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  1. #101
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  2. #102
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    Wow, someone actually took me up on the scale idea, cool.

    Itís interesting that the difference between the two is so close, and yet the ratio is so from the holy grail of 50/50... not surprising

    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    I made some measurements yesterday in hopes to add actual data to the discussion. I placed a scale under the tires and shimmed some boards under the other end to keep axles level. Took measurements bike only and then with me in my neutral seated position.

    2015 Bucksaw, 100mm Bluto, small frame BUCKSAW X01 | Archived Bikes | Salsa Cycles
    bike only 50F:50R distribution
    me and bike 33.3F:66.7R distribution

    2013 Mukluk, 110mm Lefty Max, alternators short as possible, small frame 2013 Mukluk 2 | Archived Bikes | Salsa Cycles
    bike only 50F:50R distribution
    me and bike 35F:65R distribution

    My contact points on both bikes are nearly identical, relative to each other. Those points in reference to the wheelbase do vary slightly from bike to bike. I'm seeing roughly a 1/3:2/3 split. I don't ride the bucksaw in deep snow so no evaluation if it's better or worse than the Mukluk. In any case the difference in weight distribution between both bikes is not very significant anyways.

    Waiting for the scale to settle down as I was getting comfortable I saw 5-10% variations. Purposefully shifting my weight in a seated position can force up to 15% swing in distribution from the base values above. Can anyone else contribute?

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Wow, someone actually took me up on the scale idea, cool.

    Itís interesting that the difference between the two is so close, and yet the ratio is so from the holy grail of 50/50... not surprising
    <- Engineer.

    This is bathroom scale tech, thus I only reported the ratios rather than raw data.

    Without combing over geometries very closely I too was surprised how close the seated ratios were between the bikes. And quite far from 50:50. Tire wear being an indicator, I'd used up my rear significantly faster than my front tread knobs.
    When I eventually swap out wheelsets for winter/snow meats and screw with the drop adjustment, I'll get the data for the long chainstay configuration.

    Does the 1.7% increase in rear weight bias make the Bucksaw X% more rideable in Y% of snow conditions? I'm seeing more variation than that just by dipping my head position to read the scale.
    16.5" vs 17.5" vs 18.5" vs 19.5" chain stays?
    After taking my measurements I feel as though my position on the bike and personal build matter just as much or even more to the weight distribution than the chainstay length. Surely bike geometry matters, but along with that one must consider: frame bags, bar rolls, fork cages, saddle bag, seat rail adjustment, stem length and height, backpack w/ water or beer gut...... Any collection of those factors could skew a person's experience.

    While a definite outlier, the Big Fat Dummy is a useful data point at what I assume to be closer to 50:50.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Thanks for posting your numbers. This past weekend I custom made some aluminum plates to move my rear tire back further than the stock sliding dropouts would go in an attempt to stop the 2XL rear from rubbing on the chainstay. I rode it around and found it was too much. My rear tire spun out most of the time and the increase in turning radius was noticeable. It was very stable and I could creep along more slowly on the soft trail which was interesting. I returned things back to stock as it didnít result in reducing tire rub as much as I hoped and I didnít feel comfortable really cranking on the pedals. My chainstays were around 19.5Ē long.
    Thank you too.
    I'm not sure what bike you're on. What was the pre-mod chainstay? Do you have a bathroom scale to test both systems?

  5. #105
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    This reminds me of a similar discussion regarding weight distribution on telemark skis. For ages people argued that the holy grail was 50/50, front/rear foot, yet no one could ever achieve that, ultimately it was decided that it was not ideal to have a 50/50 balance ratio as control was improved when there was a bias.

    The Big Fat Dummy demonstrates the problem with having insufficient weight over the rear wheel in low friction conditions.

    Bathroom scale tech demosntrates that rear wheel bias is nowhere near 50/50. It looks like 35/65 is close to the norm, so small changes in chainstay don't really impact float on soft surfaces.

    Sounds like short chainstays may offer benefits without significant costs

    Quote Originally Posted by bme107 View Post
    <- Engineer.

    This is bathroom scale tech, thus I only reported the ratios rather than raw data.

    Without combing over geometries very closely I too was surprised how close the seated ratios were between the bikes. And quite far from 50:50. Tire wear being an indicator, I'd used up my rear significantly faster than my front tread knobs.
    When I eventually swap out wheelsets for winter/snow meats and screw with the drop adjustment, I'll get the data for the long chainstay configuration.

    Does the 1.7% increase in rear weight bias make the Bucksaw X% more rideable in Y% of snow conditions? I'm seeing more variation than that just by dipping my head position to read the scale.
    16.5" vs 17.5" vs 18.5" vs 19.5" chain stays?
    After taking my measurements I feel as though my position on the bike and personal build matter just as much or even more to the weight distribution than the chainstay length. Surely bike geometry matters, but along with that one must consider: frame bags, bar rolls, fork cages, saddle bag, seat rail adjustment, stem length and height, backpack w/ water or beer gut...... Any collection of those factors could skew a person's experience.

    While a definite outlier, the Big Fat Dummy is a useful data point at what I assume to be closer to 50:50.

  6. #106
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  7. #107
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    When riding on a surface where flotation is at a premium, ie. powder, thin crust, etc. we often find that flat sections can be perfectly rideable, but once we hit a slope, even a gentle one, and start to climb, the rear wheel will start to punch thru/sink in/trench out, and so on.
    Due to a well known (but mysterious) force called gravity, we are seeing a transfer of weight from the front axle to the rear axle on the climbs.
    On a similar note, pulling a wheelie has the same effect. I have never found that to increase my flotation either.
    Like here:
    Last edited by Espen W; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:12 AM.
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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    When riding on a surface where flotation is at a premium, ie. powder, thin crust, etc. we find that flat sections can be perfectly rideable, but once we hit a slope, even a gentle one, the rear wheel will start to punch thru/sink in/trench out, and so on....
    How wide do you think a tyre would have to be before sinking in ceased to be a problem?

    My current guess is around 8" (200mm), ie roughly 4 times the volume of a 4" tyre.
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  9. #109
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    I strongly disagree with this statement.

    There are many instances where I have used my weight and short chainstays (yes, I said short) to force the rear wheel down to maintain traction on slick/loose surfaces.

    If you're punching into the snow and not getting traction, then you weren't getting traction to begin with, which begs the question of whether anything would improve traction including float.

    Float is not traction. Traction tends to disrupt float, just think about it.

    Gravity is real. Don't look to marginal changes in geometry or tire width to address a grossly overloaded vehicle with inadequate support. Even the widest tire will encounter conditions where float is not possible.

    In other words, enjoy the hike, get some snowshoes, or wait for the snow to set up/settle down.

    Seriously, this has got to be the dumbest battle of wills ever. Can't you guys just ride what you ride and let it go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    When riding on a surface where flotation is at a premium, ie. powder, thin crust, etc. we often find that flat sections can be perfectly rideable, but once we hit a slope, even a gentle one, and start to climb, the rear wheel will start to punch thru/sink in/trench out, and so on.
    Due to a well known (but mysterious) force called gravity, we are seeing a transfer of weight from the front axle to the rear axle on the climbs.
    On a similar note, pulling a wheelie has the same effect. I have never found that to increase my flotation either.
    Like here:

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    In other words, enjoy the hike, get some snowshoes, or wait for the snow to set up/settle down.
    Nah.. a proper bike can easily be ridden (no hands even) in conditions so mushy that hiking would really, really suck. At least not enjoyed much.
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  11. #111
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    My Diamondback has 18.5" chainstays, so they are on the long side. I haven't had it out on snow, but it cruises down washes amazingly well, and climbs nicely enough for my old @ss.
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Can't you guys just ride what you ride and let it go?
    Maybe your own advice would do you some good.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    ...In other words, enjoy the hike, get some snowshoes, or wait for the snow to set up/settle down...
    I think most of the people in this discussion know the basics.

    Float may not be traction, but you're not going anywhere when you're sinking up to your axles.

    As for wearing snowshoes, that's not an option for me. Firstly I ride miles to where ever I'm going and will have highly variable surfaces en route. I want a bike that can handle most of what gets thrown at it, and am quite happy to hike-a-bike for short portions if necessary.

    There are no such things as groomed snow trails where I ride. There won't be skiers or snowmobiles, and the closest thing to grooming will be on the forestry tracks where some big tractor has left great frozen ruts with icy corrugations. When I go out I have no idea what sort of surfaces will be ahead of me. The fatbike however has been the most versatile at handling them.

    The enjoyable thing about the fatbike forum in the early days was the innovation. Innovation has slowed down, and our bikes are now being shaped more for trail centres with prepared surfaces than the unpredictable great outdoors.

    If we had the snow's wrong, on with the skis/snowshoes mentality we'd still be riding skinny wheels. (I find your opinions interesting, that is not a go at you)

    You may well be right with that opinion for all I know, however the point of this discussion is to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and if we have to look down some dead ends, then at least we then know to look elsewhere.
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  14. #114
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    I think innovation in fat bikes has simply been taken up by the manufacturers. When fat bikes arose, they were an innovation. Now, they are an industry, and the manufacturers-of frames, tires, forks, etc. are doing the work. Though it may be costly as a consumer, it is time expedient to be able to buy what you need to enjoy the ride you desire.
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    Is this a sign of you getting EOG (early onset grumpiness)?
    I think it's a sign that you're being unnecessarily personal and petty in your responses. And that you seem to have opinions that are quite strong for the amount of time you've apparently been actually riding a fat bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    ...our bikes are now being shaped more for trail centres with prepared surfaces than the unpredictable great outdoors.
    You make this point frequently - can you give some specific examples of this? Because honestly, I see very few fat bikes (not counting cheap crap) that I would describe as not suitable for the "unpredictable great outdoors." They may not all reflect your particular geometry preferences, etc. but that hardly means they won't work on a remote trip. And it doesn't have to be an "either/or" thing, as you seem to want to frame it. There are plenty of bikes capable of being fun on trails and being loaded up and taken into the backcountry for days at a time.

    In fact, I think we live in a pretty awesome time for the available choices in adventure bikes.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  16. #116
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  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Nah.. a proper bike can easily be ridden (no hands even) in conditions so mushy that hiking would really, really suck. At least not enjoyed much.
    Like here:


    Yeah, pretty cool, but now let's see him mount that bike in the waist deep snow and get it rolling again. Even though the east coast of the US is hogging all the snow, I may need that skill someday in the midwest. I hope. I can see grass in some places still, ugh.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    I think innovation in fat bikes has simply been taken up by the manufacturers. When fat bikes arose, they were an innovation. Now, they are an industry, and the manufacturers-of frames, tires, forks, etc. are doing the work. Though it may be costly as a consumer, it is time expedient to be able to buy what you need to enjoy the ride you desire.
    Well, let's see their work on a fatbike that doesn't dig trenches on really soft going.

    It'll be people like mikesee and other experimenters who will bring this to pass initially, not the major manufacturers.

    "There's no market for that sort of bike," the industry will cry, and they'll be right.

    Right up until the day they see the small guys building bikes for that purpose, then they'll say "Ooh look! there's a bandwagon, let's jump on!"

    Excuse my cynical take on the industry, but we see very little groundbreaking innovation in the cycling world, more an evolutionary progress of refinement (which is also good).
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    ...You make this point frequently - can you give some specific examples of this? Because honestly, I see very few fat bikes (not counting cheap crap) that I would describe as not suitable for the "unpredictable great outdoors." They may not all reflect your particular geometry preferences, etc. but that hardly means they won't work on a remote trip....
    Of course it doesn't mean they're not suitable for the "unpredictable great outdoors." I have toured on dirt in outback Australia on a lightweight racing bike with tubular tyres - probably the most unsuitable bike possible, and very remote places. It was all I had at the time.

    I accept that any bike can be used.

    But some bikes are more suitable than others.
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  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Of course it doesn't mean they're not suitable for the "unpredictable great outdoors." I have toured on dirt in outback Australia on a lightweight racing bike with tubular tyres - probably the most unsuitable bike possible, and very remote places. It was all I had at the time.

    I accept that any bike can be used.

    But some bikes are more suitable than others.
    But "suitability" is exactly what I'm talking about. I didn't make the comment above the within the context of "you can make any bike work."

    I'm saying that 1) there are quite a few fat bikes available today that are awesome platforms for backcountry exploration, and 2) that the notion that a fat bike is either designed for "having fun on groomed terrain parks" or "backcountry exploration" is a false dichotomy that you are choosing to perceive. Plenty of bikes out there these days that will do a great job of both.

    And trust me, I speak having from spent a little time in the backcountry on bikes.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    But "suitability" is exactly what I'm talking about. I didn't make the comment above the within the context of "you can make any bike work."

    I'm saying that 1) there are quite a few fat bikes available today that are awesome platforms for backcountry exploration, and 2) that the notion that a fat bike is either designed for "having fun on groomed terrain parks" or "backcountry exploration" is a false dichotomy that you are choosing to perceive. Plenty of bikes out there these days that will do a great job of both.

    And trust me, I speak having from spent a little time in the backcountry on bikes.
    This is very much how I see this issue. There are dozens of fat bikes that are adventure ready and, with proper tires (another area where personal innovation cannot possibly cater to demand and where the industry has really gone to good lengths), can manage powder as long as the rider astride them knows how to ride on such a surface.
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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    Yeah, pretty cool, but now let's see him mount that bike in the waist deep snow and get it rolling again. Even though the east coast of the US is hogging all the snow, I may need that skill someday in the midwest. I hope. I can see grass in some places still, ugh.
    I need to start a FAQ, it seems, but since we are closing in on Groundhog Day, here ye go: Winterbike 2017 - year of the 3XL tire?

    Demo at the start of the video and again at 1.13
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  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    I need to start a FAQ, it seems, but since we are closing in on Groundhog Day, here ye go: Winterbike 2017 - year of the 3XL tire?

    Demo at the start of the video and again at 1.13
    Oh Espen we don't need that thread to start up again.
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  25. #125
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    Fellas:
    Let us focus on data instead of quarreling (as the Brits say).
    Labtype data with scales, etc.
    Outdoor type data with back-back testing.

    Seems that the mile long stays of the Big Fat Dummy arent't optimal (I'd like to test it with my 6'' tires at a slight vacuum, though) and neither are the 0mm long CS of a unicycle.
    Ie. the ideal is somewhere in the middle, and the ideal will vary with conditions, rider weight, tires, pressure and so on.

    Post data, show videos of radical riding (comparative would be super.).
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  26. #126
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  27. #127
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    I have not had anything to add to this conversation and I suppose this post is only anecdotal at best. We have been blessed with a bunch of snow in the northeast US and conditions have been relatively soft up to this point. My "snow bike" is a Borealis Yampa, whose geometry includes long chainstays that could be described as tractor-trailer length. I can't manual the front end over a ditch to save my life on this bike, but find it fairly easy to do on my other rig. I went for a ride a week or so with some friends in conditions that were marginal at best.

    I seemed to be having the easiest time of everyone, largely due to running Buds on 90 mm rims and airing down appropriately for the conditions. When a tire would punch through it was always the rear, and i found myself keeping my weight forward to compensate. But I noticed that on short punchy climbs that if your rear tire spun it would dig a hole and you would be stopped in your tracks, much the way mikesee described somewhere in here. I found that I had to consciously weight the rear tire to maintain traction on these climbs. It was the first time I have ever experienced this sort of thing in decades of snow riding.

    I'm not trying to make a case for either long or short chainstays with regard to float. Short stays are certainly (in my mind) beneficial for a playful bike. However I had my eyes opened to how critical weight distribution is when riding in conditions that are barely supportive.

  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    ...My feeling is that the only time one benefits from having their weight further rearward is in windblown snow (at least in my area). .
    Interesting. What about windblown snow changes the usual variables from your typical conditions? Is it that it's loose and less consolidated?
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

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    To the forum moderator: Thanks

  30. #130
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    I found this article today when reading nsmb article it doesnít directly talk about fat biking or chain stays length or float but talks about the industry of bike sizing. Iíve been lucky where I ride a trek farly feels great but I would like to experiment but Iím a one bike guy the only thing I know is when I donít like something. My point by posting this is maybe itís the over all geometry on some of these bikes more then chainstay length.

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    Itís an interesting article, i read it last year, I might even have been on board with the really long frame and short stem idea until I spent a season riding a large (too large) Wozo.

    Kona has the long and low geo in spades, but too long is just that, no amount of stem shortening can overcome a frame that is too big. Granted, too small is also bad, but for a bike that needs to be pedaled, a longer frame is not the key.

    All things in moderation.

    Quote Originally Posted by gunner.989 View Post
    I found this article today when reading nsmb article it doesnít directly talk about fat biking or chain stays length or float but talks about the industry of bike sizing. Iíve been lucky where I ride a trek farly feels great but I would like to experiment but Iím a one bike guy the only thing I know is when I donít like something. My point by posting this is maybe itís the over all geometry on some of these bikes more then chainstay length.

    Size matters: why we’re all riding bikes that are too small - MBR

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    I don't frequent mtbr much any more so it is funny to see the same exact arguments and concerns regurgitated over and over again year after year.

    Rider is faced with adverse conditions and questions bike geo rather than ride skill, technique, and setup. Some snow just sucks to ride and you constantly need to adjust body position, pedaling technique, and tire pressure to compensate based on conditions.

    It ain't easy...it isn't supposed to be!!

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    I've heard short chain stays fixes everything and makes it easy.

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  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I don't frequent mtbr much any more so it is funny to see the same exact arguments and concerns regurgitated over and over again year after year.

    Rider is faced with adverse conditions and questions bike geo rather than ride skill, technique, and setup. Some snow just sucks to ride and you constantly need to adjust body position, pedaling technique, and tire pressure to compensate based on conditions.

    It ain't easy...it isn't supposed to be!!
    Yes, but...

    If your frame allows you to adjust your wheelbase why not try that, too. This falls under "setup" , no?

    When I lengthened the stays on my Muk, I could suddenly ride in conditions that I struggled with before. The primary benefit was fewer front end washouts and improved "float". I assume this was because it slowed handling, and put more weight on the front wheel allowing knobs to grab while reducing weight on the back. Better fore aft balance for the Muk, for the way I had it set up at least. I can't say rear end traction was improved, but that wasn't the biggest issue I was dealing with. Traction was more than adequate for the trails I was riding at the time, and well within my ability to optimize with dynamic shifts of body position.

    Argue away, but the benefits were real, not imagined.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner.989 View Post
    I found this article today when reading nsmb article it doesnít directly talk about fat biking or chain stays length or float but talks about the industry of bike sizing. Iíve been lucky where I ride a trek farly feels great but I would like to experiment but Iím a one bike guy the only thing I know is when I donít like something. My point by posting this is maybe itís the over all geometry on some of these bikes more then chainstay length.

    Size matters: why we’re all riding bikes that are too small - MBR
    I read this plus a couple of other reviews of uber long bikes and decided to give one a whirl. I bought one of mr Porters 2nd generation Geometrons which has a 510mm reach on a medium. In short I would say discussing the merits of CS length in isolation is a moot point as there are so many other variables however I can confirm that the geometron climbs astonishingly well, provides traction in spades and allows insane high speed drifts plus is extremely comfortable for all day riding despite being a big lump of bike. it's not going to cut it on snow though and it's not ideal for trials style hops!

    After riding the geometron I decided to slack out all my other bikes including my fat bike by 2 degrees with angle sets and have noticed only and improvement in handling having done so. I don't see much snow but like velo bike encounter a wide range of conditions and terrain on each ride. For me, longer bike coupled with 35mm stem and a head angle around the 65 degree mark results in a more comfortable and capable bike. I guess I tend to ride quite front heavy so have never had any front end wash issues from going slacker.

    Horses for courses, what works for one may not work for another, blah blah.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    delete

    I guess he took his ball and went home.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I guess he took his ball and went home.

  38. #138
    aka bOb
    Reputation: bdundee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I guess he took his ball and went home.
    Thank goodness, I stayed neutral but found myself really getting annoyed. Many times I typed up a response but deleted it realizing it was worth it.

  39. #139
    Nice day for a ride..... Moderator
    Reputation: Bikin' Bric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I guess he took his ball and went home.
    He got warned after being reported in several threads. I guess he didn't like it and went to delete all his forum posts... I didn't like that so I deleted HIM. C'est la vie.
    Bikin' Bric's Bike Blog

    2012 Norco CCX3
    2014 Nashbar Fat Bike
    2016 RSD Catalyst 700+

  40. #140
    This place needs an enema
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikin' Bric View Post
    He got warned after being reported in several threads. I guess he didn't like it and went to delete all his forum posts... I didn't like that so I deleted HIM. C'est la vie.

    Too bad. I'm always grateful for a dissenting opinion when well presented -- it makes us examine our beliefs and remember how we arrived at them. He started out great (in his contradictory sort of way) but then kinda lost his shit and spiraled the drain.

    And then you flushed him.

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