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Future-Proofing Geometry

Personal Rides: AJ's New GeoMetron G1

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Oct 8, 2019

Almost two years ago I bit the bullet and dove into the deep end – or what some may refer to as the future. After pondering bike size and geometry for too long I went ahead and ordered a GeoMetron G16. I’d spent some time on a Mondraker Dune and was pleasantly surprised by the geometry but felt there was room for more. Shortly after writing the Mondraker review I was in touch with Chris Porter and Paul Shepherd at Mojo Rising/GeoMetron bikes. I was convinced that these bikes were moving in the right direction.

I first wrote about my G16 in January 2018 and followed up on the fairly significant changes the bike had seen earlier this year. At the time I was really happy but one thing still bugged me; slapping on 29-inch wheels raised the bottom bracket and it was affecting performance. Shortly after the article for the 29er went live, I fitted an offset bushing and that helped heaps but I wasn't completely satisfied.

By the time the follow up article went live, in late January 2019, GeoMetron and Nicolai had announced a brand new bike; the G1. It was the first time since owning my G16 that my eyes wandered and while I held back for a little while, the geometry improvements, ability to run either wheel size and go wild with adjustments sent me over the edge. In April, I reached out to Chris and Paul about a G1. It took the better part of 2019 to complete the build but as of late August – after these photos were taken – I’ve been getting it as dirty as possible.

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The G1 looks similar to the G16 but the lines were cleaned up. Standover was increased and the downtube beefed up, which make the bike look better.

FRAME: GeoMetron G1

Size: Extra-Longest • Travel: 162mm • Shock: EXT Storia (230 x 65mm) • Wheel Size: 29-Inch

The toughest decision with the new bike was whether to go up in size. My G16 was a size Longest, which had a 520mm reach, 610mm stack, 661mm top tube and 460mm seat tube length. At 191cm tall, I was on the cusp and could have ridden the Longest or Extra Longest G16. But after testing the XL, I wanted more stand-over and didn’t feel the added length was needed for the riding I enjoy; i.e. not racing. I built the Longest with a 40mm stem and it felt similar in the cockpit to a friend's XL. When the G1 was released, the reach of the size Longest had been shortened 5mm. Add the steeper seat tube angle and the cockpit was surely going to be too tight. I’d also had some rides where my G16 felt short and this was especially noticeable during long descents in rough terrain. These were the only times I experienced any sort of discomfort while riding the G16 and I wanted to stretch out more in such situations. After listening to what my body was telling me the extra longest G1 was ordered.

On the surface, the G1 looks very similar to the G16 with only subtle geometry changes but on the trail, they're quite different. The biggest change is that the G1 is now a legitimate 29er or 27.5-wheeled bike, depending on what floats your boat. Adjustments can be made to run either wheel size or a combination of each and maintain the geometry the bike was designed with. There’s also heaps of room for experimentation within each wheel size. With a few extra parts called Mutators, G1 owners can change the length of the rear-centre, the amount of BB drop, or the seat and head tube angles. Rear-wheel travel can also be adjusted between 162 and 175mm with no extra parts required.

GeoMetron G1 geometry

GeoMetron G1 Geometry Chart.

An issue I had with the G16 jimmied into a 29er was the bottom bracket drop. It stood on the tall side and while it rode well, I wanted the centre of gravity lower. The G16's 17mm drop was actually low for how the bike rode with 27.5 wheels installed but with the 29-inch wheels, the height had pushed a hair too far the other way. GeoMetron and Nicolai configured the G1 to have a large static BB-drop of 32mm in 29-inch guise . On paper, it suggests ground scraping territory but the reworked suspension and bespoke EXT Storia V3 shock create an excellent ride and dynamic position. I’ve hit my pedals on chunky climbs about the same amount as with the G16 29 setup, despite the static numbers differing significantly.

Another change for the G1 was how the rear travel adjustment is achieved. With two different length shocks, the G16 was adjustable between 155mm and 175mm. But the G1 ranges from 162mm to 175mm by switching the rear eyelet mount position. Flipping the chip affects suspension kinematics some but overall the positions feel very similar, as they were designed to. The longer stroke option is more progressive at the end of the stroke, to better handle the abuse the bike is subject to. Think bike park days verse regular trail riding.

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GeoMetron/Nicolai use what they refer to as "Mutators" to adjust the geometry. They're chips that fit between the bolted end and the seat stay in this pic, allowing changes to the bike's geometry.

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The rear centre length is adjusted with the black "Mutators" visible between the dropout and chainstay protector. Stock, the XL frame here measures 453mm but can be made shorter or longer.

The G1 model from GeoMetron is only spec’d with the custom EXT Storia V3 rear shock though Nicolai offers the option of the Fox Float X2. Chris Porter and his team from Mojo Rising worked together with EXT and Nicolai to develop what they feel is the best shock available and the bike’s kinematics were worked around this custom shock. Because they didn't intend on an air shock being used, the leverage ratios start lower than on the G16. Air shocks have more stiction than coil and the G16's initial ratio was higher to compensate for this. GeoMetron says this also puts less stress on the rear suspension components; pivots, bearings, links and the shock. They also note the more level curve creates a more consistent feel and it's easier for the damper to control certain parts of the stroke.

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The custom EXT Storia V3 built specifically for the G1 differs from the others available.

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From the outside it looks the same, but internally GeoMetron, Nicolai and EXT worked on improving it with no limits on weight or cost.

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It's beautifully finished and rides just as it looks. I've not experienced such quality grip and response as I have with this bike/shock.

During development, the team made a decision not to concern themselves with weight (or cost) and the G1’s Storia shock differs from the aftermarket options as a result. It features an internal negative spring, hydraulic top out and the stock hydraulic bottom out. Combined with spherical eyelet bearings, the shock provides an incredible ride that rarely makes itself known. Through choppy sections where other bikes – including the G16 – get jostled about, the G1 remains remarkably quiet, accelerating smoothly with little coercion from the rider. This is the most consistent feeling shock I've ever ridden.

When I initially wrote about my G16 I said; "the G16 rockets through chunk and minimal rider input is required to squirt momentum out of features on the trail.” I was also blown away by the amount of grip it offered. Now I’m on the G1 those sentiments ring true again but it does it smoother, better… as any updated bike should. The longer reach also means I’m more comfortable between the wheels but the bike doesn’t feel as big as the XL G16 I rode, likely due to the updated suspension and geometry. Interestingly, the G1 in the XL fits in the 6-foot bed of my truck better than my modified 29er G16.

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My Fox 36 was updated with some fresh decals for the new build thanks to Fox Canada.

FORK: Fox Factory 36

Model: FIT GRIP2 w/ Vorsprung Smashpot • Travel: 160mm

The latest version of the Fox 36 has been an excellent performer and has grabbed many strong reviews – including our own – in a highly competitive field. The air spring updates and the new GRIP2 damper made it the best performing single crown fork from Fox, but also a firm contender for the best all-mountain fork. I’ve been very happy with this fork for 18 months but I wanted to try a coil fork to match the rear and ditch the faffing about with air pressure. Unfortunately, Fox doesn’t offer a coil option but Vorsprung released their Smashpot coil conversion this spring, so I had to give it a go.

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These gold Fox decals look sick. They're available through your local Fox dealer or from the Fox website.

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The Vorsprung Smashpot coil conversion is not a light upgrade, but it is an upgrade to an already fantastic product.

The Vorsprung Smashpot coil conversion was reviewed later in the summer and it’s remained in the fork since. Partially because it’s not recommended to flip back to the air spring once the conversion is done but mostly because I’ve gone back to my roots and I'm fully hooked on coil-sprung suspension. Initial setup can be more daunting because of the needed new parts for the correct spring rate but once that’s done, it’s so much simpler. Weather or location don’t affect the coil as much as an air spring and the consistency is great. On the trail, the fork provides more grip than the excellent air spring in the 2019 Fox 36 with GRIP2 damper.

And while I really enjoyed the Fox, it’s going to be put back on my G16 for the moment while I test a new fork that just arrived. I’ve only had a few rides on it so far, but the Öhlins RXF 36 m.2 is proving very capable on my local trails. There’s more mid-stroke support than my converted 36, even less friction, making for a more sensitive top end, and the chassis is stout, improving steering accuracy and minimizing bind through the stroke. Look for a review in the future.

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New Spank Tuned 358/350 Vibrocore wheels with Maxxis Assegai DD MG treads.

WHEELS & TIRES

Wheels: Spank Tuned 359/350 Vibracore • Front Tire: Maxxis Assegai DD Maxx Grip 2.5 • Rear Tire: Maxxis Assegai DD Maxx Grip 2.5

I was after a wheelset I hadn't ridden, that didn't have many reviews, and that was alloy. I eventually landed on the Spank website and discovered a wheelset that uses their Vibracore technology. This technology has always left me curious and when I was keen to try it. After initial contact, I was told the new wheels are tuned specifically for front or rear use. It’s something I firmly believe in, as the front wheel typically takes far less abuse than the rear, and the demands differ greatly. A review will be dropping shortly but I will say I’ve been impressed. Does Vibracore have anything to do with my impressions? You’ll have to wait to find out.

When I built the bike I threw on my current favourite tire from Maxxis. The Assegai review went live a couple of weeks ago and while in the summer I don’t plan to run this front and rear, I reckon I will over the winter months. Unfortunately, I slit my rear tire on a recent trip to the B.C. Interior but it was about to come off for the next little while anyway. Now I’m running a Cushcore with Maxxis Minion DHF in an EXO carcass in preparation for an upcoming feature. The DHF is much faster rolling and combined with Cushcore, weighs in lighter than the Double Down Assegai. It's an odd combination but strangely, it's working well at the moment.

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A full GX Eagle drivetrain gets the sled rolling and has worked flawlessly so far.

DRIVETRAIN

SRAM X0/GX Eagle Mix • OneUp Bash Chainguide V2 • Deity T-Mac Pedals

When it came to drivetrains I only had my eyes set on one, the GX Eagle from SRAM. I purchased the full drivetrain – alloy cranks included – and have been happy on the setup since day one. The one luxury I allowed myself was a bump up in the shifter. I’m a big fan of the shape and feel of the GX shifter’s paddle but I prefer the ability to adjust the throw position. So I forked out the extra $$$ for the X0 purely for that adjustability.

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The GX Eagle alloy cranks have been great. I'm pumped that with the G1, Nicolai/GeoMetron went back to a 73mm BB shell because more options are always great.

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While I prefer the shape and feel of the squarer edged GX shifter, the ability to change the throw position of the paddle on the X0 shifter won me over and I splashed out for it.

As with the last few bikes I’ve owned, I opted for a chainguide with a bash guard. They’re always taking the brunt of impacts and I’ve got less to worry about when it does smack down. The ol’ faithful e*thirteen LG1r guide remains on my G16 and is still functioning but I wanted to try the latest version of OneUp's Bash Chainguide. Install was easy and it’s nice not to need a tool to ‘flip the bird’ for chain access. She’s already seen a few hefty blows that have mushroomed the bottom of the guard but everything remains smooth and in place otherwise.

Earlier this year I added a new pedal to my list of favourites. For a few years now the Nukeproof Horizon has been a staple on my test bikes and I often enjoy the different feel it provides to my other favourite, the Deity T-Mac. The updated ANVL Tilt V3 pedal grabbed hold of my heart and I’ve been enjoying it, but the T-Mac is still my go-to and I still spend more time on this pedal than any other. With the ANVL now in my rotation, the Horizon is seeing far less use. The T-Mac has still seen the most time on my bikes and for the new build, I wanted to stick with what I know best. I’m also a big fan of the latest FiveTen Impact Pro shoes that were reviewed earlier this year and the Deitys' size works well with the large footprint of the FiveTen.

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I've enjoyed the Deity Blacklabel bar and with a test comparing them to Deity's new 35mm options, starting with what I was used to made heaps of sense.

COCKPIT

Deity Blacklabel Bar: 25mm x 800mm x 31.8ø • Deity Copperhead Stem: 35mm • OneUp Grips • Saddle: Specialized Phenom • OneUp Dropper: 210mm x 30.9ø

I first ran the Deity Blacklabel bar on my G16 and ever since because I’ve preferred the feel. The ergonomics of the bar work well for me and I've found the flex comfortable. On my G16 I ran the 38mm rise so I could lower the stem, eking out more room while still getting the ride height I need. With the bump up in frame size, I built the G1 with 31.8 diameter, 800mm Blacklabel bars and a more typical 25mm rise, which I find perfect.

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I chose to match the Blacklabel bar with Deity's Copperhead stem for this build and will swap to the same stem in a 35mm-diameter bore to minimize changes for their 35mm bar review.

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I'm a sucker for stem caps that break from the norm. The Specialized five prong star always caught my attention and when this number from Deity dropped I had to try it.

I’ve still not felt a need to run 35mm diameter bars and stems and whenever I have, I’ve found them stiffer than necessary. Earlier this year, Deity announced they'd developed 35mm bars that feel the same as their equivalent 31.8mm bars. I’ll be comparing how these feel compared to their smaller-diameter siblings.

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The Specialized Phenom lives on. I'm enjoying this seat even more on the G1 but will have to run the Power for a few days before confirming which one I'll stick with.

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The new OneUp Dropper in the ultra long 210mm guise. It's been amazing to have such clearance and the post has been running well thus far. The remote is my new favourite too.

I’m still trading between the Specialized Phenom and Power saddles I previously wrote about. These have made it possible for me to ditch chamois and I'm much happier while remaining more comfortable as a result. Previously, I wasn’t getting on with the Phenom as well as the Power but the former's been great on the G1. Perhaps because of the geometry changes.

OneUp’s latest dropper post holds the seat in position and it’s been working wonderfully. I never thought I'd need more than the 175mm offered by the Race Face Turbine post on the G16 but the 210mm OneUp post immediately felt great on the G1. The steeper seat angle does mean the seat can get in the way and the extra 35mm available has meant I never had to deal with that. When fully lowered it feels like I’m sitting on my dirt jumper and it’s nice having the seat far away on spicier trails. Both Cam and I are running the 210mm OneUp Dropper and there’ll be a full review in the future.

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TRP's DH rated, better value four piston stoppers, the Quadiem

BRAKES

TRP Quadiem • Front: 203mm, Rear: 180mm

I finally updated my brakes! Despite finding replacement pads tricky, the SRAM Code Frankenbrakes on my G16 live on but it was time to try another brake. After a good experience with the TRP Slate T4 brakes in 2018, I wanted to try the equivalent version of their burlier DH brake, the Quadiem. Quadiem brakes retail for 149.99 per end and feature many of the G-Spec Quadiem features that Andrew reviewed in the past. Is it possible to achieve the same power, reliability and consistency with the lowest price DH specific stoppers? Watch for a long-term review soon.

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This frame should last me for many years to come.

I’ve been really happy with the new G1 and have been enjoying it in the stock geometry settings. I was already going to try the shorter rear but the recent fork change made it feel shorter than the previous fork thanks to the more supportive mid-stroke. I’ll still be going through all the possibilities in the future and will share my experiences but with the stock geometry, it’s been amazing. Honestly, I thought the bottom bracket height would be too low and that I’d be bumping it up pretty quickly but it hasn’t been an issue at all. The rear shock is incredible and the parts currently completing the bike have been great.

This will be my test rig, hopefully for years to come because the geometry won’t need to be updated every other year for the next 6–10 years. The raw finish was chosen to further support a lengthy service – I don’t need to worry about scratches in the paint and it’s been so good not to. I never realized how concerned I was about the paint until I didn't have any to worry about.

You can learn more about the GeoMetron G1 on the GeoMetron website and there'll be more to come here shortly.

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Comments

cxfahrer
0
cxfahrer  - Oct. 8, 2019, 12:12 a.m.

I am 200cm tall and had some thoughts about the Geometron, but then bought a (way cheaper) 29 Capra XXL. It barely fits into bikepark gondolas, and feels long on tight tracks - but on fast and rough tracks it could be 5cm longer.

I really would like to test ride the G1 in xxlongest.

On my oneup 210 some nuts and bolts came loose after extended bikepark stutterbumps. No big deal, but not fixable on the trail.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:26 a.m.

I have a review of the Capra XXL coming this autumn. Nice bike, but could benefit from a longer wheelbase on tight or open terrain ime.

Reply

luisgutierod
0
luisgutierod  - Oct. 8, 2019, 3:59 a.m.

too much this geometry.. I cannot wrap my head around it... may be I'll demo one in the near future.. but I guess I'm one of those who think "I know my ideal geo numbers".. anyways, I have an EXT Storia LOK V3... that shock is just nuts... the initial sensitivity and midstroke support is just unbelievable...along with the HBO feature... but I have an Issue... it works fantastic on my canfield balance, but it just does not on my intense tracer (I have to put it upside down due to clearance issues)...dont know what it is but it does horrible noise, like cavitation, and climb switch it does not even work... I'll get it service one of these days, but its weird that the position affects eprformance.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:24 a.m.

It’s heaps to wrap the head around. Far better to ride it and experience the geo, then go from that. 👍🏼

Reply

Fahzure
0
Fahzure  - Oct. 10, 2019, 1:08 p.m.

Suspension Syndicate in SLC, UT is now distributing, servicing and DEMOing EXT shocks.

Reply

T-mack
+1 Jerry Willows
T-mack  - Oct. 8, 2019, 6:28 a.m.

I looooove my Storia! Now if EXT could get a service center in the gvrd that would be great...

Reply

lister_yu
0
lister_yu  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:16 p.m.

Hi @T-mack , where are you located? I run the service center in Austria and maybe I can figure

something out for you.

Reply

DemonMike
+1 lister_yu
mike  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:05 p.m.

He.s in Vancouver BC area.

Reply

lister_yu
0
lister_yu  - Oct. 10, 2019, 8:37 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

LoamtoHome
+1 Endur-Bro
Jerry Willows  - Oct. 8, 2019, 2:51 p.m.

We need SuspensionWerx to step up!

Reply

T-mack
0
T-mack  - Oct. 9, 2019, 12:18 p.m.

Agree!!!

Reply

lister_yu
0
lister_yu  - Oct. 10, 2019, 8:38 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

hellonasty
0
Jean-Philippe Simard  - Oct. 9, 2019, 6:11 p.m.

Hey T-Mack,

JP here from Radistribution, we are the Canadian Distributor & Service Center for all things EXT. We are located on the East Coast, in Mont-Ste-Anne. 

sales@radistribution.ca

or

jeanphilippe.simard@gmail.com

Cheers!

Reply

T-mack
0
T-mack  - Oct. 12, 2019, 8:32 p.m.

Oh awesome! I'll be contacting you soon. Cheers

Reply

Fahzure
0
Fahzure  - Oct. 10, 2019, 1:09 p.m.

See my comment above.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+7 grambo Velocipedestrian twk Jolly_X_Roger Cam McRae Andrew Major Vik Banerjee
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 8, 2019, 6:46 a.m.

Buys bike with dream geo, declares it the best by far. Two years later, replaces it, declares it'll be good for 6-10 years...I bet you have a new love within 2 years, AJ. Nature of the beast. But this beast sure looks sweet!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+4 Derek Baker Pete Roggeman mike twk
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:17 a.m.

Lol. Perhaps. I had intended to hold onto the G16 but in 29 it never quite worked out. That truly was the reason for the change. With all the adjustability of this, I don’t see it being replaced anytime soon. And I never said I would keep it for 6–10 years, rather the industry will slowly edge this direction for that length of time. 😉

What will be more interesting is the setup this ends up in and how often will I change it?

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Tremeer023 twk
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 8, 2019, 10:25 a.m.

sick bike. i love the degree of adjustability & robustness built into this frame - probably the most future proof bike on the market. value isn't something that's too often discussed with top tier bikes, but something like this should far outperform the typical carbon frame with locked in geometry in terms of long term bang for the buck.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:19 p.m.

I'm certainly hoping so, Perry!

Reply

nouseforaname
0
Nouseforaname  - Oct. 8, 2019, 11:23 a.m.

I agree with you here AJ - my G16 was amazing and changed how I view the trail, but in 29r guise it was far from perfect. HA around 60deg with two offset bushes to get the BB under control made it nimble like a super tanker loaded with crude.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 mike
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:20 p.m.

The G1 is everything the G16 hinted at but on another level. I'm really hooked on it and I haven't even had a chance to open pandora's box yet!

Reply

DemonMike
0
mike  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:06 p.m.

What do you think of the Privateer 161. It,s on my short list.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 mike
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 9, 2019, 7:22 a.m.

I honestly haven’t looked too closely but I interested to see more from them and have them on my list for potential reviews. They’re doing some really interesting stuff!

geraldooka
+2 Andy Eunson Andrew Major
Michael  - Oct. 9, 2019, 11:58 a.m.

I hope the industry doesn’t move en masse in this direction. Thankfully I don’t think it will. What the industry does need to do is a better job of articulating the benefits and drawbacks of different geometry and bike configurations. I know it can be complex and there are a lot of variables to consider but it’s not impossible.

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Oct. 10, 2019, 6:22 a.m.

I don't think that will happen as there are a lot of people who enjoy a lively ride at the expense of all out speed.

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 10, 2019, 1:24 p.m.

hard to say, as the industry likes to follow the trends, and the longer/lower/slacker buzzwords are hot currently. bleeding edge enduro race geometry certainly isn't appropriate for everyone, but i haven't seen any companies promoting tighter, more lively handling platforms as of late. i wouldn't be surprised if we see "playbike" geometry emerge as a category down the road as a counterpoint to stretched speed machines, however.

Reply

geraldooka
0
Michael  - Oct. 10, 2019, 11:02 p.m.

Yup agreed. I suspect companies will take advantage of these new buzzwords to further delineate their product offering. Humans are driven to simplify it’s in our nature our brains like to break down complex problems. I’d love one bike to rule them all too but I’d hate riding a downhill sled like this much of the time but those once in a qtr events to long gnarly winch and plummet sessions I’d be grateful to have it.

Vikb
+3 Pete Roggeman Cr4w AJ Barlas
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 8, 2019, 7:05 a.m.

Great looking bike AJ. Always nice to see what choices are made by riders that really care about the nitty gritty details of their bikes. I'm with Pete though. I see the G2 Mega XL on the horizon!

Personally my geo journey seems complete at least in terms of front centre. I don't like super steep STAs as I can't pedal efficiently like that on varied terrain and my arms don't enjoy being super stretched out so that in turn limits the Reach I can manage. Well unless stems flipped backwards become a thing...in that case I may just have gotten started!

Have fun on the new machine and report back frequently. :)

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:19 a.m.

Thanks Vik. I too feel at the limit for reach now. I’ve had this everywhere the G16 would feel a bit smaller and it feels fine. Rear centre needs more experimenting though!

Reply

fartymarty
+1 Pnwpedal
fartymarty  - Oct. 8, 2019, 7:30 a.m.

AJ - not that it matters but what does it weigh? My XL Murmur is 34.0 lb but rides lighter.  IMO bike weight should be proportional to rider weight - but guys need big strong bikes.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:23 a.m.

I have no idea what it weighs. I only recently bought a small scale to provide review part weights but otherwise don’t care. Well mostly. I have noticed that the wheels feel heavy and seem to care about that 😆 They were especially slow with DD MG Assegai treads. I will explain that more in the wheel review but the change to a DHF rear has made a world of difference despite similar weights (w/ Cushcore installed).

Reply

Pnwpedal
+1 AJ Barlas
Pnwpedal  - Oct. 8, 2019, 10:31 a.m.

I'm genuinely curious about the weight as well. My next rig will be an aluminum 150-160mm 29er and I'm debating on burliness VS weight VS cost. I'm tall and skinny, and a sucky climber, so weight isn't necessarily my friend.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Pnwpedal
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:22 p.m.

You and I sound like we're in the same camp, PNWpedal. Good geo can greatly improve your climbing though and a reasonable wheelset that isn't overly portly helps the bike feel lighter than the scales say, depending on the bike.

Reply

Pnwpedal
0
Pnwpedal  - Oct. 8, 2019, 2:08 p.m.

I'm definitely a fan of the modern geometry changes of steeper ST, and slacker HT with a matching short offset fork. I personally like to get my bars a bit higher and this all goes together well for me. The hard part is that I'm not a carbon fiber fan if I'm spending my own money on a bike, which limits my choices. But 2020 has some killer bike options available.

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Oct. 9, 2019, 8:55 a.m.

Completely understand re wheels.  I changed 1100g 2.6 SE5s to 850g 2.3 DHR2s and my bike felt a lot more nimble but a lot less monstertruck.  For where I ride the lighter tyres are fine.  If I were riding bigger lines I wouldn't hesitate to go back to bigger rubber.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 9, 2019, 3:15 p.m.

I prefer a burlier tire and lighter wheel. But, it’s a balancing act to get the durability and support needed at a lower weight! I’m working on a few alloy wheel reviews currently and it’s pretty interesting!

Reply

DemonMike
+3 Derek Baker Pnwpedal AJ Barlas
mike  - Oct. 8, 2019, 7:52 a.m.

GAW DAMN!!! Dats a purdy bike.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Oct. 8, 2019, 11:17 a.m.

That's something I've never heard a Geometron accused of before, but I'll admit it looks pretty industrially attractive. And the big wheels balance the beastliness some.

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AJ_Barlas
+1 mike
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:23 p.m.

Ever since going down the rabbit hole I've now found this sort of geo to look normal and anything else to look squished and strange. I've always been a fan of straight pipes too! :D

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JBV
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James Vasilyev  - Oct. 8, 2019, 8:50 a.m.

fascinating bike. i'm curious as to what trails you normally ride and if you ride anything moderate that's not sea to sky black to double black. it almost seems like a dedicated single crown DH race bike.

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AJ_Barlas
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AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:25 p.m.

I ride everything on it, James V. From flat, pedally trails like Rob's and Cliff's corners (which are cornering fun on this!) to the typical steep gnar. It really is my everything bike. The G16 – very similar – did some full-blown XC loops in Bellingham too and I assume from rides so far that this would be even better handling on those trails.

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Jolly_X_Roger
+1 Andy Eunson
Jolly_X_Roger  - Oct. 8, 2019, 9:49 a.m.

@AJ

What I'm getting hard to be sold on are this super-steep seat angles. I believe not to be the only one in this regard. Has the design overshot the optimum?

Also, would a bike with such a high STA be better paired with longer or shorter cranks? Here's an idea for a field test, multiple length cranks.

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andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 8, 2019, 12:44 p.m.

Agreed. But what is optimal? As a short man I don’t need my seat super far forward to prevent looping out on steep climbs. I have read many times that a steeper seat tube angle is more efficient but I’ve never read why it is so or seen any real data about that. I have read some studies of road bike position that indicated that a steeper seat tube angle was more efficient because it allowed the riders to engage their leg muscles better and for greater parts of the pedal cycle. But on a road bike riders are already more bent forward at the waist. I think that there is an optimal torso femur angle that will be most efficient which of course will differ from rider to rider. What that angle is I don’t know. One thing I read years ago was that bolt upright is not good at all. Like the old guy on a three speed Raleigh pumping back and forth. What that rider is doing is trying to engage his gluteus muscles. You need to have some angle between the upper body and upper leg to get those muscles working well. 

Certainly too slack a seat tube angle with a squatting full suspension bike for long legged riders will loop out more easily. I’m not convinced that simply steepening the seat tube angle is the best solution to that but a combination of steeper seat angle and longer rear centre for taller riders makes sense. 

As reach on bikes has increased I sense that designers have steepened seat tube angles more to maintain cockpit length. At the same time that allows more room for suspension movement so that they can make all frame sizes with the same dinky chain stays. It’s far cheaper I’m sure to make all rear triangles one size. What would the ride characteristics of this GeoMetron be if the bottom bracket were mover forward a couple cm but all other dimensions remained the same? Would that provide better fore aft balance though weighted pedals when descending? Worse?  

My own little experiment with my size small Chameleon is that the longer chain stay position climbs better but I really can’t feel much difference descending. That bike with a the 150 36 has a static head angle of 65° and static seat tube angle of 71°. 

I find it all very interesting but I don’t have a great feel for how all these things work.

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xy9ine
+1 AJ Barlas
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:12 p.m.

i find the biggest benefit of longer chainstays (to match longer reaches) is with cornering dynamics - not as much with downhill bombing prowess. ie, stretching the front center without lengthening the rc requires forward weight transfers to keep the front from pushing. one of the best corner carvers i've ridden recently (the starling murmur) has 445mm chainstays. the marin mount vision (with 420mm cs) felt relatively unbalanced in corners, and thus couldn't be pushed as aggressively. the one size fits all swingarm philosophy shared by way too many (most) manufacturers baffles me. you can even get away with using the same swingarm (by changing the bb to pivot distance in the front triangle a la norco). *shrug*.

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AJ_Barlas
+2 Andy Eunson Perry Schebel
AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:49 p.m.

Nail on the head Perry. Yes, they climb better but they better centre rider mass, which greatly improves cornering, and any other trail riding that requires dynamic riding. Having ridden these longer bikes now for close to two years, moving back to smaller RC options has me battling to find a stable place to stand in chop, through deep compressions, and in cornering as you mention noticing. 

It's all about balance. Not having a chainstay grow with the size of the bike is ridiculous. It's worse than asking someone to wear a size small jean when they're an XL. No one needs to see the plumber and the individual shouldn't have to be so uncomfortable! That's obviously dumbing it down considerably because there's so much more going on with a bike, but that only exaggerates the whole situation. I've been stewing on an editorial on exactly this for 6 months and will try to get into it this winter. 

Andy, regarding the steeper seat angle for everyone. You have to find what works for you. I do find on long, flat road commutes to trailhead (usually when I'm in Aus.), my arms and hands can get sore and tired. On the trail I never have a problem, but my bike shape wouldn't work for road riding, and it's not supposed to! 

That said, I believe strongly in steeper seat angles because I've personally found I'm better able to put down the watts (what little I have). Regardless of size, steeper seat angles move the rider over the suspension, creating a more efficient pedal stroke and less need, or none, for climb switches. The longer RC should only come into play for larger sizes but as we saw in the past with many manufacturers making shorter chainstays across the board, many are now making longer ones across the board. It's no wonder someone on a size small or medium doesn't like longer chainstays—it's the equivalent to me running something monstrous (no, I don't consider the 453mm of my XL G1 big). I recently had an enlightening conversation with a young EWS racer about his size small bike with 430mm stays. He felt that larger bikes should grow at each end, but also found that the size small he was riding, which had a longer RC than Reach, was heaps long in the rear. Imagine if I were to run an RC longer than my reach? That's the only way I could feel what he does on his bike. 

Geometry is improving massively, but just like the introduction of big wheels, we all have heaps to learn before everyone has it pretty much dialled. I'm quite happy where I'm at now but will be testing different RC lengths, BB drop (and STA/HTA as a result) and wheel sizes. It's going to be a fun learning experience!

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agleck7
+2 James Vasilyev AJ Barlas
Agleck7  - Oct. 8, 2019, 2:48 p.m.

Seems like there are some ratios at play in the balance equation too. For instance your G1 reach : CS is fairly similar to a 485 reach : 430 CS, which is a not atypical recent mainstream XL (27.5) size. 

I’m 6’2” and fixate on cornering so the longer chainstay thing is the most intriguing geometry variable for me right now.  currently on 2016 bikes with the numbers above so have a hard time even conceiving of what longer CS would ride like. To me it feels like my bikes corner awesome but maybe it gets way better?  really wish it was an easier variable to experiment with.

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agleck7
0
Agleck7  - Oct. 8, 2019, 2:48 p.m.

Seems like there are some ratios at play in the balance equation too. For instance your G1 reach : CS is fairly similar to a 485 reach : 430 CS, which is a not atypical recent mainstream XL (27.5) size. 

I’m 6’2” and fixate on cornering so the longer chainstay thing is the most intriguing geometry variable for me right now.  currently on 2016 bikes with the numbers above so have a hard time even conceiving of what longer CS would ride like. To me it feels like my bikes corner awesome but maybe it gets way better?  really wish it was an easier variable to experiment with.

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Jolly_X_Roger
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Jolly_X_Roger  - Oct. 8, 2019, 11:20 p.m.

Cranks?

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fartymarty
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fartymarty  - Oct. 9, 2019, 2:46 a.m.

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fartymarty
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fartymarty  - Oct. 9, 2019, 3:06 a.m.

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fartymarty
+1 AJ Barlas
fartymarty  - Oct. 9, 2019, 3:07 a.m.

For seated climbing the change in STA is not proportional to setback / CS therefore longer legged riders need steep STA for the setback to be in the same position as shorter riders.

The other option is to increase CS length so the proportion is the same.

https://www.pinkbike.com/photo/17845641/

Given F/R balance is important increasing CS length is probably the best solution to keep bikes feeling the same across a range of sizes.

Edit - after playing with a little more maths it looks like you would need to first balance the F/R proportions across sizes and then set the seat angle to suit the CS length so the drop line from the seat gives the same proportions.

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AJ_Barlas
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AJ Barlas  - Oct. 9, 2019, 9:48 a.m.

This. So much this. Seat angle needs to change proportionally for sure. And the days of XL models having a slacker STA than their smaller equivalents needs to stop.

Tadpoledancer
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Tadpoledancer  - Oct. 12, 2019, 8:57 p.m.

I fully agree. I really think this is an area where the “premium brands” should step up and deliver. 

Although, will you ever get a bike to “feel the same” across the sizes? Even though it is proportionally the same, it IS going to be a longer bike, which has different properties from a shorter bike no matter how you twist it. I have no idea if a shorter rider perceives the small sized bike similar to a taller riders perception of a long bike (if the frame ratios are similar).

G1EXTStoriaV3
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G1EXTStoriaV3  - Oct. 13, 2019, 1:23 a.m.

Just add in something about the steep seat angle of the Geometron, is that you benefit from a upright seating position. Your pedal efficiency and muscle efficiency in your legs are just much better than when you have a slack STA and you lean a lot more forward. 

Actually the theory on knee position and STA is not relevant, as long as you have the same distance from seat to pedal on different bikes, does not make any difference.

G1EXTStoriaV3
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G1EXTStoriaV3  - Oct. 14, 2019, 1:56 a.m.

I am pretty sure the focus on making steep STA on the long slack bike geometry is more of positioning the rider between the wheels. The more forward the more upright position and better climbing position of the rider you will benefit from too. I cannot follow the theory you have that shorter rider will change this? As long as the distance from seat to the pedals is the same, it should not depend on STA? Position the rider in the correct distance between wheel is size custom made anyway on the G1, with different CS lengths.

cxfahrer
+2 Pete Roggeman twk
cxfahrer  - Oct. 9, 2019, 5:29 a.m.

Same discussion on mtb-news.de - @grinsekater is doing field tests with different riders on different bikes to find out more about bike geometry.

Thing is, there are so many different bikes with so many different numbers, and every rider is different too. And a rider can change his body over a short time and adapt to a bike that did not work under him before.

There is no "ideal" body or "ideal" bike for mountain biking, not even for enduro. Maybe for roadies. 

Sure, a longer bike will work better on the downs, and if the chainstays are a bit longer on a long bike, you will feel more centered. 

But i feel great on my hardtail 29er with a 64 head angle, 475 reach and 75 seat angle, and ultra short chainstays because of the 650B+ wheel in the back. So much fun. The 29 Capra XXL is fun too, but different. But over here there are not any trails that resemble the PNW.

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Vikb
+2 Andrew Major AJ Barlas
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 8, 2019, 1:40 p.m.

I can't ride the super steep STAs comfortably. I use 1" setback droppers on my FS bikes and had a hardtail custom made to stay on the slacker side of what is popular at the moment. Obviously YMMV and it's down to your particular body and its needs.

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Jolly_X_Roger
+1 Vik Banerjee
Jolly_X_Roger  - Oct. 8, 2019, 11:19 p.m.

Out of curiosity, what seat angle your custom hardtail is sporting? 

I believe that for a HT going beyond 75.5° is pushing it over, while for a FS bike this should be the minimum (a real STA is also to be considered when judging the real effective steepness).

I'm in AJ's height territory so the stated above might not be suitable to someone in a smaller frame size bracket.

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Vikb
+1 Jolly_X_Roger
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 9, 2019, 11:10 a.m.

With saddle at ride height I'm at ~73.5 deg STA [non-setback dropper] on the custom HT with a 140mm fork that's not sagged. I could have gone with a slacker STA, but that would have meant a shorter Reach as the bars would be too far away. So it was a bit of a trade off.

I have an older rigid MTB with a 72.5 deg STA and I put a 1" setback seatpost on it. Pedals very well for me, but the front end is short compared to the newer custom HT.

My FS bikes have 74 deg and 75 deg eff STA [based on geo chart] with a 1" setaback dropper the 74 deg bike has the saddle in a good position for me. I find the 75 deg bike I am a little further forward than I would like. It's not bad, but I definitely don't want steeper.

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Jolly_X_Roger
+1 Vik Banerjee
Jolly_X_Roger  - Oct. 9, 2019, 11:40 a.m.

My classic XC geometry HT's STA is 73° with saddle rails being some 800mm from BB. To compensate for 432mm chainstays I run the saddle slightly set forward.

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G1EXTStoriaV3
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G1EXTStoriaV3  - Oct. 14, 2019, 4:25 a.m.

Is it the uncomfortable feeling coming from back pain or knee pain?

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morgan-heater
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Morgan Heater  - Oct. 8, 2019, 3:07 p.m.

I'll give you a six pack for your G16. Also, I'm a little surprised you didn't go for a gearbox.

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AJ_Barlas
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AJ Barlas  - Oct. 8, 2019, 3:27 p.m.

It never even crossed my mind until you brought it up. I guess I'm not ready yet.

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iamalexm
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Alex Morken  - Oct. 8, 2019, 7 p.m.

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mzro
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mzro  - Oct. 9, 2019, 12:33 a.m.

Thanks, excellent read AJ! This bike is pure envy and I believe this is a first big review of new G1, though it more of build review than riding review :)  I have G1 on my radar since it was announced and had a dream to build a mullet G1 but, unfortunately, I probably would be able to justify the price tag - the frame is so pricey.

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olaa
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olaa  - Oct. 9, 2019, 5:05 a.m.

Very nice ride! 

I was wondering if you could go a little more in depth on suspension set-up on a longer and slacker bike. I have a G16 and have noticed that my set-up has been going towards less compression damping and faster rebound over time on this bike. My thinking would be that the length of the bike dampens the movements a bit allowing you to not dampen the suspension as much. A bit like what Ibis is doing on their bikes now. However I still keep adjusting and fettling so your thoughts and ideas would be interesting to hear!

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AJ_Barlas
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AJ Barlas  - Oct. 9, 2019, 10:08 a.m.

I believe that what your feeling, olaa, is the benefit of having the rider mass between the wheels. As each wheel is moved away from the rider mass, it's better able to move freely to input from the ground. Think of it as a hammock. As we compress with the G16 or G1 (or Pole bikes and similar, longer wheel based whips), our mass moves down between the axles more than it would on a more conventional bike. Similarly, without our mass over the axle as much, the wheel is better able to move up and over obstacles in the trail. The more beneath the rider the wheels, the more the damper needs to compensate for our sprung mass. 

Terrain and riding style still come into play, though. When things get smoother, I can stop down on the damper but because of all the features in the terrain around where I live, in an effort to have the wheels move out of the way quickly, I run my compression quite open. 

I can't say that I've noticed a large change in my rebound settings but I am lighter on the compression on my bikes than on test bikes with the same fork. It's harder to compare with the rear because different setups greatly change how the damper needs to be tuned, without even getting to the mass on the bike.

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fartymarty
+4 G1EXTStoriaV3 olaa twk AJ Barlas
fartymarty  - Oct. 9, 2019, 11:15 a.m.

Also a longer bike is less susceptible to getting pitched back and forward from the terrain which adds to the calm feeling and increased stability.  As you point out the suspension doesn't need to work as hard to keep the bike stable. 

It's all fairly logical in hindsight I guess.

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olaa
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olaa  - Oct. 10, 2019, 3:50 a.m.

Totally agree on your analysis. And good point about the terrain as well, I pretty much only ride on rooty, rocky trails (often wet as well) where getting the wheels out of the way quickly is important. 

The faster rebound came from trying to get the wheels to follow the terrain as well as possible. I am at the point now where the bike requires a bit more strength to push it through rock gardens and root nests. But that downside is weighed up by it tracking better and generally the bike feels lighter and poppier.

Maybe one of the reasons that people feel that long bikes feel slow and heavy is that they run the suspension like they would on a short and tall bike?

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Oct. 10, 2019, 6:20 a.m.

@olaa, long bikes feel slower because they are more composed and don't move around as much.  Put them against the clock and they are definitely faster.

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G1EXTStoriaV3
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G1EXTStoriaV3  - Oct. 13, 2019, 1:36 a.m.

I am in not experiencing the same in the faster rebound adjustment theory. It depends totally on the spring force you are using though, but I think the way the geometry and the spherical bearing and the EXT shock design it changes everything in the rebound territory for me. Also it is different need for rebound setting on different terrain and wet/dry conditions too. 

After trying the softest spring on my G1, I went the heavier spring rate and added 2 click more rebound damping. The firmer spring feels still more lively then the softer, even with a lot more rebound damping at only  25lb/in difference. 

Also when you cornering in high speed you can benefit from more rebound damping too, since the spherical bearings on the EXT shock is working so freely it makes you a really calm good steering feel.

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olaa
+1 G1EXTStoriaV3
olaa  - Oct. 14, 2019, 12:31 a.m.

The EXT with spherical bearings certainly make a difference compared to my x2! One of these days i might have to end up with one of those :) 

You probably have a point in that i compensate with fairly open compression and fast rebound (and firm spring as well) for the difference in friction in the system.

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Dude@
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Dude@  - Oct. 9, 2019, 12:50 p.m.

AJ - is this your only bike that you use for XC to DH?

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AJ_Barlas
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AJ Barlas  - Oct. 9, 2019, 3:21 p.m.

Yup. I ditched my DH bike a few years ago in favour of simplifying. I don’t race xc anymore – my heart hurt too much – so the most speedy trail whip wasn’t necessary either. That said, I reckon if I were in the shape I used to be, I wouldn’t be too far from my best climb times.

Simple answer though, yes, I’m a fan of one bike. It’s easier and I don’t want a shed full of bikes when only one can be ridden at a time.

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Dude@
+1 Jerry Willows
Dude@  - Oct. 9, 2019, 8:31 p.m.

Thanks AJ!

I just got the 2020 S Enduro. I am amazed at how playful and balanced it is. I was riding an Evil Offering for about 8-9 months, I liked many aspects of it. However I was constantly fighting the geometry with corners and trying to maintain good balance. It required a lot of focus and attention to weight properly. My DH speed ultimately diminished as well as my confidence in the steep, technical trails. Many times I felt out of position and required what felt to be major shifts in body positions. I thought it was me and that I couldn't ride the new school geometry. I almost swore off longer geometry because of my experience with the Offering. I actually went back to shorter geometry only to feel cramped and uncomfortable. I was lost and bummed with my riding.

With the Enduro and its longer stays, the bike feels extremely natural and very intuitive to ride. I am not overly weighting the front. I can drive and control the bike with my legs and core. The Enduro is 1.6 inches longer in WB and I love how it corners. It is eye-opening! The numbers suggested a ride behavior that are not valid. it has changed my view on geometry. 

Cheers!

Jamie

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fartymarty
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fartymarty  - Oct. 10, 2019, 6:26 a.m.

@AJ - If you get something else I can recommend a rigid 29 (a la Andrew Major).  I have a Murmur and Krampus which is set up rigid - still with gears but I may single speed again for winter and to lose some of my gut.  They are both very different bikes and require different riding styles and mentalities.  Plus a single speed rigid bike is cheap to buy and maintain and required no thinking when riding.

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gotama
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Gotama  - Oct. 11, 2019, 5:31 a.m.

Lovely bike. I wanted to like my XL G13 a few years back but never really gelled with it. I think that was partly down to my riding style/bad technique where whenever i get towards my limits my weight tends to drop to the back of the bike which i don't think is particularly helpful on a long reach, slack head angle bike. So at 6ft 3 even though i should be riding an XL I'm going to have a demo on a Large G1 and maybe sneak a 50mm stem on there. Will be interesting to see how it feels.

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G1EXTStoriaV3
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G1EXTStoriaV3  - Oct. 14, 2019, 1:47 a.m.

You will just adapt to a more forward position of the G1. I will not recommend to go for a smaller frame size, I am same height and just love the G1 in xl more and more. I have my second month now, and it gets more natural ride by ride. I admit it was just terrible in the beginning, and I needed to force myself forward with tilting the handlebar and the Ergon grips with the flanges forward. Now I am just used to it, and I cannot imagine something more natural position on the bike.

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robinwing14
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Will Knisley  - Oct. 12, 2019, 11:05 p.m.

If you were buying one set of flat pedals for a size 11 rider with five ten freeriders, would you pick the tmacs, Horizon pros, or anvls? I trashed my oneup composite pedals, so I'm looking for something more durable and grippier.

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Endur-Bro
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Endur-Bro  - Oct. 14, 2019, 1:39 p.m.

Slack STA are a carry over from road biking. Allows the WB to remain relatively tight while increasing the total saddle to bar length.

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