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  1. #1
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    Do I have the wrong Bike?

    OK, hoping all you smart people can help me out here.

    I am a Tri guy (I know that is not popular in here) and I bought my first MTB last year and have ridden a lot. I want to do some Xterra Races next year and understand most of those courses are not the Technical

    But while riding with friends I find I can keep up based on fitness but get dusted specifically in tight turns. Details....

    I ride and XL Stumpjumper FSR EVO 27.5. I am 6'1" which put me right between the large and the XL and I ended up with XL. The FSR EVO is a slacker version of the stumpy. So I have two thoughts that might conflict.

    Thinking 29er might be better for the Xterra course and that a true cross country bike in Large might shorten the bike enough to help with the cornering.

    Your thoughts please

  2. #2
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    Changing a frame size isn't going to make a significant difference in your cornering. You're new. Practice and learn.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
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  3. #3
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    Get some skills.
    Riding for one hour at 5w/kg out and back only marginally help on the trails.

    Itís you, not the bike

  4. #4
    Cycologist
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    As said above.

    I used to have a tri bike and I did about a half dozen sprint triathlons. I sold it about a year ago and bought a CX bike, though not to race. There's one guy in the commuting forum that rides a tri bike to commute to work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Remember, there's always quilting and knitting if pedalling becomes too tough.

  5. #5
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    Watch some youtube videos on cornering. Skills with Phil has a good tutorial.

    I agree it is more likely to be a skills issue than a bike/fit issue.

  6. #6
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    The bike might be a little big, but it looks like the bike might have a 75mm stem. If you shorten the stem to 50mm, the cockpit should be similar to a size large. I agree with everyone else though that cornering is most likely technique. My best advice is to sign up for Lee McCormack's online mountain bike school (promo code and link at bottom: http://www.leelikesbikes.com/row-anti-row.html). His bike fit system is awesome and the skills training would be super beneficial.

    And yeah, you might want a more XC-ish 29er for racing Xterra, but I'd think the Stumpjumper would be more fun for general riding.

  7. #7
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    I'll just go ahead an say it... look into a mtb skills clinic. It's one of the most beneficial things a newer rider can do. It's nice to have a trained set of eyes on your techniques. Cornering a mtb is one of the more basic skills that you can never master. It's always possible to get faster through the twisty bits. What you are describing is super typical of road riders transitioning to mtb... tons of power/speed on the non technical bits, but get dropped when things start getting technical. So, work on them skills!!! Remember... smooth is fast, fast is smooth. Ride light.

  8. #8
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    The bike is not ideal for XC races, but the cornering issues are skill related not bike. So the good news is that you can fix that will practice. The bad news is that it can take time to learn how to corner like the fast guys. Lots of time. Best way to short cut that is with MTB skills clinics. Remember. Turns are free speed.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    Cornering a mtb is one of the more basic skills that you can never master.
    That's the truth. And cornering encompasses many different sub-skills, like attack position, that most riders also suck at but might not realize.

  10. #10
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    To answer your question, yes, you have the wrong bike for Xterra. You have a really fun bike for downhill riding, but slack, mid-travel, small wheels and bad pedaling platform is kind of the opposite of what you want for Xterra. Xterra courses are really tame technically for the most part, so handling and efficiency will provide massive gains. Switching to a 29er hardtail or super short travel bike with a firm pedaling platform will equate to free speed.

    That said, all the comments above are on point about skill improvement. You can think of skills as free speed too. The smoother you ride and the less you have to hit the brakes, the faster you'll go.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch518 View Post
    OK, hoping all you smart people can help me out here.

    I am a Tri guy (I know that is not popular in here) and I bought my first MTB last year and have ridden a lot. I want to do some Xterra Races next year and understand most of those courses are not the Technical

    But while riding with friends I find I can keep up based on fitness but get dusted specifically in tight turns. Details....

    I ride and XL Stumpjumper FSR EVO 27.5. I am 6'1" which put me right between the large and the XL and I ended up with XL. The FSR EVO is a slacker version of the stumpy. So I have two thoughts that might conflict.

    Thinking 29er might be better for the Xterra course and that a true cross country bike in Large might shorten the bike enough to help with the cornering.

    Your thoughts please
    Your full-suspension bike should make you be the one dusting everyone else in turns, if it is set up correctly. You might want to try adjusting the suspension. On my bike the cornering limits come at scary-fast speeds ó Butcher Grid tires front and rear with fox / avalanche suspension both ends.

    Tires and suspension tuning make a big difference, even on seemingly smooth trails.

  12. #12
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    That's a pretty sluggish almost-AM bike, the old version was what, 130mm of travel, and the new one is 150mm (definitely AM), right? It's not going to be a snappy pedaler and bike for those quick line-changes and whipping back and forth.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
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    I will agree with you that the bike might be too big for you. I was in a similar place when I bought my first MTB 12 years ago. Was right between sizes Large and XL in a Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail. The shop convinced me into buying the XL. The bike felt fine on the straight and minor technical areas, but any corners (especially sharper ones) I felt like I would have to clear it as if I were driving a trailer... drive further forward through the corner than you would think before actually committing to the turn.

    I hated it. Thought it was my skill (or lack thereof). Finally sold that bike and bought a Large out of frustration and it made a huge difference and the Large bike handled like it was on rails.

    Not saying that it is or isnít your technique, but wanted to confirm that the size definitely could have something to do with it.

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