Need Advice - Better Bike Frame for Trail/AM
I got a Titus FTM Carbon last year - great bike but once the trail gets more gnarly. Larger rock sizes 3" and up and heavy. The pounding is very wearing on my wrists and butt! I have a Rock Shox 150MM up front.
I hit up "The Whole Enchilada" run in Moab and that was pretty brutal after the first few miles. The bike was a bit harder to handle - not impossible but the vibrations made it hard to stay "fresh". My buddy has a Rip 9 and he seemed to be having a much easier time - I'm sure the 29" wheels were a good advantage on that trail.
I was thinking of moving up to a RIP 9, JET 9 RDO, or perhaps one of the 650B bikes like Scott Genius or something similar. I did demo a RIP 9 - I liked it felt it did well overall. The only time I didn't like it was when I got into tight rock gardens - the bike was much harder to maneuver.
I have bad wrists hence the reason i liked the carbon for damping some of the vibrations. I tend to hit up most of the trails around the Colorado Front Range and they can vary in conditions but I'd prefer to have a bike that can do it all. Don't really do big drops just very rough terrain occasionally.
I am 5'7" 135 pounds
Thanks for any feedback.
Last edited by digktialx; 01-23-2013 at 02:44 PM.
Quickly glancing at the Titus , I see nothing that would really disqualify it from being a fun 5" trail bike. The way you describe pounding and the bike being hard to handle makes me suspect a suspension issue.
How do you have your suspension set up?
If your wrists hurt, it could be a few things:
- it's possible you have too much weight on the handlebar or need to get fitted properly. None of which another frame or wheel size will get you or save you from the abuse if you're not fitted right. Keep your weight off your handlebar, and put it in your feet.
- Lazarus is right: Definitely look at your suspension setup too. You may have to adjust it depending on your ride. More squish for more chunk, more stiff for less tech. Also, take a look at your rebound setting. My fork felt like a jack hammer until I backed off some of the rebound damping and that saved me.
- More padded grips like the Ourys. Some of the stock grips are minimal and you'll feel them on the way down. The Glory I rented from Northstar in the summer was great except the grips were so crappy that my wrists hurt at the end of the day, even with the suspension setup.
- Get bigger tires. The more balloony, the better the cushion. That's really your first line of suspension.
If your butt hurts, you should get off the saddle. There's no reason your butt should hurt by riding. Work on your technique off the saddle. Weight always goes in your feet, not your handlebar or saddle.
Sounds like your fork needs an overhaul, RS forks get harsh if not serviced regularly. This is easy to do at home with a minimum of tools needed, step by step instructions on the RS website as well.
I agree with the others who stated that the frame sounds fine for your described riding. If your fork is a basic entry level offering you might consider moving up to a more sophisticated model.
Thanks for the input. I'll look into the suspension setup a bit closer. The front fork is a solid fork and I think I've tuned that one up pretty well. I've had issues trying to get the rear fork setup which is where I felt most of the impact was coming from. What would be a recommended rear shock upgrade if I decide to go down that route? I def have issues with gripping the handlebars too hard - I tend to do that on my motorcycle as well. Been trying to relax the grip but I haven't had much success. Maybe a different style grip would help me I'll look into that.
I do stand on the pedals but that was such a long ride I was cheating a bit by sitting in the saddle more then I should have!
Thanks for the feedback guys!
I had a similar issue last year - I serviced my fork with fresh oil, suspect possibly lowers getting pressurised too, after that, rode better on rough stuff, so I'm sure the fork was a major cause of the harshness. If your hands/arms are getting pounded, that is way more likely from the fork than the rear suspension/shock.
Originally Posted by digktialx
Like was said - fork rebound too slow can cause harshness, even though it sounds counter-intuitive. As it packs down the spring ramps up so you have the effect of too high spring pressure. Have you tried softening the fork measurably (like 20-30psi and/or several clicks of rebound) and see if it improves your harshness? Troubleshooting usually involves comparison, not assumption.
Flying in High in the Sky
Just a thought, but you might want to look into your riding technique when tackling rock gardens. A proper riding stance can reduce vibrations to your wrist.
I would start with the cheap options, then start looking at a new bike. Hell, if you have the money a new bike is always fun, but you don't want to sacrifice climbing efficiency for comfort unless necessary! By the way, which fork do you have?
Cheapest/Free Option: Lower the pressure WAY down in your fork, and turn the rebound up a couple clicks. If your front wheel is pushing out in hard corners, dial it back a click. I use over 30% sag as a starting point, while most recommended settings seem close to 20% for some reason. If you're bottoming out a lot during the ride, add 2-3psi...repeat as needed.
$40 Option: Rebuild the fork. My RockShox Revelation felt HORRIBLE and stiff when I first got it. Rebuilt, changed the oil and seals and it was like night and day. A shop will do this for ~$50 if you don't feel comfortable doing it.
New coil fork or have it PUSH'ed: If you're after plush, I've never met an air fork that can compete with a coil, especially on really fast, rough descents. It either suffers from brake dive or bottoms out hard. Specifically, the Sektor Coil RL is a great fork that won't break the bank, but is butter smooth. The other option is to send your current fork in to PUSH and have them re-spec if with a "factory fork system" rebuild.
Or buy a carbon Santa Cruz v10...that should smooth out the bumps!
"Got everything you need?"
common guys, can't you hear the op saying he wants a new bike. nothing wrong with that.,
Don't we all? But I'll def try what was suggested to see if I can get her dialed in a bit better. The suspension has been a bit of an enigma to me regards to setup. I did build the bike up myself. The front is a revelation RTL TI. The underlying reason for wheel size bump is while I was doing 3-4ft drops - slow rolling ones since by then I was almost out of gas the wheel caught and did a nice header. A larger wheel could have avoided that and me bleeding all over everything lol. I saw a lot of spills on that trail but everyone seemed to make it out on their own power which is good. Really wish I had the gopro on when I flipped
Originally Posted by elwoodturner
Sounds like the fork needs an overhaul. My totem felt similar to what you described prior to putting the right oil levels in it.
Are you getting proper sag on the fork? If not, start there. If so, try slowing your rebound a few clicks.