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  1. #1
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    Cannondale Prophet adjustable HA: ? why haven't other companies adopted this approach

    Quick background: I am considering picking up a leftover prophet before they are gone for good but I am wondering why other mfrs have not copied the prophet's adjustability between a 67.5 and 69 degree head angle via the swing arm like on the prophet. I plan to post in the cannondale section as well but I wanted to get some mixed views and to see if there any potential negatives that I had not thought of beforehand.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    because, like the lefty, not a lot of people can tell the difference.

    and i don't mean that as a backhanded insult, i'm serious.

  3. #3
    ay Diablo!
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    A few other brands have adjustable travel/head tube angles.
    My marin has it, older KHS 1000 and 2000 also had it. Those are just a couple that I know of off the top of my head.

    I never touch my retravel adjustment, and seldom touch my front fork travel adjustment. I think thats why most manufactures have not took that rode, since it is not a selling point for most people.

    Bunk
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  4. #4
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    That's and old idea used by others for many years before. But a good question. Bikes must be built to endure the speed range and trail difficulty the steering likes, in other words a frame and swingarm must be thick and stiff enough handle well at the slacker angles and to at least endure the warrantee period.

    A slack 67.5 head angle makes for a smooth rock hitting fork angle and easy directional stability at very fast speeds. Using a swingarm adjust mean lowering the BB and lengthening the wheelbase to get the slacker angle. But a 1/2 inch lower BB to slack 1.5 degrees makes for less clearance pedaling in the rocky sections, and limits the slack angles to mostly downhill usefulness and smooth and easy climbing. The steeper angle has better rock clearance pedaling and climbs with easier balance and more efficient power and steers quicker for tight trails. But in the steeper angle setting the bike is carrying extra weight required for enduring the slack setting use.

    Some of the Ellsworth Joker models had this feature about 5 years ago but were notorious for braking swingarms and frames being under engineered for the designed slacker angled heavier duty use. There were others better designed to endure the slacker angled use. My ’02 Intense Tracer had this feature although much more adjustable, I learned a lot about frame design riding and adjusting that bike in every which way.

    The early Marin Wolf Ridge had the best application of this feature in my opinion having a quick release to adjust infinitely between 4 and 6 inch travel slacking the bike angles for the longer travel and heavier duty use. But after a couple years they fixed the travel to 6 inches because it was always carrying the weight to endure and, like any bike of this adjustable design, was compromised for the steeper angle.

    Adjustable long travel forks like a Talas 36 or Lyric give a better angle change and pedal clearance combination for the conditions than the swingarm frame angle adjust.

    And then there's the Biocon...

  5. #5
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    I have the prophet and I keep it on the 69 degree head angle all the time. I love it, but I'm also a climber. I judge bikes on how well they climb(except my DH bike) for a single piviot I think the prophet climbs like a champ. Ive used the FR setting, its good but I dont think the bike was built around that setting, or at least my riding style wasn't built for that setting

    Derby is 100% right that the FR setting is better on downhills and is more stable hitting rocks and roots with speed, but I find it looses its agility when its in that setting.

  6. #6
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    i got a prophet back in march...great bike after the rear wheel was changed for something stiffer...but i was on a specialized enduro before that also had 2 setting HA adjust, it's not a knew idea, for single pivot bikes, it's prolly easy to engineer in this feature
    "He can make even a global summit meeting seem like a kegger." M. Dowd, NY Times, 19 July 2006

  7. #7
    JMH
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    Lots of companies have done this. The problem with adjusting your head angle by changing your rear suspension setup is that it is filled with compromises. These systems almost always change the BB height and seat angle as well, which might not be what a rider wants. On some designs, the leverage ratio on the shock is changed and nothing is ever quite what you were after in the first place. My experience with "adjustable" designs like this is that the bike works well in one position, badly in the others.

    Commencal and Corsair both have bikes that have true adjustable head angles, meaning you can change the head angle at the head tube with the headset. I am sure there are other brands, but those come to mind.

    JMH

  8. #8
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    Let me preface this by saying that I own a Prophet and I am biased. I use both settings all the time. Yes, the steeper head tube angle produces a lower bb height, although not low enough to hinder it's performance IMHO.

    I guess what I'm saying is...sure it has compromises. EVERY bike has compromises on different terrain. I just find that the adjustable geometry provides 2 (well maybe 1.5) distinct bikes. I'd love to have two separate bikes, a trail bike and a more aggressive all mountain bike. I just can't afford that

  9. #9
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    theres tons of bikes out there with different shock mounts for different angles. I think the real question is, why don't more bikes have a REAL adjustable HA like commencial and scott, that you can adjust via a headtube sleeve without fycking with the rest of the geo/travel/rates too much.

  10. #10
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    The majority of people do not bother with these features, even if they have them. Suspension settings, geometry, brakes, they adjust to where they like and leave it.

  11. #11
    discombobulated SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by eat_dirt
    because, like the lefty, not a lot of people can tell the difference.

    and i don't mean that as a backhanded insult, i'm serious.
    ?
    I think if people ride their bikes seriously for a good amount of time, differences in both would be apparent. Weekend wally riders might not notice...
    Switching out my setting makes a definite difference in steering and BB height....
    CDT

  12. #12
    squish is good
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    Also it doesn't work with floating pivot point suspension designs.
    Bike good, work bad.

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