Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Does geo really matter?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Does geo really matter?

Old 04-05-20, 12:03 AM
  #1  
Padgett
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Texas+Mississippi
Posts: 65

Bikes: All City Gorilla Monsoon, 1985 Fat Chance Competition, 90s Kona Cinder Cone, 1973 Schwinn Le Tour

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 24 Posts
Does geo really matter?

Of course different geometry makes a difference in bike handling/characteristics, there is no doubt. But, does it actually matter?

Here's why is ask. I have a classic mtb and am getting into bikepacking. After doing some research, the industry definitely seems to have been pushing steep head tube angles to carry front load, etc. But, I have seen some very new bikes with "progressive" geometry that are very very similar to my mtb from '85. Slack head tube, long reach, etc. Seems like yet another thing from the 80's is making a comeback.

Now I realize in a commuter/front load bikepacking setup a steep HT will carry a load better blah blah blah. But should it matter to you? Is geometry changed to sell new bikes?
Padgett is offline  
Old 04-05-20, 04:21 AM
  #2  
Olefeller77 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Illinois quad cities (Colona)
Posts: 194

Bikes: Trek Marlin 6 29r - Scattanti road bike w carbon fork - Trek 6500 - Univega Alpina 503 - Specialized Sworks M4 made in USA

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 57 Posts
yes and yes
Olefeller77 is offline  
Old 04-05-20, 05:25 AM
  #3  
Gconan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 657

Bikes: Norco search xr

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 197 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 90 Posts
Geometry has changed for the better for real mountain biking. A comparison to 1985 seems ridiculous.
Gconan is offline  
Likes For Gconan:
Old 04-05-20, 07:08 AM
  #4  
TiHabanero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1437 Post(s)
Liked 902 Times in 474 Posts
Yes, it does change to sell bikes, however it also changes to correct mistakes made in the past. Using an old school MTB for adventure touring is a great idea, and you give nothing up to a modern platform because, as you noted, the new bikes are going back in time.
TiHabanero is offline  
Likes For TiHabanero:
Old 04-05-20, 08:28 AM
  #5  
DMC707 
Senior Member
 
DMC707's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,151

Bikes: Too many to list

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1682 Post(s)
Liked 963 Times in 647 Posts
Depends on how "old school" you go back

the new mtb's with the slacker angles are made for higher speed more aggro riding and a lot of these are taking design cues from downhill technology more so than cross country

the angles on a hardtail cross country bike have changed but not as severely as the all mountain, or trail bikes.

neither can compare to a 35 year old rigid machine - those days are long gone, and for the better. The early mountain bikes were trying to replicate the designs of the founding fathers - Breeze, Fisher etc, who took geometry ideas from old coaster brake clunkers
The laid back riding position and closed hip angle the slack angles create may have been good for bombing Repack, but not ideal for all conditions, so by the late 80's early 90's, mountain bike geometry shifted to steeper angles and longer top tubes for a more efficient general riding position-- and the bikes stayed that way for a long time - until the advent of the 29'er, which initially made a lot of design concessions just to fit the big wheels

but a bike from the 90's might better replicate the geometry of a road touring machine. A lot of these were designed for fast NORBA style race courses and their geometry still remains well suited to general purpose use today

Last edited by DMC707; 04-05-20 at 08:34 AM.
DMC707 is online now  
Likes For DMC707:
Old 04-05-20, 08:37 AM
  #6  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 35,101
Mentioned: 203 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16035 Post(s)
Liked 10,460 Times in 5,082 Posts
Ego matters more.
indyfabz is online now  
Old 04-05-20, 12:09 PM
  #7  
Padgett
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Texas+Mississippi
Posts: 65

Bikes: All City Gorilla Monsoon, 1985 Fat Chance Competition, 90s Kona Cinder Cone, 1973 Schwinn Le Tour

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by Gconan View Post
Geometry has changed for the better for real mountain biking. A comparison to 1985 seems ridiculous.
Of course for real mountain biking the modern geometry is much better- as modern trails are much different and these bikes are far superior off road machines. However, my argument isn't geared towards real and more competitive/high end action mountain biking, more towards the adventurer/non competitive side of cycling.

I just think someone can get all too carried away by what GMBN and Youtube influencers in the bikepacking/touring community say about geometry and what you need. My argument is use what you got, run what you brung, and have fun! For someone trying to get into the hobby of biking, I think its all too easy to create this massive checklist of everything you must have in order to have fun.
Padgett is offline  
Likes For Padgett:
Old 04-05-20, 03:47 PM
  #8  
Ironfish653
Dirty Heathen
 
Ironfish653's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,857

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 SoftRide, 1989 Klein

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 709 Post(s)
Liked 586 Times in 364 Posts
For the Love of Mediocre 80s Mountain Bikes

A classic '80s ATB would have the right stuff for an off-road tourer. Long Chainstays, level top tube, and 70*/70* angles are pretty much from the 'Ten-speed' era, and being more upright than a NORBA bike, would also take a drop-bar conversion (if you're so inclined) without the extreme positioning that would pose on a later bike.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 04-05-20 at 03:53 PM.
Ironfish653 is offline  
Old 04-05-20, 04:45 PM
  #9  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Left Coast, Canada
Posts: 5,126
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2235 Post(s)
Liked 1,306 Times in 703 Posts
Depends on what you want to do and how much advantage you want/need from the bike.

This is my 92 rigid 26" Marin. I put a cheap suspension fork on it and it served pretty well as an off road bikepack tourer.



But it really doesn't hold a candle to a more modern design with light weight materials and better gearing/brakes. There was no way I could ride that thing on routes in Moab the way I could with a FS 29'r



But that bike cost about $3000 compared to the $50 plus upgrades I purchased the Marin for. Totally depends on what you can afford and how fast/far/efficient you feel you need to be. I generally ride alone so the only real consideration is practical and not conforming to others ideas.

This is another early 90's rigid bike, set up as a road/gravel commuter with drop bar conversion. It has the slack geometry of similar 80's models and could be geared pretty low if one wanted. For bikepacking it lacks cage mounts on the forks of course, as well as under the down tube, but a Surly fork with all the barnacles could be fitted easily enough.



What it originally looked like


Last edited by Happy Feet; 04-05-20 at 04:52 PM.
Happy Feet is offline  
Likes For Happy Feet:
Old 04-05-20, 07:28 PM
  #10  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 10,214

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2975 Post(s)
Liked 2,208 Times in 1,459 Posts
Yes geometry and fit will always matter. As we move forward we learn things about cycling and try to go further and faster and want our machines to be able to keep up. Yes sometimes things from the past work well and sometimes they don't. A early 90s era mountain bike with a stout steel frame and long wheelbase makes an excellent touring bike but those narrow bars and supremely long stems just aren't as fun to mountain bike with compared to some of the newer bikes.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 04-05-20, 08:59 PM
  #11  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,113

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 798 Post(s)
Liked 640 Times in 482 Posts
Geometry does matter in terms of positioning your body in an optimal way to get the right amount of power and comfort for the purpose of the ride you're doing. An old late 80s/early 90s mtb would probably do pretty well for a gravel touring style bike. The geometry might not be ideal but it might be close enough to be good enough. Other important things are how good/well adjusted the BB is, wheel bearings being smooth and well adjusted, a good sturdy rim and wheel build you can rely on and correct saddle, saddle height, reach, handlebar width, quality tires, etc. A bike setup to roll smoothly, easily, efficiently with a comfortable fit will see you enjoying the ride far more then if the geometry is spot on. Use what you have, replace and repack bearings, check for pitting and excessive wear and get it running smooth and go from there.
Russ Roth is offline  
Likes For Russ Roth:
Old 04-06-20, 03:58 PM
  #12  
Miele Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,557

Bikes: iele Latina, Miele Suprema, Miele Uno LS, Miele Miele Beta, MMTB, Bianchi Model Unknown, Fiori Venezia, Fiori Napoli, VeloSport Adamas AX

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1279 Post(s)
Liked 864 Times in 599 Posts
I think that id one has a vintage rigid MTB that it's a good candidate to try gravel touring with. I have a number of 1980s era rigid MTBs that I've converted to dropbar touring bikes and they work very well on gravel roads and paved roads. For paved roads I fit narrow smooth tires instead of wide knobby tires.

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.