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  1. #1
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    Stem, Tires.. Noob help.

    Hey guys,

    Those who don't know me total noob here and a special one at that, can be found here

    Basicly I have limited experience however my bike came with small bock 8s and after trying to ride a trail after a rain fall I found out the hard way that they don't work well in anything wet and sticky!!! Through my loving bike shop we ended up putting on some Capitan Control tires as they where in my budget and worked in anything.

    So my two questions here are..

    Stem... Im a very large guy lots of weight up top and have a hard time getting into the right positions for trail riding.. often i find my self with my butt hanging off the back of the seat and my upper body still more vertical than it has to be.. so to help out we removed that contoured handle bar on my bike with a straight one, then went from a 90mm to a 110mm stem that instead of angled up was slightly down.. and this helped alot.. The problem was and is being so big and so much upper body weight (300+ pounds from my seat up ) when i go to climb i would just yank the front tire off the ground.

    So the question i have is going to something like a 130mm stem.. would be much more and force me more forward and drop more weight over the front end, which i really think i would like.. However will that totally pooch me riding? Someone i ride with.. suggested it would make my bike handle more like a big truck going around corners.. which im not too worried about as i don't have the confidence to go fast anyways. Any suggestions?

    The second questions was tires.. Went to the Capitan controls.. we have had a pretty decent dry summer most of where i ride is not completely dry after some rain but mostly dry with a couple of dam spots so i find the small blocks still not working for me.. but i feel like im fighting the captains.. people are saying they are soo knobby and aggressive then my weight even in firmer ground im driving them in and adding alot more rolling resistance... They have suggested going to something that has an aggressive side wall but a less aggressive inner section now the tires these two are riding on are called Racing Raplhs and i believe my shop said they where like $110 each.. lol Which is beyond my budget for now. Anyone have suggestions on this or can suggest a tire similar?

    One of the places i found my current tires are hurting me is at Albion Hills they are rolling right through sandy areas and seem like my front tire just digs in and bucks me off.

  2. #2
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    I have to ask, how tall are you and what size is your bike frame. When you say "(300+ pounds from my seat up )", does that mean you are pushing +-400lbs?

    Keep it going!

    Hank

  3. #3
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    MHO, but at 300 pounds you should be thinking in terms of All Mountain gear exclusively.

    At 265 I found that most XC gear was just too dam flimsy. Captain Contols are really the equivalent of a race tire for someone at your size. You really should have a Purgatorry, Ardent, Nevgal, Hans Dampf, like tire, preferably the version with side wall protection. That's the only way you'll get the durability and stiffness you need.

    As far as the climbing problem goes its just a matter of finding a balance between "just" enough forward weight to keep the front tire on the ground while climbing in the saddle, but not so much weight as to compromise rear wheel traction. The two things are antagonistic so you just have to find the balance that works for you, your trails,and your style.

  4. #4
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    Hank,

    The Bike frame is a M the bike shop and KHS said that someone my height and the time would put me in that size bike not sure the inches.

    I am 5foot 10 and as of last week weighed 365 pounds... people tease me they say i look like a 150 pounds guy from the butt down.. lol i have decent sized legs.. all my fat and weight is belly up

  5. #5
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    Racing Ralphs come is a few varieties. I ride the Performance compound version. It has a single hardness of material instead of two and so is cheaper. 34 each at Cycleclub or on a match.
    Schwalbe 29X2.25 RACING RALPH PERF BLK 26-54 PSI, 610 GRAMS, 67 EPI
    They are fast.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Hank,

    The Bike frame is a M the bike shop and KHS said that someone my height and the time would put me in that size bike not sure the inches.

    I am 5foot 10 and as of last week weighed 365 pounds... people tease me they say i look like a 150 pounds guy from the butt down.. lol i have decent sized legs.. all my fat and weight is belly up
    Well, you are doing the right thing. People can be cruel. When my friend Matt started surfing people used to laugh at him and call him Fatty Matty but he rose above it kept at it lost all kinds of weight and became a Surfboards Hawaii Team member. I ran into him at a 2011 World Competition he looked great. So keep it up. Looks like you are getting some good advice from the guys here on the forum. I don't know enough to be too much help there.

    Hank

  7. #7
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    OP, I'm also pretty new to riding and I'm a big guy (6-6, 245 lbs). I had the same troubles you talk about with the front tire when I first started riding my trek xcal. Only advice I can give you is to really mess with the height and fore/aft of your saddle. I kept a little notebook of the changes I made before every ride...sometimes it would help and sometimes it would make things worse. After messing with small changes I finally found(by accident) the perfect setup for me. I have enough weight over my front tire to put the shock to use and to aid in steering tighter turns. Also just as important, I feel much more confidence going downhill just by sliding back on the saddle and I can climb almost anything by sliding forward on it. Good Luck and stick with it!
    Last edited by bishop29er; 09-04-2012 at 08:39 PM. Reason: terrible speller
    New guy...2012 Trek Xcal 29er

  8. #8
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    Thanks Bishop,

    I lock my front fork out as i just sit on the bike and totally compress the shock completely So found it really did nothing for me when i rode expect making riding over roots and stuff harder as i would pull to pull the shock back out then again to pull the front end up.

    I do need to try messing with the other settings, i really have not.. I have been told by many people that when climbing i need to try and slide forward as 99% of the time my butt is hanging off the back of the seat, pulling forward just seems so akward for me as honesty my stomach almost bounces off the stem on a regular bases now

  9. #9
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    My bike came with small block 8's too. They have let me down in the sandy areas. I have Maxxis tires on order. I picked a Ardent for the front and a Ignitor for the back. I'm going to start with tubes and play with pressures, then I'll decide if I move to tubeless land. I'm not concerned about weight of the tires. Just quality of the ride.

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