In the first part of the #thegeometryaffair, we introduced Mr Average to a bike that is anything but average and a torrid affair began, would the extreme geometry of the mammoth Pole Evolink 140 mm work for a normal guy? And, now that the initial excitement has faded, is it time for a threesome?
Let’s recap. For two relatively small brands, there’s been crazy hype around the radical heretics Pole and the Geometron, and while the industry seems poised on ‘reduced offset-gate’, confusion as to whether the extreme geo offered by these bike is any good has been filling the forum channels. If I’m honest, I had major doubts when I pulled the Pole EVOLINK 140 out of the box, I ride really tight trails here in Scotland, would a 1314 mm wheelbase rock my world, or would it be as maneuverable as pushing a cow up a tight staircase? Now, after 3 months of testing, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on the bike and it’s radical geometry, and the conclusions are certainly not what I expected. It’s been a conversation starter for sure, “How long is your Pole?”, “Do you have a reversing beeper on that thing?”, “Can I sit on your Pole?“ I’ve heard them all. The bike certainly attracts a lot of attention on the trails, at 180 cm tall, I’m on the low end of the size window for the size Large Pole, which makes the bike look massive next to me, but now I am used to it, it looks like everyone else is riding BMX’s.
Is radical geometry just hype or is there something in it?
It’s been three months now since the affair started, and it has turned into more of a long relationship, the excitement is still there but we are now getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Before we begin, let’s look at those numbers again, compared to a Large Santa Cruz Hightower, a bike well known to be rad as hell, the Pole EVOLINK 140 is 2.5o slacker at the head tube, 3.2o steeper at the seat tube, 11 mm higher at the bottom bracket, 19 mm longer in the chainstays, 60 mm longer in reach and a whopping 127 mm longer in the wheelbase – in a world where bikes are separated by mm’s that’s a monstrous difference.
It has been interesting living with a bike of such generous proportions. The first thing I noticed was that everyone I knew suddenly became a geometry expert. My social media stream filled with heated exchanges, the long-and-slack army rallied in force, it’s certainly an emotive topic, as to suggest Pole and Nicolai is doing it right is to infer that everyone else is doing it wrong. I was determined to keep an open mind, to experiment, to not be drawn into the hype as I plunged head first into the deep end of the geometry pool. There were funny practical issues too, the bike only just squeezed onto my Thule Bike rack and I have got into trouble repeatedly for leaving tyre marks on the ceilings in my house.
So, after three months of practically every kind of riding, has #thegeometryaffair been the revolution that I have been waiting for. After riding over 40 different bikes last year, I have been ripping #thegeometryaffair around at races, steep and tight home trails and many long gruelling days out, everything from long XC rides to punting down some of Scotland’s steepest and tightest enduro stages, it’s been my one-bike-to-do-it-all, not just wide-open surfaced bike park trails, but proper steep and naughty tech fests. Is this geometry the future?