We've all thought it, or maybe even said it - "Why didn't they just do this?" Maybe it was an extra 5mm of reach or a degree on the head tube angle on your favorite enduro bike, either way, it's very easy to second-guess bike brands and specific geometry figures. In fact, I say this as somebody who does it in a professional capacity as I shoot my shots from the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that I won't have to ever make a bike myself and let the smart-alecs tear it apart.
Of course, geometry is
very complicated, and there might just be a very good reason your XC race bike doesn't have a 90-degree seat tube angle. Riding a bike complicates things because not only does it factor in our height and stature but it also has to consider them both as we ride our bikes in two very different positions - seated and standing. Other categories of bikes don't have to factor this in so much, and I suppose that's one of the reasons mountain-bike-specific geometry dimensions are relatively recent compared to something like top or seat tube length, which is far more prominent in something like road bikes.
Trying to boil down all that into three or four sizes to suit the whole variety of humans that want to ride it is no easy task
, especially considering bikes are so expensive now. Truthfully, if I was to spend thousands of dollars on a bike then I'd be pretty frustrated if I struggled to find one that actually fit properly.
There is also the added complication of how much we lean our mountain bikes. A simple geometry dimension like head angle or stack becomes a lot more complicated when off the y-axis. That's not even mentioning something like fork offset and trail or effective top tube length on the new wave of bikes with longer reaches and steeper seat tube angles.
Then again, look at the Grim Donut. After a test ride, and merely 5 brown envelopes stuffed with Tim Horton's vouchers, Yoann Barelli said he was very impressed with how it rode
- and the clock backed it up.
So for this week's poll I want to know - could you design your own bike, and how accurately do you know your preferred geometry? I'm not talking about producing it but rather sending off your dimensions to a fabricator and them returning the bike to you. And, if so, what do you think it would ride like?