Questions about geometry (West coast vs. East coast)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Questions about geometry (West coast vs. East coast)

    I'm 5'8" 30" inseam, and ride twisty New England singletrack (rocky, rooty, short steep climbs and drops, sharp hairpins, etc). I'm currently riding a SC Superlight 29er, which is what today would be considered "steep and short" (71deg HA, 43.6"WB, ETT 23"), but with longish chainstays (17.5").

    I've noticed the trend towards "long and slack" on trailbikes, and was pondering a new bike, thinking that something more slack would handle drops better. BUT, I'm not sure I'd want to gain stability at the expense of good climbing and handling on tight turns and transitions. I do like the way the Superlight climbs and handles on twisty singletrack, though it's definitely sketchy on drops. So the question is: how do trailbikes with more modern "West Coast" geometry climb and handle tight, twisty "East Coast" singletrack? Looking at some more recent trailbikes like the Hightower or the Devinci Hendrix, my initial reaction is: Whoa- that's a long wheelbase (46")! Would it handle like a truck? Will the front wheel get all floppy on steep climbs?

    Any and all input welcome.

  2. #2
    transmitter~receiver
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    "West Coast geometry" is a new one on me.
    lol
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    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  3. #3
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    Do you have to have carbon? It's really a combination of all the numbers.

    Two bikes with the same WB will ride very differently based on the geo. I had a SJ with a 46'' inch WB went to a TBc with a 44'' wheelbase and loved it. Now I'm back on a 46'' wb bike, but much shorter CS. Haven't ridden yet, but I expect it to ride closer to the TBc than the SJ.

    How much travel are you looking for, there's a whole bunch of nice bikes out now. Ripley, Riot, Mach429
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  4. #4
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    Looks like some demoing is in the future for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzman View Post
    I'm 5'8" 30" inseam, and ride twisty New England singletrack (rocky, rooty, short steep climbs and drops, sharp hairpins, etc). I'm currently riding a SC Superlight 29er, which is what today would be considered "steep and short" (71deg HA, 43.6"WB, ETT 23"), but with longish chainstays (17.5").

    I've noticed the trend towards "long and slack" on trailbikes, and was pondering a new bike, thinking that something more slack would handle drops better. BUT, I'm not sure I'd want to gain stability at the expense of good climbing and handling on tight turns and transitions. I do like the way the Superlight climbs and handles on twisty singletrack, though it's definitely sketchy on drops. So the question is: how do trailbikes with more modern "West Coast" geometry climb and handle tight, twisty "East Coast" singletrack? Looking at some more recent trailbikes like the Hightower or the Devinci Hendrix, my initial reaction is: Whoa- that's a long wheelbase (46")! Would it handle like a truck? Will the front wheel get all floppy on steep climbs?

    Any and all input welcome.
    Your thoughts are correct. The new long and slack bikes do not necessarily make the best trail bikes.

    Your SC is pretty far the other way however. Very steep.

    On paper, for east coast riding, looks to me the new Fuel Ex is spot on.

  6. #6
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    BIKE magazine's bible of bike tests was in Vermont this year. You might find their videos useful if you haven't watched them already.


    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...42oqhB06w2_OGB

  7. #7
    Here, diagonally!
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    I love slack bikes, but short steep climbs and tight hairpins begs for something steeper. 69ish would be good IMO. Or if you want to keep it steep add a dropper post if you've not already.

  8. #8
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    West coast geo must have more to do with regulations and bike paths designed for mtb.
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  9. #9
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    Is 'west coast geo / east coast geo' the new 'xc / trail / enduro / all mountain'?

  10. #10
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    Your geo was a development stage. It's just outdated now.
    It's just old geo vs new. Shorter chainstays, slacker head tube angle and 51mm offset fork work great everywhere around the world now. More slackness for faster downhills and bigger jumps.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzman View Post
    I'm 5'8" 30" inseam, and ride twisty New England singletrack (rocky, rooty, short steep climbs and drops, sharp hairpins, etc). I'm currently riding a SC Superlight 29er, which is what today would be considered "steep and short" (71deg HA, 43.6"WB, ETT 23"), but with longish chainstays (17.5").

    I've noticed the trend towards "long and slack" on trailbikes, and was pondering a new bike, thinking that something more slack would handle drops better. BUT, I'm not sure I'd want to gain stability at the expense of good climbing and handling on tight turns and transitions. I do like the way the Superlight climbs and handles on twisty singletrack, though it's definitely sketchy on drops. So the question is: how do trailbikes with more modern "West Coast" geometry climb and handle tight, twisty "East Coast" singletrack? Looking at some more recent trailbikes like the Hightower or the Devinci Hendrix, my initial reaction is: Whoa- that's a long wheelbase (46")! Would it handle like a truck? Will the front wheel get all floppy on steep climbs?

    Any and all input welcome.
    I am from NE and ride the same trails. My Satori was an early example of the short/slack set up for a 29er. Yes, I have to stay forward on climbs and it can be a bit of a load on super tight trails. Beyond that it is the best all around trail slayer I have owned. West vs East is not the difference maker , it is wet vs dry that makes the difference. I have always found that bikes that work in the Pacific Northwest work in NE.

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  12. #12
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    i'm afraid biggie and tupac both had the answer, but now we will never know.

  13. #13
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    Fuel EX, high geo position.


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  14. #14
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    For New England trails, suggest the Fuel EX or Spec Camber 29ers. Big wheels help a lot with rocks, roots, and sketchy traction on steep climbs. Moderate travel (e.g. compared to the Remedy or Stumpjumper) helps with efficiency and climbing. I particular like the geo/handling of the Fuel EX, which is why I got one. Lot's of good info in this thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/trek/2016-fue...st-991636.html

  15. #15
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    To get a taste of how a slightly slacker HA would feel you could get your hands on this: AngleSet if a demo is not available.

    I ride the typical east coast single track and can tell you that my Niner handles switchback climbs better than my buddies SJ 29. On the flip side the SJ seems more stable on speedy decents. My Niner RIP 9 is supposed to have a 69.5 HA with a 140mm fork. I have read people say it is steeper and also heard it may be slacker than that. I have never cared to confirm the results but will say 69.5 has been working fine for me. However I may be looking at something with the newer trend of geo next year. If I were buying now I would be looking at the Camber Carbon Comp 29 or Fuel EX9 29. If your budget is bigger I would look at the Pivot Mach 429 trail.
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  16. #16
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    I'm exactly your size, have a small Pivot 429. 43" wheelbase, 69 degree head angle, works even in the Rocky Mountains. If you really want nimble though, I'd look at a 27.5.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    "West Coast geometry" is a new one on me.
    lol
    It's a BS term from many years ago, as if the East Coast is the only place that has tight trails or they are somehow way tighter than other places. Sure, some SoCal trails are in the open and fast on wide trails with little stuff blocking you, but many are not. Some stuff around San Francisco and in the Bay Area is just as tight as anything else you'll find, and there are places like this in most states, depending on what trails you ride.

    I've yet to see any video from the ""East Coast" that makes me believe the riding is way tighter than anything else.

    I think this was just one of the more populous places in the US where bikes were being ridden and companies were based/product support was present.

    Now, if you ride more XC stuff, you want a steeper bike, for the maneuverability of course, and because you don't expect to be doing big drops and jumps all the time. If you are going down steep chutes, you want slack and long. If you are doing both, you want a combination of the two, although many modern XC bikes are a pretty good tradeoff, as they've evolved quite a bit past the "auto-endo" geometry and components, without getting crazy long or slack.

    There are a few "very slack" short-travel bikes, but those are still a fairly "specialty niche" IMO.

    Most XC 29er FS bikes will work well for what the OP is asking about.

    Skip to :45s, and this is about as "West Coast" as it gets-or just watch from the beginning, plenty of close trees to maneuver around on the skinnies too. Our trails get quite a bit tighter, but I usually like to make vids of the faster sections.

    (Video was showing how dangerous snow on ice is, it's quite literally the slickest surface you can imagine, way slicker than straight ice, because the studs and anything else can't penetrate though)
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    I'm exactly your size, have a small Pivot 429. 43" wheelbase, 69 degree head angle, works even in the Rocky Mountains. If you really want nimble though, I'd look at a 27.5.
    Hey Panchosdad, that's one of my top contenders... what length stem are you running? did you test ride the Medium as well? I know Pivot recommends the size Small for guys our height, but it has a bit shorter TT, and 1" less reach, than my current ride.

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