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  1. #1
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    Do all bikes climb great?

    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.

  2. #2
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    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.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  3. #3
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    It's because riders think a bike is a great climber if the get to the top of a climb. They find something else to ride when a bike doesn't climb as well, and you never hear about a climb that never happened.

    Nice sarcasm by "saturnine", +rep.

  4. #4
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    My 1st gen Nomad doesn't. I recently converted the RS Solo Air to a U-Turn so I could drop the front end on those long climbs not have to fight to keep the front end tracking while climbing.

  5. #5
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    it's just simply not quantifiable. if a specific suspension design addresses a specific rider's deficiencies then it would appear that that design is more capable than the others that did not. i know people who can literally climb any grade on any bike so it can't be a matter of one over the other. there are most definitely different designs that work better for different people. granted, i am not aware of any test where a given set of variables were identical and performed in the exact same way with different bikes to definitively conclude the superior design.

    if a single-pivot bike "doesn't climb well" then it is up to the rider to change the way they ride to overcome the bike's faults. to say that a vpp bike doesn't climb very well while hundreds claim it to be one of the best is simply contradictory.

    i have a dw-link bike so it climbs while i read a book but that is beside the point.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  6. #6
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    my stump evo climbs pretty well. no xc marathon machine though. but i did used to pedal my dh bike up hill before i got it so its a dream compared to a 40lb dh bike. but it really is up to the rider and how it makes them feel though.

  7. #7
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    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

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    I think it's 90% to the rider.. I climb the same stuff with my 6.7" AM bike as I do with my 4" XC bike, I just get more tired and slower to the top, but on rocky/technical climbs the AM bike wins.

    However, I did try a 2010 Commençal Meta and I think it's crap to climb with on the steep stuff.. my guess is that it was due to the slack seat angle, but it probably had U-Turn forks for a reason..

  9. #9
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    difference between bikes is what? 10 - 15 lb max?
    you can make much more difference by loosing your own weight :-)

    And that is naturally easy to do ... as heavier you are as harder it is to climb, as harder it is as more weight you loose, as more weight you loose as easier it becomes :-)

    it is not about bike climbing, it is about rider climbing (weight vs strength)

    you can throw in 2000 dollars and save 2-3lb , you can skip few burgers and make much more difference without any cost at all :-)
    There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can. Henry Ford

  10. #10
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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.
    People have very different definitions on what "climbs great" means.

    For me my Uzzi VP climbs great as the climbs here are shortish and full of rocks and roots. The rear end has a lot more traction then my previous 4-6" bikes and the suspension allows me to bomb to the climb with full speed even if there where pretty large obstacles on the way.

    If the climbs where long and the challenge was endurance, keeping the front end down or something similar I would probably feel very different. Near my summer house there are. Some long climbs where traction is ok, and I would definately prefer having a more xc bike over there, and would not consider this to climb well if thats where I spent most of my time...

    Some people might encounter both frequently and when they are talking about good climbs they mean the balance between different aspects of climbing.

    And of couse bikes and suspension are getting better and better. Few people downgrade their bikes meaning the one they have now is generally the best they know of.

  11. #11
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    not a lot of experience but here are my two cents, I always rode hardtails and they were supposed to be great climbers, had a Specialized stumpjumper 2004 before moving to a Giant Trance just a few months ago.

    My surprise is that it climbs much better for two reasons:

    1) The front end never lifts in steep trail climbs like my HT did, it should be the opposite considering is not at steep in the headtube. This makes me save a ton of energy since I don´t have to balance my body for the climb just sit and spin.

    2) The back wheel tracks great with the shock and I never lose traction.

    So I guess any bike that the front wheel stays tracked in a climb will be a good bike.

  12. #12
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    For me, there are two primary types of positive climbing attributes a bike can have; first deals withpower robbing suspension movement, second is traction. Then, other variables can come into play for each rider and bike; like front end wander.
    My MotoLite has always bobbed a bit more than I want on the climbs and I can feel the power being zapped out of me on long climbs. I would label it as an OK to good climber.
    An example, my gen 1 Nomad climbed smooth track like a machine. It had fairly good traction too. The problem was when the climbs got chunky and overly steep. I was constantly fighting the pedal feedback.
    My new El Guapo climbs like a friggin tractor. On the smooth climbs it is barely less capable than the nomad but the traction is much better. When the climbs get technical, it is amazing how this thing just keeps on moving forward.
    I will add that when I moved from a 150mm fork to a 160 mm fork I had to make some adjustments to my saddle position and stem height as the bike wanted to lean back and loft the front wheel, and the front end wandered a lot. After the adjustments, all is well. I mention this because some people might not be able to find fixes to these types of situations and label a bike as a bad climber.

  13. #13
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    mnigro how one would adjust the stem and saddle, saddle a bit more forward and Stem negative? What about headtube angles do you think steeper makes climbing more difficult?

    I ask this because no matter how much I adjusted my HT the front wheel would lift much easier than in my Trance, I´d like to understand what Geometry changes make this possible. Can this be down to HT from 71" to 69.5"?

  14. #14
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    steeper head angle should help with climbing. so should a more upright seat tube.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  15. #15
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    As others have mentioned, part of climbing is keeping the front end down.

    For seated climbing, this is going to depend somewhat on where the seat is relative to the rear axle (seat tube angle and seat position on the post rails), and whether the rider is on the nose of the saddle or not.

    Handlebar height and position are going to be a factor also, along with front suspension extension, if that is adjustable.

    Rear suspension, in my experience, has effects that cut opposite ways. The Hoerst Link on my old Enduro sucked up a lot of energy, but the tire stayed in contact with the ground under conditions that cause my much more efficient VPP linkage Blur to break loose. Tire width works in equivalent ways.

    For short and steep climbs, having a light bike that accelerates quickly can make a huge difference in performance. Momentum is your friend.

    Rating one bike as being a "better" climber than another crams a lot of factors into one idea.

    Walt

  16. #16
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    My bike sucks at climbing. The marketing was all bs -- I thought it was supposed to make my climbs easy! I still get tired, out of breath, my legs burn, etc, on my new bike. What? I should get in shape? Do you think that will help?

    Like most things bike-related, I think that climbing prowess is probably overstated. It is more about the rider and his legs, IMO. That said, I can feel a little difference climbing on my relatively slack Enduro compared to other bikes I've had. The front gets light when the trail gets steep, and I have to make a more concerted effort to stay forward on it. Only took a couple rides to get used to, no big deal, but at least I could see a little difference in climbing ability.

    But in reality, I hate climbing on any bike!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liternit View Post
    mnigro how one would adjust the stem and saddle, saddle a bit more forward and Stem negative? What about headtube angles do you think steeper makes climbing more difficult?

    I ask this because no matter how much I adjusted my HT the front wheel would lift much easier than in my Trance, I´d like to understand what Geometry changes make this possible. Can this be down to HT from 71" to 69.5"?
    Steeper headtubes generally make it easier to keep the front wheel planted. Chainstay length (bike geo) plays a part in this as do other factors.

    In my case, adding an extra 10mm to my stem stack height and an added 15mm in A-to-C height, I could tell a significant difference in how much the front end lofted on climbs, how much the front end wanted to wander and how my weight was transferred to the rear end. I ended up lowering my stem 10 mm by moving a spacer above it (I don't ever cut the steer tube "short" until experimenting for months) and slid my saddle forward about 5mm to compensate for a slightly slacker seat tube angle.

    Hope this helps.

  18. #18
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    LOL, I don't usually visit this forum but saw it in the "new threads."

    My bike climbs great. It's a short-travel hardtail.

    I've been demoing more bikes lately, though.
    Didn't like the Ibis Mojo whatever.
    Didn't like the GT i-Drive.

    Still curious about a platform like the Stumpjumper, though, and I thought the Anthem climbed okay although it didn't do anything for me on the way back down that my little hardtail doesn't.

    I think it's a tough problem. The things that make a bike awesome on the way down interfere with it being solid on the way up.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    saturnine thats what I thought until I rode a "slacker" angle, all my old bikes used to be XC 71" and the front end always came up in trail climbs, 71" maybe better for pedaling position/efficiency.

    Walt so a steeper seatube angle on a bike will make the front lift less? could that be the reason why some trail bike will climb better in the trail with a seatube of 73.5" against a XC bike with 72.5"?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Steeper headtubes generally make it easier to keep the front wheel planted. Chainstay length (bike geo) plays a part in this as do other factors.

    In my case, adding an extra 10mm to my stem stack height and an added 15mm in A-to-C height, I could tell a significant difference in how much the front end lofted on climbs, how much the front end wanted to wander and how my weight was transferred to the rear end. I ended up lowering my stem 10 mm by moving a spacer above it (I don't ever cut the steer tube "short" until experimenting for months) and slid my saddle forward about 5mm to compensate for a slightly slacker seat tube angle.

    Hope this helps.
    helped a lot thank you!

    I also never cut the steer rather have some spacers on top, but no matter what I did to my XC HT bikes the front always came up very easily on trails, most of the time I would just pedal in a wheelie up to the top or bite the stem.

    Just a couple of rides in a Trance X and I don´t have to put half the effort in climbs.

    Its hard to be outside of the US, changing a bike is much more expensive and we don´t have LBS demoing bikes, you have to either buy without testing or traveling to the US hoping to demo and buy.

    So when people say its the rider understand that some people are riding stuff from way back in time like 5/10 years behind the US

    I guess the seat angle could be the most important here, XC bikes have a slacker seat angle and some trail bike are a little more steep. One favors pedaling efficiency and the other weight distribution.

  21. #21
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    i think you're messing up slack and steep. xc bikes tend to have a steeper seat tube angle
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    i think you're messing up slack and steep. xc bikes tend to have a steeper seat tube angle
    Not the case with Giant at least their trail is steeper (73.5) than their XC (73 Anthem/72.5 XTC)

  23. #23
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    Some bikes ARE better at it than others. My HD climbs good, The SLR climbs better, my Tranny hairtail climbs very very good. Yes bikes DO make a difference, but yes, you need to be in somewhat decent shape to start riding and climbing.

  24. #24
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    When is the last time you saw a bike magazine publish a negative review? Same with the online sites.... unfortunately, you can't believe all the crap you hear, you just have to ride the bikes for yourself.

  25. #25
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    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.

  26. #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 .

  27. #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.

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

  29. #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

  30. #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.

  31. #31
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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!
    Stop in at Element Sports. www.elementsport.com
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  32. #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

  33. #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.

  34. #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

  35. #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.

  36. #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.

  37. #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.

  38. #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.

  39. #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.

  40. #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

  41. #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?

  42. #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.

  43. #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.

  44. #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.

  45. #45
    parts leftover
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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 07:43 AM.

  46. #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...

  47. #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

  48. #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!

  49. #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.

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

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