Transition's New Speed Balanced Geometry

Jun 29, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



“The new Awesome-O 5000 is longer and slacker for this season, and....” How many times have you read a similar line when a new bike is first introduced? Mountain bike geometry is constantly evolving, but the pace seems to have picked up over the last five years. Longer and slacker has become the prevailing theme for any new bike model, and the concept of running shorter stems on frames with longer reach numbers has gained widespread acceptance, for good reason.

But there's a limit to just how long you can make a bike before the handling and fit are compromised, especially on a trail bike, where a comfortable climbing position is just as important as its downhill handling. With that in mind, imagine for a moment that the limits of just how long and slack a bike can be (for its intended purpose) had been reached – could anything else be done to improve its handling?

Transition Bikes thinks so, which is why they've unveiled their Speed Balanced Geometry, or SBG. It's a multi-faceted concept, but the main idea revolves around fork offset, or, more specifically, running forks with less offset than what is currently considered “normal,” along with slackening the bike's head angle and increasing the reach. The goal is to create a bike that remains even more stable and composed at high speeds and on steep terrain, but can still easily be navigated around tight turns while climbing up the trail. Transition aren't the first company to experiment with this idea — Mondraker, Pole, and Nicolai are a few of the companies that come to mind with regards to pushing the boundaries — but Transition's widespread use of SBG for their upcoming line of bikes puts them at the forefront of what could be the next big shift for modern mountain bike geometry.

Before diving in too deep, it's worth taking a few minutes to go over some of the basics regarding trail and offset. If you've heard it all before, feel free to skip ahead, but otherwise, here's a quick rundown.


Forking

The basics of offset and trail

Offset: Imagine you were to take off your stem top cap and shine a laser pointer straight through the exact center of that star-fangled nut. This is your steering axis. Now, measure how far away the front axle is from that line. That's your fork offset. Fork offset varies between wheelsize, and most suspension forks for 29” wheels currently have either a 46 or 51mm offset. For 27.5” wheels that number is typically either 42 or 44mm and for 26” wheels (remember those?) it's 37 or 40mm.

Trail: Trail is the distance from the center of the tire's contact patch to the point where the steering axis (that laser you aimed through the star nut) hits the ground. Trail is only one part of the equation that determines how a bike will handle, but the general rule of thumb is that a higher trail number can lead to more stability as speeds increase but at the cost of increased wheel 'flop' at slower speeds. Less trail can create quicker steering, which is why most 29ers ended up with forks with more offset — the idea was to reduce the trail number so that it was closer to what you'd find on a 26" or 27.5" bike with the same head angle, thus creating a similar steering feel.
Offset

It's worth noting that as the trail number decreases, the wheelbase increases, and vice versa. In other words, if you use a fork with a reduced offset, the front wheel will actually move back, increasing the trail, while shortening the overall wheelbase.

Confused yet? Hopefully not, but there's no denying that these concepts can seem overwhelming at times. As easy as it is to ride a bike, figuring out and explaining why they behave in a certain way is much more difficult. There's also the fact that there's no absolute set of figures that will create the perfect bike. Take chainstay length, for example, a number that's led to countless heated arguments online and in the real world. Should they be as short as possible? Is longer better? Or is the Goldilocks number somewhere in the middle? The truth is, there's no right answer. Chainstay length, head angle, reach, trail; the list of variables goes on, and it's impossible to say that one school of thought is absolutely better than the other (unless that school of thought states that really long stems and steep head angles are a good thing... I like to think that we've moved past that by now).


Lars Sternberg
Sam Burkhardt
Nerd alert. Lars Sternberg and Sam Burkhardt are serious about creating better bikes, but they also know when to lose the pocket protectors and have a good time.


What made Transition decide to adopt a new geometry philosophy?

The initial push for the geometry change came from Lars Sternberg, Transition's resident tinkerer. With a little bit of downtime on his hands as the 2015 season came to an end, he stumbled upon an article describing Chris Porter's experiments with running reduced fork offset. Inspired, he raided his parts stash and began experimenting. He started by taking the upper crown assembly from a 26” Fox 36 which had 37mm of offset and reinstalling it on a 27.5” fork. He then put an angleset into his Patrol in order to steepen the head angle by one degree.

On paper, that steepening of the head angle created a bike with the same trail number as before the fork swap, but once his tires hit the dirt, Lars realized that the ride characteristics felt completely different. The reduced offset put the weight balance in a different spot, and the bike felt as if it was cornering better than ever.

Intrigued, Lars continued to experiment and soon realized that going with a slacker head angle (rather than the steeper setting he initially tried) and a reduced offset seemed to be the ticket, creating a bike that was even more stable at high speeds, but still maneuverable for slower sections of trail. “If you just shorten the offset and don't do anything else you get the steering change, but what you incur is tuck. You're basically just pulling your front wheel back, so when you're coming into a section that has a sharp turn, your front wheel wants to knife under you. If you're going to shorten the offset you need to slacken the head tube angle so you achieve better handling in those scenarios,” says Lars.


Transition Smuggler

Smuggler
Smuggler
The Super Smuggler, one of the bikes that Lars used for his offset and head angle experimentation.


bigquotesYou can't change anything like this without some sort of tradeoff, but I feel what you're trading off is worth it. And in the end I've found we're not losing any positive attributes, we're actually gaining some. It's providing a more comfortable experience at higher speeds – you're allowing people to ride better. Lars Sternberg


Sam Burkhardt, Transition's product manager, started to join in on the experiments as well, but according to Sam, “I was initially a little bit of a naysayer – I told him [Lars], 'It's cool, I think it's great if you keep doing this, but this isn't something that's going to work for us [Transition] – we need to be working with things we can buy.” Without the ability to easily obtain reduced offset 27.5” or 29” forks the project didn't seem like it would go much further than the experimental stage. However, after talking with Fox and RockShox, it turned out that they would be able to get the forks necessary to bring this new geometry idea to the mass market, and the project began to gain momentum.

Transition's current geometry numbers fall well within the realm of what is considered modern, but the next generation of bikes, including a longer travel 29er that's yet to be officially announced, will be based around the SBG concept, and take things a step further.

“Just based on the numbers some people could be excited or other people could be freaked out,” says Sam. But despite the boundary-pushing numbers, he's quick to offer the reminder that, “Nothing we've done with the head angle is so extreme that you can't run a normal offset – you're just not getting the full benefit of it.”


Transition
Transition are working on a bike geometry fixture that will allow them to easily measure things like wheelbase, stack, reach, etc...


The components of SBG

There are five main components that differentiate Transition's new Speed Balanced Geometry from what they have used in the past. Moving forward, new bikes will have an even longer reach, a slacker head angle, a reduced fork offset, a steeper seat tube angle, and shorter stems. Even though on paper the longer reach numbers may seem daunting (a size large will now be 475mm), the new bikes will be spec'd with 10mm shorter stems, and the steeper seat angle will also help to maintain a similar bar to saddle distance to Transition's previous models. The reduced offset fork will also partially counteract the wheelbase length increase that comes with a slacker head angle.

Transition have also worked hard to ensure that the traits that made their bikes so popular aren't erased by the switch to the new geometry principles. Sure, some of the increased high-speed stability that SBG achieves could have been accomplished by increasing the bikes' chainstay length, but Lars says, “If we lengthened the rear ends significantly you're going to change how they manual, how playful they are. We're effectively bringing the stability back and bringing the rider into a better center of balance as much as you would have by lengthening the chainstays.”

That doesn't mean that things will feel exactly the same; according to Lars, “You can't change anything like this without some sort of tradeoff, but I feel what you're trading off is worth it. And in the end I've found we're not losing any positive attributes, we're actually gaining some. It's providing a more comfortable experience at higher speeds – you're allowing people to ride better.”


Is this the future?

Are we going to see a wholesale switch to reduced offset numbers throughout the industry? Are Transition simply an early adopter of what will soon become a common geometry trend? It's too early to tell for sure, but I have a strong feeling that it won't be long before we see more and more companies going down this route. Mountain biking is still continuing to evolve, and geometry ideas that worked in the past, back in the days when bikes were short and stems were long, may no longer be relevant. If it's possible to produce bikes that are more stable at higher speeds while still retaining their maneuverability when the pace slows, it only makes sense to give it a try.


261 Comments

  • + 76
 So adjusting the offset on the fork for better ride characteristics. You mean like Giant did in 2015 on the Reign...
  • + 66
 But they didn't call it SBG. I'm curious if they still use the COCK and BALLS technology on their new 29er. Never throw away a good opportunity to say COCK and BALLS. Say it out loud, say it proud.
  • + 44
 The 2015 Reign actually had an INCREASED offset (46 instead of 42mm)
  • + 20
 But Giant did the opposite thing, they have lengthened the offset to make bike feel less like a truck. And now Transition states something exactly opposite, WFT?
  • + 5
 @lkubica: Exactly; Transition's proposition might produce monster truck bikes. Slacker head angles and less offset
  • + 43
 You'll find loads of companies have played with extending the offset at the drop-outs & at the crown mang times in history. Fox did it for Gary Fisher some time ago.

In the end, if it feels like a bike & you get off of it smiling, who gives a turd. Just make bikes.
  • + 8
 I think this was done by one of the WC mechanics to some degree, maybe Jason Marsh from SC? Anyone he had this theory that the fork offset should be equal to stem length, thus running forks with 42/46mm offset and similar length stems. Hopefully I'm not spouting shite Razz
  • + 2
 Where they lengthened it (using a 29er offset for a 27.5 fork) as opposed to using 26" or shorter offset forks what Mojo and probably others are suggesting.
  • + 11
 ". The reduced offset fork will also partially counteract the wheelbase length increase that comes with a slacker head angle."
.....by a whole 4mm............woop.
  • + 2
 My new S works Enduro rode much better after I swap the fork with a 44mm offset Fox 36 instead of the Lyrik with a 46mm offset
  • + 18
 @enrico650: but is that due to the 2mm difference or because it's a better fork? Or more tuneable to your style of riding? Stiffer? Who knows, but pretty sure a huge increase won't be felt through 2mm?

25 / 50mm I could understand a noticeable difference. I added a Gary Fisher longer reach fork to my old felt on 26" wheels years back and the longer wheelbase made it more stable, no change to the head angle. But if it was only 2mm I doubt I'd have noticed it.
  • + 0
 @two-one: And Giant was right. You only can slacken the HA, when you increase the fork offset. That's why DC-Forks have more offset than SC-Forks. You also need more offset, when you use bigger wheels.
Probleme was, that 29" forks got more offset and frames got steeper HAs. Trek was sorting that out with their Slash 29er.
  • + 3
 @watchmen: Haha, I was thinking recently about millimeters, from when I was in school, and that, and we'd constantly be doing things like, "1 foot is 304.8 millimeters". Thinking back I'm like, "thank f*ck for those 0.2 millimeters to make my days shitty, I'm sure nobody could live without them".
  • + 4
 @NotDannyHart: Nope, you are right.
www.pinkbike.com/news/behind-the-bike-developing-the-xxl-santa-cruz-v10-2016.html
"Greg convinced me that you don't want a stem any longer than the offset of your fork," says Marshy. Greg didn’t want a stem length too different to the offset of his fork".
  • + 11
 Kona has been doing it for so long. But you need to huck few landings first.
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: rockshox made custom crowns for Trek/Fisher also, I have a 26" fork with the extra offset and any bike I put that fork on handles like shit. I also put a regular 29" revelation on my 29" rumblefish that came with the extra offset fox and it handles much better since.
  • + 0
 @RoverDover: Yep, Trek's E2 technology.
  • + 0
 @enrico650: The lyrik has the different offset because it has a taller Axle to crown. The ride difference was probably due more to a better damper not that 2mm difference.
  • + 2
 @USMC: Nope, same axle to crown.
Took measurements before install.
  • + 0
 @cunning-linguist: Wrong. Steering became sharper and more precise
  • + 48
 @two-one: rule #1 of pinkbike comments: never let little things like facts or not knowing what you're talking about get in the way of complaining. Everything already out is better than everything new, obviously. Except the price. But even if prices go down, that's still something to complain about.
  • + 5
 I changed the 46mm off set Pike on my Reign to a 44mm Fox 36 and didn't notice much. Going from the stock 45mm stem to a 35mm made a huge difference however. Obviously not very scientific but I'm picky as hell with my setups and was surprised how little of an impact the offset had.
  • + 4
 @Triber66 .....uh, don't you mean G2 geometry?
  • + 3
 @cunning-linguist: I give a turd... I give a very squeaky turd every time I hurtle down anything tech on old fashioned steep heads and short wheelbases...
  • + 14
 Did nobody really notice the sentinel?????
  • - 5
flag Triber66 (Jun 29, 2017 at 8:07) (Below Threshold)
 Thank you, but I beat you to it. @Bobby12many:
  • + 2
 @NotDannyHart: Dave Weagle also had this done for Sam Hill's bike way back in the day (2007 or so I think) - he had custom crowns that had a shorter offset so they could increase the trail (doubly so, because they also slackened the head angle) without just putting the front wheel a million miles out there with no weight on it.
  • + 1
 @Socket: presumably because the iron horse Sunday has a steep head angle for a dh bike. Most people run a -2 degree headset now
  • + 2
 @bluechair84: in the words of Mark Brandon Read, harden the f*ck up! Just ride it!
  • + 3
 You're all wrong! Keith Bontrager did this circa 1989 Razz
  • + 3
 CAWKS N' BAWLZ!!!
  • + 2
 @lkubica: Giant's also running 27.5 wheels while Transition's putting it on their LT 29er. #notthesamething
  • + 1
 @NotDannyHart: minnar mentioned it as something he picked up from his Honda days. Not letting the stem length get shorter than the fork offset.
Was Jason working on his bike back then too?
  • + 11
 @cunning-linguist: "Just make bikes."

It sounds so simple, but how do we make these bikes? Are you suggesting we don't overcomplicate it and just make 'em? If so, the only solution is to make them exactly as they already are. If we did that, nothing would ever change and we'd still be on fully rigid bikes with 130 mm stems.

Someone has to think about this. The progress from the bad old days until now came from people thinking about it and experimenting. Maybe the analysis isn't for you, so thank goodness there are people who enjoy the complication and the process of improvement.

Maybe a better motto would be "Just buy bikes." Leave the thinking to us.
  • + 10
 @cunning-linguist: I have 2 29ers, one with a 69 degree head angle, one with a 67-ish head angle. The 69 degree bike, I went from a 48mm offset (which was super balanced) to a 44mm offset. It made the front wheel want to tuck bad. I had to change my style and lean off the back to compensate. The bike handled like crap with the 44mm, so I went back to the 48mm. The 67 degree head angle, is balanced with a 44mm, 48mm and 51mm offset, I think 67 degrees is the cut off for these offsets. It handled best with a 44mm, but it was a Fox 32 and wasn't stiff enough for my riding. The 48mm was good, but no longer an option. I'm using a 51mm DVO Diamond now because it's a nice (expensive is the word, I can't part with it just yet) fork, that's the only reason I'm using it. The DVO, from time to time, does a weird "I want to go straight" thing in fast, smooth sections. And it "flops" at anything slower than 6mph. So I have 2 bikes, one with "old" geometry, one with "new" and I can really feel the difference just by swapping 3 brands of forks, and the less offset forks feel better on the slacker bike, more offset completely makes a difference on the steep bike, for 29er's at least.
  • + 1
 @Triber66: G2 or Genesis 2, E2 is Trek's fancy word for the tapered headtube
  • + 1
 @oldschool43: For LT 29er forks only thing I've found with less than 51mm offset and Boost is the Formula Selva 160mm.

FOX places their offset in the crowns so I may just keep the crowns from my 26 40 if I get a 49 for science purposes.
  • + 0
 @Boardlife69: COCK AND BALLS!!
  • + 3
 @enrico650: I prefer 45mm, but 44mm was a close secondSmile
  • + 3
 @gonecoastal: The other LT 29er fork available in boost and 46mm offset is the MRP Ribbon. I'm trying to decide between the Selva and Ribbon for my Jeffsy. Maybe now some others will offer a boost & 46mm option.
  • + 1
 @kwapik: If you didn't need BOOST the Öhlins RXF 34 might've worked. I've heard DVo might have something in the works as well. Good call on the Ribbon, I keep looking at their dual crown.
  • + 1
 @loaded:

2mm, do know what that looks like?
  • + 2
 @Legbacon: no I love in the USA, we don't know what the metric system is ????
  • + 1
 @loaded: I think you're being sarcastic but just in case, or for other people here... 2mm = 0,0787402 in. Wink
  • + 31
 Oh great, so my hubs are out of date (non boost), my cranks are out of date (non boost), my shock is out of date (non metric), my rims are out of date (23 mm wide) and now my fork is out of date... and none of it is more than 3 years old...
  • + 3
 Metric shocks sizing was just to allow SRAM to get around a patent. It means nothing and there's actually more aftermarket shock options in non-metric.
  • + 14
 Why do you need to have equipment that is bleeding edge? Just ride what you have and be happy.
  • + 2
 @beerandbikes: Who said you needed bleeding edge? It's a 'want' for some (a lot of) people. You don't have to ride it though.
  • + 18
 Ride your forks backwards for super negative offset! You'll be ahead of the curve!!
  • + 9
 Thank God I have one talent (besides "f*cking people over"): I can hop on any bike, ride it for a few minutes and then have fun!
  • + 1
 @jclnv: what were they trying to get around?
  • + 2
 @irck: Someone had a damping circuit patent. Fox probably.
  • + 2
 @unrooted: is that a 3rd Planey by MM reference??
  • + 1
 @noweyout: hahaahahah
  • + 3
 I was wondering if there were any other fans out there @bleachtip:
  • + 2
 @jclnv:

From where did you get this information?
  • + 1
 @Mandell: Someone who works in R&D for a manufacturer. That's all I've got I'm afraid.

Think about what possible performance increase could be derived by increasing (or decreasing) shock stroke by 3mm, yet many people say the metric shocks feel better than non metric.
  • + 16
 So there we are, no more huge improvements in MTB like we had in the past (remember ? Air fork, dropper post, 29er, disc brakes, 1x drive train...). Now, bike companies are playing with details.
It's a bit like the smartphone world : we came to tactile screens, internet on phones, great cameras, but now we feel like the progression curb is flattening.
Have we reached some sort of a pic ?
  • + 5
 Hope so!
  • + 37
 Finally people will have to learn how to ride a bike to progress :-)
  • + 2
 @labourde: Haha, hope so as well
  • + 10
 We haven't reached a peak at all. The big brands will be playing catch up to Pole and Nicolai when it comes to geometry for the next 5 years. No one has made a dropper post that goes DOWN at the press of a buttom. Tubeless/insert technology is still trying to solve the flat problem without excess weight. And hubs width and bb size is far from standardized.
  • + 3
 @SintraFreeride: With the latest crop of 29ers rolling out this and the next year, it is becoming apparent that we are at least one more generation (3-4 years) away from companies tackling the rear part of the geometry equation (STA and CS).
  • + 4
 @SintraFreeride: That's exactly what I was talking about.
Everything you said is just improving things that already exist, not big revolutions.
I mean, getting from Nokia 3310 to the first iPhone or whatever modern smartphone was a big step forward. Going from the Galaxy S5 to the S8 isn't, to me at least. It is just improvements of an already great product.

In MTB, the next revolution could be the gearbox ? I'm just speculating obviously.
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: Lol, there's been a "latest crop of 29ers" every year for at least the past five, and I'm still not sold!
  • + 5
 @skelldify: i wasn't either until i just went ahead and bought one. Now, if I can only ride one bike, it will be a 29er of some kind
  • + 6
 I'm hoping development money starts going into manufacturing, distribution and other things that will help drop MSRPs
  • + 3
 @jollyXroger: Yep. They move painfully slowly. Saying things like we don't need to increase rear centre (chainstay length) as the change to less offset gave the stability we needed is complete nonsense.
  • + 6
 @jclnv: they're just trying to strike the right balance between stability and agility, not create the most stable thing ever. They could have just lengthened the chainstays but that would have impacted the characteristics of the bikes that so many people love. This way they add a little stability and can keep the rest of the winning formula. Bigger isn't always better.
Furthermore if you actually want to keep the chainstays short (shock horror) then you kind of have to keep the front centre short too or you'll never find any grip from the front end which means a steep head angle which also means less confidence and stability. But shorten the offset and you can slacken the head angle a touch, increasing trail, confidence and stability without increasing the front centre so much you lose the ability to weight the front wheel.
  • + 3
 @ThomDawson: Guess what? You don't have to weight the front wheel (not that you can anyway) if the F+R weight distribution isn't massively rear biased like most bikes. Two things, what you do to the front centre you have to do (in a ratio) to the rear, see Pole bikes, Greg Minnaar and Moto GP. And if you can't manual a bike with a 450mm rear centre you suck and shouldn't influence bike design in any way.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: that's exactly what I was saying ;-)
  • + 4
 @jclnv: Just imagine if skis were designed in the same fashion as most of the bikes are i.e. regardless of size only lengthening in one direction, from boot center to tip, keeping the boot center to tail the same length. This is exactly what most of the bike industry is doing.
  • + 5
 "So there we are, no more huge improvements in MTB like we had in the past"

Be patient.

p.vitalmtb.com/photos/forums/2017/04/14/5096/s1200_Teaser.jpg
  • + 1
 @R-M-R: what the hill is that?
  • + 5
 @VFreehd: Telescopic forks can only do so much; this is the next step. We have a booth at Crankworx and will be soft-launching there, so come and say hi.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUsl-qb138A

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14889605
  • + 0
 @R-M-R: YAY! Can't wait to have 15x more places to stick, squeak, wear, clean, and/or fail.
  • + 2
 @kyle242gt: Some bikes are bearing killers and some aren't. Durability is an important consideration for us, so we spec'd bearings with more than double the necessary load rating we're using Enduro Max bearings with Enduro's best seals.

We believe our maintenance requirements will be no worse than any other bike, yet will deliver more advanced chassis dynamics. If you want zero maintenance, you'll have to ride a rigid, belt-driven singlespeed!
  • + 17
 I made a video exploring and explaining what trail is and how with a slack head angle shorter offset is better. I didn't have an acronym though. youtu.be/S8BS4meyHew
  • + 3
 Subscribed, calming Scottish accent, nice information. 10/10
  • + 5
 @Patrick9-32: I don't think the Scottish accent has ever been described as calming before.... Big Grin
  • + 2
 @PhotoCal: Second that. Good video. You aren't choking on your words, and it's an explanation a lot of people around here could use. Submit it to the video section, I wonder what the process of getting onto the front page is...
  • + 2
 Enjoyed that, cheers
  • + 2
 Gonna have to disagree with you on your last point: "bringing that hub back is going to give you lighter handling." Bringing the hub back (via reduced offset) will INCREASE trail, which leads to heavier handling.
  • + 12
 Steeper head angle and bigger offset are made for folks who are not exactly good at riding, and aren't exactly fit to climb standing. It gives them satisfactory handling at what is "high speeds" for them as well as precision on climbs while their bottom rests on the saddle, back of the saddle to be precise. And the bigger the wheel you run the more it matters, for folks who have life outside of MTB. People who actually buy new bikes and keep this show running, so please don't draw dentist slurs out of your sleeve, because you will be the first one to lick their arse when their bike pops on buy sell. To come back to the topic, that's why it is perfectly natural that the "Bigger industry"serves these people with handling characteristics that fit their riding "style". Give a beginner a 65HA with little offset, and super long wheelbase and he will not like it. Not unless you are called Geometron or Pole and you charge sht loads of money for your bike so your client has a LOT of post purchase rationalization to compensate for barely coping with "nu school handling". Off course such client will also appreciate straight line stability of those bikes, because he can't exactly corner well... so he doesn't give much sht about that. SO I can imagine that a brand like Transition can still maybe sell this slack HA/ short offset, but Trek, Cannondale or Spec would never get away with that. And since fork companies sell majority of their products to big companies, it is not hard to imagine that they are reluctant to release even more options. Yes a good and strong rider will utilize "boutique" geometry, but they are a few, and most of them don't buy brand new bikes in top spec.

Anyways cool that Transition tries! At least on Pinkbike everyone is a great rider wanting aggresive geo for natural technical trails, so it's good place to sell the concept Wink
  • + 1
 I don't know for how long people talk about short travel DH-Bikes. Wink
It would be that easy. Wink
  • + 12
 @tyrolens: Dh bikes with lock out and Fox40 Talas/ Boxxer 2-step is the future. Put an eagle on and let it soar. Enduro racers use 2ply tyres and DH rims anyways. Spec Enduro at 170, with 2,6 tyres is just an aperitif. Why wouldn't you ride a bike with 200mm of travel that weighs exactly the same as an Enduro bike if it doesn't bob more? I will tell you more, Enduro bikes will be sturdier than DH bikes soon. If you get off line and hit a huge rock on DH comp you are done anyways. If you hit a rock on Enduro comp with 3 stages to go that day and 7 on another, man you will put some panzer stuff on. the times of weight wheening are over.

I will say it: why has no one made one yet?
  • + 0
 Spot on!
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Because the less travel your bike has, the better it can be pushed.
I, for example, am a lousy rider and so, I don't use more wheel travel than 140 at the rear and 160 mm in the front. Okay, okay, I like a lot of compression damping. Wink

My ride: fthumb.mtb-news.de/cache/1170_auto_1_1_0/5d/aHR0cHM6Ly9mc3RhdGljMS5tdGItbmV3cy5kZS92My8yMS8yMTMyLzIxMzI0MTYtdXBvMm1nNGJzNmtlLWZvdG9fMDAxNC1vcmlnaW5hbC5qcGc.jpg

It has a similar geo to a Santa Cruz V10.
  • + 2
 @tyrolens: Push? Perhaps in 10 years when there are enough pump tracks and enough coaches we can expect people to push their bike into the ground. Joeys in the bike park just hang on. And Push, man there's more to it than pushing. DH bikes can do stuf Enduro bikes can't. You notice half of the rocks on the track and can focus on looking ahead. Once that 140 bik gets into chatter and you get off line or cannot spot a good line you change your name to Ms Chokesondick. ugh agh ghlee blurp ghe ugh umpfff, riding on all big rocks and roots until you get back on the good line. Well, Enduro bikes are fast enough for me. Dh is faster while trees stay as hard but I can see why 200mm climbing bikes could be desirable.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Of course, DH Bikes that can climb, are great, but not always the best bike to choose.
Although I'd dreaming of a Nicolai G19 with Eagle drivetrain, I'll also stick with my enduro bike, because it's enough bike for me. And I also like more to improve my skills, als my bikes. Wink
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 29, 2017 at 4:18) (Below Threshold)
 @tyrolens: I struggle at looking ahead skill, short travel does not help with that Wink
  • + 3
 It's great that small-medium companies experiment on stuff like geometry, offsets and everything : real evolutions ( IE not BS like Knockblock, Switch Infinity, Superboost 157) often start in small/medium companies which are more free of trying stuff. But they should stop over-marketing it with stupid acronyms. Even more Transition, who made fun of that in their Patrol ads ("with 75% more acronyms", TITS, PABST...).

In the article they start with "Longer and slacker is over-marketed", which I agree; and in the end they present a bike that's "longer and slacker bro".
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: short travel bikes are way easier to pop over rocks/roots than big dh bikes, so it should be easier to correct your line on a short travel than a dh. It might be harder to keep your focus ahead while you ride on rough stuff, but you don't need to look far ahead when you ride a slow/ultra rocky part. 200mm should just allow you to ride more linear settings, and to do bigger jumps than on a 160mm bike.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: on mellow terrain(even if its steep) i absolutely love slack short travel 29ers. Riding a dh track or a rough bikeparktrail not so much. at a certail speed in combination with gnar you (I) can no longer pump and hop the obstacles -if this happens you are in for a wild ride. i hope to compensate a bit with cushcore -we will see
  • + 10
 I'm increasingly realising that you must have an imaginary demon boxing you when you're writing your comments here...
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 29, 2017 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 @bluechair84: ???? please elaborate
  • + 8
 @WAKIdesigns: There's got to be a reason Rocky Mountains Enduro team are running Altitudes and not Slayers.
  • + 1
 @Gmang: They run what suits the track.
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: Transition is worthy of praise because they aren't making it longer, lower, and slacker for the sake of doing so - they're figuring out how to make bikes work better at speed while minimizing the drawbacks during the other 98% of the bicycle's existence.

I'm just super stoked that a Bandit successor had been tacitly announced
  • + 2
 @Gmang: the new altitude has a better leverage curve...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I remember 10 years or so ago, when i was new to the downhill world, hanging on the MTBR forums and the people there speccing front derailleurs, bottle cages and some dropper post style gizmos of the era to their downhill bikes and wondering if they were serious. Oh boy they were. I couldn't take it for long, but the consept of pedal-able dh bikes is definitely not new.
  • + 1
 @tyrolens: G16 with the longer stroke shock = 175mm travel. Reading ran a G16 (w/heavy duty down tube) for the first half of last yrs WC Season while Mojo was doing the prototyping of the G19
  • + 1
 @Gmang: ...and Yeti running short travel rear
  • + 4
 @gonecoastal: I think it's all about Geometry and not wheel size or travel.
Vital MTB delivers further data about the SBG:
HA = 64°
Offset = 42 and 44 mm
Wheel size = 29".

which results in a trail of 135 and 133 mm.

For example, Aaron Gwins YT Tues has a trail of 119 mm.
Nicolai G19: 128 and 134 mm
Nicolai G16: 128 mm
Nicolai G13: 116 and 121 mm
My Giant Trance: 126 mm.

BOS has some massiv offset an its 27,5" Idylle: 56 mm. If you put it in a Solid Strike, you'll get a trail of 125 mm. So, Transition really went for a lot of trail.
  • + 3
 @tyrolens: there's more to the story, each mm of offset adds/reduces friction between stanchions and bushings, the higher the speed the more are forces from bumps acting in line with slacker head angle, so you could argue that lesser offset and slacker HA allow for better suspension action.
  • + 1
 @Gmang: yes that is the same reason why DeVinci guys use Spartans instead of Troys, what are you on about? Cherry picking data frenzy? Wink
  • + 1
 @tehllama: Yes, I like the way they explain the reasoning behind all this. The funny this is that everyone is joking about their release but when Spesh release the same thing in a couple of months they will present as the next-gen bike of the future. And everyone will buy it
  • + 1
 @tyrolens: good work on those trail numbers, glad somebody got off their backside because I had the same idea to compare but couldn't be bothered (I was spending too much time spouting bs on here). I don't believe for a second there are no negatives with that much trail. Maybe they don't notice the negatives on the Bellingham trails but when I tried similar trail figures on a slack 29er I definitely noticed them on our home trails. Geometry is all about balance after all.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: Thank you.
There are, of course, negative effects. First of all, you need strong arms and shoulders. Then, you shouldn't steer too much, but lean the bike into corners und be aware of switchbacks.
I think, the SBG concept will work good on so called flow trails.
  • + 2
 @tyrolens: eeeerm you need to steer the bike quite a lot to get out of the corner... they understeer a lot. Rode that long and slack Dune, that thing was shooting out of corners before I wanted it to. It's about lots of commitment but I personally found it needing more steering to get back on track than other bikes.
  • + 1
 @tyrolens: I agree, fast tracks without too much front wheel deflection from larger rocks etc is where I think SBG will be really fun. That's what I found on the slack 29er I rode. At BPW and the like it produced effortless speed and lots of confidence but at home on the shorter and steeper, more 'natural' trails it was too difficult to wrestle the steering where accuracy is key. I didn't have the opportunity to play with reach and I stubbornly stick to 50mm stems regardless of all else so perhaps Tranistion have managed to find a sweet spot but the extra reach and -10mm stem won't change the amount of trail which just sounds too much to me. Perhaps Transition would like to prove me wrong and put me on a 2018 Scout to find out what's what Razz
  • + 10
 This is so awesome, I'm super excited to see Transitions new range. Sounds like they've basically added ~20mm to the reach and taken ~10mm off the offset and stems?
Very interesting. I wonder if the Scout and Smuggler will get the same amount of adjustment as the Patrol or whether they'll be a little more conservative with those?
As I said in another thread I've experimented myself a bit with this stuff and while I agree the ride improves at speed I did think it was quite a lot worse a lower speeds but I went down to 64° on a 29er (flip flop was huge with shorter offset and I hated it tbh though once at speed it was better). A slightly steeper HA may work well but I decided there was no way to make a 29er the way I wanted, became frustrated and just said f*ck it and bought a Scout. Really like it and I hope they don't change it too much tbh. If the new ones has 66° HA and 37mm offset that would be ideal, please Transition ;-) Ramble over.
  • + 7
 this seems spot on for UK trail riding...keen to try the Sentinel and the new Whyte 29er S150 with reduced 42mm offset .
  • + 5
 @Travel66: agreed. Having spent a few years in the pursuit of longer and slacker bikes I'm now really enjoying a shorter wheelbase and dare I say it a steeper head angle! The bike corners a lot better than the slacked out ones I was riding the last few years, I can load the front wheel better and in the steep and tight stuff I'm riding it is far and away better than a big slack bike. The Scout is just a great all round bike, a tad slacker with shorter offset will just add high speed stability and maintain the rest of the great attributes. If they make em 20mm longer I'll just downsize to a small which I 'should' be on anyways. Winning all round.
I think both the Scout and Smuggler are great bikes in the UK if you have the short, steep and twisty trails that are so abundant here. The Scout makes a great jump bike too so I hope they don't go too crazy with the slackness.
  • + 4
 @Travel66: I'm just commenting to cause people to double take who said what.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: I ride on Vancouver Island in BC and I think our trails are really similar to the UK. Lots of tight fast twisty single track. The Scout is perfect for this as a shorter wheel based bike with a low center of gravity makes for a nimble speed deamon. I worry about the lengthening of all these bikes and too much slackening of the head angle because it will all be a negative effect on the nimbleness and the quick handling of these bikes. If they do this to the Scout I hope they keep that in mind. I tried riding the Patrol and the while being an amazing bike the slack head angle and length of the bike makes the bike great on rowdy open trails but suffers when it the trail flattens out a bit and gets twisty. Love what Transition is doing I just hope they don't lengthen the Scout too much for the next gen.
  • + 1
 @ihatetomatoes: my thoughts exactly! Been a long time since I've ridden a bike that I thought didn't need changing ;-)
  • + 2
 Turns out the Sentinel is 64° HA and either 42 or 44mm offset :-O pretty well exactly the configuration that I hated so much I sold the whole bike (was a Mega 290). Flop was extreme, steering at slow speeds down 'technical' terrain was like trying to write with a paint roller. But it was ok if you went fast enough on trails that didn't require too much steering :-S maybe it just wasn't for me or maybe I need to test more variables or maybe I'm ahead of the curve and the idea sucks and everyone will come to realise it and Transition will go down the pan and I'll become the leader of the new free world where everyone rides only the Transition Scout in the spec that I have written in stone to be the one true spec. Air shocks will be banned and rebels will have their non compliant bikes confiscated and replaced with an Ellsworth.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: What offset had the fork on your Mega 290?
With 51 mm, the bike had a trail of 125 mm, which should be a good value.
  • + 1
 @tyrolens: I mostly rode it with 46mm offset with a custom length fork and angleset to get it as close to 64° as I could. At first I loved it but the more I rode it the more the downsides of the big trail figure became apparent.
  • + 1
 The bike suffered pretty badly from a lack of midstroke which would slacken it out even further and made the steering near impossible which I noticed most when I went racing. I put a coil on it and improved the midstroke and steering but still wasn't right. Weight balance felt near perfect, front and rear centres were exactly where I wanted but I couldn't get over the crappy steering feel so I threw all my toys out and sold it. Ironically that lead me to a Scout which has pretty 'oldskool' geometry by comparison and now Transition are going down the same route as I did. The appeal to me of Transitions bikes were that they weren't long, they weren't stupidly slack and now to see them doing the slackness (albeit in a roundabout manner) is a bit disappointing to me. But I'm waiting eagerly to see the whole range and hear some more ride reports or perhaps to try myself ;-)
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: "steering at slow speeds down 'technical' terrain was like trying to write with a paint roller" This made me laugh partially because its just plain funny and partly because it somehow describes the feeling of high flop bike perfectly!
  • + 8
 So this articled starts with "the general rule of thumb is that a higher trail number can lead to more stability as speeds increase but at the cost of increased wheel 'flop' at slower speeds." Then they increase trail by two measures, and magically end up "creating a bike that was even more stable at high speeds, but still maneuverable for slower sections of trail."

idk what the rest of you think, but most enduro bikes are plenty stable for me. Its keeping them playful and nimble that is the problem. Especially with 29" wheels.
  • + 7
 Transition spec'ed the original Smuggler with a 51 offset fork at 130mm. I ran a 46mm offset Pike at 140 and 150 and it felt super stable. At times, in 140 though, it felt like the wheel tucked underneath on super steep terrain on the brakes. Fixed by more travel ;-)
  • + 8
 Fixed by slackening the head angle, the end result of more travel.
  • - 1
 So that poor dude bought your old fork gonna feel like crap now.
  • + 1
 @chyu: the fork I still have...with a longer shaft;-). Just like they mentioned in the article....the Tuck is remedied hy a slacker head angle. In my situation, with the Smug being pretty steep, shortish, with a 50mm stem, the 'tuck' is noticed. IT was noticed less on the PRocess 111 that was longer and built around a 40 mm stem...but still there. I could angleset it but I'm generally pretty happy with the overall feel.

Would be nice for all fork manufactures to offer a variety of CSU's with different offsets.
  • + 7
 Where is Transition getting these short off set forks? I want one. When I built my Wreckoning I wanted a short offset fork. I was able to find a 46 off set Pike and am running that. It is non Boost, no Torque Caps available but somehow my front wheel is still attached to the bike... But what I want is and even shorter offset fork. The little bit shorter offset makes the bars "saw" less climbing steep/slow hills and it does corner better in the rough. And for the record a 29 with the shortest available offset and a 65.5 HA corners well. And goes through the tight stuff as well as any bike I've ever ridden.

Kudos to Transition.
  • + 3
 It is a 26" crown with 29" lowers.
  • + 6
 This has been done in the road bike world for decades. Really it is a matter of who is pushing the geometry numbers? In the road bike world frame builders traditional built there own forks controlling all the geometry. In the Mt. bike world frame designers have used what forks are available then fork designers see the geometry of the frame changing then they react. This is just the two now collaborating.
  • + 5
 "Longer and slacker has become the prevailing theme for any new bike model, and the concept of running shorter stems on frames with longer reach numbers has gained widespread acceptance, for good reason. "
Nope. Not everybody is a racer, some are just looking for a fun and playful bike on 08/15 trails.
  • + 6
 Remember when Bontrager used his own custom fork crown offsets back in the 90's and then followed soon after by Specialized on their 97/98 Stumpjumpers (or probably earlier). Who cares it's 2017 and it's all pudding how.
  • + 0
 The affects of changing fork offset, ie trail, have been known by humanity for quite a long time. I'd bet for centuries.

The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them.
  • + 1
 Haha, only two years later and bike companies finally start to catch on! Now, if they could only fix the head angle, seat angle, reach, stem length and chainstay length, then we'd be talking!
  • + 5
 Geometry is huge - and to some extent, personal. We all have our own geometry (I'm more or an ape with a long torso and long arms, and relatively short legs - my buddy of the long legs and short torso and I have very different preferences), out own styles and preferences and skill levels (so what constitutes a bike that "feels" good to us tends to be different based on all that). But here in Bellingham, where Transitions are pretty common, I can't help but notice that they are beloved by people of all sorts of different body types, skill levels, and riding styles. Meaning either all we locals suffer from the same delusion (perhaps there's something in the local beer?), or they have managed to build bikes that in their stock form with just basic suspension setup manage to feel really solid for a very wide range of people over a very wide range of uses. I see the same thing with Konas (I'm a 230# ape and love my 111 - and hear from women with very differently proportioned bodies that they love theirs for all the same reasons).

So acronyms aside - Kona and Transition have been at the forefront of what we could probably call modern trail bike geometry. They both have followed that through - and to see Transition emphasizing geometry in an attempt to further make their bikes more intuitive, more user friendly, and more fun bodes well, for them, for the industry, and for our little town of Bellingham.
  • + 5
 I was worried that I bought the wrong fork when I bought a 46 mm offset 140 mm Pike for my Rocky Mountain Instinct, seems I was just ahead of the curve... It seems like 51 mm offset forks was/is the next big thing and along comes Transition with a different thinking/logic. will we ever reach a point of "standardization"? Looks like cool bikes though, any more details on that 29er?
  • + 2
 51mm forks handle like shit if you have anything slacker than an XC race bike.
  • + 1
 I've been running the exact same setup (now with slightly more travel) this while time, and couldn't agree more.
  • + 6
 So basically they stated that riding a bike is all about speed and nothing else PLUS we will have another "standard" - different fork offsets, which in general means - buy a complete bike from us or get lost.
  • + 2
 bright idea, isnt it?
  • + 1
 not to mention that HA of 67° is as stable as it gets on a trailbike
  • + 6
 I have developed this:

www.instagram.com/p/BQVhq1BAs6j/?taken-by=wakidesigns

But variable fork offset is next on the list...
  • + 5
 This is the same as Whyte have done on the new S150. Clearly enough companies have come up with the same answer that fox / rockshox are happy to make the forks to this shortened offset
  • + 8
 Dat photo of Lars...LMAO !
  • + 4
 Basically the industry is still looking for numbers that allow to handle all those monsters out there as if they were 26inch bikes. But they always told me the monsters were already domesticated.
  • + 3
 Was ahead of lars when i put mt 26 inch deville 160mm on my sputfire in most slack setting then. Truth be told i just didnt want to sell the best firk i ever tried for cheap on my switch to 27,5 and i was amazed how well the bike cornered when i tried it.
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer Question: Shouldn't it be the other way round? Genuine question. I"ve been reading up on this and I was all set to get a fork with LONGER offset on my new 29er to crisp up the steering to counteract having a slack headangle. longer offset brings the tire contact patch more inline with the steering axis. yes, no? Thanks for your time.
  • + 5
 If you don't mind I might be able to help though Mike almost certainly knows more than I do. The traditional way of thinking has been to keep the steering 'light' by increasing offset just as you were considering doing on your bike. But there's a school of thought that says 'to hell with light steering' and that the stability provided by a larger trail (shorter offset) out weighs any perceived benefits of a lighter feel at the bars.
It has even been said that shorter offset forks may allow the bike to corner better (even though the steering 'feels' slower). A fork with a large offset theoretically puts the contact patch of the front tyre inside your cornering arc whereas a shorter one will keep it more 'inline' - though it's also been mentioned that there are so many variables involved in cornering a two wheeled vehicle that nobody is really sure what's better and what's not. Chris Porter and Lars seem convinced enough to put the idea into production but there is no correct answer when it comes to geometry.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: Thank you. Good explanation.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: I think you're right about traditional thoughts on handling. Remember that when 29ers first came out, we had this idea that they were all going to be XC bikes. The only bikes that were "slack" by today's standards were DH bikes. Everybody wanted quick steering 29er to make up for this new bigger wheel. Today, by comparison it seems like every bike is slacker than the year before, people are starting to appreciate slower steering, and 29" wheels are appearing on WC level downhill bikes. It only makes sense that we would reevaluate offset and trail on 29er trail and enduro bikes.
  • + 3
 There exists a recommended value for the trail that depends on the ratio of the front and rear normal trail measurements and the ratio of loads experienced by the front and rear tires. (c.f. Motorcycle Dynamics, by Vittore Cossalter). From that same source it's also easy to see that reduced trail will generally make the wheel less stable with respect to impacts that induce side-to-side rotations.

Point being that decreasing trail is more or less guaranteed to produce worse performance at higher speed, in exchange for better handling at low speed.

As ever, there is a trade to be made.
  • + 3
 As mentioned in the article, Transition is increasing trail.In the past, we had decreased trail (higher offset) to make 29ers more twitchy to replicate the feeling of a 26" steep HTA XC bike. Today, we want our bikes to feel like DH bikes most of the time, hence increased trail. Plus I really wish people would stop referencing motorcycle based handling theories, because stem lengths, wheel weights, handlebar widths and overall weight of the vehicle can have dramatic effects on the end handling product. You could design an MTB with the exact same wheelbase, same sized wheels, same sized tires, and identical geometry to a modern moto and it would feel like complete ass because it doesn't have a motor attached to it.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: WaterBear is not suggesting mountain bikes geometry should be equal to motorbikes. What he says is that two wheeled vehicles dynamics has been extensively studied. And yes, he is right when he says a trade has to be made.
  • + 1
 I can't speak to all of the points you make, i.e. Cossalter's recommended trail value, but, by following the lead of this article, you have got the impact of trail (mechanical trail) on the way a two wheeled vehicle behaves the wrong way around.

It is great to see Transition experimenting with bike geometry and the direction they are taking things is good, for the most part. However, making things up about about how trail works is not a good look. Increased trail leads to increased straight line stability and thus increased stability at high speed, which is a good thing because all riders will go faster in straight sections of a track/course/road when engine power (combustion, pedal or other) is the main determining factor of performance. This kind if stability can also be of benefit in high speed corners - berms is the obvious example in mountain biking. But high trail values slows down steering at lower speed - steering can become sluggish and feel heavy during cornering.

Now, as steering angles are slackened, and in mountain biking there happens to be very good reasons for slackening steering geometry, up to a point, steering will become more sluggish at lower speeds unless some remedial measures are taken. The reason steering becomes more sluggish is the increase in mechanical trail that naturally follows from slackening the steering angle while continuing to use the standard/existing fork axle offset. Of course, by increasing axle offset and thus reducing mechanical trail bike and fork designers can go a long way to restoring the responsiveness of steering that gets impaired by slackened steering geometry.

But, why play this game? Don't you just lose the stability at high speed that has been gained by slackening the steering geometry once you increase the fork axle offset to reduce mechanical trail to a value that ensures responsive steering? While it is true that there is a complex balance of factors governing high speed bicycle stability and steering responsiveness, a significant part of the stability gain that follows from slackened steering geometry isn't lost by making compensatory changes, i.e. increasing axle offset/reducing mechanical trail, to improve the low speed steering responsiveness. Straight line composure of a bike is not only determined by the stabilising castor effect that is heightened by increases in mechanical trail (resulting from slackened steering geometry) but it also directly follows from the wheelbase of the bike and any slackening of the steering geometry or increase in axle offset (individually or together, but together is best) will result in some increase in wheelbase. For a bike with a long wheelbase reducing mechanical trail for the sake of steering responsiveness does not jeopardise the bike's rightfully prized stability at high speed.

Now, if we look closely at what Transition is offering in terms of fork axle offset for the Sentinel 29er (the first bike to get the SBG treatment) we find that a "42/44mm" (a couple of options, apparently, that are both reduced axle offsets from the common 51mm offset of 29er forks) offset and 64 degree head angle is being used on a bike probably intended for Enduro use. Those geometry parameters will very likely combine to produce a bike with a vague and sluggish steering feel at lower speeds despite Transition's claim to have things sorted.

A check of Transition's claims about fork axle offset can easily be carried out. Just whack a standard long travel 29er fork (with a 51mm axle offset) on the bike and compare handling directly. Don't be surprised if the standard fork is better.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear, I have grievously mischaracterised your correct remarks in my earlier comment. You had everything right, here. As this article mainly dealt with decreased axle offsets, for some reason, despite the fact that you clearly referred to decreasing trail in the second paragraph, I took your statement (wrongly and stupidly) to be referring to decreased offsets, in line with the preoccupation of the article.

I am not unhappy with the substance of my comment, except insofar as it mischaracterises and impugns your mechanically correct remarks. But, I would like to offer my sincere apology for the mischaracterisation. Sorry, mate.
  • + 2
 This makes so much sense. Offset is dumb when you think about the axis your turning your wheel on. If your bars were in a straight line with the axle the jack knife effect would go away. Slack that headtube and you fix any handling weirdness from running your axle straight. Been wanting to build a bmx up using this concept. long top tube, slack ht, mini stem, and you got a sweet riding bike i reckon
  • + 5
 Another bike company that feels the need to stir the pot. Let's see some real ride reviews before hailing this "new" geo.
  • + 1
 The pot is full of shit. Most manufacturers don't know what the fuck they're doing. See Giant, largest manufacturer in the world, running extra offset on the 650b Reign.
  • + 4
 - Reduces fork offset and steepens HA - great result. - Reduces fork offset and slackens HA - yet better result. This. Makes. No. Sense.
  • + 2
 agree! slacker HA and reduced fork offset only means increased trail
  • + 1
 @Fedeciapi: Peter Verdone just brought out an article on that. His thoughts are that bikes with increased trail offer the novice a safer feeling on fast straights, but at the expense of bump compliance, as longer trail gives bumps also a longer lever on the steering. Sounds like a dumbed down bike for smooth flow trails Big Grin
  • + 2
 Um...this has been a discussion amongst motorcyclists for about 20 years... different-offset tripleclamps have been around as even OEM options all along. I like that Transition has put a trendy acronym to it, and claimed it as some sort of new notion. Way to claim an ancient adjustment as new. But in the end I am happy that different offsets will be available off the shelf for any given fork. My Yeti needs about 3-5mm less offset and it will be a lot more practical through rock gardens and still solid at speed.
  • + 5
 So all bike geo is being determined by a grumpy guy in England who thinks Americans are soft now?
  • + 5
 Pretty much. The Euro's are far more progressive with geo and sizing. Look at that Orbea Rallon. It makes a Slash 29" look crap geo and sizing wise.

The mainstream North American brands are pretty stale innovation wise. They seem to think 100 frame colour options is what people want.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: doesn't the Rallon also offer 100 frame colors?
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Everything covered I guess. I would love the purple one!
  • + 1
 @jclnv: Thanks for flagging this....this looks banging on paper.
  • + 1
 @Travel66: Next gen bike for sure.
  • + 5
 So is FOX going to be selling these 29er forks with reduced offset crowns to Joe Public now or soon?
  • + 2
 Do Mojo not offer it as an option?
  • + 1
 Yes, if you're willing to buy a CSU.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: Unsure. I should ask. Although that means for sure I'm locked into a FOX fork.

@dthomp325 That's the option I've thought of so far. Order a 36 RC2 29er and a CSU for a 26 or 650b 170mm fork. Why does FOX have to use a ridiculous 15mm axle system though!
  • + 5
 What is this going to do to low speed handling? Wouldn't there be even more wheel flop at low speeds with this new design?
  • + 2
 Good on Transition for helping bring this to market, but we have all known this for years... It mentions Chris Porter's experiments in the article. I feel like once a bigger company picks something up, all the sudden people start raving about it (or complaining a ton). It's like this: bikes are pretty simple and you can experiment with them yourself fairly easily. Hoping this will ad to the ease of access of getting zero offset (or low offset) forks
  • + 2
 different wheel size on the bike solves all these geometry confusion. Install a bigger wheel on front, a 1x11 drive and a puncture free light tire and here we go!!!!! exactly like MX and enduro motor bikes.
  • + 1
 I think its a pretty smart concept, whether or not another company attempted it before, they obviously didn't succeed. Motorcycles take this into consideration and it would be stupid for the mountain bike industry to ignore it.
  • + 1
 The fact that a handful of companies are going in that direction with geometry doesn't necessarily mean they are 'innovators.' It could just mean they are designing bikes for more niche markets since some riders might prefer riding a bike that is one or two sizes longer than what is traditional. Just more options....as we should have given the price tag of modern bikes. Personally having done long downhill runs like the Whole Enchilada and Pike's Peak Barr trail, I have never felt I needed a super slack bike. I'm sure it works well in those super steep situations.
  • + 1
 Adding a comment way after the original post, but I just had the chance to demo the 2018 Patrol with SBG and it is probably one of the best bikes ive ever ridden. It just has this intuitive feel in the steering, still pops, and pedals amazing. Bikes can be better. : )
  • + 2
 Marzocchi's we're running big offset back in the day. My 08 66 had 46mm if I remember correctly. Made a huge difference over the lyrik it replaced (don't recall it's offset). To bad it died.
  • + 1
 Damn, I thought I had an understanding on this but now I'm confused again.....I have a Revelation with 51mm of offset, I recently purchased a Pike to replace it but it has 42 mm of offset....what can I expect to see or feel differently?
  • + 1
 So I have a 2014 Kona Process and 160mm RS Pike RCT3 with a 42mm offset; this bike is spec'd with a 40mm OEM stem. When I changed over to a 35mm bore bar, I tried a Renthal Apex 33mm stem but the reach felt too tight, so I just tested out a 50mm ANVL stem which felt great and allowed me to climb some sections I had trouble with before.

Cornering felt a wee bit sluggish compared to the 33, but he descending didn't feel too different, so my next test will be to go back to a 40mm stem to compare all three.

Would experimenting stem lengths be a cheaper way to experiment handling performance and feel than swapping out crowns, while still being able to find the best performance?
  • + 1
 The issue is a bike that's just a bit too short in the reach department to run a 35mm stem.
  • + 0
 “If you just shorten the offset and don't do anything else you get the steering change, but what you incur is tuck. You're basically just pulling your front wheel back, so when you're coming into a section that has a sharp turn, your front wheel wants to knife under you. If you're going to shorten the offset you need to slacken the head tube angle so you achieve better handling in those scenarios,”

Ummm... punching the Sentinel numbers into a calculator produces the following:

Trail 138mm
Wheel Flop 54mm
Mechanical Trail 124mm

I hate the wheel flop (what Transition calls "tuck" on my current bike which is significantly smaller at 40mm... The Sentinel will have extreme wheel flop issues and make navigating tight twisty single track quite challenging.
  • + 1
 Mmmm all you are talking about is new to me... I thought of maybe, buying the Sentinel (thought Patrol was a bit extreme for me with 160/170, 64 HA, etc) and put an angleset as to have a 65 HA. But with everything I read here I really don't think it could be a good bike for me and I'll wait a year for the 145mm 29er Knolly!

Maybe the Patrol would be better for tight twisty trails? I rarely ride on flowy trails.... What if I put my 160/130 27.5 42mm pike on the 2018 Patrol instead of the 170 27.5 37mm lyrik???
  • + 4
 Rediscovering the wheel?...
  • + 5
 Love this. Well written.
  • + 5
 just riiiiiiide
  • + 3
 Is it me or is that 'super' smuggler running 29 on the back and 27.5 front???
  • + 1
 That's what it looks like to me!
  • + 1
 It is cool they are trying something different, but like many other manufacturers they're now creating bikes that have something that can be used on a different bike (a fork with different offset).
  • + 0
 Next step is stanchions and steerer tube won't be parallel, but the stanchions will be a bit slacker than the steerer tube. This will decrease offset hence increase steering stability when you're deep in the travel (that is, when landing or hitting a big obstacle). It will take a while though as these fork crowns are a bitch to produce. And for dual crown forks this is pretty much impossible.
  • + 2
 Early forks like the Rockshox Mag21 and Quadra series had dropouts directly in line with the lowers, so they had to be angled at the crown for offset like you described. Kinda like a straight blade rigid fork.
  • + 1
 the difference will not be noticed by 99.9% of riders so it isnt worth the cost of fabrication.
  • + 1
 @RoverDover: A truly excellent point... But the accuracy of statements such as that hasn't stopped the bike industry in recent memory.
  • + 2
 @tehllama: because they have to find a way to jack up the price of already ridiculously over priced forks
  • + 1
 very nice. I'm just running my smug with 64.5 HA and 46 offset for a year now and it feels very good. hopefully TR is selling framesets with the specific fork and not only complete bikes.
  • + 2
 I fitted an angle set, changed fork length and then swapped the frame out recently. I really cannot feel any difference in how the bike rides. I just enjoy riding it.
  • + 2
 I've got this cool toaster with one wide slot, I can toast 1 or 2 slices of bread or bagel AT THE SAME TIME.
  • + 1
 Didn't rockshox just make their 2018 model forks have even longer offset than before? opposite of what is being proposed here? 46mm on the 27.5 forks?
  • + 2
 My Medium Pole Evolink has a 480 mm reach. Their Large is going to be 475 mm?? Yep, they're catching up. Take your time.
  • + 2
 forget about framesizes and pick the longest frame you want. The XL-Bikes will have a seatstay with 480mm and a reach of 500mm, so most of the riders who normaly ride an "M" could also choose L or XL.
  • + 2
 i've tried that.. slacker with less offset feels actually better, on a 2013 trail bike (: i think i'm 4 years ahead guys
  • + 2
 I rode my "old" Transition bike just to make sure I could still have fun with all these new options coming out.
  • + 1
 About f'ing time. This is about a decade overdue. This should have happened even with 26in wheels as head angles started getting more slack.
  • + 1
 I'm curious if they are going to update their entire line now with this new geometry? I wonder if winning platforms like the patrol will be updated in the future
  • + 3
 I'm doing it all wrong - I'm running a 650b fork on my suppressor Frown
  • + 1
 I'm running a 29er fork with 51mm offset on a bike designed for 275x2.3, 20mm less A2C and 44mm offset. Haven't died, yet.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: i ran a 29er fork and front wheel and 27.5 rear wheel on a frame designed for 26" it was an interesting experiment for a few months and I cant say it didnt work.
  • - 1
 wooooooooow suuuuper innovative!!!

its common knowledge that as bikes get slacker fork offset needs to be reduced to stop them handling like a boat. how are they getting away with pretending like they came up with this idea?
  • + 6
 > pretending like they came up with this idea?

Did you read the same article as me? In the third paragraph it states "Transition aren't the first company to experiment with this idea". And then later on Lars gives credit to Chris Porter.
  • + 5
 Think you might have things the wrong way around too dude, less offset means the steering will feel slower. Generally designers use increased offset to keep the steering snappy and reduce flop. Look at DH bikes, 63° HA/ ~50mm offset vs Enduro bikes, 65° HA/ ~45mm offset.
  • + 4
 Common knowledge up to now has been the opposite. Bikes with slack head angles need larger offsets and more trail to speed steering at low speeds and avoid wheel flop.

I'm interested to ride this. Does it actually work, or are they sacrificing slow speed/climbing handling?
  • + 2
 @dthomp325: good question, I'm a little worried they might go too far with it cus that's what I did! I guess the Patrol could be ok with a big trail figure but I hope they don't go crazy on the whole range. I tried a 29er at 64° with a short offset (40mm I think) and I really didn't like it. It felt pretty nice at first but the more I rode it on more and more varied terrain the more I came to dislike it, I even hated it when I went back to 46mm offset. I had just gone a little too far with it though and I expect that Lars has been able to test a lot of different setups and hopefully got it just right. The window is a lot tighter with a 29er as well - I think you can go a little further with a 27.5 without it getting so shitty at lower speeds etc.
  • + 2
 I run 27.5s in a frame-fork designed for 26 (morewood jabula and totem) and it works great
  • + 1
 same here, Covert 26 frame with 27 wheels, perfect
  • + 2
 I run a long travel fork, backwards, on my XC bike. Been doing this for years. Shred knar huck rad
  • + 1
 Why be happy with compromiz in geometry when there is frames that adjusts the geometry to the terrain...
www.tantrumcycles.com/press.html
  • + 1
 41mm offset and 63.5° on my Mega, cornering and high speed stability deep into DH territory!
  • + 1
 Good read! It's nice to see transition pushing the boundaries. I'm sure every company will do this within the next 2-3 years
  • + 1
 I'm running a talas 180 rc2 26" fork with 28x2.5" tires and a small offset at the fork. im so ahead of the times. omg.
  • + 0
 "Imagine you were to take off your stem top cap and shine a laser pointer straight through the exact center of that star-fangled nut." So dated... EDC is the future.
  • + 1
 Aha, now I know what that chrome crown spotted on Lars' bike at Port Angeles was all about...
  • + 1
 Does this mean I can't put a ohlins rfx 36 coil on this bike without messing up the geo?
  • + 1
 The new bikes will still work just fine with 'standard' offset forks, but the handling will be a little different that what Transition intends.
  • + 0
 I'm a little bit weary about this concept. But with this change, and the illustration demonstrating trail, maybe we'll see Fox specced on Transition bikes again...
  • + 1
 Anyone read "what could be the next big SHIT for modern mountain bike" too?
  • + 1
 Ned looks like Teddy Roosevelt haha!
  • + 1
 Cock and balls with no offset. When will it end.
  • + 1
 What a boring name...what happened to tits, cock and balls?
  • + 1
 Can't wait to ride the 29 !!!
  • + 0
 26 inch forks have less axel offset than a 27.5 fork...... Or is it more. Just ride your faking bike!
  • + 1
 Reduced fork offset works for any bikes? Or, must it be this transition?
  • + 1
 Check out that rocker on the sentinel
  • + 0
 I don't feel like 29ers need MORE stability.
  • + 0
 Same here.
  • + 1
 Go faster. Report back.
  • + 1
 That new 29er is hot as!
  • + 1
 -just deleted my own BS
  • + 0
 Gary Fisher Genesis Geometry.
  • + 0
 2006 Gary Fissure HI FI
  • - 1
 475mm reach on a large is still relatively normal and not that long.
  • + 4
 I don't think that's really the point they're making, they're not just making the bike longer, Lower and Slacker. They're just removing a little off set and adding a little reach. A more considered approach imo.
  • + 2
 Kona and others would agree (cf: the Process)
  • + 6
 It's a bit longer than current bikes, but we're still way off Mondraker and Nicolai that I'd buy in size L while it looks like an XL Transition will still feel a bit short. Let's see when they roll out.
  • - 3
 so in essence they've followed suit with Giants custom offset Reign.
  • + 11
 i am not entirely sure but i think giant did the opposite - more offset on 275 forks
  • - 3
 Sounds like what Kona has been doing since....2014-2015? Longer reach, shorter stem, little steeper hta.
  • - 2
 You mean like Chris Porter was experimenting some time ago?
  • + 18
 you didn't actually read the article did you

" as the 2015 season came to an end, he stumbled upon an article describing Chris Porter's experiments with running reduced fork offset. Inspired, he raided his parts stash and began experimenting."
  • + 10
 @poah: Not at first, I must shamefully admit.
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