Originally Posted by Trekchick
I'm definitely going to have to ponder this a bit the next time I'm on my bike.
I know that I spent a lot of time trying bikes and had it narrowed down to a SantaCruz and the Trek Fuel8W that I ended up getting. Both of those bikes seemed to have the geometry that I liked.
But that was 6ish years ago.
Santa Cruz have gotten better but not great really depends on what you are looking at and how much reach you need while sitting while climbing. The new trek trail and burlier bike have great geo...
The Santa Cruz have a far superior suspension but if you watched the Kona/bike mag video you would see how Dual short links can be detrimental to good geo. My own Giant Anthem 29er suffers from this.......
Basically what I am saying is you should buy a frame around what bars and handle bars you want to/(should be riding), IE I think you personally should be on a Medium frame from most bike manufactors with shorter stem/wider bars. The problem is most M out of the box might feel to large with out the proper stem. IE you saw how tall Diane was I set her up on a Medium Trance X with a 50mm stem. Bike fit like a glove and will feel a ton more stable than the shorter small. Giant has lenghten their top tubes with 2014 Trance X 27.5 redesign.
With the advent of dropper post, Kona is on to something just making the top tube super low slung. With the seat dropped you can move you COM in any which way you want meaning that all of the sudden ETT and seat post angle are not really going to matter..... Only handlebar height, front center and chainstays really will.
One of my biggest Pet Peeve in the bike industry right now is Women Specific Design. A women does have short torso yes. Which will matter in bike sizing while sitting yes. but most companies are shorterning their already short front center and fitting the bike with the same stem as the men's bike basically not only making the bike harder and less fun to ride, but also making it less stable. Giant is very much Guilty of this.
let compare the bikes that Giant has a medium Trance to medium Intrigue both are 5.5 inch travel bike. One is unisex and the other is women specific. Just for fun let compare these both to medium Process 134 which is one of the bike discusses in the videos.
Trance M Intrigue M Process 134 M Honzo M (the bike that inspired me start this post in the first place)
Head Tube Angle 67 68 68 68
Chainstay Lenght 17.3 17.6 16.7 16.3 despite the honzo being a 29er its got the shortest stays.....
Top Tube 23.6 22.8 23.6 24.02
Wheelbase 45.5 44.4 45.0 44.1
Front Center 28.2 26.2 28.3 28.1
Stand Over 28.1 28.2 25.98 32 this does not seem right to me ......
so some interesting thing s are quiet clear when looking at these numbers. The Intrigue is the easiest bike on this list to endo do to it short front center, and long chainstays, will feel the most unstable, be the hardest to manual/wheelie due to its longer chainstay. it also have the highest stand over which is kinda of like really? Just because a women's body is different does not that bike any easier to ride for her except arguble while climbing and sitting down........ If anything that bike might actual kill confidence compared to the Trance or Process 134......
Comparing the 2 men's bike which are quite similar in scope and purpose.
The process despite being slightly shorter in wheelbase actually has a longer front center. I have not spent anytime on the process but I have trail ridden a Medium and a large Trance as well I own the process hardtail step sibiling the Honzo. After a week of riding the Honzo all i can say is I am amazed that a hardtail(or any bike) can handle like that. I had hunch buying it, which is why I bought it but just wow. The New trance 650b bike feel very similar in feel and I love Maestro suspension...... but I am more than curious about how the shorter chain stay single pivot bikes feel now.