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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a 2011 5 Spot for a couple of months now. And I'm really happy with it. It is pretty much better than my 2002 Specialized FSR XC Pro. I expected the 5 Spot to be a better descender, and for the pedaling to be more efficient given the DW Link. But even taking those things into consideration I'm often quite surprised at how well this bike works when climbing.

So I got to wondering if its the geometry, the length of the chainstays or what. When climbing fairly sane stuff the 5 Spot is better mostly because of the more efficient DW link. That isn't so surprising. However when thing get really steep, to so steep I'm not always sure my legs are gonna last and I might fall over and roll back down the hill then there's something about the 5 Spot that is much better than my old bike but I can't put my finger on it.

Two things I've noticed are than when seated and really pushing hard on the pedals, the front wheel is not so quick to lift off of the ground. The other thing is that on the really insanely steep stuff where I have to get way up on the front of the bike it just works so much better than my previous experience with mountain bikes. I kind of get into a position where instead of sitting on the nose of the saddle with my chest low above the stem, I now kinda float my bottom just barely above and to the front of the nose of the saddle and it works so much better. It's kinda difficult to describe the position, but it sorta feels like I'm standing up, and crouched down low at the same time. And that my body is almost perfectly positioned between the stem and saddle to get more of my energy into the rear wheel, while keeping the front wheel on the ground and not spinning the rear wheel.

Can anyone explain what they've done to make the bike work so well?

Some people will think I'm now just another Homer that's swilling the Koolade, but that's ok w/me.

Derek
 

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I built a Turner last spring that replaced my Spec FSR 2004 (both chainstays broke). The Turner is head and shoulders above it in terms of climbing and descending. I don't question the physics, I just enjoy them! :)
 

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Maybe that is why they called it the Spot. There is that Spot you put yourself on that bike that makes everything possible to climb. Here I thought I was just a monster technical steep climbing rider. Damn it. It was the bike all along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Physics, wasn't my strong suit at university

I was just kinda hoping someone could offer a real explanation of what is actually going on with the 5 Spot. I guess I'm the curious sort who likes to know the how's and why's of the way things work.

I guess I have to revise my original post a bit. I realized after posting it that I've only used the granny gear on my 5 Spot once since getting it (I normally only need the granny when I'm very tired). So yesterday I did a 60 mile road ride and then went mountain biking today. So my legs were indeed pretty tired, I had to use the granny going up one super steep section today. And I did notice that the 5 Spot is not completely immune from lifting the front wheel on the power stroke when in the granny gear.

Steelmonkey said:
I built a Turner last spring that replaced my Spec FSR 2004 (both chainstays broke). The Turner is head and shoulders above it in terms of climbing and descending. I don't question the physics, I just enjoy them! :)
 

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rmac said:
Anti-squat.
Yes, that would be my guess as well. The FSR rearend will squat somewhat when climbing which will tend to cause your front wheel to lift, requiring that chest-over-the-handlebars positioning whereas the dw link tends to keep the rear end level thus not exaggerating the angle of the hill = more central body position works well.
 

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Your 5 spot IS an xc bike. Just a hell of a lot better one than a 2002 xc pro.
 

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Anything new that you spent $2500 will ALWAYS be better. You have to justify it. I've never heard anyone spent $2500 on bike frame alone and said their bike sucks.

I still ride TNT Spot and the turner magic dust is rubbing off. I'm trying to get a wider handlebar to compensate on it. Of course it's still the same bike, upgrading little things will always feel "Better" than the old one.

Or maybe its all in our F'ed up head.
 

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kosmo said:
Horst bikes really sag into the travel when the climbing gets really steep. The DW Link's antisquat helps minimizes that.
You'd be pretty surprised at how well the newer specialized xc bikes ride I think.

I agree with you on the older ones though. Drove me kind of crazy because I always loved the geometry on some of my older spec xc bikes.
 

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Funny you should bring this up. I have a DW Sultan and I always knew it climbed well but I never realized how well until the last few weeks. I just picked up a Scott Scale RC 29er and while I've only ridden it a few times, I keep feeling like I am about to go over backwards up hills. This could be many things, shorter wheelbase, shorter stays, lighter front end, and just plain old not being used to how it rides yet. However, the Sultan is long, stable and just motors up hills. Not being able to compare it directly to another FS, It was interesting to hear your experience.
 
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