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Bike frame/parts drought 2021

June 2, 2021, 12:31 p.m.
Posts: 822
Joined: June 29, 2006

Yes, you‘re right! My current bike has different chainstay lengths for different sizes and I couldn‘t imagine a new bike without this feature. It shouldn‘t even be a feature, but common practice to develop bikes with front/rear center balance in mind.

June 2, 2021, 1:34 p.m.
Posts: 1279
Joined: March 18, 2017

Posted by: Znarf

You‘ll meet a lot of female riders, families, kids and riders of all ages on the trails and biking in Europe isn‘t the goofy switchback sausage-fest it used to be even ten years ago!

Female riding in SW BC exploded over the past half decade.

Kavenz made reference to "Popular Swiss Brand" in their blurb. I realize the frames are made in Germany.  I dig the German industrial looking frames. 

@Craw / @xy9ine : Its wild that the Kavenz bike has a 100mm spread on Reach/FC/TT lengths but RC stays the same unless you choice mullet option to get even shorter.  For myself; I could get a 480 or 500mm Reach with 125HTL with 420 STL to run a 170+mm dropper.

June 5, 2021, 11:03 a.m.
Posts: 961
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Znarf

Yes, you‘re right! My current bike has different chainstay lengths for different sizes and I couldn‘t imagine a new bike without this feature. It shouldn‘t even be a feature, but common practice to develop bikes with front/rear center balance in mind.

I'm tall and like shortish chainstays for the ability to easily get the bike on the back wheel, manual etc. I havent tried any of the more modern size specific chainstays. My impression would be that they would make it much harder to lift the front wheel (on both ups and downs) as this is my experience with sliding dropouts on my single speed. Am I wrong? What is it that makes this so non-negotiable in your opinion?

June 5, 2021, 1:53 p.m.
Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

It might be hard to appreciate if you've been riding super short chainstays forever. For me the big difference is not having to struggle so much climbing because I'm positioned in the middle of the bike, not hanging off the back, so I don't have to do so much body english to not flip over. Manualing is the same, it just has a different balance point. I don't have any issue getting up and over obstacles on technical climbs. The only trick is having to be super precise on uphill switchbacks - my bike is really long so there's usually only one rideable arc through a tight corner. But that's a price I'll happily pay for a balanced position for the other 98% of the ride. 

If you're tall chances are you've been living with a rearward weight bias forever while most M/L people have not since bike geometry was optimized for them (not you!). Being on a new geo bike was eye opening. I think my G1 is the first bike I've ever had where I'm positioned correctly. That's after 20+ high end bikes over 30+ years, this is the first bike that feels balanced.

June 5, 2021, 2:35 p.m.
Posts: 822
Joined: June 29, 2006

I was of the same opinion and bought and rode bikes with short chainstays with preference for a long time. Because of wheelies, manuals and playfulness and flickability and all that :)

I thought I really loved short chainstays.

I discovered my new preference by chance:

After riding the Madonna (at first with hesitation, because of the „long“ chainstays) for a bit and buying it as a backup by impulse (even though it has longer stays) to the Rallon 29 I owned at that time (with similar geo but 10mm shorter stays) I somehow felt very much more comfortable on the bike with longer stays.

The difference ended up being huge in real use, cornering especially was MUCH more natural. I actually sold the Rallon a couple of months later, even though it was beautiful, carbon and three pounds lighter and decked out, I never touched it anymore. I had liked it well enough for a season, before riding the Madonna.

At first you will notice that you need to adjust the technique to pop the front wheel up, thrusting the hips and legs forward, not just leaning back and pulling the handlebars like a BMX. But I got used to it pretty quickly. Now it feels „normal“ and shorter bikes feel strange.

For sure, a smaller, shorter bike will feel more like a bmx. And that can be a lot of fun. There is no WRONG bike, whatever is fun for anyone is right. And there are lots of crazy good riders on basically any geometry.

But I feel that „balance“ is really beneficial for most riding situations. For me, proportionally (to the front center) longer stays have lots of benefits (cornering, seated climbing, stability, traction, tire clearance) which outweigh the cons (lifting the front wheel, fitting into a bike rack).

It is a preference and riders do adjust to different bikes pretty astonishingly imho.

For me personally, my confidence got boosted really by a lot with this different approach. I’ve been riding for 20 years and my progression had stalled pretty solidly. With the Madonna I got a lot faster, without effort. I try new moves and lines and for the first time the ready position feels really natural. I don’t have to think, it just fits.

The most astonishing thing for me, which I don’t fully comprehend though: I’ve been trying to learn to manual for 15 years. I could wheelie for ten minutes, but the proper manual just eluded me, always. I even bought a super short hardtail to learn it, but nada.

After a season on the Madonna, growing ever more comfortable, it somehow just clicked. Once I understood the proper hip movement (thanks to Ryan leech’s excellent video instructions), lofting the front wheel on the long bike was easy enough.

The balance point seems a bit more forgiving. I can manual half a kilometre+ on a street pretty easily now, even with some turns. I don’t tell this to brag, lots of people can do it, it’s just that I feel really elated that I can still learn that stuff at 37 :) I was sure the manual wasn’t in my cards…

And to a certain extent I attribute it to the bike fitting and riding better, because of proportionality.

For smaller or taller riders that may totally differ. Even inseam, arm length and all that stuff will probably make a big difference.

If you have the opportunity, try it. Maybe you like it, maybe not :)

Edit:

Craw was quicker AND managed to compress what I tried to say into a much more to the point manner ;-)


 Last edited by: Znarf on June 5, 2021, 2:38 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 6, 2021, 6:16 p.m.
Posts: 391
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: craw

It might be hard to appreciate if you've been riding super short chainstays forever. For me the big difference is not having to struggle so much climbing because I'm positioned in the middle of the bike, not hanging off the back, so I don't have to do so much body english to not flip over. Manualing is the same, it just has a different balance point. I don't have any issue getting up and over obstacles on technical climbs. The only trick is having to be super precise on uphill switchbacks - my bike is really long so there's usually only one rideable arc through a tight corner. But that's a price I'll happily pay for a balanced position for the other 98% of the ride. 

If you're tall chances are you've been living with a rearward weight bias forever while most M/L people have not since bike geometry was optimized for them (not you!). Being on a new geo bike was eye opening. I think my G1 is the first bike I've ever had where I'm positioned correctly. That's after 20+ high end bikes over 30+ years, this is the first bike that feels balanced.

Yes. If short rear centres allow one to manual easy, do they not make being centred more difficult? As a thought experiment, how would a bike like a Pole ride if the bb was pushed forward to make a 74 ish seat tube angle. Same wheelbase. That would make weight through the feet a more centred thing.

June 7, 2021, 6:59 a.m.
Posts: 822
Joined: June 29, 2006

Posted by: andy-eunson

Posted by: craw

It might be hard to appreciate if you've been riding super short chainstays forever. For me the big difference is not having to struggle so much climbing because I'm positioned in the middle of the bike, not hanging off the back, so I don't have to do so much body english to not flip over. Manualing is the same, it just has a different balance point. I don't have any issue getting up and over obstacles on technical climbs. The only trick is having to be super precise on uphill switchbacks - my bike is really long so there's usually only one rideable arc through a tight corner. But that's a price I'll happily pay for a balanced position for the other 98% of the ride.

If you're tall chances are you've been living with a rearward weight bias forever while most M/L people have not since bike geometry was optimized for them (not you!). Being on a new geo bike was eye opening. I think my G1 is the first bike I've ever had where I'm positioned correctly. That's after 20+ high end bikes over 30+ years, this is the first bike that feels balanced.

Yes. If short rear centres allow one to manual easy, do they not make being centred more difficult? As a thought experiment, how would a bike like a Pole ride if the bb was pushed forward to make a 74 ish seat tube angle. Same wheelbase. That would make weight through the feet a more centred thing.

That seems a bit contradictory to me, I'm not sure I understand...

Wouldn't that also effectively shorten the front centre and make the bike feel old-school again with the over-the-bar sensation? =)

(effective)Reach is tied to the bottom bracket to bars/headtube distance and mingles with stack. So either you lengthen the wheelbase of a Pole by adding chain stay length and slacken the seat tube angle (and seat tube angle is only relevant for seated riding), reach isn't affected, stack neither. If you go too far the bike will ride well while standing, but you'll be stretched like a suspension bridge when seated. 

I think JonesBikes kind of do their geometry like what you are suggesting...  something about absorbing the hits more with your hips and through the legs, therefore not needing suspension...

Or you move the BB forward, lengthen the stays with the same wheelbase, but then you'll shorten reach.

Some early E-MTBs (I haven't ridden any and am not inclined to do so) from HAIBIKE have 470mm or longer chainstays. They couldn't fit the motor or something =)

They are steep and short in the front center though and really long in the rear. Also high BBs. They seem to handle awful, mainly because the front center/headtube angle etc. isn't sorted.

Another really curious geometry concept: the new GHOST Enduro and Trail Bikes. They are HUGE in horizontal Top Tube length. They kind of do what you suggest. Long reach, tall stack, longish stays, slack(er) seat tube angle. My frame size would be 5cm longer in TTH, which would kill my wrists and neck for seated riding, I think. Riding out of the seat should feel similar to my Madonna. Wild!


 Last edited by: Znarf on June 7, 2021, 7:02 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 7, 2021, 10:24 a.m.
Posts: 281
Joined: March 6, 2017

I had an XL Canfield Riot with 414mm chaibstays, that bike was hard to ride.

June 7, 2021, 11:15 a.m.
Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: T-mack

I had an XL Canfield Riot with 414mm chaibstays, that bike was hard to ride.

Canfield bikes still have really short rear centers. Their seat tube angles have come up to modern standards but the reach hasn't increased accordingly so the bikes are just smaller.

June 7, 2021, 7:32 p.m.
Posts: 1279
Joined: March 18, 2017

Glad this SRAM/Shimano embargo is helping to pad the NA Distributors bottom lines for now and forever. 🙄

This is why monopolies are shitty. But as Canadians it's exactly what we love 🥰

June 7, 2021, 10:15 p.m.
Posts: 1657
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

While searching country-wide for various parts, I have noticed that the majority of bike shops with an online store have essentially the same selection, availability and pricing. Does one distributor control everything at the part level?

June 9, 2021, 12:07 p.m.
Posts: 2024
Joined: May 2, 2004

Sort of; Liv to play and hlc

June 9, 2021, 12:58 p.m.
Posts: 391
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Znarf

Posted by: andy-eunson

Posted by: craw

It might be hard to appreciate if you've been riding super short chainstays forever. For me the big difference is not having to struggle so much climbing because I'm positioned in the middle of the bike, not hanging off the back, so I don't have to do so much body english to not flip over. Manualing is the same, it just has a different balance point. I don't have any issue getting up and over obstacles on technical climbs. The only trick is having to be super precise on uphill switchbacks - my bike is really long so there's usually only one rideable arc through a tight corner. But that's a price I'll happily pay for a balanced position for the other 98% of the ride.

If you're tall chances are you've been living with a rearward weight bias forever while most M/L people have not since bike geometry was optimized for them (not you!). Being on a new geo bike was eye opening. I think my G1 is the first bike I've ever had where I'm positioned correctly. That's after 20+ high end bikes over 30+ years, this is the first bike that feels balanced.

Yes. If short rear centres allow one to manual easy, do they not make being centred more difficult? As a thought experiment, how would a bike like a Pole ride if the bb was pushed forward to make a 74 ish seat tube angle. Same wheelbase. That would make weight through the feet a more centred thing.

That seems a bit contradictory to me, I'm not sure I understand...

Wouldn't that also effectively shorten the front centre and make the bike feel old-school again with the over-the-bar sensation? =)

(effective)Reach is tied to the bottom bracket to bars/headtube distance and mingles with stack. So either you lengthen the wheelbase of a Pole by adding chain stay length and slacken the seat tube angle (and seat tube angle is only relevant for seated riding), reach isn't affected, stack neither. If you go too far the bike will ride well while standing, but you'll be stretched like a suspension bridge when seated. 

I think JonesBikes kind of do their geometry like what you are suggesting...  something about absorbing the hits more with your hips and through the legs, therefore not needing suspension...

Or you move the BB forward, lengthen the stays with the same wheelbase, but then you'll shorten reach.

Some early E-MTBs (I haven't ridden any and am not inclined to do so) from HAIBIKE have 470mm or longer chainstays. They couldn't fit the motor or something =)

They are steep and short in the front center though and really long in the rear. Also high BBs. They seem to handle awful, mainly because the front center/headtube angle etc. isn't sorted.

Another really curious geometry concept: the new GHOST Enduro and Trail Bikes. They are HUGE in horizontal Top Tube length. They kind of do what you suggest. Long reach, tall stack, longish stays, slack(er) seat tube angle. My frame size would be 5cm longer in TTH, which would kill my wrists and neck for seated riding, I think. Riding out of the seat should feel similar to my Madonna. Wild!

The over the bar feeling (or actuality) is related to ones centre of mass in relation to the front contact patch. That stays the same as you move your arse back to find that balance. In the old school days we had short bikes so moving back vis a vis the front end moved the COM too much over the back wheel resulting in less front wheel traction. I think a lot of riders started sizing up so that a proper short stem could be used and not screw up seated pedalling. But long reach became a selling feature so if long was good longer was gooder. But then top tube length was too much so steeper seat tube angles fixed that and allowed manufacturers to keep short chain stays for all sizes which keeps costs down.

June 10, 2021, 11:36 p.m.
Posts: 822
Joined: June 29, 2006

So it all comes back to $$$ :D

June 11, 2021, 1:29 p.m.
Posts: 766
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Bikes are now way too pricey to not have these size-specific adjustments baked in.

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