Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    69

    Prime - hard to get enough grip on the frontwheel

    Im a prime owner since day one, but im still having problems to get the corners right with the prime.

    it seems that i never get enough pressure on the frontweel. i have tried with a 70mm stem with -6 and the slackest setting and atm im running a 40mm stem with the steepest setting (changed the fork from a 140mm rev to 150mm pike, therefore slack to steep -> shorter stays).
    tires atm are chunky monkeys (trail extreme) - they should offer enough grip. before that i had hans dampf but they where worse.

    in theory, the 70mm stem should give me more pressure on the FW but i couldnt feel any difference to the 40mm stem im running now (changing the flipchips made a huge difference, now the bike feels a little bit more agile, that helps on "tight twisty trails").

    i think my main problem or the bikes(?) could be that i somehow feel that the bike is pushing me always to far back so that my body (and therefore the weight) is way more over the backwheel instead on the front wheel where my body and the weight should be. i pay very much attention that i use the right cornering technic but still ... the frontwheel looses traction way to often due the mentioned reason.
    for example i have ridden a friends 2souls quarterhorse and the bike is the exact opposite (if you can compare HT with a fully) it could feel how it the bike forced my body to the front and therefore i get way more pressure on the frontwheel -> better cornering. friend ride therefore my bike while i used his and he asked my after switching bikes again what a shitty tire i have in front that it has so less grip in corners... well we both had the exact same tire on it and mine was in a way better condition.


    some of you guys feeling the same or are you all satisfied with how the bike handles tight corners?
    have you enough pressure on the front wheel to ride corners fast?
    how can i improve the bike handling?
    couldnt it be a bad db air setup or could i improve something there aswell? (in generel im happy with the performce of the db air)

    im totaly aware that its not only the bike and the rider makes a huge difference in the outcome aswell ... but i think i need to improve the bike aswell and not only my skills.

    any advice is welcome!

  2. #2
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,923
    Awesome that you are considering both technique and set-up!
    Are you running spacers below your stem / riser bars?

    I think what you and your friend are noticing, compared to the hardtail, is down to the wheelbase. The Prime geometry works great when ridden forward and agressively, but that in itself can be a challenge...true for all long travel 29ers.

    I'm just returning from a roadtrip that included some continental divide trail (outiside butte MO, as featured in BIKE) and an awesome day in ketchum, Id. The prime was awesome..more thoughts later on technique, tires, and Idaho law enforcement (take it all with a grain of salt!)

  3. #3
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,923
    So thoughts on 29er cornering technique.. Not specific to the prime and apologies if this is old news. I have to remind myself every ride ;-)

    The prime does have a long wheelbase...what works well for me is running a square tire in front and a rounder tire in back (specialized butcher/purgatory for me, 24f/28r psi)

    So I enter most corners full speed with both brakes on evenly and pedals level, weight forward, look towards the exit. Just before the apex, lean in, simultaneously release the front break and drop the outside pedal. This will cause the rear tire to drift.. Once the bike squares up with your shoulders, drifting stops, and your on your way...

    Wider or off-camber corners, same technique except ill only drop my outside foot to the 4-5 o'clock position.

    Tighter corners and switchbacks, same technique except the inside foot comes off the pedal when I drop the outside foot. Slow and tight, maybe I'll even push out of the corner apex with my inside foot.

    The key is timing the dropping of the outside foot, which causes the bike to snap around the corner....

    Anyways that's just my checklist and only the start. I also try to remind myself to "screw" my body into the bike while cornering.

    Quality tips for an old drunk hack!
    Last edited by FM; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Bnerd
    Reputation: RideEverything's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    521
    My tips are going to start with your grammar and punctuation. You need to use some.
    I almost ran out of breath reading what you wrote even though I read it in my head.

    The written word on a forum thread never conveys your actual technique. You may be riding the front of the bike but that doesn't mean your technique is sound.

    Try riding corners, and everything else for that matter, with your shoulders/chin more or less over the bars.
    When in corners try to lean the bike more than leaning your body. If your elbows are equally bent then you're not leaning your bike more than your body.
    In relation to FM's suggestion with "screwing" yourself down into the bike try to point your eyes, belly button and knees to the exit of the corner right from the start of the corner. Along with keeping your shoulders/chin over the bars.

    My other thought to your comment that you feel like your bike is "pushing you always to (sic) far back" is your bar height. It might be too high forcing you to ride the back of the bike.

    As for helping with your grammar and punctuation I have neither the time nor the beers to help with that.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    69
    @FM thanks for your suggestions. i think i do exactly what you suggest. Maybe i should record a video and compare what i think i do and what i really do when riding the bike.
    i have a flatbar (76cm) with 1.5cm spacer below. last time i tried to remove the spacers i didnt feel comfortable on the bike but i could try it again as its just a matter of a few minutes to change the spacer

    @rideeverything sorry if it was hard to read. it was pretty late here and englisch is not my mother language. i will try harder next time

    Try riding corners, and everything else for that matter, with your shoulders/chin more or less over the bars.
    i try that aswell. its just really hard to do that. first because i have not that much confidence in the bike because the front wheel lose traction so easy and it happend so many times before. second because im feeling pushed back, which reduce pressure on the front wheel aswell which means less traction :/

    bar height was nearly the same on my friends bike. i think his was about 0.5cm lower, only noticeable if you look exactly.

  6. #6
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,923
    Pinkey, your set-up sounds fine... good advice from RideEverything as well!
    It's true, such a complicated topic, forums can only help so much...

    With a longer wheelbase, I find it's crucial to be able to drift the back end around tighter corners. I haven't been able to do this well with all tires (schwalbes for instance), but the butcher/purgatory combo is great for this- square in front, round in back.

    So you might try some different rubber- beware of having "too much" in back. If you can't get the back end to drift, then technique maybe worth a look. I try to get some lessons every season from Simon at Fluidride, it makes a bigger difference than any gear could. His videos might be worth a look.

    I do think cornering is less of a challenge on bikes with a shorter wheelbase, but that long wheelbase has some benefits I really do like....

  7. #7
    Bnerd
    Reputation: RideEverything's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    521
    @pinkey, when are you feeling pushed to the back? Is it only during cornering or all the time while on the bike?

    There's so many small details that could have you feeling pushed to the back of the bike. It could be rider technique/position or bike setup... or some of both.
    Here's my checklist off the top of my head:

    --Bike setup--
    - (each point can be looked at individually or together as several parts or as one big whole)
    - bar/stem height/rise (eg. how many spacers are you running under the stem, how much rise does the stem have, how much rise does the bar have)
    - sag front/back (too much front and too little rear could have you riding the back of the bike)
    - tire volume (eg. big front, little rear)
    - type of tire (appropriate tread for the conditions that are being ridden)


    --Rider position--
    You've already stated that you don't feel confident riding the front of the bike aggressively. Right there that tells me you're already off the back of the bike which won't help with higher speed cornering. You need to commit (get forward) or it just won't work.

    Start with assessing the "neutral position" (neutral position is a relaxed attack/ready position while being centered over the bike, standing on the pedals.) This position is used when casually coasting/riding trail and not much is going on but ready to spring to action when the trail starts delivering challenges.

    If you're fighting to stay in this position look at what your joints are doing while on the bike. Arms and knees should be equally bent/flexed. Does it feel like you're pulling back on the bars while riding? If so then use less bend in the knees and move your hips forward until the pulling sensation in your hands disappears.

    A good way to tell if you're centred on your bike while standing is to coast with your pedals level on level trail/ground and be able to quickly lift your hands a small distance from the bars without feeling like you're going to fall forward over the bars. If that sensation happens then you're too far forward. If it feels like you're going to fall off the back of the bike when you lift your hands then you're too far back.

    Also leaning your bike more than your body while cornering helps keep more of your weight over the tires helping with traction. If you say that you're over the front and the bike is still washing out it sounds like you are fully leaning your body along with your bike. You may even be leaning your inside shoulder further into the turn while leaning your bike.



    I hope this helps out.
    You're lucky that my daughter is having a longer than usual afternoon nap because otherwise this explanation would have been short and lacking any real depth.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    69
    @RideEverything thanks for you detailed answer.

    i think im feeling pushed back to much all the time but i notice it especially in corners. riding position in general is fine (no pain or something like that even on long rides) and i have no issues going uphill. i can apply enough pressure to keep the tire to the ground even on very steep sections of the trail.

    Checklist:
    Bar: Flatbar 760 mm with a few backsweep
    Spacer: 15mm below
    Stem: 40 mm, 0 (as mentioned before i had a 70mm stem with -6 and i had the same issues as now, couldnt feel that i would generate more pressure on frontwheel with the longer stem, tried it without spacer below aswell)
    SAG DB Air: 17mm as suggestet by keith
    SAG Pike: im not exatly shure (need to look at home if its important), but on jumps i use nearly full travel (2-3mm left) so i think the fork setup is good
    Tire: Front Chunky Monkey Trail Extreme 2.4, Rear: old Hans Dampf 2.35(?) and before i had an WTB Bronson 2.2
    Tire for the condition: i think it was fine. last ride 3/3 people on 29er used the chunky monkey, ... i was the only one who had troube with getting enough grip.

    You've already stated that you don't feel confident riding the front of the bike aggressively. Right there that tells me you're already off the back of the bike which won't help with higher speed cornering. You need to commit (get forward) or it just won't work.
    well, i try it every time to use the right technique and i think im doing it right but my feeling could be also wrong - hard to tell :/. i think i need some buddys to take a close look how i ride the bike next time or record a movie

    Last ride i even noticed the lack of grip on an fast but not steep trail which consists on many long S curves. in my opinion this trail should be no problem at all but even there i noticed the lack of grip in corners. i think i was in a good riding position but 2 times the frontwheel lost traction but i had luck and it recovered itself.

    your other points: i take a close look next time im going to ride the bike and will report back.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jncarpenter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    6,758
    How tall are you?
    What size frame?


  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter View Post
    How tall are you?
    What size frame?
    176cm. "Legs" 30.5"
    Frame: M

  11. #11
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,923
    Quote Originally Posted by pinkey View Post
    176cm. "Legs" 30.5"
    Frame: M
    Your fork settings might be worth a look.... lack of cornering grip can be too slow of rebound, or too soft of a spring/ not enough compression damping....

    I like my fork set up fairly firm & fast so I can get all my weight over the front in corners without the fork diving. I think my pike is 75psi, not much compression damping, rebound is pretty fast.

  12. #12
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,541
    I was going to ask about frame size going through the first lot of stuff with suggestions on technique, as on my XL Prime I also never could quite get the hang of it and enough weight on the front for fast corners, thought it was me and sucking on fast stuff.

    In March I went from the XL Prime with 474mm Reach 60mm stem/785mm bar to a L Phantom with 450mm Reach 75mm stem/785mm bar, basically transferred everything across from the Prime frame to the Phantom, except initially used a 75mm stem. The bike felt great, a lot easier than the Prime at speed to control in the corners (lost 2.5" in the WB from smaller frame and shorter travel/fork), but still a bit of work, so stuck a 65mm stem I had been running on the Prime on it and it has been golden ever since, actually absolutely fantastic in the high speed stuff, never a worry in slow speed. In fact, so much so that before on the Prime I used to stay towards the back on rides on most fast trails so as to not hold anyone up and now, without hesitation I charge straight for the front and don't hold anyone back

    Before the Prime I had been on an XL Paradox for 2 years which had a Reach of 448mm, but when I chose the Prime I wasn't so totally up on Reach/Stack yet and went by the ETT which was the same on both XLs, but the Reach was 26mm more on the XL Prime and it made a lot of difference.

    BTW, I also run a CM TE as my front tyre, ran it on the Prime and now on the Phantom and it's a tyre that I find you have to be very aggressive with, i.e. needs to be thrown about/over in corners to get the edge knobs to bite, which wasn't so easy on the XL Prime, but now on the smaller Phantom with 2.5" shorter WB, it's super easy and makes a world of difference. When I build back up the Prime I intend to use a 45-50mm stem and see how it handles then.

    EDIT TO ADD........On technique, up until just now I never thought of it, but getting your weight really forward makes a lot of difference and might be why I leave guys behind when it starts to get low for a 6'2.25" guy, but not for guys <5'10". I never understood why on the fast trails in the tight trees, why in the vertically open sections I really have to work to get through the corners, but then when I get to the sections with low branches which force me to really get low, I actually take off and leave everyone behind.
    Thinking about this now after reading what everyone else has said, makes it so simple to understand now why the bike corners so much better and I maintain more speed through those sections, will have to try to force myself that low in the open stuff and see what happens.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  13. #13
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,923
    176cm on a medium is perfect IMO. I'm about the same height, longer inseam. Can't go any smaller on a Prime.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    69
    thanks for your suggestions and good to hear im not the only one who struggles a little bit with the front tire grip .

    will try the next few rides on some techniqe as well as maybe some stem settings. my local shop should have a 60mm 30 stem which i will use as -30 to get the bar lower. it doenst cost that much and i think it will give me a good comparision from one "extreme" to another and see if i notice much difference. in my opinion i should get way more group with the -30 stem and when i also remove the spacer i should get the bar around ~3,5-5cm lower then i got it now.

    i hope the weather will be a little bit better in the days to take some rides

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-16-2014, 10:02 AM
  2. Banshee Prime-Hard to get air on???
    By unrooted in forum Banshee Bikes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-04-2014, 11:30 AM
  3. Lefty frontwheel wobbling - normal?
    By grani13 in forum Cannondale
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-22-2013, 04:17 PM
  4. best grip platform pedal to use with power grip straps.
    By package81 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-11-2011, 10:58 AM
  5. Roaring Creek is Prime, I tell you, Prime
    By bear in forum Pennsylvania
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-12-2011, 01:02 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •