East setauket ride today

Hit it up today
yeah the turns are getting rerouted to make them easier also a Reroute with some fire roads added.

Once again a reassurance I need to trim my bars. at warp speed I keep clipping trees

One problem is folks not cutting trails to accommodate newer bike designs and sizes…although a 27.5 or 29er have more traction and roll better they need bigger radiuses for turns. Another big issue is thinking folks still ride 100mm+ stems or under 26" bars. Trails need to keep up with the times. Spider trails or go arounds seems to be the fix for folks who lack bike control. But it’s not horrible, I can count on one hand how many really tight spots we have on our trails. Anyone with bars under 27" should have no issues.

Edgewood has quite a few tight spots no?

I use a 100 mm stem on all my bikes. 2 of the bikes my bars under 26 and my new bike I believe they are 27. At slow speed I can get this new bike to turn under anyone… but at a fast pace … I am not talking fast but blistering fast I clip trees.

The issue is a lot of people just have no turning skills. They set the bikes up for… jumping or DH or free ride and expect to ride tight single track. There is absolutely no need to run super wide bars on long Island trails. We are different from the rest of the country… no comparison.
After riding this bike with the wider bars I have yet to find the advantage of these bars being this wide. I hear terms such as leverage…pfffft… Yeah a 25lbs bike and you need leverage? I hear it’s easier to pump the pedals or get out of the saddle and mash… Yeah sure if you don’t know how to pedal.
I can only guess its to make them feel as if they know what they are talking about.
LI trails are evolving because riders just lack technique and the technical in turns is being removed. Do I care… no… I just go faster. But the stories, excuses and tech talk I hear makes me pissed my pants.

Yes tim… there are quite a few tight spots on our trails. Edgewood has a few … most trails we have are EASY going slow. Tight spots are non existent… but add speed… serious speed and it’s a horse of a different color

Tim…Edgewood is tight in sections due to windy nature of certain cuts. But I’d say East Setauket and Glacier 8 have probably the tightest in between tree lines. You have to be able to twist your front end and pop a wheelie to fit into tight spots at times.
Now…I’m not sure what blistering speed is but considering the fastest people are only 5-10% faster than someone fast…not sure how wider bars would be a negative. Now as far as a Djer, freerider or Dher not having turning skills is pretty funny. They rail turns way faster than an XC person on the daily. And I can’t personally say I see people riding Djers or Dh bikes on XC trails…it’d be like someone riding an XC bike downhill…not gonna work…lol.
Now wider bars are Proven to have more levarage and better control. And the weight of the bike isn’t the major factor. It’s simple physics: Momentum = Weight x Velocity. Thus the faster you go the greater the G forces become. Being able to lean a bike more, pull harder on the cockpit, or being able to apply more pressure on the front end for increased traction are huge advantages when dropping the Hammer. And some people set their bikes up for overall trail riding…cause Long Island isn’t the only trails people ride…
Now people preaching was isn’t needed is nothing new. Years ago it was the “You don’t need gears or suspension for Long Island trails” , in my mind translates as I’m stubborn and refuse to ride the best setup possible. Even in modern times naysayers would argue that hydro disc brakes, tubeless tires, dropper posts, and 1x drivetrains are fairy tales and just sneaky advertising by big bike companies…lmao…some people can’t stand progression.
In the near future I expect electronic 1x drivetrains, automatic suspension, and dropper posts to be the norm. Will the old school folk revolt and maybe raise thier blood pressure…probably but luckily you can stop evolution and innovation!!
Bonus story:
Like two years ago I was with my Dh bike at Edgewood testing out my gears, suspension, brakes etc… before Dh season began. Always go there being it’s relatively flat and easy enough to pedal 39.5 lbs of bike. So I did one lap and in certain sections was warp speed Fassttt. I was about to pack up when I saw two younger guys on a 29er hardtail and a fs 26er. Both had recently purchased these bikes.
So I ask them before they go in if I could do another lap with them. They both look at my Dh bike with a puzzled look and hesitantly say yes. They ask me if I know the trail in case they drop me…which I tell them no worries. I’m in sweeping position when the ride starts and the kid on the 29er was leading. Within a 1 1/2 miles he crashes into two trees where it gets tighter. We were moving at a very fast pace. His buddy brakes out laughing and asks him what happened. His friend is pissed and immediately blames it on his wide bars…prob around 27.5". I start laughing really hard and tearing. They both ask me what was so funny. I just point at my Dh bars and say “I see your 27.5” bars and raise you another 2.5 inches".
The kid on the fs 26er gets a good laugh out of this and asks me if I want to lead. I say sure and to take notes on proper handling. I hammered the rest of the trail without clipping one tree and could have dropped them on several occasions. Upon completion they both were amazed and ask me how I did that…" I respond a bike is only as good as the rider who controls it".

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That makes no sense…lots of contradictions in your statement

Actually makes perfect sense just that some lack the common kind. Simple physics shouldn’t be beyond most people’s comprehension. But maybe this article will be easier to understand. Written by a professional racing coach and tested with World Class athletes…don’t have to believe a young buck but you can try to argue with a Pro…

Skills Articles
You are here:Home / Articles / Bikes / 2 Things You Can Buy and Instantly Improve Your Bike Handling!
2 Things You Can Buy and Instantly Improve Your Bike Handling!

04/19/2010/177 Comments/in Bikes, Mountain Bike Skills tips, Mountain biking, MTB Setup /by Gene
2 Things You Can Buy and Instantly Improve Your Bike Handling! By BetterRide founder Gene Hamilton

That’s right, your bike set-up can improve your riding!

I have spent the last 15 years studying bike handling and how bike setup effects bike handling. In that time I have kept and open mind and experimented with bars as narrow as 22″ and as wide as 32″ and stems from 150mm to 30mm. I didn’t invent a single skill or bike set-up theory myself I tired what other, “better riders” suggested. Everything I teach I have learned through others (world champions like Marla Streb and Greg Minnaar, motorcycle coaches, ski coaches, gymnastic coaches) and then personally tested out their ideas and had many of my top students (Pro racers like Ross Schnell, Chris Van Dine, Lynda Wallenfells, Mitch Ropelato, Sue Haywood, etc.) test these theories.

Wider handlebars and a shorter stem give you more control. 27-32 inch handlebars depending on your height and a 50-80 mm stem provides the best handling. Handlebar height is important too, your bars should be 1”-3” lower than your seat when it is raised to optimum climbing height.

Your handlebars are one of the main inputs of control and wider bars give you much more control (because they are more stable (think of doing a push up with your hands 21″ apart and then 29″ apart. If I were trying to knock you over would I have more luck with your hands 21″ apart or 29″?). We have all hit a rock that wanted to violently twist our front wheel to the side. Can you see how a wider bar would give you more leverage to fight this? I understand many of you have fear issues related to going through narrow trees and riding scared is a recipe for disaster but narrow handlebars create a twitchy, unstable ride. Do you want to set you bike up to function well on the 3 or 4 narrow tree gaps or the rest of the trail.

Wider bars also allow you to keep your arms bent and chest down allowing you to ride in a more athletic, neutral position. Perfect for riding smoothly and adjusting to anything and everything the trail throws at you.

Your stem is a not a bike fit device, it greatly effects the control of your bike. Motorcycles don’t have stems for a reason, a long stem puts you out of balance (too much weight forward) straightens your arms (taking you out of a neutral position) and the long lever of a stem more than 90 millimeters long makes your steering “flop” to the side instead of being precise.

So for a more controlled ride go with a 50 to 80mm stem and 27″-32″ wide bars. I know this goes against tradition so please try this set up for a week before commenting. If you understand correct body position, how bikes turn and how to manual or wheelie correctly (using no upper body strength) you will love the control this gives you.

The coolest thing you will notice is how much this helps with technical climbing, no more wheel swerving all over the place. Your bike will track nice and straight. The best technical climber I know runs a 30mm stem. I run a 60mm stem on all of my xc bikes and a 40-50 mm stem on my downhill bikes.

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I like my long stem and medium bars. I find most problems on the trail are related to the particular human’s setup, not the bike.

Long time xc rider changed this year from long stem narrow bars to a 60mm stem and 740mm bars and couldn’t be happier. Took a few rides to get used to and occasionally need to slow down to wiggle through a tight tree gap but not too often.

My experience goes deep with dirtbikes.
The comparison isnt even close(even though much of the MTB innovations were moto inspired). Each dirt bike has its own characteristic and if you have never ridden or raced dirtbikes you wouldnt even have a clue…and you dont.

Rake/trail/foot peg position…hi/low …back/foward…Straight leg/leading axle…bar bend…sweep…position/rotation…solid mount/rubber mount…Gull wing…rise of clamps all make a difference as well as the offset of the stanchions.

Each bike has it own characteristic such as a front end handler, neutral handler rear end handler…

EH… why do I bother you know all this already and you have never made it to the level I was at…I Post up a description of what I am feeling and I get a lecture on handling and old farts keeping up with the times with added insults from Mr 5th place in the beginner class…and yes that was me rubbing your tire on that down hill before I got a flat at the Faux triple crown

Anyway believe what you want.

Yes tim…same here. These wide bars have me not leaning my bike but steering it at speed which is forcing me to ride the turns wider. The carbon stem is flexing a bit more than I like. Also with the bigger wheels, I notice a little more flex in the fork. I may have to go up to a larger diameter stanchions.

Lol…I’d love to see you rub my tire on a real mountain. A lil dbl black diamond freestyle should be easy for an experienced moto rider. Anytime you wanna show me how it’s done Creek is waiting!!!

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Ok as usual you scared me … REAL scared … I’ll meet you at the next beginner race on the bunny hill. ROTFLMAO