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Longer/Lower/Slacker MTB trend - drop post required?

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Longer/Lower/Slacker MTB trend - drop post required?

Old 05-08-18, 07:56 AM
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JonnyVain
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Longer/Lower/Slacker MTB trend - drop post required?

I'm 6'0. I've been riding a specialized Hardrock in large. When I'm going through switchbacks, my knees nearly interfere with steering and I couldn't get the saddle back far enough. Found a used 2017 Trek X Caliber in XL and rode it on the trail once.

When I compared the geometry of the X Caliber in XL to other modern geo bikes like Mondraker Prime and Santa Cruz Chameleon in Large, the reach and length were very comparable (I replaced 100mm stem with 30mm). The only real difference was standover height. It feels much better to ride. I'm extended across the bike instead of all my weight on the seat, and when practicing going down stairs on my deck, it's much easier.

The problem I ran into is that on the Hardrock I can easily get behind the seat. So going over a dropoff, I pop back, then move forward as the rear wheel leaves the edge. I tried this on the x cal and couldn't really get behind the seat, then got hung up moving forward. Ended up landing the bike with my groin area smashing into the back of the seat.


So my question is, for anyone using an newer bike with LLS geometry, do you feel you need a dropper post? If you don't have one, how do you go over drop-offs? Do you have trouble getting behind your saddle?

Here's a link to the geo specs for the Trek:
https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/b...ber-9/p/16943/
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Old 05-08-18, 11:57 AM
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ANYONE who rides any kind of mountain bike can benefit from a dropper post. 'Getting behind the saddle' is an outdated "solution" to a problem that no longer needs to exist. With a dropper post, you get the saddle out of the way so you can position yourself in a proper attack position for every situation - - you will find yourself being able to ride more in the middle of the cockpit with better weight distribution than the old-skool exaggerated 'hanging off the back' style.
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Old 05-08-18, 02:15 PM
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One thing to keep in mind when comparing older mtb frames with shorter top tubes to newer ones with longer top tubes is that the move to longer top tubes also came with a move to shorter stems. So overall, the reach to the bars is not necessarily longer.

When people talk about MTBs getting “longer” what they are really refering to are
1- the longer top tubes (that usually come with shorter stems)
2- longer bottom bracket to front wheel distance, which is a result of the longer top tube and slacker head angle.

And “lower” refers to the bottom braxket hieght.

None of these things really increase the reach to the bars.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
One thing to keep in mind when comparing older mtb frames with shorter top tubes to newer ones with longer top tubes is that the move to longer top tubes also came with a move to shorter stems. So overall, the reach to the bars is not necessarily longer.

When people talk about MTBs getting “longer” what they are really refering to are
1- the longer top tubes (that usually come with shorter stems)
2- longer bottom bracket to front wheel distance, which is a result of the longer top tube and slacker head angle.

And “lower” refers to the bottom braxket hieght.

None of these things really increase the reach to the bars.
I agree with what you're saying if you're talking about new models of the same bike, but my reach did increase by about 2" going from one bike to the next. For example, the reach is 55mm different between a large Rockhopper and a large Chameleon.

I also shortened the stem on the Hardrock from 80mm to 60mm, not for reach but for geometry.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by dminor View Post
ANYONE who rides any kind of mountain bike can benefit from a dropper post. 'Getting behind the saddle' is an outdated "solution" to a problem that no longer needs to exist. With a dropper post, you get the saddle out of the way so you can position yourself in a proper attack position for every situation - - you will find yourself being able to ride more in the middle of the cockpit with better weight distribution than the old-skool exaggerated 'hanging off the back' style.
Are dropper posts feasible to use on a 3x setup? Where do you mount the lever when you have a shifter on the left? Or should I just get something like this:

KS Eten Lever Seatpost | Jenson USA
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Old 05-09-18, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
I agree with what you're saying if you're talking about new models of the same bike, but my reach did increase by about 2" going from one bike to the next. For example, the reach is 55mm different between a large Rockhopper and a large Chameleon.

I also shortened the stem on the Hardrock from 80mm to 60mm, not for reach but for geometry.
I really don't understand your first sentence at all.

If your question/observation about new vs older bikes, I can't really follow any of what you are saying without model years attached to all the bikes you are talking about.

Also, when you say "my reach" are you talking about the reach measurement of the frame or the saddle to grips reach or your cockpit setup?

Keep in mind that some bikes models (especially from different companies) size there bikes differently. Additionally, some models are intended to be run with shorter or longer stems than others.
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Old 05-09-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
Are dropper posts feasible to use on a 3x setup? Where do you mount the lever when you have a shifter on the left? Or should I just get something like this:

KS Eten Lever Seatpost Jenson USA
Most dropper levers can be run with shifters on both sides. Remote activated droppers have been around for ~13 years, well before 1x became common.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I really don't understand your first sentence at all.

If your question/observation about new vs older bikes, I can't really follow any of what you are saying without model years attached to all the bikes you are talking about.

Also, when you say "my reach" are you talking about the reach measurement of the frame or the saddle to grips reach or your cockpit setup?

Keep in mind that some bikes models (especially from different companies) size there bikes differently. Additionally, some models are intended to be run with shorter or longer stems than others.
2014 hardrock vs 2017 x caliber. Reach is as spec'd on the sites.

Companies are, in general, lengthening the frames. But frame A may have always been shorter than frame B, so you can't just assume because B is a newer frame that it's longer.

I think reach has been extending a bit too.
​​​​​​​
Doesn't really matter anyway, meat of the question is if people can ride these longer bikes without droppers.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
Are dropper posts feasible to use on a 3x setup? Where do you mount the lever when you have a shifter on the left? Or should I just get something like this:

KS Eten Lever Seatpost Jenson USA
I've used a lever post and it worked fine. It's not quite as on-the-fly as a handlebar remote; your action has to be a little more deliberate because you're taking a hand off the bar to operate it. You don't say if you are running SRAM or Shimano but SRAM has the Matchmaker mount system that mounts shifter pod to the brake mount and that cleans up the real estate on the left side some. Otherwise. just mount your dropper lever inside of your brake mount - - it'll be a bit of a stretch but still a bit more convenient than a post lever:


There are also aftermarket mounts like ReMount that group all three (shifter, brake, dropper) all into one tidy package.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
2014 hardrock vs 2017 x caliber. Reach is as spec'd on the sites.

Companies are, in general, lengthening the frames. But frame A may have always been shorter than frame B, so you can't just assume because B is a newer frame that it's longer.
I am not assuming that, and it is irrelevant to my point.

I think reach has been extending a bit too.
Frame reach (the number you are probably seeing on the sites?) Yes
Cockpit reach? No... because people are generally running shorter stems to compensate for the longer frame reach.
​​​​​​​
Doesn't really matter anyway, meat of the question is if people can ride these longer bikes without droppers.
They can or cannot ride them with or without droppers pretty much the same as they could before, because COCKPIT reach has not really changed.
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Old 05-09-18, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I am not assuming that, and it is irrelevant to my point.


Frame reach (the number you are probably seeing on the sites?) Yes
Cockpit reach? No... because people are generally running shorter stems to compensate for the longer frame reach.


They can or cannot ride them with or without droppers pretty much the same as they could before, because COCKPIT reach has not really changed.
Well, either way I can't get behind my seat on a bike that should be a good fit.
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Old 05-09-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyVain View Post
Well, either way I can't get behind my seat on a bike that should be a good fit.
Why do you think it "should" be a good fit?

How easily you can get behind your saddle really comes down to the relative position of your pedals, your saddle, and your handlebar grips.

You describe the fit of the new bike as more extended across the bike. This sounds like the distance from the saddle to the grips increased? In any event, something in the pedals/grips/saddle triangle changed. If it was the distance from the saddle to the grips, then that explains both what you like as well as what you don't like about the fit. So the issue may not be the frame geo per se, but the fit you have set up on it.

If you really want to know what is going on, you need to get the fit measurements from the old bike and the new one. That is going to require some time with a tape measure, plumb bob, and level. You want to know the exact horizontal and vertical distances between the BB, grips, and saddle.

THis may have gotten way off the topic. What you asked about in the title and OP was about bikes getting long, lower, slacker. I think we both agree that over time they generally have. The difference is that what I am suggesting is that while the frame geometry has, in general gotten more longer/lower/slacker, the fit on those frames has not. I think what you are experiencing is simply due to the setup/fit of a few individual bikes.
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Old 05-14-18, 07:54 PM
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I didn't read the responses but dropper posts are something that I don't think I couldn't have on my bike now. The only bike where they don't belong are DH bikes.
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