Understanding the geometry of your steed and the impact it has to your ride doesn’t have to be complicated. Bike geometry is **responsible for how a bike looks, rides, and handles**, and having a basic grasp of the key figures will go a long to way aiding you in comparing different bikes and what is best for you.

Contents

- 1 What difference does bike geometry make?
- 2 Does bike geometry affect speed?
- 3 How does bike geometry affect handling?
- 4 How do you measure bike geometry?
- 5 What is aggressive bike geometry?
- 6 What is endurance bike geometry?
- 7 How does wheelbase affect bike handling?
- 8 What is the top tube on a bike?
- 9 What is rake in cycling?
- 10 What is rake and trail?
- 11 What is a bike wheelbase?
- 12 What is head angle on a bike?
- 13 What does slack geometry mean mountain bike?

## What difference does bike geometry make?

A bike’s geometry determines two very important things: how the bike handles and your position on it. At one extreme are bikes designed for racing. Their geometry will typically give you more edgy handling for a ride that’s more responsive.

## Does bike geometry affect speed?

The short answer is that ‘ it depends’. Some viewers commented that maybe it just doesn’t matter. It absolutely does matter and indeed the geometry of the bike is the most powerful way that we can change the riders experience of the bike.

## How does bike geometry affect handling?

It’s affected by three factors: wheel size, head angle and fork offset. The slacker the head angle, the shorter the offset or the bigger the wheel size, the more trail. Generally speaking, the more trail, the more stable the steering.

## How do you measure bike geometry?

You can measure it by finding the height of the rear axle and the height of the bottom bracket, then subtracting one from the other. It’s another key measurement quoted by bike brands on their geo charts.

## What is aggressive bike geometry?

Aggressive geometry puts your upper body down lower for aerodynamics and the bikes tend to favor a more twitchy handling traits. Relaxed geometry has you sitting in a more upright position and the bike is setup to feel more stable at speed.

## What is endurance bike geometry?

Geometry. Relaxed geometry means endurance bikes have a higher stack, lower bottom brackets, and longer wheelbases than road race bikes (read our article on how bike geometry works to learn more about these terms). This provides a more upright riding position that can increase comfort.

## How does wheelbase affect bike handling?

How does a longer wheelbase affects bike handling? Long wheelbase bikes have improved stability, particularly at speed or with an increased load. However, longer wheelbase bikes usually require more input from the rider at lower speeds, in particular on tighter sections of track.

## What is the top tube on a bike?

Top Tube. The top tube is commonly measured horizontally from the top tube/head tube junction to the seat tube. This measurement is referred to as the effective top tube length and allows a consistent measurement, even when a bike has a sloping top tube.

## What is rake in cycling?

Fork Rake is also known as Offset, which more accurately describes what it is: the hub’s offset from the steering axis. Not to be confused with the curvature of the fork blades, which some people think of as “rake”.

## What is rake and trail?

Rake (also called caster) is the angle of a motorcycle’s steering head of the frame (A). Trail (B) is measured in distance (inches or millimeters) between the point of the front wheel’s contact with the ground and a line drawn through the axis of the steering head.

## What is a bike wheelbase?

The wheelbase is defined as the distance between the points where the front and rear wheel touch the ground. In simple words, the wheelbase is the distance between both the wheels of a bike.

## What is head angle on a bike?

The head angle is the angle from horizontal, to the angle that your fork sits at. Generally on a mountain bike, it will be anywhere from 62 degrees (slack) to 73 degrees (steep). Cross country bikes have steeper head angles, whilst downhill bikes have slacker head angles.

## What does slack geometry mean mountain bike?

A “slack” geometry means that these angles are lower, which in effect moves the rider further back in relation to the center of the bike and the front wheel is further out in front.