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Geometry & climbing - Salsa Ala Carte

929 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  sunset1123
I like the ride of my Ala Carte (medium/16") and the "old" '06 geometry of short toptube and long chainstay provides a stable and comfortable ride. However, I feel cramped unless I use a 120-135mm stem and push my saddle back a bit. But even when set up like this, it still does not climb as well as my old, entry-level Specialized (small/15") with the latter having a long toptube and shorter chainstay. The Salsa's front end wants to lift if I climb while seated, and the rear wants to break loose if I stand up and put weight forward on the bar ends.

Is there anything I can tweak to get it to climb like the Specialized? Or do I have to change my riding style?

Any comments, especially from those with experience with the old salsa geometry, will be appreciated. :)
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Sounds more like a technique issue to me... the best climbing position is usually right over the nose of the saddle... ie: not standing up completely. You want to balance the weight between the two wheels, so differences in geometry will require differences in your climbing position. Think about drawing a line from your crotch to imaginary level ground. Now get that line between the wheels on whatever incline you are climbing. Shift _slightly_ back if you need traction. On super steep stuff, this may require a very forward position, well in front of the saddle. Most of the time it isn't as extreme.

All else being equal, short effective chainstay length often results in _more_ front wheel lift, as the center of mass is closer to the axle. I think the big difference you are feeling has to do with wheelbase. Measure it. A shorter wheelbase is easier to distribute the weight evenly over, and is a little more forgiving concerning climbing position.
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