Yep, you aren't imagining this. The high-pivot on the Heckler will causes the suspension to stiffen when you are pedaling. On level smooth ground this is great. When you switch the granny gear while going uphill this trait is actually magnified some, that means that when you go over a bump your pedaling forces are trying to keep the suspension from moving, and of course bumps try to make the suspension move. This leads to a much harsher ride and makes it harder to keep momentum/maintain traction. One of the big problems here is that it's hard to design a single-pivot bike to do well in all the gear-ranges that will be encountered. For a freeride or DH bike that will only have one ring up front it is much easier to design a "good compramise", but with a bike that shifts between different front rings, it is harder. The other aspect that you may be feeling is "squat", although this too would depend on what gear you are in. On steep uphills, one of my bikes tends to "squat" through it's travel when I'm trying to pedal in the middle ring. In the granny ring it does not do this as much. It basically starts to feel like a wet-sponge when I start headnig up steep stuff in the middle ring. It basically sucks a lot more energy than it would if it were on level ground. This has to do with how the contact patch relative to the acceleration force relates. This is another area where something like the Maestro or DW link should do better than a single pivot.DTL said:I have a 2009 Heckler I have been riding for a few months now (large, fox rp23, fox float 32 140mm). I have experimented with suspension setup and tire pressure. I ride trails that are mainly xc/trail type. I'm not doing drops or jumps just hitting lots of singletrack with a mix of climbing and going down and lots of roots, logs etc. The bike rails turns and handles great. The problem is no matter how I set the bike up it seems I am fighting to pedal and keep momentum especially when the trail gets choppy. Unless I am going down or straight and smooth it feels as if I am towing a cinder block. I took my other bike (Giant Trance X1 maestro, 5" front and back) out and rode the same trials a few weeks ago and the bike felt like a rocketship. Climbed better, rolled and kept momentum better and it only weighs about a pound lighter. So, I guess my question is this a matter of a difference in suspension design? Single pivot vs multi link? or is there something else I should try setup wise? My riding partner took my Heckler for a spin today and made the same analysis so I know I'm not imagining this.
As I said before though, single pivots aren't all bad. There are single-pivots without those excessive traits, although something like the Giant Meastro or DW Link is still going to be able to perform better. There are inherent limitations of single-pivot bikes, moreso with bikes that have to run more than one ring up front.