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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a moots ti 0 degree 105mm stem that is sitting here. I got it from moots a year ago. Singletrack magazine just reviwed ti hardtails and said they liked the thomson and hope stem compared to the moots stem.I can't understand this...would the moots be a good'n for the tracer or should I sell it and get a normal stem?

Could someone explain the advantages of having a stiff front end on a bike? And will my moots stem help this. Need to be convinced...

Lots of questions, any help appreciated.
 

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Your Moots stem will work just as well as a thomson

The advantage of a stiff front end is that when you turn the handlebars the tire moves in the direction you turned the bars. If you have alot of flex in your front end you can be turning the bars and still traveling straight becuase the tire is still pointing straight and your just flexing the front end. Typically the flex comes from the forks crown. I have never felt any noticable flex coming from a stem. I own a whole range of them from $19.99 pazzas's to 150 dollar easton ec90's and honestly as long as the dimensions are correct, and the clamping system is reliable you are not going to notice a difference. Moots is one of the best names on the market. not using that stem would be blasphmey, assuming its the size you need.
 

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A stiff stem will be an advantage with out of the saddle climbing or sprinting. You don't want the front end to feel flexy when really pulling on the bars.

You also want a stiff stem/fork for rough descents for pinpoint accuracy. However, I have read some articles claiming a little flex in the fork keeps the front wheel from jerking the h-bars all over the place when railing through a rock garden. I personally prefer a stiffer setup.

A stiff stem will also help when carving through high speed turns where there might be some brake bumps or rough terrain. Contrary to what Pedalfar said, you shouldn't be turning your bars into the turn. At speed (when a stiff stem matters), you should be countersteering, or pushing the inside grip forward (push left grip forward to turn left). This will cause the bike to lean into the turn. If you turn the bars left to turn left, you'll veer to the right.
 

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I disagree.

Countersteering is an effective method on road bikes, and possible on a Mtn bike if you are on terrain with extremely good traction(Roads). High speed desending on a Mtn bike usually reqires that you shift your weight back to unweight the front wheel so if can "float" over obstacles. Unweighting the front wheel and attempting to countersteer will result in a scratched bike and lots of scabs. Keeping the front wheel weighted enough for countersteering to be effective will result in capauting over the handle bars, and more bike scratches and scabs. Its kind of a mute point as it has verry little to do with the question asked.
Q. Is the Moots good enough for my tracer.
A. Absolutley. Moots makes some of the best products on the market, and is certanily on par with anything else you could buy. Assuming it is the proper size.
Q. What is the advantage on a stiff front end.
A. Steering precision.

Never disagree with me :) :thumbsup:
 

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mezzanine said:
I have a moots ti 0 degree 105mm stem that is sitting here. I got it from moots a year ago. Singletrack magazine just reviwed ti hardtails and said they liked the thomson and hope stem compared to the moots stem.I can't understand this...would the moots be a good'n for the tracer or should I sell it and get a normal stem?

Could someone explain the advantages of having a stiff front end on a bike? And will my moots stem help this. Need to be convinced...

Lots of questions, any help appreciated.
Stop taking the crap you read in magazines so seriously. The writers live by inflating the most trivial differences into something they can justify writing about. If'n it don't suck, it don't suck. Go ride what works for you. If you perceive a problem look into upgrading it.

Ron
 

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Pedalfaraway said:
Countersteering is an effective method on road bikes, and possible on a Mtn bike if you are on terrain with extremely good traction(Roads). High speed desending on a Mtn bike usually reqires that you shift your weight back to unweight the front wheel so if can "float" over obstacles. Unweighting the front wheel and attempting to countersteer will result in a scratched bike and lots of scabs. Keeping the front wheel weighted enough for countersteering to be effective will result in capauting over the handle bars, and more bike scratches and scabs. Its kind of a mute point as it has verry little to do with the question asked.
Q. Is the Moots good enough for my tracer.
A. Absolutley. Moots makes some of the best products on the market, and is certanily on par with anything else you could buy. Assuming it is the proper size.
Q. What is the advantage on a stiff front end.
A. Steering precision.

Never disagree with me :) :thumbsup:
I don't know how else to say this except, you're wrong. Don't take it the wrong way. It's nothing personal. But you seriously have no clue what you're talking about. :skep:

I've been in a few downhill and crosscountry races over the past 10 years. Heck, I've even done a few clinics with "Insane" Wayne Croasdale and Joe Lawwill. Countersteering is indeed an effective means of cornering at high speed. Note, I said high speed. Not slow or medium speed while dodging boulders. High speed through rocks (babies heads sized or larger) doesn't generally entail turning. I concur, you keep your weight back and float or launch over the rough. But hey, you're the seasoned expert. You already knew that.:p

Let's review the original question: Could someone explain the advantages of having a stiff front end on a bike? Well, I'd say I cited 3 examples of when a stiff front end (stem/fork/wheel) would be advantageous: Climbing/sprinting, rough descents, high speed turns. Since you disagree with the high speed turns part, let's discuss.

Anytime you reach 12-15 mph or greater, you aren't really turning the h-bars for direction changes. Whether you realize it or not, you are actually leaning the bike and countersteering. Albeit, the countersteering isn't as dramatic as one experiences on a motorcycle, but it's still countersteering.

If you are turning the handlebars in towards the apex of the turn, and have actually made it through the turn, you're a moron and have fooled yourself into believing that you went faster than you really were. :p

"Keeping the front wheel weighted enough for countersteering to be effective will result in capauting over the handle bars"...hmmm. Are you sure you want to stick with that statement? 'Cause I'd be more than willing to turn a blind eye to that one. Aw heck. Let's have a good laugh with that one too. :p

I happen to enjoy riding my hardtail singlespeed with a rigid fork more than any of the other bikes in the stable. So if that statement were true about any of the bikes I ride, it'd be true for the rigid SS. BZZZZZ! Wrong again. I happen to countersteer with my RIGID singlespeed on high speed corners with brake bumps and ruts. If I didn't weight the front end, the front wheel wouldn't have any traction and I'd probably wash out the front end when I leaned the bike into the turn. Now I didn't say I lean out over the front end. I just make sure I apply enough pressure on the handlebars (i.e. weighting) to keep the front tire biting. I still bias my weight to the middle-rear of the bike.

I'd highly recommend you challenge anything that I've said that doesn't sit right with you. God knows, even though I may act like it, I'm no expert on the topic. Go ask the local Sport/Expert/Pro racer at your LBS. Or maybe even pose an inquiry on the XC racing board. Who knows, you might learn something.

Oh yeah. Never challenge my authority. :) :thumbsup:
 

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whoa, this stem thread "veered" off to a cornering thread... back to the Moots stem, it is awesome -- ride it until it dies (if you live that long) before changing it
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thankyou, will post here in the future. The added info helps, great value and got me thinking. I lean and turn the handlebars into most corners and end up under-steering or washing out of the turn. Is this an example of someone counter-steering?

http://www.singletrackworld.com/article.php?sid=2048

he seems to be turning away from the corner but leaning into the apex at the same time.
 

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mezzanine said:
Thankyou, will post here in the future. The added info helps, great value and got me thinking. I lean and turn the handlebars into most corners and end up under-steering or washing out of the turn. Is this an example of someone counter-steering?

http://www.singletrackworld.com/article.php?sid=2048

he seems to be turning away from the corner but leaning into the apex at the same time.
Yeah, that's a great example of someone countersteering. Here's another pic of a guy (from that same site) with a better angle.
http://www.singletrackworld.com/image.php?id=14276&op=q75
You can see the inside trailing edge of his front wheel as he turns his bars away from the corner.

It's a leap of faith when you first start doing it. I know you didn't ask, but here's some more info, FWIW.

I recommend practicing on a smooth fireroad curve with no camber. (An off-camber turn requires a different approach and technique. A well-cambered turn will require virtually no countersteering.)

Start out with a comfortable speed that allows you to just cruise through the corner. Slowly increase your speed on each pass. Once you've hit a speed that requires you to lean into the turn, you can start practicing countersteering.

On your approach, initiate the turn by lightly pressing forward and down on your inside grip. As soon as the wheel turns to the outside of the curve, your bike will lean in towards the apex. If you're cornering smoothly, you don't need to change the pressure on the grip. If you start to turn into the apex too early, ease back on the pressure on the inside grip. If you need to decrease the radius of the turn, increase the pressure ever so slightly.

As you're cornering, make sure you're applying weight on the outside pedal. If the trail/road is free of any exposed rocks, roots, or anything that might clip your pedal, put your outside pedal in the 6 o'clock position. If there's a chance you'll clip the outside pedal, put the crank in the forward position level with the ground. (3 o'clock for right side, 9 o'clock for left side)

Hope that helps!
 

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Pedalfaraway said:
I have never felt any noticable flex coming from a stem. I own a whole range of them from $19.99 pazzas's to 150 dollar easton ec90's and honestly as long as the dimensions are correct, and the clamping system is reliable you are not going to notice a difference.
I too have never felt any noticeable flex coming from a stem. However, I have felt a noticeable lack of flex coming from an even better stem. Seriously, since I switched from my bike's original Race Face to a Thomson, there's a very noticeable improvement in the tightness and control of the front end of my rig. I never thought anything was wrong with that Race Face, but after I switched the difference is like night and day. When I installed the Thomson stem and went out for a test ride, I could have sworn that my fork crown had just been replaced with one twice as stiff. My dream of switching to a stiffer heavier fork immediately dropped way down the priority/necessity list.

100% USA-made too.
 

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Pedalfaraway said:
Countersteering is an effective method on road bikes, and possible on a Mtn bike if you are on terrain with extremely good traction(Roads). High speed desending on a Mtn bike usually reqires that you shift your weight back to unweight the front wheel so if can "float" over obstacles. Unweighting the front wheel and attempting to countersteer will result in a scratched bike and lots of scabs. Keeping the front wheel weighted enough for countersteering to be effective will result in capauting over the handle bars, and more bike scratches and scabs.

Never disagree with me :) :thumbsup:
Sorry but I too TOTALLY disagree with your assesment of cornering on a mountain bike.

get catapulted over the bars when weighting the front is a telltale sign of braking at the wrong time.

Weighting the rear in a corner is a sure way to wash out the front wheel.
 
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