Q: I am 6-foot- 2 and have an Ibis Mojo
3 size XL. I love the bike, but have issues
with the rise of the handlebars and stem
height. I have approximately 3 inches of
spacers and a 100-millimeter stem at + 5
degrees. I feel as if this is wrong, and I am
looking for a fix. When I bought the bike, I
asked the shop not to cut the steerer tube
so that I could raise and lower the stem
to my comfort. Friends are telling me that
I may want to go to the Ripley, which has
29er wheels and a higher fork. Are there
bikes out there that will help me with this
problem? When I only use one or two
spacers, I feel very bent over. I have been
MTB riding for over 20 years, and this is
my first full-suspension bike.
—Jeff Chetlin, who needs a
A: It’s true that most riders taller than 6
feet prefer the feel of 29er wheels for trail
riding. The 26-inch and 27.5-inch bikes are
still options and come in several big frame
sizes that will work, but the big “wagon
wheels” of a 29er simply fit the frame
better. For that reason, we’d be hard-
pressed to steer you away from the Ripley.
Coincidentally, one of our testers is 6-foot-
2 and had the new Ripley LS last month.
Since Ibis built that particular bike with a
longer front end, along with the big wheels,
it might be just the ticket for you.
TO CLIP OR NOT TO CLIP?
THAT IS THE QUESTION
Q: I have been a clipped-in rider for
years but recently went back to flats. I can’t
seem to keep from bouncing off the pedals
on rough stuff. Can you help?
—Mark, who can’t keep his foot
on the pedal
A: There’s certainly a skill set required
to use flat pedals. While clip-in pedals offer
an easier connection to the bike, it’s also
easy to rely on that mechanical binding too
much, which will limit your skill develop-
ment. Sorry to say, but the only solution to
your problem is to ride with flat pedals for a
while until you become skilled using them.
There are no shortcuts that we know of.
The upside to this, in our experience, is
that any rider who can ride flat pedals is
more skilled than one who can only ride
clips. Learn to bunny hop, carve and ride
tough technical terrain on flats and it will
feel like you’re cheating when you go back
to clips. Also, once you’ve learned the skills
to ride with flats, don’t neglect to keep
practicing them. We find it’s very helpful to
migrate back to flat pedals at least a couple
of times a season to keep our skills sharp.
Q: I’m wondering about the make/
model of your cool, green, double-top-bar
single-speed with the front chrome spring
—Ed O’Connel, who wants the
A: It’s a custom bike that was made
in the same factory where Black Sheep
Bikes are built in Fort Collins, Colorado. A
friend of mine, John Hubbard, built it. He
welded the bike for himself but decided it
was a little too big for him, so he sold it
to me. It’s a complete one-off bike with
a head tube badge that took Hubbard 40