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In speaking to a number of people in the business - the new centered in Bike feel position is in some cases making flat - fire road - trail riding uncomfortable ...
So while reach is extended - you’re now feeling out front a lot more ...

Agreed ?


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Reach should increase to keep the seated position roomy and comfortable. You might feel a bit more pressure on your hands on flat terrain because your seat will end up higher to keep leg extension the same. Overall on the trail it's much more comfortable. Demo some bikes and find out for yourself.
 

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My new-to-me 2018 Shred Dogg feels so much more planted on steep climbs than my Reign ever did. Basically all my favorite rides involve a lot of steep climbing, so I'm sold. I'll happily accept the consequences on flat terrain since I try to avoid that anyway, but YMMV. STA is irrelevant for descending--if you're sitting on the descent you're doing it wrong, very wrong (catching your breath because you're gassed out excepted).
 

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The cutoff for what's uncomfortable or not is going to vary from rider to rider. Frame geo determines fit. If the bike doesn't fit, then look elsewhere.

For me, on the particular bike I have, I feel a bit more pressure on my hands, but I've made some adjustments and no longer have any discomfort. I do feel like I'm approaching a limit on how steep the seat tube angle can be for me to remain comfortable, however, so it's something I'll be aware of. Not everyone is going to have the same threshold I do. Some will be lower, some higher.

Just buy what fits you. If a particular shop doesn't carry anything that fits, then keep looking.
 

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The cutoff for what's uncomfortable or not is going to vary from rider to rider. Frame geo determines fit. If the bike doesn't fit, then look elsewhere.

For me, on the particular bike I have, I feel a bit more pressure on my hands, but I've made some adjustments and no longer have any discomfort. I do feel like I'm approaching a limit on how steep the seat tube angle can be for me to remain comfortable, however, so it's something I'll be aware of. Not everyone is going to have the same threshold I do. Some will be lower, some higher.

Just buy what fits you. If a particular shop doesn't carry anything that fits, then keep looking.
I was also looking hard at Transitions, and one of the reasons I went with GG was because I was smack between sizes on Transition's size chart and right in the middle of GG's sizing. The Shred Dogg fits perfect, so I'm pretty sure I would have felt cramped or stretched out on a Transition.
 

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A new geo bike shouldn’t feel all that different regardless of the situation, but if anything I’d say you should feel less cramped. I went from a 445mm reach to a 475mm, 50mm-> 40mm stem, and am finally able to have my seat over the cranks enough with a 76° SA and the seat slammed forward. Body position feels almost identical to my old set up but peddling and weight distribution feel much improved. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing STA go closer to the 78° mark. Overall I’m very happy with the way bike geo is going.
 

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In speaking to a number of people in the business - the new centered in Bike feel position is in some cases making flat - fire road - trail riding uncomfortable ...
So while reach is extended - you're now feeling out front a lot more ...

Agreed ?

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No, there are too many variables at play here to make blanket statements. I have short femurs and love a steep STA in all scenarios. I rejoice that I can finally find bikes with steep STAs, while others may not. Mainly bikes with slacker HTAs and more travel have the steep STAs and bikes made for flatter locals don't. If you ride somewhere flat get a bike suited for it.
 

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One factor that isn't really being examined, besides femur length, is hip width, and how that relates to saddle width.

I see plenty of people riding so far back on the saddle that you can't see any of it when they are seated. I have narrow hips, and riding like that is simply not a possibility for me. On the same saddle, I'd be sitting an inch or two more forward compared to others, because my hips and "sit bones" simply can't go any further back.
 

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In speaking to a number of people in the business - the new centered in Bike feel position is in some cases making flat - fire road - trail riding uncomfortable ...
So while reach is extended - you're now feeling out front a lot more ...

Agreed ?
I don't find the new steep STAs comfortable to ride so I use a setback dropper, which helps somewhat. I took my trail bike on a longer ~50km ride with significant seated flat sections recently. With a setback dropper I find that bike comfortable on our steep techy trails, but when I was seated for a good spell without getting up out of the saddle frequently it was still too steep.

I had thought about using that bike for some bikepacking, but reconsidered and will use an older bike with a slacker STA that I know is comfortable for extended flat/rolling seated riding.

I don't think there is one right answer on the topic. Different people will come down on different sides of the issue, but I do think it's fair to say that going relentlessly steeper with STAs is not going to work for everyone.

I've started to cross potential bikes off my metal shopping list because the STAs are so steep that even with a 1" setback dropper I can't get it to a comfortable/efficient pedalling position.
 

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Some bikes yes and some no---bike specific. For me Transition Smuggler and the new Ripley are too cramped but the Pivot T429 fits well===I think you just need to buy what fits--it is not just one angle but the entire geo that will tell.
 

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Some bikes yes and some no---bike specific. For me Transition Smuggler and the new Ripley are too cramped but the Pivot T429 fits well===I think you just need to buy what fits--it is not just one angle but the entire geo that will tell.
This^^^ Just like before steep seatubes, not all frames fit the same.
 

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I don't find the steeper STA bikes cramped. But I didn't like the way they felt. The seat position feels like the only time it's comfortable is when you are climbing. When you're on rolling terrain it feels ungainly. When you push the seat down it feels like it's "right there" and instead of being able to pinch the nose of the seat with your thighs when you're pushing it around, it feels like it's hitting the wide part and banging up my legs.
 

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Cramped, no. But I sort of do agree that they're uncomfortable on long flat roads, if its a big bike.


I guess a better question is if you care or not? I didnt buy a 160mm bike to ride on flat smooth roads. If the climbing ability compromises flat riding, I think thats a great compromise!

I absolutely love steep STA's! For the first time ever, I feel like mountain bikes actually fit me. Any downside (like the flats) is massively overshadowed by how much better it works everywhere else. Not everyone likes them, but if your body type works for it, it works well.
 

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I would agree. I like the steep seat angles for climbing, but on flats and low grade climbs the bike is not comfortable.

That is probably why you do not see super steep seat angles on XC bikes or road bikes.
 

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One factor that isn't really being examined, besides femur length, is hip width, and how that relates to saddle width.

I see plenty of people riding so far back on the saddle that you can't see any of it when they are seated. I have narrow hips, and riding like that is simply not a possibility for me. On the same saddle, I'd be sitting an inch or two more forward compared to others, because my hips and "sit bones" simply can't go any further back.
Hip width could be a factor.

However, usually if someone is sitting way back on the saddle they are doing so because their seat is too low. And if you are on the nose of your saddle it may mean your saddle is a bit high.
 

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I guess I bought my bike to ride any trail. I'm lucky enough to live someplace with some decent elevation but even then you get traverses and other stuff like that. My bike has an effective STA just a little short of 75 and it feels pretty good all around for me.
 
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