Old 02-04-15, 02:05 PM
Two-Wheeled Aficionado
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wichita
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Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur TR, Cannondale Quick CX dropbar conversion & others

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Wheelbase is a part of it but nowhere near the whole geometry story. The chainstay length and front center make up the wheelbase.

There has been a clear trend in bikes, especially 'all-mountain' longer travel bikes, for at least 5 years where head tube angles are getting slacker which makes the bike descend better, but slows down the steering and lengthens the wheelbase. Guess what? I've ridden those bikes, and they still are flickable and handle well.

I think chainstay length has a lot more to do with it. Compare the CS lengths of your 3 bikes... obviously, if one of them is a 29er, that is naturally going to be longer than a 26" bike. But if two of them are 26, you can directly compare.

Your weight distribution on the bike has a huge impact as well. This is determined by seat tube angle, front center, top tube length, stem length.. and of course, one's own body and riding style. People are long and lean, short and stout, and everything in between. When a bike fits differently, it carries your weight differently.
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