Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 140 Posts

·
Registered
Santa Cruz Hightower C XXL
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally realized even though I ride an XXL frame that is stretched out, the grip to ground height is only around a 1/2" higher than on a Large frame. I ride mostly on my pedals while riding trails or steep downhills. It's an awkward position which puts me more over my bars with my butt in the air like I'm on a road bike. I also not a great position for jumping or bunny hopping. To correct my position I trying a number of things. First step was to install a riser stem. Finding one that doesn't lengthen the step, rises, and fits a 35mm handle bar was not easy. If I went down to a 31.8mm handlebar, there would be more options. Anyway I found one. Because the fork clamp part is a little shorter, I could add some more spacers to raise it up a little more. Next is converting my 140mm Fox 36 to a 160mm. This will raise the front of my bike a little more and slack my bike out a little more.
If that isn't enough, I'll try some new handlebars with a 35 or 40mm rise.

Here is some pictures of the new stem install. Once I convert my forks I'll give a report.
1943255
1943256
1943257
1943258
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
It's great you had the steerer length to get that many spacers under the stem. But, why not just go straight to a 50mm rise bar (Burgtec Ride High)? I'm the same height as you and that seems more desirable than a tonne of spacers or slackening the head angle… or go the high rise bar and spacers and make a heap of room. Keep in mind you've already shortened the reach with the stem spacers so a taller crown to axle fork will be an additional geo change.
 

·
Wanna ride bikes?
Joined
·
12,534 Posts
Yeah, I agree, get some higher rise handlebars. Those in the picture look like 15mm rise.

I have 50mm rise Spank handlebars on my DJer, they're great. I also recently put steel Mone riser bars on my Krampus, they look sweet! (75mm rise). There's lots of good options out there. Renthal comes to mind too.


1943276
 

·
Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
My Evil came with 35mm bars, I changed my stem to 31.8 so I could run 50mm rise bars. Also run about 30mm of stem spacers. XL frame and I have a 38" inseam, it's not perfect fit but it 'works'.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Santa Cruz Hightower C XXL
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The new stem is more than likely temporary (and I'm not stuck on 35mm either). I'm experimenting and I like to keep it cheap when I do that. I'm pretty balanced torso to leg wise. I'm a 36" inseam and my my wing span is barely my height. The effective reach is plenty on my XXL, so I have some wiggle room. I can move my seat a little forward too. I am looking to slack my 2018 HT which has a 67deg. HTA, and I want a little more travel. The longer fork (which is a cheap change as well) will achieve both of those changes, plus give me a little higher BB which will help reduce pedal strikes on my 175mm cranks. I'm going to ride it like this and think about my future handlebar options.
BTW, there is a company that makes an ajustable headset for various Santa Cruz bikes that will slack it 1.5 or 1.6 deg. more. It's the only one I've found that works with the SC press in HS. I'm sure it voids the warranty. I bought mine used, so I don't care. Another product I'm eying is an after market seat clamp for my RockShox Reverb that moves the seat forward even more effectively steepening the ST angle.
My local bike shop has a bunch of FOX 36 air springs that they pull out of new bikes, because the purchaser wanted longer travel forks right out the door. They just swap out the air spring. I picked up a used/new 160mm spring for $40.
 

·
Registered
Santa Cruz Hightower C XXL
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There's a lot of gives and takes. If I do install and adjustable headset, I will drop my BB which can be compensated for by putting my flip chip in the high position. The HT height will not really be able to be raised, but the ground to grip would be where I could make it up. At least that is how I see it. I need to put various geo scenarios in AutoCAD and compare the changes.
 

·
Registered
Santa Cruz Hightower C XXL
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The problem is being really tall. A select few manufacturers have improved in the world of XXL bike frames, but it's still not as accommodating as it could be. They do have some fixed constraints such as wheel size and fork lengths. These constraints are what I'm trying to overcome. Should the BB be higher? Should they make forks with a longer steerer tube or longer stanchions, but only mid travel lengths? Longer wheelbases are a big help. Not great in tight turns and switchbacks, but more fitting 95% of the time. You also get more pedal strikes with a longer wheelbase. From a small frame to an XXL there is about a 5 1/2" difference in the wheelbase, but all the BB are the same height. And I have 175mm cranks. No adjustments by the manufacturers. The catch22 is, a higher BB and same fork length give a really tall person the 'Stink Bug' look in a standing position. Half way to an endo. More pressure on the front forks all the time, and even more pronounced on the steeps.
My older XXL frames were the same wheel base as a modern Medium frame. The head tubes and seat posts were extended very high. To create a longer reach, they just used a stem that projected the handlebars 5 to 6 inches forward. That's what I rode for years.
As I said, the XXL frame has come along ways, but still has room for improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Maybe thinking about it all too much coz there’s a lot going on there. You do have some valid points though. But you can get lost in the weeds. Like I said, I’m the same size as you. I’d definitely go 50mm rise bars at some point in your experimentation (which is fun!) and maybe less spacers as you’ve taken a chunk of reach out with those. With modern geo, that bike is decently sized but nothing huge for someone your size. I would never touch 175mm cranks again. 165mm or 170mm on all my bikes and I can’t tell the difference aside from ground clearance. Not sure if the bike is new to you but the low BB and the low BB in the middle of a long wheelbase (specifically) is something you adjust to. One of the downsides of a long wheelbase bike but it can make some trail obstacles harder to navigate than shorter bikes.

P.S The Josh Bryceland bars are the Burgtec ones I was referring to too. 35mm diameter. I wish you had a pair handy because I really think the change in bar rise from what you have to 50mm would immediately feel great to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
The stem spacers have more of an effect of reach reduction than you (might) realise. This is an interesting article.

There are also calculators to show you but you'll be able to see just how much reach you've lost with the stack of spacers. At some point you're an entire size shorter.
 

·
Registered
Santa Cruz Hightower C XXL
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm planning on lowering the stem when I eventually get new riser handlebars. What stem 35mm or 31.8mm? That will more than likely be dictated by the bars I settle on. The J Bryceland look like a fit, but where can I get them in the US? The 50mm rise Spank Spoon with Vibracore in 31.8mm look reasonably priced with good reviews.
 

·
Disgruntled Peccary
Joined
·
6,501 Posts
You'll have a harder time finding high rise 35mm bars. I have both stems and bars lying around, but I'm about to divest of all my 35mm stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
I'm planning on lowering the stem when I eventually get new riser handlebars. What stem 35mm or 31.8mm? That will more than likely be dictated by the bars I settle on. The J Bryceland look like a fit, but where can I get them in the US? The 50mm rise Spank Spoon with Vibracore in 31.8mm look reasonably priced with good reviews.
You're right. Actually finding what you want is the bigger issue currently.
 
1 - 20 of 140 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top