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  1. #1
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    Climbing with a 67 degree head angle

    I know there's got to be more than a few of you that climb with slack geometry.

    I'm looking a new ride, and would like to run a 36 Van on the front, which obviously doesn't have travel adjust. I know a Lyric U-Turn is another coil option, but I prefer the feel of the 36.

    I do tons of climbing to get to my downs, and a lot of it is pretty steep and tech.

    For what it's worth, I like to run my bars pretty low relative to my saddle, and will likely end up running an 80 or 90mm stem.

    Whatcha think?

  2. #2
    pin it to win it
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    I run a fox 36 float on my BlurLT2 which has.a 67 headangle. I run a 50mm stem almost zerostacked. It will do whelies on steep stuff if your in the saddle, but out of the saddle it dosnt pull up at all. Just go for it, you will love the headangle on dh stuff.

  3. #3
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    I think MBA coined the term "Cosmic Crunch" back in the 80's for climbing up steep stuff. IIRC, it involves:
    - sliding forward on the saddle [if the nose of the saddle is becoming intimate with your anus, that's about as far forward as you need to go]
    - pulling down and back on the bars, as opposed to up and back
    - leaning forward enough to keep your front wheel on the ground, but not so much that you lose traction in the back

    That's about it. More traction in the rear will let you get right off of the saddle and hammer away. A longer stem moves your center of gravity forward a bit and helps reduce wheelies. Short legs and a long torso help as well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    I think MBA coined the term "Cosmic Crunch" back in the 80's for climbing up steep stuff. IIRC, it involves:
    - sliding forward on the saddle [if the nose of the saddle is becoming intimate with your anus, that's about as far forward as you need to go]
    - pulling down and back on the bars, as opposed to up and back
    - leaning forward enough to keep your front wheel on the ground, but not so much that you lose traction in the back

    That's about it. More traction in the rear will let you get right off of the saddle and hammer away. A longer stem moves your center of gravity forward a bit and helps reduce wheelies. Short legs and a long torso help as well.
    That is how I climb. I'm just wondering if I can do it with a 160mm fork and slack head angle.

    Technique isn't a problem, but at some point one's equipment has to come into play.

    So, who can climb the steep, loose, techy stuff with a long fork and slack head angle?

    Anyone? Bueller?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder
    I know there's got to be more than a few of you that climb with slack geometry.

    I'm looking a new ride, and would like to run a 36 Van on the front, which obviously doesn't have travel adjust. I know a Lyric U-Turn is another coil option, but I prefer the feel of the 36.

    I do tons of climbing to get to my downs, and a lot of it is pretty steep and tech.

    For what it's worth, I like to run my bars pretty low relative to my saddle, and will likely end up running an 80 or 90mm stem.

    Whatcha think?
    I think you will be fine.

    Pinkrobe is correct, If your climbing steep hills you will have to lean forward more to help keep the front end down.

    I also find you get more "front wheel flop" the slacker the head angle.

    So you will have to learn relax and stay in control, or else you will expend more energy controlling the wheel flop or steering all over the trail.

    Once you get used to the slacker angle.

    Helps is to try and relax your upper body.

    I went through a similar choice. Had a talas with adjustable travel.

    For new bike was trying to decide between 36 van, talas, or totem coil. (also making the bike have a slacker head angle)

    I find on the steepest climbs I have to lean forward more to keep the front end down. No big deal.

    You can always stand up

    Way worth it for the plushness of a coil fork

    Also 67 isnt that slack.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder
    That is how I climb. I'm just wondering if I can do it with a 160mm fork and slack head angle.

    Technique isn't a problem, but at some point one's equipment has to come into play.

    So, who can climb the steep, loose, techy stuff with a long fork and slack head angle?

    Anyone? Bueller?
    IMHO, If you have technique down you will have no problem.

    yes, even at 65.5 with totem coil and 45mm stem.

  7. #7
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    You shall require more technique or maybe you will develop new skills in order to keep your front tire on the dirt, but you eventually will, there are better choices to climb steep hills than a long travel suspension with a slack head angle, but somebody have to pay in order to keep your down hill capabilities.
    I ride a Turner Six Pack original 68 degree plus a Marzocchi 66 RC2 180mm it is now about 67 degree with a 40mm stem. I spend some time in the nose of my saddle but it is possible
    In my workshop, dirty hands is a state of mind

  8. #8
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    I sometimes ride my Nbr 1 bike... Spec 07 Enduro with a 180mm RC3 with 2.75" TST coil in rear.... I push bike uphill cause I can't keep front down and maintain traction on climbs. But damn is it fun when going down hill

  9. #9
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    My main AM ride's got a 67 degree HTA and a fixed travel fork. It's alright. Get yourself as far forwards as possible and have at it.

  10. #10
    ffwd
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    My angles are the same with a 66 180 mm fork/50 mm stem. I ride steep wet, rooty, rocky, singletrack climbs.(hate walking my bike) I don't even think about what is good or bad for climbing. Just get it done with power, technique, luck, skill, swearing and a few snot bubbles.

  11. #11
    Chillin the Most
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    65* head angle, fixed travel Totem Solo Air fork and 40mm stem, no issue climbing.

  12. #12
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by pkrip
    My angles are the same with a 66 180 mm fork/50 mm stem. I ride steep wet, rooty, rocky, singletrack climbs.(hate walking my bike) I don't even think about what is good or bad for climbing. Just get it done with power, technique, luck, skill, swearing and a few snot bubbles.
    That's to funny, SNOT BUBBLES

  13. #13
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    My Sanction has a 64* angle but I can reduce the travel from 160 to about 130, so that helps. At first I had a hard time keeping the front wheel on the ground but eventually I got used to it. It just takes more technique and legs, the +/- 34lbs don't help either...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS833
    My Sanction has a 64* angle but I can reduce the travel from 160 to about 130, so that helps. At first I had a hard time keeping the front wheel on the ground but eventually I got used to it. It just takes more technique and legs, the +/- 34lbs don't help either...
    I have an extremely difficult time believing that your sanction has a 64˚ HA, especially given that its listed at 66 with a 160mm fork. 64 is DH and almost impossible to climb on - I know, I'm riding one. I don't believe you.

  15. #15
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    Well let me share the whole story:

    I took a frame that was originally designed around 130mm fork and installed a Marzocchi 180mm RC3.

    Removed the stock 8.5 x 2.5 rear shock and installed a 8.75 x 2.75 Rocco. So my geo is all jacked up... that explains some of my climbing issues.

    So I ended up with this:

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    I don't believe you.
    You don't have to believe me; http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa/eng/Pr...rchived=t#2592
    That's what the GT website lists for a Medium size frame...unless THEY're wrong...

  17. #17
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    They are probably wrong. small, large, XL all say 67*.
    Also, the Sanction 1.0 and 2.0 say 67* for the medium (presumably the same frame).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by zfeldman
    They are probably wrong. small, large, XL all say 67*.
    Must be then... you can't trust anything these days!

    BTW: I'm not technically a "liar" William42...

  19. #19
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    I think its wrong, why would the small, the L and XL have 67 and the medium 64??

    Quote Originally Posted by GS833
    You don't have to believe me; http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa/eng/Pr...rchived=t#2592
    That's what the GT website lists for a Medium size frame...unless THEY're wrong...

  20. #20
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    My adjustable Prophet Ihas two head angle positions: 69 and 67.5. Most of the time I'm in the 69 but the 67 is a blast for decents. Climbing in the 67 is not too noticably harder than in 69, but it is there. Primarily if you do alot of switchbacks you will find it harder. But when just going straight up? You can make the very small adjustments needed just fine. Then enjoy the ride down better.

  21. #21
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder
    I know there's got to be more than a few of you that climb with slack geometry.

    I'm looking a new ride, and would like to run a 36 Van on the front, which obviously doesn't have travel adjust. I know a Lyric U-Turn is another coil option, but I prefer the feel of the 36.

    I do tons of climbing to get to my downs, and a lot of it is pretty steep and tech.

    For what it's worth, I like to run my bars pretty low relative to my saddle, and will likely end up running an 80 or 90mm stem.

    Whatcha think?
    Sure you can climb with a long travel fork and slack angles, it's just not as easy as with a short travel fork and steeper angles.

    I find the "effective" seat angle (seat tube angle with the fore-aft position of the saddle factored in) to be even more import than the head angle. Steepening that by sliding the seat forward can make a difference when the bike is pointing up, but you have to balance that with the fact that it may become too steep on flats or pointing downhill. The saddle-nose-in-the-butt method works somewhat on the same principle, and does not leave you with the seat too far forward the rest of the time.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder
    Technique isn't a problem, but at some point one's equipment has to come into play.
    I have found that a coil rear shock can help on the steeps as it can have a more supportive midstroke. I had a DHX Air that would sink into half it's travel on steep ups, the deeply sagged shock really upset climbing geometry.

    This is just a tip if technique and riding position adjustments are exhausted.

    P

  23. #23
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    My gt avalanche has a HT angle of 68 iirc (measured it a few months ago fading memory), when the fork is at 130mm, it doesnt climb well at all. Its only usable at 100mm and even then its a joke. I dont think its the HT angle that does it but its that all your weight is higher up/want to tip over backwards. I think this wouldnt be a problem if I had a rigid short fork no matter what HT angle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Carbon is a fad.
    Quote Originally Posted by robicycle
    Just lube your ass with asscream and ride for how long you want.

  24. #24
    conjoinicorned
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    my balfa belair runs about 68 degrees with 130mm. the bike climbs pretty good from the front of the saddle but gets tiring on long, smooth climbs. the front end will definitely start to wander if i stop paying attention.

    it's doable...but takes more effort IMO.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.P
    I have found that a coil rear shock can help on the steeps as it can have a more supportive midstroke.

    P
    Agreed. If my bike would support the use of a coil, I would much prefer it, largely for this reason.

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