New geometry and consequences for bike fit

Big JD

Wheel size expert
"The evolution of frame geometry definitely makes bikes better and more capable, but nothing comes without consequences or adjustments. To some extent, we're all having to re-learn bike fit." CEO of Ibis Bikes

Perhaps this is just related to tall buggers - Im 197cm. I recently brought a stunning Ibis Ripley XL but have struggled to get comfortable/ feel right. It is certainly a different beast to my previous rigs- Rocky MT Element XXL and Santa Cruz XXL Highball. On paper the numbers looked fine but in reality it just felt weird. It feels great when climbing and descending but odd when riding seated. My LBS have been super helpful and I even had a chat with the boss of Ibis - who is 6.6 tall to get a tall blokes thoughts (see response above).

I got the Ripley (120 rear and 130mm front) because it was more XC/trail than trail/enduro and would suit a greater range of my local riding. Reach on the Ibis was longer than the Rocky and ETT was slightly shorter but I feel the combination of slack head angle and steep seat tube really compacted the fit. I also found I needed an extra 40 mms of spaces under the stem for the saddle to bar drop to be acceptable. Why do people slam their stems- us old buggers cant bend that far!!!!

To get around the "cramped feel" I have increased the stem length from 50 to 70mms, running a super long steerer to get the front up and will soon change the inline dropper to a setback version. This should do it but these changes are quite dramatic from previous setups and fly in the face of recommended setups. I reckon tall people should still factor in ETT as the primary metric. Its all about reach these days- so we can run short stems and wide bars but the trend of slack HA and steep SA really impacts ETT. I dont feel cramped when im out of the saddle so I reckon reach is ok- just when seated.

Anyway- long story .................................... just wondering if others have found the latest geo trends have impacted fit??

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Daniel Hale

Likes Dirt
" Why do people slam their stems- us old buggers cant bend that far!!!!" cos it's so PRO, and its faster - I wouldn't see it as much of a diff for MTB compared with a road bike were you are 2-3cms less out of the and -but I spoke to a dad who's kid went to jar XC worlds , they could never be a the jar in front of him, they asked someone...suggested slam the stem & to the negative, it was enough for him to overtake the other kid

certainly not good for your back. it depends on bike, I bought a old turner as a spare bike {youngest now rides it SS] its the right size for me -compared with other frames & I find it cramping for some reason - most other bikes are ore XC style, so still clinging to the longer stem of old...I know someone at a bike shop always recommend people buy 1 frame size up -they say as you get older you need higher bars -they always leave lots of spacers so you can move bro up as you progress in years. a prominent UK frame maker [gravel/cross] does the same , recommends 1 frame up...
 

caad9

Likes Dirt
The newer geometry puts you in a more central position on the bike and allows you to be more upright whilst seated.
It will feel different, but you are not relying on your weight hanging over the front anymore as the bike is better balanced.

I agree it feels a little odd, but the overall result is a bike that handles so much better
 

creaky

The obviative
people should still factor in ETT as the primary metric
Agree but not 'primary' as such. I look at ETT, knowing that even with the much larger reach numbers, I can't accept an ETT less than I had on older style geo bikes.


if others have found the latest geo trends have impacted fit
Yes, definitely. My steep ST bike feels more cramped when seated even with the longer Reach and same ETT as my older bike. I still don't feel like I can lay down the power as well on the steep ST bike but that is probably because of conditioning on older geo mtbs and the roadie.

JD - Maybe it's just too small for you, even though on paper it seemed like it would be fine.

I reckon it would be perfect for me at just shy of 6'2". Happy to take that frame off your hands so that you can buy something the right size ;)
 

Scotty T

Likes Dirt
I'm heaps happier with slammed stem, very direct steering. It works because I went one size up on paper for my height, as I have monkey arms. It meant less seatpost out of the frame, which meant not having to bend over as far for the same effective TTL and longer reach (although not "new" geo being a 2015 bike), and a slammed 50mm stem. I could do with 60mm but short is nice for getting the front end up. And to think we all used to "Bonsai" in the 90's with small frames, laid back seatposts and super long stems.
 

Big JD

Wheel size expert
Agree but not 'primary' as such. I look at ETT, knowing that even with the much larger reach numbers, I can't accept an ETT less than I had on older style geo bikes.




Yes, definitely. My steep ST bike feels more cramped when seated even with the longer Reach and same ETT as my older bike. I still don't feel like I can lay down the power as well on the steep ST bike but that is probably because of conditioning on older geo mtbs and the roadie.

JD - Maybe it's just too small for you, even though on paper it seemed like it would be fine.

I reckon it would be perfect for me at just shy of 6'2". Happy to take that frame off your hands so that you can buy something the right size ;)
Creaky I will keep you in mind little buddy............................................
 

Big JD

Wheel size expert
The newer geometry puts you in a more central position on the bike and allows you to be more upright whilst seated.
It will feel different, but you are not relying on your weight hanging over the front anymore as the bike is better balanced.

I agree it feels a little odd, but the overall result is a bike that handles so much better
certainly agree with you- bike rides so well.
 

Halo1

Likes Dirt
I am 192 cm and the GT sensor feels great for me. It is more comfortable to sit and climb than my old GT force although I think I was faster on the force. I am more tall in the legs than upper body so that could also be a factor in the new geo fitting me well with a compacted reach. The only issue I have with the new Geo on the Sensor is hitting my bum on the back tyre more when in the air.

I am not a young bloke and do regular Yoga/Gym classes to maintain my flexibility and core strength. I hope this is not a sign of old age setting in if you don't find the new geo comfy:p

Out all the bikes I have owned there have been a few stand out thats felt like they fit like a glove and these include the Giant Yukon Large, Canfield Nimble Nine XL, Surley Pug XL and now the GT sensor XL. All these bikes has very different GEO numbers but just feel more comfy then the rest.
 

Petero

Likes Dirt
Depending on the actual change in geo from previous rides, it makes sense to me that seated would be the biggest impact.
When you are out of the saddle you only have two contact points reliant on your cranks (BB) relative to bar position. You are also obviously in a more dynamic position on the bike and are able to shift your weight to a more efficient, comfortable and for lack of a better word 'normal' riding position to suit the trail and your preferences. A 25mm change either way from BB relative to handlebars would be absorbed by your body position. I daresay if you were to change up or down a frame size (in the case of guys like us, always down), while the change may be noticeable, the out of saddle performance would be very similar especially whilst descending as I feel that this is likely to be more reliant on the kinematics of the bike?
When seated you are adding in an extra contact point, and and shifting your weight is limited to the position of your torso so thus any small change in geo will be far more noticeable?

I have a similar problem in saddle to bar drop, unfortunately adding the extra 40mm of spacers reduces your reach by another ~20mm!!
 
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Big JD

Wheel size expert
I am not a young bloke and do regular Yoga/Gym classes to maintain my flexibility and core strength. I hope this is not a sign of old age setting in if you don't find the new geo comfy:p
.
It is certainly a factor for me @ 50 years old.
 

Big JD

Wheel size expert
IMO - Try a 50mm stem, better all round.

@Big JD - Have you considered a high-rise bar instead of bulk amounts of spacers? It's a good way to bring the bar height up without shrinking the reach.
yes Ive gone from 70mm of spaces- 70mm stem and 20mm riser to 50mm spacers, 60mm stem and 40mm risers. I reckon it all looks weird.
 

Big JD

Wheel size expert
I feel the same thing on my mate's XL Ripmo & I'm only 6'2", but he's running a 35mm stem.

This new bike fit is a bit odd.
it does feel different HiFi. The expectation is to "shut up and ride" and to adapt but i feel making all these changes to be as comfortable as previous rigs is pushing the setup to extremes.
 

Petero

Likes Dirt
Have you noticed changing the set up for seated 'feel' having a negative affect on the handling or feel when not seated?
 

The Reverend

Likes Bikes and Dirt
This marries up with a tall mate of mine on a Ripmo.
He's loving the bike, and he's 193cms and running XL but feels it's a little cramped on seated climbs and the stack is too low.

For me, reach is one of the figures all taken into consideration with overall fit.

The steep and slack trend can go too far, and my Paradox has a little of this but I don't know what it's like to ride given my injured status.

JD, the recommendation you've had about riser bars makes sense as you know. And I still feel they get the front / rear balance wrong for XL frames.

I hope you manage to get the for sorted out!
 

Big JD

Wheel size expert
Have you noticed changing the set up for seated 'feel' having a negative affect on the handling or feel when not seated?
For sure. It isn’t designed to run a setback post and 70 mm stem with 60mm of spacers
 

Big JD

Wheel size expert
Personally I will make the changes and take the time to get used to it. Like a new pair of shoes- got to wear them in. I havent had a lot of time on the bike in the past 7 months so fitness and flexability will play a big part.
Glad it is not just me that can feel a significant difference with the newer geo - and fit.
 
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