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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 06-21-08, 09:51 PM   #1
TimJ
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Iro rob roy handling

So I finally got my rob roy out for a proper trail ride and the thing is skittery around corners, especially coming downhill. Basically the rear wheel wants to fishtail and the front want to wash out- especially in loose stuff, of course.

I don't know what to make of it. Because of my gearing and how the brakes are useless if you're past the halfway point in the track ends, it's got a short wheelbase- I have it basically at the very front of the track ends. Could it be the short wheelbase?

Or is it just the geometry? Do I need to just get used to it somehow? If so, how do you handle a bike that wants to do that? I set my seat back a little more to take some weight off the bars and it seemed to help a little, but... what up?

this is the bike, got a different saddle but this is how I've got it set up:

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Old 06-22-08, 02:52 PM   #2
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are you comparing this to a mountain bike, or have you ridden other cross bikes before??
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Old 06-22-08, 03:13 PM   #3
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Put some knobbier tires on the damn thing.

edit: And get some proper clipless pedals.

edit: edit: And don't over-inflate.
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Old 06-22-08, 05:10 PM   #4
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Put some knobbier tires on the damn thing.

edit: And get some proper clipless pedals.

edit: edit: And don't over-inflate.
Those are knobby tires.

It's not the pedals.

They weren't overinflated.

I'm not an idiot.
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Old 06-22-08, 05:13 PM   #5
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are you comparing this to a mountain bike, or have you ridden other cross bikes before??
Well I guess I am comparing it to non-cross bikes for the most part, but I did have an old miyata alumicross and it wasn't nearly as sketchy either.

It's really sketchy. I thought the geometry on the rob roy was fairly conventional anyway.
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Old 06-22-08, 06:24 PM   #6
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Wasn't trying to imply you're an idiot.

These are knobby tires:


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Old 06-22-08, 06:46 PM   #7
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I've ridden the same trail on ritchey speedmax though, which are less knobby than what's on there, I think they were even skinnier- 30 vs 32, and I didn't have similar problems at all (different bike of course). I'm sure I could get some better contact, I've got some wtb knobbies to try, but it simply seems like a sketchy bike.
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Old 06-23-08, 07:09 AM   #8
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all iros have a pretty high bottom bracket, even compared to most cross bikes. presumably because they're designed to be fixed friendly. when your center of gravity is higher, you can feel it.

edit: that being said, it's absolutely something you get used to.
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Old 06-23-08, 08:38 AM   #9
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dirty beat me to it, but yeah, generally a high CG.

Look at where your bars are, for instance. When you're on a typical road bike, best place to be when cornering on descents is in the drops with your weight low, like even being off the back of the saddle sometimes.

Same goes for any bike...your setup has you standing up tall, there is no lowering of your CG with those bars. Not to mention the BB is ridiculously high, too.

You could try fatter, nobbier tires, and focus on techniques to get lower. Bottom line is you're going to have to adapt.
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Old 06-23-08, 09:01 AM   #10
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the handlebars are funky too, they probably need some getting used to as well..

Is the frame overly flexy or stiff anywhere? Id ask some other robroy owners, see if they feel the same things..

Id say that within a few weeks you'll find the groove and all should be well.
enjoy it!

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Old 06-23-08, 09:49 AM   #11
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High bb, eh? Awright.

The bars are those origin 8 midge knockoffs, I really can't go any lower without tweaking my neck. I may try more traditional drops are some point.

Thanks folks.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:30 PM   #12
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My Rob Roy isn't sketchy like this, however I'm fairly stretched out on mine, and can get low in the drops. I almost always corner in the drops, same on the road bike. I think fish tailing is just going to happen from time to time off road in loose gravel/sand/etc conditions. Just need to learn how to control it. I've done it with this bike and my previous cross bike too ('06 Trek X01).

Edit: I know those midge bars are supposed to be up high and all, but I never liked how any bike handled with a drastically flipped up stem like that. Nice for touring maybe, but IMO, not great for handling at speed.

Last edited by grahny; 06-23-08 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:44 PM   #13
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High bb, eh? Awright.

The bars are those origin 8 midge knockoffs, I really can't go any lower without tweaking my neck. I may try more traditional drops are some point.

Thanks folks.
It may not help your handling issue (high BB is my guess, something you'll get used to), but I found my Midge bars to be significantly more comfortable when the ends were pointed somewhere between the rear brake and the rear hub. Yours are parallel to the top tube. Whatever you find comfortable, just a suggestion.
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Old 06-25-08, 08:25 AM   #14
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High bb, eh? Awright.

The bars are those origin 8 midge knockoffs, I really can't go any lower without tweaking my neck. I may try more traditional drops are some point.

Thanks folks.
Your rob roy and my peugeot appear to have the same geometry and bb height... I would say also that it's just a matter of getting used to your bike and re-learning 'posting' on it. Every now and then my bike's rear tend's to slide out a little but thats also because I know I'm posting improperly.

I also run ritchey speedmax and do fine cornering, sometimes surprisingly too well...

I don't know bout your pedals though but maybe it might play a factor in the sliding (again due to posting).

What are your pedals though? They look like bear traps with a huge single strap... kinda cool looking.

Last edited by dzinehaus; 06-25-08 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-25-08, 10:05 AM   #15
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Those are powergrips on standard mtb cage pedals. I've got those on my cross do-everything bike now and my atacs on the rob roy. I may switch back though till I get used to the bike, powergrips are a lot easier to hop out of than clipless.
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Old 06-25-08, 12:23 PM   #16
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How are the midge bars? I heard people prefer them angled higher up and the flares almost pointing straight down.

edit: that is kind of an extreme angled stem /bar combination dont you think?
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Old 06-25-08, 12:43 PM   #17
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How are the midge bars? I heard people prefer them angled higher up and the flares almost pointing straight down.

edit: that is kind of an extreme angled stem /bar combination dont you think?
They're midge knock-offs and as they are my hand falls into crook, angled up more I'm basically hanging onto the extention.

The drops are a few centimeters below my seat. If they were regular bars and the hoods were a few centimers below the seat you wouldn't think it was extreme. Since I'm always in the drops on those bars it's not really extreme at all.
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Old 06-28-08, 08:48 AM   #18
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it sounds like your tire pressure is too high.
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Old 06-28-08, 12:30 PM   #19
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Compared to every other CX bike I've owned (Surly, Ridley, Redline, Steelman, and countless road conversions) my RR is the least sketchy. In fact, I would say it's a very chill ride by comparison.
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Old 07-02-08, 10:25 AM   #20
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I had a Rob Roy, and couldn't stand it.

The rear end is extremely soft, and the handling is very sluggish. I think the fork combined with odd steering geometry makes the bike very boat-like in cornering.


As for tire pressure, anything over 40psi is self-defeating, off-road.
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Old 07-02-08, 10:47 AM   #21
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Boat-like is a good way to put it, that's why everything wanted to wash out. Basically it didn't want to turn at speed and getting it to turn would cause everything to break loose. I dunno if it's got too much fork rake, not enough, whatever, but going downhill at speed it wants to turn into a fiery ball of fire if you try to steer at all. It seems to be a lean-only bike.
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