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The milk crate pics are great! Apologies if they were there all the time, and you're just humoring me.
Regarding tri bikes and a steep seat tube being better, I think the kinetic chain reasoning makes sense and taking that idea even further, the position of the hips relative to the bottom bracket or centerline of the cranks needs further examination.
The sprint position on a road bike or standing position when climbing any bike has your hips directly over the bottom bracket. Granted, you are no longer seated so there are other factors at play. However, this vertical hip and bb alignment also allows gravity to work in our favor, sitting or standing.
Our bodies are designed for walking and running so it would make sense that our muscles are strongest at or near this vertical position as this is when the body's muscles experience the largest loads (initial ground contact).
Bottom line, MTBs geo needs to be completely reevaluated for its actual use case (seated climb and standing descent) as opposed to slowly tweaking flat road bike geo.
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