Pinkbike Poll: What Are You Most Picky About On Your Bike?

Oct 15, 2021
by Matt Beer  
Connor s Process X

Mountain bikes are complex machines, and mountain bikers are particular to say the least. Finding the ideal bike setup that works for your body type, riding style, the terrain in your region, and parts that fit your budget can be like shooting in the dark. To add to the matrix of solutions, basically any of the components you change will have an influence on the bike's overall handling. When you do find a piece of the puzzle that fits, whether that's a trustworthy tire or comfy saddle, most riders tend to stick with it. We are creatures of habit and find reasons for all of our kooky preferences.

If you look around at your local trail center next time, you will notice a few common parts on our bikes. Tires like the Maxxis Minion DHF have been established as the unofficial benchmark for a versatile tread, for good reason. In case you missed it, Maxxis just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Minion DHF, just over a month ago. In an industry criticized for changing "standards" based on fringe engineering work, it would be challenging to find another product that hasn't been changed for two decades (ok, they did make Wide Trail cases to keep up with wider rims). Their ability to work in mud or dust, along with a predictable and consistent turn-in feel, makes them a staple on bikes everywhere.

Another timeless component that comes to mind is Shimano's SPD clipless pedal system. For SPD die-hards, you can see the confusion and resentment in their face when they jump on another bike that doesn't have this system. Their workmanship and mud-shedding capabilities have withstood all riding disciplines for decades too.

29" wheels have definitely found their place in all riding categories, after the frame geometries took some time to catch up. If you're a wagon wheel diehard, could you go back to a smaller wheel size, or would that bike be unrideable to you now?

Maybe that component you couldn't live without is something simple, like a water bottle cage on your bike. Based on the Pinkbike commenters, this is essential and probably near the top of the list for most. I'm still surprised by the demand for this feature. Riders are very opposed to riding with hydration packs that can carry tools and snacks as well.

Something that can't be argued with is the fit and comfort of a seat. Once you find the right saddle, anything else seems like torture. Often you'll see the same tired-looking saddle installed on a brand new bike. Contact points are critical. What about grips? Are you fussed by the plastic under lock-on grips enough that you will go through the hassle to glue and wire simple rubber or silicone grips on for the sake of cushioning?

Martin Maes GT
It's not just on the weekend warriors' bikes that you'll find with some oddities. Martin Maes has an unusual bike setup too. He prefers the feel of the classic Saint brakes over the newer XTR stoppers and opts for 180 mm rotors instead of the typical 200s that most competitors use - a testament to the saying, "don't fix what's not broken".

What is the "must have" on your bike? Are there any other special or quirky parts that you simply cannot ride without?

What Are You Most Picky About On Your Bike?

It has to be perfect. You can't ride without your ideal...



Posted In:
Other Polls



258 Comments

  • 120 5
 Not on the list, but for me it's "lever angle". I'm old school so I ride with mine pretty near vertical. Also distance of levers from grips, to make sure I can get a perfect 1.5 finger grip and not smash my knuckles in an "oh shit" moment.
  • 7 2
 I had one of the HS MTB kids give me crap for how far down I run my levers Rolleyes
  • 57 14
 @NorCalNomad: Not a high school kid but the new school is speaking the truth. Running your levers closer to parallel gives your arms/wrists a better bracing angle. Try it. You'll find yourself much more in control versus running the levers near vertical.

Seriously. Going from close to vert levers to close to parallel levers stepped up my descent and high-speed tech riding ability almost immediately. When you brace for impact you naturally put your palms out... riding with vertical levers is like bracing for impact with your palms in and wrists totally exposed.

It's easy to set-up. Loosen your levers so you can move them with your braking finger. Get onto the saddle and push into the bars and find the angle you feel the strongest with your braking lever and wrist. It'll generally be a failrly straight line from your braking finger up your forearm with a slight downward bend at your wrist.
  • 23 4
 @cgreaseman: My wrists would suffer if I ran my levers close to flat. I spend a lot of my rides charging out of the saddle, which means my wrists would be at a near 90 degree angle if I had my fingers on the levers.
  • 4 0
 could be in brake performance. If the lever does not suits you, the brake performance is compromised.
  • 48 2
 I ride with the levers slightly loose so they rotate as required.
  • 4 0
 @cgreaseman: yeah. I grew up with the levers straight up and down, played with them a lot. Can confirm that higher levers work better.
  • 7 0
 @cgreaseman: I went close to horizontal for over a decade, but I found it shifted my weight too far back on modern bikes with longer reaches. About 30 degrees down helps me stay over the front wheel and get the traction I want on the front wheel. Very personal though.
  • 7 0
 Us ol skool moto people always have a finger on the levers
  • 2 1
 @cgreaseman: 1. I have to drag my brakes behind this kid always on the decent 2. I ride very weight forward + my body physiology has my levers where they are to promote better bike handling (elbows are already aimed outwards rather than back) and it being able to move around under me. Most people benefit biomechanically from some lever down action to help get their elbows out.
  • 1 0
 Need the right level of biodegradable sealant depending on the wheel size / tyre width ratio.
  • 5 0
 @seraph: In your case, I would assume you stick to XC or trail riding, which, like you said, spend a lot of time out of the seat, climbing or maybe descending. This is a good reason to keep your levers vertical, but if you ever ride enduro or DH, you'll understand where @cgreaseman is coming from. In the end, it's just preference.
  • 3 0
 @mtb-thetown: hey also a 30 degrees guy! Who knew the iPhone level could actually be of any use haha
  • 3 0
 @pipm1: I run gasfitters tape under the clamps so you can do the clamps up harder (less flex) but they will still rotate.
  • 3 0
 @pipm1: didn't shimano make those awhile back? they we called dual control or something like that
  • 1 0
 @seraph: try it before you knock it. I run mine very close to flat, and people comment on it but when I ride it feels effortless and way less arm pump.
Jump on another bike with them angled down and it strains my arms weirdly.
  • 4 0
 @BarryWalstead: I think it's really specifc to arm length. Perrion mentions running a steeper angle to maintain a better attack position. I have long arms and I can't run flat levers, my arms have nowhere to go.
  • 1 0
 @samjobson: especially with the volume rocker in the way
  • 2 0
 @pipm1: oh that's horrifying. Hope you replace the bars occasionally
  • 1 0
 @cgreaseman: I find the flat brake position are only helpful when doing steep descents—when your body position is over the rear wheel. If you are centered of the bike, having a straight line from your shoulders, through elbows, wrists, and to your fingers is super comfy. Flat brakes in that position causes you to bend your wrists a lot.

My brakes are around 40-45 degrees down from flat unless I’m doing steeps where I’ll move them up to like 30 degrees.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: Why do you brake while charging out of the saddle?
  • 1 1
 @WheeliemanPDX: found the guy who's never ridden fast or watched racing.
  • 1 0
 @pipm1: I push down on my levers when I jump so loose levers would not work for me. Frown
  • 2 0
 @WheeliemanPDX: I don't, I place my finger on the levers while I ride. It helps me control the front end and I can brake quickly if I need to.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-thetown: this, I tend to load the front, lwb and long reach on my bike, there's no way to load the front with close to level brakes, it works only if you go death grip but keeping my braking finger on the levers I need the levers to be be parallel with my wrists, otherwise you get weird angles of finger/palm/wrist, clenching you hand to brake while hold for dear life and turning at the same time becomes a hard task. Lever angle isn't always the same though, on steeper trails I knock my levers a tad further down, flat flowy a bit up but nothing close to flat, flat levers push you way further back and braking is uncontrolable, levers should follow your wrist angle when pushing down hard for grip, braking while hold for dear life. There's no one position to fit everyone.
  • 2 1
 @seraph: Why are you charging out of the saddle with your hands on the brakes? Get your fingers off the brakes when you are doing that.

"My wrists would suffer if I ran my levers close to flat. I spend a lot of my rides charging out of the saddle, which means my wrists would be at a near 90 degree angle if I had my fingers on the levers."
  • 1 3
 @JSTootell: found another person who hasn't ridden fast. Rolleyes

Take a look at WCDH riders. You going to tell them to get their fingers off the brakes?

Also to anyone I've NEVER had a problem with arm pump. Multiple back to back park days, or back to back trail days.
  • 5 1
 @NorCalNomad: golf clap for you big homie.
  • 2 0
 As @iamamodel: Said gasfitter, teflon, ptfe Tape under levers is the move
  • 1 1
 @NorCalNomad: Shit, I guess I better turn in my Pro license.
  • 2 1
 @NorCalNomad: You shouldn't flare out you elbows, nor should you keep them tucked.
About a 45 degree angle plus/minus a bit is the optimal for strength for 99% of people.
I just think about good form for bench press, that's where you are strongest, and your strongest position, is also the one you waste the least amount of energy over time.
Flatter levers make perfect sense for most people, it also greatly reduces the chance of hurting your wrists in a crash, or even avoiding crashes.
  • 1 0
 @camcoz69: think about it like this;
How do you position your hands and arms while pushing on most any other thing?
Probably not with your hands inline with your arms. While we tend to initially think of that being the ideal mechanical position it actually works incredibly naturally to have your hand flexed upward to some degree. This way you aren't using forearm muscles to stabilize that joint and carry your weight, instead you use mostly bones carrying the weight through the heel of your hand.

Try it sometime, fall onto a surface and catch yourself with your hands and I guarantee you will naturally flex your hands so you hit with basically flat palms. While the analogy isn't perfect, we are replication the motion in a similar fashion while descending steep trails.

I'm merely suggesting giving it a shot. I actually used to ride with my levers 'normally' down. And I'm loving the near flat orientation now that I've given it time.
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: I'm confused.
You lower your levers while riding steeper trails (where even in your scenarios would end up further back). And then on flatish rides you raise the levers (where you are basically centered)?
Isn't this some weird version of disagreeing with the reasoning behind BOTH flat and angled camps?
  • 1 0
 @BarryWalstead: I tend to ride over the bars, pushing on the front, a long reach, long lwb bike can't be ridden from the back seat there's no reason to do it. On the flats or mild trails levers are a bit more close to flat cause I stay centered and having to pedal seated closer to horizontal helps with weid wrist angles. Basically the rule of thumb is your arm and wrist should be parallel when you extend your braking finger over the lever when riding, seated and aggressive downhill posture can't have tha same arm/wrist angle,
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: except you're literally doing it backwards from what you're saying.

And while I get the 'I'm a hard charger over my bars' there is no way on really steep terrain that you actually are over your bars. Watch video of any expert/pro and they all get back in truly steep stuff.
Conversely on flat trails you would want more angle to your levers because your arms are coming from higher as you're seated.
  • 1 0
 @BarryWalstead: I'm not higher when I'm seated, but further away from the bar, so less angle on the levers, I stand taller when I'm not seated obviously, hip gets closer to the bars chest over the bars so arms and wrists must point down, quite simple, I don't understand how you came up with this.

I'm not a pro and definetly not a "hard charger" but that's how I can manage my bike, and ride faster and safer than before, even on steep terrain, the only time I got my self getting further back on the steeps is when I'm not confident or not sure what's gona follow, basically preping for a bailout.
  • 85 1
 I was surprised to not see my #1 pet peeve for bikes. Noise. Cassette noise (especially angry bees), brake squeals, squeaks anywhere, etc.
  • 30 4
 I agree with brake squeals and creaks, but I love a loud hub
  • 3 0
 Same! I hate those random noises...
  • 4 0
 Yep, Noise. 100%. Was looking for this as an answer.
  • 5 0
 I was looking for creaks and squeaks. I hate unexpected noises.
  • 1 1
 @Richridesmtb: I didn't ride my FS bike for 2 weeks b/c of a headset creak I could not identify...bike performs perfectly fine...just a damn creaking noise that dives me nuts. Started riding the FS again after a few weeks on the HT took a toll on my joints....though it still creaks.

@Jdricks: Loud Hub....love a nice loud HUB but maybe I'm just old school
  • 3 0
 This, I hate noisy bikes. Even my old Orange Alpine 160 was pretty damn quiet once I’d set it up how I like it. There’s no excuse, a tiny bit of sticky back foam, a few cable ties and some thought and you can make most bikes quiet. My brother on the other hand goes t give a shit about how noisy his bike is. Sometimes I think he does this just to piss me off.
  • 7 3
 Except for hubs, they need to sound like a Monster fuelled bee with a chainsaw.
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: pair them up with fat tires and you’ve got yerself a swarm of pissed off bees
  • 3 0
 @Jdricks: He said cassette noise not hub noise, if your cassette makes noise you are in trouble.
  • 9 0
 Silent bike, holy bike, all is calm, all is right.
  • 1 0
 That is the clear winner. Good call!
  • 2 1
 I just don't understand the desire for loud hubs. For me, they're a step away from a dude blasting songs on a speaker while riding. It just ruins the atmosphere of being out on the trails. Great for jump park, though.
  • 1 0
 @Jdricks: Same here. The only sound I want to hear on my bike is the hub. And a little bit of damper hiss is fine too.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: yeah, isn't it weird though how half the room thinks it's perfectly fine but we all hate the guy with the speaker?
  • 59 2
 Logos fking hate big logos
  • 37 1
 T R E K
  • 2 0
 word
  • 13 0
 > INTENSE has entered the chat
  • 1 0
 2011-2017 giant bikes…. Every… f’ing part…
  • 2 0
 Me too! I mean love my commy supreme but the paint job is way OTT. I had to strip the fork graphics off to make it more subtle but then I bought Spank Spike wheels an bars.....
I really didn't have any choice with the frame as it was the last 26" frame in existence! :'D
  • 42 3
 "It has to be perfect. You CAN'T ride without your ideal..." Of course I do have preferences, but to say I CAN'T ride because something is not PERFECT? For me, riding beats not riding.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, if this were a true or false question you'd know to select false without even looking at the details of the question.
  • 1 0
 Some saddles and lever setups would probably keep me from riding…
  • 28 0
 What I have discovered from this survey is that my bum is clearly more sensitive that most other bums.
  • 27 0
 My bum goes numb when I drink lots of rum
  • 37 1
 @pinkbike1000: my rear goes queer when I drink lots of beer
  • 5 0
 @pen9-wy: That must be painful
  • 21 0
 Magura MT7's. I love and hate them at the same time. The performance is so good that I can't ride anything else anymore, but keeping them alive is a constant struggle.
  • 2 1
 Would you still recommend Maguras? I currently ride Sram codes and they have a lot of power, but are super inconsistent and mushy after a run or two.
  • 5 0
 @Thendeb: I've heard nothing but good things about the performance, but my shop guys absolutely hate them due to the difficulty of maintenance.
  • 3 0
 @rowdyhonzo: Thanks for the info. They seem to have great performance, which I feel is worth it even though maintenance might be more difficult.
  • 4 0
 @rowdyhonzo: exact same experience for me. It can take a try or two to really nail the bleed on my MT7 Pros, but once they are setup they are so absolutely perfect. No brake fade, super strong, great modulation. I descended about 150,000 feet this year on them before needing a bleed, and even then they didn't feel too squishy.
  • 4 0
 @Thendeb: They're a PITA to bleed perfectly and pistons seems to travel at different rates so need regular caliper adjust. But performance is unbeatable.
  • 2 0
 @hirvi: started using vacuum on both ends at the end of bleed and never had to repeat it since.
Inconsistent piston travel is usually present during break in period in my case. Easy to adjust when needed, just a squeeze or 2 with fingeres against rotor towards more extended piston.
  • 3 3
 @Thendeb: how is that power then?? i dont get SRAM and how people like them. If you want power, 4 pod Shimano w 203 rotors, cooling fins and cooling pads. consistant, relatively cheap, and easy to maintain. I have 4 pod Sram and they howl and have zero damn power after 1500 feet of fast DHing... what gives?
  • 1 3
 @Austin014: 150k? thats a good month. what about a long 3000 ft DH?
  • 2 2
 @rzicc: Never said I like sram; I am not a fan. Doesn't mean they aren't powerful brakes. I can't say too much because the only 4 pot brakes I've been able to use have been sram. This is also why I would hope that bikes would start coming with brakes that aren't sram.
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: Ok that's understandable. From what I've heard, the power does seem incredible, despite maintenance.
  • 3 0
 Don’t know about the MT7s, but have been running 3 sets of MT5s for 5+ years. Been dead reliable.


Now that I said that, watch, they will all fail.
  • 1 0
 I binned my pair off for that exact reason, one week they’d be great then the next it was lever back to bar. Constantly bleeding them and headaches, went to Hope and haven’t touched them in 2 years (other than replacing pads). Not as powerful but sooo much more reliable
  • 5 0
 @Thendeb: you want easy maintenance and unparallele power? Make the Franken brake.
Magura MT 5 or 7 calipers with Shimano whatever you want lever's. You need Magura hose as well and Shimano olive and pin.
This brake is also way more durable because of the fact it's not a plastic housing for your lever assembly...

The power this will create f*cks the mt7 hard. Its more on close to the Trickstuff Direttissima.
I have all those brakes, I don't talk about shit I never experienced. Never was a single Shigura as we call them here broken down. I have 2 sets of them one with MT5 calipers and MT7 calipers. The oldest is 5 year's old.
  • 1 0
 Saints are a good alternative
  • 1 0
 @Serpentras: then why don’t most people who try the shigura set up stick with it?, I tried looking for reviews online and most of the forum posters didn’t stick with the set up for some reason ( after a few months) they all rave about it, at first then they change to something else. Thought that was strange
  • 2 0
 @Thendeb: I love em. They do require more bleeds than other brakes, but once you learn the nuances, they become really easy and quick. I have been bleeding mine about twice a year to keep the feel absolutely perfect, you could definitely stretch them out to longer intervals if you don't mind them getting a little soft.
  • 1 0
 @brownstone: I don't know why they did it but most Germans that I know who made the their Shigura did stick with it.
Maybe because they didn't get on with the ultra hard bite the brake has. Most people who did ride my bike almost otb the first time they used it and then going really slow because they could not control it.
I know people say it's on off but you can modulate it really good but it's not easy compared to every other brake.
The only other thing I could imagine is the caliper it self. Some tend to get stuck pistons or slightly retarded movement. But that's the Magura thing..
  • 1 0
 @brownstone: because people looking for the best performance will never stop their journey
  • 2 0
 @rzicc: they also perform well on long 3000 ft downhills!
  • 1 0
 @rowdyhonzo: Funny they would say that. I have 4 sets of Maguras on 4 bikes. No issues whatsoever. Have them long enough and you learn all the tricks. Once you know the tricks, they're actually easier to keep running good than Shimanos, and although codes are great too, I prefer dealing with mineral oil. This might help: youtu.be/Bl8PChRadX0
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: There's a simple trick to a perfect bleed every time. Once you know it, you'll find the Maguras much easier to maintain than many brakes out there. There's also a trick for thee piston thing too. Just search "simple trick to a perfect bleed magura" on YouTube.
  • 2 0
 @brownstone: The power is great, but there's a bit of sponge after that amazing bite of power. Then the bite point changes occasionally. I reckon it's the servowave that exagerates any issues with the bleed. Anyway, went to hc3 levers instead. Mt7/hc3 is AMAZING! Blows shigura out of the water. Just find the "simple trick to a perfect magura bleed" vid on YouTube and you're set. Maguras have been hassle free for me. The only way you'd have real issues is if you got a bad set with faulty seals or something. Otherwise, just watch that vid.
  • 2 0
 @mtb-duke: plastic leaver housings are the shit.
If Magura ever decide to re do it in AL, that would be awesome. If they stay like that , they will be to fragile to be belonging on an MTB. If a simple rock strike to the lever will f*ck your brake up then it's to fragile. The only brakes that die in a simple hit with out a marking on it are the Magura.

Last point why Magura is crap, you screw even on the MT7 right into the plastic body. Dude , ever heard of threaded sleeve? Magura sure haven't.
  • 1 0
 @Serpentras: Yep have a Shigura set up and the sticky pistons are the only complaint. The brakes squeal like crazy as the front and rear sets of pistons in the calliper bend the rotor in opposite directions.
  • 22 0
 All of the above. *Involuntary eye twitch*
  • 2 0
 Reality yo
  • 2 1
 Underrated comment.
  • 2 0
 If noise isnt an option i cant pick just one
  • 13 0
 Literally everything. My bike has to feel perfect and if it doesn’t it just pisses me off!
  • 11 0
 My stem top cap. Last time I rode, the logo was crooked and didn't notice it. Big mistake. Definitely why I crashed and rode like crap.
  • 9 0
 For me it is definitely brakes. I feel like getting a good brake bleed is 50% luck, 40% planetary alignment, and 10% creative cursing. Wash, rinse, and repeat until you get a bleed you tolerate.
  • 2 1
 99% of the time its the bleed process that makes brakes good or bad, shimanos feel way different with the cup method vs pressurize. both of my local LBS cant bleed brakes for sh1t.
A friend of mine made some bleed ports similar to bleeding edge for the shimano caliper and lever, man they are just on anther level now.
  • 1 0
 @mtbtrekracer: still if you are riding a brake that is was more powerful you can't really go back.
I am riding the Direttissima with 223 mm rotors who are also the thickest.

I was trying a different bike with codes. My goth, that was horrible...
  • 1 0
 tolerate. I hear you
  • 1 0
 @Serpentras: my Enduro and DH bikes are now on TRP, with Code RSC on the trail bike, previously ran code RSC on all bikes, would happily go back to codes if a TRP failed or built a new bike.
For whatever reason my hands get less sore when running codes.
  • 8 0
 Only one?! The bike fit needs to be correct, I need preferred grips and saddle, I check to ensure correct suspension setup, and also always check to ensure preferred tire pressures.

If you're spending more than $500 and not making sure the bike is set up right, you might as well put your money in a pile and light it on fire. Or give it to me-I'll ride well adjusted and properly set up bikes hard. Know your money will replace the occasional bent rim or blown shock. Be stoked that I'll wear those correctly inflated tires down until the knobs are greasy little nubs.
  • 2 0
 I agree. I am anal retentive about setup on everything. Only one I wouldn’t vote for is integrated tools.
  • 1 0
 This. Setup is everything, whether a $500 or $5,000 bike. I will take a cheap bike properly fitted, setup and dialed in any day over an expensive one that is not.
  • 10 3
 Hub noise. I would love to increase my POE, but the Hydra and other high engagement hubs are so stupidly obnoxious that I could not fathom riding any trail and having to hear the incessant sound of angry bees every time I stop pedaling.
  • 6 1
 You can run freehub oil or grease which can 'quite' the sound
  • 8 0
 I’ve unfortunately gotten hooked on Onyx Vesper hubs. Unfortunate, because they cost $460 for just the rear hub
  • 7 0
 @kfilenda: the grease i9 recommends to quiet down the hubs really does work. My hydras are almost silent with it
  • 9 0
 If you can afford a Hydra hub, get an Onyx. Problem solved.
  • 4 0
 Dumond grease makes a Hydra near silent.
  • 1 0
 I have hydras and I put dumonde freehub grease in the ratchet and it’s basically silent.
  • 1 0
 @Ehlingerj: that’s so weird, I had Hydras and packed them with Dumonde grease, and they would be back to air raid siren after a few dozen miles.
  • 1 0
 @MegaStoke: nope. lies.
  • 11 1
 As long as it's not an ebike I'll ride it!
  • 9 0
 Was just thinking it's nice not to see "battery life" as a choice
  • 4 0
 Tyres, followed closely by dropper post height. I can ride better on a bike equiped with my prefered tyres but worse brakes and less good suspension than with other tyres and better everything else. also very very used to a specific saddle height when dropped down, even a centimeter can feel off
  • 3 0
 Similar to contact points, my biggest must is wearing comfort. Could be helmet, clothes, or a bag; if it's not packed or fitting well it can be the difference between a great ride and a bad ride. As I will be on the bike for most of the ride, I think it counts for this poll.
  • 3 0
 Quality wheels. Can’t do without ‘em. I had a bad run of three sets of sub par wheels - one set with really soft alloy, then i tried a carbon set and they were too brittle, and then some ‘good’ Stans hoops that were too narrow. Landed on a tip top set of carbons that have held up flawlessly for four years and counting.
  • 2 0
 I feel you on this one. After going through multiple allow wheels within months, I was done. Switched to carbon and never had an issue. There are some really good allow wheels out there though.
  • 2 0
 @Thendeb: Indeed, alloy is still pretty fantastic. I had some OEM Splines on a Remedy 9.8 and were still round and true with good spoke tension after three full seasons. The Line 30s that came stock on the Slash 9.7 I got next were octagon-shaped in short order. (Also, 28H? Please.) What are you on now?
  • 3 0
 @sngltrkmnd: I am currently on Santa Cruz Reserve 30 wheels. They are pretty stiff and also strong. Though I haven't used it yet, the warranty seems great.
  • 7 5
 It's brakes for me. You're either a shimano person or you're a Sram person. The feel of the two are polar opposite. I, for example, am a Shimano guy even though in a lot of ways I prefer the features & bleed process of the Sram stuff; I just can't ride it.
  • 6 0
 I was a shimano person too, til I tried Hopes...
  • 10 0
 There are way more than two brake brands. I'm a Hayes person myself, never going back.
  • 4 0
 @pisgahgnar: 100% agreed. What I mean is the way they feel. You either prefer the instant power & bite of shimano or the modulation and linearity of Sram.

I know there is some overlap, particularity with the Code RSC but in general the traits the 2 companies have defaulted to seems to be on opposite sides of the spectrum with the majority of other manufacturers falling somewhere in between.
  • 14 1
 I'm a Magura person
  • 4 0
 I was Shimano for a good ten years until the wandering bite point issues and multiple warranties that solved nothing pushed me to Code RSCs and I've been happy ever since. Tons of power with a softer lever feel.
  • 10 3
 Let me get this straight. You actually PREFER the Sram bleed process???
  • 3 0
 @alexsin: The code RSC's are great. I would happily run those on my bike. Unfortunately, they're the only Sram brakes I think I could live with. Whereas with shimano I am happy with any of them... SLX, XT, XTR, saints, zee they all feel good to me.
  • 5 0
 What are you talking about? How about TRP, Formula, Magura, Hope?
  • 5 3
 Fits Hope. Never worries about brakes again. Ever
  • 2 0
 @mrosie: dawg no one does, but I'll take that over a wondering bite point.
  • 5 0
 @nickfranko: it should be: you're either a shimano/sram person or someone who's changed their brakes from oem
  • 11 0
 @mrosie: Yeah I do. I find bleeding edge to be incredibly easy to perform, gives a robust & consistent bleed,and no real mess.

Shimano is just finicky. Everyone has their own special technique, free stroke adjustment seems wack and requires screwdriver, it creates a huge mess, and difficult to get consistent bleeds everytime.

There are some positives to the design. I'm not calling shimano brakes awful by any means (i run them!)... but I prefer bleeding edge process Sram uses.
  • 1 3
 @nickfranko: well i haven't tried them all but based on reading reviews those tend to have traits of both shimano and sram brakes.

I not saying one is better or worse than another - they just feel very different.
  • 3 1
 I can get used to whatever as long as they have enough power to lock a wheel if I squeeze enough, I prefer shimano just because they only require a light touch which is less fatiguing.
  • 5 1
 @pisgahgnar: Shigura is the way! Or Trickstuff. Hayes is awesome and all, but DOT is nasty.
  • 3 0
 @loudv8noises: I have Shimano road brakes and SRAM Guide REs on the mountain bike. And I have to say I find the SRAM process more trustworthy, and more likely to eliminate air bubbles. I'd hate the wandering feel that people talk about on Shimano. I was having a bad day when I did the bleed and got a tiny bit of air in my MTB brakes and it gave it a wandering bite point, and I could barely ride!
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: True about DOT. But I really only have to bleed mine once a year, they are excellent otherwise.
  • 5 2
 @nojzilla: Says all the Brits I've ever ridden with until they do their first day in the alps and can't stop whining about brake fade.
  • 1 1
 @Perra: most hyped brakes on the market, they modulate so much that could not stop you
  • 1 0
 @Perra: unlike any other brake that's being overused? Because I've never heard that before¿
  • 1 0
 @loudv8noises: or you just ride Trickstuff.. anything else is not really comparable if you had that. Even hope isn't close on that performance.
  • 1 0
 @alexsin: softer lever feel is your pads being too hot and turned into mush and no way to cool them...
  • 4 0
 I think the answer is more reliant on the specific discipline. For me and Dirt Jumping, it’s all about tires and tire pressure
  • 3 1
 Grips for me. Odi Rogue on every single of my last 10 bikes. Have had different bars, stems, seats, etc.

Although now I did find myself putting the same seat (Specialized Power), grips, and pedals (RaceFace Atlas) on every new bike. Always 800mm bars but don't care about brand.
  • 2 0
 10 bikes? Dang I thought I was bad.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I also tried different grips, doesn't work for me. I need my Ergon GA 2 fat grips..
  • 1 0
 @extratalldirtrider: Yeahhhhh, I need to get off Pinkbike. To be clear I don't have 10 bikes, I've had 10+ bikes over the past 5 years, anywhere from 1-3 at a time. Took me a while to lock down my perfect cockpit.
  • 2 0
 @forbiddenbeat: ha that’s what I meant. 10 seems like a lot but I too change out bikes fairly often and people like to give me ish for it. Whatevs.
  • 2 0
 @extratalldirtrider: Well I mean they keep introducing new stuff that we *have* to try, like wireless shifting and super super super boost. It's not our fault.
  • 1 0
 @forbiddenbeat: ha - yeah heavy marketing definitely plays a part. Oh well I’m not into cars or whatever so my disposable income goes towards MTB.
  • 2 0
 For me it's parts spec and suspension design. On the components side, I basically hate using everything that Sram makes, especially their brakes. Shimano parts are better but I haven't had much good luck with them in the past. I hate in house made brands like bontrager, stout, or roval. I'm not a big fan of most brake companies out there because of their lever feel so I'm pretty much limited to hope and some Shimano brakes. As for suspension design I can't stand linear designs, and designs with low anti-squat because they feel like bouncy castles, but I also don't like designs that are too progressive and have way too much anti squat (looking at you Evil) because they feel harsh. Combine these two factors and a solid 80% or more of what's on the market rn is off the table for me.
  • 3 0
 My bike must be silent, no BB, crank or headset cracking. no suspension pivot squeeshing. no Chain rubbing or worst, skipping. Only the freewheel when I'm coasting is allowed to be heard.
  • 2 0
 Dang, I feel like manufacturers really skimp on stock brakes too and that is far and away the winner here. Having just ridden my first rental bike I definitely felt the cockpit setup was off and the creaky noises bugged the hell out of me. I wonder how much of our pickiness is just what we get used to over time.
  • 4 0
 Wow, thought I'd be in the minority with being picky about my brakes. Shocked that it's the most popular!
  • 2 0
 Handlebar shape and brake feel. Can’t ride a with a weird shaped handlebar, and I need my brakes to have a very short pull and tight feel. Don’t know how people ride brakes that practically pull to the handlebar.
  • 1 0
 I voted brake performance because it's totally important to me.
As a spoiled American with multiple bikes all dialed alike save for frames and wheel size, they all share the same touch points and mechanically function the same. Only metal bikes here and none newer than a '17. Hydration packs rule and don't use Maxxis tires just because everybody else does.(Cheng Shin tires were a cuss word back in the day when we couldn't afford a Metzler). I was totally surprised brake performance took the most votes, smart group of PB er's here!
  • 1 0
 Too much grease on a Hydra or DT350 is not good. You will hear a chunk or not engage. The new GX 52 tooth mech. adj. screw is not even in contact in 12th
and I’m not even sure B screw at sag is a real thing.
Yes I clicked shifting noise. SRAM ( Shifting Really Annoys Me) Shimano is next if I can get it……
  • 3 0
 I logged in for once, to say: a god damn quiet bike. No creaking, no noises. I can deal with a lot of mech BS, I can’t deal with noises.
  • 1 0
 Answered brake performance but really it is lever position (as in how far from the bar end) and bite point. I run my levers entirely clear of my hands and need to have a bite point pretty close to the bar. With that I'm happy across most bikes!
  • 1 0
 For me its the bike frame geometry. Its not about the overall size because I ride MTB, DJ and BMX. Its about how the bike feels when I'm riding. I want to feel like I'm "in the bike" and can throw it around. If I feel like I'm floating on top of the bike I wont ride it. If the frame geometry feels good then I can dial in all the other stuff to what I like.
  • 1 0
 I'm pretty sensitive to suspension setup, it needs to be balanced front to rear as well as sufficiently supportive or I feel like I'm riding a bowl of soup. I'm also somewhat picky about powerful brakes; I'm brand agnostic, but I need them to be powerful and well bled so I have to run something along the lines of codes, shimano 4-pots, hayes dominions, magura 4-pots, etc. and keep them bled.
  • 1 0
 Current enduro bike is a GT sanction pro, the lack of forethought about dropper post on that bike leaves me with 2 choices, run a shit ks lev post or spend big dollars and buy a reverb axs because the cable tourinf doesn’t allow for a bottom release dropper post. And the fact that it dosent have a bottle cage mount sucks.

But it’s forsale so buy it on buy and sell please
  • 1 0
 I have run the ODi Ruffian BMX 143mm for 20 years it seems like now and just trim the donuts for the shifter and dropper lever because the grip is good size and very tachy. Top these off with some TLD Air Gloves and it is time for take off with ultimate handlebar control
  • 1 0
 Silly question. Tyre pressure 21 & 24psi. Fork pressure a firm 92psi (rears a coil.) chain oil. Stanchions oiled. Big grips for my big hands. Bars have to be rolled forward just a bit and cut to 780mm. Brakes must work perfect and be at the perfect level and perfect bite point. Seat must be at perfect height and angle. Gears must work perfect. This is the daily thing.
  • 1 0
 Not on here but for me, looks (as long as it doesn't affect performance)
I think for most of us, 90% of the time with our bike is looking at it, so for me at least, ill go out of my way to get a better looking stem or colored hubs, even spend a little extra on parts for the look
  • 3 0
 For me, it’s handlebars/wheel alignment. I HATE riding with even the smallest of misalignment. It immediately feels wrong and annoys me greatly.
  • 3 0
 What came first the chicken or the egg? The tire pressure or the springy bits setup?
  • 4 0
 Fun fact: the answer is the egg, which you will realize why once you've grasped the concepts of reproduction and zygote formation.
  • 5 1
 It has to be quiet, no annoying rattles.
  • 3 0
 Someone once told me "a quiet bike is a fast bike" and the quip has never left my mind.
  • 5 0
 HIGH SPEED INTERNET
  • 3 0
 I never realized bar sweep was an issue until I tried bars that were 'off' for me.
  • 3 0
 If the bike isn't shifting right or just clanking/ticking/grinding between gears it drives me insane.
  • 4 2
 I don't get this fuss about break performance. I bought Capra in 2018 Code RSC works amazing since day 1 never had to bleed them.
  • 1 0
 I'm a numbers guy. If the geometry isnt what I want, I'm convinced it will be terrible to ride. It will probably be fine, but any slight issue I have the geometry gets blamed.
  • 1 0
 Geo is the new black. People use to buy bike to bling, so the industry sold us components. But now, we started to realized that bike geometry is what give you the feeling when you ride. Not the color of your seat.
  • 1 0
 Handlebar. I've been riding Spank Vibrocore for years now. 15 degree rise is perfect. Anything above that and my back tire will lose traction and fishtail. Doesn't matter on what bike.
  • 3 0
 Grips and pedals. Contact points are everything.
  • 3 0
 Apparently I care way too much about wheel size
  • 3 0
 Torque settings. You don’t want to get this wrong
  • 3 0
 I need a brake from these surveys
  • 5 1
 Valve Stem!
  • 4 2
 Looks. I'm shallow. Doesn't matter if everything else works perfectly. I can't stand components that don't match visually.
  • 5 2
 Bar tape has to match my lycra! Be safe be well, Robin
  • 3 0
 I can tell already that this is going to become as tedious as fuck.
  • 3 0
 I wanna pick tyres/pressure AND suss setup.....
  • 2 1
 I didn’t see cable routing, but that’s mine. Everything else can be just okay, but it drives me nuts if my cables are a noisy rat’s nest.
  • 3 0
 ESI Chunkys are the only option
  • 4 0
 Uh everything?
  • 1 0
 Mine is the bar position...and I thought I was the only one that's finicky about it. If I can't get in my "correct" riding position...I won't ride the bike.
  • 1 0
 I’m amazed more people didn’t select geometry. You can change everything about your bike, except for the core geometry of the frame.
  • 1 0
 Well, you can change the reach, slacken the HTA, make the effective STA steeper/slacker, adjust height of front end, potentially over/under stroke the frame...
There’s a lot of things you can change.
  • 1 0
 Left hand rear brake, right hand front brake.
If the brakes are the right way (for a U.K. rider) then I can ride otherwise it messes with my head
  • 3 0
 If my brake levers touch my non braking fingers before the pads engage
  • 2 0
 I just learned that relatively speaking, I don't give a F&%$ about brakes.

It's all about those tires!
  • 1 0
 I can’t believe colour matched components isn’t on the list. If my headset spacers don’t match my seat clamp and the frame highlight colour, I’m not riding.
  • 1 0
 Snack storage. I bring a lot of food because I always take hefty double water bottle and a multitool sized dumps before every ride and need to refuel.
  • 1 0
 Having brakes that squeal, have a lack of power, and pull to the bar are a deal breaker for me.
  • 2 0
 Surprised "wheel size" is among the lowest votes.
  • 3 0
 I’m not. We all rode just fine on 650b, and 26” before that. 29” is great and all, but it isn’t so much better that I wouldn’t consider going back to smaller wheels.
  • 7 5
 Anyone that picks water bottle is instantly a cunt
  • 3 0
 Gulp
  • 1 0
 honestly to me geometry and water bottle was key criteria to upgrade frame, all other irrelevant
  • 2 0
 ALL OF THE ABOVE - EXCEPT GPS LOL
  • 2 0
 Trying to get the chain from not skipping
  • 2 0
 As someone whos started to paint his own bikes.... Colour!
  • 1 0
 3 or four of those choices all count equally for me. Also love my fast hub engagement.
  • 2 0
 Getting the handlebar straight on the steerer tube
  • 5 0
 It takes a stem to do that properly.
  • 2 0
 Ummm how’s about everything above
  • 2 0
 Picky about everything but the last two.
  • 1 0
 Suspension performance. I wish my 2016 mega would carry speed better on anything chattery, climb better too.
  • 2 0
 For me, its a handlebar mounted lockout.
  • 2 0
 Any bike will do for a true kamikaze.
  • 2 0
 Where's the "all of the above" option?
  • 3 0
 Pre rolls
  • 2 0
 Picking boogers while staring at my bike
  • 2 0
 I sincerely hope those votes for GPS are just taking the piss
  • 1 0
 what about a quiet bike? I can't stand hearing creaks and clanks from my rig
  • 2 0
 the bike has to have threaded bottom bracket
  • 1 0
 Two years ago, I bought a set of Formula brakes on a whim. Now, I refuse to own a bicycle without them. They're unmatched.
  • 2 0
 Myself
  • 1 1
 What about steerer tube length and completely un-necessary and excessive spacers? Missed that one on the list.
  • 2 0
 The guy riding it.
  • 1 0
 After ride beer of course. How come that didn't make the list
  • 1 0
 Steel frame
Flats/shoes
DT ratchet rear hub
  • 1 0
 Overall ride feel.. if we dont click on the trail… then not for me
  • 1 0
 Lever height. (High/flat lever club fwiw)
  • 1 0
 Horizontal shock mounting.
  • 1 0
 Engagement. Why I run I9s.
  • 1 0
 The thing on my bike I am most picky about is me.
  • 1 0
 I'm picky about not having any batteries to charge.
  • 1 0
 Did not see "absolutely everything" on the list.. #TeamOCD
  • 1 0
 Music must match terrain.
  • 2 1
 Frame design
  • 1 1
 Also the noise it makes, rattles, squeaking and creaking!
  • 2 2
 Waterbottle was not in the mix
  • 1 1
 Components unrelated: Noise and drag
  • 1 0
 How about: Everything
  • 1 0
 Any undesired noise
  • 1 0
 Noise
  • 1 1
 Oh Shimano, why hast though forsaken 180mm crank arms? I pedal.
  • 1 0
 asdasdasdasd
  • 1 0
 Who needs brakes? Pause.
  • 1 2
 How is hub engagement not an option?
  • 1 0
 Was pretty important when I was 4X tacing
  • 2 0
 Yep, cannot ride a bike with a big pedal drop. Hate it.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.025052
Mobile Version of Website