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Pearson Wants to Reinvent Road Bike Geometry w/ new Forge

pearson forge road bike shown in signature blue
38 Comments

Pearson says thousands of data points from years of custom bike fits have informed a new concept for geometry, and it’ll debut on their new Forge road bike.

The new model isn’t meant for racers, it’s meant for regular riders who also like to go fast. It has the modern aero tube shapes, lightweight frame, and stealth routing we want, but puts us in a more comfortable position for crushing miles.

The idea is to put the rider in the best position for them rather than put them on a race bike and try to make it fit. Here’s where the idea comes from:

This gist of these charts is this: Mass market bikes’ fits are skewing away from what works at the extremes, and frames have very little overlap between sizes that could leave some riders having to take more extreme measures to get comfortable.

Pearson’s size range, however, has lots of overlap, which may seem counterintuitive at first. But, how many times have you been between sizes? And how many times have you had to choose a frame that was too small or too big and then make it work? I have, and it’s not ideal.

They say their five sizes will fit about 85% of riders, and they offer custom and other models for those on the outskirts. Compare the Forge’s geometry chart to what you’re riding now and you’ll probably find that it (the Forge) has a much shorter reach and sits just a bit higher.

pearson forge road bike shown from an angle

BTW, Pearson isn’t a brand that’s sprung up to challenge the status quo with new ideas around geo. They’ve been in business since 1860 and claim to be one of the oldest continuously operating bike brands. Now helmed by the fifth generation of Pearsons, the brand has been making bikes for well more than a century.

The Forge is made with Toray carbon fiber and weighs in at 890g (size 3). Aero profiles across the frame keep it fast, and they say it’s plenty stiff where it needs to be.

pearson forge road bike shown from rear angle and front

Specs include a T47 threaded bottom bracket, full internal cable-routing, CeramicSpeed SLT headset bearings, and 700×35 tire clearance (32mm with fenders attached to the hidden mounts). The downtube has three bottle cage mounts so you can go low with a single bottle, or raise it to make room for one on the seat tube.

Pearson Forge road bike shown in black

Complete bikes start at $5,150 and go up to $8,150 depending on which group and wheels you choose. Available in Signature Blue and Hammer Black. Pre-orders are open now, bikes start shipping at the end of October 2023.

Pearson1860.com

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FrankTheTank
FrankTheTank
8 months ago

Nice! Now do the same thing but with clearance for 45c tires.

Dinger
Dinger
8 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

This is a road bike, not a gravel bike.

FrankTheTank
FrankTheTank
7 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

I want a road bike for any road, paved gravel, whatever. What I’m saying is this geometry is great, personally I’m in the market for a new bike, but everything has a fit compromise I would have to make. This geometry plus bigger tires would be perfect (and maybe more standover clearance).

Last edited 7 months ago by FrankTheTank
Dinger
Dinger
7 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

I’d argue that if you need a 45c tire for the majority of your use case, you’re not riding “roads”. Sure, there are gravel roads that are that rough, but they’re rare. A 35c tire is more than adequate for all but the roughest gravel and something more like a 30c is lighter/faster for the majority of roads.

Choncho
Choncho
7 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

I used to ride plenty of gravel on 28c and 32c tires… i currently ride on 48c (650b) tires and I’m able to take it pretty much anywhere I can think of (within reason) but most of the time it’s on tarmac.

Last edited 7 months ago by Choncho
rodegeek
rodegeek
7 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

Plenty of gravel roads near me are rough enough that riders choose 45mm tires, especially for overnight bikepacking.

Robert Miskines
Robert Miskines
7 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

I totally agree! One bike for all.

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

Pearson- “We’ve invented a new sizing scheme to ensure even taller riders get to suffer the toe overlap that has plagued shorter riders for decades”

Antoine
Antoine
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard

why road bike designer are obsessed with those ridiculously short / dangerous wheelbase is puzzling. There is only one good reason for this and it’s not “fast handling” big mtb handle plenty fast, it to allow racers to put their nose in the ass of the rider in front of them for reduced drag. But most people should not ride bike like this.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Antoine

For really big bikes, UCI rules have a huge effect on geometry. Even those WTB 750s aren’t even legal since wheels need to be between 650 and 700c. And of course, bike manufacturers build bikes to UCI rules for convenience so they’re not making 2 lines of every bike

Paul
Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Weird, the stack and reach on the Size-3 are really close to the numbers on my custom Ti frame, and I don’t have a problem with toe overlap. It’s almost like they may have taken toe overlap into account when they designed the frames.

Hans
Hans
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

It is odd that the bikes are so short but the HTA is fairly slack and the offset is large (50mm), so that would mitigate toe overlap concerns. (I haven’t done the math to compare side by side but the offset alone adds 5-7mm vs a more typical road fork.)

K.M.
K.M.
8 months ago

Now these are numbers for my taste! Pearson keeps making smart and good looking products. How many times have I looked at an Italian road frame, liked the looks and then shaken my head when checking the geo table….

Deano
Deano
8 months ago
Reply to  K.M.

Pinarello made a bike earlier this year with basically the same geo it’s called the X series. The problem is people look at a specific model and go ohhh it doesn’t fit. Yeah because you are comparing apples with oranges. People always wanted an F8 when the actual bike they should of had was a K8.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  K.M.

A LOT of people would need very steeply angled stems to fit these bikes. Makes a lot more sense for some people to just have a +12 degree stem with a couple spacers underneath of it. Everyone has lax endurance bikes now. This is just marketing nonsense that’s too late to the party

2TurnersNotEnough
2TurnersNotEnough
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

On the other hand, as someone who is in the target market for this kind of frame, this is great. Due to age and infirmity, I have to ride a road bike that puts the handlebars about 1cm below the saddle. With most frames, I’d have to put 40-50mm of spacers and invert the stem to get there. And when I look at a lot of production bikes being ridden by folks my age (mid 50s) and up, they end up with a large stack of spacers and a short, positive rise stem to get the bike to fit right. Is it for everyone? No, of course not.

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

Reach is lower on size 5 ?!

Scott (Pearson Cycles)
Scott (Pearson Cycles)
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Yes, frame reach is shorter but the overall length of the frame on Size 5 is 9mm longer due to the increased stack, its a smaller gap between size 4 and 5 compared to gap between size 1 and 2. This is because we found the correlation between saddle height and reach was not linear at the upper end of saddle height range (can kind of be seen from the graphs above).

tertius_decimus
tertius_decimus
8 months ago

Usually I bash the bike industry for their embarrassing “innovations”, but this time I like it. Pearson’s philosophy actually makes sense: shorter wheelbase, shorter reach, lower bottom bracket (I’d love to get even lower in size 4, though). Toe overlap was never an issue for me and I have several 60 cm bikes with wheelbase of just 995 mm. What people do on their bikes to have this issue is beyond my understanding. You turn the steering axis 45 degrees at a speed no more than 5 km/h. During fast riding your steering axis doesn’t turn more than 5-6 degrees each side, so…

My only gripe with Pearson geometry is kinda short trail. Make it consistent 60 mm throughout the whole size range. Short rake/long trail gets you early wheel flop at low speeds, so your bike is more maneuverable at pedestrian speeds and way more stable come descending time. 80 mm bb drop/60 mm fork trail is a magical formula for safe and comfy longer rides.

Angstrom
Angstrom
7 months ago

I get annoyed with overlap every time I make a u-turn, or try a track stand, or any low-speed maneuvering. It’s an unnecessary PITA.
Agree that lower BB drop and higher stack heights make sense for a lot of riders. Not convinced that a short wheelbase is better.

Alex
Alex
8 months ago

74 degree seat angles, no thanks!

Jay Ess
Jay Ess
7 months ago
Reply to  Alex

And yet I like steeper seat tubes. Almost like everybody is different.

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

Anyone able to work out what the ‘reach’ value is on the graphs. It ranges from 50cm to 68cm+ so not the reach on the geo chart. Too long for ETT. Saddle to bar? I note their frames are ~4cm shorter which given their geo is ~2cm less than a typical bike where is the rest of the difference? just putting people on shorter stems?

Huges84
Huges84
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

The answer is in the fine print under the graph titles. They are comparing competitor bikes “fit range” assuming that the user doesn’t change a single component, only adjusting the saddle height and sliding the seat along the rails (the 2 cm reach range). Meanwhile they are showing the range of their bikes using various bar widths, stem lengths, etc since they let you choose those when you buy the bike. Yet this article is misleading making it seem like it’s all in the frame geometry. It’s not. Anybody can get a wide range of fits by swapping parts on the same frame.

This article passes along marketing points without critique to help the reader evaluate the true merit of the claims. This is why I am critical of Bike Rumor; they have a habit of this sort of thing.

You do still need to buy a close enough frame size though. And frame geometry matters a lot for handling.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
7 months ago
Reply to  Huges84

I think the phrase you’re looking for is “regurgitated press releases.”

And shortening the toptube instead of the stem is a major concession to fashion so it still looks like a race bike, but handles worse.

uzurpator
uzurpator
8 months ago

Chain had not been sized correctly on those bikes.

wallymann
wallymann
8 months ago

this geo definitely doesnt work for me…the TT of their largest frame is 2cm too short and i’m only 6ft tall!

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  wallymann

I’m 6’1″. I’d need their second biggest size but a -20 degree 150mm stem

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

-20 x 150mm, that will look pretty sick.

Scott (Pearson Cycles)
Scott (Pearson Cycles)
7 months ago
Reply to  wallymann

You might be better off our our Shift model 🙂
We realise it wont fit everyone as its designed using our specific customer fits, and not a reflection of everyone around the world. But we hope that it does meet a wider need for many customers who wont fit well on many bikes on the market.

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

Hmm, I’m of average proportions with a non racy fit, and in order to get my fit correct, I would need a 170mm stem on a frame size corresponding to my required stack with a slammed stem. This geometry is ridiculous.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
7 months ago
Reply to  Dave

It’s usually the other way around. The correct top tube length results in too low of a stack height. Or if you get the correct stack, then you have to run a really short stem.

K.M.
K.M.
7 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Hmm, I’m of average proportions with a non racy fit, and in order to get my fit correct, I would need a 120mm stem on a frame size corresponding to my required stack with a slammed stem. This geometry is pretty close to spot on..

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

So an Aerdurance bike? Will this be a new category?

Last edited 7 months ago by Joe
Mitch
Mitch
7 months ago

Am I the only one that’s never heard of Pearson? I’m an avid observer of cycling for the past 17 years and the name rings no bells. Just a UK thing?

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
7 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

Nope. I had never heard of them until this article.

anatso
anatso
7 months ago

Geometry-wise, this is the best bike dimensions I have ever seen on an off-the shelf road bike targeted at regular/amateur road riders. Just brilliant.

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

Interesting to see numbers going this way after years of gravel bikes getting stretched out so far I can barely reach the bars

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