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  1. #1
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    Is my Split Pivot 29er the reason I can't clear some sections?

    This is NOT meant to be a "which suspension design is better" but I've gotta ask: is my Split Pivot at a disadvantage on short, steep, rough rocky loose sections?

    My Devinci Django 29er is a very good trail bike. I've had it at a pseudo-XC 25.5 pound build and as a 28 pound all-arounder. I like how it carves turns, and descends and handles under braking.

    My ONLY ongoing issue is its lack of climbing prowess in punchy, rough, loose sections no matter if I have sag set at 25% or 30% or what tires or psi or, well, anything. The bike is dialed in! It's not a mental thing because my riding buds never know what I'm on....they just know I either fly up sections on some bikes or I don't ("Hey, I thought you always rode up this.").

    The only things I can think of is....

    1) the softer trail tune negates the climb-friendly STA by sinking further into the compression and not giving me the body position to clear these types of sections.

    2) it's the longer trail bike wheelbase that gets hung up.

    3) it's the higher front end that when combined with 1 and 2 simply adds up to a trail bike that can't explode up these types of sections.

    I'm a 160 pound Cat 1 XC racer who loves to climb. I usually gap other racers in these sections. I have good technical skills up and down. I've owned about 6 DW Link bikes, and this is my first Split Pivot. I know it's a trail bike and won't be an apples to apples, but over the past 18 months of Split Pivot riding I have been unable to clear sections my DW Links bike literally accelerate through OR I have to use so much more energy and time when trying to avoid a hike-a-bike. If I make it 50% of the way up I'm surprised.

    Admittedly the Django's 120mm is a trail tune. My other bikes are 100mm XC tune. But my django has a 74.5 seat angle and some of my DW Link bikes are slacker. I know the big picture is more than STA, but all bikes are set up pretty darn close in fit even with differing reach, stack, etc. And it's not gearing because all bikes in the garage have similar low and high range.

    Yesterday's ride may have been the final straw: I was unable to clear several tech, punchy, loose steep sections that the day before I had zero issue on the DW. I don't think it's me looking for an excuse to buy a new frame. Simply posting to double check if I'm imagining the Split Pivot climbing shortcomings OR if the minute geometry and setup differences is the reason.

  2. #2
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    Pretty sure it's going to be an overall suspension tune issue. And I think it's something you're going to encounter on just about any bike with a more all-around suspension tune. It's going to lose a little bit on the climbs, since that's something that an xc bike NEEDS to excel at.

    I'm on a split pivot bike (Salsa Bucksaw) and it's great on punchy, techy climbs. Granted, it's no xc tune bike, and it certainly doesn't accelerate up those kinds of climbs, but it's extremely capable and I don't have a problem cleaning those kinds of climbs (vs not). I'd honestly say that chunky climbs are a strength of the bike. I clean things that many others cannot clear, no matter the bike, even though I don't necessarily do it quickly.

    You MIGHT be able to mitigate some of those negatives with a custom tune for the shock you have, or maybe a more tunable rear shock.

  3. #3
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    It's not a huge surprise that it doesn't climb as well as a 100mm XC bike. Some suspensions just get hung up more easily. Some designs ride higher in the mid stroke. If in fact you can't make any further adjustments to set up or suspension to make you happy about riding it, that is reason enough to move on. I haven't ridden the Django, so not really much help. I'm sure it's a competent all rounder, but - you should enjoy what you ride, if you can afford to make a change.

    Can you find another comparable bike that will make you happier all around? Sure, probably, maybe.

  4. #4
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    The best tech climber I know rides a Troy, it's not the split pivot.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  5. #5
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    So talk about your shock and how its tuned. Maybe someone can offer a suggestion.
    Tire and pressure and rim width are contributors.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    So talk about your shock and how its tuned. Maybe someone can offer a suggestion.
    Tire and pressure and rim width are contributors.
    Predictable as ever!




  7. #7
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    Maybe this would be better- wudau think--
    "Yep. I ran 2.35 on 17mm ID rims and it worked well enough, though I prefer somewhere around 23-30mm these days, especially to run lower pressure/tubeless. Some of the newer designed tires are designed for use on wider rims. Maxxis comes to mind with their "Wide Trail" (WT), but there are others I'm sure. Do you have a specific tire in mind? "

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Maybe I should think about the question asked rather than spouting the same info over and over like a broken record, however irrelevant.
    Yep, sounds good.

  9. #9
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    Different bikes have different attributes. Maybe this one just is not a climber. For clearing climbs i dont think different suspensions matter that much. Geometry is more important since most suspension systems are really good these days.

  10. #10
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    I've never experienced or witnessed a suspension design be the culprit of why a competent climber couldn't clear a climb.

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  11. #11
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    It's not the putter.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  12. #12
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    It might help if you explain exactly how you're not cleaning these climbs.. rear tire traction? Front end wandering? I know the Django has a pretty tall stack height.. have you played with stem height, etc ?

  13. #13
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    and the Troy climbs like crap, so yeah, itís not the bike

    Iím not an XC racer by any stretch, but Iím a decent tech climber; tech defined as boulder and ledge clambering, steep loose climbs. I ride a Smash, very high B.B., tall stack, 140/160 travel, 32+#.

    I swapped wheels in Moab last week, started with 29Ē, dented a rim, swapped to 27.5, no significant change in climbing ability other than a slightly lower B.B.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    The best tech climber I know rides a Troy, it's not the split pivot.
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  14. #14
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    As an aggressive cat 1 racer, I noticed a huge difference in climbing just going to a 120mm fork vs my 100mm fork. Things like tires, rolling resistance, stack height, etc., can make a pretty big difference here.

    This is a 100mm DW FS bike, and the great thing about it is I can usually "power out of" any situation, say getting caught in too high of a gear or the section suddenly gets more technical than I anticipated, it's just easy to get up and power through with the bike, it accelerates so easy. The split pivot is going to be close, but again, 120mm of travel and slightly relaxed angles will be noticeable at your level.

    This is why I don't buy the ever-relaxed angles, increased front travel, and other features that the industry tries to sell us. Sure, these have their place, but for XC racing and going fast up and down, I'll take the quicker handling and if you are endo-ing on 29er wheels, it's not the HTA that's your problem, it's usually a skills problem. You don't need a 65į XC bike.
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  15. #15
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    Sounds to me like operator error, plain and simple Since it seems you're trying to ride it like you would your XC bikes and that's just not going to work, it has a different intended purpose and suspension tune, no matter if the geo is similar to your XC bikes, so you have to learn to adapt to that and make the changes in how you ride it.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  16. #16
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    You've had the bike for 18 months, right? You're experienced enough to have figured out how to adjust technique to that bike.
    Get rid of it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny7 View Post
    It's not the putter.
    Your right, it's the driver

  18. #18
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    Technique is probably the biggest factor. You have developed a technique that works for light XC bikes. That may not work for even a 120 mm bike. I know if compare my 125mm 5010 vs my 29 HT SS, 29er HT geared or 100mm FS Epic the 125mm 5010 is the worst of the bunch. That applies to smooth climbs and rocky technical climbs. Alot comes down to my riding style that was developed to suit the strengths of HT bikes. The "flop" in the rear suspension and the level of lost energy is a killer. Now I have gotten better over the years on that bike by focusing more rear shock tuning (simply stuff like pressure and rebound) and by working on technique, but it is harder for me without a doubt.

    Of course downhill that changes.
    Joe
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    You've had the bike for 18 months, right? You're experienced enough to have figured out how to adjust technique to that bike.
    Get rid of it.
    Ka-boom.

  20. #20
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    You would think so, wouldn't you, but you'd be amazed at how set in your ways a person can be and not see it themselves and then it's so obvious once someone else points it out to them

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Ka-boom
    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    You've had the bike for 18 months, right? You're experienced enough to have figured out how to adjust technique to that bike.
    Get rid of it.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  21. #21
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    Is it sinking/wallowing into it's travel when you're climbing? One factor to consider may be anti squat numbers for this bike and what size chainring you're running. Chainring size has a direct effect on anti squat. From what I looked up this bike has pretty high anti squat numbers so in theory should climb pretty well. Shock tune could also be a factor. If the tune is too soft it could be sinking too far into it's travel causing excessive bobbing or wallowing.
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  22. #22
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    Perplexing. My sorta-kinda Split Pivot Trek Fuel Ex and Slash both climb janky tech really well.

    The odd thing is that in super-chunky, ledgy tech, the slacked-out, uber-plush bro-dozer Slash does a bit better than the FEX, which goes against all my preconceptions. Exact same wheels and tires, to boot.

    My only straw to grasp at is wondering if you maybe ride the Django infrequently, and you're just "adjusted" to your race bike? Years ago, when I was still in pin it to win it mode, I rode everything better on my Czar than I did my Sultan. Always just figured it was the adjustment thing since the riding ratio was about 5:1.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post

    I'm a 160 pound Cat 1 XC racer who loves to climb..
    We're basically the same type of rider, but you're not helping us much being so vague about why you're not clearing these climbs. I usually fail tech climbs on my trail bike because the lower bb causes surprise pedal strikes; in fact the gnarlier the climb the less travel I want. Some melon sized rock strewn climbs I clear every time on my hard tail but struggle on the fs.

  24. #24
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    Train harder or buy an XC bike, just my 2 cents.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    We're basically the same type of rider, but you're not helping us much being so vague about why you're not clearing these climbs. I usually fail tech climbs on my trail bike because the lower bb causes surprise pedal strikes; in fact the gnarlier the climb the less travel I want. Some melon sized rock strewn climbs I clear every time on my hard tail but struggle on the fs.
    Thanks to all for the good input. The type of tech climbs I have issues with are: fast approach, then super steep and rocky where the speed is crawling, I power the bike to clear ledges, navigate the tech... and I think the softer trail tune/geometry/longer travel is what gets me hung up. The bike stalls, I get off to carry bike. My 100mm XC bike with its firmer tune, steeper angles, wheelbase, etc, absolutely hauls the mail.

    Probably all very Captain Obvious and I'm maybe asking too much of one bike to do it all. Maybe today I steepen the geometry with the flip chip; bb up, angles half degree steeper, leverage on rear shock changes as does the psi for 25% sag.

    But a year and half later I am unable to clear this and similar sections. Riding buddies get a good laugh seeing me fail.

    Again, thanks to all for the replies. I'll simply ride my short travel 29er when climbing is the focus and/or sell the mid travel Split Pivot django 29 and get a long travel rig. Less overlap, less of a surprise when climbing isn't its forte and more fun/speed on descents. Maybe it's all an excuse to get the Ripmo, ha.

  26. #26
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    Maybe you should just give me the Django.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Thanks to all for the good input. The type of tech climbs I have issues with are: fast approach, then super steep and rocky where the speed is crawling, I power the bike to clear ledges, navigate the tech... and I think the softer trail tune/geometry/longer travel is what gets me hung up. The bike stalls, I get off to carry bike. My 100mm XC bike with its firmer tune, steeper angles, wheelbase, etc, absolutely hauls the mail.
    I think this is technique combined with the bike. I climb much the way you do which is to charge hard, carry speed and power up stuff. This works on HT, Is required on a SS, and works on short travel bike. However on longer travel bike the rear suspension sucks up some of that power and where you are used to being able to "muscle over" a ledge the softer bike causes you to stall. You need a diferenent technique that require less focus on "instant torque" and more smooth flow. It is hard to describe and it something I am working on also. I will say however that a few clicks of rebound also make a difference as by accident made rebound faster and could not climb crap on my 125mm Santa Cruz 5010. I kept getting bucked off in the dips. However a few clicks back and rear end calmed down. Still I can charge a hill the same way. If I do I will stall out. Now I can baby it either and I still can stand and power, but it is a subtle difference because the bike simply does not respond as quickly to applied power.
    Joe
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  28. #28
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    Totally disagree. I ride very technical stuff, ledges, boulders, stuff that 99% of riders walk, and I do it clean on a Smash FS 160/140 travel bike. I ride the same stuff on a hardtail and I'm equally successful.

    Don't blame the tool.

    I suspect the OP is struggling because he's convinced himself it's the bike, so when he attempts with one bike versus the other he's already mentally given up and so he fails.

    I'd suggest the OP do repeats until he can clean a move, then do the same on the next move, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I think this is technique combined with the bike. I climb much the way you do which is to charge hard, carry speed and power up stuff. This works on HT, Is required on a SS, and works on short travel bike. However on longer travel bike the rear suspension sucks up some of that power and where you are used to being able to "muscle over" a ledge the softer bike causes you to stall. You need a diferenent technique that require less focus on "instant torque" and more smooth flow. It is hard to describe and it something I am working on also. I will say however that a few clicks of rebound also make a difference as by accident made rebound faster and could not climb crap on my 125mm Santa Cruz 5010. I kept getting bucked off in the dips. However a few clicks back and rear end calmed down. Still I can charge a hill the same way. If I do I will stall out. Now I can baby it either and I still can stand and power, but it is a subtle difference because the bike simply does not respond as quickly to applied power.
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  29. #29
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    With Devinci bikes theres a lot of anti squat at sag. If you're setting saq at 25% instead of 30% you're going to hang up more. As suggested more rebound and sometimes a quick paue on square hits lets the suspention move over a square hit.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Thanks to all for the good input. The type of tech climbs I have issues with are: fast approach, then super steep and rocky where the speed is crawling, I power the bike to clear ledges, navigate the tech... and I think the softer trail tune/geometry/longer travel is what gets me hung up. The bike stalls, I get off to carry bike. My 100mm XC bike with its firmer tune, steeper angles, wheelbase, etc, absolutely hauls the mail.

    Probably all very Captain Obvious and I'm maybe asking too much of one bike to do it all. Maybe today I steepen the geometry with the flip chip; bb up, angles half degree steeper, leverage on rear shock changes as does the psi for 25% sag.

    But a year and half later I am unable to clear this and similar sections. Riding buddies get a good laugh seeing me fail.

    Again, thanks to all for the replies. I'll simply ride my short travel 29er when climbing is the focus and/or sell the mid travel Split Pivot django 29 and get a long travel rig. Less overlap, less of a surprise when climbing isn't its forte and more fun/speed on descents. Maybe it's all an excuse to get the Ripmo, ha.
    Sounds like you need the Ripmo.

    To be fair, I ride a Remedy 29er (160 front, 140 rear) and I only get out of the saddle to clear rearly rough rock gardens, and even then I'm more floating just above the seat. Beyond that every climb is a "sit and spin" on this bike. Meanwhile, I also always flip my rear shocks compression switch to "climb" which makes a substantial difference.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    With Devinci bikes theres a lot of anti squat at sag. If you're setting saq at 25% instead of 30% you're going to hang up more. As suggested more rebound and sometimes a quick paue on square hits lets the suspention move over a square hit.
    None of the devinci plots show a significant difference between 25 and 35% sag, the change in AS is around 5% or less.
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  32. #32
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