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  #46  
Old 02-04-2021, 09:26 AM
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eippo1 eippo1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Crossing the Mystic to Grandma's house
Posts: 2,333
I have an alloy Stumpjumper St (similar travel) and even though my intent was just XC trails in the Fells, I often find myself hitting sketchier stuff or stuff where I need to manual in order to get over. I can't imagine trying to manual or hop over logs etc. with a fully up post. Still working on trying to get up enough speed for drops with the saddle down, though, which has led to one rather bad crash.

In general, though, having it down while going over rocks, scree, or roots has been awesome for learning how to use my body positioning rather than the bike to get over stuff. Also, it's essential for climbing rock gardens -- if you have to manual while going up to get over a bumped up section, the saddle will just hit your butt and you'll wheelie to the point where feet are down and out and you're walking up the rest or going back down to try again.

Lastly, nice build. I love the color.
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  #47  
Old 02-04-2021, 09:33 AM
tommyrod74 tommyrod74 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaking20 View Post
I have a little over 100 miles on the bike now and have literally only used the dropper once. That time, I ended up getting distracted by the saddle not being there a few moments later - which was then followed a few moments later by my only crash so far

Still, I take your point. It's useful to drop the saddle down on the days I throw the bike in the back of the Jeep. The trails in riding most have no need for it, but I'm trying to be disciplined and wait until the conditions improve on trails with more vert and variety before I make any decisions. At the very least, I just need to figure out how to shorten that damn cable!
What I've found by playing around with the dropper (and following friends using one):

- I thought I'd just use it on long or rough DH, and just ride as I normally do, with the happy change of having the saddle out of the way. Turns out that's not really the best way to use it. You've gotta stop riding as if there's a saddle 4 inches from your crotch. Crouch and hover lower. The first few times, I realized how used I was to using the saddle between my knees to help steer. You don't need it.

- On DH sections, I drop it and will often crouch really low or even sit on the saddle while descending (on smoother terrain, especially if tired). The lower center of gravity feeling you get from this is crazy. It almost feels like everything is slowed down for you, being that close to the ground (relatively). I brake far less and it feels like I have way more traction cornering this way. There are trails here in town I've ridden since the mid-1990s and I still find myself thinking "that's the first time I remember riding that without a finger on the brake lever".

- On slightly DH sections with tons of turns, I'll drop it just enough that I can still pedal without problems between turns. Corners SO much better and more securely.

- It will take a ride or two to get used to "hovering" low above the dropped saddle without touching it. Your quads will burn a bit at first, no matter your fitness level. This goes away quickly.

- You can corner with good body/bike separation and lean the bike over far more easily.

- It's really, really nice to drop the saddle to stop and sit, and easier to remount. I've done it for so long high-posted that I never imagined this was an option. It's great.

I hope that's helpful. I find that, just as suspension, disc brakes, and modern geometry make riding fast safer and more controllable, the dropper adds to the safety and fun factor.
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  #48  
Old 02-04-2021, 11:55 AM
RudAwkning's Avatar
RudAwkning RudAwkning is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
What I've found by playing around with the dropper (and following friends using one):

- I thought I'd just use it on long or rough DH, and just ride as I normally do, with the happy change of having the saddle out of the way. Turns out that's not really the best way to use it. You've gotta stop riding as if there's a saddle 4 inches from your crotch. Crouch and hover lower. The first few times, I realized how used I was to using the saddle between my knees to help steer. You don't need it.

- On DH sections, I drop it and will often crouch really low or even sit on the saddle while descending (on smoother terrain, especially if tired). The lower center of gravity feeling you get from this is crazy. It almost feels like everything is slowed down for you, being that close to the ground (relatively). I brake far less and it feels like I have way more traction cornering this way. There are trails here in town I've ridden since the mid-1990s and I still find myself thinking "that's the first time I remember riding that without a finger on the brake lever".

- On slightly DH sections with tons of turns, I'll drop it just enough that I can still pedal without problems between turns. Corners SO much better and more securely.

- It will take a ride or two to get used to "hovering" low above the dropped saddle without touching it. Your quads will burn a bit at first, no matter your fitness level. This goes away quickly.

- You can corner with good body/bike separation and lean the bike over far more easily.

- It's really, really nice to drop the saddle to stop and sit, and easier to remount. I've done it for so long high-posted that I never imagined this was an option. It's great.

I hope that's helpful. I find that, just as suspension, disc brakes, and modern geometry make riding fast safer and more controllable, the dropper adds to the safety and fun factor.
Agree with everything here. I consider the dropper essential on all of my dirt bikes now. In fact when I built up my rigid singlespeed, I gave up derailleurs and suspension, but you'd have to pry the dropper from my cold dead hands!

On my geared bikes, there are days where I may hit the dropper remote more than the shift lever.
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  #49  
Old 02-04-2021, 12:23 PM
livesadventure livesadventure is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 496
Thanks @tommrod74 I’ve been learning how my I ride with the dropper on my hardtail and there’s some gems in your advice I hadn’t considered ! The dropper has definitely been instrumental in getting me through some tough terrain !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #50  
Old 02-04-2021, 07:09 PM
Imaking20 Imaking20 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Redmond, OR
Posts: 1,290
I've been super eager to get out on my regular loop to get a better feel for all the new parts. Turns out, maybe too eager for many parts of the trails


Not that there was any doubt, but I definitely confirmed that the Renegades aren't awesome in mud or snow. Fortunately, the pilot has no interest in those conditions either.

With the puddles forcing me to slow down and tread gingerly, it was easier for me to convince myself to stop and take in the views a bit more though. This spot always gets me when I'm coming the other direction.



With the conditions being what they were, I knew that my original route plan wasn't going to happen - so I added a little side loop that was mostly in the sun. The bits of snow across the canyon were distracting enough that I decided I couldn't pass without taking a photo or two.



And while I was stopped, I figured I'd snap a picture to show what a "normal" amount of rocks in the trail looks like (this is WAAAAAY better than where I rode earlier in the week)


I like this little loop because there are a few features that I feel are good practice for developing skills at my current level. Most of the stuff I was able to get past fine after 2x on the trail, but this little guy catches me out more often than not. In fact, today might be the first time I've made it up without a dab.



I was able to play on some faster (and dry) sections and I am pretty shocked by the extra agility and speed of the bike after losing 3+ lbs - especially when most of that weight was unsprung. Soooo much easier to change lines, move the front wheel around on slower rock features, and change directions when it's time to get on the gas after a get-up. I think this hobby may just get more addicting now!

Last edited by Imaking20; 02-04-2021 at 07:11 PM.
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  #51  
Old 02-05-2021, 12:39 PM
tommyrod74 tommyrod74 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaking20 View Post
I've been super eager to get out on my regular loop to get a better feel for all the new parts. Turns out, maybe too eager for many parts of the trails


Not that there was any doubt, but I definitely confirmed that the Renegades aren't awesome in mud or snow. Fortunately, the pilot has no interest in those conditions either.

With the puddles forcing me to slow down and tread gingerly, it was easier for me to convince myself to stop and take in the views a bit more though. This spot always gets me when I'm coming the other direction.


With the conditions being what they were, I knew that my original route plan wasn't going to happen - so I added a little side loop that was mostly in the sun. The bits of snow across the canyon were distracting enough that I decided I couldn't pass without taking a photo or two.



And while I was stopped, I figured I'd snap a picture to show what a "normal" amount of rocks in the trail looks like (this is WAAAAAY better than where I rode earlier in the week)


I like this little loop because there are a few features that I feel are good practice for developing skills at my current level. Most of the stuff I was able to get past fine after 2x on the trail, but this little guy catches me out more often than not. In fact, today might be the first time I've made it up without a dab.



I was able to play on some faster (and dry) sections and I am pretty shocked by the extra agility and speed of the bike after losing 3+ lbs - especially when most of that weight was unsprung. Soooo much easier to change lines, move the front wheel around on slower rock features, and change directions when it's time to get on the gas after a get-up. I think this hobby may just get more addicting now!
Stoked you are enjoying it so much. Please keep posting your impressions as you ride it more.

I honestly feel that modern geometry + mid travel + light weight = best all around bike (as long as you remember the limits of light wheels, tires, etc).
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