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Wider bars and shorter stem make my XC 29’er hardtail into an all-mountain bike. Kind of.

Sun, 04/19/2015 - 3:43pm

My 2011 Trek Gary Fisher X-Cal 29’er hardtail is going to have to do duty as an all-mountain bike this year because A) I’d like to ride one or more gravity enduros; and B) I can’t afford full squish yet.

So this past week, I upgraded to a:

(I’m somewhat less than mechanically-inclined so I needed a little rescuing from Stew Moyer & Ryan Hutchinson at Mike’s Bikes.)

I rode all of Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail yesterday and I can tell already: the wider bars and shorter stem is a change for the better.  It felt awkward at first but I quickly realized that the wider bars helped to keep my arms bent and chest down more which translated to more leverage and stability when hitting rocks and roots at speed.  The shorter stem seemed to help me keep my hips ‘hinged’ more instead of crouching.  All that translates to being more in the attack/ready position.

I was a little worried about hitting trees, since my old bars were 625mm.  But it turned to not be a problem, as I’m pretty good at reflexively leaning my bike anyway.

I was most concerned about how it would affect my technical riding. I was relieved when I cleaned Leb’s long, twisting log skinny on my first attempt.  But I didn’t immediately feel confident riding over big rocks and and off ledges.  My timing seemed off.  I’m too worried, though. It’s a big change and I should be able to adapt.

Lots out there on the interwebs about these changes. Just search on the words ‘wider bars shorter stem’ to get started. Blog posts by mtb instructors Lee McCormack (here) and Gene Hamilton (here) helped convince me. Another good blog post here on the topic by AimFor Harkor.

 

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 6-part series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

The post Wider bars and shorter stem make my XC 29’er hardtail into an all-mountain bike. Kind of. appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

DNR’s ‘yurt guy’ Peter Hark rides CROCT’s Sechler Park MTB trail, approves

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 8:26am

Peter Hark is a resident of rural Northfield, the DNR’s Field Operations Manager State Parks and Trails, and a Founding Supporter of CROCT.  He joined me and Marty Larson on his first ride on the Sechler Park MTB trail on Wednesday, a day off for him because it was his birthday. He seemed to enjoy the ride and was complementary on what he saw. For a relatively new mountain biker, he’s not half-bad, and if he got a proper mountain bike with better tires he would definitely be more than marginally adequate.

 

I first met Peter in March 2013 at the MN Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota’s Day on the Hill. Later that year, he was part of a DNR team that met with local Rice County public officials in Dundas for a Mill Towns Trail update.  And he may have gotten his first real taste of mountain biking at the 2013 PedalMN Bike Summit, held at the DNR’S Cuyuna Lakes MTB Trail system in Crosby/Ironton.

Peter’s also been the main guy behind the DNR’s installation of 7 yurts in MN state parks this year, including three at Cuyuna.  See the DNR’s yurts page, an October article in the Strib titled Yurts arrive in Minnesota State Parks, and this WCCO-TV video clip titled State Parks Offering New Camping Experience — Yurts that features Peter:

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 6-part series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

The post DNR’s ‘yurt guy’ Peter Hark rides CROCT’s Sechler Park MTB trail, approves appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

My new mountain bike skills-related sideblog has launched

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 11:30pm

I’ve started publishing a sideblog here on MTB Geezer devoted to mountain bike skills  (see the Wikipedia entry for the term ‘sideblog‘ if you’re unfamiliar with the concept.)

I keep coming across interesting mtb skills-related items out there on the interwebs that I’d like to pass along without having to give them the full blog post treatment.  I’ve occasionally been posting them to my @MTBikeGeezer Twitter feed and Thick Skull Facebook page and plan to continue that. But posts to Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are somewhat transient and aren’t easily searched or browsed long after they’ve been published.

I’m using the Asides feature of WordPress along with a sideblog plugin to accomplish this.  I’ve assigned them the WordPress Category (Asides) so they can be found here.

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 6-part series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

The post My new mountain bike skills-related sideblog has launched appeared first on Mountain Bike Geezer.

Categories: Citizens

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