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Why does Jeff keep endo-ing?

  • Jeff was sold the wrong size bike

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Jeff just sucks

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Jeff's riding is 2 X-TREME for his bike D00d

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks.

I purchased an extra-large 2002 Superlight from a local shop, and have been having harrowing and discouraging downhill experiences on it ever since -- difficulty breaking on the steeps, getting pitched over the handlebars a little too easily, etc. I'm hoping I don't just suck: I was born in Santa Cruz, and have spent the last 12 years recreationally riding its trails. I still enjoy MTB, but since I got my Superlight, most every outing has been discouraging and bitter-sweet because I always go down and draw first blood. My friends love the comic relief and always have me ride point. :D

Anyway, I just got back from a camping trip at Arroyo Seco where a friend and I hit tons of really nice singletrack. He is a big bike tech-ie (I am not, far from it!), and he dropped a bomb on me after checking out my bike: "Are you sure it's an XL? It fits me, and I ride a medium. I would measure the frame. In any event, the shop who sold you this bike did a great disservice." He is not the first person to use these exact words -- a year ago, I went to Spokesman in downtown Santa Cruz, which I am told has good bike fitters, to see how to make my Superlight fit me better. After looking at my stature (I'm 6'5", 200 pounds) and then the bike, the guy snarled and said "Who on earth sold you this bike? They did you a disservice." He sold me a big handle bar riser, and said "Good luck!"

Ok, so maybe I'm a little dense, but like I said, I'm not a tech-ie, I just jump on and ride the thing, keep it clean, and put a new chain on every season. I don't care about this fork or that fork, and upgrading components. I don't remember what level of componentry is on it, what kind of tires are on it, etc -- I just want to ride, and not worry about details, which drives my biking buddies, all of whom are gear-hounds, crazy. The last thing I ever thought to do was double-check the frame size after buying it -- I was so stoked that I just wanted to ride it. But after having horrible experiences on this bike for 3 years, could they have built & delivered me the wrong-size bike? At this point, the only facts I have are as follows:

  • Purchase receipt dated 08/31/2002 showing "Superlight XL Black w/ Float RL & X Kit $2299"
  • Serial number on underside of bottom bracket: 01ZDA00858 followed by two dots
  • Measuring the seat tube from the center of the bottom bracked to its top is 21.5", which indicates a Small-Medium per 2005 Superlight specs
  • The bike shop from where I purchased it tells me they can't determine the size from the s/n, only by measuring it (I don't believe this)
  • An email in to Santa Cruz Bicycles tech info w/ serial # asking if they can identify the size

It looks to me like the bike I purchased was a Small-Medium, and not an XL. Hopefully I can confirm this with the serial number -- I live literally right across the street from the SC Bicycles headquarters, so I'll drop in on Monday and try to confirm the sizing.

I would appreciate the input of those folks who actually know a thing or two about Santa Cruz bikes before I get all bent out of shape and go into the bike shop and give them a piece of my mind.

And also, from any shop owners or employees who might offer me some advice on presenting my case to the shop that sold me this bike -- are shops insured against their assemblers blundering like this? What can I expect? What should I push for? This shop is one of the largest dealers of Santa Cruz bikes in the country. I went to high school with the shop manager's wife, and a good friend of mine races for the shop, so I need to be diplomatic. But if I was in fact delivered the wrong size bike, I intend to argue this to get a replacement; or better yet, a cherry deal on a new Blur LT. Is this realistic?

Thanks for your time.
-Jeff
 

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Angry bunny
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Mate I dont know you well enough to say that you suck but you certainly dont seem to be reading the geometry chart right. The seat tube on an XL is 21.5". The top tube on a small-medium is 21.5. They are 2 very different things.

I think you problem is that you are 6'5" tall and many 26" wheeled bikes will feel small to you.
Not wanting to start some sort of 26" vs 29" flame war but at your size you should seriously be looking at a 29'er like the El Capitan from Ventana, Lenz Leviathon or the Asylum from Speedgoat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TR said:
Mate I dont know you well enough to say that you suck but you certainly dont seem to be reading the geometry chart right. The seat tube on an XL is 21.5". The top tube on a small-medium is 21.5. They are 2 very different things.

I think you problem is that you are 6'5" tall and many 26" wheeled bikes will feel small to you.
Not wanting to start some sort of 26" vs 29" flame war but at your size you should seriously be looking at a 29'er like the El Capitan from Ventana, Lenz Leviathon or the Asylum from Speedgoat.
Yes, it sounds like I suck at reading charts. :) Thanks for the sanity check. Since the seat tube is indeed 21.5" by my measurements, then it must be an XL! Hmm, I think I'll probably clean up & sell the thing, and chalk it off as a poor fit. Otherwise, a great bike, it's too bad. I admit, I've been reading about 29ers, and they sound intriguing for a big guy like myself. I'll try to find one to demo around here somewhere. In fact, there's a Fisher dealer just down the road ... I'll pop in and ask some questions about those Sugars I saw, and check out the other brands that I've seen mentioned on the 29" forum.

Take it easy,
-Jeff
 

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Just another FOC'er
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2,222 Posts
jishaq said:
Yes, it sounds like I suck at reading charts. :) Thanks for the sanity check. Since the seat tube is indeed 21.5" by my measurements, then it must be an XL! Hmm, I think I'll probably clean up & sell the thing, and chalk it off as a poor fit. Otherwise, a great bike, it's too bad. I admit, I've been reading about 29ers, and they sound intriguing for a big guy like myself. I'll try to find one to demo around here somewhere. In fact, there's a Fisher dealer just down the road ... I'll pop in and ask some questions about those Sugars I saw, and check out the other brands that I've seen mentioned on the 29" forum.

Take it easy,
-Jeff
50mm stem, 2" riser DH bars, and a longer fork will all make the bike way more adept at the techy stuff. The short stem and the riser bars are both a pretty cheap experiment.

I used to run a 135mm stem, and 23" flat bars. Now I run a 50mm stem and 28" DH riser bars. Night and day handling difference for me, of course YMMV! BTW, I have no problem climbing with that setup, although it takes a little getting used to. I'd never go back.

Adding 20 to 30mm height to the fork can also make a huge difference. The other thing to check is if your fork springs are stiff enough. Forks are usually shipped with springs for the typical (155 lb) rider. Too weak springs mean a lot of nose diving and a lot of endos!
 

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Angry bunny
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4,948 Posts
jishaq said:
Yes, it sounds like I suck at reading charts. :) Thanks for the sanity check. Since the seat tube is indeed 21.5" by my measurements, then it must be an XL! Hmm, I think I'll probably clean up & sell the thing, and chalk it off as a poor fit. Otherwise, a great bike, it's too bad. I admit, I've been reading about 29ers, and they sound intriguing for a big guy like myself. I'll try to find one to demo around here somewhere. In fact, there's a Fisher dealer just down the road ... I'll pop in and ask some questions about those Sugars I saw, and check out the other brands that I've seen mentioned on the 29" forum.

Take it easy,
-Jeff
Just FYI, I have that same size Superlight and it fits me beautifully. I am 6'3" tall though so you have 2 full inches on me.
SC sizing is on the small size and I would usually only ride a L so I can imagine you are struggling with this bike.
Duck on over to the 29'er forum and ask some advice from those guys as to which bike would best suit your style of riding before you jump into the Fisher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
.Danno. sez,
Adding 20 to 30mm height to the fork can also make a huge difference. The other thing to check is if your fork springs are stiff enough. Forks are usually shipped with springs for the typical (155 lb) rider. Too weak springs mean a lot of nose diving and a lot of endos!
That's a great point about the springs! Thanks. I have to decide at this point whether I want to sink any more $$ into my Superlight, or start saving for a 29er. Those things are expensive! It makes sense that the more height you have on the front, the harder it will be to encounter the pitch point (i.e., endo) on a descent.

But there's a little voice in the back of my head that tells me no matter what I do to it, the geometry of the Superlight is not going to compliment my stature. I used to ride the same trails on an ancient (1993) Rockhopper FS (FS as in front-shock; certainly not full suspension in 1993!). At the time, I was 50 pounds heavier, and I didn't have the kind of problems I have with my Superlight. I think the Superlight and I just don't agree.

TR sez,
Duck on over to the 29'er forum and ask some advice from those guys as to which bike would best suit your style of riding before you jump into the Fisher.
Will do. My Fisher dealer had a 29" single-speed Rig in stock .. not quite what I was looking for!

Thanks for your help. This forum rocks.
-Jeff
 

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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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Sugar Daddy

I've been riding GF Sugar since they came out in 2000. I'm on my third frame thanks to uncle Gary. I'm 6'3" and ride a XL.......it's that Genesis geometry that does it. Long top tube with a short stem. It's addicting.......it's a shame they are putting them to a slow death....what uncle Gary should do is refit all the solid bushings with bearings. I'll keep riding them as long as Gary warrantys them.

jishaq said:
That's a great point about the springs! Thanks. I have to decide at this point whether I want to sink any more $$ into my Superlight, or start saving for a 29er. Those things are expensive! It makes sense that the more height you have on the front, the harder it will be to encounter the pitch point (i.e., endo) on a descent.

But there's a little voice in the back of my head that tells me no matter what I do to it, the geometry of the Superlight is not going to compliment my stature. I used to ride the same trails on an ancient (1993) Rockhopper FS (FS as in front-shock; certainly not full suspension in 1993!). At the time, I was 50 pounds heavier, and I didn't have the kind of problems I have with my Superlight. I think the Superlight and I just don't agree.

Will do. My Fisher dealer had a 29" single-speed Rig in stock .. not quite what I was looking for!

Thanks for your help. This forum rocks.
-Jeff
 

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Second push on making the SL work

I had the same problem on my Heckler when I got it. 6'2" and 200lbs.

What fork are you using? FOX?

I went to a higher crown to axle fork and riser bars. Much Better!

I will give $100 buck for the XL SL!! LOL! I need a new race rig!

9'rs work in some places and cases, not in all. Make sure that the bike meets your riding style before you jump over to the 29 side.
 
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