Ask Pinkbike: Climbing Help, Clipless Pedals for DH, Fender Questions

Nov 5, 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.



Wandering Ways

Question: Pinkbike user foobajoob asked this question in the All-Mountain, Enduro and Cross-Country forum: I'm looking for some advice on how to improve my climbing. I've noticed that my bike's steering gets very twitchy when I'm climbing, and it's hard to keep on a nice, smooth line. I'm wondering if using a wider handlebar would help, or if it's just a skill that I need to improve on? My current handlebar is 680mm wide, and I'm thinking of moving up to 720 - 740mm. Is this a worthwhile upgrade?


bigquotesLike everyone here at Pinkbike, I'm a proponent of running a handlebar wider than the tiny 680mm model that you've been using. Yes, going to a wider handlebar is going to slow the steering down and make the bike feel less twitchy, but this will be something that you'll likely notice more at higher speeds than when you're snaking your way up a slow, technical climb. Having said that, I'm going to put most of the blame of your wandering ways on riding technique, and the good thing about that is that it doesn't cost you anything to fix. Basically, the steeper the hill you're riding up becomes, the more your center of gravity is shifed towards the back of the bike, which in turn makes your front end very light feeling. Less weight on your front tire makes it hard to steer, obviously, so make a conscious effort to slide up on your saddle until the nose of the seat is in a place where you'd usually prefer it not be. At the same time, bend down at the waist to move your head lower to the stem. The combination of your lowered weight and you moving forward on the seat will make a world of difference, but you should still ditch that skinny handlebar. - Mike Levy

BC Bike Race 2012
Having your weight low and forward on the seat is key to cleaning steep climbs.




Which Clipless Shoes and Pedals For DH?

Question: Pinkbike user ZTSH asked this question in the All-Mountain, Enduro and Cross-Country forum: After riding flats for a while, I have decided to move to clipless. What combination of shoes and pedals would you advise for quite a 'loose' clip for being able to bail easily?

bigquotes I personally use Crank Brothers Mallets as my pedal of choice, and when it comes to performance and fit I still can't find anything to top my old pair of Shimano DX shoes. I bought them in 2011 for $30, and they had already had a hard life. An hour or so with a drill to move the cleats back a further 5mm from maximum to get the ball of my foot over the axle. I also drilled some holes in the footbed to give some extra flexibility and allow more of the sole to sit on the pedal body. The Mallets are easy to clip in an out of, and the adjustable pins mean you can set them to grip your shoe as much as you want, giving the feeling you are used to with flats rather than that floaty feel of standing on an icecube. I feel that you also gain more control as you can feel and manipulate the bike more. This pairing gives me the closest feeling I have found to flat pedals from any combinations so far. Above all of this I think the main benefit of a Mallet type pedal is, that if you are unclipped, especially in some mud or tech, you can just stomp your foot back on and carry on riding with a good level of control and grip compared to anything else. - Paul Aston

Clipless shoes and pedals

A wide platform makes the Mallets well suited for DH usage.





What Type of Fender is Best?

Question: PB user Lselby99 asked the following in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: I'm looking to buy a fender to keep the water out of my face and off my clothes and back. What type of fender is the best at covering what area?

bigquotesGetting sprayed in the face by cold, wet mud for hours at a time is no fun, which is why a simple fender can be worth its weight in gold. Here in the Pacific Northwest, some sort of front fender is a necessity for late fall and winter riding, where rain and mud are almost guaranteed. The huge moto-style fenders that were once en vogue have fallen out of favor for sleeker, yet still highly effective solutions. Basically, the goal is to block the mud that's getting flung up by the front wheel, and there are two main ways to go about this, with the store bought versions of each available for less than $20 USD.

The first method involves affixing an old tube, or using a pre-made solution like Race Face's Mud Crutch, between the fork's crown and arch. This is effective, but occasionally the tube or fabric will buzz the tire, and I've found that it doesn't provided quite as much protection compared to an under-the-arch fender, something along the lines of what Mucky Nutz or Marsh Guard offer. There are DIY methods to make this style of fender as well, and whether you use an old milk jug or the front cover of a spiral bound notebook, 20 minutes of arts and crafts time should be enough to rig up one of your own.

When it comes to rear fenders, I usually go without - a little extra dirt on my back doesn't bother me, especially considering how much mud is going to end up on my knees and shins, and I've found that shorts with a water resistant rear panel do well enough to keep me comfortable on those soggy rides. If you really want a rear fender, there are simple plastic solutions that attach to the rails of your seat and extend six inches or so back, enough to block a portion of the mud that's getting tossed up by the rear wheel.
- Mike Kazimer

fender Ask Pinkbike

Easy to install, and very effective, these two fender styles go a long ways towards making wet weather riding more enjoyable.






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


111 Comments

  • 32 1
 Just my observation here, and i'm certainly not your average Pinkbike member, but the answer to the clipless pedals for DH use doesn't seem to truly address the question asked in any type of informative manner, merely offering the opinion of the individual answering the question.

there is no discussion of such things as features to consider in various pedals, things like float, tension adjustment, availability of multirelease cleats, etc. these are all factors to consider when selecting a clipless pedal for any use. instead the answerer merely relates the story of modifying a pair of used shoes (which are no longer on the market, thus making the advice even less applicable) and his results with them.

while people's opinions are valuable tools in researching experiences, this answer does very little to provide anything that usefully addresses the question.

/end_rant
  • 5 1
 Completely agree. Sure a lot of people like Mallets - but not everyone. It would have been good if the reviewer considered some of the other options (e.g. HT, VX, Time) to how these would perform as a comparison.
  • 4 2
 i personally hate crankbros, too much float .... i dont really see the point of having "dh specific " clips and stuff , its all prefernce . i prefer shimano over cb, or ht ........
  • 2 1
 ^^^ +1, and Crank bros dont have the disengagement stop that Shimano has. its also tons of fun when a rock or pedal strike unclips your foot unexpectedly.
  • 1 2
 yea , usually wen that happens your already probly not having the best time , may aswell lose one of the 4 limbs attaching you to the bike for safe measure haha! "sarcasm"
  • 5 1
 Also should note that time pedals offer a very similar system but without any of the durability/reliablity issues that crank bros are prone to and at a much more sensible price
  • 1 4
 not if you buy the carcon onse :p
  • 5 0
 My old Time Attack DH pedals are great, never clog, and offer loads of extra support. Running smooth and un-serviced since 2005! They still have the same basic design in the range now.

Shoes wise I have Northwave Missions, which are more all day than DH, but I used some BMX style spd shoes for a week last year (no idea which brand), and they where a bit flexy for all day, but loads of grip on the platform.
  • 4 0
 I have to agree with Time. I used to run SPD religiously and never really liked CB, but for the last 5 years I've been totally enamored with Time. They have all the adjust-ability, never clog and seem to be extremely durable. I haven't had to replace a pair yet. I have them on my xc bike, enduro and DH rig.
  • 1 0
 carbon* but i think ill trya pair next year
  • 25 7
 Mike has touched two important things about climbing: relatively static fore-aft balance and dynamic effect of handling, both having dramatic inuence on effectivness of climbing. When handling precision gets really important, for instance if you approach a rocky and rooty section, then standing up is a must. You have to bring your CoG above the front wheel. Throw away any half-truths on effectiveness of seated vs standing pedaling. They are goid for roadies and fireroad warriors and this is where they should stay. It requires basic strength training (bodyweight is fine - sun salutations, pistol squats, single leg BW dead lifts) to stabilize the hips and strenghten the lower back as otherwise you will just kill it. Another bit about standing pedalling will be eventual loss of climbing grip. Let's leave tyre aside. You must be able to shift your balance back and forth eventually put weight on the saddle for crucial moments (edge of larger step in wet for example) as someone pointed out above easy gear is very treacherous. Hard gear offers more grip as you apply same power over larger distance. "Hard" gear also provides better balance, not mentioning dramatic decrease in chance of hitting a rock with your pedal. Spinning fast circles is again great for road or fireroad, not in technical terrain.

As to cockpit setup, one issue is that if you run high fork with slack HA you may like travel adjustable fork to drop the front end. If you do want to stay slack and high, the short stem 35-60mm will destabilize it well enough at slow climbing speeds so that you get additional control. Wider bars will be then necessary to stabilize things at high speeds.

Stand up, be active!

Cheers!!!
  • 4 2
 Agreed.
  • 6 0
 Indeed, mike should have really touched on the bike geometry aspect: slacker the bike, the more you have to compensate with body position to make the bike climb well. XC machines don't have steeper head angles for no reason: it allows you to climb steeper grades easier, & let's you climb more technical climbs that, at a given skill level, you wouldn't be able to climb at all on a slacker bike.

after all, If you're using all your attention & energy to fight the front end, you're not going to have much left to make any technical moves you need to clean a tricky section.
  • 7 18
flag parkkills (Nov 5, 2014 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 disagree, my Knolly is slack as hell, and it will clean everything.
  • 3 0
 i agree with Waki. Love these types of articles. Wish there were better videos that explained this. Most videos about climbing just show someone sitting on the front of there saddle spinning away. Thats great until things get really vertical fast or you start throwing rocks and roots in there. If anyone has seen any good videos on this please post them here! great read
  • 2 0
 One of the most important things in mountain biking balance that is overlooked is eye sight. When riding slow or fast, look ahead and not at your tire or directly in front of your tire. Look ahead, like 25 to 75 meters ahead.
  • 4 0
 Agree too and nothing helps your climbing more than climbing on a FS 26er. Do that for awhile and get on a XC 29er and you will be a much better climber. Guys that have been riding for a long time crush climbs on 29ers b/c we grew up climing on 26ers. Anyway - as far as standing goes I feel you need to add that your standing position is also very critical. You want to be in a position where you can read the terrain and use your ass to keep your rear tire in play. What I mean is as you clear an obstacle on a climb your seat needs to hit your ass so it will plant the rear tire on the rock or root so that pedal stroke to clear the object is effective. It is well documented in this youtube clip www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAIoI0ito9c
  • 4 2
 29ers do climb very well, I was shocked what I could do. This is for me where the roll over and tyre patch really come into action on big wheels - climb. (On downhills I feel BB drop stability and feedback from the front wheel provided by larger leverage - not so much roll over as at speed suspension takes care of that) If you have a good rear tyre you can literally stomp like an idiot and you will have a hard time to lose traction, even on gravel. I could not believe it on some wet rooty and rocky climbs how much impunity there is on 29er.

A great thing about slack head angle is that it is an incentive to stand up more (like harder single ring setups, the "old school" 36t back). Standing up is good for long fireroad climbs as well. I was climbing 1500m on 10-12% sloping asphalt road this summer and I appreciated the capacity to stand up aevery now and then. I was taking one straight seated, then switchback and another one standing, and repeat. That allows you to switch some groups of muscles, so some get at least relative rest. I remember though those few hour long climbs I made long time ago with weak back and hips, where I was just tied to the seat and as soon as I stood up my lower back was giving me terrible pain. This horrible feeling of you position on the bike getting more and more fetal and moving up and down with torso which was just worsening everything.
  • 1 3
 @WAKI: 29ers climb better thanks to the extra "BB drop", not thanks to the extra 5.5% roll over.
The bigger the bb drop, the less energy is lost by the rear wheel trying to lift the frontwheel. With twice the bb drop, there is twice more efficiency.
  • 1 0
 it's also interesting how long it's taken us to get to this latest generation of AM bikes, that have slack head angles and steep seat angles. the spesh enduro has had it for several years, but a lot more of the bikes seem to be going this way.
  • 2 2
 Powderturns - I always get sht for it but to me it is a but of a hoax with steeper seat angle. XC racing and XC Marathon bikes have 72-73 seat angles and in which other format you have more focus on climbing? That is maybe vague argument but the second one is the fork on am bikes. You loose tremendous amount of effectivity and comfort due to sporting a 150-170 fork up front. Dropping fork to 120mm is night and day, simply due to dropping the bars sng getting less bent over the bike. Yet geometricologusts spend months analyzing factors like CS length or seat sngle having microscopic effect on climbing compared to wheel mass, tyre pattern, suspension setup. If I lived inbigger mountains, I'd have a Pike with dual position air spring. When I climb for 2 hours, I could not be less arsed by seat angle Big Grin
  • 3 0
 I can't wait two years until the industry will introduce the 32" wheel size. What a good climber/descender i will be. Smile
  • 11 0
 My girlfriend says having sex 7 times a day is normal. How do I make enough time in the day to ride my bike and her?
  • 3 0
 "I'm going to put most of the blame of your wandering ways on riding technique" Mike L
Let her be on top and make her work for it. Then you will have more energy and feel less twitchy for the bike climbs, saving you time.
  • 1 0
 Get her a bike then make pit stops in the forest. Most girls love sex in the forest. At least around here they do.
  • 1 2
 I went from 580, to 630, then 685, and 720, and finally 785. Wider is better so long as you have a short stem and long TT. I have the upper body dimensions of a 6'5 swimmer but the legs of a 5'8 runner. Makes bike setup a bit odd but I'm finally dialed on my current bike. Oh Marshgards are awesome for keeping cow crap out of your mouth and face. ;-)
  • 5 0
 There is no wider or shorter is better, there may be a good start if someone asks you what is a good confidence inspiring setup, and that may be 50-70mm stem and 720-750mm bars. The real job is to dial it, and that requires trying different things for a longer period of time, that is several longer rides in various terrains. The cheapest and easiest thing to do is experiment with the stem, just buy some cheapest stem, 20-30mm different to what you have. That will give you an idea what does the length really do. Also talking stem lengths is half-arsed as handlebar sweep makes dramatic difference in relation grips - steerer axis and that is what really matters. My 7/5 deg 740 renthal bars with 50mm stem still put the grips further from steerer than 740 8/5deg Answers with 70mm stem, not mentioning stuff like Easton Haven, which put grips two inches further back. You can't also forget the comfort of the bars. If you do long rides, some bars will be killing your palms and wrists. What about handlebar rise, making difference for climbing and descending, making big impact on how you weigh your front wheel. Try out different sht, and never settle for longer is better or higher is better. Bollocks - what is better is what works for you after several tries and critically evaluating pros and cons. I can easily point out pros and cons of my setup, I am just clear about the compromises I make, what does what for me. Better... I hate that word, replaces "good for me" way too often Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Points well made. I currently run some RF SIXC 785mm low rise bars and love the sweep and the fact that I don't suffer from "claw hands" in the super chunky stuff. I found that Easton carbon bars are much too stiff and cause me serious hand pain along with not being wide enough for the fit I like. I would possibly consider going down to a 60mm stem but I like the control that my 70mm gives me on climbs. I'm riding a large 2013 Orbea Occam carbon 29 that fits like a glove.
  • 1 0
 If you wanna improve climbing get on a road bike for a few hours a week.. having a properly set up road bike will help you with the correct body position for seated climbing as well..
  • 2 0
 manchvegas - trolling?
  • 2 0
 Nope.. I took the advice from sone very strong cyclists I know this year and roady really changes your game
  • 4 0
 You may want to try hitting the gym with some good program and you will smoke them. I do not know anyone but pro riders who have time for volume training aside of strength training and interval+sprint training adressing explosive nature of MTB and requirements of the sport where low cadence torque is so much needed. I've done two years of road training, it got me next to nowhere, half of a year with strength training program 2-3 times a week 30-45 min sessions + 15min cardio made me god sighted. Riding road bike is fun but it is as good tool for a MTBer as golf bat for baseballer. Yesterday I rode some steep rocky, super slippery climbs and riding a road bike is simply as far as it can get from that, unless you pedal standing all the time and do intervals on hard gear but it will never ever beat deadlift and a good old sprint to vomit.
  • 1 0
 I definitely agree but also disagree. I did circuit training all winter last year etc.. and i definitely agree with you that it helps with quick sprinting. But in my own personal experience the thing that was missing was flat ground endurance pedaling power and endurance on long climbs. Ye s I stand alot when riding road and quick sprint up every hill when I am training. I have also started doing hill intervals of 6-800' of vert in under 1 mile.. average grades of 10-20% in spots. By the time I reach the top yes vomitting seems like the thing to do. That along with regular Looooong road rides of constant flat out pedaling to maintain a high average speed over 25+ miles.. usually in the 20-21mph average range has opened up a whole new ballgame for me and have been able to actually podium at some local races...
  • 2 0
 I mean, if you have the time and you find it fun, then there is nothing wrong with that. The issue is that strength+high intensity cardio takes less pure training time and will cover the endurance issues to a high degree, while pure endurance training will never cover for strength deficits for explosive work. It has to be said that there are various different terrains out there so if someone rides just fireroads or roads (nithing wrong about that) to get to the spots then yes he may get something out of Road, but for technical uphills on regular rocky trail (not all spots on the planet have those off course - nothing wrong with that) For instance my average ride consists of at least 40% asphalt for getting to and from the woods, where I just coast so perhaps that's why I could take a 3h climb this summer with no problem at all, it were my hands that were suffering most from high cockpit over 160mm fork. Other than that In the woods I have the bumpiest stuff, which when gets wet requires nothing more but sheer torque of a low RPM 4x4 offrad truck and power endurance to stand over the bike and shift weight back&forward. Some climbs require being in max pulse zone for over 2 minutes. Off course it would be impossible to ride like that on longer climbs yet strength is what will make you endure more of such stuff during the course of the whole ride.
  • 1 0
 Have you applied any of your training to actually racing to see where you stack up?
  • 2 0
 No, I have small kids so I don't even dare but I ride with the strongest dudes in town and I know My place on larger group rides with people of varied fitness and skill. Racing is also not a good indicator as it is a skill in itself which I do not have due to minority complex killing me during practice Smile
  • 13 1
 I can think of one good argument for rear mudguards. That is that if riding in quite claggy mud, rather than slosh, I find that mud gets stuck to my shorts, and my seat. Then I sit down for a bit and it all gets compressed. Then I stand up and more mud gets added. Repeat for a few hours and eventually your saddle is an inch taller than it used to be. And really slippery. Not fun.
  • 2 0
 So true, but there is still nothing available on the market, about rear mudguards for mtb use, to protect the poor rider following you in mud. It is a major issue in moto dirtbikes which can through back stones the size of pumpkins. Wherever there is mud and water splashing back the rear wheel, there is a need for distance.
  • 15 0
 "stones the size of pumpkins"

Very very small pumpkins?
  • 2 0
 I saw bricks and large stones shot at speed from under rear wheel of a MTX bike.
  • 1 0
 You can run a Mucky Nuts style fender on a lot of frames seat stays as a rear guard but not all. I've managed it on an intense uzzi and specialized sx.
  • 2 0
 'ass saver'
  • 4 0
 My argument for rear fenders is to protect the dropper. Mudhuggers are the best rear fenders I've ever seen.
  • 1 0
 What about fenders to protect your bike? I have a 2013 Intense tracer and have problems keeping small rocks and mud out of the lower linkage where the rear triangle meets the front. Has any one encountered this problem with their tracers? I
  • 1 0
 Marshgards work on the back just fine.
  • 11 1
 About the benefits of wide handlebars while climbing. I'd say wide bars add way more leverage so you can use your hands' strength more effectively to stop the front wheel getting twitchy.

Also, choose the right gear while ascending - it's not always true that the easiest available gear is the best solution. You need to have steady power applied to the pedals during the full rotation of the crank - this helps to keep you more stable when compared to sudden powerful "bursts" often happening when using too easy gear while cranking up that slope.
  • 4 1
 Also remove one hand while climbing. That will correctly show you to use your legs to climb instead of your arms.
  • 3 0
 wide bars suck for climbing. I have 760mm wide bars on my xc bike for the added overall stability, but you can't get the same tuck you need for powering up steep, tech climbs. I ride with ex pro xc racers with narrower bars, and you can tell the difference in their body positioning vs mine. for most everything else, the wide bar is awesome! adds stability on descents and moderate ups. you can't have it all.
  • 1 0
 @thustlewhumber I've never heard that, its interesting. Lately I've been thinking 'hips hips hips' while climbing in an effort to engage more lower back/glutes instead of just pumping with the legs. Mentally focusing on this area seems to help with the uphill pedaling. I still get tired though.

Oh and +1 to travel adjust forks.
  • 5 0
 Wide bars have a bearing on the angle of your torso when climbing, but not what you think.

A narrow bar and longer stem pulls your forward, by the stem extension itself.

A wider bar and medium length stem, 70mm or so, does the same thing, but by pushing your hands out wider, drawing your chest closer to the bar.

Do an experiment: Get into a "pushup" position. Place your hands shoulder width apart. Now, move your hands 3" further away from center, in each direction. Are you getting closer or further away from the ground?
  • 2 0
 Wider bars are more effective to a point, then the benefits get outweighed by the mechanics. Do a wide arm push up as far out as you can and note the effort and muscles used, now do a diamond push up noting the effort and muscles used. Pick a comfortable medium between those two and do a push up. Somewhere on the wider side of halfway you are going to find a happy medium between the muscle mechanics, body position, and comfort. Choosing a set of bars is the same equation, too wide for your body type and you end up more spread out than you need to be and unable to use your arms effectively to cushion the ride. Too skinny and you lose the stability of a wider platform while also losing your arms and chest as an effective part of your body suspension.
  • 1 0
 @twozerosix @Thustlewhumber - My mtb climbing technique got a lot better when I got a set of rollers for my road bike.

I never fully understood why, but guess it's something to do with not rocking or disturbing the bike as much with either my hands and feet. Probably a similar effect to riding one handed.
  • 4 0
 Got my Mucky Nutz fender at the start of the season and I love it, and it keeps the mud and crap out of my front fork seals. Since I got it, my riding buddies are considering buying them.
  • 3 0
 Re: Fenders.

I make my own. On the muckynutz websites they have flat template images of all their fenders. You paste one into MS Word, size it to an 8.5x11 sheet and you have a full size fender template. Then you go to staples or similar office supply store and buy one of those flexible plastic binders (each cover makes a fender so that's 2 fenders for $1.50). Then you trace the paper template onto the plastic, and BAM. 75 cent fenders. Sure it takes a bit of time, but once you make the template, it's a lifetime of cheap fenders for all your bikes (various colors as well). You can also make your own iterations and customize length of front/back or change the attachment points if you like.
  • 2 0
 I tried making my own rear fender to keep mud and dirt off my shock. I used the plastic cover off of a notebook and found a template online. The fit was good but the plastic shattered on the first run. Might have to try the milk jug idea.
  • 2 0
 As far as the "fender" discussion goes I wouldn't use nothing less than the UK made Mudhugger, top quality and looks super sweet on any bike.

Top notch communication both with Jamie and Bruce, if your looking at getting protected for the winter season then I would luck no further!
  • 3 0
 "Grips to nips" when climbing. Get your chest over the bar for steep uphills. If that doesn't work, try lowering your bars by removing spacers.
  • 1 0
 About mud guards, I'm sure I read an article somewhere a few years that said that the RRP/Raceface type does the best job at high speed and the fender type is best for low speed. Or it might've been the other way round! Anyone know?
  • 1 0
 I use a homemade version of the race face type. Made of an old tube. I experience zero spray at all speeds. IMO its the best way to go.
  • 3 2
 Majority of riders I know, don't appreciate this one because of the looks. I am one of them.
  • 1 0
 form through function, beauty through form....or something like that lol. personally Im more concerned with how clean my goggles stay and how dry i stay, vs how my fender looks on a sloppy day.
  • 1 0
 Having a wider bar to grip naturally moves your chest closer to your stem which helps with better control for both climbing and descending. I am surprised Mike didn't mention that in his response. For an exaggerated demo in your chair right now... hold your hands in front of you at approximately shoulder width. Quickly move your hands wider apart and your chest will bump forward into more of an attack position. It's the same principle behind the long top tube / short stem frames that are popular today.
  • 1 0
 Living in the Pacific North West as well, I have gone through many (and I do mean many) different types of fenders looking for the perfect combination of light weight, durability and actual low/high speed mud protection. So far the winner is the Rock Guardz Mudgardz fender (size long). It's light, strong, stays in place and protects your face from flying water/mud/horse poop/dog poop/hobo poop extremely well (even at speed unlike the Mucky Nutz).

www.rockguardz.com/mudguardz.html
  • 3 0
 There's a cheaper option out there now, and one of the only options that works well on the rear. Mudhuggers.

www.themudhugger.us.com

I run them front and rear, and can fly through the muddiest trails without goggles, and without getting mud all over my $350 dropper post.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, Mud Huggers look like the best buy. Rock guards look awesome. Carbon Fiber beauties but a little expensive.
  • 1 0
 Thanks FreerideFanatyk! Smile

The Mudhuggers look very nice and they're local!
  • 1 0
 About DH clipped in pedals, I use the Shimano ones with the plastic cap cover on the outside. I've lost track of the number of these pedals that lose this cover at the slightest hint of contact with anything solid. Then they loosen up and wobble about everywhere. I really should've given up on them but have persisted because of their relatively low cost. I'm now using the cheapest plastic ones (424s?) Maybe a false economy in the long run? Apart from the Shimano DXs (bit on the thick side?) and Mallets, there doesn't seem to be many other options. Am I right or wrong?
  • 1 0
 yeah the shimano ones fell apart on me, i got some vp-133's and they are great have them on both bikes, they are like an old school shimano dx, only place i can see them is on ebay in the US but even with shipping they are still a bargin at about £30ish
  • 1 0
 I run a pair of Time X Roc S for DH this whole season. I've smashed the pedals countless times and the plastic platform has yet to crack... I got them used on top of that!
  • 1 0
 Try Time Freeride Z pedals. I have been riding mine for 3 seasons with no problems. My problem with crank brothers is durability, I could never get a season out of them without having a problem with the spindle and clipping out unexpectedly when I tried to pull up. You can replace the inner spindle but I would rather have a pedal I am not worried about than one I have to maintain all the time.
  • 1 0
 i think i agree with waki, (his english is way better than my portuguese). but he isn't always all that clear. in any event, i think mike levy dropped the ball here. foobajoob is having a bike geometry issue endemic to slack angled long travel bikes-wheel flop. wider bars aren't going to help on climbs, but they won't hurt. they will improve downhill performance. what will help is an adjustable travel fork. lowering travel from 160 to 130 will steepen the head angle and decrease wheel flop. as far as rider position goes-foobajoob needs to weight the front wheel if it's lifting. this part is critical-keep your head up! and your eyes forward. trying to grind out a climb with your nose glued to the stem will result in a loss of equilibrium, and a wandering front wheel.
  • 1 0
 Small note on the Fender question and answer: If you live in an area with very sticky mud like I do, an arch style fender clogs up with mud at an alarming rate. In the rainy season when the mud is at it's worst here I manage about 20 meters before so much mud is accumulated between the tire and the fender that the wheel stops rotating. Since I switched to an old style moto fender (The) I can keep riding a lot longer. Still some clogging of the fork arch but not so bad that it stops the wheel from rotating.
So if you live in an area with sticky mud (clay or similar) I'd recommend a moto style fender

My current stomping grounds are in Ethiopia, not Holland as my profile.
  • 2 2
 Very professional answers to the first and third questions. I don't put my interest in clipless pedals. I am only adding a fender proposition, which I have reacently found and considered. I am not sure, if it is a type of commercial or a recommedation, where is the precise difference between the terms, nor if it is a new product. Just a thing which I found recently and considered it to be a reasonable idea. The fenders are called mudhuggers and I find them to be something more about serious protection, than the common options known to all of us and which were mentioned by Mike. There are situations in which any rider just does not want to catch any more mud than inevitable. Maybe there are Pinkbike users, who know something more about mudhugger fenders and can provide any words of review, which I would certainly appreciate before buying. I am especially interested in potential mud build inside the shells. Next, worth mentioning, weapon for a heavy battle with mud, is the solution used often by pro racers. Duct tape covering shoe tops, especially when there are exposed shoelaces. This should help a lot with keeping socks dry. It does not look any good, but it works, so nothing against it in extreme situations.
  • 2 0
 I just bought a rear mudhugger, and I can't believe how much I love it. 2 incredibly wet rides, and I just hop in the car after without having to use a seat cover or change. They are quiet, stiff, don't get in the way and they truly work.
  • 1 3
 How can a fender be loud, provided that it is not barking?
  • 1 0
 It can rattle against the frame or make a lot of noise when mud is flicked at it. Some are really noisy with scrapes, rattles and the like.
  • 2 0
 +1 for the cut up milk carton in a pinch. I've made a couple of them and they have all worked well until I lost them. 2% fat milk cartons work the best.
  • 2 0
 l have the mucky nutz, works pretty good. the bonus is to let your buddies trace it on some flexible plastic and charge them a beer!
  • 3 0
 Oh, and wider bars allow your lungs to breath more freely. Rather then narrow bars sqeezing them.
  • 1 0
 I use a Mudhugger front and rear for the British gloop. It manages to keep the crap off me and my bike extremely well, it's light and easy to fit too.
www.themudhugger.co.uk
  • 3 1
 For mud guards, check out no-assface.com
They make an amazing, simple, cheap and easy system.
  • 2 0
 and if you go to assface.com you'll notice that domain is still available.. interesting
  • 1 2
 A key component of reducing the twitch on climbs was missed by Mike's response. For seated climbs, yes, dropping your chest down to the bars and moving forward on your saddle are important, but, you also want to bring your elbows in (one of the only times I recommend bringing your elbows in on a mountain bike) and keep your eyes down trail. By bringing your elbows in to your body, you are less likely to use your hands for leverage to peddle and thus more likely to stay on track. Keeping your eyes down trail rather than dropping to yoru top tube or your front tire also keeps your balance and, as we all know, you ride where you look.
  • 3 0
 XC riders climb a lot. And use narrow bars nevertheless.
  • 2 0
 I have found the Powa Dfender to be the best mud guard out there. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
  • 1 0
 best rear mud guard is Mudhuggers fit on your frame in 10 mins
fit & forget
link below
www.facebook.com/notifications#!/themudhugger?fref=nf
  • 1 0
 Been using my mallet pedals for over 5 years now. Will never give them up as they're the best pedal around. Matching them with a fiveten shoe makes them an awesome combo!
  • 1 0
 Cant climb well, go ride some trials it will improve your climbing better than you know
  • 1 1
 I would recommend not to use clipless going downhill all my friend crash riding clipless dh, and plus then you cant do no foot tricks
  • 1 0
 The Telecaster is my favourite Fender.... ;D
  • 1 0
 Lol fubajoob
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