Ask Pinkbike: Less Travel Not Less Fun, 15mm Thru Axles and Tire Plugs

Apr 19, 2016
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.

Less Travel is Not Always More Fun

Question: RayH asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: Looking at the recent bike reviews on PB (Banshee Spitfire, Norco Optic, Devinci Django), it’s apparent that another new class of bike is emerging. I have no idea what they're collectively called, but the labels "short travel AM" and "aggressive trail" seems to suit this emerging group. Having a Commencal AM (150mm rear, 160mm Lyrik), and realizing that it is a bit more capable than I am, I'm looking for something lighter with slightly less travel, but better pedaling, so I can cycle to my local mini DH trail. Being a student, I can budget £1k, so that limits me to the bikes of a few years in age. Trends can sometimes be cyclical, so perhaps there's something available for me similar to the likes of the brand new Spitfires and Optics. A little research tells me to look at Stumpjumper Evos (around 2012) and Saracen Ariels (2012 on), which have good reviews

Commencal Meta 5 2015 Iron Mountain and Ted s
Commencal's Meta V4 may not be the sharpest pedaling bike in the AM/trail arena, but its technical handling is impressive. It's a perfect trail bike for riders with good legs who want to get to the next level with their technical games.

bigquotesYour 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

15mm Thru Axles?

Question: Dizmo asks in the Freeride & Slopestyle forum: I've been out of the game for a while, and the 15mm axle really seems to have caught on with 160mm forks. I plan on building up a new bike, likely a Wildcard. I do a mix of everything riding wise, focused a lot on the down. Nothing too crazy, though, I'd say 6' or 7' drops very occasionally being the max. Can the 15mm axle handle this? I've been eyeing a Fox 34 160mm w/15mm axle in particular. Just worried it's not up to abuse.

bigquotesYes, 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

The Fox 36 is available with lowers that can be converted from a 15mm to a 20mm thru axle.

Tire Plugs?

Question: Pinkbike user warehouse asked this question in the Mechanics Lounge Forum: In Justin Leov's bike check, there is a photo and caption describing a tire plug and Co2 cartridge for quick flat repair. How does the tire plug work?

bigquotesTire 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

Justin Leov bike check
Leov's tire plug tool taped to the downtube of his Canyon Strive with the sticky rubber plug pre-installed, along with the Co2 cartridge that screws into the back of the Topeak bottle cage.

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


  • 153 5
 I pedal a 7"X 7" freeride 26er uphill because it's much more "fun" to case the heck out of a jump on the way down and ride away like it ain't no thing.
  • 36 1
 preach it brother. Pun intended, but it's what I ride.
  • 24 2
 Hell yeah! I ride a similar set up and its pain on the ups but so much fun on downhills and will take incredulous amounts of abuse!
  • 46 0
 "Fitness is easier to obtain than technical descending skill, so harden up your legs..."

That is some f#cking truth right there! Lets face it, most of us can probably afford to be in a little better shape than we currently are and I most definitely include myself in that group. When it comes down to it, having fun going downhill, off jumps or drop, and railing corners is what this is all about. Just last night I let a co-worker borrow my bike after only riding a 100mm xc bike with a blown fork. This guy is a dirtbiker, or should I say was, he's now officially hooked on MTB. Going fast downhill is what makes mountain biking fun and worth the uphill effort. He literally looked at me and said, "I get it now!". So I say suck it up, pedal that beast up and it will be worth it!
  • 17 1
 @millsr4: I went from the 6 travel rigs to a trek fuel 9.9 with 130 pike up front 120 mm rear..I find now that my downhill skills have improved that the shorter travel fuel ex rails and makes the climb somewhat enjoyable...It sucks if u case a gap but forces u to ride smoother..I feel as if its added a different element to shredding..
  • 30 4
 If you're in the market for a carbon 160mm bike, ladies and gentlemen, this is your year. To all the saps who bought bikes "beyond their abilities", keep on buying the hype, we thank you for your support.
  • 1 0
 @bohns1: I 100% agree with you and when I can afford another bike, I'm going to go out and buy something very similar to what you just described. For someone like my friend who is new and still learning I have to completely agree with what RC said, it's nice to have that extra bit of forgiveness.
  • 7 0
 Yeah, I'll take bogging down on a tight uphill switchback once in a while for the extra forgiveness in the places I can actually hurt myself.
  • 6 0
 I spent all summer on a 160mm bike with coil suspension and dh wheels in 2.5" rubber, never did I worry about the bike or have to change my lines because of the bike.... Me chickening out would be a different story
  • 20 2
 for EFFF sakes, what is going on with this industry. 6 years ago they were telling me that these short travel all mountain bikes were the bees knees, 3 years later, it was 6"+ a must with single rings and 100 rear cogs....dammit all...

good things I keep my bikes! I just yank one off the wall and tell the industry to go f off...I ride what I want, not what you tell me to ride...
  • 8 0
 As I have given up any pretense of me ever being any good going downhill, I recently 'downgraded' from 160mm to 140mm as I was really 'overbiked'. I was using the 160mm bike (Slash) as an aggressive trail bike, with an emphasis on descending... wow it was a pain to get to the top of hills, but yes - I was always too knackered to give it anywhere near 100% on the down hills!.

I'm enjoying the 140mm less aggressive bike much much more... I am not the biggest fan of climbing, but in Switzerland, the ups are as big as the downs, so it's a must. Climbing on the lesser travel bike is night and day different.
  • 13 6
 I must say I wasn't expecting RC to answer like that. I had a Nomad and then traded it for 120 Blur. After half of a year I bulked my Blur up with 36 fork and Minion tyres ending up where I left the 7" bike. Got back to 7" frame now. Short travel bikes are not as efficient and hasty as one may imagine, I think the component choice, tyres in particular, is what really makes it work the way you like it. Latest 120 bikes have one problem, the shock setup must be immaculate, you need your SAG to be set down to milimeters and paired with good compression tune, which usually requires sending the shock for Pushing. Otherwise the rear either can't cope with what modern geo can throw at it, feels like a hardtail on small speeds, or it becomes exactly as wobbly as 7" bike and with current suspension development Enduro bikes are not wobbly by any means. You can or you can't.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I wasn't expecting an answer like that either - aren't we all supposed to hone our skills on hardtails!? What's this RC character thinking, that guy will never learn to ride on a full suspension, all he'll learn is to plough through terrain and we all know of course suspension is no substitute for skillz /sarcasm> actually quite refreshing to hear this point of view.
My own experience of moving from full on 160mm bikes to a bit less suspension has been a very good one but judging by what everyone else has said on the topic I think it very much depends on what bike you're going from and to. A poorer short travel bike will likely have the same short comings as a long travel bike and some of the best long travel bikes may well have the same advantages as a shorter travel bike. And it can be difficult to quantify our own skill level and also the level of the trails we ride so it's seems a cop out to say it but maybe the best thing you can do is get some demos and see what suits you best. And then buy a Vitus Razz
  • 8 3
 @ThomDawson: Trolling is bad mmmkay? Big Grin I had experience with relatively well setup 110-130 bikes Yeti ASR5, BlurTr, Camber Evo, Process 111 and Rocky Altitude. Yeti was brilliant with Rp23 Boost Valve. Kona on some Monarch was good. My Blur worked just ok after I pushed the CTD factory but terrible before doing it, then Rocky with Standard CTD was a disaster. Small changes in SAG meant everything. I think Blur simply needed a coil shock or one of those coil like air shocks, to be more consistent through the travel. It just sucks to have a bike that feels harsh and then everytime you load it, it blows into the middle of the travel, wasting the pump. Even with well setup Process 111, there is a fine line for the bike to feel good, between going to slow when it feels almost like HT and going too fast where the rear stops coping with what geo allows you to throw at it. Biggest difference between 160 and 120 bikes I noticed is that they accelerate, sprint and pump better (when setup within those tight tolerances) but I honestly think that ithose bikes shine in limited kinds of terrain rather smoother but fast trails. I can imagine them being kings of those flow trails in trail centers or for super technic... Bumpy terrain where you can't pick up too much speed anyways. 140- 170 bikes may be sluggish at times, especially in XCish kinds of riding (frequent ups and downs) but it allows for better experience in most cases. They are also less tricky to setup. And they are absolute blast on descents. Perhaps 110-130 on plus tyres may be the deal maker. But well that comes from a limited experience and riding skill Big Grin
  • 3 0
 @preach AMEN!!!
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: good points. How a bike rides has so much to do with the tires you are running. I'm a big fan of doing more with less, but shorter bikes don't automatically pedal all that much better.
  • 4 0
 @SlodownU: no thanks. When I realized that my 100mm HT wasn't enough for me and my local trails, I went for the 140mm all squish bike. I already know that 160mm travel is outside my hucking abilities and that 160mm of travel is not fun uphill no matter what the reviews state!

Enjoy what ya ride and ride it like you stole that biotch!
  • 7 1
 @Shinobi13: How a bike climbs is more of a function of its design vs. it's travel. There are a few 160mm bikes that climb really, really well, and can be built up to weigh less than 30lbs. Go ride a Mojo HD, RFX, or Tracer 275. Those bikes climb better than a lot of 140mm bikes. This notion that 160mm bikes don't climb well is just another thing that the marketing is trying to sell you.
  • 4 0
 150mm rear... 160-170mm front... get fit... set it up properly... fly on the way down....HD3, Warden.. the sweetspot IMHO..
  • 1 0
 Now that there is no more UCI WC 4X it seems like our (or at least the media) perception of what a short (or no) travel bike can do on rough terrain is limited to XC riding. Yes a lot of it was on BMX type tracks, but it could be pretty steep with rock gardens as well. Remember Vigo '07 (or pull out that old Earthed video)? Get in a tiny bit of rear wheel travel and you can go even further. And yes there have been capable bikes like that in the past. What is that Specialized SX bike? It is the bike Specialized had back in 2003 as the Enduro SX (aimed at "supercross"). Not only the bike Matt Hunter used to chase the cows in the Collective video, but also the bike Anneke Beerten rode to second place in the Lisbon Urban DH race (after AC Chausson). They later came with the new Enduro line which also contained an SX model. It was only later that the whole SX thing started its own life and increased travel. DMR has the Bolt now, I think Intense and Yeti had cool stuff back in the day as well (though these are never going to be cheap). And there is the Transition Bottlerocket. So yeah, getting aggressive on short travel bikes isn't as new as the media makes you think it is. You can get good fun short travel from back in the day. If you also take this slopestyle thing into consideration, you may also consider German direct sales stuff from Rose, Canyon and the discontinued YT Play. Just don't expect to sit down climbing Wink .
  • 3 3
 " and ride away like it ain't no thing."

Double negative, so it is a thing? Wink
  • 2 0
 incredible > incredulous.
  • 3 0
 @Lagr1980: yah - I'm running 150 f&r and it's the perfect sweet spot for everything
  • 2 0
 @ThomDawson: I'm in the same boat as you - finding that a shorter travel but playful bike is more my cup of tea for all around fun (in my case, that's a Process 111 now). For me, even some of the more capable trail bikes seem like a bit of overkill. But this guy is riding terrain he's describing as "mini DH", and he says he's only moderately skilled - and he's got a rather low budget. At that price point, there's no way he'll find anything from that recent crop of shorter travel yet still capable bikes. So trading away his Meta to then ride a 4 or 5 year old bike (from before the latest round of innovation) is probably not going to end well.

On my Process, the aggressive geometry makes it really fun - but the relatively short travel limits what a not-so-skilled rider can do with it. I've seen people take that bike down way bigger drops than I'm comfortable with, and go way faster than me on pretty rough terrain - if I wanted to follow those people, I'd need to either seriously up my skills (and my comfort level), or I'd need a bunch of extra forgiveness from the bike. So in that way, RC's reasoning makes sense - for a young person, a bit of extra fitness to ride up is a lot easier to come by than the money to buy a new-ish (and expensive) bike, so the trade would leave him with something that would suck for most of the riding he does.
  • 1 2
 Less travel is always more fun. The problem is your body has to do the work of the suspension and it gets tired way faster.
@Waki, 120 rear suspension should be as stiff as possible, try to set it up like a hard tail. That way you are less likely to bottom out.
  • 2 0
 Same here,I pedal my TR250 anywhere,so what if its a bit heavy who cares as long as you rip the hell out of any trails on the way down.....
  • 2 0
 I feel like I should add the reason I'm riding a 130/150 travel bike is not to get me up any hills easier, I like to earn my turns but what I really care about is going downhill as fast as I can and my current bike with shorter travel does that better than my previous three with longer suspension. The advantages for me are that I can open it up just as much on our roughest tracks (if not more with the advantage of modern shock techs), drop and jump the same size stuff but it's still rideable, jibbable and piss aboutable when you're not pretending to be a WC DH racer or if one of your idiot friends persuades you to go on a 50Km xc ride Razz
  • 1 0
 I'm not a fan of patching a lack of skill with a more capable bike. Yes it gets you through terrain faster where a less capable (or at least steeper less travel) bike would have had you crashing. But if you don't have the skills to tackle technical terrain, do you have the skills and physical strength to cope with crashes at these higher speeds you'll find yourself traveling there? I believe you'll have to build that. Gradually improve your riding skills and in the process, you'll improve your crashing skills as well.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I'm with you - that's why, personally, I sold my first ever FS bike (6" travel Reign) and got a mid-travel 29er. I found that (a) the bike made me feel invincible and (b) the bike only became fun when I was going faster than I had any real business going. Or, in other words, the capable bike was either not much fun (because going slow, within my skills envelope, it felt lumbering and boring), or it was fun but had me going beyond my skill level. I recognized that this was going to get me badly hurt.

I went from that mid-travel 29er to another, more playful and more aggressive one. My skills have improved, and I'm going faster than I did on my old Reign back then - but am doing so in more control. All around, it's more fun - not just on technical/steep terrain, but in rolling/flowing terrain as well. I'm having a lot of fun riding this way.

Here's the thing, though - it's not just for developing skill levels that the smaller, less capable bike may be more fun. My bike has reasonably aggressive geometry. The only things a more capable bike would get me is way more monster trucking ability through rockgardens (we don't really have a lot of those around here...), and the ability to absorb bigger hits (I prefer rolling to hucking, and big drops or doubles are really not my thing given that I'm middle-aged, self-employed, and MTB is may secondary sport and I'd like to stay uninjured for my main one). But that works because I have lots of terrain around here (Bellingham) that is optimal for that sort of riding. If I lived in Squamish? Hell yeah, I'd probably trade in my Process 111 for a 153 or something similarly capable.
  • 2 0
 @vw4ever: werd. Also, kudos on the classy reference in your name...
  • 2 0
 @VwHarman: back atcha Smile
  • 57 0
 6 to 7 feet can be convert in 12 to 15 pinkbike foot.
  • 15 1
 Just like the fish I caught!
  • 10 1
 metric foot, of course.
  • 3 0
 Is there a metric foot? In Sweden I learned they measure distances in Swedish miles where one Swedish mile is ten (metric) kilometers. So that makes the Swedish mile metric as well. So we'll have to ask the Swedes whether they also have their Swedish foot (which may be metric). We could ask WAKI, but we could end up in a endless rant as they don't measure in foot but in ski instead. Anyone dares to?
  • 33 3
 uggghhh... carbon, carbon, carbon.. you don't need a carbon bike to have a light bike.. usually a carbon frame of the same model saves you 1/2 a pound, just have one less scoop of ice cream per night..

that said.. I ride an aluminum stumpy albeit a 2016.. I usually have the lamest bike on our group rides, but guess what? I am not slower than the guys on the carbon nomads, just have a little more in the bank..
  • 10 0
 I agree. If you pick your components right, you can get an aluminum bike very light
  • 32 2
 Have you ever had icecream every night?
  • 4 0
 13,3 kg fabien's polygon ... and it s alu
  • 3 1
 Agreed, my last DH rig was 16.5kg from a stock standard Aluminium Giant Glory. Thats with pedals and decent tyres and tubes. Haven't seen many carbon bikes that light off the shelf. YT are only just getting close with the Tues 3 years after my giant was released.
  • 3 0
 Agree with all. I've got a Meta AM V4 like the dude in the article. If you choose your components carefully (and no, you don't always need the priciest ones), you can easily drop below the weight of some carbon bikes. Also, I've just heard (and seen) too many horror stories of cracked carbon frames and they tend to start creaking a lot quicker.

Lastly, I bet I can squeeze out 1/2 a pound with a good shit.
  • 1 0
 @UtahBikeMike: I try to, but I don't have to worry about my weight..
  • 4 0
 I'd rather poop before a ride and buy a carbon bike. Then I can have beer and icecream, boom! Winning!
  • 1 0
 @UtahBikeMike: well played..
  • 30 3
 Just make the Pike a true 20x110 and get rid of the 15x110 all-together, please!
  • 16 1
 I agree, 15mm was always seen as a crutch solution.......a soft landing into thru axle forks. Give me a 20MM as standard.
  • 20 3
 @rivercitycycles: do you guys really have issues with the 15 mm axle? Not trying to be a dick, I'm just curious
  • 10 0
 @captaintyingknots: Do you remember all the debate when Fox and Shimano joined forces on the 15mm thru axle "standard" was billed as the be all end all standard for forks. Rock Shox had the 20mm Maxle Lite which in my opinion was the standard and the weight savings if any were so small compared to the positives. Now fast forward almost ten years to the B@@ST standard at 110MM just seems to me the industry has come full circle and you wait 20MM is on the horizon for 150mm+ forks. I know B@@ST is not just the axle spacing but flange spacing for the perfect +wheel build. Don't get me wrong, as an engineer I deal with continuous improvement daily but their was nothing wrong with the 20mm Maxle other than SRAM held a patent and Fox/Shimano couldn't get around it and make it appear better to the the 15mm was born.
  • 5 1
 @rivercitycycles: Thanks for the background. I came from the XC side of things so I didn't know much about that "standardization" process for through axles.
  • 17 2
 @rivercitycycles: How the fuk can you own a patent on the size of an axle? Only in 'Murica.
  • 1 1
 @FrEeZa getting rid of 15 mm axles all together would just piss off everyone who wasn't already pissed off by the lack of 20mm axles....its too late to back out
  • 3 0
 @jesse-woodward: I have nothing against the 15x100 axle, you can convert a standard 9mm hub to a 15mm hub in a matter of minutes and then you will have something sturdier and overall safer than the 9mm. I am just against the 15x110mm that the latest Pike incorporates. The axle is of smaller diameter, which does result in a bit more flex than the 20mm axle. I do not believe it is lighter than the 20 and that it is the best of all worlds. The gussets have almost identical dimensions, but the overall stiffness is still inferior. I doubt ANY of the people here would have anything against 21.2g more weight in the axle department, but having a stiffer and stronger chassis. Aye?
  • 10 0
 15mm, the second best solution to a problem that didn't exist.
  • 3 0
 @rivercitycycles: But he asked if you actually had actual issues with 15mm. As in usage issues that you can categorically say wouldn't have happened on 20mm.
  • 2 0
 having destroyed a 2015 pike on its fifth or so ride, I couldn't agree more. I'm not a heavy rider either. Props to SRAM for taking care of me, but had it been a 20mm I doubt it would have happened. I twisted the lowers and got my thru axle completely locked in my fork. Had to drill out the axle just to get my wheel free.
  • 4 0
 @Boardlife69: They have a patent on the way the axle is held in the fork lowers not the axle size.
  • 1 2
 Because... ?
  • 4 2

You can't own a measurement, but you can own a design of a 15 mm axle.
  • 4 0
 The constant changing of 'standards' has really left me feeling like MTB isn't the sport I thought it was. I don't actually give a sh*t about bikes- I just want to ride them- and all these changes means it feels like the companies are actively making it harder for people to access the sport. Now if I break my bike I need so much new stuff it's ridiculous. In all honesty I feel like once the bike I own is gone I don't actually know if I'll be able to afford another one.
  • 5 0
 @NR8productions: pinkbike buysell section bud, some sweet deals there
  • 20 0
 I just had a portobello mushroom open face Montecristo sandwich
  • 6 0
 I am most excited about this. Pics?
  • 28 9
 6" to 7" Drops. LOL.
  • 31 1
 152.4 mm drops. Huge.
  • 14 1
 @Miller16SD: Better get a 20mm axle then.
  • 42 0
 Maybe he meant feet? They replied to him as if that's what he meant anyway. People on the internet don't know the difference between "then" and "than," or "your" and "you're." Mixing up the shorthand for feet and inches wouldn't come as much of a surprise.
  • 5 0
 @RichPianabol: I still have my 2001 175mm Monster T. I've been considering building an old-school freeride bike around it. I sweat that thing will never break.
  • 3 0
 Asked by a 3 years old maybe. Or ant man.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: Just ask Spinal Tap
  • 1 4
 6" > 6'
  • 13 1
 He actually did use the correct shorthand. One little dash represents feet.
  • 15 1
 They corrected it. Originally, it read 6" and 7".
  • 9 0
 That guy wants a faster bike, I'm finding it's less in the travel/geo and more in the TIRES/shock tune
  • 2 0
 Definitely true for my Nomad.
  • 4 0
 @DrPete: I had a wire bead Ardent on the back of my all-mountain bike for a while and I started worrying that I had a heart condition or something. God it was slow. A fast-rolling rear makes a world of difference
  • 10 0
 110 x 20mm, solid feel, glad I never changed
  • 8 1
 Pedal my 7" travel, 26" wheeled bike up like a savage....
Have a party on the way down.
  • 5 0
 Can vouch for tire plugs. The cheapo ones saved my tires for the weekend until I could patch the inside of the tire with a regular tube patch.
  • 1 0
 I can vouch that the cheapest auto zone tire plugs hold up bomber once properly installed and are basically a permanent fix for punctures that may outlast the tread itself.
  • 1 0
 I bought some to leave in my pack for long rides. I had a 3-4 mm cut in the tread of my rear, and tried to install a plug... wow it was a pain to get it inserted properly (not enough, then too much, then I couldn't remove it, lost one inside the tire etc) then make sure it all sealed up. I thought it was a one off, but had the same issue with another smaller hole recently.

When the plugs were in place, I suspect that they'd have probably stayed forever, but I removed them and patched the tire, just to be sure. Probably 90% user error on the installation, and I'll keep them in my pack, but I am not totally convinced.
  • 2 0
 @Marc2211: I've had good luck when its a small round hole. . . a longer, 3-4 mm line cut is probably gonna be harder to patch, your right. Either way, wait until you get home and install it, let it sit for a few hours so the rubber cement seals around it. the cheapo auto parts plugs are bigger than mtb specific ones i believe. got a whole kit for $1.99. On the trail i'd just throw a tube in and get on with riding.
  • 3 0
 This is a well-timed bit of advice. I was thinking about switching from the Nomad to the Bronson v2 because the Nomad is "too much" for my normal trails but I also race enduro. Before this advice came up I got a Minion SS rear/Aggressor front combo and got a faster-rolling bike out of it.

Yeah, it's "too much bike" for most of what I ride, but it's nice to be back at work in one piece on Monday morning after a less-than-perfect stage, and the new rubber changed the ride a lot.
  • 28 0
 It's fun to have "too much bike", on lazy days just slowly head up and then the downhill is so effortless and fun. The key is having other bikes that are not too much bike. Actually the key is to always have multiple bikes... and always be on the lookout for more bikes.

More bikes is very key.
  • 9 0
 @warmerdamj: I believe this is commonly referred to as " N + 1"
  • 4 0
 @warmerdamj: Try telling my wife that...
  • 7 1
 "a new class of bike"????

shorter travel AM/Trail/Enduro/Freeride/Whathaveyou bikes have been around forever.
  • 8 0
 marketing, we need to sell more AM bikes. New bike, new trend, sheep follow. Look into this light and repeat after me "AM bikes with less travel than an Enduro is a fun and new class of bikes"
  • 3 0
 I understand pedaling your bike uphill is just a process to the main goal of riding downhill. I think everyone can agree that it can be tough climbing uphill. People complain about it, is human nature. That's where the bike manufactures comes in and sell you products based on those feelings! I say man up! Pedal your DH, Freeride, 7/7, long travel trail bikes uphill and don't give a shit about being a tough climb cause you will be fully rewarded when you reach the top!
  • 4 0
 Great way to put a guy down with a "you can't afford it" attitude.....
For a 1000 you could get an amazing hardtail frame and fork which will play to your fitness an DEFINITELY build your trail skill
  • 1 0
 I like the recommendation of an Ibis Mojo HD3 to a guy working on a $1000 budget - those things are like £4000-8000 new :s
  • 2 0
 Faaaaaaaakkkkkk! 4" travel trail bikes aren't new. My 2000 Rocky Element Race was a 4" travel trail bike. Why the Fbomb does the industry have to try and tell us everything is new? its not like 4" travel bikes haven't been available along side all of the 5 and 6 inch bikes over the past 10 years. What's next new thing in the pipe, 3" travel DH bikes? Yeah its been done back when the RS Judy DH fork came out. Don't forget to label those elastomer bumpers as new too. 2016 is the year of everything old is "new".
  • 5 0
 What model of Topeak bottle cage is that?
  • 1 0
 Im still using my 2012 factory float 36 160mm fork 20mm axle , quick releases et no tools. Love it still. Im even using 2.3 maxxis dhf 650b tire on a wtb i23 team frequency rim on hope pro 2 evo. Its been a bomb proof setup . All the new standards can suck it.
  • 1 0
 I keep my plug tool ready with a plug on it and in my pocket so when I puncture I can jump off and plug it immediately before too much air escapes. Then I just give it a spin and usually don't have to add any more air.
  • 4 1
 Not really sure how an axle size could affect dropping ability.
  • 15 2
 A smaller axle size can shear easier on hard impacts.
  • 4 0
 @Jepaca: I'm sure it could, but I highly doubt it would, unless op is a hulk/bender hybrid.
  • 2 0
 @mountainbiker929: Yup, as PB said unless you're 230lbs or hucking to flat off of 7 foot drops you're gonna be fine.
  • 12 0
 @BullMooose: i better stick with my 20mm axles then
  • 1 0
 @Fattymcbutterpants: Uh, yeah. 245+ geared up, and hitting 7 foot drops, my 15mm axle is holding up fine.
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: uh, yeah. Maybe worry about something other than what axle size other people ride.
  • 2 1
 tire plugs from autoparts store work great...even for tubeless pinchflats in the long as you can get the plug in next to the rim it's good to go
  • 2 0
 How the f*ck is a 1" shorter fork and some geo tweaks lighter?
It's cause the frame is weaker?
  • 2 0
 but maybe not with such an agressive geometry...
  • 1 1
 I do 6" drops to flat on a "xc" bike whith qr wheels

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