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  1. #1
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    what geo do you like for a trail bike

    so, if you were having someone build you a custom bike (im not, just curious), what geo would you want it to have to be a good climber, good descender etc

    list your body height and ideal wheel size too. this is all just for fun, im just curious

  2. #2
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    5'-10", perfectly average.

    29" wheels.

    I wouldn't do a custom based on geometry because so many bikes exist based on what works for me, or in that range, but I'd certainly do a custom for a specific tubeset.

    Reach - 425
    Stack - 625
    STA - 74
    HTA - 68.5
    Chainstay - 420
    BB Drop - 55
    Fork Offset - 51
    Front travel - 120
    Rear travel - 0

    Dims in mm and deg.
    Everything else a function of those parameters, because it doesn't matter to me, except standover which I would take as low as I could. Oh and ST length to be able to run at least a 125mm dropper at my inseam (30")

    What I ride as trail is pretty typical XC though. Some mild technical section, smaller (less than 3') jumps and drops, lots of short ups and downs rather than long climbs. To me, that defines the bike and geometry as much as body fit does.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  3. #3
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    Also 5'10"... Ape index is exactly 1.

    Reach: 440mm +/- 5mm
    Stack: 610mm +/- 10mm
    HTA: 66deg +/- 0.5deg
    Chainstay: 435 +/- 5mm
    Travel: 150mm
    Wheelsize: no strong preference honestly, but tend to gravitate toward 27.5. Thoroughly enjoy riding 29, as well.
    Stem: 30mm - 45mm

    Us 70 inch'ers have a very bittersweet relationship with bike sizing. We exist in a very murky gray area with most brands. On one hand, we have the luxury of leaning toward a large-ish or small-ish bike, depending on our preferences. On the other hand, it can get tricky putting together a perfect fit. Fiddling with stem length, handlebar width, handlebar rise, and the rotation of the handlebars is usually mandatory.

    I'm currently riding a 2019 Stumpy 27.5. I love its jumping and descending capabilities. It's a serviceable climber, for sure, but there are definitely better tools for that job. My last rig was a 2015 Trek Fuel Ex 27.5. Less travel, lighter bike, less active rear suspension, steeper HTA, etc. Much better climber, but a lousy descender due to poor fitment (I should have sized up to a L) and the compensations I made (such as a 90mm, which I hated). If I wanted a more balanced bike, I probably would have bought a newer Fuel Ex, Pivot 429 (29" - geo would suit me better than the 27.5) or something along those lines.

    Love my Stumpy, though
    2019 Stumpy 27.5 Alloy Comp (med). And green grips.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio MTBer View Post
    Also 5'10"... Ape index is exactly 1.

    Reach: 440mm +/- 5mm
    Stack: 610mm +/- 10mm
    HTA: 66deg +/- 0.5deg
    Chainstay: 435 +/- 5mm
    Travel: 150mm
    Wheelsize: no strong preference honestly, but tend to gravitate toward 27.5. Thoroughly enjoy riding 29, as well.
    Stem: 30mm - 45mm

    Us 70 inch'ers have a very bittersweet relationship with bike sizing. We exist in a very murky gray area with most brands. On one hand, we have the luxury of leaning toward a large-ish or small-ish bike, depending on our preferences. On the other hand, it can get tricky putting together a perfect fit. Fiddling with stem length, handlebar width, handlebar rise, and the rotation of the handlebars is usually mandatory.

    I'm currently riding a 2019 Stumpy 27.5. I love its jumping and descending capabilities. It's a serviceable climber, for sure, but there are definitely better tools for that job. My last rig was a 2015 Trek Fuel Ex 27.5. Less travel, lighter bike, less active rear suspension, steeper HTA, etc. Much better climber, but a lousy descender due to poor fitment (I should have sized up to a L) and the compensations I made (such as a 90mm, which I hated). If I wanted a more balanced bike, I probably would have bought a newer Fuel Ex, Pivot 429 (29" - geo would suit me better than the 27.5) or something along those lines.

    Love my Stumpy, though
    seat angle!? newb !

    ps, the new Stumpy is lookin pretty dope

  5. #5
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    I'm 5'9" and will be getting a 29 next time out with close to the following:

    Reach - 470mm
    Stack - 620mm
    STA - 76
    HTA - 65.5
    Chainstay - 430mm
    BB Height - 340mm
    Fork Offset - 44mm
    Front travel - 150mm
    Rear travel - 130 to 140mm
    Stem 30 to 40mm
    Bar 770mm

    This will be perfect for me on my local trails, mmmm, mmmm, good.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  6. #6
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    Shows how difficult it is to pick a bike by geo. 3 guys about the same height with reach from 425 to 440 to 470mm.

  7. #7
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    I've had many bikes from a 89 Stumpjumper to my Pipedream Moxie and longer has always been better for me. The Moxie has 470mm and I'm no longer jonesing for more reach. I think it's great that seat tubes have become shorter so I can fit on more sizes. I can fit my 160mm dropper on the medium, large, and even extra large, on the new 5010 and Bronson.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Shows how difficult it is to pick a bike by geo. 3 guys about the same height with reach from 425 to 440 to 470mm.
    True, but that's not the only thing that changed.

    I'd say by their other parameters their riding preferences are different. I know TB is in BC. My preference might be different if I lived there.

    I prefer a bike that gives a little more weight on the front end and has the shortest possible wheelbase for a big wheel while still having a more "modern" front end. I don't have a lot of long, technical descents where something like those other guys like would shine.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  9. #9
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    I'm 183cm and my current L Knolly Endorphin feels pretty damn sweet for the vast majority of my riding, but if I were changing things ideally I'd like another inch or so reach (and a 35mm stem) 485-490mm, maybe a degree off the HTA (take it to 65.5) and a lower seat tube to run a longer dropper. I'm happy with the STA, according to the geo it's *only* 74 degrees, I haven't actually measured the actual STA with the saddle at my height but I find with the seat slightly forward of centre it puts me in a good place (compared to friends bikes I've ridden, Yeti, Trek etc).

    Basically I want a new Bronson with maybe a little less travel and perhaps slightly bigger wheels?

  10. #10
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    5'9" tall, 27.5.
    Yeti SB5c V1 with 160 Pike on the front end is about perfect for me. Easton Haven low rise 740mm, 55mm stem.
    I'll let you do the math.

  11. #11
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    6 ft tall
    32" inseam
    Ape Index +5

    L/XL

    Biggest geo numbers I pay attention to are reach (450-465), stand over (lower the better), stack (600 - 615?) & HTA (65-67)

    As long the CS isn't too long -440mm & the STA isn't too slack +73

    I like more aggressive geometry.
    Last edited by targnik; 07-04-2018 at 01:10 PM.
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    so, if you were having someone build you a custom bike (im not, just curious), what geo would you want it to have to be a good climber, good descender etc

    list your body height and ideal wheel size too. this is all just for fun, im just curious
    Reach: 443.2
    Stack: 611.35
    Chainstay: 432.675
    Tire size: 28" x 2.53 (yes I said 28)
    STA: 74.15
    HTA: 66.4
    140/155 travel r/f (yes 155..why not?)
    768 bars, 43mm stem..yep.
    I better stop now.
    Oh yea..5'9, 32 inseam.

  13. #13
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    I see that folks prefer shorter reach than I do. Did you try more reach and not like it, or like what you have and not tried longer? I currently have 2 FS Endorphins in the garage, one medium and the other large. The medium is for sale and feels much too small now. The large is long enough, but could be a bit longer. I will say that when I pick which trails to hit they tend to be higher speed, although not necessarily smooth, bring on the chunk.

    mannyfnz, 28 lol, I almost said that.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  14. #14
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    I've tried both longer reach and slacker front ends than I specified. The issue (for me) is that they handle poorly on when steering from the seat. So for a pedally trail, I find it forces you to stand up, which is OK, but tiring for a long period of time. For descending, both increased is fine, it's more flattish stuff with turns that it sucks. If you don't ride anything like then, it's not a concern, but I do.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  15. #15
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    These days I think of flatfish trails as connectors, I reckon I'm spoiled.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  16. #16
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    Terrain matters most, or I am I repeating myself too much?

    Also some of our DH type trails have a lot of really tight corners on them. I find even a moderate wheelbase to be a challenge to hold speed on them (lest I come flying into them sliding the rear end, which is discouraged). A lot of these corners are flat or have very small berms. It's just the way they are built but they stay dry, so I that's why they are what they are.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  17. #17
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    Looks like people are more interested in guns and motors than their dream geometry.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  18. #18
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    Im still figuring out my dream geometry, but I do know that I prefer slightly longer chainstays than many if not most. Ive had a 2015 Turner Burner and YT Jeffsy 29 in the past 3 years and am getting a Knolly Fugitive LT in the next several weeks. Comparing those three, as well as some time spent on a 2017 Transition Scout, should help me decipher exactly what Im responding well to (and vice verse) on the geometry front.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I see that folks prefer shorter reach than I do. Did you try more reach and not like it, or like what you have and not tried longer?
    No, i like about the same reach for hardtails, but i'm 6'3. I've tried longer, but for a hardtail i don't feel like there's enough opportunities for me to capitalize on the length to make up for piloting a barge of a bike. It just doesn't fit on the trail that well when it's an inch longer, and the trail combination of fast/smooth where the length helps is rare.

    With FS and bike-oriented trails i like long bikes.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  20. #20
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    For the life of me I could not figure out what a flatfish trail was..until I realized you meant flattish. Waisted my whole damn evening researching this newfangled "flatfish" biking category to no avail. Damnit.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannyfnz View Post
    For the life of me I could not figure out what a flatfish trail was..until I realized you meant flattish. Waisted my whole damn evening researching this newfangled "flatfish" biking category to no avail. Damnit.
    lol, me too

  22. #22
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    Just shy of 5'7", and I'd copy my medium Canfield Riot's geo(relatively long reach combined with steep STA, adequate BB height w/22.5mm drop, very short CS at 414mm), but steepen the 66.5* HTA some.
    Constant ups and downs here, and not many long, or super steep, descents. Lots rocks, roots and twisty stuff, though, so I can't do low, and don't need overly slack. Steering, wheelbase, weighting the front...love the bike, but think another 1-1.5* of HTA would only make everything better for my trails.

  23. #23
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    more of this "new school geometry" discussion, sorry!

    question for those of you with loooong reach bikes- where and how do you ride a bike like this? I am also 5'9" and usually ride medium frames. but "medium" doesn't mean much anymore in terms of reach, although I would think it should. even with a super short 35-50mm stem, the reach on one of these bikes seems to be very long. or is it?

    with these longer bikes, is your handlebar really getting further away from your feet, where reach is measured and where wrangling the bike actually counts? or does the handlebar end up in about the same place, relative to your BB, as your older bikes with longer stems and shorter reach measurements?

    is the long reach primarily responsible for a "more stable" bike, or is the resulting long front-center that does that? how stable is too stable? for the trails that I ride, carrying enough momentum that a "stable" bike would be useful is impossible, and is therefore more of a liability than an advantage. I am trying to imagine riding anything longer than what I have now and I can only imagine myself running into protruding tree branches on the side of the trail or stalling out in the middle of a rock garden.

    "nimble" and "stable are subjective terms in this regard. my current frame has a very long reach for it's size. I preferred this because of the room it gave my in the cockpit sense, but I have to use a very short stem with the bar very low to make it work.

    are you riding climby, rocky, twisty, technical singletrack on this limousine sleds or are they for groomed lift-assisted bike parks only?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    more of this "new school geometry" discussion, sorry!

    question for those of you with loooong reach bikes- where and how do you ride a bike like this? I am also 5'9" and usually ride medium frames. but "medium" doesn't mean much anymore in terms of reach, although I would think it should. even with a super short 35-50mm stem, the reach on one of these bikes seems to be very long. or is it?

    with these longer bikes, is your handlebar really getting further away from your feet, where reach is measured and where wrangling the bike actually counts? or does the handlebar end up in about the same place, relative to your BB, as your older bikes with longer stems and shorter reach measurements?

    is the long reach primarily responsible for a "more stable" bike, or is the resulting long front-center that does that? how stable is too stable? for the trails that I ride, carrying enough momentum that a "stable" bike would be useful is impossible, and is therefore more of a liability than an advantage. I am trying to imagine riding anything longer than what I have now and I can only imagine myself running into protruding tree branches on the side of the trail or stalling out in the middle of a rock garden.

    "nimble" and "stable are subjective terms in this regard. my current frame has a very long reach for it's size. I preferred this because of the room it gave my in the cockpit sense, but I have to use a very short stem with the bar very low to make it work.

    are you riding climby, rocky, twisty, technical singletrack on this limousine sleds or are they for groomed lift-assisted bike parks only?
    I probably don't understand the spirit of your question, so I'll just ramble a bit...

    I ride everything, but these days I find myself searching out jump lines, flowy descents, and DH. I bought my bike with these preferences in mind, not losing sight of the fact that I do need to pedal up every now and then.

    As far as reach affecting handlebar distance from feet, I feel like it does but I don't have any hard data to confirm it. As I said above, I'm an inch taller than you and slot right in between M/L for most brands. My stumpy has a reach of 435, which feels borderline too short. It's the only thing I'm not perfectly happy with. The Giant Trance L fits me like a glove (448 reach IIRC), but my Giant dealer here in town has less than stellar customer service, and it's a pretty fugly bike this year. Color is everything. Green grips 4eva.

    What I feel the longer reach gets me is a little bit of insurance on a mistimed jump/drop, and unexpected hits when descending. A longer stem can't provide the same benefits (in fact, it can make it worse).
    2019 Stumpy 27.5 Alloy Comp (med). And green grips.

  25. #25
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    I'm not totally sold on longer reach in and of itself, but it coincides with a steep STA, which supposedly gives a better position for pedaling. Having ridden mostly singlespeed the last few years, and spending a lot of time out of the saddle, I'm not in a position to offer a lot of feedback on that.
    I do know from swapping frames that slacker STA with commensurately shorter reach makes getting the front up while pedaling easier, though, and now experience the flip side of that where the steep STA/long reach aids in keeping the front wheel from wandering on steep climbs, especially with a slack HTA. Sum of the parts, and no free lunches...

  26. #26
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    The last full suspension bike I bought was custom because nobody made frames with today's current geometry.

    I've raced super d and enduro events since 2001 and felt this was where geometry was going.

    In 2006, I had my first custom full sus frame built. The head and seat angle were spot on, but the TT was a tad too short and the BB was a tad too high, but I was on to something.

    I'm happy to be able to buy a frame off the shelf these days because going custom is dam expensive. It's still my main ride and until it breaks I'll be on 26" wheels. Here's the numbers. Frame size is 18"

    TT 24"/40mm stem
    BB 13.1"
    HA 67*
    SA 74*
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails what geo do you like for a trail bike-ag_044.jpg  

    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    more of this "new school geometry" discussion, sorry!

    question for those of you with loooong reach bikes- where and how do you ride a bike like this? I am also 5'9" and usually ride medium frames. but "medium" doesn't mean much anymore in terms of reach, although I would think it should. even with a super short 35-50mm stem, the reach on one of these bikes seems to be very long. or is it?

    On my latest bike, a steel hardtail, the reach is substantially longer than previous. I live on Vancouver Island and my favourite trails tend to be fast and rough. I do weight the front end more than on old fashioned bikes when cornering, and my cornering is improving. With a 30-35mm stem it feels normal seated, but descending is better. So much that I swapped from a medium to a large FS bike as well.



    with these longer bikes, is your handlebar really getting further away from your feet, where reach is measured and where wrangling the bike actually counts? or does the handlebar end up in about the same place, relative to your BB, as your older bikes with longer stems and shorter reach measurements?

    Yes, absolutely longer.

    is the long reach primarily responsible for a "more stable" bike, or is the resulting long front-center that does that? how stable is too stable? for the trails that I ride, carrying enough momentum that a "stable" bike would be useful is impossible, and is therefore more of a liability than an advantage. I am trying to imagine riding anything longer than what I have now and I can only imagine myself running into protruding tree branches on the side of the trail or stalling out in the middle of a rock garden.

    My hardtail is the longest bike I've ever had, and I feel that the 65.5 HTA and 470mm reach make it stable. Not too stable though, because I can thread it through our tighter trails too.

    "nimble" and "stable are subjective terms in this regard. my current frame has a very long reach for it's size. I preferred this because of the room it gave my in the cockpit sense, but I have to use a very short stem with the bar very low to make it work.

    are you riding climby, rocky, twisty, technical singletrack on this limousine sleds or are they for groomed lift-assisted bike parks only?
    We shuttle 1-2 times a year, so I pedal a lot. 50 KM of vert this year so far. A lot of the climbing is on logging roads, but there is still quite a bit of single track climbing. We have a couple of smoother trails, but most people think I'm nuts for riding a hardtail. It always draws looks and comments.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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