Do you love your bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do you love your bike?

    If you do, how do you know? What makes you love it? Is it fast, fun, nice to look at, easy to work on?

    Having a bit of a personal conundrum. A series of event led me to get rid of a bike I really like and upgrade it to something else.

    At any rate, I'm faster on this new bike 90% of the time, and I do really like the way it handles and fits me, but I'm missing something that the other bike had. Descending. I can descend well, and fast on the new bike but (and maybe my memory is giving me a false sense) I feel like I was a lot better on the old bike. Not necessarily crazy faster, but more confident.

    So, is this lack of confidence because I'm pushing harder on a bike that is very similar and getting out of my comfort zone (I've beat almost all of my PRs so far with this new bike)? Or is just not quite the right bike for some reason?

    The important background, and maybe the reason I feel different is the new bike is carbon fiber and the old one was steel. The geo is a little different, but it seems like it should be better, and honestly, most of the time feels like the new bike handles better. The only time I feel a little off is descending steeper terrain.

    Here is the Geo compare:

    2016 Trams Am 2017 Vanquish
    Reach 415 436
    Stack 641 621
    Eff Top Tube 599 612
    Seat Tube 419 410
    Seat Tube Angle 74 74
    Head Tube Length 115 100
    Head Tube Angle 67.5 67.5
    Chainstay 418 420
    Wheelbase 1128 1141
    BB Drop 55 55
    BB Height 315 320
    Stem Length 60 50

    My bar height is pretty close even though they have different stack numbers. They might be 5mm lower.

    I'm using the same fork and same tires.

    Any thoughts on this?
    Last edited by l'oiseau; 09-02-2018 at 02:01 PM.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
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    I'll make a stab at this.

    The new bike is longer. You're going to get used to it and adapt. At some point if you could hypothetically ride your old bike, it would feel off as well.

    Also, I have no certain idea, but you might benefit from doing some evaluation of your technique, particularly those areas where you are not as comfortable as you used to feel.

    I'm not saying you have bad riding habits, but I know for sure I do! I've been riding for so long that my style, if it can be called that, is actually kind of lame, and if I had video of my DH antics the viewing would be cringe-worthy, because I am so stuck in my ways.

    New bikes have improvements that are based upon research and input from skilled professional racers as well as engineers.

    It sounds to me like you are way ahead of me on the downhill sections, going incrementally from one amazing recent bike to another in a small amount of time.

    But small differences can make a big difference.

    I've been watching race videos of top riders to see how they corner, lean the bike, and body in relation to each other. Watch and learn. See how they address drops and humps.

    It's all helpful, even for me, an old XC rider.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the input Jack. I realize this is a ridiculous question but I've been pondering it myself and my theory is it is something to do with the weight and the stiffness. The Vanquish is 3lbs + lighter than the TA and it is a CF frame vs steel.

    The ride feels really nice in lower speed, pedally XC sections - I was actually quite surprise but it feels like sometimes I'm getting bucked a bit more on the DH. It might very well be this bike is just not as forgiving to sloppy lines.

    I do really like the bike - and I think I really like the geometry. I'm just wondering if it's the CF part that I'm on the fence about.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  4. #4
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    I'll throw out my .02 as well. My situation is a little different, but I just moved over from steel to carbon this week, and I'm still learning to love the new bike. I think I'm almost there, but I also don't totally have the fit dialed in.

    My move was from an old 26" steel bike that had steep angles everywhere and an overly low reach to the bar, to a new all around carbon XC 29er with nice, modern geometry.

    Of course, everything I've been reading and everyone around will say this new bike will crush my old one. I myself was fully expecting this. But I don't yet have the confidence to rail through turns and sail through quick, rocky downhills that I had on my old bike. I'm hoping it is just because the change was so drastic, and that I'll adapt with more miles. I mean, I'm pretty sure that will be the case.

    But what is it about the old bike that had me feeling so good? Years and years of riding it? The steel? The new carbon bike does feel really good going up (one of my favorite parts about riding), so maybe I also just need to get used to how that carbon corners and descends. So I think you could be onto something there.

    And as far as fit goes, it does look like you stretched things out a bit. The bike is longer overall, and your reach seems a bit longer even with the shorter stem. Perhaps something that you'll adapt to as Jack said. Or is it worth trying something like a 30 or 40 mm stem to see what happens? I would kind of like to do that, but as my upgrade was so drastic I have one stem in the house that works, and it's already on the bike

  5. #5
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    It's almost exactly the same when I'm seated. I'm running my seat a few mm foward from the TA, which I like, because it climbs better seated. It doesn't feel any longer when I'm off the seat descending. I have another steel bike with a reach closer to the TA and I don't notice a huge difference.

    This bike generally climbs WAY better too. It corners awesome. It just feels like I get knocked around in areas I used to rail through. It's hard for me to believe 3 lbs makes that difference, but it's likely the stiffness too. According to Strava I'm carrying about the same speed. On smooth descents I'm way faster, feel faster, and love it.

    The other thing that bothers me a little bit is I've stuffed my wheel into some holes in low speed sections and went OTB two times on this new bike. Never happened on the old one. Perhaps just bad luck or me being lazy and sloppy but I guess my expectations were this would be less likely with a shorter stem.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  6. #6
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    Try with 1 less PSI.
    1 possibility is you feel you are flying over the trail and that
    triggers some kind of lack of confidence.
    The carbon, lighter bike does not feel in the groove, attracted to earth so
    your confidence that you are in control is diminished.
    Or you just want to brag about a new bike or you being faster.
    Maybe both?
    Switching motorcycle with a friend decades ago it felt weird.
    1 of the 2 was not straight but we get used to imperfections.
    We develop bad habits, it might be just that.
    It might be any small stuff.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33red View Post
    Try with 1 less PSI.
    1 possibility is you feel you are flying over the trail and that
    triggers some kind of lack of confidence.
    The carbon, lighter bike does not feel in the groove, attracted to earth so
    your confidence that you are in control is diminished.
    Or you just want to brag about a new bike or you being faster.
    Maybe both?
    Switching motorcycle with a friend decades ago it felt weird.
    1 of the 2 was not straight but we get used to imperfections.
    We develop bad habits, it might be just that.
    It might be any small stuff.
    Not bragging at all. Me being faster is not all that fast in the grand scheme of things.

    The question is... is faster always more fun?

    With this particular tire I can't ride any less pressure without rim strikes.

    I don't know much about resale on carbon frames, but it seems most people are sketched out about it, but assuming I could get % what I could for an alloy frame with this much usage, I could switch back over to a metal bike. Not sure I want to. Some days I think I love this bike, others, I'm not so sure...
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  8. #8
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    I meant humans are complex beings.
    Your feeling is your feeling.
    On road bikes i preferred steal for that special feel.
    Mountain i love my carbon.
    Love is a complicated thing.
    I ride a HT and many say it bounces too much.
    Maybe it gives the feeling i am going fast
    even if i am not.
    I buy used so i can resale after 2 months if it does not feel right.
    I found 2 keepers, 1 mountain, 1 fat.
    I invested 2 years to find them.

  9. #9
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    I had a "weird" bike experience once when I switched to much lighter wheels. Whereas the old set-up felt planted and stable, the lighter set-up felt noticeably skittish. Sure, it climbed better and cornered quicker (up to a point), but it took more attention to keep it on line when speeds got crazy.

    Also, how about your static height vs. sagged height on both bikes? Is one lower? I think you'd feel a diff. as small as ~8mm.

    And yes, I love my bike.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I had a "weird" bike experience once when I switched to much lighter wheels. Whereas the old set-up felt planted and stable, the lighter set-up felt noticeably skittish. Sure, it climbed better and cornered quicker (up to a point), but it took more attention to keep it on line.

    Also, how about your static height vs. sagged height on both bikes? Is one lower? I think you'd feel a diff. as small as ~8mm.

    And yes, I love my bike.

    -F
    I'm using the same fork with the same sag, so I think they are similar.

    The stack is def lower on this bike, but I used an extra 10mm spacer over my other setup. That puts me 10mm lower, but my stem on the TA was straight and the one I'm using on this one has some rise - don't know how much, but it looks like about 5mm. I'm using the same bars. So my guess is the bars are about 5mm lower, but I don't really know for sure. They feel pretty darned close to where they were on the other bike. I don't feel hunched and I don't feel to upright. It's definitely in my comfort zone.

    Thinkin' I just gotta pucker up, pin it and hit my lines. My next bike might not be carbon though...
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  11. #11
    I'm with stupid
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    The worst part is when you have a fancy new carbon bike with a super fancy push shock on a frame that the GEO looks almost exactly the same, how ever on this new fancy bike you spent tons of money on to be your race bike......you are slower than your air shocked 3 lbs heavier alloy bike. That is what happen to me this year, after a entire season I am still slower on a bike that "should" be faster with the fancy carbon and the 1200 buck shock. But nope, something feels off about it and I cannot figure out what. 3 sets of bars, 4 stems, the gammit of suspension settings, tires.... long story short, new is not always better.

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