During the pandemic summer of 2020 I purchased a Cannondale Habit Carbon SE, which was a fairly progressive bike with a 66° head tube angle and 74.5° effective seat tube angle. It also came with 140mm/130mm of travel. I was right between a L and XL based on Cannondale’s rough sizing chart and when I rode a large around the parking lot it felt too small.

Since purchasing that bike I’ve found it difficult to turn and the slack front end hard to control over flat or technical terrain.

I had previously rented a XL Santa Cruz Tallboy, which I enjoyed, but it is hard to compare the two since that was the fist full-suspension mountain bike I’d ridden in a long time. I also have a Trek Farley 27.5” fat bike. A newer version of the bike has a 69° head tube angle and 73° effective seat tube angle.

In the summer of 2021 I demoed a large Jamis Portal C2 with a head tube angle of 67° or 67.5° and seat tube angle of 74° or 74.5°. I found it to be much easier to steer and a lot more playful. It also probably didn’t hurt that it was a $6,000 bike and much lighter than my Habit.

I think I need to find a bike where I’m not between sizes and ideally can size down. Then a less progressive frame design may also be helpful. I also don’t need 140mm of travel. I think what I’m looking for is a “down-country” or cross country bike.

The Santa Cruz Blur is a more race inspired cross country bike with a 68.3° or 67.1° head tube angle.