Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Philadelphia's western 'burbs
Bikes: '89 Bridgestone MB-3, '91 Bridgestone CB-0, '92 Bridgestone RB-2, '94 Bridgestone MB-2, '96 Trek 8000, '05 Jamis Dakar XC Expert
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Hello all, This is my first attempt at posting here--please pardon any errors in placement or format.
Last week, I irreparably bent and cracked the derailleur hanger on my ’96 Trek 8000. I decided to swap-out the XT components and Manitou SX fork onto a like-new Trek 4300 frame that I found on Ebay for $49.00. (At first I was hesitant to “downgrade” the frame, but then realized it was mostly an issue of foolish vanity concerning what digits are stickered onto my bike—by all accounts the new SL frames used on the 4300 are very nice—even built in Wisconsin.)
The frame hasn’t arrived yet, and now I’m hung-up on what is perhaps an equally silly obsession—a slight difference in frame geometry. The head and seat angles will be .5 degrees different, and the top tube will be something like an inch shorter. The chainstays on the 4300 will be 16.9” vs. 16.7” on the 8000.
Now my questions: Will I actually notice a difference in handling—or, do I just need to shut up and ride? What if any actual performance differences result from these differences in angles? Will my built up bike “look” like a “comfort-bike” (Heaven Forbid!!)? Is it possible to even see a difference in geometry like this with the naked eye? Is there a chance that any one single aspect of overall performance will actually be improved? A part of me hopes that these seemingly miniscule differences in geometry act more as a mental placebo that allow builders to charge more for “performance” geometry. Another part is saying, “…you idiot, those mathematical calculations are extremely important—each tenth of an inch is critical! You’re going to feel like your peddling an old Huffy….”
Thanks for any input that will either confirm my fears or put my mind to rest. I hope to be a regular visitor here and will complete my profile as soon as I get a chance.