Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I bought a new bike a few months ago. YT Izzo, first 29r, first dropper post. It took what seemed like forever to adapt to the feeling and handling of the 29 inch, long, low, slack geometry, still feels a little barge like on tight turns. Especially tight downhill switchbacks, which are my nemesis anyways. The dropper post is a whole other issue. After 25+ years of gripping the seat or using it for support in different downhill situations now dropping it out of the way has me feeling way off balance. Tried using it quite a bit this past weekend on some steep rocky downhills and felt terrible with the seat down. Anyone else in the same boat? Suggestions for getting used to it, other than keep at it. I have been at for months now, feel like I must be going about it all wrong since apparently a dropper is a must have these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I also am having this same issue. Got a new bike after about 10 years of nothing and I love the bike and ride it for the most part as I did with the adjustments for size and changes in suspension, I just am at a loss as to how the dropper is used correctly by us old school guys. Watching online I see where they are always above the bike with the seat out of the way. I guess my leg muscles are not what they used to be, but I am still learning.

Steve
 

·
Disgruntled Peccary
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
I hate to say it, but it's either a matter of changing habits.. or not. There's nothing special about it.. It's so much nicer than having to manually drop the saddle though, which I used to do.

The switchbacks? Those get easier as you get used to the geometry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: #mtnbykr and Harold

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
where did you find the YT? New or used. sorry - curiosity couldnt stop me asking.
Ordered it new. After several delays and the entire shipping container literally getting lost once it came ashore in L.A. I finally received it in November. It was about 2 months past the original due date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hate to say it, but it's either a matter of changing habits.. or not. There's nothing special about it.. It's so much nicer than having to manually drop the saddle though, which I used to do.

The switchbacks? Those get easier as you get used to the geometry.
Serious question. What new habits or techniques should I be working on to get used to the dropper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Is the issue that you like to grip the saddle with your knees during rough descents, but now the saddle is too low to do that? If so, you could either get a dropper with less travel or just make sure to only drop the saddle part way when you know you're going to want to do the knee grip (this is what I do, since I have a knee gripping habit).

Or is the issue something else?
 

·
Disgruntled Peccary
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
If you're used to using the saddle as leverage, that'll just take time unlearning.. I came from BMX, so I never liked the saddle when standing anyway, so for me.. natural transition. Also means, probably not a lot of help :(

But I do get it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
644 Posts
I used to ride like that back in my BMX and early MTB days from the 70-early 90s. First time getting a dropper, it felt strange not having the bike saddle to latch onto but I got used to it in no time, now I appreciate the seat being away from me when leaning away from some corners and when hitting the big drops and jump lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Start practicing any of these: manual, bunny hop, technical lift or the punch, endo turn, etc. They will get you to drop the saddle in no time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
This all happened to me too, at first. Then I realized that I was dropping it too low. That made all the diffrence, dropping it just a few inches for the downhills, then back up for the uphills. Now I use the dropper more often than the derailleur. It's awesome.

I practically never drop it all the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is the issue that you like to grip the saddle with your knees during rough descents, but now the saddle is too low to do that? If so, you could either get a dropper with less travel or just make sure to only drop the saddle part way when you know you're going to want to do the knee grip (this is what I do, since I have a knee gripping habit).

Or is the issue something else?
That's exactly what I do. With the saddle down there is nothing there to grip, the bike seems to be swapping side to side under me. I'm fighting the bars to keep under control, all arms, no legs. Never even thought about dropping it less! DOH!
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
31,431 Posts
You have to learn to get comfortable with the bike moving underneath you. That means unlearning the whole "gripping the saddle with your legs" thing. That was never good technique, but tons of people latched onto it when their saddles were way up in the air.

Honestly, this one goes WAY back to practicing range-of-motion drills on the bike. One of the most basic drills you're going to find. But you have to learn how to get comfortable letting the bike do one thing while your body does something else.
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
31,431 Posts
That's exactly what I do. With the saddle down there is nothing there to grip, the bike seems to be swapping side to side under me.
Yeah, you need to learn to get used to that.

I'm fighting the bars to keep under control, all arms, no legs.
You need to engage a lot of muscle groups to manage this. You need to use your core and your legs, too, to maintain control while the bike is doing its own thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
You don’t have to drop it all the way, you can drop it enough to get it out of the way but still use it to your advantage. I used one for the first time this fall and now I don’t think I could go with out it. It was different at first after 30 years on a fixed post and I also made the move to a slacker 29er for the first time like you. What it did for me was make cornering much better, I can lean the bike farther underneath me and get the bike on the side knobs. It also allows me to get my weight low over steep decents. It also helps on those steep switch backs, I drop the post and get down low, set my ass down and unclip my inside foot and put it out and go right around the 180. Switchbacks kill me too. With the post down and the bike free to move below you the wide bars give leverage to keep the control you need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,224 Posts
Here's the advice I give. For context, I've started a bike park and until recently was one of the directors at a ski area with lesson programs for all ages, teams and wide array of features features.

Like skiing, you have to carve the bike. Ride in it and not on it. Get that seat out of the way and work at what keeps the right parts of your tires gripping at the correct times. Get rid of clip/cleat shoes if only for learning important stuff. You can put them back on when you can pump and jump a bike without them.

Learn to pump. If you're holding your bike by the seat with legs you are probably giving up all the advantages of pumping. Free speed, more for your effort.

Also just like skiing and other activities - hesitation buys you nothing or trouble. Go for it.

Edit: This is 2021, not 1982, 1993, 2005 or maybe 2012. Get rid of bikes with stupid designs. Don't ride a racing bike if you're not a racer.
 

·
MTB'er
Joined
·
618 Posts
So I bought a new bike a few months ago. YT Izzo, first 29r, first dropper post. It took what seemed like forever to adapt to the feeling and handling of the 29 inch, long, low, slack geometry, still feels a little barge like on tight turns. Especially tight downhill switchbacks, which are my nemesis anyways. The dropper post is a whole other issue. After 25+ years of gripping the seat or using it for support in different downhill situations now dropping it out of the way has me feeling way off balance. Tried using it quite a bit this past weekend on some steep rocky downhills and felt terrible with the seat down. Anyone else in the same boat? Suggestions for getting used to it, other than keep at it. I have been at for months now, feel like I must be going about it all wrong since apparently a dropper is a must have these days.
Several months? Wow. My advice: get rid of the dropper and install a good old nice rigid seatpost. I did it just after few days and I'm glad I did. Not only saved ~500 grams, I'm not carrying around something I just couldn't find a use for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
A big thing that I've taken a while to learn is holding your body steady while you let the bike move underneath you with the ground. Be the head of a chicken as you move the chicken's body (the body being the bike in this analogy) This lets the bike ungulate and kind of float over rough terrain. If you're grabbing the seat with your legs, the bike cant move which transfers all the impacts into your body which slows you down. Also, if you're gripping the saddle with your legs, there's no way to move your body around over the bike. for instance, If you're going down something steep, you aren't able to get your weight centered on the bike correctly. Let's say you're going down a steep hill and there's a little roller drop halfway down. If you are neutral on the bike, with the seat all the way down, you can push the front wheel into the divot so you can keep traction on the front tire so you don't go over the bars.
I would suggest that you watch some videos of pro racers (maybe ews races) so you can get a good idea of what I mean by "float"
 

·
Disgruntled Peccary
Joined
·
1,646 Posts
You should also play with different heights for different things btw. I love dropping the saddle a bit for more technical climbs, and having it at full road riding height when it's time to hammer on it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CEB

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A lot of great advice, appreciate it. I will be working on some of these suggestions. Thinking about it more as I read through the responses, I think some of my gripping the seat habit comes from 50+ years and counting of riding and racing dirt bikes. One of the first rules of MX riding is gripping the bike with your knees. Light bulb moment! :eek:
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top