Vert steering vs. Laydown steering- review, impressions, and assumptions...

for anyone that's either considering changing up their steering style, or not happy with what they've currently got, here's my setup, what i changed, and what i think about it. cheers

2012 snopro 162
original 40" a-arms and spindles. steering linkage mount point on spindle moved .75" inward, to improve turn radius.
skis: oem doo skis from somewhere around 2011-2013

original setup: telescoping vert post, anti-slop bushing, oem bars, height always ran at the lowest rise position

current setup: oem laydown t-top post, canada sled parts 1" post forward block and bushing, the same oem bars, rsi 7" thin grips, can't remember the exact size of the riser block i bought, but i chose it by measuring from the running board to the height of original bars, and then trying to match that height for the new setup. i believe i may have added 1" to account for plans to upgrade to taller running boards (which i haven't done. still the oem boards).

-leading up to this mod, i was coming back from a horrible case of both tennis and golf elbow (caused by sledding) that pretty much ended the last half of the previous season. i was looking for a way to improve ergonomics, reduce the steering effort, and eliminate the shock to the arms caused by slop in the steering linkage.

at first i felt like the bars were not far enough forward. i wished that i had a bigger post fwd block, but beyond 1" you also have to modify the airbox, and/or replace the lower cross brace. i rotated the riser to get to what felt like the most comfortable neutral position while drydocked inside the shop.

first impressions on snow-
pros
1. the thin grips feel amazing. doesn't seem like much, but i like them way better than the fatter oem grips.
2. waaaaaaaaay less steering effort. virtually no slop, even compared to the vert post with anti-slop bushing. feels like power steering compared to the original setup.
3. waaaaaaaaay better riding position for transmitting energy from arms to seld, and for absorbing bumps from the ground to the body. much more confident when taking jumps.
4. my console knee pads became almost useless. on long descents with the vert post, i always planted my knees on the pads to hold myself up. with the bars forward, it's much more comfortable to hold yourself up against the bars.
5. my left hand throttle hardly gets used now. when making a tight left turn, the right side of the bars are not completely swung out of reach any more, nor is the left bar buried right in your crotch/thigh. plus, the reduced steering effort doesn't require 1 hand on the mountain strap to yank the skis in the right direction. come to think of it, i hardly use the strap at all now.


cons
1. the light steering effort can sometimes be too light. a few times, i've found myself oversteering and overcorrecting when finding the sweet spot for a sidehill.
2. there is a point when "post forward" gets too far forward. particularly when you want to suddenly make a hard carve/direction change while descending something steep or technical. i think i have now made 3 riser adjustments, all pivoting back.



at this point, i am now only pivoted slightly forward from being perfectly inline with the post angle. i'd say that the bar position is now maybe only 1.5"-2" forward of where the vert post had them. this is the sweet spot for the best all-around feel on the laydown post with 1" fwd block. 1" further forward would be nice, but it's true what they say about running your riser out of line with your post- the bar swing gets a bit weird.
i'd say that with the stock running boards, a 1.5"-2" post forward with the riser perfectly inline with the post would be perfect, but then you have to weigh up modifying the airbox and cross brace.
if i was able to get my foot further forward in the descent situation, like with aftermarket running boards, i think i could run a block in the 2"-3" range comfortably.


q: so if being 1.5"-2" fwd of stock is all it takes to get comfortable, why not just offset the bars on the vert post and be done?
a: you will still have to find a way to fully eliminate the slop from the vert post. plus you also have to consider how important the steering effort and bar swing angle are. this will be the personal preference factor for anyone considering this.
i still haven't tried the 2013-15, or the 2016+ front ends yet. i assume this would only make those setups even easier to ride than the already are, but maybe too easy? i don't know...

in my case, the steering effort alone is worth it. my elbow feels better. i think that in time, i'll be able to eliminate the oversteer situations just by getting more used to it, but i'm not really that concerned even if i can't. don't really care if i'm ultra smooth. in addition to making it easier on my arms, and improving my jumping, i find it easier to initiate a carve- because it's easier to initiate the countersteer. i'd say i've already got back all or more of the downhill-redirect action that i felt i lost with the initial setup.
 

ArcticChat

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You really should try the 16+ front end. That is the biggest benefit to the Proclimb chassis it makes everything easier and more consistent.
 

d1100t

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I had been contemplating throwing a laydown post in my sled this year just to try it. Kind of got talked out of it, but still curious. Just don't want curiosity to kill my Cat! haha
Here is a thread I started on it paired with the newer chassis: https://www.snowest.com/forum/threads/elevate-with-post-forward.455701/#post-4375624
I posted in that thread
I wish I wouldn't have put the lay down post in my 2016 sled.
Every time I ride my 2018 or 2019 sleds I find them more comfortable and easier to ride.
 
You really should try the 16+ front end. That is the biggest benefit to the Proclimb chassis it makes everything easier and more consistent.


i really want to. it's been tough to line up with anyone that has one though, as our cat dealer shut down around 2015. i guess i actually need to go riding more often too though... covid and an injury ended the last 2 seasons way too early for me.
 
I posted in that thread
I wish I wouldn't have put the lay down post in my 2016 sled.
Every time I ride my 2018 or 2019 sleds I find them more comfortable and easier to ride.


thanks for the input and link guys.

if i were jumping on something 2016+ i would definitely want to give it a fair try before jumping straight to a laydown setup. if that front end makes as much of a difference to the handling as the laydown post does on the 40" front end, the 2 combined might very well make it too touchy. i do think i'd want to at least offset the bars 2" forward though... just my impression.

but i can't help wonder if it comes down to riding style as well? i notice a lot of cat riders often plant their feet way back on the running boards. i did find that to be a better riding position with the vert post, but i don't like the steep running board angle on the cats. personally, i find that awkward as hell. i prefer to have my feet up as far as they can go- near the center of mass. i prefer to steer with my feet. saves my bummed elbow.

so what's the solution for taking out the slop on the vert post? i stood on an alpha in a showroom and gave the bars a shake... still sloppy in my opinion.
 

Suzzy-Q

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I had the bushings in my 17mc but still had play due to all the other parts, the best “no slop” in the steering I got was with the lay down conversion. I have a love hate relationship with the set up. But I’m thinking I’ll buy a new sled and leave the vert setup in and then ride both before I make my decision to do it again. I’ve put quite a few hours into the lay down set up now but I’m still riding the fence
 
I had the bushings in my 17mc but still had play due to all the other parts, the best “no slop” in the steering I got was with the lay down conversion. I have a love hate relationship with the set up. But I’m thinking I’ll buy a new sled and leave the vert setup in and then ride both before I make my decision to do it again. I’ve put quite a few hours into the lay down set up now but I’m still riding the fence

i think that would be the route i'd go too.

i also had the csp bushings in the original vert setup, but it was still super sloppy. ditching the telescoping section would have helped, but i doubt it would have been as tight as the laydown.
 
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