Ask Pinkbike: Can Tires Be Too Wide? Should I Be Using All My Shock Stroke? Is 140 Millimeters Enough Travel for Enduro?

Feb 17, 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.

How Wide is Too Wide?

Question: Pinkbike user jarchhh asked this question in Bikes, Parts and Gear forum: I've recently bought a new bike that came with Maxxis' 2.35'' High Roller tires that are now getting to the end of their lifespan. They seem like great tires, but I'm going to replace them before the summer and am considering a 2.5'' width when I change. What is your opinion on wider tires?

bigquotesThe answer to your question will depend a lot on what type of riding you like to do and how wide the rims are that you plan to mount the tires to. A tire that's 2.5'' wide will have too much casing roll if it's mounted on a relatively skinny rim, and the result is going to be a strange, vague feeling. Other things to consider are frame and fork clearance, as well as tire weight and rolling resistance - I wouldn't want to turn over 2.5'' tires if I was riding my bike to the top of the mountain. The general consensus is that there's no reason to go any larger than a high-volume 2.35'' tire when it comes to anything other than downhilling, especially when you consider just how great today's tires really are. Find yourself a tire that matches your conditions and riding style (it sounds like the High Roller is it) and any lack of traction can't be put down to a 0.15'' difference in tire width. - Mike Levy

BOS Dizzy review test

Schwalbe's 2.35'' wide Magic Mary isn't going to have anyone asking for more traction or tire volume, although the cracking at the base of the lugs is both disheartening and typical of the German brand's high-end rubber.

Is 140 Millimeters Enough Travel for Enduro?

Question: Ridegiantbikes31 asks:All Mountain and Cross-Country ForumI'm 12 years old and have gotten really serious about enduro riding. Is 140 mm a good amount of suspension travel? I currently ride a 2014 Giant Trance 3. It came with 140 mm of travel and I was just wondering if that's enough to shred double black diamonds comfortably, since I haven't really got to ride the bike yet (WINTER TIME!!).

bigquotesIf you are a good rider, you should be able to ride most bike park trails on your Giant, but the double blacks will test your skills for sure. I'd suggest that you avoid largest jumps and drops though, because your Giant lacks the travel and the strength to absorb the magnitude of punishment that simple judgement errors can cause when you are playing in the big-boy's sand box. That said, bikes have improved dramatically in recent years. We have tested a number of 140-millimeter trailbikes during Pinkbike's Sedona, Arizona, sessions and all of them were able to tackle steep and chunky lines there that once were considered to be the domain of big bikes. As far as racing enduro, run what you got and you will soon learn if your bike can handle the courses in your neck of the woods. My guess is that your Giant Trance will be up to the task - just throw on a dropper seatpost and pair of Maxxis High Roller II tires with the tough casings and show up at the start line. - RC

Giant Trance 27.5.3 2014

Giant's 140-millimeter-travel Trance 27,5.3 was designed to be a technically capable trailbike, but with a few upgrades, there is nothing standing in the way, should a rider should want to use it to race an enduro or three.

DBInline Bottoming Out?

Question: Becis asks in the Mechanic's Lounge Forum: Last week I bought Cane Creek DBInline for my Specialized 2014 Enduro Expert 26" 2014. The default setup from Cane Creek is one large air volume spacer, but I use two. I found the proper sag (30%) when I pumped the shock to 140 psi for my 60kg/132lb weight with gear. With these settings the shock is really often bottomed out, but it is bottomed out really lightly and softly. I don't feel the bottom when I ride my bike, I'm able to recognize it only when I look at the rubber o-ring on the shock. Is this okay, or should I put in a third large volume spacer? Will this damage the bearings in my frame?

bigquotesIt actually sounds like your suspension is set up correctly, and I'd recommend against adding another volume spacer. Many riders are under the misconception that if their suspension bottoms out it means something is wrong, but this simply isn't the case. After a run on rough terrain you should have used all of your travel - that's what it's there for. The fact that you aren't feeling the shock bottom out means it's working exactly as it should, absorbing impacts without transmitting them to your body. If you had said that the shock was reaching the end of its travel too easily or with a harsh 'clang' I would have recommended slightly increasing the high speed compression damping and possibly raising the air pressure a bit (Cane Creek recommends 17mm of sag), but I don't think that's necessary. Of course, don't be afraid to experiment with different settings - that's the beauty of a shock that's as adjustable as the DBInline, but it's a good idea to jot down your base settings and any changes you make in order keep track of what works and what doesn't. - Mike Kazimer

Cane Creek DBair Inline

Cane Creek's DBInline has a remarkably wide range of damping adjustments, but for the best performance it's important to keep track of the changes you make.

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


  • 178 0
 That rubber O-ring's correct name is 'Fun Gauge'. If it is maxed out, you had the maximum amount of fun on that section of trail. If it ain't maxed, go faster next time!
  • 28 2
 The hard part is when you have a DRCV shock and at 20% sag it bottoms out off 3ft drops. I broke one right before christmas. Then it was the "send it back to fox" gauge
  • 15 10
 F1 technology my ass
  • 17 1
 The F1 technology is the new Fox/Penske Re:Aktiv shocks, not the older DRCV.
  • 5 0
 F1 uses pushrod suspension. Most bikes use f1 suspension. Still, I need to buy the push mod kit for the thing.
  • 11 1
 You don't get fun gauges on coil shocks, you just have to go bigger and faster until you feel it bottoming out
  • 2 0
 Awesome comment - so true. Use that travel! That is why you bought it.
  • 2 0
 2014 DRCV slash, went with firm tune and using the push 10cc volume chip. No issues at all riding all sorts inc DH, great tracking and very smooth. Kitted out I'm 93kg.
  • 2 0
 I hate those stupid little fox "fun gauges." They always disappear after a week or two. That's why I use the new and improved fun gauge. Some people may call it sore muscles from smiling so much, but it's the new and improved fun gauge.
  • 6 0
 I have a DCRV on my 2011 Remedy 9 and for the 4 years I've owned the bike I have never been satisfied with that shock. With sag set at 20-30% it easily bottoms out off of small drops and through double-black rock gardens I cringe at the punishment my bike must be taking. I have never once looked down at my shock and not seen the O-ring pushed entirely off the end of the piston. @taletotell I feel your pain although I sure hope mine doesn't break!! (I'm pretty surprised it hasn't though)
  • 1 0
 I want to split it with someone. I'll take one of the spacers they don't like.
If you wanna outright ditch fox there is also this:
  • 3 0
 I had a 2013 trek slash with drcv and if I set it up normally at 25% it would bottom out if I bunny hopped a gutter, I had to set it up at like 15% sag and it still felt quite soft
  • 4 0
 @Jhou totally agree. Made my bike feel soo much better and you still have small bump compliance, not sure why they don't offer it with the bike.
totally worth 30 bucks.
  • 3 0
 @SoCal-AM, I got the full factory tune from PUSH on my 2011 DRCV. Golden! I was blowing through travel and had to run too high pressure. 100% Better, now the Remedy is a weapon. If you have the means, I'd highly recommend you picking one up.
  • 2 0
 @taletotell. They also use pull rod suspension. Ferrari have used that for the last few years as they feel it gives an areo benefit.
  • 2 0
 I've taken mine apart and it's a simple snap ring to take apart the opening control to the other air chamber, that way it's a constant volume all the time
  • 1 0
 Does it wallow now? I would worry about losing the progressive spring curve.
  • 1 0
 Anyone ever seen an air shock explode? I haven't but it must be crazy....
  • 1 0
 @Novic are you suggesting it is dangerous to tinker with you shock? I would think that your concern is misplaced in this case since the above mod doesn't increase pressure on anything.
  • 34 1
 fatenduro (0 mins ago) [Edit]
Yes 140mm travel is enough for enduro. You can even do it with 100mm travel on a hardtail, just prepare to have a wilder time on the descents. If you're as good as the factory rider for Chromag Jinya Nishiwaki, you might even be faster than half the guys riding 160mm travel.
  • 13 0
 there is no substitute for bike skill, if you can ride a bike well you will do well pretty much regardless of what you ride, 160 may be seen as being perfect for enduro but that doesn't mean it is the only thing that will do, 140 is definitely enough even if most people prefer to run more
  • 12 0
 Indeed, how many races did CG show up to on a Tallboy LT? 140mm is ridiculously capable these days.
  • 11 1
 Hey, back in the day all my friends and I started riding DH on hardtails with Junior T/Super T/66/Z1 and so on. I myself started with a 100mm Suntour XCR and have ridden quite rough trails. I have gone down the Shambhala trail in Bulgaria with my hardtail with no problem, with a mechanical Shimano 475 brake for backup. 140mm is plenty of travel, just set it for the needed terrain if you think you might bottom it too easy, that is all.
Don't we have a Pinkbike forum for questions like these?
  • 2 1
 I have noticed that most faster racers will run a 140mm travel bike for its weight advantage. For the most of us 160mm travel is good to know the bike is more than capable and in training you can push yourself off larger than expected jumps and drops so your more than ready too
  • 8 0
 What it really comes down to is what makes you the most comfortable. Personally I take about 140mm (135 rear and 150 front) to feel confident on the downhills while my 29in wheels (bring on the hate) help to smooth out the terrain up and down. That said, I raced Big Mountain Enduro in Keystone with someone on a 100mm 29er hardtail. He was only marginally slower than me on that bike, and only ended up with a large time gap due to flat tires. As long as it works for you, just ride it!
  • 13 0
 absolutely right. I did my first races on a 100mm hardball. Everything from downhill to cross country and cyclocross. Was I the fastest? no. Would I have been faster with a different bike? probably. Did I have a great time? of course
  • 3 1
 Kyle Warner who rides for Marin bikes won an enduro race here in N. America, it wasnt to long ago i think and he was on the Marin Rift Zone 29er a 100mm x-country bike with 120mm fork. Just ride your heart out and have fun.
  • 3 1
 I shred it all on my 130mm NS surge evo. Fck yeah
  • 7 0
 I've hit bike parks on a 100mm Giant anthem. Also look at the park BMXers, some of the hucks they send I think would be much better suited to a DH rig.
  • 7 0
 I would say that lowering the seat Is probably more important than 20mm of travel
  • 9 6
 what is enduro riding? isn't that just all mountain riding? Enduro is a race format.
  • 4 0
 Kyle Warner didn't just win a race, he won the NAET overall predominantly on that platform (pretty sure he broke his frame and switched to a bigger rig at finals.) Oregon Enduro and Cascade Cup Pro overall were won on 140mm. Obviously you can go out and survive a race on anything (theres a guy that races a coaster brake klunker in the NW Cup,) but for those that know what their doing in the rough stuff, a 120-140mm long slack trail bike with a quality fork can be a serious advantage.
  • 12 3
 "Enduro" is starting to be the most over used word in mountain biking
  • 6 0
 Isn't the Remedy that Tracy Moseley and Justin Leov use at every EWS race a 140mm bike? Do you honestly need more than that? I only needed the skill and the slack head angle for the steeps, nothing more.
  • 19 0
 He's 14, made of rubber and probably weighs about a buck sixty. His 140mm bike is the equivalent of my old, fat, ass on a 9" travel bike.
  • 4 1
 Well, use whatever you want. I race DH with a 125mm slopestyle bike fighting against 203-230mm and double crowns, and i DO win... sometimes ! =P

I love my bolt !
  • 2 0
 I ride everything on a 100mm handrail. I'm not saying that to brag, I'm saying that to express how painful it is that all I have is my XC race bike to do double black diamonds on. I've never ridden a bike with 160mm of travel before, and I'm planning on racing endure this year. I can't wait to feel the difference.
  • 2 0
 It must be enduro specific millimetres
  • 4 0
 I am sure a wc dh rider could ride fort William on a 29er hardtail and be a close to similar time on the dh bike. that said we all know a dh bike is better suited to ride that terrain
  • 7 4
 I love that they made a competition called "Enduro", it is a combination of the best of all worlds, just stop brainwashing Smile
I am a 2000 generation rider, have read a lot of articles on Pinkbike, but over the past few years things have gone south. People around me keep calling AM bikes, Enduro, or just don't know what All Mountain is! They think that a Mavic Crossmax can't handle freeride and are totally overwhelmed of the fact that you can go down some roots without getting a taco with them, yet Lenoski has been kicking ass for almost his entire career on those. This latest generation has no idea where it all started and how, they feel that it is of utmost importance to have the best bike around and not just a really nice packaged bike, strong cockpit with a sturdy fork, hard back wheel and compensate with a bit of tyre, etc. Recently someone said that Formula 20mm hubs are not worth the money and that you should definitely invest in a Hoop Pro II or C.K. because of the quality and colours, yet Formulas cost 30 Euro new and the others start around 100+ and will not do a better job. Somehow even Dirt Jumpers are starting to wimp out, but most of them are still standing strong.
Please, just for a moment, start thinking and stop listening Smile

Look at what Chris Akrigg can do on a bike and you will get an answer to every single question ever thought of, I promise!
  • 32 1
 Seems like 140mm works pretty well for Justin Leov and Tracy Moseley in the Enduro WS.
I'm not gonna mention the wheel size on their bikes, cuz I already typed the word "enduro" and I don't think people can handle both in one postWink
  • 3 10
flag Jonnysc (Feb 17, 2015 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 Your funny!
  • 9 2
 Cool story. Could do with some dragons.
  • 10 7
  • 2 0
 you is*
  • 2 0
 Funny is you, hmm?
  • 18 0
 Also, as many already know, the listed size of a tire varies greatly from brand to brand so be careful when choosing. A 2.5 Maxxis is not the same as a 2.5 Schwalbe or Kenda.
  • 10 0
 2.7 maxxis is a 2.3 kenda.
  • 3 1
 Yea that sounds about right. The Kendas are massive. I had a 2.7 Kenda and it barely fit with a boxxer.
  • 1 0
 But....some of the new Maxxis tires are bigger sizes (e.g. High Roller II). This really equally annoying as you can't apply the 'maxxis is one size down' rule to all of their tires.
  • 2 1
 New maxxis tires are generally listed with casing adjacent to tread width in millimeters- they are also at least true to size now. Basically all the TR beaded tires are humongous. Quite nice
  • 1 0
 Correct. Maxxis have resized their tyres. High Roller 11 and Minion DHF 2.3 EXO TR are almost the same size as the old 2.5.
  • 3 0
 Dont even get me started on my 2.2 foot wide Conti Rubber Queens
  • 23 3
 you're 12. you shouldn't care. you're 12. ride whatever and worry about the bike later.
  • 8 0
 Heck, a 12 year old is not gonna have the weight or proportions the bike was designed around anyway... a little bit more/less suspension isn't gonna be super important.
  • 12 0
 If my o-ring hasn't bottomed front and back then I was either hung over or just being a pussy and taking it easy!
  • 6 1
 140mm is enough for sure. But I can't think of a 12 year old riding double black diamonds without knowing how good he can perform with 140mm himself. But just train hard and you will be able.
I am 16 and rode many black trails with my Transition Bottlerocket (160mm) after my first year of riding.
  • 6 2
 There's no such thing as too wide if it fits in your frame. As for casing roll, it depends on the sidewalls of your 2.5 or 2.65 tire, whether or not you're using regular or DH tubes and air pressure. If you like the slow rolling, slow to corner fatbike feel but like to have extra inertia for rollover, go as wide as you can within the limits of your fork n frame.
  • 12 5
 Enduro enduro ENDURO enDuRo endURO ENDuro eNdUrO neduro enduroenduroenduroenduroenduro
  • 4 0
 yep, fed up hearing the term !
  • 4 1
 P.s. Enduro
  • 4 1
 haha, best neg props ever
  • 8 0
 Are my arms long enough for enduro?
  • 4 1
 I dunno how many of you are on 29ers but the Minion DHF 29x2.3 runs small. Even though I don't NEED it, the 29x2.5 is some much appreciated size.

The blanket statement of "anything bigger than 2.35 is unnecessary" is stupid. The Magic Mary/Hans Dampf 2.35 are way bigger than most 2.3-2.35 tires.
  • 1 0
 I run Dissent 2.5" and Minion DHF 2.5" on my wagon wheeler...was shocked when I measured the casings, Minion was about 1 mm wider on Minion than Dissent.
  • 1 0
 I use the Minion DHF 29x2.5" for snow. It works really good, better than a Hans Dampf 2.35".
  • 2 0
 I roll 26" Minions and don't care about your opinions
  • 5 0
 ''I havent really got to ride the bike yet'' , I hear you. Just got a Trek Remedy and cant ride it in 2ft of snow either.
  • 3 0
 I feel you! I just bought a Rocky Mountain Instinct and i'm ITCHING to ride. I got one ride on some icy trails in early winter.... but Vermont is under several feet right now and shows no signs of thawing out...
  • 2 0
 One thing I see a lot of is that the suspension is often set too hard so that even though a bike has 160mm of travel riders are only using a maximum of 120mm! First recommendation should be to set your suspension so you use what you've got and then decide whether you need more.
  • 3 0
 I live and ride on the North Shore vancouver mountains. I ride a custom Gt distortion 114rear/140 front B6er. Works fine for anything on the shore just about..Enduro no problemSmile
I only ride trailduroWink
  • 2 0
 My 56yr old dad took a 140mm down the black diamonds at snowshoe. Also ran into kids on walmart bikes ripping pretty darn good. Remember folks a bike is only as good as its rider. And no matter how slow you are you're still faster than everyone sitting on a couch.
Also if you slap 2.7s on your 26er you'll have the same overall diameter as a 27.5/650b with 2.35s.
  • 5 1
 There's no such thing as too much travel. If you feel so, just let off the brakes.
  • 2 1
 Tire width is tricky in between brands. For example my 2.5 high roller has just enough clearance on my Enduro in the rear, but a 2.35 WTB Vigilante has nearly the same clearance as the high roller Tire profile is sometimes more important than width
  • 5 4
 @mikelevy In regards to the cracking of the Schwalbe Magic Mary's, I had a set of SG Magic Marys that did just that after only four hours at the bike park. I was assured back in June by Schalwbe North America warranty that this is not normal and actually part of a compound problem they had on certain tires. Schwalbe treated me fantastic and sent a set of DH casing tires to use until the new batch of Marys came in...which I got to keep as well. Both of those sets and my other three sets of Hans Dampfs have never exhibited the problem. I don't think it's fair to say this kind of cracking is "typical" when It's not happening on all models or compounds and Schwable is addressing it with outstanding CS.
  • 26 0
 I've used maybe ten sets of Hans Dampf tires over the years of varying compounds and casings, so twenty tires in total, and would say that the cracking of knobs happened on the large majority of them. Maybe even all of the tires, but I can't recall 100%. I've also used a few different sets of the older Nobby Nics and had a similar issue, although not as prevalent. The single Magic Marry that I've purchased is pictured here. I've now bought myself a set of the new Nobby Nic tires - no issues so far, and the traction and predictability all around is impressive. By ''high-end'' I'm referring to their softer compounds, not the OEM spec tires ect.

Sure, it might not be happening on all models, but of the 25+ Schwalbe tires that I've spent time on, which is likely a lot more than the average consumer, it has happened to the large majority of them. With that in mind I think it is fair to use these words: ''the cracking at the base of the lugs is both disheartening and typical of the German brand's high-end rubber.'' That's good you have a great customer service experience - I've always had great interactions with the company and would expect nothing less. I'd also say that, reliability aside, they make some of the best tires on the market right now, just that they happen to also be quite expensive, wear quickly, and often exhibit compound issues.

Just calling it like it is.
  • 2 0
 Experienced the same with my Hans Dampf and Magic Mary. Disheartening is correct. Back to Specialized tyres for me.
  • 1 2
 Running the super SuperGravity tires I can leave my backpack tubes and pump at home, run thumb tested pressure and not worry about begging for tubes later on. The Rock Razor lets me do Kamloops Cutties all day long without a finger near the brakes 26" 4LIFE. They do a great job of staying firmly on my Roval Dh wheels, but feel less plush than a my Maxxis. I have no cracking but my Magic (Moto) Marry has perfectly sliced side knobs.
I just purchased a 29r Nobby Nic because the shop was all out of Maxxis HR2 EXO. The Nobby Nic is as loud as it is grippy until I lean it over on granite side hill slabs and try to slow down, then it just gets loose. Could this be from me using them on wide Roval Fattie wheels?
What's should i be looking for in selecting a tire for wide profile rims and avoiding tire squirm, burping, or a walking home?
  • 1 0
 Mike describes it perfectly I think. Durability of Schwalbe tires is really poor, with the normal "wear" mode being the cracking and loss of the sideknobs well before the tread wears out. We see the same failures here and our trails are mostly (relatively) technical, slow speed and on soft ground. I can only imagine the problem is much worse in a high speed bikepark type environment. That said, the performance while they do last is brilliant so not a straightforward no thanks for me. I still use them (though only on the front now) despite the issues.
  • 2 0
 Same here, 3 sets of Hans Dampfs and half the rears and all the fronts started cracking in as little as 3 rides. Local trails, not park.
  • 3 1
 Is 140mm enough for Enduro?
WTF?. Like another 10 / 20mm is going to make it easier? Stop you crashing? Mean you beat the other groms?
Jesus kid, stop believing the hype and just ride your bike. Lots.
  • 2 0
 It's enough if geometry and suspensions are both dialed for this usage. If it's a typical 140mm light trail bike with linear suspension, then he would suffer, but his trance dialed for it.
  • 1 0
 I have a genuine question if anyone knows the answer.

Basically I have a 2013 meta am am I able to fit a coil shock on it with a piggy back chamber?

If anyone know a strait yes or no answer that would be great.

Thanks in advance

  • 5 1
 Or it could be that the o ring has been stretched and slides down.
  • 10 2
 Thats what she said.
  • 3 2
 If you are worried about travel on the trance, slap a 150mm pike on that thing. It won't change the geometry very much while giving you ten more millimeters of travel on a much more capable fork.
  • 13 1
 he's 12 and his parents already bought him a 2000 dollar FS bike. Maybe you should buy him a pike!
  • 3 4
 If you were 12 and you had that bike you would not say "this bike is too expensive, I don't want it". If I was a rich parent I would spoil the hell out of my kids, if I could.
  • 1 0
 Whatever. Dumb question deserves a dumb answer. That's like asking should I be using all of my "Johnson" or just part of it? Pinkbike is getting desperate for topics these days.
  • 7 4
 Does anyone like Glass Animals?
  • 1 0
 Shit man try riding a 1994 Giant Yukon in your first races. Rigid, cantilever brakes. Todays gear makes it so easy when you have old school skills and a wee touch of madness!
  • 11 11
 Should I be using all my shock stroke? Did I really just read that? C'mon Pinkbike, You're starting to sound like a cheesy spandexy Mtn Bike Magazine
  • 10 2
 I would bet there are a lot of people that read that and have had the same question.
  • 9 2
 Next Week: Head to Head Chamois Cream Testing
  • 3 0
 haha @jmrbauer, "head to head" yeah, a little gay, but funny Smile
  • 35 0
 @Mojoronnie - I know you came into the sport knowing absolutely everything, but others haven't. It was a basic question that was answered, and we'll continue to answer other basic questions as well. Also, I'm wearing bib shorts while typing this and smearing chamois cream all over my body.
  • 2 0
 torn a few knobs off hans dampfs...that's fsho
  • 1 0
 Thanks again pinkbike for these Q and As! Simply great.
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