|Well, I'm assuming that you're asking because you noticed that the trails feel a bit smoother than when you were running those little pizza cutters, so you probably already know what the answer is. You hit on one of the main reasons that more and more people are using wider tires - increased comfort. This will be most noticeable when you've put some high-volume rubber on a short-travel bike, or especially a hardtail, and can be amplified even more by also using wider rims that further help matters. I'm a big fan of short-travel bikes combined with wide rubber as it makes the bike more forgiving and capable without taking away from the agility advantage that most short-travel rigs have over their longer-stroke brothers.|
Added comfort isn't the only benefit of going wide, however, as the combo of high-volume rubber on a wide rim can also deliver much more traction thanks to the lower air pressures that it requires. I'm not convinced that there's much downside to such a setup if one isn't a cross-country racer (the tires and rims weigh more, of course), and I'd also argue that a wide setup doesn't roll any slower than a skinnier, more traditional setup of similar weight. You don't need to go plus-sized, either, as a large 2.3'' wide tire on a wide rim can do the trick if you're used to a skinny tire on a narrow rim. - Mike Levy
|I'd keep the BoXXer World Cup on if I was in your shoes. The Charger damper makes it feel much better than the Totem ever did when it comes to small bump sensitivity, and you should be able to adjust the rebound to make the bike feel as 'lively' as you'd like. It used to be that the feel of a coil sprung fork was drastically different than that of one with an air spring, but those days are becoming distant memories, and today's air sprung options feel better than ever. The BoXXer World Cup is basically an oversized Pike, and that's a good thing - it's supple, predictable, and easily adjustable. |
The ability to fine tune the air pressure of the BoXXer World Cup puts it ahead of the coil sprung Team in my book - that way there's no chance of getting stuck between spring rates. Plus, you can alter the the amount of end stroke ramp up (via the use of Bottomless Tokens) to further adjust the fork to suit your riding style or for different tracks. - Mike Kazimer
|Your research is correct. With long legs for your height, you would be a more efficient pedaler with 175 millimeter crank arms. That said, road racers with similar body types commonly use 172.5-millimeter crank arms and they slog up steep grades in massively tall gears all day long, so you should be able to get used to the reduced leverage of 170's, considering that your Santa Cruz is geared considerably lower.|
I also prefer 175 millimeter cranks, however, especially for technical climbing, and have found alternatives to running shorter crankarms that may be a more effective solution to your problem. While your Nomad's static bottom bracket height measurement is fixed, its ride height - where the suspension settles while it is rolling - is affected by its suspension settings. If you have the option, adding a small amount of low-speed compression damping to the shock and fork will raise your bike's ride height. Also, excessive low-speed rebound damping will lower the bike's ride height, so check that too.
You can also adjust ride height using spring pressure, but it's more complicated. Removing a volume spacer and increasing spring pressure will raise the ride height and maintain bottom out control. Conversely, adding volume spacers and reducing spring pressure will lower the ride height while maintaining bottom out control. A crank purchase is final, but you can micro-adjust your damping to find the right balance between pedal clearance and cornering stability.
Also, if you ride Crankbrother's Mallet pedals, you might try switching out to the shorter Mallet E spindles, which will give you a narrower Q factor (52mm vs. 57mm) and more pedal clearance while the bike is angled or being maneuvered. - RC
|Bike sizing is always going a contested argument, so to preface this answer I will let you know where I am at: I am 6'1" with a 6'4" arm span and a 36" inseam. Currently, my preferred 160mm travel bike that I feel fits me the best is a Nicolai GeoMetron in Longest size which is around the 510mm reach mark and using a 35mm stem. I'm also riding an XL Canyon Sender at 480mm with a 50mm stem which is the most comfortable downhiller I've ridden to date. So my recommendation is that you would be after something that fits properly with the shortest stem possible, I would never recommend using a stem to make a bike fit and a stem over 60mm will ruin any kind of ride quality on anything except road climbs, in fact, anything over 45mm makes me a little queasy. |
After hearing these recommendations people think I just have a big length fetish, but having a bike that fits well and is long enough makes every aspect of your riding life easier: Having space in the cockpit lets you breathe more easily, straightens your spine takes pressure off your lower back and lets you relax. It makes absorbing impacts and pumping through compressions easier and balancing the bike to get weight on either tire becomes much more sensitive.
So what does that leave you with? Downhill bike wise the Canyon Sender, Pivot Phoenix, Santa Cruz V10, are the biggest all around the 480mm reach mark. The Pole Evolink is the biggest production downhill bike at 510mm and make shorter travel bikes up to a 530mm reach. Opting for a shorter travel bike opens up your options somewhat with Mondraker, Santa Cruz, Guerilla Gravity and Nicolai all having options over 500mm. Finally, you could go custom, Nicolai can make bikes to order and somebody in Switzerland recently received a custom built GeoMetron with a whopping 580mm reach. Robot Bike Co can print you a monster if you have deep enough pockets and maybe a smaller brand like BTR Bikes from the UK could knock something up for a price. I'm sure there are some other brands out there, so check the comments as I'm sure people will pipe up. I hope that helps. - Paul Aston
Cool FeaturesSubmit a Story to Pinkbike
RSSPinkbike RSS Feed