Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: North Carolina, USA
Bikes: tandem, road bike, hybrid
How to determine how geometry changes the feel on a hybrid bike
I have been riding a road bike for about 8 years, and am shopping for a hybrid to use on gravel trails. I am not comfortable riding on gravel with drop bars. I am 5' 6" with a very short torso. I have a leg strength problem, and have been working on figuring out which muscles need to be strengthened so that I can do the "power position start".
I test rode a Jamis Coda Femme 16", and a Specialized Vita medium. Both have 700c wheels, same crank length.
Although the Vita is 2 lb heavier, it was easier to get it started from a stop.
Bikes are not at the same dealer, of course.
I am trying to figure out how geometry works with my leg strength problem. Starting from a stop is a problem for me. What is it about the Vita that makes it easier for me to get started (apply force to the pedal when it's at 3 o-clock), where I cannot do that on the Coda?
The geometries of these 2 bikes are very similar. I am wondering if the fact that it was easier to start the Vita is due to something that can be adjusted on a bike, or due to something basic like BB height or chainstay.
Jamis' website says BB height is 285mm. The geometry chart for the Vita says B-B drop is 70mm. To calculate BB height on the Vita, would that be 350mm-70, giving 270mm?
Chainstay on Vita is 10 mm longer, wheelbase is 29mm longer.
I know that one difference is the Jamis has 10 degree stem rise (stock) and the Specialized has 20 degree.
I suspect the seat on the Jamis was too far back for me (didn't look at that on test ride).
I really like Jamis bikes. My lovely well-fitting road bike is a 51cm Jamis femme model with an adjustable stem to get the handlebars a bit closer to me.
Does anyone have advice about whether my 'stronger start' is better on the Vita because of factor X in the geometry, or advice for how I can determine this on the next test ride?