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  1. #1
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    Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike

    I purchased a hardtail xc Jamis 5 years ago (my first bike) and it's worked out well for the types of trails we have here in Florida, though it's always felt cramped and lacking maneuverability (almost impossible to bunny hop, manual, etc.) - something i more than ever realized once i bought/built my Specialized p.3 which has the opposite setup of my xc bike (wide bar, short stem, big riser 40mm).

    On the xc bike i currently have a flat 580mm (very short) bar and a 110mm stem. The frame is 17" (on the smaller end) relative to my size (5'10" , 185lb) and i have long legs, shorter arms/torso - hence the cramped feeling on the current setup i believe.

    I just ordered and received 670mm wide bars with a 35mm rise, and need to also purchase a new stem since the new bars have a wider diameter.

    What i'm unsure of is how long a stem i should purchase. I understand that shorter stem (i'm thinking 70mm-80mm) provides more maneuverability/stability, but i wouldn't want to sacrifice comfort given that i already feel rather cramped (though that may be fixed alone by the new bar).

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    If you feel cramped leave the 110 with the wider bars and see what that feels like before spending more money. There isn't any rule between bar width and stem length. I've run a 105mm with 720 bars before.

  3. #3
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    Agreed, but like i said, i have to replace the stem regardless because the new bar diameter is thicker than the old bar and doesn't fit the old stem. I think i may just go with a 90mm if anything

  4. #4
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    one of your buddies probably has an extra stem collecting dust in a parts bin. borrow it for a ride and go from there

  5. #5
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    A couple of thoughts:

    Bar width plus stem length plus saddle-to-bar drop contributes to how much you'll weight the front end. This affects handling a great deal.

    Many people have struggled with bike fit and I suggest working on it and trying different things until you "know." I am quite tall so it took a lot of experimentation for me to find out that what looked rather radical for a top World Cup guy, the "Kulhavy fit" actually works very well for me.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike-jet9carbon_01.jpg  

    Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike-1347581614053-639aynj04x9i-670-75.jpg  


  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input everyone,

    I installed a 90mm w/ 6 deg rise stem. So from 580mm flat bars to 640mm 35 deg rise bars, and 110mm 6 deg stem to a 90mm 6 deg, i think i should see some solid improvement and increase in comfort on longer rides.

    I almost went with a 70mm stem but settled on 90. We'll see how it feels this weekend.

  7. #7
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    I have found that I really like the feel on my Santa Cruz Tallboy as I got more Kulhavy-ish. As in flip the stem to negative rise and slam it. I'm nowhere near Kulhavy or chmoxxo drop, but I have a flipped 75mm stem and a low rise bar. I'm not quite slammed all the way down, but pretty close. I tried this setup with a 100mm stem and did not like the steering at all.

  8. #8
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    Got about an 8-9cm drop on the Blur XC.
    90mm 6* stem.
    Just changed from the ESI Chunky's to some cheap BBB GripShift compatible ergo grips and my ulnar nerve problems are fading fast.
    May drop the stem lower now I can put more weight on my hands. Can't stand the front lifting when climbing.
    Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike-20131020-090500-015.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    A couple of thoughts:

    Bar width plus stem length plus saddle-to-bar drop contributes to how much you'll weight the front end. This affects handling a great deal.

    Many people have struggled with bike fit and I suggest working on it and trying different things until you "know." I am quite tall so it took a lot of experimentation for me to find out that what looked rather radical for a top World Cup guy, the "Kulhavy fit" actually works very well for me.

    Wow! That's even more drastic of a drop on your bike than Kulhavy runs. Certainly, a far stretch away from "normal" in terms of set up. What led you to that particular set up and how are you finding your handling on descents - especially steep descents and roller bumps at full out race speed?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Wow! That's even more drastic of a drop on your bike than Kulhavy runs. Certainly, a far stretch away from "normal" in terms of set up. What led you to that particular set up and how are you finding your handling on descents - especially steep descents and roller bumps at full out race speed?
    Part of it is the perspective of the camera. Also I'm 2" taller than Jaro. Note in the photo above of his gold bike that the tires aren't level. Rotate that photo a little clockwise and you'll see his is pretty slammed.



    But, yes I got 2nd overall in a regional race 2 weeks ago on my lovely Jet 9 carbon, and won my Cat 1 race last weekend

    On very steep, technical trails like Emma Long in Austin, it made me a bit more squeamish, but remember: the lower the bars are to the ground, the more confident control you have over the front end. My bars are level with most average-sized riders, it's just my seatpost is much higher. I've been thinking about getting a 5" dropper post for next year's NUE series which should make me invincible

    Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike-emmalonglenny.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Part of it is the perspective of the camera. Also I'm 2" taller than Jaro. Note in the photo above of his gold bike that the tires aren't level. Rotate that photo a little clockwise and you'll see his is pretty slammed.

    But, yes I got 2nd overall in a regional race 2 weeks ago on my lovely Jet 9 carbon, and won my Cat 1 race last weekend

    On very steep, technical trails like Emma Long in Austin, it made me a bit more squeamish, but remember: the lower the bars are to the ground, the more confident control you have over the front end. My bars are level with most average-sized riders, it's just my seatpost is much higher. I've been thinking about getting a 5" dropper post for next year's NUE series which should make me invincible

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Congrats on your results!!

    I remember you mentioning on another thread sometiime in the last year or so about "World Cup" set up or some such, but I guess I hadn't actually seen a picture of your bike dialed in until now.

    I bet Kulhavy would join you on the squeamish feel with the fork dive going over things like this...

    Kulhavy

    His bike's saddle angle (and yours) is certainly interesting with the nose down and is really what led to my question.

    JK'sBike

    In spite of his set up, he doesn't look that low on the bike in profile with his long arms...

    jaroslav-kulhavy-wins-olympic-2012-mountain-bike-gold

    With the nose down saddle position, what benefits have you found it provides?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    With the nose down saddle position, what benefits have you found it provides?
    Well my saddle is not tilted down very far, that's probably a camera perspective thing again. I actually started out with it perfectly level. However I was catching my bib shorts on the nose when remounting. A slight downward turn helps avoid this.

    I have to say that even though I ride a FS, I like to stand and hammer, and the bar drop feels good. Also as you noticed, tall people have longer arms, so we aren't as bent over as it might appear. There is a technique to popping up the front wheel--you have to pump the shock to really get the necessary lift, but it's not hard once you start doing this.

    Now that I've raced expert for a few years, the only real downer about being tall is that the saddle gets in the way of properly leaning the bike on sharp turns and getting back on steep descents. My current ride is 22.1lbs and the weight of a 5" dropper post would kill my inner weight weenie, but it would probably be pretty useful.

    Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike-kincaid11-2013.jpg

  13. #13
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    For those of you running the bars slammed, do either the shifters or brakes hit the top tube? I am currently running my bars as low as the shifter pods allow without hitting the top tube but I would like to run lower.

  14. #14
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    Re: Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by jhat View Post
    For those of you running the bars slammed, do either the shifters or brakes hit the top tube? I am currently running my bars as low as the shifter pods allow without hitting the top tube but I would like to run lower.
    Yes, the shifters hit the top tube in my setup and the bars can't turn past this point. No issues so far.

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Re: Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by jhat View Post
    For those of you running the bars slammed, do either the shifters or brakes hit the top tube? I am currently running my bars as low as the shifter pods allow without hitting the top tube but I would like to run lower.
    No more than a lefty fork would...

  16. #16
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    Edited: No one needs my rant about all the setups I've tried. Currently on a 700mm 15mm rise bar with a 90mm stem on a 21" superfly AL. 6'2" 34" inseam (pictured below with 5mm rise bars and spacers raised 5mm)

    I think the Kulhavy drop is interesting but the reason he doesn't look so unreasonable is the ETT on his bike is only 620mm (I'm pretty sure he's running a Large) hence the long stem to get the reach he needs. Also the amount of post showing on his bike is crazy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Modifying Cockpit on XC Bike-1275955_10201626565817314_210309398_o.jpg  

    Last edited by zippinveedub; 01-15-2014 at 04:21 PM.

  17. #17
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    I know pro roadies run the smallest frame they can fit on. Do XC pro's do the same?

    Lol...I refer to the massive saddle/bar drops as "Euro Pro".
    Cervelo S2
    Specialized Carve Pro
    Pivot Mach 5

  18. #18
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    He does likely run a size Large and the reason is his obsession with getting the front end lower. Large Epics have a shorter head tube length than the XL. Same reason he runs his fork at 90mm, no headset top cap, and an aggressive angle stem.

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