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I feel like I ‘know’ less now than two years ago. Rear center and wheelbase (\#wheelbaseisthenewheadangle) play a huge roll as well.
My new Walt with a 31mm stem, 64-HTA, and 16-degree SQLab puts my hands behind the steering axis (by design) and the handling is awesome climbing steep technical trails or railing descents. The 450mm+ stays and 1250mm+ WB are big contributors.
On this bike (Marin Alpine Trail) I’m running a 44mm offset fork and the bike just doesn’t feel right (steering) with a 50mm or 60mm stem which has been my general experience with short offset forks. I’m running a 40mm stem with the 10-degree PNW bar and handling is great (65-HTA).
I’ll be installing a -2 Angleset in the new year and playing a bit more. Without going longer on the fork that actually extends Reach (and lowers stacks) but I will be bumping up the fork at the same time as I need to get hours on it at 180mm.
Anyways, lots of interesting on going notes. If I was designing this FS bike it would be 2cm longer in the rear center. I could see my next FS bike being ~100-120mm travel with a 1250mm+ wheelbase and 65-HTA but with a 51mm offset fork and 60mm stem for sure.
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