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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I joined this forum because I would really like to get information on what I can do to buy the best uphill bike to suit my needs.

I am looking for opinions on the ideal bike frame geometry for steep uphills, best wheel size for uphill, and whether or not it should be full suspension or hard tail. I don't care about how fast I can descend. For me its much more important to have an uphill ride that doesn't hurt my joints.

I have knee popping and clicking issues that seem to get worse after rides, so I try to ride mostly in granny gear on hills, which on my bike is a 22 front 34 rear set-up. Unfortunately, people at the bike shops tell me that is the lowest granny gear ratio they have. Mountain biking is my life, so I can't stop riding...

My bike is a GF Fat Possum weighing 35 pounds, and I would like to buy a much lighter bike to ease the strain on hills. I feel like even with 22x34 granny gear, the sheer weight of the bike ruins the benefit of the low gearing.

I would greatly appreciate any advice on this topic on what I can do to ease uphill riding.

Thank you!
 

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At 35lbs your bike is as heavy as a lot of new DH bikes. Get as light a bike as you can. HT or FS depends on your trails. As for gearing its possible to go 2o/36 which is incredibly low and meant for 29ers. What are your trails like and what kind of budget do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Most of the hills in my area have 18 to 20 percent grades for almost the entire length of the hill. Budget wise, I would be willing to spend up to $7,000 or $8,000 for a bike that can last me a very long time.
 

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well mannered lout
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What you need is a pro bike fit ( probably from a shop that leans toward roadies). Joint problems stem from poor ergo on the bike more than suspension/weight issues. Knee over pedal spindle, saddle height, fore/aft classic type measurements are all really right where you need to have your thinking. Pedal adjustment is also a real issue for knee issues... a good old fashioned RAD test for your shoes may be in order.

( sorry TB) Super light bike is nothing if the fit is off. If you want to throw a little money at the bike weight issue, tires is almost always the first step. Fit is first!
 

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Depending on how technical your trails are I would think short travel, steepish head angle, carbon 29er. What is the bike that all the cross country racers are drooling over in the racing forums? That is probably what you should be looking at.

At your price point you have just about the world open to you. The professional fitting is probably a good idea too.
 

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Depending on the terrain, you might benefit from a full suspension bike. Especially if you have a lot of rocky patches. If it's super smooth, then a hardtail will be faster most of the time. Wheel size makes a difference, but if you have rocks, suspension setup will make a bigger difference.
 

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Just getting a lighter bike than what you're already riding will help you with your climbing. You could easily find a bike 10 lbs lighter for half of your budget. Let your lbs know you're willing to drop that kind of money and I'm sure they would accommodate you with a demo or loaner to narrow your choices. A hardtail is the obvious choice for climbing, but with all the options for light frame full suspensions available, I wouldn't rule them out, especially with your physical issues.
 

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. A hardtail is the obvious choice for climbing,

This is wrong. Hard tails are good at climbing fire roads and transferring power. As other have said if the climbs have rocks and technical sections full suspension will climb better.

The myth that hard tails are better climbers is a bit of a pet peeve. :/
 
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This is wrong. Hard tails are good at climbing fire roads and transferring power. As other have said if the climbs have rocks and technical sections full suspension will climb better.

The myth that hard tails are better climbers is a bit of a pet peeve. :/
I tend to agree, especially with the multi link suss avail to folks these days. I'll take squish anytime over ht.
 

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I tend to agree, especially with the multi link suss avail to folks these days. I'll take squish anytime over ht.
yes yes yes!!! This!! When I got my Canfield One, I was almost worried that it was too gushy while pedaling. It felt like it bobbed a bit, and I thought the efficiency of my old bike that I had just sold had been tossed out the window. Then I started climbing rocky and root-filled trails. It floated up them, not slowing down my forward movement at all. My times with this heavier, slacker, and gushier feeling bike were also consistently faster through technical climbs. I began to realize that the 'rigid' feeling of my old bike was actually hurting as much as it was helping. The rear wheel would impact a rock, then hesitate while it climbed the obstacle, bleeding off forward momentum, and continue rolling forward afterward. The new bike would hit and the suspension would immediately absorb the brunt of the impact, and there was FAR less forward momentum lost. I'm a full believer in suspension being allowed to remain active, with less pro pedal lock-out junk, for climbing.
 

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I usually don't think one wheel size is the best at anything, but if you want a bike that climbs, get a 29er hard tail.
 
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