Ask Pinkbike: Shoe Solutions, Lever Adaptors, Angle-Adjust Headsets, and Night Riding Tips

Dec 2, 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.

Foot Pain Problem

Question: Pinkbike user EKrum asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: I just upgraded from my really old Shimano shoes and pedals to a pair of Five Ten Hellcats and Mallet pedals, but now I'm finding the my feet are getting really sore by the time I get to the bottom of a long descent. There's no problem when pedalling uphill or walking, but my feet feel like they're getting worked on the downhills. Any ideas? Should I have gone with the Mallet DH pedals that offer more support from a larger platform?

bigquotesThe good news is that you don't need to buy pedals with a larger platform in order to alleviate your foot pain. The bad news is that you might need some custom insoles, which is a last resort sort of route that I've had to recently take in order to keep my feet from killing me on long descents. Before doing that, though, start by taking the insoles out of your old Shimano shoes (you kept them, right?), slipping them into your new Hellcats and heading out for a lap to see if that helps - I suspect that it will make all the difference in the world. The other issue could be that your Hellcats feature a sole that's more flexible than what was used on your Shimano shoes, and the result is that they are flexing a bit more over the pedals. Try shifting the cleats back by a few millimeters to start with. If you've still had no luck, it might be worthwhile visiting a podiatrist to see if custom insoles could help. - Mike Levy

2014 5.10 hellcat

SRAM Shifter Adapters for Shimano XTR i-Spec Brake Levers

Question: LeeZee asks in the All-Mountain and Cross-Country Forum: Has anyone seen a MisMatch adapter for a SRAM shifter to Shimano XTR brake lever combination? Seems the new XTRs are I-Spec-II compatible and I can only find Problem Solvers for I-Spec A or B types. I'm about to change my XO Trail brakes out for XTR and would really like to keep my bars nice and tidy.

bigquotesTrickstuff of Germany makes the Matshi adapter for both older type i-Spec A levers, and one that is designed to fit the 2014 i-Spec levers. The Matshi 14 adapter places the SRAM shifter exactly where it would sit if it were mounted to a standard SRAM lever with a Matchmaker clamp - which has been an issue with the alternative options. Trickstuff's Matshi adapters are sold in pairs for $45 USD or just the right-side unit for $29. You mentioned that you wanted to keep your handlebar tidy, so I assume that you are running a one-by drivetrain with a dropper-remote on the left side. - RC

Trickstuff in North America
Trickstuff in Germany

Trickstuff Matshi adapters for SRAM shifters to fit 2014 Shimano I-Spec XTR and XT brake levers.

Trickstuf'f's Matshi adapters mate SRAM shift levers with Shimano XT and XTR I-Spec brake levers.

Works Components or Cane Creek Angleset

Question: Pinkbike user Verbl-Kint asked this question in the All Mountain forum: The 2014 GT Force has a head angle of 67 degrees. I really like the frame, but I'm afraid the head tube angle might just be too steep for what me and my buddies ride. I am now thinking of turning it into something like a mini-DH or freeride rig by adding a 170mm fork and using an angled headset (Works or Cane Creek), maybe going for a 65.5 to 66-degree head tube angle.

bigquotes If your heart is set on the GT Force, then I would suggest trying it in its stock form before making any changes. Getting one on a demo offer would be your best bet. Take it to your local trails and see how you like it. The 2014 GT may well have more contemporary geometry compared to your current bike. Things like bigger wheels, longer top tubes and lower bottom brackets mean that the new bike might not feel as steep as you think. PB's editors rode the Force, and reported that it was very capable for steep descending. If you feel you need to go slacker, remember that the longer travel fork alone will help with that (check the warranty, as fitting a longer fork could void it).

The Works angled headset is a more affordable option than a Cane Creek AngleSet. The downside of the Works option is that you must order a specific headset for your head tube length and your desired angle, so if you aren't happy with the results, then you will have to buy another complete unit. At over twice the price, you could argue that the Cane Creek AngleSet is the better value, as it comes with different cups to offer angles from zero to two degrees in half-degree increments. Also, thanks to the clever design, the Cane Creek option is not specific to your frame's particular head tube length. When you are done with the GT, you can swap your AngleSet to your next bike, or sell it second-hand to get some paper back. - Paul Aston

<i>Cane Creek's AngleSet is the best option for experimenters because it offers a wide range of head tube angles and adapts to any head tube length.</i>

Cane Creek's AngleSet is the best option for experimenters because it offers a wide range of head tube angles and adapts to any head tube length.

Night Riding Tips?

Question: Pinkbike user stolo17 asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear forum: I have started riding a local flow downhill track at night. I purchased a CatEye HL-EL460RC Volt 300 Headlight and have been mounting it on handlebar. The beam is kinda narrow, but overall it works ok - I helped build the trail so know it by heart though. Anyone have some tips of how to light my way and configuration? The main helmet I wear is a POC Receptor Flow. I would like to ride other trails at night, it's a blast.

bigquotesThe next step I'd recommend to improve your night riding experience would be purchasing another light to mount on your helmet. As you've noticed, running just a handlebar mounted light has its limitations, especially on more technical trails. Having the ability to see in whichever direction you turn your head will help make those night rides even more enjoyable, eliminating the giant blind spots that come with only running one light.

As far as which light to buy, there are a host of excellent options out there with between 500-900 lumens of output that can be mounted on a helmet. Something along the lines of the Gloworm X1 pictured below would be a good choice, although if its $209 price tag is too steep, there are other slightly less bright choices in the $100 - $150 price range. And what about those eBay specials, the Chinese made lights that boast ridiculously high lumen numbers to go along with their ridiculously low prices? Well, some of them do work, but the key word there is 'some', and for every success story there seems to be an equal number of failures, so it's certainly more of a gamble than purchasing a light from a trusted manufacturer. Ideally, you should swing by your local bike shop and see what they have to offer. That way they can provide support and suggestions as you build your night riding set up, and they might even have a group night ride you can join in on.
- Mike Kazimer

Gloworm X1

Lightweight and bright helmet mounted lights like the Gloworm X1 help make night riding more fun than frightening.

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

Must Read This Week


  • 14 0
 The trick with making chinese led lights work is investing in good batteries. The best right now are panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh and most lights use four running in a 2S2P configuration. They retail for about $11 each online, and its pretty obvious an $18 light system wasn't built with such quality batteries. But for $50-60 you can have a great battery pack for that probably fine lamp header and charger.
  • 2 0
 100% agree. The light systems for cheap lights are often the same as the high end ones, the difference being in battery quality and plastic integrity.
Take this light for example.
If you replace the batteries you have a super bright cheap light that might need some love now and them.
  • 43 2
 I'm pretty sure the only reason Panasonic is able to sell those batteries at such a price is because they stuck 650B at the end of product name.
  • 8 14
flag ChubzyWubzy (Dec 2, 2014 at 21:41) (Below Threshold)
 ^lol gud 1 chubzy. so tru.
  • 1 0
 Any links to the kind of batteries you'd recommend? I have the CREE t6 light, and am aware that at some point the battery will die. alongside the horror stories of the chargers setting themselves on fire, I am interested in getting some other battery / charger configuration! fantastic light though.
  • 2 1
 As far as 18650 batteries go, legit sony ones are actually the best, Panasonic's don't have the same quality, that being said, people do make fake Sony's
  • 2 0
 @L0rdTom... here this seller on ebay does a LOT of batteries and I've had good results from his pre-assembled battery packs.

@Quesadilla34... not in terms of capacity they're not.
  • 1 1
 @chubzywubzy clearly you have never spent much time looking at the price of quality high power rechargeable batteries.
  • 2 2
 @rclugnut ya because he has better things to do like you know, ride. Stick to your batteries champ more room on the trails for a shredder like me
  • 1 0
 I use two ebay Chinese lights. Whilst I can't comment on the lumen output, the supplied batteries are a pile of crap. I use two of the Panasonic in series to power each of them (with DIY battery packs). I get around 5 hours on full power, which is more than enough time to get me around our local trails.
  • 6 1
 Mostly good advice, but a Cane Creek Angleset is definitely head tube length dependent. The top cup is offset, so a shorter headtube will give you a bigger adjustment than a longer one. The difference here is that Cane Creek gives you multiple cups to play around with, while Works only gives you one at a more exact angle. So it's adjustability vs. accuracy.
  • 2 35
flag uphillmasher (Dec 2, 2014 at 15:18) (Below Threshold)
 Dude geometry. A two degree angle on a giant triangle is the same on a small triangle.
  • 6 2
 No. Imagine a long right angled triangle. The short side gets extended (the offset of the cup). The shorter the long side (head tube length) the more difference the same adjustment makes. Its actually a straight line to begin with, so if it offset 10mm, and (impossible I know but hypothetically) the headtube was 10mm long, itd give a 45 degree line between the two points.
  • 2 2
 @inked-up-metalhead: Yay enduro bike with 20° head angle, anyone?
  • 3 0
 Also on the headset part - f you read reviews for the CC offering, a lot of people have mentioned LOTS of creaks and woes with regular usage...there are a lot of moving parts. They require a lot of maintenance and greasing of the gimbal interface. IF you know and are confident to what angle you want to change your head angle to, go with the Works. Its design is a lot simpler and robust simply because it is not adjustable.
  • 3 0
 Had a can creek angleset and nothing but issues with it being noisy and creaking on drops. Over time the cups wear and Are able to shift. Got me a works 1.5 degree and never looked back! The cup interface design is solid, rode for 2 years with zero issues cant recomend enough.
  • 3 0
 @ccolagio Works set much better option very solid made in UK set it forget it i personally have one -1 as i don't need more and you can see the quality of made straight from the opening as well they provide you with every single bit as a spare on their web site so in time if something goes wrong you can replace only the bit needed. So far mine is solid never had any issues so far im
happy with Works and the bearings are greased not dry like CC are super dry and tend to wear quickly.. Wink
  • 1 0
 @jezzah i have a commencal supereme DH v2 and it comes with a head tube sleeve -1/+1 if you could manufacture that option for any frame, it was a cool and very robust future for mimicking the head angled adjust set Wink otherwise offset bushings are cool future but how can you drop -3 from offset bush... Smile
  • 1 0
 @DragRider the nice thing about Offset Bushings is that they allow you to lower the bottom bracket also.. making cornering a lot nicer! The 1.5 degrees figure is from a pair of bushings using 6mm bolts (Lapierre Zesty, Turner 5 Spot etc.). The more standard 8mm bolts would drop 1 degrees, when using a pair. Smile
  • 1 0
 I've been riding my cane creek for 3 seasons, only needed to change the lower bearing once (due to pressure washing mud into it ). They can be noisy but the trick is anti-seize, not grease anti-seize and plenty of it. Other than a bearing race, its incredible, almost forgot I had one till I read this article.....

BTW, you CAN re-grease sealed bearings, I use marine grease on my headset and frame pivot bearings, lasts a LONNNNG time!!
  • 3 0
 I have the Problem Solvers for my XX1/XTR setup. They suck. The matchmaker is too thick, puts the shift lever nearly out of reach of thumb, the included allen head screw is too big against the brake, and you can't adjust the left/right of the setup without undoing the brake bar clamp. All in all, PS got a piece of my mind for a $45 part. Poor engineering. Hope the Trickstuff stuff is better.
  • 3 0
 I use the trickstuff set up and it works like a charm. Sram x01 shifter on shimano zee brakes.
  • 9 31
flag matteosignorelli (Dec 2, 2014 at 16:39) (Below Threshold)
 The real solution is get Guide brakes, better then XTR and cheaper. i-spec is just crap… Lets be honest Sram is making better stuff right now, Shimano is stuck playing catch up.
  • 17 0
 Or make your own Smile
  • 1 0
 @tf02 Do you have a drawing of your adapter? I am running X9 shifters and Zee's, but things get messy...
  • 2 0
 @Caiokv I sent you a PM.
  • 1 0
 The Trickstuff Matshi doesn't work (yet) with the newest XTR (9000 series) brakes, does it? I just got my brakes and the mounting is changed, again, now called i-Spec-II.
  • 3 0
 Paul Aston has some good comments regarding head tube angle. People tend to get hung up on the numbers (65 degrees good >65 degrees bad) whereas how a bike handles the steep terrain is made up of a whole heap of factors.
  • 1 0
 EDIT: > 65 degrees good
  • 2 0
 I was surprised Aston didn't also mention the option of buying a GT Sanction. If the commenter hasn't bought the bike yet, why not look at the longer, slacker Sanction to begin with? Though you better be riding some pretty gnarly stuff most of the time to need the Sanction. The Force and handle most anything that a non pro-level DH or Enduro guy would ride on a regular basis.
  • 1 0
 Agreed the Sanction would be a better option. However, one of my biggest gripes with GT is the Sanction is a frame only option so by the time you build one up it would end up pretty expensive.
  • 1 1
 Agreed. The Sanction os essentially a dh bike that can legitimately climb and thats what it sounds like the OP wants.
  • 2 0
 The Sanction will be available in NZ as a full bike starting at $4999 nzd for the base model, or for the top spec Sanction Pro it will be $7699. Only about 12 coming to NZ though
  • 2 0
 For night riding:

I run two of these in tandem (one helmet mounted and one bar mounted):

Throws a ton of light down the trail (even on 25% setting) and haven't had a single problem with the batteries or the lights themselves.

Get yourself one of these for the helmet, and you're ready to roll:
  • 2 0
 I recently started riding with 5.10 Hellcat shoes and Mallet DH pedals with the cleats set as far back as possible. I had the same problem with foot pain, particularly in the balls of my feet. I also began to develop a problem with the muscles and tendons in my ankle and leg. After 2-3 runs the pain was a problem, and the first few steps after a dh race run were almost unbearable. I experimented with the cleats in various positions throughout their range of adjustment. I also tried a few different insoles including ones from my flat pedal shoes. So, on flat pedals I rode in a very far forward foot position. The Hellcat and all other shoes do not allow the cleat to be adjusted very far back to get that kind of forward foot position. For me, it was either try to find a different shoe or make the Hellcat work. I ended up very carefully extending the slots further back on the shoe roughly 10mm and extending the recess in the sole of the shoe to allow the cleats to be adjusted further back. Now, I feel in a much more comfortable position on the pedals with more confidence and control and a more familiar riding position that I was once used to with flat pedals. Best of all, no more foot pain, and no more ankle problems. I am a firm believer that foot position is a personal preference, and that there are an overwhelming number of factors that contribute to a foot position that is going to give the best results for each person.
  • 1 0
 Interesting....I have just switched to hellcats and while I like the shoes my knees have really started to hurt. Maybe I need to modify the shoes like you suggested.
  • 1 0
 These lights are freakin' awesome! More than enough light and the battery lasts a respectable amount if time. Only $15 bucks for an extra battery too. Definatley a better option than buying a shitty expensive light.
  • 1 0
 I've got similar but a single led and a 3 led and i've found them to be great. Imo the single led one seems to be better in some respects, it's better than the 3 led one running in single led mode, and the extra leds give diminishing returns and run down the battery very quickly. Only cost about £20 as well, even if you buy one and have problems, you could buy tons of them for the price of an equivalent power hope or lezyne or whatever.
  • 3 0
 i have a size 15 foot and can only get skate shoes. currently only lasting a few months, this is shit. does 5 ten or any other brand do shoes for yetis like myself?
  • 1 0
 Im a size 15 as well. Im rocking the size 14 5.10 Minnars in the old style and the new vxi models which also come in the impacts if you're a flats guy. They fit extremely large in the toe box. It sucks because no shops will stock shoes that big to try on so its a gamble.
  • 1 0
 Sweet man thanks. flats for my trail bike. clips for the xc, I have no problems with clips from specialized though
  • 1 0
 Any insight into how to avoid having the angleset shift, causing clunks and creeks in the front end? I have one in a nomad, and after 5 to 10 rides following a re-set, if clunks like crazy (sounds and feels like a fork bushing with play). Usually a re-set to make sure it's perfect will work for awhile, but it never lasts for long.
  • 2 0
 Ya get a works. You will never permanently fix the cane creek.
  • 2 0
 use anti-seize on the gimbles, and you have to really tighten the headset stack ( almost to the point that the steering binds )
once thats done, its a bomb proof assembly. for those that it hasn't worked for, you weren't trying hard enough
  • 2 0
 Ya gotta crank the Anglesey down really tight. When I first installed mine, it creaked like crazy, but I kept tightening it on every ride, and in a couple weeks it was silent and smooth. Stayed that way for a couple of years, until I sold the frame and headset.
  • 3 2
 Noticed they didn't mention the cane creek. Creaks like hell and the cups move. Works components all the way!!! Two headset from them now with no issues. Plus you sell the dram with it in and people are happy they get a slacker headset. So you get it back in the end anyway.
  • 1 0
 have bought a few anglesets from works, great pricing, good customer service and the shipping to canada was fast and cheap.
  • 3 0
 For the Angleset question I would recommend trying offset bushings.
  • 2 0
 have both works components -1 and burgtec off set on my fuel 5.5 and they are most defiantly sold and creak free which the cc and off set apparently arnt... the extra few quid on the burgtec is well worth it.
  • 2 0
 yes, the extra parts in the cane creek design cause creaking, that is the disadvantage to the bearing gimble design they use. So unless you really think you'll be fiddling with different headangles, I'd go with a works components one, the pricing is good and they have great customer service in my experience. 67ha, you'll definitely want to go slacker, id try 1.5 or full 2 degrees.
  • 1 0
 The offset bushings can definitely produce some rad geometry numbers. Unfortunately mine didn't last but a season. Bummer for how much you pay for the bits.
  • 1 0
 Ha the beauty of being a machinist. I make my own all the time.
  • 1 0
 Hey guys,

Jeron from Offset Bushings here! Give me a shout if you have any questions at all about our products. We have thousands of happy customers now who are using them to get more fun out of their bikes without spending too much money!

We charge £20 GBP (Just over $30 USD) for a pair of Offset Bushings, we also post world wide. They can adjust your head angle by up to 1.5 degrees!
  • 1 0
 What stops the bushings from slipping/turning in the recess and having the opposite to desired affect?
  • 1 0
 @bigburd The simplest way to explain it is when the rear shock compresses, everything is compressed together - which means the bushings are kept in position. We've never had a case of a set rotating whilst riding Smile
  • 1 0
 Fair enough , just didn't make sense in my head for some reason
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 night riding tips-put the cateye 300 on your helmet, they make aftermarket mounts. buy something bigger for your bars. i run a pair of cateye 700's on the bar. run time is not phenomenal. not by any stretch of the imagination. if you require huge run time, buy something with a separate battery. expect to spend some dough.
  • 2 2
 There is only one light option for riders serious about night riding: Exposure Lights, check them out, the diablo for example is all one needs for the most extreme night rides, 1100 lumens, great beam, no battery pack as the battery is self contained in their beautiful cnc body and if you are riding all night long you can hook up an extra external battery
  • 2 0
 what he said. another great alternative is the niterider lumina 700 which is also wireless
  • 1 0
 @Enduro27 That torch light... Beautiful?
  • 1 0
 I have a NiteRider Lumina 700 and can't say enough about its bang-for-buck qualities!
  • 1 2
 Hey All,

If you're looking for a affordable alternative to custom insoles, Radsport USA which distributes Trickstuff also distributes SQlab which sells a semi-custom insole for $40. They just got in so are not yet available on the website but you can see more info here Insole_Measurement_LR.pdf . You can measure your arch standing on one of our measurement cardboards. Contact us for more info at
  • 1 0
 Night riding only gets better with experience and the expectation of an awesome adventure and that's it!!
  • 1 1
 I think the best option for the sore feet guy would be to get a pair of shoes with stiffer soles. PB should be able to recommend some.
  • 1 1
 * frame
  • 1 4
 Wait, the GT Force is Carbon, meaning integrated headset... meaning anglesets would probably not work?

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2000 - 2019. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.022990
Mobile Version of Website