|Not entirely tech related, but some good questions that deserve answering. Racing is what you make of it - it can be a ton of fun, or it can be a stressful weekend filled with jitters - but it's something that everyone should try at least a few times, and it's always great to see a young rider expressing interest in going against the clock. Lets start with your last question, which is the most important one in my mind: how much commitment does racing take? The bottom line is that the more you commit, the better you'll do in the long run. I'm talking about specific on and off the bike training, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and proper bike setup. The other, even more bottom line is that, as you may find out, the more effort you put into your preparation, the more stressed out you might find yourself come race day. Some racers thrive on this, but many find that it takes all the fun out of it. Given that you're only fifteen, I'd recommend actually putting aside the notion of training and just go out and do a few races to find out if it's for you. Love it? Want to get faster? Consult some coaches to see if they can take you on, and I'm not just talking about fitness gurus, but also a skills coach who can fine tune your technique. This last point is one that's often thought of as unnecessary once you have some decent handling skills, but that isn't the case in a lot of major sports: most of the world's best Supercross racers, best golfers, and best drivers all keep their skills sharp by employing coaches who tell them what they're doing wrong despite the fact that they are making millions and millions of dollars or even dominating their discipline.|
Now, what races to do and what bike to ride? Start local, start small, and bring some friends along to keep it light. You can race on whatever mountain bike you already own, so long as it's safe to ride, because you're only there to find out if you're a fan of staying between the tape. Many races even have a hardtail category that you can compete in if you don't have a full-suspension bike. If you're dead set on a new long-travel machine, Specialized's Status series or Airborne's reasonably priced lineup are two good places to start. - Mike Levy
|Your skipping could be caused by the mismatched Shimano brake and Avid rotor, but I doubt it, because the only time your rear wheel chatters is when the wheel is locked and the rotor isn't moving. Your chatter is caused by a flexible wheel, brake rotor, or frame component that winds up as the rear tire grips under braking and then springs back into place when the tire' traction is exceeded, and it momentarily skids and then grips again. Where there is adequate traction, the two opposing forces begin to oscillate and create the chatter that you are complaining about. This was once a common occurrence among lightweight XC bikes when disc brakes first appeared. Inadequate spoke tension or foolishly lightweight wheel builds are the number one causes of wheel chatter under braking, but if you have a 203-millimeter brake rotor that is installed in the reversed direction, it is remotely possible that braking forces will create the same wind-up effect in rotor's wimpy spokes. The third culprit would be a flexible frame member, but the fact that the Faith's triangulated swingarm is quite rigid rules that out. - RC|
Giant's Faith is a dedicated freeriding bike with a sturdy triangulated swingarm, so we suspect that the rear-wheel chatter that boss808 is experiencing under braking is caused by insufficient spoke tension.
|Shimano's Zee group of components has a price vs. performance ratio that can make it difficult to justify forking over the dough required for Saint level components, so it's reasonable that you might find yourself second guessing spending that extra $100. If I was in your shoes, I would have gone with the Saint shifter and saved some money by choosing a Zee derailleur to go with it. The Saint shifter has a better lever feel than the the Zee, and the multi-release function lets you downshift two gears at a time, a feature that I wish all shifters had; I'd say that alone makes it worth the extra money. In a blind test it would be hard to tell the difference between the two derailleurs, and by not going with the top of the line option you'll be a little less likely to cry if it gets bashed into a rock or ripped off by a tree branch. - Mike Kazimer|
Cool FeaturesSubmit a Story to Pinkbike
RSSPinkbike RSS Feed