Standover height - is it really that important?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Standover height - is it really that important?

    The only time I ever have my body low, in between the seat and the bars is when I'm either losing control in a gnarly section, trying not to crash and lost all my footing, or when I'm chatting with buddies while chilling out at the trail. I know, I know, most of you guys like to throw some 360 turn downs when nobody is looking but I don't think it's affect on how a bike handles is what people make it out to be.

    Do people not like them because straight top tubes are going out of fashion or do you actually find yourself in a position that requires low stand over height?
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  2. #2
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    generally its that 1% of the time that you really need it, like a helmet or chest protector.
    by all means if you dont mind racking the boys on your toptube than go for it. but aslong as you have an inch over i think your good

  3. #3
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    a pound isnt all that much either. try strappin that pound to yer top tube, seatpost or any other high spot, go for a long, hard ride and report back on how it handles.

    other than that, i hear ya and like the glowin guy said ya never miss it till ya need it. when im in crash survival mode i find it much easier to pull it back from the brink when my balls havent been slammed up into my abdomen.

    these days i dont even look at frames without ample standover for both reasons.
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  4. #4
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    Also don't forget that it indirectly affects how low you can get your saddle. If you are the kind of rider who likes a super low seat, you'll need a frame with superlow standover as well.

    And most importantly of course, sloping TTs (or the ones with bends in 'em) just make a bike look bada$$...

  5. #5
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    Lower TT makes it easier to lean your bike between your legs so I'd say yes it is important.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quarashi
    ...but I don't think it's affect on how a bike handles is what people make it out to be...
    not so much how the bike handles, but how you handle the bike. makes a big diff IMO

  7. #7
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    I don't think a low standover is all that important, i got my azonic saber second hand ,and a good deal too, because my friend went for an elguapo to get 6 inches of travel with less than an inch of difference, he's 3.5 inches shorter than me and may have proportionally shorter legs.,i don't know. I don't feel like i ever fall onto the top tube ejecting over the top tube or bail to the sides, i wonder if platforms make a differnce i'm back to flats after two weeks clippe din though i'll definitely retry the clipins when the leaves clear ,This time i was the closest to converting to clipping in .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    I don't think a low standover is all that important, i got my azonic saber second hand ,and a good deal too, because my friend went for an elguapo to get 6 inches of travel with less than an inch of difference, he's 3.5 inches shorter than me and may have proportionally shorter legs.,i don't know. I don't feel like i ever fall onto the top tube ejecting over the top tube or bail to the sides, i wonder if platforms make a differnce i'm back to flats after two weeks clippe din though i'll definitely retry the clipins when the leaves clear ,This time i was the closest to converting to clipping in .

    What he said.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero
    What he said.

    You mean "my grammar is so bad it's hard to understand what I'm talking about" ???
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbar
    Lower TT makes it easier to lean your bike between your legs so I'd say yes it is important.
    I'd say a low seat height makes it easier to lean the bike. At speed your body rarely goes in front of the seat. Even then, as the pros show, being able to lean your bike with a relatively high seat is totally possible. You must do some hard core leaning if you get your legs on your top tube.

    Losing weight up high makes sense too. I'm no engineer but wouldn't a straight tube be lighter than a curved one if made with the same care?

    Protection of your future offspring seems to be the most pressing concern with the top tube! (And looks of course!)
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quarashi
    I'd say a low seat height makes it easier to lean the bike. At speed your body rarely goes in front of the seat. Even then, as the pros show, being able to lean your bike with a relatively high seat is totally possible. You must do some hard core leaning if you get your legs on your top tube.

    Losing weight up high makes sense too. I'm no engineer but wouldn't a straight tube be lighter than a curved one if made with the same care?

    Protection of your future offspring seems to be the most pressing concern with the top tube! (And looks of course!)
    I don't lean it in corners as much but in the off cambers I lean it and I can tell you my high TT kinda is in the way of my legs. It's not like you are 99% of the time over the seat.
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  12. #12
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    I think the only time you will get any benefit (other than racking yourself) is if you have a super low top tube. one of the selling points of the canfield jedi is how low the top tube is. you can lean your bike more because your knees won't hit the top tube. the jedi's lowest point is right where your knees are so when you really lean the bike in a corner your knee is actually over the top tube.

    It something you wouldn't notice until you have tried a bike that has been super low.

  13. #13
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    Depends upon the application. For trail bikes, I dont think its a huge deal. On my DJ and slopestyle bikes, its a huge deal for getting off and over the bike and for the ultimate steeze. For DH bikes, the world cup guys sure do show that you can rip a corner with a high seat, but for the rest of us mortals, I think a lower TT provides a bit more room to lean the bike over without smacking you knees on the TT,

    As for the seat heigh issue, thats more of a concept of the seattube length. Look at the Spez SX, it has a lower TT than the seattube. The two do go hand in hand in most instances. Thats what I really like about the Transitions I have been riding. Size is about reach, stack, and TT length, not seattube measurement on the gravity bikes, give you a low standover but the best proper TT length

  14. #14
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    As I'm looking at my photos I don't really see why people think that lower seat makes you not touch your bike with your knees and allows you to lean it more. In all of my photos they are ~20cm before the seat where the TT is usually the lowest. Also on most of the photos I can see my knees touching or almost touching the TT so I wonder how much different do some of the posters ride than me if they don't do it.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbar
    As I'm looking at my photos I don't really see why people think that lower seat makes you not touch your bike with your knees and allows you to lean it more. In all of my photos they are ~20cm before the seat where the TT is usually the lowest. Also on most of the photos I can see my knees touching or almost touching the TT so I wonder how much different do some of the posters ride than me if they don't do it.
    I think that may depend greatly on the seat tube angle. I ride freeride bikes which tend of have angles steeper than that of downhill bikes. Perhaps in the downhill posture, the slack seat tube angle of a down hill bike may put the seat far enough back for your knees to use the space above the top tube. I usually find my body quite far behind my seat when going downwards and my knees right about where the seat is. The size of the bike relative to your height would probably matter quite a bit, too.

    It may also be that it's on of those "don't know what you're missing till you've tried it" things as I ride a bike with a straight top tube and a relatively high stand over.
    About buying a bike:
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  16. #16
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    Seat height in DH I would tend to think is out of need rather than preference. The biggest problem I see is that you have to have your seat a certain minimum height so that it doesn't get hit by the back wheel through it's travel.
    After having adjusted the angle on my Orange to the slacker of what's available I found this very problem, and well the only option apart from sliding the seat all the way forward and tiliting it down is to have it a bit highter up.

    Given the option I would be happy with a low standover and super low saddle on my DH bike just like what I can achieve on the DJ bike. For a beginner like me it certainly does matter if I'm not game to do a certain section and decide to get off and walk it, and more to the point a good amount of standover just makes it so much easier to get back on the bike when it's pointed down some steep arse hill and resume riding!

    But yes I can see when you get some decent level of skill and confidence and can ride just about anything in your path then standover isn't a huge issue.
    Likewise for XC, lack of skill and frequent and abrupt dismounts would mean that more often than not good standover would be very welcome, but yeah when you get good it's not so much of an issue because you get on and you ride your loops until you decide to stop, and in a controlled dismount the equation of standover hardly comes in.

    So yes I think for beginners it really is that important, and for the experienced it's probably still a feature which is good to have. Besides who would like the look of a DH bike with a straight top tube like the roady's have!!!!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quarashi
    I think that may depend greatly on the seat tube angle. I ride freeride bikes which tend of have angles steeper than that of downhill bikes. Perhaps in the downhill posture, the slack seat tube angle of a down hill bike may put the seat far enough back for your knees to use the space above the top tube. I usually find my body quite far behind my seat when going downwards and my knees right about where the seat is. The size of the bike relative to your height would probably matter quite a bit, too.

    It may also be that it's on of those "don't know what you're missing till you've tried it" things as I ride a bike with a straight top tube and a relatively high stand over.
    Riding that far back really pertains either to super-steep slow sections of a DH trail, or more freeriding in general - not to fast cornering. When railing fast corners, your weight needs to be further forward than what you describe (to get you over the front wheel and allow for turning properly), and in those cases, you can quite often hit the TT with your legs (in fact, you can use your legs to push the frame around in these situations). So, rather than just a blanket "high or low" parameter, we should also consider the profile and bend of the TT...but yes, a generally low TT will help move the bike around, especially for proper DH application.

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