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  1. #1
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    New school 29er geo

    Looking at the new crop of 29er trail bikes with steeper seat tube angles, longer reach measurements and slacker head tube angles and I see how they can benefit most riders. But Iím wondering at what point do these bikes become too long to be advantageous for someone like myself who lives in the Midwest where the trails are tight and twisty, have plenty of slow speed tech and lack the longer climbs and descents that these bikes seem to cater to. I know everyoneís first response is ďtest ride oneĒ, but that simply isnít feasible around me. So my question is, can these new bikes really be as nimble as some of the older trail bikes? At some point the wheelbase just gets too long to hide, right? Talk to me.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrisonCityStandout View Post
    So my question is, can these new bikes really be as nimble as some of the older trail bikes? At some point the wheelbase just gets too long to hide, right? Talk to me.

    No, and yes.

  3. #3
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    The bottom line is just getting out on the trails on 2 wheels is all that matters so any bike will do but of course nothing beats the feeling when your overly stoked on the bike you made your own through that investment.

    Don't overthink the process and just try to buy the bike that fits you properly regarding comfort with your ride position both on the saddle and off the saddle. In time you'll forget about Wheel base, Chain stay and seat tub angle and you'll just ride the bike and enjoy.

    too many people get caught up in the numbers but in all honesty this newer Geo will help you be more confident and raise your ability level in almost every instance.

    I know plenty of people that think todays bikes are almost like cheating the difficulties of trails but the entire point is whether or not your smiling from ear to ear after your ride.
    Yeti SB130
    Yeti SB100
    Yeti SB5.5
    Trans Sentinel
    Ibis Ripmo
    Yeti SB4.5
    Orbea Rallon
    Devinci Spartan
    Devinci Troy

  4. #4
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    And to answer your original question the new bike Geometry will work perfectly if your open minded about adjusting your previous ride style. In almost every instance you'll need to ride aggressive and more forward to get the benefits.
    Yeti SB130
    Yeti SB100
    Yeti SB5.5
    Trans Sentinel
    Ibis Ripmo
    Yeti SB4.5
    Orbea Rallon
    Devinci Spartan
    Devinci Troy

  5. #5
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    From someone who has lived in Utah, Texas, Arkansas, and Minnesota; I'm not digging the new slacked out long legged 29ers on midwest type trails. Most of Northern Utah riding is climb up and bomb down. The new 29" geometry works great there. They climb well enough to get you to the top but they really shine the faster you go down. Maintaining consistent speed in the midwest to fully appreciate the new school 29ers just doesn't do it for me. The short lived climbs and descents / tight twisty trails make these new school 29'ers start to feel boring, uninspiring, and slow. You lose the poppy, playful, fast accelerating nature of bikes like the Ripley and SB4.5 offered.

    A modern bike like the SB100 is perfect for our topography however we still have drops, jumps, and chunk that can overwhelm the SB100 short travel. So far I've found the Pivot Switchblade to be the best option or just stick with 27.5.

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    Do you own all the bikes in your signature?

    If you do, damn that's some good riding, I'd have a hard time choosing.

    As to the OP's question, I don't think your riding is unique, in other words new ego will work fine if you like the way a bike rides. In other words, you need to demo or you'll just be guessing.

    My personal preference is long front center and short chainstays, but the new school reviewers are telling me that this combo is no good. Damn it, now they tell me

    Go to a few bike demos, ride a bunch of bikes, find the similarities and narrow down what works best for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by skinnybex View Post
    And to answer your original question the new bike Geometry will work perfectly if your open minded about adjusting your previous ride style. In almost every instance you'll need to ride aggressive and more forward to get the benefits.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+ (for sale)
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Do you own all the bikes in your signature?

    If you do, damn that's some good riding, I'd have a hard time choosing.

    As to the OP's question, I don't think your riding is unique, in other words new ego will work fine if you like the way a bike rides. In other words, you need to demo or you'll just be guessing.

    My personal preference is long front center and short chainstays, but the new school reviewers are telling me that this combo is no good. Damn it, now they tell me

    Go to a few bike demos, ride a bunch of bikes, find the similarities and narrow down what works best for you.
    I still own them all and rotate as needed. Not really any reason to own that many bikes but riding is my passion.

    I split time in 2 different countries so 4 bikes are in South America and the other 5 are here in the USA.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    From someone who has lived in Utah, Texas, Arkansas, and Minnesota; I'm not digging the new slacked out long legged 29ers on midwest type trails. Most of Northern Utah riding is climb up and bomb down. The new 29" geometry works great there. They climb well enough to get you to the top but they really shine the faster you go down. Maintaining consistent speed in the midwest to fully appreciate the new school 29ers just doesn't do it for me. The short lived climbs and descents / tight twisty trails make these new school 29'ers start to feel boring, uninspiring, and slow. You lose the poppy, playful, fast accelerating nature of bikes like the Ripley and SB4.5 offered.

    A modern bike like the SB100 is perfect for our topography however we still have drops, jumps, and chunk that can overwhelm the SB100 short travel. So far I've found the Pivot Switchblade to be the best option or just stick with 27.5.
    This is so spot on with my dilemma. Iím searching for a bike that isnít ďtoo much bikeĒ for the local rolling terrain, yet still aggressive enough to handle the man-made features/drops that we use to make up for what we lack in elevation. So far that bike (for me) seems to be the Following MB. Iíve tried 27.5 and I just found myself missing the 29Ē wheels.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnybex View Post
    I still own them all and rotate as needed. Not really any reason to own that many bikes but riding is my passion.

    I split time in 2 different countries so 4 bikes are in South America and the other 5 are here in the USA.
    Impressive collection indeed! I guess my question as it relates to you would be is there any instances in which you would find yourself reaching for the SB 4.5 over the SB 130 or Ripmo? Also, between the Ripmo and SB 130, which one would you say rides like a smaller bike? People seem rave about its menueverability.

  10. #10
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    fortunately, there are still plenty of bikes that have not gone all LLS. for hardtails, Chumba, Voodoo, Carver, etc are still making what are now called "XC" bike, so not everything is a "trail" bike.

    I am leaning more and more toward that trail geometry, but I think the reach on frames has gotten out of control. I read something on another forum a while back where someone asked something like "with the reach that long, how am I supposed to lift the front wheel to get over objects" and the answer was, literally, "you don't have to." that really rubbed me the wrong way. it seems that some of these bikes are not meant to be finessed over the terrain, but plowed over it and relying on huge tires and suspension to keep you from killing yourself and the bike. with the handlebar so far in front of you, even with a short stem, your body just have less control over the bike in many situations.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrisonCityStandout View Post
    This is so spot on with my dilemma. Iím searching for a bike that isnít ďtoo much bikeĒ for the local rolling terrain, yet still aggressive enough to handle the man-made features/drops that we use to make up for what we lack in elevation. So far that bike (for me) seems to be the Following MB. Iíve tried 27.5 and I just found myself missing the 29Ē wheels.
    There are still 29er trail bikes out there (like the Following you mentioned) that aren't "too modern" geo wise for Midwest riding. I ride mostly in KY and OH with trips to "bigger" places like Knoxville and WNC.

    Trek Fuel EX (what I ride)
    Pivot Trail 429
    Santa Cruz Tallboy or Hightower
    Giant Trance 29

    So, even though the industry trend is longer and slacker there are still trail bikes out there nimble enough for the tight, twisty trails in the Midwest, that are also capable enough for bigger features. When I was demoing for me that was bikes with I guess an "average" reach (I'm 5'10 and was comfortable on stuff with 440-455ish reach), a HA around 67*, and short chainstays so you can still whip around switchbacks.

    As far as steeper seat tube angles go, I personally think that trend is a bit overrated. The effective SA published is just a ballpark number and will differ depending on rider height. While it does help with long in the saddle climbs, I found (for me at least) a steep STA was not as comfortable when pedaling on the flats. So its great for "sit and climb, stand and go down" trails but maybe not for flatter terrain, which a lot of what I ride is.
    Patrick

  12. #12
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    I generally stick to geometry ranges that work well for me. Roughly 430-450mm of reach and 600-620mm ETT, and 420mm or less of seat tube. I place a lot more importance on ETT since I'll be sitting and pedaling at least half of the time or more. In attack position, I can always adjust my body position on the fly. But it's fixed while seated.

    I'm 5'7 and I'm in between Small and Mediums, but I always go for the Mediums. Smalls just feel to cramped for me. I can always get a shorter stem and/or move my saddle back and forth. All my bikes are modern 29ers but geo isn't too extreme or long.

    My Slash, Fuel EX, and SB100 have roughly the same reach, ETT, stack, and seat tube. So jumping from bike to bike isn't like learning how to ride a bike again. My Nukeproof Scout is a bit different, but that's a hardtail. I'm not afraid of riding longer front center bikes. But they do require adjusting my riding style a little bit. It's just a matter of getting used to.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrisonCityStandout View Post
    This is so spot on with my dilemma. Iím searching for a bike that isnít ďtoo much bikeĒ for the local rolling terrain, yet still aggressive enough to handle the man-made features/drops that we use to make up for what we lack in elevation. So far that bike (for me) seems to be the Following MB. Iíve tried 27.5 and I just found myself missing the 29Ē wheels.
    Iím right there with you.. once youíve experienced a solid 29Ē bike itís hard to go back to 27.5

    I was really hoping the sb130 was the answer. 130/150 29 inch would be perfect. Itís just to damn long of a wheelbase.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    I was really hoping the sb130 was the answer. Itís just to damn long of a wheelbase.
    I wanted to like that bike. ~Local company and all that.

    The long wheelbase sucked. The low BB *really* sucked. But what sucked most of all was how harsh the suspension felt.

    I had it for a week. Tweaked the suspension every way I knew how. Even running 40% sag it was harsh.

    Not for me I guess.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the input everyone. It seems that my initial feeling was at least somewhat accurate.

    And Kumquat, Iím right there with you- but in regards to the Offering.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjames12 View Post
    .....So its great for "sit and climb, stand and go down" trails but maybe not for flatter terrain, which a lot of what I ride is.
    This right here X 1,000. I LOVE my Ripley LS for most of the riding we have in Texas, with its slacker (73*) STA, where we sit a lot on terrain that is mostly slight ups and downs and flatish. My Ripmo (76*) is better though for long, steep ups and then long downs in real mountains. No bike is great EVERYWHERE. You don't have to go long and slack, there are plenty of bikes with more "old-school" geo in the mid/short-travel range that would suit your terrain better. Add the Ripley LS to your list, it sounds perfect for the riding and terrain you have.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  17. #17
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    Iím interested where Vorsprung takes their geo interpretation next week. Im looking forward to it.

    https://youtu.be/P18SutYYL5I

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrisonCityStandout View Post
    Impressive collection indeed! I guess my question as it relates to you would be is there any instances in which you would find yourself reaching for the SB 4.5 over the SB 130 or Ripmo? Also, between the Ripmo and SB 130, which one would you say rides like a smaller bike? People seem rave about its menueverability.
    The Ripmo is the one bike that rides smaller than its travel and feels more agile. The bike is a great all around option since itís fairly forgiving on the downhills and climbs great uphill but still retains that fun and playful aspect of a bike much smaller.

    The Yeti SB130 actually feels more confidence inspiring and composed downhill despite having less travel front and rear and climbs more efficiently uphill but is not quite as maneuverable or playful.

    I prefer the ride of the SB130 for my everyday riding

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    I agree. I ride a Devinci Atlas which has a 70.5 head angle with which I've installed an offset bushing on the shock. This is increasing the HA to around 71.5.

    I also have a fleet of Devinci and Ibis demo bikes and everytime I ride them I wish I was back on my Atlas.

    I just feel faster and the steering more neutral in the tight twisty singletrack we have here in Austin. The rocks and roots also make a higher bb more desirable to reduce pedal strikes.
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  20. #20
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    Hmm ... Fix the corners on your trails so they are not so tight turned. Then buy a new bike.

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    I am on the tall end (6'3") and like to ride aggressively across a range of trail, I like the steep stuff but the closest trails for midweek rides are pretty mellow and flat XC. I just bought an XL sentinel (500 reach, 64ha 1280 wb long) and thought it would suck on the tight stuff, but I am finding it more fun everywhere. I have to push the bike a lot harder than my older HT with a short reach and 68 ha but it is so much more rewarding. I was planning to keep the HT for mellower trails but it is on the chopping block unless I find a screaming deal on a new geometry HT frame and just swap that out.
    In summary I am sold on long reach and now want a long reach slack HA cyclocross bike. You should demo and ride what you like.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorangutan View Post
    I agree. I ride a Devinci Atlas which has a 70.5 head angle with which I've installed an offset bushing on the shock. This is increasing the HA to around 71.5.

    I also have a fleet of Devinci and Ibis demo bikes and everytime I ride them I wish I was back on my Atlas.

    I just feel faster and the steering more neutral in the tight twisty singletrack we have here in Austin. The rocks and roots also make a higher bb more desirable to reduce pedal strikes.
    I miss the Atlas. I got "bigger bike" version in the Riot. Shot chainstays and taller BB than typical.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnybex View Post
    The Ripmo is the one bike that rides smaller than its travel and feels more agile. The bike is a great all around option since itís fairly forgiving on the downhills and climbs great uphill but still retains that fun and playful aspect of a bike much smaller.

    The Yeti SB130 actually feels more confidence inspiring and composed downhill despite having less travel front and rear and climbs more efficiently uphill but is not quite as maneuverable or playful.

    I prefer the ride of the SB130 for my everyday riding

    This is pretty much spot on.. I may end up with a Ripmo if something else doesnít come out from Yeti (I ♥️ Switch infinity) Iím also interested to see whatís going to happen to the Ripley.

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