5 0
 I don't understand why nobody talks about trail. Is it because there are only certain variants of of forks available on the market? Head angle is nothing without the corresponding fork offset and the resukting trail. You could have different wheelbase with the same trail and same reach. This will change the balance of your bike if you have the same chain stay length. Just talking about reach and head angle is not sufficient.

As a result you can have a "shorter bike" which is more agile or a "longer bike" which is more stable with the same balance.

Seat angle will then change the way your balance is on your bike seated for climbing.

As a result it still depends where your priorities and preferences are and not fashion.

Eg giant reign has a fork with a different offset to change the trail for what giant thought is a good trail. Never rode the bike but like the approach.

Happy new year. 27.5+ boost ...
  • 7 2
 @Owen Pemberton - thats exactly what people ARE doing, short travel bikes with offset bushings and longer forks, give us sub 65 deg head angles on 120m-140 bikes as stock already!
  • 4 10
flag dualsuspensiondave (Jan 5, 2016 at 5:15) (Below Threshold)
 Where are they being ridden? That's completely unecessary. I can ride down the same stuff with a 67 degree head angle as I can with a 65 degree head angle. Slack head angles don't help pedaling either.
  • 4 1
 @dualsuspensiondave its not about just being able to 'ride down' something its about stability on the edge of control and allowance to ride faster speeds.
  • 2 8
flag dualsuspensiondave (Jan 5, 2016 at 14:24) (Below Threshold)
 @graeme187 - I can ride just as fast on a 67 degree HA bike as a 65 degree HA bike. It's called bike skills and not being a pussy.
  • 2 1
 @dualsuspensiondave good for you... kind of confirms my point though, you can call sub 65deg HA unnecessary in one breath, yet in another you can ride just as fast with a 2deg difference - so in reality another 2deg would be ok too - its difficult to notice THAT much difference - incremental gains is what I'm talking about. - See @bluumax comment below - that's what i'm talking about.
  • 8 0
 The limit goes where you cant reach your handlebar anymore
  • 4 0
 What I really want to know is the influence of wheel diameter and width and it's applicability to geometry. Do 650b+ wheels require different geometry than 29r? Does a steeper 26" bike ride better than a similarly steep 29r? Answers... I need answers!!!
  • 5 1
 Everyones saying the same thing it seems (other than chris porter who strikes me as an eccentric). And I think Santa Cruz engineer pretty much nailed it with the most sensible response.

I don't think any of this is such "black magic" as you would think it is. Longer will always be more stable, shorter more maneuverable, slacker equals more stable, but harder to steer. Lower of course more stable, but more pedal strikes. None of this is rocket science. And its funny how people get on one style of bike (long wheelbase/slack HA) and think because it goes faster in straight line that it is better. Reminds me of the 29r hype. Everyone swore that they'd never go back to a smaller wheel....but now as time has gone we understand better the pros and cons. Just like frame geometry, once you get over the hype of the latest trend, you end up with a more realistic view point.

I think the key point that reverberates within all the interviews is it depends on what kind of trails you are riding. That should always be the first thing you consider when thinking about picking a new bike.......
  • 4 0
 I Think!! ALL Bikes Should be custom-built ad your bodyspecs Certainly with the pricing today Then everybody has the bike they want. Leaves only what suspension do we take and how rigid the Framebuild Schould be
  • 1 0
 that'd make the second hand market very complicated
  • 3 0
 It's a really good article, I really like the technical aspects of biking but ultimately it's about rider ability and preference. When you start mixing with genuinely fast riders it's clear it's about skill, talent and putting the miles in. I'm sure it's much like motorcycle racing, 20% bike 80% rider. I've been in races where virtually all the field are on modern 150mm+ enduro bikes only to be beaten by a 120mm trail bike
  • 6 0
 That's how we'll all be rollin' in 5 years. Slack and low.
instagram.com/p/BAKRhSts636
  • 3 0
 The question that PB is really asking (will geometry numbers finally settle for the various types of bikes?) is not and probably cannot be answered by these guys. But if you went outside of bikes and looked in the moto world, we would probably would find the answer as they need to climb and descend as well. Are manufactures there finally settled in their geometry for the type of bike they offer or what? If they are, then Mtn bikes will eventually hit that. IDK, so perhaps someone can answer this for us.
  • 2 2
 Craaaack
  • 2 2
 If you want to see where geometries are going to be by 2020 check out www.polebicycles.com/bicycles/mountain/enduro/evolink-150-hd-275
  • 1 2
 Sintra, don't be so sure. Companies like Pole exist only because they make freaky bikes. 120-150mm 275+ bikes with geometries are going to rule the most of market share in 2020. You need a second generation of them to dial geometry utilizing big tyres and I guess what it is going to be will be, is still a mystery to most engineers and product designers out there. Simple reason: regular people won't feel good on 63 head angle with increased offset as all 275 forks are at the moment. Also 275+ rides at low speeds much better than anything else out there. Most people don't ride fast enough to get to the point where massive tyre needs to dig in. Most importantly, the vast majority of MTBers ride 29ers with locked forks with too little sag, on semi-slick tyres, remember that. BTR, Pole, Kirk Pacenti, Chris Porter can do super slack and long bikes, they are probably best out there, but they are irrelevant for development of bikes like Giant Trance or Stumpjumper. The rise of Enduro Elite I sense...
  • 2 0
 I get what you are saying but I want more bikes like pole for personal reasons. I'm currently debating which pole bike frame I should get: the 150mm enduro or their DH bike with 176mm of travel next spring! I'd love the geometron but don't have the cash for it!
  • 4 2
 My problem with them is that they are straight forward downhill bikes that go up. Why not make a DH bike with steeper head angle, room for dropper and lock out for shock and fork? Why compromise? Why pretend that 160mm of travel are better than 200mm for going down the hill, while you want ALL of the characteristics of a DH bike - slack head angle, long wheel base, long chainstays, high front, And if you ask me, if some company wants to make an outstanding bike, make just that. Make a climbable downhill bike, a proper downhill bike. For me, AM bike is meant to do a lot of things in a relatively good manner - this new breed isn't. It goes down exceptionally well at the expense of negotiating stuff on climbs. I appreciate climbing trails, not just fire-roads.
  • 2 1
 In that regard I also laugh at the current trend of getting 120 bikes to what AM bikes used to be in 2012. The rear simply doesn't cope with what you can throw at it with such slack geo. I can send it straight through a gnarly rockgarden and if everything goes well, no probs, but when it doesn't, things go south immediately - your rear end is flying up and sideways and you hold on for your life. The whole trend is sick, I see the latest trails around my place and they are as gnarly as DH courses were in 2006 when I came here, and people rode in full body armor on DH bikes. Yes we all progressed in our riding but not that much. Currently we live in "I can do that on such small bike", which means extremes of glory and pain. New people coming into the sport are first blown with how new bikes ride and then they end up in hospital, and after the rehab is done some of them are leaving. Natural selection, yes! I don't care, the less people on trails the better for me. But what I mean with that is that I totaly get it why mainstream industry keeps things modest.
  • 2 0
 I have been using my DH bike as my one and only bike i.e. I climb with it as well. I find that while I don't need 200mm of travel everywhere I love the geometry. When riding flatter terrain I just run a lower rise handlebar. The weight is more of problem when riding uphill singletrack (I don't have a 15kg DH bike) than the geometry and of course not having a 77º seatangle.
I think 63-64º headangle is ideal for allmountain. Personally their bikes seem to fit my kind of riding. Last year I changed from a medium to a large frame thus gaining 30mm of reach and 25mm of wheelbase. At first I was worried I'd have a hard time changing direction in tight corners but it was just a matter of getting used to the bike. Now I'm thinking of going up to +1335mm wheelbase which will be over 10cm longer than my current bike and wondering if that might be a tad too much or will I be able to adjust to it as well!
I get what you're saying. Working at the Chatel bikepark I see more and more people riding their trail bikes and of course inevitably I see many of them break and/or see the nasty effects of when 150mm isn't enough...This "I can do that on a small bike" mentality is getting out of hand! haha
As for trail bikes with aggressive geometry I'm all for it so long as the user does not forget how much travel they have!
  • 2 1
 I will be riding a bike with 1230 wheelbase and 160 travel for most of stuff. I am worried that it will be too big, because my previous bike, Blur TR with 160 fork was spot on with length for what I do. Quite frankly my modernized 160 Nomad from 2008 was a better all-round bike than Blur. Now I will be having 160 Lyrik which I will set to 180 if I go to the bike park. But well I don't live around Chatel Wink And 15kg DH bike isn't more expensive than a sub 13kg trail bike, which everybody seem to aim at Wink
  • 1 0
 You will need to adjust your riding style a bit, be more agressive on the bike but then it will be worth it. A 15kg trail bike would already be a blessing! My bike weighs 18.5kg and my friends wonder how I keep up with them on the climbs! I just tell them I don't have a choice! When they tell me "Fred you should really get an enduro bike!" I think them a) but then I wouldn't have any handicap and would smoke em on the climbs and b) I'll get one if you pay for it! lol Happy trails!
  • 3 0
 " Why pretend that 160mm of travel are better than 200mm for going down the hill, while you want ALL of the characteristics of a DH bike - slack head angle, long wheel base, long chainstays, high front"

Who's pretending Big Grin Nobody said that 160mm is better than 200mm. People like @SintraFreeride found out that you can have a lighter bike with a geometry which is almost as fast as DH bike and almost as fast uphill as an XC bike. This makes a bike which is fun on trails, DH, bikepark and XC. I ride my Evolink 140 everywhere.

""The rear simply doesn't cope with what you can throw at it with such slack geo. I can send it straight through a gnarly rockgarden and if everything goes well, no probs, but when it doesn't, things go south immediately - your rear end is flying up and sideways and you hold on for your life.""

Whaat? If you just throw an angleset to a XC bike, it doesn't make it a modern geometry bike. The bike is far more complex than just changing the head angle. The frame stiffness, suspension kinematics, weight balance and overall dynamics have to be adjusted as well to compensate the weight shift. Also the reach is always too short on the bikes which have been anglesetted. And if you take an Large bike and change the angleset, you should check where the BB is after the modification. You may need to change the fork to a stiffer one and as well or get some more stack under the headtube.

When I started to ride trailbikes after riding DH I thought the geometry of the trailbikes was s*it. I tried to make a trailbike trom my DH bike, which was also s*it because it couldn't pedal uphill. I also made a trailbike from a XC bike which was total disaster. Then we founded a company (Pole Bicycles) and I designed bikes that have our ideal trail bike geometry. We found out that the longer and slacker bikes are actually more rideable uphill and downhill. The riding style is different, more fast but safer than a steep and short bike. At Pole bicycles our mission is to make safer, faster and easier bikes. There are limitations in shorter travel but for example the Honda downhill bike had only 180mm travel and Matti Lehikoinen finished WC overall 2nd after Hill. Our downhill bike is more tactics than all in type of a deal. In front you get that big support from 200mm fork, which is more important than a 200mm travel in rear. Don't worry, there are still companies who make short and steep bikes Wink

We can talk hours if our design good or not but I know that usually people only realise the advantages when they get on the bike. I am quite amused about people upsetting about our concept because usually when you upset people by creating something new, you are doingsomething right Wink @WAKIdesigns Next summer come to Åre enduro and have a go on our bike.

-Leo
  • 2 0
 @polebicycles I'm saving money right now in order to buy your DH frame! They look sweet!
  • 1 3
 I heard it too many times from people, all coming from completely opposite sides of the spectrum, including Nicolai and Merida so yaaawn... I am glad you are doing something you believe in, whatever it is you have to have that belief. All the best to your business Wink ok, back to the best equipment a MTBer can buy: 20kg+ kettlebells (and balance ball off course, stay modern!)
  • 1 4
 Also please stop with that almost as fast as XC bike, if you think that any Enduro bike is close to beas fast as XC bike then you are seriously out of your mind. Yes if you would put EVERYTHING from your bike and put it on XC frame and fork then yes your 160 bike would climb almost as well as that bike. Yes AM bikes are incredible at climbing compared to what they were in like 2005 but they still suck at it with heavy wheels and high cockpits. Ride 1500 vertical meters in Alps on a stock Scott Spark and then come back to me. Not just rotating mass, overall weight, but also position of your back, biomechanics and sht. Since your wheelbade is 0,5m longer compared to XC bike then well isn't wheelbase related to
stability at speed? Like 5-10 km/h on a climb hummm... Unless off course you referred to Scandinavian XC, a HT with 140-160 forks Wink

Sorry that you had to hear it, i criticize the general trend in AM bike design chatter. Complete mess with points of reference...
  • 5 0
 Where do you get these ideas? Nobody was saying that a AM bike goes faster to uphill than a light XC bike. Heavier is heavier and if there is not a technical advantage for the weight it's always harder to take heavier stuff uphill. You don't seem not understand how the modern geometry brings the rider weight to front wheel. The slack cocpit is about the same height as XC because the slack head angle makes the front lower. The seat tube angle moves the weight more front so you don't need to bend your upper body that much forward. It's easier for the body as well.

@WAKIdesigns I find a lot of arrogance and overconfidence in your comments. For example it sounds like you think that people would not understand physics and now you are reminding about mass on this equation? It's not a very healthy way to make a conversation. You need to understand the diggerence of marketing and facts. In marketing people create images of stuff. "Climbs like an XC bike
" don't mean that we say that the bike is faster than a XC-bike. I bet you would like to work for bicycle industry because I see you have done a lot of sketches and all. Good looking stuff. Chill out a bit and you might make it.
  • 1 4
 Please don't get so personal and don't teach me about marketing. You said that I said that AM bikes are better than XC which I haven't. You said that your bikes climb almost as well, which isn't thecase either, utilizing the non-tangible space of what is a well climbing bike vs human performance. All of your last paragraph seems like you are accusing me of your own treats. Let's stop this conversation we both don't want to have. Cheers!
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns It's not that we don't like to have the conversation. We love the input from the people and give everything a thought. It's just that we like to keep opinions, rumors and facts separate. This way it's easier for people to take part for the conversation and follow up. Bikes seems to be a true passion for you and whether or not you like our design we need to be friends because we fight for the same cause -> biking!!! There are not enough bikers out there yet Wink
  • 2 0
 @SintraFreeride Thanks for your nice comments and I'm looking forward to deliver a bike for you! Here's a video of our rider Antti shredding the bike here in Finland: www.pinkbike.com/video/422461 Cheers!
  • 1 3
 When I said "I heard stuff like that" I meant talking/writing with actual people working for those companies being super passionate about what they are doing (and selling) standing hard by their product, not some marketing mumbo jumbo cutting one page from the physics book and burning the rest of it. Fact is a very dangerous world in MTB since 90% or more of people who are able to afford your bike are unable to deliver consistent lap times, hence it is hard to verify anything, really, it comes down to feel (which is subject to impressions, convictions and stuff) Wink Also terrain varies so much around the world that it's just hard to say whether this or that parameter can work everywhere. In most of Scandinavia we have no mountains, 200m hills at best, which gives you DH run times between 40 and 90 seconds with speeds rarely exceeding 30km/h. We climb tight, twisty singletracks filled with rocks, boulders and roots, how much slower can that get? Nobody climbs on fire roads here Big Grin So ... where do you utilize this vast stability? Big Grin I love the fact that you are making such bikes, someone has to provide actual alternatives with differences bigger than 3mm per year. All the best for you and your business!
  • 2 0
 Finland is a place where we need to have versatile bikes. The trails uphill are filled with roots and rocks. I say modern geometry climbs better. The geometry is made to be safe in any conditions: in flat or in steep.

I recently joined Strava. Here's my Strava site so you can look what kind is riding I'm using the 140mm travel 29" Evolink. Note that I have many bikes in stock and I could use whatever geometry I want. I still choose this bike over the steeper XC?

www.strava.com/athletes/12427807
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm with you in the beginning, kind of ... because what *I think* I want is my Capra size Medium (I'm 178 tall) with a -steeper seat angle-, okay, perhaps a size Large as everybody tells me I should get a longer bike (baah). You think I'm on the right track with this idea??
  • 2 0
 @DuRietz: Longer is better. More room to breath and move around and more stable. At 178cm I think you should be riding an at least a YT Capra size XL seeing as the reach is only 458mm. I am 179cm and ride a bike with 520mm of reach and it fits perfectly.
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: So what kind of trails and bike in other geo terms do you ride? What's the seat angle for example. Actually, I'm looking for if there is a measurement that tells how long it is from the saddle to the handle bars, is there such a think, well, top tube length plus stem length I guess...
  • 1 0
 @DuRietz: I have a Pole EVOLINK 176 which I run with 160mm fork. It is my everything bike. For bikepark use I run a bigger chainring with smaller cassette and short seatpost. For general up and down riding I run a dropper, big cassette and small chainring.
My geometry is:
HA: 63º
SA: 75.6º
Reach: 520mm
WB: 1340mm
CS: 460mm
BBH: ~345mm (higher with bigger tires)
Center of BB to handlebars: 824mm (I run a 10mm stem) This is a better measurement than toptube + stem length.

I live in Chatel so when the lifts are open I ride the bikeparks in the Portes du Soleil and during the offseason I pedal up the same mountains but tend to ride natural terrain. Stuff over here is steep both up and down. So traction both up and down is very important. This bike has it in spades! I can now climb stuff both sitting and standing which I couldn't before easily! I have ridden it in all sorts of terrain and it just works everywhere. When things start getting really tight you just have to look ahead and chose your line and/or be a little more aggressive. I have also ridden the bike on more mellow trails abroad and the bike works just as well. The slack headangle isn't a problem on the climbs due to the long front end, it makes going over the bars on the downhills practically impossible (obviously) and it allows you to corner harder with the risk of the front folding. I am currently running a 584mm front (650b) and 559mm (26in) back with plus tire but will soon test bigger wheels. I highly recommend this bike and remember that you can always size down if you think the bike is too big (which it isn't!!!).
  • 5 0
 my buddy used to cut old steel forks in half and weld an additional 2 feet of pipe on to them to make a chopper. I had no idea how ahead of the times he was.
  • 7 5
 "1 Question - How Long, Low And Slack Can We Go?"

Am I the only one who feels like we didn't get answers?
I wanted to hear "62.5° HA with 480mm reach for L sized AM bike" for example.
Don't get me wrong - those answers were interesting, but I don't feel like I learnt many things.

As always, it's a compromise. Many agree to say that it depends on the intended use, so that's why I think Shapeshifters etc are the way to go. Less pedal strikes and good handling uphill , and low center of gravity and slacker downhill... isn't this the best solution?
  • 2 2
 Yeah I to was disappointed that no figures were given. Perhaps they didn't want to give an answer so that it won't affect sales of the following year.
If you want to see where geometries are going to be by 2020 check out www.polebicycles.com/bicycles/mountain/enduro/evolink-150-hd-275
  • 3 0
 The change in geometry has suited me. in order to get a bike with enough reach has ment getting a bike that is in effect too big for me. the longer rear means a smaller frame and a better ride.
  • 2 0
 Other aspect i dont understand is why headtube/stack height do not grow proportionally from size to size.
From a Small frame to an XL, stack height only goes up 30-40mm. While saddle height may go up 200mm.
I know a long headtube makes the frame weaker, but having 40mm spacers below the stem is not good either
  • 1 1
 The up-side is you can size up to a larger / longer frame.
  • 2 1
 right. but let's say a rider on a small frame has the seat height at 700mm and the frame stack is 580. Seat to head tube drop is 120mm. a rider on xl frame has the seat height at 840, and the frame stack is 620. Seat to head tube drop is 220mm.
  • 3 0
 Please anything but more gears, fatter wheels, wider handlebars, more complex BB systems, computer/battery operated components, downtube garage doors, and spandex! "KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID''
  • 1 0
 Wider handlebars are complicated?

Spandex is as simple at it gets, on the right body.
  • 2 0
 Knuckle-Head, anything much over 30" is getting crazy. Most people are not from the Amazon and don't need bars any wider, unless you like "Knuckle" bashing on trees.

Here is a good Video to put things in perspective on DH Bars. Hence, the majority of riders are not strictly DH riders.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GxjVCU7Zck
  • 1 1
 and there is nothing stopping you from doing just that. no one is forcing anyone to buy the new stuff, just keep on riding your rigid hardtail with v brakes and narrow bars, as long as you're enjoying it who cares....
  • 5 0
 Graney's answer finally explains why Ratboy sometimes looks like an ape on a circus bike
  • 3 1
 I just built a 2016 XL Transition Patrol with a -1 deg angleset and a 180mm fork creating a bike with almost the same geo as their TR500 +.5-1 deg in the seat tube. the BB is apprx 1 cm higher than with a 160mm Fork which gives me a little more pedal clearance. I basically have a DH BIke I can pedal...One bike to rule them all! I will likely adjust the fork back to 170mm which will drop the Seat post and BB back to stock but still give me the slack HA and extra fork up front. I am only a couple rides in but so far its pretty amazing. I wouldn't go any lower on BB's because we are getting into pedalability issues. This trail bike is long and slack and not so low but low enough.
  • 1 0
 what you're describing with a 170mm Lyrik sounds like my next bike - or a Geometron.... Unless this 27+ thing takes off and maxxis releases a 27+ Minion
  • 2 0
 certainly room to go longer and slacker but lower can only go so far as my injured shoulder will attest to! anything under 12.5 is asking for it on a trail bike on my local trails but its different for all. its a good thing for this progress to be made and much of it is an evolution as the trails have evolved greatly. used to wheelie drop 20 times a trail back in the day, ha!
  • 3 1
 Thank You Chris Porter. Owning a Geometron in the Longest size and being 6'4" has been a game changer. It really does do everything he states. It rides wide open sections, tight and corners amazingly well and remains playful. Sure, it may suffer some on flatter more boring trails but I'm not that interested in that type of riding and besides that is what my hardtail is for. While there are bikes that will be faster uphill, the rider position and steep seat angle allow this bike to ride up just about anything regardless of how steep it gets.
  • 3 4
 Half of climbing problems of big bikes would be solved IF Rockshox brought back U-Turn. Dual air as well as Talas are frequently reported to not be as good as fixed air spring, which was never the case with coil based travel adjustment. Once you drop your front end by 4cm, your seat and head angle get steeper by 2 degrees, yourbars get into a better climbing position, all problems go away. You may eventually hate rock strikes due to low BB, if you climb technical terrain which you would not do on a 62degree bike with 1300+ wheelbase anyways...
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Hey, why not climb technical terrain with 62° head angle and 130+cm wheel base? I haven't tried it. Have you?
  • 1 1
 @DuRietz: I haven't. get you arse on the plane and fly to Finland, borrow a Pole and you'll find out.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Got a friend who's got one now, actually two! Gotta try the reference uphills here with it and I'll get back to you about it.
  • 2 0
 Coming from bmx and being focused on jumping, and after having a dh bike id actually like to see a bike with 200mm of travel, a longer toptube but a steeper head tube angle. Personally i like the feel of being a little more over the front wheel. Even on my dirt jumping bike id actually like to keep the steeper steering head but increase the top tube length even more, like to 23 inches or even 24. Im 5'9, 185 pounds so im no giant either.
  • 1 0
 As long as they offer more options to suit everyone rather than just bikes with hugely long reach then by all means keep pushing the boundaries.

Personally at 5"6 I've hit my limit for reach at about 430(plus at 35mm stem) any longer and shifting weight back for jumps drops etc becomes hard. Also the longer bike requires constant aggressive riding otherwise its just not fun.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I like to see progression in any sport, and as a tall bloke it’s good to see medium and large frames appearing with more reach, so I’ll happily accept the changes just as long as they don’t remove FUN from the equation.
  • 6 4
 I didn't read a word of any of that article just came down here to see how many guys (computer jockeys) want 60* with 550mm top tubes and the bottom bracket to be a crankarm length away from the ground "cos it looks nice"
  • 1 0
 i liked the newest revision of the medium BRONSON (148 boost) out of all the bikes i've rode since this new phenomenon of geometry trend. fast, snappy cornering, climbed better than i expected from a 6" travel bike and really a great all around playful bike. i currently ride a large 2015 nomad. the sweet spot for me is to ride a size smaller frame. wish i had got the medium nomad...

with these new longer cockpits on bikes 2013 and up, go demo a couple of sizes first to find your happy. i assumed previous nomads i owned would feel close when i bought the 27.5 version and new geometry... i was wrong. hope this helps anybody looking at getting into this geometry trend.
  • 4 3
 2006 kona coiler geometry:

HA: 65.7 degrees
Chainstays: 439mm
Top Tube: 609mm

Looks pretty good to me. Wish my stupid enduro 29er had a HA slacker than 67.5. I would want to start it at 66 flat and test going even slacker. Thanks Specialized, for proprietary, integrated headsets!
  • 1 4
 But your 67.5 is like a 66.5 with a smaller wheel size. You definitely don't need it to be any slacker than that with a trail bike, especially a FSR bike.
  • 3 1
 Its not sold as a trail bike; it was sold as an Enduro bike, DH killer. I also reject that the bigger wheels emulate a slacker front end. Thats not how it feels to me and several other E29 owners I've talked to.
  • 3 0
 The wheel size doesn't emulate a slacker front end at all @hamncheez you're right. They'd don't feel like an extra inch of travel either.
  • 1 0
 I'm not saying the 29er platform doesn't have advantages, it does, but the geometry should be much closer to the smaller wheels in my opinion. The larger wheel size doesn't benefit from drastically different geometry.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez totally correct, the closer I can get my geometry to my 160mm 650b brethren's bikes, by using angleset, offset bushings, longer travel forks, the better my bikes becomes. Excited to try the Geometron as my next bike
  • 1 1
 @graeme187 the big S uses proprietary, integrated headsets, so no angleset for me. The rear shock has a proprietary yoke mount, so only one offset bushing can be installed, giving about a .4 degree HTA change and I think a third of an inch change in BB height.
  • 2 1
 i'll keep harping on this because nobody ever listens. This guy is right. Giant Bicycles is right.Cannondale is right (although they are steep H/A with big offsets). Anyway, per Owen Pemberton

"For the 150-170mm (enduro) category...The biggest thing holding back steering geometry in this category, are fork offsets. With current fork offsets we can't push head angles (slacker) without negatively affecting the ride experience. It all comes down to that trail number!"

When Giant mass produced their flagship 160mm travel Reign with a 65* H/A they did the smart thing with the 46mm offset Pike crown.
  • 1 0
 Big offsets just make the steering feel livelier, they don't corner as well as forks with smaller offsets at the same HA. The manufacturers are just giving us "fashionable" slack geo numbers that feel slugish and then offset them (pun intended) with high offset forks. They need to sell bikes.
  • 3 2
 It is very easy for these guys to build the best bike they can, with the best geometry. BUT what are they going to sell you next year?? SO, they give you little by little. Every other year a little bit longer a little bit slaker. It is called marketing! If you dont like it...fk them and build your own bike!
  • 1 0
 Anyone know of the a dropper post that slides the seat slightly forward in the up position and slightly back when then down? or a quick release for sliding on the seat rails. Just moving forward a little while climbing would enable one to keep more weight over the front wheel while going with a little slacker bike.
  • 1 0
 I actually thought about this myself. A fast though, it would probably look awful, but what if you changed the entire seat post, so that the seat hinged up and down from further up on the top tube... The kinematics of it could actually be a lot simpler than how complex the seat post dropper seams to be today.
  • 2 1
 These guys need to get off their AM rigs. Not everyone rides that kind of terrain for whatever reason, so having a bike that's super LSS because that's what people think is the best thing is just plain dumb. All I have to ride for actual trails near me are techier XC loops and a few flow trails or two. And you know what? Those flow trails are ridden by people on XC race bikes and they still can do all of the jumps because the jumps themselves are smartly sized. And because they can ride their bike without relying on specific geo for jumps.

I went from an 80mm 26" hardrock to a 130mm 27.5" hardtail, mainly because the speshy started feeling cramped for how I ride. I have a definite bmx style to how I ride, so I opted for a "trail" bike just for the playfulness. Turns out, my XC bike is longer and lower than the trail bike, but the trail bike handles so much better to me because of HOW I RIDE. It's just more relaxed. It's great for XC and flow trails and even riding a little bit of street/skatepark, but it doesn't stop me from trying to ride down/off of something that's "too steep" or "too loose" for the type of bike I've got.

I know people who have AM rigs near me and they either never ride them anywhere on the local trails or if they do it in the shorter travel option. 130mm front and rear is all I would EVER want for a bike, and I want it to be shorter so I can still turn the f*cking thing around when I realize I forgot my keys at home and need to get them.
  • 1 0
 Well Take a tick block of steel put a handlebar on it and a saddle lower than that isn't possible No really Why do you need A Endurobike If you have Freeridebike Bigger is Better Carbon will be outdated in view years Steel will be back
  • 6 3
 Totally agree with Chris porter, summed it up well but I think we are closer to the limit than be thinks...
  • 3 0
 only time(s) will tell. the stopwatch will be the decider.
  • 5 1
 The stopwatch only matters to some of us. It's about the ride, not the destination.
  • 2 0
 I agree, some people its the stopwatch, some its the fun factor
  • 2 0
 The stopwatch is the only decider when it comes to bike speed as it isn't subjective. Sure some want a fun bike but the point of pushing geometry is speed. A bike with great handling is going to be a fast one.
  • 2 2
 If you want to see where geometries are going to be by 2020 check out www.polebicycles.com/bicycles/mountain/enduro/evolink-150-hd-275
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: The kind of constantly changing and very steep both uphills and downhills that we have where I live, and on top of that searching out the most technical and interesting drop lines are things that I haven't heard talk about anywhere. I seem to just hear about wanting bikes that go fast. I don't want to go fast, then I don't last long on the bike before my body is out in some injury in between runs. I want to go technical, flowy both very steep uphill and downhill, and actually technical enough to slow speed down to the point where falling off the bike does not directly impose the risk of causing an injury. Where I come from in mountain biking, speed isn't that high and falling off over the handlebars was as natural as not making a section. I want to get back to the playfullness this had. There's simply too much at stake nowerdays in the high speed enduro tracks which takes away the play! It should all just be about going out to play - and also getting great exercise at the same time without thinking about it! These are basically the two things I am looking for in mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 @DuRietz: Anyone relate to this?
  • 1 0
 @DuRietz: I am also a fan of steep tech tracks. Give me tech over flow anyday. I think a longer slacker bike is going to be safer for very steep stuff as you decrease the risk of going over the bars (which is when you really injure yourself). Best to speak to Sintrafreeride. He has a Pole and rides (or lives in) Chatel.
  • 2 0
 ^ I drive fast cars fast..and also drive slow cars fast...same with bikes..I want to ride fast no matter the bike or the trail.
  • 3 1
 That was a good read. I'm pretty pleased with my Patrol with a 1.5degree angleset though.
  • 2 1
 you run it at 63.5 head angle?

i thought 65 was slack!

might need to try that with my suppressor...
  • 4 1
 Nope. I run it at 66.5. My local trails are very steep and technical but just ain't that fast.
  • 1 1
 38" X 24" X 44" .......only if she's 5' 3"
  • 1 0
 ^^^^ SIR MIX ALOT, oh how i miss the 90s!!
  • 4 3
 @ panaphonic How well does it climb slacked out at 63.5° ? My DH bike has the same angle. wow!
(Oh, and the degree symbol is obtained by typing alt+248 on a PC, in case anyone was wondering)
  • 4 3
 Dont understand why they all refer to BB height, which varies depending on wheels and tires?
It may be better to talk about BB drop instead?
  • 2 3
 You missed the latest class, BB drop is greatly irrelevant to how the bike handles, a byproduct of bike geometry chart. BB height and it's relation to tyre patches is where it's at. Join us at GATTACA.
  • 2 2
 BB drop is probably the first thing you notice once you start pedaling a new bike.
It is the center of gravity.
Do you feel on "top" of the bike, or do you feel "inside" the bike?

BB height is a variable related to tire and wheel size. Running 2.0 tires or 2.8 will change the BB height. But will not significantly change the way a bike feels.

'nuff said
  • 1 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 5, 2016 at 11:52) (Below Threshold)
 Umm no, riding in the bike feel is about relation of grip location to BB, supportfor your hands, so in a way stack and reach + stem amd handlebar type. Also the gyroscopic effect of the bigger wheel can be felt as a comforting sensation although DH tyres on 26" wheel provide more of it than 29" AM tyres. bB drop, not a variable? Ever heard of suspension? Finaly BB is not the COG of the bike, which is a quite irrelevant factor anyways. Green hot cup mamma
  • 1 2
 No, because people don't like going head first at 30mph from pedal stomping the ground from a ridiculously low BB.
  • 2 4
 Does your bike tip sideways on axles or on bottoms of tyres? When you ride onto a stone, does it hit the tyre or your axle? When you brake, does the force come at you from the tyre biting the ground or from the caliper? The only thing BB-drop affects is wheelies and it does next to nothing in that respect. You can or control the fore/aft tilt of your bike, through your riding stance and dynamic input, or you simply can't. You are out of your depth here!
  • 4 0
 Thanks for answering my question. I guess they use BB height because BB drop is too complicated to understand for begginer/mid level riders. Like when they suggest a size based on height...
Wako... Get a job! and stop pretending you know what you talking about...
'Nuff said
  • 7 8
 "I've heard some people say that this 'new' geometry is only for experts. So we should let the novices, beginners and weekend warriors all ride the sh-t bikes then? Are we (the industry) trying to kill our customers? Experts and beginners alike can all benefit from a bike with a more dynamic geometry design."

Bingo. Someone tell Kona, because when I asked why my process had a steep head angle for it's category and the type of bike it is (68deg, wtf) the attitude was that they made it for beginners and that they know best. No Kona, you don't, the bike is too steep, and your arrogant attitude will remove me from buying another. Chris has it right, we can all benefit from good geometry and learn to ride better. Stop making bikes for the lowest denominator. Glad the industry, more or less, grasps this and has changed geometry to suit the demands.
  • 5 2
 FWIW Kona, I'm now running it with a longer fork to compensate for the steep head angle. It helps improve the handling of the bike, which was very twitchy and not composed at higher speeds or jumping/rock gardens/etc. It's still fine on the climbs. The competitors are all in the 66-66.5 range now, exactly where it should be. Small difference but makes a magnitude of a difference for both the trail, and the angle at which the fork attacks the trail, which is more supple now due to a better angle in relation to bumps on the trail. The 'very long' TT is also not that long, so at 6'1" on a large (Your suggestion) I need to run a 20mm longer stem. Maybe listen to your customers instead of your inner circle jerk.

Cue downvotes from the lowest denominator ridership.
  • 1 0
 process is 66.5 with a 160 fork (153 model)?
  • 6 1
 why did you buy it? like you say there are other bikes with a slacker head angle so if that's what you want then buy one of them.
  • 3 2
 Yup, then it jumps to 68 for the next version (which I have). 67 would have been more in line with the competition, as the bike is aimed towards aggressive trail riding, but if you've ridden one hard (again, just doing what it's marketed as) you'd quickly find it's a bit awkward at speed if going fast and over gnarly terrain is your thing. it's crazy how 1deg makes a difference but it does, just like a few psi in a tire. I kind of regret not getting a 150 now, but just adding a longer A2C and travel fork (fox 34) changed the way the bike rides considerably.

Bronson (150mm) 66
5010 (130mm - comparable) 67
Nomad (165) 65
Enduro (165) 65.5
Reign (160) 65
Trance SX (140- comparable) 66
Trance (140 - comparable) 67

See what I'm getting at?
  • 2 1
 @doek Great deal, mistakenly thought it could accept offset bushings. Modified it accordingly to suit. Simply asked Kona about it and wasn't impressed by their 'bro' response (hence this post). Oh well, lesson learned. Other than that it's great, but needed a bit of tweaking to get right, something I shouldn't really have to do on a modern trail bike. This year I'll be running an offset HS and 140mm Pike or 36 which will have a longer A2C thus slacking it out a bit. Of note this is the steepest bike in it's category, and their response was what surprised me.
  • 2 0
 What about rune 64.5? I am thinking of buying it but after the things that i read. I do not know if its the right choice. I ride now a carbine 275, 67 head angle.

Type of trails rocky not a lot steep tight turns, more hike trails.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz - loved your post because it illuminates the most important factor that none of the guys above addressed: how a bike gets into a consumer's hands. Although you haven't made clear why you bought the bike you did, it is clear that you didn't get to try it out first on the fast gnarly terrain you like or you wouldn't have bought it. In the states, people overbuy their vehicles - generally large and much more than they need to run their kids to school and to soccer. Europe is the reverse however (probably due to gas prices). I see bikes the same way. Although you bought too small, all this is an example of how buying decisions ultimately affect this geometry more than what the rider needs or really wants.
  • 3 0
 @paraskevas Never tried it, but that carbine is baller!

@Rubberelli Thanks! glad you get it. I didn't get a chance to ride it at all, no demos, not many people on them, so I trusted the online reviews (some pointed out the HA as being an issue as well). It was a great deal and in the travel range I wanted so I gravitated towards it, which is why I bought it. In hindsight, I probably would have ordered an angleset with it as well! I've since modified it to work for me, but as the consumer (guy who drops $$$$.$$ on a bike!) my gripe is why I was more or less told to eff off when I sent an email asking about offset bushings or other options to slacken out the bike. Why not. A: listen to the guy spending money on your product, and B: Pay attention to the market and what, literally, everyone else is doing to evolve.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz -I wouldn't be surprised to find that 95% or more of mtn bikes are bought exactly the way you did: good reviews, good price offered, without more than a parking lot test given. I must admit, that i bought my last bike this way, even though I get the opportunity to try out 10-15 bikes a season. Good deals are hard to pass up and it worked out for me beautifully.
I think you will discover that most bike makers are reluctant to tell you how to tweak their frame's geo. Santa Cruz is the only exception I have found to this. You can call them and they will transfer you to someone who rides your model and can tell you all about it. I've found that those guys are trying all kinds of things on their bikes, which probably leads to the next year's tweaks. Think of the old Blur and its ability to run 27.5 wheels as an example of this.
  • 2 0
 Ah yea, I remember the old Blur/27.5 set up some people tried out. back in like, 2009. S/C is an example of a company that continues to listen and engage with their customers in a not fake fashion (Being engaged in forums on a personal level vs corporate account level for example).
  • 2 0
 this was a lot of people saying the bike should be made for the job basically...
  • 1 1
 Provided the bike has a low stand over height, you can always size up to get the wheelbase/reach/TT length you find optimal.
With droppers becoming ubiquitous and (finally) longer, why not?
  • 1 0
 Not when you're over 6'2"
  • 2 1
 reaching the limits of slack head angles without fork offset changes, how much lower can a BB go, remaining option is to run shorter chain-stays
  • 2 1
 Now imagine all that money invested in developing and pushing E-bikes and stupid-sized wheels went to designing and building better bikes people actually want...just imagine.
  • 1 0
 Joe Graney is the man. I've learned so much from his "tech corner" at the Santa Cruz Bicycle blog, and it's no different here. Nice and objective.
  • 2 0
 Did you mean 'three questions'?
  • 2 0
 I want a 1300mm wheelbase
  • 2 0
 haha thanks !
  • 2 1
 Pole bicycles is ahead of the game. Mark my words in a few years we will all be riding 1300mm wheelbase bikes. My 1235mm wheelbase bike is better than my previous 1215mm one and I would like to go longer. Might get a Pole bike this spring.
  • 1 0
 you want to effect bike geometry. don't buy it. and don't forget to be a dick about it!
  • 2 4
 I want to see a thread on here that says. "How carbon can we go?". I would love to see these so called 'experts of the industry' comment on that .Spokes, pedal spindles, cassettes, fork stanchions, bolts.....the list could go on!!
  • 1 0
 hey PB couldn't you have just done a poll for this? Seems to work for everything else you want to know....
  • 2 0
 Just wait. 26+ dh bikes. Give it a few years.
  • 1 1
 Already happened bro. Right around 2005. Pretty much sucked, so 2.5 became the norm.
  • 2 3
 2.5 didn't become the norm at all! Maxxis 2.5 aren't 2.5 AT ALL! Go out and measure some tires. The norm is 60mm which is 2.35.
  • 2 1
 They say 2.5 on them regardless. Maxxis isn't the only DH tire being ran either, especially these days.
  • 1 0
 Schwalbe is 2.35, Continental is 2.4, Hutchinson is 2.35-2.4. Sure these brands make 2.5s but most racers and everyday riders use the 2.5.
  • 2 1
 2.5 Magic Mary's are the DH tire of choice right now.
  • 1 0
 Who is running 2.5? Alot of pros are on the 2.35 which is the same size as a maxxis 2.5 but I have yet to see anyone running them in the worldcup.
  • 1 0
 My current ride is a custom built bike with a 32 degree head angle and the damn thing rides on rails down hill!
  • 1 1
 32º! Damn that is a chopper. Must ride vertical walls really well!
  • 2 0
 How long and slack can we go? Straight to the scene of the snap.
  • 2 1
 Till we hit the deck with our head. Just go and ride your bike!
  • 2 1
 "Geometry is engineering, not fashion." Bravo, Mr. Porter.
  • 2 2
 If you need someone to tell you what bike you can have fun on you should go away
  • 1 0
 Just need an auto slack head tube, infinite slack angles.
  • 3 2
 How much more slack could it be? The answer is None. None more slack.
  • 3 1
 Buncha philistines don't get the Spinal Tap reference...
  • 1 2
 Hopefully not as slack and low as the Summum....had one and it turned like a brass band not to mention the frequent airbourne buckaroo's !!! Gambler whaaayyy better!!
  • 1 0
 "1 Question Mark - How Long, Low And Slack Can We Go?"
  • 1 2
 giant already stopped selling their XL Reign in the USA after the first year. So obviously we already went as long as we needed to and had to step back...
  • 1 0
 Rotec 1996 with Eric Carter I think started this long top tube change.
  • 1 0
 For whom are these new bikes for, anyway?!
  • 1 0
 Fucking stupid. That is all.
  • 1 1
 !7

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