It’s self-evident that a short wheelbase is better for manoeuvrability than a long wheelbase. This applies as much to cars as it does to bicycles; imagine a stretch-limo driving round a go-kart track.
In the case of a bicycle, the wheelbase dimension is also the sum of the centre-to-rear and centre-to-front dimensions. These two dimensions contribute to the fore/aft weight bias of the whole bicycle; the centre-to-rear in particular contributes to the overall efficiency of the bicycle’s transmission system, as well as how well you can climb slopes.
Posted by MiniNinjaRob
[on the ride] I stuck with Geoff and chatted about his bike. He was having a bit of difficulty with his breathing (smoking too much was his excuse but I hope I’m still riding at 63!!) so we walked up a bit together.
He let me ride his bike up one of the steep bits and I have to say after one pedal turn I could see what this [bicycle design] is all about.
The unbelievable grip, smoothness and just plain ease of riding is astonishing!
Combining larger wheels with a short wheelbase can result in ‘toe overlap’. The picture below, viewing from above, shows that there is really no problem whilst your front wheel remains aligned with the frame.
However, you’re constantly steering a bit from side to side, although rarely enough to cause any problem. The picture below shows that, on those few occasions when the steering is turned further, and if your foot on the same side happens to be forward, it comes into contact with the flexible front mudguard extension.
The practical experience of those cyclists who do ride bikes with a short C-F dimension has proved that it is so very rare for the front wheel to actually coincide with the foot/pedal that there is little to worry about, the problem really is illusory.
Posted by JezT
If you watch videos or photos of Cleland bikes in action, you see a rider and machine at ease, as if riding on tarmac.
Up here in the mountains, Geoff rolls up, slides off his saddle, looks composed and rides neither fast nor slow, picking a line down the rock face with the kind of genuine expertise that comes from years of practice.
It’s pure Cleland!
The Landseer gives you the agility of a BMX combined with the traction and float of a 29er by combining an ultra-short-wheelbase with large wheels, but you may have to suffer your foot brushing against a flexible mudguard extension now and then.
Do you think you could possibly cope with that?
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