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How to stop the loop-out feeling?

GHillGHill Posts: 2,402
edited June 2009 in MTB general
My wife has quite recently got a new Trek Fuel Ex 5.5 WSD. It's quite an upgrade from her previous Hardrock and it's really helped her descending.

But, she feels like she's going to loop out backwards on steep climbs. Is there anything we can do to try and get rid of this? There are currently three spacers under the stem, would lowering the stem help?

Current stem is 110 mm (if I measured it correctly) and the bar is 640 mm wide.

We'd both appreciate any ideas.

Posts

  • M6TTFM6TTF Posts: 602
    Simple techniques like shuffling forward on your saddle and bending your arms a little bit more can help. If every other part of you riding is comfortable then I wouldn't mess about with position. If you must, then try dropping down one spacer. I'd imagine a shorter stem will only make things feel worse
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Bar ends can help too.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    I usually jack the seat post up to the outer most limit of efficient pedalling and it took me a while of trial and error before I got the spacers right for everyday climbing. It works for all but the most silly gradients but then I'd have to drop to no spacers - too much hassle on a ride, so I do as above, change riding style by inching forward on the saddle, bending arms and altering centre of gravity. Takes practice and work though but you develop your own style the more you do it.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    bigbenj_08 wrote:
    Stand up?

    Standing up on a steep climb will probably make the rear wheel spin out.

    As others have said, lower the front of the body, point the elbows down and pull down on the handlebars, sit on the nose of the saddle to increase traction to rear wheel (but only for short bursts as it is a tad uncomfortable).

    If these don't work or the bike is uncomfortable, then look at bike fit.
    --
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  • GHillGHill Posts: 2,402
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. She's going to try the technique stuff a bit but she wants to know why she didn't have the same trouble on the hardrock.

    We're also going to experiment with dropping the stem a little.
  • blister pusblister pus Posts: 5,780
    General geometry, but If you look at the two bikes side by side the Trek has a slacker head angle (not by much but you can see it) it's more an all mountain design as opposed to the Hardrock, which by comparison, is more racey XC orientated. Would make the Trek more prone to feeling like it's going to loop out on a serious climb. But with a bit of readjustment, should go away, or be manageable.
  • gs3gs3 Posts: 249
    andrewjoseph said :
    As others have said, lower the front of the body, point the elbows down and pull down on the handlebars, sit on the nose of the saddle to increase traction to rear wheel

    aj is absolutely right but instead of thinking about lowering body, dropping elbows etc as individual movements (and this might sound just a little too easy) try placing your thumbs on top of the bar next to index fingers instead of the usual position under the bar when climbing.
    Without even thinking about it, your upper body will move forward slightly, your elbows will drop down and you will automatically pull back and down on the bar preventing you from lifting the front wheel so easily.
    Like I said, it seems to be a little TOO easy but feedback from riding buddies who have tried this technique has been 100% positive.
    Sitting towards the nose of the saddle will always improve climbing traction but that doesn't mean you have to sit right on the pointy bit - a shift of position by an inch or two is all it takes to make the difference.

    The other reason for the 'looping out' feeling would simply be the fact that the rear of the Trek is obviously 'soft' compared to the Hardrock and if your wife also locks out the forks (to be confirmed) when climbing then the overall feel of the bike will be the front staying high and the rear sagging down - it's one of those thing you get used to after a while when riding full suss. Also, unless you tend to mainly stand when climbing, I have always found that locking out the fork when off-road is not necessary as there is no induced bouncing when seated anyway.

    Give it a try and let us all know how you both get on - what is there to lose??
    .
  • captainflycaptainfly Posts: 1,001
    Is the stem standard on the Trek Fuel Ex 5.5 WSD http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/mo ... elex55wsd/ a Bontrager SSR, 10 degree, 31.8mm it says or have you fitted a 110mm stem to it? A 31.8mm stem will put you quite far back on the bike and will feel light at the front, where a 110mm will really put you as far as you'd ever need to be, pointing the saddle nose down a bit will also help climbing but it isn't a serious climbing bike but you'd still need to try to make it topple back on you.
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    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

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  • M6TTFM6TTF Posts: 602
    The 31.8 refers to it being oversize, not the length :)
  • xtreemxtreem Posts: 2,965
    She's going to try the technique stuff a bit but she wants to know why she didn't have the same trouble on the hardrock.
    As blister pus said, and to add to this the Hardrock had 100mm of front suspension and the Trek has 120mm. So those 2cm more can change things.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    GHill wrote:
    There are currently three spacers under the stem, would lowering the stem help?

    Yes. Good technique for clmbing involves keeping your weight low over the front wheel, so reducing the height of the stem will help.
    GHill wrote:
    Current stem is 110 mm (if I measured it correctly) and the bar is 640 mm wide

    I found (weirdly) that a shorter stem and wider bar helped. I used to get exactly the same with my giant VT - on climbs, the front would flop about all over the place and try to lift, but on descents I always felt like I was WAY too far forwards.

    I'm not a climber at all, so my priority was getting the setup feeling right for descedning, so I swapped the 110mm standard stem for a 90mm one and instantly the whole ride changed, but strangely it improved the climbing too. I can only think that the shorter stem has quickened the steering up so I can keep a better line on climbs.

    The next step was a wider, higher rise bar which made another 100% improvement and I've just changed the stem again for a 70mm one. Better yet. So I'm now running a 70mm stem with 710mm wide, 50mm rise bars.

    Another thing to possibly try is an in-line seatpost - i.e. one with the clamp immediately atop the post rather than slightly rearward. A 10mm change in saddle position can make all the difference.


    We'd both appreciate any ideas.[/quote]
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  • captainflycaptainfly Posts: 1,001
    M6TTF wrote:
    The 31.8 refers to it being oversize, not the length :)

    Yeah I see that now :oops: it was pretty late and a mate has 35mm long stem :wink: but still a 110mm stem is plenty long enough.
    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
    Mongoose Teocali
    Giant STP0

    Why are MTB economics; spend twice as much as you intended, but only half as much as you wish you could afford? :roll:
  • GHillGHill Posts: 2,402
    When we went out yesterday she tried to work hard on the technique and I'd dropped the stem by a spacer. Her climbing was much improved and she didn't feel like she was going to loop out. Thanks for all the tips guys.

    In fact, she was a little too fast all round, think I may sneak that spacer back under the stem :wink:
  • XxxBFGxxXXxxBFGxxX Posts: 1,355
    has the sterrer tube been cut. mine did somit simaler it turned out i had to lower the bars on the sterrer. itis now slammed and it clims like a elephant on roids
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