Technique, setup or simply HTFU?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Technique, setup or simply HTFU?

    Ok, there's many situations where my '02 RFX rocks, even climbing, but there's one place it seems to really suck pedally shallow gradient downhills - especially ones that occur in the middle of a longer dh with steep/tech sections in, so my saddle is dropped.

    The bike just seems to wallow into the ground - like its crashing into every obstacle going. It's ridiculously hard to carry speed and the more I mash around pedaling the worse it seems to get. There's not always enough "trail feature" to pump, and all that happens is I end up absolutely knackered for the next tech section (upper body as well as legs).

    Now I'm a skinny git (140lb) on a 35lb bike, so it could simply be leg strength (HTFU), which is something I'm working on. Certainly I feel much faster on my 24lb hardtail in such situations. Technically, I'm fairly fit - I can climb (seated) all day on the RFX and am usually still pedaling long after most other riders are off and pushing - its just the out of the saddle sprints that hurt. I guess whilst my power to weight ratio is pretty good, my ultimate power output ain't.

    But it does occur to me to wonder if it's at all setup or technique related - just the way the bike seems to wallow around under me. I'm running a Lyric U-turn (light spring) and a Pushed DHX coil on the back. Sometimes spds, sometimes flats.

    Feel free to tell me to HTFU - it's probably the correct answer, but its the one situation in which I actively dislike my Turner.

  2. #2
    Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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    could be as simple as the higher leverage ratio of the old frame, pushed or not. 1 of the things i noticed, a lack of livelyness if ya will. it seemed to settle into mid travel and work from there rather than return to where id set the sag. ridin the new bike was a eye opener so i got 1 and sold the '02.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  3. #3
    Pedaler of dirt
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    There is a different technique to sprinting on a full sus compared to a hardtail.

    When sprinting on my sixpack compared to on my hardtail I modify how I sprint through the following...

    I mash and stomp less, on the hardtail I can really jump on the pedals to get the power back the wheel. The Sixpack just sucks that stuff up.

    So, I spin more. I'll be in a lower gear compared to the hardtail and pedaling a lot faster. Maybe a cadence of 100-130rpm on the sixpack, compared to 50-70rpm mashing on the hardtail.

    My body is further back. Instead of getting up and forward over the bars to sprint, I'll stand back and pull on the bars to counter act some of the movement in the forks.

    Lift that back foot. Wearing spds I'll really concentrate on getting some power into the up stroke when pedaling. Getting those hip flexors working.


    The sixpack will really start to wallow if my pedaling is sloppy and I've found fast clean pedaling works best.

    Here's a link on pedaling...

    http://www.leelikesbikes.com/darn-th...p-flexors.html
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  4. #4
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    That's just the natue of the Horst Link. One thing I didn't care for on my old 6 pack, was how the suspension squatted and wallowed under power. The TNT seemed to lay the power down better. Are you running dual plys on your RFX? The added rotational weight will suck the life out of you on sprints, but more than make up for it in the steep techy chop.
    Team Sanchez; "Always hittin the upper lip"

  5. #5
    FM
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    WAY overthinkin' it?

    For the most part I have no idea what these guys are talkin' about

    I never felt that complaint with my '02 RFX. I certainly would not expect suspension design to make much difference in those situations, presuming it works well everywhere else. Tires and overall weight, maybe.

    Now the only thing of value I have to add: When pedaling with the saddle slammed, (i.e. out of the saddle) I find it goes much better if I use a higher cadence and spin. "Mashing" brings out the worst in the suspension and burns me out... saved for sprinting only.

  6. #6
    Lay off the Levers
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    I was rather pleased with tuning the wallow out of my RFX/Pack with the HS/LS compression on my Avy. It made pedaling just like I wanted. As others said, Having the TNT helped out of the saddle efforts and so did using a different technique and cadence. It all worked together... but then I'm slow to begin with so maybe I was fooling myself the whole time.

    As the others said tires make a difference too.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  7. #7
    Amphibious Technologies
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Edwards
    Feel free to tell me to HTFU -
    JE HTFU!

    Though it sounds like a good excuse to get the dw rfx when i t comes out; maybe put a deposit down for one
    "The best you've ridden is the best you know" - Paul Thede, Race Tech

  8. #8
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    It could be that your bike is 1/4 of your body weight. To each his own but I would never ride a 50lb bike.

  9. #9
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    Ok, thanks for the comments guys.

    Being a skinny git i do naturally spin pretty quickly anyway, but I just can't keep it up for more than about 20 secs. It's worse on flats as if I try and pedal that quick my feet just come flying off the pedals on the upstroke (I'm a "natural" spd rider, and usually pull up quite hard). That and trying to make a smooth downshift, at speed, over rough ground without losing the pedals* generally means I end up in a higher gear than ideally i should, and it's then muscling the rpm back up to where it should that really kills me.

    Fair point on body position - I spend too much time climbing on road bikes and singlespeeds so naturally ride out the saddle too far forward.

    singleply tyres most of the time, although the number of pinchflats (even at 40psi) suggest twinplys would be better...

    For most riding its fine - I can cope. Its the typical welsh trail centre stuff, where there's a couple of sections that are LOADS of fun on the big bike, and a lot of flowy very slightly DH singletrack where the builders have tried to eke as much mileage as possible out of the hill side and I have to pedal every yard to keep the bike at a speed where its fun that I suffer.


    * I HATE nasty graunchy shifts under load. It's just WRONG

  10. #10
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Edwards
    Ok, there's many situations where my '02 RFX rocks, even climbing, but there's one place it seems to really suck pedally shallow gradient downhills - especially ones that occur in the middle of a longer dh with steep/tech sections in, so my saddle is dropped.

    The bike just seems to wallow into the ground - like its crashing into every obstacle going. It's ridiculously hard to carry speed and the more I mash around pedaling the worse it seems to get. There's not always enough "trail feature" to pump, and all that happens is I end up absolutely knackered for the next tech section (upper body as well as legs).

    Now I'm a skinny git (140lb) on a 35lb bike, so it could simply be leg strength (HTFU), which is something I'm working on. Certainly I feel much faster on my 24lb hardtail in such situations. Technically, I'm fairly fit - I can climb (seated) all day on the RFX and am usually still pedaling long after most other riders are off and pushing - its just the out of the saddle sprints that hurt. I guess whilst my power to weight ratio is pretty good, my ultimate power output ain't.

    But it does occur to me to wonder if it's at all setup or technique related - just the way the bike seems to wallow around under me. I'm running a Lyric U-turn (light spring) and a Pushed DHX coil on the back. Sometimes spds, sometimes flats.

    Feel free to tell me to HTFU - it's probably the correct answer, but its the one situation in which I actively dislike my Turner.
    A few things;

    Once you've ridden your RFX with someone else on a 29er on the same trail, you're screwed. You will NEVER carry as much speed on the slight-downhills. Only on the full on DH super-chunk will you be able to use the quick handling traits and frame geometry of the RFX to go significantly faster.

    The way it "rams into" obstacles is the nature of the horst link to a large extent. With such a low virtual pivot, the rear wheel doesn't move as easily. I think my avalanche shock was a big improvement in this area, but it's never going to work as well as something like a DW link or even a high forward single pivot, at least in this one respect. With that high forward single pivot, you get lots of pedal interaction depending on which gear you are in, so it takes you back to square one if you're trying to ride/pedal over obstacles, but if you could just "coast" in the right gear, it would actually do better. This is why so many DH bikes are single pivots and still competative, there's a small gear range so it's easy to optimize the pivot placement. So what can you do? Get an avalanche shock? It will help, but it won't solve this.

    What you describe was all the more worse when I ran an RP23 for a while. With the excessive compression damping (required to make it pedal decently) it would just feel like a jackhammer to me and ram up against objects and lose tons of momentum, on uphills or downhills.

    I think that this is one of those "problems" that you'd NEVER notice if you didn't ride with other people, but once you do, you realize some bikes and riders can easily ride faster, and you are looking for ways to combat this. On 26ers, I've ridden enough in the middle ring so that I only need the middle ring, and never the granny. I would (and do) still ride that much faster on a 29er, but being this strong helps a lot when I'm trying to keep up with them or pedal my RFX and highline down a "slight downhill".
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  11. #11
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    A few things;

    Once you've ridden your RFX with someone else on a 29er on the same trail, you're screwed.
    Wow, I can't imagine anybody preferring a 29'er on the trails I typically ride my RFX on. My buddy who owns a 29'er says the same thing.
    But hey, I have no doubt there are trails where either bike would be fun, just not my local stash!

  12. #12
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Wow, I can't imagine anybody preferring a 29'er on the trails I typically ride!
    Nowhere did I mention preference. Did you read the 2nd sentance?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Did you read the 2nd sentance?
    Yes. Did you read my third sentence?

    29'ers haven't gone over well up here. Our trails tend to be fire-road climbs, to saddle-down descents. We don't have "chunk". Instead, we have step-downs! Many of the trail systems have booters and drops that are ideal for 5-6" 26" bikes with flat pedals. For Turner owners, this is RFX territory. I know AZ. is different but the advantage of 29'ers hasn't come to fruition here, and I've actually never seen one north of the border.
    Last edited by FM; 02-25-2009 at 01:43 PM.

  14. #14
    Flyin Canine
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    I didn't see anywhere where you mentioned if you were using the propedal on your DHX. Sounds like this may help a little here. The other thing you can check out is the X-fusion H3 shock. It has 4 modes of compression damping and a seperate lockout, plus it shaves about a pound of weight off.

    Here is a pic of the one I am running on an 01 RFX. I came from a pushed vanilla RC and so far I am liking this a lot. I have only had it on the bike for 2 rides so far so look for more of an update soon.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Yes. Did you read my third sentence?

    29'ers haven't gone over well up here. Our trails tend to be fire-road climbs, to saddle-down descents. We don't have "chunk". Instead, we have step-downs! Many of the trail systems have booters and drops that are ideal for 5-6" 26" bikes with flat pedals. For Turner owners, this is RFX territory. I know AZ. is different but the advantage of 29'ers hasn't come to fruition here, and I've actually never seen one north of the border.
    My point about "preferring" though is that I'd rather have a 26er on national to have fun with the technical bits, but a 29er will be faster overall. That's why I said it wasn't about "preferring", it's about seeing what a 29er will do and then realizing the shortcommings of your bike. You can still prefer it, but that doesn't mean what you prefer is the fastest.

    There are not many 5-6" 29er bikes right now, but they are probably comming. You'll still see the effects of the momentum differences on most terrain, but yes some sections will obviously favor 26ers, at the very least for a good while. I'm not saying your terrain would better suit a 29er, but we're talking about the OP afterall, and what he is talking about definitely would suit the 29er, at least during the specific sections he's mentioning.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  16. #16
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Sure, but we're talking about the poster's terrain, and the fact that while there are short areas where you'll rocket away on the rfx, there are usually big stretches where you'll pull away like crazy on the 29er.


    IMHO the 29'er thing is not relevant to a lot of RFX owners (and thus, this discussion). You could tell him a road bike, or a car, will pull away from his RFX on some kinds of terrain. Yes, I agree! But neither is capable of doing what the RFX can, and those capabilities are exactly why most RFX owners choose them.

    Now only Jon can say, but I doubt he'd be willing to trade in his RFX for a 29'er to improve performance in this one area, at the cost to others. (as he said, it rocks everywhere else). Based of the title, I got the impression that Jon is wondering if there is an adjustment he can make to his technique or set-up which will help, or whether he just needs to simply HTFU.

    Maybe you were suggesting he put 29" wheels on his RFX?

  17. #17
    Lay off the Levers
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    OMFG I can't believe Jnc & SS haven't chimed in yet.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    OMFG I can't believe Jnc & SS haven't chimed in yet.
    **Yawn**


  19. #19
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    OK, so the answer is as expected HTFU. <<shrug>>

    I'll take the point about 29ers, but personally I think they're for perverts or giants

    I do have propedal on the shock, but the setup advice from the Push tune was to leave it off, so that's what I've done

    When the RFX is in it's element it is a truly stunning piece of kit. Especially in the super tech stuff it can make much newer, bigger bikes look really quite stupid, and even on the fast chunk where a DH bike should leave me for dead a bit of bloody mindedness and a tight grip can keep me in contention. Uphill? Physically hard work, but still a lot quicker than most people, and a lot more technically capable.

    So more time hurting myself on the road bike it is then..

    Ho hum.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAPRO
    JE HTFU!
    Yeah JE, I with Scuba. Here are a few words of advice from Chopper Reid. http://video.google.com/videosearch?...um=4&ct=title# (only for the kiddies if they have already HTFU)

  21. #21
    Nothing can stop me now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Edwards
    Ok, there's many situations where my '02 RFX rocks, even climbing, but there's one place it seems to really suck pedally shallow gradient downhills - especially ones that occur in the middle of a longer dh with steep/tech sections in, so my saddle is dropped.
    Adjustable seatposts (with remote) shine in this area of steep/tech then pedally then steep/tech sections... Although, my theory is that they are really a bigger advantage for 5" and less travel bikes...

    bobo

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