Wet cat geometry?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    wot no bike?
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    New question here. Wet cat geometry?

    For the second time recently I've heard the term, "wet cat geometry" -- what is that? Heavily sloping TT and short chainstays or something? I'm just trying to picture what a cat looks like when it's all wet.

    Also, will I be adding this phrase to the list of buzzwords like "epic" and "weak sauce" and other overused terms?
    pete

  2. #2
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    2008 Rig

  3. #3
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    From Vassago's website:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vassago Cycles website
    ... Our long wheelbases, steep seat tubes and slack head tubes made us true blasphemers in the frame design world.
    Interesting Vassago doesn't say how long, how steep or how slack.

    Being someone who employs long cranks (195mm to be exact), I appreciate a steep seat angle, so I like this. In the 24 years I've been riding off-road bicycles, I've owned bikes with everything from 68-73 degree head angles. Yes, too steep is too steep -- I learned this the hard way when I helped design my 1994 custom CoMotion. But then, too slack is too slack as well. Numbers do matter. We need to know what the numbers are in order to quantify what's going on.

    As for chainstay length, I've owned (26") frames with stays as long as 18.25" and as short as 16". Personaly, I like the way the long stays descend and the way the shorter ones climb, especially when out of the saddle. For out-of-the-saddle climbing, the closer the rear axle is to the bottom bracket, the better the traction. This is because when standing, the BB is where the weight is, and the closer the tire's contact patch is to the weight, the better.

    Sports cars and busses handle differently partly because of the difference between their wheelbases. Not everyone wants to drive a sports car. Not everyone wants to drive a bus. So we need to know which we're buying.

    It isn't magic when a frame rides well. It all boils down to measurements, angles and tube dimensions and frame materials. These are physical realities, not magic. I'm willing to leave this stuff to the designer/builder for the most part, but to a certain degree I want to understand what it is and why it works before I spread my wallet. I realize this stuff isn't as important to some people as it is to others. But personally, I want to know; I want to understand.

    --Sparty
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  4. #4
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    if you look at each model they give you specifics

    http://vassagocycles.com/jabberwocky.html

  5. #5
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    Chainstay lenghts are around 17.9" on the Vassago frames I believe. Long ETTs and steep 74 degreeish seat tubes. I think bb height is reasonable at around 12" or so.

  6. #6
    You know, for kids
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    I prefer the wet cat over several other frames I've ridden
    disclaimer: I sell and repair bicycles

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by madcap
    I prefer the wet cat over several other frames I've ridden
    Which frames and why? More information would be great. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    i'm in this same boat... from the sounds of the manufacturer... and from the reviews i've seen, the wet cat geometry is something special. i'm 6'4", so the lower i am to the ground, the happier i'm going to be.

    i'm looking at this jabberwocky business... and sizing it up against a GF RIG or a GT peace 9r. the numbers don't really mean anything to me... but i don't have a dealer even in my state to check out the way it feels. i don't know... all i know is i need the 20"...

    i talked to a couple authorized dealers, and several employees at all the shops (like 5) had vassago bikes... and there was nothing but love.

    so... who's got love for the wet cat?


  9. #9
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    moist feline?

    If they have Wet Cat Geometry, then what's a Salsa Mamacita?

    Wet Ho-Bag?

  10. #10
    You know, for kids
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Which frames and why? More information would be great. Thanks.

    I've ridden regular MonoCog frames, the Redline Flight frames, and a Fisher Rig. The Vassago to me was more compliant and stable, it just felt more natural and therefore comfortable and confidence inspiring.
    disclaimer: I sell and repair bicycles

  11. #11
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    Seems to be all about stability, being in the bike and not on it etc., but is it still flickable? (i.e. wheelies, bunnyhops and general hooning)

    I'm eyeing a Jabberwocky for a singlespeed funbike project

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by helgi
    is it still flickable? (i.e. wheelies, bunnyhops and general hooning)
    Photo by Mike Kegley:
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  13. #13
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    why do I have a feeling that riderx could have done that on any bike he threw a leg over? But then again - knowing he is a kickass rider - I guess it says something when he chooses to ride a Vassago. Cool photo! Nice skills!

  14. #14
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    I should have noted in my earlier post that I'm few weeks into testing the Vassago. You can check out some of my initial thoughts and impressions in 3 or 4 posts on my blog. Full review at a later date.
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  15. #15
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    Niiice, looking forward to the full review.

    I was just thinking that it'd be difficult to get the front wheel of the ground with such a long wheelbase, but then again rule #1 of wetcat seems to be "screw the numbers"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Photo by Mike Kegley:

    [email protected]@AAAMMMNNNN! Nice shot!

  17. #17
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    Not to knock Vassago (nice bikes) but Sherwood (Ventana) has been building 29ers with steeper STA's and longer chainstays for a while.

    Wet Cat? A marketing term. No biggie. Personally, I feel that Vassago makes a fine frame and delivers the goods.

  18. #18
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    Just one fix

    OK, here's another one. Swapped the Jabberwocky over to fixed gear and then took it out for some torture testing Saturday before heading up to the Dirt Rag Punk Bike Enduro. Landing zone is somewhere outside of the picture.
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  19. #19
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    Had a Jabberwocky since August. Only MTB ridden since. It just seems to fit. I run my Reba @ 100mm. Still faster than riding group in the Single Track, great climber and very compliant but not soft. I do have bunny hop problems compared to some 26" bikes but may be my set up. Love to have the new Ti version. Forgot the name.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    I should have noted in my earlier post that I'm few weeks into testing the Vassago. You can check out some of my initial thoughts and impressions in 3 or 4 posts on my blog. Full review at a later date.
    In your blog you note that it climbs pretty well for seated climbing. Have you gotten a sense at all of what it is like for out of the saddle climbing with the longish chainstays? Does the rear wheel stay planted or do you feel a sort of light rear wheel sensation?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    In your blog you note that it climbs pretty well for seated climbing. Have you gotten a sense at all of what it is like for out of the saddle climbing with the longish chainstays? Does the rear wheel stay planted or do you feel a sort of light rear wheel sensation?
    Does just fine out of the saddle. In fact, I probably do most of my climbing out of the saddle as I'm a masher.

    One reason I probably like the frame and handling is because the numbers are so freakin' close to my Kelly Ro Sham Bo. I tend to rave about how they (Kelly) "got it right" on the 29er geometry. This is good news for those who liked the Kelly geo but can't get one now. Kelly still has their web site up so you can see their numbers for comparison.
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  22. #22
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    RetroS,

    You mention that the frame is compliant but not soft. How rigid is the bb area of the Jabberwocky? Is there flex in the bb when you mash the pedals on climbs?

    I am quite interested in this frame so I appreciate any feedback you can provide!

    Thanks,

    SSK

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroS
    H.... Love to have the new Ti version. Forgot the name.
    Optimus Ti

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by single speed kid
    RetroS,

    You mention that the frame is compliant but not soft. How rigid is the bb area of the Jabberwocky? Is there flex in the bb when you mash the pedals on climbs?

    I am quite interested in this frame so I appreciate any feedback you can provide!

    Thanks,

    SSK
    I'm not RetroS, but since he hasn't answered yet I'll chime in.

    The frame is steel, it will flex a little. I don't notice it on the climbs and I can best be described as a masher. But if I'm sitting in the parking lot I can watch it happen. Same with my Surly 1x1 and Kelly. This is not bad in my opinion as I don't want a super stiff aluminum bike that doesn't yield. For someone else, they may not like it. And it may be noticeable to an uber clyde, but since I don't fall in that category so I can't answer from that perspective.

    Hope that helps.
    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
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  25. #25
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    riderx,

    Thanks for the feedback - highy appreciated!

    SSK

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    I'm not RetroS, but since he hasn't answered yet I'll chime in.

    The frame is steel, it will flex a little. I don't notice it on the climbs and I can best be described as a masher. But if I'm sitting in the parking lot I can watch it happen. Same with my Surly 1x1 and Kelly. This is not bad in my opinion as I don't want a super stiff aluminum bike that doesn't yield. For someone else, they may not like it. And it may be noticeable to an uber clyde, but since I don't fall in that category so I can't answer from that perspective.

    Hope that helps.
    I'm 250lbs and notice the flex while standing still but not while riding, just like you
    disclaimer: I sell and repair bicycles

  27. #27
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    Does anyone know what the wheelbase is on the 20"?
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    From Vassago's website:


    Interesting Vassago doesn't say how long, how steep or how slack.

    Being someone who employs long cranks (195mm to be exact), I appreciate a steep seat angle, so I like this. In the 24 years I've been riding off-road bicycles, I've owned bikes with everything from 68-73 degree head angles. Yes, too steep is too steep -- I learned this the hard way when I helped design my 1994 custom CoMotion. But then, too slack is too slack as well. Numbers do matter. We need to know what the numbers are in order to quantify what's going on.

    As for chainstay length, I've owned (26") frames with stays as long as 18.25" and as short as 16". Personaly, I like the way the long stays descend and the way the shorter ones climb, especially when out of the saddle. For out-of-the-saddle climbing, the closer the rear axle is to the bottom bracket, the better the traction. This is because when standing, the BB is where the weight is, and the closer the tire's contact patch is to the weight, the better.

    Sports cars and busses handle differently partly because of the difference between their wheelbases. Not everyone wants to drive a sports car. Not everyone wants to drive a bus. So we need to know which we're buying.

    It isn't magic when a frame rides well. It all boils down to measurements, angles and tube dimensions and frame materials. These are physical realities, not magic. I'm willing to leave this stuff to the designer/builder for the most part, but to a certain degree I want to understand what it is and why it works before I spread my wallet. I realize this stuff isn't as important to some people as it is to others. But personally, I want to know; I want to understand.

    --Sparty
    yup, that's my style. bike geometry is great kick! i am very curious about it..
    it's interesting that we went from bikes w/ long chainstays and short front ends to short stays and long front. check those old steve potts: bb is right in the middle of wheelbase, top tubes are really short. cramped? maybe... but handling is phenomenal. you can do anything on it.
    i see matt chester took a lot of inspiration from the old school . his bikes have loong stays and the steep head angles create short fronts but keep the top tubes relatively long.
    i have a bike w/ old school geometry including a 13in tall bb. it handles very different. chainstays are 17.25, wheelbase is 41in. it is nimble and at the same time glues on the ground due to the long rear. i have this bike for 12 yrs now..
    last year i built a fat chance wicked just because of the long chainstays and short front center. i don't like the 72 seat angle though.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  29. #29
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    I've dealt with a few wet cats in my day,they can be very tricky

  30. #30
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    Make sure you are wearing a wet suit when you go to dry the wetcat, it gives them something ti cling too that is not your skin

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    check those old steve potts: bb is right in the middle of wheelbase,
    Are you sure? That would make for a REALLY short front center (or REALLY long chain stays). "Cramped" would be an understatement.
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

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