Should I slack'en it?


I have been riding a Cube Reaction Pro C:62 as my one and only bike.

It mainly serves as my XC race machine but do a lot of natural trail riding - pretty gnarly stuff and even some steeper enduro trails.

I have it set up on 2.35 + 2.25 maxxiss forekasters F&R and I feel I often push the bike outside of what it is designed to do. Running inserts at 16-18psi respectively @ 63kg. Other upgrades I have made is a 25int wheelset & Dropper post - other minor upgrade to cranks, pedals, bars and stem.

I am fairly new to XC but am developing quickly thanks to TR fitness and now am riding with some of the fastest guys - although i struggle to keep up on descents; I still manage to stay upright on some of the gnarlier stuff.

I am wondering how I can adapt the bike to make it more confident, particularly on tight steep switchbacks with drop offs or big drops/steeper trails in general. The terrain I ride in is often just natural, often wet, slippery with more roots than rocks. Although some of the tech climbing I do requires a lot of hoping over rocks and some trails is required.

Looking at my bikes geometry I see its often 25-40mm shorter in reach than other modern XC hard-tails. And while a 69deg HTA is o.k. - it is beginning, it seams to be at the steeper end of things.

While my main objective is to save up for a Yeti Arc Frame and 130mm fork to replace my Cube and swap components - Would you think it would be worth either upgrading the fork to a 120mm (which i can move to the arc) or getting a 1-2 degree angled headset.

My worry with either option would be that it would be shorten the reach even further; however I am unsure how this will impact handling. Currently am riding with a 80mm -17 stem.

So please enlighten me with my issue! I appreciate any and all advice :slight_smile: