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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er and while this thing goes down hills great - on climbs the front wheel comes up. I know that i need to get low and move my weight up and so on.

The problem with a bike like this is the geometry is really relaxed so going down is great but up steep hills (like we have in So Cal) is tough. The bike even has a setback seat post to make it a little more of a problem

So here is my thought, when going down steep hills - we should be out of the saddle anyway ( I am) - so why do we need it way back there. Right? Might as well move it as far forward as possible to help with climbs.

Well i just made the adjustment but have not had a chance to ride yet - problem is i can really only move it forward maybe like an inch at the most anyway. The thing is - the fit on these bikes is so far back that even moving it forward will be fine for the knees (as far as getting knee over the pedals correctly).

So let me know what you guys have tried - i am tired of jamming the seat tip into my butt and hunching over suffering while guys on steep XC bikes just cruise up the hills.

thanks
 

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Well I did. To a certain extent. I guess what this does is steepen the ST angle. Maybe you should try a non setback seat post? Also lowering the stem can move your weight forward. Same goes for a wider & lower handlebar. A longer stem works too.
 

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Sounds like the bike is too big for you,or badly designed. When you do seated climbs that are extremely steep,that's where your butt usually ends up,on the tip of the saddle. It's normal.

The only time it was a problem for me is when I was just starting out. It is also a problem when you install a longer fork than the bike was designed for. Doing that raises the front end and shifts weight to the rear and makes it very difficult to keep enough weight on the front on steep climbs.

If you've moved the seat forward an inch, that should do it for you. That's a big change. And if the bike fit you properly in the beginning, You should now feel a little cramped and will have to change your stem for something about 20mm longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply

The bike is not too big - i am in the middle of a L or XL and like the L fit better. And yes i know to scoot up but what i am saying is that around here there are not too many flat areas so you are mostly seated only when climbing. The SJ bikes have relaxed geomoetry so its not a design mistake just the tradeoff with this bike compared to low travel xc bikes

bigbeck said:
Sounds like the bike is too big for you,or badly designed. When you do seated climbs that are extremely steep,that's where your butt usually ends up,on the tip of the saddle. It's normal.

The only time it was a problem for me is when I was just starting out. It is also a problem when you install a longer fork than the bike was designed for. Doing that raises the front end and shifts weight to the rear and makes it very difficult to keep enough weight on the front on steep climbs.

If you've moved the seat forward an inch, that should do it for you. That's a big change. And if the bike fit you properly in the beginning, You should now feel a little cramped and will have to change your stem for something about 20mm longer.
 

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Maybe a low rise bar and flip your stem or get a new stem with a flatter angle closer to 0 degrees. You could remove some spacers below your stem also lowering the entire cockpit. Moving your seat forward sometimes will cause you to have to lower your seatpost as well to compensate for the change in geometry.
 

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surftime said:
Thanks for the reply

The bike is not too big - i am in the middle of a L or XL and like the L fit better. And yes i know to scoot up but what i am saying is that around here there are not too many flat areas so you are mostly seated only when climbing. The SJ bikes have relaxed geomoetry so its not a design mistake just the tradeoff with this bike compared to low travel xc bikes
I'm guessing that you're new to AM Geometry. Frankly, I been riding AM bikes with slack geometry for so long, I forgot how my XC bike feels but I don't remember ever having to adjust to the geometry of an AM bike. I loved it right away. My confidence on the trails went way up and I rolled over everything on the climbs that used to stop the steep geometry XC bike. If the fit is good' maybe you just have to get used to riding it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well i am new to this - its my first FS bike. Like you said i probably just need to get used to it. Overall i have done a lot of good climbing with the bike - just looking for ways to make it more comfortable

bigbeck said:
I'm guessing that you're new to AM Geometry. Frankly, I been riding AM bikes with slack geometry for so long, I forgot how my XC bike feels but I don't remember ever having to adjust to the geometry of an AM bike. I loved it right away. My confidence on the trails went way up and I rolled over everything on the climbs that used to stop the steep geometry XC bike. If the fit is good' maybe you just have to get used to riding it.
 

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surftime said:
I have a new Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 29er and while this thing goes down hills great - on climbs the front wheel comes up. I know that i need to get low and move my weight up and so on.

The problem with a bike like this is the geometry is really relaxed so going down is great but up steep hills (like we have in So Cal) is tough. The bike even has a setback seat post to make it a little more of a problem

So here is my thought, when going down steep hills - we should be out of the saddle anyway ( I am) - so why do we need it way back there. Right? Might as well move it as far forward as possible to help with climbs.

Well i just made the adjustment but have not had a chance to ride yet - problem is i can really only move it forward maybe like an inch at the most anyway. The thing is - the fit on these bikes is so far back that even moving it forward will be fine for the knees (as far as getting knee over the pedals correctly).

So let me know what you guys have tried - i am tired of jamming the seat tip into my butt and hunching over suffering while guys on steep XC bikes just cruise up the hills.

thanks
I set the saddle position for best pedaling position on the flat, then shift myself forward or back as needed.

One inch is a lot for saddle adjustment. Sounds like you basically have it slammed most of the way back now.
 

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DynoDon
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On a FS bike you stay in the saddle more, and longer, using a smoother peddle stroke at a full 360 degrees, if your standing, and mashing its no wonder the front is coming up.
I put wider bars on mine recently, that seemed to help alot, I had flat narrow bars, I now have higher wider bars, its made quite a difference, in many ways, good luck..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
actually i do stay seated - i have the wider bars as well and love them

manabiker said:
On a FS bike you stay in the saddle more, and longer, using a smoother peddle stroke at a full 360 degrees, if your standing, and mashing its no wonder the front is coming up.
I put wider bars on mine recently, that seemed to help alot, I had flat narrow bars, I now have higher wider bars, its made quite a difference, in many ways, good luck..
 

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Surftime, Actually, lower bars will help with your problem. Higher bars will make it worse. If you go too low with the bars it could give you neck pains on longer rides.

That happened to me on one of my XC bikes. I lowered the bars for more weight on the front wheel and it worked great for my usual 1.5 to 2 hour rides but on a 3 to 5 hour hour ride, my neck would hurt really bad and I could only do a very short ride (maybe 1/2 hr.) the next day. That got old real fast so I raised the bars up 1 inch and that solved the problem.

Sometimes when you change something on the bike it can take awhile for the results to show up. Tires especially, they need many rides at different pressures to make an evaluation on.

As far as climbing out of the saddle on a FS bike, three of my buds climb that way without loosing the front end. It's all about shifting your weight. Shifting your body only 1/2" can make or break a climb. Whether it's the front popping or the rear tire spinning out. These balance points are a little different for every bike you ride and usually takes me a few rides to get it sorted. Keep riding,you'll get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for the suggestion on the bars - i can adjust m stem to see if that helps

bigbeck said:
Surftime, Actually, lower bars will help with your problem. Higher bars will make it worse. If you go too low with the bars it could give you neck pains on longer rides.

That happened to me on one of my XC bikes. I lowered the bars for more weight on the front wheel and it worked great for my usual 1.5 to 2 hour rides but on a 3 to 5 hour hour ride, my neck would hurt really bad and I could only do a very short ride (maybe 1/2 hr.) the next day. That got old real fast so I raised the bars up 1 inch and that solved the problem.

Sometimes when you change something on the bike it can take awhile for the results to show up. Tires especially, they need many rides at different pressures to make an evaluation on.

As far as climbing out of the saddle on a FS bike, three of my buds climb that way without loosing the front end. It's all about shifting your weight. Shifting your body only 1/2" can make or break a climb. Whether it's the front popping or the rear tire spinning out. These balance points are a little different for every bike you ride and usually takes me a few rides to get it sorted. Keep riding,you'll get it.
 

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Your seat could also be too low, a LOT of riders don't have their seat as high as they should. If your seat is too low, you will sit more upright and more of your weight will be on the rear wheel. Helps to get professionally fitted so you have the proper saddle height, saddle fore/aft and stem length. You can also read this article by Sheldon Brown to help you figure out your saddle height:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Scroll down the page about 1/3 of the way to the "Adjustment" section. Also, a little further down, there's the front-back position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i dont think i am too low - but i will check it out anyway-thanks

Straz85 said:
Your seat could also be too low, a LOT of riders don't have their seat as high as they should. If your seat is too low, you will sit more upright and more of your weight will be on the rear wheel. Helps to get professionally fitted so you have the proper saddle height, saddle fore/aft and stem length. You can also read this article by Sheldon Brown to help you figure out your saddle height:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

Scroll down the page about 1/3 of the way to the "Adjustment" section. Also, a little further down, there's the front-back position.
 

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surftime, do you have spacers between the headset and the stem? I would put some or all of those spacers above the stem to lower the front end of the bike a bit. I like mine as low to the headset as it can go.

Going to a bike with a higher front end also takes some getting used to. You'll probably just have to work out a different body position; for me I have to bend my elbows a bit more than I previously did and get my center of mass a bit lower and toward the front of the bike.
 

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A easy way to check is to raise your seat too high. You'll know when it's too high because you'll have to shift your butt on the saddle to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. Then lower it a 1/2 inch at a time until you don't have to shift your butt over. Since the ideal position is a slightly bent knee at the bottom of the stroke,you will probably want to lower the saddle an additional 1/2 inch.

I don't check my saddle height as often as I should. I once rode around for the better part of a year with my saddle an inch too low. After adjusting it, the bike felt like it accelerated faster. I was quite surprised at how much a 1" difference in saddle height could make. I definitely had more energy on longer rides because of that adjustment.
It's funny how your body can slowly adjust to defects in your bike and make the bike feel "normal" to you.
You know, I have my bike "fit" honed pretty well from years of MTBing. A 1" change in any of my "fit" parameters is huge and instantly detectable. Yet I rode around for months with a saddle that was 1" too low and didn't even have a clue. The bike felt normal because the seatpost took months to drop an inch and my body slowly adjusted to it. On the positive side, I got a huge performance boost just from raising my saddle - for free!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I rode today - here are the results

Well i went our and rode today.

This is after moving the seat forward and i did raise it about 1/2 inch.

Well the climbs went good. This ride had a SUPER steep climb that you can see below if you go to the details. Not too much overall climbing and i was in a rush but still the climbs that where there were very steep and i was able to make them. the front tire wondered but it was an improvement. The downhills are pretty steep here with some solid rock sections and moving the seat forward didnt hurt there since i drop the saddle and get back anyway.

Another big change was that if i had to stand and climb i stayed crouched - that really helps with traction. I also tried not to pull on the bars at all

if you click the more details section you can see the steepness grades

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/67749183
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well its about 600 feet gain in about 1mile

The problem is that there are 3 parts that are super steep - so its a rough climb. Only 600 feet but steep in parts.But after you reach the top you get a great downhill

bigbeck said:
Damn surftime, That's one steep hill! I'd need flypaper on my wheels and legs like the Hulk to climb that! WTF! maybe the graph is not to scale?
 

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surftime said:
well its about 600 feet gain in about 1mile

The problem is that there are 3 parts that are super steep - so its a rough climb. Only 600 feet but steep in parts.But after you reach the top you get a great downhill
600ft or so in a mile or so sounds a lot like what I ride at SoMo in Phoenix. The nose of the saddle is up my ass on each of the steep climbs on my route, it's normal. Now, you may have other issues. Sounds to me like you need to ditch that laid back seatpost for one. Secondly, check your seat angle. Maybe point it down a tad if it's not already level to ground. Seat angle makes a big big difference in how comfortably you climb those super steeps:thumbsup:

To add to Shiggy's point. Set the seat fore/aft position so it's most efficient when pedaling on flat ground, with your seat at xc height. The rest of what you ride is just a matter of body position from that starting point. Again, for super steeps...saddle in the perineum is pretty much normal :)...but get that angle proper, try a few degrees lower at a time. It shouldn't feel like your sliding forward when riding on level ground. At least that's my M/O.
 
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