Why does STA matter?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 79 of 79
  1. #1
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    2,101

    Why does STA matter?

    I'm looking for a new bike and the reviews and feedback I get people mention seat tube angle way more now. It's like the main point or one of them. I've never looked at geo when buying a bike. I just get a size large, maybe XL of the bike I want and ride it.

    I am looking at 130 range bikes and I guess the STA matters more than XC bikes where they are probably pretty similar I would think.

    A lot of my online opinion is being formed by Mike levy pinkbike reviews so not sure if he is full of of it or what. He seems like we have the same ride style though. He wants to climb technical trails. So when he is saying the seat tube is too slack to lay the power down on the climbs I pick up on that.

    I was reading some reviews of the trance 29 and they said the seat tube was too slack at 74.5. Well the TB3 is 73 lol, so even slacker.

    What is the relationship between seat tube angle and climbing? Then I see people reference the seat tube angle about length of droppers on large sizes. Can someone give me a seat tube 101? Thank you
    Ill be out riding, youll still be trolling mtbr. Mtbr, where people who dont ride come to pretend they do.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    999
    Steeper seat tube puts your weight more forward making it easier to climb with a slack head tube angle. You know how sometimes with these newfangled 65 degree head tube bikes you have to slide your ass forward on the seat to keep your front wheel planted during a long steep climb? Steep seat tube angle compensates so you don't have to do that so much. It puts your body weight in a better position for turning the cranks on an uphill.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,423
    Are saddles in fixed positions nowadays?

  4. #4
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Are saddles in fixed positions nowadays?
    Apparently.

    Also, most people I see are so far back on their saddles that I can’t see any of it. Maybe they should get a bike fit, a decent saddle and a proper set of shorts, they wouldn’t force others to adopt STAs that don’t do anything for us.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Millennial29erGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,527
    I think it has something to do with downcountry
    My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.
    2017 BMC Speedfox 25-622 ISO
    2017 Salsa Timberjack 40-584 ISO

  6. #6
    Rippin da fAt
    Reputation: BansheeRune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6,595
    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    I'm looking for a new bike and the reviews and feedback I get people mention seat tube angle way more now. It's like the main point or one of them. I've never looked at geo when buying a bike. I just get a size large, maybe XL of the bike I want and ride it.

    I am looking at 130 range bikes and I guess the STA matters more than XC bikes where they are probably pretty similar I would think.

    A lot of my online opinion is being formed by Mike levy pinkbike reviews so not sure if he is full of of it or what. He seems like we have the same ride style though. He wants to climb technical trails. So when he is saying the seat tube is too slack to lay the power down on the climbs I pick up on that.

    I was reading some reviews of the trance 29 and they said the seat tube was too slack at 74.5. Well the TB3 is 73 lol, so even slacker.

    What is the relationship between seat tube angle and climbing? Then I see people reference the seat tube angle about length of droppers on large sizes. Can someone give me a seat tube 101? Thank you
    Seat tube angle affects where you are on the bike, how weight is distributed and works with the headtube angle to form the bike's handling characteristis.

    Some like a steep 75-77° some hat it since it places them too far forwar for their taste and physique.
    Some like a slack angle between 70-72°.

    Either way, a bloke hasta move their weight as they ride.

    As for forming an opinion on geometry, do it by experience as opposed to hearsay. Test ride is the only way to actually form a meaningful view.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  7. #7
    Rider
    Reputation: TylerVernon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    378
    STA is mattering more recently because they are cramming the tire under the seat with these ridiculously short chainstays. If they could tuck the tire under the bb they'd probably do it and Mike Levy would cream himself.

    Cocalis is one of the sane bike brand owners when it comes to the issue. They talk about it at 5:20


  8. #8
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Apparently.

    Also, most people I see are so far back on their saddles that I can’t see any of it. Maybe they should get a bike fit, a decent saddle and a proper set of shorts, they wouldn’t force others to adopt STAs that don’t do anything for us.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think it is more a case of most people set their seat too low and are pushing themselves backwards to try and extend that reach. Seat height and saddle tilt have a way bigger impact on where you sit then a degree her or there of seat angle.

    You and I have chatted back and forth about this one over the years. I am a fan of steep seat angles but I think it might have been taken too far. I have a new bike coming at the end of the June that has a 77 degree seat angle, sort of worried that it is too steep.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    IMO. There seems to be less focus on the idea that the best pedalling position is the one that allows the rider to apply the most power with the greatest efficiency over the average terrain the bike will be used on.

    Instead, In todays marketing, climbing ability is being prioritized.

    The result is that Steeper STA’s are being used to compensate for a bikes Inherent climbing ability as determined by a bikes suspension design, travel and rear center length.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    Love that cocalis validates the idea that a sta can be too steep for a moderate climb. Where too steep means knee pain.

    Which leaves you wondering, can it then also be too steep for general trail riding where the majority is pedalling moderately flat terrain.

    Also how does that change for riders at the very short and very long end of the frame sizes.

  11. #11
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    7,697
    I have bikes with STA's from 72-76.5 ish. They all work just fine so long as the bike is well designed. Even on my 135mm trail bike with the steepest STA, and the saddle all the way forward, I still scooch all the way to the front of the saddle on a steep climb.

    You have to consider the whole package, not just one parameter. STA alone is not enough information. In my last example ^ that bike has short chainstays and a long front center. It makes for an excellent package when you put it all together.

    Do XC hardtail race bikes need wicked steep STA's? No. Does it benefit all bikes and all riders? No. But I like it on the right bike for sure. That same bike would suck to pedal with a 73 degree STA, and I probably wouldn't be able to reach the handlebars (510mm Reach).

    Also, there's no such thing as chainstays that are too short. My new hardtail (size XL) will have 415mm chainstays. Ha!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    What is the relationship between seat tube angle and climbing?

    Weight distribution. The longer, slacker, and longer travel the bike the more easily the front of the bike is unweighted on the climbs. Also the taller the rider the further back the saddle is. A steeper STA corrects for that. So the ideal STA depends on the application and rider. On my old Hightower LT, I had the saddle slammed as far forward as physically possible on the rails and it still wasn't enough to avoid feeling like I was falling off the back of the bike on surprisingly mellow climbs. For me a 76 ish degree STA works well on an enduro bike. That doesn't mean it works the best for every application. My hardtail with a 74.5° STA also works really well because I end up in a similar position as on the enduro bike.

    This issue is actually way simpler than the internet makes it out to be. If you ride a bike and feel like you can't get the saddle far enough forward then you need a steeper STA on that type of bike, otherwise you probably won't see a benefit.

  13. #13
    Rider
    Reputation: TylerVernon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post

    Also, there's no such thing as chainstays that are too short. My new hardtail (size XL) will have 415mm chainstays. Ha!
    For a slow rider, I imagine there's no such thing for a lot of parameters.

  14. #14
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    7,697
    Quote Originally Posted by TylerVernon View Post
    For a slow rider, I imagine there's no such thing for a lot of parameters.
    Waa??
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  15. #15
    Your bike sucks
    Reputation: Carl Mega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,902
    When it comes to fit, STA is an area where I have a lot of tolerance. So long as the angle allows me to attain the cockpit dims I need (saddle to bars) - the relative position of the knee to spindle doesn't affect me much on the mtb nor does the general weight distro. Pedalling a with a little more push from behind or a bit more over the top - both are within my range tho I suspect there is a sweet spot. I see a lot of people fuss about it - can't argue with what people deem important to their own personal fit; tho I wonder if it comes down to riding style? If you are an active body position rider - you are out of the saddle quite a bit vs. people who are stuck to their saddle like superglue.

    OP was asking about STA and climbing - I'd say I look for a neutral pedal position when seated but slight weight shifts and unweighting off the saddle while pedalling during climbing over features sort of lessens the importance of STA. YMMV!
    Working to stomp out redundancy, I repeat, working to stomp out redundancy.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,802
    High travel bikes that sag a lot when climbing, and are meant for steep climbs, definitely need a steep STA.

    But this doesn't apply as much to flatter terrain and lower travel.

    Realize that a 76 degree STA 160mm travel enduro bike is probably sitting at 72 degree actual STA while pedaling up a hill so a HT doesn't need 76 degrees to be equal.

    My 150 travel enduro bike has 76 degrees actual and I'd probably take 76.5 with no other changes (have to extend top tube to maintain reach) but no more.

    Eventually I'll buy a 100mm travel XC rig and I'll aim for 74-76 degrees.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Also, most people I see are so far back on their saddles that I can’t see any of it. Maybe they should get a bike fit, a decent saddle and a proper set of shorts, they wouldn’t force others to adopt STAs that don’t do anything for us.
    Are you trying to say most people that prefer steep STAs don't know what they are doing?

    Is this observation based on rolling terrain where many with steep STAs tend to drop their seat a little to compensate for the forward bias?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post

    This issue is actually way simpler than the internet makes it out to be. If you ride a bike and feel like you can't get the saddle far enough forward then you need a steeper STA on that type of bike, otherwise you probably won't see a benefit.
    Or... if you ride flatter/rolling terrain, you probably won't appreciate a steep STA, if you want your position to be optimized for steep sustained climbs, you'll probably like a steep STA.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    771


    You can see in the image that the bike gets longer but the space between the saddle and handlebar stays the same. So despite the reach getting much longer youre able to maintain normal bike fit.

    These new bikes feel pretty much the same when sitting down but once you stand up the extra reach becomes noticeable and feels like youre on a much roomier and stable bike, to get the same reach on an old bike youd have to size up but that would also stretch out the seated position making the bike very uncomfortable.

  20. #20
    Dirty Old Man
    Reputation: scatterbrained's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,000
    Speaking from recent personal experience, I just moved from a Trek with a fairly slack seat tube angle to a bike with a 77* STA. The difference in climbing is night and day, meanwhile, I don't feel it's in any way detrimental on flat ground. Seated the feeling isn't much different as the extra reach (about 40mm) when seated offsets the steeper seat tube. Standing however it feels much better with the longer reach.
    . . . . . . . .

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Or... if you ride flatter/rolling terrain, you probably won't appreciate a steep STA, if you want your position to be optimized for steep sustained climbs, you'll probably like a steep STA.
    Personally, I prefer a 'steeper' STA regardless of whether the climbs are sustained or not.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Personally, I prefer a 'steeper' STA regardless of whether the climbs are sustained or not.
    You are absolutely entitled to your preferences. Despite riding steep STA's for many years, I've accepted there are areas where the forward weight bias isn't ideal for most.

  23. #23
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Are you trying to say most people that prefer steep STAs don't know what they are doing?

    Is this observation based on rolling terrain where many with steep STAs tend to drop their seat a little to compensate for the forward bias?
    I'm saying that I take the opinions of most people with a grain of salt.

    I'm not going to tell a WC DH racer how to set up his bike to optimize his performance. Someone (a lay person) who climbs at half the speed I do, and has never climbed quickly, doesn't have any opinions that I'd find relevant when it comes to the geometry or set up necessary to propel me up a climb quickly. We are both on bicycles, yes, but that's about as far as the similarities go.

    Now, if that person was a scientist who studied this for a living? A person who worked with high level athletes, and set their bikes up for maximum performance?Sure, I'd bend an ear.
    Death from Below.

  24. #24
    Rider
    Reputation: TylerVernon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Waa??
    On single speeds and rigid, you're just doing a different kind of riding. For high speed big travel fs bikes, the needs are different.

  25. #25
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    7,697
    Quote Originally Posted by TylerVernon View Post
    On single speeds and rigid, you're just doing a different kind of riding. For high speed big travel fs bikes, the needs are different.
    Thanks Captain.

    Why does STA matter?-captain.jpg

    I actually own more bikes than what's listed in my sig. Can you believe it?!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I'm saying that I take the opinions of most people with a grain of salt.

    I'm not going to tell a WC DH racer how to set up his bike to optimize his performance. Someone (a lay person) who climbs at half the speed I do, and has never climbed quickly, doesn't have any opinions that I'd find relevant when it comes to the geometry or set up necessary to propel me up a climb quickly. We are both on bicycles, yes, but that's about as far as the similarities go.

    Now, if that person was a scientist who studied this for a living? A person who worked with high level athletes, and set their bikes up for maximum performance?Sure, I'd bend an ear.
    Agree 100%.

    Its the same as a 5’6” 145 lb rider understanding what its like to be 6’6”, double the riding weight, on the same bike with the same rear center, tire design, suspension and frame components, etc.

    And of course Vice versa!

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I'm saying that I take the opinions of most people with a grain of salt.

    I'm not going to tell a WC DH racer how to set up his bike to optimize his performance. Someone (a lay person) who climbs at half the speed I do, and has never climbed quickly, doesn't have any opinions that I'd find relevant when it comes to the geometry or set up necessary to propel me up a climb quickly. We are both on bicycles, yes, but that's about as far as the similarities go.

    Now, if that person was a scientist who studied this for a living? A person who worked with high level athletes, and set their bikes up for maximum performance?Sure, I'd bend an ear.
    You didn't really answer my questions.

    I don't think anyone here is telling you how to set up your bike, but you seem to imply that those that don't agree are not competent riders.

  28. #28
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    You didn't really answer my questions.

    I don't think anyone here is telling you how to set up your bike, but you seem to imply that those that don't agree are not competent riders.
    OK. I'll answer your questions.

    No, I don't ride rolling terrain, generally speaking. Not too much of that around here. I live at the base of a 14er, and regularly do rides where the shortest climb has four digit elevation gain.

    Regarding your last point: Am I supposed to pretend that everyone is competent in order to sound agreeable here? The point I was trying to make is that people who say, "X is great!" but can't use X effectively, should be viewed with skepticism.

    Now, if Joe Median improves his time up the local time from 16:00 to 15:00 because of his shiny new bike with an 80 degree STA, great for him. Truly. I'm more concerned about the guys doing it in 7:30, and how to take my 8:00 time to 7:45.
    Death from Below.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    579
    Many bikes don't have a real seat tube angle these days. The seat tube straight line intersection is 3" ahead of the bottom bracket on my GT force. So who cares what angle it is. If your inseam is 28", or 32", the effective seat tube angle is different by 1-2 degrees. Add to that you can move the saddle fore and aft enough to account for 2-3 degrees of effective seat tube angle. A set back seat post clamp adds another 2-3 degrees to the slack side. Then you get a hardtail, and the seat angle just completely changes when you sit on it.

    Its a very malleable and almost meaningless dimension. The number listed in the geo should only be used as a very basic comparison between the bike you have now, and the bike you want, so you'll know if you need to make any alterations to your saddle and post choices to get the same fit.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    OK. I'll answer your questions.

    No, I don't ride rolling terrain, generally speaking. Not too much of that around here. I live at the base of a 14er, and regularly do rides where the shortest climb has four digit elevation gain.
    Ok, one of my theories on your observation is shot down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Regarding your last point: Am I supposed to pretend that everyone is competent in order to sound agreeable here? The point I was trying to make is that people who say, "X is great!" but can't use X effectively, should be viewed with skepticism.

    Now, if Joe Median improves his time up the local time from 16:00 to 15:00 because of his shiny new bike with an 80 degree STA, great for him. Truly. I'm more concerned about the guys doing it in 7:30, and how to take my 8:00 time to 7:45.
    I'll make some observations. It's pretty apparent you are a hammerfest bike jock. You're probably really strong and might even be a good descender. From your previous overbiked type comments I'd guess that even if you have an enduro class bike... you rarely ride it. You probably primarily ride an xc-ish bike so you can get from A to B and back as fast as possible... and with short travel there's less sag and therefore less of a need to compensate by steepening the STA.

    Am I wrong so far?

  31. #31
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Ok, one of my theories on your observation is shot down.



    I'll make some observations. It's pretty apparent you are a hammerfest bike jock. You're probably really strong and might even be a good descender. From your previous overbiked type comments I'd guess that even if you have an enduro class bike... you rarely ride it. You probably primarily ride an xc-ish bike so you can get from A to B and back as fast as possible... and with short travel there's less sag and therefore less of a need to compensate by steepening the STA.

    Am I wrong so far?
    Correct-ish.

    And, as anyone who has read my thoughts on this issue would note, I've made the point you are making above, as noted in bold. Many times, in fact.

    My problem is with the idea that we need significantly steeper STAs across the board.
    Death from Below.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    2,564
    Yeah, if climbing speed is your number one priority you're not on an enduro bike with a 77° STA regardless.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EatsDirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post

    My problem is with the idea that we need significantly steeper STAs across the board.
    Ok, then we agree on that. Some bikes should have slack STA's for the tailgater leg press pedaller crowd. A UCI coach once tried to set me up in a position like that and it jacked up a whole season of racing and more. Good for you, not for me.

    You seem to repetitively disparage steep STAs regardless of travel and often imply they're for clueless donkeys (proper shorts... seriously?). When I previously told you there were long/steep climbs that I felt completely merited my preferences, you went as far as to find and verify the climb... as if I was full of sh!t...?

    My point- you don't ride like I do, don't have the same goals, and don't live in the same area... so it's to be expected you'll have different preferences. Great. Don't assume those of us who actually like the current "modern geo" are all clueless donkeys buying into marketing hype.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. So you guys can argue all you want.

    I have no doubt le duke can climb like a billy goat with its ass on fire. He is short light and rides a very light weight short travel 29er.

    a long travel monster bike is built to go down, not up. Anyone that rides one bought it for that. Manufacturers compensate for the bikes essentially poor climbing abilities by slamming the seat forward. The gravity crowd tries it and wow they love it. What does that mean? To me its just verification that those bikes climb poorly.

    A properly designed bike fits the rear center length to the wheelset and rider size. Since very few bikes do that, most are only optimized for one rider size. Or put another way, are poorly designed bikes for every other size of rider.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ocnLogan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    900
    I'm a pretty average, intermediate rider (only started mountain biking 2yrs ago, but grew up riding dirt bikes). I'm also a bit on the taller/larger size (~6'1", 200lbs with gear). So take my opinion with some sodium.

    I mostly see steep STA's as being benneficial in two or three main cases (and no, I don't think every bike needs the same angle).

    1) Longer travel bikes that sag more when climbing.

    2) For taller riders, especially because the effective STA and actual STA are often vastly different. So at actual ride heights for long legged folk, the STA is actually far slacker. This becomes a problem on steep climbs, as your saddle is actually right over the rear axle, making it hard to keep the front tire on the ground.

    3) For bikes that are basically only intended to be pedaled up hills (again, longer travel, winch and plummet type bikes). An 80 degree STA feels a lot more like a 72 degree STA when its on an 8 degree grade on a fire road for 3 hours of climbing.

    Also, the whole discussion is somewhat incomplete without stack height and ETT information. The main complaint I read about people who dislike steep STA's, is that there is a lot of weight on their hands. To me that means the stack height may be a bit on the short side (ie, they're really hunched over/falling foward). A lot of the newer enduro race bikes are like this. The Raaw Madonna, Privateer 161, and Banshee Titan all have really tall stack heights (642-657mm on size large), to go with their steep STAs.

    Personally, I see it as an advancement in geo driven by understanding how these factors all play together, and its mostly beneficial/equalizing for the taller folks on bigger bikes. Thats my two cents anyway.

  36. #36
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    7,697
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. So you guys can argue all you want.

    a long travel monster bike is built to go down, not up. Anyone that rides one bought it for that. Manufacturers compensate for the bikes essentially poor climbing abilities by slamming the seat forward. The gravity crowd tries it and wow they love it. What does that mean? To me its just verification that those bikes climb poorly.
    Maybe you're just looking at it wrong. As suspension designs have gotten better in recent years, plus the addition of steeper STA's, the penalty for having a little more travel is much smaller. (which has it's own implications)

    A properly designed bike fits the rear center length to the wheelset and rider size. Since very few bikes do that, most are only optimized for one rider size. Or put another way, are poorly designed bikes for every other size of rider.
    ?? What do you mean by this?
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  37. #37
    Rippin da fAt
    Reputation: BansheeRune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6,595
    Some folks need industrial strength Midol in here...
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  38. #38
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Ok, then we agree on that. Some bikes should have slack STA's for the tailgater leg press pedaller crowd. A UCI coach once tried to set me up in a position like that and it jacked up a whole season of racing and more. Good for you, not for me.

    You seem to repetitively disparage steep STAs regardless of travel and often imply they're for clueless donkeys (proper shorts... seriously?). When I previously told you there were long/steep climbs that I felt completely merited my preferences, you went as far as to find and verify the climb... as if I was full of sh!t...?

    My point- you don't ride like I do, don't have the same goals, and don't live in the same area... so it's to be expected you'll have different preferences. Great. Don't assume those of us who actually like the current "modern geo" are all clueless donkeys buying into marketing hype.
    I do find it funny that you're doing the exact same thing you accuse me of; disparaging me as the "tailgater leg press pedaller crowd" and a "jock", whatever the hell that means now. Is a jock anyone that cares about athletic performance? Or just someone that you find objectionable?

    I never said that people who like modern geometry are clueless donkeys. I said that many/most people are riding on poorly set up bikes. If your ass is eating your saddle for lunch, yeah, your bike fit sucks.
    Death from Below.

  39. #39
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    I think that the real benefit of steep STA is technical climbing ability of a long travel slack head angle bike. If you are riding a 160mm bike with a long front centre and a 65 degree head angle that front wheel is a long ways out in front of you. Moving your seated position forward and centring it on the bike for climbing is going to help.

    The trend of long front centres and short chain stays over the last couple of years has created bikes where a classic seat angle puts you a lot closer to back axel of bike. Your weight that far back makes it really difficult to control the bike when you are putting the power down. Steepening that seat angle, moving the rider forward allows riders to put power down and still control the front of the bike.

    We are starting to see some bikes that lengthening chainstays, and some companies (like Norco) are actually matching chainstay length to bike size. I am curious if this will take care of some of issues that steep SA are trying to fix.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    We are starting to see some bikes that lengthening chainstays, and some companies (like Norco) are actually matching chainstay length to bike size. I am curious if this will take care of some of issues that steep SA are trying to fix.
    Only to a small degree. A 10mm change in chainstay length is pretty negligible for climbing weight distribution (I have a 10mm chainstay flip chip on my bike). Also, increasing chainstay length only increases rear center length. Increasing STA not only increases the distance between you and the rear axle but also moves you closer to the front axle. I'm all for longer chainstays on larger sizes but it doesn't take the place of increasing the STA.

  41. #41
    Rippin da fAt
    Reputation: BansheeRune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6,595
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    We are starting to see some bikes that lengthening chainstays, and some companies (like Norco) are actually matching chainstay length to bike size. I am curious if this will take care of some of issues that steep SA are trying to fix.
    The fact of the matter is this is not done on a larger scale. Sure, a few custom frames (Waltworks and others) might incorporate seat tube angle and chainstay length in the same frame however, it is rare. Trying to do a fix needs more than one angle involved but where to start? Can it be done on a generic "for the masses" basis?
    That's where it really gets complicated.

    On general response for seat tube angle...

    77° seat tube will generate a rejection tag immediately for my needs. Basically, it would utterly take out my powerband which is unacceptable from the word go. Since I can move my weight as needed, when needed and it is an automatic function, it makes no difference as to suspension/hardtail.
    For this reason, I will do the CAD myself and turn a set of blueprints over to the frame builder. Building based upon my expectations and requirements is what brings out the checkbook, not a frame built to fit the masses, that closes the checkbook like a bank vault at 4:59 on a Friday!
    While I have no disdain for steep STA's, I have no use for owning one. If it works for you, great, by all means, use it since that is a fit for you and your physique and usage. Each of us have a unique physique that leads to preferences that differ. We each do a bunnyhop with a different technique that works for us, gitter dun!




    For the short chainstay crowd, my trials bike has a 385mm CS, checkmate! Yus, it is a stock, not a mod!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  42. #42
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,290
    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Are saddles in fixed positions nowadays?
    Seat tube angle sets a range for where you can put your seat.

    I ride rigid singlespeed bikes, and look for a seat position where I am balanced when pedaling seated, on relatively flat ground. On a steepish seat tube, I get there by mounting the seat pretty far back. On a slacker seat tube I put the seat a bit forward. The bike with the slack seat tube also has longer top tube / reach, so I end up with similar cockpit lengths.

    I'm pretty sure I'd want a more forward seat position if I did a lot of seated climbing. That would be awkward with my bike with the slack seat tube: I might run out of seat rails for moving the seat forward.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  43. #43
    Bipolar roller
    Reputation: singletrackmack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,134
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    We are starting to see some bikes that lengthening chainstays, and some companies (like Norco) are actually matching chainstay length to bike size. I am curious if this will take care of some of issues that steep SA are trying to fix.
    Pole, Raaw, YT, canyon, nukeproof all have chainstays that change depending on bike size. Other brands like gorilla gravity, Cotic and others are embracing the benifits of well balanced bike front to back. And to your point of bikes with lengthening CS are able to get a more reasonable SA to work, cotic is a good example. Their big travel 29er, rocket max, has a 448mm chainstays and they are able to keep the SA right around between 75-76 and their bikes with less travel around 74.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,802
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Seat tube angle sets a range for where you can put your seat.

    I ride rigid singlespeed bikes, and look for a seat position where I am balanced when pedaling seated, on relatively flat ground. On a steepish seat tube, I get there by mounting the seat pretty far back. On a slacker seat tube I put the seat a bit forward. The bike with the slack seat tube also has longer top tube / reach, so I end up with similar cockpit lengths.

    I'm pretty sure I'd want a more forward seat position if I did a lot of seated climbing. That would be awkward with my bike with the slack seat tube: I might run out of seat rails for moving the seat forward.
    I've looked at my seats and I really don't have much room to slide them forward or back on the rails. Maybe 2/3" total.

    On my bike 76' actual sta, whenever I climb I'm at the very front tip of the seat and wish I had a little more to go forward and I'm a strong climber.


    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  45. #45
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,290
    A small change in seat location and angle can make a huge difference in balance, comfort, etc. I'm sure I have more than 2/3" of adjustment but cannot confirm right now. Having the seat in an extreme position forward or back isn't mechanically ideal: it can put a big strain on the rails, and perhaps even the seat post. I have bent the rails on a seat that I mounted as far back as I could.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    579
    1" in seat adjustment is up to 3 degrees in seat tube angle (depends how tall you are).

  47. #47
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,432
    For each degree of STA, the saddle clamp moves forward/rearward 12mm, if your seat height is around 700mm from the BB. This affects weight distro when seated.

    I've measured weight distro by placing weight scales under each wheel on various bikes and between me and a buddy. From my measurements, I found that ~70% of a rider's weight is on the rear when sitting. When standing, that changes to 55-60% on the rear, depending on bike geo (CS length, front center) and how you center yourself. I did these tests on relatively old school bikes, from 2014 to 2017.

    I've had experiences on medium to long travel bikes which had too slack of a STA. They sagged deeply on climbs and it felt like I was pulling back on the bars just to hold on--they forced me to attack the climb to end the suffering sooner. In contrast, I've had steep STA bikes that allowed me the opportunity to comfortably climb in a more relaxed position on climbs I usually attacked.

    I've re-experienced the effect that lengthening the CS does to a bike's handling, with my venture on emtbs. They handle poorly like the first 29ers on the scene. Part of that might be due to the lack of stiffness in parts, but I blame the long CS even more. I wish they had steeper STA instead to counter the issue with front wheel lift on climbs, seeing how I'm more likely to challenge ridiculously steep climbs that are impossible for regular bikes.

    Boost helped 29ers get short enough CS to get balanced handling, and longer wheelbases made current CS lengths feel relatively short in comparison to the front center. CS length varying according to WB/FC is a great idea to maintain a certain weight distro, but varying the CS length changes suspension kinematics. There's so many choices out there that there's bound to be one that checks off mostly everything on your list in your size.

    I see a side benefit of steep STA as being one that reduces compromise with suspension tuning. Do you set sag while seated or standing? This will be less of a question if the STA is steep enough to minimize the difference between sitting and standing. The issue regarding a steeper seated position pedaling feeling inefficient is temporary, as different muscle groups are recruited. That might be a good thing if more muscles related to standing pedaling are strengthened, perhaps rewarding a riding style that spends more time out of the saddle.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  48. #48
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    77° seat tube will generate a rejection tag immediately for my needs. Basically, it would utterly take out my powerband which is unacceptable from the word go.
    How do you know that?

    I am not saying that you are right or wrong but how do you know that you would be "outside your power band".
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  49. #49
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,432
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    How do you know that?

    I am not saying that you are right or wrong but how do you know that you would be "outside your power band".
    It's pretty basic in understanding, like doing a decline bench press vs doing a flat, incline, or military press. Years of efficiency doing it one way generates a contrast in efficiency doing it another. Even runners find changing up their form can affect their efficiency noticeably. Swimmers too... it's just temporary really.

    People have their own margins of adaptability. They're tolerant of a certain amount of error, unpredictability, unfamiliarity, etc. I guess this guy wanted to put a foot down and refuse to believe this is an improvement. Happens with every change, from Boost, to dropper posts, wide bars, short stems, 29ers, to carbon, to FS, etc. I happened to try 80d, and felt like there was still room to go steeper.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,050
    The numbers:

    2016 Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XXL (old bike)
    STA 67.7 ETT 66.6 CS 43.4 Reach 47.7 Stack 63.4

    2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy 4 XO1 (new bike)
    STA 76.0 ETT 67.8 CS 440 Reach 51.5 Stack 65.6

    Me: 199cm 88.4K (6'6" 195# ready to ride) I am leggy with a long inseam.

    For me the "new" geo is brilliant, especially with the seatpost extended
    correctly (98cm from seat rails to pedal spindle). My weight isn't over the rear axel like the FEX when I climb. I have better control up and down. I decided not to go for the longer travel options (Megatower or Hightower) because I didn't want to have to battle the rear suspension while climbing. For me it works better despite the weight penalty.

    Next week I am putting a Stages Power meter on the bike and will use my HR monitor to see how things really are. No mistaking the numbers.

  51. #51
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    It's pretty basic in understanding, like doing a decline bench press vs doing a flat, incline, or military press. Years of efficiency doing it one way generates a contrast in efficiency doing it another. Even runners find changing up their form can affect their efficiency noticeably. Swimmers too... it's just temporary really.

    People have their own margins of adaptability. They're tolerant of a certain amount of error, unpredictability, unfamiliarity, etc. I guess this guy wanted to put a foot down and refuse to believe this is an improvement. Happens with every change, from Boost, to dropper posts, wide bars, short stems, 29ers, to carbon, to FS, etc. I happened to try 80d, and felt like there was still room to go steeper.
    I think he wants to know how he determined it.

    You know, as in "with a power meter".
    Death from Below.

  52. #52
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I think he wants to know how he determined it.

    You know, as in "with a power meter".
    I am always curious when people are confident about something. I research this stuff pretty extensively and I cannot say with any kind of confidence that there is a relationship between seat angle and power output.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  53. #53
    Rippin da fAt
    Reputation: BansheeRune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6,595
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    How do you know that?

    I am not saying that you are right or wrong but how do you know that you would be "outside your power band".
    One can use a GPS to determine speed of any craft in operation. A GPS is very intuitive to use.
    I have been welding frames for more than 30 years and experimenting with variances in geometry. When I test using a known bike vs. using a prototype and GPS, I receive results. When I cannot spin a cadence where I expect, it is a loss regardless thus, I have another indicator of function.

    No power meter has been involved with my person, in my existence.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  54. #54
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I am always curious when people are confident about something. I research this stuff pretty extensively and I cannot say with any kind of confidence that there is a relationship between seat angle and power output.
    Once upon a time, I lived in a place (VA) with actual soil, where the traction was great, and the trails were steeper than they are here. Pretty common to encounter old fall line hiking trails with 20% grades for good stretches. No fire roads to the top, no pavement in sight. Not huge climbs like we have in CO, but required a serious grunt. 800ft gain per mile on actual, 2ft wide singletrack was a pretty common occurrence. Watch Jeremiah Bishop's YouTube videos to get an idea about the area.

    So, I had to adapt, or at least, I thought I did. I tried moving my saddle forwards. Moved it all the way forward on the rails. Rode it that way for more than a month, I think 5 or 6 weeks, going on my normal rides, normal efforts. Did my normal trails, fire road climbs, road rides to and from trails, etc.

    Despite being in very good shape, based on my fitness before the attempted adaptation period, I could never match the power and time I did up my favorite local trail, which is a ~6-7min climb. Did it over a dozen times in the 5-6 weeks (I've done this climb over a hundred times).

    Maybe it's my personal physiology, but I'd find that my quads would start burning much too quickly compared to my "normal" position, for a given average wattage. And, I suspected that the biggest muscles (posterior chain) were not being activated properly. Particularly on the steep sections, which was the end of the segment, I simply ran out of steam. The longer the effort, the worse the comparison would get. But, I kept the comparison within my "wheelhouse"; where I do best, compared to other people. 6-12min efforts, full gas, falling off the bike at the end.

    Now, I'll poke holes in my own testing. Yes, I could have tried a longer period of adaptation. Maybe shorter efforts, or longer efforts than I tested, would have been improved. Maybe I'd sprint better. I could go on and on.
    Death from Below.

  55. #55
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Now, I'll poke holes in my own testing. Yes, I could have tried a longer period of adaptation. Maybe shorter efforts, or longer efforts than I tested, would have been improved. Maybe I'd sprint better. I could go on and on.
    Did you raise your saddle as you moved the seat forward?
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  56. #56
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409

    Why does STA matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Did you raise your saddle as you moved the seat forward?
    Yes. Moving it forward alone decreased my leg extension and made me feel cramped.

    That said, maybe trying it at the lower saddle height (we’re talking millimeters here) might have been the magical elixir. However, it didn’t feel comfortable, in comparison to the higher saddle height. And, I’m one of those people that can feel a seatpost slip a couple of millimeters or a seat tilt down a couple degrees.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  57. #57
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Yes. Moving it forward alone decreased my leg extension and made me feel cramped.
    Then it sounds to me like you have pretty good indications that it didn't work for you.

    What makes me curious is why?
    -Hip angle?
    -Or did the forward position on that bike make you cramped.
    -Or is it that your long femurs just don't like a forward seat.

    I know from observation and bikes fits that elite-XC racers seem to like a position that is slightly and I mean slightly further forward and a bit higher than what they use to. I am not seeing a lot of layback seat post anymore and they were the goto design for a long time.

    I think since both of us are vertically challenged we never really experienced the pain of riding a long travel bike with a slack seat angle.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  58. #58
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post

    That said, maybe trying it at the lower saddle height (we’re talking millimeters here) might have been the magical elixir. However, it didn’t feel comfortable, in comparison to the higher saddle height. And, I’m one of those people that can feel a seatpost slip a couple of millimeters or a seat tilt down a couple degrees.
    I am a total princess when it comes to seat height and seat angle. I notice it if I have gained or lost weight and I have changed the padding on my arse. I know it actually doesn't make a difference but once it gets in my mind.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    I feel like there are alot of misconceptions in the thread. I know Im Still learning. I hope we all are. Otherwise why are we here. Like everyone else, i feel pretty confident about the way i see things too. So here are my thoughts on some of the things in the thread.

    Why are stacks growing... because we are descending steeper terrain. Dropping in on a super steep descent with 590 stack, a negative stem, and a 170mm fork would be down right scary! Certainly more the taller you are.

    Cotic rocket max has 448 cs. Sure. But did you notice that the small frame has less reach than chain stay. So a forward front weight bias when standing. The xl would require 520mm cs to have the same weight balance. This is what i mean about fup geometry. Poor bike design!

    no relationship between seat angle and power output. Your right. You can make power standing. But did you ever test standing too far back or too far forward. Do you still make the same power? Do you find there is a stance that makes the most power with the least effort? Same with seated position. The benefit of standing is that you can instantly vary the standing position to suit the terrain. Seated position is fixed and it only works best in a narrow window. Hopefully you spend the greatest amount of your riding time there.

    one benefit of a more rearward position is the ability to tire a diff group of muscles. A rider can then stand and use another set for a bit. Sitting to far forward can use more of your standing muscles all the time. Imo

    changing from a rearward position to a Forward one will require muscle retraining. I know when i switched from my ht to fully (40mm shorter top tube, same reach) that i noticed right away more emphasis on the quads during a ride. Its taken time to build those up. I was definitely less powerful at the start. But after time spent retraining, the only way to know i make more power is to quantify it. Power meter, stop watch, etc. Just because your climb was faster doesnt mean your Bike is faster everywhere. You may have just optimized the seated position for a specific portion of the ride.

    longer chainstays on an ebike. my hunch on this one has been that the Motor designs didnt let them utilize the cs length they wanted. Not till the levo sl motor came out. JMO. But because of the front heavy motor and battery i doubt anyone noticed the positive effects much. Probably a little too over corrected balance wise. Certainly a dramatic shift from what everyone was used to.

    my seated position is currently 1010mm seat to pedal. The little bit of fore aft on the seat doesnt do much for sta at that height. I find much more effect on sta by moving my size 14’s between a mid foot and balls of the feet pedalling stance. Maybe 60mm.

    cheers

  60. #60
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    I feel like there are alot of misconceptions in the thread. I know Im Still learning. I hope we all are. Otherwise why are we here. Like everyone else, i feel pretty confident about the way i see things too. So here are my thoughts on some of the things in the thread.

    Why are stacks growing... because we are descending steeper terrain. Dropping in on a super steep descent with 590 stack, a negative stem, and a 170mm fork would be down right scary! Certainly more the taller you are.

    ...snip
    First and foremost, a bike with a 590mm stack and a 170mm fork doesn't exist.

    Second, I don't believe stacks are growing, at least not across all applications and sizes. My current bike has a stack 20mm lower than the 2016 MY bike it replaced, with the same A-C.
    Death from Below.

  61. #61
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Then it sounds to me like you have pretty good indications that it didn't work for you.

    What makes me curious is why?
    -Hip angle?
    -Or did the forward position on that bike make you cramped.
    -Or is it that your long femurs just don't like a forward seat.

    I know from observation and bikes fits that elite-XC racers seem to like a position that is slightly and I mean slightly further forward and a bit higher than what they use to. I am not seeing a lot of layback seat post anymore and they were the goto design for a long time.

    I think since both of us are vertically challenged we never really experienced the pain of riding a long travel bike with a slack seat angle.
    Maybe it's just a product of bike design, but my wife has the same issues I do. She's a short woman riding a small frame, but has the leg proportions of a much taller person.

    Her legs are almost the same length as mine (36" to the greater trochanter for me, 35" for her) and she's only 5'1" (57% of her height!). On her gravel bike she's got a setback seatpost and the saddle is set rearward of dead center. The bike, a Cervelo Aspero, has a 74 degree STA, but in reality it's closer to 71 or 72 the way she has it set up.
    Death from Below.

  62. #62
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,432
    I don't subscribe to that belief, that it's a benefit to have the ability to tire a diff group of muscles, alternating between them. I simply trust that I become more efficient at what I repeat. There are systematic approaches to get over plateaus, like increasing the max number of pull-ups or push-ups you can do. Why not use the same concept to increase the endurance of your primary set of muscles for MTBing?

    If I spend 10 minutes riding up a specific climb in a specific gear and positioning, this routine becomes easier each time I repeat it. Trying it with a totally different style, such as climbing out-of-the-saddle in a taller gear, is going to feel tough, since it's mostly foreign to me. The saving grace is that I'm familiar with the climb to have some expectation, in order to better prepare myself. If I become familiar with the latter style, it becomes familiar enough to use on various other climbs, to the point that someone who does them seated might not understand how I can use such a style, thinking it's tough and painful, and potentially wasteful if they were to judge our differing paces. This unconventional style works simply because I invested time in training it to be efficient.

    In interviews with road cyclists, I hear that they believe that training on their TT position takes away time that they could've used to train on their normal bike, and that they rather not have such a compromise.

    Your point about the pedal axle being centered mid-foot rather than ball of foot is good. I often forget about that when explaining. Adopting a mid-foot style is a huge reason why I wish STA were even steeper, and can go steeper than 80d. 77d feels like a no-mans-land between 74 and 80d. With 74, I can sort of treat it like a chopper at least, and pull on the bars to brace against the direction I'm pushing the pedals from. With 80d, and a short crank arm, it's like more of a stair climber motion where picking up the opposite leg is important. With 77d, it feels like I can't really push against the pedals in a way in which my legs carry some of the weight of my upper body in a natural manner, so it ends up in limbo with me tweaking the cockpit to fine-tune my torso lean angle so my torso isn't "falling", prompting my arms to prop it up, preferring either an upright SUV captain position or a full tuck where it can't fall any further (elbows dropped).

    With bikes getting longer in WB, STA have room to get steeper. It'll stop when the seated position pretty much matches the standing position. Imaging a bike having a reach as long as a ETT--that's like a hand's width of extra reach to tack onto current frames. And here people are making a big deal of a thumb's width of difference in cockpit... I expect WB to not get too long, as they run into fitment issues, like overhanging hitch racks and bumping into door frames if wheeled through on its back wheel.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    828
    Quote Originally Posted by smashysmashy View Post
    1" in seat adjustment is up to 3 degrees in seat tube angle (depends how tall you are).
    Yeah, but thats only +/- 1.5 degree. For me, it's more like +/- 1.2 degrees. It helps, but it's definitely not as big of a change as bike geometry is making.

    The other thing a steeper STA can do is open the hip to torso angle which may help with producing force on the pedal. When you are basically folded in half I think you just have bio-mechanically less force production capability due to the lack of any leverage.

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    When you are basically folded in half I think you just have bio-mechanically less force production capability due to the lack of any leverage.
    I'm gonna go with no, since the most powerful cyclists in the world are going to be track sprinters, who ride in pretty extreme folded over positions...

    But that's about handlebar position in the end. in theory, you move the seat forward, you drop the bars lower, and you are in the "same" position, just rotated.

  65. #65
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    First and foremost, a bike with a 590mm stack and a 170mm fork doesn't exist.

    Second, I don't believe stacks are growing, at least not across all applications and sizes. My current bike has a stack 20mm lower than the 2016 MY bike it replaced, with the same A-C.


    so im full of s!$t.


    https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-CA/bikes/nomad

    what stack is on the xs.

    check the reach to cs length vs the xl

    care to wager which rider maxes out on a climb first. Xs or xl???

  66. #66
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409

    Why does STA matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    so im full of s!$t.


    https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-CA/bikes/nomad

    what stack is on the xs.

    check the reach to cs length vs the xl

    care to wager which rider maxes out on a climb first. Xs or xl???
    Truth be told, I didn’t even think about 27.5. Not really something I’d buy at this point. I can’t imagine a person a foot taller than me would, either.

    A Megatower, size M, 160mm fork has a 616mm stack.

    Also worth noting that a higher stack height will increase the likelihood that you’d pitch over the bars, not decrease it.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Death from Below.

  67. #67
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    What about front rear weight balance. Climbing and railing a turn.

    Pretty dramatic shift in ride dynamics wouldnt you say?

    Taller people have higher cg. So they are at greater risk of going over the bars period.

    That is why the shorter rider (lower cg) whose frame is much more front weighted, has a massive advantage climbing. And as you can see from looking at this one model it has nothing to do with seat tube angle as its fixed between sizes on the frame.

    ill take a longer reach bike with higher bars all day long. Just wish my frame had the ft/rr weight balance that a medium does.

    now as for stack. consider the relative height variation between cg height of a shorter rider and taller rider. I havent done the numbers. There will be a ratio of cg to stack between frame sizes. They all may be identical.

  68. #68
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,432
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Also worth noting that a higher stack height will increase the likelihood that you’d pitch over the bars, not decrease it.
    Is this true?

    Wouldn't a higher stack shorten the reach, making the bars further behind the front wheel, due to how the head tube and steerer are angled back?

    As an analogy, I picture a higher stack as extending the handle on a lawn mower to be longer, rather than adjusting it to be higher by steepening the angle.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    103
    Been eating my popcorn reading this! The main thing as alluded to in different points, everybody body is different and what might work for one does not work for others. Thou I would challenge people to actually get a bike fit and see if what they are praising is really proper for knees and hip positioning.

    The other thing I would caution on these step angle, if this causes you to engage your quads more. Eventually could make your quads stronger then your hamstrings. It is never good to have one more stronger then the other. Unless you do strength training to balance it out, you can be more susceptible to knee problems, ie tears.

  70. #70
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    What about front rear weight balance. Climbing and railing a turn.

    Pretty dramatic shift in ride dynamics wouldnt you say?

    Taller people have higher cg. So they are at greater risk of going over the bars period.

    That is why the shorter rider (lower cg) whose frame is much more front weighted, has a massive advantage climbing. And as you can see from looking at this one model it has nothing to do with seat tube angle as its fixed between sizes on the frame.

    ill take a longer reach bike with higher bars all day long. Just wish my frame had the ft/rr weight balance that a medium does.

    now as for stack. consider the relative height variation between cg height of a shorter rider and taller rider. I havent done the numbers. There will be a ratio of cg to stack between frame sizes. They all may be identical.
    Unless you are constantly at risk of losing traction, CG is mostly irrelevant when it comes to climbing. I suppose it could be a factor when you are going up a climb VERY quickly, and have to rail corners hard, but that's going to apply to relatively few people. But, those people are probably going to be on the small to medium height range, simply due to power to weight ratios. Big people simply don't gain enough extra wattage for their height to overcome their additional weight.

    That said, if you ARE at risk of losing traction going up a steep climb, lowering your CG (torso) will help there. And it will help keep the front wheel from popping up.
    Death from Below.

  71. #71
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Is this true?

    Wouldn't a higher stack shorten the reach, making the bars further behind the front wheel, due to how the head tube and steerer are angled back?

    As an analogy, I picture a higher stack as extending the handle on a lawn mower to be longer, rather than adjusting it to be higher by steepening the angle.
    If I have two identical concrete blocks (mass, shape) with a 36" steel picket sticking out of one, and a 48" picket sticking out of the other, at the same angle, which one do you think would be more easily tipped over?

    I'd guess it would be the one with the 48" picket. It's a longer lever.

    However, what feels best to the rider might in fact be better, if it makes them more confident. If higher bars help someone let go of the brakes, that's better than lower bars and a lower CG, heading down a rocky descent, white knuckling.
    Death from Below.

  72. #72
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    5,432
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If I have two identical concrete blocks (mass, shape) with a 36" steel picket sticking out of one, and a 48" picket sticking out of the other, at the same angle, which one do you think would be more easily tipped over?

    I'd guess it would be the one with the 48" picket. It's a longer lever.

    However, what feels best to the rider might in fact be better, if it makes them more confident. If higher bars help someone let go of the brakes, that's better than lower bars and a lower CG, heading down a rocky descent, white knuckling.
    You're reducing the problem to a lever from front axle to the bars, and adding a rotational force at the upper end. You should keep it more of a bigger picture, considering there's a whole lot of stuff connected behind that head tube. The bike has more of a L shape (see attached).

    See how a rider is positioned each way. With lower bars, the rider's shoulders are lower, closer to the height of their CoG. They're more likely to be resting the weight of their hunched over bodies into the bars, to conserve the endurance of their back muscles. Push them forward, at the hips, and what's likely to happen? In comparison, push someone who is more upright, like with a forward boot to the ass, who has more of their weight on their feet. How would you predict it compares to the one with lower shoulders? Wouldn't the former be more likely to have an ass-over-shoulder scenario?

    How about an analogy with a pole vaulter trying to cross a stream with a grip on the pole that's closer to the front tip, vs one with a grip further from the front tip? Which needs more forward inertia to cross? (the angle of the pole would be adjusted by height difference between the bank and bottom of stream)

    I see benefits in having grips higher up. I pondered what the downsides would be, and couldn't really prove any that would convince to stay away. Was hoping you would have had a better answer in regards to proving increased OTB risk.

    Back to steep STA, I figure that dropper posts and shorter seat tubes enabled the exploration of steep STA (on top of longer wheelbases). The saddle tip would be interfering with range of movement otherwise. I've tried to ride with the saddle up on a 80d bike on the road, and that thing is in the way of pedaling, especially noticeable when sprinting up to speed after stopping at an intersection. Never thought I have to drop the saddle for that too...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why does STA matter?-riderless-bicycle-physics-diagram-science.jpg  

    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  73. #73
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    I don't subscribe to that belief, that it's a benefit to have the ability to tire a diff group of muscles, alternating between them. I simply trust that I become more efficient at what I repeat. There are systematic approaches to get over plateaus, like increasing the max number of pull-ups or push-ups you can do. Why not use the same concept to increase the endurance of your primary set of muscles for MTBing?.
    But here's the thing you're missing. I'm not talking about alternating between them. I never said anything like that.

    The GLUTES are the primary set of muscles involved in a powerful pedal stroke. They are far and away the most powerful set of muscles in the lower body. Not being able to properly activate them places the load on other, weaker muscles. Placing that load on those weaker muscles will result in fatiguing them earlier than had they been used to a lesser degree.

    As I said in my post to LMN, I suspected that my quads were becoming fatigued because I couldn't properly activate my glutes.
    Death from Below.

  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If I have two identical concrete blocks (mass, shape) with a 36" steel picket sticking out of one, and a 48" picket sticking out of the other, at the same angle, which one do you think would be more easily tipped over?

    I'd guess it would be the one with the 48" picket. It's a longer lever.

    However, what feels best to the rider might in fact be better, if it makes them more confident. If higher bars help someone let go of the brakes, that's better than lower bars and a lower CG, heading down a rocky descent, white knuckling.
    I understand exactly where your coming from. You are partly correct. There is just more going on. You also need to look at it a bit differently.

    being a short rider there is just no way you can understand what us clydes are talking about. Unless you want to try a 24" kids bike with the bars too low and close to your knees with a grabby front brake! In this situation you might tip the bike. But more likely you will find out what us clydes experience. our cg is high, we dont have the angular bracing to hold our cg back, wheels arent tall enough, we go off the front of the bike. The only time the bike levers over is if we keep holding on during our helmet test.

    put another way:
    when you go for a hike and want to walk down a steep hill. Do you pick up a 1 foot stick, bend over at the waist and use the stick to brace you while you walk down. Low cg right! Or do you pick up a 5 foot stick. Place the base out in front of you and then maintain a mostly vertical posture while you walk down the hill?

    Long front center (combination of slack fork angle and good reach) taller bars only because the front of the bike is further out and lower on the hill. Lighter hands. More Weight in the feet. Can still get low and in the attack position with elbows bent.

  75. #75
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    I understand exactly where your coming from. You are partly correct. There is just more going on. You also need to look at it a bit differently.

    being a short rider there is just no way you can understand what us clydes are talking about. Unless you want to try a 24" kids bike with the bars too low and close to your knees with a grabby front brake! In this situation you might tip the bike. But more likely you will find out what us clydes experience. our cg is high, we dont have the angular bracing to hold our cg back, wheels arent tall enough, we go off the front of the bike. The only time the bike levers over is if we keep holding on during our helmet test.

    put another way:
    when you go for a hike and want to walk down a steep hill. Do you pick up a 1 foot stick, bend over at the waist and use the stick to brace you while you walk down. Low cg right! Or do you pick up a 5 foot stick. Place the base out in front of you and then maintain a mostly vertical posture while you walk down the hill?

    Long front center (combination of slack fork angle and good reach) taller bars only because the front of the bike is further out and lower on the hill. Lighter hands. More Weight in the feet. Can still get low and in the attack position with elbows bent.
    Tall riders and short riders are searching for a different feel from their bike.

    At 165cm my bikes are stable. I have a low centre of gravity and the only time I go over the bar is when I put my front wheel is a hole. I am always searching for ways to make my bike more agile. It is a chore for me to get these long bikes with slack HA to turn. I am also searching for range of motion in all direction.

    Tall riders on the other hand have a ton of range of motion on their bikes, they can pump and absorb rollers that I cannot. Those long arms and legs make it really easy to move that bike around underneath them. But they are nearly as stable on their bikes and always looking for ways to make it more stable.

    The cool thing is both tall and short riders are successful. A couple of years ago the tallest and shortest rider were side by side on the podium at a WC DH.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    772
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    Tall riders and short riders are searching for a different feel from their bike.

    At 165cm my bikes are stable. I have a low centre of gravity and the only time I go over the bar is when I put my front wheel is a hole. I am always searching for ways to make my bike more agile. It is a chore for me to get these long bikes with slack HA to turn. I am also searching for range of motion in all direction.

    Tall riders on the other hand have a ton of range of motion on their bikes, they can pump and absorb rollers that I cannot. Those long arms and legs make it really easy to move that bike around underneath them. But they are nearly as stable on their bikes and always looking for ways to make it more stable.

    The cool thing is both tall and short riders are successful. A couple of years ago the tallest and shortest rider were side by side on the podium at a WC DH.

    finally! Totally agree. Somewhere between an xs and an xxl is the perfect size. With bikes these days costing more than motorcycles, I feel the industry owes us more. Sram builds the drivetrain and suspensions, wheels tires hubs from another. They just need to make a frame. Judging by the proliferation of bike brands, there has to be some cash in the business or people would be doing something else. Its time they started making size specific frames. Even if this means mullet 26/27.5” for xs frames. Clydes want better shock leverage ratios and longer chain stays.

    my wife rocked a 2017 norco fluid xs in 26” tires. It was a great bike. Thank you Norco for building size specific frames.

  77. #77
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,533
    THey put you over the crank/BB so that you get more power on the downward stroke and compensate for bikes with slack front ends by shifting your position more center-forward and closer into the stack- reach of the frame. I really like for climbing and with a dropper post the seats completely out of the way descending allowing you hover over the bike.

  78. #78
    Rider
    Reputation: TylerVernon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    378
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    But here's the thing you're missing. I'm not talking about alternating between them. I never said anything like that.

    The GLUTES are the primary set of muscles involved in a powerful pedal stroke. They are far and away the most powerful set of muscles in the lower body. Not being able to properly activate them places the load on other, weaker muscles. Placing that load on those weaker muscles will result in fatiguing them earlier than had they been used to a lesser degree.

    As I said in my post to LMN, I suspected that my quads were becoming fatigued because I couldn't properly activate my glutes.
    As an unrepentant lover of climbing steep grades, this is the same conclusion I have come to. On a road bike, as the grade approaches 20% I can feel myself naturally hunching over the bars to get the most glute power possible, but then if it gets even steeper I'll get out of the saddle. BUT on a mountain bike, out of the saddle is far more awkward than a road bike, where the position is rhythmic and almost natural. I'm sure most of this is hand position. Maybe I should try bar ends again.

    Mtb geo has gotten longer in reach, slacker in head angle, AND with droppers, all in search of that security on the downs. Personally, I'm 80% of the way toward security with the dropper. These longer reaches and 65 hta on trail bikes are too much for my personal riding style and trails. (since this is a thread about 130mm bikes)

  79. #79
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,051
    Quote Originally Posted by TylerVernon View Post
    BUT on a mountain bike, out of the saddle is far more awkward than a road bike, where the position is rhythmic and almost natural. I'm sure most of this is hand position. Maybe I should try bar ends again.
    I think on a mountain bike we are too cramped when we get out of the saddle. To be able climb well out of the saddle you need to be able to extend your arms. This is also why the super low front end is still the way to go for elite mens XC racing (men climb out of the saddle way more than women). And yes, bar ends are awesome.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 09-02-2014, 07:35 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-19-2012, 03:11 PM
  3. Replies: 34
    Last Post: 11-08-2008, 02:28 AM
  4. Stupid weight question... why does it matter?
    By jmcgonig in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-06-2006, 11:36 AM
  5. why does the rotor/brake combo matter?
    By MxFlyer43 in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-16-2006, 03:23 PM

Members who have read this thread: 210

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.