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  1. #1
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    Carbon or Titanium?

    This may seem to be an odd question at first but hear me out!

    I've recently purchased a new Epic to get back to XC racing. I'm coming from at HT to a FS ride and there is something a little odd going on.

    My HT a steel 29'er and I really like it, but while it rolls beautifully, I want to go back to a 26 ride as I just like it better for the terrain that I ride personally.

    Now on to the question, I'm looking for some good suggestions as to why this may be happening. When I ride my HT after a long or short ride, high intensity or low intensity I feel perfectly great. When I ride the Epic, I feel just as good, but my fingertips tingle for a little while and then it pretty much fades away. My cockpits are set up pretty much the same, as far as reach and everything else is pretty much the exact same. Grips are the same, stem is the same, the only real difference up front is in my bars and my fork. One is a Reba and one is a Fox Fit 100mm. Now I doubt the fork really has anything to do with this feeling, but I'm thinking that the bars may be the culprit.

    My HT has a set of carbon bars. My Epic has a set of aluminum bars. Do you guys think that that could be the reasoning? The aluminum just doesn't dampen the trail chatter like the carbon does? To me it sounds like a stretch but I'm not sure as to why it's happening otherwise. I thought maybe that I had my weight too far forward on my Epic, but after a fit session, my position is just about the same, it was actually a bit more rearward bias on my Epic surprisingly.

    Any idea's? And if you think it is bar related I'll be in the market for something, anything different between Carbon and Titanium as far as dampening?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Carbon bars and seatposts really do dampen trail chatter and vibration. That's no myth. The easiest way to find out would be to put a set of carbon bars on the Epic and try it.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    I would look to the position of the bars and controls, not what their made of. If they are rotated a little different, you could have your wrists at a different angle, causing the tingleing.

  4. #4
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    I have the same thing going on with my FS (hand numbness). They both have carbon bars, however, but the bars on my HT are a little wider and have a little more sweep. I'm going to put the same bars on my FS and see if it doesnt' remedy the problem.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  5. #5
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    I also noticed a difference in hand comfort when switching between a SID Team 100mm and a Magura Durin 100mm, once I switched to the Durin I could ride without gel padded gloves, the Durin had that much better suppleness. I had to switch back for a couple of weeks when the Durin was recalled and the hand numbness came back with the SID. So it could be the fork as well.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  6. #6
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    I would also check the air pressure in your fork. One may be higher/lower thus giving you a different feeling.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfmb71
    I would also check the air pressure in your fork. One may be higher/lower thus giving you a different feeling.

    Thanks for the idea's. There may be something said on the forks, though I'm not sure that it's it. I will try swapping out to a different 100mm fork that I have laying around and see if that changes anything.

    I'm thinking it may have something to do with the bars. Maybe time for a set of carbon bars...hmm the choices!

  8. #8
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    My personal view is the front of your HT 29er is more compliant than your 26er FS. You can really separate the two halves of a bike front and back. 29er has more rubber, larger hoop and longer spokes, more stanchion flex of a 29er in my experience are easier on the hands and in fact why I bought one. They are naturally a bit more upright because of higher front end. Certain things can be done to make your 26er more compliant like lower air pressure in the front shock and decrease tire pressure. Handlebar material difference probably does contribute fractionally. Any frame material matters. Weight on the hands is big...I deliberately put the bars up a bit on my 29er to unweight my hands due to numbness on long rides.
    The single best purchase I have made for any off road bike are Ergon grips.
    Good Luck.
    Last edited by dirtrider7; 06-11-2010 at 04:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    A set of carbon bars for your epic would not be expensive. I'd go buy some. Aluminum is a great material for bikes if you want something light, stiff, and that will be the crap out of you. I stay away from aluminum after having ridden two aluminum bikes and then getting a carbon bike. If I go with a metal bike at any point in the future, it would be steel unless I want to fork out the money for titanium.

  10. #10
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    I had the same problem, maybe.

    I'm a little confused. You say you are positioned more rearward on your Epic compared to the 29er. Does that mean your ETT length is greater on the Epic or not? If the ETT is longer then you are probably more stretched out on the Epic, which can cause you some problems. There are lots of super cheap stems out there. I recommend that you buy a cheap stem and try it out. OR ask your LBS to "demo" one of their $15 ones to see if it will help. I did that and and then dropped the cash on a nice Thomson. Problem solved. Good luck.

    OBTW, I switched to an carbon bar before changing the stem and it didn't help. $100 kinda wasted.

  11. #11
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    Agree with dirtrider - I think it's the 29er front wheel. My 29er with a rigid fork is as compliant on small chatter as my 26er with 150mm of travel. When I add suspension to the 29er, it's no comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    My personal view is the front of your HT 29er is more compliant than your 26er FS. You can really separate the two halves of a bike front and back. 29er has more rubber, larger hoop and longer spokes, more stanchion flex of a 29er in my experience are easier on the hands and in fact why I bought one. They are naturally a bit more upright because of higher front end. Certain things can be done to make your 26er more compliant like lower air pressure in the front shock and decrease tire pressure. Handlebar material difference probably does contribute fractionally. Any frame material matters. Weight on the hands is big...I deliberately put the bars up a bit on my 29er to unweight my hands due to numbness on long rides.
    The single best purchase I have made for any off road bike are Ergon grips.
    Good Luck.

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