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  1. #1
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    Spearfish owners, help with setup?

    I just picked up a 2013 Spearfish 3 (Large) from Universal Cycles and have taken it for a few solid rides now. I previous had an Airborne Guardian 2.0 hardtail, and this is my first FS bike. I handles the rough stuff great, and my butt has no pain whatsoever (main reason i went to FS). My questions is, the bike feels a bit weird right now and I'm trying to sort out fit and suspension tuning. I can't put my finger on it, it just feels like I am very upright compared to my previous bike and the suspension feels squishy.

    Here is my info: Large Spearfish 3
    6' 2"
    190lbs, probably around 200 loaded.
    Manitou Tower Expert has roughly 30psi, 25% sag. Still feels very squishy though and bobs a lot when I stand and pedal.
    Monarch RL is at 25% sag. I also can see a bit of bob while pedaling, but I don't know if this is normal or if I should adjust the damping at all.

    Overall I'm just looking for some input on other people's experience with the bike. I'm thinking either it's not setup correct for me or I just need to get used to it. I couldn't pass up the Universal Cycles deal.

  2. #2
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    No one else can tell you online what your ideal setup will be as it will be completely personal to you.

    Don’t despair – the Spearfish is a great bike and you will get it tuned to suite you.

    Find some local woods or trail you like and take your shock pump along with you. Set your rebound adjuster in the middle of it's range and then play with your shock pressure. Ride a loop, see what it feels like. Pump some more air in – ride another loop and let some out and ride some more – see what works best. Once you find a pessure you like, you could dial in some different rebound settings to see what they do. Do the same with your fork setup.

    In my own case, I was curious to try a shorter stem, so I got 70mm Orange Stalk for £12 and fitted it. I did a couple of rides and it seemed quite good (very similar to my 80mm stem). However, on a club ride the other day, I reached a really steep bank I’d ridden up in the past, and found that 70mm made the front end too light. I couldn’t keep the front wheel planted and maintain forward momentum. On a different frame with a longer top tube, the 70mm might have worked. The same thing will apply to seatpost (layback & straight) and saddle height, and fore & aft adjustment. You need to tweak all these things to suit you.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Tea, yeah I've already measured the basics for a XC geometry bike and got the spearfish as close to a baseline as I can. I'm thinking it will take slightly longer to setup compared to my old bike since it is FS. I'm also guessing it is slightly more upright since I've read that more aggressive riding is a bit more upright.

    Did you usually adjust the rear, front, or both shocks as you do loops? I'm familiar with ladder testing suspension, I figure it's best to only change one thing at a time.

  4. #4
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    You got a Monarch RL as a rear shock? Damn, mine only came with the R model (no lockout).

    I'm assuming your first post has a typo in it, as 30 psi on the front fork seems WAY too low. I weigh a little less than you (180'ish lbs) and I think I have 85-90 psi in my Manitou. Other than that, you can always turn the stem upside down to give you a more "aggressive" position on the bike (not as upright). Just play around with everything, you'll get it dialed in eventually.

  5. #5
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    I got the R originally, but noticed that the website said 'RL'. I emailed Universal and they took about 1.5 months to sort it out with Salsa, but they sent me a new RL no questions asked. They have my business for sure.

    Do you have the Manitou Tower Expert? The manual says not to exceed 50psi air pressure. I know the other forks go higher. It is a dual spring/air system and I'm thinking I may need to order a larger spring. If I really put my weight on it I feel like I can bottom it out.

  6. #6
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    I apologize... I typed that previous reply not knowing about the air pressure, I was only assuming it was similar to my other RS and Fox forks. You're right, it shows a max of 50 psi. That being said, mine has 40 psi and feels pretty good, although I like my XC forks a little stiffer.

    Interesting on the RL- I may contact Universal to see what they have to say. I'd love an RL shock if it's possible.

  7. #7
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    The only reason I got the switch was because the website said it shipped with an RL stock (Salsa's site said this also). After my email etc. it was quickly changed on both sites. They said the equipment changes and Salsa initially misprinted it (all the bikes at Universal Cycles had Monarch R's)

    Regardless, if you ordered it when it said 'RL' and that's what you expected to get, i'd look into it.

  8. #8
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    Wink

    Hey 'OP', I weigh about 210lbs with my gear and camelback on. I just checked and I have 150psi in the rear (mine's the basic Monarch R). I see there's a little label saying pressure should not exceed 275psi. I got my Spearfish to replace my El-Mariachi Ti and Turner Flux 26". The plan was for the spearfish to combine what I liked best about each of them. I felt the Ti El-Mar was superb but I just needed the Flux on the rougher trails where the El-Mar couldn't cope so well.

    Anyway - I run the Spearfish with 10-15mm sag and it's working out very well. (I've just sold the Turner which I'd previously been keeping as the spare bike).

    Up front I've got a Fox Fit F29 Fork and I run it a little bit softer than the recommendation - it's at about 105-110 psi at the moment. You need to keep your stem long enough (and your saddle high enough) that you can pedal efficiently and keep your front wheel down on steep sections - but not so long that descending becomes scary. You may find a layback post and another 10mm of stem is all that's required to sort you out.

    Good luck with your setup - I'm certainly liking my Spearfish!

    Ps.
    The Fox came with the 2011 Mariachi frame and is a straight steerer version. Now that the Turner is sold off, I'll be building up the El-Mar again as the spare bike. I've just bought a used 100mm tapered, 15mm bolt-thru RS Reba for £175. I'll put that on the Spearfish so I can put the Fox fork back in the El-Mariachi. I'll be interested to see if the Reba performs as well as the Fox. The guy who sold it was 'upgrading' to a Fox but the grass is always greener, and I've been happy with previous dual-air Rebas so I'm optimistic. I should be fitting it in a couple of days when the Hope tapered crown race arrives.....so once it's fitted, I'll let you know what I think.

    Timmy

  9. #9
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    I am also 6'2" tall and very nearly purchased a large 2013 Spearfish. But, I was fortunate enough to find one at a local store and test rode it for a bit and, like you, I felt like I was a bit too upright and the cockpit felt just a bit cramped. It felt just a bit too compact for me. They also had an XL in stock so I tried it out as well, and it felt much more comfortable.

    I didn't buy it at the time, but a couple of weeks ago I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the XL 2013 Spearfish 3 from Universal Cycles. Last weekend I took it out for 3 hours on the trail and it felt great. At 6'2" we are right at the in between spot for fitting either the L or the XL Spearfish. I wonder if you might try a longer stem if that would fit your reach a bit better. I had originally thought that I might have to put a slightly shorter stem on my XL, but so far I'm pretty happy where it's at.

  10. #10
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    Yeah I guess this is one of the pitfalls of ordering online. I will continue to ride the Spearfish and make adjustments to see what happens. Part of me thinks I just need more saddle time. The Airborne I had previously is the only MTB I know, so I may just think that I need to be laid forward in a XC race position.

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