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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading about the new geometry measurements, reach and stack that are useful in giving some indication on how the bike will feel when off the seat eg. standing in attack position.

How does reach and stack affect the ride feel? Ie. what would the difference between a bike with a short reach vs a long reach? And a bike with a short stack vs a long stack?

Thanks for your feedback.
 

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horriefic said:
I have been reading about the new geometry measurements, reach and stack that are useful in giving some indication on how the bike will feel when off the seat eg. standing in attack position.

How does reach and stack affect the ride feel? Ie. what would the difference between a bike with a short reach vs a long reach? And a bike with a short stack vs a long stack?

Thanks for your feedback.
Reach and stack is how I compare frames for fit.

Can not really say how the ride changes with different dimensions. I use it to match the basic fit of each of my bike (along with a few other measurements).
 

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It's about showing up.
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Generally an experienced rider has established their position on the bike based upon effective power output and handling needs. While bike geometries may have changed along with materials, the position of the saddle and hands need not change. The variety of bars, seatposts, stems, and spacers make possible the adaptation of a bike to a riders preferred postion.

The same variety, though, can be a challenge to the newer rider who has yet to establish a riding position as all the chioces simply make for confusion. Ths site is full of riders asking for advice on how to understand and manage position and cockpit size. The consequent discussions are like chasing one's tail with the panoply of beliefs and "what-you-otta-dos" expressed all without ever seeing the OP on an actual bike.

I would suggest asking around your area for someone to fit you on your bike. Estalishing just who is an actual authority is a subject for a long and chaotic thread with little concensus. A "good" bike shop can get you close as can a highly experienced rider friend or coach. After that there are any number of "experts", either with a plumb-bob and tape measure or a computer to achieve a fit. I have found them all very useful for myself, my son, and my teams.

I do a pretty good fit myself within 3 mm of cleat position in a susequent computerized fit for my son. Yet I have the advantage no fitter has: I ride with these guys all the time, often next to them as they ride, and see the effect of their position and nudge things to where I think they need to be. It takeas a lot of time.

It is important to understand that there are no guarantees or absolute truths. Anyone trained to fit, in whatever method, believes in a specific goals as truth. Further, fit changes with skill, stamina, and the fitness during your season. That fit is so challenging doesn't mean it should not be attempted.

You would do well to research fit in your area and make a start. From there you can make adjustments.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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OP, glancing at your profile, you say you don't have a bike yet.

Reach and stack are great for comparing frames and transferring a rider's fit from bike to bike, but I don't think they're really meaningful for someone buying a first bike. Ride a bunch of bikes, buy your favorite. When you buy your second one, you can use those numbers to try to either match it, or tweak the fit if it's not quite right.
 

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AndrwSwitch said:
OP, glancing at your profile, you say you don't have a bike yet.

Reach and stack are great for comparing frames and transferring a rider's fit from bike to bike, but I don't think they're really meaningful for someone buying a first bike. Ride a bunch of bikes, buy your favorite. When you buy your second one, you can use those numbers to try to either match it, or tweak the fit if it's not quite right.
Agreed, you really need to know how you want a bike to fit to make use of reach and stack numbers. Only took me ~15 years to figure that out, and I still tweak it a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input and feedback guys.

I forgot to update my profile. I currently ride a Banshee Spitfire (Medium frame) that has Reach 404mm and Stack 589mm. Great bike indeed! But I did also try a large Spitfire frame and found that even better for me. The large frame has Reach 430mm and Stack 589mm.

I am 5'11". With shoes, around 6'. Inseam is 30.5". So I have a long torso.

On my current Spitfire, I am using a 60mm stem. This is the shortest stem I could go. Any shorter (I tried 40mm) and I felt that I was way over the front tire in the attack position, and was not as stable (compared to my current 60mm stem) when going downhill on gnarly singletrack. With my long torso, I feel that the longer Reach on the Large frame of 430mm would be more suitable for me.

Now, I am planning to buy a steel hardtail. Shortlisted my choices to Ragley Blue Pig, Transition Transam and On-one 456 Summer Season. The reach and stacks of these frames are:
Ragley Blue Pig 18" Frame - Reach 408mm Stack 576mm. Standover is 31.9"
On-one 456 Summer Season Large Frame - Reach 416mm Stack 564mm. Standover is 29.4"
Transition Transam Large Rame - Reach 422mm Stack 613mm. Standover is 28.34"

I have chosen the frame sizes based on effective top tubes of between 23.5" (Blue Pig) to 24.25" (Transam). The 456 SS has an ETT of 23.9".

As you can see, the Transam has the longest reach. It also has the highest stack. Comparatively, the Blue Pig has a much shorter reach, and a stack that is lower by close to 1.5". But the standover on the Blue Pig is way higher, and even higher than my inseam so possibly this frame is too high for me?

Anyway, am just wondering how the Blue Pig will ride differently from eg. the Transam. Thus my question on how bikes with different reach and stacks ride differently.

More feedback and advice welcomed.
 

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horriefic said:
On my current Spitfire, I am using a 60mm stem. This is the shortest stem I could go. Any shorter (I tried 40mm) and I felt that I was way over the front tire in the attack position,
ummm...the longer stem will put you more over the front wheel.

More likely the shorter stem makes it more difficult to support your upper body.
 

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horriefic said:
Thanks for the input and feedback guys.

I forgot to update my profile. I currently ride a Banshee Spitfire (Medium frame) that has Reach 404mm and Stack 589mm. Great bike indeed! But I did also try a large Spitfire frame and found that even better for me. The large frame has Reach 430mm and Stack 589mm.

I am 5'11". With shoes, around 6'. Inseam is 30.5". So I have a long torso.

On my current Spitfire, I am using a 60mm stem. This is the shortest stem I could go. Any shorter (I tried 40mm) and I felt that I was way over the front tire in the attack position, and was not as stable (compared to my current 60mm stem) when going downhill on gnarly singletrack. With my long torso, I feel that the longer Reach on the Large frame of 430mm would be more suitable for me.

Now, I am planning to buy a steel hardtail. Shortlisted my choices to Ragley Blue Pig, Transition Transam and On-one 456 Summer Season. The reach and stacks of these frames are:
Ragley Blue Pig 18" Frame - Reach 408mm Stack 576mm. Standover is 31.9"
On-one 456 Summer Season Large Frame - Reach 416mm Stack 564mm. Standover is 29.4"
Transition Transam Large Rame - Reach 422mm Stack 613mm. Standover is 28.34"

I have chosen the frame sizes based on effective top tubes of between 23.5" (Blue Pig) to 24.25" (Transam). The 456 SS has an ETT of 23.9".

As you can see, the Transam has the longest reach. It also has the highest stack. Comparatively, the Blue Pig has a much shorter reach, and a stack that is lower by close to 1.5". But the standover on the Blue Pig is way higher, and even higher than my inseam so possibly this frame is too high for me?

Anyway, am just wondering how the Blue Pig will ride differently from eg. the Transam. Thus my question on how bikes with different reach and stacks ride differently.

More feedback and advice welcomed.
Stack height tells you where your bars are located, given the same bar and stem. A lower stack means you need more rise in the stem, bar or use spacers.

The reason a bike can have a lower stack and higher standover is mostly from BB height differences (plus the amount of TT slope). The higher the BB, the higher the stand over all else being equal.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I wouldn't worry too much about stack unless you're either not using spacers, already have your stem inverted, and already have flat bars, or you're already using max spacers, an up-angled stem and risers. I'd guesstimate that there's close to 90mm of vertical adjustability in the location of your grips using different combinations of 30mm of spacers, +/- 17degree 60mm stems, and either flat or +25mm riser bars.

I wonder why you're looking at bikes with shorter reaches than the one you liked. I guess based purely on the reach and stack numbers, I'd put you on the Transition, but the On One does come in XL, with a longer reach.

It sounds like the goal here is a long-travel hardtail with a very short stem, but still a little more room in the cockpit. Is that correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Shiggy - what I was trying to describe is that with a short stem, when in attack position, my head is pass the handlebar. With a longer stem like around 90mm, my head is just above the handlebar and I feel alright on the bike. But 90mm stem is too long for my liking! Which is why I feel that I could have gone for a Large frame that has a 1 inch longer effective top tube, and then go with a shorter stem.

AndrwSwitch - your comment on me 'looking at bikes with shorter reaches that the one' I like is exactly what is making me uncertain. But those frame sizes are the recommended frames for my height. In fact, I am going for the Large frames (instead of the Mediums, which is borderline for my height). But on those Large frames the reach is shorter than what I like. But perhaps the different geometry of bikes allows for different reaches?

But going for the XL frames is not recommended by the frame designers.

Yes, I am looking for a long travel steel hardtail with a short stem (50mm would be ideal) but with a little more cockpit to cater for my long torso.
 
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