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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:39 pm
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Location: Brighton, UK
I've always been a hardtail rider but a couple of days ago managed to snag a barely used 2006 Giant Reign 3 for £360.

Been out for a ride on it today and don't know what to make of it. 'Climbed like a goat' certainly doesn't apply. 'Climbed like a boat' maybe. Everytime I got out of the saddle it started bobbing about all over the place. The rear shock (Fox Float R) had pro pedal it didn't seem to be helping much.

Then when I got up to the top of the hill and picked up some speed it genuinely felt bored, like it wasn't at all challenged by anything I was doing. My route was pretty XC and every time I got a bit of a jump, it just seemed to do it for me, and every landing felt like a perfect landing.

The last section of descent was something I haven't ridden since the late 90's on my Kona Hahanna, but I remember picking my way down extremely slowly, having to think two steps ahead because it's just rock hell. This thing though, it just ploughed of over the top without batting an eyelid. What took about quarter of an hour last time was cleared in a few minutes.

Is this what fs riding is? I can't understand why somebody would buy one of these to ride the hills we have in England. It just made it too easy, sucked the fun out.

Obligatory top-of-hill shot
Image

P.S. I'm moving to the Alps in a month, which is why I bought it.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:30 pm 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Should do better in the alps. If it felt boring maybe it is setup wrong or your not pushing yourself.
The way i see it (and the way it kind of is) is the sus is there to allow for mistakes and/or going bigger (safely?).
So maybe go find some other non xc stuff or go at more speed?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:06 pm 
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+1 for must be set up wrong.

My Focus Thunder was outrageously awesome in the Alps a couple of weeks ago. As was my Stumpy FSR that's been passed on to DBMTB junior who's never ridden up or down a proper hill in his life before presenting him with the Nebelhorn (we got up to 1900m and did a very fast descent when the low cloud came down.)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:06 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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i have never got on with suspension bikes, feels like your day goes too easy and quickly :lol:

though i admit, i wish i had the comfort at times....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:58 pm 
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I rode a high end 6" full suss bike on a demo day once and found that you have to go much faster to put the excitment and fun back in. It all gets a bit scary though as the speeds I was seeing were rather higher than I'm used too off road. A couple of times I ran out of talent too and ended up going flat out through and over some pretty big erm, landscape features. The bike was awesome though and just went straight over the top of said features pretty much saving my bacon. I found myself laughing out loud as I carried on down the hill, and when I returned the bike the sales rep was impressed with how much travel I'd used :lol: . Fast forward two years and I've built myself a full susser (I-drive 5). Riding that though I don't have the confidence to go as fast as on that sunny day on the demo bike, partly because I haven't got a set of £800 160mm Fox Floats up front (I have Ebay £80 130mm RS Recons with basic damping), but mostly because I've since realised that that day I was riding too quickly for my level of ability and was lucky not to have had a big off. So now I ride slower and find it a bit boring and fustrating, like the OP. In truth I prefer my old hardtail too.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:28 pm 
Moderator /Lincs, E & S Yorks Deputy AEC
Moderator /Lincs, E & S Yorks Deputy AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:16 pm
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Location: RetroModding™ since 1988
Suspension set up is critical to how a bike 'feels'

Plenty of fettling required to get it to react as you want it to

Have a gander at the instruction manuals (should be online)

But basically start @ 25-30% sag & set the rebound to your own preference

Sometimes you can be overbiked for the terrain which does make it all feel way too easy and a bit boring

I love the feel of a hardtail, but hooning it on my 120mm full susser is just an awesome feeling when you hook it up right


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:40 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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the Giant platform is actually very good, i was working for Giant (for a week) when they launched the design (the maestro design). the idea is that they shouldn't need propedal on the shocks because of the floating pivot point design. if memory serves the set up guide on the shock was basically measure your weight including gear in pounds and then put exactly that in the shock and it should be right, that said i always preferred a little more.


also i would pick and choose where you ride it. my patriot 66 and st4 pretty much only ever get used on the hills of wales, down here in the flat lands i tend to stick to the hardtails. also i feel that these days full suss bikes (especially this 6 inch design) are aimed more at going down and being capable (but not quickly) of going up.

also they tend to come with pretty heavy duty parts on which adds to the struggle of going up! tyres i always find make a huge difference.


:)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:40 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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whoops double post!
:oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:59 pm 
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Mine is set up okay but the sus is pretty basic as it was a cheap build. The rear shock is a fox float with no adjutment other than pressure. The fork only has pressure and rebound. It does ride smoothly over the bumps though. The problem is with me because I often find I'm trying to ride it like a hardtail and find myself getting fustrated because it won't go where I want it too. The bike is a bit of a tank compared with what I'm used to so the handling is slower and less precise and because I'm generally going faster I don't look far enough ahead and so don't react early enough. What I should be doing is going faster and not worrying about the small stuff because the bike goes over it like its not there anyway. Sometimes I remember to do this but its not really the way I like to ride. The other thing I don't like is that beacuse the sag is set up with me seated I need to sit or at least hover over the seat in order for the suspension to work at its best. Riding down decents sat down seems a bit erm dunno really, easy. If I stand up then it skips about more which kind of defeats the point of riding that bike.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:03 am 
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Tbh I was suspecting the set up was wrong and a later look at the elastic band thing on the rear shock confirmed I'd used approx 75% of the travel despite not tackling anything particularly epic (certainly nothing compared to what the Alps will have to offer). I tried to set the bike up to 25%ish sag but obviously it needs some more psi. It's a bit confusing though, the manual for the rear shock gives an idea of what psi you want depending on the travel of the shock, but it doesn't give any clue what the travel of the shock is or how to measure it.

Ah well. Can't ride it again till next week (I'm a best man this weekend :D ) but next time I go out I'll take the shock pump. Thanks for all the replies guys.


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