Ask Pinkbike: Clutch Trouble, DH Pants, Converting a DH Bike, and Sub-Par Shops

Nov 28, 2017
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.





Stop the Drop

Question: Pinkbike user JamboDHD asked this question in the downhill forum: I have a 1X Shimano drivetrain with a Deore derailleur (with a clutch) and narrow-wide chainring, but I'm still dropping the chain. At the moment, I don't have a guide but I think that would fix the issue right away. Would shortening the chain be the same as using a guide? Or maybe combining all options is the best solution? Would the efficiency of the drivetrain be reduced?

bigquotesSome bikes seem to be more prone to dropping a chain than others, presumably due to how their rear suspension works. That said, your chain should be the correct length regardless of if you're running a guide or not, so that's the first step. You can follow this old Tech Tuesday from 2012 on chain length basics to figure that out, and then go for a ride to see if it makes any difference. Your derailleur's clutch might need to be adjusted to provide more force, which can be easily done by removing the clutch cover as RC explains in this Tech Tuesday that covers Shimano clutch tuning. Also, how old is your chainring? A worn narrow-wide 'ring loses much of its holding ability, so that'd be the next step.

If, after all that, you're still dropping the chain, you might want to consider a minimal chain guide that covers the top section of the chainring. 
Mike Levy

Pull the tiny wrench out from its stowage place.
Shimano's adjustable clutch lets you add or remove tension as required.





DH Pants for Tall Riders

Question: Pinkbike user @harrywr asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear: I'm 6'6" with 34" waistline, I'm looking at getting some DH pants such as the Fox Racing Demo DH Pants or similar TLD pants. However my waist line and leg length would make all the pants short in the leg. Does anyone know anywhere where they sell similar style of pants but with a tall option?

bigquotes
I'm 6'1" with a 31" waist and a 33" inseam and have always struggled to find downhill pants that are long enough and also shorts that don't reveal 'the kneepad gap' that nobody wants to see. My favorite downhill pants to date are the Resistance Strong pants from POC I reviewed last year. The pants in the review were just long enough for me in size M and sizing goes up three more sizes to XXL. The waist adjusters are useful unlike some out there so upsizing shouldn't be a problem. Overall, they are great pants with integrated protection, they are lightweight, well cut, stretchy, and seemed to wear well, the downside is the €200 price tag.

Paul Aston

POC Resistance Strong Pants
POC's Resistance Strong pants are some of the best out there, but with a price tag to match.






Actually, it Is a Session

Question: Mick asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I was wondering if anyone had ever converted a DH bike to an AM bike? I'm off to New Zealand, but only want to travel with one bike, so I had the idea of buying different forks and rear shock, so I could use my Session for either DH or more pedaly single track.


bigquotesI've never seen a modern DH bike modified to that extent, but converting your Trek Session to an enduro/AM bike could be done, as long as you can put up with the weight and shoulder the expense of the components you'd need. Consider also, that there are some hidden concerns that come with the territory:

I assume you'll be switching to a 180mm single-crown fork like the Fox 36. Your Session already has a low bottom bracket, lowering it farther is going to cause innumerable pedal strikes. Fortunately, Cane Creek and other quality headset manufacturers make extended lower headset cups (invented to justify BB height when converting 29-inch bikes to 27.5 Plus, ala Pivot Switchblade). An extended lower cup will add 10 millimeters, and if you set your fork sag a bit higher (say, 20 percent sag). your BB should be tall enough to pass muster.

Next on your shopping list is a dropper seatpost, and before you buy the longest stroke post you can ride, remember that you'll want your saddle pretty low for DH trails. Check the insertion length to ensure you can get your optimum DH position with your new dropper. Also anticipate that you'll be running your saddle well forward on the seatpost clamp to compensate for the Session's slack seat tube angle.

Gearing is limited on a big bike, so plan on investing on a wide-range one-by transmission. Chances are good that you'll keep your crankset, and your existing chainring, if it's fresh. Your Session should have a 7-speed cassette with a standard, splined driver. I'd suggest converting to a wide-range Shimano XT 11 x 42 or 11 x 46 cassette, rear derailleur, and shift levers. (Your existing derailleur wouldn't have enough chain take-up to shift a wide-range cassette.)

If your current shock has a separate low-speed compression adjustment, then you may be spared a new shock purchase. I have used air and coil-sprung DH shocks on enduro bikes and found that cranking in the low-speed compression dial provides a good measure of pedaling support. Of course, you'll have to remember how many turns to open it back up when the time comes to descend. Otherwise, choose an air-sprung shock, so you'll have the freedom to change spring settings to suit the terrain and trails you'll be riding. I'd suggest the Fox X2 for its range of adjustment, and you'll appreciate the "climb switch" when your Session is pointed uphill.

All totaled, that's a little over $2000 USD at the retail level to change your Trek Session into an acceptable all-mountain bike. Normally, I'd recommend that you purchase a used enduro machine, like the Santa Cruz Nomad, and sell it for the same money when you return, but I am intrigued with the concept of re-purposing a World Cup winning DH bike for all-mountain use. To be frank, the latest crop of enduro sleds are so close to being downhillers that your experiment may be the beginning of a more sensible trend.
RC



Trek Session 2017
Is it possible to convert a Trek Session into a decent-performing all-mountain bike? Considering how far AM/enduro makers are pushing the envelope of long, low, and slack, it may be worth a try.






Is it Me, or My Shop Mechanic?

Question: @steelfed says in the Mechanic's Lounge forum: I want your opinions. I have a 2012 XCal. Never a problem with it until last month when it became time to replace the bottom bracket. I took it to a national chain bike store and they replaced the bottom bracket.

On my next ride I started hearing the same popping noises from the bottom bracket again, took it to the shop and the mechanic told me the new BB was literally in pieces. He replaced the BB again. The next time I ride the bike lo and behold the bottom bracket starts popping again I take it back to the bike shop and he tells me the BB is fine but I need a new chain.

With the new chain on I test ride it in the parking lot and it feels like it's slipping, so the mechanic replaces the cassette. It's still slipping so the mechanic replaces the wheel. It still slips so he replaces the rear derailleur, cable, and another 10 speed chain. It was still slipping after all this. He replaced the rear deraillur hanger, but no fix. They removed all the new parts and they want me to come get my bike.

It blows my mind that I took a bike in near perfect condition into the shop and now it is unrideable. I am out a bike. I think the shop should let me buy a new one at invoice price (what the shop paid for it) what would you guys expect or want? Am I just S.O.L.?



bigquotesMy first piece of advice would be to find a new shop to frequent. Unless you're doing something you shouldn't be on that bike – you're not hucking off loading docks all day, every day, are you? – then a bottom bracket shouldn't end up in pieces after one ride, even an inexpensive one.

That being said, the shop doesn't owe you a discounted bike. It sounds like they tried some fairly extensive troubleshooting, and reached the limit of their expertise. As long as they returned your bike to you with all your original parts re-installed, there's no reason for you to expect anything else from them.

Without more information it's hard to say exactly what's wrong with your bike, unless the one thing they didn't check, the front chainring, ends up being the cause of the skipping drivetrain. The repeatedly broken bottom bracket is a puzzler too – again, it's tough to diagnose without knowing more.

It's understandable that you're frustrated, but I think a more knowledgeable shop should be able to sort you out. Keep in mind that it's very possible you'll still end up buying some new components – moving parts do wear out, and if your bottom bracket was toast, there's a chance it's time to replace some other drivetrain parts as well.
Mike Kazimer



All neat and orderly on the work benches.
Finding a reputable bike shop, one that you can trust to return your bike in better condition than when you dropped it off, can sometimes be challenging.



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


143 Comments

  • + 241
 How to make a DH bike an AM bike
Step 1: sell your DH bike
Step 2: buy a bike with 160mm travel
  • + 40
 Or just get a commencal meta sx and your sorted
  • + 65
 You could get killed for saying something like around here
  • + 11
 *Supreme SX
  • + 30
 @piersgritten: or rent the trail bike. Just got back from NZ and had no problem renting. You could rent an excellent AM bike for a month for RC's anticipated conversion cost.
  • - 22
flag cogsci (Nov 28, 2017 at 14:20) (Below Threshold)
 @piersgritten: No one wants that linkage design.
  • + 3
 For purposes of a trip to NZ - couldn't you buy a bike over here, take it to NZ, ride it for the duration of your trip and sell it at the end? I've heard duties are very high on bikes. Has anyone done this?
  • + 15
 Better yet, pick up a downhill e-bike, wiz up climbs at 60mph and instantly boost your popularity and style points!!!!
  • + 13
 or convince him to sell his Demo and get a Knolly Delirium Wink @KNOLLYBIKES you are welcome
  • + 6
 @powderturns: If you're bringing in a brand new bike say from CRC or another overseas purchase, then yes, 15% of your sale price will be gladly taken by the 'guvment, plus about 4% duty. If, however, you're rolling on a pre-loved bike, then it's just treated as luggage and rarely, if ever, would attract any sort of duty when you land in NZ. You don't pay duty on your underpants, so same thing applies to your bike.
  • + 2
 secondhand market for AM bikes in NZ is buzzing:
www.facebook.com/groups/276278299214062
www,trademe.co.nz.

do pretty well for $2k + shipping fees on the Session to NZ
  • + 14
 I have a DH and enduro bike. While the enduro is a blast, it doesn't equal the dh bike when it gets really burly. I just built a new DH bike and threw on a 150 mm dropper, wide range cassette a lighter duty chain guide and will throw a climb switch on. I won't be doing any epics but will be pedaling it to link up lines. We did it for years on the Shore with 45 lb bikes so why not.
  • + 2
 @kathwill: you will be shot. Horrible people these days...
  • + 2
 @kathwill: That's great! But if you were traveling internationally and could only bring one bike, which one would you pick? I think that will answer the original question.
  • + 3
 @Lagr1980: That's what I'm doing... taking off for 6 months to travel and ride with my wife and kiddo and taking a delirium with both dual crown DH and 170mm Enduro setups with me... short of an xc race I'm all set to have a blast!
  • + 6
 @CONomad: How is any of that even possible?
  • + 2
 @BenPea: @CONomad yeah, the Delirium conversion with offset bushings & longer stroke shock, angleset etc... all that is a piece of cake... the other part of your story is the mistery,...hahaha
  • + 3
 @Lagr1980: Yeah the bike build bit was easy, take the Knolly, both rear shocks use the same length spring, toss the dual crown marzocchi 380 in my checked bag and the little man's woom into the bag with the Knolly and I was all set to go... Now convincing the lady I was bringing it and my son's balance bike on our 6 month sabbatical... that was the real challenge haha. But I'm pretty lucky and she didn't take that much coercing to see the importance of it to us...
  • + 2
 @bforwil: haha people aren't fans of Commencal around your neck of the woods I take it?
  • + 1
 Nah don’t go to that Much fuss

...just get stronger legs
  • + 1
 @handynzl: There's no duty on bicycles so just 15% and $49 handling fee if it's over $400.

If your bringing a bike in with you always tell them you're planning to take it home with you.
  • + 1
 @codypup: Who did you rent from out of curiosity?
  • + 1
 @Zerozerozero: Queenstown=Bike Addiction. Nelson=Gravity Nelson. Rotorua =mtb Rotorua at the trailhead. Treated splendidly all three places. Excellent bikes that they took the time to set up for my fat ass.
  • + 1
 Why not just leave the fork on if your only going to add spacers to match the axle to crown length anyway? Given the intentions, surely weight isn't the concern
  • + 77
 Sorry, but I think the idea of trying to convert a DH bike to an AM bike is stupid. In fact, I'm a little bit alarmed that RC is suggesting you give it a go...as sinking $2000 into a DH bike could instead buy you a decent all mountain bike in the used market.

The real issue is going to be with body positioning - sliding your saddle forward will not account for how damn slack the seat angle is on a proper DH bike. With a long dropper, your ass will be nearly directly over the rear hub, and paired with a super slack head angle and sagging 35% into 8" of travel, it will be nearly impossible to keep your front wheel down on climbs. Not to mention, the BB will be so low you'll be clipping pedals on everything, even with stubby cranks. Putting a shorter fork on the bike will remedy your slack angle woes to a point, but also further slam a low, race-oriented BB even lower into the ground.

Please, for your sake, don't.
  • + 5
 I did the same on my Identiti Mogul, BB is too low you pedal strike a stump every time, and that's on a 165mm cranks already. Better yet, just buy a 2nd hand bike here, then resell it after, you will end up spending the same with all the extra weight during travel. Without the hassle of carrying heavy luggage.
  • + 24
 Exactly. There's no reason to spend that kind of money making your DH bike suck. He might as well be putting a 6" lift kit on a Prius
  • + 41
 Next up: Can I turn my CX bike into a downhill sled?
  • + 7
 Why not get a long travel AM bike?
  • + 1
 @bridgermurray: Now that is feasible.....hehehe
  • + 6
 2012 Canfield One set in 7" mode
  • + 1
 @griffinsurfboard: =/= trek session
  • + 59
 Never had a problem on a five year old bike?

My buddy never had a problem with his truck until the timing belt went after 200,000 miles.
It was probably the oil change guy who owes him a new truck at wholesale.
  • + 15
 As someone who is 6'3", I am happy to see some suggestions for DH pants with enough length. Also as someone who is 6'3", I am sad to see those suggestions will cost me ~$200.
  • + 5
 Try ENDURA, they tend to be a bit longer. They fit my lanky A$$ at 6'6".
  • + 4
 Ive got IXS world cup DH pants and they are awesome - 6'3 with 34" waist and theres plenty of length. They crinkle up over the shoe just right. And theyre a lot cheaper than200EU
  • + 1
 Almost 6’4” and Fly Racing Kinetic pants fit me perfect. Not too hot and durable in a crash.
  • + 1
 What is the tailoring like on these pants though? I'm 6'5" with a 33" waist and long skinny legs, a lot of the time getting trousers long enough also means them being ridiculously baggy which isn't ideal for DH pants.
  • + 1
 Being 6'4" i am also having a hard time finding pants that fit.
I am sure gonna check out the pants you guys suggest.
  • + 2
 wear shorts, no problems finding. Who wears pants ? strange concept
  • + 2
 I'm about 6'3" and I'm going with Platzangst shorts and pants most of the time. They are also on the bigger side, sometimes even too baggy for my skinny 32" waistline.
  • + 1
 @DC1988: the ixs world cup ones are skinny enough but still fit the IXS dagger pads just underneath bike.ixs.com/en/shop/race-71-pants
  • + 1
 what's the problem in upsizing a bit? i have a 36 waist but the most recent shorts i bought are alpinestars in 38. i just close a bit more the velcro straps found at the sides and voilaT, problem solved. they nicely go down slightly below the knee. a bit baggy but for DH it's perfect
  • + 2
 @Bruccio: My problem is I'm 6'3" on a good day with a 31" waist on a bad day. Normally take a 30" W 34" leg in Levis...
As my friend so kindly pointed out recently, I'm built like Mo Farah except he has the advantage of not having to try and find pants to ride in.
  • + 1
 @raph11: got tired of all the mud everywhere. No more mud or dust (if I'm so lucky!) getting behind the knee pads and tearing up my knees/shins.
  • + 1
 @yzedf:
I often wear long socks and knee pads (Danny Hart style) which keeps the mud off and my legs slightly warmer. Cheaper than trying to find DH pants to fit someone lanky too!
  • + 2
 @yzedf: 2nd fly kinetic mtb pants. they are extra long since they are not ment to be shoved in a motorcycle boot
  • + 1
 @DC1988: I bought the pants in the off season on clearance, can’t remember the exact price, but under 100usd with long sleeve jersey delivered.
  • + 6
 it would be nice if the clothing industry comes to the realization that there are people out there who are TALL but also not FAT.
  • + 13
 The popping sound is probably a worn chainring. The ring's teeth get hooked over time, and as your chain comes off the bottom of the ring it kinds hooks the chain and the chain pops off, hence the popping sound. It really only does it under power so it's often nearly impossible to identify, but that's probably what's going on, and yes, you need a new mechanic.

Actually the popping may be the chain slipping into the "hook" on the top side of the chainring, that would make more sense given that it's worst when under power. Either way, same concept. Worn chainring.
  • + 15
 No, no, no. Replace the chain, wheel, and grips at full retail plus labor for installation.should solve it. If not you need a new frame, we can order one for you and have it in by tuesday and your bike will be ready for you by april. Fuck me i hate bike shops!
  • - 2
 @mrgonzo: yeah hahaha
  • + 6
 @mrgonzo: Your obviously going to the wrong shop. Not every shop is good or reputable. Same as car shops. My shop takes every bike repaired for a test ride. That way issues can be resolved before the customer rides off with it.
  • + 1
 When you need to change your chain, you have to-mostly-change your derailleur and your chainring, otherwise it won`t work together. There are 2 options; you buy a new chain every 6 months or you buy the whole set once every 2 years. ( depending on how much ride)
  • + 2
 @BartDM: You are mostly correct. If you wear the chain past .8mm you will need to replace more than just the chain. Typically the cassette will also need to be replaced at that point. Then the front rings will wear with repeated use of worn chain. So yeah. Check your chain frequently. Depending on how much you ride and what conditions you ride in will effect how fast your chain wears.
  • + 2
 It sounds to me like the shop was trying to be systematic. BB first, then chain, cassette and finally chainring. Perhaps inexperienced shop staff but I doubt it’s intended extortion. Generally tho I’d be preparing a customer for a whole new drivetrain after 5 years.
  • + 1
 @carlos671: best to do cheapest and easiest solutions first when troubleshooting. Chain or chainring would be a good place to start before trying more expensive solutions. Makes me glad I have tools and know how to do almost everything on my bike.
  • + 14
 It's sounding like the free hub body might be the culprit, especially if it's the sealed shimano/ formula type
  • + 3
 was my first thought..
  • + 4
 +1
  • + 2
 I would add Easton to that list, experienced the same issue. New freehub body and good to go.
  • + 5
 They replaced the wheel.
  • + 1
 If it is press fit maybe they messed up the shell pressing in a BB crooked.
  • + 3
 Post says shop also replaced wheel which presumably would include replacing the freehub. But good try.
  • + 2
 my moneys on a miss aligned bb after they messed it up the first time. If you press bearing in crooked they have a tendency to crack and break..... once the the bb surfaces are messed trying to press them in straight is useless. I would go with one of those bb's that are basically thread in.
  • + 3
 @mtbman1980: X-cal is threaded.
  • + 1
 @FisherFreerider: interesting I have never heard of a bb falling apart in a threaded in bb unless they just replaced the bearings instead of a fresh new bb cups and all.
  • + 8
 For the DH -> AM swap, could you not just change out the drivetrain and call it good? Possibly add a dropper post? Who says you can't pedal a bike when it has a dual crown fork on it?
  • + 4
 You can, only if you pedal on fireroad. You'll want to burn it as soon as you go uphill on single track with roots.
  • - 2
 100%. I rock dual crown on my HT and doing uphills ain't that different than it used to be when I had 160mm up front. Wide range 10s cassete derailleur/shifter combo and good to go.
  • + 1
 @PaFelcio: You put a dual crown fork on a hard tail??? I need to see pics of this
  • + 0
 @jkelm: just check my profile. Granted, you ain't gonna be the fastest on uphill riding such a cow but I don't feel like it's hindering me and it sure descends pretty well.
  • + 7
 A worn narrow wide chainring is probably the cause of dropped chains. I was dropping chains once a run... new chainring no dropped chains. I've lost count how many times I have forgotten to turn on the clutch and never had an issue with dropped chains.
  • + 4
 Why do you need to remember to switch on your clutch? It should always be "on" unless you're removing your rear wheel
  • - 4
flag Trudeez (Nov 28, 2017 at 14:49) (Below Threshold)
 @650boss: shimano derailleurs have an on/off lever on their clutch you know. . .
  • + 8
 @Trudeez: pretty sure he's knows that given that he just wrote it's supposed to be "on".
  • + 2
 I forget to to turn it on all the time after putting my wheel on. I have a race face narrow wide and I never drop a chain.
  • + 2
 Don't forget worn pulleys ...an overlooked culprit that wrecks havoc. Nevertheless never diagnose over the phone (or web) "you have to bring it in".
  • + 3
 I find my FD keeps my chain on.
  • + 9
 I'm 6'8" and skinny, there are no DH pants for people like us, and it bothers me.
  • + 63
 I am 2ft 9" and skinny and I do not know if i would wear pants on all four legs or just the back ones. There are no DH pants for dogs and it bothers me, too.
  • + 5
 Ockham's Razor says that if the drivetrain is not 'popping' and he replaced the second BB and then the drivetrain makes popping sounds, it probably isn't the chain (even though it was worn). There are bike mechanics and there are bike mechanics, and many are just young guys that like to ride bikes and find themselves in a shop with a workshop attached. I'm alarmed at what their solution was. Go elsewhere, ask around.
  • + 7
 Actually Im interested in the session proyect a lot. How to make a dh bike an all-around bike as possible article please
  • + 4
 I tried to make a Marin Quake into an AM bike...(Marz 66 180 and a rear air shock)
The positives were you could bomb down anything, and if I'm trying to look on the sunny-side...your quads get a great workout on the way up :-/
  • + 4
 I had a Giant Glory with a 180mm fork, 2x9 drive train and a dropper. I rode it uphill for a couple years and every second of it was miserable. If you manage to even get the seat high enough to climb then keeping the front wheel on the ground is nearly impossible. You are better off leaving it as a proper DH bike and pushing it uphill.
  • + 3
 I'm going to embrace the hate here and say that I stick a dropper and single crown on my giant glory, and undershock it to 180mm travel at the rear. It's awesome fun. More of a freeride machine than AM, but can grind up a fireroad for hours no problem. Best bit is I can turn it back to a DH sled in a few hours.
  • + 3
 Definitely had to get a chain guide on my bike. Brand new XTR RD, XTR 11 speed chain and an XTR 36t front chainring and my chain dropped 3x this year. Always when I was running the highest gear in the back (11t)

Checked the tension in the clutch and that didn't work. Chain length is spot on so it must be Shimano's own answer to the narrow wide chainrings.

I guess they are not as good?

Doesn't matter now that I bought a one up chain guide.
  • + 1
 My XT ring worked flawless for a while, but got worn a bit faster than I expected. Iswitched to Renthal, seems more durable up until now
  • + 3
 To the guy that has the bad luck at the shop...
You may have a miss alighned frame.
Or a loose pivot / broken pivot.
You say you replaced the ring.
As in the drive train chain ring.
Then the mechanic tried replacing the entire drive train and it still skipped.
Then the drive train is not the problem.
  • + 3
 National chain bike store? Could be the issue right there. Mechanic made the mistake of not doing a thorough eval to get in front of all the issues before even doing the repair. This can be a challenge for the mechanic but it is so critical to running a pro service department and providing quality repairs. Sometimes it is even necessary to provide a complete list of every issue on the bike with estimate. A good estimate saves the customer and the shop alot of grief.
  • + 4
 you could also use offset bushings and diferent eye to eye shocks to raise the bottom bracket and steepen the seat angle. also if this works right in my head, lowering fork travel will steepen the seat.
  • + 2
 a trick that will do is to carry a little strap, so in the ups you tie it around lower's arch and crown to keep the fork a little compressed.
  • + 6
 Converting your dh bike to enduro! I hate to tell ya but it'll still look like a session
  • + 2
 Tall sizes should really be available. I wear 32x36 pants for work and a 32x34 would be more than acceptable for riding. I can only dream of the day that clothes manufactures actually make larger sizes bigger and not just fatter. C'Mon guys, put all that extra fabric in the sleeves and inseams and skip the extra width. I'm pretty sure there's more skinny tall guys than there are 300lb riders looking for gear.
  • + 2
 ha! us 300lb riders struggle too, ive dropped over 80lbs in weight in the last year (about 240 now) and im only just creeping into the top of the range of proper mtb gear, most manufacturers stop at 38inch waist, im just under 40 now. mtb clothing sizing on a whole is a bit suspect if you ask me, the number of different fits (athletic, casual, etc) combined with different measuring systems mean its almost always a try before you buy situation.
  • + 2
 There has been quite a few successful DH to AM modifications over the years. Recently, a guy ended up 2nd or 3rd at the Reunion Megavalanche, on a single crown V10, shock with shorter travel (but same length), 1x11 drivetrain. Then a French working in suspensions used to have a Mondraker Summum in DH mode for summer, and enduro for the winter. Different fork, same shock (more pressure in it), remove the chain guide, and add a big cassette (he left the Reverb on the DH bike)

So it's definitely doable, and not necessarily super expensive if you have some parts lying around. The Session itself is pretty close to the Slash, so I'd just buy the parts and swap them.
  • + 1
 One of the guys i ride with has the exact setup described for the session ( which is used on relatively flat, aggressive cross country trails) except 1x10 xtr 11-36 cassette super light enve wheels and carbon seat post. He has it down to 26 pounds.
  • + 1
 That shop is no bueno. It is likely that when reassembling the Cranks they lost a spacer and the chain line got off - same thing happened to me at a race and the chain started slipping. Find a new shop, and if you can, shop small business.
  • + 1
 A guy I ride with frequently has turned his Evil undead 26" into an all mountain bike .He just put a dropper post and a larger rear cassette 1×10 .
The guy kills it on the ups and is an animal on the downs so it can be done.He loves it more than all mountain bike
  • + 1
 I've been using an Evil Undead, with a dropper post and an 11-42 cassette as my everything bike since July. It's definitely more work on the way up, but it had loads of traction and can be pedaled up almost anything. And it sure is rewarding on the way back down. I've ridden everything from whistler laps to big xc days on it without changing anything but my helmet. If you do this I would recommend running the lightest tires you can get away with for dh. Schwalbe super gravity casings work well for me.
  • + 1
 Keep dropping your chain on your dh bike? You could try the various things suggested in the article.

Or........you could just fit a proper chain device like an MRP G4 and ride with the confidence that you will never drop a chain again. I know, craaaazy right? Who'd have thought?
  • + 1
 I ride with a guy who has a 26" Session Park as his trail bike with a dopper and a 180 Lyric.

He'll pogo then pedal the Session up lines 99% of riders can't clear then gap the whole thing on the way down.

He also uses his Stigmatta with a Lauf for all mountain riding.

Every bike is an all mountain bike if you believe in yourself and try hardenough
  • + 1
 I have a mk 1 furious frame sitting here since I got my V3 Supreme an I'm thinking about the 160 55 on my trail HT.
I could chuck all the HT parts on the Furious as it does pedal well for a big bike but, I'd end up with a 180 frame an 160 fork..
Wonder If I could get the frame down to 160-170ish with a shorter shock like 216X60's that trek owners sometimes sell???
  • + 1
 Hmm...shorter shock would also lower BB more. That with shorter forks would probably be a killer. If anything possibly use offset bushings to make the shock longer to counter the lower BB caused by the shorter forks? Or the tall lower BB cup solution? Or just try it and see how it is.
  • + 1
 Or shorter stroke shock of same length with offset bushings if such a thing exists, thereby lowering travel while simultaneously counteracting lower BB caused by shorter forks? :-\
  • + 1
 @alexhyland: cheers been putting a lot of thought into it but, not got a lot of £ Big Grin
did think about the offset bushings. Don't think the lower BB would be a problem as the frame is 2007/10 era an has a high BB by todays standards anyway. Hence hunting down that 216X60 shock to replace the 216X63. I think the next E2E length is 210? which probably would have too much effect on the frames angles
The other thing that puts me off is having a trail bike dedicated to 200mm rotors an a 150 rear hub, rekon it would be a tank Big Grin

if I ever end up with enough spare parts though.......
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: at least offset bushings are pretty cheap (not like £60 pedals cheap but real cheap) from offset bushings.com.

My previous bike (and 1st full sus) was a 98 Marin b17 which I did something similar with, swapped out the 200 coil for a 190 air shock with offset bushings, that thing had a crazy high BB stock! Worked pretty well all things considered, seatpost was slacker than ideal but beggars can't be choosers.

m.pinkbike.com/photo/12494317
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: this kind of hacking is stuff I really enjoy.
  • + 1
 If you have a Session, then you already have a light bike. Just put the right gears in the back and you are done! I'm starting to lose many of you guys here, I remember all of my friends starting on hardtails with dual crown forks, pedalling absolutely everywhere. 34-30 has always been more than enough to get you just about anywhere. A friend of mine still runs his freeride bike with 09 Boxxer Teams for local XC and mountain events and he has never finished in last position. Put the gears in, put the work in, simple! Smile
  • + 1
 About the bike with the chain that kept "slipping", it makes me wonder if something else is wrong aside from the drive train. It sounds like the mechanic got on that train of thought when they changed the hanger. For example, maybe the frame is bent out of alignment or some of the bearings are toast and there's play in the back end.
  • + 0
 When you reply about the wrong thing, eh...
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: went on some rant about worn chainrings and shitty Shimano clutches before I realized I was replying to a comment about another part of the article. You know typical internet keyboard warrior type shit...
  • + 1
 I used my older specialized Demo that has a rockshox totem on it as my do everything bike for most of a summer while I waited for a new frame on my heihei. I can say it certainly builds fitness. If I was taking a trip to NZ I think I would get something to really get the most out of the trip unless I had an obsession to ride a less than appropriate bike.
  • + 1
 Bent BB spindle is wrecking the external BB, and the drivetrain is roached. The shop bears no responsibility for your general lack of maintenance - especially considering you probably din't buy the bike there.
  • + 1
 I have no gripes modifying big bikes to be more trail-worthy. My old Santa Cruz driver 8 was an all-mountain weapon with a hammerschmidt crankset and reasonably light wheels. To be honest, I still miss that bike dearly.
  • + 1
 Dude there is total 20% import tax on bikes in nz. Buy a good 160 used enduro bike,u bring it to nz ( its yours and used therefore no duty) then sell before u leave. A good tranny patrol carbon and I' d buy it.
  • + 1
 Only if you're keeping it here (i.e buying a Nukeproof from CRC). Otherwise it's just luggage.....which is pretty much what you just said after I re-read your comment......
  • + 1
 DH pants for tall guys: Carhartt work pants come in 36 inseam and are often super long even for me (6'5") 37 inseam. safety pin the lower legs at the sides to make em tighter, and voila. DH pants.
  • + 1
 Or just get biker jeans from M&H for 8 moneys and go shred.
  • + 1
 I think an allmountain bike with bigger fork do the job better than a full on dh especially as a one bike trip. My set up rm altitude 2018 170/150 64.8°
  • + 1
 2k US? Just bring the money with you and like others have said, buy an AM/Enduro bike here. There seem to be tonnes of people selling bikes here. Plenty of good deals.
  • + 1
 Did the mechanic mess up the BB spacers whern he replaced it and knock the chainline out I wonder...
  • + 1
 @RC: except that a 180mm Fox 36 is only 2 mm shorter than a 200mm fox 40. 569mm atc vs 57mm.
  • + 1
 Don't worry about either a DH or AM bike for NZ. Just find a 2004 Avanti Hotdog with Trippalz!! It's NZs one bike.
  • + 1
 there's a guy where I live who has an enduroSession
  • + 1
 get yourself a gt sanction
  • + 1
 You can fit a dropper in a Session?
  • + 2
 My thought exactly... Maybe if you drill a hole at the bottom of the seat tube????
  • + 1
 Of course, they're not all stealth
  • + 1
 @russthedog: The seat tube is incredibly short - you may not get enough insertion with a dropper post. It's not about being stealth.
  • + 1
 @handynzl: Russ must be joking. However, there may be a market for a short-throw dropper for DH frames.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: i actually wasn't! Ha ha some droppers have a pretty short insertion so i cant think of the issue?
  • + 1
 @russthedog: OK - I've always run mine slammed - didn't know you could have that much outside the frame without becoming an ejector seat or snapping off!
  • + 1
 I've noticed that a worn out chain drops more easily than a new chain.
  • + 3
 Worn chains and sprockets. On the plus side I know adjusting the clutch will only lead to more shifting issues so there's that which wasn't mentioned...
  • + 1
 "actually it *is* a Session"--NICE.
  • + 1
 Check your free hub body
  • + 1
 They replaced the wheel dog.
  • + 1
 Turner rfx

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