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The original "AS" of MTBR
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding an Intense 6.6 for a few months. Coming off a few years of Horst linked bikes, I gotta say that I am really getting turned off by the VPP system on the larger travel model. Beside the rear end linkage bolts always wanting to come loose, there is way too much pedal kickback in the granny ring for me. Does anyone else (especially those of you riding flats) feel the same about their Intense or Santa Cruz? I'm starting to feel that the pedaling efficiancy is being out-weighed by the negative feel of so much pedal kickback and chain pull. Forget about trying to stand and muscle over rocks when you're in a low gear? Ugh!

Anyone?
 

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I switched from a 4inch Horst link Titus to the VPP 6.6 this year and yes I notice the pedal kickback especially in granny, but it doesn't bother me that much. It helps to leave it in the middle ring for your climbing. I'm impressed with it otherwise. Very plush but efficient.

You may want to post this question in the Suspension forum or the Intense Forum.
 

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The original "AS" of MTBR
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KRob said:
It helps to leave it in the middle ring for your climbing. I'm impressed with it otherwise. Very plush but efficient.
Easier said than done when you're riding a 35lb bike on nasty, East Coast trails. I'm usually in the granny on the climbs and that's where you feel it the worst.

NOTE: Medium Intense 6.6 / Baby Blue / for sale (soon).:???:
 

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Nothing here
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I assume that you have the sag and all set up correcty right? I know those VPP bikes are really sensitive to shock setup.

I've got a Turner Six Pack with a Horst link that gets a little pedal kickback on just the right small to medum size hits, but I wouldn't sell it.
 

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The original "AS" of MTBR
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unknownrash said:
I assume that you have the sag and all set up correcty right? I know those VPP bikes are really sensitive to shock setup.

I've got a Turner Six Pack with a Horst link that gets a little pedal kickback on just the right small to medum size hits, but I wouldn't sell it.
It's been over 6 months of trial and error. I know I'm beeing fussy but you have to love your ride. You know when a bike fits you like a glove and everything about it feels right to you? I had an Intense Uzzi SL that I absolutely loved. My last bike was a Norco Six and if it wasn't so damn heavy I would have rode it forever. I just have never felt this way with the 6.6. I regret the purchase.
 

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Granny not Great w/ longer VPP

I had a classic Blur and now a XC Blur - while they are only 4 inches, I did notice that the granny on the classic was not great and especially was a "weaker" climbing choice. Based on some of the first reviews of the classic, this appears to have something to do with the longer chainstay on the classic. I have the XC Blur now and can say that it is the best climbing bike I've ever riden, hands down over the classic and also over my FSR XC (horst-link). Chainstay was shortened over the classic . . . that's the only reason for the difference I can guess as the components from the classic were swapped directly over to the XC.

One other note - the VPP on the classic appeared to be more effective when hammering (not spinning). Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
 

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granny time

I was riding a Blur LT on those same East Coast mandatory granny climbs for a while myself. I was never real happy with how it acted when it came time to try and grind and grunt over something in second gear. I am now on a Ventana X5 and I like it better for my kind of riding, having a more "active" rear. I think the VPP shines on the more open terrain (a la out west) where you stay in the middle or big ring most of the time. Go Ventana, Turner, Titus, et al
 

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AS.. the original said:
I inquired about the new Titus El Guapo this afternoon. Looks like a winner to me.

Cheers,
Antonio
The VPP can be a bit "love it or hate it". I'm in between somewhere. I love some things about it (plushnes, firmness on hammering) and am not so keen on others (extra lower links, pedal kick, rear triangle flex).

The E.G does look good. I considered selling my 6.6 frame and switching to the El Guapo.... not because I was unhappy with the 6.6 but because I'm a huge Titus fan and have had good luck with my horst link HH100x. I'm not so sure now. I'm just not hearing the buzz about the EG the I would've expected.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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AS.. the original said:
Easier said than done when you're riding a 35lb bike on nasty, East Coast trails. I'm usually in the granny on the climbs and that's where you feel it the worst.

NOTE: Medium Intense 6.6 / Baby Blue / for sale (soon).:???:
I disagree. We have ourselves so convinced that we can't pedal up hills in anything but the granny gear that we simple believe it to be true without question. A while back one of my riding buddies rode SS everywhere in a pretty tall gear combo. He also did all climbs in the middle ring on his 5 spot. I figured if he can ride that combo, then surely I can ride in the middle ring, and I started just doing it and getting stronger. I highly believe that riding in the granny ring only makes you weaker, and if you have to move down to the granny the battle is lost. We also have a lot of VERY steep and loose climbs around here, and rack up 3000-4000 vertical on normal rides, to maintain traction on these steeps, steps, rocks, and whatever else, I notice a HUGE improvement by staying in the middle ring. This goes back to what I said first, but now I find there are a lot of climbs that if I go to the granny (as an experiment) they hurt me more and I have a much tougher time because I'm more worried about balance and traction and expending more energy as a result.

Here's another key point; Even with NO kickback, it's way too easy to stall out in the granny gear IMO when you're riding up truely rough terrain.

VPP uses chain tension, so there's no mystery why you are feeling the kickback, but on the other hand use it as a opportunity to get better.

It will take a while to get stronger, but if you really increase the resistance (by riding in the middle ring) you'll see real improvements, rather than just dropping to the granny when it gets steep. I have not found a climb yet that is impossible in the middle ring.
 

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Does the question only pertain to those two brands? I don't know if DW Link or Maestro is a VPP but I thought it was categorized that way. If so, I feel no such feedback or stiffening on my Reign - it is awesome
 

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flowtron said:
Thats ridiculous.
Granny rings are good for your knees and your drivetrain. Hows your chain looking these days?
Amazingly enough, I agaree with JM here. Though I'm not going to take my granny off... I rarely find occasion to use it anymore. I can climb just about anything with the middle ring/34 cog combo and prefer to use it. It seems to give me better torque, better traction, less pedal kick, and like JM said, better momentum and less likely to spin out or stall on loose stuff. Note: I couldn't always do this. Now that I'm stronger I can.

I still use the granny if it's super steep and there's unlimited traction (like slikerock) or if it's really steep with plenty of traction and the hill is long.

My knees and chain are holding up fine so far but I can see you point.
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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Yup, its much easier if youre strong enough to stay in the middle ring. Kinda a catch 22 that the stronger rider who can stay in a taller gear has a much easier time on the climbs, but that seems to be the case. If I can stay in the middle ring I have an easier time balancing, maintaining traction, and have more momentum to clear obstacles. The result is less energy spent climbing the hill. Sometimes it is impossible for me to do this, but I'm working on it... then I could go 1 x 9.
 

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flowtron said:
Thats ridiculous.
Granny rings are good for your knees and your drivetrain. Hows your chain looking these days?
I get better wear out of my drivetrain components because the wear is spread over a larger surface area. Thanks for asking.

I would be 1x9 except that I use the 44t as a bashguard :D I keep the granny on because it gives the chain somewhere to fall to that is not the BB, and even though it's somewhat rare for that to happen, it's only about 20 grams.
 

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flowtron said:
Thats ridiculous.
Granny rings are good for your knees and your drivetrain. Hows your chain looking these days?
Fukc me, I'm going to agree with Jayem. Granny rings are for...grannies. Middle ring and a middle cog can get you up just about everything once you've built up your leg strength. Even going clockwise on Slickrock I only had to walk fewer than half a dozen climbs with a 32/22. On a gearie with 32/32 you should be able to ride all.
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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mtnbkrdr98 said:
Does the question only pertain to those two brands? I don't know if DW Link or Maestro is a VPP but I thought it was categorized that way. If so, I feel no such feedback or stiffening on my Reign - it is awesome
Yes, virtual pivot done right. No need to give up your granny gear due to kickback or bob, or if you choose to stay in mid and big rings then stand and climb away with no more (if not less) bob than trademarked VPP from Intense or Santa Cruz. The dw-Link licensed designs (Iron Horse and Ibis) also have the most optimized braking traction and handling balance available.

Watch the growing buzz in the Iron Horse forum about the new 6-Point, 6.3 inch travel with OEM shortened stroke shock (and convertible to 7 inch travel with common aftermarket sized shocks with same i2i). The 6-Point frame is 7.5 pounds with DHX Air with AM trail focus, based on the heavier duty freeride 7-Point geometry.

The only negative is all available new shocks now are over damped (to cater to all other designs). Fine tuning optimization of shocks for the dw-Link require custom tuning to soften the damping resistance. Pre-'04 Vanilla RC shocks before propedal are a higher quality option than any newer shock (except if tuning is included with new shock sale such as Avalanche and possibly a new Push DHX Coil or Air).
 

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I ride a Horst link Norco VPS 1 with an Avalanche rear shock with about 7.5" of travel. It pedals great and is super plush. I rode my bro's VPP Free and it felt dead, unplush, and had really annoying chaingrowth- pedal kickback. No comparison in ride quality or pedaling. I know part of the difference is the superlative Avalanche, but the VPP design didn't impress me at all.

As to granny gears, try climbing Oat Hill on a 48lb. bike without one! ;)
 

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I just purchased a 6.6 with a Cane Creek Double Barrel and I am loving it - But I have not yet dialed in the suspension - I think this takes time - as the bike reacts differently in many situations - try posting in the intense forum to get feedback from other Intense'rs I think you will find after properly tuning your 6.6 you might like it..

But hey to each his own -- thats why there is not just one brand of anything....


Gus
 
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