G2 Geometry - Impact on handling from Shorter Stem (70mm) + Increased fork travel
I recently purchased a 2010 GF X-Caliber (17.5) and like many of us would like to perform some mods and upgrades. This bike will be used mainly by my 5'8'' wife for riding technical trails through to flowy XC and racing.
I plan to:
- modify the fork by increasing the current 80mm travel to 100mm.
- Install a shorter 70mm stem for shorter reach
- Install a wider 680mm handle bar.
Curious to know if any of you have performed similar mods to your G2 geometry 29er hardtail? Were there any notable impacts to the handling of the bike. I'm particularly curious about the impact of having a shorter stem.
Well on my large HiFi 9er when I ditched the stock stem and handlebars for a 70mm and a Niner bar the steering was much more responsive and the front wheel much easier to lift over rocks and roots even on climbs. This combo made for a more stable, comfortable and overall natural fit. When standing I can shift my body around more easily. Wheel hops and manuals are way more easier to perform. On steep climbs I have to scoot forward on the saddle just a touch more (but not by much) and wheel lift / flop is a non issue. I quickly realized how stretched out I originally was, despite my monkey arms.
Keep in mind swapping to a longer fork will already decrease the reach as it raises the front. I would do just the bar / stem first and try it out for a while. Also keep in mind the stock fork has the proprietary 51mm offset as part of the G2 geo. A replacement fork will have less and theoretically slow down the steering, and that's not even taking into account the increased length.
Just my 2¢
CRAP... I'm in the wrong gear
I had a Paragon with the stock 80mm fork and converted it to 100mm (there's a thread on here somewhere on how to do it). Overall I really liked it, didn't seem to affect handling much, maybe a bit slower steering but that worked better for me in chunk or wide open trails.
Can't comment on stem/bar changes.
I'm looking forward to regretting this.......
Originally Posted by rockhop
Thanks for your input guys! For now, I've only changed the stem and threw on the wider bar. She has this same cockpit set-up (70mm stem, 680mm bar) on her other bike (Giant Trance 26") and works well for her.
Originally Posted by johnnyspoke
IF she feels comfy with the cockpit change, then I will experiment with increasing the travel by 20mm. I will be modding the existing G2 Fox fork that's on the bike now (if its possible on the model I have).
So I put the GF to the test! I found that the wider bar and short stem complemented the manoeuvrability of the bike quite well. Since I ride a lot of rocky technical, I was able to pop the front up much easier and balance myself on the bike in tight slow moving sections. Lots of fun!
I'm going to leave it this way for now and perhaps increase the fork travel towards the spring. I think that extra 20mm will make the ride a bit more forgiving over the rigid bumps, especially when powering through a long rock garden.
I have an 09' Mamba that I went to a 70mm stem on and I really like. I just did the 80 to 100mm shock conversion. Have not ridden yet, but I think the extra travel will help.