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The Pinkbike Podcast: What Makes Your Bike YOURS

Mar 6, 2024 at 20:55
by Henry Quinney  
photo
New art by Taj Mihelich.

Could you choose your bike out of a lineup? If so, how? Whether it's strange suspension setups, cockpit changes or just particular tires, we all have things that make our bikes our own.


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.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, Megaphone, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.


Music Corner

Sarah's pick:


Kaz's pick:


Henry's pick:


Alicia's pick:



Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
338 articles

115 Comments
  • 54 0
 Unbelievable bottom bracket creak
  • 27 0
 Get your own bike, that one's mine.
  • 2 0
 Bike's not been washed since it was new. That was 7 years ago.
  • 3 0
 Because I told my wife.I paid $500.00 for it. Told her it was my last bike for a while. That was 2 years ago.
  • 35 0
 It's mine when I've ridden it for a while and I trust it and then I have to keep it forever because it's my friend.
  • 51 0
 This is my bike. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my bike is useless. Without my bike, am useless.
  • 1 0
 My bike is named Black Bear. Banshee phantom with 140mm mezzer with some parts off a Marin hardtail(bear). Lucky enough to have more than one bike but he's the one I take 90% of the time, faithful friend up for anything. If I do take the Enduro for a full face day or the salsa for a marathon day, I feel a little guilty leaving Bear behind.
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: I love full metal jacket
  • 1 0
 @DJ21111111:

Your bicycle's name is Cherlene
  • 18 0
 High rise bars and over-forking by at least 10mm
  • 3 0
 You sure thats not my bike?
  • 4 0
 50mm rise or bust!
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: 50mm overfork or bust!
  • 7 0
 10mm! you mad dog :-p
  • 2 0
 50mm is mid rise. 70mm+ is where its at.
  • 13 0
 I put a Box Jackson rookie card in my spokes and replace my seat with a banana one
  • 6 1
 I sleep in a big bed with my wife.
  • 1 0
 *Bo Jackson
  • 3 0
 I am riding a SaddleSpur :0
  • 1 0
 I ride over a coke can with my rear tyre and make braaaaaaaaaaaaap. Also spokey dokes.
  • 12 0
 I think I could simply for the fact it seems I'm the only person in the PNW that still runs a DHF front lol.
  • 5 0
 Imagine having the tread pattern as an armband tattoo.
  • 1 0
 Imagine having the tread pattern as an armband tattoo.
  • 3 0
 @owl-X: I live in rural SW WA and have seen more than 1 person with a tattoo of a TSL bogger tread pattern as a tattoo lol.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, seems Assegai has taken over as the front tire for OEM, so people replace it with the same. One of my bikes is Highroller II front and DHF rear. That's an odd combo.
  • 5 0
 Personally I feel like the DHF does better on wet roots than an assegai
  • 1 0
 @KolaPanda: what trees we talking here? Earth trees?
  • 1 0
 @nskerb: just googled. Do they get mistaken for slugs?
  • 2 0
 @owl-X: uhh usually pine, birch, and oak? I'm guessing your doubtful of my statement but the way I see it, wider tread block spacing and a bendy center knob feels like it catches side knob more often than sliding over
  • 1 0
 @KolaPanda: I see. I rate the Assegai better than the DHF as it has more total knob. That “land” vs “sea” thing I’ve heard it called. To be fair, as soon as the Assegai came out I ditched the DHF—a couple years ago I ended up with one on the front and that intermediate channel void absolutely got me. Confirmed: they’re horrible lol (they’re great, I just am not skilled / crazy enough to handle that loss of traction on the way to the side knobs).
I just rode a DHF clone Vittoria Mazza today, it was great (dry), but the DHF is like a two stroke CR500 gnarly guy tire.
I trust the Assegai way more.
  • 2 0
 @owl-X: lol I run in some pretty redneck circles so everybody knows but now that you say that it definitely seems sluggy. Great observation haha.
  • 2 0
 @KolaPanda: Worst tire I've ever had on wet roots has to be the Pirelli Scorpion Trail Soft. Assegai is a dream by comparison. I feel like whenever I stray from Maxxis I regret it.
  • 2 0
 @eh-steve: for real. I’ve been digging Conti’s supersoft compound. I have tried kryptotal rear on the back and kryptotal f and now Argotal in front. DH casing. Love the feel, grip is Maxxis-level and it’s been nice to explore other viable options.
(I work for Fezzari.)
  • 2 0
 @eh-steve: Yeah I mean I'm a big fan of the Kryptotal since it came out so I'm not here to fully defend maxxis. IMO they've got way too soft of side knobs and tear off way before the center tread is worn. Assegai feels solid but the edge grip feel less sharp than a kryptotal. Which I later learned is because their compound is split into a softer middle and firmer side. Rolls way faster too, assegai feels like having a parachute in comparison.
  • 2 1
 @owl-X: Sounds like ya gotta corner through the hips more than your hands, getting into the side knob bite definitely takes putting in force the right way
  • 2 0
 @KolaPanda: oh I’m quite confident I am doing nothing well with regard to body positioning, that’s for sure.
  • 2 0
 @owl-X: Good to have some options. You work for Fezz but are in the pnw? Or is that just OP? I'm on Vancouver Island (south) and it's a lot of rocks and roots. Both wet. Oh so wet, except for the small bit of time we get moon dust.
  • 1 0
 @eh-steve: I do not work for Fezzari. Just a joke.
I believe Vancouver Island is on a different tectonic plate, yeah? Like it’s way older, with different rocks and flora? I’ve always wanted to ride there, looks amazing…even along the west coast I know the rocks differ enough to be grippy/slick in the wet, but a shiny wet root is a shiny wet root anywhere.
What are we talking about again?
(Full disclosure, I work for Fezzari.)
  • 13 5
 It's well serviced by myself, but looks beat up to shit, because life is too short to care about cosmetics. I just layup a bit of kevlar over the areas where the paint has worn away and get on with riding. Can't be arsed with all that plastic frame wrap BS. (Also the reason why I'd never get a steel MTB, it may be 'real', but it's also rusty).
  • 4 2
 Just sold my '85 steel frame which I've had and abused in rainy weather since '85. No rust.

Quick shot of JP Weigle, or fogging oil , or linseed oil (or whatever really), in the frame and done. Mine had a kerosene squirt 20 years ago. Ain't hard.
  • 9 6
 100% on frame wrap nonsense. Throw $$ & hours that could be spent riding to wrap an entire frame for privilege of never-ending replacement of stickers that curl up at corners & need replacing as soon they gouge & form glue boogers. Added benefit: if you paid more for "premium" carbon to drop weight, those stickers pork that beauty right back up to low-modulus weight. If you care about looks, touch up paint is cheap & easy to find. Laundering money for the helitape industry for a product that can't fend off real structural damage is absurd.
  • 4 1
 @fiftypercentsure: While I also have two serviceable steel frames from the 80s, your screen name is at rather glaring odds w/ your sales pitch on that old frame. A hardtail frame consists of 9 tubes. Did you use an endoscope camera to inspect the insides of all of them? When I tilt my steel frames to drain after a rainy ride, rust comes out the drainholes. And there is also rust where chips have gone through paint & primer, which is what the OP was actually referring to.
  • 2 0
 @BergMann: Finally someone gets that my user name was chosen in reference to endoscope results from routine post ride interior inspection of steel tubes.
  • 6 0
 Stickers, obviously. Just like my water bottle. And van. And motorcycle. And laptop. And...wait, is this why tattoos are popular?
  • 2 0
 Tattoos are why stickers are popular.
  • 5 0
 Mostly the Deity Highside 80mm bars. Which everybody pisses their Fox Ranger pants when they see. Also funny stickers every now and then. The latest addition is just a sticker of a hamburger.
  • 2 0
 What did you have before the Highside bars? What rise? I'm thinking of switching from my 50mm Highside bars to 80mm.
  • 1 0
 @workingclasswhore: stock bars usually in the 30-35mm rise range. Bars are bars. If you want an extra 30mm and turn your mountain bike into a dirt jumper in terms of pop and stability (or lack thereof). Then i recommend it. You can always swap bars. But I still wouldn't recommend it in terms of technical terrain/high speeds/tight corners/etc. Just as a cautionary tale. I don't buy into the RR stem idea. And while I love good stack height that's because I'm usually on less technical flowy terrain f*cking around at slower speeds tbh. I tend to eat crow fairly quickly on technical high speed terrain and corners.
  • 7 0
 So much heel rub that it compromises the integrity of the seat stays…
  • 3 0
 I like it raw, as soon as paint really wears, full frame is stripped (I only ride alloy frames), and I buy all my components second hand, in all kind of elox colors and then de-annodise them, if they are not black.
Example www.pinkbike.com/photo/25718118 (even if that was the only steel frame I got in ages, and sold it already, again).
  • 7 0
 Shes my mistress and the wife approves..
www.pinkbike.com/photo/25482746
  • 5 0
 Super nice!
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: Cheers she's one of a kind..
  • 2 0
 My bikes are mine because I custom painted them. I'm working on bikes number 6, 7, and 8 this spring and summer. There's nothing quite like painting a bike and then riding your work. Maybe it's close to the feeling of a custom frame builder. There's something special about it!
  • 4 1
 Saddle setup, push-on grips, bar height, Shimano mech with adjustable clutch, grippy tires, non-Sram (aka braking) brakes, serviced suspension, aluminium flat pedals with threaded pins (grippy).
  • 4 0
 Serviced suspension? That will make your bike stand out from the crowd all right.
  • 1 0
 SRAM brakes are fine if you set them up properly (like most brakes)
  • 1 0
 @sfarnum: It will, frequent suspension service makes a huge difference. Lower leg service should be done every 3 months or so, not yearly.
  • 2 0
 I did a nice little DIY composite repair on my chainstay after I cracked the bottom of it. Laid up a few piles of carbon then wrapped the whole chainstay with a ply of Kevlar for abrasion/impact protection. It's basically a built-in Kevlar chainstay protector; really stoked how it turned out and it definitely is unique.
  • 2 0
 two different colored pedals

Had a pedal that I couldn't clip out of at my first race on a new bike in 1997. Someone gave me a pedal that worked and I rode them like that till I sold the bike in 2012 (still have the pedals, just quit clipping in)
  • 3 0
 got new bike, put 27.5 rear wheel, got rid of gx eagle 52 and 175 cranks, put 10s shimano + 170 cranks, with 46 casette. Personalized Smile
  • 2 0
 When I've done the third or fourth pass on the fit after riding. That means adjusting where the grips, levers, handlebar, and saddle are, tweaking pressure of tire/fork/shock, having the right number of tokens, etcetera.
  • 1 0
 It definitely takes some time to get a bike feeling right!
  • 1 0
 Narrow bars! Running a super old set of RaceFace Diablos bars and absolutely love the shape, rise, feel and width. Since I run a 2016 Hightower, with a slack seat tube, I run my saddle all the way forward since my arms are so short...Which the bars help with of course. 165mm cranks too. I'm basically trying to make a large frame feel like a medium but have the longer wheelbase. I also run a 10speed zee mech with a close ratio cassette which means I'm pretty fast on the climbs because I cant pedal slow enough to stick with the riders I ride with with larger range cassettes. I like a quiet bike and reducing chain slap helps a lot.
  • 1 0
 Narrow bars are why bar ends were so popular back in the early nineties. An additional, wider hand position for extra oomph on the climbs and sprints.

Also, it seemed like the trails were MUCH narrower (ie trees were closer) back in those days.
  • 1 0
 1. SRAMano Drivetrain: XT cassette, SLX Crankset, Shimano 12 speed Chain, Sram XO1 shifter and X01 Derailleur. Best shifting set up I've ever had.
2. Mullet + Coil Shock -> This is the way
3. Good stickers on the Fender
  • 1 0
 I have a SRAM front brake, and Shimano rear brake.... Not because that's what I prefer, but because that just happened to be in the parts bin at the time. Oh yeah, I also used a paint brush and a can of rustoleum to paint it.... You can imagine how that came out.
  • 1 0
 Customized stem top caps. My bike, my wife’s, and my kid’s all have different coloured donuts (artwork) printed on them, which is colour matched to our assorted colour anodized titanium bolts. Smile

It’s a small detail, doesn’t cost that much, but it adds a fair bit of personality to our bikes.
  • 1 0
 Yo, Kazimer and Dario, I'm sure you already know about these guys, but if you don't, make sure they catch them as they come your way at the end of their tour. F-ing bananas live.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=GZVg1IBimHo&t=24s&pp=ygUJYXJjaHNwaXJl
  • 1 0
 Absolute silence, I’ve sadly developed a type of OCD in finding any noise from my bike. This also in turns keeps me from riding with people whose bikes make all kinds of noises… I didn’t choose this life
  • 2 0
 I prefer my bikes to have constant gear hunting and chain clicking because no matter how much I adjust it I just make it worse. #can'taffordAXS
  • 2 0
 Slack, not too long, heavy, bullet proof, supple squishy bits, black or raw aluminum.
  • 3 0
 Dual crown and a 12 speed cassette
  • 1 0
 Now I want to know more about Kazimer's taste in music Mine's always the only one of its kind in the lift queue despite being a completely prosaic direct to consumer brand.
  • 1 0
 What is with the formatting deleting my carriage returns?
  • 2 0
 After eight seasons together I suspect my bike and I look increasingly alike.
  • 2 0
 Clean and silent. Hate a dirty bike. She may have a lot of miles but she’s always clean and lubed.
  • 2 0
 OMG! Discussion of inverted forks and of course Pinkbike doesn't mention the Manitou Dorado!
  • 1 0
 WTB saddle, oversized Peddling Specialist flats, ODI Ruffian grips, high rise bars, and One-up dropper on all my bikes! Great combo for all my contact points.
  • 3 0
 Copious amounts of lube
  • 1 0
 The dents, it's not my bike until it's got at least 2 dents somewhere on the frame.
  • 2 0
 There is sand in my water bottle instead of water.
  • 1 0
 I picked every part and have custom tuned suspension. Also I paid money for it, so legally its mine.
  • 2 0
 Leftys are upside down forks and surprisingly good
  • 2 0
 The consistent sate of disarray
  • 2 0
 The monthly payments. Well, it will be mine in 12 months
  • 2 0
 I gave someone some money and they gave me my bicycle.
  • 2 0
 @moity: I presume most folks on fancy bikes are buying them on credit, so that does make it unique.
  • 2 0
 I’m the opposite of Dario. I like the anodized bits.
  • 1 1
 Mine has a spiky purple cock-ring on the bars from an Austrian vending machine that was a 'pressie' from the girls in the crew. I sh!t you not.
  • 2 0
 Custom blue dice valve caps. Like my eighties BMX when I was kid.
  • 1 0
 I run 29x2.6 front - 27.5x2.6 rear tire setups a lot. THE MEGAMULLET. Rides real good.
  • 1 0
 I have a lot of niche parts on my bike all of which are bright purple ano. I could pick it out from a mile away
  • 1 0
 18mm bar clamp, short as can be bought cranks, lonnnggg TT, SS. This is the way
  • 1 0
 If I write everything unique about my bike, this will turn into the Vital bike check section
  • 1 0
 All the ****ups while self servicing it... and fixing them afterwards... and spending too much money while doing it.
  • 1 0
 Every one of my bikes: bars with big sweep, fattest tires that fit. That includes the non-MTBs.
  • 1 0
 Damn Kaz! What a music suggestion!
  • 4 2
 CLIMB SWITCH!
  • 1 0
 The only bike I've ever seen with high polish Hydra hubs
  • 1 0
 I put on my bars, my seat, & my tire preference for what i am riding
  • 1 0
 Something purple on it and a 240mm dropper.
  • 2 0
 Here for the purple ano.
  • 1 0
 Crusty snot and sweat on the top tube. then I know she's a keeper.
  • 1 0
 50mm risers and a 26/27.5 mullet
  • 1 0
 every single custom bit that makes it unique
  • 1 0
 Fitting podcast as I build up my new bike that arrived today.
  • 1 0
 Anodized handlebars. I can always pick my bike from a crowd.
  • 1 0
 When my kid makes a label with my name on it and sticks it to my bike.
  • 1 1
 I live in Scotland but the brakes are in the proper position (left: front, right: rear).
  • 1 0
 Dead or alive - :love:
  • 1 0
 Spokey dokeys.
  • 1 0
 I bought it
  • 4 6
 Ebikers will never have this connection..the motor aspect just completely ruins the love and connection
  • 3 2
 I never loved my downhill bike for the same reason. Never seen a man lustfully stare at their street bike either.







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