So I saw this bike from Peter Verdone:
And then spent some time thinking about how my drop-bar MTB is currently fit. I did some measuring and realized I am riding the equivalent of a 160mm stem!
Recognizing this completely changed my riding style.
Link to ride
I really took some time to work my body position back and get some weight off the front wheel and it really shows. My time on descents has been super-fast and the bike feels amazingly stable and fun at speed in the drops. I am so excited to ride this bike during this years gravel races. Even been thinking about running it in some of the chainbuster MTB races – I wonder if it would be a problem to show up with drops?
I was so excited at how well I was riding I took the time to stop and note things in my phone so I wouldn’t forget. Seems like going back and forth between bikes makes it easy to ride the harder bike poorly if I’m not vigilant in paying attention to what I’m doing.
Right now I’m running a Deda 60mm stem with Deda RHM01 44cm (ctc) handlebars on Size L 2010 Breezer Thunder Comp. I’ve got about 50 hours on the bike, all gravel or single track.
It’s a fun bike to ride but it’s also a hard bike to ride. It takes a while to adapt to the handling every time I ride it. Front wheel wants to collapse into the turn and the steering does not feel stable. It’s easy for the front wheel to get knocked around by roots/rocks and overall confidence on rough sections take a while to develop.
It’s hard to lean the bike, body lean and hip English require a lot of effort.
However! I can ride this bike pretty fast on single track and have had no back, hand or neck issues on rides up to around 2.5 hours. I guess it’s pretty well fit now but there’s always the nagging feeling that something is off?
Maybe it’s due to the frame being too big? TT is 605mm, or maybe it’s just slightly counter intuitive compared to my other bikes. Trail is 71mm, mechanical trail is 67mm and wheel flop is 21mm.
Charge 29er is 586 top tube, 81/77 and 25 and it feels great to ride. Probably due to wide bars and closer position.
Turn in brake levers to test for better reach with gloves
Alternately – add spacers to bring levers closer to handlebars and adjust brake calipers to compensate.
Test lower stem
Test longer stem
Test shorter stem
Buy light 26 tubes from Performance Bike
Raise seat 3-5mm
Potentially move handlebars from Haanjo Comp to this bike
Get good at counter-steering
Determine Front-Center and check
Watch those ruts! Had to pop off trail on foot to receive some Mylar balloons that had settled near the trail. Bike is lookin’ pretty good.