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Would my drop bar mountain bike hold me back?

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Would my drop bar mountain bike hold me back?

Old 03-25-19, 08:56 PM
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Would my drop bar mountain bike hold me back?

My kid wants to go to Gooseberry Mesa (near Zion) for Spring Break. He has a nice Canyon Spectral.

I have a choice between an 11 year old Trek Fuel EX7 full suspension 26-er, and my new rigid steel drop-bar 2.8" 27.5+ bike (I built up from an Advocate Seldom Seen frame designed specifically for drop bars).

He is convinced I will die if I take the Advocate with the drop bars. It has the option of taking a boost 100-120mm travel fork, so I could do that, but he insists that uncomfortable conventional mountain bike bars are essential.

What say you?
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Old 03-26-19, 05:55 AM
  #2  
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What's the trail system like ?. Any big drops ?, long'ish downhills ?. These would be more fun and manageable on flat bars.
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Old 03-26-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
My kid wants to go to Gooseberry Mesa (near Zion) for Spring Break. He has a nice Canyon Spectral.

I have a choice between an 11 year old Trek Fuel EX7 full suspension 26-er, and my new rigid steel drop-bar 2.8" 27.5+ bike (I built up from an Advocate Seldom Seen frame designed specifically for drop bars).

He is convinced I will die if I take the Advocate with the drop bars. It has the option of taking a boost 100-120mm travel fork, so I could do that, but he insists that uncomfortable conventional mountain bike bars are essential.

What say you?
I have not been to that trail system, but I assume his concern is due to it being at least moderately technical.

It really depends on how bad-ass of a mountain biker you are, and if you have experience riding drop bars in technical terrain.

There is a reason that 99% of mountain bikes used for singletrack riding are flat bar.

We can go into all the geometry reasons why a drop bar mtb can be more challenging to ride (especially down hill) but only you are going to know if you are up to it.

Have you ridden the Advocate in technical terrain? I would not want a biking trip to be the place that I find out if a bike is going to work out.

The Fuel is clearly going to be the easier bike to ride, but fun is subjective.

Interested to see how this turns out.

Last edited by Kapusta; 03-26-19 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 03-26-19, 07:54 AM
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You want a flat bar, that's why they come with mt bikes. Get one way say 15-20 degrees of sweep.
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Old 03-26-19, 08:03 AM
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If you have the skills of Tomac, then it should be a breeze for you.
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Old 03-26-19, 08:34 AM
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I basically suck at mountain biking, so probably the opposite extreme.

Really, the question is, if the main thing holding me back is my lack of technical competence, is having a drop bar really going to be any more problematic?

My 11 year old full suspension has a conventional flat bar.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:29 AM
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Old 03-26-19, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I basically suck at mountain biking, so probably the opposite extreme.

Really, the question is, if the main thing holding me back is my lack of technical competence, is having a drop bar really going to be any more problematic?

My 11 year old full suspension has a conventional flat bar.
IF you are planning on doing even moderately technical trails, and if your skills are already in question, the drop bar bike will only compound the problems. So yes, I think it will be more problematic. The issue is not just the drop bars, but the geo in general. Much shorter front end on the Advocate... just look at where your grips are relative to the front axle.... well behind it on the Fuel, right over it on the Advocate.

What it really comes down to is that between the flat bars, the geometry, and the full suspension, the Fuel is going to be a LOT more forgiving of screw-ups and bad lines. Your son does not want his old man face-planting and ruining the ride.

I'm not saying that people can't ride drop bar bikes like yours on technical terrain. People do it plenty. But it takes a lot more skill than with a modern (even 11-year old) FS trail bike.

If you want to drag your fuel into 2010's you can think about going with wider bars and a shorter stem to give you some more handling stability and trail cred with the young guys. Your son will think you are cool.

BTW, that Advocate looks freaking awesome. I want one.
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Old 03-26-19, 11:12 AM
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Oh, go ahead and take your new baby. I'm sure you know it's not a fast bike but it's the one you want.

Edit: hey this is my 9000th post!
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Old 03-26-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post

If you want to drag your fuel into 2010's you can think about going with wider bars and a shorter stem to give you some more handling stability and trail cred with the young guys. Your son will think you are cool.
He, in fact, did that very upgrade. We also put XT brakes on it because the Avid Juicy brakes were a crime against humanity, and a dropper post.
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Old 03-26-19, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Oh, go ahead and take your new baby. I'm sure you know it's not a fast bike but it's the one you want.

Edit: hey this is my 9000th post!
Congratulations.

I might bring both bikes.
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Old 03-26-19, 12:46 PM
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I would take his Canyon Spectral and let him use the Trek. My kids all think cycling is stupid, so I am envious that you are to be able to go mountain biking with your son at all.
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Old 03-26-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
My kid wants to go to Gooseberry Mesa (near Zion) for Spring Break. He has a nice Canyon Spectral.

I have a choice between an 11 year old Trek Fuel EX7 full suspension 26-er, and my new rigid steel drop-bar 2.8" 27.5+ bike (I built up from an Advocate Seldom Seen frame designed specifically for drop bars).

He is convinced I will die if I take the Advocate with the drop bars. It has the option of taking a boost 100-120mm travel fork, so I could do that, but he insists that uncomfortable conventional mountain bike bars are essential.

What say you?

Trek for sure. More backswept bars might help if you don't like flatbars or risers with normal sweep.

I've run Surly Open Bars on MTB trails and love 'em.

I'm wanting to get some Soma Dream Riser bars. 25 back sweep, a little wide for me @ 780mm, but I think they still have room for controls @ 700-720mm.

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Old 03-26-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
He, in fact, did that very upgrade. We also put XT brakes on it because the Avid Juicy brakes were a crime against humanity, and a dropper post.
Your kid is looking out for you
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Old 03-26-19, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
My kids all think cycling is stupid,
He thinks any kind of cycling I do is stupid.
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Old 03-26-19, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Trek for sure. More backswept bars might help if you don't like flatbars or risers with normal sweep.

I've run Surly Open Bars on MTB trails and love 'em.

I'm wanting to get some Soma Dream Riser bars. 25 back sweep, a little wide for me @ 780mm, but I think they still have room for controls @ 700-720mm.

Those look like the type of Jones Bars we put on my wife's flat-bar road bike.
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Old 03-26-19, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
BTW, that Advocate looks freaking awesome. I want one.
Thanks. I got the frame on closeout for $350 (along with that fork and a custom-fit frame-bag). (The longer flat-bar-compatible version was $1K). The frame will also accept a boost suspension fork.
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Old 03-26-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Those look like the type of Jones Bars we put on my wife's flat-bar road bike.

The Dream Bar has a much mellower sweep than the Jones Bars. 25 vs 45 respectively. Have you taken a spin on your wife's bike. Jones Bars might work for ya. I considered them for a while but test rides showed me that 45 sweep was too much for my taste. 25-30 is the sweet spot for me.
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Old 03-26-19, 06:33 PM
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@ogmtb

Thanks. I did spend a little bit of time there about 5 years ago (on that same Trek) and I kept wondering if I could do it on my 700C gravel bike.

Please post back about how it went (weather, trail conditions, the road in, etc.)

Looks like you will have good weather.
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Old 03-26-19, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Trek for sure. More backswept bars might help if you don't like flatbars or risers with normal sweep.

I've run Surly Open Bars on MTB trails and love 'em.

I'm wanting to get some Soma Dream Riser bars. 25 back sweep, a little wide for me @ 780mm, but I think they still have room for controls @ 700-720mm.


What bike/frame is that?
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Old 03-26-19, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Thanks. I got the frame on closeout for $350 (along with that fork and a custom-fit frame-bag). (The longer flat-bar-compatible version was $1K). The frame will also accept a boost suspension fork.
That's a steal
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Old 03-28-19, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
What bike/frame is that?

I'm not sure. The pic is from this review...

https://nsmb.com/articles/soma-dream...collaboration/
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Old 03-28-19, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Trek for sure. More backswept bars might help if you don't like flatbars or risers with normal sweep.

I've run Surly Open Bars on MTB trails and love 'em.

I'm wanting to get some Soma Dream Riser bars. 25 back sweep, a little wide for me @ 780mm, but I think they still have room for controls @ 700-720mm.

Nice setup I need to look into those!

I'd say the Trek will help you to shift your weight back at points so you don't fly over the bars. You're kid will probably drop you in your (awesome looking) drop bar but how much do you talk before taking a break really?
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Old 03-28-19, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I'm not sure. The pic is from this review...

https://nsmb.com/articles/soma-dream...collaboration/

Thanks for the link, I thought it was your bike.


But in reading through the link, it appears it is a custom made bike from Walt.
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Old 03-30-19, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That's a steal
Also a steel.
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