Ask Pinkbike: No Drop Dropper, Single-Speed Benefits, Kona Process Abuse, and Five Ten Love

Apr 28, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.



Dropper Post Not Dropping

Question: Pinkbike user snowsnow asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: I was wondering if anyone has any experience with young kids or light riders using dropper posts? My son weighs about 65lb and has trouble getting my Reverb to drop. Can I change anything in a dropper post to make it easier to drop?


bigquotesLike most dropper seat posts, the Reverb uses an air spring to bring it back up when you need to pedal, and RockShox says that you shouldn't run it with more than 250 PSI. The Reverb doesn't need to be run at maximum pressure, though, and lowering it will make it easier for lighter riders to drop their seat out of the way. You can go down to 200 PSI without any issues, which will make a big difference. Don't forget that lower air pressure means slower rebound as well. The easiest compressing dropper post that I've spent time on is FOX's D.O.S.S., which may be worth looking at if lowering your Reverb's spring pressure doesn't make a large enough difference for your son. The D.O.S.S. requires very low air pressure - just 25 PSI at max, but I've used mine with well under 15 PSI. Keep lowering the pressure until it doesn't return, then add 2 PSI with a shock pump until it comes back up again. The D.O.S.S. uses a retracting keyway design and ball bearing internals, which also helps matters. It is a bit heavier than the Reverb, though, and features three set travel positions rather than the infinite adjustment of the Reverb. - Mike Levy

RockShox Reverb
Pushing this button might not get the seat out of the way if you're 65lb shredder, but lowering the Reverb's air pressure will help.




Should I Buy a Single Speed?

Question: hoper386 asks in a PM: I am pondering buying a single speed like the Trek Superfly SS 29er. I know they are entirely different bikes and it's a personal decision. But, you ride all the latest and greatest, so I have to ask: "Have you dabbled in the SS world, and what has the experience been like?" I live in Hood River, am 55 years old, and ride all the time in the dirt. My style is work hard up and swoop down. I am just not sure if a SS or maybe a hardtail is a good idea. Do you think I am headed toward a frustrating and exhaustive exercise in humility? Any input you could share would be valuable.

bigquotes It is possible to ride fast and hit technical stuff on a hardtail, but whether it will make you a better rider can be argued both ways. Six months or a year on a single speed, however, will definitely up your game. Single speeds force you to use and to conserve momentum, and they teach you how much energy you waste dragging the brakes everywhere - so a summer on an SS will make you faster on every kind of bike.

If you ride road bikes, single speeds will feel more natural, because you will be out of the saddle more often and you'll climb based upon heart rate and strength, not a fixed RPM. Sometimes you'll be at 90 rpm and often, as low as 50 rpm, so you need to be smooth and efficient on the pedals. But, it can wreck your knees if you don't ease into it. Start with lower gearing than you think you'll need and then work up to where your friends are over the summer.

I understand the simplicity of the Superfly's rigid fork, but I don't subscribe. Most of your speed will come from not hitting the brakes, especially down techy sections, G-outs and into turns - it won't come from a throwback fork or pushing a taller gear. So, choose a single speed with a capable suspension fork and get tires that grip in the corners. Hood River trails are a perfect place to ride SS bikes. Enjoy the pain and remember to keep your fingers on the grips. - RC

Trek Sjuperfly SS 2015
Trek's Superfly SS is about as racy as a single-speed gets, but for riders who want to maximize their descending and technical experience, I'd suggest dumping the fancy rigid carbon fork for a 120-millimeters of good suspension and a remote lockout. - Trek Image




Process 153 in the Bike Park?

Question: tricyclerider asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I'm looking at downsizing from my downhill bike because frankly it's too much bike for what I do. I'm looking at a Kona Process 153 and I am wondering if it could handle a few days of getting beat up in the bike park. I would get another downhill bike but realistically most of my riding occurs on local trails which are either hike-a-bike or a relatively easy pedal to the trailhead.

bigquotesYour question is one that many riders will soon be confronting now that the beginning of the lift-served bike season is almost here. The Process 153 is certainly stout enough to handle the occasional day in the bike park, although it might take you a couple laps to get accustomed to the feeling of riding a shorter travel bike compared to a slack DH sled with loads of travel. Other than that, the components on both models of the Process are capable of withstanding the punishments of bike park riding, although be prepared to go through brake pads, tires, and possibly rims quicker than you would riding on your local trails - bike parks are hard on all bikes, no matter how much travel they have. If you're looking to turn the Process 153 into even more of a DH machine, I'd recommend swapping out the stock RockShox Monarch rear shock for a Vivid Air (for reference, it takes a 200x57mm, M/M tune). That switch gives the bike a more bottomless feel, perfect for taking the edge off those brake bumps and choppy sections of trail. - Mike Kazimer

Kona Process 153 review
Many of today's all-mountain bikes are tough enough to withstand occasional bike park usage as well.




Five Ten Shoes


Question: Pinkbike user JasonCraig1 asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear: Just wondering why every one has Five Tens? As I know they're not waterproof, and they don't protect your toes from being crushed. So, why do people rave about them? I understand they improve grip on pedals, but so would a decent pair of pedals. Cheers in advance.


bigquotes It all boils down to rubber compound. If you ride with flat pedals, there's nothing that really comes close, grip-wise. Vans had a decent offering a few years ago with their Gravel shoes, but they appear to be no longer in production. Giro have some good flat shoes with a Vibram sole, but if you're after maximum grip, Five Ten take the win every time. You're right about decent pedals, but once you stamp down a fresh sole of Stealth Rubber onto a grippy pedal, you'll probably never use anything else. Five Ten offer a range of shoes for most tastes and needs. - Paul Aston

Five Ten Freerider Stealth Rubber
Nothing quite beats a fresh sole of Stealth Rubber.



Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


138 Comments

  • 92 3
 5.10 shoes are basically super comfortable climbing shoes. If they stick to rock, they will sure stick to metal!
  • 49 0
 My friends finally convinced me to get a pair and they are awesome, its makes such a difference!
  • 78 1
 ''Once you stamp down a fresh sole of Stealth Rubber onto a grippy pedal, you'll probably never use anything else."

Amen
  • 34 0
 They are well worth the money! I have three pairs (freerider, hell cat and raven) and will never use anything else!
  • 21 0
 The grip is insane! It took at least a solid hour to get accustomed to them coming off of regular sneakers
  • 21 2
 Five Ten's all day, every day!!!
  • 9 1
 I'd argue that certain models of 5.10 shoes offer great feet protection?

I have Karvers and those things will take a lot of abuse, transferring minimal damage to your feet. They also stay extremely dry in the wet / snow due to the construction and lace flap; its my go to Winter riding shoe.

I'd say its the light weight and more minimalist skate shoe style 5.10 that don't offer much protection from impacts or wet weather
  • 9 3
 Am I the only one who is unhappy with the build quality of the newer models? My Freerider XVIs got loose soles after only a few months of riding, whereas their older offerings lasted way longer than that and felt a lot nicer in general, compared to the work boot feeling of the XVIs.

Quite curious about these Specialised shoes, I hope this will stirr things up as 5/10 seems to have gotten a bit complacent, being the only one to make real DH shoes..
  • 4 0
 You're right about the Karvers and I'm not much into style but god, are those things ugly with a pair of shorts. Might be different with pajama pants but I wouldn't know. I just try and get down the hill fast so no one sees me wearing them Smile
  • 4 0
 The Karvers use the same sole & last as the impacts, which do a pretty awesome job of protecting your feet.
  • 4 0
 RIP to gravels. they need to come back
  • 5 5
 @bonkywonky I can vouch for the Specialized 2FO's- absolutely love mine. They are way lighter and a lot more attractive (imo) than the 5.10's I've seen in person. The grip is amazing to me on Saint flats, and I honestly can't imagine, 5.10's being *that* much better, certainly not to justify the premium price tag some models had over the 2FO's in my local store. My feet certainly don't budge on the pedal, in the wet or dry. It was the light weight and and fit that swung it for me having worn sketchy Vans hi tops for years. The 5.10 I tried on was just like a steel work boot by comparison as you say (I'm not sure what model it was)- plenty of dudes clearly swear by them but there are absolutely credible alternatives out there that are just as good (if not better) as far as I'm concerned, some people don't like to hear that though Wink
  • 4 1
 why would you even need too ask about FiveTen? They are the tits!!!
  • 2 1
 Impact vxi are amazing. They are also the most uncomfortable shoe I've ever had. Make sure you can try them on because they changed shapes in the past year
  • 7 0
 It took 4 seasons to blow up my 5.10 impacts, and the bottom of the sole was still in great shape, but toe came apart (probably rotted out from all the wet days, then drying, repeat). I am now on the Impact XVi and after only a few months it seems like the rubber on the bottom is getting chewed up more. I would like to think it's due to me being more awesome and riding way harder, but I can't help to ask if maybe the rubber compound has changed. Any one else have thoughts, or similar experience? PS, switching to 5.10's from Nike 6.0 was the single best mountain biking improvement I have ever spent money on.
  • 2 0
 Maltease falcon are my best shoes ever !
  • 2 0
 Also the soles on 5-10's take impacts a lot better than average shoes, probably due to stiffness and rubber compound, but feet in regular shoes get fatigued quicker than those wrapped in some 5-10s.
  • 3 0
 This post itself already increase 510 price by 10% next year.
  • 2 0
 @hogfish - yes, the rubber is different. Stealth S1 was on the original impact + impact 2 shoes, the new ones are stealth MI6. I've noticed the lugs on my VXis fall apart a lot easier, but they seem to grip a little better too.
  • 3 0
 nickkkkk - I'll definitely give these a shot when my 5/10s shit the bed.

hogfish - it's not just the soles getting chewed up (which seems to be a trade off for softer rubber, especially when using Vaults), the sole actually came off the foam within months of use, which is just a case of bad quality. Why not stitch it to the upper part, like on the original Freeriders?

I honestly wonder why so little companies make proper sticky rubber shoes (currently the only real alternative to 5/10 is Specialized since Teva quit making the Links) - anyone who has had economics classes at high school can tell what this does for quality and pricing.

I wish Shimanos were grippier as the quality and fit are top notch..
  • 3 0
 You won't be disappointed with the 2FO I'm sure @bonkywonky . I've just had a look at the current shoes that 5.10 offer and the Freeriders and the Impact VXi's look really good- it must have been the Impact Hi tops that I saw in my local store which really put me off. Massive shoes although I imagine they'd take a beating-they look solid. The suede effect upper on the Freerider didn't seem too compatible with UK weather so the synthetic mesh upper got my vote on the 2FO. - also note the 'downvoting' of any negativity towards 5.10 above lol you guys.. Wink
  • 3 0
 @hogfish I bought the same pair and they're doing the same thing... could be due to the flat design in the area where it comes in contact with the pedal... I have also only have had them for 3-4 months and the stealth rubber has came off by the arch..
  • 1 0
 Spray your 5.10's with Rust-Oleum's "Never Wet" before you go ride to keep them clean.
  • 1 0
 I'd admit the Karvers are not pretty, they look like they just need some wheels added and would be great rollerblade boots

However, I'm riding those Karvers in weathers where I don't see other riders on the trails: rain, snow, freezing cold. Great shoe for those conditions, the rest of the year I'm riding SPD's
  • 1 0
 Or you can try the Adidas Terrex cross trail - same rubber on the sole, but slightly different kind of shoe.
  • 1 0
 If you're worried by toes, ankles and water: Get the high 5Ten Impact shoes.
  • 1 0
 They changed the rubber compound. It's now a lot softer and grippier, but less durable
  • 1 0
 I work at a consignment shop. I just put my 5.10 guide tennies up for sale and replaced them with some that have the stealth sole and are compatible with cleats. Unreal grip. Very comfortable. We have some freerides too. Such good shoes.
  • 34 1
 With regards to whether or not riding a hardtail makes you a better rider I have to say that swapping my full bounce trail bike for a hardtail was the best thing I ever did to improve my skills and speed on my DH bike. If you learn to shred a hardtail you'll be killing it on everything else. Aggro hardtails FTW!
  • 7 0
 I recently found out that I can keep up with friends riding their FS on my aggro HT. I've never had so much fun on a bike. Once you get used to the bouncing back wheel all the way down, you fall in love.
  • 7 0
 100% agree, nothing like shredding on a hard tail and keeping up with your mates, but hope you have a stout rear wheel.
  • 7 2
 Hardtails aren't the same bikes they were in the past, though: for a long time, there was only sketchy, steep geo ones, & then for a while, sketchy steep geo ones, & freeride hardtails that sucked to pedal. Modern trail hardtails are a huge evolution. I think wheelsize matters more on hardtails as well: 29" wheels finally made sense to me on a trail hardtail, first time I've ever thought they were better than 26" enough to ignore their drawbacks.
  • 4 1
 groghunter: Good point, geometry of hardtails evolved a lot. Nowadays, there is no problem with finding relatively slack HT with short chainstays, which still climbs really well. But I can't completely agree with the wheelsize view. In my opinion, it's good to have all three sizes to choose what you like the most. I consider my self as a technicaly oriented rider and I would not sacrifice "fun factor" of my bike for speed. I still prefer 26" wheels for its abillity to accelerate and just lay/land them (I don't know better expresion) exactly where I want to. Sure, It costs me some energy and effort, but it's just the way I like it. I want to be the "pilot" of my bike. (Sorry for my English)
  • 5 4
 My point is that I think 29er wheels are more fun AND faster on a hardtail. I think the increases rollover makes the bike handle better, as opposed to 26" wheels transfering more bumps through to the rider. 29er hardtail is easier to ride with flats, & I have more fun on it that I have any 26" hardtail.
  • 2 1
 ktmrider173: I have quite durable setup. 570g FR/DH rim (26") and NS Bikes 10mm thru bolt hub, seems like a good choice to me.
  • 5 1
 groghunter: I think it just depends on your riding style. What is good for one, may not for the other one. I have some specific needs. I like to jump a lot and throw my back wheel around all the time. I can't imagine to have 29er for dirt jumps and pumptrack and still have fun with it. In conclusion, I am happy with my bike and you are with yours, that's how it should be.
  • 3 2
 For DJ/pumptrack? heck no, but I don't even ride 26" for that: 24" is so much more agile. But DJ tracks are smooth, washboarded trails are not. You started talking about having an aggro hardtail, if you're talking about a DJ bike, then you're not talking about an aggro hardtail in the same way that everybody else is.

Also, don't imagine it's not better: try it and see. I was blown away at how agile & jumpable my 29" trail hardtail is.
  • 4 9
flag VZLNMTB (Apr 28, 2015 at 15:02) (Below Threshold)
 in reality, 26ers aren't being produced anymore, so technically, you only have 2 sizes to choose from.. as far as new bikes go..
  • 4 1
 groghunter: Yeah, I understand benefits of bigger wheels and I tried them. My point was that aggro hardtail is meant to be do-it-all bike (maybe this is the point, where my conception differs from yours). I am owner of two bikes: freeride/DH bike and steel 26" hardtail. FR bike is for hard abuse, bikeparks, big gaps etc. (weekend riding - I need get there by car usually)... HT for everything else (everyday riding). I don't live in place where you can find dirt jumps and pumptracks. However, I like to ride trails in woods and then somewhere else ride local jumps, dirtpark or pumptrack with friends. Having another special bike for jumps/dirtparks is not the solution for me. I don't own a car and I just like to combine different types of riding during one day. Simply said, I need versatility. Sure, it is kind of compromise, but this kind of compromise is cheap and very usefull. I hope you can understand now. Smile
  • 3 0
 VZLNMTB: Yes, it sucks. But it has also benefits. You can get your 26" bike very cheap now. As long as I can get tyres, I don't feel need for change. Anyway, my frame works also with 650b, so I don't worry that much.
  • 3 0
 Ditto the fact you need a solid rear wheel. Get a DH wheel if possible.
  • 5 0
 Riding a hardtail will vastly improve line choice, When I rode an fs I would plow through everything, my hardtail now has helped me acheive better flow and line choice.
  • 4 1
 Hardtails haven't changed that much. Honestly...XC Geo hardtails are still that, and weigh next to nothing, A FR/Trail geo. hardtail like an NS Surge or Kona Explosif or Honzo or the Niner ROS...all 3 of those are heavy pig frames. I love the feel of steel on a hardtail, and of the last ones mentioned, they are all a blast to ride. Problem is, they are all over 30 pound bikes. Which in todays world equals...why do I want to pedal a heavy ass hardtail on the trails when my 6inch travel Squish bike weighs less. And the cost to get your heavy hardtail to a respectable weight is..well why would you do that? Not a big enough market to make a true light weight trail/FR hardtail frame. And there is no way I'm hopping on board an xc geo hardtail and go ripping post canyon in Hood River.
  • 2 0
 I have a Ti Explosif and it isn't a pig (23 lbs with a solid 'trail' build, but no not a cheap build) and the geo is awesome. Agree with all said about HTs improving skills. Riding the HT is like access to a whole second set of local trails. Have to ride them differently and they are way more exciting.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter

I totally agree about 29'er wheel on hardtails, makes real sense to me? I've ridden 29'er since 2012 and have tried 650 / 27.5 and yeah it works fine but it was slower no doubt on the same terrain I ride my 29'er on.

However, I could see the appeal of a 650 full suspension bike for DH, FR and Big Mountain riding where its much easier to package the smaller wheel on a long travel frameset and the smaller wheel will always be stronger and more responsive.

my carbon Stumpjumper 29'er hardtail is batsh*t fast, especially when pointed downwards.

ep1.pinkbike.org/p6pb12034378/p5pb12034378.jpg

On the flat its like riding a cyclocross bike, especially when running lower profile tires which don't have the drag of winter tires.
  • 3 0
 Nothing better than pedaling past carbon wonder bike with wonder wheels on my steel framed Kona UnitSmile The only thing that makes you fast is ride time. It always comes down to time in the saddle. Rigid Single Speed has it's place.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/11471873
  • 11 0
 The Process 153 has decently strong rims, but an option for other people with AM bikes that want to use them at the bike park is to just get a separate set of wheels, rotors, DH tires and a cassette. Get a nice wide, cheap set of wheels that you can beat up and toss them on whenever you go to the park.

Also good if your SO will leave you if you bring yet another bike into the house. A set of wheels is much easier to hide than a DH bike Smile
  • 2 0
 Very true

When I got an AM bike, I skipped the whole "get light AM parts" and went straight for the DH parts. I can swap them onto my DH bike eventually (when I can own more than one bike).

I find it well worth the weight penalty
  • 4 1
 Really suprised there's no mention of the process 167 for bike parks. Would love to see how they are as they're supposed to be the "one for all" bike.
But tempted by the 153 after reading comments
  • 3 0
 I just got my 153 standard last night and hit a few DH trails today, it's well able for the rough and tumble Smile
  • 11 1
 I have a 153. best bike on the planet i have no problem in the bike park or pedaling up hills at the local. best bike ever!!!!
  • 3 0
 Just got one and couldn't agree more!
  • 3 1
 Where's the carbon 153?!!!!!!
  • 8 0
 Props on the single speed comment, they are fantastic amounts of fun. I was always surprised and impressed by how quickly they get up to speed and how efficient they are. Perks of a perfectly straight chainline, 100% of your power gets to the back wheel.
  • 2 0
 i hit a plateau in my fitness until i got a single speed. just riding it once a week has made me so much more fit that I don't need my 40T oneup bailout gear on my FS anymore
  • 10 0
 I may never understand why they do what they do, but I must say I have mad respect for those single speeders.
  • 9 1
 Once you've spent a year (or two) fixing other people's bikes, a single speed with a solid fork looks mighty tempting for the absolute maximum of bike to spanner time.
  • 1 1
 +1. When the Full sus is broken (often), the SS always comes through. The gears are in your mind.
  • 17 10
 Modern AM bikes are fine in the park if you either don't mind taking everything a bit more conservatively/calculated or you are shredder.

From what I've seen, most PB users are pretty average if not slightly below average in skill level. An average rider simply cannot rail bike park trails on a trail bike. A great rider can, to a reasonable extent that is.
  • 18 1
 Damn, you're really setting yourself up for some neg from the pb mafia with that opinion lol
  • 5 1
 I see what you are saying. You see alot of videos or pro riders destroying some pretty gnarly trails on shorter travel bikes but like you said, much of that is the skill level of the rider. There is a difference between the bike being able to handle certain terrain and a specific rider being able to handle such terrain on that same bike.
  • 5 1
 I'm a pretty average rider I think, and last season I switched from a DH bike to a new nomad and I was actually faster. At the speeds I ride, the extra control from a lighter, single crown bike is worth more than the 2" of travel I lost.

That said, I am getting a DH bike again this season to try to pick up the pace and spare my carbon steed the worst of the abuse.
  • 4 0
 @bicibicivelo

I actually just got a new nomad as well, and, while i am absolutely in love with it, it has its own set of limitations when compared to a DH bike. I am biased though, as I have a ton of saddle time on both DH and AM bikes whereas some riders (seems like you are one of them) may find a DH bike slightly cumbersome due to its size/weight/geo compared to your go-to AM bike that you are used to.

Look, all I am saying is that for the average joe, a DH bike in the park will be best as it has a bit more of a "point and shoot" feel for larger features. There are merits to both, and if we want to get really subjective about which is more fun (e.g. trail bikes are arguably more flickable), then we are having a debate of opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, the fact remains that both pros and laymen will typically be faster in a park setting on a DH bike

Whether one is more fun than the other, well that's up to each individual rider. I definitely agree that there is a certain something that is more fun about hitting your favorite DH/shuttle trails on an AM bike...I certainly felt that way on my new nomad, but that was probably largely due to the fact that it is NEW Smile
  • 1 1
 I had a similar experience when I built a Bottlerocket as a second bike, when my main was a demo, back in the day. Bottlerocket was slower on paper, but was so much more responsive, that I ended up being faster, even if got a little more beat up on rough terrain.
  • 2 1
 I think there are different skill levels where different bikes will pay off.

level 1 - you're gonna pick bad lines and case jumps all day so you need all the extra squish you can get.
level 2 - You can clean everything, but at a slower speed taking occasional b-lines and avoiding big boulders. Picking your way down rock gardens rather than blasting through them. This is easier and faster on a trail bike.
level 3 - fcking pinned. taking the big-boy lines, plowing boulders to straigh-line corners. Need a big bike.

I was soundly in level two a year ago when I got my nomad and I rode every single trail faster. Even double-black-diamonds at the bike park.

@groghunter bottle rocket is amazing. I loved mine.
  • 2 1
 I have a kona process 153 and it is a blast to ride in the bike park. While i do take more aggressive, technical trails a bit slower than on my downhill bike, I find that I can still ride pretty much everything. And I dont consider myself to be an outstanding rider (I race cat. 2)
  • 4 2
 I ride a Enduro 29er and weigh 225lbs. Rode Mammoth, bear, and northstar last year. Bike does fine. I am only an intermediate rider but my buddy is in top 3 at big bear w same bike. Bear is not very knarly, no, but AM bikes can do juuuuust fine in most bike parks w a good rider! Can't wait till AM bikes get even better in the next few yrs. then it will be full on DH w an AM steed!!! 29er for life!!!!!!!
  • 16 4
 Flat pedals win medals.
  • 6 1
 No pedals no medals.
  • 7 1
 I converted my specialized stump jumper to a single speed about 16 months ago. Yes- a full suspension single speed. There are a few spots on my local trails I now struggle or have to walk up but for the most part I am still as fast as the group I ride with that all have gears. It will take a while to adjust. I found myself reaching for the shifter a lot at the beginning. You will learn that hill climbs involve sprinting before getting there and balance/weight shifting become more important. I did notice that my ankles and knees were both starting to hurt after rides. I think it was from the amount of torch on my legs due to being clipped in as well. I switched to flats back last August and that did the trick. I get a lot shit from my friends on my conversion but I really don't care. I have a blast riding my SS.
  • 4 2
 You get shit for making your bike lighter, more simple, and more badass? Hm.. Sounds like they're jealous Wink
  • 2 0
 Ha! Yep- pretty much.
  • 11 1
 Five Tens are ultimate.
  • 7 2
 Gotta back everything RC said on the SS advice. Run a good fork with a lock out, or not even. I find 3-4 inches of air spring is good enough but that's me.

Only thing I'd add that's very VERY important, is that with the SS, your gears will never miss, never skip, never drop the chain, never fvck up in any way whatsoever. It is so much more durable & that means you can hit the gas in places you wouldn't or couldn't before. You don't have to let up for shift after shift after shift. It's the best way to overcome the limitations of our antiquated drivetrain tech, at least next to a gearbox, which doesn't seem to be a viable option while $hitmano & $CAM have anything to say about it.

SS is also lighter.

Rock an SS & ditch the dopey derailleur. Yeah there are some sacrifices to be made but it's soooo much better. Smile
  • 4 0
 shitmano and scam. classic!!
  • 5 0
 a SS makes a great 2nd bike. i would never recommend anyone have a SS as their only bike, but they are so much more fun to ride that you would think they would be
  • 4 0
 I bought a full rigid SS Salsa El Mariachi last season. I've got a 29+ on the front and I pretty much ride that on all trails in the SLC area. I've noticed that it is making me faster on my DH bike because now I need to have actual bike skills. Super fun. Makes old trails new again.
  • 1 0
 @v3sleeper I see you on the shoreline all the time, that thing looks super fun.
  • 1 0
 I don't agree with RC that a rigid fork is always a poor choice, it really depends on your local trails and how aggressive you are. If you have access to relatively smooth singletrack, you can ride just as fast on a rigid bike if you are into some serious bike handling. Plus you can bunny-hop a rigid bike way higher! 29ers have made riding a rigid bike a much more reasonable proposition. I swap back and forth rigid/front squish. Biggest issue with rigid bike (in the Northeast) I can hammer for about 1.5 hours then after that I start slowing down.
  • 3 0
 Best thing about single speeds is, a bike for Mudd plugging. A bike you can take out no matter how swampy the conditions. Get some winter training done on the trail not in the gym! Then when you get home they so much easier to clean and maintain
  • 3 0
 I just bought a pair of 5.10s after messing with a handful of other non-bike specific options that never survived loved. While still new with the 5.10s they are by far the grippest and most comfortable shoes I've worn on a pedal.. I would find it very difficult to buy anything else even if they ripped tomorrow (and despite the non-waterproofness)
  • 3 0
 If you are an aggressive rider in general, don't get a XC style SS! You will need something like a ROS9 or TransAM. You will want to take your SS where it doesn't want to go. Get the right SS for the job. I went through two SS frames trying to figure out why the bike was so twitchy and sucked trying to jump.
  • 1 0
 That's the damn truth right there. I was riding dj bikes with a longer seat post and that was the worst. Finally got an ns surge and that is the best/most fun bike i've ridden ever.
  • 1 0
 What did you hate about running a DJ bike frame as an SS trail bike?
  • 2 0
 Small cockpit. It was a blast when the trail turned downward, but climbing sucked. My surge is the best of both worlds
  • 7 1
 Don't get the Trek. $1,600 for a rigid singlespeed with OK rims and shitty brakes is getting absolutely hosed.
  • 3 0
 I find Five Ten Impacts do a great job of protecting your feet, I recently slammed my foot hard into a boulder at very high speed wearing well-worn Impacts that had been brolen down quite a bit. I thought my foot was broken, but no. I had a nasty bruise and hyper extended toes, but no serious damage. If I had on a relatively new pair, I imagine that I may not have even stopped on the trail. My feet are probably the most protected part of my body with the Impacts.
  • 2 0
 Yea, but a lot of people didn't like how bulky that makes impacts, so there's a lot of other 5.10 models that aren't as robust. Biggest problem is that the impact VXis are one of those models, so choices for burly shoes will suffer if they stop making the regular ones(which are less burly than the first, suede model impact.)
  • 2 0
 I took my brand new Kona Process 153 to Whistler (5days straight), Coast Gravity Park (2days) and Steven's Pass(1day) and it performed flawlessly! The only thing that needed replacement/repair were my tires and probably need suspension serviced. I was planning on renting a DH bike when I got there but after one day didn't feel the need. Sure, there were times the thought of a DH bike crossed my mind and when I can afford both I'll definitely have one for the bike park.
  • 3 1
 and like everything rubber, 510 has super duper soft tacky epic rubber, but gets worn easily, and it has slightly harder but slightly stronger rubber compounds. try em, love them, never stop wearing them.
  • 4 0
 If you only wear them to ride, they last crazy long. Its walking on concrete that shortens their lifespan.
  • 2 0
 Doubleplus @Rubberelli 's comment. Don't wear them on pavement or concrete.
  • 2 0
 hiking and biking over the shit we have in Socal tears em up pretty good
  • 4 1
 Process 153 is a brilliant park bike Agree about the shock, ive got a an avalanche tuned dhx and its bonkers fun, done dh races , uplift days as well as enduros
  • 1 2
 I don't really understand for the shock, with a Vivid air like they said you certainly have a better bike for downhill but for enduro you lose the 3 position of an Monarch shock. I doubt the climbing capacities of the bike are still what they were.
  • 2 0
 Climbing is fine with a decent compression tune, at least on my dhx, ive had no problems at ukge series or EWS Scotland My biggest problem with the monarch was the poor sealing that saw it full of muddy water after a few months of UK winter riding
  • 3 0
 @therider2008 - The Vivid Air has an easy to use compression dial - spin it all the way clockwise for the climbs, and open it up for the descents. It's not as quick of an adjustment as the three position switch, but I found the increased downhill performance to be worth it.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer thanks guys for the answers, I have a 2013 process dl (with the monarch) the bike is really great but I will probably buy a 153 or 167 process in the near future. I still hesitate between these two to have the most polyvalent bike oriented on downhill. It's hard to make a choice
  • 2 1
 Was faced with the same question as far as a do it all bike I have/had a specialized demo and wanted a trail bike. The new bikes are blurring the lines between dh and other bikes, I was convinced after taking a few laps at winterpark with a guerrilla gravity megatrail (pb did a review of the megatrail last week) realizing that my dh bike is awesome but really more bike than I personally need I decided to get a megatrail as a do it all bike, the adjustable trail/gravity mode was a big seller for me, as well as the bike being manufactured in my back yard. Bottom line is dh bikes have there place and they are a blast to ride especially if your riding World Cup level gnar tracks, but realistically the new breed of all mtn long travel bikes are plenty of bike for what a lot of us are riding; single track, resorts, bike parks, shuttles etc. megatrail, process, nomad, I think you will be happy with what ever you choose so long as you are riding a bicycle.
  • 1 0
 Here's a question for you guys (please no trolls) how about putting a cable dropper post on a DH. I ride my bike to and from work regularly and because I can't have a quick release (carbon frame) I don't want to constantly have a 4mm on me if I go shuttling and forget to drop my post. Any ideas or comments on using one on said bike?
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure QR is fine, even with carbon frame
  • 1 0
 Not on mine unfortunatly most carbon frames the tubing for the seat post is thicker. I have heard about custom sized ones but you also run the risk of cracking your frame from over tightening the quick release. Hence my possible want for a dropper post. Riding a 2013 wilson carbon btw and I have tried the standard 31.6 qr too small. But on some carbon frames that is a possibility.
  • 1 0
 I will give you the same advice a kitteh would: "If it fits, I sits."

No reason you couldn't go dropper on a DH bike, as long as fully dropped position doesn't put the seat too high. You've got to account for the collar, & possibly however much post you need to stick out for it to pedal good when up. If you run your seat slammed for DH, you aren't going to get it that low with a dropper.
  • 1 0
 my only concern with 510's would be how fast do they wear out? if the rubber compound is so soft, would the soles wear out faster? if i buy a pair of 510's, would i be buying another pair of shoes that i would only be able to ride in? i don't think i can stomach another pair of shoes i'm only able to ride in.
  • 1 0
 I've worn 5.10s for day to day, but concrete accelerates wear, yes. I just pick up cheap 5.10s for day to day wear & save my impacts for riding.
  • 2 0
 you can get either their Stealth s1 rubber, which is very durable and lasts years only riding, or you can go for the new Mi6 rubber which is ridiconculously soft and wears a bit quicker, but has lasted me 6 months of hike and bike and rough riding
  • 4 0
 Sombrio also makes really awesome flat pedal shoes
  • 2 0
 I'm thinking of getting some 5.10s and keeping my flat pedals OR changing to spds and getting shimano AM45s , what do you guys think?
  • 3 1
 5.10's and flats man! Get good on them and super confident then further down the line put some clips on, the worst thing you can do is rush onto clips when you arent ready (i did this 2 years ago). I went back to flats and was so much faster, clips were a big mistake that slowed me down for a good 6 months!
  • 4 0
 try to find some cheapish 5.10s, before you abandon flats: 5.10s got me TO abandon clips. They're blowing out a bunch of stock on Amazon.
  • 2 0
 5.10 and flats. Even if you go to clips later, flats gets your pedalling technique dialed
  • 1 0
 Cheers for the advice guys, I knew deep down that I couldn't abondon my straightline pedals either ahah
  • 1 0
 Unless you race, go flats and 510s. Even some pros dont clip in during the off season, riding for fun not time.
  • 1 0
 I Got Norco truax LE and it will do everything I could ever want out of a bike it climbs great and can tame a bike park no problem it's like a mini Dh bike with 7 inches front and rear travel.
  • 2 1
 Moving to a SS upped my game considerably, and they are a blast to ride (lifetime 57 yo rider). Surprisingly, it's on the climbs where I make the most time on my riding buddies.
  • 2 1
 That's because you had no choice! Pedal or walk. (Ps my next build has sliding dropouts, just incase I too feel the need to lose 9 gears).
  • 1 0
 Pedal Dammit!
  • 1 0
 Love my 5.10s, only wish they made a wider toebox version (used to have the Impact, now the Sam Hill - went a size larger than normal, which means excess length, just to alleviate the squished forefoot a little).
  • 1 1
 I'm kinda hoping that with all the enduro stuff going on some manufacturers will release a proper am shoe with a gore-tex membrane, leather uppers, decent sticky sole and some sort of boa. There are a few coming out that are close but they still have clip hole so are useless. Till I can get a shoe that fits those criteria I'll be sticking to my merrells and putting up with slightly worse grip.
  • 2 0
 I don't get what he says about the shoes not protecting toes. My 5.10s have saved my toes a few times that I can remember.
  • 1 0
 With a dropper things have changed on less travel bikes or even rigid in that by dropping your position which unweights the bars you are able to faster.
  • 1 0
 Im so happy about the Singlespeed answer! This year I got my first really new MTB and its a SS. Im so excited! Thank You guys.
  • 2 0
 IN my opinion the Adidas 5 10s suck as the plastic fabric makes your feet stink
  • 1 0
 Has anyone ever heard of a shoe repair shop re-soling a 5.10 biking shoe? I see them do it for 5.10 climbing shoes.
I tend to wear out the soles but not the uppers.
  • 1 0
 SSR all day everyday! You can't bomb every trail on a rigid, but SSR are quite capable, even in the rough stuff.
  • 3 1
 I'm sorry if your kid weighs 65 lbs he really doesn't need a dropper.
  • 2 0
 I didn't even have a QR seat post collar when I was 65 lbs!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy, thanks for the reply. He has the new Transition Ripcord so I was looking for something to work with that. Ill check out the Fox. @Takeshi194 and @toddball, what does weight have to do with if you "need" a dropper post? Living in Whistler my kid rides plenty of tech trails that require you to raise and lower your post constantly. Why should he be denied the joys of the dropper? I was simply asking if there was a post that would work better with lighter weight riders.
  • 2 0
 Well my main thing is how old the kid is. like couldn't be more than what 8? Who knows he's probably a grom who shreds harder than me (not as big as a feat as I wish it were hahaha).
  • 2 1
 TL; DR: because we're crotchety young men with no money.

@snowsnow I don't think anyone needs a dropper post, per se. I have never ridden in Whistler, but I wager a significant number of riders have shredded the sh*t out of every trail there without the luxury of a dropper; I think you would be hard pressed to find a trail anywhere in the world for which a dropper post is required. I think the main reason @Takeshi194 and I dislike the idea of a dropper post on a kid's bike is that we think kids' bike should be cheap, and putting a $280 seatpost on a kids' bike falls outside our perceptions of "cheap".

I was on rigid Costco bikes until I was 11 or 12, at which point I got my dad's old Trek ZX9000, which is as old as I am and had an elastomer fork that was lowered to about 20mm of travel (i.e. it was broken). I finally bought a proper bike in 2008; a 2007 Gary Fisher HiFi that was part of a local shop's old rental fleet. I still ride that bike, still with no dropper post.
  • 1 1
 Continued, because the original was too long:

However, if you can afford to live in Whistler (with a family, no less), you can probably afford a $280 dropper post for your $1700 kids' bike. There might be a valid argument for learning to ride technical trails without a dropper post--look at all the articles/comments on this site about learning on a hardtail or short-travel bike so you don't develop bad habits on a DH bike--but I haven't thought too much about that argument and I have very little experience with dropper posts besides.

Penultimate note: the Ripcord only has a 317mm seat tube (including non-usable length between the BB and lower pivot). The shortest Reverb is 355mm (shortest Fox D.O.S.S: 335mm), including 100mm of travel, so you may want to take some measurements to make sure the post won't be too long at full extension

Final note: $280 was listed as the median price of 26 dropper post models on MTBR, in this 2013 article: ridingresearch.com/2013/05/01/hite-rite-to-dropper-seat-post-oligopoly-of-innovation . JensonUSA is selling the 100mm travel Fox post for $300 (on sale).
  • 2 0
 Lol, thanks for the info and opinions guys. @Takeshi194, he is going on 10. Just skinny! @toddball, thanks for the specs as well. Ill check them. It was just a preliminary question as he was farting around on my bike and could not move the post so I was curious if one was even feasible for someone so light weight.
  • 1 0
 I gotcha. I was (still am) a wiry kid myself. Well right on! Happy shredding to you and your boy!
  • 1 0
 Deal of the day: 5.10 has Spitfires on clearance for 39 bux a pair on their website.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for answering my question but I ended up on the new reign
  • 1 0
 five ten danny macs for everything dh bmx and looking sexy on the street
  • 3 2
 5/10 24/7
  • 1 2
 Dropper Post Not Dropping, lower psi or DUH!

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