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Impact of Wheelbase Size, Comments Wanted

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Impact of Wheelbase Size, Comments Wanted

Old 02-02-15, 02:36 PM
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Impact of Wheelbase Size, Comments Wanted

I've been looking at larger wheel bikes. I came across a really good price on a Specialized dual sus 29er. I explained to the sales person that I ride a small frame even though they always want to put me on a medium. After discussing the trails I usually ride, this sales person brought up something I haven't seen much on the forums or heard in any other shop I've been in, he recommended I try to keep the wheelbase short. I hadn't considered wheelbase, but I have to admit, my favorite bike, the old Stumpy hardtail, has a wheelbase of only 41", the dual sus is 42", not exactly long framed bikes. My old medium Rockhopper is almost 43". I typically ride technical single track trails with lots of switchbacks and the usual logs, hairpin turns, roots climbs and so on. I'm curious, have any others here considered wheelbase when they moved from a 26er to a 29er or 650b? Any comments thoughts are welcome.
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Old 02-04-15, 02:05 PM
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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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