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  1. #1
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    Roscoe 8 question

    Hi folks.
    I've been riding my first mtb, Trek 2019 Roscoe 8.
    I mainly picked this for its ability to climb steep hills. It is awesome except the front wheel gets off the ground too soon when i climb challenging spots.
    I'm 5'7" tall, so i picked the 17.5" size. I'm at the upper border of that size. I couldn't test an 18.5" er for which I'd be at the lower border.
    I'm thinking maybe i made a mistake. The front would've been heavier with the 18.5" bike, since the stand-up hight was the same and the frame was i little longer. (Excuse my lack of knowledge of the correct technical jargon).

    I called Trek about it, they couldn't give me any idea that i didn't know. (Like playing with the seat hight).

    Now I'm thinking about a solution.
    I'm thinking about somehow adding weight to the front.

    Maybe filling the handle bar with something (Like coins, or some other metal) or even tieing some kind of not-so-conspicuous weights onto the fork.
    If i could add a front rack that would be great, but i don't think it's doable.

    Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    17.5 is the right size for you. And you don't want to add weight. What you need to do is shift your weight forward. On really steep climbs you sit on the nose of the saddle (feels like it's going up your butt hole) or stand. You can move your saddle as far forward as it will go on its rails to help.

    Also, you need to power the cranks for the full revolution, not just jab downward on the pedals. This smooths out the power deliver improving traction and reducing front wheel lift. The torque you're applying to the cranks will help support your weigh on the saddle so it won't be so painful (or penetrate so deep).
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    Yes, I noticed that using a higher gear and standing up does work. But many times it's hard to act at the right time. I need more experience obviously. I still think the front lifts off too easily. The seat is all the way forward already.
    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Is your stem dropped as low as it can go? If not, try taking the spacers out from under the stem to get it lower.

  5. #5
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    When the front wheel gets light, in addition to shifting forward on the seat and smooth pedal strokes, you need to bend forward at the hip (think, put your sternum on the stem). Itís pretty core-intense work to pedal in that position at first, but it gets much easier the more you practice it.


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  6. #6
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    All good advice here. Don't do a thing to add weight to the bike.

  7. #7
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    I believe there are a few spacers there. I don't know if I'd like to bend more though..I might experiment with it. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wollongongdave View Post
    Is your stem dropped as low as it can go? If not, try taking the spacers out from under the stem to get it lower.
    I believe there are a few spacers there. I don't know if I'd like to bend more though..I might experiment with it. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    17.5 is the right size for you. And you don't want to add weight. What you need to do is shift your weight forward. On really steep climbs you sit on the nose of the saddle (feels like it's going up your butt hole) or stand. You can move your saddle as far forward as it will go on its rails to help.

    Also, you need to power the cranks for the full revolution, not just jab downward on the pedals. This smooths out the power deliver improving traction and reducing front wheel lift. The torque you're applying to the cranks will help support your weigh on the saddle so it won't be so painful (or penetrate so deep).
    Yes, I noticed that using a higher gear and standing up does work. But many times it's hard to act at the right time. I need more experience obviously. I still think the front lifts off too easily. The seat is all the way forward already.
    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Also, you need to power the cranks for the full revolution, not just jab downward on the pedals. This smooths out the power deliver improving traction and reducing front wheel lift.
    Could you expand on this ? Do you mean that I use a lighter gear so more of my weight can stay on the seat, or vise versa.. thank you.

  11. #11
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    This scenario is definitely a body position thing, not a bike problem.

    As mentioned above, if you can lower the bars (changing the stem position) it will help get weight over the front. Your body is naturally going to be forward by doing that, therefore weighting the front.

    It will take just a bit of time, now that you know what to shoot for. But you'll get it!

    Lone Rager was trying to explain to be smooth on your pedal stroke. If you are scrambling to get up the hill and start mashing the pedals it's more likely to wheelie than a slower, calculated power delivery down on the crank.
    Once you get that technique figured out you will be amazed how much traction you can find on the steep/slick stuff.

    If you are unsure how to lower the stem I encourage you to research some YouTube videos.

    What to do:
    Loosen stem bolts.
    Remove the top cap.
    Remove the stem and any spacers above the stem.
    Do not let fork fall out.
    Remove all or some spacers from below the stem.
    Install stem.
    Install spacers.
    Install Top Cap. Set bearing preload (the most difficult part).
    Align bars and snug up stem bolts (not over-tight).

    Each change is pretty noticeable. The spacer heights are usually 5mm and 10mm. Lowering 20mm, or 15mm, is going to be very noticeable in how you sit on the bike. So maybe make small changes at a time, like only a 10mm to start. This can be done one the trail if you have a multi-tool with the allen keys required for the stem bolts and top cap bolt.

    The reason I mentioned researching on YouTube is to learn how to torque the stem cap/set bearing preload. You cannot just tighten that bolt down and call it good.

    I suggest practicing on some hills one day, just session it. You may find the current bar height is fine with proper body positioning. Or you may find it better to lower the stem.
    If you can get in one gear higher it may be helpful too -too low of a gear and you'll just spin you legs fast which can induce the wheelie too. Higer gear allows you to smoothly deliver power.


    EDIT:
    I just caught the part where you mentioned that your seat is already adjusted forward. Your seat position should be comfortable for normal seated riding. If that means all the way forward, that is fine. But moving it forward for sake of climbing may be an unnecessary compromise for the remainder of your riding. Just in case you weren't aware.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    This scenario is definitely a body position thing, not a bike problem.

    As mentioned above, if you can lower the bars (changing the stem position) it will help get weight over the front. Your body is naturally going to be forward by doing that, therefore weighting the front.

    It will take just a bit of time, now that you know what to shoot for. But you'll get it!

    Lone Rager was trying to explain to be smooth on your pedal stroke. If you are scrambling to get up the hill and start mashing the pedals it's more likely to wheelie than a slower, calculated power delivery down on the crank.
    Once you get that technique figured out you will be amazed how much traction you can find on the steep/slick stuff.

    If you are unsure how to lower the stem I encourage you to research some YouTube videos.

    What to do:
    Loosen stem bolts.
    Remove the top cap.
    Remove the stem and any spacers above the stem.
    Do not let fork fall out.
    Remove all or some spacers from below the stem.
    Install stem.
    Install spacers.
    Install Top Cap. Set bearing preload (the most difficult part).
    Align bars and snug up stem bolts (not over-tight).

    Each change is pretty noticeable. The spacer heights are usually 5mm and 10mm. Lowering 20mm, or 15mm, is going to be very noticeable in how you sit on the bike. So maybe make small changes at a time, like only a 10mm to start. This can be done one the trail if you have a multi-tool with the allen keys required for the stem bolts and top cap bolt.

    The reason I mentioned researching on YouTube is to learn how to torque the stem cap/set bearing preload. You cannot just tighten that bolt down and call it good.

    I suggest practicing on some hills one day, just session it. You may find the current bar height is fine with proper body positioning. Or you may find it better to lower the stem.
    If you can get in one gear higher it may be helpful too -too low of a gear and you'll just spin you legs fast which can induce the wheelie too. Higer gear allows you to smoothly deliver power.


    EDIT:
    I just caught the part where you mentioned that your seat is already adjusted forward. Your seat position should be comfortable for normal seated riding. If that means all the way forward, that is fine. But moving it forward for sake of climbing may be an unnecessary compromise for the remainder of your riding. Just in case you weren't aware.

    So by the same token I could even forward the bar with a different stem connect, I'd end up leaning further forward right?

  13. #13
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    I wouldn't regret your sizing choice. I'm 5'8 with a 30" inseam and went with a 17.5" Roscoe 7. Same bike as yours except yours has better components. I find that the bike climbs very steep and also steep technical trails great. And also on the way down it feels very playful. I haven't played with the spacers yet but as others have mentioned lowering that stem will help get your weight forward on the climbs. Once you figure out the right body position/weight distribution I'm sure you'll love the bike!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by drj85 View Post
    I wouldn't regret your sizing choice. I'm 5'8 with a 30" inseam and went with a 17.5" Roscoe 7. Same bike as yours except yours has better components. I find that the bike climbs very steep and also steep technical trails great. And also on the way down it feels very playful. I haven't played with the spacers yet but as others have mentioned lowering that stem will help get your weight forward on the climbs. Once you figure out the right body position/weight distribution I'm sure you'll love the bike!
    Thanks, this makes me feel really good. I was worried about my size selection. I'm 30 inseam also.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winter Salt View Post
    Thanks, this makes me feel really good. I was worried about my size selection. I'm 30 inseam also.
    Yeah just keep practicing your body positioning and you'll figure out how much of a difference it'll make. Also make sure your air pressure in the tires isn't too high because if you are climbing and hitting rocks or roots it'll make the bike bouncy and you'll end up losing traction.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winter Salt View Post
    So by the same token I could even forward the bar with a different stem connect, I'd end up leaning further forward right?
    You are correct, a longer stem would get more weight over the front.

    I'd encourage you to get some time under you belt. It seems like many riders like to make their new bike fit like their old bike and end up compromising handling from what it was designed for. If you are a newer rider, try not to blame the bike for potential shortcomings. The bikes these days do handle multiple conditions pretty well.

    I looked at the specs of the Roscoe, and by the numbers it should climb pretty well. I have a new Chameleon (similar to a Roscoe) but with geometry numbers that appear to make wheelies/light front end, more noticeable than the Roscoe. Real life is different though than numbers in a catalog though.

    I have reservations against lengthening the stem until you are sure you need adjustments. Even just changing handlebar height changes the handling/feel. That longer stem will set your body position up differently than where Trek wanted you to be placed on the bike.

    It's not wrong by any means, we are meant to make the bikes fit us the best possible way. I think it's best to give it time to adapt, if possible, before making changes.

    And one golden rule in making changes is to do one at a time.
    With a little time and patience you'll definitely get dialed in.

    I purchased a used bike -3 days later I was on our group ride that went right up a steep hill I'd never ridden. At the time I made a chance to my handlebar roll because on that climb, my bars were notably too far forward. Felt good in the driveway but in the real world it was bad. I had to make 2 or 3 adjustments to get it just right after several rides.

    My new bike was ridden stock for 2 rides. Then I moved the bars for a couple rides. Next I moved the seat. Just one change at a time to find out what works.

    Welcome to the MTB world. You're going to have a blast and that's a great bike to throw down the miles on.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    You are correct, a longer stem would get more weight over the front.

    I'd encourage you to get some time under you belt. It seems like many riders like to make their new bike fit like their old bike and end up compromising handling from what it was designed for. If you are a newer rider, try not to blame the bike for potential shortcomings. The bikes these days do handle multiple conditions pretty well.

    I looked at the specs of the Roscoe, and by the numbers it should climb pretty well. I have a new Chameleon (similar to a Roscoe) but with geometry numbers that appear to make wheelies/light front end, more noticeable than the Roscoe. Real life is different though than numbers in a catalog though.

    I have reservations against lengthening the stem until you are sure you need adjustments. Even just changing handlebar height changes the handling/feel. That longer stem will set your body position up differently than where Trek wanted you to be placed on the bike.

    It's not wrong by any means, we are meant to make the bikes fit us the best possible way. I think it's best to give it time to adapt, if possible, before making changes.

    And one golden rule in making changes is to do one at a time.
    With a little time and patience you'll definitely get dialed in.

    I purchased a used bike -3 days later I was on our group ride that went right up a steep hill I'd never ridden. At the time I made a chance to my handlebar roll because on that climb, my bars were notably too far forward. Felt good in the driveway but in the real world it was bad. I had to make 2 or 3 adjustments to get it just right after several rides.

    My new bike was ridden stock for 2 rides. Then I moved the bars for a couple rides. Next I moved the seat. Just one change at a time to find out what works.

    Welcome to the MTB world. You're going to have a blast and that's a great bike to throw down the miles on.
    Great help, thank you so much.
    Everyday, i look forward to riding in the mountain park right by me, that has plenty challenging spots for me. I pick certain spots to master overcoming them. It's a great workout. Lots of fun, despite the winter time !

  18. #18
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    You are hesitating in bending to get your weight forward for a steep climb. That's an important part of mt bike control. You move your body all over the bike to control cornering, climbing and stopping. And especially popping the front wheel for obstacles. This is different from regular bike riding. It a skill set you'll develop with experience. It's part of what makes riding a challenge and fun. So change a thing or two if you like. Your best coarse is to work on your technique.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    You are hesitating in bending to get your weight forward for a steep climb.
    True. Part of it was because I wasn't sure if I could climb my practice mounts with higher gears. Because if I wasn't able to padle at the steepest point I would have to get off the saddle asap and free my foot from the very aggressive padle I installed. (One up). So I wasn't very adventurous with my gear selection. One thing I did immediately was to lower the seat all the way and stand up and use a higher gear. With that I succeeded with my first selected difficult spot. Took me three days (each day a few attempts).
    Now I am gonna experiment with flat padles (no nails) so I will worry less about sliding my foot off of the padle if I have to dismount. This way I can more comfortably start with higher gears. The aggressive padle also made it difficult to move my foot around the padle without lifting it off. So I'm waiting for this Arctic cold to go away to test the change I did with the padle. I hope this excitement won't die out as I end up figuring things out and become experienced in this.

  20. #20
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    From your descriptions, it does sound like a good move to install a standard flat pedal without the pins. I can imagine the challenge you feel with moving your foot around on those sticky pedals.
    Confidence, comfort, and fun should be one of your first priorities or else you may become discouraged and we certainly do not want that.

  21. #21
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    Just caught this thread, and Winter Salt welcome to the dirt! I ride a Fuel EX8 17.5 and I'm 5'8". I almost bought an 18.5 but decided at the last minute after five spins in the parking lot to go with the more compact cockpit. I like technical, steep climbs myself and much of the advice here is good, like bending at the hips, possibly a longer stem (but DON'T over-do this...maybe 10mm longer,) etc.

    One thing I thought I'd share is that I rarely ride flat pedals, but when I do, I find it makes steep climbing worse, because you have no choice but to mash the pedals and create a lumpy power stream to the cranks, which in turn causes the little wheelies that cause you to lose front end control. Better IMO to stay seated, clipped in, and hover your chest over the stem and create as much smooth wattage into the cranks as possible.

    Anyway, enjoy that Roscoe. If I were buying a complete bike hardtail today it would be high on my list. I have an NS Eccentric I built mostly from leftover Trek parts that I upgraded and I love it. It's a 17 inch and has very similar geo to the EX8 and so all the same characteristics i.e modern geo issues like low BB, slack front end, etc., but remember these things are waaaay better at hauling butt on downhills than most bikes from even 5 years ago. Great time to be into MTB!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInPA View Post
    Just caught this thread, and Winter Salt welcome to the dirt! I ride a Fuel EX8 17.5 and I'm 5'8". I almost bought an 18.5 but decided at the last minute after five spins in the parking lot to go with the more compact cockpit. I like technical, steep climbs myself and much of the advice here is good, like bending at the hips, possibly a longer stem (but DON'T over-do this...maybe 10mm longer,) etc.

    One thing I thought I'd share is that I rarely ride flat pedals, but when I do, I find it makes steep climbing worse, because you have no choice but to mash the pedals and create a lumpy power stream to the cranks, which in turn causes the little wheelies that cause you to lose front end control. Better IMO to stay seated, clipped in, and hover your chest over the stem and create as much smooth wattage into the cranks as possible.

    Anyway, enjoy that Roscoe. If I were buying a complete bike hardtail today it would be high on my list. I have an NS Eccentric I built mostly from leftover Trek parts that I upgraded and I love it. It's a 17 inch and has very similar geo to the EX8 and so all the same characteristics i.e modern geo issues like low BB, slack front end, etc., but remember these things are waaaay better at hauling butt on downhills than most bikes from even 5 years ago. Great time to be into MTB!!!
    Hey, thanks so much. Yea i can't wait for the spring to regularly bike. I'll update this.

  23. #23
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    All good advice. Donít add weight. Move handlebar as low as you can by using the spacers. Try to pedal using smooth circular motion so your power stroke isnít punchy. Bend at waist to keep your shoulders close to the bars. I love that bike! Enjoy!

  24. #24
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    Only adjustment I'd consider on the bike is a 10mm longer stem... But I wouldn't do that until you've ruled out technique, which it sounds like may be a better solution.

  25. #25
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    My SO was having a similar problem, but it's because she was instinctively pulling up on the bars to pedal.

    When she started focusing on pulling back instead (bent elbows pulling bars back towards seat) it drives the rear wheel in for traction without lifting the front end.

    Climbing steeps is much more about body position and body English than anything else.

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