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  1. #1
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    Why? Sortie Black Question

    Any thoughts appreciated. I recently purchased a Sortie Black and I have taken it out for two 10 mile rides. It seems to be a very nice bike but I am struggling a lot more than my old bike, a 2005 Giant NRS, on the climbs. I am faster on the downhill and in corners but on climbs I am much slower.

    Three possible reasons that I can think of that might be causing this: 1) Bike was shipped with Small Block Eight tires which are not a good tire for my conditions so the shop installed the only other tire they had in stock which was the Trail King 2.2; a pretty big tire 2) The brakes drag a little. 3) The bike came with a 11-32T cassette, not the 11-34T.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    The NRS was a 3.75" XC race frame.

    The Sortie is a 5" travel trail frame.

    It's designed to enjoy the overall ride more. It will be a little slower on the way up, but the downhills will be much more worth it! Enjoy!

    -KT

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thom9719
    The NRS was a 3.75" XC race frame.

    The Sortie is a 5" travel trail frame.

    It's designed to enjoy the overall ride more. It will be a little slower on the way up, but the downhills will be much more worth it! Enjoy!

    -KT

    No doubt, it is A LOT more fun going downhill! It is also a lot more comfortable climbing over a rock covered trail.

    My problem, yes my problem, is that I am having to work extra hard to get the bike up moderate (in Colorado) hills. This bike is more than two pounds lighter than my NRS. It just shouldn't take that much effort to get up a hill.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinone
    No doubt, it is A LOT more fun going downhill! It is also a lot more comfortable climbing over a rock covered trail.

    My problem, yes my problem, is that I am having to work extra hard to get the bike up moderate (in Colorado) hills. This bike is more than two pounds lighter than my NRS. It just shouldn't take that much effort to get up a hill.
    Right, but the suspension is designed for bump absorbsion, not ultimate pedaling efficency (at the cost of comfort).

    A tube rock crawler can weigh the same as a ferrarri, but they will definatly perform differently on their respective courses.

    Something that may help though, What wheel/tire combination do you have? The overall bike weight might be less, but a all-mtn wheel/tire combo (sortie) will be alot harder to climb than an XC race set up (NRS).

    -KT

  5. #5
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    If the Sortie is lighter, your problem is probably from tire rolling resistance, air pressure, bike geometry, or suspension setup.

  6. #6
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    I am running about 30 lbs of pressure on the 2.2 Trail Kings that are on Mavic SLR wheels; I can't get much lighter than those wheels. Now the Trail Kings are a high volume tire but they seem to roll really well. I am currently running the tires with tubes and Continental has them listed at 650 grams each but I would not be surprised if they weighed more.

    I would imagine that if I went to a smaller more XC type tire the bike would climb easier but I am not sure that it would make a big difference. The tires and wheels are not very heavy but I am concerned I would get flats and I really like the way these tire corner. Maybe I will start by trying ultralight tubes or by going tubless. That would certainly lighten the bike by another 4-6 ounces.

  7. #7
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    First, fix your brake rub, no brainer
    Second, try a different tire combo. The Contis are nice and I know some friend that love them and I would prob stick with em if I were you and you love the way they handle. I run WTB tire 2.24 Motoraptor rear and 2.3 WTB Prowler MX up front! Still climbs fast and I can keep up with anyone.
    I love the 11/32 cassette better as it give me personally a better gear combo for myself. That should not be reason for feeling slower.
    Geo should not be that much different, weight is lighter and more travel, so I'd say your suspension is not set right.
    How much you weigh and what psi in rear and front.

    I weigh 160 and rear 140psi and 50 psi front, I bumped my Float to 140mm too. I rarely use PP I think and feel in most climbs that PP is best open, as the wheel track better and when rebound is set right the bike propels you in each pedal stroke and bump you roll over. Getting rebound dialed in on the suspension is key, esp with more travel IMO Finding the perfect rebound spot is always something I play with no and then, pressure too. I go up and down from 150 to 160ish.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNeiles
    First, fix your brake rub, no brainer
    Second, try a different tire combo. The Contis are nice and I know some friend that love them and I would prob stick with em if I were you and you love the way they handle. I run WTB tire 2.24 Motoraptor rear and 2.3 WTB Prowler MX up front! Still climbs fast and I can keep up with anyone.
    I love the 11/32 cassette better as it give me personally a better gear combo for myself. That should not be reason for feeling slower.
    Geo should not be that much different, weight is lighter and more travel, so I'd say your suspension is not set right.
    How much you weigh and what psi in rear and front.

    I weigh 160 and rear 140psi and 50 psi front, I bumped my Float to 140mm too. I rarely use PP I think and feel in most climbs that PP is best open, as the wheel track better and when rebound is set right the bike propels you in each pedal stroke and bump you roll over. Getting rebound dialed in on the suspension is key, esp with more travel IMO Finding the perfect rebound spot is always something I play with no and then, pressure too. I go up and down from 150 to 160ish.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I way about 185 with all of my gear on so I adjusted the the fork down from 85 to 75 psi and the shock up from 150 to 155. I also adjusted my seat postion a little more forward to put me more over the pedals. These changes helped quite a bit; at least I felt faster climbing and wasn't struggling as much.

    I was having so much fun that I carried too much speed into a corner and dropped the bike. I bent the rear derailer and managed to get the chain stuck between the cassette and the spokes. I wasn't able to get the chain loose to allow the tire to spin so I had to carry the bike out which was about a two mile walk uphill.

    The bike mechanic had to remove the cassette to unwrap the chain as it was in there so tight. I had them readjust the front and rear derailers as well as adjust the brakes. When I got home I noticed that my rear tire had been mounted on the wheel in the front tire rolling direction. This had been done when the bike shop assembed the bike and is possibly part of the reason I have been slow on climbs. So, I decide to fix this and put a superlight tube on while I was fixing the tire direction.

    This is where the fun begins. I got the tub and tire back on the wheel and aired up. I put the wheel back on the bike and spin the wheel. Brake drag. NICE. It took me about 3 hours just to reverse the tire direction, change to a lighter tube, and gradually adjust the brakes so that they only have a slight rub. I don't think I would make a very good mechanic. But a least I can read which direction the arrow points on the tire.

    I will report back after my next ride. Hopefully, I will find myself at least as fast as on my old bike.

  9. #9
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    This somewhat sounds like my thoughts when I first started riding my Mission. I am still plainly working harder in all areas when going against gravity than my XC HT. I'm sure the rolling resistance with my stock tires contributes to it somewhat but there definitely is a distinct difference in energy expenditure and effort on my part.

    I cant label my experience thus far as a negative as this is my only experience with a AM FS bike. Maybe this is the trait compared with a lightweight race XC HT.

    Plainly mine is sooooo much slower than my RM Vertex 29er..Sooooooooooo much slower but there is no doubt that the mission is pretty great on the descent. It does climb really well, but again....the energy expenditure. This also might be a commentary about the engine, I'm not the demi-god I was once upon a time. I'm a heavy bastid too (250 LBS) so hauling myself and a 37LB bike (?) uphill is work anyhow. I HAVE to rest frequently else my heart and lungs will explode so when I see vids on youtube and vimeo of folks screaming thru the woods, jumping over logs, animals and small mountains I am just shaking my head saying "how...how in the world??". I'm not in peak condition but I'm not a lardass if you dig me.

    Again...fundamentally no complaints. I have no other AM FS rigs to compare my experience with. It's weight is not too off the mark from other bikes I've read about. It's strikes me as a wonderful bike for the $$, It's burly enough to handle my weight carreening down rocky and rooty declines. Definitely the right tool in my quiver for that task.

    I seem to not enjoy the ride so much if I try to hussle the ride, if I simply 'spin' and chill out I seem to have a much better time with it, am able to stay out longer. I still get passed by almost everyone on the trail but I'm just chilling out right? My hope with my Mission is for it to be my 'extended' ride bike. Ups, downs, 6-8 hours out on the trails, the roots, rocks, technical...It seems to be ideal for the task but for me what is getting in the way is the energy and effort I'm expending. Again..may more reflect the engine rather than the rig.

    I too have experimented with tire pressures and believe I have found an ideal sweet spot. I've gotten rid of my minor brake rub, my shock pressures, sag and behaviour feels perfect. The stock tires seem to work great when heading downhill, I feel confident and in control.

    I dont have a solution for you, but if this mimics what you are feeling on your Sortie just know there is someone else that in the same boat as you.

  10. #10
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    Look, your riding a Mission, the OP is asking about a Sortie, They are different bikes, Your riding a beefy ALL MTN bike. And really in the post above to sum up; your saying the rides great and it's not the bike it me, I am slow rider. I know plenty of friends that are just as fast or faster than other riders on "light XC bikes" or 29ers or SS or whatever. But still the bike overall is fast and just requires proper setup on the suspension. Sortie or Mission
    ~~~~~~Singletrack Slayer~~~~~~~

  11. #11
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    Okay, I have been on two rides since my above adventure. Each ride I have felt a little better and maybe just a little faster. Tonight i set the front shock at 65 psi and the rear at 155 psi. I left the pp in the open position. This combination seemed to work really well on my neighborhood trail. I might have to adjust the shock rebound on a more technical trail, but it worked quite well tonight.

    I still have the brake rub on the front and rear that I just can't seem to get rid of on the bike. I am able to adjust it where it is barely dragging and then on the trail I have to brake heavy on a few of the downhills and the drag comes back. I am not sure what to do about this................

    I am also getting a little rub in the back from the Trail King 2.2 when the trail get rough. I never hear it rubbing but I can see the results of the rub. I think the tire is just a little big in the back. I really like these tires and I don't want to take them off but I might have to change out the rear to something a little smaller.

    So far, I am really enjoying this bike. I feel more balanced on this bicycle and it feels more planted in the corners. I am a lot faster on the downhill and corners are actually becoming fun. I hope with more adjustments, by me and on the bike, I will become faster on the climbs than I was on my XC bike. That really is my goal with this bike. I want to be a little faster climbing than on my XC bike and a lot faster on the downhill and in corners. I know this isn't a XC race bike, but at just over 27 lbs with pedals it is a few pounds lighter than my XC bike. I still think that it should be a faster bike if I can get everything adjusted properly.

  12. #12
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    ProPedal!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinone
    Okay, I have been on two rides since my above adventure. Each ride I have felt a little better and maybe just a little faster. Tonight i set the front shock at 65 psi and the rear at 155 psi. I left the pp in the open position. This combination seemed to work really well on my neighborhood trail. I might have to adjust the shock rebound on a more technical trail, but it worked quite well tonight.

    I still have the brake rub on the front and rear that I just can't seem to get rid of on the bike. I am able to adjust it where it is barely dragging and then on the trail I have to brake heavy on a few of the downhills and the drag comes back. I am not sure what to do about this................

    I am also getting a little rub in the back from the Trail King 2.2 when the trail get rough. I never hear it rubbing but I can see the results of the rub. I think the tire is just a little big in the back. I really like these tires and I don't want to take them off but I might have to change out the rear to something a little smaller.

    So far, I am really enjoying this bike. I feel more balanced on this bicycle and it feels more planted in the corners. I am a lot faster on the downhill and corners are actually becoming fun. I hope with more adjustments, by me and on the bike, I will become faster on the climbs than I was on my XC bike. That really is my goal with this bike. I want to be a little faster climbing than on my XC bike and a lot faster on the downhill and in corners. I know this isn't a XC race bike, but at just over 27 lbs with pedals it is a few pounds lighter than my XC bike. I still think that it should be a faster bike if I can get everything adjusted properly.

    Check the Mavic hub, It can develop play and feel like your rear is loose! Also, Brakes need to be bled proplerly or If they are; Then call Hayes for tech support, sometimes they can have a pad piston that won't return all the way.
    ~~~~~~Singletrack Slayer~~~~~~~

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