Slack vs Steep...Where's the LOVE?
I notice a lot of folks not running the Chilcotin in Slack mode...I think this bike is an engineering marvel that excels in the slack mode. It climbs and handles amazingly and the DH is the heart of this bike. Take it out of slack and the DH is compromised. The climbing in slack is mind boggling especially since my HA is at 65.5. NE is rocky as hell and this bike performs exceptionally well. I also have a DW link bike that I love and is more efficient than the Chilcotin, but I certainly prefer the characteristics that the Chilcotin has over the DW. The Chilcotin maintains traction far better as well and is the more FUN bike. In Slack mode, the climb below is not a problem.
And I wouldn't feel nearly as confident going off drops like this in steep mode.
Where is the SLACK LOVE?
Last edited by mayha; 05-06-2013 at 10:14 AM.
I just bumped up my fork to 170 and now I am trying it in slack. With 175 mm cranks and a 160 mm fork, I got way too many pedal strikes. I had to run it in steep. The 10mm of extra travel seems to have alleviated some of the pedal striking. I am gonna hang with slack for the first time and see how it does.
Slack or steep, the chili is amazing.
Tons of slack love over here. 170 Lyrik with external cup puts me around 65.5° and I love it. Never had any squirrly climbing issues in New England. At multiple points since I've owned the bike I've even considered an angle set to get it around 65°. I'm looking forward to that NE Style drop this season, as I missed it at the end of last year.
Steep. I have only put the Chillo in slack mode for one day of shuttling. It was awesome. My rides generally include long fire road climbs which change into single track with narrow bridges etc.. I found that in those long road pedals I was too far off the back when in slack mode and i also noticed a difference in control on the skinnies. On my DH trails with steep rock faces and fairly large jumps, I have no problem in steep mode. Agreed...super versatile.
Slack mode all day .. Put my 180mm fork back on , going to test it out this weekend finally since DH season is now opening up .
On my Delirium with the 66 full slack.
With the 170 lyrik trail fork, I usually back it off 1/2 degree, giving about 66.
A Dirtbag since 1969.
A Knomer since 2007.
RM Slayer . . .
si vis pacem...
I have a Podium for when I need slack. The trails around here are tight and technical enough that I need the agility (and ground clearance) of steep mode.
Well, this was actually my point. I feel like it is super agile in slack as well. A bike this slack shouldn't be this versatile but it is! Obviously this bike is great in both modes, I'm just surprised to hear the reasons people are NOT using slack. I have two friends in my group using steep mode exclusively.
Originally Posted by Parabellum
I just bought a Podium, and I think it is a tad too slack, but it is a DH bike and is supposed to be slack. However, I think if the bike came in two options, one with DH geometry and the other with a HT angle say 66/67 degrees, I think it would allow the bike to be ridden as a pure DH bike OR a DH/freeride bike. I ride Shore only and do not race, and bought the bike with no real other FR option, and I find the front end is a bit raked out...
I ride in slack, it climbs just as good,
It doesn't climb as fast but it crawls up better,
When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.
Funny I won't reiterate what others know & have said regarding the characteristics of each setting
I do find I primarily used steep in the desert & slack here in the NW
I have tinkered with various head angles on the Delirium (which has the same geo as the Chilcotin, except with one additional hole increasing the degrees of freedom). I found my preference depends on front fork.
Note - steeper head angle on a Knolly is relatively slack to most brands.
When I throw 180mm Marz 66 fork on, I prefer the slackest head angle (~65 degrees, static), which helps keep the front end lower. In addition, the Marz tends to be plusher with riding sag, so the effective head angle is steeper than the static number. With my 160mm Fox Float, I prefer the middle setting (~66.5, static). The Float rides higher so its effective head angle is probably similar to the Marz 66.
I like the steeper setup with the Float, which is my standard setup. Like others that argue that slack doesn't hurt their climbs, I don't find that steep set-up hurts my DHing. I like the more playfulness for switching directions in the singletrack. The steeper set-up brings the front wheel closer so it is easier to get the front end up useful slow speed maneuvers.
In addition, I mentioned this before, Knolly bikes have a relatively long wheelbase (almost 1in longer than other brands). I find this provides ample stability at speed and overall a good front/rear balance, and since turns as speed are leaning not turning; head angle is non-factor. Other brands, which tend to have shorter wheelbases that are twitcher so pushing the front end out, increases the stability not needed with the Knolly.
Jumping - I haven't found too much of difference in head angle.
Slow moving drops - prefer steeper angle.
High speed drops - haven't notice too much difference.
Steeps - slacker is better, but haven't have too much issue in the steeper mode.
Looks like some nice Lynn Woods granite right there Another slacker NE Chilly rider here. I put it in steep for a month and didn't notice much difference for climbing. It kinda freaked me out a little. I guess I'm just used to it being slacked out. Have no reason to put in steep at this point.
I have found with my Podium that I like the bars HIGH; in fact, I replaced the steerer tube just to get the bars higher; it seems the 38mm upward bar swing is no more. I find being high up is better for the down since the sag on my Monster front end is such that I suspect the ACTUAL HT angle is about 67. But on the upward trek, the back stays straight. I have no idea how anyone on a DH bike runs such a low front end (bars/stem) or especially a direct-mount stem that allows for no upward rake. It may corner well but when it gets technical and steep... I prefer knowing I have the ability to NOT go over the bars on steep terrain.
Each to their own, I suppose, but I am eager to trying the bike with the higher bars. I thought that I was always too "deep" on the steep stuff. Hope the weather tomorrow is not so bad to try my newest setup.
Bike is awesome all around, however. Most interesting is the fact the Monster has never felt so good with the Podium rear end and the fork is almost 10 years its junior. Maybe the fork is that good. But the feel on the dirt is heavenly. Never been better.
Great...Highland opens this week. I'll be there Saturday and Sunday to break in the Podium! Are you heading up?
Originally Posted by easygonow
Good call on Lynn Woods Woodyak! I actually feel like the longer wheel base that slack mode yields allows you to be more centered on the real steep technical climbs. Here's another one from Lynn you might recognize...
Originally Posted by woodyak
Last edited by mayha; 04-29-2013 at 05:40 AM.
Other than park riding, I prefer steep. Not due to head angle, but bb height. Pedaling through chunk is the main issue for me. I went to shorter cranks to help as well. A 170 fork with the steep setting will probably be my next setup to get the bb higher and maintain preferred HA.
i fully agree on what you say, lakesnake. for me bb height is the key and i also run 165mm cranks, and it feels great. despite that the more upright position is better for my back.
I've always preferred the steep setting; and I typically run longer-travel forks. Probably has something to do with the trails I ride; the speed at which I ride them; and my lack of skills (I'm relatively new to mountain biking; I grew up riding motorcycles, not bikes; and I put in far fewer hours each year on my bike than most of you).
"sounds like you need to find a better mechanic..." -- Calhoun
biking is fun
I rode my new Chili down in Moab on various trails and only clipped pedals a few times. I like a slack bike so it feels pretty dialed to me in the slack setting. I am running a 170mm fork with external headset and 170mm cranks.
It seems the CCDBair runs pretty high its travel though so that may help.
I haven't had a reason to run it in the steep setting yet. I clipped my pedals way more with my old Intense SS1. I bought the bike specifically for how slack it was since almost any other AM bike on the market has similar geometry to the steep setting.
I've stated in a few posts my impressions so far on the slack vs steep discussion but will add and consolidate them here for future reference.
I like the slack mode for really steep, rough, tech, or fast descents and almost prefer it for smoother, twisty, flowy, bermy descents as well. The lower BB and lower CG combined with the longer wheel base really allows it to rail this kind of trail. I imagine it would rule in bike park type flow/jump trails too.
I didn't really mind the slack mode for normal XC type climbs and adapted to it pretty quickly. Even tight climbing switchbacks weren't a problem.
I didn't like it as much for rocky trails or ledgy, steppy, rocky climbs mostly due to the increased pedal strikes, but also due to the more laid back riding position, decreased seat tube angle etc.
I did switch it back to steep mode this week for my normal XC morning rides and I do like it better set like this for these trails overall.
I didn't notice any difference in the action of the rear supsension in either mode.
I'll add to this that I switched it back to slack mode this weekend and after slightly adjusting the seat position (moved it forward maybe 1/2" and dropped the nose slightly), I'm amazed how much better it feels for all the things I didn't like about it listed above.
-I feel more centered/forward on steep climbs
-I get fewer pedal strikes
I think this is in part due directly to the different riding postion but also it seems to sag/squat less on steep climbs and step ups because of that more forward, less layed back riding postion. I didn't change the sag setting, but it feels like it's getting less sag while seated.
So at this point, I can't see any disadvantage to the slack setting. Maybe in rockier terrain, I might still prefer the steep setting but I haven't had a chance to test it in the uber chunk yet.
Last edited by KRob; 05-06-2013 at 10:28 AM.
Like you, I have a 170 fork with an external headset so that will probably bring our BB height in SLACK MODE to a similar BB height as those with 160 forks and integrated headsets in STEEP MODE.
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