Progressive geometry?-
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  1. #1
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    Progressive geometry?

    What is progressive geometry? Is there wide spread agreement on just what makes a frame a progressive geo frame?


  2. #2
    pvd is offline
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    For marketing companies, "progressive geometry" means whatever garbage they are trying to sell without regard for performance.

    For bike designers, "progressive geometry" means designs that produce faster, safer, and more usable geometry.

    From my experience, this means using forward geometry principles:

    * Maximizing front center
    * Seat tubes that allow for long stroke droppers
    * Short chainstays
    * Large diameter wheels
    * Lowest possible bottom bracket for a given terrain, pedal choice, and riding style
    * Seat positions that produce better climbing on real bikes with little sacrifice while traversing
    * Handlebar positions that make for good climbing and descending

  3. #3
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    Progressive geo is what was pioneered solely for advanced levels of mountain biking, usually the gravity scene, trickling down to trail bikes. It's progressive, since the trail bikes people may be familiar with may have roots from the road side of things, and *conservative* thinking makes people attracted to what they're familiar with, and fearful of the "extreme" nature of the gravity-inspired stuff.

    You have conservative thinking imagining all sorts of things such as:

    • extra "DH capability" is sure to compromise the pedaling and climbing efficiency
    • it will be overkill for the trails they've been riding fine on less
    • the bike will encourage riding faster and off more extreme stuff, leaving less excuse to avoid it, and will result in injury
    • the industry is just trying to make money, and it's just a fad, betting that will be a costly mistake that people will regret, that it's just a cycle which will return to what worked in the past, before finding some balance in between
    • this is not the direction mtb should go, due to all the marketing videos depicting stuff that hikers and equestrians are targeting as a threat to the natural environment
    • pro riders do extreme riding on XC bikes, road/CX bikes, and even "shopper" bikes, it's more the rider, not the bike
    • next year will be the same story, incremental improvement that mirrors stuff that didn't catch on years ago, which should have sold better if it actually was that good

    I figure progressive appeals to those who are more open minded to such things as simply being an improvement/evolution, one with less compromise.

    It's a term that won't have a distinct definition. It's merely a transitory descriptor to note the adoption of new school thinking, and shedding some thinking now deemed to be old school (conservative).

    I see the following patterns:

    • Longer wheelbase, steeper seat angle (and longer reach for a given ETT)
    • Long travel dropper post compatibility (straighter and shorter seat tube)
    • More standover clearance
    • Size specific chainstay length
    • Not geo related, but frame structure beefed up, such as using fully triangulated rear swingarms, big boxed head tubes, reinforcement at both ends of the seat tube

    To untrained eyes, it might seem that numbers you were familiar with were relabled as another size. To me, I just see it as people accounting for new variables in the big picture of things, shedding older over-simplified views, such as playing "bike frame bingo" with reach, ETT, seat tube lengh, head angle, travel, susp linkage family, frame material, weight, etc. trying to find something that lines up to all their biased picks.

    I foresee the new controversial "progressive" specs in the future will be:
    • Size specific HA, with tall riders getting HA steepened back to 67-65, though with shorter fork offsets, and smaller sizes getting sub-65d HA with longer fork offsets
    • Wider range of acceptable stack heights. E.g. 660+mm for better fit & comfort on bigger sizes

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by calstar View Post
    What is progressive geometry? Is there wide spread agreement on just what makes a frame a progressive geo frame?

    For the last 10 years 'progressive geometry' has meant an incrementally longer front-center, and the geometry tweaks required to make that work.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  5. #5
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    I agree with everything PVD said except the low bottom brackets. But I know those are quite fashionable right now, so you'll find that on a lot of frames. I find that to be terrain specific.
    Myth Cycles handbuilt bike frames
    Durango, CO

  6. #6
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    Feb 2018
    as others have said progressive geometry is the whole long low slack set up of the frame. Below is my thoughts from anotherís post about differences between 2015 and 2019 trail bikes which do apply to this one...

    ďSo a couple of things I would like to add:
    Trail riding means too many different things depending on your location.
    One bike does not do it all though with the current performance of modern bikes you can get it pretty close. I currently have a mk1 nicolai geomatron set up at 170/155 27.5Ē 63 HA in longer (m) and a sick wulf (thatís a whole another story) set up at 150 29er 64 HA in large (iím 5.9 and a light person). The hardtail is so capable that I would use it most of the time locally in Essex and Surrey Hills area and trail centres in wales. The nicolai would come out for fod off piste, peaks, dh days or trips abroad (finale Ligure and Spain). I would not want just one bike for all.
    The biggest difference between a trail bike and enduro bike isnít the travel or the geometry, itís the tyres with the soft or super sold compounds, single ply or double cashing, small fast rolling nobbles or large aggressive nobbles. Most guys would run the same bar, stem, gearset, dropper, and even brake set (fourpots) regardless if it was a trail bike or enduro bike. Wheels like tyres will depend on terrain.
    LLS bikes will always weigh more than SSH bikes because of the extra material needed for length and strengthening needed for extra force on head tube. On a climb this would make the bike feel heavy but because of the more stable wheel base the climb itself (on techy ones at least) will be easier.
    To ride a LLS bike you have to change your riding stile which you you might not (no body wants to think of themselves as a bad rider or be told they are doing it wrong).
    There is a big difference between geometry and travel, I would rather have a short travel bike but with slack angles than a long travel strap angled bike.
    A shorter travel back end to a longer travel front is great (still pedals well but can clutter through rough downs).

    If I only could have one bike a new stumpjumper evo 29er in a large/s3 would be right up my streetĒ

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