Ask Pinkbike: Correct Shock Length, Tubeless for Gravity, A-Line Paralysis Tips, and Keeping the Bits Out of Your Goggles

Jan 13, 2015
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.



Shock Length Question

Question: Pinkbike user darwinws asked this question in the Mechanics' Lounge: I'd like to upgrade from the FOX DHX Air 5.0 shock on my bike but I'm having trouble finding something that fits. It has a 216mm eye-to-eye length, but most others that are close are 222mm long. Would using a shock that's 6mm longer affect the bike's geometry or cause other problems?

bigquotesYou're best to stick to the stock length shock on your bike. The longer shock will have a small effect on your bike's geometry - it will get slightly steeper if you run the same sag as the stock shock - but my bigger concern comes down to clearance issues. No, 6mm doesn't sound like much, but there are many places on a full-suspension bike where links or a swingarm can come extremely close to the frame, and engineers have designed the bike to within very tight standards. Putting on that longer shock could cause moving parts to come into contact with each other, which could lead to major damage. At the very least I would test fit the longer shock by installing it without the spring (or deflating it if it's an air shock) and pushing the bike through its travel to make sure that everything clears. It might not be an issue on some bikes but will be on others. - Mike Levy

Xprezo Adhoc Photo by Amy McDermid

Some frames, such as Xprezo's Adhoc, have pretty tight clearances when it comes to its suspension linkage. A longer eye-to-eye shock wouldn't fit.






Tubeless for Technical Riding?

Question: Sshredder says: in a PM: I was reading a thread about tubeless tires. I like to ride trails that cause pinch flats. I like rock Gnar etc. I prefer to run 800-gram tires with about 25 to 30 psi to prevent pinch flats and let the fork do most of the absorbing. If I run tubeless, I would probably want to run thicker-wall tires at a lower psi. That negates any weight savings, but in theory, I will not get pinch flats and will have better traction. If I ride aggressively, I will burp the tires (I have read). Will running a higher psi stop this? If I run say, 25 psi in a tubeless system, will I notice an improvement in traction? Is it worth it for my style of riding? I would say that I ride fast, with plenty of mistakes on roots rocks and steep stuff. I live at the base of the North Shore.

bigquotesFew DH pros run tubes, so that is as good an indication as any that tubeless tires can corner hard and not burp air or pinch flat. Almost no enduro racers run tubes as well, but it is worth noting that both groups use wide rims (26 to 30mm inner widths) to stabilize the tires laterally. Pinch flatting is caused by the shearing action of the tire carcass as an impact captures the tube between the folded tire carcass and the rim's flanges. Eliminating the tube eliminates pinch flats, but even with a tubeless arrangement, the possibility remains that an impact with a hard object can rupture the tire's sidewall beyond the sealant's ability to instigate an instant repair and you will flat in a similar manner.

That said, That said, I'd go for tubeless. Use one-inch Gorilla tape to seal the rim, and Stan's is the best sealant and valve stem supplier. Keep the tires at 40 psi overnight after you mount them so the rubber glues itself to the rim walls (an old moto trick) and try dropping five psi from the pressure that you normally used when riding with tubes. Running tubeless will get you more traction everywhere, even if the tires are heavier, and your bike will roll faster. Both are facts. Keep one spare tube with you as a backup and you should be good to go.

There are some technical tips worth considering for first-time tubeless folks. All tires have a pressure sweet spot that provides stable cornering and good traction, so experiment until you find the right combination. Most rims and tires can be converted to tubeless, but the obvious advice is to begin with a rim and tire combination that is stated to be "tubeless ready" or even better, "UST certified," so that the inner-rim profile and tire-bead construction will assist and not stymie your efforts to mount and inflate the tires. Most combinations intended for tubeless will air up with a floor-pump if you remove the valve core to increase the flow into the tire. Stubborn tires require a ready source of compressed air. In lieu of a compressor, a cheap air storage tank can be inflated with a floor-pump to get the job done. - RC


anatomy of a tubeless feady tire and rim.

While this image is a bit of an advertisement, WTB's tubelesss ready rim and tire combinations illustrate all of the important aspects of tubeless system systems: The inner rim profile encourages the bead to seat and seal. WTB uses the rectangular, certified UST bead and rim flange interface, and a latex-based sealant ensures that the tire carcass is initially sealed, and that the tire will be self healing.





Fingers Locking Up on Downhills?

Question: Roguee asks in the the Downhill Forum: My fingers are locking up a lot, I can't even enjoy rides any more because my fingers will be in agony on a two minute DH run. When I get to the bottom it takes about a minute for them to loosen up and then I can get the movement back. I was told I had my levers pointing down too low, so I moved them up (That actually worked for 2 or 3 runs and then the pain came back). Any suggestions on what I should do? I don't think I'm holding the bars too tightly and it's nothing to do with my suspension as it's happening on both bikes.
bigquotesIt sounds like you may have what I call A-Line hand, named after Whistler Bike Park's most famous trail. It's a common ailment at lift served resorts, where lap after lap of hard braking combined with the vibrations doled out by the miles of brake bumps can do a number on your hands, turning them into immovable claws by the end of the day. Adjusting your brake levers is a good starting point, but in addition to angle of the levers I'd also look at how far inboard the lever is. In most cases, there will need to be a gap in between where your grip ends and the lever body in order to achieve a comfortable position for one finger braking. I'd also recommend checking the lever reach (how far away the lever is from the bar). Having the levers positioned slightly closer to the bars can help relieve some of the stress on your hands.

Once you have your brake lever position sorted out, take a look at the grips you're using. Thick or thin grips are a matter of personal preference, and it may take some experimenting before you find a set that works, but a comfortable grip can be a big help. Your local bike shop should be able to show you a few different options.

Okay, your lever position is all set, you've got new, comfortable grips, but your hands still lock up - now what? It might be a matter of hand strength. You may not be holding on too tightly initially, but if your hands are getting fatigued it will force you to grip tighter and tighter with each run. There are a number of hand strengthening devices aimed at rock climbers that can work for cyclists as well. Don't overdo it, but work on steadily improving your strength until you can ride without pain. Of course, if the pain persists you should see a professional, a doctor or a physical therapist who can work with you to solve this issue. - Mike Kazimer

Red Bull Rampage 2014 Retrospective

Between riding and digging, a mountain biker's hands take a beating.





Dirt Getting Into Goggles?


Question: Pinkbike user ZTSH asked this question in the Downhill Forum: A mate of mine was saying his goggles fit perfectly snug to his face, with no wind into his eyes. Yet he still gets mud in his eyes when riding. He says its just going through the foam. Is this true or is he making excuses?


bigquotesA phenomenon that has discombobulated downhillers for decades. Clean goggles - check. Goggles fit flush with your face, no possible way for dirt to get inside the goggles - check. Begin downhill run, spot chunk of dirt floating around, dirt starts tickling your eyeballs, enter jump take-off/entrance in to a steep root-fest/muddy off-camber rock garden, lump of dirt gets lodged in eyeball. How is this even possible? The main cause of this dangerous distraction is putting your goggles on to the back of your helmet in between runs. It's easy for mud to flick on to the back of your helmet when riding, in the exact place you would put your goggles, the mud gets knocked into the goggles when you take them off, and the next thing you know one eye is searing and closed, depth perception is disarmed and you can only guess how many milliseconds it will take to collide with the tree you are on a collision course with. The solution? Put your goggles in the bag they were supplied with, or double up the strap and wear them on your forearm, and most importantly always give them a really good shake before you don them. - Paul Aston

Neko Mulally finds his line through the upper rock garden. Once it started coming down the rock gardens backed up with riders trying come to terms with the mud-slicked rocks.

Placing goggles on the back of your helmet for your race-run is a sure-fire way to get mud in your eyes. Although Neko Mulally likes to make his own rules.




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


131 Comments

  • 109 2
 neko must save the team alot of money if he doesnt use goggles and chains
  • 16 16
 I'm personally curious about him not snagging that gravity rider of the year, or at least honorable mention, he certainly pulled of some shenanigans.
  • 21 1
 im neutral but look at the results and stuff and you will see why josh won Wink
  • 4 0
 Not sure what race that was, but I know I've ridden races where it was so muddy that goggles were pointless: every rider came through the finish line with them off. At some point, you just can't keep them clear of mud, & you're better off just squinting through it.
  • 9 12
 at one race i even stopped , took them off, and set off again... still won with 0.8 seconds lol
  • 3 2
 I find for downhill races that are more like kayak runs that you can put your goggles around the chin part of your full face, they act like an extra guard to stop most of the flicking water.
  • 2 0
 Some of the world cup racers are running roll offs at the races. This is a good way to solve the mud problem. A tear off system is also a good idea if your goggles are compatible and if they are permitted at the race.
  • 20 4
 Someone watches too much Spongebob
  • 71 2
 @Waldon83 Someone doesn't watch enough spongebob
  • 1 2
 Some good weight training without using straps or gloves when handeling some heavy dumbells and barbells has def helped big time, also a bike with proper geometry for your size and body position to keep your weight back and on the pedals
  • 1 2
 No simpathy for the guys who don't weight train and are running thin ruffian grips cause they think they look cool and its what so many others use when they start whining about their hands. Maybe if you wanked it every once in a while...
  • 48 1
 "30 laps a day, my hands are locked this way. I ONLY RIDE PARK"
  • 23 0
 "but it is worth noting that both groups use wide rims (26 to 30mm inner widths) to stabilize the tires laterally."

This is simply not true. A huge number of enduro and dh pros were on 23mm inside width rims last year. Why? Because that is the rim width that most tire designers are working around!
  • 3 0
 ^ i had the same thought. i run ex823's on my DH bike and so far the og highroller is the only tire readily available in tubeless that i feel comfortable running on the rear. please maxxis, DH version of highroller 2 in tubeless.
  • 16 0
 Don't ruin the marketing circle jerk! All these tires that were designed around normal rim widths are SO much better on wider rims because....ummm...well Pinkbike told us so. Jeez guys...
  • 1 0
 "Almost no enduro racers run tubes as well"
  • 2 1
 And also notable, alot of pros run 2.35 tires .
  • 1 0
 I just went from i30 rims back to i25's because of tire profiles being less than ideal on the wide rims...I would say the only people running i30 rims for enduro are the few specialized racers running their traverse fatty sl wheelset..other than that there are very few companies making a rim over i25....The wide rim is awesome for going in a strait line but not so much for cornering
  • 1 0
 I prefer 23mm rims myself just because of the profile it gives. 25mm works for me only when running huge tyres but 23 also works well for huge tyres.
  • 1 0
 I'm going to use Kenda Small Block 8 2.35 on WTB Frequency i25 - TUBELESS.
While SB8 are not officialy tubeless ready, the man from KENDA told me to try it with the Orange sealant.
Also there are a tubeless-conv. kits that convert any tires/rims to tubeless system like Stan's or Joe's Sealant Conversion Kit on ebay.
That kits provide 2 molded rubber strips with integrated valves weighting 70 grams each( and other stuff.)

So, guys, did someone tried Kenda SB8 2.35" tubeless with some sealants/kits?
Is it necessarily to use that molded rubber strips(70grams!!!) or Gorilla type is enough ?
  • 1 0
 Gorilla tape is not light, and a couple wraps around a wheel can often end up weighing as much as one molded rubber strip.
  • 1 0
 ^id guess alot more than 70grams. 70 grams is less than 3/16 of a pound. if you're worried about that little added weight on a DH bike than you probably have a carbon frame, carbon wheels, carbon cranks, carbon bars etc. And if not than who gives a sh*t about 70g
  • 1 0
 But the kits include also some spoke tape.
Is it enough only 1 wrap of gorilla tape ?

@ whitebullit
If you worried about that little added weight on a DH bike then yes I can agree with you.
But I did not mentioned DH bike.
My bike is at most for freeride with these wheels and current fork.
I mentioned Kenda SB8, they are not very DH, isn't it ?
And they are light: 120tpi 26x2.35" 680gramm
I like them because of fast rolling, pattern, lightweight and the price.
That's why I got them.
  • 2 0
 @bikecustomizer, im not knocking your tire choice, just sayin you could drop 50x that 70g if you took a crap before riding. dont worry so much about grams, worry about getting the tires seated correctly. my DH bike has true tubeless and my trail bike has DH casings and DH tubes. id rather have a little extra weight and not have to worry all the time about getting a flat, but when i can afford it my trail bike is getting 823's as well. go for what works for you, regardless of weight, you'll be glad you did.
  • 2 0
 One wrap of gorilla tape and stans sealant is fine for me on non tubeless ready tires
  • 4 0
 Thats a 7.7 lbs crap.... Just saying you should probably get that checked out....
  • 1 0
 @whitebuilt
"worry about getting the tires seated correctly"
That's one of the reasons I asked my questions.
But I also consider the weight savings. Just because if the weight can be reduced then I will at least try to do it (without crazyness of course). Especially if that weight is rotational.

"id rather have a little extra weight and not have to worry all the time about getting a flat"
That's another reason of my asking and this article.
There are a tubes of just 100g weight. 70g molded rubber strips vs 100g tubes....
Seems they are thin for rough staff but if not to go rough it's ok and there is no that tubeless hassle.

Also I like high preassure in my tires, usually ~3.5bars

@wydopen
Oh yeah, thanks! Now I'm full enthusiasm!
What is your weigth ? I'm ~85kg
  • 1 0
 Im 190lbs Im running exo tries and riding very rough terrain...Ive only flatted once in the last year...if you set them up right you have nothing to worry about
  • 1 0
 just for shits and gigs. im 200 lbs and didnt get a flat at all this year. booya bitches!
  • 22 0
 MY EYES! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING!
  • 7 0
 Real acid?
  • 2 0
 Aw fark, that make me laugh..
  • 4 1
 I keep my goggles on the helmet in the "riding position" between runs, shake the possible dirt off before a run, ensure that the fit is perfect... and no matter how much I try to have it dirt free, there is always the occasional bit of dirt that gets in there. So I stop (after it got into my eyeball of course) shake the dirt off, resume run... and still manage to get dirt in there.

The guy who solves this issue deserves the physics nobel prize.
  • 1 0
 Same thing here. The movement of the helmet obviously moves the goggle as well. I tend to have dirt penetrating the goggles on jump impulsion. Getting other goggles helped but didn't fix the issue 100% (note these were oakleys Wink )
  • 11 0
 For hands you can't leave out staying hydrated and having a reasonable sodium intake. It won't fix it, but if you lack sodium and water you will be more likely to cramp up quickly regardless of lever position, grips, or for setup.
  • 8 0
 Chips and brews for sweet DH. Got it.
  • 1 0
 yes to hydration and grip size+hand size/preference. A-Line hands haha try garbanzo hands. now thats a bitch! oh and gloves help too if they fit properly, if they bunch up, or are too loose they can make things worse.
  • 1 0
 My calves get crampy when I start to become chemically unbalanced...it's also an early warning system to prepare for a lot of HURT cuz it's COMIN' lol. This usually happens when I am dumb and don't mix my mix strong enough for a race level effort.
  • 10 0
 To add to the comment on sore hands. Lever position and grips do play a part for sure on sore hands but also compression and rebound setup on your fork. I actually found this to be the most prominent for sore hands. If the rebound is set up too fast you're struggling to hold on and gripping harder causing your hands to be tired faster. Then also if your rebound is to slow you're getting more impact on your hands from the wheel not returning fast enough through bumps. Compression also has a similar effect but more so on your forearms. Too much compression (stiffer fork) and the forearms take a beating from you muscling the bike around and too little compression (divey fork) and you're over compensating as well. I'd say if you've changed grips and lever position like Mike had said then play around with your fork and you should notice a difference. Good luck!
  • 5 0
 This. I'm a career auto mechanic and my hands/wrists/forearms get abused on a daily basis, so I'm not as sensitive to arm pump from braking on downhill runs, but tweaking the bar position, controls, and grip size only helped so much with the intense wrist pain I was suffering after about a half hour of riding. Bigger grips helped a whole lot, but more was needed.

I found that in my newbness to dialing in suspension, I had too much compression and not enough rebound. Getting the rebound on my fork set up so it was slow enough not to pogo over big chatter (rocky trails) helped immensely. I just set it and forget it, so it works for the majority of my riding. Same with the compression, I get it close to where I want it and adapt from there, with plus or minus a few clicks as needed. Now I can ride for a few hours, until I'm pretty much spent, and no outrageous pain in the wrists and hands.
  • 3 0
 ^2nd

Bad setup or poor performing forks (forks in need of a rebuild) lead to GI Joe hand. Make sure your forks are running smooth through all its millimeters and setup properly for how you ride. If you ride lots getting the forks serviced a minimum of once a season works wonders - even if you think they don't need the love.
  • 1 0
 The end result of properly set up damping is being able to relax your grip on the bars. Relaxed is better. Relaxed will keep your upper body more fresh and the bike more under control.
  • 12 2
 Re: Hands in Whistler.

No one has said to let the bars dance in your hands.

Grip strength is not the answer to this. I started riding the park as a powerlifter with a mother f*cking kung-fu grip that was brought to it's knee's as a beginner years ago. As in, JesusMotherChristMyHandsAreF@ckingBusted, I'll-pay-you-money-to-fix-this bad.

Relax and let the bars move in your cupped hands and keep the weight on your feet for the majority of the lap and you will never have hand problems again.

Before you know it you'll be riding like Remy.
  • 11 1
 I'm also really surprised this wasn't mentioned. Keep a loose grip, let the bars float in your hands. Some of the best riding advice I've ever received. Helps to keep your weight centralized on the bike too! (you wont be leaning/pulling on the bars)
  • 1 0
 Woah, I didnt know other people did this. I thought that i was the only one handlebar dancing in my cupped hands. This is solid advice, it's how I was able to ride my rigid single speed fast in my 20s. The whole bike was dancing under me. Just stop holding on so tight.
  • 2 0
 Yeah i do this when i can remember but it gets really hard to do when your tired and weak.
  • 5 0
 I actually never thought about trying to keep my weight more on my feet.Gonna try that tomorrow
  • 1 1
 Aaargh the Manos Hands of Fate syndrome or, to the more holy, GOD (grip of death). If you're fighting with your bars then your bike isn't dancing in time with you
  • 1 2
 The white knuckle death grip is my preferred style of riding!
  • 11 0
 Tech Tuesdays..... They are always the best articles of the week!
  • 3 0
 I'd like to see a discussion of the adverse effects of running a shorter eye-to-eye shock, in cases where someone is doing maybe a 650b swap on a DH bike and wants a lower, slacker bike, or maybe something similar on a trail bike. Obviously it decreases travel, but will it impact anti-squat and other suspension characteristics?
  • 1 1
 It depends how much of the anti-squat is in the shock tuning, or whether it is in the suspension linkages. Running a shorter shock will make the bike feel like it is further through the stroke than it really is, like if you set too much sag for instance. However, the shock will be running normally without the mushy feeling you get when you run too much sag. My mate ran a shorter than normal shock on his bike for a while because we had a spare one, and it worked pretty well, it slackened the bike up well and still had a nice suspension feel.
  • 4 0
 Same drama however: if it's not shorter STROKE as well as shorter eye-to-eye, your suspension will travel farther at full compression, which can make things bash into each other just like something too long.

In my mind, it's more dangerous than something too long: you can change the angle of force at full compression on a shock mount doing this, which is less concerning at the top of the travel, but could be catastrophic in a hard bottom out: you might be loading welds instead of the mount.
  • 1 1
 Good point, we didn't have an issue with this, he had a meta 55 at the time with plenty of clearance before the frame contacted itself. Would definitely be worth taking the air/spring out of the shock and cycling it to make sure nothing contacts before going for a ride.
  • 2 0
 That doesn't really change the fact that the shock is pivoting farther than the frame designer took into account for the shock mounting, changing how the force is delivered to the mount(unless it's a model that's sold with a few different shock lengths: Specialized & Cannondale are known to do this.)
  • 1 0
 In my case I'd be looking at a shorter eye-to-eye and shorter stroke, so no bashing into things.
  • 1 0
 As for the other characteristics, It's going to vary widely based on the suspension type, the tune of that suspension type for a particular frame, & how much shorter you go.

Broadly, though, bikes are engineered to pedal well at certain point in the stroke, with a certain size chainring. you can make some bikes feel like crap just by putting the wrong size chainring on them. I'd feel better about trying it on a DH bike than a trail bike, & when I was considering doing something similar, I was going to stick with the same eye to eye, & just reduce the stroke.

After all, think about it: if you change the EtE & stroke by the same amount, if a 650b wheel is hitting the seat tube with the original shock, it'll hit the seat tube with the new one. So you have to shorten the stroke more than the EtE. Now you've magnified how much you're reducing the travel, because you're losing some by shortening the EtE(bike sits lower in the travel) & then losing some more by shortening the stroke(bike doesn't move as far through the travel before bottoming out.)
  • 1 0
 I did this on my sx trail. shorter stroke, stock got 6.7 inches, with new shorter dhx air it got 5.9inches of travel, slackened the head angle from 66.5 to around 65 degrees. the bike felt like a new ride. it was perfect (and the rear was slightly more progressive)
  • 1 0
 groghunter, I must have a unique frame then because the larger wheel is no-where near contacting the seat tube (or anywhere else) with the shock removed completely. The shorter shock would just put the suspension approximately at %40 sag of the original, so I'd need to run less sag.
  • 1 0
 I was just using seat tube contact as a proxy for tire/frame contact, as it's the most common, but by no means exclusive, point of contact when you up wheel size.

Not sure what you mean by the wheel not contacting anywhere without a shock... is the frame contacting the frame, or binding at a pivot? something has to stop it from moving any farther.
  • 1 0
 It is a FSR style design with a rocker mounted under the top tube, without the shock the rocker just swings up into the bottom of the top tube.
  • 3 0
 just ride through the bar cramp. I cried for a week everynight when I moved to Whistler. After a few weeks of solid laps you hands strengthen up and you dont get grip lock anymore!!
  • 2 0
 I found brakes make a big difference it the hand lock issue as well. When I use a lighter brake that doesn't modulate well but has loads of power (Formula The One), I found my hands would tire easily from trying to maintain the minute adjustments needed for braking even a few DH runs.

When I switched to XTs or other brakes known for modulation, I find that my hands don't get anywhere near as tired as before. You have a little more range for braking force, and it doesn't require as much force just to slow down a bit versus hard braking. I went from cramping within a few hours, to all day lift runs wondering why (but thankful) my hands and forearms weren't sore.
  • 2 0
 Climbing is one hell of a complement to bike riding, both physically and mentally. Although very different from biking, it shares a lot of essential skills (balance, self confidence, line reading, endurance, impulse, etc)
My arm pump drastically lowered after some months of regular rock climbing.
Moreover, that's fun and it pairs well with biking on a well planned trip.
  • 1 0
 Adjusting fork settings can help, generally softer, adjust hi speed compression first to help smooth out brake bumps then mess with lo speed a bit but not too much if you are gone be doing big drops, you can also adjust air or spring in fork. I used odi rogue grips that are biggish n soft.
  • 1 0
 THANK YOU PB
I have been roasted and burnt by big mouths UST haters for well over a decade now. Before that I used Slime.
I have been UST via crossmax sx's and UST tires since 2002. Only twice have I had a flat caused by a large hole at least a 1/4 inch or more. Only once did I have to walk cause I could not fill the hole with the right size stick. Been using Hans Dampf and other Shwalbes and a few maxxis for over 4 years with zero issues.
  • 2 0
 Aren't we forgetting proper fork setup to save the hands? Maybe the forks are too hard Ith hi speed xompression too tight or out of sync with rebound. Or simply service the forks so they work Ith far less friction
  • 1 0
 forks that are too soft also make the problem much more severe
  • 2 1
 can't see how too-soft a fork would hurt the hands. (maybe so if it leads to harsh bottoming) my hand pain only got more manageable when i softened my fork up. i would stand by that advice
  • 1 0
 May seem counter-intuitive, but that's how it is. Going from a silver (the softest) to a red (medium) spring in my Boxxer helped immensely (according to Rock Shox, I should be running the silver). Soft suspension is almost never good. Now I can go on for much longer with no pain.
  • 2 1
 i should have said its not soft spring, but making the rebound much slower that saved my hands. with slower rebound the fork tracks the ground better and does more work for you. there is a widespread misnomer about how rebound should be fast. i try to make it as slow as i can for the trail at hand. obviously it can be too slow & pack up but i play the slow side for best handling and less pain.
  • 1 0
 You said that more damping is making the fork do more work, which is not true. The sole purpose of damping is to absorb energy, thus make the suspension work less (whether it be compression or rebound). Actually I like my suspension reasonably fast so it doesn't pack up. The more work the fork does, the fewer impacts are transferred onto your hands. Of course, fast and slow are subjective terms so we may not come to an agreement ;-)
  • 1 0
 absorbing energy through damping is the work that forks do. how can you suggest that more damping is less work for the fork?! you seem confused. ill bet money that you will ride the same trail with more control with it slower. everyone knows you don't want it to pack up, but guys turn that info into "it should be fast" which is the wrong idea. several seasons at whistler pounding rocky lines have taught me this. i was a fast rebound guy too, until i got smart. I've saved myself and countless other guys from their sore hands & lack of control in the rocks by slowing down the rebound for them. at least in the case of DH on rocky terrain, although i can't think of any biking scenario where this isn't the caseā€¦
try it. its true. believe me.
  • 1 0
 You're patronizing. I know how to set suspension up. I do not ride a pogo stick, it's my pet peeve, I always tell people to get their setup sorted if they do. I usually ride with my rebound damping at 50-60% of the adjustment range, which is fairly quick and very controllable. Of course you have more control with a well tuned fork, no need to explain that to me. But you ABSOLUTELY don't want your fork to be slow. It'll pack up, it'll be sluggish. It's dangerous.

Also, you're the one that's confused about damping. The more damping in a fork, the less work it does, because damping DAMPENS the work. Try setting your rebound damping and compression damping to 100%. It'll do much less work than a well tuned one. Put the adjustments at 0% and it'll be a pogo stick (but do much more work. I'm not saying this is better, just illustrating how damping affects suspension performance)
  • 1 0
 "obviously it can be too slow & pack up" "everyone knows you don't want it to pack up"
after i wrote those things you still think you are educating me by explaining about packing up?? who's patronizing who? Ive literally been rebuilding and tuning DH forks since you were 7 years old, believe me i have a firm grasp of the topic and don't need help there...
you are still backwards and confused about the meaning of damping. not that i give a shit what you know or don't, i was just trying to be helpful to those who would benefit from reading the info cause i used to suffer from the same ignorance til i learned better. call any trusted suspension expert you like and try to get them to agree to your explanation of damping, ill bet money they will say what i have, you don't have to take it from me. happy trails in any case
  • 1 0
 The whole point of damping is to absorb the excess energy stored in the suspension (specifically, the spring). Damping has nothing to do with absorbing bumps (although you seem to disagree for whatever reason). Absorbing energy from the trail is what springs do. Not dampers. Now reread the first two sentences of your 3rd comment. Something doesn't add up
  • 1 0
 "Damping has nothing to do with absorbing bumps" ?!?!?! springs don't dissipate, they store and then return energy. The reduction in energy is the job of the damping system. (just for the record, please explain your understanding of "compression damping", and how the system isn't for "absorbing bumps", its bound to be interesting read.)

i read my 2 sentences again, nothing to report, they are still spot on. call Fox, or Rockshox, or any bike shop in the world that does fork work, and have them tell you the exact same thing, I've done all i can here
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike help me!
My derailleur is always snapping forward when I want to pedal in rough stuff. It's like loosing the resistance of the chain for a split second and I almost crashed a few times because of this! Frown
I have no idea whats going on there and my local bikeshops have no idea about bikes actually... Frown
  • 5 0
 Are you sure it's the derailleur? I had the same issue and it turned out to be a worn rear cassette. If you replaced either the rear cassette or the chain but not both at the same time, it may be causing the chain to skip, as the spacing between the teeth on the cassette gets worn at the same time as the old chain is stretching; when you replace one part but not the other, the spacing is different and it can cause it to skip like that.

I hope it helps. Had me pretty confused for a while trying to fix it, wound up replacing most of the drivetrain before I got the issue fixed.
  • 1 0
 chain might be too long also pully wheels may be worn out
  • 1 0
 First of all, thank you for your replies.
I replaced my chain and my cassette about 9 months ago. Everything worked fine for a few weeks and then, all of a sudden, the problem came back! Frown
So I'm not sure if replacing the cassette and chain would help. I also got a new derailleur last September, because i smashed mine into pieces (don't ask how^^) and the same problem happend after a few rides.
  • 1 0
 "try dropping five psi from the pressure that you normally used when riding with tubes. Running tubeless will get you more traction everywhere, even if the tires are heavier, and your bike will roll faster. Both are facts." --RC

RC I don't understand. We'll assume similar weights running one's wheelset with tubes vs no tubes because of the heavier tires you mentioned. We're also dropping five PSI without tubes. Of the two facts you mention, I agree with the first one, because the lower pressure will give you a larger contact patch and more traction. The second one seems to contradict this. How is the bike gonna roll faster? Seems to me, there'd be more rolling resistance, and the bike would roll slower. Whats the dealio, yo?
  • 1 1
 A lot of rolling resistance comes from the friction between the tyre and the tube as they move. If you do away with the tube you do away with this friction. You can 'spend' this saving elsewhere, ie, improving traction with lower pressure.
  • 4 1
 It will roll faster on UNEVEN surfaces as as tires will compress more over small objects. This increase in tire flex will reduce deflection of the rider/bike mass center meaning better rollover performance.
  • 2 1
 for the hand burning... there is a way to improve finger and hand strength very easily. At stores such as MEC or REI or many other outdoor specific stores ( i don't know what you guys have in the uk or down under) they sell climbing grip trainers. you buy whatever spring pound you need and squeeze that thing till your hand hurts, do your other hand and by the summer your hands will be just as buff as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • 1 0
 For the A Line hand, thicker grips make you squueze less hard in steep and fast sections. the Oury non-lock ons are thicker than the lock ons. lock ons have thinner rubber to compensate for the plastic sheath. if you need even thicker, try forcing those ourys over the top of some worn down lock ons with soap and water.
  • 1 0
 In reference to the rock in the goggles.

I found that the vent openings in my helmet (giro remedy) would let small peices of dirt or decomposed granite in, they would then sit on top of the seal of my goggles and after harder hits that jostled the helmet up and down a bit on my head, the rocks would make it past the seal.

Solution, helmets with mesh over the vents.
  • 1 0
 I struggled with hurting hands and tired forearms for many years. And while a better setup and better fitting parts helped, the real game changer is to work on your skills. "Heavy feet, light hands" and "Stay loose" and you can ride park all day long!
  • 2 0
 This isn't a cheap fix at all, but when my hands seized up I found a better fork and more powerful brakes that required less effort from me to solve the issue.
  • 2 0
 "Few DH pros run tubes, [...] almost no enduro racers run tubes as well."
can anyone verify this? I think I always saw a tube when a DH pro lost his tire because of a flat.
  • 2 0
 I know that quite a few pro teams have gone tubleless (GT, Santa Cruz, Specialized) but I would be surprised if all of them have. One needs only look at Aaron Gwin's run on his rear rim, when he peeled his tubeless tire off in a hard turn, to see that tubeless is still far from without it's own issues. There were at least a few Schwalbe riders testing the new Procore system this season and it seems to be a way to address some of the problems but it comes with a weight penalty.
  • 3 0
 gorilla tape for tubeless. every time. this is actually what enve suggests and uses on their factory rims.
  • 1 0
 @whitebullit thank you for the term! I cant believe I had to read this far down the page to see the proper term. Its not imaginary, its a thing, and it involves blood swelling in a cavity (bring on the boner jokes) and pressuring the muscles in the forearm. I remember MXA did a massive article about it in the 90's. I think Kevin Windham or someone had to get an emergency surgery to drain the blood.
  • 1 0
 Also, totally wrong comment to reply to. Oops!
  • 4 1
 im surprised nobody has suggested to try a different bar. What handlebar are you currently using.?
  • 3 0
 exactly, the form, the width and the material can all be relevant
  • 1 0
 very true, I used to have pain in my hands, wrists and elbows, but when I changed to a handlebar with less sweep (from a 5 degree upsweep and 9 degree backsweep to a 4 up and 7 back) the pain just never came back. always try to take time to try different parts/set ups
  • 4 0
 I call hand cramps Kokanee claw
  • 1 0
 earlier i found it waste but now have started finding it a bit useful!!! a href="http://www.lucky-patcher.co/" rel="dofollow" class="seoquake-dofollow">www.lucky-patcher.co/a>
  • 1 1
 I run ghetto tubeless on my bikes (20" bmx tubes on 26 in wheels cut open), never had a burp or flat once in 2 seasons of whistler bike park on non UST minions. valve core removed makes for easy sealant top ups too.
  • 1 1
 That's because with getto tubless the tube rim strip is not attached to the rim so it moves with the bead when the bead moves slightly off the rim. This prevents a lot of burping.
  • 2 0
 The best thing I've found for hand cramp in the park was putting a charger damper into my boxxers.
  • 1 0
 I dunno if Stan's is the "best sealant", I much prefer Orange Seal over Stan's as in my experience it seals up new tires a lot faster/better and has just been awesome.
  • 1 0
 Ibuprofen works well to prevent arm pump and finger cramps, there is a noticeable difference. and of course, adjust your levers and fit your grips to your hands
  • 2 0
 i get that hand thing - it hurts like hell after maybe 3 runs.
  • 2 0
 Me too, my gf is physio and she does not understand why :-/
  • 9 0
 She should loosen her grip a bit ;-)
  • 2 0
 arm pumps a bitch. luckily coming from a moto backround i dont get it that bad anymore. but still, 6 hours of lap after lap will always have you hurtin somewhere.
  • 7 0
 Crosstrain at the rock gym a few days a week: it'll hurt bad at first, but before too long, no more arm pump, ever. Plus climbing rules.
  • 3 0
 Its not even arm pump though, Im the guy that asked the question and I used to ride mx so I know what arm pump is like... This is much worse!
  • 3 0
 From my experience, running my brake levers just about as close to the bars as possible combined with running thin grips because of the size of my hands and positioning the lever body properly for one finger braking helped heaps. Running the brake levers close to the bar is good because your fingers don't have to reach very far for the levers. Reaching out a longer ways for the levers causes fatigue, which, coupled with the trail's obstacles and lots of runs, really adds up. On top of that, if you're running thick grips and don't have massive hands, you have to hold the grip tighter in order to stay in control because of the grip's wider diameter, causing more fatigue. Smaller grips, levers close to the bar and positioned well for one finger braking (i.e. don't have the brake touching/crazy close to the grip) will help a ton. Toss in well set up suspension, gym time and more riding to be in an ever better place.
  • 1 0
 @Roguee, could it be deathgrip you are experiencing? you might not even realize it, your adrenaline could be taking over and you dont even realize youre squeezing the hell out of your grips.
  • 1 0
 what handlebar are you currently using? Some are much worse than others. I've found the stock Specialized bars to be among the worst.
  • 1 0
 i dunno about the lever thing - i run xt and one finger brake but get pain through all four knuckles/fingers. i have the enve dh bar if that means anything.
  • 2 0
 I also had this horrible pain when riding and tried everything. Bigger/smaller/softer grips, bars, lever positions, fork settings. Nothing did help. What has sorted it for me is running wrist guards to support my wrists and probably most important keeping them straight instead of folding up. I use the 661's and the problem is solved! Never ride without them anymore
  • 1 0
 I'm running nukeproof bars with slx brakes
  • 2 0
 If you really can't find a solution (if it doesn't come from your brake setting, hand strenght, etc ...) have a look at the new Spank Components Vibrocore handlebars. The system works pretty well at smoothing the vibrations transmitted into your hands. The system has been used in MX for some times now (don't remember the name tough, it's some kind of solid jelly thingy you slide in your bar) that will absorb vibrations.
  • 2 0
 www.pinkbike.com/news/spank-spike-800-race-vibrocore-handlebar-review-2014.html heres the article about it. You may find many ways to the same thing to your actual bar in the comments Smile
  • 2 1
 Adjusting your fork can help with locked up fingers too Wink
  • 1 0
 Eh. Apparently we didn't. Didn't read all the comments....
  • 1 0
 I feel like I ruined my hands forever Frown
  • 1 1
 I don't use rims. That solves all the tube vs tubeless issue.
  • 1 2
 Trances love an extra 6mm of stroke length
  • 1 3
 Is UST rim that good? Looks nothing special to me, only minor differences compare to normal tubeless.
  • 1 3
 This time I find it really helpful.
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