Ask Pinkbike Anything - DH vs. AM Bikes, One-By Rings And Tire Widths

May 27, 2014
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.



DH bike to AM bike conversion?

Question: Pinkbike user Drummerwearshorts asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: I was wondering if anyone has ever converted a downhill bike into an all-mountain bike? I'm off to New Zealand and I only want to travel with one bike, so I had the idea of buying a different fork and shock so that I could use my Trek Session for downhilling and on more pedally trails. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

bigquotesWhile that's an interesting proposition, it is also one that I wouldn't recommend pursuing. Yes, I'm sure that there are people out there who have done exactly what you're asking about, but I'd wager that they've ended up with the worst of both words rather than a bike that works well when ridden as intended. The issue isn't weight - the Session can be built up quite light - but rather geometry. Let's say you went ahead and purchased a shorter travel fork, and even a shorter eye-to-eye length shock to match the new fork's travel - you'll still end up with a bike that sports far too slack geometry to be enjoyable on trails that require any sort of pedalling effort. The bike's seat tube angle, while being great at moving the seat out of the when it's set to a low, downhill friendly position, is also far too slack for any sort of comfortable seated pedalling. The other issue, one that is even more serious, is that a different length shock very well could cause parts of your frame to come into contact with each other at full compression, especially the seat stays and seat tube. The bottom line is that your proposed conversion isn't just going to create an awkward riding bike, it is going to be downright dangerous.

My advice would be to take that money you were going to spend on a second fork and shock and put it towards a mid-travel bike that you can pedal around. There's a good chance that you can pick up something used for around the same amount you'd spend on your conversion, and then you can swap in some of the burlier components from your downhill bike - tires, short stem and wide bar, powerful brakes, et cetera - and then ride your new rig in the bike parks and on the local loops. You just might discover that your new mid-travel bike is even more fun than your slack downhill machine. Or not, but at least you won't be turning your Session into a dangerous franken-bike.
- Mike Levy


Trek Session 9.9 Photo by Sterling Lorence

Drummerwearshorts should not be turning his Session into an all-mountain bike, and neither should anyone else.



Will a One-By Chainring Work on a Two-By Drivetrain?

Question: PB member suxfevi asks on the Bikes Parts and Gear forum: I have a bike with only one chainring and I need to put a front mech and a smaller chainring on my crankset. However, I was told that I also need to buy a new big chainring with ramps and pins to help shifting gears, ‘cause the one that I have now apparently does have them. I found a Shimano Deore FCM 590 chainring online. Will it work?

bigquotesYou were well advised. Ramps, pins and specially profiled teeth are used by every good drivetrain maker to assist the front mech to lift the chain up to the larger chainring. Shimano is the king of ramps and pins, which is largely responsible for its bomb-proof, industry leading front shifting. While you can coax any good front derailleur to shift the chain up to an un-ramped single-speed chainring, the amount of excess derailleur movement required to get the job done will most certainly cause a situation where the chain will derail occasionally to the outside of the chainring when you make the shift. The Shimano Deore chainring is one of the better shifting sprockets you can buy and it is priced quite low, but you'll need to be sure that your crankset's bolt-circle diameter matches it (Shimano four-bolt XT cranks use the more common: 104 millimeters for the big and middle sprockets, and 64 millimeters for the third, granny sprocket). Once you figure out the BCD of your crankset, you can spend the big bucks for aftermarket sprockets, but my recommendation would be to save your cash and purchase the stock items for your brand of crankset. - RC

A good explanation of how to ascertain bolt circle diameter is available on the Wolf Tooth website, and ramped, aftermarket chainrings can be found here.

Shimano Deore XT 2013

Shimano's Deore XT chainrings are heavily manipulated with shifting aids like ramps, pins and profiled teeth to provide instant shifting





Should I run a wider tire in the front or rear?

Question: In the Freeride and Slopestyle forum, PB user Jackety123 asks: "Should you have bigger tires on front or rear? Was thinking of running 2.7 rear and 2.5 front, but a friend said do it the other way around.”

bigquotesI'd listen to your friend on this one. The wider tire in the front will give you a larger footprint to lean into while cornering, providing more grip and control. This will help prevent your front wheel from washing out, which has much harsher consequences than if your rear wheel were to get a sideways in a turn. It's common to run a wider tire with a more aggressive tread pattern in the front paired up with a narrower, lower profile tire in the rear. This lets you benefit from the decreased rolling resistance of the rear tire, while still having the cornering traction and flotation that the front tire provides. It's also fine to run the same tire width front and rear, but I'd recommend against running the wider tire in rear - having more cornering traction in the back than in the front could make for some awkward handling on the trail. - Mike Kazimer

n a

It's common to pair an aggressive front tire with a slightly narrower, lower profile option in the rear.




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


202 Comments

  • 457 7
 I was considering purchasing a fanny pack for my enduro bike and I'm wondering if I can wear it in front instead of in the back. When i'm enduroing I wear my goggles over my eyes, and sometimes it gives me a boner...i'm not sure why my goggles do that but I figure that if I can wear my fanny pack in front while enduroing I can wear my goggles without worrying about my boner and this will help me to focus better on getting the KOM on my trails. Anyone on here know?
  • 145 3
 Yes.
  • 83 13
 I like turtles.
  • 32 1
 Have you considered an enduro-sash one size too big? It has a place for your goggles...
  • 65 1
 Thanks this is good information. I did consider the enduro-sash but although it can pack my goggles it does not adequately cover the boner area of my TLD shorts. I've tried my best to ignore how my goggles make me feel on trail rides but when i concentrate on being fast i forget about holding back the boner. Since Mike Kazimer says yes, I will most likely buy a new fanny pack and wear it in front.Thanks for your help Pinkbike!
  • 11 0
 Just make sure it's primrose yellow and you're all kitted out in Barbie pink
  • 3 1
 That's funny right there, I don't care who you are.
  • 8 3
 g-string fanny pack for moar boner
  • 58 1
 dude i know exactly what causes that. fuck i had fanny packs in the 90's and seriously dude they where hot. i remember one time though i wore one on the trail and had to seriously take a crap. So I squatted and started to relieve myself and it was taking a while. so i opened the fanny pack and took out a smoke. the nice thing about fanny packs is you could wear them on the can and if you had to get something out of your pockets you don't have to bend down and take the chance of shit smearing the back of the toilet seat. So as i was zipping the fanny pack zipper closed... i shit you not i caught a little of my package in the zipper. fanny pack zippers are not like regular zippers. those fuckers are built with the best of zipper material and the teeth are twice as big. So as i try and figure this out I wonder if my penis was a little smaller if that would be better as there would be less to catch in that mother fucking zipper. i kind of realise this is pointless and have to pull my pants over the fanny pack as i need medical assistance. i almost pass out from the pain and im sure that the zipper moved a little and is now choking the blood supply to the tip. fuck it, im hard, i can power through this shit.
  • 64 2
 So i sit on the edge of the seat and try to gently ride out. as i was getting to the parking lot i see this girl that i have had a crush on since i was a kid. hot as hell and she walks over to me leaving her hacky sack game, man she looked good all decked out in her shorts with the long johns underneath and the long sleeved shirt under the t-shirt. shit it was like 30 above but she pulled it off. she came up and asked how im doing. she thinks im sweating because its hot but it is the excruciating pain, but i play it cool. i can feel blood coming down my leg. listen rambles she says. im a little high and we are heading to a rave tonight would you like to come. i have always liked you rambles. for a second i forget about my predicament and say sure. there is no way a little fucking sack on my little fucking penis is going to stop me from spending time with this girl. I ask to be excused and i go into the outhouse beside the parking lot and I take my swiss army tool out and i destroy that zipper. i wrap my penis in napkins that where left in the outhouse and go to the rave... and that my friends is how i met your mother.
  • 6 2
 rambles - was the e good or was it chopped with cat sedative and plant food?
  • 9 2
 Ahhhh I hate this bashing of fanny packs because they make a lot of sense for me, my bad shoulders and the monkey on my back. But I cringe because I just know I'll run into a beerigs on the trail and get the whatfor!!!
  • 7 1
 I have a severe hunchback, so a fanny pack beats a Camelback any day of the week. well apart from Sudays which don't count obviously
  • 49 1
 Fanny means vagina in England.
  • 67 3
 A lot of things mean vagina in England.
  • 18 0
 there are a lot of vagina's in England

to be picky, the vagina is only one part of the fanny (Fanny includes the outside anatomy too)
  • 11 0
 Should I be reading this stuff at work?
  • 7 0
 no, you shouldn't be reading pinkbike at work wither there is talk of female reproductive anatomy or not Razz
  • 9 2
 Isn't Enduro-boner the super secrete project name for Specializeds new 28.36 wheel diameter, uber platinum, carbotanium (yes, there is such a thing) , enduro specific, XC All Mountain sled? It's going to change the MTB industry FOREVER!!
  • 5 3
 secrete. snigger
  • 4 0
 I'm dying here :'D
  • 1 0
 Oops - secret not secrete! Damn you autocorrect!!!
  • 5 0
 is that the bike that specialized are making in collaboration with pagani - will have active aero dynamics I heard
  • 4 3
 If you only need a fanny pack, the boner must not be very big!
  • 2 1
 Yes with Pagani. Each rim will take a week to carve out of a single block of aluminum and the frame will incorporate the black art of aerodynamics.
  • 1 0
 ROTY (responses of the year)
  • 5 1
 Seriously, what the f*** is enduro? Is it when two dudes ride the same trail as close as possible? All these enduro videos are confusing the shit out of me...they ride up a trail, then they ride down a trail, that's what I do...I hope I'm not enduro!
  • 1 2
 These enduro jokes are getting seriously old
  • 4 0
 so is enduro
  • 1 0
 Iv not laughed this much in a long time
  • 1 0
 You guys are killing me!! Thank you!!
  • 1 0
 Backpack for hydration, fanny pack for colostomy bag. Don't get yer tubes crossed.....
  • 73 4
 Would you rather fight a horse sized duck or 10 duck sizes horses?
  • 36 0
 Def 10 mini horses
  • 15 0
 That big duck would scare the crap out of me..... I'm scared of Geese,
  • 2 0
 oh hey drew
  • 5 0
 shit i cant stop laughing
  • 2 0
 Thinking about a horse size duck, holy sh*t that would be crazy, and fighting that duck would be even more madness…and yes Geese are fn scary as sh*t!!!
  • 6 0
 Im sitting in a shopping centre car park laughing my head off. Some funny dudes on here today Smile
  • 1 0
 If I get a good spear I think I would fight the giant Duck better... (am I taking this too seriously?)
  • 8 0
 "So what's the plan?" "Well, Lancelot, sir Galahad and I wait till nightfall and jump out of the giant wooden rabbit, catching the French completely by surprise and unarmed" "Who leaps out?" "Lancelot, Sir Galahad and I...." "suppose we built a big wooden badga?"
  • 1 0
 Hi, Catherine The Great here.
Personally I've never had any problem fighting a horse sized di...... Oh, DUCK(!)....., sorry.
  • 1 0
 I have to disagree with you while the Fanny Pack is an outstanding idea, I don't think in the front is the correct place. I would have to suggest the left side.
  • 1 0
 wrong comment string bud
  • 30 0
 Question:
Why is there so much emphasis placed on speed when it comes to bike reviews. Sounds like a silly question I know but, even as someone who competes regularly (in the "E" word) - I don't get it.
Of all the people out there who buy high end bikes - how many actually race and of those - how many race often? The way I see it - most people should buy bikes based on fun rather than all out speed and efficiency and therefore reviews should highlight fun factor a great deal more as it is simply more relevant.

Four strokes are faster - but two-strokes are more fun.
  • 49 4
 how do you measure fun? what is the metric? enduro boner inches? inches of XC seat up your ass?
  • 6 0
 was reading comments on fox article and this article. then found myself just scrolling reading gnar's responses.
  • 10 2
 unsure whether compliment, doubting so
  • 6 0
 making me laugh
  • 6 1
 thank you. life too short for serious
  • 9 2
 my dick grew 1.5 inches bigger when i switched from a 26 to a 27.5....does that count as more fun??
  • 36 0
 Stop exaggerating. Your dick only grew 1 inch bigger when you switched from 26 to 27.5. It's mtb marketing departments making you think it grew 1.5 inches.
  • 7 0
 can we start measuring things in enduro boner inches? that would make things much more entertaining.
Some sample comments:

"This new 650b from Trek has my enduro boner raging at a stiff 7 inches!!"

"My enduro boner is a throbbing 8 inches after testing the dropper seatpost for the last 4 hours"

"Having ridden the new 29er, i have to say my enduro boner shrunk to a measley 3 inches, the bike is just too flexy and slow out of the turns Frown "
  • 4 0
 QUESTION?
.
If the air pressure in a 26" tyre was 32 psi, would the air volume in a 650b tyre with 32 psi be the same?
.
.
.
hmm
  • 6 1
 Not sure if you are trolling, but same psi=/=same volume. If the tires are the same and the pressure is the same - the 650b would have more volume.

Kinda like asking if there's more air in a 1L bottle, or a 2L bottle with pressure being the same?
  • 1 0
 Greater air volume to attain the same psi in a bigger wheel with a matching tyre profile. I noticed I had to run more psi with the bigger wheels too.
  • 7 0
 I broke my collarbone. I can't ride all summer. You guys are making me laugh. Thank you. Do not break your collarbone. It sucks.
  • 12 0
 PV = nRTroll
  • 1 0
 Brown town
How can there be the same volume of air in a clearly larger item to attain the same pressure ?
  • 1 0
 Just read that on my big screen missed the vital bit before Frown
  • 3 0
 Thank you, all of your answers are substantial. I am no troll, just a uni student who has been studying too much and not riding his bike enough. Soon, oh yes soon, I will ride again!!!
  • 29 0
 Dear PB
I used to ride aggressive trail and really enjoyed it. Particularly shouting at strangers. However, the police asked me to stop after I bit an old woman’s jack russell.

Out on my rides, taking a shit in the woods would be a leisurely timeless affair. My DaKine Nomad all mountain hydration pack would easily swallow a NATO entrenching tool and good wad of paper wrapped up in a plastic bag. It would be me and mother nature at peace.

However now I’ve taken up Enduroing I’m running in to problems. The spade has had to go and my bum bag barely has room for an inner tube let alone a healthy stash of paper from home. On top of this, it’s just me against the clock and I’m smashing them out.

I need to just get her done. Clean. Bam. But what I’m finding is that the scant few sheets of paper I have with me aren’t enough and on top of that since I can’t afford to double fold, they’re falling apart in my hands. I’ve trialled tracing paper but at race pace, it fails to pick up.

My friends tell me: soft, tough, light – pick two. But I need the best, no compromises. What I need is Enduro toilet paper. Can you offer me some recommendations.
  • 11 0
 Dude. get yourself an extra Camelback and convert it to a colostomy bag. That way you can save time and wieght from not having to carry a shovel anf toilet paper.
  • 4 0
 Oh god XD these comments!
  • 3 0
 I have a survival tip, that might be handy here. Learned it many years ago from the father of a good friend, when he was a bit intoxicated. You take two smoking papers, and stick them together. Make a hole in the center. Stick your index finger through the hole. Now wipe with that index finger. You will notice your hand and most of your index finger, is protected by the paper screen. After wiping, you fold the papers back towards the tip of your finger. Now take the paper off. If everything went alright your finger is pretty clean now. Now fold the paper, till you have a nice little tool for removing what is left under your nails.
  • 4 0
 As you say, handy. I think you really put your finger on something there.
  • 2 0
 I think you really put your finger 'in' something there
  • 1 0
 Backpack for hydration, fanny pack for colostomy bag. Don't get yer tubes crossed.....
  • 24 2
 Can I ask you guys to bring back Tech Tuesdays?
  • 30 2
 Can you guys bring back Tech Tuesdays? There, I asked for you.
  • 15 1
 Is it true that one can descend downhill on an Enduro bike as fast as a Downhill bike?
  • 8 6
 small hill, maybe. big hill, no. mountain, no. FAKT
  • 21 2
 Not if its a real dh trail brah
  • 4 2
 fire road DH trail, enduro is faster buy an enduro bike
  • 15 2
 Jared graves
  • 5 1
 ^ flat pedally track.
  • 1 0
 is this even a serious question? depends on the track. sea otter last year was won on an enduro 29er. so your answer is either "yes", or, "that's not a proper dh track". either way, for 99% of riders there will be someone out there who can beat you whichever bike they are riding.
  • 1 2
 hmm, when is an endure bike just a hopped up XC bike or a dialed down DH rig?
  • 7 1
 when it is both. which is always
  • 2 1
 Answer is : NO..Only Chuck Norris can do that !
  • 1 0
 That's correct, only Chuck Norris can do that, he can be one and also the other at the same time, he is legend indeed.
  • 1 0
 wait a minute.....did you really just type "brah"?????
  • 8 0
 @ drummerwearshorts q!
Agree with PBs advice here.

2 options re NZed bike holiday and bike options!

Bring yr full DH bike, money saved in parts hire an AM bike for that riding.

AM bike 150-160 def most versatile here.
Qtown hires plenty of latest high end DH and trail AM bikes.

Not many other places hire out DH bikes but do hire out trail/AM bikes.

Rotorua and CH will change this with the announcement of 2 new bike parks opening in these locations Rotorua Skyline gondala opening in our spring this year.
m.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503438&objectid=11259568

Christchurch to come and will b massive theyre aim is to have the largest bike park in the Southern Hemisphere!
i.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/hills-and-harbour/10068513/Govt-gives-2m-for-Port-Hills-bike-park

If it was me with yr choice its a hard one it would come down to if Im travelling round NZ in a vechicle or basing myself in one or 2 locations, if travelling in van say Id bring a 160mm AM bike.
If based in Qtown then hire a DH rig.

Be aware they're is great riding on the Gondala and shuttles in Vegas but so many miss the best riding in all areas by not getting beyond the convenience factor. Which u can do at home a bike park Is a Bike park is a bike park.

Enjoy.
  • 1 0
 @Maverickdh00 - You gotta remember that when you tell people about riding in "vegas" most of the world thinks Las Vegas and not Rotorua (Why Kiwi's call it Vegas I'll never know)

For the NZ holiday - an all mountain bike will be a better all rounder and allow you to ride more locations (lots of spots where you need to shuttle or pedal to get to the top of the hill)

Awesome news about rotorua and Chch!
  • 8 1
 Rear tire selection will also greatly depend on the terrain you ride. When I ride granite or chunky / rocky trails I throw on a beefier tire to handle the terrain (still smaller or same size as the front). I throw on a small knob, thinner / lighter tire for "normal" trail riding or racing. But when neglecting to swap tires for the rocky trails, I ended up ripping one up pretty bad. I would say use durability as a primary factor. Aside from that, all the comments above hold true.
  • 5 1
 You want a shock with the same eye to eye and a shorter stroke, not a shorter eye to eye. Then you have less available travel in the rear, and your frame is tilted forward from the front end being lowered., steepening both the head tube and seat tube angles to more rideable angles.
  • 8 0
 Can I have stickers?
  • 3 0
 yes, everyone gets stickers on Pinkbike. Every comment gets a sticker policy always!
  • 3 0
 My 12lb jack Russell loves freeride and dh trails. I will go around a ladder drop, she will no foot can off it and stomp the landing and then laugh in my face. This little runt dog is a legend. She isn't a mutant whippet but she's pretty ripped and got stamina like you wouldn't believe. How big is too big, how long is too long of a ride, will I kill her. Should she have boots on. How do I preserve the life of this little bitch on the trails? Thanks
  • 3 1
 Any suggestions on making a trail/all mountain bike more versatile? I, along with others it seems, jumped the gun on bikes and went from cheap hardtail to full on downhill bike. I recently sold my downhill bike to get a Giant Trance 27.5 1 and am curious on what upgrades I could use in the future to get maximum versatility out of it. It seems like all-mountain bikes are becoming more popular within the past year or so with more capable stuff coming out each year but how do you turn a basic trail bike into a do-all rig? I'm looking for that middle ground between XC efficiency and weight with DH strength and durability. Tips component wise or bike setup? for all you one-bike shred-all dudes out there, what are you riding? And I'm curious, does anyone think versatile trail/all-mountain/enduro bikes are going to be the norm within the next few years?
  • 5 1
 I have a shortened stem (50mm), a wider bar (750mm), and a 1X10 drive train.
I'm running Maxxis DHF EXO 2.5 tire in the front and a Maxxis High roller 2.3 tubeless in the rear. These are lite weight tires, so it's easier to pedal.

Also, I have Shimano Zee breaks with 203mm rotors front and back for better braking power.
  • 1 0
 *Just* get top spec suspension (that new Cane Creek shock looks to be amazeballs), DH level rubber and you're golden imo.
  • 26 8
 1x10 does not make a bike more versatile. It makes it more fashionable.
  • 6 2
 I don't have the money to spend on a bike for a particular type of riding. So I built one that I think is great at trail, dh stuff. I got a 2012 Specialized SX trail. It's classified as a freeride bike. It has a 2x10 and climbs great. I also put a dual crown fork on it(2011 Boxxer WC). It came with a 7 inch fork(2011 Fox 36 Talas). I also added an adjustable seat post to help with climbing. It weighs 35 pounds. Everything else is pretty much stock. I just bought Stans Flow Ex rims and hoping to lose another pound of weight(crossing my fingers). I've used it everywhere(Snow Summit, Mt. Wilson, Mammoth, Downieville, local trails) and loving it! I believe I can make it lighter if I change the rear shock from the stock rear shock to air. But that's another upgrade next year. That's my setup. Good luck with yours. I suggest doing a lot of research and demo-ing bikes. Cheers!
  • 17 4
 1x10 fully makes a bike more versatile. You get rid of a whole lot of unnecessary double ups on ratios, saving a whole lot of weight which allows you to build up a burlier bike in other areas. Not to mention there's less to go wrong and maintain, as well as a simplified riding experience. I don't miss second and 3rd front chain rings at all. Sometimes things are fashionable for the sake of fashion, other times they're fashionable because they're just better.
  • 3 0
 Look for a Canfield Brothers "THE ONE"..pedals up like an all mountain bike and bombs down the hills like a dh bike.
  • 2 0
 @Beer The one has been discontinued, it's "Balance" now.
  • 2 1
 Get a short stem, wide bars, good brakes, beefier tires, and decent platform pedals. The bike you have will pedal well and descend well too. The geometry is in that middle ground so it is quite versatile. Not as efficient as an XC machine but more fun.
  • 3 5
 Process 153 frame build puts most DH bikes to shame. Pair the pike with a new vivid air and it can crush a bike park or be pedaled around all day. Mine with a zee drivetrain comes to about 31lb.
  • 8 4
 comparing a Process to a full DH bike is pure idiocy and a sign of just how dumb and misinformative and ignorant the enduro sheeple of Pinkbike have become. if you are clueless about MTB, then at least have the good grace not to share your misinformed idiocy with other people
  • 1 0
 As everyone above has said, the most important thing is to feel comfortable on the bike. So #1 is putting the right bar/stem, if the bike is big enough, try going down to a 40/50mm stem. Brakes drastically change the speed at which you can ride, shimano Xt or Zee can be had cheap enough and blow everything else out of the water. Big soft tyre in front, heavy enough tyre out back to prevent punctures. Then if needs be, pike and good wheels, but these are very expensive and only incrementally improve the bike... I'm a huge fan of 1x10 drivetrains, but that depends on your fitness and geography. 125mm dropper post is obligatory (or 150mm).
  • 2 0
 @gnarbar: raked out 4 life. with you bro. vast majority of these purportedly quiver killers are ok at climbing and mediocre on the downhills. but i guess if you're the average schmuck inching down trails and don't really care for the ol' huck n steez then go about your merry way Razz (that new nomad is pretty ridiculous though...)
  • 1 0
 Clarkeh.. I know they discontinued the one but you could probably find one used..The new balance won't be available for about another 2 months.
  • 1 0
 @ Beer, Sorry was a rather irrelevant comment. But hell, the Balance looks dope too.
  • 1 0
 +1 on @abzillah. Just put 760mm bars and a 50mm stem on my trusty 05 Turner 5.Spot and it's like a new bike. I PUSHed the fork a 2.5 years ago and just had it reserviced by LBS, also helped HUGELY in making the bike feel totally different for the better. Depending on your riding style and descents, larger rotors, especially up front, can make a difference.

I'm also interested in a head to head comparison of some of the lesser-known bikes, such as Knolly Chilcotin vs. Banshee Rune vs. Canfield The One (I know it's discontinued) and Knolly Warden vs. Canfield Balance vs. Turner Burner vs Pivot Mach 6. Many of these are difficult if not impossible to ride test (at least here in Maine) and not an inexpensive investment...
  • 2 0
 @kevmocal I too am from Maine and I agree, it doesn't seem like there's much available around here for test riding. As far as the bike goes I think I'm on the right track. Raceface narrow wide 1x10 drivetrain, dropper post, 780mm bars, 60mm stem, SLX brakeset, and a Pike Dual Air 130-160mm fork. Just adjusting the fork travel makes the bike feel like two completely different bikes. Other than a little bit of a shorter stem I think I'm maxed out versatility wise. I guess all I can do is upgrade parts down the road from now on once they're beat up enough. Thanks for the help guys, ride on!
  • 3 0
 Its like the mid 90's .... but in Reverse.
I remember when adding the larger linkage made a specialized FSR "enduro" into 6" travel ... and with a manitou xvert triple clamp fork... viola! a DH bike Wink Cheers Freeriders !
  • 3 1
 who on earth would put a different eye to eye than the frame spec....
alternate solution to #1's problem is a tr500 or similar adjustable geo bike. I'm getting one come September and I'm gonna save up for a 650 and a 26 wheelset as well as both an xf metric and an RV1 (speaking of which, you guys should do a review on some of their stuff... suuuper stoked on my metric hlr and vector hlr air) so if i swap wheels, swap fork and flip the dropout and pivot chips i'll be able to go from full on DH race bike to a bike that is as "enduro" as I need.
  • 2 0
 Scott voltage FR can change travel with a new shock and switching holes. I think Some nicolai bikes do to Like the Nucleon from 4.5 to 6.5 inches. Kona Coilair bikes used to go from 120 to 200mm with the magic link. That would be your best bet. They came with a Talas 180. Cannondale Claymore has 180 travel and that is an "Overmountain" bike.
  • 1 0
 NS soda.I have an NS soda with some travel adjust forks on. long travel mode it's 180mm front and rear light freeride with a 64/65ish degree head angle, and short travel mode on the fork and rear end is 150 each end, better pedalling and a 66ish head angle... its a light freeride/fairly heavy all mountain bike
  • 1 0
 I ride an old trsnsition gran mal that has adjustable geo and actually ute the feature. Adjustable 180 fork, two wheelsets (mostly only swich the rear) and two shocks. That gives me a slack 63 degree 14 inch bb dh/park bike and a 66.5 am bike. Wight is 15 kg, not light but works for what i use it for.

I would say that turning an am into mini dh is probably wiser than the other say around.
  • 1 0
 i think the NS rather copied the transition blindside which was the grand mal's successor, the blindside is a lot lighter frame wise and a little more versatile than the gran mal, and still probably available second hand everywhere! @feeblesmith, I love transition bikes and would have bought a blindside if i could have found one as well priced as my soda! (my other bike is a bandit)
  • 2 0
 Sure a blindside would probably be a better fit for me too, not having to deal with 150 rear hubs and 83mm cranks. I have soft spot for Lightville 601 as well but that is a lot more cash, like in two or three nice secondhand TR250s more cash.
  • 1 0
 "Shimano's Deore XT chainrings are heavily manipulated with shifting aids like ramps, pins and profiled teeth to provide instant shifting"

Wick Werks chainrings shift stupid fast and are pretty reasonably priced! I met the engineer at a race were I tried out the rings and he was super helpful and stoked on riding!
  • 1 0
 2010 SX trail...pimped out at 30.5lbs w/pedals. Haven rims, E.Thirteen cranks, XT brakes, Reverb, x-fusion Slant up front, and converted to 1 x 10. DH conversion...how about "freeride" conversion. Air shock maker it climb better than stock coil ... Oh...for like 1-1.5lbs or so over a 7K-10K bike...it does pretty feaking good. Actually I would say it descends better than these new "enduro" machines. it's a real ride...bringing the shit to trails near you
  • 1 0
 Does anybody else suffer from back pain when riding. Is it always about positioning or are there some kind of exercises that I am missing out on. I am 29 and not terribly out of shape so I wonder if I am not the only one struggling?
  • 1 0
 I find people cranking large gears up hill struggle with back issues, general rule is if your pulling up on the bars pedalling you're straining your bike, next time you're out try climbing resting your wrists on the bars, That extends your body and stops you straining your back (also is more efficient to help you save energy for the downs). However many things may contribute.
Sometimes the bike is too short for your body length
sometimes raising the bars a couple of spacers helps

Another thing to note, if something isn't right in your back, it won't fix itself, a chiropractor is worth visiting, literally 1 session is all you'll need if it's not bad and you may find you're sorted. You might be flaring up the same issue that needs fixing.
  • 1 0
 I read that when your legs get tired you start using your back muscles to compensate, hence the thing about stomping big gears up a climb resulting in back pain. You may have a weak core and some weights work, more time in the saddle or an adjustment in riding style may assist? Obviously though please don't embark on a crazy regime until after medical advice in case there is something wrong...
  • 1 0
 So outrageously impressed with your insight, I figured I was maybe some rookie mistake I used to be young and spry so I kept all of my body jolting bad habits and now I'm paying dearly. Thanks so much guys!
  • 1 0
 I was reading the second review while drinking my coffee and was thinking how lame this is and it reminds me of MBA. Than I saw who was writing it. I am not Dissing RC, I am dissing MBA (Although I do still read it and every month I ask myself the same question; Why?. it just must be I recognize his style and verbiage. All three of these questions are pretty stupid and basic (With the exception of the first question, but barely).
  • 1 0
 the last year i bought a giant faith 2011 frame (nice GEO 83mm bb 150x12mm rear wheel) and i change the dropouts for a more agresive speed hooker rock garden ready bike with a fox 36 170mm float r fork, superlight bontrager duster "semenuk" rims and hope evo2 hubs (1800g) wheels shimano saint cranks 36t single ring with a chainguide of curse and 9 speed sram drive train it is 14.5kg bike ready for 30 mile rides but also national DH curse ready the reason? you mix good geometry,bombproof sizes and not to much suspension and you get the best results farway for a all around bike but believe it because fancy all mountain bikes cant handle big gaps or drops because they are intended for pedaling.
you want to go super confortabel uphill and good downhill or good uphill and scrubing down?
  • 1 0
 how do I get away with making a dh trail, there are too many all-mountain(pedally) trails near me. I feel like I bought the wrong bike. There are two dh spots near me, but they require 20 min of hiking or shuttling to get up. I have trail building tools, I know what I want to build, but how do I get it to last?
  • 1 0
 Comparing enduro bikes and DH bikes is dumb. I've got a 14' spec enduro and a 11' spec demo. The enduro is a sweet bike for most anything, but there is a HUGE difference in lateral stability and overall comfort when bombing on a downhill trail in favor of the demo. Enduro bikes are not downhill bikes, period. Pro riders push them to the limits, but if they could have an 8 inch bike that pedaled like an enduro, that is what they would be on.
  • 5 1
 2.7 inch wide tire is to slow
  • 2 1
 nope if I could find any I'd run a 3" tire up front and a 2.7 in the back the again it depends on what you ride which all I do is freeride and urban freeride from cliffs to stairs
  • 3 1
 Shy on earth would you want to take an f-1 and turn it into a nascar? the correct answer is sell your dh to someone who can ride it and use the money to get an AM.
  • 1 0
 How do you compare the chain retention of a Deore XT rear mech if you convert your drive train to a single chain ring to something like the XX1?. If I use a narrow wide chainring do I need to use a chain guide?
  • 4 0
 If the XT has a clutch, then no need to go XX1. I'm running the current XT M781 and a Raceface narrow-wide ring. Works great, and all it cost me was the ring.
  • 1 0
 I just went to a Raceface narrow wide up front with XT shadow plus rear, no chain retention other than the chain dangler that comes stock on the stumpjumper EVO and I have yet to drop a chain on singletrack, freeride, and some moderate downhill.
  • 2 0
 You don't even need the clutch. I run XT with rf narrow/wide (no guide at all) and never loose the chain, even with without the clutch engaged.
  • 1 0
 Well at the moment my rear mech is a Deore XT Shadow plus and I'm still using the stock shimano 38 tooth chain ring that came with my XT cranks, I just removed the inner ring and added a top guide. I noticed as I was riding some trails that my chain had a few situations where it almost dropped. I'm not currently riding a full chain guide at the moment and I was wondering if a narrow-wide does make the difference
  • 1 0
 Yes it does make a big difference
  • 2 0
 Aluminum carbon or titanium, I see lots of carbon, aluminum and even steel dh/am bikes but why hasn't the Industry taken time to consider titanium frames for dh/am?
  • 2 0
 I believe ti is extremely expensive and difficult to manipulate into the complex shapes used in current ALU hyrdoform designs. Not to mention the expense to weld. I'm also not sure if the weight difference is that much of a savings when you take into account the strength for a DH bike, and capabilities of moving mass/strength around to key areas of a DH bike. Agree it would be cool to see though.
  • 1 0
 Yea, titanium is a very hard material to work with, it requires a very skilled craftsman to bend and shape, and just as good a craftsman to weld. Moots is a good example, they make Ti fully bikes, but they're incredibly expensive. There's no way to mass produce good Ti bikes for as cheap as Al or carbon bikes...not that those are cheap either, lol
  • 2 0
 The main two problems with titanium is shaping/ welding and cost. Ti isn't able create the drastic shaping on bikes such as the swooping top tubes and complex suspension often found on dh/am bikes that make for nicer handling such as short rear ends for example. Tapered head tubes are another thing I have yet to see on a Ti bike either. The Second is cost. Moot's Titantium mx divide a full suspension 29er frame costs about $5k. Granted it does have high grade all us made ti that allows for some sloping but when carbon can provide half the cost with being lighter as well as a handfull of other benefits Ti is not a great material for full suspension bikes value wise but if you have the kash monay and are in the niche crowd than a moots would be your avenue. In terms of hardtail's and road bikes ti is once again pricy and heavier plus non aero but if you want to look cool, in my opinion the coolest roadbike would be a moot's ti frame with full Enve/king parts that would be made between Utah, Oregon and Colorado with whatever drive. But; for the money a carbon supersix for example would probably perform better for the money (you dont see many ti bikes on the pro tour) plus you can hope to look like Sagan
  • 2 0
 Titanium printing will change all that at some point unless someone figures out how to print carbon fibre and or reduce the cost of nanotubes.
www.prsnlz.me/science-and-tech/the-first-fully-3d-printed-bike-frame
  • 1 0
 "Tapered head tubes are another thing I have yet to see on a Ti bike either. "

Travers bikes have tapered head tubes and are Ti.

www.traversbikes.com/store/p11/Rudy_29er_Frame.html
  • 1 0
 Look to Lynsky for some full-sus Ti frames and complex tube shapes (helix!). Can't speak to shaping/welding, but Ti has traditionally been an expensive metal, even raw. Then add a premium for the boutique, made-in-US (or Canada or the UK...) manufacturing, which can easily push a comparable steel frame into the $2K and up territory. I've also heard that the finish on Ti frames (brush, but especially the polished 'chrome' finish) can double the labor hours for manufacturing. But then, anyone who can afford Ti doesn't want to hide it under paint.
  • 1 0
 Wide trail tire in front with a street tire in the rear is very common in bmx, OEM spec'd on completes actually. I know, different bike, but tire width and traction don't discriminate.
  • 1 0
 in regards to the DH -> AM conversion. A friend of mind has taking an Orange 223 and done exactly that, taking it from an 8 speed to a 16 speed,(24&34 / 34/11) '08 boxers, DHX 4 shock, the lot. Works a treat
  • 1 0
 It could be even better to change the Boxxer for some single crown fork with 180mm (almost same geo as DH forks) and adjustable travel for climbing. I have SX trail with RS Lyrik U-turn (160-115mm) and when I know that there is coming very long and steep ascent I put the fork to short travel and it help a lot to keep the front of the bike down.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, He's said the same, however this doesn't bother him. His BoXXers have the adjustable travel, matched with a really long seatpost.. He destroys the climbs at Hamsterley!
  • 1 1
 Serious Question: I have a Stumpy Evo 26". Love it. I live in Florida, USA. If I'm going to travel to the Pacific NW to ride, which is more than 3K miles (even more in Kilometers I'm told), should I pack my stumpy or rent a bike when I'm out there?
  • 2 0
 Your stumpy evo 26 shld be a great bike for almost everything in Oregon at least.
  • 1 0
 Cool! thanks. How 'bout north of the boarder? Bike parks?
  • 1 0
 If I rode a stumpy at Whistler in the park, I'd probably break it. Prob better to rent a DH bike there. However, Whistler valley has some fun "XC". Still burly, but a bike you can pedal up is a must.
  • 4 0
 Can i get some stickers?
  • 1 0
 Only if some one can tell me what my first borns name should be
  • 11 1
 Steve Peat
  • 1 1
 I have been looking for a bike that can do basically everything. I want to be able to do minor dh trails but still want to climb and also dirt jump. Does anybody know a good bike choice?
  • 1 0
 NS soda air. short travel with a 160mm fork on the front.
  • 3 0
 What should I name my first child?
  • 2 0
 Why do the media insist 650b isn't a conspiracy when it so clearly is? Are you just defending your gravy train?
  • 2 0
 Here is one for you PB- Where is the Manitou Mattoc review already??!
  • 2 0
 On vital
  • 1 0
 Cheers!
  • 1 2
 I run the same 2.4 tires on the Nomad C, but the rear rim is wider(Havoc) than the front(Haven). I just realized that my rear rim is always more abused and dented from landings, drifting etc.
  • 1 0
 Great editorial idea, PB staff. Keep fishing the interesting stuff out of the forums. Great content.
  • 1 0
 If I have a 2006 Specialized P.2, is there a full sus all-mountain frame out there that I can just swap over all my parts?
  • 1 0
 All my bikes parts came from a POS Apollo Guantlet DJ bike. I had to have a 1.5 bottom race custom machined with a 1 1/8 ID to fit my fork to the tapered head tube frame. It came with the head set. You might also have trouble with the rear wheel hub being 142x12 and not 135x10. I have an older frame so no worries. Your Fork will be too short and too stiff. I have modified mine to be taller so the geo is better. Again Custom fabrication and it is hardly ideal. Changed the oil in the damper so it is a little less damped but, really I need a new spring. The bike is heavy and all the money I saved on just getting a frame will eventually be spent on buying new stuff any way to a greater expense than if I had just saved up and bought a used complete. That said I suck at saving money so I got what I could when I could and my bike is more durable than the equivalent factory bike. I don't reckomend it but almost any 26 inch AM frame will work. EG. Kona Dawg.
  • 1 0
 Thanks
  • 1 0
 Commencal meta sx with a 180' fork, it'll handle almost anything and rids up easy enough.
  • 1 0
 Why do dh bikes often have a weird curved downtube? Ie: commencal supreme dh
  • 1 0
 just to be clear, if any of yiz ever come to ireland be warned, the word Fanny means Vagina in ireland Wink
  • 2 0
 Should it still be called mountain biking, if you don't ride on mountains?
  • 2 1
 2.3 is minimum for knarly stuff ^
  • 1 0
 Tire diameter is extremely important to the bike performance
  • 1 1
 are companies still going to make or offer wider rims (plastic or alu) for 26" wheels?
  • 2 1
 bamboo 26" wheels from ENVE for 2015
  • 2 1
 Why does wheel size matter?
  • 3 0
 It doesn't. Stay tuned for an article soon about that exact thing.... Wink
  • 1 0
 Ever ridden a hardtail with massive (think they were 2.7" in my case) tyres? I got off a 5.5" travel trail bike onto the hardtail and was dumbstruck on how much 'suspension' I had out back.
  • 1 0
 how many inches of travel do you like in the rear?
  • 2 0
 Do you even XX1?
  • 1 0
 Is there any pad that only protects the shoulders?
  • 3 0
 Shoulder pads?
  • 1 0
 www.chainreactioncycles.com/gr/en/661-sub-gear-s-s-shirt-2013/rp-prod72485 Remove the chest pads and you're set. (they're soft foram and not too protective anyway. It has great moisture wicking properties and comes prety cheap too.
  • 1 0
 i didnt bother reading the article the comments were good enough
  • 1 0
 How many riders secretly want to be Downhillers?
  • 4 4
 2.5 isn't wide enough all round?
  • 5 1
 depends on the brand
  • 1 0
 Tubeless vs Tube?
  • 3 6
 I am looking for a 150-160 travel bike, preferably 27.5/650b, pretty cheap, what bike would you recommend? I don't need carbon.
  • 6 11
flag vernonjeff (May 27, 2014 at 18:50) (Below Threshold)
 does this look like an ask the expert website? just buy a bike, get on it, ride the shit out of it until you break something buy a new bike rinse and repeat.
  • 4 2
 transition covert 27.5 3 is right around that $3000 mark, if you're looking for cheaper then check out buysell, there are soo many great deals on AM bikes there
  • 4 3
 Cheaper brands for 650b could be giant or kona, both decent in there own rights, check out Kona Process or Giant Trance
  • 3 1
 Um, vernonjeff, did you miss the AMA part of this post?

Lilshredman - I've got a Norco Range Killer B3, which you can upgrade later on and is one of the cheaper 650Bs to get into. It's been amazing.
  • 3 1
 Or a cannondale Jekyll, full slx with a pike for 2900
  • 2 1
 Trance SX
  • 3 1
 Commencal Meta AM!
  • 2 0
 go to your local walmart and buy a BSO with a floating drive train
  • 1 1
 Yt industries wicked - 650b, rockshox pike/monarch/reverb, great spec, 160mm travel and cheap.
  • 1 0
 Thanks everyone
  • 2 3
 DH converted to AM? Interesting...
  • 3 1
 or plain dumb nonsense?
  • 1 1
 Some dh bikes. Like with a dw link climb the technical stuff amazingly well and descend like.... well dh bikes. Enduring bikes now have the geometry of dh bikes from a few years ago for a reason. Super Tech climbs on a slacker bike with suspension with a good leverage curve and the right seat angle are so much easier than on most am bikes. Just stick am wheels and tyres on firm up the rear a touch and try it.
  • 1 0
 2013 Santa Cruz V10C....w/CCDB Air Shock CS, Marzocchi 66 ti, Enve wheels...sub 30lb, All-mountain Freeride!
  • 1 0
 That also costs a bagillion dollars ^ I picked up a complete Santa Cruz VP free for $600, sold some parts off it and put on lighter wheels and a single crown fork, bought bars/stem/post to get a comfortable cockpit and it doesnt have a tank-like DH feel to it, its got steeper geo than all these slack ass racer boy bikes now a days. I can pedal this bike all day with the seat post up (full length i might add) then you have 8.5" of ass kicking to play with on the way down. The whole bike was done under a grand and its awesome to pedal around with lighter wheels/tires.

Seriously, go ride one, then buy one.
  • 2 0
 I wrote about the vp free but never posted it. I did the same thing a few years back. Loved that bike. Managed some podiums on her at the dh races too as well as some big big mountain rides and some 50 mile plus cross country rides.
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