Modern frame geometry

aguitarpenter Posts: 3
edited August 2019 in MTB general
Hello, I've been out of the loop for long enough my old account details have gone walkies, and now I'm finally getting back into MTBing again I'm a little curious about the direction frame design has gone since I last paid attention.

From what I gather, it's mostly 'longer, lower, slacker'?

Something akin to the (old? No longer a thing?) On-One Summer Season, which I remember trying (as a replacement for my then 3-5 year old Dialled Bikes Prince Albert that was nicked) and I hated it so much after one ride I jumped back on eBay and settled for another Prince Albert in a size down from ideal.

I'm curious, as I recently did a budget 'upgrade' and finally replaced the Prince Albert with my first ever full sus frame (I don't count the sub £200 one I had as a lad) - an Intense 5.5 EVP. I went for it after finding this grouptest, this bit in-particular spoke to me:
"Both the most thrashed and
most crashed bike on test,
the EVP 5.5 is a totally
Intense experience. It offers
a responsive ride and it can
handle almost any situation"

Now, I will admit that I managed to crash on my 2nd ever ride on the 'new' build, and broke my collarbone and wrist in the process, but holy crap did I have fun. Absolutely *LOVED* every second on it.

Which leaves me feeling a little concerned about future bikes for me - from my understanding they're all about making the ride more stable, which to me means less fun! I don't care if my times are remotely good, as long as I'm having a whale-of-a-time while I'm at it! The rush I got from my two rides before injury were everything I want from biking - who cares if you're 5 seconds faster round the track if it *feels* slower? (That was my main feeling on the Summer Season - just slow and boring).

Maybe I'm wrong and a test ride on a modern bike might be worth a try, but I'm highly sceptical!

Any way, rant over, TL;DR: Are modern bikes just longer, lower, slacker and therefore boring, if technically faster?

Cheers, Rohan :?


  • tom_howard
    tom_howard Posts: 789
    If you find them boring at a certain speed, go faster.

    If you want out of control excitement, buy a rigid XC bike.

    LLS bikes just mean you can go faster, with much more control.
    Santa Cruz 5010C
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    Salsa Mukluk Carbon
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  • meesterbond
    meesterbond Posts: 1,240
    If you want the science behind the thinking behind the longer, lower, slacker thing then there's a very in depth interview on youtube somewhere with Cy from Cotic on why they've adopted the 'long shot' geometry on almost all of their bikes.

    In short, slackening the head angle, steepening up the seat angle and sticking a really short stem on keeps the steering as precise as you need it while giving you a lot more stability, allowing you to go downhill faster. Riding an 'old-school' bike now, for me, feels pretty sketchy.

    As Tom said, if you like to feel out of control in order for the ride to be exciting then a fully rigid XC bike or maybe a unicycle might work better but modern bikes can feel just as much fun and you go quicker.
  • Thanks for the replies, though I feel I didn't quite explain it right. I think my question is answered, though - I'm going to have to learn frame building when the supply of old frames runs out :P

    It's not feeling out of control that I want, just on the edge of it. I LOVE the extra confidence that (finally) going full suspension has given me, and I love the way the 5.5 EVP makes me want to push my limits. I'm really not bothered about whether I'm actually fast or not, as long as I get that rush. As I said, if LLS-style is anything like the On-One Summer Season, then it's definitely not for me.

    I'll get around to actually trying it one day, and will probably be proved wrong, but until I break my frame I'm happy enough :D
  • billycool
    billycool Posts: 833
    For me, it depends what terrain you ride and how you ride it.

    I have a 2006 HT with the older, more upright geometry. Great fun on paths/tracks but not so much fun pointing in downhill. I also have a 2013 140mm FS `Enduro` bike, although it only weighs a tad more than my HT. It is longer and slacker, which is very noticeable (in a good way) on the DH stuff.

    I've ridden both on more or less the same sort of terrain.

    The FS is deffo more `comfy` and certainly comes into it's own on DH sections, whether they be single track, loose gravel or a Welsh mountain. The geometry makes it more balanced, I can ride faster and it sticks to the trail better (no rear end chatter). It doesn't climb so well and can be a bit draggy on the roads. After all, that's not what it was designed for.

    The HT has been to BPW - loved the fast flowing blues but struggled on the reds. When I chased my mate down the blues on his HT we were evenly matched (I was right on the edge of what me and the bike could do). When he switched to his Whyte T-130, he was off into the distance. It really made me feel slow. We swopped bikes and the FS made SO much difference. I couldn't believe it (thats' when I was sold on the idea of getting a FS bike).

    I have felt just as sketchy/out of control on my FS as my HT. I just ride it harder/faster to find the edge and the buzz is the same - if not more at times (I can get `air` occasionally). The HT is still fun but in a different kind of way. I certainly don't find the FS less engaging or slow or boring.

    It's what you do with it that matters.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • tom_howard
    tom_howard Posts: 789
    As I said, if LLS-style is anything like the On-One Summer Season, then it's definitely not for me.

    Nothing like it. Things have moved on a lot since that. IIRC the summer season was a 456 with a long fork, and possibly a slightly slacker HTA.

    Nowadays, seat tubes are steeper, reach is longer, Chainstays are shorter, BBs are lower, as well as slacker HTA/long forks and super short stems. Its a much more coherent package.

    As mentioned above, see if you can get a demo on one of the longshot geo cotics, they will show you whats possible with a LLS hardtail.
    Santa Cruz 5010C
    Deviate Guide
    Specialized Sequoia Elite
    Pivot Mach 429SL
    Trek Madone 5.2 Di2
    Salsa Mukluk Carbon
    Specialized Turbo Levo Expert 29er