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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bobzrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Bike size & setup (handle bar / stem length)

    I have been riding about twice a week for about a year now and really getting into mtb. Starting to get into more fun technical stuff. I am wondering about the size of my bike and/or my setup. I have been tinkering with my setup a lot for the last two months.

    I am a lanky 6' 4", 200lbs, and have a 19" Jamis Dakar full sus, 100mm stem, 640mm (25") bar

    I love the bike (especially bombing down), but I'm wondering if it's too small or if I still need to tweak my setup or my riding style because I have having a beyatch of a time keeping my front wheel down during the climbs.

    I've moved my seat around, moved my handlebars around, added bar ends and it's helped, but still not great.

    I just bought a 27" easton monkey bar today, and from reading other posts, sounds like it will help.

    Do you think I have a big enough bike? Should I get a 120mm stem?

    Any input would help

  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I think you could definitely go up frame size... a wider bar will help deal with short top tube by opening your chest a bit more... and a longer stem could help your climbing, if you feel cramped... but it will handle a bit different in the downhills..

  3. #3
    Master of None
    Reputation: presslab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    What is your leg inseam? Some people like bigger bikes, I prefer smaller ones. I have a 34" inseam and I run ~19" seattube frames.

    Try to pull inward on the bars with the elbows out to get more weight forward.

    An adjustable travel fork will also get the weight forward and will be more comfy than pulling in with the arms.

    I run a short 50mm stem and long 700mm bars for the descents. You could make your bike climb easier with long stem, bigger frame, etc but it won't be as good on the descents. In my opinion you can do good on the climbs with a downhill type setup with technique. Might not be super comfy but it will work.

    Try to pull in on the bars and also try standing while climbing.

  4. #4
    nocturnal oblivion
    Reputation: stumblemumble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Putting the seat forward will help w/ the uphill, a 120mm stem is going to get sketchy on steeps...unless you feel cramped when riding in which case the benefits may outweigh the loss. A longer stem will move you more over the front axle on downhill and increase an over the bar feeling/possibility.

    Definitely an adjustable travel fork would make a huge difference, removing any spacers from under the stem would do a little (put em on top). The shop you buy from may let you try a 120mm or ask around.

    You could stimulate (right word?) 20mm more if you rotate your riser bar forward all the way, the grips will be strange but try and ride uphill like that, better? This will also lower your grips (like lowering the front fork's travel or lowering the stem so take that in account) Again, do you feel cramped on the bike?

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