Smaller Bike = More Endoing?

You know I sacrifice for the readers of mtnbikeriders.com. A couple of weeks ago, I rode a Medium sized bike when I normally ride a Large. This is a significant sacrifice on my part and it almost ended up being even more sacrifice than I thought it would be.


Medium sized Trek Top Fuel 69er

OK, so I have this theory. If you don’t mind hearing me out on it, I’ll proceed. First the setup: a couple of weeks ago, my friend Tim & I headed out to the Trek Demo Day. Our first rides went well and when we got back to the parking lot we jumped on other bikes before heading out again. Because I wanted to get some seat time on the Trek Fuel 69er I accepted the opportunity to ride a size Medium bike when no larges had returned. Anything for the readers of mtnbikeriders.com, right?

Along the route we were riding there are some small jumps. They’re what I call XC jumps because they’re what XC riders would be willing to jump if they’re willing to jump anything. Usually these jumps are within the flow of riding downhill such as railroad ties that launch you no more than 6 inches off the ground. Other times they’re actual jumps where you can get a little air probably no more than 1 foot, though.

So riding a different sized bike takes some getting used to and I didn’t really give myself a ton of time to do this. Going from a Large to a Medium means a more cramped cockpit. A more cramped cockpit in turn (and here is where I am theorizing) means more of your upper body weight will be pushed forward onto the handlebars. More weight up front means less weight in the rear which therefore increases the chances of endoing. Too much forward mass means the back end will be unweighted which is a perfect recipe for the “superman? maneuver.

I really got to test this theory out on those little XC jumps I was telling you about. After hitting a couple of them, I began to notice that my front tire was hitting the ground sooner than my rear. This is not a good sign as it increases the chance of losing control and falling hard. I didn’t give it much thought but after the jump below, I did.


I’m going to eat it!

This jump made me realize that maybe riding a smaller bike is not such a good idea. I almost ate it good right here (note the poor form: locked out arms/eyes on the front wheel…).

So my theory: smaller bike = smaller cockpit which distributes your weight differently then what you’re used to. It pushes your weight forward increasing your chances of endoing. Agree? Disagree?

See what I’m willing to sacrifice for the readers of mtnbikeriders.com?

Trek Demo Review


Trek Demo Day!

Impressions on the bikes we rode have been written.
For our thoughts on the Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, click here.
For our thoughts on the Trek Fuel Ex 9.5, click here.
For our thoughts on the Trek Top Fuel 69er, click here.

Demos are an extremely fun event to do as a mountain biker. Think of it: you get to ride a new bike – professionally maintained, mind you – on a fun trail and you get to do it over and over again.

This Saturday my friend Tim and I hit up the Fullerton Loop for Trek Demo Day mentioned in this previous post. To say it was a lot of fun is an understatement. It was a TON of fun. Tip for you: get to the demo early. If it says it starts at 9, get there at least 20 minutes early and chat up the mechanic. If he’s good, he’s probably almost done getting the bikes ready and if you’re nice, he’ll probably get you going first.


Matt, working hard to setup the Gary Fisher HiFi 29er Pro; Lance, looking on

Matt, the Trek demo dude, is good, real good. Not only was he ready by about 15 minutes til 9am, but he also was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Tim and I threw out a variety of question to him including questions on weight, specs, prices… a variety of things and he had the correct – as I later found out – answer every time. Matt was also helpful and friendly encouraging us to ride and enjoy our time on the bike. Matt already knew I was interested in the Large Gary Fisher HiFi 29er, so when I got there, on went my pedals and off Tim and I went.


New friends, Randall (Trek Fuel Ex 9.5) & Deb (Gary Fisher HiFi Pro Carbon)

We picked up a couple of new friends who weren’t familiar with the loop, so our pair became a fun group of four. Tim had been eying the Trek Fuel EX 9.5 and got to swing a leg over that for the first loop. He was really curious about the Active Braking Pivot (ABP) and found it to function exactly like it was supposed to (it’s not a marketing gimmick!). Randall also got a leg over a Trek Fuel EX 9.5 while Deb rode a Gary Fisher HiFi Carbon (26″ version). We all had a blast on the first loop and really enjoyed our steeds.

The second time around I jumped on a Trek 69er FS while Tim took the Gary Fisher HiFi Carbon (26″). We both preferred our first rides for different reasons, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast anyway.


Trek/Gary Fisher bikes ready to go!

In the next few days, I’ll post more thorough impressions on the bikes I rode. Check back for them soon.

Trek Demo at Fullerton Loop


Jeremy rockin’ the Gary Fisher 29er X-Caliber on some nice singletrack at Crystal Cove State Park

Some of the MtnBikeRiders.com crew will be at the Trek Demo that is happening this Saturday from 9am to 3pm at the most popular loop in Orange County, the Fullerton Loop. Here’s the official word from the Trek Demo Site:

Jax Fullerton
Fullerton, CA
Sat. Jan 12th, 2008 @ 9:00 am—3:00 pm

I (Matt from Trek) will be at the Fullerton Loop Parking lot with the new 2008 Road and Mtn. bikes. Stop on by and take a spin on the best.

Location: Fullerton
2520 E. Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92381
View Map (ADDRESS here is for the shop. Here’s the address for the Loop Parking lot:
1275 N. Berkeley Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832)

Directions: Please call the shop for directions to the store, they can be reached at 714.441.1100.

I inquired as to which bikes would be there and Matt Gutowski sent me a short list of what he was bringing: Trek EX 9.5’s, Gary Fisher HiFi Carbon Pros, Trek Top Fuel 69er’s & Gary Fisher Paragons. He also has one Large Gary Fisher HiFi 29er. I’ve got first dibs on the HiFi 29er!

Thanks Matt for the email and for all the info!

Here are some pertinent questions from the FAQ page:

QUESTION: What do I need to do to demo a bike?
ANSWER: Check out our calendar of upcoming events and select one to attend. Allow yourself plenty of time to check out our inventory and give us some time to fit you on the selected model you would like to try. You will need to fill out a quick registration/waiver form and provide us with a valid ID (driver’s license) and Credit Card. (Of course your credit card will not be charged, unless of course you disappear or damage the product.)

QUESTION: What if I am under 18, can I still demo a bike?
ANSWER: Yes! But you will need a parent to fill out your registration/waiver form.

QUESTION: Do I need cycling shoes?
ANSWER: We recommend that you use the shoes that you typically ride in or most comfortable in.

QUESTION: Do I need to bring my own helmet?
ANSWER: We do have a limited number of helmets available for use, but is best to bring your own personal riding gear if possible.

QUESTION: Do I need to bring my own pedals to the demo?
ANSWER: While we stock a number of the most common clipless pedals, we don’t have every brand and so it is always a good idea to bring your own just in case.

QUESTION: How long can I test ride the bike?
ANSWER: We generally request test rides of no more than thirty to forty minutes so everyone gets a chance to ride their desired model. This is flexible to some degree based on trail options and rider turnout.

QUESTION: Can I ride more than one bike ?
ANSWER: Sure, as many as you want! We would love you to try all of our inventory and we will do our best to get you on whatever you want to ride. We appreciate your patience, sometimes we get busy.

If you haven’t checked out the Trek Demo Page, click here. These trucks are all over the place and I’m sure one will be coming to you soon.