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I've got to say, I'm a little disappointed in the sketchy handling of my new 29er (Special-ed Rockhopper SS) in the turns. It feels like I'm sitting high & the wheels just want to slide out from under me, riding on top of the dirt rather than digging into it.

It's a 21" frame that seems to fit, and I'm running a Special-ed Eskar on the front & a Kenda Nevegal in the rear. Not tubeless.

I rode w/ a fellow 29er rider and he told me that he sits back on the saddle, rather than leaning forward & putting weight on the front wheel. He also suggested running the front tire pressure as low as I could go without getting too close to a pinch flat situation.

I'm coming from riding a 26" Zion SS that handled turns extremely well, carving turns like it was on rails, to use a hackneyed phrase. The MutanoRaptor tire was extremely predictable and forgiving- I couldn't seem to do anything wrong on that bike once I put that tire on in the front.

Any other tips that you guys can share? I love how the bike handles otherwise- it's ability to climb and power over rocks astounds me, but if I don't correct what's happening in the corners that scares me, I may just go back to the 26er.

Thanks!
 

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Finch Platte said:
I rode w/ a fellow 29er rider and he told me that he sits back on the saddle, rather than leaning forward & putting weight on the front wheel.
I have always leaned forward in turns to weight the front wheel and get some bite on the tire (on my bikes and motorcycles). You also have to have the right tire and air pressure for the conditions of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
playdead said:
how tall are you?
6' 2".

No idea what the pressure is- I'll have to check when I get home. I've always done it by feel and not had probs on the 26er. Same with the bars/seat, I'll have to check, but in the meantime, here's a pic.
 

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Finch Platte said:
I've got to say, I'm a little disappointed in the sketchy handling of my new 29er (Special-ed Rockhopper SS) in the turns. It feels like I'm sitting high & the wheels just want to slide out from under me, riding on top of the dirt rather than digging into it.

It's a 21" frame that seems to fit, and I'm running a Special-ed Eskar on the front & a Kenda Nevegal in the rear. Not tubeless.

I rode w/ a fellow 29er rider and he told me that he sits back on the saddle, rather than leaning forward & putting weight on the front wheel. He also suggested running the front tire pressure as low as I could go without getting too close to a pinch flat situation.

I'm coming from riding a 26" Zion SS that handled turns extremely well, carving turns like it was on rails, to use a hackneyed phrase. The MutanoRaptor tire was extremely predictable and forgiving- I couldn't seem to do anything wrong on that bike once I put that tire on in the front.

Any other tips that you guys can share? I love how the bike handles otherwise- it's ability to climb and power over rocks astounds me, but if I don't correct what's happening in the corners that scares me, I may just go back to the 26er.

Thanks!
Learn to lean into the corners, bend your elbows and knees, float above the saddle, and get your weight on the front wheel. If your butt is dead on the saddle and weight back, the front wheel is just going to push (go wide) through the turn.

And stay off the brakes in the turn, but you already knew that.
 

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How long have you had the bike? Some or all of it could just be adjustment to a bike that feels "different" regardless of whether its better or worse. Regarding your comment about sitting high for example, Rockhoppers actually have a fairly low bottom bracket (11.8") so either your last bike had a really low BB or something about the big wheels is throwing off your game. Bar height could be a factor too, but they don't look unreasonable just based on that picture
 

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When I over inflate my tires my bike handles like that. Get a tire pressure gauge......run those tires in the mid 30's for tubes.....or mid 20's for tubeless. If you can, go tubeless, it will change your world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Vermont29er said:
Which end is sliding out on you?
It feels like they both are breaking loose at almost the same time. Front goes first then the rear.

The advice of staying back on the bike seemed counter-intuitive, but he's been riding his bike for a while, so I thought "what the heck, I'll try it."

I'll try all your suggestions- swapping the tires, lowering the pressure a little and putting more weight on the front.
 

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Definitely get a tire gauge. I was checking mine by "the feel" and always thought I was doing it right. Bought a proper gauge and found out that I was inflating everything to around 44psi!!!! No wonder I didn't have any traction. I was bouncing all around.

NOTE: Even stand pumps can be off by 4-5psi.....and that makes a big difference when running tubeless.
I've been experimenting like crazy with psi and found that 22 front and 24.5 rear are my magic numbers (tubeless). If I go higher or lower I get a completely different handling bike.
 

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Stumphumper2002 said:
Definitely get a tire gauge. I was checking mine by "the feel" and always thought I was doing it right. Bought a proper gauge and found out that I was inflating everything to around 44psi!!!! No wonder I didn't have any traction. I was bouncing all around.

NOTE: Even stand pumps can be off by 4-5psi.....and that makes a big difference when running tubeless.
I've been experimenting like crazy with psi and found that 22 front and 24.5 rear are my magic numbers (tubeless). If I go higher or lower I get a completely different handling bike.
Does not really matter if the pump gauge is off, as long as it is consistent and the one you use most of the time. Once you know where the tire pressure is right, with the gauge you are using, keep using it.
 

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I'm betting the cause is the front tire (I run the Specialized Eskar sometimes). There are no mid-knobs so when leaning into a turn it has to be done quickly and aggressively (mucho leanage). Then that tire RAILS otherwise if not ridden aggressively it's sketchy...YMMV
 

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shiggy said:
Learn to lean into the corners, bend your elbows and knees, float above the saddle, and get your weight on the front wheel. If your butt is dead on the saddle and weight back, the front wheel is just going to push (go wide) through the turn.

And stay off the brakes in the turn, but you already knew that.
This is pretty good advice. Very similar to motorcycle dirt riding....

I have a Spesh geared Rockhopper 29 and had to swap the stock tires and set up my fork correctly to get the front to bite. This bike doesn't work well when hanging off the back, for me anyway, I've seen or heard of riding like that but not on my Rockhopper frame. If you do get off the saddle and get your weight moving though the bike responds very well. I'm not sure if this is right and proper to the MTB crowd, but I use my rear brake at times like I do on a dirt bike, to slide the rear and help steer. This comes natural to me from my past riding but admittedly it might not be useful for everyone.
 

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Tires can make a huge difference, as well as pressure as others have mentioned. Since the OP brought up the Mutano Raptor and likes it, is there a 29er tire like it? I'm using a WeirWolf LT on front and it's pretty good, but I've been wishing for a 29er Mutano. Just the other day I finally got a look at some good pictures of the Wolverine, and I'm thinking that might be what I try next. Things are about to start getting really loose on the trails here. Anyone tried the Wolverine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Harry Zimmermann said:
Tires can make a huge difference, as well as pressure as others have mentioned. Since the OP brought up the Mutano Raptor and likes it, is there a 29er tire like it? I'm using a WeirWolf LT on front and it's pretty good, but I've been wishing for a 29er Mutano. Just the other day I finally got a look at some good pictures of the Wolverine, and I'm thinking that might be what I try next. Things are about to start getting really loose on the trails here. Anyone tried the Wolverine?
I've been looking with no luck for the Mutano in a 29". I've got a brand-new 26" one that maybe I could leave in the sun & stretch? :p

I know if WTB started to make them now, it would be beyond my budget anyhoo. How 'bout them new CST 29" Caballeros?

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=6658253#poststop
 

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Going from a 26er to a 29er you need to slightly re-learn how to ride. Kind of like when people went from straight to shaped skis, you had to adjust your technique. Put more body language into a 29er than the 26er, the larger and more stable wheels take a little more force to change directions. Commit to your turns and you might be amazed at the amount of speed you can hold due to the increased traction. Try to 'carve' the turns and pick better lines.

It just takes awhile to adjust, ride it for awhile longer and get your position dialed in. If you're pushing the front in corners, which is far scarier than drifting the rear, you likely need more weight on the front end. I had that problem on the first ride of my first 29er, after I dropped the handlebars and learned to ride the big wheels I was amazed.
 

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i found riding the 29er was pretty much INSTANT better handling. more stable, smoother turning (less twitchy) and it goes where you point it. you need to LEAN, but that is the proper technique no matter the wheel size.

if a 29er is twitchy and corners poorly, there is probably an equipment issue. Like tire or tire pressure as everyone else is pointing out.
 
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