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steering damper vs flex bars - your pick for rocky trails?

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so after researching this forum and video from cross training skills channel, seems the biggest benefit was arm pump reduction and how fast your wrists and arms get tired. but as I get better in balancing, I noticed I am not holding on the the handle bar as tightly and not getting much arm pump. so question, how much would this really benefit me or how did it benefit you? or should I save the $200 $300. I get both have different functions, but curious what are your thoughts

 

I primarily ride rocky trails so it seems like it will make the ride "smoother" but oddly enough, what I researched never mentioned much about smoother ride on rocky stuff. even rockier than below

 

 

 

 

Edited by RideWithWill

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I ride rocky trails and have never found the need for either, not to say they are ineffective and can't make things easier but

IMO properly tuned suspension, appropriate tire pressure and squeezing the bike with your knees goes a long way in avoiding arm pump and soreness. 

Edited by mlatour
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3 minutes ago, mlatour said:

IMO properly tuned suspension,

I totally agree first thing to get done. RWW have you had your suspension set up for you? If not the best spent money.

Flex bars provide some additional "suspension" in plane with your front tubes. But they are heavy and it is at the highest point of you bike.

Steering stabilizer IMHO is for high speed riding to prevent the front wheel from deflecting off of stuff. I turn my way down on single track. But if I ripping it I turn it back up in high speed whoops I have it set pretty stiff . If you mostly ride slower stuff you don't need one again IMHO.

Save your money put it into tires.

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3 minutes ago, raymo2.0 said:

I totally agree first thing to get done. RWW have you had your suspension set up for you? If not the best spent money.

Flex bars provide some additional "suspension" in plane with your front tubes. But they are heavy and it is at the highest point of you bike.

Steering stabilizer IMHO is for high speed riding to prevent the front wheel from deflecting off of stuff. I turn my way down on single track. But if I ripping it I turn it back up in high speed whoops I have it set pretty stiff . If you mostly ride slower stuff you don't need one again IMHO.

Save your money put it into tires.

yep! however I do not like how the shop did my revalve, so I am going to redo it. what I get for being cheap 😉 I am starting to ride a lot faster on rocks prob not as fast as you guys but last I checked it was about 20 mph on rocky passes. I mean te250i is good and ok it does feel planted, but just curious on thoughts on steering damper and flex bars. never felt either, so it is kind of unknown for me

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Used a Scott's steering damper for years, only saw a benefit in WFO 60+MPH desert applications where headshake was prevalent in sand washes and silt. Bar damping solutions won't do a damn thing for arm pump, conditioning will. I do see minor benefits from bar damping, takes some of the bigger hits and jarring away. Plenty of options out there, X-TRIG PHDS, Mako 360, BRP, Flexx, Twisted engineering, etc. 

have you considered doing your suspension revalve yourself?

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Hey Will,
Did you ever get the proper spring weights and valves redone? I'd start there. I personally do like my Scott's Damper a lot and has saved me more than once on an errant baby head. I prefer mine set up to have virtually no feel at slower speeds but kick in with a bar yanker. I like the Scott's because I can set the throw of where the damping will kick in left or right side. Took a few rides to get it right but worth the effort. Never tried another brand so cant speak to those. Still, get the suspension figured out first.

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22 minutes ago, redhurricane said:

Used a Scott's steering damper for years, only saw a benefit in WFO 60+MPH desert applications where headshake was prevalent in sand washes and silt. Bar damping solutions won't do a damn thing for arm pump, conditioning will. I do see minor benefits from bar damping, takes some of the bigger hits and jarring away. Plenty of options out there, X-TRIG PHDS, Mako 360, BRP, Flexx, Twisted engineering, etc. 

have you considered doing your suspension revalve yourself?

I think I am going to try it on the DRZ400 first so I can get some exposure then the TE250i. I do wonder how steering dampers help on rocky trails...like rocks that deflect your wheel left and right or if thye just dont do much at all at low speeds. 

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20 minutes ago, catmanz440 said:

Hey Will,
Did you ever get the proper spring weights and valves redone? I'd start there. I personally do like my Scott's Damper a lot and has saved me more than once on an errant baby head. I prefer mine set up to have virtually no feel at slower speeds but kick in with a bar yanker. I like the Scott's because I can set the throw of where the damping will kick in left or right side. Took a few rides to get it right but worth the effort. Never tried another brand so cant speak to those. Still, get the suspension figured out first.

nah not yet! I am going to wait around Dec or January to get it redone with a proper shop that you guys gave me. ill def give some feedback after!

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1 minute ago, RideWithWill said:

I think I am going to try it on the DRZ400 first so I can get some exposure then the TE250i. I do wonder how steering dampers help on rocky trails...like rocks that deflect your wheel left and right or if thye just dont do much at all at low speeds. 

Deflection is a byproduct of poorly setup suspension. Definitely buy a damper to fix that problem. It's a $500 band-aid, but in bitchin' gold anodizing. 

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2 minutes ago, redhurricane said:

Deflection is a byproduct of poorly setup suspension. Definitely buy a damper to fix that problem. It's a $500 band-aid, but in bitchin' gold anodizing. 

dang ya I figured that might be it. thanks!!

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I will asay this much, and I don’t use them, but it seems sensible that flex bars would help from the impacts from roots, rocks etc when on technical stuff.

i have wrist injuries and the impact into my hands sends into my wrists and I surely feel it in the joint near where the fractures were.

but I am stubborn, so it is advil, rub some mud one it, and ride on.

 

if I had a brain in my head I would suck it up,and try those heavy ass gimmicky flex bars and likely be much happier in my wrists at the end of some rides.

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2 minutes ago, SloChicken said:

I will asay this much, and I don’t use them, but it seems sensible that flex bars would help from the impacts from roots, rocks etc when on technical stuff.

i have wrist injuries and the impact into my hands sends into my wrists and I surely feel it in the joint near where the fractures were.

but I am stubborn, so it is advil, rub some mud one it, and ride on.

 

if I had a brain in my head I would suck it up,and try those heavy ass gimmicky flex bars and likely be much happier in my wrists at the end of some rides.

the brp soft mounts help with the sharp impacts, and don't weigh nearly as much as the Flexx stuff. 

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I'm what you'd call a backyard suspension tinkerer, now up to 26 experiments on my CRF250X to tame rocky trails.

(changes of spring rate, valving, oil level, spring preload etc.)

 

From experimenting going to very soft low speed settings (plushness?) and having a chassis that deflects and is unpredictable

to now running firmer base valve settings to keep the front end high

and, a very soft midvalve to 'blow-off' on sharp hits rather than deflect

I have now reached my goal and have stopped the constant fine tuning (doing a revalve every second ride!)

 

That combined with keeping the front end light (weighting the rear more) and, never letting off the gas

but rather modulating speed by clutch control thru rough sections

have transformed a previously ill handling bike into a very predictable and stable one. 

Going from 14psi to 10 psi in the front tire also made a very noticeable difference.

 

 

Edited by mlatour
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Had Flexx bars on my Predator during my quad period.  They're really just a novelty.  About all they did was add extra weight to the  front of the quad.  Once I got the front suspension dialed in to my weight and riding style they were there just for looks.  The little elastomer pucks that are supposed to absorb the impacts are really to stiff and don't compress more than one or two millimeters at best.  I didn't buy the bars.  They came with it when I bought it.  After riding with them, I know I would never spend my hard earned money to buy them new or used.

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Have you tried thicker grips like the Odi Rouges? You running full wrap hand guards? Flags with a normal pro taper style bar + thicker grips may give you enough comfort vs. shelling out the big bucks for the flexx bars . 

I haven't had much issues with arm pump or as much arm fatigue after installing the stabilizer and also feel more confident wheeling over small bumps on tight trails and keeping the wheel straight and has saved my ass clipping trees at high speeds and hitting hidden rocks in silty dirt.   

 

Edited by Dirtstache 556
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Want to get rid of arm pump? Steg Pegz. Guys either love them or hate them; I have found most every one who hates them has never actually tried them, or they get on a bike with them and go 100 yards down a trail and pronounce them terrible. 

I went to Moab last year and had terrible arm pump every day. Put the Stegz on and was back in Moab a month later, no more pump problems. I have ridden with them for a year now. A couple weeks ago I thought I would take them off and ride without them. I'm a better rider now and maybe I don't need them? Hell no, as soon as I got back home from riding Sheep Mountain they went back on, and I mean for good. I am a 50 year old fat guy; maybe I'll get in better shape, but probably not. I figure I am who I am and if I can rip it up with less pain with the Stegz on then imma doin' it.

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I dont get arm pump anymore or hands dont really get tired ha ha. i was just wondering if there was an added benefit to flex bars and/or steering stabilizers on absorbing impacts on really rocky stuff. I am looking at steg pegz though. thing they might help my balance out

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I never used a stabilizer until I moved to Colorado. Bought a used KTM 300 that came with a Scotts and noticed I was able to rode rocks much faster with less grip pressure. Riding w/o hanging on so tight has all but eliminated my arm pump. Now I have stabilizers on all my bikes. Also use the BRP bar mounts which help. 

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Ride faster and it will solve all your problems. How? Faster you ride, the quicker you get to where you’re going, and the less energy you spend.

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15 minutes ago, scope said:

Want to get rid of arm pump? Steg Pegz. Guys either love them or hate them; I have found most every one who hates them has never actually tried them, or they get on a bike with them and go 100 yards down a trail and pronounce them terrible. 

I went to Moab last year and had terrible arm pump every day. Put the Stegz on and was back in Moab a month later, no more pump problems. I have ridden with them for a year now. A couple weeks ago I thought I would take them off and ride without them. I'm a better rider now and maybe I don't need them? Hell no, as soon as I got back home from riding Sheep Mountain they went back on, and I mean for good. I am a 50 year old fat guy; maybe I'll get in better shape, but probably not. I figure I am who I am and if I can rip it up with less pain with the Stegz on then imma doin' it.

I would like to try them but kind of spendy. I find the acherbis frame guards on my KTM are a happy medium. They stick out just a little and I can lock down my boots pretty well while standing without having to grip the bars too hard

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