|A seat post's creaking can come from a few different places, but it's usually the post/frame interface or the seat clamp hardware and rail interface that end up creaking and groaning. Measure your seat height (or make a witness mark on the post) and pull the post out so you can clean the inside of your frame's seat tube. Remove your seat and take apart the rail clamp assembly for a good cleaning, and make sure you remove all grime from the opposing bolts and the barrels that they thread into, and anywhere two different pieces come into contact with each other. Don't forget to wipe clean the bottom of the lower rail support and the top of the post's head as well - that's usually were noise can come from, and you can spot it by looking for any blemishes where the two have been rubbing against each other. Next, apply a very,very thin layer of thick grease onto the threads of the opposing bolts, all over the two barrels, and every single contact surface, including where the seat rails are clamped. Go very lightly - excess grease will only cause dirt to stick to it - and wipe away any and all grease that you can see after you've put the post back together and reinstalled your seat. If your frame is aluminum, apply a bit of grease to the post before you slide it in. If your bike is carbon, use a touch of carbon assembly paste but never grease. You should be noise-free now. - Mike Levy|
|I almost always ride flat bars when I am on 29ers, so I have developed some favorites over the years. Your first choice of an Easton EA70 Wide is an excellent one, with a race-proven bend and with well-engineered, tapered wall thicknesses to keep it comfortable. Niner's Flat Top bar is another excellent choice. It has a nine-degree sweep and a minimal, five-millimeter rise that makes it easier to find a perfect hand positon. The aluminum Flat Top runs $65 USD, while the RDO carbon model costs $198 USD. Finally, the world's most over-engineered flat bar has to be the Syntace High5. Like the Niner Flat Top, the High5 has a tiny bit of rise to it, which gives it that additional adjustability. Syntace designs the bar so the bend begins closer to the handlebar clamp, so its eight-degree sweep puts the hands in the same place as a nine-degree bar, but with the wrist in the eight-degree position. The High5 takes some fiddling to arrive at the perfect hand position, but if you can get it right, it is an excellent performer. Syntace makes the High5 in aluminum for $89, and the Vector Carbon model for around $229 USD. All of those suggestions are competitively light weight (the links take you to their tech pages) and I think you'd be happy with any of the three. - RC|
|This question seems to come up fairly regularly, as riders that are used to airing up their shock to a number close to their body weight are find themselves running pressures that are 50psi (or more) higher after switching to a Monarch DebonAir shock. The DebonAir's increased air volume in both the positive and negative chamber of the air can is the reason for this change, and rather than having a max air pressure of 275psi like previous versions of the Monarch, the DebonAir can take up to 350psi.|
Adding or subtracting air only takes a minute or two, so why not pump the shock up to 300psi and sit on it with all of your gear on to check the sag for yourself? I'd bet that will get you close to the desired 30% sag, and if not, simply add a little more air. You may also want to make sure that the shock has the correct tune for your bike - there should be a red and blue box printed somewhere on the shock body that denotes the compression and rebound tune, which you can then check against the frame manufacturer's recommendation to make sure everything is as it should be. - Mike Kazimer
|You need to choose between bike bag or a bike box, there are pros and cons for both:|
Bike bags can be pricey, and once you arrive at the destination you have a huge bag to store, although they're reusable. A bag will handle the elements well, allow fast and easy packing/unpacking, and protect your bike. A wheeled bag simplifies life on public transport to and from airports because you can grab the handle and get going. For the frequent traveller, the bag works best.
A bike box is cheap (usually free from your local bike shop), upon arrival can be binned or recycled. Getting stuck in the rain with a cardboard box has obvious disadvantages, and are more difficult to drag around. Also packing will take longer as you end up dismantling the bike more and more, wrapping with bubble wrap and pipe lagging hoping that nothing will grind and move around in transit. If you only fly occasionally and get dropped and collected directly at the terminal, the lack of wheels and handles aren't really an issue.
I've never had a problem with shocks, sometimes the check-in staff get militant and make you let down the tires. Nowadays, a certain orange European airline can get moody if you have anything else in their with the bike, like clothes or accessories. The most important thing is to make sure you don't overstep the weight limit as a few kilos extra can ruin a month's paycheck with some airlines. Most important of all whichever you choose, smile and be friendly at check-in, this often avoids any altercations. Or you could post it? - Paul Aston
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