In recent years, the industry has been heard talking of shorter stems, increasing reach numbers and front centers getting longer. Antiquated designs that carried geometry over from our road cycling cousins that use long stems to place your body in an efficient pedaling and climbing position are quickly heading out of fashion. Stubby stems and lengthy frames are in. Mondraker and their 'Forward Geometry' have been leading the charge since Fabien Barel put a ten millimeter stem on his huge Summum downhill bike. Since then, some years passed with nothing much to speak of except for savvy riders choosing longer frames then scaling back their stems. Recently, however, bike makers have responded with vanguard brands now offering stem-corrected designs with much longer front-centers.
Why would you shoot for a longer frame and shorter stem? Well, if you're planning on any kind of interesting or technical mountain biking, the shorter stem will quicken up the steering of the bike and place your hands farther behind the front axle. These changes will give you more stability and less chance of flying over the handlebar on steep downhill sections. Of course, the frame size will need to be extended to prevent a sore lower back, and even worse, looking like the infamous French Hunchback when riding. Choosing a larger frame increases the wheelbase and offers yet more stability on the downs. The downsides? If you're racing cross country, or climbing mountains, then you might want to stick to the old fashioned approach. A longer stem will keep your weight over the front on steep climbs and front-wheel wandering will decrease.Opinions appear to be divided into four camps:
1 - People who are planning on buying a bike designed around a long stem, buying a larger size to gain stability and reach, then switching out to a smaller stem to improve descending capabilities without sacrificing riding position.
2 - People who are happy with their current frame/stem length and will buy the same next time the new bike fairy beckons.
3 - People who have no idea what I am talking about, and will follow dealer or manufacturer recommendations for their body size.
4 - People who are looking to buy a bike with more contemporary geometry, designed around a longer reach and supplied with a short stem. So...
i buy what i like, not because its in.
This carbon model is 20mm longer in the effective top tube, its perfect with 70mm stem, as I actually found my original aluminium frame a little short with 70mm, but horrible with 90mm.
Why has it.taken the manufacturers so long to get here? Actually, some of them aren't here yet.
Do what works for you and to hell with trends. If it doesn't work for you it isn't good for you no matter how well it works for someone else.
It's like: "Yeah, well you were wrong when you thought of it, but now that Kona thinks it's a great idea, it's brilliant. Also you're still wrong, so upgrade for some reason."
The thing I don't get here is that whilst riders have been trying to use larger sizes and shorter stems for close to a decade, if not longer, it is not until "the industry" (does that exclude riders then?) follows riders' leads and starts making longer front centre product lines that the idea of the same becomes legitimate. Even then, some have the temerity to call it a fad.
In this case, it is "the industry" that has taken far too long to catch up with what many descent seeking riders have known form well, quite some time.
People need to get bikes that suite their shape . I'm 6ft with a 33-34 inch inside leg and short body I've yet to find a bike the "right size chart" that doesn't over stretch me (apparently I should ride a large but mediums are the best fit)
They used to make X-Long BMX bikes in the 80's that catered to this need (I had a Robinson XL Pro and a Redline PL20). I think a Large geometry frame with an XL top tube would be perfect for me.
Regarding short headtubes- Azonic still sells bars with 3" of rise. Love them- makes the bike fit right with less spacers to smack my danglies in to.
I'm propping all my fellow tall guys, we need more attention.
Good idea, done!
I'd also ike to see a bike designed around 180mm+ cranks for us too! It's simple physics - we need more leverage. After 6'3"+ and >200lbs it's a whole different situation.
I DON'T THINK I'LL EVER BE STRONG ENOUGH TO RUN A 1X ON MY AM BIKE (without running a 28T or less up front to do the climbs and sacrificing the top end speed). Now that 650b is the standard, a bike in XL and XXL made for longer cranks is definately possible.
That might be true but it's not from being tall
The Nico/Mojo bikes are the longest in the industry - 1300mm wheelbase plus is immense. Stable bikes but are they fun? I think Chris Mandell at Kona has done the best and most accessible interpretation of forward geo.
The 153 is awesome going downhill and at speed, and handles jumps and rough stuff very well. But I think this type of geometry does come with the trade-off of diminished climbing aptitude. I find it especially noticeable on technical climbing. However I, for one, willingly accept that trade-off...it's too much fun when pointed down!
With more understanding of what each type of geometry design will offer, buyers can make smarter decisions about which bike they should pick. Everything else seems like it's just marketing buzzwords.
Well obviously I'm going to be riding up mountains on my mountain bike you spleen.
I've been riding my Kona Process 153 since the fall of 2013.
Who knows, but it's a better proposition than ever-so-slightly bigger wheels.
Good on Nicolai and Mojo for trying something which much actually make a difference rather than just make our stuff obsolete.
The Reign really did feel great on descents though, and I wouldn't mind trying geometry like that on an 8" bike. Take a current gen DH bike with a 63 HA and a 23" TT, and change it up to a 64 HA with a 24" TT, and I think it would ride pretty nice.
One thing is important, fabs are for everybody, you are not everybody, there will be a solution unique for you, fab can give an indication but never settle for: it's better cuz them good riders say so, because it makes perfect sense. Try different options, borrow bikes, stems, handlebars, experiment and give them things some time. Trust your feelings, trust yourself
So... I will buy an even longer frame but I don't know what stem I will be running as it depends on many other things like wheel size, fork travel or head angle
Every time something "new" comes out, they make it sound like it is the best thing for everyone. Could it be possible that we ride different terrains with different styles? Stability seems to be all the rage these days. How much stability do you really need? I understand that for a DH WC rider it might make a difference but if you're going to go ride all mountain with your friend, how much is too much? Is that long ass wheel base really warranted? What about getting the rear wheel around obstacles? What about getting the front wheel up over rocks/roots? what about climbing? What about front wheel manoeuvrability/wandering?
Numbers and physics don t lie
Why it took so much time for everyone to accept short stem/wide bars/ long top tube, low BB , short stainstays, 27.5
1X11 , telescopic seatpost, tubeless tires
It s all part of the progression of our sport
And it s the way to go ...
I blaime this new age thing (endurrrro for taking Fun out ouf riding bikes.
It's a great bike. Spent a summer living in Vancouver with that bike. You could take it to Whistler on Saturday and rail the park and then do a 100km trail ride on Sunday.
I'd probably own a large Carbon process 153 if existed.
The increase in reach shows a clear bias towards out of the saddle riding; namely tackling technical terrain down some sort of gradient.
I think bikes could be defined by pedalling bikes and non pedalling bikes in some ways, if reach figures are anything to go by on these Nico/Mojo bikes
If any of you look at the 2015 Transitions as an example. And I mean, any of them, you can see longish top tubes, short stem, slinky height. Pretty much the same thing between bikes besides the amount of travel. This is a good thing for most riders, IMO.
The way I see it: If you like how a bike fits/rides with a short stem, it fit's you. That doesn't change just because bikes are now designed around shorter stems, it just might mean that maybe you should ride a medium instead of a large now. Ride what feels good.
(I'm glad tall people finally have bikes that fit now though)
My arms are way too long, therefore i love the "new" frames combining longer reach with shorter seattubes.
I've been riding small and medium sized frames before and liked them as well. I usually rode them with much wider bars though.
So in my opinion you got many options. Depending on proportions, riding style, trails you ride and things like handlebar with and so on.
this is quickly becoming a catchphrase.
Bike tech has changed; suspension works (exists), forks track straight, brakes stop reliably, and tires have massively evolved; it makes sense to revisit designs that crave straight line speed now that we can have parts that can work at that speed. The early 90s was a loooong time ago, riding has changed a lot too.
HEY! How about 10 mm longer pedal axle spindles to "increase stance stablity and manueverability when whipping".. BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!
In my opinion, this all comes from the enduro hype...people want bikes which they can race nowadays...although most of them will never do a race at all
Stem length stayed at 50mm as with the previous frame btw, no point in getting more weight on the front wheel and then taking it back with a shorter stem. I dont really get the supershort Mondraker stems. But that may be me being short-ish and having to fight to put weight on the front anywhere I can.
Will a 1250+ wheelbase bike fit in the following:
A bike rack on a ski lift
A bike rack on an uplift
A bike bag
I mean my idea of hell would be to buy one of these bikes and figure out their too big to be transported up a mountain or even too big to transport full stop.
I bought my usual Size L, but it's a Kona so it has the "new" geometry.
Nimble bikes are fun, I do not feel a need to ride overstretched by long frame and super wide bars. My back aches
IMO longer reach dimensions and forward centers are the way to go. Most manufactures are lagging behind in this respect.