|First things first, both of those rigs are so badass that they make older bikes in the same class feel like they're from the early '70s. Either one can be built up to weigh in at well under thirty pounds, and while their suspension designs are different, you're not going to be bummed with how either one performs. Having said that, the two bikes have very different personalities. Want to crush steep, rough and fast downhills? The 165mm Nomad will feel more confidence inspiring in these settings given its slacker angles and longer wheelbase, but it still pedals incredibly well relative to its geometry and suspension travel. The 152mm travel HD3, on the other hand, is a bit shorter and a bit quicker handling, thereby making it the better choice for someone who needs to climb technically challenging singletrack to get to the top of their mountain. The Ibis is a demon descender as well, but not as confidence inspiring when things get rowdy.|
My advice: The HD3 is your bike if you climb tricky trails and want an all around mid-travel bike that rips on the downs, but go with the Nomad if your climbs don't look like something you'd have trouble walking up, and if you want to ride rowdy descents like a bear is chasing you. - Mike Levy
|I have been riding all-mountain trails on the very capable Liteville 601. The 601 sports RockShox's Vivid Air DH shock and I have a lot of climbing miles logged using it. The Liteville 601 and the Specialized Enduro both use a Horst-link rear suspension, so my experience with the Vivid should apply directly to you. The Vivid shock makes the 601 feel like a mini downhill bike on chunky descents and I learned to ignore all but the biggest hits in front of me. Climbing with a shock that likes to run deep into its stroke was less than wonderful and the Vivid lacks a low-speed compression lever to beef up its feel under power. That said, I discovered that I could turn the blue, low-speed compression dial all the way in to full hard when I was climbing for any length of time and that made a large improvement in the 601's pedaling efficiency. The key was to count clicks, in order to remember where to set the dial back for the downs.|
The DBAir CS has a low-speed compression lever built in, so it fits your purpose better than the Vivid, which makes the upgrade to the Cane Creek reservoir shock the more logical candidate. I have no scientific reason to explain it, but the new Enduros are particularly rough on the new DBInline shock. I toasted one aboard an Enduro and during PB's Sedona test sessions, we blew up another one on an Enduro. The DBAir, however, seems to hold up quite well.
Comparing the Cane Creek DBAir to the Vivid, I would say that the RockShox damper has a better feel over the small stuff and the DB has a tiny bit more support in the mid-stroke. The Vivid is the lighter of the two, and in spite of its killer performance, it remains the most underrated air-sprung DH shocks made. All of the above may be pipe dreaming, however, because both the DB CS Air and the Vivid Air are reservoir shocks that take up a lot of real estate in the frame and before you get excited about the upgrade, be sure that Cane Creek and RockShox offer the interface for the Enduro's yoke-type shock mount - RC
Liteville choses the RockShox Vivid Air for the 180-millimeter-travel 601. The 601 descends like a mini DH bike and its active Horst-Link rear suspension allows it to climb fairly well with a soft shock tune. In the absence of a pedal-firming platform lever, we turned the low-speed compression dial in full hard for long or arduous ascents.
|In this case, no grease is the way to go. Make sure both surfaces are free of any grit or grime, and carefully press the new bottom bracket in. There are varying theories on the subject of grease and carbon fiber, but the general consensus seems to be that some greases are acidic, which can degrade the resin and adversely affect the carbon fibers. This is a worst case scenario, and there are plenty of stories out there of riders who use grease regularly, but in this instance, I'd recommend not using any. You shouldn't need any carbon paste either - that's typically reserved for items like seatposts and handlebars that can slip if there's not enough friction to keep them securely clamped into place. - Mike Kazimer|
Some carbon frames have an aluminum insert that the bottom bracket is pressed into, while others are bare carbon, in which case grease should be avoided.
|Adding or removing stem spacers will raise or lower the height of your handlebars, in the same way as choosing a bar with different amounts of rise. Raising the bars will make the cockpit feel bigger as the distance between your hands and feet will grow. In addition, raising your hands will take weight of your front wheel and effectively move your body weight farther towards the back of the bike, this can be a benefit when taking on steeper DH courses.|
Pushing the stanchions farther down through the crowns will change few things. Firstly, it will raise the whole of the front end of the bike, slacken the head angle, lengthen the wheel base and raise the bottom bracket slightly. But, none of those adjustments will affect your sizing. Between those two adjustments. there are numerous options - and when you add in offset headset cups, along with the geometry adjustment on the back of your Gambler, you may find months worth of different set-ups. And, you haven't even started to consider suspension and tire choice/pressure.
If you want to get a feel for the differences the geometry will make, try to change one thing at a time, and do back to back runs on the same course. Start by pushing the stanchions through the crowns, which will help on steep tracks, enabling you to load the front tire more, with less risk of going over the handlebars. You may find the front of the bike too high, which will mean removing a stem spacer or two. Just get out and experiment. Taking notes of your settings before and after can also help, especially when you inevitably ruin the handling you were used to and need to back track a few steps. Warning: There will a be a minimum distance recommended by the manufacturer between the lower crown and the fork seals. Do not exceed this or the tyre could hit the crown and cause an accident. - Paul Aston
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