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make or break

Feb. 10, 2016, 10:57 a.m.
Posts: 5738
Joined: May 28, 2005

bike geometry/design question for you

i realize it is difficult/impossible/useless to focus on one aspect's of a bike's design without considering how it impacts and interplays with all of the others

but i'm curious: what is the one aspect of a bike's design that can make or break it for you; the thing that, if gotten wrong, can makes you inadvertently pull a stinkface while reviewing a geometry table or spec sheet

and why?

"Nobody really gives a shit that you don't like the thing that you have no firsthand experience with." Dave

Feb. 10, 2016, 11:14 a.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

After my ride on Monday I'd say bb height. My fork doesn't seem to want to hold it's proper air pressure right now so I started the ride with the fork in major major sag. On the climb up my already low bb was practically dragging on the ground. Was painfully annoying till I pumped up the fork and got some height back.

Feb. 10, 2016, 11:22 a.m.
Posts: 3715
Joined: March 6, 2003

Head Angle

When it's not right, it can make riding a bike at speed a harrowing experience (too steep). If it's too slack it can make climbing a PITA or impossible to relax on a flat section of trail (too much input needed to keep a bike straight).

:canada: My Riding Journal….www.FVMBA.com :england:
"Do you even build?"
-DW-
"If everything seems in control, you're not going fast enough."
-Mario Andretti-

Feb. 10, 2016, 11:24 a.m.
Posts: 26384
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

When it comes to 29er frames long chain stays keep breaking the deal. Tried the second Inbred 29er frame built up properly am still just not feeling it.

The Samurai has just felt right from the day I got it. Same as the Stylus while I had it.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Feb. 10, 2016, 11:32 a.m.
Posts: 5738
Joined: May 28, 2005

After my ride on Monday I'd say bb height.

yeah, a ridiculously low bb can make a bike functionally unrideable

but have you ever seen or ridden a bike that (properly set up) has a bottom bracket that is actually to low? i feel like there's a minimum threshold that no one would cross (though specialized came pretty close)

Head Angle

what would say is (personally) the acceptable range?

"Nobody really gives a shit that you don't like the thing that you have no firsthand experience with." Dave

Feb. 10, 2016, 11:50 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

for me it's seat tube angle/reach/tt length, I have longish legs (for my height) and short arms/torso, if the angle is slack/reach long I end up having to stretch too far, even with short stems and it puts me in a horrible position for technical climbing, in addition to exacerbating old back/neck injuries. I'm really not into the super long new school geo that seems to be all the rage these days, I like a slightly more compact reach with a more upright body position, personally.

Feb. 10, 2016, 11:54 a.m.
Posts: 583
Joined: June 6, 2006

super specific example, but one thing i actually noticed on a trail on different bikes is chainstay length (and maybe it goes further to wheelbase). between my (former bikes) chromag stylus and cove hustler going down Full Monte in rossland, there are a couple tight rocky switchbacks that were effortless on the chromag. with the hustler i definitely had to concentrate a bit more. although i think they've made the turns easier in the past years so now it doesn't really matter

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:01 p.m.
Posts: 3715
Joined: March 6, 2003

what would say is (personally) the acceptable range?

65.5 for me is tolerable on climbs and near perfection for getting rowdy at speed on most technical trails. This is my ideal.

64 too slack for a trail bike

Happy Medium right here between the two.

67 too steep for a trail bike

:canada: My Riding Journal….www.FVMBA.com :england:
"Do you even build?"
-DW-
"If everything seems in control, you're not going fast enough."
-Mario Andretti-

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:03 p.m.
Posts: 4837
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

lack of water bottle mount.

not even kidding. there's not many current bikes that are so wonky in the number dept that you can't massage things into acceptable territory with anglesets, offset bushings, slamming seats on rails (or even reversing posts, as dumb as it looks), stem swapping or frame upsizing, but if there's no place for a bottle, i have no interest.

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

yeah, a ridiculously low bb can make a bike functionally unrideable

but have you ever seen or ridden a bike that (properly set up) has a bottom bracket that is actually to low? i feel like there's a minimum threshold that no one would cross (though specialized came pretty close)

what would say is (personally) the acceptable range?

I'd say mine is at the limit. No I've not actually ridden anything or seen anything that is in the too low range. Too much sag and mine is definitely functionally unrideable.

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:19 p.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

lack of water bottle mount.

not even kidding. there's not many current bikes that are so wonky in the number dept that you can't massage things into acceptable territory with anglesets, offset bushings, slamming seats on rails (or even reversing posts, as dumb as it looks), stem swapping or frame upsizing, but if there's no place for a bottle, i have no interest.

also true for me

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:20 p.m.
Posts: 10077
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Not sure anyone is making them anymore, but interrupted seat tube frames did it for me.

I'd also agree with a bottle mount.

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:22 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

Not sure anyone is making them anymore, but interrupted seat tube frames did it for me.

Dropper posts fixed that.

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:47 p.m.
Posts: 1540
Joined: May 23, 2006

yeah, a ridiculously low bb can make a bike functionally unrideable

but have you ever seen or ridden a bike that (properly set up) has a bottom bracket that is actually to low? i feel like there's a minimum threshold that no one would cross (though specialized came pretty close)

what would say is (personally) the acceptable range?

Nothing below 335mm. And that's pushing it. As Transition bikes found out.

“.....with a malevolent fascist swine atop its titular apex, the pitiful wounded beast of a rotten, spiritually dead American Superpower is careening towards epic barbarism while pushing the species dangerously to the tipping points of extinction.”

Feb. 10, 2016, 12:59 p.m.
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Dropper posts fixed that.

Actually, they had a bandaid fix interrupted seat tubes for it before dropper posts. The telescopic (double) seatpost on my 2002 Norco Shore made it possible to slam the seat for the descents, but also raise it up enough to be able to climb on.

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