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MEATengines

Oct. 20, 2022, 7:59 a.m.
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan. 10, 2022

Thank you everyone for the Stem Purchasing Support (SPS) and for your patience with my SHO / ESL acronym confusion.

That Karate Monkey on the Meat Engines is pretty nice. It reminds me of the green 1x1 I had from the 71 degree HA ERA (edit- I meant to write ‘era’ here but was caught up in acronym production. I’ll just say this means Epoch of Rolling Attitude.) , except the brakes look WAY more capable than what I was running. I need to find a photo to see if mine also looks like the front end was driven into a garage door. ;)


 Last edited by: Blofeld on Oct. 20, 2022, 8:37 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 20, 2022, 9:27 a.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

With how burly all the Surly stuff is, I would almost expect it to look not too bad from that incident! ;)

Oct. 20, 2022, 9:53 a.m.
Posts: 30
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Ditto, I'd check the garage door alignment.

Oct. 20, 2022, 10:26 a.m.
Posts: 584
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Posted by: fartymarty

Kenny - I currently have a HT that has a 75mm shorter reach than my FS bike. Both have a similar "butt to bar" measurement but are very different in geometry (old school HT and new school FS). I like riding both as they are very different in terms of handling. I can generally ride the same trails on both - maybe with the exception of super steep / tech trails which i'm not going near on the HT. The HT is definitely too short at 440mm and the FS could be* considered too long at 515. * depending on who you ask.

As such the things I can control are the contact points and set up of bars / stem etc. I think I am with Joseph on this one - that you can adapt - but it's still very much a "work in progress" and I don't think there are any right / wrong answers. It's just nice to get some others opinions on it.

Blofeld - It is a bit of a minefield that isn't talked about. I also agree stem length should be measured parallel to the stem, not horizontal.

Similar butt to bar is one thing. But I am more with Vic, the fore/aft seat position relative to the pedals matters for pedalling efficiency/comfort as well. So on different bikes, you're going to compromise one for the other, unless you're willing to allow your bar/steering axis relationship diverge.

What it comes down to is you have a few competing metrics here, optimizing one comes at the expense of another. In theory the closer a frames geometry is to fitting you for the desired purpose, the closer you can get on all metrics without compromising:

- Optimal fore/aft saddle position relative to pedals.

- Optimal butt to bar.

- Optimal pedal to bar (RAD, as Lee likes bikes would call it)

- Optimal grip center to steering axis center.

- Optimal grip center to front axle center (not mentioned here, but relationship of hands to axle is as relevant as anything, arguably).

Optimising one at the expense of other with likely improve one aspect of bike handling and hurt another. Different peoples mental and physiological makeups, and riding styles, impact which aspects they benefit most from having optimized, and which aspects they can best compensate for of they are less than "perfect".

To me, the comments that steering feel is the main determining factor in "bike handling" is for me just not the case. On a road bike or on mellow terrain where your cg stays pretty static other than leaning over, I could see it being a dominant factor, but just personally I care about range of motion, leverage, and weight distribution when riding on a mountainside, and I would not compromise those things for anything, really.

I do agree that whatever dimensions you decide to compromise on, you can adapt. But I will say another word for adapt in this context is "compensate".

When at mach chicken with eyes watering and heart pounding, when I am standing in a neutral position on the bike I want to feel totally balanced and like everything is weighted properly just naturally, I can shift forward and load up the front wheel or shift back and loft the front wheel with equal ease and zero real conscious effort.

For me that comes down to "perfect" RAD/RAAD, not necessarily in the formulaic sense lee prescribes, but as determined by iterative testing.


 Last edited by: Kenny on Oct. 20, 2022, 10:27 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 20, 2022, 11:21 a.m.
Posts: 318
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

Needs some spacer adjustment! Those pads are pretty high on the rotor. Otherwise, a nice bike!

Oct. 20, 2022, 11:24 a.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

Thanks! The rear brake is just for looks anyway. ;)


 Last edited by: yardrec on Oct. 20, 2022, 11:24 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Oct. 20, 2022, 2:50 p.m.
Posts: 346
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Marty et al, when measuring the ESL, where on the grip are you putting the string?

Top centre? - ignores grip thickness. 

Back? - closest to the steering axis (at least - 11mm shorter ESL than bar centre). 

Somewhere else? 

I rolled my bar forward a bit yesterday for wrist / hand comfort, and now I'm going to try a bit more with a shorter stem. Measuring 65mm in from grip ends, centre top of bar gave me a ~40mm ESL with a 50mm stem. Todays test is a 35mm, and I have a 40mm for next time.

Oct. 20, 2022, 2:51 p.m.
Posts: 19
Joined: June 19, 2018

This is now my third attempt to reply and they’re getting shorter… 🙄

I tried a 35mm stem on my old hardtail. When I reverted to a 50mm because it wasn’t feeling right, the bike felt smaller (in a good way) even though the bars were 15mm further away. I think how stable the front end feels and how confident you are to weight it has a big effect on how central you’re willing to keep your hips. The further back you shift your hips, the longer the reach to the bars. 

You can get steering stability from slacker head angles, shorter fork offsets, longer stems and wider bars. Higher bars also help with letting you weight the front without leaning your weight forwards and over in that old XC manner.

Oct. 20, 2022, 2:54 p.m.
Posts: 19
Joined: June 19, 2018

Posted by: velocipedestrian

Marty et al, when measuring the ESL, where on the grip are you putting the string?

Metre rule across top(ish see below) centre of grips with the flat surface angled to be perpendicular to the steering axis.

Oct. 20, 2022, 3:42 p.m.
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: yardrec

Thanks! The rear brake is just for looks anyway. ;)

I like the slack STA and setback post! I've got the same saddle and post on my Krampus.

Oct. 20, 2022, 3:48 p.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

Posted by: Vikb

Posted by: yardrec

Thanks! The rear brake is just for looks anyway. ;)

I like the slack STA and setback post! I've got the same saddle and post on my Krampus.

It's such a comfortable and fun bike to ride, it's hard to think of getting rid of it. I wish it could take plus tires (29+ or 27.5+) in the rear triangle and I wish it was a bit more slack in the front.. but apart from that, it's just such a great rig. Even with it's old school geo, it still rails trails up and down. Just not the sendy/super steep. And loaded up for bikepacking, you really can rally it hard and the frameset had a nice give yet planted feel to it. Wishlist would be to add braze-ons to the fork, open up the rear a bit and slack it out 3-4 degrees.

Oct. 20, 2022, 4:21 p.m.
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: yardrec

It's such a comfortable and fun bike to ride, it's hard to think of getting rid of it. I wish it could take plus tires (29+ or 27.5+) in the rear triangle and I wish it was a bit more slack in the front.. but apart from that, it's just such a great rig. Even with it's old school geo, it still rails trails up and down. Just not the sendy/super steep. And loaded up for bikepacking, you really can rally it hard and the frameset had a nice give yet planted feel to it. Wishlist would be to add braze-ons to the fork, open up the rear a bit and slack it out 3-4 degrees.

The steeper STA is a relatively easy fix with a new headset. The tire clearance not so much. How big a 275er tire do you think would fit?

Oct. 20, 2022, 4:43 p.m.
Posts: 489
Joined: March 16, 2017

Posted by: Blofeld

Am I allowed to temporarily ignore all this and say I just want a new stem because I think it will look nice?

Buy stem because you like it + Shiny stem makes you like bike more=  You ride your bike more.

Oct. 20, 2022, 5:22 p.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Jan. 30, 2020

Posted by: Vikb

Posted by: yardrec

It's such a comfortable and fun bike to ride, it's hard to think of getting rid of it. I wish it could take plus tires (29+ or 27.5+) in the rear triangle and I wish it was a bit more slack in the front.. but apart from that, it's just such a great rig. Even with it's old school geo, it still rails trails up and down. Just not the sendy/super steep. And loaded up for bikepacking, you really can rally it hard and the frameset had a nice give yet planted feel to it. Wishlist would be to add braze-ons to the fork, open up the rear a bit and slack it out 3-4 degrees.

The steeper STA is a relatively easy fix with a new headset. The tire clearance not so much. How big a 275er tire do you think would fit?

It’s an old straight 1.125” steerer compatible headtube, so the 1 degree isn’t really going to subtract much. 

I think you can get a 2.6 27.5 tire in there. I’ve got 29x 2.35s on now and may just leave the rear as is and put a 29x2.6 on the front to slack it out a little bit.

Oct. 20, 2022, 5:55 p.m.
Posts: 30
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

"I do agree that whatever dimensions you decide to compromise on, you can adapt. But I will say another word for adapt in this context is "compensate".",

Everything on a bike is a compromise and your :

"-Optimal fore/aft saddle position relative to pedals.

- Optimal butt to bar.

- Optimal pedal to bar (RAD, as Lee likes bikes would call it)

- Optimal grip center to steering axis center.

- Optimal grip center to front axle center (not mentioned here, but relationship of hands to axle is as relevant as anything, arguably).

Is only "optimal" in certain scenarios. That is why a we have arms and legs so we can move around to compensate for the less than optimal.

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