The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice

May 20, 2021
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

When you really boil it down, it seems like there are two types of purchasing people: those who buy with their head and those who buy with their heart. And while @mikekazimer might usually make more informed, "better," decisions when spending his money, I'd argue that I have more fun burning through paychecks while taking the latter approach. But when it's time to spend a big chunk of hard-earned cash on a new mountain bike, you're far better off following Kazimer's lead to find your new ride.

Episode #63 sees us share our worst bike buying mistakes and our best bike buying advice.

May 6th, 2021

I'll offer you my Xbox, $15,000, and both kidneys for your old 26" wheeled bike.

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 46 0
 Just another point I figured I’d mention, I’ve had really crappy experiences in bike shops as a woman and this was a big factor in deciding to buy from my LBS versus DTC. Not that all shops are inherently bad, but I’ve been to multiple and haven’t found one where I feel respected and welcomed. When making such a large purchase, having employees speak down to me and be patronizing doesn’t really instil confidence that they’re going to help get me on the most suitable bike. It’s too bad because I’d pay more to support local and get all the other benefits of buying through a bike shop, but I’ve just been treated so poorly that I now avoid going to them whenever possible. Not claiming every woman has dealt with this at every bike shop, but I also know this experience isn’t unique to me as most of my friends deal with the same stuff. Also I can’t speak for whether this is a factor for other women when purchasing a bike, but it definitely was for me and with more woman getting into the sport it might be something bike shops want to address when discussing ways to boost sales
  • 51 1
 As a male going into bike shops I often feel the same way. A lot of shops have a very 'clicky bro' culture that's an immediate turn off
  • 9 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: yeah I’ve heard that from a lot of guys as well, there’s definitely an “in group/out group” mentality that everyone is subjected to to some degree
  • 24 0
 I am a guy and I feel like I am asking a massive favour from most bike shops when I really just want to give them money
  • 9 0
 Bike Shop Guy™ is the worst. And I say that as a former bike shop guy. It really hasn't gotten any better in the 20 years since I started working in shops.

We talked about how shop culture needs to evolve in a previous episode:
  • 13 0
 @skiandmtbdirtbag: nothing like getting snarked at for the privilege of ordering me something on the internet I could order myself to my house.
  • 4 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: SO I've definitely seen the bro culture on display at many stores, but I think its even a bigger problem then that. This is kind of related to my athlete pay comments now that I think about it, but it all goes back to there being little money all around in cycling. Many people in bike shops have little education, no office experience, and simply know how to wrench not do customer service. This leads to many awkward conversations with customers, then when you do throw the shops with shitty bro culture it gets neigh unbearable.

In short, bike shops could do with more professionalism which covers many many things(which likely will never happen). As much as the bike industry likes to joke about dentists and their expensive rigs, most shop rats don't have the professionalism to cut it as a dental office receptionist for more than 1-2 weeks without getting canned.
  • 6 0
 @pbfan08: I did work in bike shops for 10+ yrs. frankly in my opinion is was not time well spent between the bro culture and terrible pay. To bad since I legit love this sport more than most things in life.
  • 1 0
 I was once trying to buy a leggy trail bike and the "salesman" got it into his head that what I really wanted was an XC race bike and all the necessary clothing to take it racing. And then their "mechanic" tried to kill me twice so nuts to bike shops.
  • 5 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: I don’t know if it’s necessarily the cliquey bro culture, but dudes at bike shops are always trying to explain things to me as if I’ve never thrown a leg over a mountain bike before. It used to bug me — hey, quit telling me things I already know. It can come off as patronizing. But then, they are just trying to be professional and inform the customer. They don’t know I know. Now I just go for the ride and let them talk. All good.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: And that’s not to say I haven’t experienced the cliquey bro culture. I have. It remember my old shop changed ownership, and the new guy made me feel like the outsider, even though I’d been shopping there for a few years.

But if a shop is trying to be knowledgeable and professional, I don’t mind, even if they telling you stuff you already know can feel like they’re talking down at you.
  • 2 0
 Yeah- I've definitely felt some bro-verdose in bike shops. I will say that shops when I lived in cities vs. shops living in bike towns are different things. In smaller communities a shop can also serve as a hub for the community. Very grateful for my local shop here and what they do for the community beyond just pushing glossy carbon to the docs and semi-homeless bike bums.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Yes! Just because I ask for help adjusting the sag on my shock doesn't mean I need to be given a 1st grade level lecture about how shocks work.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: It's always fun when you see those dudes for the first time on the trails and you're faster tho. ahahaha

I think if you just shoot straight and tell people what you're looking for, then you should be O.K. Bike shops have to deal w/ a lot of interesting people. I've literally seen someone come in to try to upgrade their shock on a "sport" mountain bike ~15 years old. Homeboy just needed a new bike, but I didn't have the heart to tell him.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: The clickiest bro culture I've ran into is a small brewery in Greater Vancouver area that sold ... IPA. lol. I bought a 6 pack and returned the remaining 5 cans as it was undrinkable. But the offence this caused!
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Especially when I'd been riding a mountain bike 15yrs before they were even born. But concur, they don't know that and find it more difficult to pick off someone's age under a mask.
  • 37 0
 I've not listened yet, but I'll assume that you are going to say that my bike is the best purchase ever, and everyone else's is wrong.
  • 24 0
 @mikekazimer Your reference to the Fest series gatekeepers as a bunch of guys, "hiding out in the woods making jean jackets" has got to be sickest burn ever!

That made me laugh Smile Thank you
  • 12 0
 I've never dealt with a bike from a bike shop that didn't need home adjustment anyway. The drive-to-the-shop, drop-off-the-bike, wait-for-the-call, go-get-the-bike, test-out-the-bike, have-to-adjust-it-anyway is a stupid loop when you could just start on the last step and be done with it.
  • 1 0
 I tend to do most simple stuff on my own anyways but sounds like you might need to find a better shop sadly if one is available. I have had really good mechanics work on my back and not so good ones. I now have my people I go to for bigger things and really trust the work they do.
  • 12 1
 Words of advice from my experiences.

Buy with your heart (after sampling), less often. Get what EXACTLY what you want (if you can find it) and reduce how often you go back to buy again. Don't follow the BS annual bike upgrade marketing from industry.

Rent and/or demo different brands and year-models before dropping thousands on a bike. You'll find what you do/don't like. Some shops carrying multiple brands let me try multiple bikes in the same day (same rental agreement) and of course would discount that from a build. Even if you can't afford your top choice, demo it... wanted a megatower until I rode it.

If you're working with a shop or even an online retailer, often times they will work with you to swap out parts on yet-to-be built bikes (maybe it's even more easy these days since re-selling components could be easier?). Sometimes you can reduce your cost of getting the exact parts you want on the bike to hit any budget limits you have, while focusing on specific areas (weight, tires, suspension, brakes) you consider essential and compromising where you don't care much (for me alu wheels 4 life).

Doing this -pre-covid- I was able to spec out a sick dh oriented trail bike with brakes, rotor size, tire compounds, upgrade from fit4 to GRIP2 fork, bar while adding less than $200 to my cost... which would've been a $1000+ changeover if I had done everything independently.
  • 16 0
 My build:
* Shop online for 18 months
* Watch everything I was thinking about ordering sell out
* Get money lined up
* Start buying parts - none the exact size I was hoping for and not trying any
* End up with medium 27.5 frame (I should ride a large but was sold out) and 29 fork
* Develop analysis paralysis when it comes to obtaining wheels and brakes
* Consider selling everything I have obtained and waiting until the Vitus Mythique comes in stock
* Finally get all parts except 180mm brake adapter that I didn't know I needed
* Wait three more weeks and finally finish
* Hope that I can figure out how to set up my first air suspension
* Wonder why my tubeless wheels keep going flat (keep adding sealant)
* Ding rim (even though I am running tire inserts)
* Mysteriously lose all spoke tension
* Get lots of compliments on $1,800 build that people think is a $3,000 bike
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: Basically sounds like my life right now. Out of curiosity what's the spec that you got on your bike?
  • 3 0
 @DaFreerider44: Not sure exactly what you mean. So here is way to much info.

It is a Titus El Viajero Gravity Trail 130mm 4-bar rear with 140mm in front (could be 160mm with a 27.5 fork). 65 degree HA and 73 degree SA. Only like 430 reach. 27.5 wheels with Vittoria Gomas and cheap inserts. Suntour Auron/Duair suspension. 11-42 Advent 8 speed drive train with Shimano Alivio cranks with SRAM 34T 1x chain ring. Tektro Draco brakes on 180mm SLX centerlock discs. That is the main features. Every single thing on this bike is better than what I came from.

I justified the short reach because my local (like out the front door) trails are super tight and twisty. I didn't know how tight until I rode with 780 bars and smashed my hands up on both sides and got knocked off the bike a couple times. This did not happen with my 710mm bars on my single speed or entry level bike. The seat angle is not ideal, have thought about a shock with a lockout to keep me more upright when climbing but that isn't practical in Ohio with no sustained climbs. I run a ton of pressure and compression damping anyway because I am not used to rear suspension but it is nice to know it is there.

I had a $3,000 budget, including things like tools and better helmet and whatnot but ended up getting the frame on a Facebook special from Planet X for $400 delivered and decided to stay with value/sale/NOS. Most of my purchases were pre-COVID so there were some serious deals to be had.

I have a couple little upgrade/replacement items like grips and cassette coming up but now shifting my focus to updating my single speed because I wore out the grips and tires (and broke the crank). Going to get some fast XC tires set up tubeless. I will only use it at a couple trails, maybe commuting if I ever go back to the office and at Ray's. On the fence if I will put the money into a dropper for it because I can always drop the saddle manually for the few jumps I get into on that bike.
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: I saw that we were working with about the same budget and the need for 27.5 wheels. I was looking to see if it was possible for me to get a bike before late july. No can do Frown
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy Grew up shooting compound bows. Competed in outdoor 3D target shoots (walk around woods and shoot animal shaped foam targets at unknown distances) and indoor league. Very satisfying to hone your skills (like getting good at shooting free throws).

My suggestion is don't think of it as a prepper weapon. Treat it with respect, of course, but think of it meditation. You have to focus on one thing, control your breath and body. And you have a measurable result when you hit the target. Plus it is super cool when you split an arrow and you can show that to everyone for the rest of your life.
  • 5 0
 Brooklyn machine works Shinburger pedals... They've cost me too much money, collected mud, did'nt really grip ( got my shin and knee tenderised by those..). Only time I go the to grip was when I filled the spikes into a piramidal shape... But, you know I had a 2004 Big hit with flame stickers, it fitted!
  • 4 0
 @brianpark Just a thought for a future podcast. Is there a way to integrate "still great" bikes into bikereviews and group bike tests? For example, I think the Yeti SB130 is still one of the bench marks for trail to light Enduro Bikes. However, the year after its release 3 years ago it is not being brought up anymore so people could think it's an old bike while I would still recommend it as a do-it-all bike over many others today. Anyway, just an initial thought.
  • 2 0
 So levy saying you're a very good descender and crap climber, get a bike that plays to your weaknesses not strengths... Yeah that was me ~10 years ago or so. And like an idiot I had similar thoughts. I bought a pivot mach 5.7, it was the worst bike ever. Yeah it climbed great, so it was 3% more efficient of a climber at the cost of being so terrible on the descents. Imagine a dog turd bag ridden over in such a way as to burst and spray dog feces into ones eyeball. That's how the pivot descended. Buy a bike that is good for the things you really enjoy, the things that make you love biking, while still being tolerable for the rest. If you're climb curious, get a cheap hardtail.
  • 2 1
 Bought a bike unseen on the PB buy and sell and had it shipped to me in 2017. It was a one year old Nomad. Such a lemon, seat post was not working, rear shock needed to be re-built, had broken spokes. None of this was disclosed to me by the seller and they went silent after the transaction. Buyer beware I guess, but it will never happen again.
  • 1 0
 It took me 7 MONTHS of constant looking to find a "decent" deal on a 2020 Norco Optic.

- My heart wanted both good esthetics and supporting a local CDN company.

- My head pored over dozens of reviews, making phone calls, emailing shops and finally waiting for a reduction from MSRP.
  • 1 0
 The main thing I’d recommend in buying a bike is to try it out first. The only regretful bike purchase I ever made was buying a consumer-direct brand that I wasn’t able to test ride first. Went off reviews and reputation. It wasn’t that it wasn’t an excellent bike — great spec, quality frame, great price. I just didn’t vibe with the way it felt on the trail.. So test your bikes first!
  • 1 0
 I bought an XXL 27.5 2020 Jeffsy last year. I’m 6’-5” and wish I could have gotten a 29”, but I was in a hurry and it wasn’t in stock. I want to mullet it with 160mm(same as what’s on it) 29” fork.
I know the taller wheel and fork will change the head tube angle, but at 66* it could use a little less anyway.
Question: although it will change the head tube angle by being taller up front, it will also change every other angle.
Is changing the effective head tube angle far different than changing the actual head tube angle (the angle it was designed into the frame at)?
Hopefully this makes sense
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer You can take the ham radio license exam remotely if you ever wanted to. There are several organizations/clubs you can take it through (via video call) It usually costs $15 to register.
  • 1 0
 Oh cool, I'll get that on my to-do list. Thanks!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy Just listened and I am very curious what happened to the camelback full of drugs and money? Did he come back for it? Take it to the cops? Do a little quality testing? Take the cash and buy a mini?
  • 3 0
 I wanted to keep the cash and drugs, but the owner of the LBS called the police. They ended up picking him up when he came back into the store a few days later.
  • 1 0
 What about a test where you have riders ride a series of bikes without looking at the weight of the bike before hand or physically picking it up and guess the weight based on how it rides or try to rank bikes based on weight? I'd be really curious to see if a heavier bike always feels like a heavier bike and vise versa. Some bikes feel "livelier" or more "lethargic" because of other characteristics like the distribution of that weight, the geometry or the suspension characteristics. I mean if you look at race results, and someone can run the stats on this, I don't think a lighter bike, especially when we talk smaller margins of difference, is playing that large of a factor. Sure for something like Brian's obese Madonna it is going to play a big role... but I'm not sure 2-5 lbs always feels like 2-5 lbs between different bikes... other than lifting it with your buddies in a parking lot or loading bikes onto the rack.
  • 1 0
 I have a question for the crew pertaining to athletes salaries and the state of the sport from two episodes ago. I just read in mtb Action a recall to an interview with Toby Henderson where he said he made a lot of money in the sport and the biggest reason was treating the relationship as a partnership. He made the claim that the fact that he returned his bikes to the sponsor instead of selling them was a reason he progressed and made a lot of money in sponsorships. DO you think there is a lot of merit to that argument? Or is it the same boomer energy as my uncle asking me why I haven't bought a house yet when he found one for 15k at my age; applying experiences during the gravy train era in the outdoor industry to a different era?
  • 1 0
 My favourite bike launch vide of all time is the advertisement for the 2020 Rocky Mountain Slayer. It's a video called Oscillation and it's on youtube. It's not that special, but "just" a great edit with super high cinematic quality. Also it features Thomas Vanderham, Remy Gauvin and Carson Storch, so the riding is great.
  • 2 2
 If I heard right @mikekazimer said something like "a 250lb guy won't notice a 38lb bike as much as a 160lb guy."

I don't get that logic, the 250lb dude is already lugging around an extra 90lbs. He doesn't want another 7lbs of bike to go with it.

I am that big guy. Turns out I am way better at gaining weight than losing it. I don't know how much my bike weighs but I sure would like to have to pedal around 40 less pounds of me. I don't think I would mind a lighter bike either, as long as my idiotic riding style didn't break it.

As to why bikes are heavier, why does no one mention that the down tube and top tube are like 3 inches longer than they used to be? I would imagine they have to be thicker to be as stiff. You did mention the wheels but it seems that everything is getting bigger in each iteration from travel to bars and even flat pedals.
  • 6 0
 I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm guessing what he means is that at the bike weight should be thought of in relation to rider weight. So a 250lb guy will notice a heavier bike, but it'll wear him out less over a long climb than it would wear out a light guy. Assuming heavy/light guy have similar body fat percentage and fitness levels. I'm ~240 with gear, if 5 lbs is added to a my bike, me and my bikes total weight would increase by less that 1.8% If 5 lbs was added to the 25lbs bike of a 75lbs child, it'd be 5% increase.
  • 2 2
 @kcy4130: I get that but if you are talking about two people who are 6'0" and one is 160 and one is 250. They are not the same body fat and fitness levels. It is possible the 250 guy is a track cyclist and is all muscle and the 160 guy just came out of a coma and lost all muscle mass. But it is more likely the 250 dude is carrying around a lot of extra fat.

I agree kid's bikes weigh way too much.
  • 3 0
 I definitely notice my Madonna's 36+lb weight versus a similar 33lb bike. 3lb is almost nothing percentage-wise to the combined weight of me and the bike, but I definitely notice it moving the bike around.

Like yeah, I should lose some weight too, but nothing wrong with big people wanting lighter bikes. Whether or not it's possible to do durably is a whole other discussion...
  • 1 0
 To answer Brian's question on DTC prices going up, part of the reason is that the companies are having to step up to fill roles traditionally filled by shops... How many phone calls and emails are they dealing with daily?
  • 1 1

Legit question here - long question, but this is driving me crazy and I would really appreciate advice! For reference, I'm 220lbs kitted up, pressures are measured with a calibrated digital gauge, I run a dhf double down and I ride a 2018 kenevo (the question is about rear wheel set up, I'm not interested in random commenters opinions about my choice of bike).

First ride on the brand new bike, OEM roval alloy rim, tubeless with 28psi in the rear - the rim dings so bad it no longer runs tubeless or holds a tube. Rim goes in the bin, not happy - no marks to the rim, the ding came through the tyre being compressed. Rebuilt with a hope fortus 30 rim by a reputable wheel builder - tubeless, 28psi, is running fine but is picking up dings. About 3 months later it no longer runs tubeless, works fine with a tube, so 30psi in a tube was where I went. Ran fine for about a year until the rim got so dinged again it wouldn't hold a tube - not a single pinch flat. Again, in all this time no marks to the rim from rock strikes so dings coming through the tyre being compressed. Rebuilt with a halo vortex rim, tubed 30psi as that seemed to work better, rim lasted 3 months before going in the bin, same no mark ding symptoms, but no pinch flats. Rebuilt with a fr560 rim, huck norris dh insert, shit loads of sealant and 30psi - first damn ride and I get a ding, again no marks so came through the tyre being compressed, and the double down sidewall split in line with the ding, seemingly split by the rim wall regardless of the insert ending my ride.

Wtf do I do?? I can't afford new rims and wheel builds every few months. Is my set up wrong? Do I need a stronger rim? What rim should I be getting? Do I need a burlier tyre? If so what? Thanks for any advice, or I'm leaving the sport lol
  • 4 2
 I have broken alot of wheels and in your case my friend I think you need a carbon rim with a lifetime warranty. For no other reason than you break stuff.
Less expensive options to consider 1st
More air. I ride at 28 psi at 180lbs. I havnt broken my current WAO unions at this pressure. I have had tires in the 1200gram range get pinched or ripped or developed a wobble. I can live with going through tires.
Thicker insert
I have huck norris doubled up in the front wheel of my DH/bikepark wheelset. I wasn't impressed by them at all in the rear wheel. The rear wheel has tannus or cushcore depending on what I can find in stock.
Higher spoke count.
36 hole rims might be your friend.

I break things too, mostly wheels. It sucks hope you can get sorted.
  • 2 0
 Just ride slower, duh... Sorry, couldn't resist a dumb joke. I'm a bit heavier, and keep 32 or even as high as 35psi in the rear, no need for inserts. You can also try a wider tire if the frame will fit one.
  • 3 0
 Carbon rim in DH layup is the solution. Al rims are totally unreliable ime and that's with me being 40#s lighter than you, running inserts, and some decent pressure in a decent weight tire.
Al rims get tweaked on quite small stuff, not worth the trouble.
  • 1 0
 That's wild. More pressure will keep your tires from bottoming out as much, and a strong carbon rim won't ding.
  • 1 0
 @ridenwc1: on PB dh carbon explodes
  • 2 0
 You need to add more tire pressure to the rear tire. Start by adding 2-5 p.s.i. the rear tire. I would also look into getting a set of e bike specific wheels. The extra weight, down low in the bike, is causing more stress on the wheel than with a regular bike wheel.

OEM wheels, are almost never very good: my OEM dh wheels had to be replaced after a week in Whistler.
  • 1 1
 Thanks for the replies.

Yeah I was kinda thinking a carbon rim would be the answer but was also hoping someone would have a cheaper solution! Cushcore could be a good call. I'm a bit traumatised by the amount of rides I've had lately where I've been fixing a f*cked wheel in the woods and the thought of dealing with cushcore in the rain mid ride isn't appealing! If huck norris isn't that good tho maybe I'll check it out. Are there any alu rims more bomb proof (and in stock) than a fr560?
  • 3 0
 @blahblahbikes: Actually, you are what, 270-280#s rolling down the trail? Just add a DH carcass tire, an insert, and run about 32psi and you should be fine.
Air pressure is directly related to how much the bike/ rider weighs as well as terrain and riding style. Without knowing the latter I can still see/ read that 28psi is too low for the former.
Still, CF wheels are MUCH better.
  • 1 0
 @blahblahbikes: at this point you have spent more than the $500 usd a carbon rim would have cost.

I think a dh carcass and 30-35 psi will fix it with the fr560.

Atleast you have a motor.
  • 1 0
 @blahblahbikes: You want a cheap solution but won't try adding a few psi to you tires? That makes sense.... When I was on 26 with tubes, I'd run about 45 psi at least to avoid pinch flats...
  • 1 0
 Again, thanks for the replies.

I have tried more pressure but went back down to 30psi as this was the highest that felt ok - any higher and the tyre wasn't gripping on my local trails (either very rocky or very rooty, wet most of the time) so I was slipping out and crashing. I'm too old to get away with adding more injuries to my already extensive list - and time injured is time off work so it's not as cheap a solution as it seems!

Its not like I've just been repeating the same set up and hoping for the best - each time I've gone to a burlier rim, more pressure up to the limit I'm comfy with, and then added an insert as well.

A dh casing makes sense as a next step, couldn't find any maxxis ones in stock that were suitable and I'm not familiar with other brands, any recommendations? Don't want a super soft compound on the rear which narrows the choice a bit, something like a dhf or dhr 2 in similar compound to maxx terra would be my preference.

Otherwise I guess I'll start saving for that carbon rim!

Cheers for the advice
  • 1 0
 @blahblahbikes: unfortunately most dh casings come in the super soft rubber

You might see if versus gets shipped to the UK
  • 1 0
 Thank for all the replies!

So I guess to wrap this up, in case the PB editors discuss it on the next podcast (which would be great!) I've consistently broken rims at 30psi, and now split a double down tyre wall on the rim through a huck norris dh insert, dinging an fr560 in the process. The consensus seems to be more pressure first, then a burlier tyre, then a better insert, then a carbon rim.

What I'd like to know is their opinions on this: is it worth running more pressure and trading off grip? Would a burlier tyre be a better call, and if so what options are there for the rear as an intermediate tyre not in super soft rubber? What inserts are better for rim protection than huck norris that wouldn't induce PTSD if I had to fix something mid cold rainy ride? Should I just bite the bullet and get a carbon rim, and if so what do they recommend?

Big thanks to everyone who's commented so far. Ride safe.
  • 1 0
 @blahblahbikes: hey man. Me and my buddy have the exact same bike. We both run nobl tr38 carbon rims dh casing tire and cushcore rear. I’ve been riding it that way nearly 2 years and never had a problem. Ebikes in my opinion should not run anything other than a dh casing with cushcore. I value my ride time to much. I’ve never had a problem with this setup
  • 2 0
 On the bike shop attitude thing - I am a man but my partner who is not has had really good experiences at bike shops in Campbell River and Comox
  • 2 0
 Levy's skepticism around walk mode had me dying! Why would you get off and walk?! You have a motor! Haha!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy I've found a fix for the shimano wandering bite point. A good bleed and aftermarket pads. The resin pads are the reason the lower level shimano brakes don't wander.
  • 3 0
 Don’t sell your current bike before you pre order a new bike
  • 1 0
 I try to buy with my heart, my head never comes in to play because my wallet says NO! (On the high end dream builds)
  • 1 0
 Levy, I have my old Trek Liquid 20 with TALAS rear Fox and Manitou Minute 3 in the garage. How are your kidneys?
  • 3 1
 Oh, and yes, I do not like berms. They are lame. Trails should be trails.
  • 3 0
 Skidding is
  • 2 0
 completely dismissed one day later
  • 1 0
 Buy with heart 99%. Too many bikes in the garage but whats not to love about that
  • 1 0
 Best bike buying advice of 2021. Check the msrp of the bike you find on online classifieds.
  • 2 0
 I enjoyed it, thank you
  • 1 0
 Hey, Levy what's your strava?????
  • 9 0
 Peter Enis
  • 1 0
 I vote for an entire episode of “reasonable” levy purchases
  • 2 0
 For clarification, I want top picks at Tim Horton’s, things I didn’t put in my trail bag because of my other irresponsible purchases, etc.
  • 1 0
 @jstafford0502: Not sure the podcast is long enough tbh
  • 1 0
 I bought the new stumpjumper evo, too much bike... nah.. sooo smooth
  • 2 1
  • 1 0
 not too shabby
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