Thursday, December 01, 2005

Geometry Class: The 29"er Influence

Today I'm going to come out of the historical into today. We have seen that due to fasionable notions and manufacturing constraints that the geometry has- for better or worse- become set within narrow parameters. Now, with the advent of the 29 inch wheeled mountainbike, things have opened up again. Geometry questions are being raised again that haven't been looked at for years.

The biggest two reasons for this new awareness and experimentation is that 29"ers are not a concern of major manufacturers, (Fisher not withstanding) The majority of the units out on the trail are made by small custom builders or flexible small manufacturers. Questions about the proper geometry for a mountain bike with bigger wheels was the other reason for this. Wanting a similar handling experience compared to that of the old twentysix inch wheeled rides, the first proponents of the 29"er were looking at every aspect of geometry. Head angle, offset, and trail were all opened for re-examination. Chainstay length was necessarily going to need to be different, as was bottom bracket heighth. What is really interesting is that the interplay between different philosophies on geometry are now being discussed amongst various influential small builders in an arena that a lot more people can participate in. This is new in regards to bicycle developement.

Now, it is certainly possible to have a custom builder do these things in the 26" wheel format. What I'm suggesting is that due to the necessary research into geometry for 29" wheeled bikes, that all mountain bike geometry is open for discussion. It's not the "NORBA geometry" or nothing era anymore!

Well, don't forget to click the link! It's a great discussion on geometry questions, and features a really cool ride hand made by Matt Chester!

That about wraps up my look at bicycle geometry. I hope you all enjoyed the ride! Please submit any questions you might want delved into at and I will be happy to respond. Who knows, it might become a new blog topic!

Class dismissed!

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