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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I have been on my 29er for about 3 months, and 30 rides or so. I can't get comfortable in the shoulders and hands. I have to "shake" out my shoulders in the middle of even short downhills (1.5 miles). Uphill is not much of a problem as I am on my bar ends.

Me:
6'4" 205lb fairly long person. Pretty well balanced with maybe a slightly shorter torso.


The Ride:

Voodoo Dambala 21"
Stem is 120mm
Oval Riser Bars ~1 to 1.5 inch rise
nashbar bolt on grips
100mm Reba Race Fork (set at 80mm) and 20mm spacer between frame and stem.

The bike certainly feels upright and a little slack, but ok. I have always ridden classic geometry hardtails. The top tube on this dambala is the same as my olde Bianchi Grizzly, and that felt good.

So, I tried to flip my stem for negative angle, and that felt really weird, and bad crash. I kind of think I should ditch the riser bar, and or reduce the spacer below stem. Also curious about new handlebar, but would prefer inexpense options 1st.

Input appreciated.
 

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I had the exact same problems, though I am 5’11” on a 19.5” frame. I tried the next frame size down but it was obviously too small. When I was told to try a 100mm stem I scoffed, but the shop offered to buy it back if I didn’t like it. Well, I ended up going with a 95mm stem! The change in geometry took a ton of pressure off my hands as well as relaxed my back and shoulders. An added bonus of the position is that I am more relaxed and centered on the bike. On ascents I can open my gut to breathe easier and shift my weight for added traction. Descending I have a lot more control over the angle of attack and am able to flick the bike laterally underneath me… although still not keeping up with the head of the bunch!
 

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telejefe said:
Hey,

I have been on my 29er for about 3 months, and 30 rides or so. I can't get comfortable in the shoulders and hands. I have to "shake" out my shoulders in the middle of even short downhills (1.5 miles). Uphill is not much of a problem as I am on my bar ends.

Me:
6'4" 205lb fairly long person. Pretty well balanced with maybe a slightly shorter torso.

The Ride:

Voodoo Dambala 21"
Stem is 120mm
Oval Riser Bars ~1 to 1.5 inch rise
nashbar bolt on grips
100mm Reba Race Fork (set at 80mm) and 20mm spacer between frame and stem.

The bike certainly feels upright and a little slack, but ok. I have always ridden classic geometry hardtails. The top tube on this dambala is the same as my olde Bianchi Grizzly, and that felt good.

So, I tried to flip my stem for negative angle, and that felt really weird, and bad crash. I kind of think I should ditch the riser bar, and or reduce the spacer below stem. Also curious about new handlebar, but would prefer inexpense options 1st.

Input appreciated.
Dude - way too long of a stem. Try a 90mm for your size and bike.
 

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Stem

telejefe said:
Hey,

I have been on my 29er for about 3 months, and 30 rides or so. I can't get comfortable in the shoulders and hands. I have to "shake" out my shoulders in the middle of even short downhills (1.5 miles). Uphill is not much of a problem as I am on my bar ends.

Me:
6'4" 205lb fairly long person. Pretty well balanced with maybe a slightly shorter torso.

The Ride:

Voodoo Dambala 21"
Stem is 120mm
Oval Riser Bars ~1 to 1.5 inch rise
nashbar bolt on grips
100mm Reba Race Fork (set at 80mm) and 20mm spacer between frame and stem.

The bike certainly feels upright and a little slack, but ok. I have always ridden classic geometry hardtails. The top tube on this dambala is the same as my olde Bianchi Grizzly, and that felt good.

So, I tried to flip my stem for negative angle, and that felt really weird, and bad crash. I kind of think I should ditch the riser bar, and or reduce the spacer below stem. Also curious about new handlebar, but would prefer inexpense options 1st.

Input appreciated.
The Ride:

Voodoo Dambala 21"
Stem is 120mm
Oval Riser Bars ~1 to 1.5 inch rise
nashbar bolt on grips
100mm Reba Race Fork (set at 80mm) and 20mm spacer between frame and stem.

I helped two guy's out in the past month with those symptoms. You are way too stretched out my friend. 90mm stem and then adjust your seat.

To give you an idea I am 6'2", have a 19" frame and run a 110mm stem.

also a pick with you on the bike would help.
 

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spudpatchboy said:
I had the exact same problems, though I am 5'11" on a 19.5" frame. I tried the next frame size down but it was obviously too small. When I was told to try a 100mm stem I scoffed, but the shop offered to buy it back if I didn't like it. Well, I ended up going with a 95mm stem!
I didn't get totally comfortable on my large (19") Fisher until I went to an 80 mm stem. After that it was pure joy! I'm 6 foot tall with a 32 inch inseam.
 

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+50 for the ERGON grips, then check your saddles level , make sure it isn't pointing down at the nose and making you put pressure on your hands to keep from sliding forward.
 

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Do you have another bike that is comfortable? If so transfer your position over to the MTB. Concur on the saddle. Use a bubble level to set it so it is level as a start point.

Several manufacturers make adjustable stems. If you can find a shop with one it can help you experiment with some height/angle/reach options, without throwing money down the drain. Not recommended for off roading though. BTW the Dimension below is about $30.


:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the replies. I should say that my shoulders feel "jammed" they are not cramping. I don't think my stem is too long. I will try a loaner from the local shop and see if it helps. I will dial in the seat a little more and see what I get out of that. I might spend on a low budg sweet bar. Looks comfy.

Cheers.
 

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Being a long time SS'er I have found a simple solution to your complaints. Altering your conventional wrist position to a more neutral functional position can be achieved with On One Mary bars. No more lateral wrist pain and the shoulders naturally rotate externally. In other words more upper body weight is distributed to more muscle groups. Heck, it just works especially when the handlebar height is at or near saddle height. Also more leverage when climbing out of saddle, the tradeoff might be a few of your buddies hecklin' you about putting on a basket and streamers on the end of the handle bars... fuggedaboutit, one ride is all it takes.
 

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The dambala has a shorter top tube than most XL bikes, so I don't think that a 120mm stem is too long. 90mm would be too short on that frame for a tall guy. Without seeing you, it is hard to tell. If you want, post a pic of your position on the bike. Balance against a wall or trainer. Your symptoms do sound like you are too stretched out, so maybe try moving your saddle forward a cm, and try some different grips. Then look at stems in the 110 range. If you run SS, get a jones bar or a mary and you will be fine.
 

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May not have anything to do with your bike, but rather, a result of your keyboard? I find I've been having numb issues lately, mostly related to my laptop keyboard "rounding" my shoulders.
 

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You're 4" taller than me yet your top tube length is only 3/4" longer than mine.
You're jammed on this bike.
Try a 130mm stem or longer if you can find one.
Also, a wider bar increases your reach and gives you more room to maneuver.
 
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