New posts

Door to trail riders - tell me how you've accommodated these crazy steep seat angles please

June 9, 2022, 12:58 p.m.
Posts: 1239
Joined: May 11, 2018

I agree with Kenny. It's amazing how riding in places like Whistler and the North Shore have dictated geometry for places like Florida or Ontario. If I was still riding in Ontario I would look for something with a 73 degree STA so i wouldn't have to drop the post for every descent. Whistler has impossibly steep climbing and I totally get why the Doctahawk was born but it's amazing to me that people who live in relatively flat terrain think it's the best hardtail ever. 

In regards to frame size. With steeper STA, longer bikes don't necessarily mean a longer seated position. In fact the ETT on bikes is getting shorter. You may find down sizing to a small will simply squish you up and drop the stack even further.

June 9, 2022, 1:23 p.m.
Posts: 914
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: XXX_er

I'm 5'8" and IME a  small is really small

The new enduro bikes in 29" are really long, I had a little trouble getting the 5.5 yeti (29/29) around banked 180's  at first but i got over it

then the Bullit  (29/ 27.5 mullet) was easier in spite of being longer slacker head angle,  the bike seems to  pivot on the back wheel much easier

At first I was going to argue about new bikes having more reach but that balancing out against the loss of ETT due to the steeper seat angle. Then I thought I better check.

2013 XL Specialized Enduro 29:              reach 465, ETT 640, rear center 430, wheelbase 1206, ESTA 75, HA 67.5

2022 S5 Specialized Stump EVO alloy:   reach 498, ETT 647, rear center 448, wheelbase 1285, ESTA 77, HA 64

So yeah that's a pretty big difference.

June 9, 2022, 2:26 p.m.
Posts: 44
Joined: July 29, 2013

Posted by: Vikb

When you are in full send mode it's unlikely I could get a reasonably clear profile shot given my meager photo gear. At least you are riding a sweet bike. 👌

Both true statements ;-)

June 9, 2022, 2:39 p.m.
Posts: 44
Joined: July 29, 2013

Posted by: Kenny

My opinion is the bike industry sometimes latches on to something "cool" and just carpet bombs their entire product range with the feature, regardless of if it's actually appropriate for the different use cases.

Yup. As previously mentioned If your north of 30"ish inseam I suspect these steeper angles (at least on full suspension bikes) may now be just right. I suspect however that had longer chainstays been the first thing to come along ahead of steep seat angles the benefits of steep seat angles would not be so obvious.  I'm not saying I love long chainstays (for other reasons) but they do "add traction" to the front end and mitigate wheel lift which is often cited as a benefit of steeper seat angles. 

And I agree with your description of moving the BB behind you or the seat in front. It will unavoidably rotate the rider when they are seated (which is the whole point of this thread) around the BB tilting them forward. I just don't know how other folks have been able to accommodate this change for door to trail (i.e. flat traverse) riding in a way that doesn't screw too badly with on trail riding. Well I know some now thanks to this thread.

June 9, 2022, 3:12 p.m.
Posts: 2382
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: geraldooka

Posted by: Kenny

My opinion is the bike industry sometimes latches on to something "cool" and just carpet bombs their entire product range with the feature, regardless of if it's actually appropriate for the different use cases.

Yup. As previously mentioned If your north of 30"ish inseam I suspect these steeper angles (at least on full suspension bikes) may now be just right. I suspect however that had longer chainstays been the first thing to come along ahead of steep seat angles the benefits of steep seat angles would not be so obvious.  I'm not saying I love long chainstays (for other reasons) but they do "add traction" to the front end and mitigate wheel lift which is often cited as a benefit of steeper seat angles. 

And I agree with your description of moving the BB behind you or the seat in front. It will unavoidably rotate the rider when they are seated (which is the whole point of this thread) around the BB tilting them forward. I just don't know how other folks have been able to accommodate this change for door to trail (i.e. flat traverse) riding in a way that doesn't screw too badly with on trail riding. Well I know some now thanks to this thread.

And of course the mtb'ing public easily falls prey to the marketing hype. 

IMHO the best place to start is by understanding one's own geometry and then testing out a few bikes with different geometry to get a bit of a sense of what works for you. Then people can focus on finding a bike that works fairly well for their body and finally fine tune it with things like stem/bar/saddle/seatpost adjustments. Let go of thinking what industry writers/reviewers say is a great performing bike as the bike for you and make bike fit your first priority. It doesn't matter how well brand XYZ suspension platform performs if the bike's geo makes it uncomfortable to ride. A good rule of thumb is that when riding the bike should feel like an extension of yourself, like it's a part of you, and not just like you are along for the ride and the bike is doing it's own thing.

June 9, 2022, 4:49 p.m.
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: geraldooka

I just don't know how other folks have been able to accommodate this change for door to trail (i.e. flat traverse) riding in a way that doesn't screw too badly with on trail riding. Well I know some now thanks to this thread.

Based on my anecdotal evidence the solution is called a "Tacoma". I see a tiny % of people riding MTBs to the trails.

June 9, 2022, 5:29 p.m.
Posts: 15503
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

At 5'8" I compared/ rode a small norco fat bike and a meduim norco fat bike, the  small felt pretty small, I think you want to try a small to see what it feels like


 Last edited by: XXX_er on June 9, 2022, 5:31 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 9, 2022, 7:25 p.m.
Posts: 1668
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: kcy4130

It might be that you'd benefit from sliding the seat all the way forward on the rails. Let me explain, if we ignore sta and ones legs and only look at the upper body, then a shorter distance from seat to bars will allow you to sit more upright, i.e. spine closer to vertical and less sloped forward. This means the cg of your torso moves back slightly, hence more weight on seat, less on hands. Now, if we put legs and sta back in then a steeper sta will reduce a riders ability to hold up the torso with back/butt muscles with the feet as fulcrum, hence less weight on hands. Which of these conflicting things will be the dominant factor depends on specifics. If you are indeed on too long of a bike then sliding forward could help. Or I could be completely wrong, but hey, it's free and easy to try.

Hmm, I did just this a few months back. 

Worked as you predicted, at least for me and my particular body weirdness.

June 9, 2022, 8:37 p.m.
Posts: 272
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

Posted by: craw

Posted by: XXX_er

I'm 5'8" and IME a  small is really small

The new enduro bikes in 29" are really long, I had a little trouble getting the 5.5 yeti (29/29) around banked 180's  at first but i got over it

then the Bullit  (29/ 27.5 mullet) was easier in spite of being longer slacker head angle,  the bike seems to  pivot on the back wheel much easier

At first I was going to argue about new bikes having more reach but that balancing out against the loss of ETT due to the steeper seat angle. Then I thought I better check.

2013 XL Specialized Enduro 29:              reach 465, ETT 640, rear center 430, wheelbase 1206, ESTA 75, HA 67.5

2022 S5 Specialized Stump EVO alloy:   reach 498, ETT 647, rear center 448, wheelbase 1285, ESTA 77, HA 64

So yeah that's a pretty big difference.

Makes me think a 2013 Enduro might make a decent trail bike …

June 10, 2022, 6:49 a.m.
Posts: 914
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: geraldooka

Posted by: Kenny

My opinion is the bike industry sometimes latches on to something "cool" and just carpet bombs their entire product range with the feature, regardless of if it's actually appropriate for the different use cases.

Yup. As previously mentioned If your north of 30"ish inseam I suspect these steeper angles (at least on full suspension bikes) may now be just right. I suspect however that had longer chainstays been the first thing to come along ahead of steep seat angles the benefits of steep seat angles would not be so obvious. I'm not saying I love long chainstays (for other reasons) but they do "add traction" to the front end and mitigate wheel lift which is often cited as a benefit of steeper seat angles.

Remember when they used to promote short chainstays as benefitting climbing? Tucking the rear wheel in for better climbing is what Zapata Espinoza used to say. That doesn't make any sense from any perspective and yet we all nodded. And we're doing the dumb nod about just as many things today, just won't know what they are until tomorrow.


 Last edited by: craw on June 10, 2022, 6:49 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 10, 2022, 7:26 a.m.
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: craw

Remember when they used to promote short chainstays as benefitting climbing? Tucking the rear wheel in for better climbing is what Zapata Espinoza used to say. That doesn't make any sense from any perspective and yet we all nodded. And we're doing the dumb nod about just as many things today, just won't know what they are until tomorrow.

Short CS 100% climb better for me than longer CS at 5'11" and 33" pants inseam. Not saying that universal, but it's not some mythical idea.

June 10, 2022, 9:33 a.m.
Posts: 914
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: Vikb

Posted by: craw

Remember when they used to promote short chainstays as benefitting climbing? Tucking the rear wheel in for better climbing is what Zapata Espinoza used to say. That doesn't make any sense from any perspective and yet we all nodded. And we're doing the dumb nod about just as many things today, just won't know what they are until tomorrow.

Short CS 100% climb better for me than longer CS at 5'11" and 33" pants inseam. Not saying that universal, but it's not some mythical idea.

That's sort of counter-intuitive given that longer CS means a longer lever exerting downward pressure on everything. Why do you think you're getting good results with shorter CS? For you is that shorter CS on a previous gen reach/ESTA, or on something progressive with steep ESTA and long reach?

June 10, 2022, 11:26 a.m.
Posts: 1668
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: craw

Remember when they used to promote short chainstays as benefitting climbing? Tucking the rear wheel in for better climbing is what Zapata Espinoza used to say. That doesn't make any sense from any perspective and yet we all nodded. And we're doing the dumb nod about just as many things today, just won't know what they are until tomorrow.

Ha! True. 

Our enthusiastic adoption of 90's Norba road-bike geometry and the following decade we spent wallowing in it is particularly painful in hindsight. 

80's geo was tracking right into modern trail bike numbers, and we abandoned it.

------------

Zap and the other MTB media personalities often seemed so far out in left field, but then again they were forming their opinions riding SoCal.

June 10, 2022, 1 p.m.
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: craw

That's sort of counter-intuitive given that longer CS means a longer lever exerting downward pressure on everything. Why do you think you're getting good results with shorter CS? For you is that shorter CS on a previous gen reach/ESTA, or on something progressive with steep ESTA and long reach?

Longer CS mean I have less weight on the rear tire and it spins when I am trying to climb steeper technical sections. Shorter CS put more weight on the rear tire and I can tractor up steep climbs very well. This has been true for me on older geo bikes and "modern" geo as well. I am triangular shaped with my weight quite biased towards my upper body. So pulling the back wheel away from the BB just makes it lighter and lighter relative to the front wheel. Hence the traction issues. I am using 30-35mm stems on my current bikes so I can't make the front ends any longer and still put my hands comfortably on the bars.

Steep STAs are both uncomfortable for me and they exacerbate the traction issues at the rear wheel by moving my weight forward.

I also like the way short CS ride, get around turns and make it easy to get the front wheel in the air. So they work better for me up and down.

June 10, 2022, 5:31 p.m.
Posts: 1337
Joined: March 18, 2017

It's wild that I'm outta shape and my tech climb times are apparently faster on a G16 29er @ 175/170mm travel than with my Gen 1 Surface.

Have a look at hill climbing dirtbikes to see that long CS/RC result in a better climbing bike.  I'll wait for the haters to tell me mtn biking exists in an alternate universe where physics doesn't

Forum jump: