Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    13

    Getting used to/adjusting my new Heckler

    So after having my a$$ kicked on a Trek 4500 hardtail for a few months I decided to go full suspension and after a lot of reading decided on a new Heckler.

    White
    Medium
    D AM build
    Blue Chris King headset
    clear e13 bashguard
    Wellgo MG1 pedals

    Bike is great on slightly rougher trails going over roots/rocks, downhill and rails corners awesome. Having a hard time pedaling uphill and keeping speed on long flats so I decided I should get some 2.1 tires for less rolling resistance.

    Here's my biggest problem adjusting to the new bike. The more slack headtube angle. It was fine in the LBS parking lot but on trails pedaling hard standing up to manuever the bike my shoulders and upper body weight are too far forward over the handle bars even though the distance from the bars to cranks is longer on the heckler. When i stand on the 4500 my weight is automaticly centered more. This angle coupled with a little overconfidence due to the solid frame and nice suspension led me to my 2 hardest crashes by far. only ate dirte once on the 4500 in 4 months, twice in 2 days on the heckler(same ride). both crashes at the transition from a downhill to and up hill with a sharp corner/loose dirt(maybe the CK headset turns too easily? ). Never crashed on these trails with the 4500.

    question. would getting bars with a higher rise help push my shoulders back? or should i just suck it up, ride slower and get used to the geometry of the new bike?

    and other suggestions for a noob getting used to the HT to FS crossover and or making a heckler a little more beginner friendly?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by vomitron; 09-20-2008 at 10:41 PM.
    Who needs a helmet when you have reflectors?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: snobrder5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    785
    i have a feeling your issues stem more from just getting used to the different bike, than anything else...how tall are you btw? you never said, just that you're riding a medium frame...could be too small for you....as for the headset turning too easily, if it's adjusted properly, differences in headsets wont be the difference in crashing or not crashing...

    the heckler is just a COMPLETELY different bike than your 4500 was...on climbs, you need to stay seated, and use that rear shifter to keep you in the correct gear....re-learn your trails so that momentum is your friend when you roll up to some technical climbs.....you wont have that on demand, split second acceleration that you had with a hardtail...

    btw, cranks to bars is not a measurement, anywhere on any bike.....you need to compare effective top tube lengths, which is the distance from the head tube, just below the top headset cup, HORIZONTALLY (parallel to the ground) to wherever the tape measure hits the seat post.....center to center....also, the heckler has a more slack seat tube angle, so you sit far from the bars when seated, but once you stand, you might be a little closer than you would if you were on the 4500, with a steeper ST angle.....

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sooner518's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,610
    2.1's on a Heckler?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: snobrder5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    785
    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518
    2.1's on a Heckler?
    that's what i run......it's called the lightest possible tire for a heavy bike.....

  5. #5
    Underweight Rider
    Reputation: AznRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    439
    I run 2.1 at the back and 2.35 at the front both nevegals. Stay seated when pedaling and enjoy your new bike

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    13
    "how tall are you btw? you never said, just that you're riding a medium frame...could be too small for you"

    I'm about 5'10" - 5-11" ish. Max height for a medium frame/min. height for large frame according to size charts. 155 lbs. 30 inch inseam I guess. Wear 30"x30" jeans. Standing over the bike I do not have much more than 2 inches clearance for anything sensitive.

    "2.1's on a Heckler?"

    Yeah 2.1's on the rear to help with pedaling efficiancy on the distance portion of the trails. 2.35's on front for control on the more technical stuff.

    "btw, cranks to bars is not a measurement, anywhere on any bike.....you need to compare effective top tube lengths"

    I know bars to cranks is not an official measurement. I measured that distance myself to see if it was why it seemed like my weight was forward/shoulders closer to the bars. Turns out the heckler is 1.5 inches longer from bars to cranks while according to official geometry specs from Trek and Santa Cruz they both have a 22.5" top tube. Thus determining it to the the head tube angle since when drawing a straight line from the center of the head tube when standing it points directly at my shoulders whereas the same line on the 4500 and the headset points more at the top of my head.

    This lead me to thinking that the fork could use some more pressure so it won't compress quite so easily when I don't really need it to and helping to send me over the bars. The shop set it exactly according to the chart per my weight. I just added 10 lbs. of pressure, see how it feels in the morning. The lockout on the Recon 351 is suprisingly not as effective as on the Dart 3 but still better than no lockout at all. Recon is way more plush.

    I know some folks are thinking this bike is way out of my league, myself included but I wanted something nice I could grow into.


    Thanks again for any advice. It all helps. Any more feedback is greatly appreciated.
    Who needs a helmet when you have reflectors?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: snobrder5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    785
    what length stem are you running? you're a bit tall for the medium, as i'm the same height as you and i ride a large...but i pedal a LOT, as florida doesn't have many extended downhills, or lift access runs .....so i choose to play it safe and go with the large, so i could properly pedal the bike....the great thing about a bike that's "too long", is that you can run a super short stem, which is nice b/c it makes your handling a lot more precise...i run a 90mm stem, and could prob go shorter...that being said, when it comes to guys that are our height, i think more often than not, most go with the medium, so dont worry, the bike is the right size for you, i think you still just need to get used to it....report back to us in like 2 weeks or a month, after you've been on a bunch of trail rides...then see how you feel...

  8. #8
    Dorkimus Prime
    Reputation: Biggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,463

    I think you bought the wrong size...

    I'm 5'10"-5'11" and have the same inseam as you. I, personally, like eff. TT's between 23-24". Santa Cruz bikes are generally short in the top tube and you are probably on the wrong bike IF you are predominantly trail riding.

    If you are into stunts and jumps and prioritize technical stuff over pedalling efficiency the medium is the correct choice because it will be easier to whip around...

    If my hunch is correct you should try to test ride the bigger frame size and trade the medium in for it. Other options, setback seatposts and longer stems...

    Take care,
    Ed

  9. #9
    Dorkimus Prime
    Reputation: Biggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,463

    Oh yeah...

    You didn't buy too much bike; the Heckler should make an excellent trail bike...

    Also, my transition to FS was rough. My first day I jumped a birm used to prevent vehicles from driving on to a football field out onto a street. My tires were new, wet from the grass and the rebound was set on full. The tires exploded out from underneath me and my face skid across the street. Some dude mowing his lawn came over to see if I was OK. My Pride was not.

    A little while later I found myself going over the bars quite violently, tacoing a rim and ending my confidence for that season. The bike was way too small and damn near killed me!

    Four years later I have a large BLT and find it a very stable, read here- secure, ride.

    If it makes you feel better, the too small bike I bought was also several thousand dollars. It now serves as my wife's bike and loaner for small people.

  10. #10
    Underweight Rider
    Reputation: AznRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    439
    Vomitron, if its any consolation...felled twice on my 1st ride, once on my second both due to reference front shock setting and not getting use to s FS bike. I am 5' 11" suited 135lbs on a white M frame with 36VanRC2. Later i found out i need to let the fork break-in so its more plush and takes in all the bumps.
    I was leaning too much to the front during my rides (on a 85mm Sunline V-One stem and low rise bar) and found out if i shift my weight towards the rear a bit and let the fork do all the work the bike will track wherever you point it to.
    Dunno if it'll work for you but i set my front to rebound slightly faster than my rear shock.

  11. #11
    Gangreen
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    192
    Hey there, I'd try running a 70mm stem. It can really help keep your weight more centered. I'd personally keep the stock stem as you may want to switch back to it later, but meanwhile, for about $35 you'll be able to experiment. If your Heck came with the DT Swiss 340/5.1 hub/rim set-up, you're looking at a 2,000 gram wheelset! Your switch from 2.35 to 2.1 Neve's saves about 75 grams per wheel, imagine a 1650 gram wheelset shaving another 3/4 pound rotating weight! That would give your Heck alot more snap. I know, I made the switch myself and now feel comfortable using my Heckler as a long-legged all day XC epic machine.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •