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custom polo frame geometry...

if you were designing your own polo bike what would you go for?...the shortest possible chainstays? shortest front center (short of toe overlap)? what headtube angle? fork rake? trail? wheel flop? seattube angle? horizontal top tube vs sloping top tube? bb height/drop? 26? 29? 650? 700?

Fleet Velo Joust. That is all.


awesome frame that it is...it has it's limitations for my personal setup...I run 135mm spaced 60s/2.35s with disc brakes. the joust has the most positives out of any of the polo specific bikes.

where are the bike nerds with tech talk about handling?

I'm not smart enough to comment on geometry, but i've always thought that my ideal bike would be a combination of your bulldozer and the joust. With couplers!

that's what i'm in the process of dreaming up...kinda...

closer to a track/crit front end with a track/crit/trials rear end but with a horizontal top tube, clearance for up to 60s/2.35s, tabbed for disc brakes, lower bb than the joust for center of gravity reasons, shorter wheelbase, bb of 73 and 135mm spacing...and yes....couplers.

My understanding is that the new Joust mark III (IV?) will have 135 spacing, don't know about tie clearance or disc tabs. Fleet Velo's geometry decisions are revealed in other threads, I believe it's the most well-thought-out frame for polo. But I'm no bike expert.


135mm spacing alone is a huge improvement to me...and i'm definitely no bike expert either...agreed on the joust being the most well thought out polo bike out there...but as we all know too well there is no one polo bike made for everyone. i've had people literally shake their head in astonishment that i play on what i play on...

chainstays: short.
front center?: track bike on the swoopier side. >100 cm as long as there's no toe overlap.
headtube angle: 74, or 75, would have to test em both. recently i have been loving a more laid back old kona frame, but soon i'm going to switch to a track bike and it seems like that would be a good polo bike too.
trail: 60mm is a good mix between sharp and speedy.

sloping top tube
y'all can use 175 cranks without mishap

that's more like it...hahaha.

what's a short chainstay for polo? the de bernardi track frame is 375...trials bikes go down to 365...

you can definitely get the wheelbase down under a 1000mm...tight ass slow speed turns around the goal!

steep hta is what i'm thinking as well...shortens up the front-center without causing toe overlap...plus with the right rake can give you the trail you want...which i agree should be around 57-60mm for polo...

i think i prefer the traditional horizontal top tube...why the sloping?

bb as low as possible...using shorter cranks for toe overlap clearance and to avoid pedal strike...160-165s for me i think.

yes on the 26" but i like 60s/2.35s...schwalbe big apples...last forever and at full pressure have a rolling resistance and profile close to that of a 700x23.

what's prompting the switch from the mtb to the track frame?

the track bike i'm building up has 368 chain stays by my measurement. i'm going to give that a go and see.

wheelbase depends on your size, but i'd hesitate to go much under 100cm for a) toe overlap and b) twitchiness

sloping gives you less chance of hitting your balls on the tt when you crash. plus look. also fit a wider range of riders, although for custom i guess that doesn't make any sense.

i like the idea of using 175 cranks for better leverage. it's hard to tell whether that control or the lower center of gravity from a dropped bb with short cranks would be more effective for keeping one on their bike. also pedal strike is the polo killer and a higher bb means less of it.

wide clearance, yes.

switching bikes because the track bike is a lot tighter and the super long ett on my old school kona limits playing on the left side of the bike (i'm a righty). just messing around and trying new things.

368 is so short...wheelie turns and pivots should be so easy if you have your seat set back at all.

i'm definitely going under the 1000mm mark...just trying to calculate how short my front center mark can be without toe overlap.

i have a 28" inseam so i run 165s anyway...i don't think 160's will be a noticeable difference...pedal strike is one of the true limiting factors to my polo development...can't wait to have it completely eradicated.

how wide is your new build going to allow?

shorter front center/tt means easier manipulation of the ball on your non-mallet side...

a Joust with 135mm spacing and disc tabs (with disc guards).
For a stock polo-bike fleetvelo/waterford have their geometry pretty sorted.

I went on a tangent and started rambling about bike design below and now i feel bad to delete so here you go.

26" and small tyres allows shorter front centre and shorter rear end with steeper headtube angle for any given toptube length = miles and miles better.

For custom, knowing your own feet-size crank length and all, would allow you to trim the front centre to as short as you can get away with - waterford surely would have had to be slightly conservative with the fact that many people of different sizes will be riding the frames.

Find your preferred polo riding position, If you've been playing polo long enough to be warranting a custom frame you should already know you're position, so the following is not useful.
But for those who don't, if most of your weight is in your upperbody you will be wanting a slacker seat-angle, if all of your "meat" is in your legs you'll be wanting a steeper seat angle. What you're trying to do is get your weight balanced over your feet so that you don't have undue weight on your arms or your arse.

You should know your preferred cockpit length already

Most of a bicycles handling characteristics come from the steering geometry though wheelbase does also play a small role (sharp handling bikes with long rear ends = doubleplus whippy)

When you know your front centre, try getting the headtube pretty steep with your preferred trail value, personally I quite like a reasonably large trail (60-65mm). As a rule of thumb a larger mechanical trail will mean that the point where the bike jackknifes is with the wheel turned much further, though the larger the mechanical trail the wider your bars will have to be to compensate for the increased hand force required to turn the bike. The steeper the headangle the less the bike will want to lean into a turn to be stable, great at slow speeds (polo speeds), but not so great at high speed on the road where you will want to lean into corners with your momentum.

The rake just modifies the size of the trail at any given headangle, it is a result of the type of handling you want rather than something to aim for in itself. Though in this application the rake will end up being quite short.

Sort bb height depending on riding style and crank length

Put some RELATIVELY short chainstays on. Heavier person = longer stays. Lighter person = shorter. a la bmx, it's all to do with being able to pop into a manual, if you're heavier you don't have to pull back as far to have all of your weight centred on the rear axle.

bish bash bosh, custom polo frame.

jackknife!...its crazy but very few frame designers even consider this an important aspect of geometry/design...because most bikes aren't ridden at such ridiculously slow speeds while being turned full force with the player reaching out over the entire front end one handed and then in the midst of the sharpest turn accelerating into an even tighter turn coupled with a complete direction change in the opposite direction...what is stable and even "twitchy" at 25+mph might not be optimal for maneuvering around the goal.

what do you think are the main factors that play into the jackknife?

bb height is hard to decide on...low bb and you're more stable with a lower center of gravity but this necessitates shorter cranks to avoid pedal strike...high bb and your top heavy and although you can run longer cranks for leverage you sacrifice flickability/hoppability. so far i can't really figure out a way to determine the steepest angle at which i turn pedaling...any ideas? once i have the angle i can do the math to give me the bb height with a given crank length that is the lowest i can go while avoiding pedal strike.

how about a sketch/drawing of your optimal polo frame?..with the angles and lengths and such...

I still think fork rake is biggest cause of the dreaded jack knife.

meaning more rake more dread.

Head tube angle and fork rake are major contributors to the jackknife but any problems can be amplified if the the stem reach is too short.

this is mine. not really any jack-knifing, just switched froma 50mm stem to a 90 which really helps too.

link: http://leagueofbikepolo.com/bike/hurricanejosh/celeste-feather

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i rode this this weekend and its a pretty sweet ride.

Mechanical-Trail lessens as a wheel is turned. Jack-knifing happens when the wheel is turned to a point where mechanical trail becomes zero or negative.

To get your point of jack-knife to happen at a situation where the wheel is turned more you need to make the Mtrail larger, hence shorter rake forks.
Though it is important to state that it is the MechanicalTrail and Headangle which are the contributing factors to handling characteristics and not the rake itself.

If you were to have two bikes with 30mm rake forks and 74degree headangles but one is running large 700 tyres and the other small 26" they will have different handling qualities; but if you were to have the two both with 65mm Trail and 74degree headangles they would handle identically.

Certainly not custom, but I think I've dicked around with the geo enough to warrant putting on here. Changed wheels and forks to get it to ride better at slow speed. Not got a discrotor or rear innertube in this picture.




I stumbled upon and was riding a very similar setup till recently; 700cc rear, 26" front, but I was riding fixed, with front disk...
Hope you have a stack of rear tires... you are likely to go through many with a disk brake ;)
I just have to recomend either going fixed, with the brake as an assist, or go with a doubler and a front brake.
Great heads up on the bikecad software, im looking forward to use this to design the 29er I want to build.

MinneaPOLOgasm -----------[] ((((O

Aye, bikecad is great for messing with setup, though the free version does mean no-printouts so is no substitute for a real CAD program.

If you want something more indepth check out Martin Mannings BG101 Excel program aswell, includes things like weight distribution - though admittedly it's more useful for roadbike fit.


this is my custom geometry :)

basically, the front end of a joust and the back end of a 14bikeco frame......

feels incredible.

http://www.lfgss.com/thread18208.html - newcastle bike polo (uk)

Nobody has been writing here for a couple of years....but since my wife decided to play polo again and took the bike away, I have to build another one. Trying to figure out which buy to hack for polo, let me ask everyone: What is the advantage of 135 mm wide hub for polo bike?