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  1. #1
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    Geometry discussion

    Wondering what y'all think of THIS.

    The video is nearly the same as the text if you don't like reading.

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    I guess I don't understand what the word "balanced" means.

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    Before we hear about everyone's expert opinion I would say it would be interesting to ride and see how it feels.


    It seems bikes these days are focused more and more on the downhill. (In full curmudgeon mode now...)

    I've always been more into steeper geometry and and feel it is just as important to be able to manuver through rock gardens going slow and uphill, as it is to be able to blast over stuff going down.

    But I probably need to ride a few more bikes to get an accurate opinion of what is best for me at this point in my life.

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    Hey;

    I agree completely with the geometry portion (that was all I read, with my short attention span). I think that Walt might be able to point to this as more proof of his bedrock Front-Center-is-King argument. I was a bit puzzled by the concept at first, but I have learned that I agree with him. This is coming from someone who never had a bike really fit until I made my own.

    My Niner RIP9 was a godsend to me when I first threw a leg over it. It was my first 29er, but was the first bike actually built to be EXTRA large for extra large people. I used its numbers as a partial basis for my Fatties, actually extending both the WB and FC even more. I currently use a 110mm stem on the Niner, and the position is very upright. By comparison, on my Fatties, I am using a 100mm stem, which on them gives me a fairly aggressive stretched position. Now, my Niner almost feels like the bars are in my lap by comparison. Almost. My Fatties are the first bikes that I can really stand tall and crank on without feeling like my nose is in front of the axle!

    Buying off the shelf bikes that really fit has always been a compromise, and stem length has been a classic way of getting around that for folks not having a custom bike built to REALLY fit. I would think that we might all agree (or at least consider) that using a stem to dial in rider fit is variously less than ideal, in the abstract, especially if it got much longer than 100mm to seal the deal. Still, within reason, it is just as viable as any other tuning tool. Where I think Kona may have erred is in offering a stem so short that they limit the range of adjustability there, only allowing longer but not shorter.

    Still, in the end, I think they are on to something, if not something new. Don't look at the stem length... or even the dreaded effective TT length. They are a red herring. Go out and ride, and see where your nose is in relation to the front axle. That is a better means of judging fit in my estimation, and having room there will certainly improve downhilling, somewhat regardless of HT angles and such. Get a reasonable length stem that works, after that fact.

    YMMV.
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    Where I think Kona may have erred is in offering a stem so short that they limit the range of adjustability there, only allowing longer but not shorter.
    Good point.

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    Personally, I much more enjoy wresting a slack-long front center bike up hill, than nursing a steep-short front center bike down the hill.

  7. #7
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    Interesting.

    My first MTB build of recent times was where I constructed a frame that copied a Kona Kilauea of early '90's vintage, but I added 40mm to the top bar as it was way too short for the rider in question. This lengthened the F/C by quite a bit. It acheived all that this article is suggesting, but the most important thing was that the rider was able to ride the bike properly.

    The second area of comment, is the short stem. If you are a user of the Mary-Bar style, and I am one of those, of sorts, you have the option of placing your hands out wide and near the pivot centre for quick steer/leverage, and hands closer to the stem giving a longer stem effect, and better straight line stretch.

    I don't think that these concepts are as radical as claimed, and I would venture to suggest that from many of the recent builds that I have seen recently on this forum in the drawings rendered are tracking this way without knowing what the Manufacturers are doing. More to the point guy's, we're doing it right.

    Eric
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    I suspect the recent trend to what would have seemed like ridiculously slack front ends a few years ago is being aided by:

    - AM frames with short rear ends and long front centers, which takes weight off the front wheel reducing wheel flop
    - Wider and wider bars

    There's also larger fork offsets, though that seems to be offset by larger wheels.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    I would think that we might all agree (or at least consider) that using a stem to dial in rider fit is variously less than ideal, in the abstract, especially if it got much longer than 100mm to seal the deal.
    I don't know - my arms are 2" longer than average, so I'm not sure if I really want to push the front center out 2" just so I can run the same length stem as everyone else who isn't built like an orangutan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.welby View Post
    I suspect the recent trend to what would have seemed like ridiculously slack front ends a few years ago is being aided by:

    - AM frames with short rear ends and long front centers, which takes weight off the front wheel reducing wheel flop
    Good point. I hadn't thought about how wheel flop is related to weight on the front. But on the rear, I doubt that chainstay length has decreased very much (as Kona claims in the video). Short chainstays have been a design goal forever, and there really isn't much room to go from where they have been.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like how I like my bikes to ride.

    Who was it that said something like "build what you want, and then come up with some bull**** to sell it"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by adarn View Post
    Sounds like how I like my bikes to ride.

    Who was it that said something like "build what you want, and then come up with some bull**** to sell it"?
    Dave Weagle?


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    I think Kona is on point here. I also think they are doing a really good job of promoting themselves. I would love to see more videos like this.

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    I'm sure most bigger bike companies think a lot about geometry and Kona seems to be trying to share that they are expanding on old ideas and talking about it to potential customers (marketing). Only helps to educate people on the complexity of the situation. I like that they brought up front center, something hardly any normal rider has heard of. But it seems like they are using effective top tube length and front center almost interchangeably. The guy kinda throws out a lot of stuff and jumbles it up a couple of times IMO, kinda confusing. I'm not an expert but here's some things I noticed.

    I like how they compensate for the increased wheelbase by shortening the chainstays a bit (because they lengthened the top tube and also the front center). They didn't shorten the chainstays that much though, only some millimeters, like smilinsteve said. But what this does for 'balancing' the rider over the wheels is up for debate. The front-centers on these bikes are very big. This gets at a previous post I started about longer travel 29ers with slackass head tubes and shortass chainstays. The front center values on the Konas are WAY higher than normal and what Walt, PVD and others have stated are best for them. From Kona's website they range from 696 for the smallest frame size to 772 for the biggest frame size (the new Process 111 29er). Chainstay length for this model is 430. Not super short, maybe it is for rear suspension, don't know.

    What gets me is saying there's a 'right' weight distribution on a stock frame size and saying in the same sentence that a one-size-fits-all 60mm stem is the way to achieve that. Also that a shorter stem is less flexy than a longer 70mm stem. I mean seriously...60-70mm has a noticeably different flex...?

    I completely understand what they're going for -- a bike that's stable at speed yet still somewhat maneuverable in tight singletrack and switchbacks and still climbs well. Whether this geometry pulls that off i don't know, haven't ridden it, but I'm sure they're really fun on that downhill "all-mountain" terrain with just slamming through rough trails with high speed stability. I can pretty much guarantee that they'd suck to climb on though, or do anything else than push uphill and bomb downhill. And since when did "All Mountain" mean shuttling or hiking uphill? But hey, i like to ride uphill too so I'm the wrong guy to ask.

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    Kona is using very short rear ends on these bikes, as in under 17".

    Process 134 and 153 = 425
    Process 111 = 430

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    I guess i consider short chainstays to be 420 or less now. But that's for 29er hardtails.

    In 2008 Trek's 26er dualies had CS length under 17" (426, 424). The 69er hardtail had a 421mm.
    So what's new exactly that Kona is doing? To me it's mostly short stems and longer front centers which really all it does is put the rider's weight more over the rear wheel so it seems easier to go faster and rail stuff. But that front axle is way out there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meriwether View Post
    To me it's mostly short stems and longer front centers which really all it does is put the rider's weight more over the rear wheel so it seems easier to go faster and rail stuff. But that front axle is way out there...
    That is the key point right there. For a certain type of rider, in a certain type of terrain, this is key. For others, meh. Going faster and railing stuff is why some people ride.

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    Whit,

    Yea, when I said I think they are on point I'm saying that they are talking about mtn bike geometry in the right context IMHO. But I agree the devil is in the details. I will say I personally like bikes with a higher front center when the HT is slack. I ride a bit more forward on a bike though, so I like that feeling of the front wheel out in front of me. Gives me more confidence going down and cornering. I think when someone values climbing performance that FC number has gotta come down naturally. That being said I think Kona is selling these bikes to riders that care more about going down and might enter an "enduro" or something. Which is basically a downhill race from the late 90's with stages. :-)

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    Agreed, but what's the tradoff is my point? Are you saying that you can't go as fast without a bike like this? No, i don't think you are, so is the trade-off of how it climbs and wheel-flops at slow speed, steers and tracks at slow speed downhill corners, and rides the rest of the 'mountain' worth it? I'm not sure. So I'll have to build a similar geometry up and try it for myself.

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    A lot of enduros are run on current DH tracks (see Winter Park). Bikes like this would be overkill on DH runs from the 90's.

    I've ridden bikes like this all over, and yes they take much different technique to turn at lower speeds, but most people riding these bikes don't care about that stuff. And usually aren't afraid to slide the rear end around when need, or get off and push up a steep pitch.

    There are plenty of middle of the road bikes that will be better all arounders, but Kona isn't going for that.

  21. #21
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    agreed and well put.
    Will be fun to give it a go.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK View Post
    Kona is using very short rear ends on these bikes, as in under 17".

    Process 134 and 153 = 425
    Process 111 = 430
    No different than SC Blur TR. 16.9 inches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meriwether View Post
    so is the trade-off of how it climbs and wheel-flops at slow speed, steers and tracks at slow speed downhill corners, and rides the rest of the 'mountain' worth it?
    The other issue I suspect is that the front end would be very light on climbs, limiting how steep you could go before front wheel lift, especially if rocky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meriwether View Post
    I guess i consider short chainstays to be 420 or less now. But that's for 29er hardtails.
    Who makes that? Do they have to curve the seat tube?

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    eMcK, yea agree. They would be overkill. I guess in the end it comes down to where do you want to compromise and where do you want to optimize. All depends on the rider / terrain. You just can't have too many bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meriwether View Post
    I completely understand what they're going for -- a bike that's stable at speed yet still somewhat maneuverable in tight singletrack and switchbacks and still climbs well. Whether this geometry pulls that off i don't know, haven't ridden it, but I'm sure they're really fun on that downhill "all-mountain" terrain with just slamming through rough trails with high speed stability. I can pretty much guarantee that they'd suck to climb on though, or do anything else than push uphill and bomb downhill. And since when did "All Mountain" mean shuttling or hiking uphill? But hey, i like to ride uphill too so I'm the wrong guy to ask.
    I'd say you're way off base and completely wrong.

    I know for a fact that the writer does and has climbed plenty on the test bikes on singletrack in and around Whistler. He said it climbs very well. In fact he dropped his own coin on buying the 134 test bike off Kona once it was time to send it back. This is a guy that constantly has a stable of test bikes, he rides a TON, he's ridden everything and is floored by how great the bike rides both up and down.

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    Check out the average seat to bar drop on these bikes. With a dropper post, you can run XC height handlebars, which helps to keep the wheel where you want going up. Going down, with the seat dropped, those lower bars help to keep the front wheel digging in.

    Bikes like the Konas, and a lot of other 150-ish bikes work a lot better, going up and down, than they have any right to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    I'd say you're way off base and completely wrong.

    I know for a fact that the writer does and has climbed plenty on the test bikes on singletrack in and around Whistler. He said it climbs very well. In fact he dropped his own coin on buying the 134 test bike off Kona once it was time to send it back. This is a guy that constantly has a stable of test bikes, he rides a TON, he's ridden everything and is floored by how great the bike rides both up and down.
    I have no doubt that the writer is happy with the climbing ability of these Kona's. Just like I'm happy with the decending ability of my Intense with 72 degree head angle.
    Its just a matter of what you want to optimize, and what only needs to be "good enough".

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I have no doubt that the writer is happy with the climbing ability of these Kona's. Just like I'm happy with the decending ability of my Intense with 72 degree head angle.
    Its just a matter of what you want to optimize, and what only needs to be "good enough".
    Sure, but the new Kona's and your Intense are in way different classes so why compare?

    How many of you guys are riding progressive "all mountain" trails in the PNW / BC? These new Kona's are designed like the original Stinky's from back in the birth of "freeride", they are designed around specific trails in their back yard. The bikes won't be at their best in spots like Sun Valley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Walt

    I totally agree, neat fun. I run a low H/Bar height and I use a 75 degree seat stem.
    The short C/S does make for quick reactions on loose surface gravel as the rear will let go a bit abruptly. I wear a fully laden camel type back pack and have flipped over and landed on it a couple of times when the front came up too quick on a steep little nip climb. No injuries, big fright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Who makes that? Do they have to curve the seat tube?
    (MTBR isn't notifying me of replys again, bastards!)

    The Kona Honzo (hardtail) has 16.3" (414) chainstays but not sure if there are others around too. But I was referring more to custom builders like Walt, Vertigo, Wolfhound, Black Cat, etc that push the limits of short 29ers it seems to me.

    And yes, all have curved seat tubes to get that low.

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    I'll be building a bike up with similar geometry so I can find out.
    But making stock bikes that only ride well in one places seems stupid to me as a business plan. For custom? Sure, that's great.

    I have a hard time believing just from basic physics that these bikes climb as well as even a slack-HTA, long trail bike with a front center of say...685. Having the front axle in another few inches just puts the front wheel under you more so you get more traction on the up and don't pop a wheelie on steep climbs. I've felt that with a bike I owned and had 17" chainstays and 69 deg HTA and much shorter top tube and front center than the Konas. So no, I'm not completely wrong, I just don't buy it. What I'll agree to is that they may climb 'very well' compared to a *downhill* bike, but seriously, that's not what i was talking about (comparing bad to worse).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.welby View Post
    I suspect the recent trend to what would have seemed like ridiculously slack front ends a few years ago is being aided by:

    - AM frames with short rear ends and long front centers, which takes weight off the front wheel reducing wheel flop
    - Wider and wider bars

    There's also larger fork offsets, though that seems to be offset by larger wheels.
    I feel more wheel flop/wandering when too much weight is removed from the front wheel (or my hands are too far behind the front axle).
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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK View Post
    Check out the average seat to bar drop on these bikes. With a dropper post, you can run XC height handlebars, which helps to keep the wheel where you want going up. Going down, with the seat dropped, those lower bars help to keep the front wheel digging in.

    Bikes like the Konas, and a lot of other 150-ish bikes work a lot better, going up and down, than they have any right to.
    Bar height should be considered in relation to the BB, not the saddle height. The former remains the same regardless of saddle ht, or if you are sitting or standing.
    A dropper post--or simply using the seat QR--just gets the saddle out of the way for maneuvering.
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    I can not buy into the concept that a longer top tube, slacker HTA, and shorter stem lets you get more weight onto the front wheel. Shorten the chainstays and the weight shifts back even more.

    I design and setup my own bikes to a specific front center and distance from the front axle to stem clamp (since I use the same bar)/hands.
    This means a slacker HTA requires a shorter HTA and long stem than a steeper HTA to maintain the position.
    Increasing the front center, shortening the stem, and/or reducing the HTA increases flop/wander--up and downhill, and the front end floats, rather than bites, in the turns and plows straight on. Increasing bar width does not change this, it just means I have to make bigger movements to correct for it.

    And I have no desire for chainstays shorter than 17". 17.5" is better.

    Basically, the current geometry fashions mean I can not ride a production bike.
    Riding a long front center, short stem, slack angle bike is like pushing a wheelbarrow in a sand box.
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    To add to this debate, though I set my bikes up more along the lines of a Tri-Bike/TT machine, I do ride on single track as opposed to gravel grinding, and I can say that with a 71.5 degree head angle, and a lot of forward weight over the front wheel, there is no shortage of bite to the ground with the front wheel. Nor is there a problem with climbing steep slopes except for my lack of fitness. I have full control of the front end and can only manage little hops in relation to pedal strokes in very small granny gears.

    When I go I back to a 72 degree seat tube and higher h/bars, I note that the front wheel is vague at 68 degrees on the climb and keeping it on the ground is a distraction I would rather not experience, while running out of oomph.

    Yet I have been with riders who can demonstrate considerable skill on the bike above described. I guess it becomes a matter of what works for each individual. This may not be a formulistic answer to anyone (Kona) rather maybe an option for those who buy into their reasoning.

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  38. #38
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    Wow. The guy in that video just repeated a bunch of marketing terms he was told. I hope this sells some bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I can not buy into the concept that a longer top tube, slacker HTA, and shorter stem lets you get more weight onto the front wheel. Shorten the chainstays and the weight shifts back even more.

    I design and setup my own bikes to a specific front center and distance from the front axle to stem clamp (since I use the same bar)/hands.
    This means a slacker HTA requires a shorter HTA and long stem than a steeper HTA to maintain the position.
    Increasing the front center, shortening the stem, and/or reducing the HTA increases flop/wander--up and downhill, and the front end floats, rather than bites, in the turns and plows straight on. Increasing bar width does not change this, it just means I have to make bigger movements to correct for it.

    And I have no desire for chainstays shorter than 17". 17.5" is better.

    Basically, the current geometry fashions mean I can not ride a production bike.
    Riding a long front center, short stem, slack angle bike is like pushing a wheelbarrow in a sand box.
    Good post!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I can not buy into the concept that a longer top tube, slacker HTA, and shorter stem lets you get more weight onto the front wheel. Shorten the chainstays and the weight shifts back even more.
    +1 How can this not happen? Without increasing the seat tube angle(in this case seat position, moving it forward) it doesn't seem possible, maybe I'm missing something(like the rider is never intended to be seated or...?). For me the vid played out like a snake oil sales pitch, infomercial, etc., too much marketing and not enough(if any, stem flex..really?) empirical data.

    Brian

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    In the end;

    I think you can adapt to and make work all kinds of setups. Some may be inherently better at one thing or another, but you find ways to make it work where it doesn't by default. I'm not sure there is a perfect all-in-one setup that does everything well. Depends on how wide/narrow your parameters are. Eric is basically talking CX bikes, or "all road." Shiggy on all terrain MTB I guess. I'm focused on Fat. Not the same kettles of fish to be sure.

    Mostly I like to be BEHIND the front axle, not looming far above it like I was on even an XL 26er. I am interested in building a shorter stay Fatty to see what all the buzz is about, but I'm not really sure if the climbing grip will suffer too much. I'm at 17.875/454mm now. I can float the front tire right up off powder snow and yet never lose traction now. I like that. I might shorten up by 20mm and see. Maybe bump a degree up in ST angle to compensate? I'm at 744mm FC right now. Not sure I want to come down from that, but it would be interesting to see the difference in tight cornering. Probably should only do one WB altering mod at a time.

    What I know is that a longer front center allows me greater flexibility to put my weight where it needs to be, and this may be what Kona is driving at. For the kind of slow, plonky, techy stuff I like to do on a regular basis (light semi trials), maneuverability is key. If you are shredding really rough DH stuff, it is the same for a different reason. Maybe it is just hype? I think their bikes may end up fitting a larger section or riders and styles as a result. I'd like to ride them and see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    In the end;

    I think you can adapt to and make work all kinds of setups. Some may be inherently better at one thing or another, but you find ways to make it work where it doesn't by default. I'm not sure there is a perfect all-in-one setup that does everything well. Depends on how wide/narrow your parameters are. Eric is basically talking CX bikes, or "all road." Shiggy on all terrain MTB I guess. I'm focused on Fat. Not the same kettles of fish to be sure.
    Hitting nail on head. The vid alludes to this bike as "the one", but maybe thats just me.

    Brian

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Bar height should be considered in relation to the BB, not the saddle height. The former remains the same regardless of saddle ht, or if you are sitting or standing.
    A dropper post--or simply using the seat QR--just gets the saddle out of the way for maneuvering.
    Why would you argue with me about this? What you said here is gibberish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    I can not buy into the concept that a longer top tube, slacker HTA, and shorter stem lets you get more weight onto the front wheel. Shorten the chainstays and the weight shifts back even more.

    I design and setup my own bikes to a specific front center and distance from the front axle to stem clamp (since I use the same bar)/hands.
    This means a slacker HTA requires a shorter HTA and long stem than a steeper HTA to maintain the position.
    Increasing the front center, shortening the stem, and/or reducing the HTA increases flop/wander--up and downhill, and the front end floats, rather than bites, in the turns and plows straight on. Increasing bar width does not change this, it just means I have to make bigger movements to correct for it.

    And I have no desire for chainstays shorter than 17". 17.5" is better.

    Basically, the current geometry fashions mean I can not ride a production bike.
    Riding a long front center, short stem, slack angle bike is like pushing a wheelbarrow in a sand box.
    Missing the point. This geometry allows you to weigh the front end more going down. No one is claiming that this is ideal climbing geometry. But you can climb on bikes like this, but you might need to learn to control wheel flop.

    The word "climb" appears once in all of that text, and do they talk about it at all in the video?

    Are these bike ideal for every rider? Absolutely not, but I'm stoked Kona isn't just offering another boring middle of the road bike because the accountants are worried something like this won't sell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK View Post
    This geometry allows you to weigh the front end more going down.
    How? By moving your weight backwards? By putting the handlebar even further behind the axle?

    I could see explanations that it lets you get closer to the bars to muscle them around without putting as much weight on the front end...

  46. #46
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    I think this thread just serves to prove that custom framebuilding is a viable occupation; because everyone has a different idea of the perfect geometry. It depends on so many things: where you ride, how you ride, and simply what you prefer.

    Now, please continue the debate...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dr.welby View Post
    How? By moving your weight backwards? By putting the handlebar even further behind the axle?

    I could see explanations that it lets you get closer to the bars to muscle them around without putting as much weight on the front end...
    Having a long front end and a slack head tube angle gives you the confidence to weight the front end for aggressive downhilling - pumping into turns and to pop over obstacles in technical terrain. Yes, the rider's weight is generally moved back compared to a more traditional geometry. I think the message could have better been conveyed as "weight the front end without going ass over teakettle." If you don't attack downhills this probably isn't the geometry for you.

    Personally, I like trail bikes with pretty slack head tube angles, but there's certainly compromises when it comes to climbing. For me, those compromises aren't that noticeable after I adapted my riding style a bit. I run a 67.5 deg HA on my 29er hardtail with moderate length stays (430mm) and I don't have trouble controlling the front end when climbing...but I've only run it as a SS so I spend a lot of time out of the saddle.

    The comment that made no sense to me was that "the longer top tube allows the rider greater ability to move their weight back." I'm on the vertically challenged end of things with an extra short torso and I would have the opposite problem if I lengthened my top tube 30 mm. I've always felt like the shorter the top tube, the more I have the ability to shift my body weight around since I'm not completely stretched to the max when reaching for the bars.

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    I think TM gets it right here. The idea of designing around weight distribution between front/rear wheels is noncontroversial and Kona is not staking out any new territory there. Their claim that there is a *best* front center length (even for a specific type of bike) is BS, of course, and lengthening the front end of the bike in fact puts *less* weight on the front wheel, all things being equal.

    Don't get me started on the stem stiffness thing. Good lord, that's gotta be the most useless consideration when designing a bike *ever*. Stems are plenty stiff at any length you would use on a bicycle.

    To me, the stem is something that is used for fitting purposes after you'd decided where you want the rider to be sitting/standing and where the wheels go in relation. It's like a seatpost - you get the length you need to put the saddle where you want it, nothing more, nothing less. Short or long stems are just the product of the overall geometry of the frame and the contact points desired by the rider. As Welby so ably points out, someone with really long arms doesn't really need to have their front wheel drastically further in front of them than someone with short arms, assuming the 2 riders are otherwise fit to the bike the same way.

    So for me, the bottom line is that A) these bikes are probably really fun for riding fast/steep stuff, which is what they are for, since they are freeride bikes, B) Kona's marketing guys can write pretty convincing gibberish, and C) If you have really short arms you are SOL because the stem on the stock bikes is already only 40mm.

    -Walt
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by eMcK View Post
    Missing the point. This geometry allows you to weigh the front end more going down. No one is claiming that this is ideal climbing geometry. But you can climb on bikes like this, but you might need to learn to control wheel flop.

    The word "climb" appears once in all of that text, and do they talk about it at all in the video?

    Are these bike ideal for every rider? Absolutely not, but I'm stoked Kona isn't just offering another boring middle of the road bike because the accountants are worried something like this won't sell.
    And you are missing my points. IME this type of geometry makes it impossible for me to get enough weight onto the front wheel in all but the most extreme downhills, and unless I am during shuttle monkey rides that is tiny percentage of any ride I do. Call it trail, all mountain or just a mountain bike, there is always climbing, rolling, and not-so-steep terrain.

    It is not just the climbs, or even flat terrain, where long and slack is detrimental to the handling. I want to enjoy the whole ride.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    So for me, the bottom line is that A) these bikes are probably really fun for riding fast/steep stuff, which is what they are for, since they are freeride bikes, B) Kona's marketing guys can write pretty convincing gibberish, and C) If you have really short arms you are SOL because the stem on the stock bikes is already only 40mm.

    -Walt
    Freeride bikes? Two of these models use 32mm forks, and the 29er has 110/120mm of travel. Even the biggest bike is "only" 154/160mm and uses a Pike, which isn't a freeride fork either. I know there isn't really a hard and fast defintion for a "freeride bike", but I think of bikes like Kona's Entourage, the Norco Truax, and Liteville 901 as freeride bike. These seem like trail bikes to me, or as Kona is marketing them, enduro bikes.

    I do agree the sizing is a bit weird, but with the same standover for all sizes, those with short arms could go down size without a problem.

    As disclaimer, I know the guy in the video, and he is a product manager, not a marketing dude. Sticking someone in front of camera and making you talk about stuff like this would make the best of us say things that would get picked apart on the internet. Kona has a lot less BS marketing stuff going on behind the scenes than a lot of companies. The dudes behind these bike want to ride fast and get shreddy. If that isn't your deal, there is a huge list of other options out there for you.

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