Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones

    I want to see pics of your 29'er hard tails. I want to build one with aggressive geometry that can rip on the DH, but still do all day rides. Geometry like the Santacruz highball for example.

    if you have a bike like this, I want to see it!

    Post up!

    I'm 6'4" so my bike would be BIG hence the title of the thread.

    Tanks.
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  2. #2
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    canfield, kona honzo? rick hunter's pretty tall and rips his 29er.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativeson View Post
    canfield, kona honzo? rick hunter's pretty tall and rips his 29er.
    I'm going full custom. I want to see other peoples bikes so I can study them.

    Tanks.
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    El Mariachi

  5. #5
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    See this thread for details and more pics. It's a softail, but 1" of rear travel = so what?

    https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/a...il-516722.html



    100mm fork, 67 HTA, 74 STA, about 6" of head tube so flat bars are slightly above the seat without a big stack of spacers. I designed this in 07-08 and was apparently many years ahead of my time. If I had it to do over again I'd go even steeper on the STA, maybe 76. HTA is fine at 67.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo View Post
    See this thread for details and more pics. It's a softail, but 1" of rear travel = so what?

    https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/a...il-516722.html



    100mm fork, 67 HTA, 74 STA, about 6" of head tube so flat bars are slightly above the seat without a big stack of spacers. I designed this in 07-08 and was apparently many years ahead of my time. If I had it to do over again I'd go even steeper on the STA, maybe 76. HTA is fine at 67.
    Wow. Would like to see that with the seat dropped.

    how's it on the downhill?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Wow. Would like to see that with the seat dropped.

    how's it on the downhill?
    It's got a 4" dropper post. ST is about 19.5" but I'm a bit shorter than you. Now that you can get 5" droppers (they were rare back then) I'd probably get an inch shorter ST and go for the 5" drop, which wouldn't fit me on this bike (too high).

    Downhills are great! 67 HTA means no vulnerability to endos, and 700mm bars are plenty long to steer it (50+mm fork offset helps.) Much slacker and I'd be worried about wheel flop, but it's fine where it is. The long head tube = stiffer front end that doesn't tuck under braking: that, plus the TA fork, means the front end goes EXACTLY where you want it.

    My new bike has a 140mm unicrown fork with 34mm stanchions and the 15mm TA, and the front end isn't as stiff as this thing with an old 32mm Manitou Minute (damper upgraded to Absolute).

    One problem with this sort of geometry is that you have to be very aggressive with your body position on technical segments. You can't just sit on the seat: you need to get your elbows up and your head forward so there is weight on the front wheel. Also, a dropper post is a must with super-steep STA because you can't really get in front of the seat...you have to push it down. On the good side, climbing is comfy and a breeze because you sit so upright!

    WB is about 45.5", chainstays are a bit over 18". I like the stability, and with the high, wide bars I can pick up the front end no problem. (It's a lot harder with long chainstays if you're all laid out and hunched over the front, like most bikes put you.)

    A trap to avoid is the combination of too short TT and bars too low: I had a Bullitt clone that was like that and I just couldn't get control no matter what I did. I think my ETT is about 24.5" but I'd have to check. (Note the 105mm stem.)

    The softail is nice: it feels like a hardtail except I don't flat the rear nearly as much.

    Oh, the Bontrager wheels sucked. 28 spokes is not enough for a 29er: I destroyed them utterly in less than two seasons. I picked up a used set of Rhyno Lites, which are fine if heavy, but if I had infinite budget it'd probably wear 36H Stans Flows.

    It's a touch undergunned for big Tahoe rocks, which is why I finally bought a FS now that I live up here, but I rode it exclusively for several years...and I actually miss it on slow super-tech because it's SO DAMN STIFF. If it happens on this bike, it's because you willed it to happen.

  8. #8
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    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones

    My last ride with, John he said he would make these in 29er. http://www.castellanodesigns.com/fango.html
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  9. #9
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    Kish Ti/Hybrid Lefty

    Kish Titanium/Hybrid Lefty

    Kish Titanium/100mm travel Hybrid Lefty with 72degree head tube angle/ 72 degree seat tube angle. 24 1/4 in. EFL top tube. Paragon sliding dropouts - 17 1/4 - 17 3/4 in. chainstays [42 1/4 - 42 3/4 in. wheelbase]

    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones-img_2593.jpg

    The old girl's been gotten me through, three Cascade Cream Puffs, two High Cascades 100's, Whiskeytown 9 - 5's, San Jacinto Enduroes, a couple Fat 55's, A Julian Death March, etc., etc., and is still my favorite ride.
    My Favorite Peeps:

  10. #10
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    Kona Raijin 21"

    KONA BIKES | 2015 BIKES | TRAIL 29" HT | RAIJIN

    You mention the Highball, which in my book, is a cross country bike (albeit a bit more stable/relaxed than some other offerings out there). For comparison, I've enjoyed these two bikes: Kona Big Unit (XC bike similar to the SC, 1* slacker: 70/73 x 100mm fork) and a Yelli Screamy (68/72ish x 120mm fork).
    The Kona frame climbs well at low speeds on steeps, and descends confidently. The the YelliScreamy climbs adequately and descends at least as well as I do; I'm not sure how fast it can be ridden as I've reached the outer limits of what my cajones will tolerate on it.
    A few thoughts on the more 'progressive' YS bike:
    Climbing: I'm used to XC bikes that keep the rider in a climbing friendly position, and I'm still a few small adjustments away from finding a suitable cockpit set up that climbs to my satisfaction. It works, but it could work a bit better. The bike rode really well with a 100mm fork= was all good save for the lower than ideal BB height - occasionally problematic.
    Seat tube length & angle: It has the virtual seat tube angle, which is a slacker seat tube that connects forward of the BB shell on the downtube (allows ample wheel clearance and short CS length). For guys with longer legs (relative to overall height) like me, the higher saddle height range equates to a slacker seat angle than if my legs were shorter (also affects seated climbing position).
    Short stays: I've gradually worked my way down over several years on 29ers, frame by frame, from 17.8" stays to my current YS 16.8?" stays, and in each case the handling has become more lively in the rear while stable up front - and more fun. I'm not sure what this means over the course of 'epic' rides, but I can say I've never had so much fun descending Cinderella, Blue Blossom, and some of the other bay area favorites. At your height there might be some benefit to keeping the CS length a bit longer, but I know Morgan Fletcher rides an XL and is closer to your size. He's done packed excursions on his, so maybe it really is a do it all bike despite the more aggro geo.
    Steering input - I'll parrot what El Caballo said: Bikes like this require a more dynamic riding style than something like the Highball. It's super fun, and more is gained by riding these bikes this way, but it is more work nevertheless.
    Rear tire clearance & FD options: The YS frame has some limitations with drivetrain compatibility, and there may be some tire limitations if run with a FD; It'll take a DMFD, and it'll take 2.4s in the back; I'm not sure it can do both.

    So that Kona link above: Looking over the geometry page, and after riding bikes that geometrically land on either side of it, the Raijin looks to have my ideal 29er HT geometry. If I were about to have a custom frame made, I would cut & paste it's geometry sheet with confidence. My 2cents.
    19" Kona Big Unit
    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones-pc090050.jpg
    Large Canfield Yelli Screamy (sorry, its my only pic)
    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones-20140914_182444%5B1%5D-001.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJ0913 View Post
    My last ride with, John he said he would make these in 29er. Castellano Designs | Fango at a Glance
    It just so happens that my builder is Johns builder :-)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrenador View Post
    KONA BIKES | 2015 BIKES | TRAIL 29" HT | RAIJIN

    You mention the Highball, which in my book, is a cross country bike (albeit a bit more stable/relaxed than some other offerings out there). For comparison, I've enjoyed these two bikes: Kona Big Unit (XC bike similar to the SC, 1* slacker: 70/73 x 100mm fork) and a Yelli Screamy (68/72ish x 120mm fork).
    The Kona frame climbs well at low speeds on steeps, and descends confidently. The the YelliScreamy climbs adequately and descends at least as well as I do; I'm not sure how fast it can be ridden as I've reached the outer limits of what my cajones will tolerate on it.
    A few thoughts on the more 'progressive' YS bike:
    Climbing: I'm used to XC bikes that keep the rider in a climbing friendly position, and I'm still a few small adjustments away from finding a suitable cockpit set up that climbs to my satisfaction. It works, but it could work a bit better. The bike rode really well with a 100mm fork= was all good save for the lower than ideal BB height - occasionally problematic.
    Seat tube length & angle: It has the virtual seat tube angle, which is a slacker seat tube that connects forward of the BB shell on the downtube (allows ample wheel clearance and short CS length). For guys with longer legs (relative to overall height) like me, the higher saddle height range equates to a slacker seat angle than if my legs were shorter (also affects seated climbing position).
    Short stays: I've gradually worked my way down over several years on 29ers, frame by frame, from 17.8" stays to my current YS 16.8?" stays, and in each case the handling has become more lively in the rear while stable up front - and more fun. I'm not sure what this means over the course of 'epic' rides, but I can say I've never had so much fun descending Cinderella, Blue Blossom, and some of the other bay area favorites. At your height there might be some benefit to keeping the CS length a bit longer, but I know Morgan Fletcher rides an XL and is closer to your size. He's done packed excursions on his, so maybe it really is a do it all bike despite the more aggro geo.
    Steering input - I'll parrot what El Caballo said: Bikes like this require a more dynamic riding style than something like the Highball. It's super fun, and more is gained by riding these bikes this way, but it is more work nevertheless.
    Rear tire clearance & FD options: The YS frame has some limitations with drivetrain compatibility, and there may be some tire limitations if run with a FD; It'll take a DMFD, and it'll take 2.4s in the back; I'm not sure it can do both.

    So that Kona link above: Looking over the geometry page, and after riding bikes that geometrically land on either side of it, the Raijin looks to have my ideal 29er HT geometry. If I were about to have a custom frame made, I would cut & paste it's geometry sheet with confidence. My 2cents.
    19" Kona Big Unit
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Large Canfield Yelli Screamy (sorry, its my only pic)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks. Good thoughts and info. It looks like the Kona has a 1degree slacker HT angle, similar BB heright - but much longer head tube - than the highball.

    I've still got more research to do - and bikes to ride - before I settle on final geo.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo View Post
    It's got a 4" dropper post. ST is about 19.5" but I'm a bit shorter than you. Now that you can get 5" droppers (they were rare back then) I'd probably get an inch shorter ST and go for the 5" drop, which wouldn't fit me on this bike (too high).

    Downhills are great! 67 HTA means no vulnerability to endos, and 700mm bars are plenty long to steer it (50+mm fork offset helps.) Much slacker and I'd be worried about wheel flop, but it's fine where it is. The long head tube = stiffer front end that doesn't tuck under braking: that, plus the TA fork, means the front end goes EXACTLY where you want it.

    My new bike has a 140mm unicrown fork with 34mm stanchions and the 15mm TA, and the front end isn't as stiff as this thing with an old 32mm Manitou Minute (damper upgraded to Absolute).

    One problem with this sort of geometry is that you have to be very aggressive with your body position on technical segments. You can't just sit on the seat: you need to get your elbows up and your head forward so there is weight on the front wheel. Also, a dropper post is a must with super-steep STA because you can't really get in front of the seat...you have to push it down. On the good side, climbing is comfy and a breeze because you sit so upright!

    WB is about 45.5", chainstays are a bit over 18". I like the stability, and with the high, wide bars I can pick up the front end no problem. (It's a lot harder with long chainstays if you're all laid out and hunched over the front, like most bikes put you.)

    A trap to avoid is the combination of too short TT and bars too low: I had a Bullitt clone that was like that and I just couldn't get control no matter what I did. I think my ETT is about 24.5" but I'd have to check. (Note the 105mm stem.)

    The softail is nice: it feels like a hardtail except I don't flat the rear nearly as much.

    Oh, the Bontrager wheels sucked. 28 spokes is not enough for a 29er: I destroyed them utterly in less than two seasons. I picked up a used set of Rhyno Lites, which are fine if heavy, but if I had infinite budget it'd probably wear 36H Stans Flows.

    It's a touch undergunned for big Tahoe rocks, which is why I finally bought a FS now that I live up here, but I rode it exclusively for several years...and I actually miss it on slow super-tech because it's SO DAMN STIFF. If it happens on this bike, it's because you willed it to happen.
    Thanks. The 29'er will be my XC/all day rides - bike. I have a full suss trail bike. But I like to go downhill fast, so a little more slacked out and stable is good.
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  14. #14
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    A Niner ROS, XL. Might be a good one to try a ride on.

    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones-image.jpg
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  15. #15
    tjp
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    Slack and short

    I am utterly in love with the way my Process 111 handles. I've been fantasizing about a cross country light hardtail with similar slack headtube/short stays/long tt/low bb geometry. Mmmm, 22 pounds, but handles like the Process? That'd be dead sexy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Wow. Would like to see that with the seat dropped.

    how's it on the downhill?
    This video has a lot of clips of El Caballo riding that bike in some pretty technical Rock.



    Have you considered going 29+, more tire options coming out soon, been running this setup on my fat bike this summer and really dig it!, Did Rose to Toads on it and Iím 3 for 3 cleaning Toads with it. And if you do go with a fat bike that can handle 29+ tires, you have two bikes in one. This bike climbs better than any bike I have ever owned, Iíve cleaned stuff uphill that Iíve never been able to get before. For reference, I'm 6' 2" and went with the large frame.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativeson View Post
    canfield, kona honzo? rick hunter's pretty tall and rips his 29er.
    yah - Rick's been building 29ers forever. give him a ring

    Looking for Geometry Ideas on 29'er hardtails - specifically big ones-swamper-hunter.jpg
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    yah - Rick's been building 29ers forever. give him a ring

    Click image for larger version. 

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    you know who makes a lot of really cool, aggressive 29'ers is Todd from Black Cat. Too bad he doesnt list his geo, though.
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    fer sure Todd's work is rad....so is Calletti, Sadoff and Inglis'.

    Ya know, you could always pick up the phone and give them a ring...to discuss riding style and geo and whatnot

    good luck. Getting a custom rig by a solid builder is worth the $$ and wait
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    fer sure Todd's work is rad....so is Calletti, Sadoff and Inglis'.

    Ya know, you could always pick up the phone and give them a ring...to discuss riding style and geo and whatnot

    good luck. Getting a custom rig by a solid builder is worth the $$ and wait
    I don't want to waste their time - cause I'm not buying a bike from them.

    I'd much rather waste yours.

    Or, uhhh. woops
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  21. #21
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  22. #22
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    I like turtles
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    I like turtles
    If you have picked your builder why aren't you working with him/her to figure out the geometry?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cornfish View Post
    If you have picked your builder why aren't you working with him/her to figure out the geometry?
    Because this person is swamped doing other stuff right now. So it gives me time to do a lot of research on my on and come prepared.
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    Speaking of Black Cat, I haven't ridden a hardtail in close to 20 years but this is a bike that really caught my eye.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Speaking of Black Cat, I haven't ridden a hardtail in close to 20 years but this is a bike that really caught my eye.
    I love the mini-bullmoose stems that he makes.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Speaking of Black Cat, I haven't ridden a hardtail in close to 20 years but this is a bike that really caught my eye.
    That's a sweet bike. I would've named that stem the Moose Knuckle instead of Mini Moose. But that's just me.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Because this person is swamped doing other stuff right now. So it gives me time to do a lot of research on my on and come prepared.
    Fair enough. When you look at custom builders they usually have preferences/parameters they stay within. If you get your heart set on something it may be beyond their ability or comfort level to create what you envision. If your builder has a "sky is the limit" approach you are fine. If not it might be a good step to find out what he normally builds and what he is willing or capable of doing. An example would be a 29er with very short chain stays, clearance for big tires and a front derailleur. It is easy to say "I want 428mm chain stays" but not so easy for some builders to pull that off if you want tire clearance and a front derailleur. It sounds like you have an idea of what your guy can do but if you don't it might be worth a conversation to see if he can make your vision reality.

    Custom is the sum of all the parts to create something special, not one measurement. If you've ever been involved with bike CAD you see early on that it becomes a series of compromises. Slack head angle=Shorter reach. Slack head angle, longer reach=longer front center. For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    At your height saddle set back from the bottom bracket and seat tube angle will be the biggest things to nail down. After that you can start tweaking head tube angles, front center, reach, etc. Ignore the former and the later has little positive impact.

    Have fun with it and good luck building a sweet bike!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornfish View Post
    Fair enough. When you look at custom builders they usually have preferences/parameters they stay within. If you get your heart set on something it may be beyond their ability or comfort level to create what you envision. If your builder has a "sky is the limit" approach you are fine. If not it might be a good step to find out what he normally builds and what he is willing or capable of doing. An example would be a 29er with very short chain stays, clearance for big tires and a front derailleur. It is easy to say "I want 428mm chain stays" but not so easy for some builders to pull that off if you want tire clearance and a front derailleur. It sounds like you have an idea of what your guy can do but if you don't it might be worth a conversation to see if he can make your vision reality.

    Custom is the sum of all the parts to create something special, not one measurement. If you've ever been involved with bike CAD you see early on that it becomes a series of compromises. Slack head angle=Shorter reach. Slack head angle, longer reach=longer front center. For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    At your height saddle set back from the bottom bracket and seat tube angle will be the biggest things to nail down. After that you can start tweaking head tube angles, front center, reach, etc. Ignore the former and the later has little positive impact.

    Have fun with it and good luck building a sweet bike!
    Yah. I understand. I know this builder doesnt do really short seatstays - but overall the geometry of the highball is certainly doable - and inline with what I'm looking for.
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    I would do ~430mm/17" chainstay, 68-69 degree headtube, set up for a 120mm fork. Short stays are key for being able to get your weight way back on steep stuff, without rear suspension it's a lot easier to get bucked over steep rock and root gardens, really need to get your weight over the rear wheel. Anything slacker than 68 starts to get a little sluggish in tight, flat or rolling singletrack. A tad longer TT than you would usually run for XC so you can ride an 80mm stem comfortably might be a good idea. I ride a custom hardtail but it's a 26 (I like really short stays, these are 16.5"), mine's pure XC but may give you some ideas designwise


  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Have you considered going 29+, more tire options coming out soon, been running this setup on my fat bike this summer and really dig it!, Did Rose to Toads on it and Iím 3 for 3 cleaning Toads with it. And if you do go with a fat bike that can handle 29+ tires, you have two bikes in one. This bike climbs better than any bike I have ever owned, Iíve cleaned stuff uphill that Iíve never been able to get before. For reference, I'm 6' 2" and went with the large frame.
    If you're going custom and don't mind a wide BB and a bit of extra weight, you can put an EBB on it, which will give you some BB height adjustment. You might end up with reasonable geometry for 29, 29+, and 26x4, but I'd have to know exact tire outer diameters to be sure.

    Also keep in mind that TBC refused for many years to drink the 29er or other big wheel Kool-Aid, so this is a strong recommendation coming from him

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo View Post
    If you're going custom and don't mind a wide BB and a bit of extra weight, you can put an EBB on it, which will give you some BB height adjustment. You might end up with reasonable geometry for 29, 29+, and 26x4, but I'd have to know exact tire outer diameters to be sure.

    Also keep in mind that TBC refused for many years to drink the 29er or other big wheel Kool-Aid, so this is a strong recommendation coming from him
    I always go as low as possible on BB height. I'm used to it, comfortable "ratcheting" and like the low COG.
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Mike Vandeman Sucks Dong

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