|Your statement that the Commencal Meta AM was a bit more capable than you were, paired with your mention that you wanted a bike that you could ride to your local mini DH tracks, indicate that one of the new-school short-travel trail bike which have recently captured the attention of the press may not be the right choice for you. The bikes you mentioned are absolutely fun to ride - and underneath accomplished riders who may have honed their skillsets on longer travel "enduro/AM" type bikes, they can be ridden at impressive speeds down DH tracks. To do so, however, those riders must be able to compensate for minimal suspension and reduced capabilities. |
The fact that you are still honing your skills leads me to suggest sticking with your Commencal and switching to faster-rolling rubber, like a Maxxis Minion DHF up front and a semi-slick SS in the rear. Fitness is easier to obtain than technical descending skill, so harden up your legs and use the Meta's extra suspension travel and more capable handling as a cushion while you work on your DH game.
The second option: buying a better pedaling bike that shares the same technical performance, would be too pricey to fall into your current budget, because lightness and efficiency usually come wrapped in carbon. That said, the Specialized Enduro 29, Ibis Mojo HD3, and Intense Tracer T275c are all sharp-pedaling and very capable AM/trailbikes. - RC
|Yes, that 15mm thru-axle should be able to handle the occasional 6' to 7' drop without any problems (that is, assuming you're touching down smoothly, and not 50/50 casing landings - when that happens it doesn't matter what size axle you have). This question will inevitably cause plenty of comments about how the 20mm thru-axle shouldn't have gone away, and while that may be true, 15mm axles have taken over. They've proven to be able to handle everything that today's riders are dishing out, and I'd be willing to bet that in a back-to-back test most riders wouldn't be able to notice the difference between a 15mm versus 20mm thru-axle. If you still think you want something beefier than that 34, the Fox 36 would be the logical suggestion, especially since it's available in a version that can be converted to a 20mm axle. - Mike Kazimer|
|Tire plugs are a simple affair and I have used them multiple times with great success over the last couple of years. Some kits come with an auger and inserter like the Sahmurai S.W.O.R.D kit that handily doubles as bar end plugs. How does it work? Clean out the hole with the auger, thread the sticky rubber plug into the inserter and push it into the hole in your tire (some kits also come with a rubber glue to help with sealing). Gently pull out the inserter and voila, the tire should be fixed, or at least the hole should be small enough for the tubeless sealant to finish off the job. Use a Co2 cartridge to inflate quickly or a pump to save creating waste, finally remove the excess plug with a sharp blade. Leov's kit appears to be similar to this RavX repair kit and also it's worth checking out Richard Cunningham's review of the Dynaplug Micro Pro kit. - Paul Aston|
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