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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salt Yeti View Post
    I'm getting tired of hearing how great every bike climbs. Maybe it's time to set the bar higher. Who's got an all mountain bike that doesn't climb very well. I've got a Yeti ASR5c and it climbs okay. It would probably climb great if I was in better shape.
    "if I was in better shape"
    I ride with a guy that climbs like a mountain goat on crack on a 40lbs Demo 8, its not the bike its the rider .

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    I have to say I'm tired of hearing people say the weight
    of a bike isn't important. That it is better for the rider to
    lose some weight. Well I'm 6'1" and weight 155 pounds.
    How the hell do you expect me to lose 5 or more pounds?
    Not everyone is fat and overweight, and yes a lighter bike
    does climb better.
    If youre talking about a 38 pound bike, fo sho. If its between two bikes with less than 5 pounds between them, hardly.

    To the OP. Climbing is a function of fit. A bike that is on the small side will climb not as well as a bike thats properly fit or larger. You can compensate by changing the fitting, as well as a bunch of body english.

    I like being centered. A small Fuel EX doesnt climb well for me when fitted with a 70 mm stem. I can't clear some tech ascents. With a 90-100mm its easier. I've since upgraded to a medium, much much better.

  3. #28
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    No. They still make me do all the work...

  4. #29
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    I don't think seat tube angles are important until they mess up the ability to land the saddle in the right place for a given rider.

    I could see a slightly longer chainstay making it easier to keep the front end planted, however. XC hardtails often have super-short chainstays.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #30
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    ^^sta plays into how a bike steers from the hips, imho. This is pertinent, at least while seated, to climbing.

  6. #31
    I just let one RIP
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir_crackien View Post
    That is a big negative. My nomad carbon is not a good climber, it gets me up the hills within fall but by no means motors up the climbs like a good XC bike. My old XC bike a tomac carbide was a great climber in or out of the saddle, it just flew up climbs.

    I have recently been considering a hardtail 29er AM bike like a Transition TransAM 29 because of climbing. It has much better geo for climbing
    Wait, I thought the nomad climbed as well as the Blur LT it replaced?

    My Banshee Prime is a great AM bike, but not that great of a climber, at least not compared to the Niner RIP9 it replaced. But it is so much more fun on the descents!
    A ride a day keeps the therapist away.

  7. #32
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    I think the suspension platform does come into play for those of us who stand and smash.

    I climb best with a hardtail
    I cleared harder climbs with my banshee wildcard than I did my stumpy hardtail
    It was much easier to sit and pedal the stumpy than it was to stand and mash

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter, I hate climbing
    Just another redneck with a bike

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    if you were to line up every bike on the market at the bottom of a hill, you'd find that none of them go anywhere. bikes don't climb, riders do.
    DING DING DING! We have a winner. I cleaned climbs this weekend on my 6.3in travel 26"(29ers climb better haven't you heard?!?!) specialized enduro with no suspension lockouts, that guys with the coolest spandex and LBS bike shop sponsors on sub 22 pound 29ers(650b bikes climb better haven't you heard?!?!?!) and 650b bikes couldn't clean. It's all rider fitness, skill, motivation and absolutely nothing else. I ride by 1 rule, no touching the ground. I rode a SS 29er for about 6 months and rode with a purpose. My life depends on my fitness so I never quit.

    Don't search for excuses, go out and ride until there's room for none first.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwoodturner View Post
    ^^sta plays into how a bike steers from the hips, imho. This is pertinent, at least while seated, to climbing.
    Suppose I have two bikes. One has a seat tube about a degree slacker than the other. I put a setback post on the bike with the slacker angle and a straight post on the first one. I get out a plumb bob and land the noses of the (matched, for the sake of argument) saddles the same distance forward of the bottom bracket.

    I'm pretty sure that if other things were equal, I couldn't tell the difference.

    It has occurred to me that one could describe an effective seat angle based on the relationship between the saddle and bottom bracket when the bike is on a level surface. And I'm not going to argue that changing that doesn't effect the handling of the bike. I just don't think that the angle of the tube per se matters.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #35
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    Yes, and I'll try to explain.

    There are two main factors in getting up a steep climb. I'm going to disregard a long shallow climb here as any bike that's light and comfortable and doesn't "bob" is going to climb better than the next.

    One is traction, and the other is traction.

    So to maintain traction, the rider needs to position his body as far forward as possible without unweighting the rear wheel. Longer stems, steeper seat tubes, bar ends, lower front ends, higher saddles all help the rider get his butt in the ideal location so that all of his weight is on the rear tire. Any further forward and the rear tire starts to slip. Any further back and you're not maximizing power to the rear wheel. Steeper HAs do not alter a bikes innate ability to climb, it simply makes it more difficult to keep the front end tracking straight. This is a big problem in the "AM" world of super short stems and wide bars...because all your weight is over the back and you can't attack climbs as effectively without getting way out front. The trick here is to find a stem length that is comfortable up and down, and adjust it to whatever you spend 90% of your time doing. I have doubts that 90% of most riders' time is spent shredding nasty DH sections. Saddle position is less important as most of the time your butt should be out of it any time you're hitting a really nasty climb. Figuring out this ideal position is 75% of clearing steep climbs.

    Which leads me to the other 25%, or maintaining traction. Let's say you've got your body position figured out and no professional cyclist can find fault in how you climb. You still have to put that power down to the ground, and your bike can either help you or hurt you here. Any bike that "pulls up" under power will climb worse than any bike that "bites in" under power. You're simply unweighting or adding weight to the rear wheel via suspension. The easiest way to determine this, on a single pivot and most FSR bikes, is where the location of the front pivot it. If it's above the front chainring, you'll get some pedal forces acting on the rear suspension, pulling it down. When climbing, this is a good thing, as the suspension is going to pull into the ground at the same time your weight is pushing down, maximizing traction forces. This is a great thing while climbing, and a bad thing while pedaling along flat ground. This is where "biopace", "bob", or whatever you want to call it comes from. It is not a bad thing in the right situation. Conversely, if the pivot is below that chainring, the pedal forces will pull up on the rear wheel and cause it to actually unweight, buckling up underneath you and robbing your efforts on the pedals to put the power down. When you get into VPP and DW links, you have to look at the axle path and virtual pivot points/IC to figure out how they'll act...or ride them. I don't like those designs as they tend to try and do too much, where a good old single pivot/ABP/Split pivot allows you to directly control pedaling forces based on pivot location.

    Anyways...IMO...anything else (chainstay length, seat angle, suspension patents, excessive low speed compression, etc) is attempting to control or adjust rider position or band-aid a bad design. Having ridden a variety of bikes in the past, I really like a single pivot with the pivot just above the middle ring (and no big ring). It gives you neutral pedaling in the main ring, and great "bite" when you shift down. A hardtail is a close second, simply for its ability to put the power down, but I truly feel that rear suspension can be a traction aid when implemented intelligently.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salt Yeti View Post
    I'm getting tired of hearing how great every bike climbs. Maybe it's time to set the bar higher. Who's got an all mountain bike that doesn't climb very well. I've got a Yeti ASR5c and it climbs okay. It would probably climb great if I was in better shape.
    Not sure what counts as "great", but there are noticeable differences that make some better climbers than others.

    To clear one thing up, weight is one of the least important factors, IMO (unless you are talking about a BIG difference in weight).

    Suspension type makes a difference. Some are better in terms of shear efficiency on a smoother surface, some are better at staying active.

    Also, I find that geo makes some difference.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I don't think seat tube angles are important until they mess up the ability to land the saddle in the right place for a given rider.

    I could see a slightly longer chainstay making it easier to keep the front end planted, however. XC hardtails often have super-short chainstays.
    It's a factor though - a slacker SA makes the TT length "behave" shorter, so it can need a longer stem, which will make it handle a bit different.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    It's a factor though - a slacker SA makes the TT length "behave" shorter, so it can need a longer stem, which will make it handle a bit different.
    I think you have it backwards. Slacker seat angles make the saddle move further over the rear wheel when it's raised up. There is an extremely narrow window where the right height rider can achieve both a good top tube length, appropriate leg extension, and not too much weight over the rear wheel. This is infinitely easier with a 72-74* SA.

    I swear, GT's "ARC" design/slack seattube angles are the WORST FRAME DESIGN ELEMENT in history.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    I think you have it backwards. Slacker seat angles make the saddle move further over the rear wheel when it's raised up. There is an extremely narrow window where the right height rider can achieve both a good top tube length, appropriate leg extension, and not too much weight over the rear wheel. This is infinitely easier with a 72-74* SA.

    I swear, GT's "ARC" design/slack seattube angles are the WORST FRAME DESIGN ELEMENT in history.
    I think what he means is that with a slacker seat angle, you need to slide the seat more forwards in order to achieve a given position over the pedals. Therefore, there top tube is effectively shorter.

    This is taken into account when you talk about "reach". For a given top tube measurement, a slacker seat tube angle will have a shorter "reach".
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  15. #40
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    Yeah, the "other things equal" I was thinking about includes reach.

    I think there would be fewer bike sizes at the low end, especially in road bikes, if everybody published reach and stack instead of using the weird sizing scheme we have at the moment. Some small bikes rely on funky angles to fit everything together and while the top tube measures shorter, the steep seat angle means the actual reach is just as long. Lame.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    DING DING DING! We have a winner. I cleaned climbs this weekend on my 6.3in travel 26"(29ers climb better haven't you heard?!?!) specialized enduro with no suspension lockouts, that guys with the coolest spandex and LBS bike shop sponsors on sub 22 pound 29ers(650b bikes climb better haven't you heard?!?!?!) and 650b bikes couldn't clean. It's all rider fitness, skill, motivation and absolutely nothing else. I ride by 1 rule, no touching the ground. I rode a SS 29er for about 6 months and rode with a purpose. My life depends on my fitness so I never quit.

    Don't search for excuses, go out and ride until there's room for none first.
    Bingo! There are useful lessons learnt from riding ss, both in skills and bike setup bias for climbs

    Are you running some long flat bar and a longer stem than would be usual on a 6.3" travel bike?

  17. #42
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    Of course the engine is way more important than the bike itself, but here is my "objective way" of determining how much of a factor the bike plays:

    I ride with the same group of guys all the time. We all have multiple bikes. We always ride in the same trails w/ brutal climbs - sometimes long rides. I can tell a noticeable difference in how everyone keeps up or falls behind on the climbs (myself included) on their different bikes - you could argue that it also depends on how each rider is feeling that day, conditions, etc., which is true - but over time patterns develop.

    One example is a friend who has an older Blur & a brand new Nomad - he climbs so much faster on the Blur and so much slower on the Nomad that he usually leads on the Blur but can barely keep up on the Nomad - and the weight difference is not much at all - the downhill is a different story though. For myself, I have an ASR 5 & a Mojo HD - I thought my Yeti would be my climbing machine, but I actually keep pace much better & don't feel as tired on my Mojo, which actually weighs a couple lbs. more & has slcker geometry - can't really explain it, but it happens every time.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by anvil_den View Post
    Bingo! There are useful lessons learnt from riding ss, both in skills and bike setup bias for climbs

    Are you running some long flat bar and a longer stem than would be usual on a 6.3" travel bike?
    I run a 50mm stem and a 750mm flat bar. I have very narrow shoulders. If I wasn't such a DH nazi, I'd have some bull horns that curve back for spinning hard up hills.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by In2falling View Post
    "if I was in better shape"
    I ride with a guy that climbs like a mountain goat on crack on a 40lbs Demo 8, its not the bike its the rider .
    Exactly my point. Yeti calls the ASR5 the cheater bike because who ever rides it gets to the top first. I'm not getting to the top first... I think I should get my money back.

  20. #45
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    The ASR 5 is a legitimately good climber, but fast guys will be still fast on nearly anything that isn't a boat anchor. I can generally lead a pack of fit guys on my 30lb 6" bike, and demolish most on my light hardtail or 4" full suspension bike. Manufacturers will always equate anything they release to "mountain goats" or "scorched apes" or some other nonsense, but in my experience good climbing is something like 60% rider fitness, 20% geometry, and 20% total bike weight.
    Last edited by schlim; 11-02-2012 at 06:43 AM.

  21. #46
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    I had just gotten an sx trail off of Craigslist and compared to the trek 4300 I used to ride, the climbs have gotten a significant amount more tiring...

  22. #47
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    I just jumped from a hardtail 29er to a 6" travel full squish 26....

    all bike do not climb "great".

    The hardtail made technical climbing easier, being as if i got stuck i can just hammer the peddles to keep rolling. With fullsus you need to maintain even power and fluid motion (or your going to be smacking peddles and everything you crawl over), although on steeper loose climbs the fullsus really really bites in and keeps me pretty well balanced as things shift around under me.

    in my experience longer travel and slacker head angles will require more muscle/fitness to climb with, shorter travel fullsus with a XC geometry is where the sweet spot probably is (the balance point). And hardtails/full rigid will require less fitness to climb with.

    -Any climbing takes skill first, this makes the biggest difference. this extends to being able to get you bike well fit and setup for you.

    -Fitness and mind set, having the will to howl growl scream and push through to get to the top is pretty much how i do it.

    -equipment, is the least important all things considered. Just needs to roll well and have some traction.

    Now once you have the skill, fitness and will, equipment can make things easier. Lighter wheelsets and tires can make a huge difference,geometry is another big factor with the weight of the bike overall (within reason) playing a bit less of a factor

    that my 2 cents,
    2012 Giant Reign 1

  23. #48
    some know me as mongo
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    Jwiffle of it does climb better than the blurltc! But they are both not great climbers in the sense that they just blast up a hill. They are now sit and pedal your a** off type climbers. Your opinion doesnt count
    here anyway lol, you would blast up a hill anything that you ride!

  24. #49
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    I have a buddy who keeps telling me that my heckler can't climb (I have no idea why he thinks that) but I always make it to the top without any problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    if you were to line up every bike on the market at the bottom of a hill, you'd find that none of them go anywhere. bikes don't climb, riders do.
    I agree with this.

  25. #50
    BLAH BLAH
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    New bikes always climb better... so get one.
    Whats this line for?

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