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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was actually good at geometry in school, but suck when it comes to bikes. I haven't had too many bikes yet, and just got my 2nd mountain bike. The first is a Raleigh Mojave 29er. I think it actually handles pretty decent after all the upgrades I gave it, but again, don't have a large experience base to judge it against. So recently, I picked up a Salsa Mukluk, and (other than the obviously larger tires) there are some handling differences I didn't expect, and I'm just trying to figure out why. So the first one I noticed, is that with the exact same chain stay length, and a longer wheelbase on the Mukluk, and about 10 extra lbs on the Mukluk, the front wheel of the Mukluk is much easier to loft/wheelie/manual, etc. It seems like it should be the opposite.

The 2nd thing I notice is that the rear tire is a lot easier to lock up and skid around a corner on the Mukluk (unintentionally). Would that be geometry, my technique, or components? It seems kind of opposite to have both a light back and front end with the longer wheelbase.

The third thing I notice is that there is a lot more "flop" on the Mukluk. I know "flop" is an actual term, but I don't know if I'm using it right. What I mean is that at slow speeds, if you turn the handlebars, the bike wants to fall off to that side a lot more. Is that just the large tires? The bigger offset? Anyway, the geometry of both bikes is attached for comparison...help edumacate me!
 

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I would say your BB position Front, Back and Height positions and Handle Bar Front, Back and Height positions make up how a bike will handle... relative to your wheels. But also taking into account fork angle, suspension, rake....

Your BB is a little higher on the Mukluk, and without knowing the rest of the set up, I would say you have a more forward position on the bike. Therefore less weight on the rear.
Good idea to check out the position of your handle bars on each bike and see what you think.

But lets not discount Tires... and everything else. So without the rest of the info anyone will still be guessing.
 

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BB on the Mukluk is lower. Things that affect front end lifting include stem length, effective top tube & bar height. The closer the handlebars are to you, the easier it is to lift it. Look for leverage differences.

Things affecting the rear brake locking are more likely to not be geometry based, rather just brake efficiency and how well they are adjusted.

Front wheel flop is related to head angle, so slacker head angle equals more flop. I'm not entirely sure if, or how, trail (offset based) affects flop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to Stevob for the good advice. Mostly the part about "Look for leverage differences." So I take my tape measure out and start comparing cockpits instead of just published geometry. The seat to handlebar measurement is almost identical between the two bikes (within 1/4"). The Mukluk does have the bars about an inch higher off of the ground, but I don't think that would make such a big difference. So I'm looking at the Muk., thinking, and then I realize...the other minor issue I've been having is toe overlap....oh, and would you look at that, interesting that the brake on the Muk. is on the opposite side of the wheel than the Raleigh.

Doh...some dufus assembled the fork backwards. Can I give myself negative rep points for being a bonehead? So I flip the bars around and take it out for a spin, and what do you know, but it isn't nearly as wheelie happy. But that almost takes half the fun out of it. I might have to run it backwards on occasion just for the heck of it. My only weak excuse is that it is my first non-road bike with rigid forks. I guess I'll know what to look for next time.

Ironically, this isn't completely the first time that has happened to me. I was racing once, and crashed with a relatively minor low-side. I pick the bike back up, and the handlebars are twisted about 30 degrees. So I straighten them out, and keep on riding. Little did I know, the handle bars had actually twisted 120 degrees, so I was actually riding with my fork backwards. But the race was almost over anyway, so I just finished that way.
 

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lol...omg...fork backwards...at least you're man enough to admit it.

Turning the fork around to it's correct position will probably lower the front a little too. Raise the bars a bit to compensate.
 
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