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Short Top Tube & Reach for Singletrack?

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Short Top Tube & Reach for Singletrack?

Old 01-22-21, 03:12 PM
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I just can't even.
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Old 01-22-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
I just can't even.
Will you explain... or.

I guess there's nothing to explain. I'll get a picture of me sitting on the bike sometime.
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Old 01-22-21, 03:33 PM
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If that bike works for you, that's fine. it's NOT a REFERENCE point for how to get a mountain bike to fit and handle well for you. you're not comparing apples to apples at all here. it's just so far from what you have in mind that it makes no sense. it's like trying to decide what kind of hiking boot you want to buy based on your favorite flip-flops.

demo a few modern bikes that were designed with someone of your height in mind (when demos are possible again). ask around your local mtb community for someone that is close to your height and ask to take it for a spin. it will not fit anything like your current bike because it's not supposed to due to the very different demands from the terrain from what you're doing now. you can probably make any XL or XXL sized bike work better for you than what you have now without resorting to something extremely odd like a backwards stem, unless you have some sort of disfigurement that a doctor can diagnose like extremely short arms or a spine that is not conventionally mobile.

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Old 01-22-21, 08:14 PM
  #29  
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My old zaskar has a 590mm top tube, and 480mm reach. I,feel like the top tube is maybe a bit long which is good for singletrack. But I can feel that the reach is way too long for me when I am out of the saddle.

If I can find a trail bike with maybe 460mm for the reach, a similarly long top tube and sufficiently tall stack j think it would work.

My norco seems to have a reach closer to 400 or 405mm.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:21 AM
  #30  
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I think you are focusing on numbers in a way that is not really helpful for you. you're over complicating things and making it hard on yourself. you need to let go of that and just find a bike that is made to fit a person of your height, which is not difficult. here's what you need to look for:
  • an extra-large frame, maybe XXL if the geometry is conservative. on a mountain bike, this will probably be a 20–22" frame. on a road-oriented bike, this will be a 59–61cm frame.
  • to narrow down options, it sounds like you want to get your handlebar rather high. a frame with a relatively high stack measurement will get you there. a relatively tall head tube is a good place to start. these might be "endurance geometry" bikes or touring/ bikepacking- oriented bikes that are designed more for comfort than aerodynamics.
  • dial in the fit with saddle position, stem dimensions, and handlebar dimensions. if the frame is designed for someone of your height and riding style, this will not be difficult and should not force you to use a some obscure seatpost or a goofy handlebar / stem.
again, you're starting from a perspective in which you have boxed yourself. you need to liberate yourself from self-imposed obsession with specific numbers.

let's get real- what bikes are you considering and what's your budget? are you interested in buying a relatively modern bike, or scrounging around for dumpster parts and building a bunch of goofy-ass Frankenbikes?

I think you have a strange understanding or reach. a modern medium mountain bike designed for someone around 5'9" has a reach of 425–450mm and assumes a "short stem. an older mountain bike that assumes the rider is using a 90–100mm long stem might have a reach closer to 400mm. you're 6'3" and riding a bike with a 400mm reach would make you look like a bear on a tricycle and would wreak havoc on your spine. are you sure you understand what reach is?

Last edited by mack_turtle; 01-29-21 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 01-23-21, 03:32 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
I think you are focusing on numbers in a way that is not really helpful for you. you're over complicating things and making it hard on yourself. you need to let go of that and just find a bike that is made to fit a person of your height, which is not difficult. here's what you need to look for:
  • an extra-large frame, maybe XXL if the geometry is conservative. on a mountain bike, this will probably be a 20–22" frame. on a road-oriented bike, this will be a 59–61cm frame.
  • to narrow down options, it sounds like you want to get your handlebar rather high. a frame with a relatively high stack measurement will get you there. a relatively tall head tube is a good place to start. these might be "endurance geometry" bikes or touring/ bikepacking- oriented bikes that are designed more for comfort than aerodynamics.
  • dial in the fit with saddle position, stem dimensions, and handlebar dimensions. if the frame is designed for someone of your height and riding style, this will not be difficult and should not force you to use a some obscure seatpost or a goofy handlebar / stem.
again, you're starting from a perspective in which you have boxed yourself. you need to liberate yourself from self-imposed obsession with specific numbers.

let's get real- what bikes are you considering and what's your budget? are you interested in buying a relatively modern bike, or scrounging around for dumpster parts and building a bunch of goofy-ass Frankenbikes?

I think you have a strange understanding or reach. a modern medium mountain bike designed for someone around 5'9" has a reach of 425–450mm and an older bike that assumes the rider is using a 90–100mm long stem might have a reach closer to 400mm. you're 6'3" and riding a bike with a 400mm reach would make you look like a bear on a tricycle and would wreak havoc on your spine. are you sure you understand what reach is?
Don't waste your time, you'll just end up frustrated. He has his own unique ideas about frame design and bike fit and really just wants to educate those of us who don't understand.
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Old 01-23-21, 04:47 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
I think you are focusing on numbers in a way that is not really helpful for you. you're over complicating things and making it hard on yourself. you need to let go of that and just find a bike that is made to fit a person of your height, which is not difficult. here's what you need to look for:
  • an extra-large frame, maybe XXL if the geometry is conservative. on a mountain bike, this will probably be a 20–22" frame. on a road-oriented bike, this will be a 59–61cm frame.
  • to narrow down options, it sounds like you want to get your handlebar rather high. a frame with a relatively high stack measurement will get you there. a relatively tall head tube is a good place to start. these might be "endurance geometry" bikes or touring/ bikepacking- oriented bikes that are designed more for comfort than aerodynamics.
  • dial in the fit with saddle position, stem dimensions, and handlebar dimensions. if the frame is designed for someone of your height and riding style, this will not be difficult and should not force you to use a some obscure seatpost or a goofy handlebar / stem.
again, you're starting from a perspective in which you have boxed yourself. you need to liberate yourself from self-imposed obsession with specific numbers.

let's get real- what bikes are you considering and what's your budget? are you interested in buying a relatively modern bike, or scrounging around for dumpster parts and building a bunch of goofy-ass Frankenbikes?

I think you have a strange understanding or reach. a modern medium mountain bike designed for someone around 5'9" has a reach of 425–450mm and an older bike that assumes the rider is using a 90–100mm long stem might have a reach closer to 400mm. you're 6'3" and riding a bike with a 400mm reach would make you look like a bear on a tricycle and would wreak havoc on your spine. are you sure you understand what reach is?
Reach, as I understand, is how far the bottom bracket is from the middle of the head tube.

Using a 32mm stem on a bike with 480mm for the reach makes me feel like i am riding the front of the bike as if it were a unicycle. I do not feel like I have enough weight centered toward the rear.

As the reach decreases, this brings my legs forward on the pedal, which scoots my butt back towards the saddle. I know that trail bikes are designed with a longer reach for the purpose of allowing you to weigh the front axle accordingly over rough terrain.

However, being a rather top heavy individual with a relatively short length torso, I need a shorter reach than usual to have an otherwise similar amount of weight over the front axle. This is why I dread bikes with a long reach and top tube.

I dont care whether the bike is new or old, expensive or cheap, I only care that I feel comfortable on the bike. If I don't, I won't be riding any trails this season.

As long as i find a bike with a sufficiently tall stack, and somewhat less reach than average and use my short stem i got laying around, I think ill be good.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:56 PM
  #33  
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Yeah, I am starting to think this is a textbook case of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. People who don't want to learn can't.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:57 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
Don't waste your time, you'll just end up frustrated. He has his own unique ideas about frame design and bike fit and really just wants to educate those of us who don't understand.
This is incorrect. They just want to post nonsense to create angst. That's it. Very odd.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:17 PM
  #35  
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Although these guys are good riders, using modern bikes/geometry and brakes would have prevented almost all of these crashes

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Old 01-23-21, 08:30 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Although these guys are good riders, using modern bikes/geometry and brakes would have prevented almost all of these crashes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzZkKE9Z35g
Heck just a dropper post would have saved almost all of them.

But the biggest thing that drives home is just how bad brakes used to be. Some of those folks just could not slow down. Made me remember the days of four-finger braking that was more of a suggestion to your bike to slow down.

EDIT: OK, having watched that a second time, I'm giving props to the guys doing it. They are wrecking HARD, and just keep going. That downhill must be a lot worse than it looks from where it is shot from (trails are often a lot worse than they look on camera) because a lot of those guys are clearly out of control. And the only one I can really point to as doing something wrong is the guy riding with one foot off the pedals.

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Old 01-23-21, 09:00 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Heck just a dropper post would have saved almost all of them.

But the biggest thing that drives home is just how bad brakes used to be. Some of those folks just could not slow down. Made me remember the days of four-finger braking that was more of a suggestion to your bike to slow down.
Yep. It really shows how just one thing, like a dropper, really can change what's going on. Also, narrow bars.

Brakes. A lot of time its the ability to stop, or rather inability, that limits some trail choices for me. On one older bike, adding V brakes and compressionless housings has helped a lot.

All in all though. The OP’S idea of a tight cockpit, weight on the front wheel and high saddle definitely runs contrary to modern developments for maintaining control.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:54 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
Yeah, I am starting to think this is a textbook case of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. People who don't want to learn can't.
I understand perfectly well. Judging a frame by the numbers can only help so much. What's left is to try them out and go from there.

Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
All in all though. The OP’S idea of a tight cockpit, weight on the front wheel and high saddle definitely runs contrary to modern developments for maintaining control.
I Agree. I never realized frame fit would end up being such an issue for me.

Trail bikes definetly go against the sort of fit I wanted, but I'm very eager to get back into trail riding this season - properly. I know there are trail bikes out there which should fit me properly. I've been intently searching classifieds, but all I'm finding is extremely high prices for used bikes.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:50 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Come on, man. Just Google "Mountain Bike Endo" maybe add "crash" to the search.
It is one of his troll threads, but I have really learned from your posts, so thanks!
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Old 01-24-21, 09:56 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I know there are trail bikes out there which should fit me properly. I've been intently searching classifieds, but all I'm finding is extremely high prices for used bikes.
What's your budget? Put a number on it.
are you willing to buy something that is 99% certain to fit you but without seeing it in person?
If not, where are you located? if you have a reasonable budget for a decent bike, I'll bet I can find half a dozen bikes that will work for you nearby.

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Old 01-24-21, 05:52 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Although these guys are good riders, using modern bikes/geometry and brakes would have prevented almost all of these crashes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzZkKE9Z35g


I could duplicate (and probably have) - ost of these crashes on my 8" travel DH bike
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Old 01-24-21, 06:10 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
What's your budget? Put a number on it.
are you willing to buy something that is 99% certain to fit you but without seeing it in person?
If not, where are you located? if you have a reasonable budget for a decent bike, I'll bet I can find half a dozen bikes that will work for you nearby.
Id say Up to $800 CAD, but ill go a bit higher if necessary.

I would be very hesitant to buy a bike without trying it out first. But it might be a risk worth taking.

I'm located just north of Toronto. (Greater Toronto area),

If you can help me find some bikes, would be tremendously appreciated. I looked on pinkbike and local classifieds already.
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Old 01-24-21, 07:16 PM
  #43  
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First, $800 CAD is under $650 USD (to put it in a value to which I can relate) and that's barely enough to buy anything remotely decent NEW from a reputable brand. This is a beggars/ choosers kind of situation, so until you can expand that budget, you're left scrounging the bottom of the barrel. I'm not talking down at you, just explaining the way things are.

Chain Reaction and BikesDirect might have something for you but supply chains are all screwed up right now. Keep an eye on those types of discount sites, but be aware that good deals will go fast due to current demand.

​​​​​​I don't know the Toronto area very well but the CL and PB listings for that area are pathetic! That really shocked me. sorry that's so crappy. I have found in recent years that Craigslist is lousy and I have much better luck finding good stuff on the Facebook marketplace. don't have a FB account? that's your choice.

With your budget, if you want a mountain bike, you're going to have to wait, save your $, and jump on the next deal that comes along that is the appropriate size for you. You need to have the humility to accept that your conception of how a mtb should fit is based on nothing, and that the advice of every bike designer with centuries of combined experience behind them would never build a mountain bike to fit a person of your height with the bizarre dimensions that you have in mind. sorry if that sounds harsh, but I don't think I am doing you any favors by sugar-coating the truth for you. it would be a disservice to you to let you continue on this weird fantasy line of thinking about how bikes should fit. there's a degree of variation within each fitting ideal where you can adjust for your individual preferences, but your ideas are something like three standard deviations from the norm. if you can't see past that, you're on your own with weird Frankenbikes, or you need to pay a custom frame fabricator to build something just for you.

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Old 01-25-21, 09:32 AM
  #44  
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Moisture,

This thing is perfect for flip flops. If I were you, I would definitely get some high quality flip flops. It's the solution to all the problems you are having.


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Old 01-26-21, 04:30 PM
  #45  
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“You must unlearn what you have learned.” - clunky but applicable advice here.
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Old 01-26-21, 05:14 PM
  #46  
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The video above was one of the funniest things I've seen in awhile.
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Old 01-28-21, 07:45 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
a fit that compact sounds like a Dutch commuter bike to me, which would not handle well on "singletrack."
Poster responds by posting picture of a Dutch commuter bike.....Although, honestly a proper Dutch bike has a slacker fork and would probably handle better.

For anyone wondering. Single track generally refers to trails that a single wheel width wide (<18in). There are frequently rocks, roots and other obstacles. You shouldn't be riding these at any speed while sitting, unless you're being lazy on a full suspension bike. If it's just a flat trail, that's generally considered gravel riding.
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Old 01-28-21, 07:56 PM
  #48  
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mack_turtle so you're telling me I should get a trail bike, but you use a gravel bike with drop bars ? I mean, there's nothing wrong with that, I know it is relatively common to do so.

What about using an off road touring bike? What are your opinion on using drop bars for single track?

My current plan for singletrack endeavors will be using my GT Zaskar mountain bike laying around. Only problem is that the front fork uses brakes only for a 700c rim. Im tired of sourcing a new fork for this bike, so I'm thinking of just using a wider 700c rear tire and using it like this. But obviously with the rigid fork I won't be able to do anything too crazy. But the fork is already about 15mm too long for bike, and then the 700c will jack up the front end a bit more and now the head tube angle is just not right. It honestly might be better to just try using my road bike with a lower stem on singletrack over that.. im not going to do that, mainly because the brakes aren't strong enough.
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Old 01-29-21, 07:44 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
mack_turtle so you're telling me I should get a trail bike, but you use a gravel bike with drop bars ? I mean, there's nothing wrong with that, I know it is relatively common to do so.
sorry for the confusion. no, I generally use a flat-bar hardtail 29er for riding when it's primarily singletrack. I also have a gravel bike that is ridden on all surfaces, including some singletrack. when the trails are in good shape and I just want to ride in the woods on rooty, rocky singletrack, I take the mountain bike. if I want to cover more distance exploring neighborhood paths and rural dirt roads, I take the gravel bike. on the gravel bike, I can ride much faster (and have more fun) on smoother surfaces like the neighborhood crushed granite trails nearby, but I have to slow down and sometimes carry my bike if I ride it on rough singletrack. but when I ride my mountain bike on those same trails that trip me up so much on the gravel bike, I can blast through the rocks and loose terrain like it's nothing. I happen to own just these two, whereas most of the people I know own 5-6 bikes with different formats to suit where and how they want to ride.

if you primary goal is trails, I'd stick with a proper mountain bike of any sort, even an old one. if your trails are very mild and smooth and you want to ride a mix of surfaces including non-pave roads, bridle paths, occasional singletrack, something like a gravel bike might be better. there's a lot of grey area between what's considered a mountain bike and a gravel bike, so it's a bit subjective. there's also the question of "how much bike" you want/need. for your preferences and your trails, you might only feel confident on a full-suspension bike with balloon tires and a dropper post. some people prefer to "under bike," riding a lighter, simpler bike that makes difficult terrain more of a challenge. I can't emphasize enough that it's subjective. since I have never ridden bikes near Toronto, I have no idea what kind of trails are available to you. I'd ask the locals where they ride and what kind of bike provides the best balance of challenge and capability. if you want to ride an undersized road bike with a 90% rear tire weight bias and slick tires on a downhill course where everyone else is riding a 160mm travel downhill bike, and that's fun for you, go for it. most people will not enjoy that.

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Old 01-29-21, 09:41 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
My current plan for singletrack endeavors will be using my GT Zaskar mountain bike laying around. Only problem is that the front fork uses brakes only for a 700c rim. Im tired of sourcing a new fork for this bike, so I'm thinking of just using a wider 700c rear tire and using it like this. But obviously with the rigid fork I won't be able to do anything too crazy. But the fork is already about 15mm too long for bike, and then the 700c will jack up the front end a bit more and now the head tube angle is just not right. It honestly might be better to just try using my road bike with a lower stem on singletrack over that.. im not going to do that, mainly because the brakes aren't strong enough.
a mountain bike with a drop bar is commonly known as a "monster cross bike." it's difficult to put a drop bar on a bike that was designed for a flat bar and get a good fit, and even harder to get good handling, but some people do that with success if they really know what they are doing. (or they might be equally happy if they are blissfully ignorant of how terrible it is in that case.) I only ride a my drop-bar bike on trails when the trails are part of a larger route of mixed terrain that includes paths and roads. if I want to ride trails just to ride trails, I use my mountain bike.

I am curious about this Zaskar. if it's an older Zaskar, it should be designed with 26" wheels in mind. if it's an older 29er, that would make sense for a 700C wheel. 700C and 29" are the same diameter rim and really the same thing with different names based on application. can you post some photos and details about it?
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