Minimizing hardtail twitch
I love your site and great advice you give! I recently bought an Ibis Tranny and love it! I switched from road to mountain biking about 4 years ago and have always used full suspension up until now. I wanted something that suits our trails that include short steep climbs, descents and tight twisty single track, thus the Tranny. So far I love it, however, I do not feel very secure on faster descents. The back end feels very twitchy. How do I get the back end to skip around less? More weight over the back? As well, with all the hype surrounding 29ers, can I get my Tranny to corner as well as a 29er with a proper technique or will the bigger wheels always have an advantage in this area?
Welcome to the hardtail crew. I’ve been riding Captain America all over the place, but on rough descents I’d rather ride the Stumpy or Enduro.
With some balance, a hardtail can rock in the rocks. Captain America gets it done.
• Most people will tell you 26ers corner inherently better than 29ers. A skilled rider can turn any bike. Stop worrying about this.
• A 29er will definitely roll more smoothly over rough stuff. But you bought a 26er, so stop worrying about that too.
• Dude, it’s a hardtail. Of course it feels more twitchy and less secure than full suspension. I love Captain America on smoother trails and on big, pump-able rocks, but in the chatter … uuuuuuuuuugh!
• DO NOT put more weight over the back (or the front). That is a recipe for disaster. As always, cultivate a balanced, centered riding position. Light hands, heavy feet.
• Loosen up and get aggressive. Don’t run into any bumps. Pump them. Pump everything.
• Who cares if your back end is bouncing around? As long as you’re in the middle of the bike —- in a good attack position — it doesn’t matter. Plus: As Steve Peat told me, As long as your front wheel is tracking, it doesn’t matter what your back wheel is doing.
For a video of exceptional hardtail riding, check out More weight forward for an all mountain hardtail?. Scroll down.
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I love hard tails. When you ping them through the rough you learn so much about riding light and adapting to the trail.
It’s a revelation to let the bike skim across the rough, something that helps so much on a full squish