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  1. #1
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    What is the new 29er geo?

    So with Niner's recent decision to file Chapter 11 for reorganization/purchase/funding from another entity, I see lots of commentary on the FB etc. regarding Niner's lack of keeping up with modern geo etc. So what exactly is modern 29er geo vs. older 29er geo? Is older a shorter top tube, slacker seat angle, steeper head angle, and a longer stem? Is newer the longer top tube, lower BB, and slacker head angle?
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    yes.

    Can someone post an example of a 29er hardtail and a FS 29er that has been made with the same name for a few years but juxatpose charts showing the old geo and the new geo?

    I would do this myself but i don't feel qualified to determine the best candidates. my interest is fairly limited to steel hardtails, and i have watched the Surly Karate Monday change a lot over the years.

    remember kids, don't play with bikes that have head tube angles steeper than 70 degrees. that's dangerous!
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-03-2017 at 08:43 PM.
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    Longer, slacker, lower. The new hotness.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    .

    remember kids, don't play with bikes that have head tube angles steeper than 70 degrees. that's dangerous!
    I flirt with disaster every day. I've got one that even over forked to 120mm is still 71 degrees.

  5. #5
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    If you look at Canfield Riot and the newer Toir, their "old" geo is the new geo. Same with the Nimble 9 hardtail.

    "Old" geo is the Niner MCR9 or SIR. I haven't checked the ROS9, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I flirt with disaster every day. I've got one that even over forked to 120mm is still 71 degrees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    "Old" geo is the Niner MCR9 or SIR. I haven't checked the ROS9, though.
    apples and oranges. I don't think it's relevant to compare a XC race-oriented bike to a AM- type bike. I would like to see a relevant comparison of a XC race 29er hardtail of ten years ago to a similar modern bike. likewise, what did a AM bike or yesteryear look like compared to today?

    I don't buy the notion that every rider in every region benefits from throwing every gnar-bro-enduro design philosphy into every bike, but it sells, so it gets slapped in there anyways.
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  8. #8
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    ^^^exactly. My Niner RKT is not long/low/slack and rides great on my trails. This is the '90s all over except instead of pushing NORBA race geo HTs on everyone, we push "gnar-bro-enduro" on everyone...it's exactly the same. There is room for both and it always will come down to how you ride/where your ride w/r to the bike type/geo you buy.
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to TiGeo again.

  10. #10
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    The increased front center seems to be the primary new thing. They extended the reach and then steepened the STA proportionally to maintain ETT.

    My take on it is that this makes sense on FS bikes, considering classic HTs had a static STA of 73d, which became steeper with sag taken into account (reach also increased under sag). It's like a late correction from transferring geo over from HT to FS. The other changes, like slackening the HTA, probably just follows a market trend of people wanting a bike that permits them to ride harder/faster than their current fitness/skill levels would otherwise allow.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    So with Niner's recent decision to file Chapter 11 for reorganization/purchase/funding from another entity, I see lots of commentary on the FB etc. regarding Niner's lack of keeping up with modern geo etc. So what exactly is modern 29er geo vs. older 29er geo?
    It's pink.
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    I was thinking bullshit, but I like Jayem's take too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dv8zen View Post
    The increased front center seems to be the primary new thing. They extended the reach and then steepened the STA proportionally to maintain ETT.

    My take on it is that this makes sense on FS bikes, considering classic HTs had a static STA of 73d, which became steeper with sag taken into account (reach also increased under sag). It's like a late correction from transferring geo over from HT to FS. The other changes, like slackening the HTA, probably just follows a market trend of people wanting a bike that permits them to ride harder/faster than their current fitness/skill levels would otherwise allow.
    The secret sauce added to that is shorter chainstays. The "long" part really applies to the front center, which adds confidence and stability, while the short chainstays make them easier to turn and effectively move the rider's center of mass away from the front wheel.

    There is no upside to an overly steep head tube, and lots of downsides.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    There is no upside to an overly steep head tube, and lots of downsides.
    They NEED you over at the BMX forums.

    Poor kids can't do shit with those bikes and their overly steep head tubes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    They NEED you over at the BMX forums.

    Poor kids can't do shit with those bikes and their overly steep head tubes.
    Maybe you need to start using 20" wheels like them too.

    That's a great way to try to change the subject without addressing the point, but it completely misses the point of there being no upside to overly steep head tubes on mountain bikes.

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    it's a sweater

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    It's pink.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    I was thinking bullshit, but I like Jayem's take too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Maybe you need to start using 20" wheels like them too.

    That's a great way to try to change the subject without addressing the point, but it completely misses the point of there being no upside to overly steep head tubes on mountain bikes.
    It allows a lighter weight fork, that is less prone to snapping upon landing.

    What is the new 29er geo?-s1600_gout1.jpg

    A compact wheelbase is more playful/flickable. The increased sensitivity and feedback from such a design also makes handling more intuitive.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    The secret sauce added to that is shorter chainstays. The "long" part really applies to the front center, which adds confidence and stability, while the short chainstays make them easier to turn and effectively move the rider's center of mass away from the front wheel.

    There is no upside to an overly steep head tube, and lots of downsides.
    What is an overly steep HA? Also include the type of riding you are basing that on. My Niner is a 70 deg HA with the 120 fork. My older bikes were 71 or so. I do want to ride a bike with something in the 68-69 deg HA range (and accompanying "modern" geo) to get a feel for what this all actually does. Sure, my bike is "twitchy" but that is nice sometimes on tight east-coast singletrack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    What is an overly steep HA? Also include the type of riding you are basing that on. My Niner is a 70 deg HA with the 120 fork. My older bikes were 71 or so. I do want to ride a bike with something in the 68-69 deg HA range (and accompanying "modern" geo) to get a feel for what this all actually does. Sure, my bike is "twitchy" but that is nice sometimes on tight east-coast singletrack.
    Let me just say:
    "Modern geo" is about ALL the measurements.

    If you have a bike with a slightly slacker head angle, coupled with a longer reach, coupled with a shorter stem, you're going to end up with a bike with more neutral handling in corners and is less likely to give you that "about to go over the bars" feeling because what's happened is that the front wheel moved a little farther forward relative to the rider.

    A lot of riding a mountain bike is all in your head, there's no magic tricks, it's all in what you're comfortable doing (within reason). If Bike A has the design features that make you feel more comfortable than Bike B, you're going to be quicker and more consistent on Bike A.

    It's not until you're talking DH bike-like angles where bikes start developing truly funky low-speed handling traits, so going with something with a 68-69 degree HA is going to be pretty transparent. You can still turn your bars close to 90 degrees and creep around that super tight turn, but with a more stable and confidence inspiring bike so you can descend and corner with a more friendly safety/speed ratio. I like that because the less you slow down, the less you have to pedal...and I appreciate not feeling like I just narrowly avoided a disaster.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    apples and oranges. I don't think it's relevant to compare a XC race-oriented bike to a AM- type bike. I would like to see a relevant comparison of a XC race 29er hardtail of ten years ago to a similar modern bike. likewise, what did a AM bike or yesteryear look like compared to today?

    I don't buy the notion that every rider in every region benefits from throwing every gnar-bro-enduro design philosphy into every bike, but it sells, so it gets slapped in there anyways.
    Totally agree. The modern setup Santa Cruz 150mm travel bikes gobble up gnar quite impressively. A riding buddy (and former XC racer) who built up one earlier this year is generally very happy with it. He has said that the front end occasionally exhibits some unpredictable handling characteristics when putting it though more aggressive XC maneuvers.

    I've ridden a couple of other varieties of slacked out, wider bar 29er's and 650b's (most with >120 mm travel) bikes. Guess I am getting old and must be somewhat hard-wired for more XC-style riding as the new setups feel awkward to me. I've never had a bad case of frame upgrade-itis which is probably a win-win at this point
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Maybe you need to start using 20" wheels like them too.

    That's a great way to try to change the subject without addressing the point, but it completely misses the point of there being no upside to overly steep head tubes on mountain bikes.
    And you completely miss the point that every change is a compromise, and you inform everyone that they should like the compromise that you do.

    But great point on wheel size.

    20" wheels might be the new hotness soon if flow trails keep going in and all those rocks keep coming out... At least they'll be light and strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    And you completely miss the point that every change is a compromise, and you inform everyone that they should like the compromise that you do.

    But great point on wheel size.

    20" wheels might be the new hotness soon if flow trails keep going in and all those rocks keep coming out... At least they'll be light and strong.
    Trying to change the subject again?

    What are the downsides of a 68-69° head angle? What's the downside of balancing a longer reach with a shorter stem?

    How much time do you have on bikes with those features?

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    I'd never change a subject this funny.

    As to your argument that has nothing to do with the subject:
    I have plenty of time on 66, 68, 70, and 71 HTA bikes.
    Maybe you should think about why I can tell a difference and you can't?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    I'd never change a subject this funny.

    As to your argument that has nothing to do with the subject:
    I have plenty of time on 66, 68, 70, and 71 HTA bikes.
    Maybe you should think about why I can tell a difference and you can't?
    What difference is it that you feel, and how exactly is it detrimental?

    I do know that a forward impulse of something slowing down the front tire is more upward as HT angles get steeper. I also know that some of that forward impulse is transmitted to the bike through the bars, so the closer the bars are to the axle, the more upward and forward force is transmitted to the bike, and the higher the bars are, the more rotational force there's going to be.

    Move the front axle forward a bit, relative to the bars, and the upward force is decreased. I too have ridden a wide range of bikes, a DH bike...those feel weird, a Pivot Firebird, those are a little floppy at first, but I bet it's not a big deal once you get used to it. But 68-69 vs 70-71? Totally transparent.

    Course anybody can jump on a strange bike and say it sucks, but I'm talking about OWNING bikes and putting thousands of miles on them. Your approach fits very neatly with the theory that manufacturers are, across the board, making changes on a whim. They're not, it's not the 90's anymore, which is good because those bikes sucked, bad. Bikes keep getting better, that's how things work.

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    I wonder if people realize that Cannondale, Specialized, and Trek (the three that I checked) literally don't make an XC race bike with a HA of over 70.0 degrees.

    The Top Fuel is the outlier with 70.0, but since the Procaliber has a 69.5 HA, and it seems in most cases that the FS bikes are slacker than the HTs, it's due for a redesign and slackening.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    it's not the 90's anymore, which is good because those bikes sucked, bad. Bikes keep getting better, that's how things work.
    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    I wonder if people realize that Cannondale, Specialized, and Trek (the three that I checked) literally don't make an XC race bike with a HA of over 70.0 degrees.

    The Top Fuel is the outlier with 70.0, but since the Procaliber has a 69.5 HA, and it seems in most cases that the FS bikes are slacker than the HTs, it's due for a redesign and slackening.

    Just something to keep in mind.
    Something also to keep in mind with regards to modern XC hardtails is that when riding, the head angle is probably pretty close to what it was in the 90’s or maybe even steeper.

    At 20% sag, a 100mm fork on a hardtail will increase the HA by 1 degree. So all 3 of the manufactures you mentioned have XC hardtails with an effective head angle of about 70.5* to 71* when riding and even more if riding with more sag.

    90’s XC hardtails rolled with either rigid forks or about 40mm of fork travel. So 90’s XC hardtails were either rolling with a permanent 71* HA for rigid or about half a degree more than a modern XC hardtail at 71.4*

    One other thing to keep in mind is that when on the brakes say for coming up fast on a tight turn the head angle on a modern XC hardtail will be much steeper than one from the 90’s and that is because of the longer forks (100mm) on modern XC mtbs. Also, when going down hill and braking or say for quick emergency braking, a modern XC hardtail’s head angle will end up being much steeper than one from the 90’s. This is the exact situation when you don’t want a steeper head angle yet that’s what you get with a modern XC hardtail.

    When braking hard and you need control, a modern XC hardtail with 100mm fork could have a head angle of up to 74* or more, while a classic 90’s XC hardtail with a 40mm fork would only steepen to maybe 72.5* and a rigid, with no fork dive, will keep you nice and level at 71*.

    Just some other things to keep in mind...
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 12-07-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Something also to keep in mind...
    The disadvantage of a slacker HTA is that it doesn't get as steep under compression? Does that make sense? Something to keep in mind is that if you're going to try and be snarky, try to address the point at hand.


    Or we can just drop the formalities and call each other names.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post


    Course anybody can jump on a strange bike and say it sucks, but I'm talking about OWNING bikes and putting thousands of miles on them. Your approach fits very neatly with the theory that manufacturers are, across the board, making changes on a whim. They're not, it's not the 90's anymore, which is good because those bikes sucked, bad. Bikes keep getting better, that's how things work.
    I'm no expert but I am wondering how much of the changes is going with a fad not to lose sales and how much of it is a genuine improvement? When I was shopping for my first mountain bike not too long ago, a lot of the advice was to go with "long, low, slack" with short chain stays. So dismissed bikes with chainstays longer than 430. I can't imagine I am alone.

    What got me thinking about this was a recent Enduro magazine comparison of a bunch of trail bikes. They actually timed the bikes rather than just go with subjective feelings of the testers like most bike tests. Turns out the second fastest bike had a very long chainstay (over 450) and the top three bikes had quite different geometries. None of the <430 chainstay bikes finished in the top 3.

    At the end of the day, most people don't have the resources to rigorously do timed demos but they can always read a geometry chart. So if I were in the business of selling bikes, it'd be a easy call which way I would go if I were designing a bike. I am not saying I am right, just throwing another possibility out there.

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    Some bikes are going to be capable of being faster, but that does not mean they are more fun to ride.
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    ^True. But even XC race bikes are going in this direction. Is there any evidence that XC bikes are faster than they were, say, five years ago when they had 71 HTA and longer chainstays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    I'm no expert but I am wondering how much of the changes is going with a fad not to lose sales and how much of it is a genuine improvement? When I was shopping for my first mountain bike not too long ago, a lot of the advice was to go with "long, low, slack" with short chain stays. So dismissed bikes with chainstays longer than 430. I can't imagine I am alone.

    What got me thinking about this was a recent Enduro magazine comparison of a bunch of trail bikes. They actually timed the bikes rather than just go with subjective feelings of the testers like most bike tests. Turns out the second fastest bike had a very long chainstay (over 450) and the top three bikes had quite different geometries. None of the <430 chainstay bikes finished in the top 3.

    At the end of the day, most people don't have the resources to rigorously do timed demos but they can always read a geometry chart. So if I were in the business of selling bikes, it'd be a easy call which way I would go if I were designing a bike. I am not saying I am right, just throwing another possibility out there.
    A similar point to the one I've tried to get across to richde.
    My preference is my preference, his is his.

    But his preference is trendy, so I'm wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    The disadvantage of a slacker HTA is that it doesn't get as steep under compression? Does that make sense? Something to keep in mind is that if you're going to try and be snarky, try to address the point at hand.


    Or we can just drop the formalities and call each other names.
    Not sure, but did you mean the "advantage" instead of "disadvantage"?

    And yes, I was in a snarky mood last night. But you know what they say, if you can't take a snark, then get out of the park.

    But my point was that a 70.5* to maybe 71.5* HTA (when actually riding) seems to still, to this day, be the ideal HTA for a XC hardtail as that is what the hardtails from the 3 manufactures you pointed out ride at. You had said that bikes from the 90's sucked and then went on to talk about HTA of modern xc bikes not above 70*, which I took as your reasoning as to why modern XC bikes are so much better than those from the 90's. So I then simply pointed out that XC hardtails from the 90's and modern xc hardtails today have virtually the same HTA when riding and that modern XC hardtail will actually end up with a much steeper HTA in situations when that is exactly what you don't want.

    To me, it wasn't the hardtail or rigid bikes from the 90's that were so bad geometry wise, but bikes from the 2000's because they kept the 71* HTA, and had 100mm to 120mm forks. Basically, bikes in the 2000's didn't adjust the geometry to account for the longer travel and you ended up with an HTA of 72* or higher when riding with sag and that would steepen up to 75* when braking hard.

    Now full suspension mtbs form the 90's, yeah, those sucked.

    Is that adressing the point at hand enough for you? (Oh shit, was that too snarky to say?)
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    Just for reference, I am currently building up a Bontrager Race frame from the early 90's.

    Geo specs are as follows:
    HTA 71*
    STA 74*
    TT 25"
    CS 16.74" (425mm)
    BB hieght 11.74"

    With a 50mmish travel fork; when riding, this bike will be pretty darn close to the geo of a modern XC hardtail.

    Is a modern xc hardtail a better perfroming bike, yes, but not because of geometry.
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    If riders wanted old fashioned geometry, Niner's business would have been booming. It will be interesting to see where the new owners take them. At the end of the day, most riders don't race xc, or anything for that matter. Most are interested in something between a xc race bike, and an enduro race bike. Thankfully, there is a lot of range in bike geometry these days, with something for everyone.
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    I'm not sure anybody is expressing a strong preference for old geometry. I think people are asking where is the catch and is there evidence that new geo is better aside from marketing?

    I get that people want a more fun, one quiver bike. If I were selling bikes, I would think it would be risky to deviate from longer, slacker, lower. So I totally get why the industry is moving this way. But when someone says there is no downside to this geometry, I want to know where the evidence is. Not saying the person is wrong. I just want the evidence because I can't think of many optimized systems that doesn't involve tradeoffs if you start tweaking things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    A similar point to the one I've tried to get across to richde.
    My preference is my preference, his is his.

    But his preference is trendy, so I'm wrong.
    Your preference was a different trend, because mountain bikes certainly didn't start out steep. But of course you can't see that because you're too busy pretending that at some point we reached the pinnacle of bicycle design, most likely embodied by your current bike, and the whole thing has been in decline ever since.

    If new bikes suck, people won't buy them and someone will use the opportunity to make bikes that don't suck. But we don't see that happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Some bikes are going to be capable of being faster, but that does not mean they are more fun to ride.
    Should we all MTB on CX bikes then?

    Still waiting to hear the disadvantages, all I hear out of you people is the usual resistance to change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    I'm not sure anybody is expressing a strong preference for old geometry. I think people are asking where is the catch and is there evidence that new geo is better aside from marketing?

    I get that people want a more fun, one quiver bike. If I were selling bikes, I would think it would be risky to deviate from longer, slacker, lower. So I totally get why the industry is moving this way. But when someone says there is no downside to this geometry, I want to know where the evidence is. Not saying the person is wrong. I just want the evidence because I can't think of many optimized systems that doesn't involve tradeoffs if you start tweaking things.
    I explained the advantages, and what we haven't seen is anyone stating any disadvantages.

    People are definitely expressing a desire for old geometry, that's why they argue against new geometry without an ounce of actual content that supports their argument.

    It's a simple case of way too many people on MTBR looking at things with their minds already made up.

    When I look at how bikes are changing, I ask why would they do that, what does it change, is that change good or bad? Some things I don't agree with, like shorter travel 27.5 bikes (other than for short people), but most things are genuine improvements...even if it means what I have is no longer the latest and greatest. I'm ok with that, I know I can still ride my 1st gen bike even though the latest evolution is better. I don't have to buy the newest model, but if I was in the market, I would definitely buy the newest...because it's better.

    Some people just can't make the leap that something else is better than what they have. Sucks to be them.

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    You make some goods points. And I can assure you that I am not one of those "resistant to change" types because I own a 2018 Specialized XC bike that is slack by prior XC bike standards. I'm just curious. For me, it was that Enduro magazine comparo that got me thinking.

    Also, I think it's hard to define exactly what is an "improvement" without defining the criteria. For example, a do-it-all bike that one can use for XC, trail riding, and is slack by yesterday's standards is a lot like an all season tire on a car. It might be the "best" for the average consumer across a wide variety of conditions, but isn't going to be the best for any one condition. I'm no expert so I am not going to be able to get specific about what disadvantages are, but it's hard for me to imagine that there won't be one. I can tell you though that a buddy of mine rides a Santa Cruz Highball with a 71 HTA and loves the quick handling especially on tighter tracks. He also has a Top Fuel which he rides in the "high" setting on the Mino Link which puts the HTA at 71. Tells me it is just more lively and handles quicker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hesitationpoint View Post
    You make some goods points. And I can assure you that I am not one of those "resistant to change" types because I own a 2018 Specialized XC bike that is slack by prior XC bike standards. I'm just curious. For me, it was that Enduro magazine comparo that got me thinking.

    Also, I think it's hard to define exactly what is an "improvement" without defining the criteria. For example, a do-it-all bike that one can use for XC, trail riding, and is slack by yesterday's standards is a lot like an all season tire on a car. It might be the "best" for the average consumer across a wide variety of conditions, but isn't going to be the best for any one condition. I'm no expert so I am not going to be able to get specific about what disadvantages are, but it's hard for me to imagine that there won't be one. I can tell you though that a buddy of mine rides a Santa Cruz Highball with a 71 HTA and loves the quick handling especially on tighter tracks. He also has a Top Fuel which he rides in the "high" setting on the Mino Link which puts the HTA at 71. Tells me it is just more lively and handles quicker.
    I've never had a problem with slacker bikes not being able to do what steeper bikes could, but steeper bikes aren't as confidence inspiring as slacker bikes. That's my point, what are the downsides to slightly slacker bikes?

    The only "advantage" of steeper bikes seems to be familiarity. Just because something is familiar, it doesn't make it better, and being resistant to change doesn't mean that change is necessarily bad. Maybe it's bad for (the generic) you psychologically, but that's your problem.

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    Found this on the internets. Sounds pretty spot on to me.

    Slacker HTA:

    Pros:
    1. the fork will be able to suck up bumps better at higher speeds,
    2. increased stability as the wheels are further apart,
    3. better high speed cornering,
    4. less of the "I'm going to go over the bars!" feeling.
    5. Confidence inspiring to ride in steep terrain

    Cons:
    1. Steering is slower and less responsive,
    2. Front wheel can "flop" from one side to the other on tight corners
    3. Worsened tight turning performance
    4. Not so nice to ride on flatter terrain
    5. Does not climb well and the front wheel tends to wander as there is less weight on it

    Steeper HTA:

    Pros:
    1. faster handling speed and better response,
    2. better cornering in tight terrain and a tighter turning radius
    3. Feels great on flatter terrain and "ducks and weaves" better
    4. Increased climbing performance

    Cons:
    1. Feels unstable and "twitchy" at higher speeds
    2. Feels like you could get sent over the bars a lot easier
    3. Doesn't absorb bumps as well at high speeds (the fork is more perpendicular to the bump than it is with a slack angle)
    4. Tends to get "hung up" on bigger bumps more
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    What pisses people off is that one day all of a sudden, the bike they are riding is deemed "old" and whatever is new the only thing that can be ridden. I mean, listening/reading things you would think a bike with a 70 deg HA will flip over on it's own in the parking lot...bro. Yes, I am sure the newer geo stuff is great, but I don't have any issues riding my Niner with a 70 deg HA and 120/90mm travel...or a HT with a 71 deg HA and an 80mm fork. I can tell you first-hand that a buddy rented a newer-school trail bike while his old-school HT was being serviced. He cleared/rode more tech stuff than I have ever seen him ride...these newer geo bikes work for sure and make riding fun for lots of people.
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    Trends are cyclical, as many people's logic is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    What pisses people off is that one day all of a sudden, the bike they are riding is deemed "old" and whatever is new the only thing that can be ridden. I mean, listening/reading things you would think a bike with a 70 deg HA will flip over on it's own in the parking lot...bro.
    Ya, saying things like “remember kids, don't play with bikes that have head tube angles steeper than 70 degrees. that's dangerous!” is the same as saying something like “remember kids, don't play with cars that have rear wheel drive and a front engine with a manual transmition, that's dangerous!”
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 12-08-2017 at 06:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Ya, saying things like “remember kids, don't play with bikes that have head tube angles steeper than 70 degrees. that's dangerous!” is the same as saying something like “remember kids, don't play with cars that have rear wheel drive, a front engine and is manual, that's dangerous!”
    I guess that's one way of looking at it. No denying that technology/innovation that has gone mainstream tends to enable the masses to experience relatively high performance with significantly lower risk.

    There's always the challenge factor to consider. An unskilled rider on a capable bike might only be in the challenge sweet spot until they gain skill/confidence, and is compelled to shorten their wheelbase later on (ex. short travel bike, which likely has a steeper HA), if they ride the same trails. Others might try newer more difficult trails to attain a challenge. Newer XCO tracks have increased in challenge accordingly, based on the field of competitors.

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    Everyone that has commented I assume have ridden all degrees of head angle. I have a 96 Cannondale Killer V a 2012 Salsa Horsethief and a 2017 Canfield Brothers Riot. There is quite a bit of difference in each bike. I believe it's called progression. I won't be going back anytime soon to "old" Geo.

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    Funny, cause the Riot is among one of the most compact FS 29er trail bikes. It has a HA that's slacker by a number of degrees, but it's all about that short wheelbase making it significantly more playful than the other FS 29er trail bikes. Don't think anyone talks about setting PRs and what not on it (unless they're new to 29ers and modern suspension, tires, & other parts); it's more about steeze/style and getting the wheels off the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Something also to keep in mind with regards to modern XC hardtails is that when riding, the head angle is probably pretty close to what it was in the 90’s or maybe even steeper.

    At 20% sag, a 100mm fork on a hardtail will increase the HA by 1 degree. So all 3 of the manufactures you mentioned have XC hardtails with an effective head angle of about 70.5* to 71* when riding and even more if riding with more sag.

    90’s XC hardtails rolled with either rigid forks or about 40mm of fork travel. So 90’s XC hardtails were either rolling with a permanent 71* HA for rigid or about half a degree more than a modern XC hardtail at 71.4*

    One other thing to keep in mind is that when on the brakes say for coming up fast on a tight turn the head angle on a modern XC hardtail will be much steeper than one from the 90’s and that is because of the longer forks (100mm) on modern XC mtbs. Also, when going down hill and braking or say for quick emergency braking, a modern XC hardtail’s head angle will end up being much steeper than one from the 90’s. This is the exact situation when you don’t want a steeper head angle yet that’s what you get with a modern XC hardtail.

    When braking hard and you need control, a modern XC hardtail with 100mm fork could have a head angle of up to 74* or more, while a classic 90’s XC hardtail with a 40mm fork would only steepen to maybe 72.5* and a rigid, with no fork dive, will keep you nice and level at 71*.

    Just some other things to keep in mind...
    I'm afraid to tell you that manufactures take in account the sag of the fork they are using, or recommend using, when designing the geometry of their bikes. You really don't think they would be so stupid as to not include this obvious and very needed number into their designs?

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    All this talk of 71 and 70 degree HT angles... Must be riding some flat shit.

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    ^^^ yeah, when you calculate all the angles why do you assume level ground?

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    Most riding in the US is pretty flat and easy. Most riding in Colorado is fairly easy. I think typography and the kind of trails you are riding and also your style of riding plays a huge role and deciding what sort of go your bike really needs to have. I live on the Front Range in Colorado and I ride a lot of downhill trails on my trail bike and my downhill bike. Longer lower slacker geometry is ideal for my style of riding. But if I were riding the trails in Richland Mississippi, Oak Mountain in Alabama, or the pinhoti trails in Georgia I would probably be on more of a cross country styled 29er with a steeper head tube angle.

    You guys can argue all day about which kind of geometry works for you, but at the end of the day arguing about geometry and wheel size it's almost like arguing about politics. Go ride your damn bike.

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    Niner makes great carbon hardtail bikes in terms of quality and looks. Air 9 RDO to be specific. However, personally didn't care for the geometry and decided to not get an Air 9 RDO. For me, the head tube angle was too steep, seat tube was too slack, and their reach was tight. Nowadays, most people are looking for the modern geometries in a frame because of their type of riding. They just have to tweak their geo a little to modern geos and I think people will be buying. Just slacker, longer reach, and steeper seat tube angle. On the other hand, their full suspension bikes are much harder sell because there is so much competition in the 29er full suspension category.
    Last edited by aliikane; 12-17-2017 at 12:06 AM.

  52. #52
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    In the past eight years I've changed my bikes from 71* HTA & 90mm travel fork > 70* & 100mm travel > 68* & 120mm travel > 67.5* & 120mm travel. In most cases this has been accompanied by a longer top tube and shorter rear stays. From first to last, front-center has increased by 50mm, and the chainstays have shrunk by 25mm; stem length has shrunk by 35mm. These have all been hardtails, with the earlier few being XC bikes, and the last few "AM" type hardtails (you youngsters can google that).

    Lots of years riding my local dirt, and on a popular local and somewhat technical descent, I'm able to let my latest bike roll faster and brake less, and comfortably hit the entire jump line along the way. Over a 20mi ride equal amounts of elevation gain and loss, I'm probably a bit slower on the new bike - it's a few pounds heavier than my old cross country hardtail, and perhaps more important, the tires are bigger and chunkier.

    Others mentioned an enduro bike mag test, and as enduro is a racing format, it makes perfect sense that the emphasis would be on what completes the same course fastest. I used to do some cross country racing, and had lots of fun at times in that environment, and on some of the courses. The fun I'm finding on my new bike has more to do with taking the more challenging lines, rather than just the most efficient (xc racing), or least problematic lines. Despite being heavier, my newest bike is pretty easy to bunny hop and wheelie. I'm finding new ways to ride old trails, and having a hoot doing so.

    Is the new school geo better? Good, better, more fun - these are all subjective, and completely dependent on where and how you ride, and how you'd like to change where and how you ride. If you don't get your bike off the ground, and don't aspire to doing so, probably not much to gain from significant shifts. For many, the new geos are improved geos.

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    new 29er geo is dubbed speed balanced geometry and full fit to the slacker/longer/lower church, along with a couple of key twists that it believes will make its new generation.

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    I really dislike it when people tell me what I should be riding, and essentially call me an stubborn idiot for not riding it.

    I mostly ride mid-Atlantic XC and I tried going the longer-slacker-lower thing for several years, before coming back to a steeper head tube and longer stem (75mm). What I didn't like about LSL geometry was it took a lot of weight off my front wheel, which let it wash more easily. I had to constantly focus on shifting my weight forward to keep the front weighted enough for it to work. When I tried going back to a shorter-steeper-taller I could just ride again and not keep forcing the bike to do what I wanted.

    In addition, I have a short torso but long legs. With older geometry I could make things fit well enough to work. With new geometry I'd be stuck going a couple sizes smaller to make things work.
    Last edited by bad mechanic; 01-03-2018 at 09:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxsec View Post
    I'm afraid to tell you that manufactures take in account the sag of the fork they are using, or recommend using, when designing the geometry of their bikes. You really don't think they would be so stupid as to not include this obvious and very needed number into their designs?
    Geometry numbers given by most all manufactures, including Trek, are without rider weight, if that is what you’re referring too.
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 12-11-2017 at 06:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    I really dislike it when people tell me what I should be riding, and essentially call me an stubborn idiot for not riding it.

    I mostly ride mid-Atlantic XC and I tried going the longer-slacker-lower right for several years, before coming back to a steeper head tube and longer stem (75mm). What I didn't like about LSL geometry was it took a lot of weight off my front wheel, which let it wash more easily. I had to constantly focus on shifting my weight forward to keep the front weighted enough for it to work. When I tried going back to a shorter-steeper-taller I could just ride again and not keep forcing the bike to do what I wanted.

    In addition, I have a short torso but long legs. With older geometry I could make things fit well enough to work. With new geometry I'd be stuck going a couple sizes smaller to make things work.
    Exactly. Same here. Mid-Atlantic tight twisty. Front end feels too far out and washy to me. I can totally see this as being awesome going down fast as well as if you climbs are just straight/low grade.
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    I'd like to compare how a rider fits on new school, compared to old school.

    Modest descents, new vs old:
    What is the new 29er geo?-mojo-geomotron-geometron-181-780x520.jpg
    What is the new 29er geo?-drmnej4w8wu-thumb-750x500.jpg
    Out-of-saddle climbing, new vs old:
    What is the new 29er geo?-p5pb14645450.jpg
    Name:  out_of_saddle_climbing.jpg
Views: 548
Size:  81.3 KB
    What is the new 29er geo?-hill-climbing-technique-1.jpg

    Relaxed descending, new vs old:
    What is the new 29er geo?-p5pb14645445.jpg
    What is the new 29er geo?-510_31.jpg

    Berm exit, new vs old:
    What is the new 29er geo?-p5pb14645441.jpg
    What is the new 29er geo?-1277992536214-1m9axg09dxmqz-630-354.jpg

    Drops, new vs old:
    What is the new 29er geo?-pole-evolink-140-29-en_aluminum-long-wheelbase-enduro-mountain-bike_park-600x450.jpg
    What is the new 29er geo?-093005nobucking.jpg
    Last edited by dv8zen; 01-02-2018 at 06:37 PM.

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    Do old bikes look cramped after looking at newer longer ones, or is it just me?

    Longer bike gets more shoulder room, more room between knees and fork crown, a lower flatter back...

    This tucked elbow and shoulder look that riders on older bikes get is kind of awkward, and something about the shoulders being in front of the elbow just seems dangerous. Looking at it just makes me want to suggest longer stems to these guys.

    Interesting to see where the saddle is in relation to these guy's position...

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Trends are cyclical, as many people's logic is.
    In that case, can we please stop calling low-slack-long/modern/whatever geometry a trend, at least until manufacturers start making head angles steeper and front ends shorter than last year's models?
    Because to me it looks a lot more like continual evolution, with different manufacturers at different stages in the process, than a cyclical trend that's going to start going back the other way sooner or later.

  60. #60
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    What trend in mountain biking was cyclical?
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    What trend in mountain biking was cyclical?
    Wide bars, flat pedals, flannel shirts, beards.



    I think people usually try pass off progress as a trend when it clashes with their own ideas, it's far more comforting to believe everyone else is wrong than thinking you're being left behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    ^^^exactly. My Niner RKT is not long/low/slack and rides great on my trails. This is the '90s all over except instead of pushing NORBA race geo HTs on everyone, we push "gnar-bro-enduro" on everyone...it's exactly the same. There is room for both and it always will come down to how you ride/where your ride w/r to the bike type/geo you buy.
    If you knew the answer to your own question why ask in the first place? Was there a prize or something?

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    I'm thinking that medium sized guys are alright on modern bikes, but it's the truly tall people that find the new geo to be a huge break through.

    Someone 5' 9" like Brian Lopes seems to fit on current geo bike extremely well. See the drop pics. Both have similar form, with the tall guy on the new geo bike. Thought-provoking to know a former BMXer chose a such a fit for mtb and absolutely rips it up on a short to medium travel bike, what people do on DH bikes.

    I often read people question how a mere 20mm difference here and there between sizes is kind of foolish. Do the pics illustrate that? Another thing I notice is how so much of the body fits between the wheels.

    I suppose tall guys have the short stem trend to thank. It made people look so cramped on their bikes, with the elbows pushed back closer to the body. They're sort of forced into an upright position to avoid being cramped (shoulders forward of the elbow), rather than a more ideal low flat back position like Jeff Lenosky's. I really really want to suggest a longer stem to some of these guys, but there's so much hype and performance myths behind the short stem trend that makes people not only reluctant, but hostile to those that try to speak sense about it. I asked the reason from one beginner asking how to go to a shorter stem and they just vaguely replied where they heard their reason, "somewhere here", and followed up that they want to go short stem no matter what.

  64. #64
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    My journey to a 50mm stem started 30 years ago with stupidly long stems. 16 years ago I tried a shorter stem on my bike, and was safer instantly. After that I kept going shorter until I had a 50, but was a bit cramped. My solution was to get a longer frame, and it really jelled with me. I won't buy a frame that needs more than a 40mm next time out, and am sold on longer reach. Trial, and a lot of error over the years.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  65. #65
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    As a reformed XC guy that refused to buy anything with less than a 70* HA as of four years ago I can describe the myths and advantages of the latest geometry trends. The one part that most people miss is that our trails have changed significantly as well too. There are a lot more steep, rocky trails being built local to me compared to what existed 15 years ago. In addition you have to look at the entire bike and not just one measurement.

    1. More stability on descents, less energy used, fewer crashes and significantly more FUN

    2. Much better climbing position means less energy used keeping the front wheel on the ground on technical climbs. Yes this is true even on tight switchbacks.

    3. Geo other than SA does not make a difference on smoother climbs. HA, front center, rear center etc are irrelevant. Even frame weight is not that big of a deal, it is more about wheel and tire weights.

    4. Front wheel wandering does not come from a short rear end or slack, HA. It is from a slack effective SA.

    5. Historically, effective and actual SA were the same. Since seat tubes were welded to the BB it was the same no matter what your seat height. With new designs the "effective" SA which is what you see on spec sheets is a joke. Show me a single bike where the seat is at the same height as the top of the head tube. Because of this actual SA has gotten significantly slacker.

    6. Shorter stems with older front center lengths meant that effective front centers got very short. Old school HT's ran at least 100mm if not 120mm stems. That 60-80mm of length has to made up somewhere, but it has taken a while to get there. If you take an Specialized M2 which has a reach of approximately 375 mm, add in a 120 stem you get a total of 495 mm for the effective front center. Now take a new Epic HT with a Reach of 441 and add in a 60 mm stem and you are at almost the exact same length. Difference is that you gain stability by moving the head tube out shortening the stem. To maintain the same leverage over the front wheel you have to widen the bars.

    7. Using the math above, for an AM bike you put another 20 mm into the reach and subtract 20 mm from the stem and again widen the bars to maintain leverage over the front wheel. Now in order to keep the distance to the bars comfortable you have to make the seat tube steeper so that it is comfortable while seated.

    If you were to try and ride one of the older bikes with the current bar/stem setups we use it would be a mess. Your upper body would be hanging out over the bars and you knees would be in your shifters. There is no doubt that wheelbases have gotten longer, but the actual cockpit setups have not changed nearly as much as people think.

    For reference i now ride a 29'r with a sub 66 HA, 740 bars and a 50 mm stem and am climbing just as fast as I used to on my old XC setups.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Wide bars, flat pedals, flannel shirts, beards.



    I think people usually try to pass off trends as progress when it clashes with their own ideas, it's far more comforting to believe everyone else is lame than thinking you're not the new hotness.
    Weird.
    I totally agree with you David.

    Wait, did your grammar get better when I quoted it?

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Wait, did your grammar get better when I quoted it?
    Fake news. Sad.


    Salespunk nailed it, especially the bits about climbing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Fake news. Sad.
    How contemporary.
    Shouldn't have expected anything else, considering your tastes.

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    Heh, the ironing is delicious.

    Wake me up when the trend is over and bikes are getting shorter and steeper again...

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    I finally have a synthetic flannel shirt for riding
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    What trend in mountain biking was cyclical?
    Wide rims and oval chainrings.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  72. #72
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    Oval is totally different this time, and the old wide rims were never widespread, but yes they have been around the block.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Heh, the ironing is delicious.

    Wake me up when the trend is over and bikes are getting shorter and steeper again...
    So is the eironing.

    I'm sure that soon you will claim slacker and longer is better because you think it is... again... and we'll have this conversation again in a year where you insist I need to provide proof that bikes with what I consider a reasonable wheelbase don't suck, and I slowly shake my head at you internet style.

    Besides, why wake you when they come back?
    If recent trends hold, you'll claim the shift was a result of all your hard work.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    If you knew the answer to your own question why ask in the first place? Was there a prize or something?
    Yes. I won. It's the internet. That's why.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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    It's serious business, this internet thing. Congratulations on your win TiGeo.

  76. #76
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    I'm a recent 29'er convert and my go-to bike is a '14 Jet9 RDO, don't know if it's new or old geometry, and couldn't possibly care less, it's the best handling bike I've ridden for most of the trails I ride.
    Had a few pedal strikes early on but not many in the last year, and much less than my old (early and mid 2000's) 26" Enduro and SJ FSR bikes.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  77. #77
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    Where is it going? I don't know, but here is one opinion.

    What’s the future of MTB geometry? - BikeRadar USA
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Oval is totally different this time, and the old wide rims were never widespread, but yes they have been around the block.
    I was speaking in broad generalities.

    There were oval rings back in the 80s and there are oval rings again now. Yes, they are different, but they are also still oval now and trying to achieve the same thing.

    Relatively wide (26 mm) rims were pretty common back then before they got skinny (19 mm iirc) in the 90s XC craze. Of course they are much wider now, but it still looks like a cycle.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  79. #79
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    Back on topic, three similar-but-different bikes, all size L and for a similar range of rider heights.

    What is the new 29er geo?-geo.jpg

    The Pole will be impossible to get around corners and the Niner will be a twitchy unstable endo-machine. Maybe the Smuggler is the best of both worlds?

  80. #80
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    The Niner has medium geometry with large seat tube length.

    Check out the Pipedream Moxie. Moxie Enduro Hardtail | 27.5/27.5+/29er Compatible
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What is the new 29er geo?-p5pb15474524.jpg  

    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Back on topic, three similar-but-different bikes, all size L and for a similar range of rider heights.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Pole will be impossible to get around corners and the Niner will be a twitchy unstable endo-machine. Maybe the Smuggler is the best of both worlds?
    Everyone knows that every bike sucks except my bike and what I like to ride!

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    The Niner has medium geometry with large seat tube length.

    Check out the Pipedream Moxie. Moxie Enduro Hardtail | 27.5/27.5+/29er Compatible
    This frame looks amazing!

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    This frame looks amazing!
    I want one based on looks alone!

    Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Check out the Pipedream Moxie.
    Beautiful frame, and good numbers too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Everyone knows that every bike sucks except my bike and what I like to ride!

  85. #85
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    Am very intrigued with the Moxie, very.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Everyone knows that every bike sucks except my bike and what I like to ride!
    All bikes suck, just in different ways.

    Too bad so many here can't accept it...

  87. #87
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    Another thread about this geometry thing... Pointless and worthless. Everybody rides different trails in different ways with different preferences. One geometry will not be best for everybody. There is always a compromise. Always. For some people, those compromises are insignificant. For others, they're deal breakers. Anybody (richde) that says something is without compromise has a personal agenda and should be ignored.

  88. #88
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    I have ordered a long Moxie for my 5'9" self. Went with green even though my friend pushed for pink so the riding crew could entertain themselves by mocking me. They have enough ammo already.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What is the new 29er geo?-screen-shot-2018-01-17-9.15.49-am.png  

    What is the new 29er geo?-pipedream-moxie-1200x600-shrek.jpg  

    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  89. #89
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    Nice! I actually really like the pink one though. Is it going to be replacing the Endorphin?

  90. #90
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    No, 1 FS, and 1 HT for now. The only fly in the ointment is the old fashioned 148 boost rear end. I like the pink, but wasn't sure I wanted to own one, so I went with bile green.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  91. #91
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    So Endo and HT, did I miss something or have you still got the Warden too?

  92. #92
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    Selling to make room, my medium needs more reach. I researched the crap out of 29 hardtails before ordering. High on the list were the Chromag Rootdown, and the NS Eccentric Cromo 29. I found a lot of great hardtails out there, from short & steep to long & slack, something for everyone.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  93. #93
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    Looking forward to hearing what you think of it, that's quite a jump in length!

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