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  1. #1
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    when stuff gets steep and loose

    hello SS-holes. I have a dilemma.

    TL: DR should I adapt my riding style/abilities to my bike or adapt my bike to my riding style/abilities?

    I have been (over?) analyzing my riding lately and noticed a few things. I rode BMX for about 15 years before picking up mountain biking and have been mountain biking for about 8, mostly single-speed. I have come to find that I loose traction and momentum on steep hills when I have to stand up for power, which is often. I can do sustained, even climbs when the terrain is mild, but when things get steep, loose, and ledgey - as they often do in Central Texas - I loose traction when I lean forward to put the power down, and I lose power if I weight the back end to maintain traction. I can't seem to find a happy medium.

    vitals:
    5'9", 165 pounds, could stand to lose a few
    17.5" Soma Juice with a 120mm fork. 32/20 gear, Absolute Black oval ring. 17.5" chainstays, which is the shortest setting possible on this frame. 60mm stem, 29" flat bars (were wider, had to cut them down a little), bars are dead level same height as saddle. Saddle is high enough but not too high (just right.)

    I have owned a Karate Monkey before and had the wrong size. sold it to buy the Juice because Surly was not an option at my shop. I always had reservations about this frame due to the long-ish back end, but I have been riding it for almost two years with just that one issue bugging me. I don't know if I could climb better on the KM, but I could manual that thing with relative ease. I can't manual the Juice to save my life. it's a very stable, comfortable bike, but it's difficult to flick it and charge up hills on it.

    a few options I am considering:
    1. HTFU. ride more, do some crunches, ride til my legs look like bowling balls. drink less beer.
    2. get a frame with different geometry. I have been reading all the back-and-forth over the years with opinions about chainstay length and it could be that I am better served by a bike with a shorter back end. that could be expensive and my choices are limited (budget, tapered head tube, steel, SS-able)
    3. lower gear- 32/20 sucks on the flat stuff, so I hope I would not have to go much lower.
    4. get back on clicky pedals- riding flats and Giro sneakers at present. I have ridden SPD pedals for years and those give me a little more power for those do-or-die efforts. then again, those efforts can end badly when you can't clip out.
    5. put some sissy gears on. don't hate me.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-17-2016 at 09:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    if it were me: step one would be SPD's. it makes it so much easier to smooth out power delivery. spinning in circles is a real thing and makes a huge difference where i ride. my climbs would come to an end a lot sooner if i were not clipped in on the SS. pulling up at the same time is crucial as well where there is enough traction. (lots of loose over hard here, mud too, rocks, roots, rain, dust, sand, we got it all.)

    another thing you didn't mention but would be an easy/cheap experiment is a more aggressive rear tire. potentially a lot more aggressive depending on what your on now. after getting tired of medium tread rear tires that have no grip i finally went with a 2.4 MK2 i had sitting around. i was hesitant because i think of those as more of a front tire, but the increased grip was dramatic. I'm DONE with medium tread rears. even for racing i'll take the grip over rolling resistance, especially since your either spun out on flats or coasting on anything downhill anyway. i would not be afraid to try an even more aggressive tire if the conditions called for it.

    I also think you would benefit from a shorter rear end, but i would try the first two things first. it's just physics, if you have more weight over the rear tire you'll get better traction.

    I've been searching for a replacement frame for my SS for a while now and I've run into a surprising realization. most manufacturers have dropped their steel XC SS 29er frames. there are more "trail" SS frames available with super short rear ends, slack HTA's, and geo for 120-140mm forks. that's cool, and i'm sure it's fun if you favor going down, but for me a lot of the fun is going up efficiently. that means a rigid fork and XC geo.

    the only frames i can find new are high end or 29+. once they get to $1,400 or so it's not an option, i would just go custom at that point. the Karate Monkey, Kona Unit, El Mariachi days are gone. KM and Unit are now B+ trail bikes and the El Mar is dead. there is the Ritchey frame, Gunnar Ruffian, Carver 420, Niner SIR 9 (EBB meh), Vassago Verhauen/Jabber, etc.

    I think the combo of clips and more aggressive tire will make a substantial improvement, but if that's not the way you want to ride then a new frame is the only answer. does something like the Nimble 9 interest you? or any of the other frames currently available?
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
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    Will try tires and SPDs again. I have a Crossmark 2.25 on a i25 rim, so it's pretty fat, but I also have a 2.35 Hans Dampf among my spare parts that is worth a try.

    Nimble 9 have my attention but the new version is Boost and I built a new wheel with a non-Boost Hadley hub a few days ago. There might be a few 2016 N9s left, and they are on clearance right now. That frame seems a bit overbuilt for my needs as well.

    What other frames are there on the market that suit my needs, in case I go that direction?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    if it were me: step one would be SPD's. it makes it so much easier to smooth out power delivery. spinning in circles is a real thing and makes a huge difference where i ride. my climbs would come to an end a lot sooner if i were not clipped in on the SS. pulling up at the same time is crucial as well where there is enough traction. (lots of loose over hard here, mud too, rocks, roots, rain, dust, sand, we got it all.)
    I'll second this. I run flats on my full squish, but I find clipless is a huge benefit on the rigid SS.

    Can you lock out your fork, and if so, what kind of difference does that make in your traction?

    Option 1 should be eliminated or reworded to not jeopardize your right to imbibe!

  5. #5
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    I have a Reba fork that I never bother to lock out. Will try that too. There's a hill I have in mind that defeated me today. Will head out and just do repeated attempted on it until I figure out what works.

  6. #6
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    What is your stem length? I went from 100 to 75 and put all the risers under and that got my hips back just enough for better climbing.

  7. #7
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    Updated cockpit setup. See above.

  8. #8
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    maybe i'm too picky, are you open to used? EBB ok? what fork do you run? 80, 100, 120?

    On One Inbred is an affordable option. decent list of frames here. both XC and trail. https://www.ridemorebikes.com/single...in-bike-frame/

    the new Surly is available as frame only and will run 29" wheels and has "gnot boost" spacing (145mm) so you can run any rear hub you want, including the Hadley.

    I'm sure there are others i'm missing.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  9. #9
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    Used, yes. 100-120mm fork, must accept a tapered fork because that's what just spend several hundred bucks on.

    EBB, hell no!

    The Inbred has almost identical geo to the Juice and lacks an oversized head tube. That would be a lateral move and a downgrade.

    Another KM would be high on my list, even last year's model.

  10. #10
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    I have my bars a little higher than my seat, where I ride I stand about 60 percent of the ride and find with a higher bar my back it more straight keeping my weight under the bottom bracket standing to climb, when I am tired I noticed I slump over standing to climb and that put more weight forward and gets the back tire loose at times.

  11. #11
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    this is the one spot i wouldn't recommend shorter chainstays.

    longer chainstays make climbing MUCH easier. It is everything else that people hate them for.

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    i think clipless pedals and practice with the technique are the answer (less beer might help but that is not a singlespeed answer).

  12. #12
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    Using a motorcycle for comparison never works for this kind of discussion. The human body is amazing, but the motor on something like that makes for an apple-oranges comparison. No matter where a motorcycle rider sits, the engine can still put out the same amount of power.

    My wattage output and traction seems to change in an inverse relationship with my position on the bike. Putting enough power through the bike to keep momentum while balancing my weight fore/aft to maintain traction is the problem. When i lean forward, i can get more power but i lose traction. Learning back to get enough traction means I lose steering control. On many hills, I can't find that sweet spot in the middle. The question is, to what degree is that ability the bike, and how much of it is me?

    And since my riding is not all climbing all the time, how do I find a bike that I can manual, hop, climb, and descend at speed and at a crawl? I think that's the multi-billion dollar question that keeps the industry going!
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-17-2016 at 12:56 PM.

  13. #13
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    Tires make a big difference. On singlespeeds, I usually run a more aggressive rear tire than on a geared bike.

    I have 3 singlespeeds at the moment. I have a Niner One 9 RDO, Salsa El Mariachi, and a Niner ROS 9. Can't say for sure, but something with the geometry of the ROS 9 makes it far better than the other 2 bikes on loose rocky climbs.

    Gearing also helps. The taller the gear, the less likely you are to spin out. It would seem that if you're struggling on a climb that you'd want to run an easier gear, but as long as you have enough strength to keep moving, the harder gear will have fewer traction issues.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post

    I've been searching for a replacement frame for my SS for a while now and I've run into a surprising realization. most manufacturers have dropped their steel XC SS 29er frames.
    I just realized Salsa got rid of the El Mariachi frame. Lame!

  15. #15
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    It is all about torque management. I can climb steep loose pitches at slower speeds, but I have to be careful about how much pressure I put down. Obviously, too much and I spin out....not enough, I stall out.

    Out here in So. Cal. we have loose over hardpack, but we also have lots of loose gravel/baby heads over hardpack. I generally run a 2.2 Ikon and traction is rarely an issue.

    So work on technique.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.:nono:

    Ebikes are not bicycles :nono:

  16. #16
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    I also think changing tires makes a big difference. I recently went from a thrashed pair of Conti Mountain King 2.4s to a set of new Maxxis Ardent 2.4s. First off, the Contis were anorexicaly small, closer to 2.2. I ride in PA, and most trails have more quick punchy steep climbs than long gradual climbs. I instantly felt the difference, and even on unfamiliar trails, I made it up climbs that I knew that on my old tires I would have washed out.

  17. #17
    eri
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    I very recently went through *exactly* this after I bought a used 2013 jabberwocky.

    The jabberwocky was fine on smooth flat trails but when climbing got steep and especially with obstacles I was hosed. Descending was similarly awful since manual was so difficult.

    Rear wheel washed out unless I hung way back while climbing steeps, felt like a bad ab workout. My experience really sucked. The last straw was being unable to manual over stuff while descending my favorite trail. I've ridden it 50 times but scared myself silly crashing into everything.

    The bike I came from was a FS 26" bike but have been riding mtb since 1990, Klein, cannondale and kona. I have an opinion what bikes are supposed to feel like and to me the jabberwocky was broken. It did however carve beautiful corners when trails were smooth, in the smooth bike was excellent: felt like pure carve turns on a snowboard, lovely balance.

    Lowering rear tire pressure helped with rear grip but only at 18 or so, which is too low for cornering. Did nothing for descents.

    I'd read others rave about shorter chainstays but didn't believe it could be the whole problem. I did some trig and couldn't figure out why 1.5" would make much difference.

    Well, I test rode a used kona raijin, instantly I'm a believer and bought it. Geometry (bar height, reach, seat placement relative to pedals, bars, tires, ratio...) is the same but the new bike with chainstays now at 16.8" is night and day better. In the steep climbs the rear tire is planted, I can wheelie and manual at will, I now often climb out of saddle and far forward yet can balance front tire just off the ground. Could be fitness but I am much more consistently clearing steps. To me was a night and day difference from the jabberwocky. Sold the jabberwocky to someone that only cruises smooth trails.

    Further, descending rough stuff is no longer a problem, bike is super easy to wheelie and manual, no more crashing into rocks and logs.

    May be difficult depending on where youre located but you should beg/borrow/steal some local trail time on a short chainstay hardtail, see what it does for you.

  18. #18
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    The answer is larger section tyres at lower pressures. If they fit.

    Fitting 2.8" Dirt Wizards to my 1x1 improved its climbing on steep loose pitches to the extent that I'm now the problem in climbing rather than the bike.
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  19. #19
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    I absolutely DESPISED long stays on a SS until I started running a shorter stem (70mm). But you're already running a pretty short stem (for SS). Gotta 50mm handy? If you can't move you rear hub forward via shorter stays, the alternative is to move your bars rearward.

  20. #20
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    things to try:
    1. get back on the SPDs and be ready to take some falls. I have been riding clipped in for years and it usually doesn't hold me back, but I have found that riding flats gives me a few extra ounces of courage
    2. put that big ol tire on the back wheel
    3. look into a shorter/ higher stem. I could get a 50mm stem with a little more rise.
    4. push the chainstays all the way back and add links to the chain, making it as long as possible. since I can't go shorter to see if it's better, I can at least go longer to see if it's worse.
    5. I have enough time to go ride in the morning before work. make a bee line for the most difficult trail features I can get to and "session" that stuff. it won't result in a lot of miles, but it will force me to work on skills. save the long miles for my weekend rides.

  21. #21
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    Funny, @mack_turtle, I feel like we were just having this conversation on the A*S*S page on FB! I like the suggestions for bigger, meatier rear tires, shorter stems, and clipless pedals. Ultimately though, technique is what's gonna get you to the top.

  22. #22
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    funny, I think you're right!

    In case I end up going that direction, who still makes a steel SS frame with shorter chainstays? must have an oversized headtube for use with a modern fork and sliding dropouts. also not silly expensive, although I worked in bicycle shops until about a year ago, so everything seems expensive to me now.

    Edit: found this old thread. It ought to be stickied.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/s...ow-500356.html

    After sleeping on it, i think there are a few frames out there that might suit me better and might be more "fun," but 99% of my issues can be solved by riding more with a focus on technique, and getting stronger in general. My bike is well balanced for riding long miles of smooth surfaces but capable of tackling the tech stuff. No time for riding this morning, so i am going to go do some push-ups instead.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-18-2016 at 06:04 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Using a motorcycle for comparison never works for this kind of discussion. The human body is amazing, but the motor on something like that makes for an apple-oranges comparison.
    why exactly??? a longer backend makes for easier more stable climbing whether it is a motorcycle or a bicycle...

    you can climb well with short stays but it takes a more subtle technique from the rider. SO especially when mashing a singlespeed; i do think bikes with longer back ends do climb better. that said; i like the shorter chainstays for everything else; so my new bike has some real short stays. the old bike climbed better; the new bike is more funner.

  24. #24
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    why exactly??? a longer backend makes for easier more stable climbing whether it is a motorcycle or a bicycle...

    you can climb well with short stays but it takes a more subtle technique from the rider. SO especially when mashing a singlespeed; i do think bikes with longer back ends do climb better. that said; i like the shorter chainstays for everything else; so my new bike has some real short stays. the old bike climbed better; the new bike is more funner.
    I wonder what is up with our difference of opinion? I believe you are sincere but how can climbing be easier if you have less rear traction and must hang back to sufficiently weight the rear tire? What is relatively worse for you climbing with the shorter chainsaws?

    Motorbike with the hill climb swingarm is simply to keep from tipping backover on extreme slopes, stuff I couldn't touch on a bike. Are you or anyone tipping backwards while climbing? I'm not when out of saddle with 16.8 csl and a 90mm stem. The ideal for me is being able to get the front wheel up easily so less weight there is good for me.

    Clearly there is such a thing as chainstays that are too short (here's one: rear axle ahead of bb) but I'm pretty sure it isn't 16.5.

  25. #25
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    Get bigger tires, I like Nobby Nic's and Maxxis DHR, and go back to SPD's. Then work on strength and technique and pretty much JUST RIDE A LOT. The shorter stem will help too.
    The shortest chain stay I know of is the Kona Honzo. It has an aggressive geo that makes it great for descents. Good luck!
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    longer chainstays make climbing MUCH easier. It is everything else that people hate them for.
    standing or sitting climbs? do you ride SS? it kind of sounds like your speaking "in theory" instead of from experience.

    my old fatbike had short chainstays and it was hard to keep the front wheel down while seated on a steep climb, but traction was not a problem with ALL your weight on the rear tire. it would have benefited from longer stays if you only did seated climbs.

    based on the other responses given so far, everyone seems to agree that when they stand and their weight is shifted forward they lose traction in the rear. longer stays accentuate the problem. yes technique is important and if you shift your weight back it helps greatly with traction but is harder and takes more fitness/energy.

    i agree the motorcycle pictured is a bad example.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  27. #27
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    I ride a soma juice single speed with 2.4 maxxis ardent tires front and rear at 30psi. I get up anything out here in Colorado and we have some pretty long steep climbs out here. For me it just took a lot of riding to finally be able to clean the trails but until that happens embrace the hike-a-bike and have fun.

  28. #28
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    I admit I know next to nothing about motorcycles, but I do know that you don't have to pedal a motorcycle. The amount of torque I can achieve depends somewhat on my CoG relative to the BB. With a motorcycle, you could be sitting on the front fender or running along side it and get the same amount of torque because the motor is doing alll the work. Traction is another story, but i lose power as I gain traction.

    Then there's obstacles on the trail. If the back end is so long that I can't loft the front, i will endo and lose momentum.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-18-2016 at 09:31 AM.

  29. #29
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    Two points no-one has mentioned yet.
    Get you center of gravity lower, try bending your elbows more, especially when you are standing.
    Look for patches of traction on the ground, a patch of grass or weed, a bare rock etc. Avoid the stuff that will make you spin.


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  30. #30
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    standing or sitting climbs? do you ride SS? it kind of sounds like your speaking "in theory" instead of from experience.

    my old fatbike had short chainstays and it was hard to keep the front wheel down while seated on a steep climb, but traction was not a problem with ALL your weight on the rear tire. it would have benefited from longer stays if you only did seated climbs.

    based on the other responses given so far, everyone seems to agree that when they stand and their weight is shifted forward they lose traction in the rear. longer stays accentuate the problem. yes technique is important and if you shift your weight back it helps greatly with traction but is harder and takes more fitness/energy.
    Well said.

    If I could climb seated I'd up my ratio.

  31. #31
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    In theory a lower gear ratio would be more prone to tire slip because you can generate more torque at the wheel. However in practice it may be a little easier to use good pedaling technique if your at 80% effort instead of 100% effort. Personally I get really sloppy when I am maxed out, so I do better on a lower gear.

    Consider if you can improve your body position while climbing. Balance and weight distribution are huge. If it isn't easy for you to lift your front tire over roots, your stem may be too low or long.

    I find that riding my single speed in the snow has really helped my technique.

  32. #32
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    I would second the 'experiment with a diff cog' option.

    I wasn't really feelin' the SS jam when I bought my bike and it had a 32x18 on it, but it came with a 22T cog. The 18T gave it long stays, the 22 were slammed forward.

    I walked a lot on an 18. before I chalked it up to 'aint about the SS life' I tried the 22. Suddenly I was climbing everything and *loved* my SS. I know that's gonna be tough if you're a "masher", but I found I'd rather spin 100rpm on the flats but literally never have to walk over ripping the flats, but walking the hills.

    I'm really digging the 34x22 ratio and short stays.

    Edit: also, definitely try clipless. I tried one ride SS on flats and it was awful. that's even coming from a guy who rode his FS bike on flats *ONLY*.
    Personally, I'd max out bar height as well. I found I could climb better with an extra 10-15mm rise on the bars because it helped me get just a touch more upright, which for me helped the weight balance- I could choose to lean hard on the front, or stand up real tall and weight the back heavy.

  33. #33
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    My sliders are already slammed to 17.5" with a 32x20 combo, so a different gear is not going to change the geo of the bike. It would give me an easier climbing gear at the expense of a spinnier gear, which will suck on most of the trails.

    At present, I have no problem keeping the front end planted but do have issues pulling it up, especially when climbing and vaulting a ledge on the way up. I have it in my head that my grips should be level with my saddle, but that's some dirt roadie nonsense I picked up somewhere. So getting my bars higher and closer to me (stem or handlebar replacement) is a lot cheaper then a new frame.

    Action plan"
    1. HTFU, ride more, get mad, do pushups
    2. Clip in, make use of the lockout
    3. Put that big ol tire in back.
    4. Get the bars higher/closer
    5. Shop around for a new frame (if 1-4 don't help over the next few months.)

  34. #34
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    Or put these on my bike

  35. #35
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    ^ i don't see how a compass is going to help? but at least you'll look cool, it will go well with your white socks.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  36. #36
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    I was talking about the sweet butterfly bars, but the compass will come in handym i don't have to carry one on my Awesome Strap anymore.

  37. #37
    eri
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    1 through 4 do no harm... good stuff.

    But man... sure seems like that Nimble 9 is exactly what you want. Isn't the chrome one calling your name??

  38. #38
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    N9 looks good except $$$, and the new one is Boost. I built a new rear wheel with a non-Boost Hadley hub less than one week ago.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Action plan"
    1. HTFU, ride more, get mad, do pushups
    2. Clip in, make use of the lockout
    3. Put that big ol tire in back.
    4. Get the bars higher/closer
    5. Shop around for a new frame (if 1-4 don't help over the next few months.)
    I sorta think a bigger rear tire is fixing the symptom instead of the problem. Granted, if you can't fix the problem, treat the symptom. But if lack of traction is due to insufficient weight on rear wheel, the solution is getting more weight on the rear wheel. If weight distribution is on point, and rear tire is still slipping, THEN increase rear traction.

    Three other ideas maybe worth considering:

    Shock set up: less sag and/or more compression? If you're getting sudden weight transference onto the front wheel during a chaotic climb, rear tire is more likely to spin out.

    Roll your bar back a bit. This was actually the last adjustment I made to my SS. After going to a wider bar and 17.5" stays, I noticed a very slight forward bias, and had some rear tire slippage for the first time in years. I rolled my bars back just a wee bit, which was just enough to put be back to neutral. I also noticed I could run a bit less PSI in rear with the longer stays.

    Narrower bars/alt bars. Parallel arms allow maximum rearward body position. 800mm bars will limit your maneuverability in the cockpit.

    Quote Originally Posted by cabbgage View Post
    Get your center of gravity lower, try bending your elbows more, especially when you are standing.
    I was gonna mention this tip earlier but thought it might be self-evident. When I went from 17.1 to 17.5" chainstays, I started lowering my hips a bit more, and getting my torso a little more horizontal. Not my preferred way of doing things, but has its place. I reserve this tactic for more technical spots.

  40. #40
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    I don't want this to come across as me being that one guy standing over here waving the sign that says "Your technique sucks" so please, don't take it that way.

    Spend some time pedaling the bike standing, with your arms as straight as you can get them, in such a way that as you pedal, your body stays in the same place. This should have you basically "hovering" over the seat as you pedal. This can feel a little strange when you first start doing it, but it keeps you weight back on the bike, and if you figure out how to do it as far back as you can, it's easy to pull it forward just a bit to keep enough weight on the front wheel to keep it on the ground while you're climbing. I would personally say you're using too low a gear - try a 19 or 18 cog especially with the oval, it's really easy to make enough torque to break the back wheel loose on a hill with the oval when it's in the easy section, especially if you're also going to clip in.

    I recently switched to oval and have been thinking about going back to clipless on the SS, but I'm having a lot of fun on flats. I climb some pretty loose hills on my Juice (don't know the size in inches, but it's an XXL) but you do have to keep the back wheel weighted. Also, 2.25 crossmark on the back at 30 psi. 120mm Manitou Marvel up front. 100mm stem. So, overall, not terribly different setups probably in proportion to body size.

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    I think you're right. while it might be nice to have a more flickable bike for certain situations, I would rather have a "balanced" bike. 99% of my concerns will be solved with a improved strength and technique. I know a bunch of singlespeeders around here and most of them ride conventional bikes and not slack, short hardtails (I see a few Verhauens, a Krampus, Ritchey, Chumba, Salsa, etc) and they all seems to make it just fine. steady pressure on my technique and subtle changes to my bike are probably what's needed.

    I have a 19t cog but the change is pretty subtle and it forces me to lengthen my chainstays a bit to use it. I am trying to trade it for a 18t, but I ought to just buy and 18t and be done with it. there are enough situations where even 32/20 can be a struggle, so I am weary of how that will turn out for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    N9 looks good except $$$, and the new one is Boost. I built a new rear wheel with a non-Boost Hadley hub less than one week ago.
    They do have the nonboost 2016 on blow out


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    If anyone wants one, Canfield told me that they have TWO left for $500 each, as of 10/18/16.

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    I couldn't stop thinking about this thread while i was out riding last night and as i was climbing a steep loose old 4x4 trail it occurred to me that your simply just not climbing hills enough to really learn how to climb them efficiently

    1st let me clarify that i am not saying you dont ride your bike enough, i just think its hard to get a lot of vertical in on a ride when your in flat Texas.

    To be clear I ride the same bike as you with almost identical setups except i do not have a oval chain ring and i have a 110m stem thats right my stem is twice as long as yours!! oh and my sliders arnt even close to slammed so i even have a longer CSL The only advantage i have over you is that my bike has a dropper post but i dont think thats helping my climbs.

    It throws me off because i have such a different experience with the exact same bike, that has (according to this thread) an even worse set up than yours. In my useless opinion I would say that the bike climbs like a straight up mountain goat and on the descents it is one of the most playful bikes i have had in years, jumping off every rock and hip in site.

    Then last night on a super steep trail with loose gravel it was my legs that gave out not the traction(and this was with my 2.25 igniters on it running 35psi)

    Where i ride the trails are built entirely on a hill side, you basically climb straight out of the parking lot to a view point and then turn around for the fast descent back to the car. So i am lucky enough to be able to constantly improve my hill climbing technique while on the other hand i am slow as poop on the flatts and cant keep my legs spinning worth shit

    I survey a climb up a steep loose trail like a rock climber plans out his moves on a climbing route. I carry as much momentum as my leg will give me into the loose spots. Then i take advantage of even the smallest paths of solid ground even if that means pulling a track stand on a solid boulder to catch my breath. I look at the rocks on the trails as handholds and use my tires to pick-through the maze. I move my body around the top of that bike throwing my hips around like a salsa dancer and pulling on the bars so much that sometimes i think the bars are going to straight rip right off.


    The only reason i decided to start this rant is because i saw way to many people immediately suggesting a new bike when the solution is boring and simple.

    important part
    The soma juice may not be the bike for you and thats fine but TO BE CLEAR its you that is going to make it up that hill and not the bike.

  45. #45
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    I agree, but Central Texas, where I live, is called The Hill Country for a reason. There are no mountains, but it's certainly not "flat." The rest of the state is pretty darn flat.

    Also, you are not me. We likely have different body proportions and physiques, so comparing stem sizes (!) means nothing.

    It's been helpful to think out loud with you folks. Little tweaks on my bike might help.

    It's beed discussed to death in other places, but i have to wonder if taller and heavier people than myself have similar problems regarding keeping the rear tire weighted. At 5'9" and 165 pounds, it might not be as easy for me to shift my CoG back as a taller, heavier person with the same chainstay length.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-19-2016 at 12:39 PM.

  46. #46
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    I'll share my situation again with more numbers.

    I'm 185 (but usually carry 10-15# of water and gear), 6' tall, late 40s, ride a large frame, 24.5inch horizontal top tube, 90mm stem, 175mm cranks... I ride 34x23 ratio. I am 85% out of the saddle when climbing the steeps, I sit to rest on the brief flats.

    I am not a fast mutant, but I do pretty much ride to climb. I love it. If I could choose I'd just keep going up rather than coming back down. On my trails I'm generally in the top 1/3 to 1/4 of strava riders, never faster than that for sure. The really fast people (pros) see 40% lower times than me on the short sections I like, longer distance they're about 35% faster. Given my low gear ratio I'm never limited by leg strength - just by my poor cardio.

    My quick morning ride has a 2 mile climb that goes up 650 feet but the first 0.6 mile switchbacks up 425 feet. Averages 7% but the steep bits are... steeper. The trail has a few overhung root steps that require a 10-12 inch hop (one in the midst of the steep section.) Not anything truly difficult though, not very technical though there are short parts you are well served to carry momentum up because there's not enough traction to pedal hard, especially in the wet.

    The steep parts of that climb were miserable on the jabberwocky. I could do it but required a lot of stress on my hips and lower abs to hang back enough to keep the rear wheel from sliding out. This felt to me like "bad stress", like when you weight lift with incorrect technique. When out of saddle Jabberwocky was even sliding out on hardpack dirt, left black skid marks, and I needed a desperate whole body leap to force the damn front over those roots as I couldn't unweight the front with a manual (momentum and unweight carries back wheel over). Was pretty desperate. That was the old model jabberwocky and with 49 link chain and a 32x22 the chainstays were at just about 17.9".

    As bad and uncomfortable as the jabberwocky was on my climbs, what decided things for me was being unable to comfortably ride down the steeps. In this case the bike made fun rides into a chore, made me not want to ride it. Yes, could be my technique is terrible (it is!) but not cool to make my fun trails into grinds.

    I get new bike, chainstays set almost exactly 1" shorter and bam!, no more issues. Initially I used the same wheels, same stem, same stack height, etc, and it sure seems like those shorter stays made all the difference to my comfort. Rear will still slip if I'm rough with the power but much less weight shift is needed to keep traction or manual.

    At least for me I'm 90% sure that the different frame made all the difference in my riding enjoyment.

    You are certainly to be commended for riding what you have. That's what we do, its the world we're in. Your chainstays are 1/2" shorter than mine were, so problem with long tail is not so severe. I really think you should try to beg/borrow some local trail time on a shorter stay hardtail and see what it does for you. If you decide those short stays are the ticket be patient and keep your antenna unfurled and I'm sure karma will loop something your way.
    Last edited by eri; 10-19-2016 at 12:17 PM. Reason: forgot a key word

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    Since there is no consensus on the chainstay length debate (and never will be), would it be reasonable to make my chainstays LONGER and, if that feels worse, conclude that I would enjoy a shorter -chainstay bike?

    Test riding bikes is really difficult. Manufacturers are hardly making bikes like this at all, let alone clambering to get them to demos. I think a few people I know might have similar bikes.

    None of this is going to stop me from riding and enjoying my bike as it is. Just trying to squeeze as many grins out of each ride as possible.

  48. #48
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    I'm currently riding a rigid Canfield N9 with the sliders in the forward position. I think they're around 16.25". I've also ridden an early model Niner Sir9 and a Ventana, both around 17.9". On loose trails I found the Niner and Ventana to be easier to climb than the N9, but the N9 is a lot more fun to ride overall. In my experience, the longer chainstayed bikes were easier to find the balance of weighting the rear and not loosing traction vs to much rearward weight and the front tire lifting.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Since there is no consensus on the chainstay length debate (and never will be), would it be reasonable to make my chainstays LONGER and, if that feels worse, conclude that I would enjoy a shorter -chainstay bike?
    I think there is something of a consensus on stay length (or maybe I just discredit anyone who disagrees with me). At 5'9", I'd be shocked if you preferred standing climbs with stays longer than 17.5. But it's free, so why not? You've owned a KM, so I think you know that going shorter than 17.5 would be helpful. I'm 6'2" and like my stays around 17.2" for a SS, 17.5" for geared. I've had several bikes with 18" stays - they have advantages (comfort, high speed stability, super steep climbs), but I find anything beyond 17.5" to be a buzz kill. And just look at the industry lately.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Also, you are not me. We likely have different body proportions and physiques, so comparing stem sizes (!) means nothing.
    that was my initial thought when reading, but i think the long stem indicates that he's bigger than you and/or "sized down" if he was between frame sizes. this could mean that it's easier for him to get more weight over the rear wheel on climbs.

    It's beed discussed to death in other places, but i have to wonder if taller and heavier people than myself have similar problems regarding keeping the rear tire weighted. At 5'9" and 165 pounds, it might not be as easy for me to shift my CoG back as a taller, heavier person with the same chainstay length.
    i think that's fair, makes sense. I'm 6'3" and never really had a problem getting my weight back. however i did used to break the rear tire loose frequently before i put a knobby tire out back.

    that's the other thing that stood out to me in that post was his rear tire was a Ignitor and thus more aggressive tread than what you run. I really think that's going make the biggest difference.

    lastly, yes, i think making your chainstays longer as an experiment could be worth while, so long as that's the only change you make so there aren't other variables at play.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I agree, but Central Texas, where I live, is called The Hill Country for a reason. There are no mountains, but it's certainly not "flat." The rest of the state is pretty darn flat.

    Also, you are not me. We likely have different body proportions and physiques, so comparing stem sizes (!) means nothing.

    It's been helpful to think out loud with you folks. Little tweaks on my bike might help.

    It's beed discussed to death in other places, but i have to wonder if taller and heavier people than myself have similar problems regarding keeping the rear tire weighted. At 5'9" and 165 pounds, it might not be as easy for me to shift my CoG back as a taller, heavier person with the same chainstay length.
    I've got the taller part nailed... I'm 6'1" and just a bit lighter than you (155lbs). I typically have no issue with traction, even on loose stuff and pretty steep (20+%) grades. If I crap out on a climb, 99% of the time it is not related to traction but lack of wattage. Slippery roots are another issue entirely that kicks my rear on occasion. Nevertheless, I would agree technique is likely the issue rather than the bike... as is usually the case.

    For reference I ride a size XL Superfly Carbon with sliders 36x22 gearing and a 90mm stem. I typically roll 2.1 Spesh GC's on the rear but have run Stans Crow (gravel) and Maxxis Aspen (gravel and trail). I'm all leg so my seat is sky high and does make it difficult to put my weight low and back. I still manage to keep enough back there though to get myself up most climbs I attempt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I'm currently riding a rigid Canfield N9 with the sliders in the forward position. I think they're around 16.25". I've also ridden an early model Niner Sir9 and a Ventana, both around 17.9". On loose trails I found the Niner and Ventana to be easier to climb than the N9, but the N9 is a lot more fun to ride overall.
    cool at least one person agrees. i think a longer wheelbase makes for more stable climbing in general. that is what the OP seemed to be asking about originally; steep loose climbs.

    but then we got into different aspects of climbing; like keeping traction while lifting the front wheel on climbs to get over stuff. that is totally different than putting the power down with both wheels on the ground.

    after reading the OP's follow up replies, i tend to see this is a technique problem where practice is gonna help more than anything else. new bikes are always nice and if you want one go for it; but i doubt it will help here.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    cool at least one person agrees. i think a longer wheelbase makes for more stable climbing in general. that is what the OP seemed to be asking about originally; steep loose climbs.

    but then we got into different aspects of climbing; like keeping traction while lifting the front wheel on climbs to get over stuff. that is totally different than putting the power down with both wheels on the ground.

    after reading the OP's follow up replies, i tend to see this is a technique problem where practice is gonna help more than anything else. new bikes are always nice and if you want one go for it; but i doubt it will help here.
    Sorry to keep picking at this, especially if my questions are considered 'off thread'. Can you or someone that doesn't mind longer stays (where longer is >= 17.5") explain specifically what goes wrong in which sort of climbing conditions when you ride a bike with shorter (<17") stays?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    I would personally say you're using too low a gear - try a 19 or 18 cog especially with the oval, it's really easy to make enough torque to break the back wheel loose on a hill with the oval when it's in the easy
    I agree with this. One mistake we do is gear down the SS when we cant climb that nasty hill. That low speed high torque sometimes already reached its limit and gearing it further lower will only make the gripless climb worst.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    Sorry to keep picking at this, especially if my questions are considered 'off thread'. Can you or someone that doesn't mind longer stays (where longer is >= 17.5") explain specifically what goes wrong in which sort of climbing conditions when you ride a bike with shorter (<17") stays?
    it is just that shorter stays lead to an overall shorter bike; and it seems to take a finer level of control on a shorter bike to keep my weight in the proper balance to keep traction optimal. on a shorter bike, the playful handling i enjoy so much everywhere else, makes it harder to keep the wheels planted on climbs. small body movements and weight shifts matter much more on the shorter bike. it is not impossible to keep the wheels planted when the going gets real steep, just more challenging... that said pulling a shorter bike over a rock step or any uphill obstacle is easier than a long bike so there are all kinds of variables.

    what i mean is this; if i had to pick a bike to try to do nothing but climb up loose steep climbs; it would have a long backend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    what i mean is this; if i had to pick a bike to try to do nothing but climb up loose steep climbs; it would have a long backend.
    what SS do you ride?
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  57. #57
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    FWIW I rode a 16" Karate Monkey and several longer bikes over the past few years. I never have a hard time keeping the front wheel planted with longer bikes, but I have had the Karate Monkey loop out on me on a steep climb. not sure if that was due to the short CS, the short ETT, or something else.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-21-2016 at 04:21 PM.

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    Its not about the bike . Its all practice and technique and traction control. I have a fire road here that's maybe 5 miles climbs 1500+ feet . Its hard packed and covered in 1 inch gravel . Its like riding on bearings. Takes so much consitration to keep moving.
    And for what its worth I have 3 Karate monkeys do need to say how I feel about those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    what goes wrong in which sort of climbing conditions when you ride a bike with shorter (<17") stays?
    I wouldn't say anything "goes wrong" but longer stays can be an advantage in certain situations. Just as a long front-center helps on steep descents, a long rear-center is helpful on steep ascents: IOW, better front-rear balance. Choose your poison. I never go up anything crazy steep on a SS, and certainly not seated, which frees me up to run short stays. This is one of the secrets of making a SS climb well, IMO.

    I prefer a longer, more stable bike when attacking a rocky climb at high speed, knowing I'm going to get bounced around. If I'm relying on brute force and speed to plow through certain sections, a long stable bike pays dividends: less deflection both vertically and horizontally, allowing me to keep my line better, and more consistent traction. Hold on and keep pedaling. Short stays are fun and playful, but can bite you hard and leave you on the ground.

    Then there's the obvious: if stays are too short, the front end becomes harder to keep on the ground, with looping out being the worst case scenario.

    All this ignores the rest of the bike's size/geo, and how it works for a particular rider. But this is my general take on stays. Shorter is always better, until it's not.

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    Cool-blue Rhythm steep unt luze

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    I wouldn't say anything "goes wrong" but longer stays can be an advantage in certain situations. Just as a long front-center helps on steep descents, a long rear-center is helpful on steep ascents: IOW, better front-rear balance. Choose your poison. I never go up anything crazy steep on a SS, and certainly not seated, which frees me up to run short stays. This is one of the secrets of making a SS climb well, IMO.

    I prefer a longer, more stable bike when attacking a rocky climb at high speed, knowing I'm going to get bounced around. If I'm relying on brute force and speed to plow through certain sections, a long stable bike pays dividends: less deflection both vertically and horizontally, allowing me to keep my line better, and more consistent traction. Hold on and keep pedaling. Short stays are fun and playful, but can bite you hard and leave you on the ground.

    Then there's the obvious: if stays are too short, the front end becomes harder to keep on the ground, with looping out being the worst case scenario.

    All this ignores the rest of the bike's size/geo, and how it works for a particular rider. But this is my general take on stays. Shorter is always better, until it's not.
    Thanks, that makes sense. I'm still feeling indignant from loss of traction from my previous long stayed bike - but maybe they were just too long for what I want.

    Perhaps I didn't see the benefits of long stays because all my hills are multi-minute grinders, and never steep enough that I might loop the bike. I'm pretty sure that even with my low gearing I'd run out of leg strength before bike would loop. On the really steep stuff I'm sprinting with the bars at my stomach. I often climb with front wheel intentionally skipping off the ground and rear traction is incredible.

    How long are the climbs where you find that the long stays help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    I often climb with front wheel intentionally skipping off the ground and rear traction is incredible.
    That's the Zen point!

    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    How long are the climbs where you find that the long stays help?
    Short climbs that are either:
    very steep ("Holy crap, I'm riding walls mutherfukcer!")
    or
    rocky messes best ridden at max speed (utilizing momentum and stability to their max).

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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    I often climb with front wheel intentionally skipping off the ground and rear traction is incredible.
    I often feel like my front tire is trying to plow its way up the rocks, which is probably 50% of my problem. the rest is line choice and power, but I usually lose momentum when my front tire hits something. all of my effort is being put into driving the bike forward, so there's little energy left for lofting the front wheel over a step. If I can figure out how to make that easier (I have some theories), I will be a very happy rider.

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    ^ have you made any changes yet? any test rides with a new setup? what are you waiting for? go ride! I'm eager to hear your impression of the changes you plan to make.
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    I am waiting for the sun to come up, my riding partner to get here, and someone who offered to let me borrow some riser bars to finish doing the 85-mile ride he is doing today. I was going to just pull a riser bar out of my butt, but it seems to be stuck.

    I did some more careful measurements and concluded that the flat bar I have is a little higher than my seat right now.

    it's rather hard to measure, but impossible to eyeball. I using a carpenter's level to mark some spots on the wall, the top of my bar is 1.25" taller than the top of my saddle right now. going to experiment with higher bars as soon as I get my hands on some.



    update- rode this morning. clipped back in, much better, but that is the only thing I have changed. steep and loose are not as much a problem as bounding over boulders and up staircase-like ledges. my bike is very well balanced. will experiment with riser bars when I get a chance.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 10-22-2016 at 05:02 PM.

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    if I yap long enough, I always end up contradicting myself

    OneSpeed may have nailed it right from the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    if it were me: step one would be SPD's. it makes it so much easier to smooth out power delivery
    [...]
    another thing you didn't mention but would be an easy/cheap experiment is a more aggressive rear tire.
    I like the Crossmark as a rear tire, but it rolls better than it bites.

    Crossmark + the smoother power delivery of SPD might be a winner.

    Or flat pedals + a knobbier, less ramped rear tire might be a winner.

    But flat pedals + Crossmark might be asking for slippage from sudden power input.

    Since you've got a HD going unused, why not throw that on the back? A hair bigger effective gear + more volume and grip should solve rear slippage, and be a better match for the 120mm fork and bigger tire up front. Keep the flat pedals, 32/20 gearing, and minimum stay length, and viola!: Supremely fun bike. Perhaps that Crossmark is holding the bike back in general?

  67. #67
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    I have a Jones Plus (~19" chainstays) and a KM. If I were to pick a bike for a ride that was lots of technical climbing, I would pick the Jones eight days a week. It feels like it has a balance sweet spot that's about three feet long. Super easy to balance between rear traction and front steering.

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    ^ interesting, but the 3" tires certainly help.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  69. #69
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    That's true, but I'm using a Knard on the rear, which ain't exactly sprouting huge knobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    ^ interesting, but the 3" tires certainly help.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
    RIGID, not "ridged" or "ridgid"
    PEDAL, not "peddle." Unless you're selling stuff

  70. #70
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    SPDs and riding more are the answers. bike's not gonna make much difference (except in your wallet), rear tire might make slight difference....but you might as well wear the current one out before buying a new one.

    just gotta get better at keeping your weight back (while standing up) and using your momentum better. it's technique and strength. gain speed where you have traction, stay smoother where you think you won't. the looser it is, the lower and further back you need to be. which is physically exhausting for the whole body (abs, lower back feel it the most), but that's where 'riding more' comes into play. when you red zone and spin out, don't stop to catch your breath....get off, keep walking/jogging uphill to the next rideable spot, get back on and keep it pinned. eventually you'll get stronger and start to clear the whole thing.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am waiting for the sun to come up, my riding partner to get here, and someone who offered to let me borrow some riser bars to finish doing the 85-mile ride he is doing today. I was going to just pull a riser bar out of my butt, but it seems to be stuck.

    I did some more careful measurements and concluded that the flat bar I have is a little higher than my seat right now.

    it's rather hard to measure, but impossible to eyeball. I using a carpenter's level to mark some spots on the wall, the top of my bar is 1.25" taller than the top of my saddle right now. going to experiment with higher bars as soon as I get my hands on some.

    update- rode this morning. clipped back in, much better, but that is the only thing I have changed. steep and loose are not as much a problem as bounding over boulders and up staircase-like ledges. my bike is very well balanced. will experiment with riser bars when I get a chance.
    Why such short stem and setback seat post? Bar to seat height seems ok for SS, I wouldn't go higher with the bars imo...maybe already too high. Clipped in only way to ride unless it's casual easy ride or around town.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    OneSpeed may have nailed it right from the beginning.

    I like the Crossmark as a rear tire, but it rolls better than it bites.

    Crossmark + the smoother power delivery of SPD might be a winner.

    Since you've got a HD going unused, why not throw that on the back? A hair bigger effective gear + more volume and grip should solve rear slippage, and be a better match for the 120mm fork and bigger tire up front. Keep the flat pedals, 32/20 gearing, and minimum stay length, and viola!: Supremely fun bike. Perhaps that Crossmark is holding the bike back in general?
    Yes, clip in, get a rear tire with little more knobs, that front and rear are not really grippy tires imo. Side note, I personally hate ramped knob tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by nomit View Post
    SPDs and riding more are the answers. bike's not gonna make much difference (except in your wallet), rear tire might make slight difference....but you might as well wear the current one out before buying a new one.

    just gotta get better at keeping your weight back (while standing up) and using your momentum better. it's technique and strength. gain speed where you have traction, stay smoother where you think you won't. the looser it is, the lower and further back you need to be. which is physically exhausting for the whole body (abs, lower back feel it the most), but that's where 'riding more' comes into play. when you red zone and spin out, don't stop to catch your breath....get off, keep walking/jogging uphill to the next rideable spot, get back on and keep it pinned. eventually you'll get stronger and start to clear the whole thing.
    X2
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  72. #72
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    The setback post puts my saddle in the best place for my hips when I have to spin. If I used a straight seatpost, I would have to shove the saddle dangerously far back on its rails.

    The short stem is for the wide bars. Put a 100mm stem on 740mm bars and I feel like a clumsy superman. I have been through seven frames in the past six years, this one fits me the best.

    I put a rise bar on. This makes it a little easier for me to loft the front end instead of endo-ing while approaching a ledge in the middle of a climb.

    Clipping in was the most effective thing I have done. I wanted to like platforms. They are probably great for gears, squishy bikes, but not my riding style.

  73. #73
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    Hey, if you want to ride the BCGB some time (once it dries) let me know. I ride the greenbelt almost exclusively on a SS these days.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

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  74. #74
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    I could learn a thing or two on BCGB. That place tried to kill me the last time I was out there.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    The setback post puts my saddle in the best place for my hips when I have to spin. If I used a straight seatpost, I would have to shove the saddle dangerously far back on its rails.

    The short stem is for the wide bars. Put a 100mm stem on 740mm bars and I feel like a clumsy superman. I have been through seven frames in the past six years, this one fits me the best.

    I put a rise bar on. This makes it a little easier for me to loft the front end instead of endo-ing while approaching a ledge in the middle of a climb.

    Clipping in was the most effective thing I have done. I wanted to like platforms. They are probably great for gears, squishy bikes, but not my riding style.
    OK.

    I hate really wide bars, tried em couple times and I always end up cutting down my mtb bars a good bit. Would have to measure and see what they are, forget, but they put my arms and hands in a kinda natural neutral forward position. Ride, trim, ride, trim as needed.

    Clip in for all riding, I was a flat pedal hold out for several years, but I'm sold now, clip in just like ski bindings.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I could learn a thing or two on BCGB. That place tried to kill me the last time I was out there.
    I've had some trail sections, steep drop-in bowls etc. that used to mess with me, went and rode them with buddy who's good at that stuff, he taught me lots and now I ride that stuff no problem.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  76. #76
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    I'm not a single speeder, but I rode with a guy early this season on a spot titanium belt drive SS. We did about 2800' of elevation gain in 16 miles topping out over 10.5k feet. A lot of loose a lot of steep. He CRUSHED it. I literally could not keep up. He had a light bike, a hard tail, and locked out suspension. But most importantly he had tremendous fitness. After the initial climb we did up a jeep road things were 1.5 miles of loose rocky baby heads and a 6% + grade. I cleared it all, but could not even close to keep up. He had to keep a certain pace just to keep moving! He was cranking up steep spots out of the saddle like nobody's business. At the end of the day equipment will only get you so far. Nothing makes up for good old fashioned fitness, strength, and skill!

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by roaringfork View Post
    At the end of the day equipment will only get you so far. Nothing makes up for good old fashioned fitness, strength, and skill!
    true, but I'll bet that guy didn't just slap his bike together with any old parts. he spent some time analyzing his riding style and setting his bike up to fit him and maximize the effort he puts into riding it. and then he rode it, A LOT.

  78. #78
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    My XL one9 rdo climbs better than my large el mariachi with the dropouts slammed forward and my large karate monkey with them slammed. Longer is better. That motorcycle swingarm was longer so when the power is applied the front end stays down. With a 120 fork and short stem and short stays when you lay the power down you start to fall backwards so you lean forward to compensate unweighting the rear and over weighting the front. Try a rigid fork and youll climb technical stuff better. Also a maxxis crossmark is about the worst ss tire money can buy unless you ride dirt roads or gravel paths. Go to an xking, ardent race, rocket ron, forekaster something like that you dont need a hans dampf on the rear you dont need a 2lb tire to drag up hills.

    Also an easier gear isnt an easier solution for hills. You lose torque. If you can carry more momentum into the hill and have a bit harder gear you wont need to slow down so much before the torque kicks in. If you are spinning at 100 on a spinny gear you need to maintain that for max torque. If you go to a bit harder gear and max torque kicks in sooner you maintain more momentum. Plus when you track stand you have more torque to start again without the pedals needing full revolutions. Torque is the key. If you cant achieve torque till you slow down to 5mph because your gear is so tall you lose momentum before you can use torque to keep going. Try the 18 cog and rigid. Climb every hill around


    The keys to successful ss climbing....
    High poe ss hub
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  79. #79
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    I have been using the lockout on my fork a bit more. there are a few totally insane people who ride rigid around here, I am not one of them. you'd have to ride our trails to know what I mean, but most rational people would not ride a rigid fork in central Texas. I tried it for a while and it's a great way to put yourself in the hospital.

    tires are all great for experiments but I would not waste my money on Conti tires. everyone I know who has ridden one (myself included) has has QC problems with them.

    18t cog in the "cart" at LBS, has not been ordered yet. it's been raining all week, so I am looking forward to getting a taller gear so I can ride some gravel and bike paths while I wait for things to dry up.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I have been using the lockout on my fork a bit more. there are a few totally insane people who ride rigid around here, I am not one of them. you'd have to ride our trails to know what I mean, but most rational people would not ride a rigid fork in central Texas. I tried it for a while and it's a great way to put yourself in the hospital.
    Using the lockout is worse than riding rigid. You still have the 120 geo, the weight, and its harder to lift and point around. Since you dont care about speed just take your time on sketchy downhills and any time you lose picking lines rigid downhill you will more than make up for climbing and flats. If you go up the hill faster you can go down slower. Ive never ridden in central Texas but it cant be harder than riding Kitsuma and Heartbreak ridge rigid ss.

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  81. #81
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    i'll look into rigid forks, but I don't think it will be worth the expense for me. I will have to ride alone because most of the other SS riders (not to mention the gearies) will think I'm and idiot and leave me behind. Salsa is the only company that makes one that is reasonably priced and works for me but it's out of stock until spring.. I don't want to half-ass it with adapters and stuff.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    maybe in the spring when Salsa gets their fork back in stock, I'll give that a try. most of the experienced SS riders around here will think I'm and idiot though.
    Ive never been one to worry what others think. Im the one riding. Kinda like you asking for input but in the end you have to ride the bike and feel comfortable. Your frame is setup for 100-120. I would run a whisky 9 or bowie.

    The cheapest easiest and guaranteed to make a difference solution is a different rear tire than crossmark. That tire is not for climbing ss loose anything. However going to extremes like a hans dampf has negatives also. Weight. You dont need to spin up 2lb tire trying to ride tech. Get an aggresive xc tire 2.2/3 range. Xking, rocket ron, xr2/3, ardent race, ignitor, ikon, heck a racing ralph would even be better. Start there. Find a 30 dollar used tire on pinkbike. Try that.

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  83. #83
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    not that concerned about what others think, except when they are right. riding local trails on a rigid fork is rather idiotic. spending $500 on a fork that leaves me bloody on the side of the trail makes me stupid AND broke. I am glad to hear some people can just pull $500 out of their butt to buy a bike part, but I would have to do a lot of negotiating to pull that off. married, debt-averse people understand.

    If I could manage a rigid fork for $100, I might give that a go.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    not that concerned about what others think, except when they are right. riding local trails on a rigid fork is rather idiotic.
    Haha. You dont sound like a ss guy. SS is about the suffering.

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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    not that concerned about what others think, except when they are right. riding local trails on a rigid fork is rather idiotic. spending $500 on a fork that leaves me bloody on the side of the trail makes me stupid AND broke. I am glad to hear some people can just pull $500 out of their butt to buy a bike part, but I would have to do a lot of negotiating to pull that off.

    If I could manage a rigid fork for $100, I might give that a go.
    You could borrow a rigid fork and test it out. Relax. You asked for opinions. Central Texas is not pisgah or horsethief bench. And guys ride rigid there. Guys ride the whole enchilada rigid. A rigid fork wont leave you bloody on the trail unless you use poor technique. My buddy did the Mah Dey 150 rigid ss on my old el mariachi. Trust me. Rigid is not the problem.

    Also you mentioned buying a new frame!! So i figure a fork was cheaper. Even cheaper is an xking rear tire. Start there. Dont go too short of stem cause you cant keep enough weight on the front axle.

    I have a salsa steel thru axle fork for 80 bucks and a mrp thru axle carbon for 150. Both are 470 which would drop your bb a few mm. Cheap forks are everywhere. You can get a bowie or whisky 9 for 200.

    I still say a better rear tire

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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    i'll look into rigid forks, but I don't think it will be worth the expense for me. I will have to ride alone because most of the other SS riders (not to mention the gearies) will think I'm and idiot and leave me behind. Salsa is the only company that makes one that is reasonably priced and works for me but it's out of stock until spring.. I don't want to half-ass it with adapters and stuff.
    You keep editing your posts. Hard to have a conversation. How can someone leave you behind if you are faster than them? Id say your mental game needs work also. You say you dont care what others think. Show up on your rigid ss and proceed to drop everyone of them on every climb and go home happy. Dont ride with people that would leave you behind based on bike choice. They sound like snobs. I have never had a problem rigid ss at any ride ever. Its the rider of the bike. The bike is just your vessel.

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  87. #87
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    I mentioned a new frame because the cost would be offset by selling my old frame.

    I will give rigid another try if the funds become available. I need a fork, headset crown race, and probably and adapter to go from 15mm to QR since no one makes a reasonably priced rigid fork with for a thru axle.

    I had some luck balancing rear traction and front maneuverability by switching to a riser bar. most of the crashes and failures I have come as a result of not being able to loft the front end up over a series of closely-spaced ledges going up a hill, like climbing stairs. putting more weight on the front of the bike seemed like a bad idea, which seems to be remedied by going from going from 100mm of squish to 120 (the fork soaks up some of the ledges as I ease up them) and getting the bar higher, which makes it easier to get my CoG back.

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    when I moved to Austin, I had a rigid Karate Monkey. before that, I rode all over north Georgia with a rigid bike and never had a problem. after a few very painful, humbling attempts at the Barton Creek Green Belt in Austin on that bike, I got a squish fork on there and rarely looked back. I still like the idea of a rigid SS but in practice, it's pretty scary. I want to believe.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Will try tires and SPDs again. I have a Crossmark 2.25 on a i25 rim, so it's pretty fat, but I also have a 2.35 Hans Dampf among my spare parts that is worth a try.

    Nimble 9 have my attention but the new version is Boost and I built a new wheel with a non-Boost Hadley hub a few days ago. There might be a few 2016 N9s left, and they are on clearance right now. That frame seems a bit overbuilt for my needs as well.

    What other frames are there on the market that suit my needs, in case I go that direction?
    Have you looked at the Kona Honzo st? Sliding dropouts, short chainstays, long top tube, slack head angle. Short chainstays keep it playful, longer top tube keeps you low and centered on bike, slack head angle keeps it stable going down. $500 frameset. It is boost, but for like $25 you can get a hub and rotor adapter set.

  90. #90
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    Yes having the stem slammed like nino schurter isnt the best for ss. So that riser bar and elevating the bar height will allow you to go back on the back wheel. Just dont loop out. My thing with suspension is the extra weight on the front. Its easier to lift less weight. I dont mean weight on the front like getting the front "weighted" for climbs.

    You are on the right track. Im just having a convo not picking apart your ideas. I think rigid is better because it takes physical weight off the front. You can then pop the front more effectively over things. Yes there is also the technique of using suspension uphill but that works better seated and geared. Your reba isnt made for standing climbing. Its not made to absorb the force from above and below.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    My XL one9 rdo climbs better than my large el mariachi with the dropouts slammed forward and my large karate monkey with them slammed. Longer is better.
    question, if longer is better as you say, why do you have the rear wheel "slammed" on the other two bikes? wouldn't you want them backed off a bit, or all the way?

    can you put actual figures/measurements on it? how long are your chainstays on each bike?

    I'm genuinely asking, not arguing.

    I completely agree about the rear tire. ramped knobs are literally the worst thing possible on a SS rear tire.

    Mack, do you still have a crossmark on the rear? please get rid of that thing and put an aggressive tire on there!!! not stupid aggressive, but something like a 2.4 ardent, 2.2 MTN king, or similar. maxxis Ignitor? doesn't that come in a 2.3 ish now?
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    question, if longer is better as you say, why do you have the rear wheel "slammed" on the other two bikes? wouldn't you want them backed off a bit, or all the way?

    can you put actual figures/measurements on it? how long are your chainstays on each bike?

    I'm genuinely asking, not arguing.

    I completely agree about the rear tire. ramped knobs are literally the worst thing possible on a SS rear tire.

    Mack, do you still have a crossmark on the rear? please get rid of that thing and put an aggressive tire on there!!! not stupid aggressive, but something like a 2.4 ardent, 2.2 MTN king, or similar. maxxis Ignitor? doesn't that come in a 2.3 ish now?
    The one9 rdo is my race bike and the longer wheelbase of the xl helps on climbs and descents. Stability. Head down bull charge no fxxks given crash or win. On the el mar and monkey those are about the skills park, flow trail, skinnies etc. I have a bmx and motocross background. So the steel bikes i leave the ground with. They loop out very easy on the same hills the niner blasts up. I cant really manual the niner the wheelbase is so long. But up a hill that plays out like the extended swingarm on the moto and downhill its more stable also.

    I think the xl rdo chainstays are shorter than the large el mariachis all the way back. I dont want the short chainstay rage due to looping out and when the wheel is slammed you have to make more of an effort to get your weight forward and a longer stem helps that, well a longer stem negates a shorter wheelsbase for manuals and skill park. So for me if you are in a hurry uphill the sub 17 rage isnt where its at. If you want to trials up a hill and skills park it ya. Usually short means slack. Slack means slow uphill. Slow uphill means stalling out on technical climbs. If you are slacked out and go to riser bars now you are fighting gravity and youre falling back off the seat. A little longer wheelbase you can keep the weight centered better.

    If his setup works i thing he needs a better tire. Those crossmark are so terrible for straightline loose uphill. They are terrible period but thats a different topic.

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    I have the Crossmark on "backwards." I also have a 2.35 Ignitor, but it's actually the same size as the 2.25 Crossmark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    The one9 rdo is my race bike and the longer wheelbase of the xl helps on climbs and descents. Stability. Head down bull charge no fxxks given crash or win. On the el mar and monkey those are about the skills park, flow trail, skinnies etc. I have a bmx and motocross background. So the steel bikes i leave the ground with. They loop out very easy on the same hills the niner blasts up. I cant really manual the niner the wheelbase is so long. But up a hill that plays out like the extended swingarm on the moto and downhill its more stable also.

    I think the xl rdo chainstays are shorter than the large el mariachis all the way back. I dont want the short chainstay rage due to looping out and when the wheel is slammed you have to make more of an effort to get your weight forward and a longer stem helps that, well a longer stem negates a shorter wheelsbase for manuals and skill park. So for me if you are in a hurry uphill the sub 17 rage isnt where its at. If you want to trials up a hill and skills park it ya. Usually short means slack. Slack means slow uphill. Slow uphill means stalling out on technical climbs. If you are slacked out and go to riser bars now you are fighting gravity and youre falling back off the seat. A little longer wheelbase you can keep the weight centered better.

    If his setup works i thing he needs a better tire. Those crossmark are so terrible for straightline loose uphill. They are terrible period but thats a different topic.

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    OP keeps saying he has trouble with hoisting wheel over steps while climbing. He said it 3 times now. Seems to me like problem is that he can't easily wheelie or manual... and 100% my front lift problem was fixed with bike that has shorter chainstays. Also happens that my rear tire traction problem also disappeared with shorter stays...

    What gives? I kind of think you "long stays good for climbing" guys are full of it, but then it could be a misunderstanding on what we mean by 'climb'. I never loop out my bike so don't understand the conditions when you do.

    Sorry if you feel I've been rude. I genuinely don't understand your position and feel like I have something to learn from you!

    Cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    OP keeps saying he has trouble with hoisting wheel over steps while climbing. He said it 3 times now. Seems to me like problem is that he can't easily wheelie or manual... and 100% my front lift problem was fixed with bike that has shorter chainstays. Also happens that my rear tire traction problem also disappeared with shorter stays...

    What gives? I kind of think you "long stays good for climbing" guys are full of it, but then it could be a misunderstanding on what we mean by 'climb'. I never loop out my bike so don't understand the conditions when you do.

    Sorry if you feel I've been rude. I genuinely don't understand your position and feel like I have something to learn from you!

    Cheers!
    So first lets define something. Chainstay length and wheelbase. Two different things that are being blended together in discussion. Some bikes have adjustable chainstays which then in turn adjusts the wheelbase. My niner is fixed chainstays, steel bikes adjustable.

    So his bike he lengthens the wheelbase by going to a longer travel fork. Then to compensate he can slam the rear wheel a few mm but not 20mm like the fork raised. So then his weight is more over the rear wheel and he can pop the front up but he doesnt have any forward development because his gear is too low and not enough torque.

    With a slightly longer wheelbase the power is transferred at more of an angle into the ground when standing instead of directly underneath you. Like the extended swingarm it increases the wheelbase so the power is transferred in a way to propel forward not just wheelie. The fastest way up the hill is not a wheelie. Yes having the ability to pop the front is crucial but so is forward development and thats a combination of gear choice and wheelbase.

    These new bikes that are short are usually slacked out. So with a 120-140 type fork you would have a long wheelbase need to shorten that up hence short chainstays. Bikes like the el mar and karate monkey are short and steep which is totally different. Short and steep blasts up hills. Short and steep you have a shorter wheelbase but the steep headtube angle keeps the front planted. With slacked out then riser bars and your stem higher you are looping out easier on steeper grades. With steep you can stand and balnce weight in the middle. So geo plays out into all this. I still say a better rear tire and a harder gear and rigid he will clear much more. The whole chainstay thing is a bit overplayed too. It does help on full suspension trail bikes. On xc race bikes a bit longer is more stable and way faster up hill and down. So how fast you want to get up the hill plays into also. If you want to trials walk up a hill a short wheelbase is like a jeep wrangler you can rock crawl, but over loose stuff the longer wheelbase allows the power transfer in a more stable way, not just straight to a wheelie.

    My niner is
    17.3 chainstay
    44 inch wheelbase
    72hta
    80mm fork

    The el mar adjusts above and below that chainstay length and a similar wheelbase. 71 hta 80mm fork

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  96. #96
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    So first lets define something. Chainstay length and wheelbase. Two different things that are being blended together in discussion. Some bikes have adjustable chainstays which then in turn adjusts the wheelbase. My niner is fixed chainstays, steel bikes adjustable.

    So his bike he lengthens the wheelbase by going to a longer travel fork. Then to compensate he can slam the rear wheel a few mm but not 20mm like the fork raised. So then his weight is more over the rear wheel and he can pop the front up but he doesnt have any forward development because his gear is too low and not enough torque.

    With a slightly longer wheelbase the power is transferred at more of an angle into the ground when standing instead of directly underneath you. Like the extended swingarm it increases the wheelbase so the power is transferred in a way to propel forward not just wheelie. The fastest way up the hill is not a wheelie. Yes having the ability to pop the front is crucial but so is forward development and thats a combination of gear choice and wheelbase.

    These new bikes that are short are usually slacked out. So with a 120-140 type fork you would have a long wheelbase need to shorten that up hence short chainstays. Bikes like the el mar and karate monkey are short and steep which is totally different. Short and steep blasts up hills. Short and steep you have a shorter wheelbase but the steep headtube angle keeps the front planted. With slacked out then riser bars and your stem higher you are looping out easier on steeper grades. With steep you can stand and balnce weight in the middle. So geo plays out into all this. I still say a better rear tire and a harder gear and rigid he will clear much more. The whole chainstay thing is a bit overplayed too. It does help on full suspension trail bikes. On xc race bikes a bit longer is more stable and way faster up hill and down. So how fast you want to get up the hill plays into also. If you want to trials walk up a hill a short wheelbase is like a jeep wrangler you can rock crawl, but over loose stuff the longer wheelbase allows the power transfer in a more stable way, not just straight to a wheelie.

    My niner is
    17.3 chainstay
    44 inch wheelbase
    72hta
    80mm fork

    The el mar adjusts above and below that chainstay length and a similar wheelbase. 71 hta 80mm fork

    Sent from my SM-G360P using Tapatalk
    Thank you for the considered response.

    I'm 190#, 6' went from

    20" 2014 jabberwocky with 100mm fork, 24.6" ett, 73.5 sta, 71 hta, 18.1" csl, 32x22
    20" 2012 kona raijin with 120mm fork, 24.5" ett, 73" sta, 69.5 hta, 16.7" csl, 34x23

    The bar height is the same, the reach from seat is same. Same gear ratio. Cockpit feels the same to me. BB *is* higher on raijin which should make it a bit easier to lift. kona frame is 1# lighter. Initially I used the same wheels and tires. I pretty much always do these climbs standing and only sit at the flatter rest spots.

    Is there some obvious difference other than csl that explains why the jabberwocky was so hard to manual *and* it was very difficult to keep traction with the rear tire? Rear tire would skid out very easily unless I painfully hung back off bars. On same trails the raijin is planted, a joy to climb. My normal ride has a few longish steep rough stretches where I find myself pedaling 1 *stroke* per breath, so not going fast. It is also loose and rough and 6-12" roots to hop up and over. The loss of traction in the red zone was a big letdown in these circumstances, hanging back off bike for traction was an unnatural effort. Even on steep clear dirt my rear tire would skid. The huge effort to raise front wheel made me angry. I could barely do it climbing, which I had never experienced before.

    As I've said above the new bike is super balanced and stable when climbing, traction is easy and obvious to control, and only a very minor twitch to raise front wheel. Never do I feel like I can't steer, though I do often choose to ride for 10-20 feet with front wheel grazing the ground, even around corners, as that isolates me from the rough and lets me focus on the rear wheel path and puts 100% of my weight into traction. Back to back the bikes felt hugely different and in hindsite the jabberwocky was just broken - for the way I ride the trails I ride. It sure felt like problem was the chainstays.

    Does what I'm experiencing jibe with your math? Do you think the new bike is short and steep? My csl change is pretty extreme, does that explain what I experience? Can you think of a relevant fact that I have left out?

    Thanks!

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    Thank you for the considered response.

    I'm 190#, 6' went from

    20" 2014 jabberwocky with 100mm fork, 24.6" ett, 73.5 sta, 71 hta, 18.1" csl, 32x22
    20" 2012 kona raijin with 120mm fork, 24.5" ett, 73" sta, 69.5 hta, 16.7" csl, 34x23

    The bar height is the same, the reach from seat is same. Same gear ratio. Cockpit feels the same to me. BB *is* higher on raijin which should make it a bit easier to lift. kona frame is 1# lighter. Initially I used the same wheels and tires. I pretty much always do these climbs standing and only sit at the flatter rest spots.

    Is there some obvious difference other than csl that explains why the jabberwocky was so hard to manual *and* it was very difficult to keep traction with the rear tire? Rear tire would skid out very easily unless I painfully hung back off bars. On same trails the raijin is planted, a joy to climb. My normal ride has a few longish steep rough stretches where I find myself pedaling 1 *stroke* per breath, so not going fast. It is also loose and rough and 6-12" roots to hop up and over. The loss of traction in the red zone was a big letdown in these circumstances, hanging back off bike for traction was an unnatural effort. Even on steep clear dirt my rear tire would skid. The huge effort to raise front wheel made me angry. I could barely do it climbing, which I had never experienced before.

    As I've said above the new bike is super balanced and stable when climbing, traction is easy and obvious to control, and only a very minor twitch to raise front wheel. Never do I feel like I can't steer, though I do often choose to ride for 10-20 feet with front wheel grazing the ground, even around corners, as that isolates me from the rough and lets me focus on the rear wheel path and puts 100% of my weight into traction. Back to back the bikes felt hugely different and in hindsite the jabberwocky was just broken - for the way I ride the trails I ride. It sure felt like problem was the chainstays.

    Does what I'm experiencing jibe with your math? Do you think the new bike is short and steep? My csl change is pretty extreme, does that explain what I experience? Can you think of a relevant fact that I have left out?

    Thanks!
    So few things and we are heading away from steep and loose.

    Think about it like a wrangler and a land cruiser 80. The wrangler will be more nimble and able to woggle around but also way easier to tip over. You can loop out a wrangler its much harder on a land cruiser 80. The longer wheelbase helps the front stay down. Now the jabberwocky was like a crew cab pickup. Too long. Would get hung up because of the longer wheelbase.

    Your new bike is short and slack. Sweet bike my friend rides that bike with an rdo fork ive ridden it and it is way slower up climbs in Michigan. Now if i was going 4mph trackstand and log overs etc then ya slack and short help. If you want to sprint up not too crazy climbs then the longer wheelbase excels and it has nothing to hang up on. Short stays arent just for climbing its for turning also.

    There is a point of diminishing returns on the longer wheelbase. Im not saying as long as you want it doesnt matter. See my truck example.

    My chainstays are 17.3. Niner one 9 rdo. Not the longest or shortest but they purposely went a tad longer than all the rage just for the reasons i described. Its a xc short steep race bike so a tad longer wheelbase helps with stability. Your kona is slack. If it was long it would be like riding a dh bike uphill.

    Another thing of note. Gearing your gear is way different than mine. I use 32/4/6 15-20. Biggest cog i own is 22 for my 110lb gf to ride 36/22 on her el mar. So we are riding way different terrain obviously you have mountains i have slight tilting of the ground. So im using much more torque and speed and momentum.

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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Now if i was going 4mph trackstand and log overs etc then ya slack and short help. If you want to sprint up not too crazy climbs then the longer wheelbase excels and it has nothing to hang up on.
    "track stand" is a stationary thing, if your going 4mph that's not a track stand IMO. not sure if we're thinking about the same thing? i think your missing how steep of a climb we're talking about. the climbs i'm thinking of i would not describe as "not too crazy" which to me sounds like flowing rollers. in fact i think the conversation here is about the steepest stuff you can barely get up.

    There is a point of diminishing returns on the longer wheelbase. Im not saying as long as you want it doesnt matter. See my truck example.

    My chainstays are 17.3. Niner one 9 rdo.
    eri's chainstays were 18.1, that's HUGE! not even in the same ball park as your bike which you describe as "longer chainstays". have you ever ridden a jabber, or any SS with 18"+ chainstays? i think your theory would fall apart.

    Its a xc short steep race bike so a tad longer wheelbase helps with stability. Your kona is slack. If it was long it would be like riding a dh bike uphill.
    lets not confuse an XC bike with a trail bike. you seem to be overlapping the two. his Kona only has .5 degree difference in HTA from the Jabber. i wouldn't call it "slack", maybe kinda compared to older XC bikes with 72 HTA, but what makes his bike a little more "trail" IMO is the shortness of the CS's. that's clearly the biggest difference between the two.

    So we are riding way different terrain obviously you have mountains i have slight tilting of the ground. So im using much more torque and speed and momentum.
    clearly on different terrain.

    I've never come close to looping out on a SS, not even sure how that happens?

    I'm a bigger guy, 6'3" 200lbs, and pretty strong rider. it's really easy for me to overpower a climb and break traction. even on a Krampus with 3" tires. (lots of loose steep climbs here). I used to run 32:18 and couldn't make a bunch of climbs. now i'm on 34:20 and barely get up many of them.

    i think CS length beyond 445mm is a serious disadvantage for a SS. i honestly notice a big difference between 440 and 445, my only real complaint with the Krampus is the length of the chainstays. i would NOT go any longer. the CS on the Jabber is one of the reasons i don't own one. the new version of that bike has much shorter CS's.

    18.1 is ridiculously long and i can't imagine trying to ride that. My experience is much more similar to eri's.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  99. #99
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    so this thread has been up from 3 weeks now, OP how many miles have you ridden in those last three weeks?

    I'm just shy of 246miles and I am not having any issues with traction on the steep loose climbs colorado has to offer. I try and ride 100 miles a week and that seems to help out my riding more than any single bike purchase, maybe try and ride more?

  100. #100
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    I have done 5-6 rides that average 18 miles. I would ride more but it rained most of this week making the trails unrideable. I have been running or working out inside in my downtime. Putting a riser bar on my bike, losing the platform pedals, and a little bit of HTFU have helped a lot.

  101. #101
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Sweet bike my friend rides that bike with an rdo fork ive ridden it and it is way slower up climbs in Michigan.
    I checked strava and there look to be some decent hills in Michigan. Over what sort of course is the raijin 'way slower up climbs'? Honestly I'm having trouble understanding what you mean by 'climb'.

    Here is my normal weekday ride (not me, this is a fast mutant). The first climb is the one that has the short steep steps and stuff and which was so horrible to ride on the jabberwocky. Now that I have my comfort grip back, and can manual again, I'm back to being limited by my aerobic system.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/151657527#3491796385

    Here's what to me is a big bad ride (again, not me, a local badass):

    https://www.strava.com/activities/82205871#1671477758

    The first first road climb on that second ride is a killer on ss, and one where chainstays made no difference whatsoever. On some parts I'm going 3 breaths per stroke with hr > 180, I'm pretty much completely limited by my aerobic system.

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