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Wednesday
Jan142015

Modern Mountain Bike Geometry By Transition Bikes

Bike geometry can be complicated. It's nearly impossible to know everything about how a bike will ride based on looking at these numbers alone (not to mention these numbers tell you nothing about how the suspension itself will function). But we hear it being done all too often - and to be fair, we do it too. Problems arise when riders focus on just a few of these numbers instead of how they all relate to one another.

There are no right answers here. We're opinionated about this stuff and we'll let you know it. In the end, there are preferences and our hope is that this article provides the grounds for a more informed discussion of bike geometry. We're going to keep it pretty basic, and some of you might find a lot of the topic a little too 101. But we frequently come across pretty educated riders who haven't fully considered some of this stuff. Even in the basics you might come across a few new ideas. We hope it makes you think more about all of the details in your bikes geometry - we think about it a lot.

We'll begin with a topic that we see people confused about all the time....

Effective Top Tube (ETT) is a traditional way to measure a bikes length. It measures a horizontal line, parallel to the ground, from the center of the head tube to the intersection with the seat tube or seat post. This number is useful for identifying how long a bike will feel while in a seated position.

Reach is newer way to measure a bikes length. It uses the same horizontal line as the Effective Top Tube, but instead of measuring from the head tube to the seat post, it measures from the head tube to a vertical line that runs perpendicular through the center of the bottom bracket shell to the ground. This measurement identifies how long a bike will feel while standing.

So Reach measures your cockpit anytime you're standing and Effective Top Tube measures your cockpit only while seated with your saddle at a specific height. They're both telling numbers and it's worth considering them together, but we put a lot of emphasis on Reach these days. Any time we're riding aggressively, we're out of the saddle, so it follows that this number is going to have a greater overall impact on the "handling" characteristics that define the modern trail or all mountain rider.

One of the most common problems we see is over-emphasis on Effective Top Tube length. As a whole, bikes tend to be getting longer front ends these days. But that can be done with a longer ETT, a longer reach, or a combination of both. Riders who look only at Effective Top Tube without considering reach may be selling themselves short, literally. That's because seat angle has a huge effect on ETT, but zero effect on Reach. Watch what happens when we make the seat angle slacker:

The Effective Top Tube is now longer, but the Reach has remained the same. Or to look at that in another way, it's not hard to imagine a scenario where the Effective Top Tube of 'Bike A' is the same as 'Bike B', but the Reach of 'Bike A' is actually shorter than 'Bike B' because 'Bike A' has a slacker seat angle. This happens; a lot. In these cases, Bike A may fit great while seated, but while standing, the cockpit length is too short and the rider doesn't have enough room to move around or find the bikes sweet spot.

The slack seat angle that afforded the rider adequate seated top tube length does nothing to help the rider move around on the bike while in a standing position. It has other effects as well. The riders seated weight will be further over the bikes rear axle, making the rider work harder to keep the front wheel on the ground while climbing and harder to effectively transfer power to the cranks. The taller the rider/seat post, the more dramatic this effect will be because the seat itself keeps moving rearward as the saddle height is raised. So rather than slacken the seat angle to increase a bikes Effective Top Tube, why not increase the Reach? Proper position while seated and standing.

Another problem with ETT as a whole is that, because it's influenced by seat angle, the actual feel that a listed ETT provides will vary from one rider to the next depending on how high they run their saddle, even on the same frame. Reach is more constant. Consider a rider who is 6' with two bikes; both bikes have a listed ETT of 610mm, but they have different seat angles. ETT is always measured in a parallel line to the ground starting at the top of the head tube. Now let's assume this riders actual seat height is 5" above where the ETT is measured. The bike with a slacker seat angle will actually feel longer while seated than the bike with the steeper seat angle, even though
they have the same effective top tube on paper. So saying that you prefer a bike to have a particular ETT isn't really considering all the necessary information.

Longer Reach also means that the measurement from the BB to the front axle will be longer.

Let's assume that you take a frame and increase the Reach by 25mm. The distance from the BB to the front axle will grow as a result and you now have a bike with a longer wheelbase. You can now shorten the bikes chainstay length to get the wheelbase back to where we started. Same overall footprint, just with more bike out in front and less in the back. Same stability at speed, but a lot easier to push the rear end around in corners and get the front wheel off the ground when you want to. Decreasing the chainstay without increasing the reach would shorten the wheelbase, potentially sacrificing stability at speed. And a slack seat angle combined with the shorter chainstay is going to shift rider weight even further over the rear axle.

With a longer reach dimension, riders can run a shorter stem while still having enough room in the cockpit, whether seated or standing. Short stems provide stability, which is a good thing when you're hanging on for dear life down a high-speed singletrack descent or pointing it through a technical section of trail. When climbing, your tire is less likely to get knocked off line by a root or ledge in the trail. We're going to make a blanket statement here that's intended to offend plenty of people...anyone who doesn't consider themselves a purely XC rider shouldn't be running a stem over 60mm on a mountain bike. That's being generous too. Really we think that max stem length
should be closer to 55mm, maybe even 50mm, but we'll leave some wiggle room in there.

We see people defying this rule regularly - probably because their bike's reach is too short so they put on a longer stem to provide enough room to move around. Or because their bike came spec'ed with a 90mm out of the box and they never changed it.

Tuesday
Jan132015

Pivot Cycles LES Fat - the world's most versatile big tire bike

Pivot Cycles own Chris Cocalis walks you through the design goals and inspirations behind the development of the Pivot LES Fat - the worlds most versatile big tire bike. Check out the frame details and extra Aaron Chase riding footage. Get even more pics info, specs and details at http://www.pivotcycles.com/les-fat

Aaron Chase hits Highland Mountain Bike Park for an off season session on the Pivot Cycles LES Fat.

The LES Fat is the most versatile big-tire bike in the world, capable of running anything from 26 X 3.8, 26 X 4.8, 27.5+ and 29+, via the patented Swinger II dropout. Get all the details and more pics at www.pivotcycles.com/les-fat.

Introducing the LES Fat

Ear-to-ear grins come standard with the new Pivot LES Fat – the world’s most versatile big-tire machine. The full carbon frame of the Pivot LES Fat features leading-edge materials and our proprietary hollow-core, internal-molding process. This coveted technology enables us to create an ultra-lightweight frame featuring the largest downtube in the category and a 132mm Press Fit BB for best-in-class power transfer.

Our patented Swinger II dropout system works with all plus / fat bike wheelsizes. Choose the shortest possible chainstay length for a flickable, playful ride or choose a longer wheelbase and more tire clearance for stability with heavy loads and in messy conditions. The LES Fat maintains ideal geometry via the indexed adjustment arc of the dropouts – the bigger the wheel and the more clearance, the lower the bottom bracket. Included are two headset cup options (Zero Stack and 18mm), for perfect front end geometry at any wheelsize.

The LES Fat is RockShox Bluto compatible and includes a Pivot designed carbon fork with 150mm dropout spacing – one wheelset will work with both options. 2x and 1x gearing compatibility makes the LES Fat an ideal choice in any terrain, and the LES Fat rear spacing is 197mm with an ergo-friendly low Q-factor design when built with the Pivot/E-Thirteen co-designed fat bike crankset. The Pivot Cable Port System makes internal routing simple to install and maintain via large, easy to access ports and interchangeable covers. Easily switch between a variety of cable routing options for the cleanest installation. Additional details include integrated rear rack mounts, internal dropper post routing and 3 water bottle mounts – making the LES Fat the perfect choice for any big tire adventure.

Swinger II Dropout System

The LES Fat features our newly patented Swinger II dropout system, enabling you to run almost any available plus or fat bike wheelsize, easily switch between singlespeed and geared drivetrains and choose your chainstay length based on conditions and desired handling characteristics. With the option to run every tire size from 26 X 3.8, 26 X 4.8, 27.5+, 29+ and anything in between, your bike is really a quiver of options that take you into any season and any condition.

Riders also have the option to set chainstay length within the Swinger II system. The shortest possible setting gives you a flickable, playful ride previously unknown in the big tire category – we feature the shortest chainstays for every wheelsize category. Adjusting for maximum wheelbase and tire clearance (the LES Fat accommodates rubber up to 5” in diameter) gives you an incredibly stable ride for heavy loads and messy conditions.

Features

  • Fits most fat/plus wheelsizes (26 X 3.8, 26 X 4.8, 27.5+ and 29+) via Swinger II dropout system, without geometry compromises
  • Full carbon frame featuring proprietary hollow core internal molding technology and largest downtube in the category
  • Optimized layup structure and toptube and stay shaping for long ride and epic adventure comfort
  • Full length internal cable routing via Pivot’s exclusive, easy-to-maintain Cable Port System
  • Optimized low Q-factor design when built with co-designed Pivot/E-Thirteen fat bike specific crankset included in our complete builds
  • 197mm rear spacing with clearance for tires up to 5" for unpacked snow, mud and sand
  • 132mm wide press fit bottom bracket for light weight, durability and ease of maintenance
  • 2x and 1x and singlespeed compatible
  • Pivot designed carbon fork with 150mm spacing
  • RockShox Bluto compatible
  • Ships with both 18mm and Zero Stack headset cups for correct geometry at any wheelsize
  • Shimano sideswing front derailleur compatible via a low profile e-type mount
  • Geared and singlespeed compatible
  • Rear rack mounts
  • Internal dropper post compatible
  • 3 bottle cage mounts
  • Highly durable rubberized leather chainstay protection
  • Sizes S, M, L for riders between 5'6" and 6'4"
  • Available as a complete bike or as a frame/fork/headset
  • Begins shipping end of January

PIVOT LES FAT

 

Introducing the LES Fat

Ear-to-ear grins come standard with the new Pivot LES Fat – the world’s most versatile big-tire machine. The full carbon frame of the Pivot LES Fat features leading-edge materials and our proprietary hollow-core, internal-molding process. This coveted technology enables us to create an ultra-lightweight frame featuring the largest downtube in the category and a 132mm Press Fit BB for best-in-class power transfer.

Our patented Swinger II dropout system works with all plus / fat bike wheelsizes. Choose the shortest possible chainstay length for a flickable, playful ride or choose a longer wheelbase and more tire clearance for stability with heavy loads and in messy conditions. The LES Fat maintains ideal geometry via the indexed adjustment arc of the dropouts – the bigger the wheel and the more clearance, the lower the bottom bracket. Included are two headset cup options (Zero Stack and 18mm), for perfect front end geometry at any wheelsize.

The LES Fat is RockShox Bluto compatible and includes a Pivot designed carbon fork with 150mm dropout spacing – one wheelset will work with both options. 2x and 1x gearing compatibility makes the LES Fat an ideal choice in any terrain, and the LES Fat rear spacing is 197mm with an ergo-friendly low Q-factor design when built with the Pivot/E-Thirteen co-designed fat bike crankset. The Pivot Cable Port System makes internal routing simple to install and maintain via large, easy to access ports and interchangeable covers. Easily switch between a variety of cable routing options for the cleanest installation. Additional details include integrated rear rack mounts, internal dropper post routing and 3 water bottle mounts – making the LES Fat the perfect choice for any big tire adventure.

Swinger II Dropout System

The LES Fat features our newly patented Swinger II dropout system, enabling you to run almost any available plus or fat bike wheelsize, easily switch between singlespeed and geared drivetrains and choose your chainstay length based on conditions and desired handling characteristics. With the option to run every tire size from 26 X 3.8, 26 X 4.8, 27.5+, 29+ and anything in between, your bike is really a quiver of options that take you into any season and any condition.

Riders also have the option to set chainstay length within the Swinger II system. The shortest possible setting gives you a flickable, playful ride previously unknown in the big tire category – we feature the shortest chainstays for every wheelsize category. Adjusting for maximum wheelbase and tire clearance (the LES Fat accommodates rubber up to 5” in diameter) gives you an incredibly stable ride for heavy loads and messy conditions.

- See more at: http://www.pivotcycles.com/bike/les-fat/?utm_source=Pivot%20Cycles%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=c31495df8a-January_Newsletter%20Les%20Fat&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0fb7fb4e92-c31495df8a-184379277#sthash.lm0Dw94W.dpuf
Tuesday
Jan132015

2015 Intense Spyder 275 Announced

Introducing the Spider 275, the newest addition to the Intense line.

This is a do-it all trail bike. Engineered with modern trail geometry, it features a slack head angle, a long front-center, super- short chainstays and adjustable rear travel (115mm – 130mm). If there is just one bike in your quiver this is it. Available in Flat Flo Red (pictured here) and Silver Flake. With three different build options, the new Spider can fit any budget.

Features

  • Aluminum Frame with Double butted hydroformed tubes.
  • Adjustable VPP / ibox rear suspension 110-130 mm.
  • Longer front center, designed to utilize shorter stem lengths.
  • Water bottle cage mounts.
  • Super short chainstays for a quick snappy feel.
  • Internal routing for dropper post.
  • 42 X12 rear hub spacing.
  • Serviceable pivot points featuring collet bolts and grease ports.

Intense Spyder 275

Thursday
Jan082015

Pivot Cycles Inks Freeride Pioneer Aaron Chase To A Multi-Year Deal

Pivot Cycles is pleased to announce the addition of Aaron Chase to their roster of riders. Chase, a master in the world of freeride, is best known for pushing boundaries and for his technical and creative style, both on and off the bike. He has graced the covers of countless magazines, stood atop the most sought after podiums and is now best known for his progressive video projects. As a content producer for both GoPro and Red Bull Media House, Aaron’s videos have been seen on most major TV networks and his You Tube views number well over 100 million.

A true East Coaster, AC was born and raised in New Hampshire; calling Highland Mountain Bike Park his summer home and spending the remainder of the year at his home in New Jersey at the foothills of Mountain Creek Bike Park. “This is a new chapter, and I am excited to work with the entire team at Pivot. In order to make the kind of videos I’m known for, I need a full line of top tier bikes and the Pivot Cycles quiver that now lives in my garage is unbelievable. It’s like opening the door and seeing someone put a couple of Lambos in there. I also have to thank my long time friend Dave Weagle of DW Link fame for making the introduction.” explains Aaron Chase.

Chase has signed a multi-year deal with Pivot Cycles. Chris Cocalis, President of Pivot Cycles says “Aaron will bring something truly unique to the Pivot family – his innovative riding style is matched only by his ability to test equipment to its very limits. We look forward to seeing Pivot Cycles in Aaron’s incredible Red Bull and GoPro projects and to benefiting from his contributions to our product development process.

Aaron Chase will be riding the new Pivot Cycles Phoenix Carbon DH as his downhill bike with the Mach 6, Point and M4X models for enduro, dirtjump and slopestyle applications. Additional bikes will be added to the quiver as the season and events dictate.

Chase will debut his full range of 2015 sponsors, including his Phoenix Carbon DH at the upcoming Manizales Urban Downhill Race in Colombia, where he will be filming the next video in his renowned Red Bull Media House “Through My Eyes Series”.

 

Keep up with Aaron Chase via Instagram: aaronchase, Twitter: @chaselife and Facebook: aaronchase17. Find Pivot Cycles at www.pivotcycles.com, Facebook: PivotCycles, Twitter: @PivotCyclesUSA, Instagram: pivot_cyclesusa

Wednesday
Jan072015

GSTAAD-SCOTT Welcomes Neko Mulally

Neko Mulally has joined Brendan Fairclough to form the new Gstaad-SCOTT, and while you are reading this the two are already working on the new bike setup together with SCOTT and FOX. Both will be riding the 2015 SCOTT Gambler 710 with FOX as the Suspension Sponsor and components from Schwalbe, DT Swiss, Shimano, Syncros, E*Thirteen.


This is what team manager Claudio Caluori has to say, “Working with Neko has been amazing right from the start. I couldn’t believe how clear, straight forward and target-oriented this young fellow is, and how easily he has made things happen to get going with the bike testing. I can’t wait to go to the World Cups with Brendan and Neko, and to see them chase each other down the mountain.”


Sports director Cyril Lagneau also feels the positive vibes heading into the new season, stating that, “Neko is surprisingly professional at his young age. We are making big progress with regards to the product development since he has come on board as he gives us very specific feedback on what we can improve.”


Neko, coming off a great season last year has been quite eager to share the news. “I am so stoked to finally announce my new ride! I have put in the hours on this bike, and I really feel like it suits my riding style very well. Continuing on with FOX and many other sponsors that I am familiar with, along with great communication between SCOTT, the team, and myself has made the transition easy. Riding alongside Brendan will be sick- I think we are both going to have a great time and kick some ass this year!”  


Brendan is also looking forward to having Neko on board. “It’s great to have another top rider on the team. We have already had a great time riding and hanging out in France during preseason together and are looking forward to a great race season ahead. Neko has a good relationship with FOX and an extremely professional attitude towards racing- hoping that can help us both get the results we want and make this bike and team the fastest on the circuit." 


We’ve re-structured the team in order to increase the efficiency within the team and also to intensify the cooperation with our existing partners in order to get the maximum out of the relationships and to provide the best environment possible for athletes and sponsors.


Emilie Siegenthaler, Patrick Thome and Noel Niederberger have gone in different directions in 2015 and we wish them nothing but the best. 


Many thanks for the growing support from all of our partners:GSTAAD, SCOTT, FOX, Velosolutions, Schwalbe, DT Swiss, Shimano, Syncros, E*Thirteen!

Let’s get this season started!  

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