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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought that I had it all figured out. Longer, lower stem and bar = better climbing. I had a 100mm 5 deg stem and a .75" riser bar. After some experimentation on my vacation I ended up with a 90mm 10 deg stem and a 1.5" riser bar. Same amount of spacers so my position moved up and back. Descending was great which was no suprise bit climbing felt better as well. Climbing steep smooth slickrock pitches or rocky ledges was pretty easy and felt better than my old set up. I'm 5'10" on a medium 5 Spot.
 

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I've found that being too far forward makes uphill riding much worse. It's harder to get the wheel over rocks and such.

This is one reason I hate marzocchi ETA. It goes too far down and makes the front uslessly heavy feeling. It only works for fire roads, but then again, who needs to drop a fork for fire roads?


90mm stem is still pretty long by most agressive rider standards. Seems like your last one was waaay too long. It's 60mm or shorter where the wheel starts feeling pretty light up front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ummm, Yea

No big deal. 90 degree drop for +1000'. I need to go true my wheels.
 

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Travis Bickle said:
I thought that I had it all figured out. Longer, lower stem and bar = better climbing. .
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "better".

If your climbing is steep enough that you have to scoot forward onto the nose of your saddle to keep the front wheel planted, then longer and lower bars will allow you to stay back on the seat and will give you a mechanical advantage.

If, on the other hand, your climbing is not steep enough to have to worry about keeping the front wheel down, then you can take advantage of a more upright position which is more comfortable.

"Lower" and "longer" only help with keeping the front wheel down and cutting wind resistance. There is also the mechanical advantage of being able to pull harder on the bars in a climbing effort, but that only comes into play in very steep terrain or racing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Steep

The climbing on what I refer to as "super steep" terrain was easier with the front wheel staying put. I also found I wasn't as far foreward on the saddle as I was before.
 

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I have found the exact same thing when switching to a shorter stem and putting a riser bar on my bike. I believe this is due to the fact that your hands/arms are further underneath you so you don't have to lean as far forward to weight the front wheel. Also it is easier to maintain the traction balance between the front and rear wheel since your body is more centered over the bike. The bike goes both down hills easier and climbs steep technical hills easier.
 
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