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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The thing is I have a Scott hardtail XC. Infact it's a racing oriented XC. But the trails I ride are on the AM side or at least aggresive XC (continuous ledges of jagged rocks, very rocky on the whole, kinda nasty stuff to be making many mistakes in).
I was wondering if anyone had any advice about what could be done relatively cheaply (if anything) to make this bike more suitable to this terrain.

Changing the front shock (rock shox-duke SL - 80mm) is out of the question as I can't afford it at the moment.

I was thinking maybe tyre width (I currently have 2.0 back, 2.1 front) , stem, handlebars...? Will anything like this make any difference?

Any thoughts much appreciated. Cheers :thumbsup:
 

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Actually the term All mtn. is more of a marketing ploy than an actual fact based design difference in the two bikes you mention. It was instituted to convince the biking masses that they needed a specific bike for riding these trails. While most all mtn. bikes we see advertised are full suspension this in no way defines the type of bike used to ride all mtn. I see at least a few rigid bikes riding the trails that the bike industry would lead you to believe are all mtn.

The bike mfr industry would like you to believe that all mtn. is just that bit more rough and tumble than the slightly smoother perhaps slightly less technical cross country trails. In reality there is no difference between the two and the difference between the two types of bikes is more in bump sucking comfort than anything else. Here in Maine unless you're on a paved road those who label such things would likely have to admit we have no xc trails here with all the roots and rocks. In reality if a trail is in the country and you ride it you're riding cross country and if you're comfortable on the bike you ride then forget the labels. Remember that in the beginning they rode everything on a rigid bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure I get you. I was just thinking that with maybe changing the front tyre to perhaps something like 2.3 would allow me to relax a bit more on the way down these mothers, rather than continuously having to seek the most efficient hardtail line.
 

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Yes you can

Fred makes some valid points about the differences (or lack thereof) between XC and AM. It's a very blurry line at times. If your Scott has a racing bike geometry and specs, then you're going to be pretty stretched out within the cockpit. You probably have a long stem with very little rise and the bars are probably flat. This is a great set up if you like going fast on twisty singletrack, but might be a bit sketchy in the terrain you describe. Your bike obviously navigates the terrain now, but you might feel too far forward in areas where you have steep inclines or small drops.

You can make certain changes to make the cockpit more upright as is the case in many bikes marketed as AM bikes. Nothing can be done about the head angle (slightly slacker head angles on AM bikes) but you can put riser bars and a shorter stem with a higher rise that gives you a less stretched out, more upright posture typically associated with this type of bike.

I hope this makes sense.

Bob
 

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You are right on about the larger volume tires taking a bit of the sting out of the trail. They will certainly help...if your frame will tolerate them in the rear. Many XC racing frames weren't designed to carry much more than a 2.1. You may want to borrow a big tire from someone and test it out before springing for a purchase only to be disappointed.
 

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A fatter tyre, at least in front should help a little.
Shorter stem or higher bar are also possibilities, if you'd like to be more upright on the bike.
 

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Call_me_Clyde said:
You can make certain changes to make the cockpit more upright as is the case in many bikes marketed as AM bikes. Nothing can be done about the head angle (slightly slacker head angles on AM bikes) but you can put riser bars and a shorter stem with a higher rise that gives you a less stretched out, more upright posture typically associated with this type of bike.

I hope this makes sense.

Bob
Would a slightly smaller XC frame than you usually ride also give you the same effect?

Az
 

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I just replaced the old 2.1 tires for 2.3 tires and swapped out the long stem and flat bars on my Rocky Mountain Hammer for a shorty stem and riser bars. My forks could run a 2.4 in the front but I will wait till the new tire I have wears out. The bike is a lot more fun now when the trail gets technical and the fatter tires.
 

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That's about all I'd suggest - short stem & riser bars and as wide a tyre as you can fit in.

Maybe also drop the seatpost a bit, and if you are feeling particularly 'rad' and want to fully sign up with the pisspot helmeted hoardes, maybe drop your big chainring for a bashguard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great. I'm looking forward to the changes ! (Not looking forward to spending $200 but what can you do).
 

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I have to say going from a XC bike to a AM rig has made me fall in love with mountain biking again. If I knew what I knew now I would have swapped out my tires/handlebar/stem first on my XC bike before buying a new bike. This is totally off-topic but doesn't anyone make a "AM" hardtail or a lightweight hardtail with more slack geometry than a typical XC frame? i know all about the more freeride/downhill hardtails but those seem a bit heavy and excessive.
 

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captain spaulding said:
This is totally off-topic but doesn't anyone make a "AM" hardtail or a lightweight hardtail with more slack geometry than a typical XC frame? i know all about the more freeride/downhill hardtails but those seem a bit heavy and excessive.
On One Inbred 456 can take up to a 6" fork. Frame weight is around 4.5 lbs. I don't think it's a huck machine, I prefer to call it a long travel hardtail... I also have a frame I built myself that weighs 4.25 lbs and has a 5" fork (68 degree HA). With a 3" fork it has a 70 degree HA. I did not put gussets in the down tube or head tube but I did pump up the bottom of the down tube with an extra bit of brass just in case.
 

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captain spaulding said:
I have to say going from a XC bike to a AM rig has made me fall in love with mountain biking again. If I knew what I knew now I would have swapped out my tires/handlebar/stem first on my XC bike before buying a new bike. This is totally off-topic but doesn't anyone make a "AM" hardtail or a lightweight hardtail with more slack geometry than a typical XC frame? i know all about the more freeride/downhill hardtails but those seem a bit heavy and excessive.
The Banshee Viento is a nice hardtail that can fullfill this. It can take from a 100mm to 160mm fork, and is tough, but not heavy. I have one and I'm glad about it.
 

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This is what I did

I am currently riding a Giant XTC. I live in the Pacific NW so I adjusted some things. I went up to a 2.3 tire front and back, and went up to 100 mm fork (120 may have been a better choice) and shortened to 100 mm stem (some go 90 but I like the climbing feel of 100). You already know I'm sure (but with a race bike) disc brakes are the way to go. All of this has done quite a bit to mellow the harshness of a lighter "race" (XC) bike ride. This makes rolling all day over root and rock a lot more comfortable. A racer may feel like the zip acceleration is gone but it makes a big difference on the downs.

As far as budget upgrades, I like the Marzzochi MX series with the ETA 120-100. The fork can take a beating. Hayes HFX 9's are on sale everywhere, but I like the feel of Avid Mech.

Just my two cents, I hope it's helpful. By the way this is my first post, thanks for pulling from the ranks of a Lurker. Oh, and I am seriouly considering a Viento frame. Though the biking buddies insist full suspension is the way to go.
 

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TrailBum said:
I am currently riding a Giant XTC. I live in the Pacific NW so I adjusted some things. I went up to a 2.3 tire front and back, and went up to 100 mm fork (120 may have been a better choice) and shortened to 100 mm stem (some go 90 but I like the climbing feel of 100). You already know I'm sure (but with a race bike) disc brakes are the way to go. All of this has done quite a bit to mellow the harshness of a lighter "race" (XC) bike ride. This makes rolling all day over root and rock a lot more comfortable. A racer may feel like the zip acceleration is gone but it makes a big difference on the downs.

As far as budget upgrades, I like the Marzzochi MX series with the ETA 120-100. The fork can take a beating. Hayes HFX 9's are on sale everywhere, but I like the feel of Avid Mech.

Just my two cents, I hope it's helpful. By the way this is my first post, thanks for pulling from the ranks of a Lurker. Oh, and I am seriouly considering a Viento frame. Though the biking buddies insist full suspension is the way to go.
By the way, I have a Viento, and boy, that bike is awesome!

 
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