Ask Pinkbike: Proper Chain Tension, Specialized Enduro vs. Pivot Mach 6, and Riding in Malaga, Spain

Sep 8, 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.





Stop the Drop

Question: Pinkbike user vezza91 asked this question in the mechanic's lounge forum: Hey guys. So I own a Giant Stance with a 3 x 9 drivetrain and I'm having trouble keeping the chain on. I know it's not a downhill bike, but the chain seems to jump off whenever I go over a bit of rough ground. Is there anything that I can do to prevent this from happening?

bigquotesThere's already been countless words written about converting bikes to run a single chain ring drivetrain, something that would be the most effective solution to your problem, so let's assume that you don't want to spend any money and that you want to continue using your 3 x 9 drivetrain. That leaves you two things to do: first, you need to make sure that your chain isn't too long. Second, you might need to reconsider your gearing choice while you're riding.

Running your chain in the big 'ring and the large cog isn't recommended (it's called being "cross-geared''), but it's something that is easily done by accident. That means that your chain has to be just long enough to go big and big when the bike's rear suspension is goes through all of its travel, which is when there will be the most chain growth on most bikes. To test this, shift up to the big chain ring and then slowly shift up to the large cog. All good? Now use a shock pump to figure out how much air is in your shock before you let it all out - this will save you loads of time when you set it up again. Once the air is out of the shock, push on the seat until the rear suspension is completely bottomed. The chain should still have just a touch of slack in it when the bike is bottomed, and you should be able to still push up on the rear derailleur cage. If the chain is as tight as piano wire, it's too short. If there's a bunch of slack, it's too long and needs to be shortened a bit. The shorter the chain, the less slack there will be in it and the less chance it will have to come off, but if it's too short you risk ripping off your derailleur and hanger when the bike bottoms out.

You can also limit the chance of your chain coming off by keeping it in either a larger cog or a larger chain ring. For example, if the chain was on the small chain ring and a smaller cog there will be a ton of slack in it that will allow it to bounce off. Alternately, you could be in a similar gear but greatly increase chain tension by keeping it in the middle chain ring and a larger cog. The higher chain tension will go a long ways to keeping it from bouncing off when the trail gets rough.
- Mike Levy

Tech Tuesday
  Running the correct length chain will help to keep it from bouncing off due to there not being a ton of extra slack in it.





Specialized Enduro 650b or Pivot Mach 6?

Question: Corywf asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I own a Specialized Enduro 29er with a Pike fork and Cane Creek DB Air shock - plus a bunch of other goodies, but I am thinking about a 27.5"-wheel carbon bike. I'm looking at the Enduro 650b Expert and the Pivot Mach 6, both in 27.5". Any thoughts?


bigquotesAs a rider who has extensive time on all three of your options, I question why you are interested in abandoning your Enduro 29er, as it is one of the best performing bikes, up or down, in the all-mountain category. That said, the Specialized Enduro 650b is going to handle so much like your 29er that it may not feel like owning a new bike. The Enduro 650b sets up for turns more quickly, so it can beat the 29er in a section where there are quick transitions from corner to corner and it climbs almost as well. The 650b, however, will push the front end more easily than the 29er does on the same tires. I am small framed, so at five foot, seven inches, the 650b Enduro feels more manageable when pressed hard on the downs. Although I am marginally faster on the 29er over an entire trail segment, I enjoy riding the Enduro 650b more.

The Pivot Mach 6 feels like a completely different bike. It climbs and pedals slightly better than both Specialized models and it holds a tighter line in the corners, which means that it carries more speed at the expense of a edgier feeling bike. Pointed down a technical trail, all three of your choices are in the same league. If you have a reasonably good skillset, they can handle just about anything you'd do on a big bike - just slower and with more care at the helm. There are super slack enduro bikes available that will give you more confidence descending steeps, but none have the versatility of the Enduros or the Mach 6. I'd say, if you are looking for a different brand of awesome, get the Pivot. if you like your Enduro 29er, I'd keep it and spend the money on a two-week mountain bike adventure. - RC


Pivot Mach 6 Carbon - reviewed - test - 2014
Pivot's Mach 6 is one of the most versatile performers in the all-mountain/enduro category.






Switchbacks?

Question: Pinkbike user timmyr asked this question in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: Anyone used the company Switch-backs before for a mountain bike holiday? They offer accommodation/guiding in Bubion, Spain throughout the year, buddy and I are considering using them next year.

bigquotesSwitchbacks is a great place to holiday - the Alpujarra region in the Sierra Nevada offers unique riding from super smooth ribbons of flowing singletrack like 'Silk Panties,' in to fast gulleys like the 'Cresta Run,' then finishing down trails like 'Punctured Lung' which are centuries old, sharp cobbled paths that traverse cliffs. Expect a mixture of shuttles and pedalling to get to the top in order to tackle around 13000 metres of descending singletrack in one week. A day's riding is usually followed by tapas and cervejas in 'Le Culpable' bar in Bubion which is an ancient Moorish village clinging to the rocky mountainside. A word of warning though, when proprietor Mike has conquered the first few beers, the tales begin to be told, just wait for the well-rehearsed "when I raced the Mammoth Kamikaze and wiped out most of the crowd," rendition.

The enduro holidays in Bubion only operate from May to September, but Switchbacks operate shuttle assisted downhill holidays near to Malaga for the rest of the year. Travel to Bubion from the UK is fairly simple with cheap flights to Malaga from most airports, followed by a transfer of around two hours up to singletrack bliss. - Paul Aston

Switchbacks
Superb singletracks and picturesque views - what more could you want?



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

Must Read This Week

107 Comments

  • + 184
 "if you like your Enduro 29er, I'd keep it and spend the money on a two-week mountain bike adventure."

Solid advice and this needs to be considered more often as there is no point in spending that much money for barely noticeable changes. You won't care about the bike in a few years from now but you'll cherish those memories forever.
  • + 86
 ...or spend some money on some training sessions with a pro rider. You'll quickly see that the bike or wheel size isn't what's holding you back
  • + 18
 If you have an E29, you're lucky. It is one of the best bikes (obviously I love mine). If you've had your share of enjoying raw speed and miss the smaller wheels' flickability, why lose money?

Go all the way and get a 26" Enduro (they are fairly cheap now) and keep your E29.
  • + 22
 Wow RC - I was just going to post up that quote - more people should follow that advice. Honest and refreshing
  • + 10
 An extended adventure on "Silk Panties" will surely be memorable.
  • + 6
 This is a question for Uncle Dave... Though he's already answered variations of it.
  • + 9
 "I'd keep it and spend the money on a two-week mountain bike adventure." - RC
Best advice ever,
  • + 1
 The dilema for me is to go 650 or 29er enduro.
I thing my ridiing style favours the 29er but i do enjoy getting my bike in the air.
I am also a big fat knacker at 115kg and tend to buckle my 29er wheels so where does that leave me?
Help anyone?.
  • + 6
 @randybadger I'm almost 90 kg and an aggressive rider. I use my E 29 for everything from XC loops, bike park to racing DH. It jumps awesome. The big wheels make it very stable once airborne. The only down side is wind while airborne and if you really hang off the bike you can buzz your rear wheel with your ass.
As for rims. I was going through aluminum rims at an expensive rate. I went carbon ( Roval) and haven't looked back save a few busted spokes here and there.
  • + 2
 Unless he has "money" but no vacation or free time to take at the moment.
  • + 1
 Id say if you like your Enduro 29er you can keep your Enduro 29er, but everyone would know that is a bold-faced lie, yet nobody would talk about it. They'd just hold it inside and wonder for years...am I the only one that recognizes what's going on around here...I feel so out of place, I probably shouldn't say anything in case people would judge me. After all, he's so well liked in the media, real humans must like him too.
  • + 1
 E29 is all they say it is and more...
  • + 1
 I'm going to try the 650 and the 29er this weekend
  • + 56
 My question for PB is this - how can I convince rich people with more money than sense to buy me bikes? thanks in advance.
  • + 9
 become a reach man!
  • + 30
 This problem has already been solved.
Plan A: You get so fast/good on your current bike that rich people sponsor you to ride in races and events.
Plan B: Ride your bike down a Dam Spillway and win 20k!
  • + 20
 Marry into money
  • + 1
 wuts a reach man @BartDM
  • + 11
 Ben Dover
  • + 8
 start a youtube channel wherein you do idiot things and ask for donations.
  • + 11
 Cocain is a helluva drug.
  • + 2
 I guess I meant more along the lines of a mega-church.
  • + 5
 Be the prime minister of Malaysia.
  • + 4
 Hahahaha... just show that someone understands u ;P
  • + 1
 Dirk Diggler-it for abit.
  • + 2
 @m07mmukh and remember; when you are finally a reach man, and somebody comes to you and asks you to buy him/her a bike, just do it!
  • + 15
 Personally, I rode the mach6 and enduro when choosing a new bike (ended up with a nomad) and felt the mach6 was a bit more on the trail side of the spectrum than the enduro...

I'm not one to get super specific with HA/geo comparisons, but it was a consistent takeaway from all of my buddies, some racers some weekend warriors.

I found the M6 has a fairly crowded cockpit as well...

End of the day, you HAVE to ride both otherwise your decision will be a roll of the dice. Had I not demo'd half a dozen bikes i never would have appreciated how well the nomad fits ME. Certainly doesnt mean it will be the right choice for everyoine.
  • + 4
 I wish I had a Nomad. I rented one in downieville once, and it was sick. It may as well be a downhill bike that also flies uphill. unbelievable bike
  • + 3
 Test rode the enduro 29 for a few hours - was massively unimpressed. Maybe its just the terrain or my riding style but it felt very unwieldy, surprisingly slow and cornered very poorly. I'm sure its right for some riders (based on Spec riders and endless good reviews) but its certainly not for everyone.
  • + 8
 "Had I not demo'd half a dozen bikes i never would have appreciated how well the nomad fits ME. " There's the rub - it can be the best bike in the world, but if it doesn't fit you properly, it's not much good. Buy the one where everything's in the right place, which might not be either of these.
  • + 1
 I agree about the E29, it is definitely not all that everyone says it is. I bought one based on the hype around it and sold it about 12 weeks later. Nice bike for riders who are newer to the sport because it just steamrolls everything, but cornering sucks and I found the 29 wheels to very inaccurate in corners. None of the wheel sizes made any difference in descending or climbing times overall, but they had significantly different feel.
  • + 22
 funny, because i had almost the exact opposite response. I bought a santa cruz nomad 2015 and hated it from the first ride. Components were top of the line, carbon wheels and everything. Never felt comfortable on the bike. Sold it 3 weeks later and bought my sworks enduro 29er and it was the best decision i have ever made in regard to biking. So much faster and much more fun for me, I can honestly say the E29 is the best bike for me.
  • + 3
 Yep that's why trying them yourself is key...can be tricked out with top of the line components, still won't substantially change the bike's core "feel".

650b/29er especially important as for most of us it is our first purchase in that wheel size. Definitely feels different!
  • + 7
 Couldn't agree more. Nomad felt like THE bike for me, i could tell 1/4 the way into the demo. The bike has a shorter reach than most other "e" bikes and it just felt right to me.

I didnt like the yeti, pivot, or the specialized bikes i rode for varying reasons. When i drop that much money on a bike i want to LOVE it. I can't emphasize enough how important demoing a bike is.
  • + 3
 People that don't understand the 1x movement obviously haven't tried it. I'm 265lbs, and I ride a 1x11 setup. Epic trails with 3000' elevation gain (not a lot by some standards) and it hauls my fat but up those hills.
  • - 1
 Test riding is KEY! Was in the market for a new trail bike recently and test rode Spesh, Norco, GT, Merida, Giant and Lapierre... Basically all the main brands available in Oz - The GT and Giant were leaps ahead in my eyes, so much nicer to ride, better square-edge bump performance, better pedalling and less flexy, bobbing around feel to them than the horst links, but more compliant and better handling than the merida/lapierre's... Ride what feels right, 29rs handle like oil tankers too. - Ended up buying a 650b Giant for pure value
  • + 7
 I don't know... I've never test ridden any bike I've owned before I bought it, but I've loved all my bikes. All of them have been great machines for their purpose, only real change I ever had to do was to put a different shock on my trail bike to make me comfortable with it (went from a Monarch+ to a Vivid Air).
I guess it comes down to the fact that if you don't know what you're not getting, you're not missing out. I think people get overly obsessed with how a bike climbs and how fast it corners... Go towards the limits of the bike and you're going to have fun, no matter if someone else is faster than you.
  • + 3
 You can narrow it down without riding the bikes by reading real world reviews, but in the end you should test ride to find out if it's the right bike for YOU. I was so jacked to ride the Santa Cruz Bronson at Crankworx in Whistler because I thought it was THE ride for me. I was surprisingly disappointed. It just didn't feel as good as I thought. I ended up grabbing a Norco Sight instead and it matches me perfectly.
  • + 3
 @gooutsidetoday

I don't prefer 1x11. I'm not afraid to admit that. I do think it works well enough to provide so awesome possibilities to rear suspension designs, freeing up a lot of space in the most cramped area of a bicycle.

If it makes my bike shred harder and is only a minor inconvenience I'm ok with that. (Yes I've ridden it, my bike has an x1 level build)
  • + 8
 @rrolly: You'd be surprised how different a bike can feel just due to a different shock or even just wrong tire pressure. That's why test rides don't give you a good picture - they often aren't setup perfectly, and this can make a great bike feel average.
  • + 3
 There's a lot of people don't ever ride the bike they own set up perfectly either. The important stuff, like the cockpit geometry and just the overall feel - doesn't rely that heavily on shock and tire pressure.. I went to Outerbike and rode everything on my hit list when I bought my new trail bike. I ended up with something I hadn't even considered, that fit like a glove from the time my ass hit the seat. I also rode stuff that I was super excited about, that honestly left me cold. Sure, you might love the bike you buy sight unseen, but that's an expensive gamble and one I don't blame folks for not taking.
  • + 2
 When test riding a bike I focus more on fit and feel...minor suspension peculiarities, cornering issues, etc can be tuned around.
  • + 1
 I'll second that one. I rode the 650 and the 29er on the same trail. 29 felt... Dead. No trail feedback. Kinda vague when you start pushing it.
But then again I'm comparing both to my Nomad Smile
26" Nomad at that!
  • + 1
 @Kainerm the bike was setup for me, sag, tire pressure, correct tires for Whistler, etc. But you're right, bike setup makes a big difference.
  • + 11
 just go to 1x and be done with it, i went from 3x to 2x and then 1x, i dont see myself going back. Rode from open to close at a bike park last weekend on my trail bike and never lost a chain once, almost died like 10 times, but never lost the chain even in the rough stuff.
  • + 11
 Just put on a Bionicon C-guide. Light, relatively cheap, quiet, and works great even with 3x. Much more effective than fiddling with chain length or ring selection in my experience.
  • + 12
 I don't understand the 1x movement. I don't know what kind of trails everyone is riding, but in AZ there are a lot of times when you're going down a short section right into a climb. My strategy in these situations is to click into my big ring to gain some momentum on the down, then as I start climbing and momentum starts dropping off, I'm able to drop to the small ring and finish off the climb. And then right back into the big because I'm going down again. I can't imagine the amount of clicks I'd have to do with a 1X setup.
  • + 6
 @HK-Mazur I agree. I am running a 2x9 and I use all but the smallest cog on my cassette on a regular basis. So when I do the math on a 1x setup I am going to miss out on either the high or low end.
  • + 7
 black spire makes an incredible 2x chain guide that consists of just a light bash guard and a roller to retain your chain. Your front mech serves as a guide for the top. I used this on my 2009 Giant Trance and it never failed me. Look it up.....

lp1.pinkbike.org/p4pb3350246/p4pb3350246.jpg
  • + 6
 I love my 2x10. I'm able to do like 95% of my riding in the 36t ring (29er), but for those times when I go out of town to a new place with big climbs, or I wanna just be able to breeze up a hill and talk to my buddies instead of putting power down hard, or for day 2 of a long mtb weekend when I'm sore it's really nice to have the low gear.

But the difference between 3x and 2x is huge. I tried so hard to tune my old 3x setup and generally found it to be an unreliable piece of shit. Switched that bike to 1x, but then I had to run a 32t (26er) to keep my legs from exploding on the climb at Windham XC... and then I spun out on downhills constantly. Too much of a balancing act. My 2x (with clutch) has only ever dropped a chain (to the small ring) in crashes, and it's easy enough to double check the chain before I hop back on the bike. Shifting isn't always instant, but it works reliably.

Honestly the dude from the Q&A could very easily solve this problem just by ditching the big ring on his 3x. Unless he's riding a lot of pavement I doubt he's using it anyway, and that alone will allow him to take loads of slack out of the chain. If that doesn't completely solve the problem, then a Deore clutch rear mech is only $40.
  • + 11
 I used to do the same thing on my 2x9, ramp up the speed on the big ring and when I ran out of steam on the up make a quick switch to the granny. I switched to 1x10 and realized that my previous technique was making me a slower and clunkier rider. I discovered that when you make a gear change that fast over such a wide range a few negative things are happening that adversely effect your climb. First of all, your cadence accelerates way too fast. That's not a horrible thing when climbing, but you do lose speed and thus momentum. Second thing is that because the tension on the chain is less and your cadence is faster, the suspension gets way more active so if you are making a tech climb the bike gets harder to handle. I found when I switched to 1x10 if I paid a bit more attention to the trail ahead I could make smaller gear switches and maintain the same cadence. Now I can power up hills so much more smoothly than before. For me, 1x10 totally changed my trail riding for the better. Added plus is that there is one less lever on my handlebar and less mechanical crap on the drivetrain to break. It's more quiet too. Love my 1x, will never ever go back to 2x.
  • + 2
 @bkm303 Considered going with the ACC option? Granny ring with no derailleur, just grab the chain with your hand to shift?
  • + 2
 @groghunter yeah I actually thought doing that to my 29er HT when I got a dropper (to keep the bars less busy and offset the weight). But then I figured if the front shifting actually works, why take it off? Seemed silly. But I might do that for the bike that's currently 1x if I ever get around to it.

What's ACC stand for?
  • + 0
 I'm still on 3x and I do use the Big Ring a lot...even on trails. One thing I didn't like about the initial 2x setups was the larger jump between the big and small ring. However Shimano has corrected this I believe on the new stuff which is great.and would like to go to it at some point. I don't think 1x is gonna totally cut it for me. Also, I like having 2x or 3x as the granny gear gets me more anti-squat when I want it on climbs etc.
  • + 0
 The Bionicon C-guide was crap for me, fell apart immediately. Then again, I break everything. Alas, though, twas just a bandaid for 2x. Went 1x and won't change back.
  • + 7
 Some of the ascents I ride locally are 23% and go on for a few hundred metres, so I stick with 2x. Using a correctly set up XT drivetrain, front shifting is easy and reliable. Maybe 1x is good for some people, but 2x is still mandatory for others.
  • + 3
 @bkm303 Anne Caro Chausson
  • - 1
 @bkm303 Weight's one reason, the other is that you can go narrow-wide on your main ring that way. Better chain retention, less weight. All a matter how often you need to get down into the granny, do you use the front shifter enough to justify carrying that weight with you everywhere you go?
  • + 5
 "justify carrying that weight"

It weighs roughly 2 big mouthfuls of water, and it's good for the same reason a dropper is good. You can use it without getting off the bike. Can't really use the ACC method in a race, can you?

If FDs didn't work it would be a no-brainer. But if you have a perfectly functional bit of equipment that's even sort of useful, why get rid of it? Why would I choose to get off the bike to change my gearing if I didn't have to?

Half a pound vs a useful, reliable functionality. Classic first world problem.... and to be honest that's half the reason I leave the FD on there. Taking it off just to hit some number on a scale (that I'll never actually notice on a ride) would make me feel like a douche.
  • + 2
 Also going NW isn't really that big of an advantage if you already have a clutch mech. I'm convinced they're redundant, and if the NW rings worked as well as they were supposed to, we wouldn't be seeing all the XC and enduro pros running guides.
  • + 1
 I get what you're saying, & if I used it very often at all, I would leave it on, but if you don't even use it once per ride, sure it's not much weight, but you're carrying it around pointlessly.

FWIW, ACC was using it for racing, & wasn't using a chainguide, so apparently they work well enough for her. I've run them on a few bikes without clutches & not dropped a chain myself, either.
  • + 1
 Well it's fine for enduro; you're not timed while you switch rings. That technique would be a disaster in XC.

I understand what you're saying, and NW rings are def an improvement if you're running 1x. But I'll never go 1x unless I get an actual 1x11 system.... which will be when I buy my next new bike... which will probably won't be for several years haha.
  • + 10
 Switchbacks (Michael Saunders)... pretty rad all mountain riding (Mike was around long before Enduro was invented). The trails are all great, carbonated water from the ground and the occasional rattle snake if you are lucky. Wild Ibex up near the very top of 57 if you super lucky. Sun. Dust. Flow. Rocks. Steep. Technical, tight switchbacks, a bit of everythibg... I need to go back again one autumn and pay Saunders a visit. There are other biking holiday companies in the mountains. Michael probably does the most down in a week.
  • + 2
 Epic holiday destination. Don't expect a party town at the end of the day though. Do expect Mike to show you up on the downhills though. Also consider doing a days riding in Malaga... there is a gondola lift for proper DH'ing!
  • + 7
 Switchback is absolutely the best riding out there! - I have been there 3 or 4 times and strongly recommend it, both for DH in Malaga during "winter" months (if you can call it winter) and in Sierra Nevada in the spring and Autumn. I say no more.
  • + 7
 Smart guys don't go to southern Spain in summer time. Except in the winter months, the northern half of the country is much better for riding.
  • + 3
 Also, they don't drink cervejas in Spain... Maybe only in Galicia. It's cerveza!
  • + 4
 upvoted for your username
  • + 2
 I upvoted "Benito" and "el niño" for the same reason!
  • + 3
 "if you like your (bike), I'd keep it and spend the money on a two-week mountain bike adventure."

Don't do it! This path leads to hatred of all the gimmicky new bike advancements and lots of awesome memories. Do you really wanna be that guy whose seen it all and craps on the new cool thing?
  • + 3
 @hamncheez Yes, its angles can be considered a bit steep nowadays, but it shreds just fine with the normal shock yoke.

Yes, the 650B yoke is an improvement down the hill, but there's no free lunch.

Talking of which, there are people on steeper bikes with less travel and outdated geometry shredding it like there's no tomorrow. Tire choice is more important.
  • + 2
 Some bikes from the past were indeed ahead of their times. If you put an angle set on old Nomad you could shred any trail in the world, including worst downhill tracks.
  • + 3
 Everyone says the enduro 29er is a great all round bike, but many (including myself) sold our DH bikes to buy one, only to be disappointed by the downhill performance. However, Gwin and Ropelato sure can shred on the 29er. According to this post,

www.reddit.com/r/MTB/comments/2tso4h/how_to_evo_an_enduro_29

They are running the 650b shock yoke that is a few mm shorter, slackening out the ht angle by a degree or so and dropping the BB. From what I've read on mtbr forums, it only works on size large/xl frames, since the medium doesn't have enough clearance. I'm definitely going to try it this spring. I'm guessing the big S didn't make the 29er slacker out of the box because they wanted it to feel snappier to cater to 26" riders bias against 29ers.
  • + 2
 I run the 650b yoke on my XL E29. The bike now handles so well in the fast gnarly stuff and is so capable that I (sadly) rarely ride my Demo any more. I have even found that I am faster in most DH races on my E29 than my Demo. The downside to the setup is that the shorter yoke also slackens the seat tube angle which slightly effects climbing.
  • + 1
 @adpeters82 my command post has that huge setback offset, which also puts me too far back over the rear tire when climbing. Does specialized make a command post with less offset?
  • + 1
 The new one on 2016 has no offset if I'm not mistaken
  • + 1
 @hamncheez I replaced my Command Post with a 9point8 Fall Line that has no offset (awesome post BTW) and I have my saddle slid as far forward as it will go. Looks a little odd but rides well.
  • + 2
 I run a 1x9 setup,originally a 3x9, no clutch mech,bashgaurd and top chain guide with a narrow wide ring,when in the right cog I get virtually no slap and the chain will not drop. I can keep pedalling over rough stuff. The big ring on 3x9 eats trousers and stains socks!!!
  • + 3
 Just bought my sworks Enduro 29er. The thing is a damn rocket ship. I clean sections and climbs easier and faster than my old fuel EX 26er. Thought I'd keep the old fuel but will probably never ride it again.
  • + 3
 For keeping a chain on, a buddy had me zip tie a bit of chopped up inner tube below the top of the front derailleur. it worked surprisingly well, absorbing some of the bounce in the chain I guess... YMMV
  • + 1
 That Pivot explanation sounds like you like the mach 6 a bit more. "climbs and pedals slightly better" and descends as well.

Also, as a 5 foot 7 rider I'm assuming your on a medium Enduro 29 (since they don't make a small) . Did you stay on a medium Enduro 650 or go down to small with maybe a longer stem?
  • + 1
 that first sentence was meant as a question.

Any responses on these from PB/RC?

Thanks
  • + 4
 RC I loved your response to the Enduro dilemma, wish you guys would do shoot-outs and offer similar insight !
  • + 5
 Mike sounds like a homie.
  • + 4
 Look long and hard t the reach on the Pivot... The XL probably has a shorter reach than a medium Enduro. Real weird geo.
  • + 2
 Not everyone likes a long reach on a trail bike (trail bike being the operative word here). Some of the best trail bikes out there (i.e. SB5C, Mojo HD3, Burner, Rocky Altitude) don't have super long reaches.
  • + 1
 Of course everyone's taste differ, and it's good to have different options ont e market. But the Mach 6 is at the extreme as far as short reach goes. The medium Enduro 29 has a 425mm reach. The Yeti SB5c is 413, HD4 is 414. The Mach 6 is shorter than all of those at 401 - it's shorter than pretty much any other bike in it's class. It's more a long travel trail bike than the Neurone 29 that the OP is used to , which is much longer and more stable.
  • + 2
 Have you ever ridden a Mach 6? I ask you that because purely looking at geo charts can be deceiving. I own a M6. Before buying it I rode the E29 and the Nomad. It feels a tad shorter indeed, but much less that the numbers suggest. It all comes down to how the bike suits you individually, and in the end the M6 suited me perfectly...it's awesomely capable and the suspension knematics works like a dream.
  • + 2
 E29 are fricking ace. Proper quick, handle sweet, changed my mind on 29ers. I'd love one in my garage. One of the very few bikes I've hopped on and instantly felt at home on.
  • + 3
 I enjoy riding the Enduro 650b more."

Doesn't this matter more than anything?
  • + 2
 Go to Atracktive mountain biking in Spain! Or anywhere in Europe Axel goes. He's the man and his trips are legendary!! www.atracktive.com
  • + 0
 For coming here to the south of spain (Granada, very close to Malaga only 1 hour in car) there is a company that have awesomes guides and ride. I was riding with them and was totally mindblowing. Ride Sierra Nevada its called.
  • + 2
 1x works for a tiny group of people who seem to think it works for a huge group of people.
  • + 2
 Kona Process 167 with a light build beats all other enduro bikes in the world.
  • + 1
 Any 5foot 4s riding medium E29?
  • - 3
 Switchback was worst biking holiday I ever had. Mike just was trying to get away with the everything and not providing the service as per the website. He was talking about selling up so probably don't care anymore. We had a group of 12 and not one of us would use switchbacks again. The riding was ok. Roost dh that runs trips in Spain in hear great things from from rides and friend so think that will be the one for me next time.
  • + 1
 when were you out at switchbacks?
  • + 1
 I had a good time at Switchbacks a few years back, but a similar disappointing experience in terms of the service not exactly as advertised. Talking to other bikers at the airport who did trips with other companies, there seem to be some better ones out there.
  • + 4
 I've been on the AM week 3 times and the DH week 4 times. Great, dusty, rocky trails, almost always sunny, cheap beer and tapas, good guides and clients, chilled mountain village life... Van shuttles mean AM has about 500m of up and 2000m down per day. DH has many shuttled runs on the doorstep, and you're staying in the coastal strip, which is more lively if you want that.

Potential negatives: the hire bikes are not in great condition (but Easyjet only charges £30 each way for your bike), the trails are demanding (sweet!), the accommodation can be basic (but who cares about that when you're just showering and sleeping there?). Mike is pretty relaxed (as well as a nice guy and fast rider) and plans can change at last minute but if your priority is great riding and good times then there is no problem.
  • + 1
 Upgrade to carbon wheels with pro core
  • + 0
 Would anyone like to explain what a kashiwa coat does?
  • + 1
 you mean kashima? Its a form of aluminum specific hard anodizing...the kashima formulation finishes very smooth, reducing friction.
  • - 3
 RC's best friend is the guy that owns Pivot... of course he says it's the best choice.
  • + 19
 His response seemed fairly objective to me. He actually pretty much said keep the bike you have.
  • + 2
 Which is what makes a good answer even better.
  • + 10
 RC is best friends with most of the industry. He was there at the beginning making frames, then he became Editor of Mountain Bike Action. He made ALOT of friends along the way. But he has always been authentic.
  • + 1
 Yah, RC has his reviewer's quirks, but they're easy to learn and he's consistent in his preferences and opinions. Once you learn to read him his pieces are pretty insightful.

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