Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone. N00b here.

I'm posting as I have a very perplexing issue.

I'm 6' 4" and I have an XL 1999 GT XCR 2000 with idrive. It seems that whenever I ride up steep inclines or just slightly steeper than normal uphill trails, I seem to lose traction all together on my front wheel. It's like my bike is light as a feather in the front and will pull up and over without any effort. It's quite annoying and sucks for control.

What would cause this? What can I do to fix it?

Do I need a more adjustable rear shock that could be locked out?

Help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

·
Bike to the Bone...
Joined
·
8,290 Posts
WonderBucket said:
Greetings everyone. N00b here.

I'm posting as I have a very perplexing issue.

I'm 6' 4" and I have an XL 1999 GT XCR 2000 with idrive. It seems that whenever I ride up steep inclines or just slightly steeper than normal uphill trails, I seem to lose traction all together on my front wheel. It's like my bike is light as a feather in the front and will pull up and over without any effort. It's quite annoying and sucks for control.

What would cause this? What can I do to fix it?

Do I need a more adjustable rear shock that could be locked out?

Help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :thumbsup:
Maybe lower your handlebars, get a longer stem, lean forward more, just some ideas.
 

·
Killer b.
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
Sit further forward on the seat too. If I'm struggling up a steep incline so that the front is lifting, I shift all my weight forward to compensate.

b.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,849 Posts
The REAL problem is that production bike manufacturers don't vary chainstay lengths according to frame size. You're riding the same rear suspension components that they put on the smallest I-drive frame. If you think about it, you're probably sitting 6 or more inches higher than the person on their XS model, and you're an inch or two further back over the rear axle. Much further and you'd be directly over the rear axle. Add the fact that most tall people are also heavier, and it's no wonder the front end feels light. Bicycles should be proportioned so that the ratio of wheel contact patch-to-rider CG is maintained throughout the sizing.

I'm sorry that this info isn't very useful in solving your problem. I hope it keeps you from making any other changes that interfere with comfort or your overall ability to ride technical terrain.

If you could, post a pic of you, on the bike, from the side, in your normal riding position.
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Move your weight forward

and see if that helps; slide forward on the seat and bring your chest down toward the bars. Don't go spending money on stems or doubt your bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
I was going to say that you should just stop pumping the stupid thing up! <G>

however....

The statement that the rear end should be proportioned to the frame size is a very good one.

However, there are other aspects.

How steep are the slopes you are trying to climb?

How high is your saddle.

How is its height in relation to your bars?

Do you have it set for climbing? You should be able to sit on the saddle, rest your sole on the pedal at 6 o'clock, with your foot horizontal, and with your knee just bent (10 deg? or less). This gives you pedal power. While it tends to move your lower body weight up and back (bad for climbing without wheelstanding) it also will tend to make your trunk and arms heavier on the bars (good for climbing).

Then you need to "frog" (as I call it). Spread your weight by bending the elbows and getting the body up front and down on the bars. This still gives traction. If you move forward on the saddle this can help, but if you start spinning the rear wheel, then you need to get back a little and spread even more. This can get to the point where you look slightly ridiculous and can be uncomfortable on extreme climbs.

Also, while you should not grind up hills, it is possible to be in too low a gear. This can cause wheel spins and stands, because you have too much torque. Try going one sprocket smaller on the rear cassette, and see how that goes. This depends on terrain, because in really tough uphill work, with lots of rocks, logs etc, this can simply stop you.
 

·
Zach Kowalchuk
Joined
·
427 Posts
I used to have that problem. I learned if you shift your weight slightly forward on the saddle and try to have your weight even throughout the bike, you get enough traction for both tires. Just dont lean right over the handle bars or there'll be no traction for the back. This works for me but I'm riding a full rigid.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
39,146 Posts
WonderBucket said:
Greetings everyone. N00b here.

I'm posting as I have a very perplexing issue.

I'm 6' 4" and I have an XL 1999 GT XCR 2000 with idrive. It seems that whenever I ride up steep inclines or just slightly steeper than normal uphill trails, I seem to lose traction all together on my front wheel. It's like my bike is light as a feather in the front and will pull up and over without any effort. It's quite annoying and sucks for control.

What would cause this? What can I do to fix it?

Do I need a more adjustable rear shock that could be locked out?

Help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :thumbsup:
One thing I would recommend is to stop trying to ride up steep inclines in the easiest gear. It is actually harder sometimes to ride in the easiest gear because you go too slow to balance. I don't really use the granny gear, but as a rule if I do, I NEVER use the easiest gear, because it's just too easy to spin out, for the front end to wander around, and so on. You can't really just "find the easiest gear" and "spin" up a steep hill. Go watch the riders that ride those types of hills, I guarentee you they are not in the easiest rear cog, and often times they'll be in the middle-ring up front (even when it seems unbelievably steep).

I'm not going to push my "ride only the middle ring" philosophy on you, it's not as efficient and it's definitely not for everybody, but I will say that too often people try to ride in too easy of a gear uphill, and riding that harder gear can make it more possible. Even if you have the fitness to turn that easier gear up a steep hill you won't make it stick because the front end will wander all over, you may not have the fitness to climb in that slightly harder gear, but work on it and soon you will, and you'll be able to make the climb because the bike will have the traction and the front end will stay planted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Another thought. Try some bar ends. They are not expensive.

They are contentious, but I use them. They allow you to get your weight even further spread out, without your actually having to lean on the bars.

Nick
 

·
local trails rider
Joined
·
12,300 Posts
Moving your weight forward, as others have described above, usually helps. So might gear selection.

Is the rear shock set firm enough for whatever your weight is? Going up a hill, your weight tends to be on the rear wheel, trying to compress the shock more than on level ground or downslope.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Pooh Bear said:
try this: harder gear + out of saddle climbing

It's better for short steep climbs anyway.
By "out of saddle" do you mean standing up? I find that if I get my bum just off the saddle, it's a hard position to pedal in, but gives good traction still. But if I stand right up my weight goes forward and I just spin.

Nick
 

·
The Notorious S.L.O
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
I am 6"5" and ride a 22.5 in frame

and I agree, a stock bike like my NRS and your GT, the rear triangle is not adjusted to match the larger size frame, so the bikes are bit our of balance.

As stated, try moving your weight forward, I try to get my chest low and close to the stem.
I also have been running Profile Boxxer bar ends, the larger ones with a inward bend in them.
When climbing, I use the furthermost forward position on the bar ends, this allow me to move my weight further towards the front. this combined with moving forward, sometimes way forward on the saddle, works for maintain traction when I am climbing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
576 Posts
are there any headset spacers?

One thing that can make a surprising amount of difference is the headset spacers. If you have any spacers between your headset and handle bar stem then try removing them which will lower your handle bars.
 

·
- factotum -
Joined
·
821 Posts
OldNick said:
By "out of saddle" do you mean standing up? I find that if I get my bum just off the saddle, it's a hard position to pedal in, but gives good traction still. But if I stand right up my weight goes forward and I just spin.

Nick
yes. stand up and fight. :D

the harder gear usually prevents spinning out. It's a matter of practice to find the right weight distribution - it is still easier than seated steep climbing.
 

·
It's soil, not dirt!
Joined
·
129 Posts
I was having the same problem after getting set up on a new bike (well, an old bike but I had been off it so long it felt like a new bike!). I found that sliding my seat forward an inch made a world of difference. I had originally set it up using the outdated and inappropriate rule of thumb which puts your forward knee over your pedal with your cranks horizontal.

All the advice on technique above also applies but try fidgeting with your position on the bike, it worked for me.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top