Ask Pinkbike: Back to Flats, Inches of Squish for Enduro, and Pondering the Next Upgrade

Dec 26, 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.





Switching Back to Flat Pedals

Question: Lee598 asked in a PM: I have been riding mountain bikes since our local Sears brought them in around the mid 80's. About 10 years ago, I started riding with clip-in pedals. In 2012, I had a work-related accident, broke my leg/ankle, and no longer have the ability to twist my right leg to get out of the pedal. Riding with flats and 510 shoes is great going down the trail, but climbing (my right foot the most) wants to come off the pedal. So, I was hoping you would know of some sort of other options to keep me connected without being clipped in.


bigquotesI'd suggest staying with flat pedals. Way back when I was making mountain bikes and not writing stories about them, I wanted to experiment with geometry in order to get a bike to drift both wheels more or less evenly, with the back wheel breaking slightly before the front. In order to do this, I had to commit to high speed turns and a lot of crashing. I switched to flat pedals for nearly a year.

I discovered that I needed to move my feet forward on the pedals. Half way between my clip-in position and centered over the axle seemed optimum. That also forced me to lower the saddle at least 10mm to compensate for the shorter effective leg length. I also had to adjust my cadence, as the power-stroke of my crank circle was also reduced.

The reason I am saying all this is that those adjustments returned my power output almost 100 percent, both when climbing and on the flats, and I stopped having issues with staying on the pedals over rough sections and fast descents. (Lowering your saddle, combined with a pointy pair of pedals should keep that right foot in place while you are laying down power.)

Sam Hill is the father of the flat-pedal downhill position, where you lower your wrists below the handlebar center and simultaneously, rock back near the rear of the saddle and drop your heels below the pedal axles. That is the stance that you will be using for most of your descending. It is very stable, and enhances braking traction as well.

Use those tips and you will forget you were ever clipped in - most of the time. The sensation that you can completely relax your feet and legs and let the bike flow down a chattery trail is why being clipped in is the better option. Flat pedal riders say this is possible, but flats always require some degree of effort and skill to acquire that floating sensation, even if those energy-wasters have long been committed to subconscious muscle memory.
RC



Sam Hill Nukeproof World Champs 2017
Sam Hill's famous quote may be more autobiographical than factual, but his legacy does prove that flat pedals are an efficient and effective option for riders who can't, or choose not to clip in.




180mm of travel for enduro racing?

Question: @DTolson says in the All-Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I'm looking at getting a Cube Fritzz 180 HPA Race 2017, but I don't know if 180mm would be too much for enduro racing in the UK. Any thoughts?


bigquotes'Enduro' continues to be quite the buzzword, and it often gets stuck into the descriptions of bikes by eager marketers hoping to cash in on the latest craze. However, just because a bike has loads of travel and a dropper post doesn't mean that it'll make a good race rig.

Enduro race tracks are mainly downhill, but I'd recommend looking for something in the 150-160mm travel bracket rather than going with a 180mm bike. That's because you'll want something that doesn't feel overly sluggish when it comes time to climb, whether that's in the middle of a race run, or on the transfers between stages. Yes, there are remote lockout options, but when you're deep in the pain cave it's hard enough to keep those cranks spinning as fast as possible, let alone remember to unlock that shock before the next downhill section. A little less travel can also create a bike that feels more maneuverable, which can be helpful on tighter, awkward tracks – you'll be able to pump through the terrain without feeling like you're bouncing on a waterbed.

Still not convinced? Take a look at what the top 10 pros in the Enduro World Series are running - if a 180mm bike was the best choice, wouldn't at least one of them be on a longer travel machine?
Mike Kazimer



Cube Fritz 180
180mm of travel is a little more than the norm when it comes to enduro race bikes.



Crash replacement frame on old parts or new, lower-spec bike?

Question: @humoroususername says in the All-Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I'm facing a decision here. I can get a crash replacement YT Capra for €1100 and put all of my old parts onto it--the replacement frame is a 2015 Carbon Fibre Comp 1. Most of my parts have been through three race seasons by now. My suspension will need a full service and the wheels are true...at the moment. Everything works, but it's looking well used by now.

Alternatively I can just buy a Jeffsy AL One for €1999. The spec looks pretty similar to what came on my Capra and I think a Jeffsy is actually more suited to my local terrain. I know it's aluminum, but if my last one was aluminum it would still be alive. The shock and fork look to be lower spec although I rarely use the pedaling platforms I have.



bigquotesWell, I think you answered your own question there a couple times. Go with the new, aluminum Jeffsy. Per your own assessment, the Jeffsy better suits your local terrain. That's reason enough, right there. On top of that, while carrying over your old parts to a carbon Capra frame may seem like the more economical solution, three seasons of wear and tear on your existing wheels, drivetrain and suspension will likely force you to make expensive upgrades to those parts you put on the replacement carbon Capra frame. And that'll happen sooner, rather than later.

What's more, that 2015 Capra frame runs a 142x12 rear thru-axle and while you don't need Boost 148, per se, when it comes time to upgrade wheels on that Capra frame, you will find yourself with fewer upgrade options to choose from that fit back there. No one wants to hear that. Speaking of Boost only inflames the masses, I know, but the cold hard truth is still the truth. If you are going to invest in a new frame, you might as well get one that plays nice with the bulk of new components that are coming out.

Some people would turn their nose up at going back to aluminum, but the whole aluminum-versus-carbon thing is overplayed. Aluminum is just fine. Dialed geometry and proper build are more important than frame material. Finally, if you aren't constantly flipping switches on your current fork and rear shock, you're probably right--the slightly lower spec offerings on the new Jeffsy probably won't affect your actual enjoyment of the ride. The Pike RC on that Jeffsy is no dog of a fork. The Deluxe RT lacks some bells and whistles, but it gets the job done. In short, there are plenty of reasons to go with the Jeffsy, but at the end of the day, I circle back to your first point: The Jeffsy sounds like the better bike for your style and terrain. That is all the motivation you need, right there. 
Vernon Felton



Jeffsy
In this case, the aluminum Jeffsy was the better upgrade. The carbon-versus-aluminum debate is overblown.


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


147 Comments

  • 101 6
 Flats because you’ll figure out real quick that you really weren’t bunny hopping before. And you’ll start throwing those Knacks you’ve always wanted to..
  • 83 2
 Hahahahaha !

This made me think of this straight away - watch the full GIF

gfycat.com/NaturalLankyIndiancow
  • 38 39
 @Waldon83: hahahaha Big Grin
  • 10 0
 @Waldon83: That was one of the smoothest things I have ever seen.
  • 4 0
 @Waldon83: that was easily one of the smoothest things i've seen in a while
  • 3 1
 @Waldon83: Thank you for this!
  • 11 1
 I still love clips. Always will. However they can create bad habits. So throwing on flats once in a while to keep your technique in check is always a good idea.
  • 10 4
 @WAKIdesigns: why does everyone down vote you
  • 30 2
 @curranmtb: because he’s Waki that’s why
  • 5 1
 Classic Waki
  • 5 0
 @Waldon83: I was half expecting the car to crash lol
  • 6 3
 @curranmtb: he says...controversial things, from time to time. Some people get mad about it and carry a grudge, because they don't have enough to do with their time.

I occasionally get random down votes, I think for the same reason.
  • 1 3
 @WaterBear: controversial.....stupid.....
  • 2 0
 @preach love all my peddles equally.
  • 1 0
 @properp: 2018 is the year when you unclip mid-air... knack it... clip back in... land... ride away like a boss :-)
  • 2 1
 @preach: been doing that since 1984.
  • 49 1
 Weren't I just reading on Pinkbike that if you could have a 180mm trail bike that pedals like a XC rig you would be foolish not to take the extra travel. Now I am reading that 180mm is too much for even Enduro... I am so confused.
  • 21 2
 I made a hardtail, and just put the biggest travel (7") fork I could afford, it's a free country.
  • 3 4
 It is probably to much because that 180 xc bike doesn't exist.
  • 1 0
 @bmxdougherty: If it was 180mm the bike industry wouldn't call it an xc bike. it would be called an Enduro bike lol
  • 1 0
 Considering the Naild React suspension design pedals really well it's not a problem when you have to climb. The cube requires that pedalling platform switch to be activated for a tough or long cllimb. It's two different linkages.
  • 42 3
 Lee598 asks question about climbing with flat's or an alternative and gets an answer about descending with flats.... Did I miss something?

Nothing wrong with 180mm for enduro if that's what you ride, it just won't pedal as well as a 180mm bike up a fire road. Saying that... much of pedalling is tyre choice, rim weight, crank arm length and of course leverage ratio and shock setup.
  • 16 0
 I was thinking the same thing, guy didn't get his question answered at all.
  • 7 1
 The answer is... take a hand off the handlebar when climbing. It will force a proper position and prevent pulling on the bars, which will prevent pulling his foot off.
  • 8 5
 I think the only good advice is: stick to flats for at least 10-15 rides... I personally climb better on flats.
  • 8 7
 Because there is no real difference in climbing between clip-in and flats ... The leg pulling is pure bs and you can read about it in the flat pedal manifesto. If you adjust your foot position properly, you will climb as effectively as in clip-ins. The real difference is the extra foot security but this applies only on descends (if you feet come off when climbing, you are doing something very wrong) or when pedalling really hard on rough terrain ( XC race). So why so many people use clip-in pedals everyday? Because they believe that it gives them advantage and they are used to them, so flats feal awkward. Thats why you should give them those 10-15 rides.
  • 5 3
 @lkubica: I can imagine that people with bodies built (genetics + training) for high cadence can benefit from clipping in. However high cadence is not good for technical terrain due to inability to effectively modulate power and the risk of rockstrikes, then makes it virtually impossible to utilize pedal kicks, 3/4 pedal strokes and other trials stuff. Off course a fast spinner can always down shift but if their bodies are unused to generating Power from hard gear they will struggle to clear longer sections without flooding their muscles with lactic acid and gassing out. But all in all, EVERYONE can benefit from using flats from time to time and then apply the gained skill and movement patterns for clipping in. So far the only rider I have seen (and that is on video) that climbs technical stuff when spinning fast is Ryan Leech.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: i dont think so , just get back on the uplift bus
  • 4 4
 @nick1957: quite frankly I'd love to ride with a guy who is willing to argue that clip-ins undoubtedly improve climbing performance on a bike. He must be so fast that I'd love to get humbled by him. A dude at my work (cool guy and decent engineer, who was wearing Rapha before it got so elite) claims he is much slower on his cimmuter roadie when he rides flats. He claims clipless improve his time to come to work up to 30% and that GMBN has proven it! I need him in my life...
  • 2 0
 Canfield Crampon Mountain pedals! BOOM!!!
  • 2 0
 i usually ride flats but im faster and i can get up more technical sections with clips. but i also ride a single speed so its real high torque and low cadence.
  • 4 1
 @nick1957: Sorry, I use uplift like twice a year. 33lb 160mm bike with flats and I comfortably climb everything I want. Fitness is what makes a difference, not the God damned pedals! I overtake quite a lot clipped-in rookies on XC hardtails.
  • 1 0
 Clips are better for climbing. Mainly due to the harder sole on the shoe transferring more power. Saying that... I wouldn't move away from flats. I just like the feel more. I have clips on my xc bike. Wouldn't change that, it its an xc bike and designed for hitting flatter trails at much greater speeds than my trail or am bikes which both have flats on. As does my dh bike. Flats are just more fun.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: good for you .coming from old school mtb racing ( xc really ) in toe clips ,straps and cleats I have been riding spd's since. one of my moments of extreme pride was climbing a local narly lung buster on flats , . never been in an uplift bus though ( yet ). love flats . love spd's too, just the riding I do at the moment its spd
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: The actual reason I ride with spd instead of flats (which I prefer and swap from time to time) is that my cleated shoes are more supportive on long rides than my flat pedal shoes and produce less muscle fatigue. Pathetic aren't I?
  • 2 1
 @maxetak: then try Impacts or Impacts VXii... I ride both flats and I clip in. Right leg clipped in, left on flat. Using a Maltese falcon shoe with little cut for the cleat allows me for it and the reason for this assymetrical setup is because I am very good at turning left but much worse on right handers. So I tend to stay clipped in on left handers. Even Ben Cathro says in his VLOG that most riders are like that: good on left handers bad at right handers. People always look weird at me but I know what works for me. They also trll me to stop fkng with people but I just can’t help myself!
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: sounds Waki!
  • 30 3
 I'm no expert, but shouldn't "you lower your wrists below the handlebar center and simultaneously, rock back near the rear of the saddle and drop your heels below the pedal axles" be something you are doing when descending regardless of pedal choice?
Doing that has almost completely eliminated all OTB situations for me...and being clipped in has a bigger penalty for failure in most cases.
  • 19 67
flag G-A-R-Y (Dec 26, 2017 at 14:25) (Below Threshold)
 Sam Hill doesn't ride with his wrists below the handlebar centre or with both heels below the pedal axles. RC should give up mtb journalism. everything he writes is worthless drivel.
  • 4 2
 @G-A-R-Y: Actually, he kinda does... (aside from your RC hate)
  • 23 16
 @ReformedRoadie:
I know it's panto season... but... Oh Noooo... He doesn't.
Take an actual look at Hills feet and wrists next time you see footage of him riding.
his trailing foot is actually very rarely heels down and pivots correcting and soaking up hits and as such it's often flat or even toes down.
As for his wrists. He's an elbows up rider. His wrists are naturally slightly above but behind his grips. (and like his ankles, change position as he rides)

I don't hate RC. i just wish he'd stop writing. Every article I've read from him in the last few years has been complete drivel.
  • 12 3
 @G-A-R-Y: I would have to agree. I knew it was RC's writing before I even got to the signature, just purely based off of the BS spewing.
Sorry RC, but there was a reason I stopped picking up MBA.
  • 7 9
 @ReformedRoadie: What's your point bro?

The video you've linked shows EXACTLY what I described.

Look at his trailing foot. (the rear one) incase you're confused for Sam that's his right foot.In that ^^ video it's pretty much NEVER in the heel below pedal axle position.
Look at his wrists. Also NEVER below the bar.

Sam uses 5:10s and long pedal pins. He's not scared. He doesn't often need to lower his heel to support himself or stop his rear foot sliding forward.

is this really so difficult to comprehend?
  • 6 7
 @G-A-R-Y: Seriously? Do you need screen shots? And of course the trailing foot does not have the heel dropped as much as the leading foot...that's not really anatomically feasible. If you did that, you'd be stretching to the lead foot.
Wrists are not below the bars, but are behind them.
The whole point is being behind your contact points, not over them.
I thought this was fairly obvious.
  • 8 16
flag G-A-R-Y (Dec 27, 2017 at 6:55) (Below Threshold)
 :
Sorry.@ReformedRoadie
You're clearly a beginner. if not at mountainbiking. Definitely at English reading comprehension.

Read what I said originally on the subject or better still have someone read and explain it to you.

Have a nice festive season.
  • 6 4
 @G-A-R-Y: Mmm. Not quite. If you need to, you can say you won the internet today...sounds like you do. Happy Festivus.
  • 8 9
 there are no absolutes in this sport, especially if you want to rip.

Using hill as an example of why someone should run flats is complete nonsense...

Frankly, there are very few benefits to flats IMO, unless you're doing slope tricks.

I am constantly unclipping to rail a janky/loose+flat corner... most of the WC pros do the same.

Also, this constant shit about effortless chunky descents on clipless pedals...sure there is less need to dig in when you're clipped, but you should always be driving the bike through sections, pumping where possible and staying as active as you can
  • 4 0
 @G-A-R-Y: IDK man really looks like he's dropping his heels on the braking sections.
  • 1 1
 Well I take back the "few benefits" comment a bit, as I mostly ride dry conditions ... Could and have see flats being additive in the mud!
  • 3 0
 > lower your wrists below the handlebar center

I've been riding for 20 years, and I've never heard of this before. It seems like it'd be uncomfortable and you'd get tired quickly in that position, but I'll have to give it a try next time out.
  • 1 0
 BMX background here and I always had a high-elbows approach. I think I got coached that way. Someone upthread commented that riding flats will show that you weren't really bunny-hopping and that's true! Clips help you cheat. But I have a hard time bunny-hopping in flats without my elbows being high. FWIW, that Sam Hill video doesn't look like his wrists are that low. I've noticed in pics that Ratboy has his brake levers super high - does he use flats?
  • 23 1
 Can I get a 180 travel, Carbon Enduro bike with flat pedals please? It’d be so controversial.
  • 9 0
 Soooo downduro.
  • 1 0
 Cant forget the pedal assist.
  • 15 15
 If you really want to be controversial call Sam Hill a loser. This will wake up a Triggasaurus in a quite a lot of people. Some folks will be like: i.imgur.com/NF0P3PZ.gif
  • 19 0
 Wow, @richardcunningham really failed to answer @Lee598's question. He clearly says that he has no problem descending with flats and is having troubles climbing. Moving the foot position back a bit will help for sure but with a normal size flat pedal this might feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable. I'd highly suggest checking these pedals out. pedalinginnovations.com. These are designed by James Wilson, @bikejames, for the optimal pedaling performance with flat pedals. The oversize platform gives you the support you need to have your pedal axle right in the middle of your foot, giving the same "push/pull" sensation and locked in feeling as clipless pedals. I have not personally spent much time on them other than on a couple friends bikes in the parking lot, but everyone I know who has them, both previous flat and clip riders, raves about how it has improved there riding immensly and will not go back to regular pedals. Just my $.02 because RC clearly didn't read the question.
  • 3 2
 That dude needs to try some toe-clips maybe?
  • 7 0
 @Morebike: please no. Toe clips are death traps, try pulling your foot back when all your weight is going forward and you’ll see its impossible. Next OTB scenario it’s your face in the ground.
  • 8 0
 I used Ryan Leech 12 day flat pedal challenge and returned to flat after 15 years. Bought some pedal innovation but used them one day. My friend does like them but has size 13 and I have 10.5. 6 months later I climb everything and my friends say I'm noticeably faster downhill. The online class is free. Happy New Year
  • 7 0
 It was a ask Pinkbike question and I'm really happy RC put it out there to ask all of Pinkbike. I really do respect what RC has to say but yes he really didn't answer my question. I have been reading his articles as long as I've been riding so I'm not gonna hold it against him. He is a great story teller and I will always be a fan of his work. Thank-you @zshipowick these pedals look very interesting I will more than likely buy a pair. After my injury the mechanics of my right ankle is totally different/wrong. Not only have I lost the ability to twist but lifting my toes up and down is really diminished as well so I think that is where the problem is. And all the other positive advice is great to see it's just a little difference of perspective on things that makes one's brain click and see what it couldn't before.
  • 2 0
 @lee5986:

With your reduced ankle motion, the pedaling innovations pedals may help as they require less ankle movement as they allow pedaling from the farthest back point on your foot. Just remember to slide your saddle forward to compensate for the different foot position and it will feel close to normal.

I’m still a clipless geek, but do like to play with flats now and again. I haven’t bought a pair yet, but I do like the pedaling innovations concept.
  • 2 0
 @lee5986: somehow, one year and a half ago I forget how to descent with clips. I mean, being clipped to the pedal was not the trouble, the stiffness in clipless shoes was. In fact I bougth a pair of 5.10 freerider contact and the thing still was uncomfortable (sole and toe protection to stiff). I move to the good old freeriders and never looked back but then, long (over 45') fire roads climbs become the trouble.

It was way more difficult to keep smoothness while pedalling, I could feel the waste of energy and ended more fatiged. I shortened my crank length (from 175mm to 165mm) and swoop the standard ring to an oval one and the thing do wonders to me.

If due to your injury you need to pedal with the toes pointing slightly outwards, this could help www.kneesaver.net

In the market there are one model especific for crank brothers pedals but I could not found it at this moment
  • 2 0
 I find one of the main advantages of clips is that they are smaller and less likely to hit rocks and stuff, so it seems dumb to make flats even bigger.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: thats what i thought too but apparently its non-issue with these pedals.
  • 1 0
 @lee5986: mabey try speeding up the rebound a click or two? I also like the comment about sliding the saddle forward for seated climbing. To do rear wheel lifts think about
pushing your back foot diagonally back and down to keep it gripping the pedal.
  • 15 1
 "Some people would turn their nose up at going back to aluminum, but the whole aluminum-versus-carbon thing is overplayed. Aluminum is just fine. Dialed geometry and proper build are more important than frame material." SLOW CLAP Vernon! My last 4 bikes were carbon but my next bike will be alloy so I can get the geometry I want with the best wheels, brakes and suspension.
  • 2 0
 If you are on a budget I agree - better suspension and wheels will make a far bigger difference than frame (assuming it is the same frame, but different material)...

(Or you can build it all yourself from sale parts and, if you are lucky/sensible, spend not too much different...)
  • 1 0
 RC gave his opinion on this a while ago on the exact same bike. It seems that there is a difference in opinion here

m.pinkbike.com/news/ask-pinkbike-carbon-aluminum-norco-sight-optic-2017.html
  • 3 0
 Vernon wasn't saying there aren't some advantages, it's just that often people go for carbon at the expense of more important parts on the bike (suspension, wheels, etc.). Carbon manufacturers play into this by only putting high end parts on their carbon bikes (even if they make alloy versions available, they are equipped with lower end parts). Companies like Commencal however, put very high end parts on relatively cheap frames and offer them at a competitive price point. Smart move if you ask me, they just have to convince people that the negligible performance gains of carbon are greatly offset by better parts/geo.
  • 12 0
 So get the Jefsey and a steel hardtail frame. You will need a headset,a bottom bracket and a cable. I built up a Surly Instigator mostly from the parts bin and it is a great winter rat on the cheap.
  • 1 0
 Couldn't agree more!
  • 12 0
 While nobody raced on a 180mm travel frame, many ews riders over forked their bikes, whether stumpjumpers or Spartans, to 180mm for certain courses.
  • 1 0
 Also when taking a look on cube bikes they tend to be pretty conservative geometry wise. Also the frames are quite lightweight. I think the old Fritzz is actually comparable to some 160 bikes from "hardcore" brands.
  • 2 0
 my 180mm fritzz climbs better than my 160mm carbon tranny patrol to be fair to it on fireroads etc. Trying to sprint on it is another thing tho, the shorter travel bike does win there. If the trails you wore racing on wore rough and straight you could get away with the fritzz, or if they wore techy and natural I'd pick a shorter travel machine.
  • 5 0
 He also asks if it is too much for UK riding - we don't have too many massive mountains here and, in general, big bikes need big terrain to come alive. If his local loops aren't full of nuts chutes and crazy mach chicken rock gardens then it is the wrong bike. However, if he never leaves downhill tracks, uplift days and trips to the Alps each year it may be perfect.

Go on a bike testing day and try lots of different bikes out on your usual terrain. See which you prefer and buy something like that - it might be that you find you prefer something with significantly less travel (they tend to feel far more lively and engaging in my opinion). If you need a bike to last you in the meantime then pick up a hard tail frame for cheap (preferably second hand) and you can sell it on later after you've found ' the one'...

I also wonder if it matters how fast you go down a hill (hear me out on this!) if you are still having fun? My buddy is a little quicker downhill than me, because his bike is a little more suited for it and he's a bit more nuts in the head, but I'm still going fast enough to scare me, kick in that adrenaline and have a right laugh. Any faster and my run that I've slogged all that way up the hill to do ends marginally quicker, and the risk of injury goes up. Yes, faster is fun (and I'm reasonably quick), but is it worth getting a bike that is 15 seconds faster down a 3 minute run if it isn't as good for 95% of the riding you do day in and out? If you aren't racing competitively at a high level I'd argue it's not...
  • 17 3
 Flat pedals won a medal
  • 8 5
 he could have won with sticks for pedals
  • 9 0
 "Take a look at what the top 10 pros in the Enduro World Series are running - if a 180mm bike was the best choice, wouldn't at least one of them be on a longer travel machine?"

No. A lot of what works great for pros doesn't work for us.
  • 7 0
 Actually the questions about 180mm travel and flat pedals show the biggest problem of this (and probably all other) sport. We all take for granted that what is good for a professional athlete during the world-class level competition day is good for you for everyday riding. This is the biggest BS ever. Thats why all those poor beginners on clip-in pedals or guys trying to run DH track on their "playful" trailbikes with boost spacing. This simply does not work this way. If the 160 travel bike with 170 fork is ok, why would a 180 bike have too much travel? Because a 160 bike is so much lighter? When you have an air suspension and a lockout? The fact that guys on EWS are faster on 160mm bike does mean NOTHING for most of us. Not to mention that they ride what the brand wants to promote.
  • 6 0
 Clips in on leading foot, flat on trailing foot. Best of both worlds. Focus your strength exercises on your leading leg so you can hammer up the climbs 'single-piston' style. Then adjust your local trails: build berms on all left hand turns, and skid all right turns with your foot out. (Or vice versa if your right foot is the leading foot.)
  • 8 0
 The answer to the "should I pop the question" question in the intro is "No, no you shouldn't." Merry f*cking Christmas.
  • 14 8
 YT is going to sell you a 3 year old frame as a crash replacent? That's pretty shitty isn't it? They can't sell a current model for replacement?
  • 8 9
 Great idea, just crash your bike every time a new mode comes out for a brand new frame. Don’t be naive.
  • 11 3
 I'm pretty sure the capra frame has not changed since 2015.
  • 5 1
 @poozank: Yeah that makes tons of sense to crash your bike annually with enough force to break it.

I have never heard of a 3 year old model or, "what ever the hell they have laying around" crash replacement because that's what this is. I have had two crash replacements and both were old things that were replaced with current models. This is weak.
  • 3 1
 @poozank: Apparently most brands think it's a great idea. From my experience with every bike brand i've worked with, you get a current model frame when you get a warranty or crash replacement. I can say from extensive experience in fact that Specialized UPGRADES you. Broke an Enduro Elite (alloy)? You get an Enduro Expert (carbon). Already had an Enduro expert? Well then you get an S-works, my friend.

I don't think it's necessarily purposeful in every brand's case, just that they don't keep stocks of old frames.
  • 2 1
 @TheRaven: Perhaps that's one reason why you pay less for Yt? Don't get me wrong as I've nothing against either brand but with Specialized charging a bit more they can probably put a bit more money into customer service...?
  • 2 1
 @slimboyjim: Absolutely. The saying is played out but still absolutely true - you get what you pay for. Brands like YT are cheaper for very significant reasons.
  • 1 0
 @poozank:
Santa Cruz replaces broken frames with the current model. But maybe that's just because the don't have the old ones in stock
  • 1 3
 should toss the yt anyways
  • 2 0
 @poozank: yeah sure when I bought my new car with replacement warranty my first thought was right at the warranty limit to crash the car really bad at high speed and hope to survive and get a new car... jeez!!
  • 1 2
 Name one car that offers crash replacement. The answer is zero. Your argument is moot. @ybsurf:
  • 2 1
 @poozank: obviously no car maker offer that it's a third party warranty that you can buy at time of purchase everybody knows that in Canada anyway... :/
  • 4 0
 I had a 2011 SWORKS enduro and the frame cracked at the BB. I bought the frame on massive discount in 2015. Spesh offered me a complete 2018 Comp Enduro for $1100 and I got all my parts back for a aggro hard tail build which will be built up in time for new year... knock Spesh all you like but they certainly came to the party for me.
  • 2 0
 i developed a crack on a 3 yr old hardtail stumpy singlespeed that they no longer make. Since they no longer made the frame, the replaced it with another bike. I had originally only bought the frame. I'm w headshot - you can hate on them but they've treated me well.
  • 2 0
 Like 10- 20mm travel is gonna make a noticeable difference in a bike. Check things like main pivot placement an damper tune.loose a pound in weight on the wheels an man up My old Furious pedalled like a rocket for such a big travel bike.
  • 3 0
 I had a 2004 Marin originally with 6 inches of rear travel and 5 up front. I threw a 888 on it and it pedaled like the trail bike it was but extra cushion for the downhills. The bike only weighed 35lbs which wasn't bad for 2004.
  • 2 0
 does it really matter if a bike is boost or not? realistically, if your going to upgrade a wheelset your probably going to build it custom. Lots of companies (ex. hope, true precision) all sell hubs in every size and have adapter kits to suit your needs. Heaven forbid the bike industry starts to f*ck with spoke count... will 2018 be the year of super quantum boost 149.75 x 13.5 with 38 hole for added stiffness? Darn i guess your out of luck if you want the Bonti Line pro's...
  • 4 0
 Carbon bikes..wah, wah wah! Aluminum bikes...wah, wah, wah? 2018...wah, wah, wah! Nothing will change!
  • 6 1
 except "standards"...
  • 2 1
 yeah yt is weak with that.. 2016 i crashed my kona operator and snapped the headtube right off. for 600 bux i got a carbon upgrade vs a free alloy model of my 2012 operator. of course i went carbon and gotta say it def was an upgrade over the older model. they did it right.. yt not so much
  • 1 0
 @MikeKazimer I'm pretty sure many of the pro's are running 170 to 180mm forks probably half of the EWS season, especially Whistler... Ritchie Rude, Josh Carlson, Curtis Keene... in fact isn't the new Spez Enduro 650b 170mm front and back?
  • 1 0
 So many roadies trolling the pinkbike comments and no one steps in to defend clip-less for climbing? I guess all those fools in the Euro road series should read the article on how flats can improve their riding and they should ditch their clip-less pedals for some flats. Using flats to "improve" you're downhill form is different than optimizing pedal efficiency and managing muscle fatigue on a climb. Maybe all @lee598 needs is a combo pedal and some flat soled clip-less shoes?
  • 1 0
 In enduro racing, you are only times for descent, so you are incentivized to ride as close to a DH sled as you can get up the mountain. So long travel fits the bill and can work great. Plus, enduro course have in many places become doing multiple downhill level runs in a day.

If points were there to be gained by doing your transfers faster, people would ride more "trail" bikes.

This is all a huge generalization obviously, but 160-180mm bikes are more about making it up the hill and shredding down as opposed to climing and descending back and forth.

BUT, 160mm bikes are really starting to climb well, so even that line is getting blurry.
  • 8 9
 Carbon vs aluminum- take any random sports equipment you like and think of the options, let’s say fly rod, compound bow and wakeboard (fill in the blank) think of the old bamboo/ fiberglass/ aluminum rods vs today’s carbon rods, almost anything you can think of is stronger/lighter more responsive and last longer out of PROPERLY done carbon. Aluminum can break or bend and the welds can fail, i have picked up some YT’s and they feel a little under built, my point is don’t get a crash replacement or Jeffry just try a different brand
  • 11 2
 Yep. When aluminum bikes fail, people blame the brand, yet when carbon bikes fail, people blame the material. I've cracked half a dozen Giant Anthem Advanced frames. After the same hammering a Scott Spark and Spark RC have been fine. Whose to blame, the manufacturer or the material? I say manufacturer.
  • 4 1
 @iamamodel: same factory, most the time it's a design flaw. Like speccing alloy shock bolts on a 160mm bike.
  • 4 3
 @iamamodel: carbon frames are cracking for no reason, all brands, Scott Carbon frames are no better than anything else, the aluminum anthem was defective and they kept sending you the same thing, I've never had an aluminum frame crack, almost everyone I know has had a carbon frame crack, it's fragile stuff.
  • 2 1
 @Climberdave: just one point: I don't know when the alu frame stopped preserving its geo in the first test, but I can tell you the carbon one gets toasted well before 2k lbs; hear the creaks starting at 1.50? that's broken fibers, and the frame is f*cked, even looking good
  • 3 0
 @iamamodel: you cracked 6 Anthem frames? Are you sure you've been using them for XC?
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: I was thinking the same thing while hearing all of that cracking and popping. I guess the testers were looking for a deformity as proof of failure.
  • 2 0
 @Konyp: Absolutely. I'm a 165 lb masters XC racer from Canberra, the home of flat groomed trails. Everyone I know on one cracked theirs within months, and two buddies cracked theirs within minutes, one of them the latest 2018 Anthem Advanced 29er. Everyone who was on Anthems are now on Sparks, and I haven't heard of any problems. Riders are the same, trails are the same, material is the same, only the brand is different. A few years ago I made one of the Giant Australia honchos hang his head in shame after I told him I had cracked four - there was no argument from him.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: Wow, that is amazing. My 2015 Anthem is still holding strong despite occasional jumping. Also most Scott bikes are made by Giant anyway. Seems tu you never know what you get.
  • 1 0
 @Konyp: Is it an Anthem Advanced? Have a look for a line on the front of the seat tube behind the shock. Also, have a look for cracks around the pivot on the seat tube - these are obscured by the rocker. The first sign is the creaking that everyone assumes is the press fit BB.
  • 3 1
 Live and let ride, y'all ride whatever set up you like, and I'll ride mine.
  • 1 1
 I don't like you opinion. You are ruining this website with your bitchy attitude. HAHA!
  • 4 1
 ride what you dig. there, can we stop this nonsense now?
  • 1 1
 If you know what you want and have some tech knowledge, I'd suggest you to buy used. There's a lot of very good used bikes for sale everywhere and you could really find a bargain for the price of the Jeffsy.
  • 3 0
 Vernon: thanks for making me love my metal bike a little more Smile
  • 1 0
 To the guy with the pedal issue once saw some magnetic cleets which don't require the twist action to unclip but will hold your feet in on climbs.
  • 2 0
 Nobody said "aluminum", better than the late, great, Steve Irwin. Nobody.
  • 7 1
 except it is aluminium
  • 5 3
 @theteaser: In 1808 Sir Humphry Davy, the British chemist who discovered the metal, named it “alumium.” Four years later, however, Davy changed his mind and gave the metal the name “aluminum”
  • 4 0
 @literally: must be a (north)american thing, everyone else calls it aluminium
  • 6 1
 @theteaser: right. except the guy who discovered and named it.
  • 4 0
 @literally: I think you got things confused. Aluminium was known much earlier than 1808
  • 1 0
 @literally: I've been wondering why there is that distinction between Brit and American spellings, but (frankly) was too lazy to check into that. Thanks for doing the checking.
  • 2 0
 @pooceq: From World Wide Words (though I've cross referenced it a few times in the past hour because I am procrastinating about riding in the snow today) "The metal was named by the English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (who, you may recall, “abominated gravy, and lived in the odium of having discovered sodium”), even though he was unable to isolate it: that took another two decades’ work by others. He derived the name from the mineral called alumina, which itself had only been named in English by the chemist Joseph Black in 1790. Black took it from the French, who had based it on alum, a white mineral that had been used since ancient times for dyeing and tanning, among other things. Chemically, this is potassium aluminium sulphate (a name which gives me two further opportunities to parade my British spellings of chemical names).

Sir Humphry made a bit of a mess of naming this new element, at first spelling it alumium (this was in 1807) then changing it to aluminum, and finally settling on aluminium in 1812. His classically educated scientific colleagues preferred aluminium right from the start, because it had more of a classical ring, and chimed harmoniously with many other elements whose names ended in –ium, like potassium, sodium, and magnesium, all of which had been named by Davy.

The spelling in –um continued in occasional use in Britain for a while, though that in –ium soon predominated. In the USA, the position was more complicated...."
  • 3 0
 @vernonfelton: now you talk about brit vs. murica: when living in London, someone explained to me that back in the the day brits used to speak similar to how nowadays americans do, but London's high class started what today's the british way to speak in order to differenciate themselves from the lower classes, then it got spread to the rest of the population
the more you know...
  • 1 0
 @vernonfelton:
It looks like you need to get out in the snow and ride your fu@!ing bike! The ups are a real bastard but the downs are so much fun!
  • 1 1
 people really ask questions like that? just go ride your bike enough and it should easy to figure out. i really shouldn't read this stuff
  • 2 0
 #rideFingmetal =)
  • 5 6
 why would you ever clip in? If you just stick to the flats, you won't have this problem... you problem solved, your welcome.
  • 1 2
 @Lee598 this might be the best alternative for this specific problem www.maglockbikepedal.com
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