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  1. #1
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    Very confused on stem angle / spacers / how do I know what I want ?

    I have a 2019 salsa Beargrease...

    I installed a manitou machete fork ...

    The stem has the max spacers ...

    Iím. 6 ď4Ē ...

    I feel a little over the front end on drops ... Iím getting a bucking feeling ( could be tire pressure)

    Will a shorter stem give me a more XX racer feel?
    I also ride a fuel ex with no spacers ...

    Should i look into a carbon renthal fat bar with rise ?

    Whatever I need to do - I hate that feelin every so often I could go otb.

  2. #2
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    Do your hands feel too low? If not a shorter stem (10-15mm) will probably help. The bar will drop a bit with the shorter stem unless it has more rise. Do you know the bar rise and the stem lenth and rise?

  3. #3
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    Iíd have to go look tomorrow- so you think a lower stem might take that feel away ?

    Yes my hands feel a bit low , especially on drops - I feel like Iím being launched .

  4. #4
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    A shorter stem will help you get your weight back more on drops, but will not help if you feel you're getting bucked on the landing. How does your body position feel in general? Too stretched out or too upright? Too much pressure on your hands or not enough? I find that too short of a reach will give me a feeling of being bucked over the bars when standing up in attack position and landing drops, while a bar height that is too low will make it harder to lift the front wheel and get weight over the back wheel on steep descents and drops. If your body position feels good pedaling and general riding, then I'd bet that either your bar could be a bit higher, or you need a bit more low-speed compression or pressure in your fork to balance out the lack of rear suspension.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Iíd have to go look tomorrow- so you think a lower stem might take that feel away ?

    Yes my hands feel a bit low , especially on drops - I feel like Iím being launched .
    No, a shorter stem will also lower the bars most the time. And if you have maxed out the spacers. You might want a higher bar as well

    But like the reply above, the feeling you are feeling can be too long of stem. Too short of a bike, suspention or bad posture.If the stem is longer than 50mm Id start there.

  6. #6
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    I did have the fork opened up quite a bit ... maybe tighten it up a bit ?

    I feel maybe a tad too upright

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    No, a shorter stem will also lower the bars most the time. And if you have maxed out the spacers. You might want a higher bar as well

    But like the reply above, the feeling you are feeling can be too long of stem. Too short of a bike, suspention or bad posture.If the stem is longer than 50mm Id start there.
    80 mm stem
    800 mm bar width


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    80 mm stem
    800 mm bar width


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Can you post a pic with you on the bike?

  9. #9
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    I'm a bit under 6'5" and in my experience that bike is too small for you to use a much shorter stem. I had a similarly sized hardtail with a 60mm stem and sold it because it was too small. You could try a shorter stem and see if it's better or worse but there will drawbacks.

  10. #10
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    So @ 80 thatís why it fits ? Because I donít feel cramped at all - I felt cramped on an xl Stache 5 18í but not this ...

  11. #11
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    Thats a crazy long stem! No wonder you feel over the front, you are.

    Hows your seat potion now? I hope its stuffed pretty far forward, that would make a short stem a very easy transition (just scoot the seat back for a similar fit).

    If your seat is already back and you're on a 80mm stem, I think you need to go up a frame size.

  12. #12
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    I don't think this can be diagnosed based on what info we have here. It could be as simple as you not having your manual down well enough to lift the front wheel over the drop lip.

  13. #13
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    What OnePivot said-long stem and check your seat position
    What size frame? It seems to have a long cockpit and the seat stay is 73.

    might want to watch this vid on how to set up suspension:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhnKTZu2AKs&t=490s
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Thats a crazy long stem! No wonder you feel over the front, you are.

    Hows your seat potion now? I hope its stuffed pretty far forward, that would make a short stem a very easy transition (just scoot the seat back for a similar fit).

    If your seat is already back and you're on a 80mm stem, I think you need to go up a frame size. Hereís the bike - if I did go shorter stem , do I remove those spacers too ?.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt.Biker E View Post
    What OnePivot said-long stem and check your seat position
    What size frame? It seems to have a long cockpit and the seat stay is 73.

    might want to watch this vid on how to set up suspension:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhnKTZu2AKs&t=490s
    XL frame - xxl Frame fat bikes are rare & the Salsa Beargrease is known for being a big non cramped feel...

    I donít feel cramped or too big - I feel ď over ď


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post

    I donít feel cramped or too big - I feel ď over ď
    That's the problem with using long stems to get the bike to fit. You're either cramped or over. Try a 60mm stem if you want.

    You can use this tool to compare geo changes Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That's the problem with using long stems to get the bike to fit. You're either cramped or over. Try a 60mm stem if you want.

    You can use this tool to compare geo changes Stem Comparison Tool | yojimg.net
    Yeah I think Iíll start @ 60 , 40- 50 might be too drastic


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Thats a crazy long stem! No wonder you feel over the front, you are.

    Hows your seat potion now? I hope its stuffed pretty far forward, that would make a short stem a very easy transition (just scoot the seat back for a similar fit).

    If your seat is already back and you're on a 80mm stem, I think you need to go up a frame size.
    In my experience the length of the stem isn't some panacea; i'm happiest when i can roll my weight back and the front wheel becomes 'just so' unweighted. So a long stem on a short bike works out OK. Rather have a shorter stem on a longer bike, though.




    I see a couple things working together against nature boy.

    -longer than normal chainstays for a hardtail combined with short front-center
    -no dropper
    -bouncy fat tires

    It adds up to a bike that requires a real effort to hold the front end up off a drop, doesn't give him much space to shift his weight around, and then if he crashes down heavy the tires redirect that energy... somewhere.

    If it were me and i was gonna throw money at it i'd buy a dropper post and lower the handlebars 20mm or so. Slamming the saddle back on the rails can help too, oddly.
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  19. #19
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    Salsa is the one spec'ing the 80. Thats unusual these days!

    I agree about the short stem on a short bike thing, but I think theres some wiggle room here. Shorten the stem and push the seat back for a similar fit, but with more rearward weight. Those come with a zero offset post too.

    To an extent, you can keep the non-cramped fit and move the weight back. Theres no sizing up the frame, so if you want to work with what you have, an offset post with a short stem is a good start.

    You could pickup a 20mm offset post, and 30mm shorter stem and push the seat back 10mm on the rails. Same fit, but that'll have pretty significant rearward shifting of weight.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    In my experience the length of the stem isn't some panacea; i'm happiest when i can roll my weight back and the front wheel becomes 'just so' unweighted. So a long stem on a short bike works out OK. Rather have a shorter stem on a longer bike, though.




    I see a couple things working together against nature boy.

    -longer than normal chainstays for a hardtail combined with short front-center
    -no dropper
    -bouncy fat tires

    It adds up to a bike that requires a real effort to hold the front end up off a drop, doesn't give him much space to shift his weight around, and then if he crashes down heavy the tires redirect that energy... somewhere.

    If it were me and i was gonna throw money at it i'd buy a dropper post and lower the handlebars 20mm or so. Slamming the saddle back on the rails can help too, oddly.
    THATS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL!!! EXACTLY WHATS HAPPENING

    You articulated it perfectly ...

    I hit a drop , not even a big drop , maybe even one hidden under all the leaves now on the northeast .. and ffs is feels like my arms are gonna pull outta the sockets - like someone tossed me a medicine ball ....

    So dropper & go 60 mm stem ? Push seat back

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Salsa is the one spec'ing the 80. Thats unusual these days!

    I agree about the short stem on a short bike thing, but I think theres some wiggle room here. Shorten the stem and push the seat back for a similar fit, but with more rearward weight. Those come with a zero offset post too.

    To an extent, you can keep the non-cramped fit and move the weight back. Theres no sizing up the frame, so if you want to work with what you have, an offset post with a short stem is a good start.

    You could pickup a 20mm offset post, and 30mm shorter stem and push the seat back 10mm on the rails. Same fit, but that'll have pretty significant rearward shifting of weight.
    Totally agree, except a 80 -> 50mm stem change is pretty massive. I'd get a cheapo 60, move the saddle back, and see how that felt.


    I think salsa chases the 'ass in the saddle, tires on the ground' customer. Flatlanders, bikepackers, explorers... those sort.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Totally agree, except a 80 -> 50mm stem change is pretty massive. I'd get a cheapo 60, move the saddle back, and see how that felt.


    I think salsa chases the 'ass in the saddle, tires on the ground' customer. Flatlanders, bikepackers, explorers... those sort.
    Yes thatís their customer for sure , except maybe the Woodsmoke - and on flat terrain this Beargrease flies like a XC bike ...

    But in jersey & ny - rocks & roots drops abound even on flatter rides ...

    I tested this vs the Farley 7 & Farley 5 &
    Farley 9.6

    All felt ďsmall ď

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    THATS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL!!! EXACTLY WHATS HAPPENING

    You articulated it perfectly ...

    I hit a drop , not even a big drop , maybe even one hidden under all the leaves now on the northeast .. and ffs is feels like my arms are gonna pull outta the sockets - like someone tossed me a medicine ball ....

    So dropper & go 60 mm stem ? Push seat back
    Get a 60mm stem. If you feel cramped and sliding seat back feels right get a dropper with a setback. A saddle slamed back will probably bend after a bit unless you're a light weight. I found this out the hard way.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    THATS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL!!! EXACTLY WHATS HAPPENING

    You articulated it perfectly ...

    I hit a drop , not even a big drop , maybe even one hidden under all the leaves now on the northeast .. and ffs is feels like my arms are gonna pull outta the sockets - like someone tossed me a medicine ball ....

    So dropper & go 60 mm stem ? Push seat back
    A dropper changes the game for your situation. You can drop the bars without being trapped on top of the front end, and slamming the saddle back becomes much less beneficial.

    If it were me i'd get a 125-150mm dropper and a 60-70mm stem (most people would go shorter, and that's ok too... but i wouldn't) I'd lower the bars 15-20mm from where you have them, and slide the saddle back so it's close to the max line on the rails, but not past. That may not be perfect, but it should be a pretty dramatic improvement and will take a bunch of rides before you know if it needs something else.
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    sounds like when the front of the bike drops your arms are at the end of the rope already (straight). You have to have some bend in the arms so WHEN the front end drops you can extend the arms and have it not yank you OTB.

    A picture of you on the bike in riding position would tell us a lot.

    You can try sliding the saddle back slightly along with a shorter stem. Each of those moves your weight back slightly. Doing both keeps the reach the same. Perhaps just the stem change (to shorter) is needed. Make small changes, ride and evaluate.

    The first thing I noticed was the shim stack under the stem. That shim stack is a bit extreme IMO.

  26. #26
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    Too many ?

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    oops

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahJohn View Post
    You can try sliding the saddle back slightly along with a shorter stem. Each of those moves your weight back slightly. Doing both keeps the reach the same. Perhaps just the stem change (to shorter) is needed.
    OP,
    While riding now, do you wish your seat was further back?

    That would be a good indicator, as to weather to go with a shorter stem AND sliding seat back.

  29. #29
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    Yes I feel Iím sliding up

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahJohn View Post
    sounds like when the front of the bike drops your arms are at the end of the rope already (straight). You have to have some bend in the arms so WHEN the front end drops you can extend the arms and have it not yank you OTB.

    A picture of you on the bike in riding position would tell us a lot.

    You can try sliding the saddle back slightly along with a shorter stem. Each of those moves your weight back slightly. Doing both keeps the reach the same. Perhaps just the stem change (to shorter) is needed. Make small changes, ride and evaluate.

    The first thing I noticed was the shim stack under the stem. That shim stack is a bit extreme IMO.
    you're talking about headset spacers. OP's massive stack of headset spacers is kinda goofy, but it's not unusual for folks well north of 6' to get their hands much higher than a typical headtube-bar-stem combo affords. IMO it reflects mass-market frame designers not fully understanding tall people, and accommodating shorter folks who want a long front-center. It's a different discussion.

    Using the wrong nouns makes you sound like you don't know what you're talking about. I think you know what's up. There's 3 way to approach drops. A good rider uses all of them depending on the circumstances.
    -roll up slow and pedal kick to keep the front end up.
    -tuck in to the front and push the front wheel in to where it needs to be
    -lean back on your arms and let the bike's balance take care of things.


    A proper quality/designed/fitting bike is happy doing any of those. Seems like OP is addressing method 3. Granted, it's the noobie method of approach drops, but we all use it all the time. Can't attack drops if you think you're gonna faceplant by rolling it full-coward.
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  31. #31
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    Dropper ordered

    60 mm head tube ordered

    Switching to carbon bars 20 mm rise

    Eliminating two spacers to start

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    The other issue Iím having is with people who keep telling - go low psi - let air out of those tires ...

    Thatís great for the 5 9 185 lb guy ...

    Iím 6 ď4Ē plus - 240 ish ...

    The tires can feel mushy after a bit ... especially the front wheel ...

    VERY HARD TO DIAL IN PSI ... for big guys ... you canít ride on a soft tire - I donít care what anyone says ...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    The other issue Iím having is with people who keep telling - go low psi - let air out of those tires ...

    Thatís great for the 5 9 185 lb guy ...

    Iím 6 ď4Ē plus - 240 ish ...

    The tires can feel mushy after a bit ... especially the front wheel ...

    VERY HARD TO DIAL IN PSI ... for big guys ... you canít ride on a soft tire - I donít care what anyone says ...
    Yep. If you're >200lbs because you're just a large person... you need to figure tire pressure out for yourself. It's tricky because there's a lot of 160lb people carrying 40lbs of extra body fat who are having a different experience, and tire composition is a huge deal. You're dialing in a balance and it doesn't matter what the balance is for some other goob.

    Your preferences will evolve over time, which is cool.
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    Yes Iím a guy who played offensive line his whole life - Iím not rounded or fat , tall & wide.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    The other issue Iím having is with people who keep telling - go low psi - let air out of those tires ...

    Thatís great for the 5 9 185 lb guy ...

    Iím 6 ď4Ē plus - 240 ish ...

    The tires can feel mushy after a bit ... especially the front wheel ...

    VERY HARD TO DIAL IN PSI ... for big guys ... you canít ride on a soft tire - I donít care what anyone says ...

    I feel ya, I get same from shorter / lighter people, they just don't understand.
    I have played a-lot with frame sizes, stem spacer stack, stem & bar rise.

    You have lots of good info in here but one thing you may want to consider. The higher you stack the stem with spacers the closer the stem moves in. It is actually quite significant with a huge stack. You are better off getting the rise with stem / bar combo and leave the stack lower.

    This will help i front end control, feeling to light etc because you have move so far back. You will be more balanced per the bikes original design.


    Another thing to consider possibly for larger people 230-240 is to use an e-bike fork as it is will work better with those weights. Standard air forks just not designed for Clydes...but that is another story...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TraxFactory View Post
    The higher you stack the stem with spacers the closer the stem moves in. It is actually quite significant with a huge stack. You are better off getting the rise with stem / bar combo and leave the stack lower.
    If you compensate for less spacers by getting a higher rise bar, you're just moving your hands further away from the steering axis (similar to getting a longer stem). It matters where you're hands are in relation to the steering axis but not how it's achieved. You cannot gain actual reach by adjusting bars, spacers, and stem. You can only change where the bars are in relation to the steering axis (effective reach and stack).

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    If you compensate for less spacers by getting a higher rise bar, you're just moving your hands further away from the steering axis (similar to getting a longer stem). It matters where you're hands are in relation to the steering axis but not how it's achieved. You cannot gain actual reach by adjusting bars, spacers, and stem. You can only change where the bars are in relation to the steering axis (effective reach and stack).
    I see what your saying.

    My point is due to the steer tube angle, when you go up it goes back, the higher up the more back. Simple.

    With bars / stem changes you can go up but not back. This is better for tall dudes and its definitely a balance of all the adjustments.

    Also less bar sweep will place your hands slightly forward. If your cramped less sweep is a way to help.


    Tall people have same problem with slack seat tubes, too high up puts your body too far back......I love my 76deg seat tube angle. It really changed my bar/stem/spacer setup.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    If you compensate for less spacers by getting a higher rise bar, you're just moving your hands further away from the steering axis (similar to getting a longer stem). It matters where you're hands are in relation to the steering axis but not how it's achieved. You cannot gain actual reach by adjusting bars, spacers, and stem. You can only change where the bars are in relation to the steering axis (effective reach and stack).
    I've modeled this in cad, it doesn't work out like that because the sweep is the same regardless of rise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I've modeled this in cad, it doesn't work out like that because the sweep is the same regardless of rise.
    How does that increase effective reach without your hands being more forward of the steering axis at a given height? Your hands end up at some point relative to a reference point on the steering axis, how doesn't matter.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    How does that increase effective reach without your hands being more forward of the steering axis at a given height? Your hands end up at some point relative to a reference point on the steering axis, how doesn't matter.
    I gotcha, i misread your earlier post.




    For the sake of clarity--

    Top is my set up, bottom is the same bar-ground height (1011mm), but with a flat bar and an oreo-stack of headset spacers. Top number is saddle to handlebar grip.

    Name:  handlebarReach.png
Views: 149
Size:  29.6 KB
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I gotcha, i misread your earlier post.




    For the sake of clarity--

    Top is my set up, bottom is the same bar-ground height (1011mm), but with a flat bar and an oreo-stack of headset spacers. Top number is saddle to handlebar grip.

    Name:  handlebarReach.png
Views: 149
Size:  29.6 KB
    Right, the top image has the bars further forward from the steering axis. The exact same grip position can be achieved with the same set of spacers as the lower image and a stem of the appropriate length (longer) and angle. The 'illusion' is that you're getting more reach without having to use a longer stem but it's functionally the same as using a longer stem. The handling characteristics will be identical (disregarding stiffness differences). Stem length doesn't matter intrinsically. The handling characteristics are determined by the relation of the grips to the steering axis (not what happens in between).

    Here I aligned the two diagrams so you can see a fixed reference on the steering axis and how the top bar is further from the axis. (See the green line)
    Name:  handlebarReachaligned.png
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    This is actually the opposite of what OP is trying to do.

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    What am I trying to do again ? Lol

    Ok Iím gonna start by taking 2 spacers out...

    Iím putting a 60 mm stem down from 80 ...

    Iím putting a Dropper in too ...

    I may keep the bars or I may go with 20 mm rise and a tad less wide than the 800 ... Iím smashing my hands on fkn trees ...

    Sound ok ?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    What am I trying to do again ? Lol

    Ok Iím gonna start by taking 2 spacers out...

    Iím putting a 60 mm stem down from 80 ...

    Iím putting a Dropper in too ...

    I may keep the bars or I may go with 20 mm rise and a tad less wide than the 800 ... Iím smashing my hands on fkn trees ...

    Sound ok ?
    I thought you were trying to get your weight further back. Taking out spacers and lowering the bars won't help that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    What am I trying to do again ? Lol

    Ok Iím gonna start by taking 2 spacers out...

    Iím putting a 60 mm stem down from 80 ...

    Iím putting a Dropper in too ...

    I may keep the bars or I may go with 20 mm rise and a tad less wide than the 800 ... Iím smashing my hands on fkn trees ...

    Sound ok ?
    Your questions are just a backdrop for the regulars to bicker. Take advice from someone who seems like they know what's up, or a synthesis of the popular opinions. The last 15% of cockpit set up you have to do alone.

    A little goes a long way with cutting bars down. IMO 800 ->760 isn't a big deal, but after that and the package starts to suffer.



    Get a dropper.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    What am I trying to do again ? Lol


    Sound ok ?
    I just noticed the dropper part!
    Problem solved.

    But heck yes sounds good, 800x80 = slow steering





    Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I thought you were trying to get your weight further back. Taking out spacers and lowering the bars won't help that.
    Yes but I feel over - too straight up and when the front drops out ... I get that hold the F on affect

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Yes but I feel over - too straight up and when the front drops out ... I get that hold the F on affect
    Lowering the bars makes you more over the front end but also lowers your center of mass. I think generally you'll have issues with front end traction and the front end lifting on climbs before the bars are too high for drops and jumps. I'd try a shorter stem to start with. If you get a stem with the same angle as your current one it will be a few mm lower anyway. After that you can always remove spacers. Bars are personal preference but I really like 800mm bars and would generally prefer to shorten eff. reach through the stem instead of the bars.

    I went through a similar situation on a hardtail with 460mm of reach that came with a 110mm stem and narrow bars. I ended up trying 80, 60, and 50mm stems. I preferred the feel of 50mm on jumps and drops but it was way too short for everything else. I played around with bar height but found due to the short reach and my seat being way back, the bars felt too low and put a lot of pressure on my hands and the front end would wash out easy. Raising the bars to alleviate the pressure on my hands would just make the front end wash out (and loop out on climbs) easier.

  48. #48
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    Iím not sure I shouldnít have gone Farley ...

    I can sell this and grab a 2019 5 or 7 without any of this head angle spacer bullshit...

    Thoughts ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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