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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a medium scott scale 15. I am 5"7", 32 inseam. It is setup with a fox f100, flat bars, - 5deg 110mm stem, 20 mm spacers under stem.

The front is firmly planted on the ground. I'd like to make it manual/wheelie/loft better and lighter.

Question: Would you?

1. add a riser bar
2. flip or add a higher degree stem
3. add a shorter stem
4. run a small tire rear and fat front to cheat the geometry
5. all of the above?

Thanks in advance...Jim
 

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AKA Dr.Nob
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mmmm... the manual is one of the most useless skills/tricks you can do on a mountain bike. It has next to no use on the trail. The manual is really only good to do in the street in front of a gaggle of teenage girls.

The Scale is a race/trail bike designed to be ridden on the dirt, surrounded by trees. The single track is not the usual habitat of teenage girls.

If you want a bike to manual past a gaggle of girls you've got the wrong bike. To make it better at manualing will take it further away from what it was designed.

So I would buy another bike (a dirt jumper) to manual past the chicks.


So a question: Why do you want the bike to manual better.


Or
To answer your question
5. all of the above
 

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A shorter stem and riser bar will help. At least thats what Brian Lopes recommends in his book.
But it will stille take a lot of pratice, and pratice and ...
 

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powered by peanut butter.
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gumbymark said:
mmmm... the manual is one of the most useless skills/tricks you can do on a mountain bike. It has next to no use on the trail.
Not sure I agree entirely. Sure, the kind of manual where you impress your friends and confound your enemies by just cruising as far as you can with the front wheel off the ground doesn't have much practical application on a trail, but it sounds like the OP is more interested in getting the front end of the bike up off the ground.

warlickone said:
The front is firmly planted on the ground. I'd like to make it manual/wheelie/loft better and lighter.
That's certainly a useful skill for clearing logs, rocks, drops, etc. Am I reading you right warlickone?

If so, my .02 would be this: with more practice, you probably could manual your bike as is. Check out some of Ryan Leech's how-to vids. on youtube. If you're really hankering to try a new component, I'd start with a riser bar. Good luck!
 

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Shorter stem will make the biggest difference, IMO........ and practice.

And yes, a manual maneuver is a very useful skill on the trail.... not to be confused with riding a wheelie, at least not by my definition.
 

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Drinking the Slick_Juice
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manuals are good for the pumptracks
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I'd start by flipping the stem. You don't have to pay any money to do that.

When I'm descending with any kind of speed, I use manuals almost exclusively to put myself in the right orientation for landing drops. I can't do the balanced manual past a gaggle of teenage girls thing either, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're looking for.

Beyond that... Practice. Work on wheelies too. The weight adjustment is very similar, and it might help you get the feel for what you need to do.
 

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Tool
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You could also try moving the seat back or getting a setback (or further setback) seatpost. This will move your wieght towards the rear.

When I first took delivery of my current bike, the stem was a little long, and I couldn't properly unweight the front wheel to deal with obstacles. Upon swapping for a slightly shorter stem, life got a lot better very quickly. Small adjustments can make a large difference.

-Pete
 

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gumbymark said:
mmmm... the manual is one of the most useless skills/tricks you can do on a mountain bike.
How boring of a person do you have to be to try and talk someone out of playing around on their bike? Tricks are fun, in front of girls or not, for those of us who have a pulse.

All tricks are useful to learn. Even if you don't use the trick itself on the trail the process of learning it will teach you to handle the bike better in general and make you better rider overall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah...

On more slack terrain bikes, I've been in the habit of rocking my weight back to loft the front over obstacles as when tapping the the front tire on a log to pop over it.

True, you guys have spotted a guy (me) getting used to a race bike. But, I believe things are meant to be played with.

While I am not trials rider, but the ability to manual is key for such things as small wheelie drops and clearing little ditches at lower speeds.

I feel there is a sweet spot on a bike where the fore/aft positioning has good effects in both directions. This bike is fully biased to the front and I'd like to add balance to the equation.

So, here's the real question: Will it make a bigger difference getting the handlebars back (short stem), or up (stem flip,riser)? It sounds like the consensus is that shorter stems are the key. True?

Thanks so much for the help! Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yeah...

On more slack terrain bikes, I've been in the habit of rocking my weight back to loft the front over obstacles as when tapping the the front tire on a log to pop over it.

True, you guys have spotted a guy (me) getting used to a race bike. But, I believe things are meant to be played with.

While I am not trials rider, but the ability to manual is key for such things as small wheelie drops and clearing little ditches at lower speeds.

I feel there is a sweet spot on a bike where the fore/aft positioning has good effects in both directions. This bike is fully biased to the front and I'd like to add balance to the equation.

So, here's the real question: Will it make a bigger difference getting the handlebars back (short stem), or up (stem flip,riser)? It sounds like the consensus is that shorter stems are the key. True?

Thanks so much for the help! Jim
 

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Its got what plants crave
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Manuals definitely have their place on the trail, although for that bike I'm not sure why it would be worth altering your handling and bike fit just so you can manual.


But if you still want to, just buy a shortie stem, and some low or mid rise bars. Also make sure to bring some toilet tissue to hand to the ladies so they can towel off after you manual by.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I'm sticking to my earlier post... flip the stem. It's free.

Both flipping and shortening the stem will put you in a more upright riding position, rotating your center of mass further up and back and making the bike into more of a wheelie bike. So they're actually similar adjustments in terms of making it easier to wheelie and manual.

As far as finding a sweet spot... It sounds like your reach is already too long. If flipping the stem doesn't work, go shorter. If it does... there's no reason to second-guess it. You really only need the stem long enough to keep the front wheel stable on a climb. A fast racer is one who carries a lot of speed through technical stuff and downhills too, not just a climber. There's nothing wrong with wanting your XC racing bike to handle well on singletrack and descents.

EDIT: How high are your handlebars relative to your saddle? And how high are they on your other bike?
 

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I am always amazed at how people think.

"Hmmm, can't do a manual, it must be the bike."

Instead of...

"Hmmm, can't do a manual, I guess I need to become a better rider."
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I think that the OP has just said that he can manual his other bike and that he thinks he's got the handling on that bike balanced in a way that he likes. It's going to cost him nothing in climbing ability to give this bike more balanced handling, so the only thing he'll get out of trying to tough it out with too long a reach is a hatred for XC racing bikes. Nothing wrong with wanting a bike to work for its rider, not against him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ooooh...

Gettin' called out....

"I need to go where the weather suits my clothes" Mr Buffet


Yeah, I should likely just adjust myself, eh.

The internet is such a great place to both geek out and call out. Well played. I'll go practice being better, really. (no sarcasm).

You guys are great. Thanks for the input. I'm relatively new to posting here having been the typical lurker. Take it easy today. I'm satisfied with the responses and will go play.

Jim
 

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Why would you buy a high end XC bike and then worry about getting it to manaul? A hardcore XC bike should have bars below the seat for more balanced weight distribution, if it is easy to manual then its not set up right. Its kind of like buying a downhill bike and saying "how can I make this bike climb really well". But its your bike, so do what makes you happy and have fun with it.
 

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People seem to think there are special manicured and paved trails used for cross-country racing, and a racing bike doesn't need to be able to do anything technical.

I kinda wish that were true. I might do better. :p

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah...

I want my race bike to behave more like a trail bike. If I had a trail bike I'd try to make it behave more like a race bike. The sweet spot is in the middle...

Cheers....Jim
 

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mmmm... the manual is one of the most useless skills/tricks you can do on a mountain bike. It has next to no use on the trail.
Stream crossings, ditches, rock gardens, drops... all made much easier (and much faster!) if you can manual. I'd even go so far as to call it an essential skill.
 
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