Mountain Bike Fit Musings

Salsa Spearfish 0
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Salsa Spearfish

For the past 5 or so years I have been a 29er (and 650b) lover. Normally my mountain bike is a single speed, full rigid rig. Sometimes an 80mm hard tail, or something of the variety. Lately I’ve been spending more and more time on my Salsa Spearfish 29er. 100mm in the front, 80mm in the rear. The bike is a real treat to ride, and as I adventure more and more around the southeast I do believe it is the perfect bike for 90% of the trails.

Here’s Where I Am Struggling

One thing I am working on this spring is going up. Learning how to climb for longer periods. Learning to sit and spin up steeper terrain than I have been able to in the past. Normally I stand and mash on my hardtail, but I am working on learning how to position my body better and use stabilizer muscles.

The issue I have been running into has multiple layers, but the basics is that I am trying to figure out how to ride a 100mm front end up steeper terrain. I believe it is either a fit with stem change problem, or maybe I need to practice more problem.

Here’s what I am experiencing while climbing

  • Harder time keeping the front end down, even when I have a decent amount of weight on the front
  • I can’t steer too well when climbing. If it is straight, I am fine, but switchbacks I’m completely lost on body position. (Is this just practice?)
  • The front end wants to flop under slow and steep. I know this has partially to do with the 29er front wheel, more slack geometry and 100mm fork than my normal hardtail 29ers.

My Mountain Climbing Friends – Give me advice

A good part of it is riding more up hill. Learning the balance of my bike. But do you have specific suggestions, maybe with bike fit or technique?

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