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  1. #1
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    Make my Reign x1 better climber?

    Hey people

    Been riding a Reign X1 for the past year after 15 years on hardtails. I love the bike so far but just wish it was a little easier to climb with.

    The bike is stock and I was considering changing the fork for something adjustable like the 55. I've never rode an adjustable fork before, does it make much of a difference to climbing performance when its wound down?

    Any help or suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankinirish
    Hey people

    Been riding a Reign X1 for the past year after 15 years on hardtails. I love the bike so far but just wish it was a little easier to climb with.

    The bike is stock and I was considering changing the fork for something adjustable like the 55. I've never rode an adjustable fork before, does it make much of a difference to climbing performance when its wound down?

    Any help or suggestions appreciated.
    An adjustable fork will make climbing easier, for sure. Winding down the fork will steepen the head angle and bias your weight more over the front wheel which will stop the front end wandering as much.

    Not sure about how good the 55s are (I've read a lot about reliability issues with the Marzocchi forks). You could also consider a Fox Talas 36, with 100-130-160mm step adjustments.

  3. #3
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    I've never ridden an X with adjustable fork travel, but if you do the bottom bracket is already very low, so watch the pedals.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24
    I've never ridden an X with adjustable fork travel, but if you do the bottom bracket is already very low, so watch the pedals.
    Mine has one and I don't ever use it for that very reason. I'm even going to 180mm up front to improve that situation more. Also, I've come to the conclusion that adjusting down a fork for climbing is over rated. I've stopped doing it on any of my bikes. I'd rather keep the traction of a plush front end, pedal smoothly, and adjust weight accordingly. That and reaching down when I'm pushing hard in rough terrain isn't ideal.

    Coming from a HT the Reign X is never going to feel like a climber IMHO, too much mush. That said, wheels and tires is where I'd put money. A lower rolling resistance rear tire will be more noticeable than anything. Then wheels that are just barely burly enough for your personal needs. I can get away with XM719 rims and I ride this bike very hard, but I'm only 160lbs. If I am planning on skipping any attempt at being smooth I grab my DH bike. When I had my bike <34 lbs I was usually the fast guy in most groups (I ride a XC bike with true XC/roadie riders), now that I gave up on light tires and shocks I'm not always in front, but I have a big grin all the time

    Edit: Lots of Propedal or low speed damping switch in the rear shock helps way more IMHO than lowering/stiffening the front end.
    Last edited by phatfreeheeler; 03-13-2009 at 06:46 AM.

  5. #5
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    good post

  6. #6
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    Or, rather than make the bike lighter, use a stronger leg! :-)

  7. #7
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    Crankinirish - can you clarify what you mean when you say you don't like the way it climbs?

    A lot of HT riders like to climb out of the saddle, and like phat... said, the Reign X will feel pretty mushy with that technique, but if you get used to climbing while seated, it "mushes" a lot less.

    Because of the Maestro suspension, there is very little squat while climbing, so there is less need for a "droppable" fork than FSR or some other suspension designs that squat more and lift the front wheel.

  8. #8
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    you have to lean further forward with a longer travel fork, un-weighing the rear end which makes you lose traction. less front travel gets you more centered over the bike.

    my trance has an adjustable travel fork and i wouldnt give it up. if i had a reign it would be absolutely mandatory.

  9. #9
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    Assuming the rear suspension doesn't move. Dropping a typical 160mm fork from sag to locked down at 100mm shortens the wheelbase roughly 0.4" so a shift of less than 1/4" forward would accomplish the weight shift to keep the wheel on the ground. If you are loosing traction you are overcompensating. Furthermore, all your body weighs X amount and you can choose to distribute 90% of X on the rear or 50% by where your body is. The 0.1% wheelbase length change is minuscule in the world of wheel torque.

    However, it does change the HA from about 67deg to ~69.4deg which improves steering control at lower climbing speeds. I believe this is really what most people feel more than anything. Also the saddle is a few degrees more level which is more comfortable and the fork is automatically stiffer because you nave a higher preload to overcome before it compresses.

    Of course the system to lock the fork down is all in one leg of the fork. In other words the fork has an off centered force applied to it which acts like a rotational moment or torque. Therefore, the compression of the two legs can not be exactly the same unless the entire fork is infinitely stiff. In some fork wheel combos this can lead to increased friction in the hub. Try this, put a bike in the repair stand and spin the front wheel. It spins a long time, right? Now compress the fork with the lock down feature and try that again. Some fork/wheel combos will spin noticeably less freely. I'm not going to claim this is always true although the few bikes I've tried it on showed this behavior. This could be why some forks now only lock down by <30% which is just over sag. Friction = bad

    I'll almost always bet on good technique over technology any day, and I really like technology

    Sorry I was bored and had a beer to finish. Peace and happy riding

  10. #10
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    Hopefully you're running a 36t front ring. This helps tension the suspension. Had a 32t on there and it pedaled like sh!t. Also, if you're on a long fire road grinder, you can twist the rebound knob all the way in for some poor man's lockout. Hope this helps.

  11. #11
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    I went from a hardtail to a reign x0 and personally I liked climbing with the reign better then my hardtail, especially on technical climbs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler
    Assuming the rear suspension doesn't move. Dropping a typical 160mm fork from sag to locked down at 100mm shortens the wheelbase roughly 0.4" so a shift of less than 1/4" forward would accomplish the weight shift to keep the wheel on the ground.
    lets be serious.. theres a reason why people race xc on little weeny 3 inch travel bikes with steep angles. if you could climb just as well, you'd see rigid guys with bigass long AC crown forks.. you can compensate and learn to ride very well with a fork stretched out, but its just easier to wind one down and get in a better position to climb.

  13. #13
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    as someone has said the only way to climb on a reign x is sat in the saddle. you can't attack hills standing up like a hardtail. i can climb up most stuff i do on a hardtail and the suspension offers increased grip but i have had to accept that you've got to take it easy going up. the pay off is being able to let rip downhill - thats what the bike is all about.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    if you could climb just as well, you'd see rigid guys with bigass long AC crown forks.
    Super common. The bikes make great jump bikes because they accelerate so well, but they are still good on trails, and way nice for slow technical riding

    As for XC racers, light is right, and they spend so much time training on road bikes that they want their MTB to feel as much like their road bike as possible. That doesn't actually make their decisions correct, just their opinion. How many XC racers refuse to ride full suspension even though most studies have shown them to be faster on dirt?

    We're talking about how to improve climbing on a low BB bike w/ 6.75" of travel that is meant to bomb ROUGH downhills and do 20+foot gaps and as we've all said, it already climbs quite well without any changes. Physics don't lie, you want to make it climb faster, lighter wheels and tires is the #1 priority, but if you're goal is climbing maybe this just isn't your bike
    Last edited by phatfreeheeler; 04-16-2009 at 07:30 AM.

  15. #15
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    don't upgrade, ride upgrade.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  16. #16
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    I've always liked dropping the front end for climbs.

    I have an '05 Reign with Wotans - a similar beast to a reign X in many ways - dropped down to 120mm it the front does, for me, help when climbing.

    I cannot shout out how good the Wotans are BTW. They are awesome, nothing bad to say, simply amazing.

  17. #17
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    I personally don't like lock-down forks. I had ETA on some of my zocchi's and actually felt they made me climb worse due to weird geometry and suspension quirks going over terrain.

    A few things to make a Reign X climb better without spending money -

    - Make sure you have sag set to the right level: 25-30% (25% will climb better if that's your thing). This may actually cost you a new spring.
    - Make sure your fore/aft saddle position is correct in relation to the pedals. A few millimeters forward can make a huge difference.
    - Increase boost valve pressure if the suspension is wallowing
    - Longer stem could help if you're willing to make the DH performance tradeoff

    Stuff that will cost you-

    - Lighter tires/tubes
    - Lighter rims
    - Lighter pedals
    - Lighter cranks
    - Lighter everything else

    Possible improvement point could be the rear shock. I'm looking into having the DHX PUSHed to see if I can get a better mix of good medium bump compliance with firm standing pedaling performance. Right now if I set the shock up for good medium bump performance I get wallowing when standing. When I set it up in reverse I get a mid-stroke spike.

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