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  1. #1
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    XCE Climbing Prowess (or lack of)

    Hi there. New to the board and have a question about my XCE. I have been riding this for about a month now, and I just cannot clear steep, technical sections.(Climbing) The front end feels very light, and I can't keep it on the ground. All the parts are from my last bike, so that's not the problem. I have a Judy SL front fork with 100mm travel. I was thinking about switching to a Psylo, so I can wind the travel down on climbs, but was wondering if anyone had any other ideas. I can't clear sections that I did easily on my last bike.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  2. #2
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    What kind of bike did you have last time? I'm not sure why you'd have a problem. I had an XCE last year and I thought it climbed great.

  3. #3
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    I had a Univega dual action pro. Very similar in design to a fisher sugar. It was the same size frame, and all the parts are the same. I just can't seem to get my weight over the front of the bike when climbing steep sections. I never had a problem on my other frame. I know the geometry is different, and I thought it would take some getting used to, but I have been riding it for about a month now, with no improvement. The bike climbs great until I hit a very steep technical section, then the front end wanders all over and I can't keep it down. I have heard some bad things about Psylo forks, but the adjustability would be a big plus for me I think.

  4. #4
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    Tweaking?

    The XCE is a great climber, and I guess you just need to tweak it according to your ridingstyle and physilogy. What size is the frame? How tall are you? What's the length and rise of your stem? Any spacers? What about seatpost? In-line or set-back? Where on the saddlerails does the seatpost clamp? And lastly: What about the spring on the rear shock? Does it match your weight?

    Truls
    Oslo, Norway

  5. #5
    Daniel the Dog
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    It is the setup....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlee197853
    Hi there. New to the board and have a question about my XCE. I have been riding this for about a month now, and I just cannot clear steep, technical sections.(Climbing) The front end feels very light, and I can't keep it on the ground. All the parts are from my last bike, so that's not the problem. I have a Judy SL front fork with 100mm travel. I was thinking about switching to a Psylo, so I can wind the travel down on climbs, but was wondering if anyone had any other ideas. I can't clear sections that I did easily on my last bike.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    I think the XCE is a super climbing bike. I own a 5 Spot and think it is the best climbing bike I have ever owned over technical terrain. Others bike have climbed better on smoother trails.

    How high is your seat compared to your bars? Oh, I ride a Marathon 120mm S fork that I ECC down when I climb on long climbs. It really helps put me in a better position for long climbs.

    Jaybo

  6. #6
    cask conditioned
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    My motto with climbing with the XCE has always been "if I can't clean it, it ain't the bike's fault." Try these one at a time before going to an adjustable fork: A different saddle position, maybe tilted or moved foward a bit. Rotate your riser bars foward. Try a longer stem or remove a headset spacer to drop your stem a bit lower. Just remember that only a couple mm's will do wonders.

    Having said that, I love having a Talas on the XCE, but I rarely drop it lower than 100mm and mostly keep it between 110-120ish.

  7. #7
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlee197853
    I have been riding this for about a month now, and I just cannot clear steep, technical
    Jeff
    How strange. While I don't have an XCE, I have a 5 spot and I'm finding it the best climbing bike I've ever riden. I have quite a long fork on there, but I have no problems keeping the front wheel down - unlike many bikes I've riden, I think that's something to do with the steep seat angle. Are you sure you've got your saddle in the right place and the right length of stem?

    You could try putting a Bomber on the front with ETA as that's a very effective system at keeping the front wheel planted on climbs.

    Like I say, I'm very puzzled to hear this as my 5 spot climbs like nothing else.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlee197853
    I had a Univega dual action pro. Very similar in design to a fisher sugar. It was the same size frame, and all the parts are the same. I just can't seem to get my weight over the front of the bike when climbing steep sections. I never had a problem on my other frame. I know the geometry is different, and I thought it would take some getting used to, but I have been riding it for about a month now, with no improvement. The bike climbs great until I hit a very steep technical section, then the front end wanders all over and I can't keep it down. I have heard some bad things about Psylo forks, but the adjustability would be a big plus for me I think.
    This really sounds like more of a geometry issue than anything else. Try moving the seat forward a little on the seatpost, lowering the handlebar (maybe flip the stem), or using a shorter stem. Don't waste your $$$ on the psylo, even the lowest end Zokes or Fox is a MUCH better fork. Try the seat first, you'd be surprised that it even makes a difference when out of the saddle.

  9. #9
    Lay off the Levers
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    It's been said by many above, so I'll try to keep it short.

    My advice: Take the bananna seat off.

    I too have a 5 Spot and I would think, the XCE should be a better climber because of the slightly steeper HTA.

    My bike has a tall Z1 and half my ride is steep technical climbs (guess what the other half is) . I almost never use the ETA and the bike almost never wanders. If you can't keep the front wheel down on your XCE it's not the fork or the bike. It has to be your setup.

    Could you provide some particulars about your setup and your measurements? Something must have you way off the back end of the bike as the XCE is a very well balanced bike.

    G'luck
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  10. #10
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    You really need to give us some more information, specifically:

    1) How tall are you? What is your Inseam?
    2) What size XCE are riding.
    3) How much do you weigh? What spring do you have on the XCE?
    4) How long is the stem you are running? What is the rise of the stem? What type of bars are your running (riser or flat, if riser, how much)?
    5) When the bike is sitting on the ground, what is the height of the top of bars from the ground? What is the height of the top of seat from the ground.
    6) What year is the Judy SL? What springs do you have it it?
    7) Do you have shims under the stem? How many?
    8) Can you post a picture of the bike?

    My thoughts without any of the above information:

    1) You need a straight post, not a setback post. Check out Pricepoint.com for a Sette Straight post for $19.99.

    2) You should be running a 100mm or 110mm stem, set level or 1" lower than your seat as a starting point. Once again, Sette from Pricepoing for $25.

    Give feedback on the above, and we can help more.

  11. #11
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    Hey all thanks for the replies. I moved my seat forward on the rails about 1/4" today, and it made a world of difference. I bought an Easton EA50 post when I built the bike, and it has a slight setback. I think that is what was screwing me up. Rode it today, and had no trouble on the climbs. I think I need to buy a different seatpost, as I have the seat moved almost all the way forward in the clamps. It looks like no one on this board likes the Psylo forks for some reason. I was looking at them for their versatility and cheap price. I still haven't decided yet though. I was also thinking about an 03 Sherman Firefly, but they only wind down to 110mm.

    Thanks all,
    Jeff

  12. #12
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    Ha, funny the exact same thing happened to me last year. I switched to a Thomson post and that took care of that issue. I was also thinking of a Firefly but figured it would be too heavy and too tall for the XCE so I opted for the Vanilla R. I had a Black Super Air on previously set at 120mm and really liked the ride height on that. Oh well, it would interesting to see how the Firefly would work with the XCE.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlee197853
    Hey all thanks for the replies. I moved my seat forward on the rails about 1/4" today, and it made a world of difference. I bought an Easton EA50 post when I built the bike, and it has a slight setback. I think that is what was screwing me up. Rode it today, and had no trouble on the climbs. I think I need to buy a different seatpost, as I have the seat moved almost all the way forward in the clamps. It looks like no one on this board likes the Psylo forks for some reason. I was looking at them for their versatility and cheap price. I still haven't decided yet though. I was also thinking about an 03 Sherman Firefly, but they only wind down to 110mm.

    Thanks all,
    Jeff
    Glad you got it figured out, I wouldn't have guessed the saddle position would make that big a difference. I do most of my steep climing out of the saddle, so seat position doesn't seem to effect my climbing as much. Now that I think about it though, I suppose it is preferable to stay seated as much as possible on a suspension bike.
    As far as the fork, don't count on using the Rapid Travel Adjust feature on Manitous to reduce the travel for normal riding; it simply preloads the spring by 20mm or whatever so the fork becomes much stiffer and less active. The newer forks that have the Wind Down feature may be different. I ride my Black at its 120mm setting and like it a lot on the XCE, but the Sherman at 130mm would probably be a bit much. Fox is your best bet if you want the 32mm stanchions.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles e
    Glad you got it figured out, I wouldn't have guessed the saddle position would make that big a difference. I do most of my steep climing out of the saddle, so seat position doesn't seem to effect my climbing as much. Now that I think about it though, I suppose it is preferable to stay seated as much as possible on a suspension bike.
    As far as the fork, don't count on using the Rapid Travel Adjust feature on Manitous to reduce the travel for normal riding; it simply preloads the spring by 20mm or whatever so the fork becomes much stiffer and less active. The newer forks that have the Wind Down feature may be different. I ride my Black at its 120mm setting and like it a lot on the XCE, but the Sherman at 130mm would probably be a bit much. Fox is your best bet if you want the 32mm stanchions.
    Glad the saddle trick worked. I usually recomend trying to tweek what you have before going out and buying new parts. But now that you know what the problem is, you can get just the right seatpost.

    You'd be surprised, saddle position can even effect out of the saddle handling. It's surprising how much you use the saddle to center the bike when out of it. As an experiment, take your seatpost out and try doing a short climb, without a saddle there it's amazing how squirly the bike will feel. You control the bike a lot by pushing the saddle between your thighs, and the location of the saddle can have an impact. Granted, nowhere near as important as when you are seated, but still noticable.

    James

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