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Full Bouncer, lack of rear grip???

WildfireS3WildfireS3 Posts: 25
edited August 2009 in MTB general
Ok, having been out of the bike game for a long time I bought myself a new bike, with the intent to get fit and have some fun.

I have bought a Felt Compulsion 4, which I do like. It's a bit on the heavy side, especially when I compared it to my old 99 Univega Alpina (even with the HS33s and full Azonic kit!). But never mind, a pair of Rock Shox Revelations are on my list.

But having taken it off road for the first time, riding trails I used o 1 years ago I feelt that I am a lot slower, both decending and climbing.

On both I am feelign a lack of rear grip, on the technical climbs, in the seat the rear scrabbles for lateral grip.

Decending the back seems to lock up eaisly and slide when I lean into a corner.

I am running the Felt 2.3 tyres at 35 psi.

Am I best trying to stay seated to keep the rear down? When I rode hard tails I kept out of the saddle when decending.

I have setup the sag correctly on the rear shock.

Is this a style thing I have to adapt or do I have to fiddle with the bike settings?

Cheers for any advice.
Always Aim For Puddles


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Keep fiddling - check out your damping settings too.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    WildfireS3 wrote:
    Ok, having been out of the bike game for a long time I bought myself a new bike
    Fettle away to get things spot on, but the key here might be simply be your body and riding brain getting back up to speed again.

    As for descending, even with full suss I reckon out of the saddle is the way to go unless it's very smooth. I tend to sit down briefly on any smoother sections just to rest the legs even if it is only for a few seconds.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
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  • Hmmmmm... I only have reboud adjustment on the rear and compression adjustment on the front, whcih is very annoying.

    I've dropped the pressure in the rear shock a little and ramped up the rebound a bit.

    could it be the tyres?
    Always Aim For Puddles
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    You do realise that the back WILL lock up easily regardless of terrain or suspension, but especially on steep descents, right?
    Back brake is near to useless to slow you down.
  • I do know this, I rode for a good 6 years before my broken wrist and the Foot and Mouth+Uni put pay to my riding.

    It just seems that I should be able to be a lot more stable and carry more speed into corners than I am at the moment. I'm only using the rear brake to balance things, but the bias seems to slip rearwards very quickly.

    If it were a car, almost snap oversteer on the decents.

    On the climbs if tring to get out of a gully, the front grips up fine but the rear really struggles.
    Always Aim For Puddles
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I would actually try less rebound - and drop the tyre to 30 psi. A bit of front grip bias is desirable to a lot of people - much easier to recover a back end slide than a front!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Try laying off the back brake completely - it won't be doing anything apart from reducing traction anyway.
  • RaymondavalonRaymondavalon Posts: 5,346
    I am a 2008 Compulsion 2 owner and have owned mine for over a year.
    The Felt's Equilink rear suspension geometry works well, even with the cheaper Fox R23 rear shock. The magazines that have tested Felt's full bouncers give the Equilink the thumbs up. The Equilink does eliminate some rear bob when pedaling, but not all of it.The Rockshox Pike 409 forks s on mine are great, I rate them.

    Generally the Compulsion I have is good on the singletracks and also handles the switchbacks / berms very well too, it handles well.
    Mine didn't come with the Felt branded tyres, but as for climbing, the 2.35 Maxxis Ignitors that mine come with are a letdown. They just don't offer great levels grip often needed for steep climbing and also collect and retain mud. Overall they do the job that's expected for a general purpose AM tyre, but they're not brilliant.

    I've just purchased Panaracer Rampage 2.35 tires to overcome the loose back end on climbing, so I'll be squeezing them onto both the front and rear rims tomorrow night and testing them at Leigh Woods, Swinley or Forest of Dean this weekend. I'll let you know the outcome.

    A word of advice.. invest in a torque wrench and tension all those Allen caps that make up the Equilink suspension. They will come loose as the paint wears off under the bolts.
    I used a little LocTite on all of mine and check them religiously with a BBB torque wrench before every ride.. it's 60 seconds of my time well spent before riding, even though none of the combination of 12 Allen caps, nuts and bolts have worked loose for a long time.
  • Thanks for the replies guys!

    I'll have a fiddle with the rear shock and the tyre pressures. I guess a lot of it will be bike skill, which I'm lacking in a lot after my abscense.

    Cheers for the heads up on the equilink bolts! i'll check that this weekend.

    I think an uprgade to Revelations of some flavour (426 if I can afford them, 409's if I'm poor) and maybe a Monarch will be on the list.

    Let me know how the tyres go!
    Always Aim For Puddles
  • RaymondavalonRaymondavalon Posts: 5,346

    I took my Comp 2 out with the Panaracer Rampage Sport tyres for the first time today
    The area of choice was Leigh Woods, Bristol as it's conveniently close and also has lots of steep climbs, roots, rocks, bedrock and a little mud leftover from the week's rains.
    The conditions were good, not too dry, not wet at all, just a tad damp as there was some drizzle, but a majority of the roots and rocks that the Leigh Woods trails are made up of were dry.

    Compared to the factory fitted Maxis Ignitors, these tyres were brilliant. They worked so well for me, solid predictable grip up the steep gravel covered climbs, felt like the bike was on rails through the berms and with none of the common front wash I had experienced with the Ignitors

    Over roots (and they are aplenty in Leigh Woods) the tyres are very predictable with the back end following the lines and also responding to the pedals with almost no back end slip when pedaling over the roots and rocks.
    Braking was a lot more predictable too, I certainly had more front end control under braking. Equally important is the fact the Rampage tyres didn't retain any mud, they fling it off.

    Setup was as follows:

    I had the Pikes set for max travel (140mm) Compression was at about 70% - or about 30% before lockout, with the forks hissing when working hard. Damping was in the middle (of the Tortoise and Hare)
    The Fox Float R23 rear shock was at 210PSI (as I weigh just over 200LB) The rear shock damping was in the middle: 3 clicks.
    Tyres were as follows:I ran 37 PSI in the rear and 28PSI up front tyre pressures according to the Topeak track pump's gauge.

    Today the bike was the best it's been in just under the year of owning it.
    As I said, these tyres worked well for me, the Equilink suspension has always worked well, but the lack of rear grip that I sometimes suffered from was most certainly attributed to the tyres.

    Sadly we blindly settle for the factory supplied tyres in the belief that the manufacturer knows what's best for the bike, but often this isn't the case. Today proved that beyond doubt
  • chick0chick0 Posts: 338
    Do you still have your old Univega Alpina in working condition ? If u do, keep riding your Felt for a bit, then switch back to your Univega for a circuit on your fav trail, and u will see that on anything other then smooth trails you are doing a lot less work, and in fact carrying a lot more speed on the Felt. I had a similar feeling when i switch to full suss, i thought i was slower, but it was in fact my brain giving me a false reference as i discovered when i went back to my old ride...
  • My Alpina is sort of in working condition...... It needs a major service, probaby a new drivetrain and the forks have definitley seen better days as the reboud damping is now totally ineffective and the fork feels liek a pogo stick.

    I think it's mainly the climbing thing as my Alpin a is way lighter than my Felt. but I'll definitley give it a go.

    Just need to get a Deore group set and some 100mm forks.....

    Cheers for the tyre update. I had ride this weekend, and tried changing my riding style. Definitley an improvement when I shifted my weight a bit in conjucntion with less rear brake.
    Always Aim For Puddles
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    WildfireS3 wrote:
    I've dropped the pressure in the rear shock a little and ramped up the rebound a bit.

    I'm surprised that no-one mentioned this.

    If you don't have enough rebound damping, the shock will extend too quickly after every hit and ping you off stuff - hence the lack of traction.
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  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,144
    Wind the rebound all the way in, so it 'packs down'. Then wind it out, 1 click at a time, untill it feels good.

    You should be running between 20-30% sag too, so make sure this is correct!
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