|Well, I'm not sure if you're going to like my answer, but your crank problems could have been easily prevented. There are two versions of the Samos fat bike crank, one with a 24mm diameter steel spindle and one with a 30mm diameter aluminum spindle, and I'm going to hazard a guess that your bike has the former. The issue is that the steel spindle is obviously quite a bit more robust than the aluminum crank arm, so when your non-drive side crank bolt comes a bit loose after the first few rides, which is far from uncommon as things seat in, the crank is no longer held snug on the spindle. That loose interface allows the arm shift on the spindle, which then deforms the aluminum. No amount of Loctite or leverage on the hex key is going to keep the bolt from coming loose after that, and the only solution is to replace the arm for a new one. This was a much more common issue back in the days of square taper bottom brackets, but still isn't unheard of. In an ideal world everyone would check the important fittings on their bikes after the first ride and every now and then moving forward, but that's not a realistic thing to expect. I'd recommend heading to the shop where you purchased your bike to see if they can help you out in any way, especially if it's a recurring problem on bikes that have all come from the same place - there may be an issue with the assembly. - Mike Levy|
|The answer is a qualified, "yes." The gravity riders I know spend almost all their riding and training time on relatively lightweight 160-millimeter-travel all-mountain bikes. Recent developments in suspension design and competition among bike makers to fill the emerging, yet still nefarious market for long-travel enduro racing bikes has resulted in a crop of single-crown offerings that can be ridden by a competent bikehandler down almost any trail or situation that was once considered the exclusive domain of traditional DH machines. Santa Cruz's Nomad and the Yeti SB6c are two examples. Please re-read the "competent bikehandler" part because, while the modern enduro racer is intended to be ridden at speed on DH trails, its secondary mission - a bike that can also comfortably climb and accelerate - significantly erodes its durability in a crash and eliminates most or any cushion in its handling department which could be used to save your bacon when you make a big mistake. DH bikes are, with some exceptions, rarely ridden to maximum potential by their owners. Their popularity at bike parks is largely due to the fact that a forced error at speed or down a precipitous drop can often be salvaged, because DH bikes have so much extra handling in the bank when they are being ridden by average Joes. I think you'll ride an enduro-style bike more often than the two in your present stable combined, because you won't need to organize uplifts, or choose your bike according to the potential severity of the day's ride. - RC|
|Yes, Race Face does offer an adaptor that will allow you to run a four bolt, 104 BCD single ring. It's mainly designed to allow riders to run multiple chainrings with a front derailleur, but by removing the little ring and the spacer it sits on you'll be able to run a single ring. However, at almost $60 USD it's a bit pricey. I suppose it depends on how many 4 bolt rings you have laying around, but I'd be tempted to skip purchasing the adaptor and to pick up a direct mount narrow wide ring instead. It'll save you a few grams, and it looks a lot cleaner as well. - Mike Kazimer|
|The word cheap is not synonymous with Italian holiday, but it can be done. Flying to Nice is simple from many UK airports and should be cheap, if booked in advance. Get the bus from the airport to the train station, then the train along the coast to Finale takes about an hour and a half. True money savers would then build their bikes on the train, put all the other luggage in to their roller bike bags, and then pedal from the train station to their accommodations with bags in tow - so, no taxi fees! Eurocamping Calviso has self-catering bungalows to rent with kitchens, so you can prepare your own food from the supermarket on the cheap. Handily, the nearest supermarket to the camping is Dico, which is one of the cheapest in town, and it's on your way to and from the beach. |
You can either pedal to the top, or use a shuttle service such as Finale Freeride where a day's riding will cost 40 Euros. Finale Freeride boasts private trails on the 'Defender Tour' as well as all the other trails in the area. They also have a bike wash and self-repair station for post ride maintenance, which could be helpful if you only have enough baggage allowance for basic tools.
One thing to bear in mind is that Finale gets pretty hot in the summer months, maybe you could try a cooler taste of Italy by heading to the mountains nearby in Molini di Triora. The altitude here will keep the temperatures down, and if you fancy a little more luxury and convenience, a package trip with Riviera Bike starts from 595 Euros. This includes airport transfers, shuttles, guiding, secure storage and workshop. Generally, the guides in Molini offer free drinking help and advice every night in the local bar. - Paul Aston
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