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Old 02-14-03, 02:50 PM   #1
Ktulu
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Making the bike handle better...how?

Hey guys,

I can make my bike handle better by changing up the geometry of some of the components, right? Like using a longer or shorter stem with more or less of an angle? What about the length of the handlebars? I'm going to be getting a new stem and handlebar. I'm probably going to be going with a raceface bar. Should I get the air alloy or low-riser?

This is for tight singletrack btw.

Peace
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Old 02-14-03, 02:54 PM   #2
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What i've noticed is that a longer stem with a shorter bar works well to keep that aggressive position and have quick handling. If you want more laz geometry you can get a shorter stem and wide bar. The short stem would make it steer quicker, but the wider bar would slow it down some. There's a lot of variable that can go into this, but basically all good bars are sold at 26"(pretty good width) and stems come in tons of differant length and angles(**** dont know how to say that properly)
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Old 02-14-03, 02:56 PM   #3
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What's wrong with the bike now? Does it steer too fast or too slow? Are you comfortable on the bike? Do you feel crunched up, or too stretched out? Do you want to be in an upright position or a more forward position?

What type of riding do you mostly do? XC Racing, XC Long Rides, Aggressive XC (long rides w/occasional jumps), more Freeriding (FR), big drops, small drops...etc.

What kinda bike do you currently have?

How much money do you want to spend?

What's your favorite color?

What's your dog's name?

Do you remember your first love?

Ooops, I'm rambling!

L8R
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Old 02-14-03, 02:57 PM   #4
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Well, what sort of handling properties are you looking for? There are tight singletrack sections on dh and xc courses - with dramatically different bike set-ups for each. Without meaning to sound flip, the best way to improve handling is to ride often.
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Old 02-14-03, 02:59 PM   #5
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I guess you can gather from the flurry of responses that your question requires more information.

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Old 02-14-03, 03:25 PM   #6
Ktulu
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Wow! You guys are fast!

Anyway, by technical singletrack, I meant more like "xc long ride." I do plan on starting up with xc racing when I get some more time.

I'm riding a 98' cannondale f400 right now. I thought the handling was awsome...but then I aquired a 98' Trek 9900. The "turn in" is so much more responsive. I really had no idea what a high end bike felt like untill I rode the Trek.

Another thing, the Trek is too big for me. What I want to do is sell the trek (A LBS quoted me a LOT more for trade in value then what I bought it for ) and build up the c-dale. The frame itself fits me pretty well.

Comparing the two bikes; The frame is obviously a few inches longer on the trek. The trek's handlebar (race face air alloy) is about a full inch shorter then the c-dale's. The stem is a tad longer on the trek and a tad...lesser angle. I don't know how to phrase the either

So basically, I want the bike to have quicker response with less effort. I ride in lots of trees with quik, sharp, but short turns (mostly). I don't really ever jump it.

I think I answered most of your questions, but If you need anything else just ask.

Thanks!

p.s.

What's your favorite color?
Dark green.
What's your dog's name?
No dog, but the cat is called Kilo
Do you remember your first love?
yes

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Old 02-14-03, 03:50 PM   #7
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Alright we have something to work with now. First off i think you should get a low rise riser handlebar to get you more upright w/o going straight up like on a DH bike. ie http://www.eastonbike.com/COMPONENTS...ise.ml-xc.html

with the riser bar you'd want a stem with less rise since the riser handlebar will kick up the front end of the bike a bit and to keep steering crisp get a stem on the shorter side. The length is more of a fit thing, but the rise in the stem(to help the handling) should be about 8 degrees(not real sure)

hope this helps


BTW good question. This is the first one in a while that actually makes me think
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Old 02-14-03, 06:32 PM   #8
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Trust me, a better fitting bike will be ridden much more. It's hard to change geometry, about the only thing you can do is raise your front by putting a longer travel fork and thus making the head angle slacker (a good thing, IMHO). By changing the way you sit, or the way the bars feel, will not change the geomtrey of the bike. I'm a big boy, and I have a "bash and crash" style of riding, so I like a slack head angle to make a bike more forgiving of my riding mistakes. Real technical riders who like to climb usually like steep head angles so their bikes are more responsive. To each his own, I always say. But no matter, a better fitting bike will work better for EVERYONE.
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Old 02-14-03, 11:41 PM   #9
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If your bike is a headshock model (don't recall if they were back then), you will be rather limited in your stem options. A good idea is to find a LBS where there's a shop guy whose riding style is similar to yours and see if he'll help you out with the fit and swapping of stems/bars.
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Old 02-15-03, 12:04 AM   #10
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I deffinitely need a new stem. I wonder where I can get one in a shorter length with higher rise? My bike makes me stretch out too far. Good for XC racing, but makes my neck sore after long rides...


Anyone got any links on where I can buy one?
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Old 02-15-03, 11:06 PM   #11
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Jim, Other than Cannondale, the only source I know of for stems that fit a headshok or lefty is Profile Design and a company out of Austria called RooX that a dealer has on ebay alot. Here's a link to Profile Design:
http://www.profile-design.com/mtbstems_stiffy.html
Cambria had the Profile Design at one time, ebay sometimes.
Really, I think the Cannondale stems are as good as anything, and about the same price if not better than the aftermarket ones.
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Old 02-16-03, 12:19 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help guys! And no, its not a headshock or lefty. Just the "regular" type.
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Old 02-16-03, 04:29 PM   #13
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O.K., you've got a F400 with probably what? A Rock Shox Jett fork on it?

Is the Steertube Huge (BeerCan Size?) and has some reducer cups, or is it similar in size to the Trek's?

There are a lot of things you can do to affect the steering of the bike. Relize that the longer the stem, the slower the bike will steer. The shorter the stem, the quicker it'll steer. Also, the wider the handlebars, the slower you'll steer, however, you'll have better leverage.

For a more XC Racing oriented cockpit, generally you'll see a longer stem 110 to 130 mm length with either a 0 degree rise or a 5 degree rise. The usuallt run a flat bar in about a 24 to 25" width. The bar usually has a 3 degree sweep to it.

The current trend for freeriding and general fun rides is to go with a shorter stem and riser bars. The stems are usually shorter 90 to 110 mm length, the riser bars have a 1.5 to 2.5" rise to them and have a 5 degree sweep. Plus, they're usually wider about 26" min.

One of the most significant changes you can make will be to swap out the forks to a better, more responsive fork. Then, switching to a different stem/handlebar combo.

Good Luck.
L8R
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Old 02-17-03, 10:17 AM   #14
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The fork is an Indy S. And yes, the steertube is huge.....umm, don't know what reducer caps are. The one on the Trek is a z.2 Bam.

I do plan on getting a new fork. Probably a skareb comp, but I haven't really decided yet.

I'm going to call the LBS today and see if they will let me try out different stems and whatnot. I remember seeing a box of used looking stems sitting out last time I was there.
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