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New downhill bike and geometry woes

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
Apologies if this topic has been done to death, but I'm weighing up options for a new big bike as unfortunately my evil undead has done something completely unexpected of an evil and cracked in three places. Warranty/crash replacement is a no go as Evil don't have any undead front triangles left. When I contacted them they said that it sucked that my undead was "showing signs of its age", which raises some worrying questions about how long they actually expect their bikes to last, but that's another story.

ANYWAY. This means I'm in the market for a new big bike. Available to me through my shop sponsor are the following: Mondraker Summum, Scott Gambler and Polygon DH8/9. But the geometry issue is giving me a bit of a headache. My undead is a size Large and I run it in the low BB/steep HA setting (64 deg). I tried it in the low BB/slack HA setting (62.9 deg), but I found I struggled to get enough front wheel traction and found it harder to get into the air. For reference, I'm 5'10, race downhill in Scotland regularly, not rapid but not a hack either.

I've ruled out the Polygon as I've been told by someone racing last year that it was "distinctly average" and isn't as good value for money on a complete bike as I expected. So does my issue of front wheel traction above rule out the Summum? Or does the "forward geometry" pish counteract this with a longer reach and shorter stem combo? The adjustability of the Gambler is swaying it for me at the moment, that and a lot of good reports about how it rides. Below are some geometry numbers between the three for reference. Also included the low/slack setting for the evil as a benchmark for something that didn't really feel comfortable for me.

geo.JPG
 

Muddy

ancient crusty bog dude
Jul 7, 2013
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Free Soda Refills at Fuddruckers
Whenever I would swap frames racing BMX growing up I never relied upon any numbers for measurement - except the HT angle. Always would ride the bike to see how the fit would land itself and then settle on too-steep or not steep enough for steering. The bikes had sliding dropouts - would be put to use for a couple settings.

Mountain Bikes have had me riding just the one-frame primarily. So many variables within adapting final fitting of the frame that - at least for myself - what you're asking cannot be given a proper answer. Front wheel traction is much more a result of suspension set up and riding position rather-than the firm numbers of TT length and rear-center.

The standard numbers you're referencing for me reflect the bike with the rider as being easier or not willing to pick up the front end.
Some riders do not pump terrain or do not lift the front wheel over stuff by choice; my sticking with DW*Link IH frames has me holding my BMX skillset, making front end traction something controlled by what is hung from the frame - suspension for the most part.

Maybe I have been riding improperly all the time however - I just can't tell for sure. :blink:
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,985
1,680
Northern California
Keep in mind that chainstay length effects how the front wheel is weighted as well. Longer chainstays = more weight distribution on the front wheel if everything else is held constant.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,376
5,310
UK
out of those. The mondraker.
Don't be shy of shunning #Fashion and trying a (S)... if you're "that" kind of rider.
I ride the same sorta stuff as you and have never ever worried about stability riding small DH bikes (and I'm 5'11")... they're way more fun... much nicer to manual and jump and only slightly less plowable in the chop. I've also NEVER ever had a problem weighting the front.

Forward geometry and the entire technique it brings to riding can be ignored so long as you're not too short a rider.
 

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
Whenever I would swap frames racing BMX growing up I never relied upon any numbers for measurement - except the HT angle. Always would ride the bike to see how the fit would land itself and then settle on too-steep or not steep enough for steering. The bikes had sliding dropouts - would be put to use for a couple settings.

Mountain Bikes have had me riding just the one-frame primarily. So many variables within adapting final fitting of the frame that - at least for myself - what you're asking cannot be given a proper answer. Front wheel traction is much more a result of suspension set up and riding position rather-than the firm numbers of TT length and rear-center.

The standard numbers you're referencing for me reflect the bike with the rider as being easier or not willing to pick up the front end.
Some riders do not pump terrain or do not lift the front wheel over stuff by choice; my sticking with DW*Link IH frames has me holding my BMX skillset, making front end traction something controlled by what is hung from the frame - suspension for the most part.

Maybe I have been riding improperly all the time however - I just can't tell for sure. :blink:
Totally with you in the riding positioning side of things. In fact that's what I've spent most of my year doing - working on getting my weight much further over the front. Having said that, I found this much easier to achieve with the steeper head angle. I was half wondering though that I needed to spend some more time with the slack HA and longer wheelbase and just get used to it.

Keep in mind that chainstay length effects how the front wheel is weighted as well. Longer chainstays = more weight distribution on the front wheel if everything else is held constant.
Very good point.

out of those. The mondraker.
Don't be shy of shunning #Fashion and trying a (S)... if you're "that" kind of rider.
I ride the same sorta stuff as you and have never ever worried about stability riding small DH bikes (and I'm 5'11")... they're way more fun... much nicer to manual and jump and only slightly less plowable in the chop. I've also NEVER ever had a problem weighting the front.

Forward geometry and the entire technique it brings to riding can be ignored so long as you're not too short a rider.
I had considered this, but my old medium sunday was just way too cramped and felt like a bmx with suspension whenever I took it to places like fort bill. I'll see if I can sit on a small and a medium though just for comparison.

Jesus. Example 7,000 why I will never buy an Evil. But their marketing is so edgy...
The annoying thing is that I absolutely love this bike and I'm not nearly as excited about replacing it as I should be. But the way that it's cracking is just completely unacceptable. There's a large delamination that started above the BB where the seat-tube yoke meets the downtube, and there are cracks developing either side of the headtube. When I brought this up with Evil they told me that they've since switched manufacturer, which is why they no longer make the undead, but I think it's origins lie with allowing too much torsion in that yoke to make sure the back end isn't too laterally stiff. The end result is that it feels awesome but lasted about three years. But hey, maybe I'm just really hard on kit and other people are still happily riding their undeads. I have no idea what their current crop of frames are like for reliability/durability.

Here's a picture of the crack sanded down for those interested.

12335886_10156403345390089_1718444911_n.jpg
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
I had considered this, but my old medium sunday was just way too cramped and felt like a bmx with suspension whenever I took it to places like fort bill. I'll see if I can sit on a small and a medium though just for comparison.
Look at the numbers man, not the size designation. Your medium sunday probably has nothing in common with a small or medium mondraker. And if you do get a bike that's longer in the front, do NOT run some stupid short stem that's 15mm shorter than your fork offset. That only works for middle aged scaredy pants people on mtbr who just bought a nomad which happens to be the longest travel bike they've ever owned. Super short stems handle like shit.

And don't be scared of mondrakers 'forward geometry'. They're not really that big when you dig into them and look at numbers. Find a front center measurement similar to your evil and you should be good.
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,985
1,680
Northern California
If at all possible try out a bunch of newer bikes, they don't even have to be the same bikes you have available to buy. Multiple facets of bike geometry have changed a lot over the past few years, in some ways its easier to come up with a new baseline all together.
 

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
Look at the numbers man, not the size designation. Your medium sunday probably has nothing in common with a small or medium mondraker. And if you do get a bike that's longer in the front, do NOT run some stupid short stem that's 15mm shorter than your fork offset. That only works for middle aged scaredy pants people on mtbr who just bought a nomad which happens to be the longest travel bike they've ever owned. Super short stems handle like shit.

And don't be scared of mondrakers 'forward geometry'. They're not really that big when you dig into them and look at numbers. Find a front center measurement similar to your evil and you should be good.
Good shout, the front centre numbers are interesting to look at. Although I think @djjohnr says it's probably best just to try them which is what I suspected originally. I thought it might be worth just looking at numbers, but to be honest it's all pretty academic until I throw a leg over them. Cheers anyway gents.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Good shout, the front centre numbers are interesting to look at. Although I think @djjohnr says it's probably best just to try them which is what I suspected originally. I thought it might be worth just looking at numbers, but to be honest it's all pretty academic until I throw a leg over them. Cheers anyway gents.

Oh for sure. Go ride everything, especially if you haven't really shopped around in a while. You may find out you like lower/higher, shorter/longer, etc. than you thought. Different wheelsizes, better suspension and all the other evolving things could enlighten you to your own preferences.











And fuck evil.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist
Mar 14, 2005
4,914
1,198
FYI the Mondrakers crack pretty easily (both alloy and carbon) and the pivots and pivot bearings are miniscule so if you ride a lot and don't like maintaining/replacing things that's not the bike to get. It's class-leading in weight so if you want a really light bike at the cost of reliability - then it's probably a solid choice.

The Gambler is an awesome bike and has the benefit of being supremely reliable, durable, and stiff (particularly in the rearendend, much moreso than the Undead which is a flexbucket). The pivot hardware is reasonably generous and it's a true multi-season hard use frame. The downside is (unsurprisingly) its weight - at about 4kg for the large frame it's not particularly light - but on the other hand it's still lighter than the last iteration of the Sunday for example, so not terrible.

Evil sucks and their support sucks (if you're emailing them in hopes of getting anything physical/tangible, prepare to be strung along for a while), and the bike is flexy and weak. The Gambler frame is about 400g heavier which I managed to save in other components and it's an infinitely better frame. It's stronger, noticeably stiffer, has way more durable pivots/bearings, and has significantly better bump absorption so it's a lot of fun in rough stuff. The one place where the Undead was better was in popping off smaller lips and obstacles (very lively) - that bike is really good at that and the Gambler is less poppy. However I found on larger kickers the Undead became quite dead (ha) whereas the Gambler has a more linear and predictable jumping style across varying sized lips, and I do prefer its behaviour on bigger jumps.

The Undead ran small for its sizes so you'd probably be best off on an M gambler if you're struggling to weigh the front on an L Undead. If you can, do try both, but given your description I think you might be most comfortable on the M. I ran a large in both frames but I found the L Undead too small for me so the extra length on the L Gambler was more than welcome.

Hope that helps!
 

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
FYI the Mondrakers crack pretty easily (both alloy and carbon) and the pivots and pivot bearings are miniscule so if you ride a lot and don't like maintaining/replacing things that's not the bike to get. It's class-leading in weight so if you want a really light bike at the cost of reliability - then it's probably a solid choice.

The Gambler is an awesome bike and has the benefit of being supremely reliable, durable, and stiff (particularly in the rearendend, much moreso than the Undead which is a flexbucket). The pivot hardware is reasonably generous and it's a true multi-season hard use frame. The downside is (unsurprisingly) its weight - at about 4kg for the large frame it's not particularly light - but on the other hand it's still lighter than the last iteration of the Sunday for example, so not terrible.

Evil sucks and their support sucks (if you're emailing them in hopes of getting anything physical/tangible, prepare to be strung along for a while), and the bike is flexy and weak. The Gambler frame is about 400g heavier which I managed to save in other components and it's an infinitely better frame. It's stronger, noticeably stiffer, has way more durable pivots/bearings, and has significantly better bump absorption so it's a lot of fun in rough stuff. The one place where the Undead was better was in popping off smaller lips and obstacles (very lively) - that bike is really good at that and the Gambler is less poppy. However I found on larger kickers the Undead became quite dead (ha) whereas the Gambler has a more linear and predictable jumping style across varying sized lips, and I do prefer its behaviour on bigger jumps.

The Undead ran small for its sizes so you'd probably be best off on an M gambler if you're struggling to weigh the front on an L Undead. If you can, do try both, but given your description I think you might be most comfortable on the M. I ran a large in both frames but I found the L Undead too small for me so the extra length on the L Gambler was more than welcome.

Hope that helps!
The size of bearings and mondraker's history of making hardware out of swiss cheese was definitely a concern for me.

So I had the chance to ride a large gambler today, and not only was I blown away by it but it also confirmed a lot of your comments. That thing wants to be pounded like yesterdays meat! Feels bottomless and I can see it getting on nicely on the kinds of tracks I usually race. The other funny thing is how nice it was to ride an aluminium frame again - you really notice that little bit of give that's difficult to achieve with composite frames. The undead attempted to achieve this by allowing lots of flex as you mention, which didn't exactly work out well in my case. Another thing that surprised me was how well it pedalled; it felt really snappy when you put the power down.

I also did notice that it was more work to get it into the air at lower speeds and when you're wanting to hop rooty sections and the like. But I think this is in part due to it being a large and just a bit too long for me. It felt incredibly stable and I was surprised at how much grip I had, but it was just too much body english for me to get it round the tighter turns. My thinking is that if I go with a medium I can always use the adjustment to make it a bit longer/slacker if I feel like it's unstable on the rough and high speed stuff.

Other than the ride, everything else looks sound and I'm very comfortable now with putting money on one. Also thought the fox x2 shock was really cool.
 

Mo(n)arch

Turbo Monkey
Dec 27, 2010
4,437
1,417
Italy/south Tyrol
The size of bearings and mondraker's history of making hardware out of swiss cheese was definitely a concern for me.

So I had the chance to ride a large gambler today, and not only was I blown away by it but it also confirmed a lot of your comments. That thing wants to be pounded like yesterdays meat! Feels bottomless and I can see it getting on nicely on the kinds of tracks I usually race. The other funny thing is how nice it was to ride an aluminium frame again - you really notice that little bit of give that's difficult to achieve with composite frames. The undead attempted to achieve this by allowing lots of flex as you mention, which didn't exactly work out well in my case. Another thing that surprised me was how well it pedalled; it felt really snappy when you put the power down.

I also did notice that it was more work to get it into the air at lower speeds and when you're wanting to hop rooty sections and the like. But I think this is in part due to it being a large and just a bit too long for me. It felt incredibly stable and I was surprised at how much grip I had, but it was just too much body english for me to get it round the tighter turns. My thinking is that if I go with a medium I can always use the adjustment to make it a bit longer/slacker if I feel like it's unstable on the rough and high speed stuff.

Other than the ride, everything else looks sound and I'm very comfortable now with putting money on one. Also thought the fox x2 shock was really cool.
Keep in mind that the Gambler has also a straight 1,5" headtube, so you can run an offset headset to adjust the frame to your liking even more if it is the Reach/stack that bothers you.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
20,939
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borcester rhymes
Look at the numbers man, not the size designation. Your medium sunday probably has nothing in common with a small or medium mondraker. And if you do get a bike that's longer in the front, do NOT run some stupid short stem that's 15mm shorter than your fork offset. That only works for middle aged scaredy pants people on mtbr who just bought a nomad which happens to be the longest travel bike they've ever owned. Super short stems handle like shit.

And don't be scared of mondrakers 'forward geometry'. They're not really that big when you dig into them and look at numbers. Find a front center measurement similar to your evil and you should be good.
hey I like my stupid short stem on my stupid long bike. I liked it since I moved from a medium with a 50mm to a large with a 30mm. I feel like it's easier to handle at high speed and less twitchy through rock gardens, and I can still shift my weight forward for tighter turns. Can I ask what your reasoning is for hating it? I'm not the rider you are, in fact I'm pretty damn mediocre...but this was one change I really liked. I haven't tried switching back to a 50 on my current bike, but the 28mm straitline 6061 deathtrap I ride now has been pretty enjoyable in anything steep and scary.

As for evil's customer service, my frame shipped without a front derailleur cover and when I called them (they answered) it arrived in a couple days, free of charge. I was disappointed to have to pay for an axle bolt after they changed the design and mine fell off, but I probably should have called before it fell off. I can't believe I'm defending them, but I was actually relatively pleased with the customer service I received since buying my frame from them. Just to offer a counterpoint.
 

Flo33

Turbo Monkey
Mar 3, 2015
2,047
1,284
Styria
I was also wondering about the meaning of that line. What's the deal with my fork's offset, which is there to accomplish a reasonable trail and my stem length? When running a shorter stem one always has to try to weigh the front a bit more by bringing the upper body in a more forward position, right?
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Can I ask what your reasoning is for hating it?
You don't notice what it does when trying to keep your weight centered and keep positive traction on both wheels in turns? Usually at mach stupid? It doesn't feel like your wheel is just way too far in front of your bike?

I tried a few 30-35mm stems years ago when people first started making them and once you get past about where your fork offset is, it heavily, disproportionately and exponentially slows down steering and makes it really hard to weight the front wheel. I knew the feeling and thought it was funny that I kept ending up with slightly longer stems on my dh bike than my trail bikes but then I saw someone mention the relationship to fork offset and it made sense. It also explains why in the few cases I've ridden bikes with both 26" and 27" forks, I always end up with a longer stem on the 27" one, regardless of reach™. People already acknoledge that anything past about a 60mm stem starts to feel weird, it's the same thing just on the other extreme with going shorter. Yeah it calms things down a lot (too much IMO) and makes it really weird to lock in both wheels when trying to maintain traction in direction changes, small or large, slow or fast. There's just a dialed balanced feeling that goes out the window.

Cliffnotes: get off the back wheel ;)


As for evil's customer service, my frame shipped without a front derailleur cover and when I called them (they answered) it arrived in a couple days, free of charge. I was disappointed to have to pay for an axle bolt after they changed the design and mine fell off, but I probably should have called before it fell off. I can't believe I'm defending them, but I was actually relatively pleased with the customer service I received since buying my frame from them. Just to offer a counterpoint.
Well that's not the specific situation that evil gained their reputation from. Wait till your bike is no longer the cool, for sale now model that it currently is. Or they just don't feel like doing another batch any time soon. I'd love to be wrong.
 

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
Thought I'd give an update in case anyone is interested:



Heading for the first outing tomorrow to get the suspension set up. From rolling around the driveway the sizing seems spot on - maneuverable but still enough length in the wheelbase. We'll see tomorrow though. I'm fairly buzzing, definitely prettier in the flesh than I thought it would be! Will report back after the first ride for those who may also be interested in getting one.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
11,578
2,001
Seattle
Late to the party, but I recently tried a 30mm stem on my Megatrail, and I'm with kidwoo in thinking that's just too short. The front end just wants to push. I'm back to 40mm and all is well.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
117
San Francisco
Dude, just buy one and kill it. It always cracks me up how much people (who can easily find bike that fit them) fret over geometry.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,376
5,310
UK
...and 'tard post of the day goes to ^^

:P


Heading for the first outing tomorrow to get the suspension set up.
Where did you go?
Everywhere round here's soaked just now... not long home from an all day slopfest at inners.
 
Last edited:

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
Nice one Harry!
How'd it go today?
Cheers! Really good thanks, initial impressions are:
  • The bike is really composed, geometry seems to be incredibly consistent/predictable through the travel
  • Fox air stuff. Very impressed with how supple the 40 and the x2 are straight off the bat. There's still a lot of fettling to do though, I probably have either a bit too much air in the shock or too many volume spacers.
  • Sizing is absolutely spot on. I know that a lot of enduro bro friends of mine will get on it and go WOW THIS COCKPIT IS SO SMALL but I think it's perfect for someone my height (176 cm)
  • Very, very stable in the air. So predictable coming off of my Evil, which would sometimes play buckaroo with very little warning.
  • Sublime in corners. Something about the way it sits in its travel when you crank it over is really nice.
  • I hate shimano shifters.
All in all very impressed. Definitely some fine tuning to do but can't wait to have some more time on it. As usual the bike is far more capable than I am but it's very confidence inspiring!

Oh man, you found the only way to make those ugly ass orange fox stickers look good!

I know, I saw this the other day and nearly cried:


...and 'tard post of the day goes to ^^

:P



Where did you go?
Everywhere round here's soaked just now... not long home from an all day slopfest at inners.
Went to Pitfichie, it was wetter than an otter's pocket. The track is chewed up to buggery and was particularly sluggish in the wet, but I shouldn't have been surprised. Will probably only go there again in the dry to be honest, when it's usually good fun when you can actually carry speed through the flatter bits.

Looking forward to getting back down to inners. Were you at inners or the golfie?
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
11,578
2,001
Seattle
Oh man, you found the only way to make those ugly ass orange fox stickers look good!

I'm a big fan of the fact that my Megatrail has 3 different Kashima parts on it, and none of the three are even slightly close to being the same shade.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
3,882
446
Any chance different series of aluminum on these parts? I know they "upgraded" kashima at one point, but that would be annoying for some of the highest end you can buy...
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
11,578
2,001
Seattle
Who knows. Thankfully I don't actually give a shit, but it's pretty stupid.
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
7,376
5,310
UK
Went to Pitfichie, it was wetter than an otter's pocket. The track is chewed up to buggery and was particularly sluggish in the wet, but I shouldn't have been surprised. Will probably only go there again in the dry to be honest, when it's usually good fun when you can actually carry speed through the flatter bits.

Looking forward to getting back down to inners. Were you at inners or the golfie?
Oh... man... the flat part of Pitfichie in the wet? know that all too well. ;)

We rode Traquair (DH) side of inners... mix of non official DH tracks and 'derp.. Cold enough that it snowed a little. Got absolutely soaked from brutally cold standing water on the first descent so purposely chose to ride slop/greasy descents for the rest of the day (me. on a semi slick as always... haha) The climbs were all dry/clean so thinking about it now. most of the actual official DH tracks woulda been pretty clean/dry(ish) too. Hmm.. oh well...
Mank.jpg


:)
 

Harry BarnOwl

Monkey
Jul 24, 2008
174
38
Oh... man... the flat part of Pitfichie in the wet? know that all too well. ;)

We rode Traquair (DH) side of inners... mix of non official DH tracks and 'derp.. Cold enough that it snowed a little. Got absolutely soaked from brutally cold standing water on the first descent so purposely chose to ride slop/greasy descents for the rest of the day (me. on a semi slick as always... haha) The climbs were all dry/clean so thinking about it now. most of the actual official DH tracks woulda been pretty clean/dry(ish) too. Hmm.. oh well...View attachment 124564

:)
Nice! Yeah I can't believe how wet it's been. Rode some "secret" stuff at glenny t recently and it was so good. All of the best stuff around there seems to be unofficial.

Had my second day on the germbler. I decided to take 1.5 volume spacers out of the shock (down from the max of 4 to 2.5) as it was feeling a bit sluggish. All I can say is wow. Completely transformed the bike into the most stable, poised and playful downhill bike I've ever owned. Grip for miles, jumps like a dream (had a chance to hit some bigger lips) and left me with a huge smile after a day of casing big jumps and skidding around some very damp corners. It's also dead quiet which I was very pleased about. Absolutely chuffed, one very happy customer! :D
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
20,939
5,712
borcester rhymes
You don't notice what it does when trying to keep your weight centered and keep positive traction on both wheels in turns? Usually at mach stupid? It doesn't feel like your wheel is just way too far in front of your bike?

I tried a few 30-35mm stems years ago when people first started making them and once you get past about where your fork offset is, it heavily, disproportionately and exponentially slows down steering and makes it really hard to weight the front wheel. I knew the feeling and thought it was funny that I kept ending up with slightly longer stems on my dh bike than my trail bikes but then I saw someone mention the relationship to fork offset and it made sense. It also explains why in the few cases I've ridden bikes with both 26" and 27" forks, I always end up with a longer stem on the 27" one, regardless of reach™. People already acknoledge that anything past about a 60mm stem starts to feel weird, it's the same thing just on the other extreme with going shorter. Yeah it calms things down a lot (too much IMO) and makes it really weird to lock in both wheels when trying to maintain traction in direction changes, small or large, slow or fast. There's just a dialed balanced feeling that goes out the window.

Cliffnotes: get off the back wheel ;)
I didn't want to reply to this until I had some way of quantifying and testing your opinion. I finally got out on the big bike this past week and I brought with me the factory stem (I'm guessing 50 or 55mm, similar rise to my 28mm). I took a couple runs to get familiar with the bike again, then threw on the longer stem and did a couple more, including the same technical singletrack trails.

I immediately felt like the bike was smaller, even though it was the same size. It did feel easier to turn, and direction changes were more rapid. That being said, I still felt more comfortable on the 28. Maybe it's just the long front end of that bike, maybe it's that I'm not as physically fit as I should be (dad bod) but even with the shorter stem, I'm still able to throw my weight forward to get the direction changes and handling I want, I just have to be more deliberate about it. So, the shorty is going back on.

Not trying to change your view, just didn't want to comment without having something useful to say.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
20,939
5,712
borcester rhymes
All good, you definitely won't change my view ;)

You really using a 28mm stem?
yeah we certainly have different philosophies, but mine works for me.

Straitline ultra. 28mm. Didn't like the way the RF atlas stem sat on the bike, too many knobbers waiting to hit a knee or something, though 35mm is probably a better fit than the 28. I don't know that the difference between the two is significant enough for me to know though.