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Thread: Head Angles

  1. #1
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    Head Angles

    Can someone explain the difference in head angles on All Mountain Bikes.

    What is best for what type of riding?

    The bike I am looking at has a 69 head angle and I don't know the difference.

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
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    What sort of riding? What length fork?

  3. #3
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    Sort of like trying to define 'AM' no right answer
    Quote Originally Posted by mikerod87
    Can someone explain the difference in head angles on All Mountain Bikes. Steeper makes the bike easier to turn at slow speed, puts the wheel more under the handlebars for better climbing. Slacker head angles makes the bike more forgiving at speed and on the steeps, but a bit floppy at slow speeds and climbs.

    What is best for what type of riding?Its all personal preference, 2 - 3 years ago 69 degrees was the AM head angle, right now we are going for 66 - 67 degrees.


    The bike I am looking at has a 69 head angle and I don't know the difference.The only way to tell is to get on different setups and see what you like, heck there are people here who still ride 72 degree frames and will not change. If I rode such a head angle I would be crashing hard everyday.


    Thanks!!!

  4. #4
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    Personally, I've found head angles make little difference to climbing ability. If any.
    Slack head angles get a bad rep for poor climbing because many people experience slack head angles as a result of a too long fork, which also kicks the seat angle back and raises the bb.
    Slack head angle frames can climb well so long as the designer has designed for appropriate seat angle and bb height at a given fork length.

  5. #5
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    Generally the more travel, the faster the speeds the bike is designed for, and the slacker the head angle needs to be for stability at higher speeds and to avoid becoming too steep while diving travel while braking.

    Also in general, for a given travel, slacker head and fork angles hit bumps smoother, and are better for lots of rocks, gravel, sand, and steep step downs and drops. Steeper is quicker handling so better for slower speeds and easier to balance while climbing and on tight twisty singletrack.

    Slacker angles are more forgiving of rider mistakes, steep head and fork angles generally crash easier in rocky, gravely, sandy situations.

    It's also personal preference, what you are used to handling.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys,
    I ride a GT force with a 69 angle but so does the Ibis Mojo. 140mm/ I am an All Mountain/XC rider.

    This is my own personal preference but my Force seems a little twitchie at times. Turns easy.

  7. #7
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    When I bought my latest HT frame, I shot for a 69 head angle with a 140 mm fork. Found my frame selection was fairly limited- that's on the steep side for AM HT frames, it seems. But I like the way it rides. I never noticed it was any less stable on fast descents, but its certainly more responsive in tight spots.

  8. #8
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    my last bike was an IH 6point with a HA of 67.5 which was considered slack back in '07, I recently purchased a Speci Pitch with a lyric and the HA is ~ 65.5 - 66. The pitch is noticeably faster and more stable at speeds and on tech steeps, etc, although I really liked the DW link suspension in the back more than FSR. I do notice the HA a little more when climbing really steep pitches but it's pretty easy to compensate for it and it certainly doesn't affect my riding at all. The slacker Pitch also turns differently on slower terrain, for sure, but again, it's pretty easy to learn how to turn it quicker by adding more hip/hand pressure and railing the bike thru a flat turn as opposed to steering it thru. Also depends on riding style, i ride a Dh and a Dj bike as well, so my riding is more gravity oriented. If you're just riding flatter, slower terrain or really emphasize the climbing aspect of trail riding then I would think a steeper HA would be better, but if you ride steep, techy, faster trails too, you would probably opt for a slacker HA, imo.
    Last edited by 2w4s; 12-19-2010 at 10:25 AM.
    nothing witty here...

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    Attitude- my Prophet is at 69 and with all the twists and tight turns on our trail systems iy workd great. Our steeps have lots of rocks and roots in the twists and it feels good. Ive never used my 67.5 setting but Ive tried my buddy's bullit and it feels great in a different way. Not so on an Epic!

  10. #10
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    FS frames generally retain the same head angle when you're riding them. Hardtails steepen. Long travel hardtails steepen lots!

  11. #11
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    prophet

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeydesadist
    Attitude- my Prophet is at 69 and with all the twists and tight turns on our trail systems iy workd great. Our steeps have lots of rocks and roots in the twists and it feels good. Ive never used my 67.5 setting but Ive tried my buddy's bullit and it feels great in a different way. Not so on an Epic!

    you really should try the prophet in the 67.5 HA. It feels WAY better than the steeper 69.
    but ...If you don't ride any tech...then 69 is probably fine.

    While I'm debating whether to sell my Prophet frame for something different(Pitch)...I have to say my Prophet is an 05. This bike was ahead of it's time by offering the 67.5 HA on an AM bike.

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