Ask Pinkbike: Upgrading Components, Loose Spokes, and Enduro Race Training

Oct 31, 2017
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.

What to Upgrade?

Question: Pinkbike user darsia121 asked this question in the all-mountain, enduro and cross-country forum: I have a 27.5'' wheeled hardtail with a 120mm-travel fork and a 2x10 drivetrain. I'm not sure if I want to upgrade any components, or if I should save up and get a different bike? I really enjoy how the bike rides, though. Any advice?

bigquotesI realize that I'm luckier than a pig in shit to be able to ride a lot more mountain bikes in one year than most people will in their entire life, and the large majority of those machines have performed very well, which isn't much of a surprise. Even so, it's rare for me to find a bike that I'd be happy to stay on for the long term, probably because my curiosity always gets the best of me. The original Ripley was one, along with the Honzo CR, the Patrol, and a few others, but the list is shorter than you might guess.

My point, darsia121, is that while you might like your next bike, you know that you love your current steed. There are countless bikes out there, and a lot of them are worth owning, but there's no point in switching it up if you enjoy the bike you have right now. Take that money and spend it on things like better tires and wheels, a mountain bike vacation, or even some skills lessons.
- Mike Levy

Kona Honzo CR Photo by James Lissimore

Why Are My Spokes Always Loose?

Question: Gbeaks33 asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I have a set of Stan's Flow MK3 rims on DT Swiss 350 hubs, with whatever their strongest spokes are, and my rear wheel requires attention after every single ride. Roughly 5-8 spokes are completely floppy and loose. I tighten them up, make sure it roughly spins true, and the end of my next ride I have to do it all over again. So, I've tried to tighten them up a bit more than I would normally do, and they're not as loose afterwards but still requires to be tightened with a spoke wrench.

My wheel has a *slight* wobble at one part, but I've true'd it up pretty good and I'm too lazy to do a full tear-down and re-tension everything. The wheels on my old bike, cheap Easton Haven's I bought online with 24 spokes, lasted for over two years and never had to take a spoke wrench to them once, so I'm wondering what's going on here? Are these spokes shot and I should replace them? Should I just bite the bullet and take it to a shop to be tensioned and true'd properly?

bigquotesIf your wheels are in good shape, take them to a trusted bike shop and have them professionally trued. Four possibilities could explain why your spokes need to be re-tensioned after every ride. If you weigh 250 kilos and ride harder than Brook MacDonald, you will need stronger wheels, plain and simple. The most logical reasons, however, would be improper spoke tension, spokes that are too stiff for the rims you are using, or rims that have been dented beyond the point where they can resist distortion when stressed.

Spokes must always be in tension, and they need to be just thick enough (or the rim structure, flexible enough) so that there is a little elastic stretch between the spokes and the rim. The elastic part is important. When the rim is stressed, it wants to take an oval shape (like a rubber ball compressing), but the spokes prevent that and because the wheel remains circular, the impact energy is transferred through the rim evenly to all of the spokes (I am simplifying here). Because bicycle rims must be lightweight structures, however, there is always some distortion at the impact zone and a properly tensioned wheel, with the correct gauge of spoke, ensures that there is enough elasticity to prevent the impact-zone spokes from becoming slack. The result is a long lasting wheel that remains true.

Uneven tension transfers all of the impact loads to a small number of spokes, which causes those spokes, and the affected rim interface to fail slightly. That relaxes the tension in the load-bearing spokes and, because there are no other spokes available to shoulder the burden, the entire wheel needs to be tensioned once more.

Many believe that heavier spokes make a stronger wheel (this could be your problem), but if the rim is not rigid enough to counter the much higher tension they require to reach an elastic balance, either the nipples will pull through upon hard impacts, or the builder must reduce spoke tension. Both create a situation where the wheel will constantly require maintenance.

Finally, if your rims have flat spots, there is no hope in achieving proper tension. Spokes that lie within the affected zones cannot be properly tensioned without increasing the magnitude of the flat spot. To compensate, all of the spokes in the undamaged "circular" portions of the rim must be over-tightened slightly. Ultimately, your wheels would be doomed. 

Stan s Flow MK3
Stan's Flow rims are strong, but flexible, and thus work best with lighter gauge spokes that have some stretch in them.

Multi-Day Enduro Racing

Question: Pinkbike user @mrtoodles asked this question in the All-Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum:Has anyone here entered, attempted or completed a Trans Enduro event? Or similar multi-day race? Any advice on training plans or equipment selection?

Truthfully, with my background (~20 years of mid-pack DH) I'm actually more concerned about the liasons than the descents, but any advice on either component would be great.

bigquotesThere's no shortage of multi-day enduro races these day – the Trans Provence, Trans BC, and Trans Cascadia are three that immediately come to mind. The one thing that they all require is a high level of overall fitness. Even if your goal is simply to make it the end, rather than gunning for the win, it's still important properly prepare before rolling up to the starting line.

You didn't say when the event in question is, but I'd recommend starting to ramp up the number of miles and hours you spend on the bike. Of course, you don't want to jump into the deep end right away – if the longest rider you've ever been on is two hours, hold off for a little bit before heading out on a 10 hour, soul-crushing epic. Getting accustomed to spending extended periods of time on the bike will be very helpful for racing multiple days in a row. Not all of those miles need to be on the mountain bike, either. Mixing up your routine by adding in the occasional road or gravel ride can be an excellent way to get those base miles in without punishing your body quite as much.

Don't forget your upper body – enduro racing can be very physical, and incorporating strength training into your routine, even if it's something as simple as doing push-ups and pull-ups a few times a week can help you feel stronger and more solid on the bike. It's also not a bad idea to assess your bike handling skills to see if there's an area that could use some brushing up. The majority of multi-day enduro races require riding stages blind, which means that the more comfortable you are with interpreting and responding to unfamiliar terrain the better. Depending on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go, there are several websites dedicated solely to training for enduro racing, or you may even want to consider hiring a coach to help guide you through a specific training regimen.

As far as equipment goes, I'd recommend erring towards the tough and reliable side rather than getting too hung up on weight. Leave the ultralight stuff for the XC crowd – the extra grams that a thicker tire casing adds will be worth it if it means that you can finish a day without any flats. Putting in those early season miles will be a good time to test out things like tires and wheels, and to get your suspension dialed in to your liking. I'd also recommend seeking out riders that have done the races you're interested in participating in to see if they have any specific equipment tips that'll help you put the finishing touches on your race rig. Good luck! 
Mike Kazimer

Trans Provence 2014
Multi-day enduro races can deliver adventure and memories that'll last a lifetime, but being prepared can help make them even more enjoyable.

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


  • 169 2
 My list: Need to upgrade - calves and quads...Need to downgrade - stomach, love of beer/ice cream
  • 58 2
 But beer and ice cream has vitamins....right?
  • 17 46
flag R-trailking-S (Oct 31, 2017 at 11:44) (Below Threshold)
 @KUNTHER: Alcohol forces the kidneys to remove vitamins and minerals, although the fat in ice cream is an excellent transporter for the minerals and vitamins you aren’t consuming.
  • 10 1
 Amen. That and skills, skills, skills. Every time I take a class (we are lucky to have kick ass instruction right here in town on our home trails), I discover new things my bike is perfectly capable of doing. Amazing, and the best bang-for-the-buck upgrade I've found.

That said, if you're riding 2x10 and it's time for a new cassette, then going 1x11 is not that expensive an upgrade - and it sure declutters the bike, simplifies things, and takes care of that whole dropped chains issue. 1x11 SLX is a freaking bargain and will fit right onto standard hubs - the cassettes are reasonably priced, SLX shifter and derailleur aren't really that expensive, and you can just stick a N/W 30 or 32 T ring on your standard 2x crank and have a decent chain line (even works with my short chainstay Process 111).

I'm guessing the guy rides a dropper, too - that would be one of those don't-know-how-I-ever-did-without sort of upgrades.
  • 16 0
 @KUNTHER: Beer - German for sports drink...
  • 64 0
 @KUNTHER: beer has food value, but food has no beer value.

  • 2 0
 I will take some BMX lessons as my kid wants me to do that with him.. I bet I'll find very soon how bad I am at basic pumping and least until my ankles and wrists withstand that freaking rigid punishment
  • 1 0
 @Lagr1980: We just got a new pumptrack here in town. It's amazing how much fun that is. And how universal - I see little groms on tiny BMX bikes, young people on BMX and dirt jump bikes, kids (like my son) on trail bikes, and then fat old dudes like myself on 29ers, and everyone gets to flow and have fun on it - and build skills. Good stuff!
  • 3 0
 @g-42: or even cheaper, an 11-42 ten speed cassette. All you need is that and a chainring.
  • 3 0
 Ice cream is packed full of protein -questionable scientific source from the internet
  • 3 0
 @KUNTHER: Beer and ice cream have electrolytes. You know, its got what plants crave. And in the words of Dr Lexus, "Don't worry scro!"
  • 12 1
 @R-trailking-S: you must be so fun at parties
  • 1 0
 @KUNTHER: beer made with gruit ????????not hops will do. ice cream great drowned in maple syrup (grade a canadian dark)
  • 89 0
 Ok I'm back having a really hard time here in Rincon Puerto Rico because of hurricane Maria lost half of my bike shop but working very hard to open again i was desperate to get internet again so I can see my pinkbike .com i been drinking warm beer every day since, happy to see all my pinkbike friends rocking it .
  • 10 0
 Thinking about you man! You all are having a rough go here lately. Best of luck getting the shop back up and running!
  • 5 2
 All the best of luck man!
  • 30 13
 Hang in there!! PR is strong!! May your beer be chilled again soon, my friend. P.S. Sorry about the idiot we elected up here.
  • 3 0
 Make a t-shirt and I'll buy it.
  • 11 0
 I'm not affiliated with them but purchasing the was a fantastic investment. I ride a lot and this helped me get through the mountain and moto season relatively pain free for the first time in years. I also feel faster and stronger than I've ever been. All that said, I recommend some kind of balanced approach for training including stretching, CORE (capitalized on purpose), balance and strength.

Simply riding your bike a lot will result in a performance plateau and leave you open to injury/fatigue.
  • 1 0
 Agree on the I am going through my second time around and am still seeing great results. I'm faster and stronger on the trail every time I get out. And doing the exercises is much more palatable when I know it is going to help me enjoy being out on the trail...keeps me focused and working hard. If I've had questions, I've gotten answers and helps as well. Well worth the amount that I paid for it. I'll keep using it for years more.
  • 10 0
 "My point, darsia121, is that while you might like your next bike, you know that you love your current steed. There are countless bikes out there, and a lot of them are worth owning, but there's no point in switching it up if you enjoy the bike you have right now. Take that money and spend it on things like better tires and wheels, a mountain bike vacation, or even some skills lessons.”

Darn good advice.
  • 4 1
 and hardtails are actually good fun.
  • 7 0
 Yep, i'd put it down to uneven spoke tension. Someone that just retightens spokes to get things laterally true is missing out on the other equally important factor- even spoke tension across each side of the wheel (that is, even tension among all drive side spokes, and even tension - likely a different number- among all NDS spokes)
  • 1 1
 Probably some spoke windup too. And didn't use spoke prep in the initial build
  • 2 1
 Could be incorrect spoke length too. locktite on spoke threads might help with tension too
  • 1 0
 I thought your spoke tension description was pretty good. From reading I suspect his spokes are/were massively under tensioned. My advice: borrow a spoke tensiometer from local shop to see if they're in the ballpark. Also he should find out what max tension is from both hub and rim maker, tension to that.
  • 1 1
 The quick and cheap solution is to add a little Loctite to all your spokes.
  • 1 0
 I had the same problem with a flat spot and bend on a cheap rim. Kept beating on it and truing it and after a year or so it stopped loosening. Been running OK for six months now. If you tension it equally it might not be very true. Some rims need to be beat strong like a cricket bat. Others take a weird hit when poorly tensioned and never come good. I think mines a fluke.
  • 1 0
 Detensioning can occur in a properly tensioned wheel if the nipples are backing off, which can occur on compliant rims like the Flow MK3 due to the intermittent unloading of the spoke/nipple thread interface (i.e. large, localized deflection of the rim under impact). Mechanically-locking nipples are offered by companies by Sapim (SecureLock) because they are good at counteracting this effect. Not saying this is the case here, just saying it can happen.
  • 3 0
 Go on to the trans Provence web site, look up the race feed and there are a couple of very good interviews with Johnathan Mathews about his training for the TP this year. I think they were from the well with a listen too.

Good for it & have fun!
  • 1 0
 Thanks mate, will check it out.
  • 1 0
 @MrAngry that is awesome. Thanks for the link. Just gave it a listen.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for posting my question, Pinkbike! I figured something was up and I should probably leave it to the professional mechanic to fix it. I haven't built a wheel before so all this is new to me. But regarding, very helpful information and various factors I hadn't considered before.
  • 6 0
 Hi gbeaks,
Unfortunately, there are a few confusing things in the explanation of the engineering of bicycle wheels in that description. The key to understanding spoked wheels is that the rim is always more flexible than the spokes. The spokes are steel wires in tension. When the wheel is loaded, the vast majority of the rim deformation is in the few inches of rim at the ground. Thus, a few spokes at the bottom get looser, but the rest of the spokes are only very slightly affected. Big hits don't increase spoke tension, they decrease it. Wheels collapse when the hit is so big that some spoke tensions go to zero and the rim is unsupported.

If your spokes are loosening, it is because they are too loose to begin with, so when the wheel is loaded they get even looser, allowing the nipples to turn (and they always turn looser). This could be either because they are unevenly tensioned (so only some are too loose) or because they are evenly tensioned but all are too loose. A quick check is just to pick the bike up and pluck each of the spokes. They should be pretty close in tone. If not, go around and adjust tensions until they are, and then re-true.

This is an old, but good, site for what you are doing:
Scroll down past lacing to "Initial spoke adjustment", and start reading. You basically need to re-tension your wheel well, once.
  • 1 0
 You didn't say, but is it the non-drive-side (NDS) spokes that go loose? If so, then what RC wrote about "spokes that are too stiff" may be right. The NDS spokes are under less tension to begin with, so if the DS spokes are fully and evenly tight and the NDS spokes keep coming loose, then thinner NDS spokes will often solve the problem, because they will be more stretched under no-load conditions, and thus able to handle more rim deformation before their tension gets low enough to allow the nipples to turn.

I've had that problem with a 24-spoke road rear wheel (so no big hits) with 14-gauge spokes. Replacing the NDS spokes with 15/17/15-gauge butted spokes solved the problem. I weight 180 lbs.
  • 6 0
 @SJP: "Big hits don't increase spoke tension, they decrease it."

This depends which spokes you're talking about.... it only decreases tension in the spokes closest to the point of contact with the ground, while all other spokes see an increase in tension, either to support the rider weight (upper spokes), or to resist ovalization (front and rear spokes).

I didn't see anything incorrect / terribly confusing in the OP. If initial spoke tension is uneven, your point about spokes being "only very slightly affected" goes out the window - spokes can and will go slack, experience extreme loading, etc, depending on where the wheel gets loaded.
  • 4 0

Me: Weekend warrior who builds and maintains wheels for me and some mates. Learned through this site ( and bought the booklet, which is excellent. Wouldn't suggest I know anything except what that book taught me.

You: (Excuse me for making any incorrect assumptions): Someone without any wheelbuilding experience, who doesn't know much / anything beyond "These spokes are a bit loose".

SJP and BKM303: Two people that know a lot more than me and you. Combined.

The Problem: Given where you are at, the advice of SJP and BKM303 could possibly sound like double dutch to you, and leave you worried about making things worse by getting involved... which is a possibility without a grounding in the wheelbuilding process and the roles the hub, their flanges, the spokes, nipples and rims play and their relationship to each other.

The Solution #1: Get the wheels rebuilt by someone who you trust (SWYT) (RC says a Pro, but I prefer SWYT). If they do it right, the problem should be solved.

The Alternative Solution: Go and get that booklet from that website. It is less than 10$ and honestly, no-one needs much more than that to get a working knowledge of the whole process. Read and inwardly digest that booklet. Doing that will give you a better ability to judge whether you want to get involved with wheelbuilding and maintenance long term for yourself, which requires you to buy a spoke tension meter and make / beg / borrow a nipple driver, dishing tool and truing stand, or whether you feel solution #1 would work better for you.

I'd of course recommend the alternative solution, because then you end up as SWYT but that isn't what everyone wants.

Hope it gets sorted for you soon!
  • 2 0
 @orientdave: yep, musson's book is awesome. but you have to kinda be a nerd about it and really delve into it. it's over 100 pages (with tons of pictures), but the read is quick if you are really interested in the subject matter.

took me 2 days to read (and i'm a slow reader), but after that, i was able to true my own wheels immediately. i started with a cheap wheel that i didn't care about, but looking back, i could have done it with any wheel and it would have been fine. it wasn't perfect my first time, but it was still way better than the machine had built up that wheel.
  • 2 0

The increase in spoke tension at the top and sides of an evenly tensioned wheel is negligible compared to the decrease in spoke tensions at the bottom. This is because the spokes, combined, are much stiffer than the rim. You can try this yourself: pluck the spokes and listen for the tone. Now have someone sit on your bike and repeat. You will hear a change in the bottom spokes. You will not hear a change in the top or side spokes. The tone measurement is at least as accurate as any spoke tensiometer on the market.

My apologies about being unclear on the uneven spoke tension issue.
  • 1 0
 @orientdave, and gbeaks:

In my experience, if someone can maintain the drivetrain and brakes, they can true and build wheels. I did buy a dishing tool, because without one, for rear wheels (with disk brakes), you have to pull the cassette to flip the wheel around and check the dish, and I got tired of that. But, I do truing on the bike and use tone to measure tension. For truing the rear wheel, I have a piece of wood with a screw in it that I clamp to my seatstay and chainstay, such that the screw points is right at the rim sidewall. For the front wheel, I just clamp something to the fork. If I did it more often, I might buy the tools, but I only build/maintain my own wheels.
  • 3 0
 @SJP: Something to take into account that I don't think anyone mentioned here. If you are checking spoke tension with any tensiometer, you need to remove the tire or at a minimum let the air pressure out. An inflated tire deforms the rim enough that every spoke will read lower than it actually is. If you're going by the reading with an inflated tire, especially something like a road tire with high pressure, it's easy to over tension, which can cause problems like spokes pulling through the rim or hub flanges cracking.
  • 1 0
 @SJP: Thanks man! Great link!
  • 1 0
Cheers! Useful information. I hadn't considered that before.
  • 5 0
 >before heading out on a 10 hour, soul-crushing epic

By which you mean a 10 hour soul-affirming epic !
  • 2 0
 I have a set of 29” Stan’s Flow MK3 wheels and I beat the crap out of them. I land sideways, I’ve smashed them into rocks, and generally abused them. They are straight amd true as the day I bought them and have had literally no maintenance. Seems strange that someone would have so many issues with what is known to be a pretty bomb proof wheel.
  • 1 0
 A poor build will make any wheel suck.
  • 2 1
 Funny enough I've got a set of Stans Flow EX (first gen). Heavy double butted spokes. Laced to DT350r/E13LG1f. I've broken more spokes on this wheelset than any other. Probably averaging to about 4 spokes per year over 5 years of ownership. My local wheel builder suggests that its just an old wheelset and the rims are shot, and I'm inclined to agree. As I move them with Boostinators to my new frames, I'm wondering if I should relace them to standard center drilled rims, or if the 3mm dish combined with Asym drilled rims would be wonky.
  • 1 0
 The Stans Flow wheels I had were the only ones I’ve ever broken spokes on. Factory wheel set with a 230lbs rider didn’t work out for me. Maybe machine built wheels were the issue? Running LBS built wheels for years with no problems.
  • 1 0
 This gets me wondering, are there many people with issues with these rims? I was considering those rims for my next build, (possibly with Stans Arch in the rear) but of course not if I'm likely to run into trouble.
  • 1 0
 IIRC, the prebuilt Stan’s wheels I had came with smaller gauge spokes, triple butted. That’s what I had problems with at my weight. The usual DT or Phil’s double butted spokes have been fine for me.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Stans rims are great. I have Flow EX on Hope Pro2, and they have lasted me a year without even needing a true, and every tire I have tried mounts up with a floor pump no problem. Much longer lasting than the WTB i25 I destroyed before switching to these.
  • 2 0
 @pacificnorthwet: Cool to hear.
@krisrayner : That's interesting. The article states that the spokes shouldn't be too stiff. Larger diameter and shorter spokes are stiffer, thinner and longer spokes are less stiff. And of course a slacker spoke angle (with respect to the plane of the wheel) allows you to run lower spoke tension too. Then again the article was about the wheel staying true. Actually for fatigue (which is probably what you were experiencing) a slightly higher preload is better as the amplitude of the deformation during use becomes smaller. And it probably also depends on what the critical loads are for your type of riding. Landing loads are radial, cornering (carving and catching/losing grip) has a big axial (and tilting) component which may be even more demanding due to the largely radial spoke orientation. I guess in this context small diameter flanges (to increase spoke length) with wide flange distance (booooost) and wide small diameter rims with offset drilling, cross laced (all to slacken the spoke angle to then get away with relatively thin spokes) is the way to go. I'll leave it to the mathematicians to work out how this is all related.

I prefer to lace my wheels using DT Alpine III spokes though these are getting harder and harder to get hold of. I don't get why these are less popular than DT Competition. These are almost the same as Competition except the bit near the hub is slightly thicker. This adds about 9g near the hub, for a complete wheel! If I break a spoke, it is near the hub. I've never broken one of these.
  • 2 0
 @pacificnorthwet: Same setup and same experience after now 4 years of many many MANY hard alpine rides. Currently on a DHF and Agressor setup. That's the money melon!
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Stans are a pretty safe bet that many in my area have made. Me: Flow + pro2. Solid in all situations for about 5 years, including quite a few drops to flat and a lot of rock-related silliness. Abuse-friendly wheels basically. And a cheap build.
  • 2 0
 I had Stans beefy rims on a build like 4 or 5 bikes ago (Flow EX?), one of the first of the "custom wheel builds" i undertook. reputable shop built them up. spokes were breaking all the time towards the end of their first season.
got to the point where one of the rims was just out of round AND out of true and couldn't be saved. Stans rims were (not sure how they've changed lately) super flexy compared to other brands. like noticeable even by hand. i took that to be the cause. my last few sets have all either been on NS Bikes DH rims, or DT EX471s... DT Comp spokes, brass nipples, Hope hubs... same formula on a few sets now. i've literally never retensioned a single wheel or had a spoke break in what must be going on 6 years now. there's so many choices out there, no need to take a chance on Stans noodles if you're on the heavier side or abuse wheels.
  • 1 0
 @Sweatypants: Maybe they weren't as strong or stiff 6 years ago, but at 6'6" and 240lb I would notice if today's models had any unwanted flex. I built my Stans wheels for a new frame, and by the time that frame cracked the wheels were still dead true with no dents. I then moved them over to another new frame, and now the second frame has cracked with the wheels still running true with no dents. I would build another set in a heartbeat.
  • 1 0
 Built a wheelset recently with Flow Mk3s. Easy build, quality rim, have taken a beating so far - over 300 hard miles with no truing needed and no spoke issues. Not exactly a long term review, but they're solid compared to everything else I've built/used.
  • 2 2
 Hmmm. I too have a set of Stans Flow wheels that are not great. Despite their occasional use on a commuter, the rims do not like to stay true for very long at all. I've not had the spoke tension issues that @Gbeaks33 has, but they are not confidence-inspiring rims. In contrast, some Velocity, Mavic Open Pro and Mavic 823 wheels I've built have gone for ages without needing a second look. It could be the initial spoke tension as well. In my early wheel building days, I messed up spoke tension to the point where NDS nipples were unscrewing because I didn't have enough initial tension to keep them tight. YMMV
  • 1 1
 I know how you feel about your Hardtail; I used to ride one back '99. Since then I've had 4 FS bikes; each one, better than its predecessor. With each New bike I've purchased I think, "this thing is Awesome!" far superior than,... Yada Yada Yada.
SAVE YOUR pennies and buy a Full Suspension bike! You'll never regret it. Comfort, Control and Speed, the best 3 reasons to buy FS!
My hardtail was $2000 plus $1500 in upgrades over 5 yrs. And it just hangs in the garage. (I have a Fatty and 2 FS bikes).
If you upgrade the HT, it will always be a HT.
  • 1 1
 I have come full circle and am now back riding a rigid / HT 29er and its great fun. My FS bike is in pieces in the garage.
  • 1 0
 A lot of pretty experienced riders in the pnw are pretty happy with 'modern' hardtails. Try a honzo cr if you haven't. Except for high speed chunk I think my ht (not a hanzo) is much more fun than most fs bikes I've tried.
  • 1 0
 Give me a list of modern versions of the open bath titanium coil spring forks like the ultra smooth Marzocchi 55 RC3 160/170. Preferrably with progressive springs.
Lyrik is not interesting.
  • 1 0

Can you please explain the differences in geometry (if any between) between a Dirt Jump bike, 4X bike and slopestyle bike?

Kind regard
  • 1 3
 spoke wise, i'd try loctite to see if that stops if, and if it doesn't it might be the spokes stretching, but that's a weird on as i'm chunky, and ride hard, but my cheapass wheel set which came on my £500 HT yet has only needed tensioning twice in 3 years.
  • 2 1
 +1 for improper spoke tension. I bought a bike second hand and busted spokes each ride put it down to bad spoke rim combo. Did a week at Whistler, first 3 days broke a spoke every day. Friend took my bike, adjusted the tension - never broke another one.
  • 8 0
 I have always had good luck with boiled linseed oil. Acts as a lube when wet and gets sticky when dry but not as hard to move later as loctite is.
  • 1 0
 I've never used loctite but I used to have the same problem on my rims, loose spokes and extreme flex every few rides. Increasing tension evenly around the wheel stopped the problem. Tension needs to be enough to keep the nipples preloaded in compression, and if you're a bigger/faster rider, or you're on a hardtail, etc that may mean you need more tension to get the job done. Doesn't make the wheel any stiffer, but will definitely prevent constant maintenance/sketchiness of de-tensioning wheels.

@Chris97a there are many many grades of loctite, varying in strength / permanence. I've heard about the boiled linseed oil thing, but the non-permanent grades of loctite are easy to find.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: loctite is more commonly known, and you can always try which strength works best, with the exception of red, as you'll melt your rim before that comes loose.
  • 1 0
Linseed oil can be found in any hardware section of any store, with the acetone, mineral spirits and the like.

In my 15 years of building wheels I have used wheelsmith spoke prep powder and boiled linseed oil and the latter I preferred. Blue loctite can work but it is over kill for the job.
  • 1 0
 I've never built with Prolock nipples (basically nipples with a threadlock already applied) but what does work for me is whenever I increase tension on a spoke, to twist it a bit too far and then go back a again. This releases the torsion on the spoke. Works well for me. Of course if you have bladed spokes (Mavic factory wheels, for instance) you can simply see whether you have torsion or not.
  • 1 0
 Since it was mentioned. Anyone have a Honzo CR? Really wanting a fun hardtail to supplement my enduro bike.
  • 2 0
 All the Honzo varieties are quite popular around here. The guys at the Kona shop in town all seem to have fallen in love with the big Honzo. And I keep seeing riders rip on them in ways that make me feel pretty silly about riding with a shock. I think the last bit of Mike's advice (skills training) is probably the most relevant for most riders, regardless what level of bike they're riding. It sure is for me.
  • 1 0
 I demoed the Honzo CR in Sedona and it was the most fun hardtail I have ever ridden. I did end up buying a Big Honzo partially because of cost and partially because of plus curiosity. It is every bit as fun as the Honzo CR was and I wouldn't hesitate to ride it on some pretty gnarly stuff. That being said, the plus does take some getting used to, and I find it a little more tiresome turning the added weight. Money no object I would buy a Honzo CR. On a budget, build a 29er Big Honzo. I find myself riding my Honzo on a lot more than I planned it for, my long travel full-sus bike is getting jealous I think.
  • 1 0
 I rode a Honzo in 2012', by the time I owned a Niner EMD. Honzo was just fantastic, no need to get used to riding it, just get on it and ride. Unlike Niner it didn't feel like a circus wheeled clumpy wagon, it felt great. I sold the Niner right away
  • 1 0
 Yes I have a Honzo CR. While I do like it, my advice would be to demo the size you think you want and then also one size smaller. These bikes have crazy long front triangles. I know many people swear by them but make sure the super long geometry works for you. If I could do it again I'd be on a medium Honzo instead of large at 5'11".
  • 1 0
 You’re telling the guy riding a 2x10 hard tail not to buy a new bike?!
I hope guy gets some better advice.
  • 1 0
 like this:
Demo (Try out) a few different types of bikes, try an all-mountain, a downhill, maybe a fatty or a 29er. Then you'll know what suits your discipline and go from there...
Or fast forward to a new AM or DH lol
  • 1 0
 Big question here. Are squats or Sprint intervals better for Enduro?
  • 1 0
 Looks for advice on racing/training. Asks PinkBike mods.....
  • 1 0
 probably no spoke prep was used during the wheel build. bad job ;/
  • 11 14
 @mikelevy - "you may like your next bike but you know that you love your current bike"

An idea for development of Trailforks: Tinder for bikes... Trail-Tinder App: for grown men to meet an swap bikes instead of fluids.
  • 1 0
 yeah until you get the what lube do you use line lol
  • 1 0
 @Hooch73: Dry wax all the way for me. It stays cleaner longer.
  • 4 0
 Hi my name is Robert, I am looking for a rough ride on a stiff Bronson. I offer cosy times on smooth surface with my dear Juliana. Bring your pump and tubes for clean operation. Sealant disgusts me.
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