There's a Fine Line Between Clever and Stupid - Opinion

Jan 18, 2018
by Vernon Felton  
Sometimes you’ve got to know when good enough is actually good enough. As inspirational adages go, this one sucks, but it’s true all the same. There are occasions when life presents us with a happy balance; at such times you have to recognize that twisting the dial further—all the way to 11, so to speak—would be a mistake. Consider Mechagodzilla and the current rage to make every bike as long and slack as possible.

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FIRST, THE LIZARD
We begin in Japan.

For decades, millions of people experienced the unrivaled joy of watching two grown men in ill-fitting monster suits pummel the crap out of one another. There is an undeniable majesty to old school, pre-CGI Godzilla. This was true whether the big lizard was handing Mothra his ass or simply running amok on a Friday night with his boys, Gidra and King Caesar, setting city blocks aflame and whatnot.

What is the exact source of that magic? You may as well ask why kittens are cute or why couples hold hands and stare off into the sunset. Hell if I know. I’m no scientist. But I do know this: An hour spent watching Godzilla was always an hour well spent. Right up until 1974; that’s when shit fell apart.

wrecked
In the middle you have Mechagodzilla. To the right you have the real Godzilla. At far left is King Caesar, who bears an uncanny resemblance to this guy I know named Larry who lives beneath the Woburn Street bridge.

1974 was the year that someone in the marketing department of Toho studios decided that poorly performed judo in dinosaur suits had suddenly become passé. Consequently, the filmmakers attempted to turn that dial to 11 by rolling out the 84-minute pile of dreck that is Godzilla Versus Mechagodzilla.

The plot is a veritable dumpster fire of bad ideas. A plucky spelunker finds some crazy space-metal from the future tucked away in a cave, which leads archaeologists to discover a cave painting containing a vague prophecy, then Godzilla suddenly shows up and starts stomping Tokyo to bits instead of protecting the city. This was intended to be a head scratcher because Japan’s capital city enjoyed the status quo “We’re totally bros” kind of relationship typically enjoyed by an atomic-age dinosaur and his Japanese hometown. Vive le Intrigue!

Anyway, after all sorts of tedious plot machinations, the real Godzilla shows up in Tokyo pissed off and then some. Up until this point in the movie, the true Godzilla has actually been chilling out on Monster Island with his buddy Megalon, downing 40s of virgin blood and watching repto-porn (as monsters are wont to do). But back to the plot... The OG lizard king gets wind that another monster is tarnishing his good name, so he turns up and launches a blast of fire breath at the impostor Godzilla. Said fire blast melts away a flesh suit to reveal Mechagodzilla--a mechanical Godzilla powered by aliens from “the Third Planet from the Black Hole” who are actually just dudes in cheap, Planet of the Apes knock-off suits. By this point you just want the movie to end. It’s not even gratifying when Godzilla rips off Mechagodzilla’s head.

Mondraker Foxy RR SL review

THE BIKE BIT…
To be fair, the producers at Toho studios were probably just trying to spice up the Godzilla formula. They were 13 monster movies deep into the series and probably reasoned that adding a giant robot with laser-beam eyes and rocket appendages would be just the shot in the arm their franchise needed. It's a plausible strategy, but it also misses the point—the original Godzilla recipe was already perfect. Trying to turn the latest installment of the franchise into a space-dinosaur version of The Usual Suspects only mucked it up. Sometimes trying to twist the dial to 11 on every product within sight is a mistake.

I feel the same way about some of the trends in the mountain biking world these days. I'll start with the obvious one: the goal to make everything long, low and slack. Let me begin by saying that if you looked at what was on offer five or six years ago, a lot of bikes stood to be improved by having their reach grow and their head angles relax. The most obvious choices were the bikes that swam on the aggressive end of the all-mountain swimming pool. The Giant Reign and Trek Remedy come to mind. But other less-obvious bike genres benefitted from getting a bit, for lack of a better word, "radder". The 2016 Kona's Hei Hei 29er, for example, became a bike that could be raced XC, but also rallied like an aggressive trail bike. Going longer and slacker with that particular model simply made it a good deal more capable and fun. Win, win and win.

long low slack
A great movie that would not be improved by the addition of men in dragon suits. See, it works both ways.

As one of the people who'd been inserting the "This could be better if it were longer and slacker" line in at least half of my bike reviews for years, I was gratified when bike companies listened to the many riders who were calling for the same. But that doesn't mean that every bike must necessarily grow longer and slacker in order to be "modern' or even, simply, worth your consideration. What happens, for instance, when a model was already pretty damn long and slack? What if that bike was already pretty dialed in the "progressive geometry" department? Do we really need to add another 20 millimeters to a model's reach every three years? Is it absolutely imperative to slacken the head angle another degree while we're at it? Suddenly we find ourselves in a world where 460 millimeters of reach on a size large is sooooo 2014 Kona Process. Now we better make that reach 480 millimeters or--wait--make it 500 millimeters!

Look, there comes a moment when you pass the tipping point and you wind up with a bike that is reaaally long and stable--an absolute marvel of high-speed stability--but a bit of an annoying armful to muscle through super tight trails. Or to put it simply: A dose of long, low and slack can be truly awesome, but a size Medium bike with a 48-inch wheelbase is just a mighty long-ass bike.

Of course, if you are racing enduro or shuttling all the time or looking for a single-crown, mini-DH bike, then it's hard to go too long and too slack. All is right in your world. But it's decidedly less awesome for that rider who is still looking for that one bike that he can ride everywhere. That rider will hit a point when they are wishing 2015's, six-inch travel, all-mountain bike still occupied floor space at their local bike shop.

Giant Reign 27.5 1 2015
Remember when the 2015 Reign seemed long? That's because it was. For 2018, the Reign's reach grew by 15 millimeters to 473-millimeter reach (size Large), which is really just the new normal right now. In fact, by Mondraker or Pole standards, it's downright short...so there's always that.

Enduro is still the hot librarian or "it girl" of the bike industry in 2018, but what if you aren't an enduro racer or your trails or your riding style don't merit the slackest, longest bike possible? Well, it's not like you'll exactly find yourself adrift in a barren, bike-less world when it comes time to buy a new rig. For starters, you could opt for a new bike with less travel, slightly steeper geometry and a shorter wheelbase. There's that option. And, yes, some companies are also still offering both all-mountain and enduro models (selling a Bronson alongside a Nomad or a Stumpjumper and an Enduro, to employ just two examples). There are, however, other brands that now have a sizable black hole in their line up between all-purpose, trail bike and mini-DH bike.

I realize, of course, that this may all come across as just one "old guy" bitching about how shit has changed and how great everything would be if life was just fixed in stone. You can dismiss what I'm saying here as just another "You kids get off my goddamn lawn!" kind of rant, but that's not actually what I'm saying here. I think people who wanted mini-DH bikes should have gotten them a lot earlier and it's great that those bikes exist. For the record, on the right trails, they are a blast to ride. But I also wind up traveling to parts of the country that don't boast the gnarliest trails and I meet people who want sub-47 inch (1194 millimeter) wheelbases and head angles somewhere north of 66 degrees.... The trend to make every bike long, low and "slack-as-f*ck" misses the mark for those riders.

Theoretically, turning the dial up to 11 is going to make everything awesome. From here on out, it's going to be lazer eyes and rocket hands and space aliens and mini downhill bikes for everyone. All the time. On every trail. Yay!

But when we reach for that dial each and every time, we sometimes risk launching right off the tipping point and into a world where fashion trumps function. There is a fine line, a wise man once said, between clever and stupid. It pays to know where that line starts and where it ends.


363 Comments

  • + 262
 At 6'4" I look at this whole new 'longer, lower, slacker' in a certain way. For years Ive been riding bikes that have always been too small for me while I see everyone of average stature stoked on how rad their bikes feel. Well guess what? Its my turn now. Deal with the longer bikes, I'll just tell you its all in your head or that you need bigger balls etc etc.
  • + 12
 I am with ya bro!
  • + 99
 I understand your plight, but your issue is with sizing whereas this article is talking about geometry. The problem wasn’t that a size large wasn’t large, it’s that an X or XX large didn’t exist in the lineup, so you had to make the large work. Of course the new longer geo trend helps the large fit you better, but that really wasn’t the intended purpose.

Manufacturers need to fix your issue by adding an additional larger size in the lineup. Maybe then everyone could enjoy riding without tasting bitterness the whole time.
  • + 13
 @ninjatarian: Yeah I see what you're saying. I wanted to get a Yeti 5.5 last season but holy crap are they ever short! If there was a XXL size it would probably be more in line with what I was after.
  • + 3
 I'm with you here. At 6'5" it's tough for a bike to feel too long for me. 490mm reach on my XL Ragley BigWig, and I could probably stand a bit more.
  • + 9
 @CamShreds: My Pole Evolink is 510mm and felt spot on the very first ride.
  • + 11
 I'm 6'2" and 500mm reach is perfect for me. Really happy bikes now exist that I find comfortable. Thank you trendy bike manufacturers
  • + 6
 @CamShreds: Remember years ago when 140mm stems were how us tall riders made short bikes fit.......I'm all for long reach numbers but some bike companies are taking it to the extreme.
  • + 31
 At 6'6" I feel your pain. But I don't understand why some features have to be static across all sizes.

Fact. Taller riders need more stack, more reach, steeper seat tubes and longer CS.
Fact. Shorter riders need something proportionally different.

There is no reason why bikes manufacturers can't accommodate this. Though it's entirely possible that some bike brands don't understand that different sized people require different sized bikes.

It's absurd that a taller rider should resort to buying a bike like a Pole Evolink to get the dimensions he needs. And to wit, Pole doesn't vary STA or CS length between sizes either - they are just as guilty as anyone else. A Pole Evolink in small must be ridiculous.
  • + 0
 @alexsin: My guess? Carbon molds are freakin expensive! You start adding more model sizes and rear ends to your line and the cost is through the roof! I'm glad that the 'narrow' margin of general sizing is favouring taller riders such as myself now.
  • + 0
 Amen.
  • + 4
 You do realize that your average height friends didn't create that problem for you, right? Sounds like you and your fellas need to hug it out.
  • + 10
 A new small Mondraker Foxy has the same reach as an XL Stumpjumper. (460mm vs 461mm), with only a 1 degree difference in seat angle.

Just sayin...
  • + 4
 6' 3" person here, please continue to preach. While maybe not intentional as @ninjatarian stated, it's still nice to have a bike that fits.
  • + 3
 @WaterBear: At 5'9", I really understand and enjoyed your comment.
  • + 3
 @WaterBear: Nevertheless, Im still happy about it Wink
  • + 5
 @ninjatarian: even most XL bikes in the past (if you could find them) were too small for people in that 6'3"+ range. Now people at least have the option to go down a frame size (unless they are truly on the shortest end of the scale, in which case I empathize with them). Us tall riders didn't really have that option before as bikes that fit us weren't an option.
  • + 18
 @alexsin: Norco has done exactly that with their gravity tuned geometry. Chain stays, head tube and seat tube angle change with every size.
  • + 3
 @Thustlewhumber: M Dune and L Foxy, both have longer reach than a XL Summum... pretty nuts
  • + 3
 Amen!! At 6'4", i've looked like a monkey humping a football for too long! Thank you long bikes!
  • + 0
 @Tmackstab: nah, an XXL Yeti would still be to small.

Many thanks to Santa Cruz for doing XXLs in some of their bikes for many years!
  • + 1
 Amen brother! A bit over 6'3", extra long legs here, and still growing... finding true XXL bikes is a PAIN.
  • + 1
 At 190cm i'm happy too that these large bikes exist nowadays. But makes me wonder why the general reach difference between sizes is around 20mm? Now you have to make like 8 sizes from XXS to XXL to fit everyone. ????
  • + 0
 @alexsin: Custom? I'm 5'10" with a long torso, I was considering going custom until suddenly bikes were built to fit me. If I were you, I'd find a custom maker and have one built.
  • + 1
 I agree with you. I like longer reach sure the porblem is the rear end is proportionally tiny. XL bikes should have longer CS. I like what Santa Cruz did with the XXL v-10. @alexsin:
  • + 3
 Tmackstab:you do realize that the average height in north america is 5'10 and the average in the uk is 5'9 asia seams to be around 5'2. I agree that there werent great options for tall people for a long time but your also talking about a much smaller group of people that this trend benefits. Everyone is different im tall ish 6'1 and i prefer smaller bikes for the superior handling and rotational property's. to each their own.
  • + 2
 @bogey: but only recently (thankfully), the seat tube are getting shorter so in between people like me (with short legs but still 6' ish, ) could utilize their XL
  • + 0
 @loganflores: This is why companies produce more M and L bikes. I wear a size 15 shoe, you can bet that Nike makes a way smaller amount of size 15's than a size 9 or 10.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: Far more people are 6'2" plus than there are people with size 15 feet
  • - 1
 I think everyone should just get on the 15" seat tube length train. It is the goldilocks of seat tube lengths. I'm 6' (very average height) ridden bikes for 24 years, and wouldn't want it any longer or shorter.
  • + 1
 Yup. I'm 6'4" also and on a long, slack, low bike. Feels right at home.
  • + 1
 I agree! They can still go longer! Im 6'3" and comfortably ride an XXL SC hightower, still few bikes available for my 6'8" brother.

sorry @vernonfelton . Time for us tall dudes to finally have bikes that do not make us cringe at lower back pain and vomit-induced style.
  • + 3
 @alexsin: Your facts aren't facts. "Tall" isn't specific enough. The ratio of inseam to torso length matters, among at least a dozen other things. If your height is mostly in your torso, nothing you listed except additional reach is likely to help.
  • + 2
 @alexsin: yes! Dynamic CS and ST angle for each size please!
  • + 2
 @Kramz: what
  • + 0
 @SeaJay: 381mm, 15" seat tube length is the perfect balance for me, and I'm 6'. Low enough to get rowdy, high enough to pedal. My shorter friend also used to ride a 15" seat tube bike quite well.
  • + 1
 6’6”! i look like a freaking ape on everything, especially DJ bikes. long live long, low and slack! it’s fun too.
  • + 1
 6'7" here. I want more bikes with 500mm reach!
  • + 1
 @alexsin: totally agree. My new bike has 490 reach but a stupid short head tube. My bar is now too low and the only option is spending on a higher rise bar or weird looking stem. My old XL was shorter but had a long head tube. Fit me better.
  • + 4
 @alexsin: Nailed it. I have been saying this for years..

I'm 6.4 and I hate the obsession with low stack heights. My 2010 XL Enduro had a 170m headtube! My next bike had 130mm... I lost 40mm stack in a second and I had neck ache all the time.

And I don't agree the this conversation is about geometry and not size issues. If an XL was truely that with better longer reach and stack it would be fine, but for years most bikes are a size smaller at least than they should be. Look at the recent (until the current super long trend anyway) trend of sizing up... fine if your a midget (average height!) but what if your over 190? No where to go.

But then you get the problem mentioned to do with seat angles. Santa Cruz have released an XXL at last, but the seat puts you so far over the rear axle it's a joke. And they are not the only ones.. I think as mentioned this is about cost of production more than anything, but I think it's time for someone to start making bikes with taller riders in mind specifically, not just adding a few mil to a current model and calling it an XXL.

Not sure about longer chainstay though, wheelbase get so long anyway as the reach grows that handling would be a barge. My old Enduro had a massive WB and it was a 26" enduro bike.. it was already longer than many normal sized DH bikes were at the time!
  • + 0
 @clarky78: Yes! I had the 2011 Enduro 26. 66.5 deg HTA and 75 STA. Wheel base was just over 1200mm. Never had a stability issue at speeds up to nearly 70kph on fast, bumpy jeep track and never felt it was too steep because my bars were in the right place. My 2018 model is a different story and even though its slacker by 1.5 deg it feels less secure on slow tech roll ins thanks to the too low for me bar. And I'm only 6'2" (188cm)
  • + 2
 191cm here. I had the opportunity to ride a previous generation of Foxy RR in size large. It fit me perfectly. The best bike I rode to date. Loved the stability. Also felt that size XL would be too much.
  • + 9
 @ninjatarian: Totally incorrect. Before the 'longer, lower, slacker' revolution the XL model in company's line-up was invariably a 'gate'. This meant that for the taller guy getting a bike with a reach that felt anything near long enough meant having a 21 inch+ seat tube! Not rad in any way...
A key part of the theory behind this evolution in mountain bike design has been to break free from road bike design hang-ups, seat tube and top tube length are always linked on road bikes for efficiency reasons etc, but on mountain bikes designers/engineers have finally realised that for a really wide range of rider heights there is an optimal seat tube length 'window' (modern dropper posts really help here), the taller riders just need more reach, or upper body room. This is not only a massive change for anyone outside of 'normal' height (shorter as well as taller riders benefit) but a win for all of us is that if for example you usually ride a Large you can also look at the M or XL model in a range, you'll still be able to pedal properly on either size but you now get to choose how long you want the bike to be to suit your body shape and riding style.
The extremes of 'longer, lower, slacker' frame designs are what people comment on (or get hung up on) now, and they have their place for certain types of rider or riding, but actually it is the break away from our road bike ancestors that is the real revolution.
  • + 1
 6’7 here and so glad I can get a bike that fits these days
  • + 4
 There’s one thing this article made me think about this morning and I got a revelation on why long reach is good for everybody. So fkng what that bikes get long? Considering how long dropper posts get these days who whines on seat tubes getting too short? I’ve been bitchin on long travel posts, I think I’m on the verge of changing my mind on a frw aspects of that.

So, we get much higher reach to seat tube length ratio. If you don’t like the long reach, then hust buy a fkng smaller ize of the frame. You used to buy M or L, buy a fkng S which is as long as your former Large
  • + 0
 Boom. Nailed it.
  • + 3
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I hear you but with the opposite problem. I'm 5'10" with long legs. I run an 18" seat tube, 170mm dropper with about 3.5" of the post sticking out. I need a bike with a "short" reach, tall stack, and long seat tube. Point being, bike companies have to design for the bell curve person.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: %100 agree. A shorter friend of mine was showing me the geo of all the bikes he wanted (in a medium because thats what he usually rides) and complaining that he basically cant ride any bikes now. The whole time I was thinking 'dude just size down'.
  • + 2
 @Tmackstab: Can i be an egomaniac and say: I admit it - As long as it doesn't compromise suspension design and I can fit my fkng water bottle - long bikes and long seat posts are cool - I WAS WRONG!
  • + 11
 You read it here folks!!! Mark this day in your calendar! Waki admits he was wrong! Holy s**t what a time to be alive.
  • + 1
 @nohit45: I've never seen a monkey humping a football, But i have a pig that humps basketballs!
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: then make aluminium bikes as well. Carbon isn't the 'be all and end all' that manufacturers want us to believe.
  • + 3
 @rjohnson450: that's not what he's saying. It's good that they're building bike to fit you guys, but they should be as an XXL addition to the range, not just for the sake of it. 'Longer, lower, slacker' is just the new 'lighter, stiffer'.

I think at some point it will balance out and find a happy medium. I just hope it's not a the expense of bikes for suitable for people. Maybe once the price of tooling CF moulds comes down they'll keep the wider range of frame sizes.

Maybe if the race for longer, lower, slacker slowed down then bike designs would have a longer lifespan which would mean that they could afford to make the extra sizes due to not having to scrap the moulds and start again each year?
  • + 1
 @CustardCountry: Currently the carbon frame molds run in a 3 to 4 year cycle with only paint changing every model year. The molds are still expensive and need to come down in price like you said, as a machinist I can tell you this is a difficult task.

I feel like once things level off and a frames geo is relevant for more like 5-7 years THEN you'll see a wider range of sizes. Until then the the small window of geo popularity, hype, whatever you want to call it will dictate the few sizes a manufacturer is willing to invest in.

Also yes they can make aluminum bikes, I actually own one. Manufacturers need to make what the customer wants however, and a majority of them want carbon. If they offered more sizes in alu than their carbon models then all of the carbon lovers would cry foul as there is less carbon options.
  • + 1
 @CustardCountry: I dont believe you totally understood what i said. I should not be on an XXL, I should be on an XL sized frame for my height, thus we have not yet reached the optimization of "long, low, slack" .

You highlight on the economic and environmental expense here of carbon fiber production too. Why not aluminium? At least when I break my chainstay, the parts do not end up in a dump, the aluminium can be recycled into window frames, beer cans, etc.

Development of a jig and computer programming is significantly less of an expense than new sizes in carbon fiber production as well.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: exactly! No shame in that, we no longer need to analyze bikes based on some random symbol we humans attribute them too (s, m, l, xl, lll), look at the data to direct you to your frame dimensions.
  • + 1
 @Finimac: but still too few options!
  • + 2
 @chileconqueso: I had a cat that humped cushions. Just saying.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Agree fully- Ride a Reign at 6' but in medium because I am still a BMX kid inside from the 80's. Sizes are recommendations- adapt accordingly.
  • + 1
 @clarky78: Like the Santa Cruz, a Giant Trance anyone? Instant wheelie machine while climbing up anything!
  • + 2
 @boxxerace: I need stays shorter than 410 to have issues with directing the bike where I want it to go and that's only on really steep stuff. It had 150 fork. I'd say wheeleing happens at 400 or less. Or when someone sucks at climbing. I had a bike with stays adjustable between 405 and 415, my latest hardtail was 415 so I know a thing or two Smile

@fahrwerk: I believe while long geo (or amount of travel or 29", 2 ply tyres) helps in particular situations it is still the riders input that makes things happen. I'm not saying we should all ride 2010 FS XC bikes then, I can appreciate a big bike. But just because a semi pro can rail a Pole around switchbacks doesn't mean that most of their clients can. Many of us can't corner anyways so making riding straight through rock gardens does seem appealing. It's funny that people who are proponents of long geos treat themselves as experts at riding while it seems like it is Joeys who will benefit most of such compromise. Another funny thing is that people are shouting I want a playful bike, then they want 1300 wheelbase... come on...
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: I would totally agree with you on downsizing a bike, but the issue comes with seat post insertion. If I went from my large Stumpjumper to a small Foxy I would need at least a 200mm dropper to compensate, but just like a 5'2" model dating a pro basketball player, you are not getting a full 200mm insertion on a small bike.
  • + 2
 @Thustlewhumber: Have more post sticking out then?
  • + 1
 100% This.
As one of the old guys of mtb, I look back at decades of photos of me hunched over the biggest bike I could get (with little more than a long seat tube).
Now I can finally ride a bike that fits me.

It has changed everything!
  • + 1
 @IllestT: Exactly. Ever notice how disproportionate 23" or so of seat tube on a typical 26er looks? Ridiculous. lol Thank heavens for bigger bikes being developed.
  • + 1
 I'm sure there's a dwarf somewhere that you pissed off haha
  • + 1
 @chickennuggetsaregreat: lol Now I've got the angry dwarf from Bedtime Stories running through my head... So what. There are plenty of tiny bikes... but truly large bikes have taken a while... thanks for the laugh.
  • + 1
 right there with bro! I'm 6'6" and trying to find bikes that fit is ridiculous.
  • + 1
 Same here Bro! been waiting for the day where I can buy a "enduro" bike that actually fits someone whose 6'4".. and dropper posts that are longer than 100mm-- winning in that category as well.
  • + 0
 so they have figured out sizing now? I agree here, I like flicky fun bikes so ive dropped a size, whilst all the sizes have been growing. f*** fashion
  • + 94
 The LLS trend reminds me of skinny jeans... They don’t work for lots of people with certain body types. But that fact doesn’t stop some people from wearing them. Skinny jeans are (or were) “in”, so those that want to be fashionable found themselves in them. This regardless of how poorly they worked for them.
  • + 3
 Very well spoken
  • + 2
 This is so bang on it can't be any more true in my view.
  • + 4
 Great analogy. The same logic can be applied to spandex.
  • + 14
 I like this analogy. Well analogy-ed sir.
  • + 1
 In visual terms refer to the jeans scene in Super Bad. Lololol
  • + 3
 I have the exact giant reign they showed. I bought one two years back, in large (I'm 6 foot). Hated it. Had other bikes, then a mate was selling his medium one. Tried it and was in love? Just shows it may be faster, but doesn't suit everyone.
  • + 2
 I'm stuck in the 90s baggy style. It is cyclic. I think it is in the third or fourth cycle now since. Sometimes people tell me it is so two years ago or so. And sometimes people go "yeah it is in now, right?" so I know it is time to go shopping and stock up for the next cycle.
  • - 3
 The same could be said about 29ers...
  • + 2
 Just like fashion, this will change too. Next big thing will be short reach, 55deg head angles and medium height bb. You heard it here first.
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: I have that one too. At 6'2" in a large I really like it. As for the skinny jeans. Never could squeeze my calves in to those things. Too much caber tossing at the highland games as a kid.
  • + 2
 @bholton: how funny. But that's it exactly. One thing doesn't always suit everyone. Silly thing is I'm in love with the medium one. Bought it straight away!
  • + 1
 @vinay: me too, and aren't they comfortable. Lotsa room for big nuts.
  • + 2
 It blows my mind watching guys BMX or dirt jumping etc. in skinny jeans. I don't wear skinny jeans, but even jeans which are slightly on the slimmer side are prohibitive, just for walking!

I'm like, "How!? How are those guys doing that!? They must stuff their dick up their arsehole or something!?"
  • + 5
 @excavator666: they're stretchy
  • + 4
 Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room - Nacho Libre
  • + 4
 The thing about skinny jeans is you gotta be skinny to pull them off.

(and on)
  • + 2
 @kjjohnson: there are no fat people on Pinkbike. Only professional weight lifters.
  • + 49
 This is the same stuff moto's went through a couple decades ago, a mass burst of progression then it kinda leveled out. Dirtbikes really haven't gotten that much better or faster or whatever in the last 20 years. Just small stuff imo. They went to the extremes of suspension travel and and geo and found a good place. That's where we are at with mountain bike sizing and such. We know what works. Now we're on to .01mm changes and BNG (bold new graphics) were lucky to have bikes that work for whatever you like to ride. Ride what feels good, after all were just adults riding bicycles in the woods, whatever feels good man.
  • + 11
 4 strokes requiring no premix mess and gobs of low-end torque. Aluminum frames. Fuel injection. HUGE improvements in suspension tech. Yes, my 2015 KX450 is pretty much the same as a 1995 dirtbike...
  • + 26
 @mjlundy: yeah you're right, mostly referring to geo and travel. They're definitely better now. But im just as fast (slow) on my 95 CR250 than i am on my brand new bike.
  • + 3
 Just like Golf Clubs... They are all about the same now with minor Look/Geo differences~ #Thebigplateau #thebeguningoftheend #justride btw~ Love my new Reign SEX.. I mean SX
  • + 4
 @CGalbreath: Got it. Makes sense.
  • + 2
 I agree to a point but 20 years is pushing it. Maybe not for your avg. rider, but suspension, and motor wise, you can tell a big difference hopping off a 95' 250 to even a 2010 250F, let alone 450. Geometry is a bit different too, just not as dramatic as we've seen with bicycles.

Difference between moto and bicycle is, you don't really have the limitations of the human that bicycles do. If the human wasn't a weak motor, XC bikes would have 6" of travel, be a bit more slacked out for more comfort, better suspension handling, and the suspension would actually sit in it's sag. And this bike would work well for everything. Thus creating one standard. Sure you have 'enduro/offroad' models in the moto world, but it's not vastly different from the mx version like say an xc to an 6-7" AM rig is. The other problem is, manufactures create 3-5 different sized bicycles in the same model to try and make it 'fit' every individual. Moto world shoots for that higher end 5' mark and than people have the options to buy parts to make it suite their height more if they struggle with how it is. Just my .02
  • - 3
 Factory supercross guys on KTM and Husky are even riding stock engines and transmissions. Those bikes are race ready out of the box. Mtb will get there one day, where everyone has access to the best stuff no matter what level of competition.
  • + 5
 @otto99: yes, I can’t wait for $15k mtb’s!
  • + 21
 What gets me is what passes for "technology" in the bike world. What's been happening for the last 5 years is a revolution in *design*, yet everyone talks about 11 speed like physicists disappeared into the lab, opened a door to a forbidden reactor, pulled out a cassette with an extra gear and exclaimed: "This is what the equations of Newton predicted generations ago!"
  • + 5
 @BeaverCreaker: lol those already exist. My brand new yz250f was under $7k
  • + 5
 @otto99: stock engines and transmissions?? They sure as hell aren't on stock anything when they are lined up on a gate.
  • + 3
 @BeaverCreaker: You ever check prices? There are several 15k bikes I can think of, not even counting e-bikes... (HPC Revolution) Drool
  • - 1
 @nohit45: lol - the Red Bull ktm team is running a stock motor and transmission.

If you don't believe me you can watch Ping walk the pits at A1 and talk about all of the top 5 guys bikes up close in detail. Husky and KTM running stock motor and gears. The coat the outside of the motor for durability but that's it. Obviously everything else is tricked out to the Nth degree.
  • + 1
 amen to that.
  • + 0
 @otto99: higher compression and porting. "Stock" everything on the internet isn't true
  • + 0
 @SeaJay: nope
  • + 4
 @nohit45: I worked in the Moto industry in college (2004-2006area). One of my coworkers kids was on a b-level factory team. They ran stock motors with a pipe, tuner carb, and about $10,000 worth of ti bolts (engine and chassis)
  • + 1
 Agree but it's more like after 2002
  • + 2
 @otto99: you clearly don't understand what stock is. at most similar its a stock engine block. the stock block would of course be the one that turned out the best or one manufactured under careful circumstances
  • - 1
 @pieters: nope.
  • + 1
 @otto99: troll or just that gullible?
  • - 1
 @SeaJay: dude is clearly an arrogant douche with no concept of facts or reality.
  • + 1
 @Jaybirdy: -1 because golf.
  • + 26
 WRONG. Imma take this Longer, Lower, Slacker train to the moon. If Bitcoin has taught me anything, it is that it will keep going up forever and ever. TO THE MOOOOOON!
  • - 2
 Uh. Bitcoins have had a huge market correction in the last few weeks.
  • + 6
 @bsavery: That's the Joke. It's a parody. Smile
  • + 2
 Hence the Moonraker
  • + 1
 @FarmerJohn: Transition, geometron is the ending point for Enduro models....soon, the end is near.
  • + 24
 The long, low, and slack trend is probably reaching its end and will swing back the other way. This will be the first spring I do not get a new frame. Last spring I got a carbon Scout and really like it. The new Scout is longer, lower, and slacker, but I've reached my max, so why bother. SBG isn't enough to get my money; it reminds of a curved tv - different, but not better.
  • + 20
 I wear skinny jeans and I endorse this statement.
  • + 1
 Not arguing it's necessarily worth the upgrade from last years bike, but have you ridden SBG? I'd argue that it is in fact better. Going from a 2017 Patrol to 2018 I've seen a marked improvement in traction, body position for climbing and descending, and quantified faster times.
  • + 3
 @RichPune, same here. Usually upgrade my frame most years but my current 2017 one feels as long low slack as I want it to get. It's very good; so good that it doesn't need to be changed for a while (the itch will come eventually though - it always does).
  • + 7
 The bicycle has been around for a very long time. When you have only 20 or so lengths and angles on a frame with which you can tweak, it is hard to continually innovate and goad consumers into buying new bikes.

I'd say components have made huge advancements in the last 20 years with suspension, dropper posts, wheels, brakes, shifting, etc. The recent trend has been materials and making carbon fiber frames more sleak and affordable. It's no wonder the focus of companies has now turned to dimensions and tweaking those numbers for a few years until it gets pushed too far or no longer trendy.

Once you have almost the perfect bike or component sometimes you just buy time by making minor tweaks until a new large break through in racing styles, componentry design or materials comes along.

In the end, remember that the target market are those who buy bikes at full price/MSRP. That segment of the market is typically called "early adopters," or "innovators." These are the people that the bike company is trying to woo into buying their bikes, and this segment thrives lining up to put their pre-order in as soon as they can so they can be seen on the trails having the latest and "greatest." They are likely to believe the hype and jump on new trends too!

Remember when we had this same discussion over larger wheels, tubeless tires, coil vs air shocks, wider rims, wider bars, steer tube sizing, boost/axle width, 1 by X drive train, bottom bracket standards? Are we going to complain about every innovation in this sport?

www.pinkbike.com/news/Pinkbike-Poll-Are-You-Scared-of-Change-2013.html
  • + 6
 @otto99: I've started sizing down with bikes. I don't recommend going that route with skinny jeans though!
  • + 3
 @BiNARYBiKE: No - I have not ridden a bike with SBG. It sounds like it works. A buddy of mine has and he said the same thing as you. I'm not avoiding SBG, but between the expense of a frame/fork swap and the fact that I'm fine with my current speed, it's not worth it.
  • + 2
 Whether long, low and slack has jumped the shark, I cannot say. But I will say that I demoed a couple bikes (29 and 27.5) from a certain brand in the summer of 2016, and the 29er handled only marginally better than my 2010 Specialized Enduro, and the 27.5 just wasn't up to snuff. So I don't know if Specialized was just that much ahead of the game back then, or if I just don't like how those bikes handle, but it wasn't enough to make me buy either bike I tried.
  • + 1
 We will see number like what Transition has continue until a design supersedes the issues with telescoping forks. Cycleworks is the only company to resolve the issue and the geometron makes sense if you want run a telescoping fork....they try to do the same thing. the problem, they both look fairly bad.
  • + 20
 I dunno, I see pretty much any option anyone could possibly want available out there. Myself and my closest riding buddies have followed a path largely together...starting when 5" travel and a Marzocchi Z1 was "burly" and up to the 6" Enduro bikes of the last four years, trouble is, in all that time, our trails haven't changed. I think we've gotten faster, but rocks are still rocks and roots are still roots.

So as a result, we seem to have found ourselves at the limit of how much bike we really want. We seem to be mostly in agreement that our next bikes will be a step down in "burliness"...in fact one member of the group has already made the drop (from a 170mm bike to a 130mm bike)...and it has actually made him an even better rider. Personally i've worked my way through a bunch of Specialized enduros, onto a Tracer, then a Firebird, another Enduro, and currently a Carbine (pre-2018 model). Seeing that both the tracer and Carbine have gone into "mini-DH" territory, my sights have turned towards the Primer and Recluse, or maybe something akin to the Pivot Switchblade.

In short, I think the dilemma isn't so much that bikes are getting too big, just that we are faced with jumping categories in order to keep riding the way we love to ride. I am classically what you would call an "Enduro" rider, but the current crop of "Trail" bikes appear to be better choices for me than what they are now calling "Enduro" bikes. I just don't need that much bike for the descents that I tackle regularly, so i'd rather have the lighter weight and climbing benefits.
  • + 16
 What's interesting is that I used to think it was suspension that saved my ass during pucker moments, but in reality I think it's more geometry. Even with only 120mm of travel, proper suspension setup should limit bottom-out, and dropper posts really help as well. If people can land 15'-to-flat drops on a BMX bike, you should sure as hell be able to do it on a shorter travel full suspension mountain bike.
  • + 6
 @PHeller: Its also a lot of skill. If you stand on your bike like a potatoe sack and case a jump something bad is gonna happen.
Thats why I got a hardtail for my hometrails+ other not so burly stuff. You learn to work in the bike- absorb impacts with your own body+ really push+pump the bike easily. If you switch to your full suspension then you will see that you dont need that much travel &you will be faster.
Oh and HT are friggin fun.
  • + 2
 True dat. When I got a DH bike, I went from a 155 trail bike to a 125. Wish I had gone down in travel sooner, but my ego wouldn't let me. I used to think I needed the longer travel because I was sooooo bad ass.
  • + 7
 a big portion of that issue of people ending up with a bike that's too much bike for their trails is that people buy the bikes for the stuff/style they would like to ride, instead of the stuff they actually ride
It happens in other fields, like ski and snowboard for example
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Kona Process 111
  • + 1
 Switchblade for the win. Been lucky enough to not have to buy a bike for the last few years as i have had access to the demo fleet where i work. Man, this saved me a lot of time and money, and helped me find what works best for me.

That Switchblade is incredible. "only" 135mm travel, but i can ride this thing like its a full on enduro rig, like my old Mach6. But the ability to switch wheels between 29 and 27.5 (with room for plus or my preference the 2.5 Maxxis) makes this the only bike i need - unless its that rare visit to a Bikepark, then the old Firebird gets a wipe down and run out.

Good luck with what ever you purchase, and thanks for talking much sense.
  • + 3
 I wish more companies included flip chips that allowed the use of multiple wheelsets. As someone who owned both short travel and long travel 275 and 29" wheeled bikes, the 275 bikes were definitely more fun, but on longer rides I preferred the bigger wheels. Higher volume, tougher tires really lets you use that smaller amount of travel more effectively, and no longer does a short travel bike have to be any less burly than a big bike. This all being said, I still think the industry needs to get its proverbial poop together and make lightweight aluminum bikes again. A 32lbs 120mm full suspension bike is stupid, especially when most 160mm bikes (in carbon or allloy) weight that.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: This. 100% right on the fact that geo makes the difference, not suspension travel! Travel just makes a bike dull and soft and takes impact, Geometry allows you the control and handling during pucker moments.

I ride a 145mm travel bike, definitely a 'Trail' bike number, but with 510mm reach and slack angles it feels like a 180mm bike and can handle a lot more than I can!
  • + 3
 @JoeRSB: The problem is that until now, geometry has been largely tied to travel. It's just very recently that brands have started offering bikes with "big bike" geo and "medium bike" travel.

And despite that, we are still classifying bikes by their travel. So no matter the geo, a 120-140mm bike is a "trail bike" and a 150-160 bike is an "Enduro" bike.
  • + 1
 @TheRaven: last 4 comments spot on
  • + 1
 i wish i could get a commencal meta 4x, slap on a 6" fork and an avalanche shock. bunnyhop it 2 feet, manual it, mini dh it all day.

real urban beater

i'm 5'8" and 130lbs though
  • + 18
 Here’s a secret the bike industry is not telling you...you can do pretty much everything on the current bike! But you know, they just want everyone to keep buying on the hype!
  • + 17
 Kevin Spacey VS Godzilla...
a veritable "Who will grab the dong first?" Whodunnit...
  • + 7
 Godzilla decided to live as a gay lizard from now on
  • + 15
 Is the bike too long? IMO you can just go one size down. Problem solved. Plus you will probably get a better standover height than your old bike. Where is the problem?
  • + 16
 I agree, everyone was riding a size up to get the longer bike, now the medium bike is longer, buy the right size again, problem solved.
  • + 5
 Exactly what I’ve just done and expect sizing down will become more popular again over the coming couple of years.
  • + 3
 @SonofBovril: good point. Particularly as dropper posts are getting longer.
  • + 2
 Because it feels like you're riding a freaking kid/clown/bmx bike...
  • + 1
 The problem is that putting a longer dropper requires more available ST length (you know, the dropper has two sides and both grow proportionally when you add travel). Another thing is reliability, I do not believe that having 40cm of post extension will not affect frame and the post iself.
Another issue is that some brands use very low stack on S and M frames. So you end up with a bike which simply looks ridiculous.
  • + 2
 Like the Geometron bikes. Pick you length and be a dick about it. With long travel droppers seat tube length is largely a non issue.
  • + 0
 @SonofBovril: This has been right for me, but like the article says I think it's now gone too far. 2015 a medium Ragley and NS were absolutely perfect in Medium me being 5'10" perfect stood up perfect sat down it was the 1st time the sizing chart pointed me to the right sized bike and no way would a different size in the range fit as well.

Now I think things have gone a touch wrong but in a way others are still saying good - steep seat tubes. I just bought a Radon Swoop in medium, standing up on the bike it's bang on perfect again, reach dialled. Sit down however and it's now a bit to short due to the steep seat tube, so weird it's got 10mm more reach than my NS Snabb but 10mm shorter top tube as the seat tubes so steep. It's acceptable as it's really a mini DH bike with 170mm travel but it would be better with a slacker seat tube so seat right up I'd me in a more traditional stretched out XC position to ride fast on the flat or up hills - it would make it a true all rounder.
  • + 1
 @StevieJB: A steeper seat angle is better for pedalling. In MTB you generally don't need to worry about aerodynamics like you do in Road, so sitting more upright isn't such a negative.


If it's not slack enough for you, there is a good 3-4 degrees difference in your saddle rails, not to mention several dropper posts have a lay-back head design (Specialneeds Command post for example). There are numerous options for slackening seated position if you like to feel like you're pedalling a recumbant, but you're limited when trying to steepen.

Furthermore, a slack seat angle for a tall rider is double bad as all your weight is over the rear axle, making the front end light when climbing, as the on trend short chainstays designed around short arses.
  • + 1
 @ It's not if you have become cramped when sat down on a bike that's reach is fine stood up. My saddles slammed right back.
  • + 1
 My large bikes had and still have something around 19'' ST. Some large now have 18'' ST so noway I would go with a medium frame!! I have 470mm reach so something around that is good for me but I don't know for 500mm... Anyway the problem for me is the school bus long wheelbase, super slack HA and super low B.B. I have something like 46.2'' wheelbase, 13.4'' b.b. and 66.6° HA. In Quebec, Canada, we have a lot of rocks and roots + tight switchbacks so I find my bike is about perfect. But there's something about my bike that make me want to look for a new one but 48+'' wheelbase, 13.2-'' bb and 64° HA is a joke for our trails! Maybe good for the rockies or alps but not my cup of tea for me anyway! And you know, I still like to climb technical trails and don't really ride flowy trails so I want 13.4/13.6'' bb back! Big Grin
  • + 3
 @Timo82: sounds about right. I always wonder where these guys are riding that they can make use of the really long wheelbase bikes. Stability can be a very grin inducing trait in a bike but at home on our nasty tight, twisty trails they aren’t that good really. I guess it all depends where you ride (and also just what makes you happy, it’s just a hobby after all and being happy is kind of the idea). But if we wanted to determine the best bike for most end users...I’m not anticipating it being the super slack enduro weapon that is so popular at the moment.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: Exactly! I think people just want the same as the pro even if they don't ride at the same places/speed cause you know, if that bike win medals, it will makes you go faster..... lol

Anyway, as you said, if it makes people happy I'm okay with that but I just hope that we will still have some nice choices in the future.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: also does a long slack bike make your trails too easy and boring?

Im back on a rigid 29er and its a heap of fun as my local trails don't have a massive amount of gnar.

I'm all for the LLS trend to allow us to establish the limits on geo but would not sure now if I would want one for local trails.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: Same here. Had a LLS 140mm suss bike but sold it and replaced with a hardtail to keep my local trails exciting.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: as you say it obviously depends on where you ride, the continuous rock garden of our local trails means a hardtail is a step too far really. I learned to ride there on a hardtail and have no intention of returning to those dark days XD but I have gone from a longer bike to a shorter wheelbase myself and it became a lot more fun again, I guess I just found the right bike for the terrain I like. Rather than see-sawing down over the rocks and compressions I can use every rock as a booter and every compression as a lander. I can load it up like a bmx in the transitions and corners rather than having half the bike in the next corner already. It’s just a lot more manageable, manoeuvrable and because of that (where I ride at least) it’s also faster, if that’s your bag.
  • + 15
 Remember when there were different types of bike based on the type of riding you do? Now we just have Enduro
  • + 16
 Wait, what am I missing?? Nobody's bashed Sram in this thread yet?
  • + 20
 Here you go: Thank god SRAM does not produce frames otherwise there would be at least three new headset diameter standards and the same for seatposts.
  • + 1
 Just menton Sealed drives & see how long it takes them too delete?
  • + 10
 Please, Sram is doing all this bollocks for publicity and PB is helping them enough already by giving them a second click-hate-bait article in so many days. So let's pretend they don't exist for a bit yeah?
  • + 1
 @BenPea: Good plan SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
  • + 3
 @BenPea: or CALL it SCAM
  • + 4
 @BenPea: Well I couldn't care less since all my bikes are Shimano equiped.
  • + 2
 just fuck'em, no bashing needed
  • + 4
 I will. Not fond of the new 28.99mm crank spindles. My XX and X0 cranksets will be expensive paperweights when they phase out the 24mm BBs.
  • + 5
 @BenPea: Easy enough, I like to pretend they don't exist when I shop.
  • + 3
 @BenPea: I can just about guarantee, whoever is in charge of ad buys at SRAM screamed at someone in charge of selling ads at PB after that first article.

"YOU GET THE COMMUNITY ON BOARD OR WE PULL ALL OUR ADS!!!"

and thus we got a second article trying to convince us that DUB is not just a money grab
  • + 3
 @xeren: they are probably preparing a poll as we speak. It’s still months to Sea Otter. They can’t survive solely on articles of athletes parting ways with one sponsor and two days later announcing getting another one, then signings of upcoming blokes by major companies only to muscle the thought of “Who the fk is that and why should I fkng care” with some dude with no pics in his profile, who saw the fast lad without dental plan once on a BDS race in Scrwuhrd Mcrn and is willing to call you a fkng fkturd fuk in capital letters for hurting his feelings. Euean IS TALENTED damn it!!! Until Sea Otter, more daylight, melted snow, we have some god damn troll food to chew
  • + 2
 @aliikane: Snag a Chris King, last one you'll ever need. 5 year warranty, user serviceable/greaseable, job done.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: All true (what I could understand). That and some southern hemisphere coverage to make us all feel warmer inside. But leave the snow alone, some of us need it. It'll be banished "forever" soon enough.
BTW, my "don't give a fcuk" credentials: XT 9s rear mech with Sram Attack shifter. Every time I click, a little part of Sram dies.

@xeren: can't fault that analysis
  • + 1
 @BenPea: West coast of Sweden is like living in a limbo: no sun in the Summer, no snow in the Winter... I wanted to swim under ice, and there is no fkng ice on the lakes!!! It is however one of the best places to get mud baths and rain showers. We just keep on repeating we are happy! we are happy! That's why Sweden is in top 10 happiest nations in the world
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Sounds like Manchester.
  • + 11
 I understand the sentiment, but at 6'5" bikes with longer reach and stretched out cockpits is a trend I can get behind. I'll have to stock up before it starts to swing back the other way
  • + 6
 Another 6'5"-ish rider here.... I agree with you on the reach. But can we stop with the super stubby seat tubes lengths already? Even with a 160mm dropper, it looks like I have 2 meters of seatpost sticking out of my frame. neither my inseam or dropper need that much clearance. I always park my bike with the dropper dropped because I feel like my Yeti SB5.5 looks silly otherwise.
  • + 4
 @Chadimac22: and the tiny stack heights so i have to run a ton of spacers
  • + 1
 @LuvAZ: Preach.
  • + 2
 @Chadimac22: I'm maxxing out a 175mm post on a 495mm seat tube. Wider adoption of 34.9 would help.
  • + 10
 History repeats...Remember the nineties? (yeah, I'm f*ckin' old, rode my first MTB in 1989...) When every brand pushed the "always lighter" stuff to the point where it was not possible to go for a ride ride without breaking some piece? Now the time arrives where it won't be possible to go for a ride without a serious crash, because it won't be possible to ride properly on a sketchy snaky singletrack with a bike that refuses to turn. The industry of MTB is still a young child, it needs to go too far to learn from its mistakes. Maybe it'll give us the perfect go-ride-everything-everywhere bike in...well...28.99 years?
  • + 9
 This article rings home since I just purchased a new Ibis HD4. I ended up sizing down and equipping a (gasp now long) 50mm stem. Looking at numbers it was crazy since a small HD4 was still a little longer, a lot more slack, and a tiny bit lower than my 2014 Bronson, which is exactly what I wanted. At the end of the day it was the bike I had the most fun on demo'ing, so f*ck the numbers and ride what you have the most fun on.

I also have t-rex arms and I'm short, so yeah...
  • + 4
 "I also have t-rex arms and I'm short, so yeah..."

Dude, if you were around in the early 70's, you could've subbed in for MechaGodzilla
  • + 9
 I ain’t complainin. I got a 2018 29” “trail/enduro” rig with carbon hoops and a 44mm offset front fork. On the fence for L vs XL, so I sized up to the XL. The bike is phenomenal and insanely fast, a space age plastic rocket sled that is practically silent while bombing down the trail. It’s stable, like a rock. It climbs like a mtn goat. It rips trails, tight, wide open, loose, rocky, smooth, jumps, whatever. It was expensive as shit and I certainly didn’t need it, but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than many other expensive sports and their associated equipment. Also a lot cheaper than a divorce and it’s a healthy hobby. Hell, I don’t even have to buy a lift ticket or have a drink to make use of it.

Modern MTB tech is sick and I LIKE IT!
  • + 1
 Rallon?
  • + 2
 What for do you have?
  • + 1
 @Travel66: Could be a S150
  • + 1
 @Captain1Eye: Nah, the S150 has 42mm offset
  • + 1
 Could probably be any one of the killer bikes on the market- HTLT, Rallon, Whyte, E29, Wrecker, Smuggler, Sentinel, Slash, Pole Machine, the list goes on. So many cool options it’s enough to boggle the mind! Most of them don’t break after 6 months either. The tech has come a long way for the better. I am sure someone will find that Foxy their favorite bike of all time, as will some guy that buys a 2018 Stumpjumper S Works, which is really short by today’s standards, but no doubt flies. My particular bike is the longish travel version 29 made by the abominable snowman brand. It’s gonna throw some dirt and scrub side knobs this afternoon, cuz our low elevation trails here in SW Colorado are still snowless and rippable.
  • + 8
 One of the best all round bikes I ever rode was a 2003 Kona Stinky Deluxe, it had 7 inches of travel front and rear, you can climb just about anything if you ignored the 42lb weight! I rode it on a xc trip in Wales once, 6 hours of swampy, hike a bike hell after a night of drinking in a 100 year old bothy. For the downhills it was great, I even managed to put a solid day on it in the Whistler bike park before I retired it in 2010, I still have it in the basement! They had the right idea a long time ago for an all around bike, with a head tube angle of 66.5 and seat tube at 72.5, but it was heavy. The new versions of this style of bike are just coming out now, with the Devinci Spartan, Canyon Torque, Transition Patrol, etc!
  • + 3
 The original enduro bike! LOL But that weight tho...
  • + 11
 Vernon might be the most perfect writer to casually use "dreck" in his vocabulary...
  • + 7
 Well, Vernon, I don't agree. Since I've ridden (and eventually ordered) one of the new-school bikes, past bikes are shit and I want my cyclocrosser and my commuter to have the same kind of steeper seat angles and slacker head angles. Everything feels better and MORE FUN when you can push it and corner it like a modern enduro!
And just to be sure: I don't even ride particularly well, I wuss out on the big jumps, my cornering technique disappears at certain speeds, and still... it is just more fun with those kind of bikes. More margin before you have to bail out.

Curiously enough, my 30-year-old "gentleman's bike" for cruising around the city has peculiarly long reach and slack head angle and its ride characteristics are really fun (they just didn't get it with the steep seat angle back then). And my father used to rage all my adult life about modern bikes being way too twitchy and unstable at high speeds, back in his days things were better.... so were just doing the full circle here, really Wink
  • + 5
 @theobviousfaker I'm not saying enduro bikes don't have their merit. As I noted, in the right conditions, they are insanely fun to ride and they make sense for some riders. What I'm saying is that some brands are ditching the more well-rounded, all-mountain bike because making everything as slack and long as possible is currently all the rage. I've also been pushing, for years, for brands to go longer and slacker, but there is a point at which (if you have already been doing the long and slack thing the past few product cycles), you wind up pushing those attributes in an attempt to stay on the cutting edge of a trend and at a loss of maneuverability.

Some brands came to the long, low and slack party a lot later than other brands, but I don't think any brand (including the ones that were NOT late to the party) feels like they can put out a new shredder of a bike without also adding 15 to 20mm of reach and lopping another degree of the headtube angle.

All design decisions entail tradeoffs. No way around that. I'd argue that "old school" bikes with steep head angles and very short wheelbase had severe drawbacks for some riders. Absolutely. But if we get to a place where every bike has a sprawling wheelbase, we'll get to a place where we gained a lot of stability and lost a lot of maneuverability. We haven't gotten to that point yet. Most companies have not jumped the shark yet...but I look at the continuing trend and think we could reach that point eventually. This column is just a reminder that there comes a point where you don't have to pursue "long, low and slack" every time you remodel a bike.
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton: Respectfully these bike companies that are putting out bikes with 20mm more reach every year haven't found the limits and are just pulling our chain. Pole/Nicolai don't do that. They have tested 59º headangles, 550mm reach, 470mm chainstays and figured out what is too long, too slack, too etc.
Personally I think headangles steeper than 66º have no place on a modern mountainbike as it makes cornering terrrible e.g. folding the front end. Same goes for slack seat angles as they only induce wheeling and make the front wander up climbs.
Having said that yes you can still have variation within a certain range of geometries. For my type of riding (alpine) the difference between my DH and XC bike would be travel and a few parts not geometry.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: On point article sir. I am often asked about bike fit, geometry, performance maybe because I've riding mountain bikes for over thirty years (not that I'm any good at it) and maybe because I've become a de facto info source for my friend's local Evil bike dealership. We both know that there have been awesome bike all along and who knows what tomorrow's geometry designs will hold. However, I always say to know thyself. Know how you ride, where you ride and where you want to ride when investigating a new rig. I, for example like big travel bomber bikes as my daily drivers. My current ride is a Wreckoning and sure it may be more bike than needed on many of my rides, but that's what works for me. Beyond that, I say get something that fits, feels good and you like the esthetics. Party.
  • + 4
 Unlike most riders out there I have tried true modern geometry. I owned a Mondraker Vantage frame 2 years ago, with crazy long reach & top tube, and a 30mm stem. I was shocked at how normal it felt just riding around. It was great at descending and cornering given, and I loved riding it anywhere smoother. The only negative had nothing to do with geometry, but was the stiffness of an aluminum hard tail frame. If it was steel, I'd still be riding it. At 5'9" I found that the 460mm reach and 635mm top tube were a good fit.
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: You have a very narrow view how can you choose what kind of Geo is best for every rider on every trail on the planet. Have you ridden every type of mountain biking? In every type of terrain? You probably know the best wheel size too
  • + 3
 @loganflores: I haven't ridden everywhere nor every trail but have ridden flat, undulating, tight, fast and steep terrain, wide open, flow and tech trails. Now I'm not saying what is the best geometry but I can tell you what is the worst for sure. Having ridden a bunch of different bikes since the mid 90s I came to understand what didn't work really well.
An easy one is head angle. Steep head angles are terrible and useless specially in mtbiking where you tend to lean the bike when doing turns. The old idea that slack head angles make the bike wonder when going uphill was true for short reach bikes but is solved when you stretch the bike out. So it is no longer necessary to compromise with a steep head angle in order to make it up that tech singletrack.
Steep seat angles also work best for climbing and are not a hassle on flat sections.
Chainstay size is a choice between traction and stability (long) or easy of picking up the front end, manualing and agility.
Wheelsize depends on type of riding you want to do and also frame size. Bigger wheels are faster but not quite as agile and may not be best on XS and S frame sizes.
Of course, you do have to adapt your riding style in order to handle these new breed of longer bikes. Riding off the back is no longer possible since you have to weight the front end more. Some people adapt to that more easily than others. I met a German guy last year would didn't like long bikes because he preferred to ride off the back of the bike. He complained that he kept losing the front end.
  • + 4
 @vernonfelton: I am challenging exactly that notion of the "well-rounded" whatever-bike. I think that the idea of what is well-rounded is shifting, and for very good reasons.
@SintraFreeride pretty much perfectly summarized it. Of course there is a TOO long-low-slack, but that's somewhere beyond the extreme Nicolais. All the new bikes right in the middle between old-school and Geometron are probably going to be pretty much the new normal, and THESE bikes actually ride well-rounded. The tendency to go over the bar is so immensely reduced, people will look back shaking their heads, eventually.
With one exception, that is the seat angle: Anyone still doing 75° and calling it "steep" is just too lazy to try something steeper or too afraid of customer reactions. But just look at those pictures from actual ridden bikes: All the saddles slammed to the front, even on many of those "modern" 75° bikes.

I personally wanted to go more towards the extreme edge (and that steep seat angle), so I chose accordingly. I just cannot understand how anyone can shed tears about losing the all-mountain geometries of yesteryear - they were just shitty XC bikes with blown up travel. Of course I loved them back then, but thats because I didn't know what was possible. I don't even like to ride my dirtbike that much anymore, its just too damn twitchy.

Hindsight is 20/20 - or so I thought. That is why I was so confused by your verdict.
  • + 3
 @theobviousfaker: I guess this boils down to which bikes we consider the worthy all-mountain bikes of yesteryear. Even in 2014 or 2015 (good years, in my book) there was a pretty wide variety out there. I think Kona nailed it on the head with their Process 153 geo at the time. The bike was slated as "enduro" but was still a very good all rounder. It was more versatile than, for instance, the GT Sanction, which was one of the first legit mini DH bikes for enduro riders. The Trek Remedy of that time, by contrast, needed a much longer reach. So, in short, some bikes were way too steep and short, some were better balanced.

Ultimately, though, what I'm saying is that not every rider or every trail is best served by bikes that are pushing the outer limits of long, low and slack. If a company makes a wide enough range of bikes--some with shorter wheelbases and others with longer wheelbases, then we've got balance. If brands, on the other hand, feel a need to grow every model in their line--to enduro-ize every model, so to speak--then we are back at the unhappy place of building bikes to all fit on one end of the riding spectrum. That would be just the mirror image of building everything super steep and short.

There's a happy medium somewhere in between. That's what I'm saying. Cheers.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride:
"Personally I think headangles steeper than 66º have no place on a modern mountainbike as it makes cornering terrible"

I'd be with you if you had said 69º or even 68º.
  • + 5
 If the large model is too large, why not try the medium size instead?

It strikes me how in most bike reviews and checks of pro bikes it is mostly a large model or even extra large. Because well back in the days bikes apparently were too short so average length riders chose to size up. Which apparently solidified their belief that this is their size. If you're (almost) six feet tall you're going to ride at least large, right? People seem to be missing the point of what "medium" implies. Medium size is supposed to fit the average sized customer (or average sized bike journalist). Sure you could be the "taller than average" rider (or at least have a longer torso and/or arms) but statistically that would imply some of your colleagues would be shorter than average hence ride a small modern frame. But again, what I see is (male) bike journalists pretty much exclusively ride large or extra large. And now the time has come they complain about the bike being too long... If you've got average length, just get the average (medium) size and try again.
  • + 1
 Not everyone likes the slack geometry. My previous bike had 69 deg front; when I tried a Liteville I seriously couldn't ride that thing. I had troubles on an easy pumptrack. Steering is so completely different. Maybe if I gave it more than 3 minutes I'd be converted, but instead I bought a bike with 67 deg steers.
However, I don't believe there is such a thing as a too steep seat tube.
  • + 3
 The problem with dropping to a medium bike starts to come in seat tube length. Im 6 1 on a large 2018 remedy. The bike is perfect geometry wise for me and im super happy with it, but with my body height my seat post is like an inch from the minimum insertion line, (Long legs) if i was unlucky and the reach was too long for me, i wouldnt be able to go a size down because the seatpost would be too short, even with the super long dropers and id be out a bike.
  • + 1
 @AddisonEverett: What length seatpost are you running? I'm just under 6ft tall and ride a DMR Switchback size small only because I wanted to have top tube low. I just accepted that the bike was going to be short and only now that you can get a longer bike with a similarly low top tube I've decided I can get a longer bike. With the 16" seattube and a 400mm seatpost I could just get the saddle up to XC height for the long ride to the trails. Now I don't do that anymore (as my go to trails are very near or I travel by car to trails too far to ride to) so I just leave the saddle low for all my riding. My next frame (BTR Ranger for 26" wheels) is a standard large sized model (as recommended for my length) but I had the seattube shortened to 16" again (and the top tube dropped as far as it could. Long enough should I ever want my saddle up to XC height again but obviously no longer than that so that the top tube could be as low as possible. So technically the seattube is the size they would otherwise put on their small size frame (though using the stronger Reynolds 853 tubing instead of the 631 they'd use otherwise). Not sure whether I'll actually put in a 400mm post in the first place as I probably won't raise it anyway. Luckily rigid (non dropper) seatposts this size have become relatively cheap nowadays so I may just get whatever fits and which I trust enough and still not break the bank.

@Slabrung : The bike may not be ideal for the pumptrack but I don't mind. I've got thirteen year old BMX for that Smile .
  • + 1
 @vinay: well I'm nor that crazy to treat an enduro bike as a pumptrack bike, I just used the pumptrack as a test... But I would dearly love to have a pumptrack specific bike, or just a modern geometry hardtail as mine is hmm well not modern for sure Wink But there is so much bikes that you can keep in your house... Or so says my husband. I firmly believe that the walls would magically bend to allow for another bike.
  • + 1
 @Slabrung: The BMX is a good investment as there is less to damage that you don't need anyway. It pays for itself if you haven't needlessly haven't bent a couple of rear mech (hangers) or disc brake rotors. The hardtail is good enough for most of my riding, especially my next one. I'm just keeping the fully for my girlfriend and other people who come over to ride with me. But yeah, then there is still the reasonably quick bike to ride to work and the heavy beast to carry kids and groceries and it easily adds up. A mountain unicycle, two bikes of my girlfriend, a mountainbike for the kids, their own street bikes to ride to school. It adds up real quick...
  • + 1
 @vinay: Wow you have a nice collection Smile A mountain unicycle?? You're kidding Smile Do you have pics?
My hardtail is an old lovely steel fully rigid trail bike with about 100 deg head angle that I now use for commuting. I started mountain biking on it which makes me wonder how I survived. I love full sus but the efficiency of a light hardtail has so much charm! What ht do you plan on buying?
  • + 1
 @Slabrung: I'm not great at it, but it is good fun. It gives you the giggles without any major risk (until you ride tricky lines, which obviously goes with anything). But really, it is cheap and low risk yet fun. Whoever tells you it is hard hasn't tried it him/herself. If it would be less common, someone would be able to convince others that it is hard to walk on our rear legs or ride bikes on two wheels.

I've found this picture of me riding:
klaasbil.home.xs4all.nl/mm1139_vinayschans.jpg

Good riders don't need to wave both arms to maintain balance Wink . The unicycle is from Kris Holm. He's a legend comparable with Gary Fisher (for pioneering a sport and setting up a brand) and Hans Rey for really progressing the sport. Ryan Leech told me he's a good friend of his and they casually ride trials together.

Oh yeah, as for the hardtail, I'm already on the build queue. As mentioned in a previous post here, it is a BTR Ranger for 26" wheels. I went with the large size frame but, as I prefer my top tube low, I went with the 400mm seattube so that the top of the top tube meets the seatpost at about 325mm from the bb. I think this will make it so much more fun cornering. I chose to have the bike made exactly the way I want it so I went with matt emerald (RAL6001-M) powdercoat with white decals.
  • + 2
 @vinay: That's so cool! I googled Kris Holm and a totally new and unknown area opened for me Big Grin I have to trust you it's easy cause it doesn't look so... I have to say I'm impressed. Thanks for showing me something totally new in biking Smile
  • + 2
 @vinay: I can't edit my post anymore so double posting. Sorry for asking you to write the same thing again about your ht. Beautiful bike, and it's so nice that you can customise it. Curious what the weight will be. I have a thing for steel hardtails Smile Although now that I think of it all my bikes have been 29ers!
  • + 1
 @Slabrung: No worries, love to think about that bike. I'm not too worried about the weight, especially as I'll obviously transfer a lot of stuff from my current frame to the new one. I may eventually replace some components for some more modern stuff but then still weight won't be the driving factor. Except for those Stans rims maybe, they seem light for how wide you can get them.

I always knew I needed a longer bike but always chose the low top tube as a main parameter. But now that with that low height I can get the proper length I went for the bike for life Smile . My opinion about bikes hasn't changed much, it is just that is finally available. Considering I've been riding my current frame for ten years, I'm sure this new frame will last me even longer!

As for unicycling, it is just like riding bikes. Everyone here probably learned to ride bikes without much issues and seemingly little effort. Just try, after a while you can do it. Rising above and beyond up to pro level obviously requires much more dedication. I think it is just like that with unicycling. When I got it, I practiced half an hour a day and then just put it away. Next day I was better than when I stopped the previous day. Within two weeks I could consistently ride on a paved road. I probably could have learned it quicker if I practiced in more open space as it obviously is easier to learn if you've got more room to wander and not worry too much about staying on track. But really, how many kids learn to walk or ride bikes in two weeks anyway? When Kris Holm started he was showing people what could be done. Now he's actually trying to convince people that it really isn't that hard. It is probably mostly just due to the association with acrobats that it is not too common. Still there is always this direct link with mountainbiking. Kris Holm did quite well at the BC Bike Race 2010, I think Finn Iles rides a MUni too. I found some old reports about two gatherings I attended. Was fun riding with people of all ages and abilities. I wasn't even a half decent rider (especially back then) but it was a good laugh. You can find those here:

klaasbil.home.xs4all.nl/munimeet2011.htm
klaasbil.home.xs4all.nl/munimeet2012.htm

Mountainbiking is fun, but never forget there is so much simple fun you can have with something new instead of perfectioning something you're already reasonably good at (or have solidified a couple of bad habits). A unicycle is one of them. I also got a Gibbon slackline a while ago. Again, no risk, loads of giggles. My daughters (6 and 7yo) decided to ride their inline skates more so I join them a bit there too. They've got rings or a trapeze in their room, we've both got a 10ft trampoline in the backyard. I never hear them call for tv or a game console (they probably don't even know what it is) so as long as they at least develop some good skills they'll be fine.
  • + 1
 @vinay: say what you will but this doesn't look easy! I was so excited that I told about this to my husband. He said that Seth from Seth's Bike Hacks YouTube channel (which you may know) once had a series of videos where he was learning to ride a unicycle and he was not able to progress much although he's very skilled in normal bicycles.
I also have a slackline Smile Although it doesn't see much use as we spend most of our free time biking. But it's definitely great fun Smile Re. trampolines, there are those cool facilities with lots of different types of trampolines where you can do weird acrobatic stuff or just have silly fun. However, it turned out that when I turn around quickly or tumble I get nauseous so it was not something for me Big Grin
  • + 9
 My back and neck hurt just looking at that Mondraker...
  • + 3
 My back and neck is finally fine since i got a Mondraker Dune in XL. Smile I’m 6’2.
  • + 4
 The Godzilla analogy is a bit of stretch, but I totally agree with the bike part. My current bike is super rad, but it's basically just as long, low and slack as I'd want to go for my local trails. Much longer and I won't be able to get around some of the switchbacks I regularly ride. And as rad as is to be on a super long, slack and low bike - dabbing on a switchback because your sled is too long is pretty damn humiliating too.
  • + 8
 i want a bike so slacked out that it takes me to the upside down world.
  • + 3
 Get your self a chopper with BMX bars
  • + 1
 @aljoburr: I actually had one of those as a kid. My Dad rescued a MK1 Chopper out of a skip and welded on BMX bars to replace the rusted out originals...
  • + 8
 I'm only here for the comments
  • + 3
 I'm sure there are some fellow elderly, washed up BMXers like me that remember the super heavy weight trend in the early 00s, followed by the ultra light trend in BMX. Back when parts were poorly made and designs weren't well thought out the answer seemed to be just make the parts heavier. We had frames like the 2hip Pork and Gack Cannibal that weighed nearly 10 pounds for the frame alone. Dropouts breaking all the time from grinding? Just make them bigger, and 3/8" thick. Shortly after this when a few companies like Standard discovered magic technology like"heat treating" there was a huge push back into making super light bikes. From 14mm chromo axles back to 3/8 studs, 3 pound frames that broke constantly like the Easter ti Grim Reaper, bikes well under 20 pounds. Turns out that sucked too. Now for the last decade BMX bikes have just reached a happy medium at around 25 lbs, same bottom bracket standard ever since mid came out, and really no geo changes. There's obviously less room for technology on a BMX bike but I think for geometry MTB will reach a logical conclusion sometime soon much like BMX bikes have.
  • + 3
 I think you're off the mark in saying Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla was an " 84-minute pile of dreck". It was easily one of the best in the series. You finally have an opponent that can outclass Godzilla in every way and when you find out who is actually controlling Mechagodzilla it turns out to be something awesome. While there may be more humor than previous films I would still put it near the top. Even compared to today's films.
  • + 2
 Dude. As fun as Mechagodzilla was, it was hardly among the best. And being controlled by the silver suited space aliens with thin sunglasses. Yeah....

Monster Zero was a far better monster (same space suit aliens).

Looking forward to seeing Mecha and party in 2019...
  • + 7
 @shorerat If forced to choose (outside of the obvious choice, which is the first Godzilla movie), I'd go with Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters. That badass monster battle royale on Monster Island? King Gidra getting his ass handed to him? It's a beautiful thing.

For pure fighting, I think Godzilla Vs. King Kong has some dope moments because Kong is, comparatively speaking, nimble as a mofo. I mean, this is comparing him to Megalon and Mothra, but you know, Kong was spritely. However, I am still pissed (some 40 years on) about the bullshit ending. Godzilla was robbed. Kong is a punk. The movie's ending with Kong as the winner is an affront to all that is right in the world. My six year old summed it up perfectly "Godzilla has atomic fire breath. King Kong just beats his chest. This isn't fair."

It was a hard lesson for a child to absorb, but sometimes in life, Kong wins when we all know Godzilla is the champ.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: Reminds me of the Chicago Cubs. Even when they choke and lose, they are the best team out there.
  • + 1
 double post
  • + 3
 i might be in the minority here, but the lower thing doesn't do it for me. i get the slack and reach increases, and the idea behind a lower BB for increased handling benefits at speed, but for the trail riding i do in eastern PA, there are too many big ass boulders and logs to climb over to have a low BB. pedal strikes drive me crazy and the bike's ive ridden with low BB's made the ride miserable since i was constantly dinging a pedal of some random rock.
  • + 7
 Wow, am I the only one that read this?
  • + 9
 looks like just about. He's on to something though
  • + 6
 The new bikes may climb fairly well, but 69° head angle still exceeds at uphill tech sections.
  • + 3
 Garbage. It's all seat angle.
  • + 4
 basically 69 never fails
  • + 3
 Bikes are like surfboards, e.g. everyone wants the kelly slater model but do they really need it and is it right for them?Probably not but its fun to experiment. Direct bike sales and marketing and the demise of local shops will make the problem worse. Having a quiver of bikes or surfboards will make you a better rider by forcing you to adjust your input and teach you how hard you can push yourself and the bike. Problem is bikes are so expensive! I'm all for innovation but bike industry has to reign itself in a little bit or a least educate the beginner and intermediate rider what is best for them. If I was just starting out now I would be confused as F.
  • + 4
 They aren't here to educate anyone. Their purpose is to drain us from our money every year.
  • + 3
 With respect to the example of the 153. They did make the reach longer on the 2018 bike compared to the 2014, however the seat tube angle steepened considerably as well. I have ridden both in size large. The 2018 whilst seated felt shorter despite the reach being longer. I would buy an XL in the new geometry but that's me. Out of context a longer reach is not necessarily providing a roomier cockpit. And I race bikes adequately at Enduros so their is that... The Mondraker shown in my opinion is maybe not the best example of a long and low geometry as the seat tube angle is a little too slack. But what do I know...
  • + 1
 how tall are you? thanks
  • + 1
 @rocky-mtn-gman: 6', with longer legs and shorter torso. I used a 50 mm stem nad 780 bar on both the 2014 process and the 2018. I was surprised the new bike did not feel bigger. With the seat post dropped the 2018 felt about the same as the 2014.
  • + 4
 Interesting article here on Geometry. Of particular note is the chart of bike reach vs head angle. Most big brands are actually pretty conservative.
enduro-mtb.com/en/thegeometryaffair-supersized-geometry-work-average-guy
  • + 2
 No, absolutely no, there's still so much room for improvement...
I see new bikes with sooo slack head angle and too looong front centre, that will be so long, that you front wheel touch the finish line immediately after you leave the start gate.
In other geometry aspects: this radical lenght of bikes brings new revolutionary technology called "FAST". Front Angled Seattube Technology. This comes with new Hoo(c)k saddle standard, a little hook under the front of the saddle. Because you'll be stretched between handlebars and pedals on that long bike, so need of additional support is undisputed. Also you can ride at Full-Gwin mode (read chainless), because pedalling will be near to impossible. Everything you need is push the bike by foot in the start gate, and thats all, because the FAST technology is included...
Maybe Waki can make some drawing. Smile
  • + 2
 It's time for Downsizing! I do that when riding some Modraker stuff, and it's a good option. Size L for my Yeti, size M when I ride a friend's Foxy, and it works pretty well. Size is only a "tag". Test the bike you like and then choose the size you fit better. That's it ;-)
  • + 2
 As someone who has actually owned 2 Mondrakers I can say they are an improvement (for me). My Crafty w/27.5+ tires is much more confidence inspiring descending as compared to "traditional" geometry. I have actually compared my speed on a descent between it & a BMC 150mm Trailfox.

What people don't seem to accept is mtb geometry has been evolving from its beginnings & there has never been a "ideal" geometry. I applaud the brands who have taken the gamble to build bikes like these. People forget early mtb geometry came from road dimensions, so why are they surprised when radically different mountain bike frames work better than bikes derived from road bikes?
  • + 2
 I agree @vernonfelton but don't worry, once the masses have been told this is the only way a bike can be ridden properly on "modern trails"and everybody owns one there will be a rash of new bikes that engineers have poured their hearts and soul into to give us the riders a new truly wonderful experience . These bikes will be shorter and specially engineered to tackle the tightest of corners and really give you that low to medium speed control that you may be looking for. Long will become obsolete as riders discover this "new" thought pattern that shorter and steeper is better. At first people will be skeptical but once an EWC event is won on a shorter bike everybody will realize that this is finally the key to them going pro. Oh man, I already want one. Maybe I shouldn't have sold all my bikes two years ago then....
  • + 2
 yep, I saw multiple reviews of the new G2 Kona process complaining that their geometry had stagnated. so stupid. it didn't stagnate, it finished dialing things in. that's a good thing
  • + 1
 I rode the foxy for a little while in vail at their first demo event state side. It was honestly one of, if not the best bike I've ever ridden. Ill grant that it was vail and those aren't exactly tight trails, but it was good enough that as a long time mechanic I'm now actively trying to get a job with them because they are a brand I actually believe in.
  • + 1
 Industry trends are driving these changes, and bike companies are just giving people what they think they want. For better or worse. They need to sell bikes, and woe betide the bike company that doesn't fashionably tweak each inception of their already well-sorted bike. Who would buy it? "It's old tech!"
  • + 1
 Long Beach is good but like the process it should have short chain stays. Also look at the process head angle it is steeper than the mini dh bikes to work with those short chain stays. That combination makes for a long Tavel bike that still deals with slow tight trails well
  • + 2
 So few people get that. Process 111 is so well loved. 68 degree hta, for most production years. Even a good portion of process 111 owners don't get it. People are always talking about longer forks and offset bushings and angle changing headsets. It's like...ughhh, omg. Kona stopped making the Process 111 because people were bastardizing it! I'm convinced!
  • + 1
 Yeah, good point! Wish Vernon would have mentioned about chainstay length too. @vernonfelton
  • + 1
 Its just marketing dick swinging. Do you really ride better on a longer vs shorter bike? Not at all, actually a smaller bike is on paper more nimble but the market is telling all the enduro fanbois what is and isn't good for them. There is such a thing as too long a bike.
  • + 1
 Yep. I think I'm having more trouble with "too tall" rather than "too short a reach", and don't think any slacker than what I ride now (2013 bike with 68 degree HA) is needed for all-round compromise steering.
  • + 1
 The trails got smoother and the geo went more DH. Of course everyone is loving it because it's faster going down and ultimately that's what most enjoy. Most people give up climbing capability for descending, but for those who don't, there are limited choices these days. I prefer high bb and short chainstays. Tough to shop these days.
  • + 1
 I tend to agree. Where I get to ride (mostly in S.Wales where we have plenty of wet, rocky, rough, steep slopes) -and where I rode in Spain recently (much drier, looser but still pretty rocky steep slopes).... I don't see too much "smooth".
But.... you still see loads of long-travel, pseudo-DH/Enduro, slack hard-core weapons being ridden - in trail centres & places where uplifts aren't really an option - so you have to crank it up techie singletrack and fire road combo's for a while (with undulating singletrack sections as well) - before you get to fire it down for a bit.
So I've thought maybe overall along similar lines - I'm shopping for something a bit less "radical" that is more of an all-rounder, trying to avoid pedal-striking everywhere when cranking, decent climber and in tighter stuff, and accept that to have a playful bike I have to lose a bit to the Enduro weapons on the downs.
  • + 1
 Ok.... I'm a) a relatively old guy for MTB (but only really been riding it for a bit over 5-years with any kind of regularity), and b) in the great scheme - not all that fantastic a rider (but seem to be not too different to loads of others you see riding the Trail Centres of Wales)..... and I have frame sizing issues as well as Geo issues.... that I think the newer "Longer, Lower Slacker" trend doesn't help much.

I'm 5"9",but with stumpy legs (Inside Leg / Inseam only about 30" / 762mm).
On top of that, if I have a "long" reach to the cockpit - I have trouble unweighting the front in a hurry to ride over a sudden snag or rock in the trail while descending, and also can find a bike more trouble to "pop" and fool about a bit on (in my own small and meagre talented way). Plus being stumpy in the legs, standover and ability to drop the seat enough to move around and get low enough can be an issue....

So... it seems like I need a bike that isn't as long as modern stuff (so I can get the front up when I want), not too slack (as I want it to be agile), and with a low seat tube that can slam a dropper as low as possible (which given the short tube means you can only insert the post so far) - so I have room to move body position.

At least on older bikes - going to a small frame though meant TOO short in the ETT - meaning too twitchy and undermining my bottle on the descents due to the instability.

Bottom line? I'm thinking a 2018 bike geo is not for me, while a low standover frame IS for me. Also, as I'm simply not good enough to hammer Diamond Black DH runs (& Reds are more fun to me) - I do need it to help my aged lumpy carcass crank it up the hills too..... so I'don't need 170/160mm travel -I need a "trail bike" and 140mm-ish should be just fine.
So - I'm going to look over and try out a "new" bike this Saturday (currently on a 2013 160/155mm travel Medium Frame Ghost, which really is a fraction big on seatpost height and standover, plus I had to shorten the stem to unweight the front).....but have found an old-stock (2016) Cube Stereo 140 27.5" at a discount. 67.5 head angle, low standover, moderate geo, "only" 150/140mm. Considered archaic and out-dated (so am I lol).... but I'm thinking it might actually just be a better all-around ride for my particular odd build, needs, riding and talent level than a 66 degree, long-low weapon which I couldn't fully exploit on the couple of minutes of descending, but would hinder me on the rest of my ride.
Am I making any sense? Is it just me that is thinking the very latest trends are a step too far to suit me?
  • + 1
 Apologies all for the repeat.... but somehow I managed I think to post this in the middle of nowhere relevant in the thread.... am genuinely interested in any sage-like comments or responses (as I make no claims whatsoever on the knowledge front and might learn something)..... so I'm pasting it at the bottom where I should have.....

Ok.... I'm a) a relatively old guy for MTB (but only really been riding it for a bit over 5-years with any kind of regularity), and b) in the great scheme - not all that fantastic a rider (but seem to be not too different to loads of others you see riding the Trail Centres of Wales)..... and I have frame sizing issues as well as Geo issues.... that I think the newer "Longer, Lower Slacker" trend doesn't help much.

I'm 5"9",but with stumpy legs (Inside Leg / Inseam only about 30" / 762mm).
On top of that, if I have a "long" reach to the cockpit - I have trouble unweighting the front in a hurry to ride over a sudden snag or rock in the trail while descending, and also can find a bike more trouble to "pop" and fool about a bit on (in my own small and meagre talented way). Plus being stumpy in the legs, standover and ability to drop the seat enough to move around and get low enough can be an issue....

So... it seems like I need a bike that isn't as long as modern stuff (so I can get the front up when I want), not too slack (as I want it to be agile), and with a low seat tube that can slam a dropper as low as possible (which given the short tube means you can only insert the post so far) - so I have room to move body position.

At least on older bikes - going to a small frame though meant TOO short in the ETT - meaning too twitchy and undermining my bottle on the descents due to the instability.

Bottom line? I'm thinking a 2018 bike geo is not for me, while a low standover frame IS for me. Also, as I'm simply not good enough to hammer Diamond Black DH runs (& Reds are more fun to me) - I do need it to help my aged lumpy carcass crank it up the hills too..... so I'don't need 170/160mm travel -I need a "trail bike" and 140mm-ish should be just fine.
So - I'm going to look over and try out a "new" bike this Saturday (currently on a 2013 160/155mm travel Medium Frame Ghost, which really is a fraction big on seatpost height and standover, plus I had to shorten the stem to unweight the front).....but have found an old-stock (2016) Cube Stereo 140 27.5" at a discount. 67.5 head angle, low standover, moderate geo, "only" 150/140mm. Considered archaic and out-dated (so am I lol).... but I'm thinking it might actually just be a better all-around ride for my particular odd build, needs, riding and talent level than a 66 degree, long-low weapon which I couldn't fully exploit on the couple of minutes of descending, but would hinder me on the rest of my ride.
Am I making any sense? Is it just me that is thinking the very latest trends are a step too far to suit me?
  • + 1
 I definitely gelt the geo shark-jump with the Norco Range. Loved the 16. I did a double lap at a local secret with a very tough fire road climb and a steep af descent. I loved the efficiency-to-performance aspect of the bike and thought the geo was pretty perfect. The 17, not so much. Bigger travel, slacker head, longer reach... ok, where's the shuttle truck? I have short arms. I ride by myself a lot. I like to pedal up, shred down, but keep it fun no matter what. So yeah, I'm not buying a new bike until Mechagodzilla goes back to his cave.
  • + 1
 I love my 2017 Kona Hei Hei DL. But I actually do wish the reach, WB and rear travel were ~10 mm longer. There are lots of bikes out there do have these dimensions but the frames are significantly heavier. So i'll stick with the hei hei until my unicorn 29er is available.
  • + 1
 Longer and slacker are worlds more important than boost and dub and 27.5. stems got short and bars got wide, natural progression, that could not be over done, it was done till it was right. Boost has done nothing but force obsolescence on an already overpriced market.
  • + 1
 What gets me is is Low in all of this. I have a 2016/17 Santa Cruz Bronson and with a 13.1" bottom bracket height I have to run 165mm cranks to keep from jamming my crank-arms into every root and rock in the PNW. Although, I must admit, I do enjoy the longer reach and the slacker head-tube on the updated Bronson frames.
  • + 1
 Pedal-strike at just the wrong place and time fired me highside and wrecked my rotator cuff - quite probably my own error due to running out of talent - but yes a bike that strikes too easy is a royal pain for those of us who have to pedal a lot over rough trails
  • + 1
 It's a valid concern. I don't think we're at a point yet where we need to be too worried. There are still tons of options out there that span various geometry styles. If you want a trail ripper that isn't a mile long you have great options from Ibis, Pivot, Santa Cruz, Specialized, just to name a few. Also you can always....wait for it...DOWNSIZE...oh the horror!!! You'd have to admit you ride a size M or S??? That might be too much for the biking community to take.
  • + 1
 I always been sort of in between recommended M and L sizing for most bike manufacturer frames. Used to be that I went with the larger of the two sizes if seat tube length permitted it. I know what reach/stack numbers work for me with certain stem/bar combos and it usually came to L. Nowadays I have to opt for the M size for most manufacturers ... and the reach and stack feel just right. At least I don't have to worry about too long seat tubes anymore.
  • + 2
 Don't want no short reach bike Don't want no short reach bike Teeny weeny, teeny weeny Shriveled little short reach bike Don't want no short reach bike Don't want no short reach bike
  • + 3
 Lol! I guess very few people here know the song! Here's the original:
youtu.be/VQDwhAK95ds
  • + 2
 Yeah dude. That's it!!
  • + 1
 I'm all about getting best tool for the job and for my riding, an even mix of tight turn/chunk terrain and less techy higher speed sections, I feel like something around the Nomad 3's geometry is the best tool for the job. Good to see Hope HB160, Zerode Taniwha, and a few other newer all around bikes staying in that neighborhood. If I was riding a bunch of bench cut single track in Colorado or nasty lines in the Alps I may have a different opinion but I recognize that I'm best served with a frame that strikes a decent balance/compromise.
  • + 1
 Here I was thinking that you were setting up a perfect drivetrain analogy, with "11", and were going to shit on the never ending quest for another gear. And yet, you attacked the best change we have seen this decade: giving the public "pro" geometry..... Wink
  • + 4
 Now I want rocket hands....
  • + 2
 Everything is a compromise, why not learn to ride what you have rather than keeping up with fashion and changing your bike every year or two?
  • + 0
 If you want a shorter bike, size down. I have tried many bikes to find one that fits my dimensions best with the least compromise. Yes I am 6'1", but there is far more to consider than just hight. My xl 29er has a reach of 491mm however I could do with the shorter seat tube length of the large 450mm rather than 480mm. I don't care what what you call a bike size wise. But I can't see any major reason to be concerned by longer bikes when sizing down is an option in a world of 170 dropper posts.
  • + 1
 AT 6'1" - you can move about with longer levers pretty well I suspect.... and reach for you on a longer bike may not be an issue.... but for me (maybe I'm top-heavy lol) I find at 5'9" but with stumpy legs I'm finding a medium frame often to feel a bit long in reach to shift weight back to manual - despite reach being "ok".... but dropping to a Small on the odd bikes I've tried doesn't feel right either (prob due to my long body).
It's probably just me, my weird dimensions and sub-standard skills combo though
  • + 4
 Just the nature of the beast when they all start looking like a session Smile
  • + 2
 Don’t be fooled by the bike industry! 26 will never go away! Do you think the future, kids will jump from 20, 24 bikes straight to 27, 29?
  • + 1
 My son was on 20 then 24 and now we are building him a 26. I still have a 26 but also have a 27.5.
  • + 1
 Lots of cheap, killer 26” rigs out there waiting for kids. Got an XS and a S Stumpy hardtail built up for my 9 and 11yo. Nice and light, very efficient. Short stem and riser bar, and they look like my old slalom race bike from the late 90’s . $300 for each of them. Used tons of parts bin XTR stuff from my 30+ years of mtb’ing. Give a kid an MTB and the world is a better place.
  • + 1
 Vernon definitely has a point. The Mondraker Foxy will probably fun on just flat out downhills, but climbing and tight twisty singletrack is where it will most likely handle like a tandem bike.
  • + 3
 Except it doesn't.....but don't let me spoil your preconceived notion based on having never ridden one.
  • + 2
 My main bike was a 2014 Mondraker Foxy, until August this year, when I had to wait too long for a (warrantied!) replacement rear triangle, so I bought an Evil Calling frame. I have four seasons on the Foxy, and it is the best bike for technical climbing I have been on, My main issue with the Foxy is that it takes more effort to do nose pivot turns, and that the Evil is a great deal more fun with regards to popping and hopping, and tight tuns.

I had a Cube Stereo 29er and a Trek Stache simultaneously while I hade the Foxy, and there is no doubt that the Foxy was the (for me) best bike of them, more flickable, much more fun.

It took some time to get used with the Calling, since I was used to keep the weight on the front wheel, there was some OTB's the first rides.

I was a little concerned the the Calling actually would be worse for difficult climbing, but I can't sense much difference.
  • + 0
 I find the worst part of this "turn it up to 11" mentality is that they don't go back to what worked before and start from there again. They create a new Idea to make the idea that didn't work, work......for example about 5 years back I bought one of the first gen. 29er suspension bikes for an all around trail bike. Well, back then they hadn't really figured it out to well and the rear ends are too long in an effort to get the big wheel in. Well this made the bikes.....less playful.....so, rather than not make those bikes anymore.......they start playing with the geo to tuck the wheel under the seat a bit better. ok, now you can make a bike like this work now.....but you can't have a front derailleur. hmmmm.....ok, now we're going to make drive trains with no front derailleur......lol.....and it just keeps snowballing and snowballing until....when.....? mistake built on mistake built on mistake can only lead to another mistake.......
  • + 1
 So a 29" bike that actually is fun to ride is a 'mistake'? Many riders prefer no front derr. Less stuff to mess with especially with wide range 1x set ups. The first gen FS 'trail' 29's were a mistake in most people's opinion. Not every bike is a Mondraker, people can size down since a medium is similar to a large a few years ago, etc. etc.
  • + 1
 It is completely possible to build a 29r withe short rear center that is derailleur compatible - 1st gen Following, Ripley, Pivot Switchblade, etc. I think a lot of manufacturers said that to cover up the fact that they didn't bother to design a better bike to begin with - make an excuse about the front derailleur. My following is FDC, non-boost, and short-rear center.

I have never looked back from going to 1x drivetrains. Most people don't need a huge range on an MTB. I much prefer having not front derailleur, especially in the snow or wet sand when they basically stop working and freeze up anyways. It also frees up the bar for other things like dropper post remotes.

I loved my bike before the Following; 26" Rocky Mountain Element MSL. Same rear travel. I said I'd never get a 29r.
Was test riding for 27.5 bikes and happened to try an IBIS Ripley LS. Felt great. Didn't want the IBIS, but saw the Following has similar numbers, and was getting good reviews as an all-arounder, so took the plunge.

The Following is simply a much more versatile bike, climbs just as well, slightly less agile (but still agile) but noticably more stable at speed in the rough and in corners. I still own the Rocky, but wouldn't take it out over the Following in any situation, other than it being down for repair.

That being said, just continuing to makes bikes longer, lower & slacker is simply silly. No matter how much someone claims that a bike like a Pole or Nicolai handles slow-speed tech well, it just isn't true. I ridden 29rs that aren't even that long and they feel like a bus. Even the Following, which is still sub 47" wheelbase in a large, does give up some slow speed agility over my previous ride. To say a 50 inch wheelbase 29r like a Pole is just as maneuverable is silly. There is no magic to overcome the laws of physics. By the same token, a bike like the Following will never be as stable a s Pole. There is always give and take. Personally for a large frame size, I think a 5-ish inch travel, 47-ish inch wheelbase and 67-ish degree head angle is where it is at for an all-around trail bike. Get the bike in your wheel diameter/tire size of choice an you're all set. Unless you're always doing steep downhill stuff, it will make you the most happy for the majority of your rides.
  • + 1
 Like Chapelle said, couldn't the guy have waited for another 6 months to report it so we could all know how House of Cards ends???
  • + 1
 The longer reach now means I don't have to choose between a medium and a large. The medium is long enough and I can finally run a 150mm+ dropper post. Tah daaaaaaahhhh.
  • + 1
 Headtube angles and long top tubes are like beer; more is always better, until the ground comes up and smacks you in the face and all of a sudden it isn't.
  • + 0
 It seems that bike sizing is getting harder to understand, you cant even find the top tube length in any spec information I measure my toptube by placing my elbow on the saddle and see how much my stem is from my fingertips
  • - 1
 you are actually "measuring" the effective top tube length which is what is always reported and more useful.
  • + 3
 @rwb500: no, you’re only measuring how far your saddle is from your stem.
  • + 1
 Whew, I thought it was just me that was confused about the plot. But I thought they lost it earlier on when they introduced Minilla.
  • + 1
 It wasn't just you. I agree the Minilla thing was a bit much, but there is a heartwarming battle moment when father and son are both death-roasting giant grasshoppers, over on Monster Island. Clearly, Toho was running out of monster plots...
  • + 2
 @vernonfelton: Yeah, when Minilla could just blow smoke rings and Godzilla was encouraging him, it was kind of cute. But such a departure from the formula, kind of messed me up. Had to go back to watching Planet of the Apes reruns. But then that got messed up after the third one (Roddy McDowall?), and I couldn't find any Ultraman reruns. So I went outside and turned an old snorkel into a bottle rocket pistol, and then the police ruined that. Back to figuring out how to rescue Mary Ann from that island. I guess the moral of the story is that going too far can mess people up, and the bike industry shouldn't ignore their responsibility.
  • + 1
 2016 Intense Tracer - I do literally everything on this bike. I ride bike parks and ride XC on it. Bikes has come SO far in the last 5 years it blows my mind.
  • + 2
 Higher bottom brackets, please...for those of us who prefer it rough, not buff!
  • + 1
 And for those of us who have little option with what the local terrain and riding provides, yes.
  • + 1
 This is why I won't be selling my trusty Brodie from ten years ago. The reach was just FINE, and there are days long wheelbases just aren't as much fun.
  • + 1
 Not a fan of pedal strikes or short cranks. IMO, low BB's are fun on flow trails, but not so great for technical climbs. I like the steep seat angle trend though.
  • + 2
 But how will bike companies sell new bikes if they're constantly tweaking and re-tweaking (ala SRAM)?
  • + 2
 Don't consider people are stupid. But don't forget they are.
  • + 1
 SRAM will make new standards forcing bike companies to change frames, thats how
  • + 2
 If you Bunny Hop a Long Slack bike at slow speed, you just bash the back wheel into what you initially tried to hop over.
  • + 1
 Why does your picture always remind me of Duane peters the old school skater dude
  • + 1
 Ha, being 5'9", the industry sizing for medium has been spot on for a average sized fella like myself. Finally a break....
  • + 1
 I’m 5’7” with a 29” inseam. I still like 26” wheels. Is that bad? Wrong of me? IDK.
  • + 1
 Riding and enjoying a bike....there's nothing wrong with that. Keep doing it, man.
  • + 1
 5'9" here and 30". A bit ape-like - not elegant (or that light at 182lb). I prefer 27.5".... but have trouble with a frame that is short enough to unweight the front, but long enough to be stable, can still let me stand-over the thing without mashing my plums, and provide a seat I can sit on at the right height for pedalling, but also drops low enough for my stumpy legs to have enough room to move my body about.

I think that for my kinda mildly-gorilla build.... that the issue is not really upper-body REACH as such.... but that I am more limited in being able to move my body back when pivoting around on my feet/ankles on the pedals to get back over the rear when needed?

It is easy to feel that it is hard to manual and pop, yet also that my bike is a bit "short" at the same time for stability when pointing south with a lick on.... a lose-lose. It is also quite easy to get a bit too far "over the front" at the wrong moment and have a near-miss OTB hitting a snag descending.
I am starting to accept that maybe its the limited fore-and-aft mobility as a result of having an ape-stance (i.e. short levers between hips and ankles and a longer torso/arms) that might be the issue rather than the geometry limits and variety of the bikes manufacturer's offer.
It isn't only the rangy above-average height guys that have their sizing and geo woes!

My current guess is that it is perhaps more important for me to be concerned with having a bike with a short seat tube and a longer dropper range to get the seat well out of the way (to compensate for the stumpy legs and allow me more fore-aft range) - than it is for me to worry about reach (on the basis that if I can move a bit further back and a bit lower on the bike, I can "fit" better and let the bike move around under me more).

I have NO idea if the above is inciteful or utter drivel as an idea though haha!
  • + 1
 "a world where fashion trumps function" Welcome to Earth Vernon. That's all you needed to say.
  • + 3
 That said, ain't nothing wrong with 65° up front.
  • + 1
 bike trends and godzilla movies...you always have a way of explaining things so I could understand themm...
  • + 2
 I want to know how much it pays to know where the line starts and ends.
  • + 2
 I lost track if i was in the PB forum or an anime mag...LOL
  • + 1
 The 6'3" crowd is starting their very own #MeToo movement based on this article...
  • - 2
 Thank you Vernon. My thoughts and old grump worries as well. A material for a few pinkbike comment board related memes: says 29” are not fun to ride, wants 1400 wheelbase. Says he’s after a playful bike, wants long ass stays. Says he wants an efficient short travel bike to pop and turn better, fits 160 fork and heavy knobby tyres into it. Playful and the same time long ass bike makes perfect sense, after all short bikes are for Joeys.
  • + 1
 Now that's good stuff. Perhaps you can help me through the following: Are aluminum rims compliant or are the flexy? Are carbon rims stuff or are they harsh? Inquiring minds must know.
  • + 1
 @Chadimac22: if you spend 800$ on a carbon rim it is stiff and compliant while everything else is flexy and you never look back because you suddenly remember how many alu rims you broke, because you can’t ride and you are fat... sorry, because you are a powerlifter that shreds fkng hard. It’s like trying to be open minded and then being the worst a*shole of a troll by picking on people for buying carbon rims.
  • + 2
 Awesome as always @vernonfelton
  • - 2
 Another good job Vernon, a subject often brought up. Over @ MTBR many 26forever types are still waiting for the short front/steep HA to return. Most of us however, have learned how great the modern geo is, same trails with new joy found on them. BUT how much is too much? No clue here as my bike is a 3yr old Kona Process. I'd sure love to try that Modraker to see how that feels and if a line has been crossed.
  • + 3
 There are kids and adults running 26 still killing it! There’s the Cane Creek angle set and shock spacer inserts to slacken 26 frames. I just built up a 27 frame with 26 wheels! Don’t need the bike industry to tell me what suites me, only I know that. I vote with my wallet! I don’t see 26 going away, the kids are the future.
  • + 1
 The newer aka extreme geometry rides even better than modern geo. You got to try it out!
  • + 0
 Just swapped my meta SX HT for an NS surge EVO, The meta had a long sack front end which was great and planted at speed. The Surge has a similar front but a super short chainstay making it more agile and playfull, easier to get the front end up, that was were the meta could feel too long
  • + 1
 I don't think I agree with this guy, but it's so well written that I read the whole damn thing anyway!
  • + 2
 Giants rejoice! You finally have proper fitting bikes.
  • + 1
 LOL'd hard when I saw the headline of this article directly above the one for £&€80-300+ trail tools Big Grin
  • + 2
 I'd take a hot librarian over an 'it girl' every time.
  • + 1
 at 8'2" i totally understand where you are coming from, i want the bike to be about as long as a stretch limo
  • + 1
 It's crazy concept. I just try to ride bikes that feel fun, not based on what the numbers say...
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton well done with the Spinal Tap reference on the sly.
  • + 1
 I got banned from a pink bike forum arguing about "mini dh bikes" lol
  • + 1
 My name is Transition Sentinel and I don't give a ....about this article!
  • + 1
 All I read in that was dial it up to 12.
  • + 1
 Sorry I didn’t actually mean keep going LLS... I say enough already. I just got a chuckle that yesterday PB defends SRAMs BS new axle standard and today it’s criticism about geometry.
  • + 1
 I'm living in 2015 and happier with that fact after reading this article!
  • + 1
 " ...into a world where fashion TRUMPS function", hmmm...interesting
  • + 2
 Below threshold comment.
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 Threshold below comment.
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  • + 1
 How come I have to see that Mondraker, again. Weird.
  • + 1
 Longer and slacker E bikes. whoop whoop!
  • + 1
 So if M is too long, go buy an S then.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton tell us how you really feel about SBG lol!
  • + 1
 My feelings exactly
  • + 1
 @diego-b: The key to SBG though is the reduced offset. And if you've ridden it, you know it does mitigate what seems to be a really long reach and wheelbase. I know Transition wants to sell bikes, but I don't think they want to sell anything other than the most fun bikes they can dream up. These SBG bikes are pretty dang fun.
  • + 1
 Japanese Godzilla - way cooler than Hollywood Godzilla.
  • + 1
 I stopped reading once it got to bikes ... lol
  • + 1
 Almost twice. Minus 1.01
  • - 1
 kevin spacey
  • + 6
 i wonder what number he would take it to...probably 15
  • + 1
 @rocky-mtn-gman: probably not much higher than 16 though amirite?
  • - 3
 All-Mountain is dying because all the cool pro racers are either riding enjurow or DH.
  • + 3
 How does that prevent you or your friends from riding 'All-Mountain'?
  • + 5
 @bman33: And that, right there, is the thing that's plaguing mountain biking, and has for years. It's not about long/low/slack as much as it is about "capability". People buy bikes that are made for the kind of riding they wish they could be doing (whether that's because of skills, or opportunity given local trails, etc.). So you see lots of folks riding bikes that are, for them, objectively less fun than they could have because they'll never really get to push them, whether that's because their trails are sort of rolly/flowy rather than North Shore gnarly or bike park steep, or whether that's because their skills or risk taking preferences don't allow them to go fast enough to really make those bikes come alive. Yet they still ride these bikes, and pay the price in terms of sluggish handling, porky climbing, and so on.

Long/low/slack, or tons of suspension, or both are really just a piece of that problem. Mind you, lots of people buy things aspirationally, rather than realistically - so you have tons of people cruising groomers on the beefiest big mountain skis/boards, etc - meaning it's more a human problem than a mountain biking problem. And hey, if you want to maximize that one gnarly drop you have in your local trail system and want a bit more confidence for that, perhaps that all makes some sense.

But hey, if we could start mounting laser beams on these bikes...
  • + 1
 @g-42: then maybe the trails will get rougher straighter gnarlier and faster?
  • + 8
 Isn't all mountain just the same as enduro but without the fanny packs and googles?
  • + 4
 Goggles*
  • + 1
 @fatduke: The term is 'man bag' or 'rumpus duffel'. At least that is what the cool kids tell me. Ha!
  • + 1
 @fatduke: *spits coffee through nose*
  • + 2
 @blaklabl: You know nothing but sitting home alone crying to Morrissey songs sir. Ha! ;-)
  • + 3
 @g-42: Could not agree with this more. I used to be this guy, dragging a way too burly bike around because of what terrain I wished I was riding. That is the fault of clever marketing (or the success/genius of it).

Once I shifted both mentally and literally to riding a bike that was more appropriate for the trails I rode 95% of the time, I find it much more enjoyable.

Same principal applies to tire choice (am I riding around on DHF's when Ikons would be better for my trails?), dropper/no dropper (am I having to remind & force myself to use it because I don't really NEED one on my trails?), etc.

Marketing is a powerful thing when done effectively, and the cycling industry does it better than most. Especially when it's core demographic are disposable-income having dentists :-)
  • + 2
 @bman33: Brent - you know me too well, but only old Morrissey, the new stuff is shit. Haha
  • + 1
 @blaklabl: Indeed! Haha!
  • + 2
 @wiscobiker: To paraphrase Sam Hill 'they put 20m of slow tech in the Fort William track and all of the current DH riders bitch and complain'. Fast and straight and rough is very 'in' at the moment

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