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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I try to setup all my bikes (city, road, mtb, fat) so that my saddle always has the same amount of setback relative to the bottom bracket. To far forward or backwards and my knees will start to hurt. I just don't get why there is so much variation in STA in the MTB world. I don't get the super steep angle trend of enduro bikes that put the rider over the BB, which combined with a zero-offset dropper pushes all your weight forward when seated and pedaling and messes up your knee angle.

Please educate me!

Envoyé de mon SM-A530W en utilisant Tapatalk
 

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Have you ridden one of the newer geo long travel 29ers? It seemed off the me as well, just considering the seat position relative the bb/pedals. While you are definitely more on top of the cranks, and it takes some getting used to, it works in tandem with the long front center and slack HA. And, does it ever improve climbing, especially if you’re taller and used to hanging out over rear axle on a slack STA. Also, on longer travel bikes the STA slackens more as shock moves into its travel.

I coincidentally moved cleats all the way rearward on shoes. I tried it based on others experience with improved feel, power and control from middle of foot. This helped with being more forward and allowed me to lower seat and COG.

This geo configuration with long travel is not as comfortable or as fast I believe on long flat smooth sections of trail, but it benefits the downhill, climbing especially technical climbs, high speed chunk, lower speed tech, berms and turns.
 

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^^What he said^^ Flatlanders are being left out of the equation, steep seats make steep climbs easier. Also keeps TT lengths in check as reach grows. Seems to be geared towards the enduro bikes for now but could creep into downcountry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^^What he said^^ Flatlanders are being left out of the equation, steep seats make steep climbs easier. Also keeps TT lengths in check as reach grows. Seems to be geared towards the enduro bikes for now but could creep into downcountry.
Makes sense, as long as all of your riding is going up one side of the mountain the going down on the other side.

As someone with abnormaly long femurs compared to my height, I already struggled to get proper setback on many road bikes, even if I moved my cleats back a lot. Anything with more than 74.5 sta is automatically out of the equation. Although I admit it climbs better, flat riding will kill my knees if I'm too forward.

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I'm 6'5" with a 36" inseam and never going back to slack seat tubes. With the steeper seat tube you have to raise the saddle to get the same extension. The only issue I noticed is if you don't run your bars high enough you'll experience more weight on your hands on flat ground.
 

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Why are there so many variations?

Because one manufacturer thinks their design is better than another manufacturer.

Why do some bikes have a longer wheelbase than others?
Chainstay length?

The list goes on.

I have 2 bikes, no idea if the seat is set up the same relative to the two bikes. I do know the seat is set up for what feels right for me based on the difference in length of front-center. The two bikes pedal differently for sure -I can easily feel a difference in how my feet contact the pedal.
At the end of the day, I don't really care because as a whole, the bike feels natural.
 

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Makes sense, as long as all of your riding is going up one side of the mountain the going down on the other side.

As someone with abnormaly long femurs compared to my height, I already struggled to get proper setback on many road bikes, even if I moved my cleats back a lot. Anything with more than 74.5 sta is automatically out of the equation. Although I admit it climbs better, flat riding will kill my knees if I'm too forward.

Envoyé de mon SM-A530W en utilisant Tapatalk
I get that - 35in inseam- 6'2"-long femurs. My new bike has 76 STA and I had same concern. But I'm really liking it. Did take some adjustment and felt like used different muscles. Started out with dropper with 25mm setback because also concerned about haw STA shortens cockpit. But went to straight one after moving cleats. Interestingly my handle bars are about 32mm closer on this bike vs last that had a 73 STA. I'm liking that too.

I'm much more balanced on this bike. Riding position more comfortable. When I stand to pedal, I'm in roughly same position and therefore weight doesn't dramatically shift forward as it did on last bike. Shoulders feel better. Climbs much, much better - especially short steep tech. Descends better. Better on tech and turns in flats. Only things less efficient is flat, straight and smooth.
 

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Anyone ever consider that any real mtb trail, steep enough to require a super steep STA, will require you to be out the of saddle navigating tech anyway ???

Just kidding, sort of.


It's because pushing the limits of STAs is the latest and greatest thing, and at least to some degree driven by marketing. Mostly a bandaid for riders on "over-biked" rigs that sag too much into their travel as they sit and spin up their buffed out, manicured, man-made, hokey, bike paths.

Oooops. There I go again.

I do agree that less than 74 degrees on a FS mtb is too slack - even a shorter travel rig.
 

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We've figured out that we can use seat tube angle as a handling tuning tool just like head angle. A designer can use a steep seat angle to get an adequately long front-center w/o having to slow down the steering or dork up the weight distribution. It also facilitates the transition from seated to standing, which is helpful on a mtb.

I'm not sold on 77* for everyone, but i do think it's folly to write off a bike because the seat angle doesn't fit your preconceptions. I think there's room in the market for 71-79*, depending on application. Same as road bikes.

I spent 5-6 years rehabbing a knee that couldn't tolerate a steep seat angle. Worth it.
 

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I try to setup all my bikes (city, road, mtb, fat) so that my saddle always has the same amount of setback relative to the bottom bracket. To far forward or backwards and my knees will start to hurt. I just don't get why there is so much variation in STA in the MTB world. I don't get the super steep angle trend of enduro bikes that put the rider over the BB, which combined with a zero-offset dropper pushes all your weight forward when seated and pedaling and messes up your knee angle.

Please educate me!

Envoyé de mon SM-A530W en utilisant Tapatalk
Go find some steeper hills to ride up.
:)
With allowances for tongue-in-cheek, this is the answer.

Bike geometry should vary with intended use. If the intent is steep climbs and descents, then steep STAs make a lot of sense. Especially when combined with a dynamic, out-of-the-saddle riding position.
 

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As a single element, Seat Tube angle relative to the knee is actually meaningless.
Why? Well, as you sit on your saddle and your foot is fixed to your pedal at the correct height/extention, nothing changes. You can change the seat tube to any angle and the fixed position of the leg does not change. The knee will not be effected by a change in its free movement. Crank length can alter knee angle within a given fixed length, but not seat tube angle as a design element.

What does change is the relationship Pelvic tilt has to the body as it is altered to reach the handlbars which is the only other connection point on the bike. I use the steep seat tube angle to relieve stress on the lower spine, develop more effective power to the pedal and place the COG more into the middle of the 2 axles. There are other reasons to go Geo-forward, but these are my own. I design and build my own bikes and have been doing my bikes this way well before the so-called Geo-forward phrase was coined.

Eric
 

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...I use the steep seat tube angle to relieve stress on the lower spine, develop more effective power to the pedal and place the COG more into the middle of the 2 axles. There are other reasons to go Geo-forward, but these are my own. I design and build my own bikes and have been doing my bikes this way well before the so-called Geo-forward phrase was coined.

Eric
Interesting.

When moving back and forth between my bikes with relatively slack STA's, like 72.5, and less slack, like 74.5, I can feel a definite difference with being able to lay down the power over longer, pedals distances.

Sure, no doubt, on super steep, seated climbs, a very steep STA I'm sure would be a benefit, but it has its drawbacks. First off, its not often I'm climbing steep tech in the saddle. Too rocky, rough. The farther forward I am the more quads come into play and let off the posterior chain, including the hamstrings. When laying down the power on rolling terrain, over the long haul I've noticed a significant difference in the amount of power I'm able to generate - more with a slacker STA. The posterior chain in inherently much stronger in most people. Also, the slacker STA keeps weight off my hands, and lets me pedal a lot longer.

This is not against steeper STAs. But, I don't agree with the blanket trend to the extent it is being taken.
 

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U sayin' Bolt ?
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I wonder why people weren't running layback posts backwards (forwards?) or slamming their saddles forward to get the same effect years ago? Do dropper post make the forward position more enticing?
 

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and place the COG more into the middle of the 2 axles. There are other reasons to go Geo-forward, but these are my own. I design and build my own bikes and have been doing my bikes this way well before the so-called Geo-forward phrase was coined.

Eric
This isn't much of a factor if you don't care about short chainstays. Not all of us do.

What do you think about bar position driving seat tube angle?
 

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I wonder why people weren't running layback posts backwards (forwards?) or slamming their saddles forward to get the same effect years ago? Do dropper post make the forward position more enticing?
I like the squirrel. Cool pic.
 

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I think bike companies have jumped the shark when it comes to trail bike geo. The bikes we pull out for 90% of the riding we do. The one bike you'd take on a road trip. I've been playing with low, long and slack geo since 2005. I've invested thousands of dollars into custom frames playing with numbers. I've been laughed at on the starting line with that goofy combo of steep HA and slack SA, and a long TT. IMO, a 74* SA and 66.5* HA is perfect. I'm not claiming to have invented anything. There are many others, but it was born out of necessity from the early days of Super D where you were hauling A down, and up. The trend of slacker frames is messing with wheelbase and the flickability of trailbikes.
 
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