Bicycle geometry: Battle or wheelbase.

Date: 26/12/2022 Author: Antonio H.

Wheelbase. Influence on the character and behaviour of the bicycle.

The distance that exists between the axes (hubs) of the wheels, measured from their center, is also called "battle", in English wheelbase and is a very determining element in the character of the bicycle. The shorter the wheelbase, the more reactive, mousetrap in curves and nervous the bike will be, also more rigid and therefore less comfortable, while longer wheelbases will make the bike more stable and comfortable, especially on straight terrain and at higher speeds. but also slower in their reactions. The wheelbase directly influences the maximum turning radius of the bicycle

The wheelbase obviously depends on the rest of the elements of the bicycle and its general geometry, although some of the most determining elements are the size, the angle of the steering and the advance of the fork or arrow. The following image shows how a offset fork (top image) will increase the wheelbase while a straight fork will decrease it.

Distancia entre ejes - batalla

The wheelbase of road bikes is noticeably shorter than that of mountain bikes. In the latter, the battle is longer in order to be able to ride better on more demanding terrain. This difference in length can be 100 mm. or more.

There are many more elements that determine the behavior of a bicycle and their influence is not individual, it already depends on the rest of the components, including the cyclist, and in any case, it would be the result of the combination, not necessarily the sum, of all of them. Let's take into account that the bicycle, unlike a car or motorcycle, has a much smaller total mass but, and this is very important, the distribution of these masses is very different. The element with the greatest mass in the bicycle-cyclist set is the latter which, together with its position, will cause the center of mass of the set to be at a higher relative height than in automobiles or motorcycles.

Let's not forget that the vertical distance from the vehicle's center of mass determines the moment of the forces exerted on the vehicle, including its "rolling moment". These moments are all the greater the greater the distance from the center of mass to the ground. This is one of the reasons why it is advisable to lower the position of the body when taking curves, because stability and security will be gained, being able to trace at a higher speed.

Regarding the geometry of the bicycle, the "bottom bracket offset", also known as "bottom bracket offset" is the one that determines the position of the center of gravity to a greater extent. This is the vertical distance between the horizontal of the bottom bracket and the horizontal of the hubs of the wheels. But we will talk about this parameter in another article.

Desplazamiento offset pedalier


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