Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
21 - 29 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Obsessively progressing
Joined
·
261 Posts
One thing I disagree with on this second video is that the "arms locked hanging back" position isn't suited for old school geometry. That's the first thing you learn in "how to go OTB 101". It's just really poor technique born form ignorance and fear in the early days of mountain biking. I get on my old 26" bike from the mid 90's or my more modern trail bike I'm attacking a rolling drop in the same position, chest down arms bent pushing the front wheel down the drop. Because of the more forward bias weight distribution and much shorter wheelbase I do need to be further back on the 90's bike than the 2020's bike but the technique is the same. He says and I'm paraphrasing "if you ride with your arms locked like this you might like older geometry". In reality he should be saying "don't ride like this it's a terrible way to ride".
I agree the phrasing could use some clarification...I think his point is that the front center of older bikes was incredibly short, with longer chainstays in the rear. To be "centered" you had to be further back on the bike. What you're saying about locked arms and high position is absolutely true on any bike. I think the overarching point here is that old geo caused poor posture for spicy features and trails. Did some figure it out and make it work? Sure. Give anyone long enough on any apparatus and they'll find a way to excel at it. I think that arguably we've made it easier to be stable and aggressive with modern geo.
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
32,576 Posts
Interesting; and sorry I am not intending to troll this discussion. But drag13honda ask if it boils down to sizing when discussing new vs old geometry. How many out there feel that the new MTB works best with a dropper seat. How many feel it ONLY works with a dropper seat?? Stability, climbing ability and comfort are more important to me downhill speed.

I am just starting to look at the new geometry and hope to keep the new bike as simple as possible. I am retiring in a few years and need new bikes while I can afford to pay for them.
My ride is a 2000 Seven Sola that, if not for the larger tubes and somewhat sloping top tube, could pass for a road bike frame. Its past time for an upgrade, but there are so many issues to address this may take a lot of work.
Droppers are kinda independent from the rest of the bike. Once you get used to a dropper, then riding any mtb without one feels awkward, regardless of the frame geometry. Yes, a steeper seat tube puts you more directly above the bb, and therefore higher up, which exaggerates the awkwardness of trying to do some things with the seat all the way up. But if you're not used to a dropper in the first place, then it's subtle and you may not even notice the difference.

Modern geometry isn't really something that riders need to get lost in details over. It doesn't really change sizing for everyone, or even most people. For some people, it might. For most, sizing is about the same. But it DOES tweak your riding position. It centers you on the bike much better. Old geometry with long stems biased rider weight too far forward. Sure, a forward bias is helpful for climbing, but it ruins your descending position. You can see an extreme example of how this played out on old geo mtbs by looking at some old crash footage on youtube where riders are endoing over stuff that even folks on modern xc race bikes would barely even notice.


The important thing is not to get lost in the details. That's a very easy thing to do. Evaluate each bike on its own merits. Accept that a new bike is going to feel different than an old one. You're going to have to make some adjustments to your body positioning and how you ride with a new mtb. In the end, it's really no different from being able to adjust to varying terrain. If you have a hard time doing that, then your skills are the limitation, not the bike.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
@Harold I think one thing to keep in mind is that old bike were on the bike, and bike had a very short area where you would stay on two wheel, where as modern bike, EVEN XC bikes) are longer and allow more ROM with out leaving that area between two wheels.

but honestly I still have 2008 hardtail set up as gravel bike. That bike does rolling terrain seated at pedaling height far better than my 2014 Giant Trance, 2021 Nimble 9 or 2021 Transition Sentinel. all of which feel like **** on rolling terrain unless I drop the post. My gravel bike has a dropper but I feel I can go though flat turn high posted better than the others but it STA is 72 degrees....versus 75-68 degrees.
 

·
Disgruntled Peccary
Joined
·
2,989 Posts
Strapping a cooler to your head, wearing hockey pads, short frames with steep HTAs, and Vee brakes. Yea, things are way better now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
OP is an in-betweener like me. You should really sit on a few bikes and compare sizing for yourself. I used to always size up, but now, I'm not so sure I would on all bikes. Luckily the bike I'm on now, Santa Cruz sizes differently than some others, and I'm right in the middle of the size range, so no need to guess, and it fits great.
 

·
Registered
Obsessively progressing
Joined
·
261 Posts
I don't like excessively boiling things down, but from old bike to new, I would look at ETT and Stack. Standovers are low, unless an XC specific bike. The ETT is going to tell you how it rides seated, how it feels pedaling up hills and on flats. Stack is part of this in a way too. How hunched down or upright you are seated. Comparing reach, HTA, STA, CSL, etc. from an old-to-new bike is not going to translate well. You want the most reach you can get with a reasonably comfortable pedaling posture. That's as boiled down as I can make it, and it's just one man's opinion.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,292 Posts
I don't like excessively boiling things down, but from old bike to new, I would look at ETT and Stack. Standovers are low, unless an XC specific bike. The ETT is going to tell you how it rides seated, how it feels pedaling up hills and on flats. Stack is part of this in a way too. How hunched down or upright you are seated. Comparing reach, HTA, STA, CSL, etc. from an old-to-new bike is not going to translate well. You want the most reach you can get with a reasonably comfortable pedaling posture. That's as boiled down as I can make it, and it's just one man's opinion.

I think you have to look at STA to understand how it will feel climbing seated.

My 2011 Anthem X 29er sucked on Steep climbs despite being faster due to it light weight, but my 2021 Sentinel on steep climbs feels way more comfortable just sitting and spinning. My COM is infront of the rear wheel on the Sentinel on steep climb where on the Anthem I had to really get my chest low and keep my weight forward while climbing.

I know this is a Enduro bike versus and XC bike 10 year apart but seat tube angle is single most important geo number on steep seated climbs.
 

·
Registered
Obsessively progressing
Joined
·
261 Posts
I think you have to look at STA to understand how it will feel climbing seated.
You do, but probably in conjunction with front center. Manufacturers are very often making chainstays of the same length on all sizes. A Small frame will be more centered than the XL with the same CSL. It's definitely more noticeable with a longer front center.
 

·
Registered
Stock 2021 Giant Trance 29 3: Deore, Bomber Z2
Joined
·
127 Posts
OP-I'm about your size and shape (long torso short inseam). I had been riding an old school hardtail in size L for years before I test rode the new bike I wanted in M and L. Both bikes felt ok, but on the M, I felt that my knees were too close to the bars. It makes sense when you consider that I have been riding a large all that time. I bought the large and am glad about it, but I may well have been able to get used to the medium just as easily, especially with adjustments to seat and stem.

One thing I noticed right away about the new geometry is that the bottom brackets are lower requiring adjustments to technique to avoid pedal strikes. This took a bit of time but is fine now.

Another thing I noticed is that the front wheels of the new bikes are way out front chopper-style. I think it is related to head tube angle and a measurement called, "trail." Anyway, the front wheel felt top heavy and floppy and hard to control at low speeds. I got used to that quickly too. It makes the bike roll over things more easily and combined with the long wheelbase, makes it feel much less like I'm going to endo.

In summary, I love the new geometry, but it does take a bit of getting used to.
 
21 - 29 of 29 Posts
Top