XC bike set up

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XC bike set up

Postby ozstriker » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:25 pm

How do people set up there xc bike, I usually ride road but went for a bash on the mountain bike on the weekend in Toowoomba where I haven't been before and it was a lot more technical than I'm used to. I did a few small jumps drop offs, nothing hardcore just general xc single trail stuff.

I was having trouble especially on jumps with my back tire getting kicked up but don't really want to set my seat too low or should I?

Or is it my technique, should I be bunny hopping just before jumps.

How do you guys set up your xcbikes for technical stuff while still being able to climb efficiently.

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Re: XC bike set up

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:56 pm

I usually run my seatpost a cm lower on the mtb. I spend so much time out of the saddle when climbing and riding single track it doesn't matter. My handlebars are also a little higher. I find it easier to lift the front end for drops and jumps.

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Re: XC bike set up

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:55 pm

Rigid, HT or dually?
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Re: XC bike set up

Postby silentbutdeadly » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:21 am

Given the kick up you describe I'll assume a hardtail MTB. I run both my MTBs set up for XC and they both have the seat set down compared to the roadie...just at the point you would feel slightly short-legged.

In my case, this puts the saddle surface just about level with the bars. Ideally, I should have the bars set down a bit but the back...it don't like.

You'll find that effective movement on a trail requires you to move your weight around much more than you are used to...the bum kick can be controlled by getting your weight back which typically means shooting the bike forward underneath you with your arms. This'll get your weight a little further back and pull the front up slightly and get you landing on the back wheel first as you are supposed to. Don't for the love of Huey...bunny hop off a jump. You'll end up bunny bashed as you land awkwardly...
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Re: XC bike set up

Postby herzog » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:34 am

Probably goes without saying, but make sure you've got your arse off the seat well before the jump.

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Re: XC bike set up

Postby Jean » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:45 pm

You could do a lot worse than spending some time checking out the riding and other tips here:


Plenty of his clips are on Youtube too.


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Re: XC bike set up

Postby FuzzyDropbear » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:59 pm

One of the best ways I've used to develop my technique is to smash up the BMX track on the mountain bike. Yep, sounds a bit dodgy, lol, but I have a local track which is quiet at certain times and I just head over on ye olde' commuter and practice. Think about it, in a short distance (mine is ~300m) you have jumps and berms and you get to practice pumping and the most important bit, constantly moving your weight on the bike. Can't race as fast as a bmx of course but at last in this environment you don't have to worry about trees and logs etc. so it's much easier to focus on what you're doing and getting the technique right. You don't have to ride the full track either, just pick something and work on it, ie, the first jump, or the pump section etc.

We moved to practicing on the bmx track after watching the mountain bike skills videos on youtube where they discuss pumping and how to move your weight around etc.

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Re: XC bike set up

Postby Bentnose » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:27 pm

I have my seat height identical on my road and MTB and the seat a few centimeters higher than the handlebars, everyone is different. The only time I ever dropped my seatpost was in downhill races. On real steep technical stuff I just put the bum way back. If the back end is kicking up over jumps it won't be your seat height it will be you need to practice your technique, its a matter of lifting the front and pulling the back up off the jump so you are even through the air and pretty much parallel to the landing ground so both wheels contact the ground about the same time, probably the back wheel slightly sooner.
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