Video: 27.5 vs 29, Suspension Set-up & Measuring Progress - The Privateer Episode 4

Jul 17, 2018
by Pinkbike Originals  

The Privateer needs to get his bike dialed in, so Steve from Vorsprung suspension is drafted to help Adam set his bike up for optimal performance. With the bike also accepting both wheel sizes, Adam makes the decision on which will be best come race day.

He's also back in the gym under the supervision of Todd to check in on how his fitness and strength are coming along. Having put in months of work, what gains will Adam be seeing?

You probably won t see this combo of brands on one bike - what do you think of it
With the Genius being able to take both wheel sizes, Adam has gone to the larger 29er wheels on his set up.

Many thanks to all the below sponsors for supporting Adam Price and this series:

Did you miss episode one of The Privateer? Want to know how Adam Price ended up with that list of sponsors and a coach?

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

MENTIONS: @pinkbikeoriginals / @SCOTT-Sports / @mavic / @Fox-Head-Inc / @box-components / @schwalbe / @stages-cycling / @CamelBak / @Spank-Ind / @RydersEyewear / @TRPCyclingComponents / @OneUpComponents / @timecycling

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Member since Feb 15, 2012
1,041 articles

  • 189 1
 Said it before - but this is the best thing on pinkbike. Great series, and every episode is just as good as the previous one.
  • 22 1
 I also miss the Tuesday Tune. Was nice to see Steve here. Would like to hear him talk about some of the new crop of forks.
  • 41 0
 @MikeAzBS: all the new forks have their ups and downs. Smile
  • 4 0
 Way to go Adam, you are an inspiration!
  • 9 0
 Just done removing all my tokens and spacers off my bikes because Steve said so.
  • 4 0
 Agreed, by far the best series on the internet. That and "On Track with Curtis Keene".
This show in particular makes me want to train twice as hard for races
  • 7 0
 @chyu: "I just watch a famous guy's bike check on YouTube and set my settings to the same." Classic privateer line!
  • 52 0
 The look on Steve's face when he pulled the tokens out.... Smile If @VorsprungSuspension can't get it dialed, then nobody can. Great shop!
  • 36 0
 I know that people want to laugh when Adam says how how sets his pressures and which pump he uses, but there could not be a better representative for me to send to that conversation. Represent the everyman Adam, well done!
  • 22 0
 ME: "I'm gonna get fit, hit the gym, and do this! Adam is inspirational!"

ALSO ME: *binge watches 4 episodes of the privateer, eats a takeaway curry, and drinks 4 bottles of 6.6% dark beer*
  • 10 0
 1st one I've watchef. Found that really interesting. Will watch the others later. Well done pinkbike
  • 10 0
 damn he was railling in those last few clips
  • 1 0
 so fast!
  • 1 0
 That's because he shed all that weight by dropping those tokens
  • 12 6
 Why is episode 3 not available Frown I am very addicted and need my fix. lol. I am sure I was just super eager and was too quick on the enter button. Husband does call me the button basher. Patiently waiting.
  • 15 1
 now miraculously it plays. I look like an idiot. Awesome
  • 6 1
 @Mirks: Sorry about that Wink
  • 28 2
 Guys, guys, come over and look at this idiot who can't play the video ^

(I'm just kidding, hope you can take a joke Wink )

Speaking of a fix, I'm mocking some friends for watching reality shows, but they don't know I'm way worse than them, hanging on pinkbike all day, waiting for new content like a vulture Big Grin
Omg, Rider X has a broken finger and Rider Y's cousin has stubbed his toe yesterday!
  • 2 0
 @Milko3D: Yup, my refresh button is wearing off as well.
  • 2 0
 @Milko3D: lol idiot learned a new trick today. Epic!!! lol
  • 2 0
 @Mirks: Hehe, nice!

@DuelingBanjos the days around the DH WC are the worst, haha! On my deathbed I'll be taking MTB intravenously Big Grin
  • 8 3
 So less tokens is better? Is that just for Fox or Rock Shox as well? When they do bike checks for some of the EWS racers, usually they are running at least 3 tokens in a 170mm fork.
  • 13 2
 usually those guys weigh more/push harder tho so they need more progression to resist bottom out, and some people just like really stiff forks...
  • 4 0
 coz they are pros maybe? having racing their entire life makes them less prone to hand fatigue?
  • 6 0
 I was just wondering about this. How many tokens is too many? What does running max token do to the fork (or shock)? What if I'm a hard rider, but I also weigh 240lbs, should I run max tokens, or tune in other ways (like losing weight lol).
  • 5 0
 @PHeller: at that point i'd probably have a conversation with push or vorsprung
  • 2 0
 @sosburn: weigh more, no. Push harder, yes!
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Watch Steve's Tuesday Tune videos, they will get about 99% of your questions answered, they helped me out a ton and saved me a lot of frustration, as well as reading the comment sections, Steve does a great job of further answering and explaining questions.

Plus loosing weight will always help, factory suspension is tuned for an average weight range, if you are outside of that you are more than likely going to benefit from a custom tune. I went from 280 down to 220 (still have more to go) all geared up and now have room to actually notice adjustments in my suspension instead of having everything cranked up for when the big hits came, thus causing the normal small stuff to beat me up.
  • 22 2
 @vonroder77 : loosing weight helps? But that means cutting beer, bacon and energy bar combo. You must be wrong. Stop enduro belly shaming.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: LMAO!!! Its not shaming, I can fit into my endurbro fanny pack now. LOL!!! Plus riding in stretchy pants sucks. Smile
  • 9 0
 So many variables in this one. Assuming you mean fork (not going to touch the rear shock part of this equation yet), its so dependent on rider position on the bike, weight, terrain, damping preference, rider style, travel etc.

The age old "moar tokens is moar better" is silly. Its also more silly than you'd think to trust the pros know what is fastest. Some are methodical and take time to suss out what works objectively (Greg Minnaar), others are more boarish and brutish (I won't name names!). Talent always wins over setup.

Personally, in a longer travel application in chunky terrain I absolutely prefer less tokens in my fork and higher pressure. The fork sits higher in its travel and has more available travel to eat bumps with less required force. Does this work in the steeps? Not so much. Does this work if you ride super far forward? Again, not really.

Try different stuff. Understand how it all works together. Realize that guys like Sam, Gwin, etc do stuf on a bike that is so far beyond a mortal its not remotely worth looking too hard into their settings...
  • 5 2
 @vonroder77: hahah, yo so fat, you need a fanny pack with extra long belt... I fit tubes between folds in my belly. A 29” tube strapped around my belly gives me a tight fit. I carry full sized water bottles concealed under my man boobs.
  • 4 0
 Even Danny Hart and Gwin once said no way they will ride their race bike on weekend rides, it's way too stiff for comfort. Sik Mik said comfort is not a priority when it comes to racing.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Gee Atherton was just running 8 tokens in his 49's last weekend, so I think it depends on the rider and your style
  • 1 0
 @charmingbob Depends on ridding style, preference, weight, do you ride over the front or the rear, do you prefer straight lines over rocks or ride around them. It's never that simple, hope that helps
  • 37 0
 To give you some insight on why we wanted less tokens in this particular setup, the short version is:
1. Adam wanted more support in the middle third or so of the travel, which comes from running a higher air pressure (this fork doesn't have much in the way of compression adjustment, the LSC adjuster doesn't affect dynamic ride height much)
2. Longer travel air forks are inherently more progressive than their shorter travel variants
3. At the pressures required to give him the support he wanted, given the longer travel, the fork was too difficult to bottom out, ergo too progressive
4. To reduce progression, we removed tokens and popped the footbolts to reduce air trapped in the lowers.

It really is a personal thing, dependent on a ton of variables including your terrain, fork travel, height, strength, weight, level of aggression, personal sensitivities (for example, some people just do not ever seem to get sore hands, some people's hands hurt after 10 seconds of rough trail) and priorities. If you're going to race flat out for 2 minutes, it's often fastest to put up with some discomfort. If you're going to race for 15 minutes, you may not be able to hold on at all by that time with a particularly stiff setup.

Hope that clarifies a bit.
  • 5 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Thanks for taking time to give to break that down for us. Now what were Adam’s exact settings in the end so we can all set up our forks the exact same way :-)
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Just wondering about the shock. As far as I know the shock comes also with 2 tokens installed on the genius. Did you remove those as well to balance the bike?

Another question would be if the change from 150 to 170 is possible on all 36?
  • 1 2
 it’s worth mentioning that what many consider as hard is not pro race hard. And yes how many tokens in your Pike was a genuinely funny time. “I dropped prrssure by 5 psi, added 2 more tokens in my Pike and never went back!!!” They sounded so confident, knowledgeable and experienced. Must have been a silent renaissance of huck to flat.
  • 1 0
-- How many tokens are too many?
If you never use the last inch of travel (even on the most aggressive stuff) and you are happy with the sag, consider removing one.
If you bottom out your fork, but you are at your desired sag, add one.
If you feel the fork dives too deep into the travel, consider adding one.

This is what all suspension professionals tell me to do...
  • 2 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: popped the footbolts to reduce air trapped in the lowers? Did you turn the bike upside down for this or could you explain how this was done ?
  • 2 0
 @rocko1982: yea you would think all the oil would come out too. . . .?
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: The idea that all pros run their suspension crazy stiff is also a misnomer. Especially in Enduro stuff, where most tracks are longer than 3-5 minutes. Many run near the top end of the suggested range, but few are running outside of that.

Source: A Rockshox engineer, a Fox engineer, a SRAM truck technician
  • 3 2
 @JeffreyJim: I haven’t personally pressed on Gwins Demo in VDS but a pro dude next to me did. And he was like What the Fk?! I also know that there are two schools among prople of caliber of Vorsprung or better and they say : set sag right, work with compression (like Dave Garland) or set it hard and run less compression (EXT, Ohlins technicians). It’s always about a balance of stability and grip. But an idea that you should always use full travel of your fork is a weird one to me. For instance it is obvious that Adam likes taller fork because he himself is taller. Here again, two schools: it’s super important to use full travel and it’s ok to bottom out sometimes, ooor: you don’t need to use full travel, you need stability because bike needs to maintain its geometry through holes and turns. There are also pro riders who use stupid amounts of rebound in the rear, bike comes back for 2 seconds or more. I am personally a rather active and smooth rider, I prefer to skim over obstacles rather than fall into holes, I value stability a lot because I want something that saves my butt if I make a mistake. Softer bikes ride nicely through chatter and they may be faster on it, but they won’t be as good at saving your arse whn youngo out of balance. Also, how many of us do 7-15 min runs non stop. Come on...
  • 1 1
 double post
  • 6 0
 Love these! PinkBike is killing it with it's original content. I love the humbled series also. Looking forward to the next one!
  • 6 1
 1. Great content. interesting, entertaining, the lot. 2. Adam is a ripper! don't know if it's the camera or that's him, but he seems very unsure of himself. maybe a coach would be a good idea. he should be more confident...
  • 6 0
 That was the best one yet, I loved Steve's suspension clinic, my next bike is getting dialed by Vorsprung.
  • 3 0
 Is it just me, or is the audio balancing WAY off on these videos? I have to have my thumb on the scroll wheel through the entire video. I jump my computer from 95 volume level to 10..... I absolutely love the content, just wish the audio was done a little better. Fun meeting Adam in Silver! Best of luck and see you in Whistler!!
  • 9 0
 Fair question there, we put lav mics on Steve and Todd but not on Adam as we don't want his performance to be affected. Unfortunately, that means we have to do the audio a bit weird, but we'll try harder for next time. Thanks for the feedback.
  • 2 0
 @paulhaysom: To be frank, I can generally hear Adam good when he is talking. To me it feels like the background music is just at a much higher level than the rest of the audio. So when the talking ends and music starts I have to crank my volume down, and vise versa. Also the only times I struggled hearing the talking was when there was background music. Hope that makes sense.

I do not do much video editing and know it's crazy difficult. So props for putting these videos out regardless!
  • 6 1
 this guy can ride a bike fast!
  • 3 0
 Pleasantly surprised...capable rider coupled with vorsprung makes for great content and interesting dialogue. More of this please!
  • 6 2
 #provateerlife right there
  • 3 0
 How come there was no timed tests on the bike. Surely the best way to determine if he is going faster is to time his rides?
  • 3 1
 Proper suspension setup is the best money I spend anytime I buy a new bike. Suspension Therapy in North Van has made a huge difference for me every time.
  • 3 0
 Likeable chap, this Privateer. Even inspires the most aged, midpack Cat 2 punters like myself.
  • 4 0
 That is a really high rise bar!!
  • 1 0
 Would love to see the progression in times during his first and second days of suspension tuning and the addition of bigger wheels. Especially after being shown his fitness improvements in this episode.
  • 1 0
 Way to go! Putting the work in and getting better. One step at a time. Disregard the negativity and focus on the positivity. Thanks pinkbike for putting together a cool real life story.
  • 2 1
 great series, wish I had all this awesome local trails, good coach, 29er Enduro fully and Suspension experts on my side. Sometimes I think I just suck.
  • 2 0
 setting up a 27.5, is that still being done? All in fun. Very informative video.
  • 1 0
 Yea those pesky little things are still winning enduro and dh races! Crazy.
  • 1 0
 maybe I missed that point in the comments... I would love to see his training program and everything... food / supplement plan?!
Is this available anywhere?
  • 4 2
 i thought this was supposed to be episode 4? episode 3 was the race?
  • 1 0
 you are very on the ball and correct
  • 2 0
 @Mirks: We've added a link to Episode 3.
  • 3 11
flag newbermuda (Jul 17, 2018 at 9:45) (Below Threshold)
 next year you guys should release the whole season all at once
  • 2 0
 @karlburkat is that you?...
  • 2 0
 Nice work @pinkbikeoriginals loving this series.
  • 2 0
 Can’t wait for the next episode!
  • 1 0
 Man! Love this - could watch it for hours great job pinkbike ... and Adam by the way
  • 1 0
 What he needs is a better rear shock. That thing is a pathetic excuse for an enduro shock
  • 1 0
 LOL ON THE TOKENS!!. NEVER take anyone's word! ALWAYS check for yourself!!!
  • 2 1
 What trail was he riding? love the content
  • 6 0
 I think they said Cakewalk
  • 2 0
  • 2 1
 So happy this entire episode was not a wheel size debate!
  • 6 5
 Crashes hard riding 29 inches. Opts to race on them. Makes sense.
  • 12 0
 I'm willing to bet that he's crashed on 27.5 before too. should we only ride a wheel size that we haven't crashed on?
  • 3 0
 doesn't matter went faster
  • 1 0
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: just revving the wheel size debate a bit :-) They showed the crash but didn't mention the times. Maybe I need to watch again.
  • 1 0
 @mikefromdownthestreet: ive never crashed on 24". hmmmmm
  • 1 0
 When is the next episode?
  • 1 0
 So would you have to change fork as well from 27 to 29?
  • 1 0
 Looks like it's a mainly 29 bike with the option of running 27.5, minimum 2.5 tires, and using the flip chip to raise the bb a little.
  • 1 0
 I hope one day I can ride half as well as Adam. Dude rips.
  • 1 0
 Best show ever!!! Can hardly wait for the next episode...
  • 1 0
 Great show, pitty its not longer episodes...
  • 1 0
 Adam, 40%, dude, nice work! Keep it up.
  • 2 4
 Looks like they spent a lot of time trying to find out if 29er's are faster haha! 29er FO LIFE!
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