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Stupid questions ahoy!

step83step83 Posts: 4,169
edited April 2013 in MTB buying advice
Evening all, ive some annoyingly stupid question i need to ask im afraid :(

Currently on the bike i have a longish stem im looking to change that partly as ive been advised it is week but also as it feels a bit long for me. The clamp on my current on is 25.4mm and steerer appears to be 30mm or 1.1/8". Im going from Suntours specs which show the race crown on the front fork as 30mm. So can anyone recommend a shortish stem that will fit? I was looking at this one below or a DMR Swarm are these any good or any i barking up the wrong tree?
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=88419

Also if its better I can just get a new wider stem and bars.

Also tyres, im riding XC and trails. Round my way the woods are mainly heavy clay mud and sand Ive ridden aspley woods a few times looking at chicksands and the surroudning. Im running some Schwalbe Black Jacks at the moment and wasnt hugely impressed with them not bad on the road back to the car but very slidey in the corners even at slow speeds and generally lacking traction in the sticky stuff. Anyone able to suggest some decent ones currently they are 2.1" I dont think the frame can take much wider on the rear the frame is a 2004 Carrera Kraken if it helps.

Thanks for the help an sorry for the questions.

Posts

  • Greer_Greer_ Posts: 1,716
    What length is your stem at the moment? I doubt its overly weak, probably stronger than most if its the heavy ones that come as standard. Going to 40mm seems like a huge difference, you might be better going for something in-between. Your steerer will be 1 1/8, what do you mean by race crown?
  • omegasomegas Posts: 970
    Step83 wrote:
    Currently on the bike i have a longish stem im looking to change that partly as ive been advised it is week but also as it feels a bit long for me.

    As little as 10mm on a new stem length can make a big difference in the handling character and cockpit reach balance of your bike. I would see if you try a shorter stem out first or just go down 10mm first.
  • omegasomegas Posts: 970
    Step83 wrote:
    Im running some Schwalbe Black Jacks at the moment and wasnt hugely impressed with them not bad on the road back to the car but very slidey in the corners even at slow speeds and generally lacking traction in the sticky stuff.

    they are not the best for the wet , more of a dry hardpack xc . Try playing around with pressures first to see if that gives you more grip . If you are having problems with traction on the back in mud try going down a size in width not up.
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Stems 100mm looks like an early Tioga O Bone Im quite happy to drop it down to a 90mm and see how it goes, I wasnt sure how much of an affect it would make. Unfortunately ive no one with a spare I can try but I suppose I could try adjusting the saddle forward and rolling the bars back a bit which may give me an idea how it would feel?

    An sorry im messing up my terms been working too long today, I meant the Crown Race part of the headset diameter which means naff all anyway as I should already know is the same as the steerer.

    Re the tyres the rear is sat at 40 psi ill drop it down to 37 go for a ride with a pump an gauge an see how I get on I can drop it down or up to find a sweet spot. An would make sense thinner tyres really means they will cut in more rather than fat ones with would likely be more slippery.
  • Greer_Greer_ Posts: 1,716
    Step83 wrote:
    An sorry im messing up my terms been working too long today, I meant the Crown Race part of the headset diameter which means naff all anyway as I should already know is the same as the steerer.

    No worries, I've said sillier things on here!

    You should be able to pick up different stems dead cheap on eBay, then buy a more expensive one, when you find a size that works. Tyre wise, you need a tyre with bigger knobbles, you won't get an awful lot of grip from them. But in saying that, I run a racing ralph on the rear and don't have too many problems in mud (70% of my riding goes through it). I've found it's more down to technique and keeping your weight well over the rear wheel so try giving that a go next time you're out.
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Good news on this, spoke wit ha friend who has a few stems and a bar in the 31.8mm range so i can try some lengths an decide what I prefer an then I can pick up a new stem so thats one problem sorted. Tyre wise ive been having a look about the site and im leaning toward some Panaracer fire XC Pros they seem to be pretty popular. If dropping the pressure doesnt help ill have a look into a set of those.
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Thought I should update this, played with a friend stem and bar to get an idea, plumped for a 70mm stem have to say I feel far more confident now and less stretched.
    Ended up getting a panaracer on the front and a maxxis advantage on the rear after playing with a friends bike on the same setup. I may move the pana to the rear but we will see how it behaves.
    Inital impressions are the panas are stickier than glue covered in sticks which is never a bad thing.

    Next up ive done the stupid thing of weighing the bike. Its at 13.7kg currently so im looking to put it on a diet. The current rims are a pair of formulas not sure on the model but they weigh a lot. Any recommendations on lighter fronts at all?
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    omegas wrote:

    As little as 10mm on a new stem length can make a big difference in the handling character and cockpit reach balance of your bike. I would see if you try a shorter stem out first or just go down 10mm first.

    Really?..10mm? A big difference? Stupid answers ahoy.

    Think down to 70mm was a good call to start with.
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    Step83 wrote:
    Next up ive done the stupid thing of weighing the bike. Its at 13.7kg currently so im looking to put it on a diet. The current rims are a pair of formulas not sure on the model but they weigh a lot. Any recommendations on lighter fronts at all?

    Yep..very stupid!...it's a downward spiral from here

    Re. Wheels. Budget?
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Defiantly a downward spiral :( was eyeing up the 456 frame as well :? That can wait till im better on the bike though.
    I stripped the front wheel down and weighed the rim including the hub its 1.6Kg very unimpressed! I said the front wheel obviously it make sense to get a pair. Budget wise looking up to about £250. Ive not built wheels before so its safer for me to look at pre built.
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    Step83 wrote:
    Defiantly a downward spiral :( was eyeing up the 456 frame as well :? That can wait till im better on the bike though.
    I stripped the front wheel down and weighed the rim including the hub its 1.6Kg very unimpressed! I said the front wheel obviously it make sense to get a pair. Budget wise looking up to about £250. Ive not built wheels before so its safer for me to look at pre built.

    Get these!

    http://superstar.tibolts.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=496

    The Crests are 1.6kg...for the pair and £50 under budget...what's not to like? :D
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Defiantly going to have a nose at those then the pair weigh the same as my front wheel! :shock:
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,781
    The Formula's aren't that bad, the common one (as found on many Carreras and Voodoo's) are 2.1Kg a pair, be sure of your weight (wheel weight doesn't include disc, bolts, rim strip, skewre, tyre or tube), 1.6Kg is very very heavy, suspiciously so, it's heavier than anything I've had including some real cheapies (steel nipples).
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Steel nipples aren't cheap, they're sensible.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Ive been out and re weighed it with the scales from the kitchen much to the others halfs annoyance, turns out my scales were off slightly. I was using a small digital scale for the wheel. tried using the kitchen and my luggage scales both coming out just over 1.25Kg for the front. Ive not re weighed the rear as its on there while I work on the skipping rear.

    I had looked at the superstar sets but the number of people saying they had loose spokes etc has caused me to doubt them a bit. Im guessing its something an LBS should do rather than me?
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    Not sure what you mean? Fix a dodgy superstar build? Look hard enough you'll find negatives for everything online
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,169
    Thats very true, i need a second rear anyway im i dont fancy prying a turbo trainer tyre on and off the rim everytime i want to use it!
    Looks like anotehr order being made :s
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    As Chunkers says...if you look hard enough you'll find problems with anything but my experience of Superstar wheel builds is exceptional.

    My set has had a whole season of some pretty heavy Alpine abuse (on a 120mm hardtail!) and they are both still true as the day the arrived. That £200 offer is a bargain.
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,781
    I bought some 2010 SS wheels used, apart from one rear wheel bearing being a bit grainy (I could have changed it for less than £5 but chose to spend more) they were perfect.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
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