Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started riding MTB in '92. The industry has gone from longer stems and shorter bars to vice versa. And stack heights are higher today because the forks are so tall.

Last year I bought my first "modern" bike, a Jamis Dragonslayer. These modern bikes are freaking amazing but the riding positions are bizarre to me. I will compare it to my old "26 Cannondale.

Both bikes have almost identical top tube/reach measurements. Cannondale came with 120mm/-6 degree stem and 650mm bars. Jamis has 80mm/0 degree stem and 780mm bars. The bars on the Jamis are sky high with a much taller stack height, zero degree stem and riser bars.

I couldn't ride the Jamis with the stock set up. I'm sitting up way too high and back and my bar tips were getting caught in brush and hitting tree trunks because they're 10 feet wide. Can't climb or sprint sitting so far behind the front wheel like that and I can't feel what the front end is doing when pushing hard through curves. And the bike just feels huge. I switched to a 100mm/-6 stem and some 640mm flat bars I already had. It's perfect, feels like a totally different and smaller bike. The steering quickness is about the same if not quicker.

I'm just curious what the reasoning is for the change today. Honest question, not looking for drama or anything but I know how that can go on the internet lol
 

·
Registered
2020 Santa Cruz Tallboy C
Joined
·
133 Posts
What year is your Dragonslayer? The 80mm stem and 780 bars are an odd combination. They will make for a very slow steering bike. A more typical setup would be a 50mm stem with the 780 bars, or going dow to 760. It's all personal preference. I don't see a Dragonslayer in Jamis's current lineup but the Dragon is, and is spec'd with 50mm stem and 760 bars.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,731 Posts
The Dragonslayer with a 73 degree seat angle and 68 degree head angle is not a modern geometry bike (the Dragon 29 is). You say it has the same reach and toptube length as your old bike, did you size down? How tall are you and what size did you get? Over the past 20 years toptube lengths have grown. The Dragonslayer with a 625mm toptube in large is at the shorter end for new bikes, but that is still 25mm longer than what most large hardtails were 20 years ago. Finally, the Dragonslayer was designed as an all day and bikepacking bike, so a shorter reach and more upright position are part of the design over a modern XC or trail hardtail. Maybe you bought the wrong bike for your needs.
 

·
Registered
Obsessively progressing
Joined
·
261 Posts
Can't climb or sprint sitting so far behind the front wheel like that and I can't feel what the front end is doing when pushing hard through curves.
More modern bikes require a different riding style, lower and closer to the bars with some bend in the knees and elbows. The front ends are pushed out further, so your weight really isn’t off center like it would be riding this way on an older geo bike.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
37,060 Posts
Why do people endo? One of the most common ways people endo is they let the front wheel go side-ways in technical terrain. They don't have enough leverage to keep it straight. This also comes into play on steep climbs and spots where you don't want the bike to wander left or right. The wider the bars, the higher the control you have over this. I've heard about people complaining about "really tight trails" and that they will clip their bars, but I have to wonder if that's more of a perception vs. reality thing, like people who get psyched out by exposure on the side of the trail when there is no real danger. About 4-5 spots yesterday required me to "weave" my bars in between some stuff. As winter kicks in here, it will just get more and more for this. It's truly tight and technical, it doesn't matter if you have skinny or wide bars, you can't take some of these sections fast, but the presence of the trees is no reason to sacrifice control here. I have a few videos of this, plus videos I've shot railing through trail systems in the midwest where the trees are "close" and you can be riding with a lot of speed. I encourage people to post videos of these trails where the trees are to narrow though, I'm genuinely curious to see them.

The front ends of those older bikes were much less stable and you simply did not have nearly as much control. If that's your thing, then great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,985 Posts
You have better control when you're hands are inline with the steering axis and wide apart. You can try this with a car steering wheel by comparing having your hands at 9 and 3 o clock (what racing drivers do) vs having your hands together at 12 o clock. In both cases the steering speed is the same (assuming the wheel is a circle).
 

·
high pivot witchcraft
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Why do people endo?
***warning - off topic musings to follow...

I was thinking about starting a thread about this yesterday, only it would be titled "when is the last time you endo'ed"?

I'm riding some pretty steep, techy crap on occasion and I have not endo'ed for years. Neither has my daughter. We are both on modern geo bikes (Druid and 2021 SJ; before that, 2015 Range and 2015 Process). Even my 2019 non-ESD steel Honzo has been bullet proof in the steep tech (e.g.; Razor's Edge, and some of the gnarlier stuff at Moose Mountain/Husky Road).

Back in the day, I would endo multiple times in a single ride. I had an old Specialized SJ that was a death trap, owing to its effed up geo, including a 70+ degree FTA.

Obviously I have more mileage under my belt now and am a much better rider but that's not it. The days of the endo-happy death traps have been long gone for a while now. Or at least, that's what I thought...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
***warning - off topic musings to follow...

I was thinking about starting a thread about this yesterday, only it would be titled "when is the last time you endo'ed"?

I'm riding some pretty steep, techy crap on occasion and I have not endo'ed for years. Neither has my daughter. We are both on modern geo bikes (Druid and 2021 SJ; before that, 2015 Range and 2015 Process). Even my 2019 non-ESD steel Honzo has been bullet proof in the steep tech (e.g.; Razor's Edge, and some of the gnarlier stuff at Moose Mountain/Husky Road).

Back in the day, I would endo multiple times in a single ride. I had an old Specialized SJ that was a death trap, owing to its effed up geo, including a 70+ degree FTA.

Obviously I have more mileage under my belt now and am a much better rider but that's not it. The days of the endo-happy death traps have been long gone for a while now. Or at least, that's what I thought...
Very true

Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk
 

·
Cycologist
Joined
·
8,930 Posts
***warning - off topic musings to follow...

I was thinking about starting a thread about this yesterday, only it would be titled "when is the last time you endo'ed"?

I'm riding some pretty steep, techy crap on occasion and I have not endo'ed for years. Neither has my daughter. We are both on modern geo bikes (Druid and 2021 SJ; before that, 2015 Range and 2015 Process). Even my 2019 non-ESD steel Honzo has been bullet proof in the steep tech (e.g.; Razor's Edge, and some of the gnarlier stuff at Moose Mountain/Husky Road).

Back in the day, I would endo multiple times in a single ride. I had an old Specialized SJ that was a death trap, owing to its effed up geo, including a 70+ degree FTA.

Obviously I have more mileage under my belt now and am a much better rider but that's not it. The days of the endo-happy death traps have been long gone for a while now. Or at least, that's what I thought...
I just about endo'ed this morning, but luckily the stem caught my crotch, and more luckily, off-center enough that nothing was really damaged other than a little soreness. It was a short, rooty steep section, but I was climbing. Step ups on multiple roots, riding rigid SS, stood and leaning over the handlebar but didn't get wheel popped up on top of a root and it stopped dead.
 

·
Thicc Member
Joined
·
1,578 Posts
***warning - off topic musings to follow...

I was thinking about starting a thread about this yesterday, only it would be titled "when is the last time you endo'ed"?
About five years ago on my 70 deg hta hardtail with 100mm fork. Going down a rooty descent, high posting it, going slow since it's a hardtail. Went off a ledge and put my wheel in a bit of a hole.

On a modern geo fs bike? Never. I've improved my upper body strength, use a dropper, carry more speed, and I'll stop riding if I feel my killer instinct is waning, such as when I'm getting fatigued.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
37,060 Posts
***warning - off topic musings to follow...

I was thinking about starting a thread about this yesterday, only it would be titled "when is the last time you endo'ed"?

I'm riding some pretty steep, techy crap on occasion and I have not endo'ed for years. Neither has my daughter. We are both on modern geo bikes (Druid and 2021 SJ; before that, 2015 Range and 2015 Process). Even my 2019 non-ESD steel Honzo has been bullet proof in the steep tech (e.g.; Razor's Edge, and some of the gnarlier stuff at Moose Mountain/Husky Road).

Back in the day, I would endo multiple times in a single ride. I had an old Specialized SJ that was a death trap, owing to its effed up geo, including a 70+ degree FTA.

Obviously I have more mileage under my belt now and am a much better rider but that's not it. The days of the endo-happy death traps have been long gone for a while now. Or at least, that's what I thought...
Not completely OT. I think several things come to play, not just HTA, shorter stem puts you further back obviously, better LSC control on forks that doesn't dive like crazy, etc. Some things make a bigger difference then others though and I'd put the wide bars and short stem way up there near the top, if not at the top. I also find endos to be very rare these days, on modern bikes. No impossible , but rare.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dysfunction

·
Cycologist
Joined
·
8,930 Posts
I'd think larger diameter wheels would be the biggest change that prevents otb.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fuse6F

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,731 Posts
29” wheels with modern geo is just amazing. I have rolled down things and dropped the front in holes that I was positive would put me over the bars and just keep going. It requires a mental recalibration.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
37,060 Posts
I'd think larger diameter wheels would be the biggest change that prevents otb.
It helps, but as speeds and terrain get more gnarly, you need more bar-length leverage to stay straight IMO. The 29er definitely reduces the wheel-catcher phenomenon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Im on a 70mm stem.
tested a guys bike with a 35mm. Wow what a diff.
Mine feels like its super stable. his what a twitchy bar feeling
 

·
Professional Crastinator
Joined
·
6,302 Posts
Tree should be cut out to modify the trail for modern bikes.
Someone did that here. It was not cool.

Make it a bypass.

But on the topic of the Dragonslayer - I test rode one. It was a nice bike. But it was not really new geo. 780mm bars is really wide for my area - you would not fit down the trails. 650mm bars, OTOH, is losing out out on some leverage and stability.

When I finally put together a 2018 AM HT with a 140mm fork, that was new geo. I have plowed some very abrupt, mis-timed ledges, logs, and rocks, and new geo has saved my bacon every time so far. The bike is noticeably longer than my old bike, and probably slightly slower steering, but it allows for some really confident descending, without suffering in the tight twisties that characterize many of our local trails.

-F
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top