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.
Coil Shock Climbing Perfomance?
Question:@alaskarider89 asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: for people that have swapped from air to coil on an AM bike (140-160 rear travel), wondering how much it affected your bike's climbing and how hard it was to set up properly to maintain a good climb? Thanks!
The trade-off that usually accompanies making the switch to a coil shock is a little more suspension motion when you're grinding up a steep climb. The good news is that you'll also be gaining additional traction due to the increased sensitivity, which will make it easier to get through those chunky, technical climbs.
Many coil shocks have some sort of a climb switch, or at least a low-speed compression dial that you can use to firm things up for those long fire road grinds. How much motion there is while climbing will be dependent on your bike's suspension design, and on how much sag you're running. You may want to play with different spring rates to figure out which one gives you the feeling you're looking for while climbing and descending. I'd still aim for 25-30% sag, but you may find that you can run less sag with a coil shock than you did with air and still have plenty of comfort on the descents.
Yeti's SB165 climbs very well even with a coil shock, but that won't always be the case when going from an air to a coil shock.
Reducing Palm Pressure?
Question:@ovaltine1 asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: I recently bought a YT Jeffsy and was in-between sizes. I went for the larger one after recommendations from two YT employees (I called twice and they both recommended the larger size). I am super happy with the bike but I do feel ever so slightly stretched out, like there's too much pressure on my palms. It's not so much that I think its the wrong size bike but enough that I want to see what I can do about it. Any recommendations? My first thought was shorter stem and riser bars.
It sounds like you're on the right track – I'd start with a shorter stem and see if that helps. Even dropping from 50mm to a 40mm length can make a noticeable difference. You can also slide your seat forward in the rails to shorten up your cockpit a little more, and don't forget to check your stem spacer situation. If there are any spacers on top of the stem you can put them underneath to gain a little more height and reduce your reach.
Going with higher rise bars is a great idea too – I'm a fan of higher rise bars, even on trail bikes, and there are a bunch of really nice 30mm options currently on the market. That'll put you in a more upright position, and hopefully alleviate some of that hand pressure.
Here's an extreme example of stacking spacers to raise the bar height.
120mm Bike For Enduro?
Question:@ACurtin asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: I am wanting to try a couple of local enduro rounds (South West Kenda Enduro). But my only bike at the moment is a 120mm trail bike. So am worried I will be a bit underbiked for the trail, I much prefer the tech stuff and want to move more into that. But don't want to have to go out and buy a new bike before trying it? Would you recommend just giving it a shot? Or would it be too much for my bike?
All the footage I found of that enduro series looked extra-British – mud, rain, more mud, and some slippery, rooty tracks. I'd say that you'll be fine on your 120mm bike, especially if you're just testing the waters (no pun intended). I don't know what your current setup looks like, but at the very least I'd suggest putting on some aggressive tires to maximize the amount of grip and reduce the likelihood of getting a flat.
You may also want to think about increasing your fork travel if that's a possibility – a 120mm bike with a 140mm fork will give you a little more margin for error, along with giving you a slightly slacker head angle. With a Fox or RockShox fork an air spring is typically around $40, and the swap can easily be done by a semi-competent home mechanic. After you do a race or two you can re-evaluate your setup - seeing what other racers are using will give you an idea of what the ideal bike for your area might be.
This is what I imagine the conditions are like at mid-summer UK enduro races.
Removing Float X2 Travel Spacer?
Question:@BillyBoy0519 asks in the Mechanic's Lounge: I’ve recently purchased a 230 x 60mm Fox Float X2 and plan on changing it to 65. I’ve heard that the only difference is a travel limiter located on the shaft. Does anyone have any photos or experiences that they could share? I’m afraid I will remove the wrong spacer and mess up the shock.
You're correct, on a Float X2 the only difference between the 60mm, 65mm, and 62.5mm stroke lengths is the size of the travel spacer. However, removing that spacer isn't all that easy, and it requires some tools that you may not have. In the video below, at 2:57 you can see where the travel spacer will be – it sits above the bottom out bumper and accessing it requires removing the eyelet.
If you have all the necessary tools to ensure you won't end up scratching or crushing the shock it's not that difficult of a procedure. However, if anything in the first couple minutes of that video is outside of your comfort zone, I’d recommend taking your shock to a local shop to have them do the removal for you.