- Bike Set Up – Is it really that imortant?
If you’d asked me a couple of months ago, I’d have said “Yes! Very important!” for lots of reasons…..
Now I have a bike that, if I sit and analyze it, has soft forks, too-narrow-for-me bars, a slightly low front end, and cheap plasticky shifters and brakes.
And you know what? I’ve just spent the weekend riding it pretty hard and as soon as I point it downhill I simply don’t notice any of that…..It just works.
Which is very odd. I like a well set-up bike. I like to faff. And I must resist it this time because it’s pointless…. (Save for a stronger fork spring for t’Alps…maybe….I’m not even sure about that)
Or have I been barking up the wrong tree for all this time?Posted 9 years agomike_checkMember
PeterPoddy – Member
and I like wider bars….
Set Up has nothing to do with being sold/buying products either, its’s simply how you set them up, e.g saddle angle/height, brake lever position etc, and IMO is the most important thing once you have a reasonably capable bike, more important than the branding on individual components.Posted 9 years agoMr AgreeableSubscriber
Depends where you’re riding, what you’re riding and for how long. If you were hammering alpine descents all day, or doing a solo 24 hour race, then things that might not annoy you so much on a blat round your local woods will become really important.
Psychologically, it’s also really nice to ride a bike that’s set up how you want it, and well-maintained. My bike has a creaky bottom bracket at the moment which really annoys me as I feel like something’s not working properly, even though it makes naff all difference to the performance.Posted 9 years ago
Yes, I’m beginning to think that now…
Set Up has nothing to do with being sold/buying products either, its’s simply how you set them up, e.g saddle angle/height, brake lever position etc, and IMO is the most important thing once you have a reasonably capable bike, more important than the branding on individual components.
(Come to think of it, I haven’t got the saddle position right either, but that’s no matter)
But that’s the thing. There’s things that I KNOW aren’t set up right, but it’s not bothering me….That’s the odd partPosted 9 years agoJonEdwardsMember
My take? If you think it’s good now, think how much better it’ll be once it’s *right*.
As above, you can get used to anything, and if you’re not noticing it when riding, then it means you’re simply concentrating on what you’re doing, BUT, the every fact you’re asking the question means it ain’t right, and it will begin to bug you.Posted 9 years agojackthedogMember
I’ve long thought that way too many folk are really anal about their bike setup. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had to listen to my fellow riders whine on about how a tiny issue with their bike has “ruined their ride”.
Stuff along the lines of
“that last climb would have been easy but I think my saddle is a couple of mil too far forward on the rails”
“I had a bit of a crap ride today, think my rebound was a bit too fast”
“the topout clunk was putting me off on that last downhill”
“I would have kept up with you on that last bit of singletrack but the anodising on my cable end caps isn’t an exact match for the colour of the aftermarket bolts on my brake levers”.
Occassionally it comes across as if the bike itself is the only thing that one can enjoy out in the hills, and if everything isn’t just so there is no possibility of succesfully extracting any reward from the act of riding.
And internally as I listen to it, all I can think is “cease your foul whining and just ride your sodding bike.”Posted 9 years agomike_checkMember
The thing is, there is no ‘right’, the magazines don’t know how to set up YOUR controls, there’s no scientific way of creating the perfect set-up, you say it’s not bothering you, which suggests that you have in fact stumbled towards the most comfortable setup for you!Posted 9 years ago
you say it’s not bothering you, which suggests that you have in fact stumbled towards the most comfortable setup for you!
And that’s why I’m trying to resist changing too much just because “I like it like that and I’ve always had it like that” if you see what I mean.
But it’s soooooooooooo hard. Muuusssssssssssssssssttttt fiddle.
I will get the harder fork spring though.Posted 9 years agomolgripsSubscriber
Bike set-up is critical. If you’ve changed it and still find it good, then that’s still a good setup for you.
I’ve transformed bikes from dogs into inspired trail machines by just rotating the riser bars forward or back, or moving the saddle. One previous bike was a handful on the descents – kept going over the bars, was really slow on the descents; 20mm shorter stem and riser bars, and it was utterly brilliant.
So I think riding position makes a huge difference.Posted 9 years agoKINGTUTMember
As stated above you can pretty much get used to anything, that said I too can be over fussy with set up.
Although a bike that is well set up for it’s purpose is a joy to ride, I’ve just put flat bars and bar ends on my Rush primarily to help with climbs during my solos this year, climbing is my biggest weakness as far as XC go’s and having the flat bar / bar end set up is a revelation on the climbs it’s a tad naggery on steep descents but as above I’ll get used to it.Posted 9 years ago
Do you have the rear set up similary soft?
No, it’s an RP2 air shock and is spot on according to the ‘sag gauge’ supplied with the bike. It feels prefect.
I think the reason why I’m OK with the soft fork (It a Pike) is that it’s really supple and I do have the damping set correctly, so I’m just using all of the travel a lot of the time, which is no biggie in the UK, well at Afan anyway!
I’m off to the Lakes in a couple of weeks so I’m going to stick a harder spring in for that and see how it goes. I reckon I’ll probably keep 2 springs and switch them over depending on the riding….Posted 9 years ago
grumm – depends how you ride! I find an X-firm too soft at times and weight 2st less than you.
Yeah I guess so – but even doing jumps (not massive ones admittedly) I only seem to use about 2/3rds of the travel. I wonder if the stiffness of the springs isn’t completely uniform and I have just got an expecially stiff one?Posted 9 years ago
perhaps your previous view of a ‘good’ setup was in reality pretty bad but you didnt know any better.
and now you’ve realised what a good setup actually is?
I was beginning to realise that my last bike (Yeti 575) wasn’t all that great in certain areas, hence the new bike.
But I’ve been riding long enough to know what good set up is, thanks!
The point is that I know the set-up isn’t perfect, but for this bike it simply doesn’t seem to matter anywhere near as much as on others. The Yeti was a bugger to set up…..Posted 9 years ago
Are you bottoming the fork every couple of hundred metres or going over the bars on every descents. If not then their not too soft. Most people run their forks far too firm with far to much compression damping IMO.
No, but then with a well designed fork like a Pike, you don’t really ‘feel’ the bottom of the travel. Compression damping doesn’t make a fork ‘firmer’ it just slows the movemenet down.Posted 9 years ago
I know it’s a bit too soft because I’m running too much static sag. Compensating for that with extra compression damping won’t work, the fork just begins to feel a bit harsh. (Yes I have tried it) The only way to change the sag is to get the spring rate correct
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