ideal head angle for DH (slight nerd content)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Mat
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    New question here. ideal head angle for DH (slight nerd content)

    trying to chose a new DH rig and had a go on a few different makes over the summer - iron horse, SCV10,223 ... main difference in geometry seems to be in the head angle (or one anyway) ranging from 64 on the orange to almost 68 (SC) -

    I felt more stable the slacker the angle but also a bit sluggish round tight stuff -- do you have an opinion/ experience what the ideal angle/ geometry is

  2. #2
    Chinky on a Stinky
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    imo, its 68 or 69.

    dh bikes also tend to have less steep HAs cuz they take lots of direct on rock or other trial object contacts. so id say the less steep HAs r for ppl who like to plow through obstacles and the steeper HAs r for the more flowy type who prefer control
    Last edited by Chikity China; 08-20-2005 at 04:25 PM.
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  3. #3
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    a slacker head angle is for dh because is keeps you more stable(i think), and a steeper head angle is for freeride and causes the bicycle to turn better...
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chikity China
    imo, its 68 or 69.
    huh? thats even steep for a freeride bike, aggressive trail bikes have those angles. Typical DH seems to be 64-66, freeride 66-68, trail-xc 68-71

    slacker = stable at speed. Lotsa weight on the front can steepen the front for the tight corners.
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
    Chinky on a Stinky
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    Quote Originally Posted by zedro
    huh? thats even steep for a freeride bike, aggressive trail bikes have those angles. Typical DH seems to be 64-66, freeride 66-68, trail-xc 68-71

    slacker = stable at speed. Lotsa weight on the front can steepen the front for the tight corners.
    o, well uh, yea, uh, thats wut i meant. 64-66. heh...........
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  7. #7
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    67 degree at the steepest. my 7point with 888 is around there. i wish it was slacker. my old banshee with 888 was around 64, maybe just a bit to slack

  8. #8
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    There are a lot of factors in deciding what HA is best for the riding you do. For the most part a slacker HA handles steeps and high speed better and a steeper HA changes lines and takes flat or sharp corners better.

    If you ride really steep terrain then a slacker HA is usually better. If you ride some place that is like a giant bmx track (Whistler) then a steeper HA will corner better. Also consider other geometry areas of your bike. The lower the BB the steeper the HA you can get away with. The smaller the wheel base the slacker the HA you will want.

    Another important issue is fork travel. A 7" fork with a 66* HA will handle much like an 8" fork with a 65* HA.

    Ultimately I find the following to work best: A 7" fork should have a 67* HA for FR and a 66* HA for DH racing. For each inch taller your fork your HA should be 1* slacker. For each inch shorter your fork your HA should be 1* steeper. These are the angles that I find again and again on the best overall handling FR and DH bikes. When I say FR I mean FR not FreeHucking. Also if you happen to be World Cup fast then 1* slacker at the HA.
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  9. #9
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    that sounds really helpful and still leaves me puzzled - the two bikes I liked best when I was test riding a number of rigs were the Santa Cruz V10 and the Orange 223;

    The v10 states a 67.5 HA with a 7" fork, so with 8" that would be about 66.5 with a wheelbase of 113cm and 37cm BB height
    the orange has a 64 HA with a 117 base and 21+ BB height

    so, the orange should be most stable and fast - the V10 more nimble but on the steep side for a DH bike

    Is that what people who ride a V10 find, that it handles steeps comparatively less stable?

  10. #10
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    (don't forget that the Orange has adjustable geometry... )

    it's all personal preference, but once I rode a low/slack bike its almost impossible to go back. if it feels too slack, I'm just not going fast enough.

    edit: low/slack for me is 13.9" bb, 65.5 HA.
    Last edited by dante; 08-23-2005 at 06:14 AM.

  11. #11
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    I like 64-66.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluride
    that sounds really helpful and still leaves me puzzled - the two bikes I liked best when I was test riding a number of rigs were the Santa Cruz V10 and the Orange 223;

    The v10 states a 67.5 HA with a 7" fork, so with 8" that would be about 66.5 with a wheelbase of 113cm and 37cm BB height
    the orange has a 64 HA with a 117 base and 21+ BB height

    so, the orange should be most stable and fast - the V10 more nimble but on the steep side for a DH bike

    Is that what people who ride a V10 find, that it handles steeps comparatively less stable?
    You have to keep in mind that the V10 recommend 35% - 40% sag, so the effective head angle under rider's weight is going to change pretty drastically. That aside, the V10's we've measured here almost always measure closer to 66'.

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