Trail bike question?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Just trails
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    Trail bike question?

    My son and I both bought the GT Aggressor pro.
    It seems like it isnít the greatest bike for trails. We go on the Montour trail which is dirt and the panhandle trail which is concrete. Iím 54 so Iím not going to go and kill myself on Mountain paths anytime soon. Iím more of an endurance rider not much for speed. My question is what is a bicycle that is a good climber on trails? It seems like we are struggling with this bike. It has an Acera Mm360 Derailleur. Which is a decent one. Iím 6í 190 pounds. Just bought the bikes last year so they are pretty new. We live in a very hilly area. We live on the side of a hill and most hills here are steep. Thatís why a good climber would be beneficial! Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    https://www.berkshiresports.org/bicy...on-calculator/

    https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...ggrssrprxxxprf

    Some people are running lower gears. But you should still be able to climb with this setup

    It does take a lot of power to climb

    Bad geometry tends to make the bike lift the front but only on steeper things.

    Does the bike loft the front or do you just tire out?

  3. #3
    Just trails
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    It seems like it slows down while Iím climbing which in turn tires me out.

  4. #4
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    It sounds like you're riding bike paths and smooth trails.
    You don't need much of a mountain bike.
    Which is good because your bike isn't built for trails. It is designed for what you're riding. . .but it's at the low end of pricing.
    That means it's heavy. You can't really fix that without wasting 1500 in buying replacement parts to get the weight down to less than 25 lbs.
    The cheapest thing you can do is change to lower smaller knob lighter tires. But you're also on 27.5. 29 wheels on your next bike will roll easier and faster.

    There's many here older than you by 10-20 years having fun on the roughest trails. But not on a bike like yours.
    Contact the shops in your area about demo days for free test riding real mountain bikes on actual trails. Bring a helmet.

  5. #5
    Just trails
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    We actually switched to hybrid tires already. It didnít make it much lighter. They are about 30 pounds. Just wondering if maybe the chain is stretched and we need a new chain because it came from Dicks not a bike shop.

  6. #6
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    You can measure the chain. Look on YouTube for how to check that. I don't think that's a likely problem that'll slow you down.
    Check the bearings for the hubs and the crank. If they aren't free rolling you can do a clean and grease to help. 35 lbs is more like the weight, im estimation. Also check the tire pressure and inflate to the maximum allowed.

    Buy hey, it's early in the season. Put in the miles and it will be easier by the end of the year.

  7. #7
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    In most areas used bikes sell quick and for top dollar right now. So if you wanted to offload your bike to be able to upgrade, thatís in your favor. The reason why used bikes sell so quickly, is because most manufacturers are way behind and there isnít many new bikes under $2k to be found anywhere.

    You can upgrade your bikes a bit. You can switch to an air fork instead of the heavy coil spring one your have now. That will save you weight. The next thing would be to upgrade to a tubeless setup and reduce the rotational weight of the wheels and tires. A new fork would be about $150-$200 and tubeless including new tires, around another $150. Not the cheapest upgrades but those would provide the most bang for your buck. Down side to these are, you just dumped $300 into a $500 bike.

    A better lighter XC (cross country) style bike would provide you with better climbing. But the fitness is still on you. Plenty of bike that fit this category for $1000-$2000. Just depends on how much of an upgrade you want to make.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    My son and I both bought the GT Aggressor pro.
    It seems like it isnít the greatest bike for trails. We go on the Montour trail which is dirt and the panhandle trail which is concrete. Iím 54 so Iím not going to go and kill myself on Mountain paths anytime soon. Iím more of an endurance rider not much for speed. My question is what is a bicycle that is a good climber on trails? It seems like we are struggling with this bike. It has an Acera Mm360 Derailleur. Which is a decent one. Iím 6í 190 pounds. Just bought the bikes last year so they are pretty new. We live in a very hilly area. We live on the side of a hill and most hills here are steep. Thatís why a good climber would be beneficial! Any help would be appreciated!
    A single change that can make a big difference, chainring... Gear it down slightly. Two teeth fewer is all it might take to make the difference without spending a fortune on forks and wheels.
    Fitness comes with time and diligence.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    It seems like it slows down while Iím climbing which in turn tires me out.
    Thatís you not the bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    My son and I both bought the GT Aggressor pro.
    It seems like it isnít the greatest bike for trails. We go on the Montour trail which is dirt and the panhandle trail which is concrete. Iím 54 so Iím not going to go and kill myself on Mountain paths anytime soon. Iím more of an endurance rider not much for speed. My question is what is a bicycle that is a good climber on trails? It seems like we are struggling with this bike. It has an Acera Mm360 Derailleur. Which is a decent one. Iím 6í 190 pounds. Just bought the bikes last year so they are pretty new. We live in a very hilly area. We live on the side of a hill and most hills here are steep. Thatís why a good climber would be beneficial! Any help would be appreciated!
    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    It seems like it slows down while Iím climbing which in turn tires me out.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Thatís you not the bike.
    That's exactly what I was going to say. It's you fitness that needs upgrading not the bike.
    Change begins by doing something different.

  11. #11
    Just trails
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    First of all Iím not three hundred pounds Iím 190 and 6 Ď thatís not far off from the average size of somebody my age. Second of all my son has the same bike and is 20 years old at 150. He runs on the treadmill and says he gets a better workout doing that than riding his bike. He says he canít stand riding it because he feels heís not going anywhere when heís on it and doesnít find it enjoyable. A few years ago he had a GT Talera 3.0 and he found it to be a better bike on the trails. Iíve been riding the trails for about 10 years.

  12. #12
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    Thereís a relatively new kind of bike available thatís really cool ó it makes climbing much easier. Itís called an ebike. Check it out.
    =sParty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    First of all Iím not three hundred pounds Iím 190 and 6 Ď thatís not far off from the average size of somebody my age. Second of all my son has the same bike and is 20 years old at 150. He runs on the treadmill and says he gets a better workout doing that than riding his bike. He says he canít stand riding it because he feels heís not going anywhere when heís on it and doesnít find it enjoyable. A few years ago he had a GT Talera 3.0 and he found it to be a better bike on the trails. Iíve been riding the trails for about 10 years.
    I see you're in Pennsylvania. The bikes you and your son are on are pretty low end. You can both be quite fit (and I bet you are) and not enjoy riding those.

    What is your goal? You're not that old. Do you want to stay on the kinds of trails you are currently on or would you like to get on more difficult trails? Do you want to stay on the trails you're riding but have a more climbing friendly bike? What's your budget?

    I would recommend something like a Giant Stance 2. Giant tends to make good bikes at reasonable price points. It's full suspension but doesn't use their high end "Maestro" design and has 29" wheels with reasonable gearing to help on the climbs and comes in at $1550.

    I suspect after riding on better bikes for a while, you'd both be inspired to "up your games" on tougher trails.

  14. #14
    Just trails
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    We were both thinking about a Cannondale. I noticed more road bikes available used for high prices. The best bike Iíve been on as fas as a good climber was the Cannondale F4 I was going to buy it and was test riding it but the one he was selling was too small for me.
    I need a large or 19Ē frame. It was 17Ē. But seemed shorter. I unfortunately lost my job due to Covid-19 so money is tight. But like another person said people are over paying for bikes right now. So Iím weighing what options I have right now.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    We were both thinking about a Cannondale. I noticed more road bikes available used for high prices. The best bike Iíve been on as fas as a good climber was the Cannondale F4 I was going to buy it and was test riding it but the one he was selling was too small for me.
    I need a large or 19Ē frame. It was 17Ē. But seemed shorter. I unfortunately lost my job due to Covid-19 so money is tight. But like another person said people are over paying for bikes right now. So Iím weighing what options I have right now.
    My inclination would be to just keep what you have, rather than getting a (you don't say what year) used bike. Newer bikes have much better geometry and components, even at the low end. Especially if you're looking at 10 year old bikes. I don't think you'd get a bump in performance for the money.

    I'd hold off. A new bike under the circumstances just may not be in the cards.
    Regardless, FIT is hugely important, don't accept anything that doesn't fit.

  16. #16
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    It sounds like you're riding smooth, but hilly, terrain. Have you tried your son's GT to see if it has the same sensation of "slowing you down". If it does, then that sensation isn't likely due to the bike.

    You say you've been riding trails for 10 years. Were they as hilly and steep as what you're riding now? Were the rides as long?

    Gravity and fitness may be the issue here. Climbing is hard. Not being grossly overweight doesn't equal fitness sufficient for climbing hills. That takes time and sweat. Keep at it, you'll get better.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  17. #17
    Just trails
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    He has the same GT but smaller. Iím riding on the same trails. I had a Giant Cypress at one time it had the same effect but I did ride 30 miles that day with it. Cannondale has had the reputation for years for being good quality bikes. When working I averaged between 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. So I do get a lot of exercise.

  18. #18
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    All exercise isn't equal. Once I did a Triathlon ,didn't train for the swim ,one of the last out of the water. Got on the bike ,started passing people left and right . Finished the bike part , the people I passed never caught me on the run. There isn't much substitute for saddle time. If you are riding once or twice a week ,you aren't going to get much stronger. When it comes to quality ,bikes in a price range are pretty equal. They use mostly the same parts. There ways to to increase your hill climbing ability ,as mention changing to lower gears can help ,having less rolling resistance ,less weight (you and the bike) rotating weight is important tires and wheels mostly. You have already noted sizing ,that can be adjusted somewhat to make climbing a little easier.

  19. #19
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    1 Raise your seat as high as you comfortably can. Will make a huge difference in climbing power.

    2 Drink vodka and soda instead of beer

    3 Liposuction

    4 repeat step 2

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    NDD
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal_In_AZ View Post
    You can upgrade your bikes a bit. You can switch to an air fork instead of the heavy coil spring one your have now. That will save you weight. The next thing would be to upgrade to a tubeless setup and reduce the rotational weight of the wheels and tires. A new fork would be about $150-$200 and tubeless including new tires, around another $150. Not the cheapest upgrades but those would provide the most bang for your buck. Down side to these are, you just dumped $300 into a $500 bike.
    This is good advice in general, but for the type of riding the OP does, it'd make more sense to just get a rigid steel fork. I put a Surly Krampus fork (just as an example) on my first upgraditised hardtail, and actually liked it a lot more than a heavy, non-responsive pogo stick. All of my bikes are rigid, now.

    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    A single change that can make a big difference, chainring... Gear it down slightly. Two teeth fewer is all it might take to make the difference without spending a fortune on forks and wheels.
    Fitness comes with time and diligence.
    Good advice all around. It's also important (looking at responses down the line) to say that telling someone their fitness will improve over time and with effort doesn't necessarily mean they aren't fit in any way, shape, or form. Just not speedy bike fit, which uses a specific set of muscles and such. No shame, just grind it out until you can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Thatís you not the bike.
    DJ just "tells it like it is". LOL. And you accused me of sugarcoating things!

    Quote Originally Posted by Just trails View Post
    First of all Iím not three hundred pounds Iím 190 and 6 Ď thatís not far off from the average size of somebody my age. Second of all my son has the same bike and is 20 years old at 150. He runs on the treadmill and says he gets a better workout doing that than riding his bike. He says he canít stand riding it because he feels heís not going anywhere when heís on it and doesnít find it enjoyable. A few years ago he had a GT Talera 3.0 and he found it to be a better bike on the trails. Iíve been riding the trails for about 10 years.
    Most importantly, I think there was little need for you to get defensive at this point in time. A few posts later on seem to have been mockingly made because you got offended. Not defending that "hazing" kinda attitude, but just saying that when you ask for advice, you may not like all of it, and hell it may be no good, but don't get in a tizzy over it. So for these climbs, how long are we talking, like 0.3-1 mile, or longer, even? At a certain point depending on the path leading up to the climb, it just turns into a long, slow slog uphill whether you like it or not. That's what I love about gravel road riding is those damn roads that every turn you swear is going to be the end of the hill only to round the corner and find you've got at least 0.25 miles left to go. I say take it easy, but take it.
    dang

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post

    Good advice all around. It's also important (looking at responses down the line) to say that telling someone their fitness will improve over time and with effort doesn't necessarily mean they aren't fit in any way, shape, or form. Just not speedy bike fit, which uses a specific set of muscles and such. No shame, just grind it out until you can't.
    Guess I'll lay it on you like this, are you tuned to the bike you are riding? Overall fitness and being tuned to the bike are not one and the same, just sayin'... With my vast collection of bikes, all of which are in service, I do become "de-tuned" to a few of them and actually need to spend the time to resolve that. It is consuming in many ways.
    Each bike is different in many ways. Now, let's grab one, ride, grab another, ride, two bikes, two different programs are present for each. Incorrect program, piss poor performance on my part. It is akin to installing a PCM from one model of car in another model, suddenly, that car backfires, the transmission doesn't shift properly and a myriad of other performance issues are present until the correct program is running.
    I do get into the nuts and bolts of where performance lives for each of my bikes since I love the personality each has. They are, indeed individuals, much like you and I.

    Now, get to know your bike intimately, then it will be time for fine tuning such as setting the gearing up for you and your needs. Gearing alone can be make or break. Gearing that works for a 26" will be vastly different than gearing for 27.5 and 29 will be different from the previous two. Just a for instance.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  22. #22
    NDD
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    Guess I'll lay it on you like this, are you tuned to the bike you are riding? Overall fitness and being tuned to the bike are not one and the same, just sayin'... With my vast collection of bikes, all of which are in service, I do become "de-tuned" to a few of them and actually need to spend the time to resolve that. It is consuming in many ways.
    Each bike is different in many ways. Now, let's grab one, ride, grab another, ride, two bikes, two different programs are present for each. Incorrect program, piss poor performance on my part. It is akin to installing a PCM from one model of car in another model, suddenly, that car backfires, the transmission doesn't shift properly and a myriad of other performance issues are present until the correct program is running.
    I do get into the nuts and bolts of where performance lives for each of my bikes since I love the personality each has. They are, indeed individuals, much like you and I.

    Now, get to know your bike intimately, then it will be time for fine tuning such as setting the gearing up for you and your needs. Gearing alone can be make or break. Gearing that works for a 26" will be vastly different than gearing for 27.5 and 29 will be different from the previous two. Just a for instance.
    Dude, I'm picking up what you're putting down.
    dang

  23. #23
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    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm picking up what you're putting down.
    Thankya, NDD.

    There is a learning curve with this stuff! It takes time and effort, sure however, that is the best part. Having the time with that bike is therapeutic on so many levels as we progress.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  25. #25
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    Do the wheels spin freely? Could it be a dragging brake due to poor setup?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  26. #26
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    things that help... lighter bike/parts, proper gearing, proper geo, proper tires and pressure. bike setup etc

    lots of variables

    go demo bikes, that can give you ideas

  27. #27
    Just trails
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    They do spin freely but I do get a lot of Free pedaling though.

  28. #28
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    Bike riding is hard. Climbing is harder. Unless you are bike fit it will be hard. Your bike is fine for simple gravel and paved paths and probably not the issue. If you come to steep short climb you will slow down. Especially when you go to an easier gear. This can make it feel like you are going no where. If you want to go faster you have put out more power. This applies to any bike you ride.

    And if you swap that bike out for a 15lbs road bike and climbing will still be hard. You will just be going 1-2 mph faster.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  29. #29
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    Bike geometry is another variable to consider. A highend road bike requires a different seated position versus a DH mtb or XC mtb. On a paved hill, the road bike will be faster, on a dirt hill or single track climb, the XC mtb will be faster. And the DH mtb will blast by all others on an mtb downhill trail.

    I'd be hesitant to consider upgrading or purchasing anything until the desired geometry is vetted.

  30. #30
    Just trails
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    I was looking at the Trek Marlin Gary Fisher series 29er. Any good feedback on that one?

  31. #31
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    Need some advice Is the Cannondale Quick 4 from 2015 a better bike than what I have now?

  32. #32
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    Turns out the Acera derailleur on the GT has had a lot of complaints about shifting issues So selling it for a Specialized Sirrus turned out to be a great move! That thing flies and is great on hills!! Thanks for everybodyís input!! I appreciate it!!

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