Ask Pinkbike: Downsizing Wheels, Choosing a Front Tire, and Buying a Used Bike

Nov 17, 2015
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.





Downsizing Wheels

Question: Pinkbike user ebender1123 asked this question in All-Mountain, Enduro and Cross-Country forum: I'm currently riding a 29er hardtail and am thinking about upgrading to a full-suspension bike. I've tried out a few bikes and have fallen in love with two in particular: a Santa Cruz Tallboy and a Cannondale Habit. I liked the Cannondale more, but I'm skeptical of making the switch to 27.5" wheels. Should I be?

bigquotesFirst things first, you should definitely not feel skeptical about switching between wheel sizes, be it going from 29" to 27.5" or vice versa. We're at the point now where there are great trail bikes available with either wheel size that everyone is going to enjoy riding. Choosing between a 29'' wheeled Tallboy, and a 27.5" wheeled Habit is really a win-win situation that's kind of like picking either ribeye or tenderloin cuts of steak for dinner - you're getting steak either way you look at it. Regardless, I think you've answered your question by saying that you like the Cannondale more, so that's the one you should buy. The Habit is also one of the first 27.5" wheeled bikes I've ridden that can climb technical, low-traction terrain as well as the best 29ers, which is the type of setting where big-wheelers usually dominate. The one caveat here is the Habit's Lefty fork that isn't up to snuff compared to a Pike or 34 when talking about damper performance, so keep that in mind. That said, the Habit and its Lefty offer unparalleled steering precision, and the geometry makes for one of the best handling short-travel trail bikes on the market. - Mike Levy

Cannondale Habit Carbon SE review test Photo by Clayton Racicot
  The Habit climbs like a 29er but is more playful than most other big-wheelers. Clayton Racicot photo




What's a Good Front Tire?

Question: BartDM asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I was wondering which tires you use for the front? I had Specialized Clutch (26 x2.3), but after few years, I had to change it. Now I got a Schwalbe Hans Dampf (26 x 2.35), but I am not happy with it. First, it looks smaller than Clutch (although it is labeled as a bigger size) and I have that feeling it doesn`t work well in the corners. Do you have any recommendation or ideas?

bigquotesThe font tire of the moment is by far the Schwalbe Magic Mary, which has been the number one choice of EWS enduro and pro DH racers for two years running. And, fortunately, the Magic Mary is available in 26-inch sizes. The soft compound rubber and pronounced edging blocks find traction almost anywhere and in nearly any conditions, and I have yet to discover a front tire that delivers more confidence in the turns. The downside of the Magic Mary is some rolling resistance on asphalt and hardpack - and reports from riders in wet and rainy places who say that the rubber compound can be slippery on wood.

Another popular favorite that is a go-to for riders in every climate is the Maxxis Minion DHF. It is tough to beat in any conditions and is trustworthy on wood - but it is heavy and also suffers in the rolling resistance department. Finally, the Maxxis High Roller II - a fast rolling tire for hard pack trails - is another popular option (and one of my all-time favorites) that pedals well and cuts a tight apex in the turns. - RC


The profile of the Magic Mary
One of the most blacked-out tires on the start-lines of enduro and DH races, Schwalbe's Magic Mary is the front tire of the moment.




Buy and Sell

Question: Pinkbike user ParkerJonesmtb asked this question in the Downhill Forum: Hello fellow MTBers. In the near future I hope to purchase a new DH bike off the Pinkbike Buy/Sell, but I am fully aware parts or even the frame can be cracked or broken. Can someone compile a list of what I should check? Just don't want to be scammed.Thanks.

bigquotesThe first thing would be to check out the Buy and Sell Safety Tips in the forum. There's pretty much all the advice you could ever need collated together in this one place.

Try and find a bike within close proximity so you can meet the seller and give your potential new baby a check over, failing this try and get to know the seller over email and judge for yourself if they are trustworthy or not. If you decide to meet up for a cash transaction, bear in mind a scammer would know how much paper you might have about your person; counter this (rare) danger by planning a bank transfer with your smartphone, or it's best to go with somebody (preferably a mechanic) and meet in a well lit public place, in front of a police station is a good idea.

I would concentrate on the frame to start with, followed by the most expensive components, if the chain is worn out it won't break the bank if you don't spot it. Cracks in the frame would be the biggest loser so head straight for the major problem areas around the headtube, bottom bracket, shock mounts and chainstays. Hairline cracks can appear on welds and can be difficult to spot so need careful inspection. Look for crash damage on carbon frames and consider stickers or tape could be hiding something. Check fork and shock bushings for free movement/play and any strange knocking noises or oil leaks. Finally check the small components for wear and tear, and consider that some used bikes may have had a liberal helping of 'Bullshit Spray.' This means a good wash and covering with GT85 or a similar oil-based spray can leave an old knacker looking like new.

I have bought and sold bikes in the past and thanks to the friendly community we are part of have never had any problems. Most riders are genuine, honest people and won't be upset if you change your mind. Remember that once the transaction has been made, it's 'sold as seen,' if you get home to find the headtube falling off it's your fault and you have no come-back. - Paul Aston

Logo for the buy and sell
There's some great deals to be had on Pinkbike's BuySell, just remember to protect yourself from any scammers.



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


157 Comments

  • 172 0
 For some reason Pinkbike no longer has the Report Seller option in the Buy/Sell section. Which is a shame, because I've been ripped off in the past and had to report a scammer. We also really need a feedback option to help keep sellers honest.
  • 31 0
 i've thought about this as well, having received the shaft once as a buyer and once as a seller. you should be able to write on the person's wall after the sale, and he/she can't erase it... would be pretty easy to institute and at least offer a warning to future transaction participants.
  • 17 0
 Yep. Agreed. The buy and sell is a fantastic resource, but it's important to make an effort to weed out the bad. The last major purchase I made was a Fox34 FIT. Picture showed a new-ish fork with a remote. What I received had scratched stanchions and no remote (and no stock knob for adjustment). He had told me there was no damage and clearly showed the remote in the pic. I didn't so much care, because I'm good a fixing scratched stanchions, and don't want the adjustment, but this is a perfect example of a seller doing his best to deceive the buyer.

I was lucky enough that the guy was honorable, and gave me some money back. Most people would disappear after pulling a fast one.
  • 25 0
 I wont be buying a frame from PinkBike anytime soon that's for sure. The first question I asked was "are there any cracks or dents in the frame that aren't showing in the picture?" - seller said "no, all good". I opened the box and staring right at me was a hairline crack in the head tube. Dick move, bro. Dick move.
  • 9 0
 ^^ if you paid via goods you should be covered fella
  • 5 0
 I would be happy with a trader rating much like svtperformance.com has, it's very similar to the up vote down vote system in our comments although it would be attached to a sellers profile.
  • 7 0
 Scammer Report is here www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=149619
just used it last week. user was banned. Tks PB
  • 5 0
 Have to admit, I see very little mod action with regards to reported users/scammers.
  • 5 0
 The feedback option would be great, in my opinion. I've had nothing but good experiences on PB Buy/Sell (I've bought a fork, handlebars, frame, among others, and sold a few things, too) and I would like to share those experiences in an easy to access feedback database (i.e. ebay) with others that might be inclined to purchase from the same person.
  • 6 0
 On the biggest German MTB website (mtb-news.de) there is a huge buy/sell section as well. They basically copied the ebay rating system where you are asked to give your feedback on the other user after every bought or sold item and you have to verify yourself in order to sign up for the "bikemarkt" by making a small transaction.
Always wondered why pinkbike doesnt have such thing.
  • 4 0
 Shoot, I've had some SHADY sellers on pink bike who literally and purposely rip people off. I had to chase this one guy down and got my stuff months later, AND THERE WAS NO WAY TO REPORT THIS GUY AND KEEP HIM FROMDOING THIS TO ANYONE ELSE ON PINKBIKE! PB, let's do a seller rating or something???
  • 4 1
 ^ there is a scammers thread in the forum so there are ways to report scammers etc. Do some research before you call pb out for not banning people etc
  • 2 1
 basically, everyone needs to avoid shipping and just meet in person to inspect the product properly. Cash only solves everything....
  • 1 0
 The best place to do a transaction is a bank. There is no excuse for not getting cash and there are cameras and people. It also saves both parties one erran for either withdrawing or depositing cash.
  • 1 0
 A majority of the buy sell forumns I see have a seller rating system, which much like amazon or ebay is reassuring to buyers and sellers alike that you're easy to deal with and not a flake/fraud.

Here's a link for example from a car forum I used to frequently buy and sell on, I easy turned thousands of dollars of car parts back and forth across the country. forums.nasioc.com/forums/itrader.php?u=152984
  • 56 0
 If you list the Minion as heavy, you should do the same for the Magic Mary, yes?
  • 7 4
 It's much lighter if you have the vertstar folding bead tire. 200 g almost.
  • 6 1
 Weights vary greatly based on casing. For 27.5 Minion 3c EXO, 870 grams, Magic Mary Snakeskin Trailstar, 973 grams.
  • 22 3
 DH tires are all heavy. Magic Mary is right up there.
  • 1 4
 835 grams for the Magic Mary 27.5 x 2.35'' Snakeskin. So it's bigger (2.35 vs 2.30 for the Minion) and lighter. Here are the links: www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad-reader/magic-mary.html and www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-468-121-minion-dhf
  • 19 4
 yes a whole 35 grams lighter. OMG
  • 11 0
 A magic Mary 2.35 is way wider than a minion 2.30. It's more like a minion 2.5
  • 4 0
 Yeah, you almost have to compare weights of the MM 2.35 with a Minion 2.5, and in a similar casing style and bead type (i.e., wire bead, dh casing or folding bead, trail-type casing). Lots of options out there.
  • 2 6
flag slipnjloc (Nov 17, 2015 at 20:37) (Below Threshold)
 I find the hans damph pretty good as a front tire and the magic mary works better as a rear with a minion dhf for front duties.. I tried f and r magic marys n found the fronts driftier than the minion...
  • 1 0
 I run 2.5 minnion front and a 2.3 conti rear and they are the same size ish
  • 4 0
 Hey RC have you tried the new Minion 2.5 WT (Wide Trail) on a wide rim (35mm id) yet? Please do. I look forward to a full report soon. I'm sure you predicted the introduction of wider rims for trail bikes (not to be confused with Fat Bikes of 27.5/29er Plus). Now Maxxis have released a slightly revamped Minion to suit I'm very interested to hear your opinion.
  • 3 2
 Honestly, the guy who's not happy with the HD doesn't say which compound they're using.... If it's the budget version then that will have a lot to do with the problems they are experiencing.
  • 1 0
 On the front I've ridden 26" Minion DHF ST and 29" High Roller EXO/TR (different bikes). The High Roller is great, but I remember the Minion being having better grip while cornering, even with a smaller footprint. On the back the Minion wasn't a fantastic climbing tire for the size and weight, IMO.
  • 2 0
 @rstwosix I haven't ridden the WT tires yet, but I was talking with one of the Pivot folks a few weeks ago, he has, & he says they're really, really good, fwiw.
  • 2 0
 Can someone tell me where, besides the Maxxis website, one can purchase a 27.5x2.5 WT Minion? Through Maxxis they are $87 shipped in the US. My cheap a#$ refuses to pay much more than $60 for a tire.
  • 1 0
 Here in Australia the Maxxis distributor has them in the warehouse but I don't know of any retailers with them in stock yet.They're not going to be a big seller until a lot of riders fit wide rim wheels and bike manufacturers start fitting wide rims OEM.
I'd say your best bet is to contact bike shops & online stores that sell wide rims (ranging from 35mmOD / 30mm ID to 40mm OD / 35mm ID). Carbon rims are available from a number of brands including Ibis. Alloy rims like Velocity Blunt have been around for a while, and now some manufacturers are releasing wider alloy versions such as WTB ASYM and Syntace W35 & W40. Expect more brands to release rims soon. If a shop sells the rims they should sell the tyres to suit.
  • 1 0
 these maxxis tires that now have the "WT" have been around before, j or am I confused ? I have been wandering around the maxxis website for the past 3 months to check ETRTO sizes and these WT just were added to the 27.5 EXO 2.5 DHF, 2.4 DHR II and HRII....marketing
  • 2 0
 not marketing. if you go look at comparison images, they're a very different tire.
  • 46 2
 Faster rolling HR2 -- meaning faster rolling than a DHF? Not in my experience...who agrees?

Pinkbike review by Mike Kazimer recently said:
"The DHF is noticeably faster rolling than Maxxis' rather sluggish Highroller II, a tire that is spec'd on many of the bikes we've reviewed this season. The Highroller II is a decent tire, but for sheer versatility the DHF gets our pick, offering better cornering and reduced rolling resistance in a slightly lighter package."

www.pinkbike.com/news/maxxis-minion-dhf-275-review-2014.html
  • 3 5
 Quite the opposite!
  • 7 1
 Supertacky High Rollers stick, they stick to berms, stick to rocks, stick to roots, stick to the fecking road when you're trying to pedal back up... Minions trade a little bit of that ULTIMATE GRAB for some easier rolling. But then I like Larsen TTs so what would I know.
  • 4 9
flag bpantell (Nov 17, 2015 at 12:37) (Below Threshold)
 No flipping way DHF is faster rolling than the HR2. DHF on the rear felt like I was in slow motion. It did offer more traction on steep climbs though. I find the HR2 a damn good rear tire but really sketchy on the front.
  • 12 2
 dlassicmoto ^^^ I agree. My first choices were the Magic Mary and Minion DHF for good reason. Kaz rides in the world of moisture and loam. Down in the Southwest where I ride most, the High Roller excells on our loose over hardpack surfaces. I should have made that clear. I'll make that fix. Thanks
  • 23 1
 I WISH there was an organization that tested all these claims that are thrown around daily online regarding bikes and parts. They do it for cars (0-60, braking, lateral G's, etc). Something similar for bikes is needed. Manufacturers can make any claim they want and we have no way to verify other than someones seat-of-the-pants evaluation (which is the WORST way to gauge anything.)

"Rolls faster"
"More precise steering"
"Less nimble"
blah blah blah blah and on and on. Its all subjective! I want DATA damnit! Accelerometers, strain gauges, string pots, thermocouples, bring it!

PS - If a tire is so "sticky" wont it just pick up dust and dirt and small animals until its covered, and not stick to stuff anymore?
  • 26 1
 High roller rolls slower than DHF, it's physics (love that expression) since both have ramped knobs but minions ones are narrower and longer. I rode Magic Mary for a moment right after jumping off me bike equipped with DHFs - there is probably no worse rolling tyre out there, maybe the mud tyres. Excellent for DH, great for fireroad accessed Enduro, quite bad for going up and down often. DHF is the king, tread patern is so good you can runaway with harder compounds. Who was the guy who designed it, anyone knows? He must be placed in MTB hall of fame damn it!
  • 3 0
 oregonryder- don't forget my favorite buzzword, "flickable."
  • 8 1
 I'm with Waki, I'd also like to mention superior durability of Maxxis tyres... Schwalbe's are fine if your a racer with a new set every race, but the most of us would like a tyre that doesn't disintegrate after a few rides, which is my experience with Schwalbe.... torn off knobs specifically.
  • 2 0
 I like buying moto tires. With an engine's power, instead of leg power, I can run full on square knobs for the ultimate in acceleration, braking, and cornering. I just buy whatever the cheapest full knobbies are on the discount rack at the shop. If only mtb were so easy, with that whole, pesky, rolling resistance thing coming into play...
  • 1 0
 As an aside, I've been running a pair of older Nokian NBT's I found in my garage, which are (in my dumbarse opinion, of course) quite good in my area.
  • 3 0
 Mines got a torn knob and is bubbling up like the hulk.. Anybody ever have that problem with magic marys? Or schwalbes in general?
  • 1 0
 The Minion rolls fine considering how knobby it is. I even use on on the rear wheel for winter. The only thing I don't like about it is technical climbing. In my local conditions (mostly dry and loose) the heavily ramped knobs fail to act like "paddles" to grab dirt and there's a lot of slipping and stone throwing going on. If there's any kind of moisture on the ground they're fine. The DHR II is obviously better equiped for climbing traction.

As a front they're possibly the most reliable and well rounded design there is. They shine on loose conditions with phenomenal directional stability. The EXO casing balances weight/durability perfectly and that's very important in our unforgiving rocky terrain. Contis and Scwalbes live very short lifes here.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns . Colin Bailey if I recall correctly back to 2000 when I started rolling the DHF
  • 2 0
 Team Maxxis rider Colin Bailey designedThe Minion DHF duringThe 2001 NORBA NCS downhill season. Utilizing provenTread concepts such as ramped knobs for low rolling resistance and fore-to-aft channel cut knobs for straight line control and precise cornering,The Minion DH F is yet another example of Maxxis ongoing commitmentTo product development. Designed by our European Racing Development effort,Team Maxxis-MSC. FRONTIER M301 directional, ramped knob design REARTIRE The Minion DH R features
  • 4 0
 DHR 2 rolls pretty darn well, it's even good as a front tire as well.
DHF/DHR2 combo for the win.
  • 2 0
 Thanks @jlow - that man is a hero!

@slipnjloc - I personally have had a lot of great experience with Schwalbe while they have been rolling under me, I think as far as trail tyres go, they are the best. When air is in them. However durability wise... ouch... pinch flatted sidewalls, torn off knobs, easy to cut. I torn off a knob on an uphill for Gods sake... On an ironic note, most people I know that went through all sorts say that Magic Mary is the most durable of all Schwalbe tyres.
  • 1 0
 totally agree with you. I run a super tacky high roller on the front and a hans dampf on the back of my big bike and can't fault them. the high roller instills a lot of confidence in the front end, which I was struggling with previously having a DHF.
  • 1 0
 It dumbfounds me a bit how much more rolling resistance the HR2 has over the original. the original is a nice, fast tire, they need to keep it in the lineup, not just as a legacy product(they still have them, but not in their "new, more realistic sizing," or in any size but 24" & 26".)

Heck from their website "Our most popular and versatile mountain bike tire." keep it in the line-up maxxis, HR2 is a good tire, but it's too different to be a good replacement for the original.
  • 1 0
 I used to run DHR front/HR rear all the time. I'd totally run a HR2 front/HR rear.
  • 1 0
 All those tires seem pretty heavy. My WTB Vigiliante (26x2.3) is over 400 grams lighter! Are the Maxxis that good that it's worth the extra weight?
  • 2 0
 Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 26" 2,5" (in reality rather 2.4ish) weighs at 830g. Schwalbes are around 100g lighter - they must have less rubber on casing, hence they fail more often. Super gravitys gravitate around 1000g. If you want a durable and stable rear tyre look no lower than 900g per 26"
  • 1 0
 Website says 1200+ grams for the DHF. What source is saying it's in the 800's?

The Vigilante is supposed to be just under 800 grams and so far holding up well after several hundred miles on the front. (Live in Phoenix, AZ...so fairly rocky terrain.)
  • 3 0
 1200g is the downhill version with much thicker sidewalls.
  • 25 0
 who would choose tenderloin over ribeye?!
  • 16 1
 The same people who makes all eggwhite omelette, thats who.
  • 9 0
 Depends.......if I'm bbqing then its ribeye. But if I'm in a restaurant, then its tenderloin cause I usually throw in some king crab legs with that bitch!! ;-)
  • 15 0
 Idea for buying used long distance.

I found a good bike store proximate to the seller, called and arranged for them to act as escrow. They would check out the bike, report to me and then I would pay them to ship it to me.

The benefits of this are:
- Professional mechanics check the bike out in their well lit shop
- Professional mechanics package and ship the bike, something that they are very good at.
- Since I pay for shipping and insurance I get to deal directly with the shipper if there is damage in transit. No need to rouse the seller over my problem.

The key is finding a shop you can trust that is close to the seller.
  • 12 1
 "the Maxxis High Roller II - a fast rolling tire for hard pack trails"

Wtf, no it isn't. Slowest tire I've ever used and wayyy slower than a DHF or DHR2. I can't be the only one who thinks that...
  • 1 0
 You obviously never rode a Kenda Excavtor.
  • 3 0
 Or a Kenda Nevegal.... Or just a Kenda
  • 1 0
 why does the nevegal sell so much? it is a suicide tire!! no rolling resistance which is good, but no grip whatsoever, the last pair I have I use them in my street bike
  • 1 1
 Kenda is generally rubbish... I was just saying that the HR2 is generally crappy too. Much better Maxxis offerings and someone who disagrees has to have either never ridden anything else or have way different dirt than me.
  • 1 0
 Im on a Conti Rubber Queen rear and HR super tacky front, apart from the fact the 2.2 conti is wider than the 2.35 maxxis I'm loving the pairing!
  • 1 0
 I'll use whatever I can get from my friends for free. HR 2 is about the same as the others when they're all worn out anyways. ; )
  • 1 0
 I used to run tomac signature kendas. And liked them just fine. Haven't run them in years now though. Maxxis all the way! I have a bit of a weird pairing though. Dhf up front and inferno in the back. Front sticks and the rear rolls. Perfect! Also, couldn't agree more about exo casing. Perfect blend of heft and toughness.
  • 12 0
 I feel like to guys facing each other exchanging money would raise some eyebrows in front of a police station.
  • 3 0
 Actually where I live the Hartford, CT police promote conducting Craigslist transactions at or near a station to lessen the probability of a theft.
  • 1 0
 @ nyhc00, that is awesome.
@dropoffsticks , who cares as long as its legal.
  • 6 0
 Magic Mary is the best front tire I have ever used. Actually because I am almost a masochist I have also a MM in the back and the grip is just insane. I have to admit however that there is a lot of rolling resistance.

My other set of tires are the DHR2 both front and back (I suffer from OCD so everything should be matched) and they roll much faster but still grip great but not as much as the MM.

I think that when I overcome my OCD I will keep the MM in front and put the DHR2 in the back.
  • 5 1
 I'm running a MM 2.35 Snakeskin EVO front and 2.3 DHR2 EXO 3c in the back. For my rocky conditions it's money. The MM is significantly bigger and I'll go 2.4 DHR 2 next time around.
  • 4 0
 @gpgalanis Those Maxxis Minnion DHR II are actually really awesome front tires too, many Maxxis sponsored DH racers run DHR II front and rear, I do the some and it grips awesome here at SoCal's sandy trails.
  • 1 0
 when i moved to san diego i picked up 2 dhr2s for my short travel bike and the grip paired with the high volume cushion made the bike so much better.
  • 2 1
 I agree guys. Both sets of tires are great. If you check my photo album you will see that I have used both of them in various bikes (Enduro, Reign, Surge) and I really like them both.
  • 5 0
 I like running the same tyre front and rear as when the rear is worn you buy a new tyre, put it on the front and put the partially worn front tyre on the rear. This means you always have a front tire in better nick than the rear tyre.
  • 3 0
 I prefer VR46 than MM93 or JL99 Smile
  • 1 0
 My most recent purchase was wild rock'r advanced reinforced. Wanted to try something other than schwalbe and maxxis. Great tires. A lot of traction--especially in corners. Can't speak to rolling resistance as I just switched out Big Bettys so, of course, the rolling resistance is better. I do like DHFs though.
  • 8 2
 I recommend buying bikes from sponsored riders - and the better their sponsorship, the better the condition the bike will be in. Their bikes are no more than a season old, have had mechanic constantly changing the oil in forks, rebuilding/new wheels etc. Often the bike that rider started with at the beginning of the season has almost been completely replaced, and often they will replace as much stuff as possible before they sell it - hey, it doesn't cost them anything to throw new tyres on and they want an easy sale.
  • 6 2
 Anyone fast enough to be sponsored is fast enough to thrash their bikes.

Pros/racers are the last people you should buy bikes from, they're always clapped. Don't fall prey to the "new grips and tires" ploy.
  • 3 0
 Nobble you are correct about the bikes the racers keep at home. However the bikes that the team takes to races (the actual race bikes) will always be in top shape. If you can score one of those, it will treat you well.
  • 2 0
 They're the same bikes, Pros don't have a daily bike and a race bike. (other than maybe factory racers)

Having known a few guys who race pro/expert a lot, I wouldn't pay for anything they've ridden. If they get it free/cheap, they don't care about riding it hard and doing things they "shouldn't"
  • 1 1
 David is right. A top rider's bike should be perfect at both ends of the season.
  • 4 0
 Never had a problem on PB buy/sell, and most of my transactions have not been face to face. So long as you're through and ask all the questions (which naturally require the "correct" answers), you won't have a problem.

I suggest buying used to almost everyone I talk to who is interested in getting more into biking and doesn't have upwards of 2k to drop on a new whip.
  • 5 0
 The wtb vigilante team issue is a great front tire too. It's around 850g, bike park certified. Very controllable loss of traction up front, its matched well with a minion in the back
  • 2 0
 Totally agree. I have the light, fast rolling version. I've tried a TON of different tires and the Vigilante grips with the best of them - yet rolls way better. An amazing front tire.
  • 1 0
 The only downsides are the high price and that I wouldn't use it as a back tire
  • 1 0
 It's true the Vigilante is an excellent tyre. I like them on the front or back or both.
  • 4 0
 for the Hans Dampf, I've heard of guys cutting down the intermediate knob (the one between center and the outside) and being happier with the tire. a bit time consuming, but hey, you're reading this right now...
  • 2 1
 May work. There are no miracles, DHF or MMary grip is insane because they have bloody, meaty side knobs spread widely with a channel so in this way a lot of load digs those mdrfkrs deeper into the ground and size makes them unlikely to squirm. If you have more knobs nearby they will share the load, not allowing the side knobs to dig derp enough. It may give a more predictable transfer while leaning but there is little edge. DHF still manages to provide good transition (unlike first HR) but then it stays there for a good deal of lean and side force. The only downside with Minion is that once it finally breaks away, you are destroyed in a nanosecond
  • 1 0
 "The only downside with Minion is that once it finally breaks away, you are destroyed in a nanosecond"
Yup! The DHF is a great tire, it grips and grips in the corners but when it goes... Think it's because you can get them leant over so much that you have no chance to recover if it lets go.
  • 3 0
 Yea, but if you greatly overcook a loose corner on a Hans Dampf, you will see it coming with nothing to do, so you will die consciously. You will be able to say a short prayer if that makes you feel better Big Grin Minion does give signals at lower speeds, Hans Dampf is loose all the time as soon as they pick up. I love predictable sliding on leaves in autumn on NNic/Roro but it has nothing to do with going fast.
  • 1 0
 The knob-trim works very well on the HD. It can really give you a feel for how far over the grip from the sideknobs begins. I can't be riding as hard as you guys because I've never pushed past the limits of a HD or Minion with the bike properly leaned over. The two times that I lost the front end with a Minion I'm pretty sure it was because I hit a bump while on a fast, low corner. Remember the Steve Smith won the air DH on Hans Dampfs.
  • 2 0
 Oh losing front end on Minion is easy, even at slower speed, all it takes for me is to get scarred on loose or slipper surface and shift my weight to far back into fetus riding stance. No mad skillns needed, quite the opposite
  • 1 0
 I happen to switch between Hans Dampfs, Minions, and HR2s on a regular basis, and at least riding them on Fatties, the Schwalbe tends to work best (all around) in the terrain I RIDE. LOTSA ROCKS, hard pack to blue groove, sand over hard pack/blue groove, to sand and silt here in SoKal. I also weigh 240lbs.
IMO, with the [greatly] varying terrain, rim-width options, suspension, and multitude of linkage and geometry possibilities, it's pretty hard, if not damn-near impossible for anybody to label any particular tire(not talking chinese shit here) as not worthy.
Mountain bikes, and the terrain they're ridden on is so much more variable than MX bikes and tires. MX tracks are gonna consist of a one or more of just a handful of terrain conditions, and pretty much every MX bike in a given class has the same wheel and tire size(s). I mention MX, 'cuz the bike rags-hence their readers- like to treat MTB tires like their sister MX publications do, by labeling particular tires a particular way, and there's just too many variables to do that beyond the very basics-big spaced out knobs for loam/wet, shorter, shorter spaced knobs for harder terrain etc.
What works for me and my 240lbs weight, riding on my Spec Enduro 29" through rocks, sand, silt and blue groove, might not work for you and your 155lbs weight, riding a 27,5" Trek Fuel EX 9 with 24mm wide rims, riding in the wet and/or loam(you lucky sonofabitch) up in Oregon or Washington. The same tire might exhibit TOTALLY different characteristics for you than it does for me.
  • 3 0
 Scammers aside buying a used mountain bike, especially a DH bike, is a massive risk. My advice would be to do research on what frame manufacturers have a great reputation for crash replacement policies (ie Santa Cruz) should you buy something that breaks. No warranties transfer and you could have an ethical seller who doesn't even know that their frame is cracked. The last 2 bikes I sold (Jet 9 RDO and Santa Cruz) were cracked by the buyer within 12 months. One was a crash and the other was a defect that would have otherwise been covered under warranty. Point being, mountain bikes break so prepare for the worst. Also, I'd stay away from anything that is more than 3-4 years old due to overall fatigue and standards.
  • 3 0
 steel is real!! buy used steel hardtails all day!
  • 3 0
 Liteville´s 5+5 year warranty is transferable, one of the reasons a 301 will be my next bike.
  • 2 2
 @ryan83 totally agree. If you're looking for a used bike that is less than 3-4 years old I would highly recommend buying from your favourite bike shop during the end-of-season sale and at nice discount. The prices of 3-year old bikes on Pinkbike are high enough that discounted new (last season) bikes aren't that much more expensive once you start replacing worn-out parts.

Used parts can be a good deal but I always check local & online sales / clearances / new old stock prices first. A good rule of thumb for buying / selling is a used part in good condition should be half-price or less compared to the lowest price I can find for the same new part.
  • 1 0
 @flagstaff touche'. If my gimp foot would allow me to ride a hardtail again I'd be all over that.
@santoman I didn't realize that, they must be one of the few that do that. I've only recently become familiar with that brand and have it on the short list of next bikes as well. Also Gorilla Gravity you know because 'Murica.
  • 2 0
 I'll go for the Liteville you know because zee Tchermans!
  • 3 0
 I have worked in highend mtb shops for almost 5 years now and I recently sent a used bike via a friend to another shop for a potential buyer to check out. Fair enough they wanted a second opinion on condition etc. The shop proceeded to tell the potential buyer they were paying way to much (the price was quite fair and agreed upon before hand) and try and sell the buyer a bike from their stock. It is my firm opinion that shop employees (I have done this many times) use the opportunity of checking a bike over to build a relationship with that customer for the future, not to steal their sale and or lowball the buyer.
  • 7 1
 I still get not used to the lefty look. But if it rides well, have fun!
  • 3 0
 Just bought an 2014 LTc with 20 miles on it. Great bike at 60% of list. Use PayPal & a reputable credit card, and you have options if the bike arrives and is not what you expected.
  • 6 4
 @mikelevy
Mike, rather than continue to bash the only fork on the market that addresses two major issues with the market leaders: why don't you validate your claims that the Lefty is not up to the level you seem to think the 34 is at. I agree the Pike is a great fork and is better than the Lefty at most things. However, the 34 is a flexible, old fashioned, pogo stick in comparison to the level of technology in the Lefty.

Lets go over the differences between the Lefty and the 34:

Price: Lefty is Cheaper
Weight: Lefty is lighter
Performance: Needle Bearings are buttery smooth, and side load binding is non-existent . The 34 is crunchy in comparison
Stiffness: The lefty by a country mile.
Compatibility: 34 works with pretty much every mid-range and up wheel set, Lefty is C-dale hub Specific
Ease of Service (for the average user): Full rebuild on a lefty is under half an hour. Try that with your Fox nonsense

Facts Mike, Facts. Before you bash something at least try to give it a chance. This isn't the 90's anymore: Bashing Cannondale isn't how you're going to be cool with the kids.
  • 11 0
 @allix2456 - I've spent a lot of time on Lefty's over the years, going all the way back to the carbon version with the TPC+ damper that came on the Cedric Gracia 4X Prophet. I spent a DECADE stripping them down and rebuilding them, and am extremely familiar with how they work. I've also spent a ton of time on every version of the 34 going back six years, including prototype versions that never saw production but led to the forks that we're riding now. The same goes for the Pike, and, for what's it worth, I've even been to the factories where both companies assemble forks.

Do any of those things count as giving the Lefty, Pike, and 34 a chance? I hope so.

Bashing Cannondale? Not so much. I reviewed their Habit awhile back and it remains one of my favourite bikes of the year, and I said some good things about the bike's fork in that review. I explained how insanely flex-free it is, and that it's a light fork. The fact is, though, that it's not as supple as a current 34 and me saying that isn't bashing anyone - it's talking about my experiences, which is my job. I have two 2015MY 34s on bikes right now, not including those that have come stock on test bikes, and all of them are more slippery than the Lefty on the front of that Habit. Want more "bashing"? The biggest reason I'd chose a 2015 / 2016 34 over anything else right now is because its damper is well ahead of what's inside the Lefty, and I also believe that it's a bit ahead of what's in the Pike. That's the deal breaker. Call it bashing if you want, but I'll just call it making an informed decision that's based on a hell of a lot of experience. Or I might call them facts.

Just for fun, here's my dream mid-travel fork: a Lefty chassis that's as supple and active as a 34, the latest FIT damper from Fox, and the air spring and token system from a Pike. It'd have non-adjustable travel, but it would use the latest three-position damper from Fox. Cannondale is working on some cool stuff, and I predict that we'll see a Lefty in the future that's going to impress everyone.
  • 2 0
 @allix2456 , you just got served!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy
Putting aside subjective traits of each fork (plushness, feel, even stiffness to an extent) I still feel the the Lefty is a better choice for the average rider.

Like you, I have spent countless hours riding the current and past line of Lefty's. The Oliver has the potential of being on my cross/commuter for 2016. When my Slash arrives this January a fresh Supermax will be installed. I am also lucky enough to be in a career that allows me to ride all the new, and cool bike tech that arrives each year, including the 2016 Fox lineup.

You cannot simply write me off as lacking knowledge in this field.

While each rider will have a different opinion of each forks subjective properties, the Lefty is better where it matters.

What is the single most important trait of a piece of suspension for the average rider. Weight? Plushness?

The single most important aspect of a fork is not simply how well it performs, *but how long it can perform at that level.*

This was an area Marz was legendary. The 888's on one of my DH bike are long past overdue for a service, however they still perform amazingly.

The average rider will not respect the service intervals of their suspension. You've worked in a shop as a mech, you know this is irrefutable. Riders will only come in when something is "broken" or when there is a physically noticeable problem with their suspension. Only then will they had over the money required to rebuild their fork.

In every metric of service life the Lefty will outperform the 34 (even the fancy new one). This means that even if we were to agree that a fresh 34 is better performing than a fresh Lefty, the Lefty will continue to perform long after the 34's performance has been reduced to that of a elastomer. As not every rider is a mech, or works at an globally viewed magazine the 34 will likely not be serviced at the 100 hour mark.

You could argue that a rider who doesn't service their suspension at the service intervals is a abusive owner, however, this is the majority of your reader-base so feel free to alienate them. You have polls on this site that indicate just how rarely suspension rebuilds are performed.

The average rider does not need a single run with amazing suspension, they need consistently good suspension performance.

This is what the Lefty offers, and this is why the Lefty is a better fork than the 34.
  • 2 0
 WHOAH! and now Mike gets served!!! Mike you are Djokovic, and allix2456, you are Federer. EXCITING!!!
  • 2 0
 @allix2456 - There was no writing you off as lacking any knowledge; I'm just defending my opinion. You have yours, which I obviously disagree with, but I will admit to being stoked to hear that you're installing a Lefty on your Slash. I'm a fan of anything that's different, and that's certainly going to be different. Send a photo.

You said, "... the Lefty is better where it matters.'' Well, I'd argue that damping and the spring matter the most, but that's just me. Give me a 6lb fork with the rigidity of a 34 (which isn't a noodle in the slightest) and the best damper and spring instead of an ultra-stiff chassis and a sub-par damper.

It takes next to no skill to drop the lowers on a 34 or Pike, and a damper rebuild can be done by a competent mechanic with the right tools, just like with the Lefty. You can talk about ''every metric of service life'' for days, but the bottom line is that all of these forks will need some TLC at some point, and many (most?) riders will be shy to take apart their fork to any level regardless of what type of suspension they have.

Speaking of service, here are Cannondale's actual recommendations for their latest Lefty:
- a needle bearing reset every 50 hours (simple and quick, but I bet some riders aren't even aware they need to do this, and are losing travel without even knowing it)
- an air spring service every 50 hours
- lube the telescope scope at 100 hours
- full telescope rebuild at 200 hours
- pro service annually

Fox's full service is actually at 125 hours, but there are other service recommendations that comes before that. Both forks require care at all stages of their life, and there's nothing wrong with that. I used the same 34 for a year without any issues last year (not really "single run"), while others might have had issues at the 1 hour mark. This can be said of any fork, Lefty included. To say "In every metric of service life the Lefty will outperform the 34" is pretty big stretch that I'd disagree with.
  • 1 0
 @allix2456 - Using chassis, damper, and spring components that already available, as well as service/reliability points, describe to me your perfect mid-travel fork. I'm curious.
  • 3 0
 has schwalbe addressed the side knob shedding feature with the new batches? i loved mine while they lasted, unfortunately this was a short lived affair.
  • 1 0
 Yup mine too. A week in Madeira and a new MM was hanging. Literally, with the side knobs half off. Unbeatable traction it has for sure. But big quality fail with that batch and who knows how many others? Not good for a £50 tyre.

I've had a DHF that has done a week in Malaga (with dry and sharper rocks) and months of riding in UK with better condition than the MM.
  • 2 0
 My 2016 bike came with a MM front / HD rear, which I was immediately suspicious of, having blown up my last aftermarket MM (in early 2015) in 2 rides. The 2016s are going on a strong 10 sessions, with no knobs falling off yet. Getting some chunks ripped off the very tip / edges, but that happens with every tire when you square corners :/ All in all, much improved from years past, at least in my experience.
  • 2 0
 Yes, that has been taken care of and they warrantied the previous ones that had that issue.
  • 1 0
 @dualsuspensiondave does that also mean that rock razors should last more than 1 ride? Or was that issue more related to the smaller knobs?
  • 1 0
 They definitely do last more than one ride. Schwalbe replaced tires that the knobs tore off prematurely.
  • 1 0
 Thanks @dualsuspensiondave, they didnt replace mine Wink I just wrote them off as a "do not buy again" item, as they came OEM. Ended up replacing them with minions, was happy for a couple years on them. Now the new bike has Schwalbe again, figured the RoRa might be worth another try on the rear if they don't blow up so quickly.
  • 1 0
 I bought a bike off here for 970$. It wasn't until I got home that I had about 500$ in repairs to make. New drivetrain, seal blew really quick on boxxer, brakes we're so outdated they couldn't be bled, rear rim was cracked (which I noticed before buying), dented and bent, and the bolt that holds in the bottom of the shock is super worn down so theirs tons of play. Opus doesn't make that bike anymore and I've been waiting on the bolt since the middle of August. Also the Maxle was snapped off on one side and they hole clutch derailleur was worn out. The rear swing arm was coated in about 4 layers of electrical tape. Pretty good for 1400$ dollars though.
  • 1 0
 After running a HD up front all season i decided to try the MM and its head and shoulders better! I now run the HD in the back and i cant ask for anymore traction. I dont care if its a heavy/slow rolling setup, i dont get out riding much so its more about how much fun i have when i do
  • 6 0
 Butcher 2.3!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing, great review, spot on in my book.
  • 1 0
 I've been scammed before although it's not bike related. That experience helped me choose how and what to buy here though. I've already purchased stuff here with success. All it takes is a bit of digging and research. here's how I do it and hopefully it'll help others too.

1. If the price is to good to be true then it probably is.
2. Always check their profiles. A new account is a potential red flag. I'd go for those who have sold tons of items already as an indicator and regular posts in various topics here as a good sign.
3. Research the bike for potential issues. This is always help[ful especially if you can't inspect the bike yourself. You can ask detailed photos of the bike where potential issues may occur (head tube, bb, etc)
4. Of course, nothing beats having the bike checked personally so if you can do that, do that! Inspect everything. a few minutes with your face very close to the bike can save you hours troubleshooting or out of the saddle later.
5. buy from a friend, if possible. at least you know how the bike is used.
6. deal with paypal or any secure payment methods similar.
7. Don't be lazy and do some more research, truth is, there are awesome bike frames for sale for ridiculously low prices from reputable bike shops and online bike shops. Granted that some may not be of the newest make.
  • 1 0
 Man! The Mary is magic! I recently bought a pair of HR2's and the front felt like a goddamned banana peel on wet roots! I swapped the HR2 for a Mary in front and kept the HR2 out back, it sticks like sh!t to a blanket. For me at least the difference is huge.
  • 4 1
 Magic Mary in the VertStar compound is next level for front end traction, even on wet wood
  • 2 2
 I run Hans Dampf at front and rear on my Banshee Rune with any problem, in wet or dry condition.Riding style is the most important I guess.Also I tried Minion,High Rollers 2 but in the end Schwalbe Hans Dampf won in my case.They light fast with perfect grip.For my best choice ever have to say.
  • 1 0
 I've bought from PB before and I've been very lucky as a buyer, as a seller I've been straight forward and real. I'm looking to buy a used Santa Cruz Nomad 2 I hope my luck continues...
  • 2 0
 One of these days a question from the Pig thread is going to be featured here, and the world is going to explode. Eek
  • 3 1
 I replaced a front HD for a Conti Trail King ProTection Apex 2.4 and have been very pleased. Just my $0.02.
  • 2 0
 I agree with you there i'm running 2.4 TK front and 2.2 TK rear and i'm astounded by the performance! p.s. i used to be a die hard maxxis fan...
  • 1 0
 I am running a MK 2.4 in the rear and am also very pleased with it. They are also more affordable than Maxxis tires in Germany.
  • 1 0
 At the moment I'm running a Magic Mary in front and a High Roller II in the back which is great. But I think I'm going to replace the High Rolller II with the Minion DHR II.
  • 1 0
 dont like the HR in the back, but love how well it performs in front, especially the supetacky compound
  • 1 0
 almost forget, running a DHR2 as a rear tire, happy with it, though the DHF also works fine in the rear, better than the HR
  • 1 0
 I run a DHF 2.5 in the front and the Highroller II 2.35 in the rear, so far this setup has been great for me.
  • 3 0
 Try a DHR2 in the rear, much faster than an HR2.
  • 3 0
 DHR2 is great on the brakes too, they dig in hard
  • 3 1
 The DHR2 is more prone to drift under hard braking than the HR2 is, but it's way WAYY faster.
  • 1 1
 the magic mary is really bad on hard pack
  • 2 0
 Bad grip or bad rolling resistance? I've never tried it but I've been contemplating it. The Hans Dampf sucks ass. Wears out incredibly fast, brakes like shit, rolls like shit... modest grip no matter what is nice, but that's the only real "pro".
  • 1 0
 On my taro i ran a vigilante rear n hd front and they were pretty awesome cept the hd wears fast, now im rockin a heavy michelin wild rock r 2 front and hutchinson cougar rear, pretty good but i think my old setup was a lil faster, and grippier rear tire.
  • 3 5
 I know this isn't the correct post to ask this, but does anyone have any advise for building landings for jumps? I'm building my own DJ section on my hill and completely launched way out over the landing. Hurt like hell. And tips for being able to guess the proper spacing between takeoff and landing? Thanks guys.
  • 5 0
 Probably hit the forums buddy. Pretty sure there're builders forums where I'm sure peeps will be more than happy to help.
  • 1 0
 @alexhyland thanks mate
  • 2 0
 Butchers or Minions every time
  • 1 0
 yep, hans dampf do skid a lot in dry conditions... but their really good in the wet!
  • 1 0
 Thanks guys for answering my question!
  • 1 0
 am I famous now!?
  • 2 4
 Everything about that lefty bike in the pic just looks so wrong and weird and just wrong.
  • 2 0
 It looks weird but it definitely rides like a dream
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