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  1. #1
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    question about wheelies/manuals/etc and frame geometry

    I suck at technical skills. Like, I was at a trail this past weekend (Allegrippis @ Raystown PA) that was really fun but I could tell would be way better if I was more skillful.

    I've been reading the how-to's that Dirt Rag has been having the past few months on technical skills, but I can't for the life of me pop a wheelie or a manual or anything else that involves the front wheel being off the ground.

    The other thing I should point out is that I am 29 and since I was 14 I've only ever owned Cannondale hardtails.

    Right now I have a Caffeine F4. Sometimes I hear things like "this bike is a wheelie machine" when I read bike reviews. Could it be that my bike's geometry is not so much set up to allow easy wheelies, etc? Or should I still be able to and I just suck?

  2. #2
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    Go to observed trails web site and go on utube look up trials videos that will help. Also use your crankset at 12 o clock to pop up your front tire to clear objects and practice balancing your bike while not moving

  3. #3
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    So to bring up an old thread....is it more difficult to do wheelies/manuals on certain bikes? I am also having a hard time on my 2010 F4.

  4. #4
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    How long is your stem? The longer it is, the tougher it will be to raise and keep the front wheel off the ground. Once you reach the balance point in a wheelie the stem probably won't matter as much, but initiating wheelies with long stems will be more challenging.

    I have always run long stems because I am an XC rider with a long torso and long arms. I can't do crap for wheelies, but it doesn't affect my ability to get the bike up and over stuff. When it comes to trail riding and not just doing tricks, needing to actually lift the front wheel is not nearly as common a need as to merely unweight it to allow it to roll up and over the obstacle. When you do need to actually lift the front wheel, it's only for a very short duration which can be done even with a long stem.

    Have fun,
    Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile View Post
    How long is your stem? The longer it is, the tougher it will be to raise and keep the front wheel off the ground. Once you reach the balance point in a wheelie the stem probably won't matter as much, but initiating wheelies with long stems will be more challenging.

    I have always run long stems because I am an XC rider with a long torso and long arms. I can't do crap for wheelies, but it doesn't affect my ability to get the bike up and over stuff. When it comes to trail riding and not just doing tricks, needing to actually lift the front wheel is not nearly as common a need as to merely unweight it to allow it to roll up and over the obstacle. When you do need to actually lift the front wheel, it's only for a very short duration which can be done even with a long stem.

    Have fun,
    Pete
    I don't know honestly...I am a newb and its my first bike. Its whatever a 2010 F4 comes with factory.

  6. #6
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    80mm+ would probably be considered a long stem. I don't know what stem the F4 would have shipped with - you measure from the center of the head tube to the center of the handlebars (you're essentially measuring the distance at which the stem holds the bars from the frame).

    Typically, the smoother the terrain you ride, the longer the stem can be. The rougher the trails, the more you'd benefit from a shorter stem, but there are no hard and fast rules.

    You normally shouldn't use stem length as a primary means of making the bike fit properly (it mostly affects ETT, or effective top tube length), although small fit adjustments are OK. This is because the stem length and angle can have very large effects on the bike's handling. I'm a bit of an exception here due to my body's shape, and am forced to run longer stems than may be optimal because no one makes stock frames with ETTs that are long enough for me without compromising other fit aspects. Someday I may very well have a custom frame for this reason, but fortunately for me, long stems work well for my riding style.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

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