The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained

Aug 28, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


If you had to narrow it down to just one thing, what would you say has been the single most important advancement in mountain bikes?

Disc brakes are pretty nice, aren’t they? Especially if you’ve been around long enough to remember using rim brakes. But modern suspension lets long-travel bikes pedal crazy well and short-travel bikes be crazy capable, so maybe there’s an argument for that one. Then again, I don’t even remember how to ride a bike that's fitted with tubes; there’s no doubt that tubeless tires and modern rubber have made our lives so much better...

But while all that stuff has been helpful, it’s geometry that’s had the most significant and consequential impact on how our bikes perform. Podcast #78 sees the crew explain how geometry numbers have changed over the years and what that means on the trail, compare some modern numbers and talk about if longer and slacker is simply always better, and we of course explain what all the terms mean.





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 78 - MOUNTAIN BIKE GEOMETRY EXPLAINED
August 28th, 2021

Longer and slacker is ALWAYS better... right?


Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.




Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston


134 Comments

  • 23 0
 I think you all missed a big point with seat angles: rear suspension has gotten so efficient that a ton of riders want to pedal their long travel bikes uphill and not use a lockout. When you point a 150mm+ bike up a steep hill, the rear squats and fork extends and the effective seat tube angle gets a lot slacker. Having a super seat STA to means the sagged STA returns close to a “normal” STA. I think this is one reason why you won’t see (many) XC/downcountry/XXC bikes with a 79deg STA.

That can be a great setup if you just ride straight up and straight down, but IMO feels like crap if you’re on a flat or ride on the road to get to the trails.

Not sure how conscious it’s been by bike designers, but I believe the conspiracy theory* that droppers are a big enabler because a super steep STA means a seat that’s more in the way at full extension.

*not actually a conspiracy theory.
  • 8 39
flag skiboot1 (Aug 28, 2021 at 15:30) (Below Threshold)
 Who the f*ck cares about flicking a simple lever? No one. No one wants your describing. Its far more efficient to flick a switch than design an bike for the opposite purpose of it's design. Go downhill better, pedal uphill locked out with a dropped so high it could scratch my neck. XC is stupid!
  • 27 0
 That escalated quickly
  • 10 7
 @feldybikes: ya can I delete that?
  • 8 0
 @skiboot1: Why you hate XC so much? It's a growing form of the sport that's simply the opposite of going downhill. I can't see why you'd hate it so much
  • 11 0
 @skiboot1: you must be related to DoubleCrownAddict
  • 6 1
 @skiboot1: unfortunately, AFAIK there’s no way to edit or delete a comment unless you bribe Levy with a Tim Horton’s donut topped with Monster Energy flavored sprinkles. It’s all good.
  • 5 1
 Agree. It’s stupid how the press releases for many long travel bikes talk about the amazing steep seat angle… but then you discover it’s ‘effective’ not ‘actual’, then you add in sag… and you end up basically back at 2012 angles.
  • 3 0
 Dropper posts kind of led to more flowy trails (much more fun when the saddle is dropped), much more long-ups-then-long-downs trails with less in between, etc. If all your pedaling is on the climbs, then surely you want to base your seated position on climbing. And everything else is focused on enjoying the descents. XC bikes largely don't do this (creeping that way a bit though) because they still predominantly ride on rolling terrain. And their short travel doesn't matter exacerbate the situation like long travel can.
  • 2 0
 @Linc: Some (no, not all) implementations of effective seat angle have no benefit for tall folk (the intended beneficiaries) because it puts them as far or further over the rear wheel at full seat post extension; for short folk when dropped the saddle can end up blocking the TT standover area, or so far forward that it's hard to thigh-grip while avoiding the rear wheel with your bum.

Recently I see the the geometry conversation being led by tall folk (I'm 6'0", so almost there), they've been underserved for a long time so that is a good thing, but I'm not sure the new truth is true for everyone. I think it would be good to have some balance in the conversation before we declare that size 12 shoes are the best. It's all a system of compromises, but I think if the seat tube was straight all the way to the bottom bracket, it would help. Like this: digitbikes.com
  • 4 0
 @skiboot1: lol thankfully no you cannot delete your comments. Possibly the best part of the Pinkbike comment sections is that it forever immortalizes idiocy.
  • 2 0
 @DirtBagTim: Sure. There are pros and cons with all geometry. My main gripe is manufacturers (and this is rampant with seat angle numbers) deliberately hiding 'inconvenient' geo statistics, and then reviewers not calling this out. The same also keeps playing out with Pinkbike refusing to publish frame weights when manufactures don't want them to.
  • 22 6
 Single most important advancement? Dropper posts by far. At least in my opinion.
  • 17 2
 I could almost be convinced, but I stand by geometry taking the cake.
  • 10 0
 @mikelevy: depends where you live. Most of the climbs (and descents) are pretty short round here. If I was manually dropping my seat post every time, my ride would be half as long again and I'd be replacing worn seatposts more often than brake pads (insert snarky comments about reverbs here).
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: what about bbheigh?
  • 3 3
 Nah. You could always drop a post, that’s what QRs are for. Droppers just mean you can do it on the move. And it’s taken ages for the amount of drop to be comparable to moving a seat post down, at least if the frame’s designed to properly take it. Don’t get me wrong, I like droppers but - after geometry - suspension and brakes make more of a difference as to what you can ride.
  • 4 0
 Please - every knows the trust linkage fork is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
  • 1 0
 Droppers are great, but im still in the geo camp. My rides are all suffer the climbs, to get to the descents. A quick release seatpost clamp wouldn't have any negative effect on my riding (though i still do love my dropper).
  • 2 1
 @maxc: Frames not designed for dropper seatposts would have had limited seatpost insertion and thus less range of movement
  • 3 3
 I still dont have a dropper post. $ I flip the lever as i am riding and adjust it without getting off the bike
  • 17 0
 @alex-morales: I want to start a GoFundMe to fix this for you
  • 1 0
 @LuccsPB: IMO because BB height is a measurement and precipitated by frame design it's part of Geometry. Or you could say the inverse and use BB height as your design starting point. It's part of Geo any way you slice it.

After riding no suspension MTB bikes in the mid 80's, full suspension bikes in the 90's and now enjoying modern mountain bikes in DH/eMTB/Enduro and XC disciplines Geo is Number 1, no question.
  • 5 1
 @mikelevy: But all that long, slack geo doesn't help much if you have a seat crammed up your ass.
  • 1 0
 @BucketB: Please do. Maybe we can get enough for a new bike while we are at it. I still rock a 2012 Kona Entourage and its getting harder to get replacement parts.
  • 7 1
 @warmerdamj: That's what seatpost QRs are for - we got by just fine, even if there wasn't as much flow. Dropper posts have changed how we ride mountain bikes, no doubt about that, but better geometry has changed what's possible for all riders on mountain bikes.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Next Month: Long term review of a QR seatpost clamp?
  • 5 0
 @warmerdamj: No, just a first ride review. I need to put more time on this seatpost QR before I put my thoughts together.
  • 3 2
 @mikelevy: I'd say geometry made bikes more capable but droppers made them more fun. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the terrain you're working with. If you've got a long fire road climb followed by a long descent then a seatpost QR is fine I guess, if you've got a lot of undulating up and down terrain where you're alternately climbing and descending a lot (like here on the east coast) then I'd say a dropper is more valuable. Different strokes.
  • 2 0
 @gtrguy: so you prefer a 2000 bike with a dropper post than a 2021 bike with QR?
  • 1 0
 @LuccsPB: no, an 1880’s bike with a dropper.
  • 1 0
 @gtrguy: Sounds good
  • 9 0
 Geometry and trail design are intimately linked, and both are influenced by available technology. Modern geometry, designed for high speeds and charging through terrain, wouldn't be possible on cantilever brakes, small wheels, and faffy suspension.

Enduro bikes wouldn't be popular if suspension still leaked all the time, tires deflated at the suggestion of rocks, and pivot hardware jumped off every third cycle. Who'd pedal one of those things around for 6 hours if it fell apart after 1?

Because bikes are more reliable, and more capable, trail builders have made tracks that encourage higher speeds and more air time. Now that we ride these bikes, gravel bikes exist to make 1990-style trails fun again.
  • 4 2
 I agree in part. Modern geo is still better over old geo everywhere. Gravel bikes are just a gimmick. They are just 90s xc bikes with dropbars. Terrible for riding offroad. Are they a challenge off course, if that is your jam sure but you could just buy an old 90s mtb and have the same feeling while spending less money.
  • 2 0
 @SintraFreeride: I used to race cx, I would run an mtb there, but those courses are intentionally twisty without many opportunities for full-speed offroad.
I agree somewhat with the 90's retro bike being more sensible than the gravel bike, except that I would want the disc brakes and maybe the additional hand positions. And it'd be ridden on gravel, not singletrack.
  • 3 0
 I agree. As the industry changed bikes to be "more capable," riders changed our trails to cater to the strengths of the new bikes. Trees were cut down to make room for wider bars; twisty lines were straightened out to allow for higher speeds; tricky descents were replaced with simple drops. And then we needed new bikes.
  • 7 1
 The OLDEST BIKE ...ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO!!! ... Who are you guys? Just out of kindergarten....

Oldest mountain bike for me....Dawes Ranger... in1985. That’s 36 years ago. Reynolds 531. Terrifying, even then. So flexible you could feel the rear taking a radically different direction to the front as you hit anything other than billiard table trail.

Latest bike for me ... Cotic BfEMax ... built last month ... capable, slack, climbs like a goat. Descends like very descendy thing.
  • 6 0
 Really, for us old farts, the question of geometry improvements is easy - it's by far the most important thing to happen to mountain bikes in the last 30+ years. You can have a lot of fun on a v-brake equipped fully rigid singlespeed with a 66 degree head tube angle and decently long reach. Go try riding an old BMW or Heckler or something from the 90s with a ton of travel/suspension and decent brakes - but a super short/steep front end and tell me how it works out.

That said, a lot of people are riding pure XC trails on bikes that are a mile long and handle like boats. But that's ok, for the rare occasions they make it to Moab or the local flow trail, the bike can keep them out of trouble. And safe, for most of us, is fun.

The funniest thing is that we wouldn't have any of this progression without 29ers. For a decade prior to 2003 or so, every frame had pretty much the same geometry. Good old NORBA 71/73, baby! Then 29ers came along and that geometry go thrown out the window. Of course those early 29ers (I'm guilty of building some of them) were a step backwards in some cases, but it opened the door to the wild variety of frame design we have today.

-W
  • 6 1
 Agreed. I think the geometry question is less relevant to those who started riding five or fewer years ago, but plenty of us remember how scary it used to be.
  • 1 0
 I agree! I moved from a 2005 Rocky ETSX to a new Stanton Switch9er hardtail and the geo alone was the biggest advantage I noticed. It has saved me from some potential OTBs that I likely would not have saved on my old bike and allows me to ride faster than I did on my full sus. I love modern geo! That being said, it seems some manufacturers are taking it to the extreme. Of course, this has to be done to determine where the limits are. Also, typical terrain ridden has a big impact what geo works best for a given rider.
  • 4 0
 Are high end shocks like the Push 11six and Ext storia worth the money? Would is be better spent on getting a lower budget option custom tuned or upgraded? (I've got a Storia V.3 so I've got a vested interest in this question)
  • 6 0
 All Ebikes should have removable universal batteries (ie not proprietary) And bike manufacturers should provide bike weight with and without battery.
  • 2 1
 I'd love for that, plus stations where I can swap batteries out! That convenience would be huge! Would help with recycling/refurbishing too! The upfront cost of ebikes would be lowered if they weren't sold with brand-new batteries.
  • 4 0
 Hard to say. Since I came from a 2002 Gary Fisher 26", and moved to a 2020 C2 Optic, it's hard to pinpoint one thing.

If I had to pick, I'd take hydraulic disk brakes, 29" wheels and a dropper post over modern geometry. I can moved my body around to compensate for old geo if needed.
  • 2 0
 That's quite the change in bikes!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Indeed.

Bars about 150mm wider and wheelbase ~170mm longer on the Optic. lol O.O
  • 2 0
 @njcbps: Was there anything difficult about going to the new bike, or is it better in every possible way?
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: My Optic seemed slower on non-technical gravel inclines. I thought a larger wheel (29 vs 26) would roll easier, but didn't take into consideration additional energy it would take to spin that increased rotational mass. Plus my old bike was a bit lighter.

Otherwise it's better in every single way.
  • 4 0
 Don't you think it is unfair to pick a size the company doesn't recommend? Regarding medium Knolly. If you had done the same with Mondraker and said, "this thing is long, I'll take a small instead of large as you recommended."

Hey and if the size they recommend sucks then you get a more interesting review.
  • 5 2
 Steep STA is the big thing that modernized long travel bikes, to be well-rounded enough to not leave me with an urge to get climb mode gimmicks nor an urge for an efficient short-travel bike in the stable for big climbing days.
  • 1 1
 Agreed. I think correct fork offset helped as well.
  • 4 0
 We definitely couldn’t have other good numbers without a properly steep STA.
  • 1 1
 Yep! Steep STA leads to longer reach to fix the ETT length.

Longer reach equates to the front wheel being pushed further away.

Front wheel being pushed away balances the weight distro to be more rearward (improvement for 29ers, since they generally came with longer CS that made them handle like a cruiser).

This circles back to the steeper STA fixing the rearward weight distro caused by lengthening the front-center when climbing, and also the issue with the long travel bike rear sag on climbs.
  • 3 0
 You forgot to address the main issue with the Canyon LUX Trail... The "Eyebleach" colour scheme of the most interesting spec version.

I really really like that bike and would order one instantly if it wasn't so hideous. it might be on the mild side of DC - but that is exactly what many European trails call for. I would however go with the 150 mm dropper if I was given the option.
  • 3 0
 Can you guys do a podcast about racing organizations that are doing more harm than good for their sport by chasing dollars? UCI is supposed to be promoting cycling but instead they sold the WC rights off to the highest bidder and trying to watch it for free was a giant pain in the butt.
  • 4 0
 I like how Levy sprinkles conversation about the Trust fork into a perfectly good podcast like a crossfitter sprinkles the fact they are a crossfitter into a perfectly good coffee break.
  • 1 0
 Trolling gently.
  • 2 0
 In my experience Crossfitters take more of a Henry and changing-industry-standards approach. No sprinkling.
  • 2 0
 Question for the Ebike podcast. Hang with me this is a bit of a long one. On commuter ebikes, I see many around town with a motor not at the bottom bracket but at the hub of one of the wheels. Hub drives seem to be much more common (not to mention significantly cheaper) on the commuter side of things, but I've yet to see one on a mountain bike. I know it would worsen the ride quality (more rotational weight, less center cg, and no access to the gears for the motor), but they are so much cheaper. Why do you think mid drive ebikes are dominating e mtbs right now? do you think we'll ever see a hub drive one? Thanks!
  • 9 8
 For your e-bike episode: I know the specs to prioritize for normal bikes, but what about e-mtbs? How important is the motor quality and screen functions compared to suspension? And how about sizing? Should one err on the larger side than go too small with all the extra weight on board? What’s important and what can be overlooked with specs and sizing?
  • 2 1
 Added to the list!
  • 1 0
 Solid question. Would be especially interested to hear about different motors, reliability, and service intervals.
  • 1 0
 Does a comparably slack head angle feel different on a short travel / stack bike compared to a longer travel bike?

The longer the travel / stack, the longer the front center will be (and WB)…

Do longer travel / stack bikes need longer rear centers to feel balanced? (Compared to shorter travel bikes)

__

I like Seb’s thinking regarding wheelbase & stack vs. reach as a starting point for bike fit.
  • 1 0
 I've said during bike nerd conversations that the dropper post and modern geometry have been the two most game changing improvements to bikes in the last 20 years.

I'd still argue that the dropper post takes 2nd place to the geometry improvements.

The question to ask your self is - would you prefer:

A trail bike with 2020 geo but 2007 parts (so no dropper post)

or

A trail bike with 2007 geo but with 2020 parts (incl. dropper post)

I think the answer is obvious - the 2020 geo with 2007 generation parts. While components have come a LONG way in that same time I don't think the difference is as significant as the geometry improvements.
  • 1 0
 Question about ebikes. How repairable are these things for the home mechanic?

On my current bikes, I pretty much service everything myself because it's a enjoyable part of the hobby for me. Am I'm going to be able to service the bearings in a Shimano motor/bottom bracket thing when they inevitably need some attention? What if the control board on a 7-year old bike stops working, is that going to be easy to source and replace?

I will probably buy and ebike at some point in my life and repair-ability is going to be at the very top of my list of wants.
  • 1 0
 Question for the next podcast: With all of the new high pivot bikes coming out do you think any more bikes will come out using the naild react 2 play suspension system that polygon and Marin have used? My understanding is that it has a rearward axle path like a high pivot but with a really efficient pedalling platform and no idler pulley. I’ve got a Marin Mount vision and despite it looking like an ebike, I love it. I’d love to know Henry’s thoughts after his time working with Polygon.
  • 1 0
 I have a question that's only sort of related to geometry. You review all these expensive new bikes and you say a 2-year old bike is obsolete because we didn't understand bikes back then. What is supposed to happen to all these 2-, 5-, 8- year old $10,000 bikes? What's the lifecycle (good name for a video) of a bike supposed to be? Asking for a friend, because I ride a 2012 Trek Remedy 9.9.
  • 4 0
 Who said a two-year-old bike is obsolete? Bikes get better every year, no doubt, but most modern bikes aren't obsolete if they were half decent to begin with. It's just that the new bike is often a tiny bit better.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Maybe I misunderstood. (it happens) I've been binging on the podcasts and I got the impression that "modern geometry" is only a few years old. I went back through this podcast and you mention 10 years, 5 years, and a couple years when talking about the time before modern geometry.

So now I have 2 questions: How recent is modern geometry and what's supposed to happen to all those pre-modern-geometry bikes?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Topics and podcasts for episodes 75 and 76 were great.

For the e-bike podcast, I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on whether when (of if) we'll get frame-and-crank only e-bikes.

While they scare the hell of me as a trail advocate, the older I get the more I think that I could get more hours in the woods on fun trails at fun speeds if I had something like an Orbea Rise or just a tad bit bigger. For example, the couple of weeks my kids are in camp in the summer I could alternate back and forth between a bike and an e-bike and get a lot more of those fun hours packed into those couple of free weeks. Or a really big ride on Saturday and an easy, e-bike ride on Sunday.

I've got an enduro bike that's only for travel. I work a desk job and love an excuse to use tools and play with my bikes. I'm also picky about my components. I'd love to share expensive bits like wheels, brakes (assume a rational world with external routing of the rear brake house), a travel-adjustable dropper, and maybe even a fork without having to fool with selling off a bunch of a complete build.

Any chance of that happening with what I assume are all of the lighter-duty, lighter-weight e-bikes that can run regular components that are set to be introduced later this year and early next year? Also, I don't consider the specialized s-works levo frame a real option. Even if wanted to spend that much money, I just couldn't live with myself if I was riding around on that thing.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @mikekazimer Question for the ebike episode. If you were considering upgrading a bike, would you get an ebike instead? I have 2016 Giant Reign with 160mm travel and 27.5 wheels. This is leaving me over biked and under reached on most things but I still generally have fun on it. I am considering upgrading to a more modern trail bike but for similar cash I could get an ebike. To complicate things, several of my favorite areas have posted no ebike regulations but lots of trails accessible I would never consider riding without assist are right out my back door.
  • 1 0
 Question and short story

So today I was trying to put a new rear tire on. DHR ll double down 29er. My rim is very fairly dented. I was having the damnest time getting tire to mount, it kept losing air where the dents are. SO i turn my compressor way up and took the valve core out to increase air flow. and It worked oh boy how it worked. It worked so well that i blew the tire right off the rim. Here is where it gets strange. I blew my freebody, paws and all off the hub body and the end cap on the other side blew half way across my yard. So why did that happen? There was no air going into the hub so how did it get the force to do that. Lucky for my i did not have sealant in it, I usually get the bead set then let air out add sealant and blow it back up.
  • 1 0
 That's definitely weird. Could have caused sudden and violent changes in spoke tension is the only thing I can think of.
  • 1 0
 Question regarding dropper post length and this desire for the longest possible. I agree longer may or should be better but aren't you limited by your leg length? Like even with the seat post fully inserted, if the full extenstion of the dropper puts you beyond you being able to pedal the damn thing, what's the point? I guess it's just assumed that frame designers have accounted for this by dropping the post insertion point, but I think selling the 'longer post is better' argument isn't for everyone particularly older bikes. Hell it might even be too high with full insertion due to the post requiring a longer insertion length.
  • 1 0
 I would have been interested to hear some discussion about how too short rear-center number can ruin handling on steep technical sections, or at least require the rider to get out of the saddle more in order to keep the front week weighted, and how that relates to the decisions frame manufacturers make about whether or not to use size-specific chain stay lengths. For example, in my experience, the Pivot Trail 429 in a size XL for example, suffers from poor front rear weight balance if you try to stay seated on steep rough climbs, requiring me to stand up just to keep the front wheel from popping up over rocks. But perhaps this effect is only really a problem for riders on size XL bikes that have the same short chain stay lengths as the size S, and of course seat tube angle would come into play here as well when we are talking about seated climbing.
  • 1 0
 Great discussion & I do have some good takeaways from this episode!

One topic could have deserved more attention for me: front and rear center lenght. Why? Because with modern geometry the wheelbase has increased a lot, but mostly because of a longer front end. Still few companies increase the chainstay lenght. This means that in a neutral position with most/if not all the weight on the pedals = bottom bracket, the weight is farther back compared to older bikes. You talk about it briefly and mention that in flat turns you have to put more weight on the center. This is a huge implication for me. If you think about it, this also applies to bike sizing, so larger bikes will need more active weight on the front than smaller bikes, in the case that the manufacturer does not increase CS length with bigger frame sizes (= most of the pack).

For me personally the 2 takeaways from switching from older bikes (2005 and 2012) are:

1) I was scared of the long reach at first, but as I'm rather tall (6'3) with long legs I was used to sky high seatposts which increased effective top tube length. Sitting on my supposedly long bike first, it felt pretty short really, of course because the steep seat tube angle does not add length.

2) Going uphill is MUCH easier now and makes way more fun. Having the high seat post meant sitting super back over the rear wheel so the front wheel would lift already on moderate climbs/pitches.

Even though I ride my bike to have fun downhill, I spend most of my time in the saddle to get to the pinnacle. Typically the time in the saddle is 5-6 times more than out of the saddle basting downhill. So for me personally I rather optimize my bike for the riding position. In the standing position I have more room to move around and I am not static anyway so ergonomic aspects are less critical to me. Great that you mention effective top tube lenght still has its place in assessing a bike's fit!
  • 1 0
 In reference to the chamois / Levy comment here - I wanna talk geometry of chamois...aka a liner. I now ride a Zoic liner stacked with w/ sacrum / hip-bone and front / rear leg D30 (style) pads and it has saved my ass countless times, esp w/ hip-smashing. Serious reasons to wear one:

1) if yr taint / ballback / unit is falling asleep EVEN with the prostate seat slot. That was my main reason to score one but

2) have had several seat-to-taint slams where the pad more than saved the boys and probably rectal destruction and

3) that Zoic liner IS THE SHIT. There are other brands too but why not just have the D30 style padding right in the liner, plus ya get ballbag (or lady parts) protection. Now riding much more confidently w/ the extra in-liner armor.

It is a hassle tho - I'd rather just be younger & my taint / bag / unit department not falling asleep
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy How far have we come - Penny Farthing National championship races, I think we have done alright
www.evandaletasmania.com/national-penny-farthing-championship.html
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhszVikmyb4
  • 1 0
 I actually like a higher offset fork because, as weird as it sounds, I like to see more of my front tire when turning DH. I swear it makes it feel more stable when riding to actually see your tire. (Noticed this on my 20 Stumpjumper)
  • 1 0
 Holy Cow it was hard to look up that bike you mentioned was like the Yeti DH3. Not a single thing besides “Martin” was spelled the way I tried!
For the record: Martin Seider’s Zoceli Dobordelu, not “martin cider zekelli” because that makes Google think I want either apple cider or Marin bikes!
  • 4 2
 Dropper post on a older geo bike makes it very capable. My vote is for the dropper post. Can’t just add “geo” to a bike, but you can add a dropper to most bikes.
  • 1 0
 Define "older"? I rode my '09 Gary Fisher Rig XC singlespeed for a few months with a dropper, in an effort to convince myself I didn't really need a new bike. It didn't work. The dropper definitely improved the ride, but it was still terrifying in a lot of situations that a modern geo bike made so much more comfortable/fun.

I was on the fence about full-suspension, being a long-time hardtail rider, but my riding goals/style aren't so XC focused these days, and I couldn't find any modern geo "rowdy" hardtails to demo, so I can't say I did a real apples-to-apples comparison, as I demoed a bunch of modern FS trailbikes and ended up with a 2021 SC Hightower.

Regardless of what's the best improvement, I think we can all agree that upgrading to *anything* modern from a decade+ old bike is a huuuuuge improvement.
  • 1 0
 Take a look a geometry on fat bikes. A lot of brands are stuck in 2010, it’s puzzling. Rocky is pushing a head, but still seems conservative. Note, fat bikes are still ridden in Alberta in the winter.
  • 3 0
 That's because if you mostly ride them on snow, super long and slack is terrible. If you're using them for dry trail riding, it's great, but not that many people want to do that.

I mean, the reality is that speeds on even groomed snowy singletrack are maybe 50% of the speed you'd ride on the dirt. And walking uphill in snow sucks. So you have less need for a ton of stability at speed, hence "old school" geometry that does well at picking your way uphill at 2mph, and does just fine ripping back down at 8-10mph.

-W
  • 3 0
 IMO people should be buying geometries based on speeds and trails they ride the most.
  • 4 0
 Someone should build a long low slack geo bike with rim brakes on 26s.
  • 3 0
 How about a podcast all about and with special guest Minnaar.

Levy do you make it your mission to annoy Kaz?
  • 4 0
 No, it just comes naturally.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Totally agree, and one with Nino, or both in the same podcast!!
The last 3 times Minnaar won the Rainbow Jersey, Nino won that year too...
  • 1 0
 @omadthedirtyclimber: In the works!
  • 2 0
 Personally attacked in this episode. Don’t knock a Trust on a hardtail until you try it!

www.instagram.com/p/CQEx9XjBrB7/?utm_medium=copy_link
  • 2 0
 Looks like fun! Our trails are often rough enough that I don't think I'd last long haha
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I tend to underbike in general. I ride the trust chameleon on a lot of chunky SoCal stuff but I’m also riding a drop bar spot rocker with a sid xx on stuff I shouldn’t be.

The trust is perfect for me because I don’t mind getting bucked around like I’m riding inside of a dryer, but want killer traction when I hit the fast berms.
  • 2 0
 Question for next week: Do you think Nino was inspired by Levy predicting a massive win coming very soon for him? Wasn't Minnaar also predicted to win in last weeks podcast?
  • 1 0
 So if geometry rules all, is a shorter travel bike (125mm) like an optic with a slacker head angle (65 degrees) more capable than my longer travel (150mm) YT jeffsy with a 66 degree HTA?
  • 1 1
 just finished listening to the CEO's podcast, it surprises me how out of touch can Brian Park be sometimes "pinkbike users are very smart about bikes, but not about understanding the difference between private equity and venture capital" wtf was that? that "...fair enough" response out of Robin was just him being polite, if he didn't mention anything off the podcast he's definitely got Brian measured.

Brian might be right, I don't know, but he needs to be a bit more careful when referring to users right on their noses, geez...
  • 1 0
 Brian wasn't being serious. There are, of course, many Pinkers with that kind of knowledge. He was just making a joke at our expensive Smile
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the awesome podcasts, they are getting better every time! Can you please do an entire podcast on what jobs are available and how to start working in the bike industry?
  • 2 0
 @sebstott - Agree that WB is the one number you should look at first.

Are you looking to do another Chris Porter podcast - your Bike Radar one was awesome.
  • 3 0
 Maybe Outside can pump some resources into the podcast. We need at least three of these a week.
  • 3 0
 They'll likely be a second weekly-ish podcast that's more about long-form interviews than this generalized format. Won't be for a bit, though.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: A famous person responded to my comment! Can this day get any better?
  • 3 1
 I’m honestly just blown away that you guys didn’t mention Dylan Stark for your drop in roster
  • 1 0
 Dark Horse addition to the bus - Vlad Sherryuble for his ability to lay waste to the town at all hours.

Also - if Pinkbike puts together something like this with legitimate talent, I'd pay for it. The $ and effort to create something along those lines would be significant and above and beyond what we get today.
  • 1 0
 @hatton: Stark would be perfect.
  • 1 0
 The Stumpy Evo from 2019 was too slack for what it was. Thanks for all the work guys. Good episode! Oh... and list... I'd love to see Cam McCaul in there.
  • 7 9
 E-bike question: would the PB crew agree that e-bikes are a backward step in preventing global warming?
My opinion is that, whilst they are often marketed for their environmental benefits, overall they are a detriment and the vast majority of users own them as part of a collection of cars and other bikes, not as a substitute for a car. (I'm talking about £3k+ mtb's, not road commuters).
  • 13 3
 1) Mountainbikes, both assisted as well as unassisted are a backward step in preventing global warming.

2) Commuting on bikes, both assisted as well as unassisted are a forwards step in preventing global warming.

As for 1) People don't ride mountainbikes to prevent global warming. People ride mountainbikes because they enjoy riding them. And enjoyment is a good, mental health is important.

As for 2) Obviously people who used to commute on an unassisted bike and now use an assisted bike might do a backwards step in that regard. On the other side it seems like especially recently a lot of people have stopped commuting by car or public transport and started using assisted bikes instead. These offer a positive contribution.

Your comment seems to mix up 1 and 2. I've seen some e-mtb marketing here on PB but I don't recall a single one that was highlighting environmental benefits. Could you point me at one?
  • 2 17
flag TwoNGlenn (Aug 28, 2021 at 11:53) (Below Threshold)
 @vinay:

1. Reject the premise of global warming as presented by political class for various reasons.

2. Get downvoted to Hades by comment section.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Good answer. And no, I can't point to a specific marketing example (although I'm sure I've read some).

I just wanted to hear PB's opinion on it really as there is lots to talk about (shuttles vs e-bike, riding from the door more often, multi use of bike for commuting etc).

I think that right now we are going backwards, but hope in the future it will help to normalise bike use if more people ride generally. At the moment there are a lot of people who just wouldn't be seen dead on a bicycle so hopefully it could lead to a change in attitude/perspective at some point.
  • 12 2
 Anything that does not entail a birth rate curb is a backward step in preventing global warming. There should be ebikes for everyone, private cars for everyone, home heating, food and consumer products from abroad for everyone, and so on and so on. It's the size of the population that makes all this a problem, and we are a race of monkeys for not recognizing that, let alone meticulously planning the size of the next generations so they can live the best possible life while preserving biodiversity and improving... everything.
  • 1 0
 Consumer habits have to change long-term for it to be judged a forward or backward step. Can't claim that ebikes universally change peoples habits to use their cars less, or purchasing fewer cars, bikes, components...

People who credit ebikes for changing their habits can be considered to be anecdotally speaking. It's just an awkward way of speaking called projecting, sharing a belief that others think like that too. You are projecting by claiming a "vast majority of users" do this or that. Projecting is the difference between saying: "I downvoted you because I disagree with what you said about the vast majority" and "a number of your downvotes could be from people who disagree with what you projected". It's natural to project, but tends to lead to argument.

I disagree since emtbs are complicated enough for people to think about ways to recharge it, store it safely, and how to take advantage of its differences, which can trigger positive habit changes. They're expensive enough that I imagine that you'd have to be as rich as the 1%ers to treat it as a casual addition to the collection without thinking about any of that. Doesn't seem hard to offset the eco issue of the emtb's creation, considering the battery is the main thing (and the half kWh to recharge it each time).
  • 2 0
 @DavidGuerra: it’s not that we haven’t realized it, it’s that people are afraid to say something. There are already far too many people in this world and it’s going to get much worse in the next 20 years.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: well, that is the unfortunate truth yes. Either we find a humane way of controlling the population, or the planet will do it for us inhumanely (Covid should serve as a friendly warning). Problem is that this is defeatist- if we can't change then there is nothing else to do but sit back and accept our impending doom.

Remember what the scientist said in 'The Day After Tomorrow ': "It is only on the precipice of disaster that real change happens..." or something.

I'd still like to hope this can happen and think an environmental discussion about the pros/cons and short and long term impact of e-bikes is still worthwhile.
  • 2 0
 Levy I owe you some Tim Horton's for busting your balls.
  • 3 0
 I do like me some Seb
  • 2 1
 Get a bike that fits, ride it until it breaks, repeat. Stop thinking about it so much.
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of the people who bought new bikes whenever something broke (repairable).

"Still haven't fixed those dropper post problems? Time for a new bike!" /sarcasm

They weren't happy with their current bike and had eyes on other options. The downtime just gave them extra justification to go with their gut. The process repeated numerous times until they gained better understanding of what they wanted and what they felt was better. A very expensive lesson...

Also, it feels bad when a friend asks for advice regarding a new bike, and I can't provide a better suggestion than the overly generalized/simplified posts on pinkbike, despite knowing them personally well enough, the trails they ride, and have a good idea of the local availability of bikes.
  • 2 1
 Gary Fischer was the pioneer of longer top tubes. Mondraker was after that.
  • 2 0
 But before him, Joe Breeze (experiments with super stretched top tubes & 0mm stems back in the 80s I think)
  • 3 0
 Yeah, but "G2" geometry kind of sucked. People weren't sold on 29ers back in 2010 not just because the funny looking wagon wheels, but because they were hard to ride. He wanted bigger offset forks resulting in almost no trail, and an unstable bike. I'll give him credit for commercializing 29ers, but I won't give him any credit on making them any good.
  • 1 0
 Specialized Enduro is maybe the only bike to have the slacker STA of predecessor.
  • 1 0
 Hi Guys, lovely podcasts you make. Really enjoying them. Any update on the EXT ERA Fork review? And EXT Storia shock may be?
  • 2 0
 Soon!
  • 1 0
 You knew someone would have a Trust fork on a hardtail. This guy. On an aluminum Banshee Paradox V3 Wink
  • 2 1
 Geo wins, it was hard to peddle when your knees hit the handlebars...
  • 1 0
 470 reach is also fine Levy xDD
  • 4 4
 EBike question: when will we see 32" front tire mullet bikes with 29" rear for taller and better riders?
  • 2 3
 Sam Pilgram for drop in revival
  • 2 1
 Yes, so good. Him and his wooden ramp would be ideal.
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