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Znarf's posts

822 posts found

Sept. 24, 2021, 10:10 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Anyone put an HC97 in a late model Lyrik?

One other idea:

Experiment with bar height. When I went to a shorter travel 29er with longish reach and longish chainstays, but steeper head angle compared to my Madonna with a 180mm fork, I had the feeling that my fork dived and the front end felt strange. I fiddled with spacers and even fork travel and compression setup etc. and a firmer fork worked better in this respect, but I find it beneficient to use more of the travel on my shorter travel rig regularly, compared to my Madonna ( I don‘t do stunts which require 180mm on every ride). I do ride stuff which kind of warrants 130/140mm on basically every ride (that‘s in relation to what my body can take long-term, not what a pro could do with my bikes…)

But what actually solved this divey, strange feeling for me, even though I didn‘t expect it at all, was a higher riser bar and a more linear fork setup with enough suppleness.

My stem is set up with plenty (3cm) of spacers underneath (Orbea Occam, size Large, short head tube) and a +35mm riser bar.

When I look at the bike I would absolutely guess that the bars are too high. Especially in comparison to my previous bikes. (But kind of in line with what works on my Madonna)

Actually +1cm of bar rise changed the bike for me from „I kind of regret buying it“ to „I am incredibly excited to ride it and can‘t pick between the Madonna (which I love) and the shorter travel bike“. I tended to run very firm forks and low bars. Which made me never use all the travel, but worked. But it is kind of pointless to lug all that travel around. (But some security margin is nice…)

Sept. 16, 2021, 6:03 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Short travel 29'ers

Wow, very detailed and interesting writeups! Thanks!

Aug. 8, 2021, 1:27 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Short travel 29'ers

Posted by: Kenny

Pulled the trigger on a size L Jibb with coil. Should be interesting.

Report back after a couple of rides, please! I am very curious for what kind of tires you'll settle on this sort of bike for shore riding!

July 27, 2021, 5:08 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: New bike time on a budget - need advice

Glad to hear that! And cool that you already took it to all kinds of great riding areas!

July 1, 2021, 9:32 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: 2021 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

Posted by: Hepcat

Posted by: Znarf

How about a video of my 2021 bike?

RAAW MADONNA V2 Long-Term Review with V2.2 Peek MTB.......

I made this little Video Review to practice my English and camera skills. With travel restrictions I don’t have many opportunities to speak English :-/

I wrote Pete and Cam if it’s okay to post a couple of days ago, but haven’t heard back. So I’ll just try :)

There was some interest for my Madonna in this thread a couple of pages back. So why not…

Haha excellent, that put the rest of our "reviews" to shame.  🍻

And nice manual!

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

June 29, 2021, 1:25 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: 2021 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

How about a video of my 2021 bike?

RAAW MADONNA V2 Long-Term Review with V2.2 Peek MTB

https://youtu.be/DakbMIy_12M

I made this little Video Review to practice my English and camera skills. With travel restrictions I don’t have many opportunities to speak English :-/

I wrote Pete and Cam if it’s okay to post a couple of days ago, but haven’t heard back. So I’ll just try :)

There was some interest for my Madonna in this thread a couple of pages back. So why not…

June 28, 2021, 9:24 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: 2021 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

Posted by: xy9ine

yer. lots of tech-gnar jank out there still; just sees relatively little traffic. many sanctioned trails that i *never* see people on. not complaining, of course.

That’s great to hear, I love all those rocks and fallen trees etc.

The forest in BC is so breathtakingly beautiful. An incredible attraction in itself, even without trails :)

June 28, 2021, 12:51 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: 2021 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: Znarf

These riders must have dialed bike handling to the extent that stability and not going over the bars isn't a worry for them. And also a lot of it might have to do with being used to performing on too small bikes and not changing a winning combination.

Is the bike "too small" if they are a) winning on it and b) prefer it?

Moir's bike fits exactly as all mine do me. I wonder if the pendulum will swing back a little bit? The strive has geo numbers from 2 or 3 years ago and he is going down a size. I think this says something about how much you lose by going with such long bikes as people are.

Perhaps the take home is that wheelbase does not equal speed for a pro rider. Fast riders can go fast on any wheelbase, but they lose the ability to maneuver the bike when it gets too long?

That's good rhetoric on your part! =)

I love nsmb.com for the great discussions (no sarcasm!)

What I should have said/what I meant - most of the taller top pro riders who ride comparatively "small" bikes seem to have started riding on some "too small" bike of some sort, in the past. When they like their bike OR even win on it, it is a good fit for them, apparently. Athletes can be peculiar imho, because they can compensate insane stuff, when they feel there's a specific advantage etc. They MAKE things work. And that's a great talent and probably what makes them ride WORLDS better than me =)

Still: The bikes which were available before the geometry "revolution" around (2014/2015), were really (too) small for most people 6ft+.

And compared to these bikes even the "smaller" 29" Strive has a relatively modern geo. For illustration: my 2014 Specialized Enduro size LARGE - I am 6ft. Or any video of a DH World Cup pre 2015 and look at Peaty, Minaar, Ratboy etc. https://nsmb.com/photos/view/20341/

I absolutely agree with you, that there is a TOO big. And sizing is a fine line, highly dependent on anatomy, fitness and preference! The POLE EWS rider, even though he is fast, looks like an acrobat of some sort, maneuvering a longboard through the twisty tracks. I think that's not because of his riding style - he's super competent. But because his bike is HUGE.

I do think (but that might be cognitive bias) that most tallish "new-school" top pro-riders don't size down as much. But riding the smallest bike you can comfortably get away with probably still has it's benefits.

How tall are you and what are you riding?

June 27, 2021, 5:54 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: 2021 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

Yeah, I think so! At least for people of average height. 

Posted by: velocipedestrian

Posted by: RAHrider

Speaking of new FS bikes. What's the deal with many of the EWS riders riding one size smaller? The winner of the latest EWS is 190cm and rides a size large with a 460mm reach. He says that on the gnarly courses, the smaller bike is better. Aren't we all riding "the gnarly trails" all the time here?

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-a-closer-look-at-jack-moirs-canyon-strive-race-bike.html

Those Germans at Enduro covered this by testing a bunch of racers bikes vs recommended sizes of the same frames. 

Seemed to come down to the longer bike being more stable + forgiving, vs shorter being easier to move around. So far so obvious, but for us mortals on tough terrain longer is better. For pros with the skills and fitness, mobility can mean better line choice and seconds saved etc... Are we hitting peak reach?

June 27, 2021, 5:52 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: 2021 - Full Suspension Bike Thread

Posted by: RAHrider

Speaking of new FS bikes. What's the deal with many of the EWS riders riding one size smaller? The winner of the latest EWS is 190cm and rides a size large with a 460mm reach. He says that on the gnarly courses, the smaller bike is better. Aren't we all riding "the gnarly trails" all the time here?

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/video-a-closer-look-at-jack-moirs-canyon-strive-race-bike.html

In my experience (as a European rider, who got to spent three extended vacations in BC) the shore trails (most of the stuff I rode on Cypress, Fromme and Seymour, in Squamish and Whistler) is janky and gnarly, the rock stuff very much so, some of it is very steep and well above what I want or can comfortably ride (or risk). But to some extent most of these trails are "made" with some sort of two-wheeled vehicle in mind, going up or down. So, almost no matter how harsh and janky they get, the have some sort of flow for really good riders. Also the trails don't suffer from hundreds of years of erosion.

Over here in Europe more than half (personal estimation from the two handfuls of EWS circuits I've ridden recreationally across Europe, NOT RACING) the EWS tracks are either mostly based on farming, walking, donkey transport, smuggling (hiking) trails or paths, which are in many sections hundreds, sometimes thousands of years old. They can be incredibly rocky and janky, downright scary. Especially in the France there are sometimes nightmarish sections, made almost unridable in wet or not ideal conditions. (look at the crashes from the Olargues EWS races, even for top ten riders it was only a 70/30 hit rate) Or you have longer parts of stages which are just racing tape, sticks and an undefined grassy slope of a mountain or slalom on gravel roads for hundreds of meters. Sometimes the tracks are just reclaimed, long unused trails. We get more and more purpose built trails and that is great.

The "classic" European "trails" are often not as much fun to ride and require very different riding style and technique, some are scenic however. But if you see the EWS pros flick their bikes with incredible speed and finesse through switchbacks, sometimes hopping, muscling or jack-rabbit-jumping in (to me) unimaginable ways, the smaller frames might make sense for losing as little time as possible. Often they ride EITHER on the front OR the rear wheel in these sections or jump from line to line...

These riders must have dialed bike handling to the extent that stability and not going over the bars isn't a worry for them. And also a lot of it might have to do with being used to performing on too small bikes and not changing a winning combination.

I absolutely DON`T want to say that the BC trails are easier. I want to express that they are more fun and offer more flow, because they are actual biking trails and therefore there aren't as many situations where a longer bike (and not in a racing situation) would cost seconds. Even if it is much more fun, safe and more enjoyable to ride for moderate to great riders, when they are not racing.

June 18, 2021, 2:29 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Bike frame/parts drought 2021

Absolutely! That is a standout trait I love with this bike. No tall spacer stack necessary, which shortens reach…

June 14, 2021, 9:35 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: New bike time on a budget - need advice

I ride a large Madonna, 485mm reach and am 6ft with 36“ inseam and long arms.

I could ride a bigger bike and couldn’t imagine riding a smaller!

If you chose the proper stem length and bar roll/height, I’d say the XL should be a better fit than the XL. But a test ride, at least with pedals on the road should help a lot.

Without pedals you’ll feel stretched out, because your feet and hips will take a lot of your wait from your hands. Try it on you old bike with the feet off the pedals, it will feel weird even if it is short…

Two of my riding buddies with pretty much your height and also the long inseams are on XL frames with 505 and 510mm reach as well. They like the fit and don’t look stretched out.

June 10, 2021, 11:36 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Bike frame/parts drought 2021

So it all comes back to $$$ :D

June 7, 2021, 6:59 a.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Bike frame/parts drought 2021

Posted by: andy-eunson

Posted by: craw

It might be hard to appreciate if you've been riding super short chainstays forever. For me the big difference is not having to struggle so much climbing because I'm positioned in the middle of the bike, not hanging off the back, so I don't have to do so much body english to not flip over. Manualing is the same, it just has a different balance point. I don't have any issue getting up and over obstacles on technical climbs. The only trick is having to be super precise on uphill switchbacks - my bike is really long so there's usually only one rideable arc through a tight corner. But that's a price I'll happily pay for a balanced position for the other 98% of the ride.

If you're tall chances are you've been living with a rearward weight bias forever while most M/L people have not since bike geometry was optimized for them (not you!). Being on a new geo bike was eye opening. I think my G1 is the first bike I've ever had where I'm positioned correctly. That's after 20+ high end bikes over 30+ years, this is the first bike that feels balanced.

Yes. If short rear centres allow one to manual easy, do they not make being centred more difficult? As a thought experiment, how would a bike like a Pole ride if the bb was pushed forward to make a 74 ish seat tube angle. Same wheelbase. That would make weight through the feet a more centred thing.

That seems a bit contradictory to me, I'm not sure I understand...

Wouldn't that also effectively shorten the front centre and make the bike feel old-school again with the over-the-bar sensation? =)

(effective)Reach is tied to the bottom bracket to bars/headtube distance and mingles with stack. So either you lengthen the wheelbase of a Pole by adding chain stay length and slacken the seat tube angle (and seat tube angle is only relevant for seated riding), reach isn't affected, stack neither. If you go too far the bike will ride well while standing, but you'll be stretched like a suspension bridge when seated. 

I think JonesBikes kind of do their geometry like what you are suggesting...  something about absorbing the hits more with your hips and through the legs, therefore not needing suspension...

Or you move the BB forward, lengthen the stays with the same wheelbase, but then you'll shorten reach.

Some early E-MTBs (I haven't ridden any and am not inclined to do so) from HAIBIKE have 470mm or longer chainstays. They couldn't fit the motor or something =)

They are steep and short in the front center though and really long in the rear. Also high BBs. They seem to handle awful, mainly because the front center/headtube angle etc. isn't sorted.

Another really curious geometry concept: the new GHOST Enduro and Trail Bikes. They are HUGE in horizontal Top Tube length. They kind of do what you suggest. Long reach, tall stack, longish stays, slack(er) seat tube angle. My frame size would be 5cm longer in TTH, which would kill my wrists and neck for seated riding, I think. Riding out of the seat should feel similar to my Madonna. Wild!

June 5, 2021, 2:35 p.m.
Posts: 823
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Bike frame/parts drought 2021

I was of the same opinion and bought and rode bikes with short chainstays with preference for a long time. Because of wheelies, manuals and playfulness and flickability and all that :)

I thought I really loved short chainstays.

I discovered my new preference by chance:

After riding the Madonna (at first with hesitation, because of the „long“ chainstays) for a bit and buying it as a backup by impulse (even though it has longer stays) to the Rallon 29 I owned at that time (with similar geo but 10mm shorter stays) I somehow felt very much more comfortable on the bike with longer stays.

The difference ended up being huge in real use, cornering especially was MUCH more natural. I actually sold the Rallon a couple of months later, even though it was beautiful, carbon and three pounds lighter and decked out, I never touched it anymore. I had liked it well enough for a season, before riding the Madonna.

At first you will notice that you need to adjust the technique to pop the front wheel up, thrusting the hips and legs forward, not just leaning back and pulling the handlebars like a BMX. But I got used to it pretty quickly. Now it feels „normal“ and shorter bikes feel strange.

For sure, a smaller, shorter bike will feel more like a bmx. And that can be a lot of fun. There is no WRONG bike, whatever is fun for anyone is right. And there are lots of crazy good riders on basically any geometry.

But I feel that „balance“ is really beneficial for most riding situations. For me, proportionally (to the front center) longer stays have lots of benefits (cornering, seated climbing, stability, traction, tire clearance) which outweigh the cons (lifting the front wheel, fitting into a bike rack).

It is a preference and riders do adjust to different bikes pretty astonishingly imho.

For me personally, my confidence got boosted really by a lot with this different approach. I’ve been riding for 20 years and my progression had stalled pretty solidly. With the Madonna I got a lot faster, without effort. I try new moves and lines and for the first time the ready position feels really natural. I don’t have to think, it just fits.

The most astonishing thing for me, which I don’t fully comprehend though: I’ve been trying to learn to manual for 15 years. I could wheelie for ten minutes, but the proper manual just eluded me, always. I even bought a super short hardtail to learn it, but nada.

After a season on the Madonna, growing ever more comfortable, it somehow just clicked. Once I understood the proper hip movement (thanks to Ryan leech’s excellent video instructions), lofting the front wheel on the long bike was easy enough.

The balance point seems a bit more forgiving. I can manual half a kilometre+ on a street pretty easily now, even with some turns. I don’t tell this to brag, lots of people can do it, it’s just that I feel really elated that I can still learn that stuff at 37 :) I was sure the manual wasn’t in my cards…

And to a certain extent I attribute it to the bike fitting and riding better, because of proportionality.

For smaller or taller riders that may totally differ. Even inseam, arm length and all that stuff will probably make a big difference.

If you have the opportunity, try it. Maybe you like it, maybe not :)

Edit:

Craw was quicker AND managed to compress what I tried to say into a much more to the point manner ;-)

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