Pages: [1]
Reply Reply New Topic New Poll
  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup on: April 05, 2011, 04:45:53 PM
Ultra Magnus


Posts: 43


View Profile
« on: April 05, 2011, 04:45:53 PM »

I've been lurking in the forums for about a week now, and have noticed that the standard here is to run a hard tail or rigid bike with a few bags strategically located on the bike...

I'm interested in the idea of bike-packing, but for me, it a no go to buy a specific bike just for something I want to just try out and all I have is a Santa Cruz Blur XC.  What are your preferred setups for full suspension bikes?  I've been thinking along the lines of an extrawheel type trailer (maybe a diy setup), but the feeling I get is the general population here is kinda of anti-trailer.  Loading the bike down would require pumping up the fork a shock a bunch, and then if I wanted to ditch the gear and do a loop, I'd be fiddling with all that  mess again, and then setting it back when I reloaded the bike...  The trailer setup seems like it'd be less of a hassle to switch between bike-packing and normal XC riding...

Thanks,
BM
Logged

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011, 08:31:46 AM
Done


Posts: 1434


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011, 08:31:46 AM »

I've only used a trailer once, and it was kind of a pain--especially when navigating obstacles. But on smooth ground, it was barely noticeable. So, I guess it depends on the type of riding that you're planning on doing. Maybe rent a trailer and give it a go?

Some people still use panniers (Old Man Mountain sells racks for full-suspension bikes, as does www.freeload.co.nz), which put most of the weight directly on the back wheel--bypassing the rear shock.
Logged

"Done"

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 10:49:07 AM
Dallas.S


Location: Iowa
Posts: 11


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 10:49:07 AM »

I prefer a FS, but I also have a rigid (that cost me next to nothing). So, if you have the room for it, having a second bike that better suits the job won't be too costly.
But I like to ride the FS for comfort, and with little room on the frame to carry gear, for the long trips I like to use a trailer.
I load most of my gear on it to keep the bike light, then I leave the trailer at camp to ride some trails. I think this works well.
But like Toby said, on the straight rides, I don't notice the trailer. Turning with it will take some getting used to, tho. (hint) It seems that packing the weight toward the back of the trailer handles better.
Another cheap and easy option- a back pack. I pack my gear in one, I just prefer to haul it on the trailer.
In the end- what ever gets you on the trails is the best idea.
Logged

Screw the oil companies! Where's my bike?

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 02:19:09 PM
Ultra Magnus


Posts: 43


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 02:19:09 PM »

I saw this post many, many, years ago- and I'm actually surprised I was able to find it- http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1057212#post1057212

At the bottom there's a video- (right click - save as) where it shows a couple of guys really rallying some good dh single-track w/ bob trailers in tow...

for now, I'm curious as to what I can do with the smallest investment in equipment possible (my 6th kid is due at the end of the month...and yeah, I think I've figured out what's causing it).  I have been learning to sew (made an 8x10 tarp, smd meteor bivy is next), and I'll see how much room there is in my frame for a frame bag if I remove the water bottle cages.  I also have a 55liter backpacking back pack, but that might be a bit uncomfortable on the mtnbike...  Maybe if I try this out in the summer when I won't need the sleeping bag and could get by with just a thin bag liner.

I've been looking through the personal setup pages, but haven't seen any fs/trailer kits yet.

thanks,
BM
Logged

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 09:00:25 PM
jp3d

Jesse Palmer


Location: California
Posts: 39


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 09:00:25 PM »

A trailer is a relatively low-hassle solution. As you suggest it could be perfect to tow your camping gear over moderate terrain to your "base-camp" where you could do some more challenging loops from.

The main problem is they are heavy themselves, and encourage you to pack heavy. So great for flat riding, but once it gets hilly.. less fun.

Theoretical problem #1: climbing traction. When climbing mass added to a passive trailing wheel will contribute to the force of gravity pulling you down-slope, but only a fraction of that mass will contribute additional normal force to your rear tire - which translates to less traction compared to having the weight on-bike. This might make it harder to climb steep or loose stuff without slipping the rear tire. You might be hiking anyway before that point, so maybe it's not actually a problem?

Theoretical problem #2: descending. Again only a fraction of the added mass will be contributing to normal force on braked wheels resulting in less braking traction compared to having the weight on-bike. If the trailer tire breaks loose in a corner things might get interesting.

Theoretical problem #3: suspension: being attached at one end to the rear tire the trailer load will increase the unsprung mass of the rear suspension system which theoretically decreases the performance advantage of suspension. More mass has to accelerate and decelerate for the rear suspension to move, so the suspension will not track over terrain as well. This should theoretically be an even bigger problem for panniers attached to the fork lowers or the rear suspension because all the added mass is on the unsprung part of the suspension.

Handlebar, seat, and frame bags (besides being considerably lighter) don't have these problems because the additional mass is added to to the suspended portion of the bike, and is not being supported by a passive tire. You just have to increase the air pressure to compensate. Write down your original air and sag measurement, load the bike, increase air pressures until original sag is attained again, write down new pressure*

*Tip for setting suspension pressures: Write down your measurements before you detach the pump. When you attach the pump air flows out of the shock to fill the pump hose and gauge, and because the air volume is quite small the reading will be lower than before you attached the pump. This confuses a lot of people at first.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 09:05:09 PM by jp3d » Logged

party till you björk

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 09:48:13 AM
Ultra Magnus


Posts: 43


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 09:48:13 AM »

A trailer is a relatively low-hassle solution. As you suggest it could be perfect to tow your camping gear over moderate terrain to your "base-camp" where you could do some more challenging loops from.

The main problem is they are heavy themselves, and encourage you to pack heavy. So great for flat riding, but once it gets hilly.. less fun.

Theoretical problem #1: climbing traction. When climbing mass added to a passive trailing wheel will contribute to the force of gravity pulling you down-slope, but only a fraction of that mass will contribute additional normal force to your rear tire - which translates to less traction compared to having the weight on-bike. This might make it harder to climb steep or loose stuff without slipping the rear tire. You might be hiking anyway before that point, so maybe it's not actually a problem?

Theoretical problem #2: descending. Again only a fraction of the added mass will be contributing to normal force on braked wheels resulting in less braking traction compared to having the weight on-bike. If the trailer tire breaks loose in a corner things might get interesting.

Theoretical problem #3: suspension: being attached at one end to the rear tire the trailer load will increase the unsprung mass of the rear suspension system which theoretically decreases the performance advantage of suspension. More mass has to accelerate and decelerate for the rear suspension to move, so the suspension will not track over terrain as well. This should theoretically be an even bigger problem for panniers attached to the fork lowers or the rear suspension because all the added mass is on the unsprung part of the suspension.

Handlebar, seat, and frame bags (besides being considerably lighter) don't have these problems because the additional mass is added to to the suspended portion of the bike, and is not being supported by a passive tire. You just have to increase the air pressure to compensate. Write down your original air and sag measurement, load the bike, increase air pressures until original sag is attained again, write down new pressure*

*Tip for setting suspension pressures: Write down your measurements before you detach the pump. When you attach the pump air flows out of the shock to fill the pump hose and gauge, and because the air volume is quite small the reading will be lower than before you attached the pump. This confuses a lot of people at first.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  To be honest, I never considered climbing traction being reduced, in effect, by hauling the weight behind the bike... 

I am frustrated by how heavy commercial bike trailers are.  I mean, if a weight weenie cyclist can build a 17lb full suspension mountain bike, with gears, fork, shock, brakes, TWO wheels, and the capacity to carry a full grown adult (170 - 180lbs), why on earth should a trailer rated to only carry 70lbs weigh just as much?

I did some looking at my frame, and if I lose the upper bottle cage I could fit a modest size frame bag in there, and that still leaves the water bottle cage on the underside of the downtube.  Being in the desert, water storage is important.

BM
Logged

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 10:28:20 AM
bmike-vt


Location: Horgen, Switzerland
Posts: 1121


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 10:28:20 AM »

Folks are using frame bags with full suspension... just have to get creative.

Extrawheel trailers:
http://www.extrawheel.com/





Logged


  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 09:36:27 PM
Aslan

Simple, reliable, light


Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 74


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 09:36:27 PM »

I agree with most of what has be stated above.  I have toured tens of thousands of miles with both panniers and trailers so I thought I would through in my two cents.  For pavement at speed nothing beats a well loaded set of panniers; however, panniers are not the best on dirt or gravel, especially bumps and washboard.  For gravel and double track such as the Great Divide Route a BOB type single wheel trailer is ideal, especially on extended tours where going ultra light can be a bit inconvenient.  On such routes the impact on the suspension is negligible as you will probably be running firm pressures for efficiencies sake anyway.  Unfortunately, once the single track becomes tight or technical the trailer hangs up on too many rocks and roots.  It can lever your rear wheel out on steep loose descents.  It can be difficult to manhandle up technical hills for long periods of time.  In my experience, it just doesn't work well for anything but the most benign form of single track trail. 

For single track trail the revelate / carousel rackless type system is superior, if you can deal with the need to travel ultra light which has real comfort repercussion come camp time.  The advantage of a rackless system is that the weight is distributed evenly on the bike, which is especially important with suspension.  You can tune you suspension for the added weight and the bike still handles remarkably well, as long as you are ultra light.  In other words, you bike is still fun to ride from point to point on single track when you go light.  The down side of rackless is mainly in regards to extended non racing touring.  It is difficult to carry enough gear and food for more than 4 or 5 days with out a resupply.  You will look haggard in town as you only have one thing to wear and it is dirty.  When packing, the answer to 'can I afford to bring this?' is usually no.

Anyway, I know I got a bit off topic on the suspension but what I am trying to infer is that if the trail is rough enough that you would really want suspension panniers or trailers are not ideal.  With suspension, if you go rackless some sacrifices must be made in regards to what you can bring.  That said, most of the touring I have been doing lately is on single track with a full suspension with a rackless system.  The riding is just more fun.  I hope this helps.
Logged

  Topic Name: Full Suspension Setup Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 06:47:19 AM
bradh


Posts: 31


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 06:47:19 AM »

I'll echo the last post.  I think the optimal setup for single track bikepacking is full suspension, rackless.   The downhills are still fun.   Some combination of frame pack, giant seat pack, gear strapped to the handlebar, a little on your back.   You'll only need a little more air in your shocks, & if it's too much hassle to mess w/ for an unloaded day, just leave it alone.   I think pulling a trailer would be less fun and more work unless.   Even on the road I'd vote for panniers over a trailer.
Logged
  Pages: [1]
Reply New Topic New Poll
Jump to: