Is the new seat angle Geo 76-77 making for cramped riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is the new seat angle Geo 76-77 making for cramped riding?

    In speaking to a number of people in the business - the new centered in Bike feel position is in some cases making flat - fire road - trail riding uncomfortable ...
    So while reach is extended - you’re now feeling out front a lot more ...

    Agreed ?


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    Reach should increase to keep the seated position roomy and comfortable. You might feel a bit more pressure on your hands on flat terrain because your seat will end up higher to keep leg extension the same. Overall on the trail it's much more comfortable. Demo some bikes and find out for yourself.

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    Steep STA is better for steep climbing... not sure how anyone would think it would be an improvement in the flats. Basic weight bias issue.

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    Modern geo has the front wheel more forward so the steeper STA helps keep your weight centered.

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    My new-to-me 2018 Shred Dogg feels so much more planted on steep climbs than my Reign ever did. Basically all my favorite rides involve a lot of steep climbing, so I'm sold. I'll happily accept the consequences on flat terrain since I try to avoid that anyway, but YMMV. STA is irrelevant for descending--if you're sitting on the descent you're doing it wrong, very wrong (catching your breath because you're gassed out excepted).

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    The cutoff for what's uncomfortable or not is going to vary from rider to rider. Frame geo determines fit. If the bike doesn't fit, then look elsewhere.

    For me, on the particular bike I have, I feel a bit more pressure on my hands, but I've made some adjustments and no longer have any discomfort. I do feel like I'm approaching a limit on how steep the seat tube angle can be for me to remain comfortable, however, so it's something I'll be aware of. Not everyone is going to have the same threshold I do. Some will be lower, some higher.

    Just buy what fits you. If a particular shop doesn't carry anything that fits, then keep looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The cutoff for what's uncomfortable or not is going to vary from rider to rider. Frame geo determines fit. If the bike doesn't fit, then look elsewhere.

    For me, on the particular bike I have, I feel a bit more pressure on my hands, but I've made some adjustments and no longer have any discomfort. I do feel like I'm approaching a limit on how steep the seat tube angle can be for me to remain comfortable, however, so it's something I'll be aware of. Not everyone is going to have the same threshold I do. Some will be lower, some higher.

    Just buy what fits you. If a particular shop doesn't carry anything that fits, then keep looking.
    I was also looking hard at Transitions, and one of the reasons I went with GG was because I was smack between sizes on Transition's size chart and right in the middle of GG's sizing. The Shred Dogg fits perfect, so I'm pretty sure I would have felt cramped or stretched out on a Transition.

  8. #8
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    no.

  9. #9
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    A new geo bike shouldn’t feel all that different regardless of the situation, but if anything I’d say you should feel less cramped. I went from a 445mm reach to a 475mm, 50mm-> 40mm stem, and am finally able to have my seat over the cranks enough with a 76° SA and the seat slammed forward. Body position feels almost identical to my old set up but peddling and weight distribution feel much improved. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing STA go closer to the 78° mark. Overall I’m very happy with the way bike geo is going.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    In speaking to a number of people in the business - the new centered in Bike feel position is in some cases making flat - fire road - trail riding uncomfortable ...
    So while reach is extended - you’re now feeling out front a lot more ...

    Agreed ?


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    No, there are too many variables at play here to make blanket statements. I have short femurs and love a steep STA in all scenarios. I rejoice that I can finally find bikes with steep STAs, while others may not. Mainly bikes with slacker HTAs and more travel have the steep STAs and bikes made for flatter locals don't. If you ride somewhere flat get a bike suited for it.
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    One factor that isn't really being examined, besides femur length, is hip width, and how that relates to saddle width.

    I see plenty of people riding so far back on the saddle that you can't see any of it when they are seated. I have narrow hips, and riding like that is simply not a possibility for me. On the same saddle, I'd be sitting an inch or two more forward compared to others, because my hips and "sit bones" simply can't go any further back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    In speaking to a number of people in the business - the new centered in Bike feel position is in some cases making flat - fire road - trail riding uncomfortable ...
    So while reach is extended - you’re now feeling out front a lot more ...

    Agreed ?
    I don't find the new steep STAs comfortable to ride so I use a setback dropper, which helps somewhat. I took my trail bike on a longer ~50km ride with significant seated flat sections recently. With a setback dropper I find that bike comfortable on our steep techy trails, but when I was seated for a good spell without getting up out of the saddle frequently it was still too steep.

    I had thought about using that bike for some bikepacking, but reconsidered and will use an older bike with a slacker STA that I know is comfortable for extended flat/rolling seated riding.

    I don't think there is one right answer on the topic. Different people will come down on different sides of the issue, but I do think it's fair to say that going relentlessly steeper with STAs is not going to work for everyone.

    I've started to cross potential bikes off my metal shopping list because the STAs are so steep that even with a 1" setback dropper I can't get it to a comfortable/efficient pedalling position.
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    Some bikes yes and some no---bike specific. For me Transition Smuggler and the new Ripley are too cramped but the Pivot T429 fits well===I think you just need to buy what fits--it is not just one angle but the entire geo that will tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    Some bikes yes and some no---bike specific. For me Transition Smuggler and the new Ripley are too cramped but the Pivot T429 fits well===I think you just need to buy what fits--it is not just one angle but the entire geo that will tell.
    This^^^ Just like before steep seatubes, not all frames fit the same.

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    I don't find the steeper STA bikes cramped. But I didn't like the way they felt. The seat position feels like the only time it's comfortable is when you are climbing. When you're on rolling terrain it feels ungainly. When you push the seat down it feels like it's "right there" and instead of being able to pinch the nose of the seat with your thighs when you're pushing it around, it feels like it's hitting the wide part and banging up my legs.

  16. #16
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    Cramped, no. But I sort of do agree that they're uncomfortable on long flat roads, if its a big bike.


    I guess a better question is if you care or not? I didnt buy a 160mm bike to ride on flat smooth roads. If the climbing ability compromises flat riding, I think thats a great compromise!

    I absolutely love steep STA's! For the first time ever, I feel like mountain bikes actually fit me. Any downside (like the flats) is massively overshadowed by how much better it works everywhere else. Not everyone likes them, but if your body type works for it, it works well.

  17. #17
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    I would agree. I like the steep seat angles for climbing, but on flats and low grade climbs the bike is not comfortable.

    That is probably why you do not see super steep seat angles on XC bikes or road bikes.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    One factor that isn't really being examined, besides femur length, is hip width, and how that relates to saddle width.

    I see plenty of people riding so far back on the saddle that you can't see any of it when they are seated. I have narrow hips, and riding like that is simply not a possibility for me. On the same saddle, I'd be sitting an inch or two more forward compared to others, because my hips and "sit bones" simply can't go any further back.
    Hip width could be a factor.

    However, usually if someone is sitting way back on the saddle they are doing so because their seat is too low. And if you are on the nose of your saddle it may mean your saddle is a bit high.
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    I guess I bought my bike to ride any trail. I'm lucky enough to live someplace with some decent elevation but even then you get traverses and other stuff like that. My bike has an effective STA just a little short of 75 and it feels pretty good all around for me.

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    What is this thing flat fire road mountain biking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I would agree. I like the steep seat angles for climbing, but on flats and low grade climbs the bike is not comfortable.

    That is probably why you do not see super steep seat angles on XC bikes or road bikes.
    Yeah, this is why I am having a hard time wrapping my head around why I want a steeper STA on my MTB than my road bike.

    If I want a steeper STA for a long climb I just drop my fork.

    Buy WTF do I know. I’m still riding a 26” bike with a 74deg STA.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    If I want a steeper STA for a long climb I just drop my fork.
    ...or slide forward on your saddle.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Yeah, this is why I am having a hard time wrapping my head around why I want a steeper STA on my MTB than my road bike.

    If I want a steeper STA for a long climb I just drop my fork.

    Buy WTF do I know. I’m still riding a 26” bike with a 74deg STA.
    I sort have a working theory that every All Mountain bike is designed for the Whistler Valley Trails. If you have ever ridden their trails you know that they have super steep descents, broken up by technical climbs. But what makes their trails really special is the absolutely hideously steep climbs you have to go up to get to them.

    If you are riding in the Whistler every single bit of modern geometry makes sense. But there are not a lot places with trails like that.
    Last edited by LMN; 1 Week Ago at 06:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I would agree. I like the steep seat angles for climbing, but on flats and low grade climbs the bike is not comfortable.

    That is probably why you do not see super steep seat angles on XC bikes or road bikes.
    That and on a road bike your hands are directly over the front axle. The real reason for having a steeper STA is to keep the front wheel down. If that wasn't a concern then STA wouldn't matter, you could just lean back and spin up the hill. We keep making this discussion more complicated then it has to be...KOPS, sag vs travel, HT vs FS, etc. If you don't need to make a significant compensation in body position to keep the front down (or keep traction on the front) then you don't need a steeper STA. That's going to be determined by where your weight is in relation to the front axle/tire. An XC or road bike has your weight further forward. An AM/trail/enduro bike tends to have your weight further back and up from the front wheel. The same reason a bike with a steep HTA and long low stem is easier to go OTB on a descent is the same reason it's easier to keep the front wheel down on climbs. If you get a modern/progressive trail bike w/ a steep STA and try to run your bars as low as you did on your XC race bike, yeah your hands are going to hurt.

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    I have an Ibis HD4 which had a 64.9 degree HT angle and a relatively long FOC. The seat tube is 74 degrees and I have trouble keeping the front end planted on steeper climbs. I have my saddle slid as far forward as it goes but it is still not enough to keep the front end from getting light. I remedy this by dropping my seat a bit on steeper climbs which helps a lot but obviously kills my efficiency. My next bike will definitely be something with a steeper seat tube angle. I have my eyes on Transition and GG.

    These new geo bikes have much longer top tubes/reach so the they shouldn't feel any more cramped than a older geo bike. As far as the being more centered over the BB being uncomfortable on long flat rides goes, I don't care. MOUNTAIN bike..... LOL

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    If you get a modern/progressive trail bike w/ a steep STA and try to run your bars as low as you did on your XC race bike, yeah your hands are going to hurt.
    If you are on a modern trail bike running the bars as low as an XC race is bike isn't even close to an option. Might actually makes bikes on comfortable flat terrain if that was possible. But if you are looking for an XC position then perhaps you should buy an XC bike not a trail bike.

    I can't speak for others but I use bar height for handling characteristics not comfort. Majority of the time I run by bars as low as possible to make it easier to find front end grip. But if I am going to our bike park, which is quite steep, then the bars come up a bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Yeah, this is why I am having a hard time wrapping my head around why I want a steeper STA on my MTB than my road bike.

    If I want a steeper STA for a long climb I just drop my fork.

    Buy WTF do I know. I’m still riding a 26” bike with a 74deg STA.
    Luckily theres still heaps of options for slacker SA bikes, plus many dropper manufacturers offer an offset backwards head.

    I'm on the other side. I've found only a couple of manufacturers do bikes with a SA steep enough for my liking and they're very boutique and expensive brands. I'd be super happy if the more affordable guys got it right for me more often.

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    interesting article from fit werk today on topic-----more opinions

    https://fitwerx.com/most-mountain-bi...fcca-154463829

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    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    interesting article from fit werk today on topic-----more opinions

    https://fitwerx.com/most-mountain-bi...fcca-154463829
    A FN Men!! The taller riders have been treated like Sh~~!




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    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    interesting article from fit werk today on topic-----more opinions

    https://fitwerx.com/most-mountain-bi...fcca-154463829
    That person is very out of touch. I quit reading about where I saw he was trying to make the case that bikes are shrinking because stems are shorter. Maybe it's a parody and I didn't read far enough to realize it.

    I just bought a bike with the steepest STA I've had, a 40mm stem and it's by far the best fitting bike this 6'5" person has ever owned. That's because the reach is 515mm and the stack is over 26".
    Last edited by jeremy3220; 1 Week Ago at 05:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    If you are on a modern trail bike running the bars as low as an XC race is bike isn't even close to an option.
    That's another point...steeper STA's increase pressure on the hands because the seat ends up being higher relative to the bars. However, like you said if you're going from an XC bike to a modern trail bike your bars should be higher anyway. The average XC race bike should have a greater vertical distance from the bars to seat than the average modern trail/enduro bike.

    However, as I've learned from MTBR... if your hands hurt from too much pressure on an XC bike, it's because your core is weak. If your hands hurt from too much pressure on a trail bike with a steep STA, it's because steep seat tube angles are stupid.

    But seriously, I think some riders are so adamant about certain parameters of their bike that they've confined themselves with 'rules' so to speak (e.g. bars must be slammed, KOPS, max wheelbase, certain stem length, certain reach). So when they try a bike with a different design philosophy they instantly write it off when it doesn't conform to whatever 'rule' they try to apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That person is very out of touch. I quit reading about I saw he was trying to make the case that bikes are shrinking because stems are shorter. Maybe it's a parody and I didn't read far enough to realize it.

    I just bought a bike with the steepest STA I've had, a 40mm stem and it's by far the best fitting bike this 6'5" person has ever owned. That's because the reach is 515mm and the stack is over 26".
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to jeremy3220 again."

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    Cramped cockpit, more weight on the hands creating discomfort. Not a fan.

    I don't find scooting forward on the seat that difficult for steep hills. Why optimize the seating position for a small fraction of the time and then be stuck with the saddle in the wrong place for the rest of the ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Cramped cockpit, more weight on the hands creating discomfort. Not a fan.

    I don't find scooting forward on the seat that difficult for steep hills. Why optimize the seating position for a small fraction of the time and then be stuck with the saddle in the wrong place for the rest of the ride?
    If you're cramped, the bike is too small and your bars being too low or too close to you is what puts the weight on your hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That person is very out of touch. I quit reading about where I saw he was trying to make the case that bikes are shrinking because stems are shorter. Maybe it's a parody and I didn't read far enough to realize it.

    I just bought a bike with the steepest STA I've had, a 40mm stem and it's by far the best fitting bike this 6'5" person has ever owned. That's because the reach is 515mm and the stack is over 26".
    What bike ? I’m 6 5 too


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    What bike ? I’m 6 5 too


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    Santa Cruz Megatower in XXL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Santa Cruz Megatower in XXL.
    I’m drawn to that bike bc of my size ... but I’m more a trail Mtb rider than I am a DH guy - bike parks aren’t my thing ...
    Punchy climbs , switch backs , fire roads , rock beds , 3-4 hours a pop - 15 -20 miles


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That person is very out of touch. I quit reading about where I saw he was trying to make the case that bikes are shrinking because stems are shorter. Maybe it's a parody and I didn't read far enough to realize it.
    based on that article, I would not get fit services from that outfit. whoa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    I’m drawn to that bike bc of my size ... but I’m more a trail Mtb rider than I am a DH guy - bike parks aren’t my thing ...
    Punchy climbs , switch backs , fire roads , rock beds , 3-4 hours a pop - 15 -20 miles


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    Hopefully the new Hightower will have similar reach and stack numbers. A shorter travel version of the Megatower would be an unbeatable trail bike for someone our height.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Hopefully the new Hightower will have similar reach and stack numbers. A shorter travel version of the Megatower would be an unbeatable trail bike for someone our height.
    Do you find the MT tough to whip around on what I described?
    Would I be overbiked? Walking uphills ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Do you find the MT tough to whip around on what I described?
    Would I be overbiked? Walking uphills ?


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    It's actually easier to whip around. I don't fully understand why but the MT handling is ultra intuitive. It's probably a combination of both fit and geo. On other bikes I've struggled in turns getting my weight in the right spot. I've felt that I couldn't find a sweet spot between having my weight on top of the bars and front wheel or hanging too far back. This results in feeling like I'm having to fight the bike through corners (especially transitioning from braking to cornering) and making constant steering corrections (at slow and high speeds). Yesterday I rode my hardtail for the first time in a month and at one point I was taking a turn with a decent size radius and realized I was making repeating steering corrections (like a sine wave). This was a fairly old school XC trail and I found myself wishing my shorter wheelbase hardtail handled like my Megatower. On the MT, I always feel like I'm in the right spot. I don't have to fight it to lean into corners. I hardly have to make any steering corrections. Transitioning from braking to cornering is effortless. It's intuitive on a level I didn't know was possible. That could be the reduced offset fork, the front to rear balance or simply having a bike that truly fits me. I honestly don't know.

    I haven't had to walk up any hills I ride up on my hardtail. It's definitely not going to accelerate like a hardtail but I could pedal it on long XC rides just fine (especially with a fast rolling rear tire). However, I got this bike to ride big terrain. I'd recommend waiting until June/July to see what the new Hightower is like since I think MT's are now backordered until June anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    It's actually easier to whip around. I don't fully understand why but the MT handling is ultra intuitive. It's probably a combination of both fit and geo. On other bikes I've struggled in turns getting my weight in the right spot. I've felt that I couldn't find a sweet spot between having my weight on top of the bars and front wheel or hanging too far back. This results in feeling like I'm having to fight the bike through corners (especially transitioning from braking to cornering) and making constant steering corrections (at slow and high speeds). Yesterday I rode my hardtail for the first time in a month and at one point I was taking a turn with a decent size radius and realized I was making repeating steering corrections (like a sine wave). This was a fairly old school XC trail and I found myself wishing my shorter wheelbase hardtail handled like my Megatower. On the MT, I always feel like I'm in the right spot. I don't have to fight it to lean into corners. I hardly have to make any steering corrections. Transitioning from braking to cornering is effortless. It's intuitive on a level I didn't know was possible. That could be the reduced offset fork, the front to rear balance or simply having a bike that truly fits me. I honestly don't know.

    I haven't had to walk up any hills I ride up on my hardtail. It's definitely not going to accelerate like a hardtail but I could pedal it on long XC rides just fine (especially with a fast rolling rear tire). However, I got this bike to ride big terrain. I'd recommend waiting until June/July to see what the new Hightower is like since I think MT's are now backordered until June anyway.
    Intrigued damn ... fit is the most important thing ... I truly have never felt I had a great fitting bike .. I had a 23’ Fuel but was sluggish ...

    I bet I’d love the MT anywhere ...


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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    I bet I’d love the MT anywhere ...


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    If you do like the MT everywhere I am betting you would like the new HT more. While the MT is versatile for a big bike, it's still just that..... a big bike. The HT will obvioulsy be a better all arounder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    If you do like the MT everywhere I am betting you would like the new HT more. While the MT is versatile for a big bike, it's still just that..... a big bike. The HT will obvioulsy be a better all arounder.
    Gotcha you are probably correct


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    Very timely question, OP. I recently demo'ed an Evil Calling with a 74.x seat angle in my usual medium size and I didn't like the fit or the feel at all. I felt like I was sitting too upright, and I was staring at the front hub way out in front of the handlebar - not at all what I'm accustomed to. I just felt way too far forward on the bike. Maybe sizing up to a large would have resulted in a completely different experience, but at 5' 9" it seems strange that I should need a large frame. I need to demo more modern bikes before forming a more firm opinion, but my initial reaction to the latest geometry is not favorable at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    I don't find scooting forward on the seat that difficult for steep hills. Why optimize the seating position for a small fraction of the time and then be stuck with the saddle in the wrong place for the rest of the ride?
    Depends on where you live. In a lot of places "a small fraction of the time" is several hours and the vast majority of the ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy View Post
    I didn't like the fit or the feel at all. I felt like I was sitting too upright, and I was staring at the front hub way out in front of the handlebar - not at all what I'm accustomed to. I just felt way too far forward on the bike.
    I don't think everyone has have a modern geo bike or think everyone will benefit from a modern geo bike but you're reasoning sounds like it was different so you didn't like it. Nothing you stated indicated worse performance. Again, I don't care what bike you ride but I just find so many of the criticisms odd. I really don't know anything about medium sizing but the XL Calling is pretty short so maybe it was just a sizing issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Depends on where you live. In a lot of places "a small fraction of the time" is several hours and the vast majority of the ride.
    Where do people live, other than Whistler, where they are climbing sustained 15% grades the entire day?

    Now, I live at the base of a 14,000+ ft mountain, and I rarely see anything above 15% up or down. Those rare sections are short, few and far between anywhere around here, and I've ride quite a bit. But maybe I'm just not getting far enough afield here in CO? Maybe soil conditions allow for steeper trails elsewhere?

    I'm genuinely curious as to where these mythical places are, as they don't seem to exist in CO.
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    Guess I'm a just a big Nancy, because for me >15% is usually pushing. I personally classify anything approaching or exceeding 10% as "steep." Snowbird P-Gulch road is 2,100' in 2.9 miles, 14% avg. Solitude Summit road is 1,500' in 1.8 miles, 16% avg. Grizzly Peak trail is 4,600' in 7.5 miles, 12% avg. Not isolated cases here in Utardia.

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    Even in rolling terrain you're usually either climbing or descending. There's a few places I ride that have extended flat sections but that's not the norm where I live. It doesn't have to be a super steep sustained grade to see the benefits of a steeper seat tube. But again it matters what you're comparing it to. If you're riding a trail bike with a short stem and a slack head tube it makes a difference. If you're riding an XC bike with a longer stem slammed then obviously that's a different story.

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    Long climbs go even 5-6% benefit from steeper STA's IMO. Doesn't have to be 15% or close for me to prefer being a little more forward on the saddle w/o having to sit on the hard part or the nose of the saddle. Since there is little flat riding or DH where I wouldn't be standing where I ride my steeper STA bikes, a 73* STA is kinda pointless. It may not be for everybody everywhere (hell, I'll still ride my 73* bike on local Dallas trails, but I doubt anyone is designing bikes for our terrain), but let's not act like it's a bad idea for people that want it. Especially those that ride "mountains" on their "mountain" bikes.
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    What's funny about this whole conversation- most of the people I see on the longer steep sections on "modern geometry" bikes push a lot, while dudes with beards on 10 year old giants and fujis rip up hills like they're nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Cramped cockpit, more weight on the hands creating discomfort. Not a fan.

    I don't find scooting forward on the seat that difficult for steep hills. Why optimize the seating position for a small fraction of the time and then be stuck with the saddle in the wrong place for the rest of the ride?
    Yup. That's 100% where I am at. I live in BC and ride steep techy trails. Moving forward on the saddle is easy and you can effectively steepen the pedalling position as needed. Then slide back to a better position when riding, flats, rolling terrain or less steep climbs.

    I only benefit from a steep STA a small portion of the ride and wish it was slacker the rest of the time.

    I'm 5'11" with 34" pants inseam so not short legged.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    I have an Ibis HD4 which had a 64.9 degree HT angle and a relatively long FOC. The seat tube is 74 degrees and I have trouble keeping the front end planted on steeper climbs. I have my saddle slid as far forward as it goes but it is still not enough to keep the front end from getting light. I remedy this by dropping my seat a bit on steeper climbs which helps a lot but obviously kills my efficiency. My next bike will definitely be something with a steeper seat tube angle. I have my eyes on Transition and GG.

    These new geo bikes have much longer top tubes/reach so the they shouldn't feel any more cramped than a older geo bike. As far as the being more centered over the BB being uncomfortable on long flat rides goes, I don't care. MOUNTAIN bike..... LOL
    Also dealt with same issue on my HD4 which was made worse by sqlab saddle(fairly rearward sitting area but love the saddle), and preference fair very rearward clear position on shoes.

    Thankfully the rest of the bike fits like a glove soooo I dremelled the top clamp on my one up dropper to give me more forward seat adjustment and feels spot on now. Risk of the clamp breaking obviously...the new forward offset 9.8 dropper is the ticket here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIcky View Post
    What's funny about this whole conversation- most of the people I see on the longer steep sections on "modern geometry" bikes push a lot, while dudes with beards on 10 year old giants and fujis rip up hills like they're nothing.
    No, the real funny thing is how much ego is involved. It's like the dropper post debates where people brag about not needing one. We need a sub forum called "I like my old XC bike and everything else is wrong".

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where do people live, other than Whistler, where they are climbing sustained 15% grades the entire day?

    Now, I live at the base of a 14,000+ ft mountain, and I rarely see anything above 15% up or down. Those rare sections are short, few and far between anywhere around here, and I've ride quite a bit. But maybe I'm just not getting far enough afield here in CO? Maybe soil conditions allow for steeper trails elsewhere?

    I'm genuinely curious as to where these mythical places are, as they don't seem to exist in CO.
    When I have ridden in CO I have note just how pleasant all the climbs are. Actually, most places I have ridden in the US have that theme.

    I would say that steep seat angles are not a disadvantage on low grade climbs but I wouldn't say they are an advantage either.

    There are a lot of places I have no interest in riding a "modern geometry" bike. Bend, Moab, Sedona, Presscott, most of CO are all places where I would find a steep seat angle (76 or more) uncomfortable on the majority of trails.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIcky View Post
    What's funny about this whole conversation- most of the people I see on the longer steep sections on "modern geometry" bikes push a lot, while dudes with beards on 10 year old giants and fujis rip up hills like they're nothing.
    Ha, so true!!!


    There are pros and cons to the steep STA. I say pick the right tool for the job and you won't have much problem.

    An underlying "issue" with the whole super steep STA is, IMO, this...

    Too many riders are "over-biked". Slogging around on long travel rigs when they don't need to. Too much travel out back means too much sag on the climbs. To band aid this you need a steeper STA to keep the front end down.

    Now, if you've got super steep climbs that you can sit and spin on to access some real wicked dh chunk (chunk that warrants a long travel bike) then sure a super steep STA is the way to go.

    Problem is, for ever one guy I see making full use of the their rig I see at least 10 who'd be better off with a bell and a basket dangling from a gravel grinder.

    A bike with good rubber, quality suspension, longer/slacker geo, with say maybe 130mm out back, doesn't need a STA steeper than maybe 74 to 75 degrees. It also pedals very well, everywhere. Yeah, steeper STAs are better on mtbs but there comes a point when there's too much a of good thing. 77 degrees is probably getting a bit silly.

    Yeah, go ahead and convince yourself you need 150-160 out back for trail riding, buy a bike with a super steep STA just to keep the front end down, then complain when it feels lousy doing anything other than going straight up or straight down.

    For me trail riding is trail riding, best done on a trail bike. DH is DH and is best done on a DH bike. Just because your 3 hour ride has a few second-long black diamond features doesn't mean you need to be on a one-trick-pony mini-dh sled.

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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    When I have ridden in CO I have note just how pleasant all the climbs are. Actually, most places I have ridden in the US have that theme.

    I would say that steep seat angles are not a disadvantage on low grade climbs but I wouldn't say they are an advantage either.

    There are a lot of places I have no interest in riding a "modern geometry" bike. Bend, Moab, Sedona, Presscott, most of CO are all places where I would find a steep seat angle (76 or more) uncomfortable on the majority of trails.
    That's what I'm getting at. I live in one of the more climbing heavy places in the US, and I rarely if ever see grades above 10%. And when I do, they are relatively short stretches. It's just not that common on any surface because of the inherent limitations, whether it be a trail (sustainability), a fire road or a paved surface (equipment access). It's so rare that it doesn't really enter my calculus in terms of how to set up my bike.

    That said, I'm sure there are some places where the soil conditions allow for much steeper climbs. CO ain't it, though.
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  59. #59
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    After 6 weeks on my experimental bike, my general impression is that a steep STA trades a comfortable position on level ground for comfort while climbing. Not just steep climbs, but I feel more at home on any sort of incline. The cause of the discomfort tends to be more weight on the hands, to excessive levels.

    It took me 4 weeks to adapt to the new geo to a point that the new geo became my preference, over older bikes. It's overall better now, but the shortcomings I'd fix on it are the quality of the construction itself and wanting a steeper HTA with longer reach, to keep the wheelbase about as long, in order to stretch out the ETT and raise the stack. This also addresses the DH steering of the 61.5d, which "feels moto", according to others who test ride the bike.

    For now, I just have a riser stem to address comfort, accepting the compromise of feeling a bit more disconnected due to having my hands further from the front contact patch.

    Another trade-off of a steep STA is that training on a traditional geo bike, such as a road bike, does not carry over fully. I have logged 600 miles on this prototype alone, and noticed that my efficiency on it has noticeably increased as I logged more time on it. I ride socially and am now back to feeling relatively competitive, and setting strong PRs. I tried swapping back to a 2018 bike, that was a pinkbike Trail Bike of the Year nominee (Jekyll 27.5), and it felt sluggish, just doing 15 miles on pavement, with my average speed being about 15% less (Hellcat AGC and Minion SS EXO vs DHR 2 MaxxTerra F/R). I chalk this up to "specificity"; you get more efficient at what you repeat. The bike weighs 40 lbs (18.2 kg), but I'm still charging up hills as if I were still in my prime.

    Probably the biggest benefit of a steep STA is that suspension setup is far easier. I can tune the suspension to feel balanced while standing up, and it'll stay that way while seated, rather than feel like it's riding a bit too deep in the rear and too high up front. The difference between my seated and standing position is quite minimal, so I had balanced out the bike's weight distro on each wheel so I can hammer up climbs without worry that I'll spin out the rear, without the usual compromise of risking front wheel wash-out on corners from shifting weight rearward.

    I planned on shooting video to compare, but Cali is way too overgrown to drop cameras off to the side of the trail, so all I have are PoV videos for now.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    That's what I'm getting at. I live in one of the more climbing heavy places in the US, and I rarely if ever see grades above 10%.
    I frequently ride an "enduro" loop where around 600' is sustained at almost 12% with momentum/traction issues. There are a couple climbs of approx 4500' at a 10% average. I'll happily ride a steep STA modern geo 160 bike up these to then attack the descents... and pretty happy to not have to climb riding the nose of the seat while it's trying to rape me.

    Perhaps we ride very different terrain in "climbing heavy" areas, and probably have different riding interests.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIcky View Post
    What's funny about this whole conversation- most of the people I see on the longer steep sections on "modern geometry" bikes push a lot, while dudes with beards on 10 year old giants and fujis rip up hills like they're nothing.
    Watching what your fellow trail users are doing isnt really helpful to you, or them for that matter.

    Maybe you have a lot of new riders in your area. Riding the same trails for the last ~10 years, I personally do a lot less pushing these days. Its a hell of a lot easier to keep the front end down.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    I frequently ride an "enduro" loop where around 600' is sustained at almost 12% with momentum/traction issues. There are a couple climbs of approx 4500' at a 10% average. I'll happily ride a steep STA modern geo 160 bike up these to then attack the descents... and pretty happy to not have to climb riding the nose of the seat while it's trying to rape me.

    Perhaps we ride very different terrain in "climbing heavy" areas, and probably have different riding interests.
    Great. You aren't really disproving my point, though, which was that super steep climbs are very rare. Looking at your general area on Strava, specifically at LA, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Bernadino, Palm Springs, etc., I can find dozens and dozens of HC climbs below 7%, and only two, up Mt. Wilson and the Otay Truck Trail, at 9.8% and 10.1%, respectively.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Great. You aren't really disproving my point, though, which was that super steep climbs are very rare. Looking at your general area on Strava, specifically at LA, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Bernadino, Palm Springs, etc., I can find dozens and dozens of HC climbs below 7%, and only two, up Mt. Wilson and the Otay Truck Trail, at 9.8% and 10.1%, respectively.
    Given the steep seat tube angle works pretty well for me in most of those other climbs in my area that you don't consider super steep... and those that have pitches up to 20% (that you didn't seem to mention in your research)... I think my point is that you are an authority on what/where YOU like/ride, but your opinion is of no use to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Great. You aren't really disproving my point, though, which was that super steep climbs are very rare. Looking at your general area on Strava, specifically at LA, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Bernadino, Palm Springs, etc., I can find dozens and dozens of HC climbs below 7%, and only two, up Mt. Wilson and the Otay Truck Trail, at 9.8% and 10.1%, respectively.
    He's not trying to disprove your point. He's saying that your point is moot. A climb doesn't have to be >10% to be better/more comfortable/more enjoyable on a steeper STA. Maybe to you, but not to everyone. Or even most...
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    There is such thing as too much of a good thing. When these steep STA and slack HTA go too far, marketing will dial back and you'll be sold on the "new geo".

    Just because bikes are designed and sold with this extreme geo for all around riding, doesn't mean it's right or even that the designers know what they're doing.

    Or maybe they do, and that's to sell you a bike.
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  67. #67
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    When did “keeping the front end down” suddenly become a problem?

    I remember back in the very early 2000s there was much handwringing that with shorter stems and no bar ends, keeping the front end down was going to be a problem. Then we all realized it was just a matter of climbing technique and this was basically a non-issue for ~15 years.

    Also around that time, travel-adjust forks came out. The entire point of them was that they could steepen the bikes geo, including the STA, which is more comfortable and causes less sagging during climbs. You know, the same things that people are applauding about steeper STAs now.

    But for the most part, the majority opinion among the AM crowd for the past 15 years has been that they were unnecessary - as evidenced by the fact they have never gained market dominance.

    Now, suddenly, having a steeper STA is really important for climbing. Why is it NOW more comfortable and better at keeping the rear from sagging? And when did the front wheel lifting start to become an issue again?

    Something is off, here. Steeper STAs for climbing has been there for the taking ever since the first TALAS came out 15 years ago, but most people did not find it useful. Now it is suddenly a must have feature.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Talas sucked because the service life was short and the air spring was full of stiction. Why compromise descending performance for a crappy work-around?

    Having ridden, raced, and wrenched through the 90's and have spent a good amount of time on different geo's to date, I would not trade my current long slack geo for anything as it works better in the terrain I ride - for me.

    What one man's AM riding is might not be what another's is...

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    I'm really trying to understand here, but is KOPS not still a basic fit metric?
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    When did “keeping the front end down” suddenly become a problem?

    I remember back in the very early 2000s there was much handwringing that with shorter stems and no bar ends, keeping the front end down was going to be a problem. Then we all realized it was just a matter of climbing technique and this was basically a non-issue for ~15 years.

    Also around that time, travel-adjust forks came out. The entire point of them was that they could steepen the bikes geo, including the STA, which is more comfortable and causes less sagging during climbs. You know, the same things that people are applauding about steeper STAs now.

    But for the most part, the majority opinion among the AM crowd for the past 15 years has been that they were unnecessary - as evidenced by the fact they have never gained market dominance.

    Now, suddenly, having a steeper STA is really important for climbing. Why is it NOW more comfortable and better at keeping the rear from sagging? And when did the front wheel lifting start to become an issue again?

    Something is off, here. Steeper STAs for climbing has been there for the taking ever since the first TALAS came out 15 years ago, but most people did not find it useful. Now it is suddenly a must have feature.
    It took one ride on a new bike to realize I spent the last decade fighting my old bikes.

    Most people realized the same. You seem to be missing that tons of people who switched did ride old Geo bikes, and now don't. It's not that suddenly we want steep stas, it's that we alwyas wanted them, but just recently they became available with long top tubes so the bikes actually fit.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Talas sucked because the service life was short and the air spring was full of stiction. Why compromise descending performance for a crappy work-around?

    Having ridden, raced, and wrenched through the 90's and have spent a good amount of time on different geo's to date, I would not trade my current long slack geo for anything as it works better in the terrain I ride - for me.

    What one man's AM riding is might not be what another's is...
    Marzocchi's Extended Travel Adjustment (ETA) worked flawlessly.

    I have what I believe to be my perfect geo and I don't deviate far from it. It's what works for what I like to ride. Fast punchy, techy, rollercoastery single track and all day epics of varied terrain. I don't go in the jump park, ride flow trails or session boulders.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    When did “keeping the front end down” suddenly become a problem?

    I remember back in the very early 2000s there was much handwringing that with shorter stems and no bar ends, keeping the front end down was going to be a problem. Then we all realized it was just a matter of climbing technique and this was basically a non-issue for ~15 years.

    Also around that time, travel-adjust forks came out. The entire point of them was that they could steepen the bikes geo, including the STA, which is more comfortable and causes less sagging during climbs. You know, the same things that people are applauding about steeper STAs now.

    But for the most part, the majority opinion among the AM crowd for the past 15 years has been that they were unnecessary - as evidenced by the fact they have never gained market dominance.

    Now, suddenly, having a steeper STA is really important for climbing. Why is it NOW more comfortable and better at keeping the rear from sagging? And when did the front wheel lifting start to become an issue again?

    Something is off, here. Steeper STAs for climbing has been there for the taking ever since the first TALAS came out 15 years ago, but most people did not find it useful. Now it is suddenly a must have feature.
    As Reach grows, STA must steepen to maintain ETT. Win win.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    When did “keeping the front end down” suddenly become a problem?
    For me always. My perspective might be skewed from being 6'5" which puts me much further back on the bike. It's not so much the wheel coming off the ground but the extra work to keep your weight in the right spot. A steeper STA makes the hills feel less steep. There's a particular section at my local trail with descents we session that was such a chore to climb back up on my Hightower LT due to the super slack STA. As you already know the seated position on that type of bike is very different than on an XC bike. On my GG Pedalhead and SC Megatower that climb is so much easier. I would sometimes push my HTLT up that hill to save energy, whereas on the new bikes I literally never feel the need to push them up the hill. There's one section in particular that I struggled on the HTLT that I found myself riding up one handed on the Pedalhead. For me this isn't some discussion on theory, trends, and marketing. I've experienced riding bikes that significantly hindered my climbing position and bikes that haven't. I saw how much of an improvement having a steeper seat tube angle was for me.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    For me always. My perspective might be skewed from being 6'5" which puts me much further back on the bike. It's not so much the wheel coming off the ground but the extra work to keep your weight in the right spot. A steeper STA makes the hills feel less steep. There's a particular section at my local trail with descents we session that was such a chore to climb back up on my Hightower LT due to the super slack STA. As you already know the seated position on that type of bike is very different than on an XC bike. On my GG Pedalhead and SC Megatower that climb is so much easier. I would sometimes push my HTLT up that hill to save energy, whereas on the new bikes I literally never feel the need to push them up the hill. There's one section in particular that I struggled on the HTLT that I found myself riding up one handed on the Pedalhead. For me this isn't some discussion on theory, trends, and marketing. I've experienced riding bikes that significantly hindered my climbing position and bikes that haven't. I saw how much of an improvement having a steeper seat tube angle was for me.
    Thanks for sharing that.

    Just to be clear, I was not trying to imply that a steeper STA is not advantageous for climbing. I actually think it is, and always have. It is why I have always liked travel adjust forks.

    My point is that I find it odd that for so long the idea that steep STAs (and thus travel adjust forks) were highly beneficial for climbing with longer travel bikes was generally dismissed.

    But now that same concept is being widely acknowledged as a no-brainer. My guess is because in the quest for ever longer reach and front-center measurements, people were finally forced to try them.

    I guess my takeaway is that conventional wisdom sometimes turns out to be wrong. An important thing to remember when people says things like “everyone who tries this agrees it is better”. We’ll see 10 years from now what really turns out to be better and for whom and for where.
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  75. #75
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    Most people fall into a fairly narrow range of what is optimal.

    A bike should be fit, for seated climbing, on a grade similar to that which they are most likely to experience, at the sag they are most likely to run.

    STAs should NOT be made steep across the board; a 160mm FS bike with a 77 degree STA doesn’t put you in the same position as a HT with a 77 degree STA. If you argue that one is optimal, the other one cannot be optimal. The numbers might be the same (STA), but the actual result (seat relative to BB on a given grade) are not, unless your FS bike has no sag at all.


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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle242gt View Post
    I'm really trying to understand here, but is KOPS not still a basic fit metric?
    There never really was any scientific basis for KOPS. It's just an arbitrary starting point. If a so-called "fitter" puts your knee over your pedal axle and says you're good to go, just tell them yeah, I'll go to another fitter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Talas sucked because the service life was short and the air spring was full of stiction. Why compromise descending performance for a crappy work-around?
    Yes, the first TALAS forks were not great. But there have been many others that have worked fine in the following 15 years.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Yes, the first TALAS forks were not great. But there have been many others that have worked fine in the following 15 years.
    Pretty sure I owned one of the latest Talas versions in 2014 which was what I was referring to.

    Perhaps you have fairly low standards of performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Watching what your fellow trail users are doing isnt really helpful to you, or them for that matter.

    Maybe you have a lot of new riders in your area. Riding the same trails for the last ~10 years, I personally do a lot less pushing these days. Its a hell of a lot easier to keep the front end down.
    Lighten up.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post

    My point is that I find it odd that for so long the idea that steep STAs (and thus travel adjust forks) were highly beneficial for climbing with longer travel bikes was generally dismissed.

    But now that same concept is being widely acknowledged as a no-brainer. My guess is because in the quest for ever longer reach and front-center measurements, people were finally forced to try them.

    I guess my takeaway is that conventional wisdom sometimes turns out to be wrong. An important thing to remember when people says things like “everyone who tries this agrees it is better”. We’ll see 10 years from now what really turns out to be better and for whom and for where.
    I think mountain bike companies have just been slow to adapt. I rode bmx in my teens (90's - early 2000's) and didn't get into mountain biking until 2017. I picked up a 2017 Giant Fathom which came with a 110mm stem. I instantly knew that long stem was total shit for handling. The shorter stem thing isn't some new revelation, it's just that the mtb world took 20+ years to accept what the bmx world already knew. Some of the details like fork offsets and making things work as a package are more complex issues but some things like longer reach and shorter stems should have been obvious. If manufactures hadn't dragged their feet on those things then they probably would have been quicker to figure out seat tube angles, fork offsets, etc.

  81. #81
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    It's something that takes some riding to get used to it. I've been on a bike with steep STA (2016 Smuggler) and it's really not that big of an issue. Is it going to fit like your old bike with a 72 degree STA did? No. You can always slide the saddle back or get a post with offset if you feel cramped on a bike with reach that feels comfortable for you. IMO "sizing up" on these bikes because you feel a little cramped seated is not the way to go.

  82. #82
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    Is the new seat angle Geo 76-77 making for cramped riding?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I think mountain bike companies have just been slow to adapt. I rode bmx in my teens (90's - early 2000's) and didn't get into mountain biking until 2017. I picked up a 2017 Giant Fathom which came with a 110mm stem. I instantly knew that long stem was total shit for handling. The shorter stem thing isn't some new revelation, it's just that the mtb world took 20+ years to accept what the bmx world already knew. Some of the details like fork offsets and making things work as a package are more complex issues but some things like longer reach and shorter stems should have been obvious. If manufactures hadn't dragged their feet on those things then they probably would have been quicker to figure out seat tube angles, fork offsets, etc.
    Actually, I think short stems and longer reach have been excepted for quite some time. If not by the manufacturers, then at least by riders. I started riding with a 40mm stem in 2011, and I was not exactly a trend-setter in that regard.

    What has changed recently is that reach has gotten SO long that even a 35 mm stem is no longer sufficient unless you also start sliding the seat forward, thus the steeper HTA.

    Also, when I talk about what seems to be conventional wisdom, I am talking about the MTB community, like here on MTBR. Yeah, like you say, the manufacturers (especially large companies) can be very slow to adapt and are often well behind where riders are at.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Pretty sure I owned one of the latest Talas versions in 2014 which was what I was referring to.

    Perhaps you have fairly low standards of performance.
    There were other travel adjust forks out there besides TALAS. U-Turn Coil gave up zero performance to a standard coil.

    I mentioned the earliest version because that is the one I owned.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  84. #84
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    We moved away from travel adjust forks because with a steep STA, you dont need one. 160mm forks are easier to climb with these days than 130mm forks were on a 69 degree sta.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    There were other travel adjust forks out there besides TALAS. U-Turn Coil gave up zero performance to a standard coil.

    I mentioned the earliest version because that is the one I owned.
    You're obviously welcome to keep your dated gadgets but I've moved on to a better product... the newfangled "modern geo" that I've been marketed to.


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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    We moved away from travel adjust forks because with a steep STA, you dont need one. 160mm forks are easier to climb with these days than 130mm forks were on a 69 degree sta.
    Hmmm, I don't know.... travel adjust forks never really caught on much to start with (which is part of my point). Its not like they were popular and got suddenly dumped when 76+ STAs came out.

    69 deg STA on a 130mm bike? What were you riding? I have ridden a whole mess of 130-145mm bikes from 2003 to 2012, and they were all 72-74 HA (most 73-74). I know there were slacker ones, but that was not the norm for bikes that were meant to climb.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    You're obviously welcome to keep your dated gadgets but I've moved on to a better product... the newfangled "modern geo" that I've been marketed to.

    You have completely missed my point. Its OK.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    You have completely missed my point. Its OK.
    Actually, I completely get your point but chose not to explain myself or go into detail as to why travel adjust forks weren't embraced beyond the model you mention.

    For years I've sized a frame up and slammed the seat forward.... like since around '95. Short, upright, slack STA FS frames suck- FOR ME. If they work for you great... but please excuse me for calling bs with "suddenly become a problem" just because you say so.

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    I rode a short travel short wheelbase FS bike, '15 Thunderbolt BC w/Valor wheels sub-24 lbs, yesterday on my usual 35 mi ride. ~15% slower than my experimental bike on the road, despite an even faster tire setup (DHR2 Crossmark 2).

    It seemed to trade off too much in order to simply improve the power-to-weight ratio. It certainly accelerated faster, but it also got hung up and affected by obstacles, drag and wind more too. I had to reorient myself to the small bike's snappy handling. Coming off a 61.5d HTA bike, the 67.5ish HTA was nervous at higher speeds, but more at home at lower speeds. It was really touchy--when I attempted to scale tall rock ledges, the bike harshly made contact throwing off my balance, requiring more rider technique to compensate. The longer steel bike only just required me to put down raw power to ride up them; it didn't care how I put down that power, since it transfers it smoothly, being far less sensitive to my timing and torque-spikiness.

    This small bike seems to be made for people who are overly self-conscious about their fitness, while mine just seems like a heavy duty tool. Like taking a small lightweight knife to a forest, intending to cut down a path, sharpening it with $$$$ (akin to carbon upgrades to minimize weight penalty for certain performance benefits) so it cuts through with ease, as opposed to taking a larger cutting tool and cutting swaths down. Sure, you can carve a path that appeals to one's aesthetics with the knife, and hone your knife-wielding skill to be masterful, but it just seems cool to do the same thing with a crudely made "buster sword" that does the same thing.

    Not sure what happens if you give new geo the weight-weenie treatment, but I'm considering going heavier, not lighter. I'm tearing up my tires, and had to upgrade my rear shock since the inline just wasn't cutting it. I'm thinking that new geo will crush this whole sizing scheme, where seat tubes extend by 2" and reach extends by 1", and everything else, like head tube, extends by even less. I foresee things getting reduced to 1 or 2 sizes, with a healthy amount of overlap between the 2, where 1 size fits most.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    your bars being too low or too close to you is what puts the weight on your hands.
    Saddle fore-aft position controls the weight distribution between your ass and your hands. Moving the saddle back reduces weight on the hands (while seated, of course)

    Look up any bike fit guide and read about saddle fore aft positioning.

    https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.php

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    I rode a short travel short wheelbase FS bike, '15 Thunderbolt BC w/Valor wheels sub-24 lbs, yesterday on my usual 35 mi ride. ~15% slower than my experimental bike on the road, despite an even faster tire setup (DHR2 Crossmark 2).

    It seemed to trade off too much in order to simply improve the power-to-weight ratio. It certainly accelerated faster, but it also got hung up and affected by obstacles, drag and wind more too. I had to reorient myself to the small bike's snappy handling. Coming off a 61.5d HTA bike, the 67.5ish HTA was nervous at higher speeds, but more at home at lower speeds. It was really touchy--when I attempted to scale tall rock ledges, the bike harshly made contact throwing off my balance, requiring more rider technique to compensate. The longer steel bike only just required me to put down raw power to ride up them; it didn't care how I put down that power, since it transfers it smoothly, being far less sensitive to my timing and torque-spikiness.

    This small bike seems to be made for people who are overly self-conscious about their fitness, while mine just seems like a heavy duty tool. Like taking a small lightweight knife to a forest, intending to cut down a path, sharpening it with $$$$ (akin to carbon upgrades to minimize weight penalty for certain performance benefits) so it cuts through with ease, as opposed to taking a larger cutting tool and cutting swaths down. Sure, you can carve a path that appeals to one's aesthetics with the knife, and hone your knife-wielding skill to be masterful, but it just seems cool to do the same thing with a crudely made "buster sword" that does the same thing.

    Not sure what happens if you give new geo the weight-weenie treatment, but I'm considering going heavier, not lighter. I'm tearing up my tires, and had to upgrade my rear shock since the inline just wasn't cutting it. I'm thinking that new geo will crush this whole sizing scheme, where seat tubes extend by 2" and reach extends by 1", and everything else, like head tube, extends by even less. I foresee things getting reduced to 1 or 2 sizes, with a healthy amount of overlap between the 2, where 1 size fits most.
    I'm guessing simple environmental variability is responsible for what you observed.

    Plug in your two rides at mywindsock.com, and I'd bet you'd have an explanation as to why a slower rolling bike was faster than a faster rolling bike, from one day to the next.
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    @matto6 sounds like you're agreeing with him. I know I've said what jeremy3220 did, just with 2-3x more words.

    There's also hip angle and what I call shoulder-arm angle to think about.

    - I like when the angle between the upper arm and the torso is more open, as it is more able to react to impacts. When it's too close, it's more likely to collapse, and let the torso fly forward, with the elbow hinging to allow it and your hands come closer to the hips.

    - Not sure about hip angle, but I like when it is more open too, as opposed to a jack knifed, touch your toes (or touching knees to chest) kind of position.

    There's a compromise of closing the hip angle by moving the seat back. Rather have the grips be brought forward and/or up.

    @LeDuke Okay, seems I got a 3.4 km air penalty vs 0.4 km on the ride I'm comparing to. The Jekyll was more from the tires. This one's from the wind. I thought the tailwind I was getting was offsetting the headwind.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    There never really was any scientific basis for KOPS. It's just an arbitrary starting point. If a so-called "fitter" puts your knee over your pedal axle and says you're good to go, just tell them yeah, I'll go to another fitter.
    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html
    I probably should have stated something like "if you get your bike to fit right, what does the ST angle have to do with anything"? KOPS was just shorthand, my apologies.

    I just don't get how ST angle actually makes any difference as long as you've got enough movement on the rails to get the fit where you want it.

    And really, sure seems like a slacker ST would be better, since it'd get the saddle farther forward (out of the way) when dropped.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Saddle fore-aft position controls the weight distribution between your ass and your hands. Moving the saddle back reduces weight on the hands (while seated, of course)

    Look up any bike fit guide and read about saddle fore aft positioning.

    https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.php
    Yep, that's what I said. Fore/aft and also height.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Yep, that's what I said. Fore/aft and also height.
    Fore aft position of the *saddle*. Which is influenced by seat angle.

    Seat angle affects weight on the hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Fore aft position of the *saddle*. Which is influenced by seat angle.

    Seat angle affects weight on the hands.
    Yea, but once you get a dialed position, you can sort of swing the entire cockpit forward, rather than just the seat. Better if the designer increases the front end. If the front wheel is too far from the CoG, can tuck it back (steeper HTA, shorter offset, shorter fork, reach adjust headset, etc.) or lengthen the rear center (chainstay length) to balance it out.

    It's all a big juggling act. Gotta make sure that you don't lose sight of how this all applies to the big picture, considering your desire to just look at things in isolation to better understand it.

    So yes, it does make things cramped, *if* the designer doesn't account for the distance from the saddle to the grips more accurately. I made that mistake, but I think STA can go even steeper than 82d effective, as long as this one comfort issue is addressed. I learned that I need to record my BB-to-seat distance (700-720mm depending on crank length, shoe, pedals), and measure from the top of the seat to everything else. I'd prefer to know the distance my saddle is behind the BB, at max height, which is about 90mm in my case.

    I dunno about tall people needing steep STA, but I do think they could use longer chainstays than shorter folk. Not sure how bikes would look if they had to stretch out a cockpit out for a taller guy. At 82d, I can already empathize with having the saddle higher than the grips. Having the grips low is good, but not so sure about making the ass even higher than it, as a side effect of steepening the STA.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Fore aft position of the *saddle*. Which is influenced by seat angle.

    Seat angle affects weight on the hands.
    Yep and bar position. My old hardtail with a slacker seat tube angle was the worst bike I've had for hand pressure because the reach was too short.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Actually, I completely get your point but chose not to explain myself or go into detail as to why travel adjust forks weren't embraced beyond the model you mention.

    For years I've sized a frame up and slammed the seat forward.... like since around '95. Short, upright, slack STA FS frames suck- FOR ME. If they work for you great... but please excuse me for calling bs with "suddenly become a problem" just because you say so.
    Point still missed.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    ...Also, when I talk about what seems to be conventional wisdom, I am talking about the MTB community, like here on MTBR. Yeah, like you say, the manufacturers (especially large companies) can be very slow to adapt and are often well behind where riders are at.
    I think part of the "slow to adapt" on manufacturers was they had to be all in on droppers and willing to spec across the board. They may have been slow to adopt those wholesale, but there is a cost that has to be passed down and consumers have to be willing to pay it. Wasn't a problem on your high-zoot rig but your 3k rig needs one too. A steep STA is basically dangerous without a dropper and they've really only become standard issue in the last few years.

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    Jeremy3220 and onespeed's experiences mirror mine. We're all over 6'2. Older bikes were too short, and that overrode everything. A 50mm stem was a non-starter because we were already cramped on the largest bikes. We got really good at fighting a light front end climbing. A dropper fork moved our weight over the front to a massive degree. It was just all wrong. The seat angle debate takes a back seat to wacky geometry.

    For me, LLS bikes are exciting because i can explore what a norba style XC bike feels like when you're 5'9. And i don't have to just find the longest wheelbase and buy that.
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