Zero zero-length stems

Gee at the latest BDS at Fort Bill, with not a single zero-length stem to be found anywhere. Where did they all go? It’s only two data points, but so far the record is:

BDS #1 w/ zero-length stem: crash.
BDS #2 with normal stem: win.

I guess the good news is that with everyone binning their zero length stems, Cesar Rojo has all the stems he could ever want. Truly, a lifetime supply.

Brook MacDonald already contemplating the Trek switch in month one of the Mondraker deal.

Just for fun, I wanted to see what the actual geometry of the Mondraker was, and do you know what I found? Do you know what “Forward Geometry” actually is? It’s a Demo 8. A size large Mondraker Summum has a 447 reach length, which is exactly the same as a size large Demo 8. It’s a lot shorter than a large GT Fury, but it’s exactly the same as an extra large V10, Trek Session, or Transition TR500. Check it out. Or don’t.

To be fair, the size large Summum is slightly longer than a large Scott Gambler or Giant Glory. So in theory “Forward Geometry” is at play here. The “Forward Geometry” pitch goes something like this: run a longer top tube to compensate for a too-short wheelbase, and then run a shorter stem to compensate for the now-too-long top tube. The funny part is that the Summum is only 10mm longer than a Glory or Gambler, and yet the rider is asked to run a stem that’s 40mm shorter. I’m not super good at math, but to me that sounds like it would still be 30mm shorter, which in American is what we call “more than an inch,” or what I would translate to “a lot shorter.”

So this whole argument breaks down into two facts:
  1. “Forward Geometry” is essentially the same geometry as a lot of bikes on the market, namely Giant, Scott, and Specialized. And I don’t mean “after you add a longer top tube and a shorter stem,” I mean the frame is almost exactly the same size as other non-“Forward Geometry” bikes, stem or no.
  2. “Forward Geometry” is exactly the same as a lot of bikes on the market when you order the next size up.
When you type “measuring top tube length” into google image search you get a bunch of pictures of cartoon guys getting hit in the balls with lasers and books and stuff:

So is there any innovation in “Forward Geometry?” Is there total product integration represented in this technology?” No. No there isn’t. All they did was stick really short weird stems on bikes that are maybe semi-longish compared to other bikes on the market. If you typically buy a medium, and you want “forward” geometry, you could just buy a medium Scott, Giant, or Specialized, or buy a large V10, Transition, or Trek. Then you can decide later whether you want to add a stem that will make you crash all the time. That said, I haven’t seen a lot of people beating down the doors at OnOff components to mount a 10mm stem to their Glory, Gambler, or Demo.

Brook MacDonald dialing in his front wheel/rear wheel weighting at Fort William.

You could go out and buy this thing and a new bike with a 10mm longer front center. 

Or you could just use a 5mm allen wrench.
Fun fact: you can change your wheelbase 10mm by changing your head angle about a half a degree. You don’t even need an angleset to do that, you need a 5mm allen wrench. You can just raise your fork crowns on the stanchions and change your head angle and wheelbase plenty.
The only company that’s actually pushing the envelope when it comes to downhill bike sizing is GT. They are waaaaaaaay out there. The large Fury has a 40mm longer reach than a large V10, and a 17mm longer reach than an extra large V10, making the GT the largest bike available on the market. For a small or medium GT compared with the same size or one size bigger V10 those numbers go to 51mm/11mm and 37mm/15mm, respectively. Is that a good idea? Is it going to sell? Is it a fad? I don’t know, but at least it’s actually different. That’s something to write home about, but then they blew it and didn’t even come up with a catchy buzz phrase like “Forward Geometry.”

Mike Levy doing the short guy stretch on a Medium GT Fury. From tire to tire that medium is 75.5″ long (191 cm for our friends North of freedom), which makes the bike longer than Mike is tall. 
But…  GT offers an extra small size. So you can always just bump down a size and then voila you have normal bikes. And the GT size gap also breaks down when you compare it to a bike one size up from Giant, Scott, or Specialized. An extra small GT is pretty much the same size as a small from Specialized, Giant, or Scott, ditto for a medium GT vs. a large from those other brands. So has anything actually changed?
We’ll never know.

7 thoughts on “Zero zero-length stems

  1. What do you suppose is the chance Ian MacLennan will find a new spot or snap 1000 of the same photos again from that exact same turn for like the 10th year in a row?

  2. it's hard to convince some people that getting off a too-small bike and onto a better-fitting one is better for their performance, just ask Sean Kelly

  3. Comes down to telling people their current bike is no good by offering something new, that isn't really new. Unfortunately bikes aren't getting way better year after year like they did in the early 2000s so they have to sell gimmicks instead of performance.

  4. The photo of Levy makes me wonder if an any of the Pinkbike testers can actually ride worth a shit. I sorta doubt it based on their preference for 29ers and the disappearance of DH bike tests on the site.

    DH bike geometry has a long way to go, you'll see. And raising the fork will change lengthen your wheelbase, but is a stupid thing to do unless you need a higher bb cause you are running 175mm cranks on your DH bike. Which would be stupid.

  5. at first pinkbike was all about views so naturally it featured downhill and free ride bikes. but someone in the ad dept. realized that all the 14 year kids watching bender vids were not in fact the ones buying shit. so now enduro has emerged the perfect tool to make the untalented old riders (who spend their life doing something other then bikes = they got paid) feel relevant and cool and buy shit.

  6. Hahaha! didn't get all those stem though, should I provide an address?

    I have say I'm riding 35mm lately that seems like a very good compromise to me, but I'm sure there is people out there that still would want one of those if they ride in steep stuff

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