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Old 10-10-03, 07:37 AM   #1
fengshui
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GF Tassajara and big riders

I have had my GF Tassajara with Hayes mech brakes for about a year now, but have been seriously biking it for only the last few months. I have found the more I am getting into biking, the more problems I run into with the bike. The first being climbing. As I am building up better and better endurance, I have found that it is extremely tough for me to reach the top of a narrow climb, because when I stand up, I lose traction, and when I'm seated, the bike doesn't want to move, and I have heard others mention it was slightly more difficult because of the genesis geometry of the frame. Secondly, pinch flats are horrible and I have gotten so many of them, but not a single one on the trails I ride. I always receive my flats from riding on the street (something I do for exercise daily), while trying to jump just minor curbs. I can probably attribute that to my weight (220 lbs) and the fact that I come down too hard on the back tire (I have already bent the rim slightly). If any of you guys have some advice for us bigger riders and a hardtail bike like the tass., I'd love to hear it.

I'm glad I'm getting back into biking almost a year since I got the bike, but I can already tell there is no going back. And the clipless pedals I got really keep me glued down, so no more pedal foot slips which scare me to death!

It feels good to be back!

chris
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Old 10-10-03, 08:18 AM   #2
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220 lbs, heck you're a lightweight by my standards!

We clydesdales are very abusive on our gear. The biggest problem as you have learned is the wheels. To avoid getting as many pinch flats, simply increase tire pressure. If that doesn't help, go to a wider tire. My guess is that your bike came stock with 26x1.95 or 26x2.1 tires. You could move up to about a 2.3" tire. The added volume will help reduce the dreaded "snake bite". That and of course getting better at bunny hopping, so you don't smack the edge of the curb.

As far as climbing goes, it has a lot to do with technique. Stay seated, move to the front of the saddle, bend forward at the hips and try to drop your shoulders towards the stem, keep your elbows tucked in and pull back on the bars. Shift into the gear you think you'll need before you start climbing to avoid mid-climb shifts (puts a lot of torque on the drivetrain).

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Old 10-10-03, 09:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
220 lbs, heck you're a lightweight by my standards!

We clydesdales are very abusive on our gear
ohhh man you probably eat featherweights like me for breakfast.....
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Old 10-12-03, 01:39 PM   #4
fengshui
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What do you guys recommend for a good 2.3" tire? Right now I have IRC Mythos XC front and back which came stock on the Tassajara.

chris
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Old 10-12-03, 01:57 PM   #5
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Look at Nokian NBX 2.3's or Kenda Kinetic's 2.35's Stick-E rubber. Both are great tires for average conditions.

As far as climbing. Hardtail's + rooty and rocky climbs = trouble while seated. I used to ride a Stumpjumper Hardtail and seated climbs would make me lose traction more than standing.

When I climb (a hardtail), I just gear up, stand up, lean a bit foward (to keep the nose down). This way you can move your legs and arms to counter bumps and keep the rear wheel on the ground. If you are going into a smooth climb, gear down and stay seated (lean foward, slide to the nose of the seat). If you are geared down, and you stand up, you'll lose traction very quickly. Gearing up prevents this (like a 2nd gear start in a car in the snow or rain).

Pinch flats are a matter of knowing how to bunnyhop and land correctly. Bunnyhopping throw your weight backwards pulling up on the bars. Throw your weight foward and kick up and backwards with your feet to suck the bike under you. Takes a good while to learn how to hop correctly. Land with both wheels flat on the ground.

Just my .02
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