Rapidé LSL Frame Geometry: Long Slack and Low
Rapidé’s Long Slack and Low geometry has many advantages including increased confidence riding steep terrain – even at high speeds. LSL geometry is more reactive, precise and direct. LSL geometry provides better grip, improved control and better rolling efficiency out of the saddle on climbs due to better weight distribution. Based on a geometry with a longer top tube and short stem the riding position is perfectly balanced for any application.
LSL geometry really gets into its stride when attacking rough, technical trails. The inherent stability of the longer wheelbase combined with the feeling of security from the short stem placing the rider further behind the front wheel makes going over the bars feel like an impossibility no matter what the trail throws at you. This allows the rider to push harder and ride faster with more confidence and enjoyment.
The slack head angle throws the front wheel further out ahead so that it naturally self-centers rather than tucking under if you get into trouble or are caught out a on loose surface – imagine the front wheel acting like a self centering shopping trolley castor wheel.
Why Has It Taken So Long To Get To Today’s Geometry?
Mountain bikes evolved from road bikes and so when they first appeared they inherited their long stems and shorter top tubes. Road bike top tubes are shorter because the drop bars add around 70mm extra reach.
The fact that the handlebar is sticking out over the front axle when standing up climbing or sprinting on the flat on a road bike is not an issue. It’s also why it’s important to stay seated when descending on a road bike to keep the weight behind the front axle as much as possible. A road bike only has to deal with a smooth surface where there is no need for the rider to hover over the saddle allowing the bike to absorb the uneven surface.
We stand up to descend on a MTB when tackling steep technical slopes. Having a long stem placing the bars further over the front axle is detrimental to a MTBs balance and handling and could send you over the bars far easier than on a modern MTB with a LSL geometry.