mtbkramerGranny Gear

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Hanover // Pennsylvania
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  • in reply to: What’s wrong? uphill advice please… #69845

    Good one! I also like to keep my hands placed in the middle of the handlebar on long, grinding climbs that don’t require a lot of technical work. Just straight up for a few miles!

  • in reply to: What’s wrong? uphill advice please… #69843

    Thought I would chime in here to the post because everything in this thread is very interesting to read. One advantage that you have is that you have a hardtail and don’t have to worry about the rear shock or anything like that. Even though I ride both FS and HT, I like the HT on climbs anyday!

    I had a heck of a time at the beginning of the riding seasoon this year with hills – probably because of the long winter break, but I hated being the one in the back getting passed by other riders. I would catch them on the downhills and more technical sections, but the uphills were grindingly painful! I started doing more cardio exercises and put more miles on the road bike to get my aerobic up to speed. MTBing is a combo of aerobic and anaerobic so to find the balance between the two is key. I started hitting the gym more and working on some weight training to help those sections where you have to dig deep to get over rocks, stumps, etc. One of the main things that has helped me has been loading up my camel back with some weight plates and running hills or running stairs. It helps to have that extra added weight for your legs to really work getting up the side of a hill. I also take a nasty hill climb and just continue going up it as hard as I can. When I reach the top I come back down and do it again. If I have the time, I will tackle a hill about 3 times to make myself work. There is no shame in granny gearing up a hill just to make it. While flying up that hill would be nice, I realize that I am not a pro MTBer and just a guy that likes to have fun. My goal is to just make sure I am not the last one in the pack on group rides! I do the same thing on my road bike in finding a nasty hill and just trying to attack it as much as possible.

    Anyway, riding should be fun and ever since I got into XC racing I often times lose sight of the whole fun aspect of it all. Most of my rides turn into training rides and I really need to step back and remember why I started riding the trails in the first place.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy riding and you will be climbing like a pro in no time!!

  • in reply to: Jamis Bicycles Dakar Sport? #69789

    I have a 2006 Jamis Dakar XC Expert that I am actually selling – great all around bike, but I am more of a Specialized guy and am sticking with that line. Anyway, Jamis makes great bikes and this is no exception. I slapped on some upgraded parts and it rides extremely smooth! The one thing I do notice about the Dakar is that it sits up a little higher than some other bikes so you always feel like you are a bit high on some downhills (at least I do anyway).

    Handles really well and I feel that the RP3 is a great rear shock to have on the bike. Teh carbon stays make it a little feathery in the rear. Acceleration is not bad either. The Sport might be a little on the heavy side, but it is a FS and not a super light hardtail race bike. All in all, I really like the bang for buck feature with jamis since they pump out quality bikes/parts for a reasonable price. Don’t know what the list price is for the 2006 Sport but you should be able to swing 10-20% off list of an 06 model.

    Do you want to buy mine??? 😆

  • in reply to: Frame Size Advice #69810

    Trail Seeker-

    Man, it’s like I just had this discussion with myself yesterday, and last week, and pretty much all the time!! OK, so the following is merely my experience and my opinion so please take all with a grain of salt.

    I am 6’2" at about 180 and have struggled with size on the majority of my bike choices. Some bike companies have a 19" that is too small, but their 21" is slightly too big. I have had most of the mainstream bikes out there pretty much in the following order:

    20" Cannondale
    21" Giant
    21" Jamis
    19.5" Trek
    20.5" Giant
    21" Jamis
    19.5" Trek
    19" Specialized

    Short of getting a custom fit bike, I think I have tried everything!! I stopped at the point of Specialized because I like the geometry they have with the slightly longer top tube than most companies have. This allows me to have a shorter seat tube and more clearance. Plus I don’t really have to play with the length of the stem (standard 120mm for the frame), stack height, saddle placement, etc.

    I currently have a 2004 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp and absolutely love it! Because of the more aggressive slope to the top tube it climbs extremely well and gives me a nice amount of room for downhills. It is by far my favorite bike I have ever owned. So good in fact that I am currently building up a 19" Specialized Epic Marathon. The geometry is perfect for me and I have no complaints.

    With your height and riding style, I would say the 15 might be a little tight for you, but since size is a personal option you would know better than me about what fits you the best. Do you have a chance to actually ride it before committing to buy it? If so, I would ride as much as possible before buying it and being unhappy with the feel and size (I’ve been there too many times!!)

    Hope this helps out a little bit for you. Good luck with your new (pending) sale!!!

  • in reply to: What else do you do? #69184

    Wait, there’s somehting other than mountain biking and talking about mountain bikes?? LOL!!! I would have to agree with most responses on here about family being first and then hobbies coming in second. I really enjoy hanging with the wife and my two precious angels…Sydney is 3 years and Avery is 6 months (we’ll see how long they are actually angels). Kids are so darned fun and say the funniest things! Just yesterday she asked my mother-in-law, “Mimi, do you have a giny too?” Oh it was so funny how she said it and I think the ol’ mom-in-law was a bit surprised!!

    I am also into a lot of sports including golf, tennis, racquetball, and volleyball. I have played all at a competetive level (except for golf) and enjoy just being active and playing. On the slower side of things, I have taken up digital photography this year and love to snap photos of everything. I will soon find my focus (no pun intended) and figure out what type of photography I will stick with. I am also BIG into cooking and know in my heart that I can truly be the next food nedtwork food star!! LOL!!!!! In all seriousness, I do love to cook. This was a great topic Ken!!

  • Dude, the story of you taking your daughter out and riding with her is awesome! I have two daughters…one is 4 years old and one is 5 months old. It will be a while for my youngest to get out there but we just bought our 4 year old a Giant Pudd’n bike (training wheels still on of course). She was born to ride! She loves being out ther and I cannot wait to get her a real mountain bike and take her out on the trails. I just have to make sure that I maintain my skills and stamina for the next 10 years or so!!!

    Anyway, great stories about your and your daughter riding!!

  • in reply to: What are the best bike for XC-freeride for 1500$ ? #68819

    I agree with everyone that is talking to light-weight components if you are going to make this your FR and XC bike. I went with a Trek Fuel EX 8 just recently and if I could marry an inatimate object, this would be my first choice! It’s a little higher than your $1500 racnge, but you can certainly get on a Fuel EX 7 and be equally as happy. If you are anything like me, you can always upgrade over time on teh components after you bash the existing ones on there. Since I just purchased the bike I did a lot of test rides recently and out of all of them, here would be my top picks to go after (these are all within the $1500 range):

    1. Trek Fuel EX 7
    2. Giant Trance 3
    3. Gary Fisher Cake 2

    Each one of these has nice, plush travel that will allow you to spend all day out on your favorite trail. I like my Fuel EX 8 because the Reba Race fork up front and the MC3 in the rear are both extremely adjustable. I know it may be used as a sales pitch in the bike shop, but it’s nice to hear when bike companies and shock companies actually work together to build a nice stable platform. One more thing…if you get the chance to test ride, make sure the shop adjusts the rear shock for you before you ride it. The first time I rode the Trance, it didn’t have anough pressure for me and I felt as though it were sluggish and just didn’t like it. Once they dialed it in more for my weight and all, it rocked! But like I said before, the Trek Ex 8 is a piece of art! Here are a few shots of the bike out in the element. Good luck in your venture for that perfect ride!



  • in reply to: Your best crash story #68518

    OK, so I start reading these and decided to join in on the “fun” of telling one’s story of crashes and follies. So I am out riding on the Seneca Park blue trail (one that I know VERY well by the way) on an early morning ride. Temp outside is a nice 29 degrees so everything you hit feels a little harder than normal.

    There is a section that I always dismount from my bike and do a little hike-a-bike over a dry rivine. I’m coming back in from an incredible ride and I pass a couple of hotties just starting their ride. Guys are stupid when it comes to trying to impress the opposite sex…well at least I am anyway. I start to hammer a little harder and I am back at the section of the trail where I dismount. Not today! I decide that on this day I am going to try and clear the rivine. Keep in mind there is no jump, ramp, or anything that will help me clear this thing. I am not great at bunny-hopping anything wider than my downtube so this can only turn out bad!!

    I started off pretty smooth and I felt like the king of world being up in the air. However, as I am coming down I can sense that my front tire is going to go straight into the opposite bank and get caught with me pretty much heading over the handlebars. Where the pain comes is as my tire sticks in the ground, the handlebar gets turned and as I am flying over the bars my thigh goes right into the bar. The placement of the bar was literally 1/2″ from the family jewels on my upper thigh. (The bike is OK though!!) As I am laying in agony on the cold ground I hear the two hottie riders coming to a screaching halt about 4 feet from me asking me if I am OK. I am in about the worst pain of my life right there and my pride gets in the way as I tell them that it’s all good! At this moment I wanted to do nothing but cry and get into the fetal position. After convincing them that it was just a small spill they finally ride off into the trail and I check the damage. I wish I had my digital with me because words just don’t do this any justice. All I saw was blue down there and it looked like someone whacked my leg with a baseball bat.

    All I have to say is OUCH!!! I have learned that no matter who is watching me, there is no shame in dismounting the bike and taking a few safe steps over potential danger!!

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)