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Uhhh, please take Shaheebs comments about longer gooderer and sliding and 'making' the bike turn with a huge grain of salt. I cannot begin to even remember all the riders of all types I have ridden with over the years, but Shaheeb is in the top 2% of them that work for a living and to my knowledge never held a pro license or a GoPro in anger. When you watch an advertainment video of pros shredding, you need to realize that Shaheeb could be an extra on any of these edits. What is the point of me saying this? That new school geo really requires new school technique.

As for the longer/slacker wave it has hit the wall and terminated it's 5 year hyper drive charge. Like so many other sports that progressed mightily, like skis, snowboards, tennis, motocross etc etc, there is a time when the real big changes stop. Skis and snowboards are not getting any fatter or longer. Tennis rackets are not the size of a 29" wheel. motocross stopped the travel increases where it is decades ago. A decade later the geometry 'revisions' dropped down to minuscule refinements.

Nowadays it's all about tuning, 1/2 degree here, a few mm's there. We have already seen chainstays growing and tall guys complaining they are not long enough. As many have pointed out, the front wheel in the next county has already been done, and many can't effectively weight the front wheel, reduced offset or not. Chris Porter has been preaching and influencing the LOOOOONGER SLAAAACKER for many years, hence the Geometron. POLE followed. Maybe a couple others? How many are as long? It's not like the fringe has been hiding, since the introduction of Forward Geo by Mondraker it has been a regular point of articles. The outer limit has been set, other might go into POLE or Porter territory, but there won't be many. I think many realize we have already jumped the shark. Mondraker has even pulled back a bit since the introduction of Forward Geometry. When looking at Cesars current geometry, it is far from the ragged edge of longer slacker that he started, when, as a World Cup pro downhiller, was on a 'large' when others his height were all on mediums. There are more than a couple WC DH racers now on 'undersize' frames. If one cannot control the front wheel, there is not control.

Something else that has happened in the last few years, the bullshit STA measuring method. At the same time the growing Reach numbers were pushing the front wheel out, the industry started measuring the STA at the Stack line. Regardless of where the seat actually ended up. Since there are not 2 bikes with the same dog leg in the seat tube, where the seat actually lands is completely random in the world of comparability. The designers would make sure that as the post passed the Stack line the 'faux' STA would measure 76-77ish, the required numbers for acceptability. But most of the seat POST angles are much slacker than the claimed STA, and a rider of average height could easily be on a sub 73 STA. This pushes the riders weight further from the front wheel which is already way in front of the BB due to increased Reach and slacker HTAs. Now, many riders are not too comfortable with the effective TT length, NOT the TT length listed on the Geometry Chart which is based on the Stack line, but the one that the riders seat height/Post angle actually nets. So, instead of using the stock 40 or 50mm stem.... they reach for a 30-40 to sit up a bit more, or add some steerer tube spacers and a taller bar or all of the above, further taking weight off the front wheel. Trimming a thumbs breadth of fork offset is not enough to compensate for the riders weight moving further and further from the front wheel.

For the record I like the pretty long and slacker feel. I ride a large Flux with 2 degree Works components headset. Jumping up a size gives me a lot more length and stability, as does the now 65.5 HTA. I know that a totally contemporary 27.5 bike should have a 63/64 HTA but not a ride goes by that I don't wonder about ordering a 1 degree headset from Works as the front end goes over there when I wanted it right here.. Of course not the high speed sections, but the twisties where staying focused and over the stem is hard for an old man. Maybe it's time for a ride clinic...

DT
 

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"Furruccio....Bite Me!"
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I may be in the minority, but I think they’ve gone a little too far with “modern“ geometry. Bikes are unnecessarily long and slack. They’re great for monster trucking through steep rocks, but lose the agility in the tight stuff. A little more slackness and reach would have been ok, but I feel everyone has overshot the mark by 10-15mm and a degree of slackness. There is no reason a trail bike should be any slacker than 65. The reach on a size large doesn’t need to be 480mm. Size down you say? Not so simple, then your sitting too close to the bars because the stupid steep seat angles. A size large in 455-460 reach (27.5 or 29) with a 65 degree head would be the sweet spot for me, I’m sure there are bikes out there like this, but very few, mail order, not DW. I’m not an editor at Pinkbike or Vital paid to shill a brand, so what do I know.
You just described the Niner Rip 9 RDO. Demo'd a bunch of bikes and this one was very close in feel, climbing and descending, to my Burner. I got the 27.5 and it is a bit slower in the tight stuff , but that was an easy adjustment. Nothing like other bikes I demo'd with the longer and slacker geo, there were noticeable slower and did not like it very much. I think yours and my experience showed DT knew what he was doing: making bikes for the average rider...noy the pro who ride 0.5% of what most people ride. To me it seems like the industry got hijacked by the new geo and DT wasn't having it.
 

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Something else that has happened in the last few years, the bullshit STA measuring method. At the same time the growing Reach numbers were pushing the front wheel out, the industry started measuring the STA at the Stack line. Regardless of where the seat actually ended up. Since there are not 2 bikes with the same dog leg in the seat tube, where the seat actually lands is completely random in the world of comparability. The designers would make sure that as the post passed the Stack line the 'faux' STA would measure 76-77ish, the required numbers for acceptability. But most of the seat POST angles are much slacker than the claimed STA, and a rider of average height could easily be on a sub 73 STA.

DT

I have been screaming this for years (nobody listen to me!). Nobody actually measures their angles anymore. My Ripley, has a real seat tube angle of 73 not the "76" they claim but guess what, it rides fine. For the record, my old 5-spot also has a seat angle of 73 degrees.
 

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on a routine expedition
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I bought a RAAW Madonna last year, and for me the geometry has been a revelation. For reference, I'm 5'11" and am riding a large. In the nine years since I was on a DW-Link Turner Burner, I've owned (in order): a Transition Bandit 29 (med), a Banshee Prime (med), an Ibis HD3 (large), and an Evil Insurgent (large). I live and ride in the PNW.

Based on DT's description, my riding skills are nowhere near Shaheeb, but I love the geometry of the RAAW just the same. Once I learned to get more weight on the front in corners, I can't stop smiling.

I also feel the longer geo allows me to ride more centered, more of the time, while feeling like there's more room to move forward or back before I end up on my ass or my head.

I continue to enjoy this bike more and more. It has taken some adjustments to my technique, but nothing crazy. I think it's easier (and more fun) to ride than, for example, the Evil with its long front end and short chain stays.

So there's another data point for ya. I don't see myself going back to a shorter bike. I also don't know if I want to go much longer. We'll see what the future holds. Ten years ago, I never thought I'd be happily riding a trail bike that is longer and slacker than my IH Sunday!
 

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No doubt, the old bikes were too short. Surprisingly there are still quite a few that are not that long. Sure, the press releases may blather on about aggressive this and progressive that, but when reading the actual numbers, many are pretty conservative in their LONGER Lower slacker. But the trend is certainly way longer wheel bases, longer Reach and a bit longer top tubes. And in general they DO ride better. Like the ski/snowboard/surfboard industries that offer a myriad of suggested sizes within the different categories, there will always be a range of fit depending on the developers skills, style, terrain, age, sponsored pros etc. And of course there are those that eschew the recommended sizing and go up or down depending on their opinion. There will certainly never be one size fits all for bicycles.

On the faux seat tube angle measurements of today, either the makers have to start listing real STA at differing seat heights, every 20mm or so, Or, the press needs to get make a mechanical protractor with a couple of low cost Wixie type digital angle finders on it to check the STA of the test bikes they are riding. BB center to center of seat clamp. Simple. I guess they could also whip out a simple matrix to plug in the 'set back' number from BB to seat clamp, and the seat height from same two points.

Yes there are a couple, maybe even a few, that will be dead on accurate to their geometry charts. Most will be well off and of no importance for actual fit.

DT
 

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After having a quick ride on a few modern bikes, I came away feeling that they don't actually feel long when seated. So I have been compiling a spread sheet of modern bike geometries for a possible replacement for my DW link Flux and 5 Spot in due course. When you account for the stems currently used on modern bikes verses those used 10 years ago, the distance from saddle to bars is shorter on most modern bikes, hence my feeling the bikes are short when seated. The one saving grace with the trend for shorter seat tubes is it's much easier to size up.

If it's not too cheeky to ask, which bikes would you consider a worthy replacement for your bikes DT?
 

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After having a quick ride on a few modern bikes, I came away feeling that they don't actually feel long when seated. So I have been compiling a spread sheet of modern bike geometries for a possible replacement for my DW link Flux and 5 Spot in due course. When you account for the stems currently used on modern bikes verses those used 10 years ago, the distance from saddle to bars is shorter on most modern bikes, hence my feeling the bikes are short when seated. The one saving grace with the trend for shorter seat tubes is it's much easier to size up.

If it's not too cheeky to ask, which bikes would you consider a worthy replacement for your bikes DT?
Yep for sure. Slacker HTA, steeper STA, shorter stems and straight dropper posts all contribute to modern LLS bikes having shorter cockpits and feeling smaller while seated and pedaling than the older crop of bikes. I will no doubt size up with the next bike I buy.
 

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Yep for sure. Slacker HTA, steeper STA, shorter stems and straight dropper posts all contribute to modern LLS bikes having shorter cockpits and feeling smaller while seated and pedaling than the older crop of bikes. I will no doubt size up with the next bike I buy.
As I like to earn my descents, climbing and seated performance is equally important as it's descending capability. Being short in the leg, sizing up is really only possible with certain brands otherwise I would really need to compromise on the dropper post and all the gains from geometry on the downs would be negated by the seat height.
 

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Nowadays it's all about tuning, 1/2 degree here, a few mm's there. We have already seen chainstays growing and tall guys complaining they are not long enough. As many have pointed out, the front wheel in the next county has already been done, and many can't effectively weight the front wheel, reduced offset or not. Chris Porter has been preaching and influencing the LOOOOONGER SLAAAACKER for many years, hence the Geometron. POLE followed. Maybe a couple others? How many are as long? It's not like the fringe has been hiding, since the introduction of Forward Geo by Mondraker it has been a regular point of articles. The outer limit has been set, other might go into POLE or Porter territory, but there won't be many. I think many realize we have already jumped the shark. Mondraker has even pulled back a bit since the introduction of Forward Geometry. When looking at Cesars current geometry, it is far from the ragged edge of longer slacker that he started, when, as a World Cup pro downhiller, was on a 'large' when others his height were all on mediums. There are more than a couple WC DH racers now on 'undersize' frames. If one cannot control the front wheel, there is not control.
In a Downtime podcast, Cesar Rojo says that the Mondraker he designed back then was a XL with a medium seat tube, and would be similar to a M or L Unno. He said that he finished 3rd in the roughest stage of the Trans-Provence race, crediting the advanced nature of the bike and its stability, beating the likes of Jerome Clementz and only being beaten by local stars Fabien Barel and Nico. He says that other bikes have gone longer since.

Cesar is 6' 3", to give some context, if it matters at all.

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I believe that tall people designing bikes generally put CS that are too long on bikes in their smaller sizes, and that how Forbidden has been tweaking the location of the BB for each size is the way forward. This gives taller people longer CS, without affecting handling adversely for shorter people.

I predict that bikes like the '21 Commencal Meta AM 29 will stir some controversy, about whether or not LLS has gone too far. In size small, it has 433mm CS and 1231mm WB, which matches quite a few popular enduro bikes in size M (SB150) and quite a majority in size L. In size L and XL, the 433mm CS is matched with 1285mm WB and 1312mm WB. Geometron and Pole use 450 and 455mm CS for those wheelbases respectively (Pole doesn't give the exact #, saying "effective"). The new Meta AM might serve Cecile Ravanel well, but the media crowd doing shootout-style reviews might judge it harshly, suggesting that they much preferring the TR (435mm CS and 1230mm WB in size M) and maybe the last gen of Meta AM 29 over the new Meta AM, suggesting the new one might've gone too far.

People downplay the importance of this balance too much. They claim that riders can just shift their weight, and that a few mms shouldn't matter. Judging by how people notice a difference in handling between two sizes of the same bike, and how natural one feels over another, I'm inclined to point out that there's more to this feeling than the reach, top tube length, seat tube length, and head tube length playing a role, that it's the balance. Tall guys going to shorter travel bikes think they are doing it because they like short travel, but the feel they get from the shorter WB could explain their preference, when they're choosing a Ripley over a Ripmo, for example.
 
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