Setting up a geared FS to climb like a rigid SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Setting up a geared FS to climb like a rigid SS

    For those who love how a rigid SS climbs, but also ride a FS bike, what have you done to make your FS climb well out of the saddle? Some options:

    1. Suspension design choice (DW-link, VPP, etc.)
    2. Suspension parts choice (specific fork/shock)
    3. Custom tuned shock
    4. Higher psi in suspension
    5. Run more compression dampening
    6. Run less rebound dampening
    7. Regularly switch among fork/shock modes (e.g. climb/trail/descend)
    8. Raise your h-bars
    9. Oval ring (less bobbing)
    10. Smaller ring (more anti-squat)
    11. Altered climbing technique (e.g. less body english)
    12. Chose a frame with shorter chainstays
    13. Chose a frame with less suspension travel
    14. Cleat position

  2. #2
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    Remove the tyres, place FS bike to one side, fit rigid singlespeed to the tyres. Job done.

    Sorry about the levity, but it is New Year's eve, and being Scottish I'm temporarily spiritually (single malt) enhanced.

    On a more serious note, the above describes more or less the route I ended up taking to reach your goal.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  3. #3
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    For those who love how a rigid SS climbs, but also ride a FS bike, what have you done to make your FS climb well out of the saddle? Some options:

    1. Suspension design choice (DW-link, VPP, etc.)
    2. Suspension parts choice (specific fork/shock)
    3. Custom tuned shock
    4. Higher psi in suspension
    5. Run more compression dampening
    6. Run less rebound dampening
    7. Regularly switch among fork/shock modes (e.g. climb/trail/descend)
    8. Raise your h-bars
    9. Oval ring (less bobbing)
    10. Smaller ring (more anti-squat)
    11. Altered climbing technique (e.g. less body english)
    12. Chose a frame with shorter chainstays
    13. Chose a frame with less suspension travel
    14. Cleat position
    I suppose the answer would be suspension design and good technique. At least what worked for me. In as much as I want it to work. Mostly I treat my SS and FS geared as two different bikes I have to ride in their own way to keep in shape on either of them. And that's probably the real key.

  4. #4
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    why would you eat your soup with a fork?

  5. #5
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    Sounds like your a candidate for Tantrum Cycles new suspension design, the Missing Link!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kisherceg View Post
    why would you eat your soup with a fork?
    I climb seated plenty, but some sections are so steep and/or technical that standing isn't an option, it's a requirement. Or it's a short punchy climb, and I know if I stand and crank a big gear, I can make very quick work of it. Plus standing climbing is so much more fun IMO.

  7. #7
    MaxTheCyclist.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    Sounds like your a candidate for Tantrum Cycles new suspension design, the Missing Link!
    Can someone explain what exactly is going on with this thing?
    Ultralight bikepacking and gear lists... MaxTheCyclist.com

  8. #8
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    I am happy I have a DW Link, Turner. From there, I called Fox, had about a 20 min conversation about what I wanted my rear shock to do. I got a custom tune, only affecting the lockout. It is very rigid when switch is flipped. I am so happy i did this. It was free, with Nitrogen Charge service from Fox. Additionally, i have a volume spacer in can, which helps prevent bottom out, when shock is open. I love my old RP23 now.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Can someone explain what exactly is going on with this thing?
    New suspension design that relies on pedal pressure to 'lock out' the suspension. He calls it the missing link and brands it Tantrum, a fitting name for his online persona. The design does seem to deliver on the stiff pedalling platform. See developments here for MOAR.

    RideMonkey How To Series: Throwing a Tantrum in Public | Ridemonkey Forums
    Last edited by boostin; 01-02-2017 at 12:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    I lean towards the "set and forget" camp, but Scott's h-bar remote 1-button double lockout system intrigues me (never tried it). I don't think fully locked-out is the way to climb everything, but such a button sounds handy. "Firm" mode in the '16 Fox suspension stuff is practically locked out, but I don't like fumbling with lots of dials while riding. But one remote button for front/rear? Maybe.

  11. #11
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Can someone explain what exactly is going on with this thing?
    Having ridden it, yes, I can explain what's going on with it. Basically, it rides super plush until you go up hill, then it uses pedal pressure to take the suspension into an unlikely looking position that still reacts to bumps, but stands the bike up some so it's steeper when you climb, pedaling is really efficient in general, and the bike is super planted on fast sections. It's kind of like everything you ever wished for in suspension. It's honestly one of the best bikes I've ever ridden.

  12. #12
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    Many years ago I had a Klein Palomino that climbed great out to the saddle. One of it's few positive traits. I sold it to a guy who was planning to use it in SS configuration. If there are unintended "great" FS SS suspension "designs" then that bike is one of them. They still seem to have a bit of a cult following and may be able to find relevant threads with a search on MTBR..



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  13. #13
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    That Tantrum looks interesting if it really does what it claims for the rear of the bike.

    It's front suspension that puts me off. I hate dive when braking.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    That Tantrum looks interesting if it really does what it claims for the rear of the bike.

    It's front suspension that puts me off. I hate dive when braking.
    The very first thing I said when I got off that bike is "It seems like it does exactly what it claims to do." If you don't like dive under braking, then just jack up the low speed damping on whatever fork you have. I can make the Manitou on my SS feel locked out until I start taking big hits, then 5" of cush really keeps things under control.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    For those who love how a rigid SS climbs, but also ride a FS bike, what have you done to make your FS climb well out of the saddle? Some options:..
    I don't think you can honestly. SS rigid is very different and will climb well, but FS is just a different ride. If you make the FS feel like a Rigid climbing it will feel the same descending. They are different. Embrace their differences. I have multiple bikes for this reason.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    I climb seated plenty, but some sections are so steep and/or technical that standing isn't an option, it's a requirement. Or it's a short punchy climb, and I know if I stand and crank a big gear, I can make very quick work of it. Plus standing climbing is so much more fun IMO.
    I think a FS bike can still do standing climbing, but it will not be a efficient as on HT. I am working to adapt my technical climbing to my FS bike. In then end I don't think it will ever climb as well as my HT bikes, but I does descend so much faster.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I don't think you can honestly. SS rigid is very different and will climb well, but FS is just a different ride. If you make the FS feel like a Rigid climbing it will feel the same descending. They are different. Embrace their differences.
    I sort of got this burned into my brain a bit last night. I set up the 429T's' front and rear a bit plusher, and it rode better in most ways, just not as quite as much eagerness at the pedals. And the plusher set up was gobbling up trail features more easily and moving through gnar like a tank. Steeper climbs definitely benefitted from flipping the rear shock to Trail" but I guess I can live with that (1st world problems).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I think a FS bike can still do standing climbing, but it will not be a efficient as on HT. I am working to adapt my technical climbing to my FS bike. In then end I don't think it will ever climb as well as my HT bikes, but I does descend so much faster.
    Yeah, I don't expect a FS to climb with no bob out of the saddle, I just don't want it to feel like I'm fighting the bike as much as the trail, and was curious how others were dialing out the "too much bob" phenomenon. The DW-link in back goes a long way towards that goal, but the fork is another issue. Any thing more than a bit of compression dampening feels awful to me, so don't want to go that route.

  19. #19
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    I vote for #7. I think having a handlebar lock out button really helps as it will firm up a full suspension bike and make it seem more like a hard tail. I ride both SS and a FS 29er.

    On my Trek Top Fuel I have a handlebar lockout that is either full suspension or it locks out the front SID and the rear SRAM shock with one push. Not totally rigid as you can still feel a little bob but it really is great if you want to engage it for some smooth climbs or trail situations where suspension is overkill.

    I have had other bikes where you have to reach down for the rear suspension to change the mode on the shock and never really got comfortable with that. Having the handlebar remote is much easier. It's like a dropper button.

    I have the lockout adjustment on my fork crown on my SS and use that occasionally. Much easier to adjust that on a front fork that deal with reaching for the rear shock.

    Scott has a 3 position lock out: full, half and rigid. I've been happy with my set up as it seems like either having all the suspension or no suspension is good enough in most situation and requires less thinking or messing around.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by newking View Post
    I vote for #7. I think having a handlebar lock out button really helps as it will firm up a full suspension bike and make it seem more like a hard tail. [...]
    I'm incorporating some of the other options, but the only real change I've made recently is #7 (toggling the rear from Open to Trail, on the fly). No h-bar remote, but toggling with my left hand is easy enough. I've purposely set things up a bit on the plush side, knowing "Trail" will bail me out on steeper climbs, whether seated or not. But I try to run it Open as much as possible b/c the bike rides so much better.

    I don't feel the need to mess with the fork much lately. Getting away from mashing helps. I'm using a bit of compression dampening, but it's needed anyhow to keep it from diving. I want my fork/steering to behave consistently and predictable, so I try to leave it alone.

  21. #21
    Rod
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    I tried to do what you're describing on my full suspension. This was on a Giant Anthem 2010 model. I left the rear shock on climb and increased the pressure. It rode firm, but it still had plenty of forgiveness on the bumps. The front definitely wasn't close to a rigid, but it took a while for the shock not to dive. I just tinkered and probably had it a little too firm, but it's been years. I tweaked until I could live with it and I like to climb and mash too. I was very happy with the setup.

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