Like the rest of you, I’ve been anxiously following along with the development of the Grim Donut. This forward-thinking bike takes current trends towards their obvious conclusion. The whole “long, low, slack” thing must be working because riders just keep going bigger and bigger. I keep an eye on my old stomping grounds, the BMX world, and I find it very interesting that the geometry trends seem to be going the opposite direction. "Shorter, taller and steeper" seems to be the motto of the day.
Sure, there is plenty of close to the ground, techie, curb-nibbling going on, but BMX riders are also going bigger than ever before. I saw a bunch of it first hand visiting the Vans Pro Cup events last year. Headtubes have steepened to as much as 76.5º, chainstays that were near 16-inch in the early 90’s have now shortened by almost 3 inches, and sub-8 inch rise bars with a drop stem have been replaced with more than 10-inch tall bars on riser stems!
Extrapolating from those trends is pretty comical.
I am slowly learning to get along with the mellow steering angles on modern mountain bikes.
The one thing I really don't like about modern geo is that the low BB height means I sometimes bash my pedals on the ground. That odd bob of suspension that results in a jolt from a rock or root I didn't expect my foot to hit freaks me out. I realize this is mostly self-inflicted. I insist on big platform pedals and 175mm cranks (down from the 180s I had to have on my BMX), and I'm sure I don't know how to set up my suspension (and I've gotten fat).
Rather than continuing to complain about it, I have turned to the power of engineering to overcome my rider errors. I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting for this solution.
Actually, there's one more thing I don't really like about the "long, low, slack" movement. When I do hop back on my BMX, which I admit is shamefully rare, it feels crazy! The contrast of the way a modern mountain bike handles compared to a BMX is gigantic. I actually have a complete theory about how it is easy to go from small bikes to big bikes, but not vice versa. I'll have to draw that someday.
There are lots of different kinds of mountain bikes of course! There are ones that are less on-trend and loads of different flavors. It can be quite confusing to keep track of them all. You might not even know what kind of mountain bike you have.