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  1. #1
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    SS cockpit for climbing

    I've been riding SS for about 2 years now and mostly climbing - stand and hammering all the way which is mostly on road.

    I need advice/inputs what's the better setting for climbing that give better effects/results such high/low - long/short stem, wide bar(obviously), long/short travel forks etc.

    I have small body 5'4" 109lbs - My current setting is
    60mm stem 3mm spacers 555 effective top tube
    20mm rise bar 710mm length
    70mm travel fork
    22x13 ratio


    I am planning to get 720mm 7mm rise handlebar and I don't know if this will improve my climbing and maybe get longer/shorter stem.

    I appreciate any inputs.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Bar ends.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  3. #3
    one chain loop
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    climbing mostly on road? use tires with less rolling resistance.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  4. #4
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    Also, fix your computer cable, OP. That's just hanging out, waiting to catch on a tire knob when your fork compresses. Wrap the computer cable around the front brake cable, and then around the fork lowers when it gets to that point.
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  5. #5
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    I would guess that you want to lower the front end, much like you'd raise it for downhill. Shorter forks, with lock out or rigid if you can stand it. Low stem, wide bars with bar ends. Biggest improvement will be moving to road tyres though.

  6. #6
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    What exactly is the problem? Does your back get tired? Do your legs get tired? Is it hard to steer? Throw us a bone, G.
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  7. #7
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    I can't tell much from that photo, but it looks like a lot of mid-range stock parts on your bike. so it's probably fairly heavy. it lighten it up, and make is roll smoother, new tires will be the most bang for your bike. those tires look great for loose rocks and mud, and really draggy for pavement or hardpack.

    also, 22/13? that's going to kill your chain and teeth fast. something like 32/16 will be a lot more durable, and 32/18 or 32/20 will spin easier for long climbs.

  8. #8
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    Tires...

    I think I remember correctly, but you typically have a long climb up roads and then come back down on single track right? I found the elevation profiles you posted here climbing technique- what's wrong?
    If you are running those routes down hill too, you may not want to reduce the aggressiveness of your tires.... that could get a little scary.

    I've found that as my bars have gotten wider I needed a shorter and taller stem to stay comfortable and let me really stand and hammer. Longer stems made me hunch over and my back would get sore.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I can't tell much from that photo, but it looks like a lot of mid-range stock parts on your bike. so it's probably fairly heavy. it lighten it up, and make is roll smoother, new tires will be the most bang for your bike. those tires look great for loose rocks and mud, and really draggy for pavement or hardpack.

    also, 22/13? that's going to kill your chain and teeth fast. something like 32/16 will be a lot more durable, and 32/18 or 32/20 will spin easier for long climbs.
    Here's pic from the side.

    I really like the ratio and planning to get 34x20 but still looking for the chainring. Pretty hard to get it in here.

    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    What exactly is the problem? Does your back get tired? Do your legs get tired? Is it hard to steer? Throw us a bone, G.
    Mostly my arms is tired, I always ride in position where I am avoiding the bar pull. I dunno why but when my arms tired it's like draining my strength.
    On most steep climb I get back pain but as long as my arms doesn't tire I still can go on.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyTomlin View Post
    I would guess that you want to lower the front end, much like you'd raise it for downhill. Shorter forks, with lock out or rigid if you can stand it. Low stem, wide bars with bar ends. Biggest improvement will be moving to road tyres though.
    Yes I want to lower the front and just maybe I could do better with climbing. I'll get lower cockpit. Thanks for the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by erik1245 View Post
    Also, fix your computer cable, OP. That's just hanging out, waiting to catch on a tire knob when your fork compresses. Wrap the computer cable around the front brake cable, and then around the fork lowers when it gets to that point.
    Thanks for noticing.
    I already fixed it but now I remove it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishcreek View Post
    climbing mostly on road? use tires with less rolling resistance.
    The problem of current frame is I can't use small tire because of the ground clearance also my current wheelset is heavier to compare to the last one which use V-brakes.
    For on road tire I use ardent 2.40 which so far it's the lightest also the sidewall is tall/high so it's really feels like 700x23 tire.
    I plan get lighter wheelset and use smallblock8 2.35, is this tire good?

    Quote Originally Posted by erik1245 View Post
    Bar ends.
    Last time I use one I don't feel comfortable.
    I admit it makes me faster but also makes me tire faster maybe because it makes riding position leaning forward, the whole body weight is on the thigh.
    Thanks for the advice, I'll try to put it on and give it some time for adaptation.

  10. #10
    one chain loop
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    so you are 5'4 and most likely have a shorter torso.

    the longer the bars, the more you move your weight forward to grip those bars.

    you are already using a short stem, using 50mm is not that significant change.

    wider is better leverage, i do agree with that. but can also work against you. imagine carrying a can of paint away from your body, way harder than if it is closer to your center.

    what worked for me is using alt bars, cockpit is shorter, it is easier to scoot towards the rear end too when going downhill. i can pull easier since it is closer to the core and probably the way the hand is angled too.

    play with the tires too, i find the nevegals very slow. maybe try the small block eights for the rear tire and keep the nevegal front if you are concerned about wash out.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  11. #11
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    For road climbing I'd ditch the suspension fork and run some better rolling tires.

  12. #12
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    I find that having my bars up high works against me while standing and climbing. With my bars lower I can engage/use my back/lat muscles to pull on the bars (with bar ends) which gives me a lot of power with very little fatigue. If my bars are high it's pretty much all biceps and even worse if I don't have bar ends so I tend to fatigue quickly. However looking at your bike setup I doubt "due to your height" that you could get your bars low enough to make much of a difference in that respect.

  13. #13
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    I like my bars up high. SS cockpit for climbing-1217111032a.jpg
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  14. #14
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    If your arms are getting tired climbing up a fire-road or non technical rise, I am guessing that the problem is you are hunched over too much. Ask 3 mt bikers what the problem is and get 4 answers, right? In any case, I would try actually shortening the cockpit a little, and perhaps adding a 1/2" of rise to the handlebars. Narrowing the bars to 685mm instead of shortening the stem should have the same effect (whoops-a-daisies, did I blaspheme?). When it comes time to point your missile down the hill, the shorter front end will feel mighty nice.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcreek View Post

    wider is better leverage, i do agree with that. but can also work against you. imagine carrying a can of paint away from your body, way harder than if it is closer to your center.
    "wider bars provides better leverage"

    I've seen this sentiment a hundred times but I still don't understand it. Twisting power towards the stem (horizontal) would be increased but how does it increase climbing power? Are we talking horizontal power to the opposite pedal? I've personally found narrower bars better b/c (as you state yourself) I prefer to keep the paint cans near my body (arms are less bent and so back and lats, not arms, are more activated). Also, the narrower bars (longer vertical reach) allow me to get in a more upright position (see my next post).
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  16. #16
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    For me, there's two simultaneous cockpit objectives I try to achieve for climbing on an SS: 1) my body's position, and 2) my body in relation to the bike.

    1) I must get my front end high and long enough that allows for an upright position (not bent over) for long, moderately steep standing climbing. Being bent over means wasting energy keeping my torso from falling further forward. Plus, when upright, I can dance on the pedals with my full weight falling onto the pedals (almost feels like cheating). Pulling on the bars in this position doesn't figure in b/c I'm upright , dancing, and conserving energy. When things get even steeper (and my weight naturally rotates rearward), only then does pulling on the bars come naturally, which is perfect b/c it's in the steepest climbs I need a full body effort.

    2) The above-described position must be accomplished while maintaining a centered front/rear position in the bike. This is largely a function of the frame's ratio of front-center to chainstay length. Front/rear balance changes with the trail's angle; my goal is for the front end to become floaty (when standing) at the same point that things are too steep for me to climb. I call this Mann's Cusp (named after myself). Beyond frame choice (ETT/CS/HT angle), I adjust the free stuff: headset spacers and chainstay length. If the cockpit still isn't perfect (it never is), I'll experiment with changes to the bar, stem, and fork.

    IMO, a rigid ATB should inherently have a rearward bias so as to allow the front end to float over obstalces. A rearward bias would normally lead to a floating front-end on steep climbs but this isn't typically a problem on a SS b/c the rider stands and leans forward on the steeps (one of the magical gifts of rding SS).
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for the inputs.

    About the wider bar it does work for standing climbing.
    For sitting and spinning my hands instinctly change to narrower position, the opposite when standing my hands tend to get wider.

    When I start SS I use 600mm that's the setting of my gears bike from 1994-2000. I stop riding about 10 years, but now I started over and it's been 2 years.

    In those 2 years I change from 600mm, 620mm, 640mm, 660mm, and finally 710mm.
    Change my ratio 32x21, 32x20/24x15, and now 22x13

    I always ride the same track and it is steep.
    With shorter bar I found out that I tend to bar pull earlier even that isn't steep yet. When I change to wider bar the condition where I have to bar pull/dance is become less.

    I really love SS when it come to climbing, just because we don't have gears to shift doesn't mean that we cannot 'shift' anything.
    Just follow instinct and automaticly shift to different riding position, different muscle use, breathing pattern, pedaling pattern, and the coolest part is run and push/lift the bike just like CX.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackspade View Post
    With shorter bar I found out that I tend to bar pull earlier even that isn't steep yet. When I change to wider bar the condition where I have to bar pull/dance is become less.
    CX.
    Strange - I found the opposite (b/c wider bar pull me further forward). But no matter...my question is: isn't pulling a good thing? It increases overall exertion and therefor total climbing power, no?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Strange - I found the opposite (b/c wider bar pull me further forward). But no matter...my question is: isn't pulling a good thing? It increases overall exertion and therefor total climbing power, no?
    Yes it's a good thing, more muscle to get more leverage.
    Maybe because I don't train my arms for pulling that's what make me real exhausted when I do.
    Like I said before it's like draining my strength, the upper body feel so powerless.

    Sore thigh can fast recover but not with sore arm but it's only on my case.

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