Ask Pinkbike: Tips for Beginners, Brakes Issues, Drilling Carbon, & Shock Tunes

Nov 30, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

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.

Brakes Not Working?

Question: @stunnanumma1 asks in the Beginners Forum: I recently put on new SRAM G2 RSC brakes with a 200mm front and 180mm rear rotor.

When getting my speed up near 25mph and squeezing the lever, I'm not able to get my bike to stop/slow down to a speed that I can control at my braking power is not there. The bike keeps going...I do not know if my rotors are spinning through the pads, but that's the feeling that I get.

It's not an issue of getting fluid on the brakes, there is no squeaking either. Is it possible the brakes aren't strong enough? Could the added weight from tire inserts etc., be causing something else to go on? Is there something in the R, S, or C that I could adjust that might help?

Brakes are one of the more finicky elements of a bike, and any number of things could create what you're describing. What it sounds like is that your brake pads are glazed over.

Many times this happens when the pads aren't mated to the rotors correctly, and you go out on a ride, hoping the first long downhill gets the brakes working. Sometimes this works. Other times, it doesn't. The process of 'bedding in' brakes helps some of the pad material find its way onto the rotor to create the most friction and to smooth any imperfections in the pads or rotors, making a perfect match.

To bed in brakes, I would suggest 20 hard stops, from a good speed (a full sprint) that bring you just to the brink of skidding, but don't lock up the wheels.

If your pads are already glazed over, you can resurface them with a high grit drywall sanding screen by lightly running the pad in a figure-eight motion until the surface is fresh again and give the bedding in process a go. I would also recommend cleaning the brake rotor with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth, to ensure no grease from fingers, etc., are on there.

If you're still not getting the power you need, and it feels as if you have a solid bleed (the lever is firm, not squishy), a metallic pad compound would be my next suggestion. A more comprehensive breakdown on brake solutions can be found here.

Disc brake tips with Jude Monica
Resurfacing pads is easy and surprisingly satisfying when your brakes magically start working again.

Tips for Beginners?

Question: @cowolter asks in the Beginners Forum: My wife and I have been looking at getting into cycling as a fun, active hobby and form of exercise to do together. We have done some preliminary research regarding types of bikes, clothing, etiquette, etc. but honestly seem pretty overwhelmed. What advice would you have for someone just getting into the sport?

There have been many people learning about the wonders of mountain biking this year, and it's easy to get tangled up in all of the technical aspects at times as there are a lot of passionate people ready and willing to share what they think. I suggest taking it easy.

As you mentioned in your post, the local bike shop is a good place to start, but getting out and about in the era of COVID isn't always easy, and there are enough differing YouTube videos to last a lifetime. I'll offer a few simple things to be aware of. There are plenty more, but these are a good place to start.

1. Have fun. If you're not having a good time, then ask yourself why?

2. Find a bike that fits and is appropriate(-ish) for what you're doing. If you are riding trails on the weekends near your house, look at what other people there are riding. Most of the time, when you're first starting, a simple hardtail (just front suspension) bike will be all you need. Make sure it fits and has been checked out by a knowledgeable mechanic or friend who can ensure it's safe.

3. Bike specific clothing can be helpful at times, especially when it comes to comfort, but you can really ride in just about anything you're willing to get dirty, barring that it isn't so loose that it gets caught in the wheel or drivetrain when you're pedaling. Padded bike-specific shorts help with saddle comfort, and bike-specific shoes offer more support and a better interface with the pedals, especially helpful if your local trails are rough. Make sure you have a good helmet that fits and always wear it.

4. Etiquette is a deep subject in mountain biking with a lot of passion behind it, so it's worth simplifying. Ground rules - Different trail systems may have different rules as to whether bikes are or aren't allowed on certain days, whether eBikes are allowed or not, and how soon after inclement whether they are open if they close. When in doubt, ask and always follow signage. Bikes always yield to other users, uphill riders have the right of way unless you're on a downhill-specific trail, and no matter what, be nice and say 'hi!' - we're all just riding expensive toys in the woods. Don't modify trails you didn't build, and if you can't ride something, it's ok to walk it.

5. Be prepared - carry a spare tube, pump, tire lever, multi-tool, first aid kit, and water/food with you. Learn how to use the tools, especially if you're not riding in a place where you can easily get back to where you started on foot. Be willing to stop and help other riders, it's cool to do that. With COVID, be conscious of other peoples' space and any local regulations.

With those tips, you should be able to have a good time on the trails and learn much more as you go. There are many resources on learning skills ranging from coaching to internet videos but don't let it overwhelm you. You don't need to learn to jump and run on a bike before you can walk.

69 and jeans. Privateer Johannes von Klebelsberg rode to 16th place.
If Johannes von Klebelsberg can place well in a World Cup DH race wearing blue jeans, most everyone else can go on a casual bike ride without a full kit of cycling-specific clothing.

Drilling Carbon Frame for a Dropper?

Question: @PupPuck asks in the Mechancs' Lounge Forum: Is it "safe" to drill into my 2012 Santa Cruz XC's carbon-fiber seat-tube to permit the installation of an internally cabled dropper seat-post?

Time is of the essence to take advantage of Black Friday discounts. Thanks.

bigquotesWell, I'm curious to see how this panned out, but given the advice in the thread including, 'I would have no hesitation. Other carbon frames have dropper holes so why should it matter who drills it. I would use a new drill bit and drill the final size in one go'...I'd hope you used better judgment and thought this one through a bit more.

There is a difference in what you can do and what you should or shouldn't do. Sure, you can drill a hole in your frame and run the cable, but it's not the best idea. At best, it's going to make the frame's warranty go away. At worse, it could be a serious safety issue by adding holes in your bike.

Drilling into the carbon to get a stiff cable in will be tricky and take a larger hole than I feel you're expecting. Carbon frames are made so that certain parts that need more reinforcement and places that undergo less stress are likely thinner to keep weight down. Adding a hole in any region of a carbon frame, especially an XC frame with its lighter construction, could jeopardize the bike's integrity and cause it to prematurely crack or fail.

I would suggest either running an external cable post or getting a wireless dropper, although purchasing a RockShox Reverb AXS is an expensive proposition.

Santa Cruz 5010
Internal routing isn't all that simple, and if your bike wasn't made for it, best to leave the drilling to the engineers.

Factory Shock Tuning

Question: @aaron-oban asks in the Beginners Forum: How much difference does rear shock factory tuning make? In the Buy/Sell, no one lists the factory tuning of the rear shock they are selling. Even the manufacturer of my bike did not include tuning info when I asked for specs on the rear shock. Is it because it doesn't matter, or everyone plans on getting their used shocks re-tuned? To be clear by factory tuning I mean in-depth, usually, mechanical changes not just adjusting air sleeve pressure or adding a spacer.

bigquotesThis is an excellent question. I've heard people stoked that they found a shock for their bike on the internet that will fit, but that's not all there is to it. While fitment is a critical place to start, the tune of the shock does matter. Fox, RockShox, and other suspension companies work with bike brands to develop tunes for the shock that comes on a frame. These tunes are, many times, specific to whatever bike the shock came on based on leverage ratios, geometries, and the intended purpose of the bike. Tunes even go as far as to be different on different size frames. A rider on the XL bike will likely have a different weight and weight distribution than a rider on a smaller size, and those riders will each use the suspension differently.

What happens if you end up with a shock tune that doesn't work well with your bike? Well, if the rebound tune is too heavy you might have trouble getting the shock to return quickly enough, and if the compression tune is too light you might end up with a shock that doesn't provide enough support.

Usually, at least on RockShox or Fox suspension, riders can locate a code on the can of the shock that provides clues about the tune. Fox has a four-digit code that you can plug in on their website to see. Those shock tunes are very subjective to engineers and product managers' preferences at brands who want their bikes to perform a certain way - what they deem optimal for most of the expected riders for that bike. Of course, there are always exceptions, and there will be some riders outside of those parameters in one way or another, along with riders that prefer something a bit or a lot different for their terrain, riding style, or weight.

An example of where Fox's ID codes are located. Photo: Fox.


  • 56 1
 This hole drilling drama has me curious... I do and don't want to know what happened at the same time.
  • 7 4
 How dangerous could drilling a hole in the seat tube possibly be????
  • 4 3
 Ahh, go for it. I'm about ready to add some rivnuts to my steel fork on my gravel bike.
  • 11 3
 Drilled my Santa Cruz Nomad carbon frame four years ago for an internal cable operated Thomson dropper seatpost and have ridden it lot’s. Not a problem! Take your time and use sharp drill bits and a low speed drill.
  • 12 2
 My guess is he'll probably be fine as long as he drills in small diameter increasing steps so as to not delaminate the carbon. Plus a 2012 bike prolly doesn't have warranty anyway.
  • 4 0
 Carbon accumulates damage in weird ways during fatigue testing. I remember one study - 10 plys thick or so, hole in the center and fatigue cycled with heavy-load. Fracture didn't intersect the hole. Hypothetically would probably be fine if they used the XC bike for mellow XC things, but I wouldn't on my bike...
  • 9 0
 @skeeple: has anyone ever broken their seattube before????
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: Well. A friend of mine has had the weld between the top tube and seat tube open up on the under side on a 2011 Giant Glory.

Not propper seat tube breakage, but yeah...
  • 7 0
 @unrooted: Yes. I’ve seen several broken seat tubes. All of them near the seat stay linkage that drives the shock.

There are extreme forces in that area because of shock bottom out. When the rear suspension can no longer compress, it tries to rip the bike apart.
  • 9 0
 Why don't just go 1x, remove the front derailleur, remove the front shifter, install the dropper lever and route the cable through the bottom bracket, this it was what I did on a 2013 frame that didn't had a dropper. No faff and no drilium.
  • 3 0
 @unrooted: I recently saw an Intense frame that had snapped in two places, and one of those places was the seat tube just below the top tube joint. The other was the top tube forward of the same joint, so I don't know which went first.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: I had a seat tube break. This was on a Univega road bike (so it didn't even get ridden hard), on the section of tube between the bottom bracket and the front derailleur clamp. No holes or anything there, just a defect in the tube I guess. Close enough to the BB that it was being stressed by the force of pedaling.
  • 8 0
 If I were going to... I wouldnt use a drill bit...I would use a conical tipped dremel sanding bit and just go for the plunge. I would imagine sanding/melting your way through would be less likely to cause a crack than a drill bit....
  • 3 5
 @barp: I broke a giant TCR Advanced Pro after building it and preparing for a test ride. First time my feet left the ground the seat tube broke about 7 inches up from the BB. Carbon cant be trusted...
  • 4 1
 @Kootbiker: friend of mine worked for a bike company and thus got free bikes, he drilled a hole in his frame and it worked forever. He even lined the hole with a rubber grommet so it looked factory.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: A guy on the Buy/Sell snapped the seattube of a Process in half leaving the bike on the roof rack pulling into his garage
  • 2 0
 My wife had Hibike Sleek 26inch wich was used as a test bike for festivals before she got it. The bike had a drill hole in the downtube next to the headtube where a dropper was installed. The bike is running for eight years now, looks quite fine and nothing is broken yet
  • 2 0
 Makes me wonder though, if carbon rims only have a single hole for a Presta valve, is it still ok by the manufacturer (doesn't void warranty) to drill it up to Schraeder size? And/or drill a second hole four spokes away for a second valve so that you can run ProCore without the annoying ProCore two-way valve? Rim manufacturers are usually perfectly fine with doing this on aluminum rims but I don't know about carbon rims. Personally I wouldn't drill in a long fibre composite in the first place as the free edges it could easily initiate delamination. Yet most carbon rim manufacturers manage to do so for spokes (even subjecting the laminate to out of plane loads) and the first valve hole so yeah if they can get away with that, would the modifications mentioned above even be an issue?

Just asking out of curiosity. Out of all carbon rims, only the Zipp version makes sense to me and even there I don't see myself spending the money.

As for the dropper post issue, it somehow strikes me how brands that do make dropper posts with external routing, only make them with shorter travel than what they offer for internal routing. Whereas I'd say that if there is no need for a connector at the bottom, there is much more insertion length available to actually offer longer travel droppers.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: A boy i know broke a dh bike seat tube by sitting down on his saddle too hard while the post was up too high
  • 1 0
 @T4THH: My previous hardtail (a DMR Switchback) had a 26.8mm diameter seatpost. Seattube was 400mm so with a 400mm seatpost (with the minimum 100mm insertion into the seatpost) this could get me the saddle at XC height for riding to the trails and then I could drop it all the way down for actually riding there. First seatpost was from RaceFace. Soon enough it bent slightly so that it would no longer slide all the way down. I applied for warranty but RF refused as "this was an XC post and not intended for jumping". After that I tried NC17 and Azonic, they all bent the same way. Ever since I just decided to always ride my mountainbike with the saddle low, even when on the road. I was below 70kg at the time.

Breaking the actual seattube as you mentioned hasn't ever happened to me but has he respected the minimum insertion for the frame? That said, it is actually strange that frame manufacturers do mention maximum axle to crown lengths for forks but don't mention maximum seatpost lengths. Now that some seatposts can extend up to over 500mm, I can imagine this could put tremendous stresses on the seatpost.

But for drilling routing holes for the dropper cable/hose, putting weight through the saddle wouldn't even be that much of an issue. Instead, pushing down on the pedals (pumping, landing etc) does. If the rear shock spans the space between the bb area and somewhere up the seattube, even more so. Nicolai uses a support there for a reason, yet most brands don't.
  • 1 0
 I've drilled a few bikes for droppers, only one carbon frame though. I've been seccessful using a drill bit to start the hold and finishing it with a four-flute endmill in the drill to allow me to get a nicely profiled ovular hole I like to drill up about 150mm from the BB. I figure that keeps me away from the primary BB stress. Obviously hole placement depends a lot on the frame. I drilled a GT that was a few years old and I had to put the hole on the back of the seat tube. My preference is for non-driveside biased towards the front of the tube. I just drilled my friends steel touring frame for a dropper, that one was almost mindless.
As a warranty issue, contact your frame manufacturer. When I bought my Rootdown I asked Chromag about adding seat tube water bottle bosses, Ian said as long as a failure didn't originate from my water bottle bosses, he'd honor the warranty.
Also, I've had three frames separate at the seat tube/BB junction. All of them were older road frames, but they all broke from pedaling forces.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: the answer lies with @Tobsa
  • 4 0
 I’d rather staple my eyelids to a train than drill carbon
  • 3 1
 @unrooted: Carbon fiber dust is as bad a s asbestos
  • 2 0
 If you are going to "drill" carbon, you should go slow and use a structured tungsten bit (dremel has them) or other structured surface (diamond, stone) to grind the carbon and keep the process wet. Think of carbon like glass. Such a process will keep the layers from tearing apart due to catching a cutting edge or delaminating due to heat build up.
  • 2 0
 Delamination may start during the drilling, but it is more likely to start when used and loaded. One way would be if the dropper hose/cable moves out of plane with respect to the laminate and peels it apart. The other way is as the fibres are oriented in different directions, they move in different directions when the laminate is subject to in-plane loads. It is an issue when you have free edges which you get when you cut a laminate. Not just when you drill it, but also when you trim the edges. It was a common issue back in the days when people made “carbon” products as if these were sheetmetal, so called “black metal design”.
  • 35 5
 Advise for beginners: Buy whichever bike looks the coolest at the local pawn shop (and you can afford). doesn't matter if it fits you, is the right type of bike for you and your terrain, or whether it is completely worn out/broken. All that matters is if it looks cool. Next step is ride that bike everywhere and anywhere. You'll learn trail etiquette by being yelled at by other trail users....

Well.... That's how I learned twenty some years ago when I was 12.

Next step, start riding down every/any steep slope you can find. And jumping off any cliff or jump or similar you can find. Just like on bmx, but you can go so much steeper/bigger! After you break a functionally required part of your pawn shop bike and find out how expensive replacement parts actually are you get mad... and buy the cheapest replacement fork the local bike shop has. Then you discover that cheap forks are elastomer sprung/damped, and you lose faith in the bike shop and bike industry. But by now you're addicted. You buy a new awesome bike after a summer of work and love it! Then you discover other types of riding, like street, and lift access and you realize that it makes more sense and saves money on broken parts to buy other bikes made for the purpose. And then you....... Ah nevermind if you've come this far you'll be fine.
  • 18 0
 I asked the salesman at the bike shop if I could ride a new bike down to the pawn shop, and he said no. So I'll never know if it looks cool at the pawn shop or not.
  • 5 0
 your passage into MTB adulthood is complete upon having your first argument with a dog walker/horse rider/blackberry picker over who has a right to be there
  • 24 0
 Thanks for adding, "Don't modify trails you didn't build." Amazes me that grown folks tame down features they can't ride, on trails they didn't build. At least kids have the excuse of half-finished brains when they view a trail as "theirs" since they ride it.

We're grateful for the maintenance, but just because it scares you, or you crashed there, doesn't mean you should come back for vengeance with a chainsaw or shovel.

  • 5 0
 This. My local trail building group has taken to buffing everything out. We used to have off-camber with roots... Now we have sidewalks. I get it that it gets more riders out which helps with advocacy, but the sheer number of people pushing hybrids "trail riding" has become really annoying. Especially since the pandemic when they've all decided that this is their new hobby. It forces us to drive farther to find empty trails that are more natural. I used to be able to ride to the trailheads, but they're so overrun by Sunday riders.
  • 29 9
 Expanding on trail etiquette for beginners: yielding to uphill traffic does not mean going from 25mph to 15mph and barely squeaking by. At the least you'll piss off the uphill rider or poor old lady hiking, but more importantly, you're being a poor ambassador to the sport of mountain biking and adding to the overall hate towards us. I would say that a large percentage of riders (even ones I know have been riding for a while) practice what they think is good trail etiquette because they slightly slow down and get to the edge of the singletrack; but in reality, they're still scaring hikers and forcing uphill riders to the edge of a trail. Yielding means exactly that. You wouldn't merge into the same lane with another'd wait until it passed to continue. Be a good ambassador, say "hi" and "thank you" if they let you go by, and forget about your Strava time or whatever is driving poor etiquette.
  • 74 23
 Hikers walking up trails built and maintained for and by mtn bikers will be treated as 2nd class citizens.
  • 49 15
 @jpcars10s: "Bikers biking on roads built and maintained for and by car drivers will be treated as 2nd class citizens"
  • 15 49
flag nvranka (Nov 30, 2020 at 15:19) (Below Threshold)
 Yikes. No, I will not be full stop pulling over for uphill traffic. Call it whatever you want, but no way lol.
  • 30 6
 No dude. "Right *of*" way is not synonymous with "Right *to the whole way*". If there's room to pass a rider or hiker without it being dangerous, there is absolutely no reason to stop. That's a pile of hogwash.

The exception is equestrians because they're on a 700+ pound animal that could hurt you or the equestrian by getting spooked and throwing the him/her.
  • 17 1
 @nvranka: Haha...why am I not surprised? You do you, boo :-)
@fullendurbro: I mentioned " squeaking by" and "singletrack; not wide trails, where it's obvious you're not going to run into each other (which you should still slow down). I'd say that everyone use good judgement and courtesy, but based on these responses, it seems like everyone (including me) has their version of what that is. This isn't hogwash, just basic trail etiquette and courtesy.
  • 4 24
flag nvranka (Nov 30, 2020 at 15:45) (Below Threshold)
 @steveczech: hey look I make an effort, I’ll even go off trail around whatever, but I’m not stopping for some idiots taking up 80% of the trail because it’ll ‘scare’ them...I’m threading the needle lmao
  • 35 0
 @nvranka: I know where you're coming from--I used to do the same thing. I don't stop every time either, mostly because I gauge that the other party is letting me through. Over the years of riding I realized how much hate I was getting from hikers, so I finally started talking to them. There are so many that don't know what bikes are capable of, including how well modern bikes can stop, and how much control a rider can have. I just decided to try to change hikers' minds about us. One of my co-worker's moms said she ran into "the nicest mountain biker" here in the foothills of Albuquerque. Turns out, that rider was me, and it was cool to get that feedback from a hiker. The way I see it, is that if hikers change how they perceive us, it will lead to less opposition when we try to get more trail access, try to get new trails built, or maybe someday access to the wilderness. That last one is a stretch, but it doesn't hurt, right?
  • 15 8
 @nvranka: you threading sh*t, and are straight up as*hole!

Go and make sign how they robbed the votes or something,...
  • 6 22
flag fullendurbro (Nov 30, 2020 at 15:59) (Below Threshold)
 @steveczech: Hikers hate us because land managers are too thick to realize the benefits of having unii-directional trails. Even while having the best of trail etiquette, I can't help it when a group of hikers is around a blind corner with an army of dogs criss-crossing their leashes and forming a booby trap.

I pay taxes to my county for the right to recreate on my trails. I will recreate to my fullest ability and to the extent at which my skills allow.
  • 10 9
 Hikers around here see a bike coming downhill and gtfo of the way. As they should. As I would. That's trail etiquette.
  • 17 1
 @fullendurbro: I'm sure it varies in different areas, but uni-directional trails are not always an option for mult-use trails. Some trails, like Otero Canyon just outside of Albuquerque, might have a single point of ingress and egress. And, I'm NOT saying that hikers shouldn't be courteous as well by not having 6 dogs off leash running around in everyone's business. I know my area...I know high-traffic points in that area and where those blind corners are, and I accept that it's MY responsibility to navigate that corner with caution, expecting someone around that corner. Have I messed up, and almost run into someone...of course. I apologize, I learn from my mistakes, and I ride on.
  • 2 13
flag nvranka (Nov 30, 2020 at 16:16) (Below Threshold)
 @Spiral23: hahaha poor guy can barely speak
  • 7 2
 @gunnyhoney: As much as I laughed at that (hoping it was sarcasm), that is an unfortunate attitude of many riders. Game of Thrones reference for ya: "shame...shame...shame." What about the many, many times they don't see a bike coming?
  • 8 1
 @mnorris122: Your analogy is not without its merits. But, food for thought, look into the book "Roads Were Not Built for Cars". The TL;DR is that paved roads became common due to the popularity of cycling, before motor vehicles were popular.
  • 9 0
 @mnorris122: point taken. But comparing a public utility with a purpose built mtb trail doesn't hold water for me. On multi use trails close to town, I ride with a Timber bell, try to make every encounter positive. When I come across folks climbing up drops and other blind trail features with their poorly trained dogs, it's a different story.
  • 2 6
flag Fullsend2-13 (Nov 30, 2020 at 19:40) (Below Threshold)
 @nvranka: 2020, where you get downvoted for the truth
  • 11 0
 @mnorris122: ah yes all those the weekend drivers and volunteer paving groups bringing their own equipment down to the local highways to pave them in l their free time, K.
  • 9 0
 @jpcars10s: all it takes is one angry hiker with a broken hip (backed by a bunch more angry boomer hikers) to persuade a non-mtb city council to restrict trail access. It happens. Better to be nice whether the trail is built and maintained by mtb'ers or not.
  • 5 2
 @barp: roads were not built for cars like 120 years ago. I'm pretty sure the $.41/gallon paid at the pump to maintain the roads nowadays would refute that point. Depending on where you ride, you can find bike friendly roads, but for the most part driver's are ignorant of or unwilling to give cyclists their due.
When I began mountain biking, we were riding on hiking trails, because that's what existed. Our local trails were dirt bike tracks and we made bike friendly detours for to keep us out of the deep corner ruts. But we'd go to state parks during the weekdays when they were under utilized to ride. I recall running into rangers who would inform us that biking was not allowed, we'd talk it through with them and they'd let us go. It was necessary to be polite, since if you were a dick, and hikers bitched, You'd be out for good. Not enough riders these days can remember a time when biking was banned on their trails. There are a lot of us that fought long and hard to get trail access, most of the time by killing them with kindness. If you think public land access is unlimited, you're wrong.
  • 4 2
 Well said, Steveczech.

Also, something that I think a lot of people miss is that uphill riders having the "right of way" means they can choose any line they want. I've been riding up a tricky, albeit wide climb, only to have a downhill rider "move over," (without slowing down) right into the line I had planned on taking, causing us both to have to stop.

Yielding right of way does not mean, "assuming you know where the other person wants to go." Think of it like when you're driving and you see an ambulance. You get the f*ck out of the way.
  • 3 6
 @skelldify: I'm copying and pasting a portion of my reply above:

""Right *of*" way is not synonymous with "Right *to the whole way*". If there's room to pass a rider or hiker without it being dangerous, there is absolutely no reason to stop. "

Chance are if you are coming uphill, you're in my line. I'll happily adapt and take a suboptimal line, as should you. We're all out to have fun. Maybe you like uphill, I like downhill. Neither one of us should have to stop entirely for some arbitrary rule, as long as safety is not in question.
  • 2 8
flag nvranka (Dec 1, 2020 at 9:30) (Below Threshold)
 @skelldify: hahahaha man some real freaks in this thread.

You want people to treat your little tech climbs like you’re an ambulance? What are you even saying you pleb.

Luckily we don’t run into people climbing up dh trails very often, and if they are I certainly dgaf about their line.

Hikers are becoming a huge problem where they used to be simply a nuisance. Been sticking to unsanctioned stuff lately as the regular loops are littered with hikers.

It’s a food chain on the trails; yield to your superiors.
  • 5 2
 Completely agree, and also my behavior has changed SUBSTANTIALLY since having children. I have always yielded appropriately, etc and thought that was good enough. After having kids, I realized there's much more to it than just this. Coming around a corner on a bike at speed (even though rider can stop in time) on multi-use trails scares hikers and kids - full stop. They're not "wusses" or overly sensitive; there is absolutely no way they know if a rider is in control or a complete Jerry. Frankly, it doesn't matter if they're in control as a child can't process that either way.

It's annoying that I can't take my kids hiking to enjoy the outdoors even on the local tame green trails. The trails are littered with bro riders "racing" on Strava thinking they're on an EWS course. Look, I'm competitive and like to push myself too. Local multi-use trails are not the place to do this - I register for races to satisfy this need in myself. I'd much rather leave the local tame trails for everyone to enjoy.

It's really simple: Ride carefully on multi-use trails. Use a bell. Be polite. Nobody gives af about your Strava. Race and be aggressive in the right place at the right time.
  • 2 6
flag nvranka (Dec 1, 2020 at 14:52) (Below Threshold)
 @jpat22: nobody really cares about your wellbeing either tbh. if you can’t use your ears and take blind sections carefully as a hiker on dh, eventually a Jerry will make you more careful.

If I’m ever hiking w wife or hiking back up a dh trail w my bike I am very alert, as any hiker should be. Have never been in anyone’s way in 12-13yrs at my local trails, 4-5 days a week.

Sorry but I just don’t feel bad or cater to brain dead cattle on the trails. I’m not going to slow down or change my behavior. I can get around you if need be, but for the love of god just yield to those that are superior.

If a guy is bombing a track get out of his way. If you’re a noob and dabbing a million times on a tech descent and someone is climbing it well...get the f*ck out of their way as well. It’s not hard.
  • 5 0
 @nvranka: Nice flex and I love your confidence around being superior, but I said nothing about dh trails. I mentioned multi-use trails specifically. Nobody should be "bombing a track" on a MULTI-USE TRAIL. Tracks are on race courses where, obviously, there is the expectation of no hikers in your way.

"Brain dead cattle" or not, it's just being polite. Young children don't have the capacity to keep their head on a swivel for wanna be racers like adult hikers might. I like seeing my children stop to enjoy nature on the trail, it may be an insect or some vegetation. Gets frustrating that I need to stand so alert like a nervous security guard so they can do so. From the other perspective, I love seeing other kids out on trail when I'm riding too.

You're right, it's not hard - there's a time and a place.
  • 1 7
flag nvranka (Dec 1, 2020 at 16:05) (Below Threshold)
 @jpat22: it’s no flex brother, I’ll pull over for danny Hart the same way some goon can pull over for me. Simple food chain.
  • 1 7
flag nvranka (Dec 1, 2020 at 16:12) (Below Threshold)
 @jpat22: you know what else is polite? Actually paying f*cking attention so someone who just grinded up a climb can get a proper run in.

As I said, I’ve never been in the way, it isn’t hard.

I don’t care if your kids want to smell flowers, you can listen and keep an eye out. If you’re around a blind corner not paying and your kids aren’t going to be around long. That lapse in judgement will be present in other elements of your life and you’ll get got.

I don’t care about multi use or single use bro, we don’t have a bunch of dedicated race tracks. I am going to ride my dh trails aggressively, has nothing to do w Strava or anything else...

It isn’t hard to keep and eye and an ear out and get out of the way for your superiors. We all have superiors, pay respect where respect is due.
  • 4 0
 @nvranka: oh look, you’re getting downvoted. How about you yield to those who are superior and STFU.
  • 2 6
flag nvranka (Dec 1, 2020 at 16:24) (Below Threshold)
 @skelldify: looks like I’ve struck a nerve with the gaper crowd. Love it.

Looking forward to pissing some c*nt off who will inevitably be in my way tomorrow on my ride and thinking of you girls.
  • 5 1
 @nvranka: ok you do you. Thought I was discussing with a teenager or something; turns out you’re fking 32!! Ha, lost cause so I’ll stop at this point. Good luck, son.
  • 5 1
 @nvranka: One last thing:
FYI, the behavior of you and those like you are THE reason why, in your own words: "...we don’t have a bunch of dedicated race tracks."
  • 1 3
 @jpat22: is*

You’re welcome, “son”.
  • 15 0
 @danielsapp A question for next Ask PB, can you lace up a 28h hub to a 32h rim just by skipping a spoke every 7 holes? Likewise could you do that with a 32h hub and 28h rim?
  • 5 0
 It's gonna make your spoke length calculation really tricky. If I'm picturing it correctly, the first of four consecutive spokes going the same way from the same side of the hub flange will be 2x and the last will be 3x. So the second spoke would need to be the correct length for 2 1/3 cross and the third spoke, 2 2/3 cross?
  • 12 0
 I'm kinda surprised that nobody has come out with a conversion kit to make your dropper wireless, similar to Archers D1X.
  • 3 1
 I think it's because the electronic control (solenoid, motor etc) to pull the dropper cable would need to be below the seatpost, inside the seat tube. If there's no hole to run a cable outside the seatpost, then the battery to supply it would need to be there too. So seatpost would need to be removed to be recharged.

That'd be a deal breaker for me because I'd choose an ugly external cable over wireless if it means I spend a lot less time maintaining it. I'd buy it if they found a way around those problems, but I have no idea how they'd do it.
  • 4 2
 @ozhuck2flat: Common' now. Removing a seatpost requires undoing one single screw. It's not that bad.
  • 5 0
 @ozhuck2flat: And all those gubbins would also seriously limit seatpost insertion
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: Totally agree that it's not a big deal but it's a little extra and we're comparing it with doing nothing.
Mechanical droppers need maintenance yearly or more often in bad weather and that's it. They're maintenance free when they're working. Swapping batteries does put people off -just look at the pitchforks that come out whenever electronics on bikes are mentioned on pinkbike.

@boozed yep very true.
  • 3 0
 This would be an awesome home project quite a bit more simple than shifting
  • 1 0
 @ozhuck2flat: someone will come up with wireless charging through carbon frames.
  • 11 0
 New to biking? Buy the Grim Donut. Best bike in the world innit?
  • 3 0
 I think the number one tip for beginners is get the best bike you can afford. If you can't, go to your LBS and rent one for a day. Rent another one another day. Ask people, read, use google, and only buy a bike from bike shops or a bike that was once in bike shops (i.e. no Wal Marts!). Then, when you are sure you want to do this riding thing, there won't be such as thing as 'I can't afford a decent bike so I'm getting a Wal Mart bike' - because you'll make it work. With some research and attention, a second hand decent bike is better than a new one for the same price.

Because there's nothing worse for a beginner than a bike that is uncomfortable and unsafe. That's the quickest way to turn people off permanently.
  • 1 0
 Would disagree - most begginers have no time and no patience to do researching, renting etc. Will not even mix "Covid-bikers" into this advice (they are special category)

Best advice would be to go to LBS and they will tell you what to buy. Get the cheapest one you think is acceptable - because in few months/year you will figure out what you really want. And this for sure will not be the one you have, you are changing bikes anyway Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @onyxss: That's precisely why this is my #1 tip. And most of them don't stick around either. Those who do, will develop the patience very quickly. Take it from someone who remembers being there not too long ago and someone who frequently holds beginners rides.
  • 15 11
 Seems logical that the slower moving rider, who can easily pull to the side of the trail, would yield to the faster moving downhill rider. Never understood that rule.
  • 12 3
 Its easy, everyone things he is under control until he hits someone who is trying to move over,... Its for safety and only for safety. And i hear you, yes mountain biking should and has some danger involved, but person hurt should be ONLY you when you decide to drop bigger then you can handle, not the poor kid going uphill ,...
  • 21 3
 To add to what Spiral23 said, it's also because it's a lot easier for a rider to get going again after stopping on a downhill than on an uphill, especially if the trail is narrow, exposed, technical, and/or just really steep. Coasting downhill for a second until you get your feet on the pedals is braindead easy for anyone.
  • 7 1
 Who’s looking farther ahead?
  • 19 0
 With the exception of horses, yielding rules on trails always are ranked by momentum. The heavier/faster you are the more damage you could inflict on another user, so the responsibility is placed on the user with more momentum to slow down. That’s why cars yield to bikes on the road and pedestrians in crosswalks, and why bikes yield to hikers on the trail. It’s also why defending bikers yield to ascending bikers on trail. The rules are in place for a good reason and should be followed.
  • 10 6
 Yield to the faster rider?

Two riders are riding towards each other at the same speed.

Rider A speeds up so she'll get the right of way.

Rider B speeds up more so she'll get the right of way.

Rider A goes full out so she won't have to yield.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
  • 2 9
flag nvranka (Nov 30, 2020 at 20:13) (Below Threshold)
 No idea what everyone is talking about; clearly op was referring to a scenario where there is a slower rider in the way of a faster one, both traveling downhill.

And I agree with him...slower riders on the hill should always yield to faster. I’d happily pull over for Danny Hart...wouldn’t you?

Same should apply to anyone.
  • 2 1
 @Anomie-X: Exactly. That being said, if you have the right of way, it is your option to yield it. If the climb as the space, doesn't require momentum to clean and has a tree to grab hold of, I usually pause and wave them on...

But if they are bombing down, expecting you to GTFO of their way...then its elbows out.
  • 2 7
flag nvranka (Dec 1, 2020 at 9:33) (Below Threshold)
 @ReformedRoadie: ooooooooo elbows out.

Good luck with that one kook. I suggest you keep holding onto your tree before somebody gets hurt.
  • 5 1

I guess you are one of the douche bags who have no clue about trail etiquette. If you are bombing down a hill and expecting me to stop and jump out of your way. you may be surprised.

Thank you for your concern though.

PS - I actually don't need a tree since I can track stand.
  • 2 5
 @ReformedRoadie: could say the same about you, f*cking hypocrite.

Won’t be able to track stand very well after you get taken out.

Anyways I’m done with you and the rest of the idiots on this thread.

The next time same gaper hollers at me as I blast by him I’ll think of you and grin.
  • 5 1
 @nvranka: no one will miss you.
  • 3 0
 I’ve used black fine grit sandpaper on my pads, I’ve also poured rubbing alcohol on them, then hit it with my butane torch, works great. You will still need to bed em in again.
  • 7 3
 "Bikes always yield to other users..." Not true in bike preferred management, which is VERY popular east of the Rockies.
  • 1 0
 I drilled a hole at the base of a 15 year old aluminum hard tail bike, 4" up from the bb junction on the sea tube. This was 2 years and MANY rides ago. 2- 1/4" holes filed out to make an oval for internal cable routing for a dropper post. Put an grommet in to smooth the hole out.
I would not drill my holes near the head tube as a failure at the front of the bike is catastrophic, if my seat tube cracks, I feel the implications are less deathly
  • 1 0
 Dude, unrelated question for ya:
What are some of your favorite trails around the bag area to ride? I'm coming home for a few weeks around Christmas and am trying to find something to ride, but so far have only seen any halfway decent trails in the Milbrae area. Any local suggestions about trails in the San Jose area?
  • 3 0
 Any advice on epoxy filling internal cable routing holes to run cables externally? ????
  • 2 0
 But why? Only the rear brake needs to be external.
  • 2 0
 @babathehutt: Because external routing is better ;p
  • 1 0
 @babathehutt: because hahaha!
  • 1 1
 If you’re starting to mountain bike for the first time, or are looking to start, I recommend checking out this podcast if you are interested!

  • 1 0
 ... on the beginner forum. I recently put on new SRAM G2 RSC brakes ...
Sure, that's about the price of my first car ( when I was a beginning driver)
  • 1 0
 @puppuck use the bossnut hole to pass the cable. It works well enough, and do not drill your frame.
  • 1 0
 I would add a step to the pad cleaning process: flush with water, re-apply acohol and bake them 30min.
  • 2 0
 30 minutes isn’t absolute though. Gotta insert a toothpick and have it come out clean. Then they’re good.
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