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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built up a 2021 Canfield Nimble 9 frame as a single speed in June this year. I'm 6' and got the large frame, right in the middle of their recommended range. When pointed downhill, the bike handles like a dream. I've been hitting steep drops and chutes with confidence I never had on my 2016 full suspension trail bike. Double blacks at the park are no problem.

On flat terrain and climbs, it's been a different story. One problem is I feel like I have way too much weight on my hands. After a 5 mile ride, I'm getting moderate wrist and hand pain I've never felt on any of my other bikes. I've played with stem length and rise, saddle position and tilt, and switched out a couple of handlebars. I picked up some SQlab 30X 16 degree bars, which have helped significantly with the pain, but I'm still feel like there's too much weight up front. I suspect this could be a result of the steep seat tube angle, 77 degrees. That's quite a bit steeper than the 73-ish degrees I've had on any of my other bikes. I feel like my weight is too far forward over the cranks to get balanced. Even with the saddle slammed all the way back on the rails, I can't find a position where I'm balanced and not falling forward if I take my hands off the bars.

Somewhat related is that I feel like the saddle is always in the way. With single speed, I'm doing lots of out of saddle climbing on techy rock (St George, think Moab), and the saddle is always digging into my back or taint when climbing tech. It really hinders my ability to move the bike around on trickier obstacles. I can put the dropper down, but that's a hassle to do for every obstacle, especially when I've never felt the need to do that on any of my other bikes. It's also a problem on flat, bumpy terrain. With slacker seat angles, I can set my seat height to get proper leg extension, but there's still enough room to move forward off the saddle a little bit when it gets bumpy to let my legs absorb the terrain. On this bike, if I set the height to get good extension, I can't do the same, because moving forward off the saddle puts way too much weight forward, leaving me unbalanced and unable to absorb terrain with my legs. I have to either get my rear end jackhammered by the seat, or put way too much weight on my hands and compromise handling.

This has really been bumming me out, because I'm wanting to do more endurance riding, but spending more than an hour or two on the bike has my wrists and hands protesting. Has anybody else experienced this with the trend of steeper seat tube angles? I thought maybe at first I just had to get used to this new position and build some core strength, but after a couple of months I feel like the pain has only grown worse. Is the seat angle really the culprit? Could an offset dropper post help? Or do I need to think about finding another bike that might fit my proportions a little better?
 

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Specialized Epic 2021
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Unpopular opinion:
Handlebar too high cause hand numbness for me.
My body want to lean at a certain angle. Bar too high and I support my whole upper body with (too bent) arms. Bar is an anchor point that my body rest on with my hands.
If the bar is properly lowered, then I support more my upper body weight with my core muscles and less with arms. My body weight is supported by core muscles. At the bar, my fingers just reach there to control the bike.
Hypothetically, Imagine if the bar is stupid low that your hand can't even reach the bar and you have to ride no handed, then there won't be hand numbness in the first place right?


I can't find a position where I'm balanced and not falling forward if I take my hands off the bars.
Big part of the force that resist you from falling over come from pedaling motion (and pass through core muscles).
The easier you pedal, the more un-countered force you need to support. On flat, try pedal harder to unweight upper body?
To maximize force vector that send your upper body more up right, you might also try moving cleats toward mid foot rather than under ball of the foot.

Regardless, get 25mm offset seatpost and try it out. from 77deg STA it'll be approx 74.5deg STA equiv position. Maybe you just absolutely need it.
 

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When I built my Marino, at first I felt the geometry very weird compared to my FS (a Rocky Mountain Instinct 2019). After a few months, I cay surely say that all weirdness had gone away, to the point that sometimes I felt the saddle of my FS too backed. Now I'm used to both, although I'm also preferring the HT most times.
 

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I built up a 2021 Canfield Nimble 9 frame as a single speed in June this year. I'm 6' and got the large frame, right in the middle of their recommended range. When pointed downhill, the bike handles like a dream. I've been hitting steep drops and chutes with confidence I never had on my 2016 full suspension trail bike. Double blacks at the park are no problem.

On flat terrain and climbs, it's been a different story. One problem is I feel like I have way too much weight on my hands. After a 5 mile ride, I'm getting moderate wrist and hand pain I've never felt on any of my other bikes. I've played with stem length and rise, saddle position and tilt, and switched out a couple of handlebars. I picked up some SQlab 30X 16 degree bars, which have helped significantly with the pain, but I'm still feel like there's too much weight up front. I suspect this could be a result of the steep seat tube angle, 77 degrees. That's quite a bit steeper than the 73-ish degrees I've had on any of my other bikes. I feel like my weight is too far forward over the cranks to get balanced. Even with the saddle slammed all the way back on the rails, I can't find a position where I'm balanced and not falling forward if I take my hands off the bars.

Somewhat related is that I feel like the saddle is always in the way. With single speed, I'm doing lots of out of saddle climbing on techy rock (St George, think Moab), and the saddle is always digging into my back or taint when climbing tech. It really hinders my ability to move the bike around on trickier obstacles. I can put the dropper down, but that's a hassle to do for every obstacle, especially when I've never felt the need to do that on any of my other bikes. It's also a problem on flat, bumpy terrain. With slacker seat angles, I can set my seat height to get proper leg extension, but there's still enough room to move forward off the saddle a little bit when it gets bumpy to let my legs absorb the terrain. On this bike, if I set the height to get good extension, I can't do the same, because moving forward off the saddle puts way too much weight forward, leaving me unbalanced and unable to absorb terrain with my legs. I have to either get my rear end jackhammered by the seat, or put way too much weight on my hands and compromise handling.

This has really been bumming me out, because I'm wanting to do more endurance riding, but spending more than an hour or two on the bike has my wrists and hands protesting. Has anybody else experienced this with the trend of steeper seat tube angles? I thought maybe at first I just had to get used to this new position and build some core strength, but after a couple of months I feel like the pain has only grown worse. Is the seat angle really the culprit? Could an offset dropper post help? Or do I need to think about finding another bike that might fit my proportions a little better?
I sold my N9 for the very same reasons. I tried everything from longer forks, higher bars, higher stems, spacers etc. In the end nothing made the bike comfortable on flatter terrain or climbing. Eventually I sold my frame and replaced it with a Sonder Signal. So glad I made the change as the 74 degree STA on the Sonder definitely fixed the issue. I'm also running far lower stack (Lower bars and fewer spacers) and a 140mm fork (from 150) without issue. My .02 but steep STAs have no place on hardtails.
 

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As the previous post mentions, you aren't the first to fail to get along with that level of STA. It's already on the edge, and add 35mm or so of sag to that, and you're on the precipice of an 80 degree STA. Crazy stuff. We don't hear this about FS, I assume because they have a relatively static STA. Funny, I also got a Sonder Signal ST frame also to hedge my bets in case I don't get along with the N9. The fact that is was also $300 cheaper and no tax didn't hurt either. I knew I would never find another frame like that for the price in my lifetime, so even if I like the N9 I'll have that frame available to build up.

At any rate I'd try some further cockpit changes before giving up.
 

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I know exactly what the OP is referencing here, and I've been trying to reconcile this on my full suspension with a steep seat tube angle. On my more dated, more traditional geometry bikes, my cleats are set up almost all the way forward, under the ball of my feet. On my new-ish steep seat tube angle La Sal Peak, I am now riding with my cleats slammed all the way back. I cannot use the same shoes on both bikes without changing cleat position. Its that big of a deal. If the OP is riding flats, try running your foot further forward on the pedals, if clipped in, slam your cleats back. This effectively slackens out your STA, allows you to drop your post a hair for a lower center of gravity, and aids in weighting the front end on long and slack bikes when in the attack position, but simultaneously takes weight off my hands while climbing and spinning on flatter terrain. Having been clipped in since the early 90's and riding with the same cleat position for decades, it was revelatory to discover this on my new STA ride. Until doing this recently, I was having a hard time making this bike work. Now I'm finally starting to understand the potential of these newer geometries.
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
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Steep STAs work better the:
More rear travel you have.
Less anti squat your rear suspension has.
The more you spend going up and down (not on flats).
 
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· Elitest thrill junkie
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We are talking about hardtails, thanks anyway.
No ****, which if you can read between the lines, it doesn't benefit hardtails anywhere near as much as the situations I mentioned. That's why I mentioned them.
 

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From my experience, my older bikes ( full suspension) with slacker STA are less exhausting to ride over long distances and climbes than my newer steep STA bikes.

Also in winter I need to push my saddle as far back as possible, because those steep STA can cause some serious knee pain for me at cold temperatures.

But everyone is different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Big part of the force that resist you from falling over come from pedaling motion (and pass through core muscles).
The easier you pedal, the more un-countered force you need to support. On flat, try pedal harder to unweight upper body?
Regardless, get 25mm offset seatpost and try it out. from 77deg STA it'll be approx 74.5deg STA equiv position. Maybe you just absolutely need it.
Regarding the pedaling force, I've definitely noticed that with single speed. When I'm spinning out on flats, there's little support from the pedals and much more weight on my hands. I'd bet a higher gear might help.
I sold my N9 for the very same reasons. I tried everything from longer forks, higher bars, higher stems, spacers etc. In the end nothing made the bike comfortable on flatter terrain or climbing. Eventually I sold my frame and replaced it with a Sonder Signal. So glad I made the change as the 74 degree STA on the Sonder definitely fixed the issue. I'm also running far lower stack (Lower bars and fewer spacers) and a 140mm fork (from 150) without issue. My .02 but steep STAs have no place on hardtails.
As the previous post mentions, you aren't the first to fail to get along with that level of STA. It's already on the edge, and add 35mm or so of sag to that, and you're on the precipice of an 80 degree STA. Crazy stuff. We don't hear this about FS, I assume because they have a relatively static STA. Funny, I also got a Sonder Signal ST frame also to hedge my bets in case I don't get along with the N9. The fact that is was also $300 cheaper and no tax didn't hurt either. I knew I would never find another frame like that for the price in my lifetime, so even if I like the N9 I'll have that frame available to build up.
Glad I'm not the only one with this specific problem with the N9. I might consider picking up a comparable Sonder or RSD frame and swapping all the parts over.
Can you post a side view picture of your bike? I'm curious what the saddle to handlebar height looks like?
Bicycle Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Tire Bicycle wheel rim

This is where I've been most comfortable, just about even with the bars. Saddle height is a little lower than I'd usually like for full extension on the easiest terrain, but it's simpler to just raise it to full height instead of worrying about dropping it to just the right height for every other time.
I know exactly what the OP is referencing here, and I've been trying to reconcile this on my full suspension with a steep seat tube angle. On my more dated, more traditional geometry bikes, my cleats are set up almost all the way forward, under the ball of my feet. On my new-ish steep seat tube angle La Sal Peak, I am now riding with my cleats slammed all the way back. I cannot use the same shoes on both bikes without changing cleat position. Its that big of a deal. If the OP is riding flats, try running your foot further forward on the pedals, if clipped in, slam your cleats back. This effectively slackens out your STA, allows you to drop your post a hair for a lower center of gravity, and aids in weighting the front end on long and slack bikes when in the attack position, but simultaneously takes weight off my hands while climbing and spinning on flatter terrain. Having been clipped in since the early 90's and riding with the same cleat position for decades, it was revelatory to discover this on my new STA ride. Until doing this recently, I was having a hard time making this bike work. Now I'm finally starting to understand the potential of these newer geometries.
I'm on flats. I have noticed how foot position on the pedals subtly affects positioning relative to the saddle. Foot further back definitely (but just slightly) reduces the negative effects I've described.
This might work. I haven’t used it, but I saw it on a hardtail party YouTube video.
Definitely interested in that. It's about the only dropper offered with a setback option?
From my experience, my older bikes ( full suspension) with slacker STA are less exhausting to ride over long distances and climbes than my newer steep STA bikes.

Also in winter I need to push my saddle as far back as possible, because those steep STA can cause some serious knee pain for me at cold temperatures.

But everyone is different.
My quadriceps tendinopathy has gotten worse since getting this bike, but past episodes have always been because I crank up mileage way too quickly, so I assumed that was probably the case with the new bike. It definitely feels like more effort is coming from the quads instead of glutes/hamstrings with the steeper angle, which may be making it worse.
 

· Never trust a fart
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Regarding the pedaling force, I've definitely noticed that with single speed. When I'm spinning out on flats, there's little support from the pedals and much more weight on my hands. I'd bet a higher gear might help.
I noticed this on my last dedicated SS. When on the flatter trails, more weight on the hands. It helped when I swapped to an 18t from a 20t I usually used.

I'm on flats. I have noticed how foot position on the pedals subtly affects positioning relative to the saddle. Foot further back definitely (but just slightly) reduces the negative effects I've described.

The best foot position is placing the ball of the foot over the spindle of the pedal. This is where clipless pedals put you in. Locks you into an optimal foot position on the pedal. But flats there is a lot more wiggle room for foot placement so you might have to start paying attention to foot placement until it becomes second nature.
 
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