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Video: How Bad Can They Be!? We Review Each Other's Personal Bikes

May 15, 2023 at 18:29
by Henry Quinney  

Reviewing bikes is fun, but also there is so much about bike setup and component choice that is so personal. Is there one perfect setup? And what weird choices do PB tech editors make when it comes to their own bikes? Well, Dario, Kaz, and I head out on the Squamish trails to ride, complain, and maybe even explain why our bikes are the way they are.

Who's bike would you like to ride most?



Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
341 articles

231 Comments
  • 87 11
 3 cheers for Autoplay!
  • 17 1
 hip hip!
  • 40 0
 How do you spell the sound that comes out when you blow a raspberry?
  • 30 0
 @bigtim: Calvin and Hobbes would be a good reference for something like that. Bill Watterson is king when it comes to spelling sound effects.
  • 52 0
 @reindeln: if I remember right , it’s “Thbbtbtt”?
  • 18 1
 @bigtim: Pbtfffffffffffff
  • 6 0
 @scary1: i belive that is correct
  • 13 0
 not just autoplay, but autoplay with adverts now!
  • 13 24
flag nickfranko (May 16, 2023 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 Forget the auto-play, they’re now trying to shove ads down your throat as soon as you click on the page.
Pretty scummy, Pinkbike.
  • 80 9
 @nickfranko: How dare this free website try and make money!
  • 32 8
 did you click on a video article and not plan on watching the video? Don't understand what the issue is with auto play in this situation as there is literally no other content other than the video.
  • 41 0
 @SATN-XC: yes. i am only here for the comments
  • 1 1
 @bigtim: thbbthbbbbbth
  • 1 0
 @mior: lol, fair enough Smile
  • 1 0
 @reindeln: Fun (or annoying) fact: You can also call it "onomatopoeia" if you enjoy five-dollar words.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: welcome to Outside man.
  • 1 0
 @barp: You're absolutely right, that's a super annoying fact.
  • 11 1
 @reindeln: Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?
  • 3 0
 @barp: Nice.
  • 2 0
 @maglor: Feels like Vital now...
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: depends whether the raspberry enjoys it...
  • 1 0
 Hip Hip No Way!
  • 53 0
 What happened to Levy?
  • 63 0
 Head to PinkGravelBike.com and you'll find him.
  • 5 3
 would never ride these heavy bikes?
  • 32 0
 You mean “Mike Leave-y?”
  • 1 0
 Breakout Together?
  • 6 0
 He is off helping the UCI dismantle Timed Training for the upcoming DH season.
  • 14 0
 He’s in Argentina with Elvis and Melania
  • 16 0
 he likely went out riding on the new Specialized S-Works Epic PB got the other week and hasn't returned
  • 3 0
 @bigtim: would read/watch that TBF
  • 4 33
flag HankDamage (May 17, 2023 at 2:59) (Below Threshold)
 That's probably an unpopular opinion here, but I do not miss him. I mean, I hope he's ok as a human being, but PB without Levy is no problem for me.
  • 6 0
 He's probably just on holiday or something. But the sad thing is; with Outside at the helm, you never know with PB these days.
  • 3 0
 @Muscovir: Haha, ya... after that big cull of staff awhile back with zero said... I've started checking the staff page way too often these days

www.pinkbike.com/about
  • 5 0
 @islandforlife: Weird that several of the staff have zero activity for a year+
  • 2 1
 @islandforlife: Safe to say that page hasn’t been updated for years since Dario and Alicia are both missing.
  • 2 0
 @corposello: They keep it pretty up to date...

here's the Oct 2022 before a pretty big cull - web.archive.org/web/20221014083314/www.pinkbike.com/about

And then Jan 1, 2023 - web.archive.org/web/20230101160101/www.pinkbike.com/about

But ya, not sure why Dario and Alicia aren't on there... you can go back to various dates and sort of see when people come and go.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Good stuff. Look at all the sicc photogs they used to list. Maybe they moved up and away, but this reduction can't be good in the long run....
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Yeah this absolutely sucks to see. F*ck Outside.
  • 1 3
 @corposello: Dario can stay missing. I hope that mental midget goes away. He ruins anything he's involved in. Bring back Tom!
  • 3 0
 @garrisond5: I strongly disagree. I like that he's mostly been the voice of reason amongst the others' wild opinions and whacky hot takes.

It's good that the PB team has someone to keep Mike "Downcountry" Levy, Mike "My Trail Bike needs a 62° HTA" Kazimer and Henry "Heavier Bikes are better, actually" Quinney in check.
  • 44 2
 Now you guys KNOW we need Kaz and Henry to review Levy's gravel bikes... Lycra required.
  • 44 0
 They should review each other's lycra.
  • 2 0
 dafuq
  • 28 1
 What actually is 'zero'/default rotation on a set of handlebars; is it where the rise is inline with the angle of the forks, or is it where the rise is straight up vertically from the ground? Or is it something else...?!
  • 2 0
 I would like to know too! Been experimenting but never had an actual 'zero' point to compare against
  • 8 3
 It would be the angles that the bar manufacturer specifies. 8° backsweep and 5° upsweep means they should be angled 5° up from horizontal 8° back (those are also pretty standard numbers, so they're a good starting point). If you rotate from there, you just bias more towards one or the other, while also changing the effective stack and reach. If you find that you don't like their specified angles, stem lengths can get a bit goofy when you have a bar with a ton of rise.
  • 1 0
 @DaneL: backsweep is measured from looking straight down on the bars, it's not the angle of the rise.
  • 6 0
 I don't think anyone knows! I'm 100% certain that every bar company measures their bars at least a little bit differently. The only way to know would be rotate the bar until you reach the stated rise measurement. However this is impossible to measure so I have no useful advice here.
  • 5 0
 @plustiresaintdead: True, but effective backsweep (measured looking straight down on the bar) is going to change when you roll the bar forwards/backwards, just like the upsweep will change. At the datum point (ie, the manufacturer's "zero-roll" point) the bars will have the specified back sweep when seen from direct vertical and upsweep when measured from horizontal. (you have to measure with respect to gravity).

But that is all kinda pointless since everything changes with stem, sag, sag ratios... The important thing is just to play around and find a comfortable position that works. I don't think you'll ever be able to move from a bike with favorite setup and handlebar and then be able to just recalculate a new bar roll on another bike to get the same feel.
  • 7 0
 The roll angle does potentially make more of a difference than I'd realised. According to this diagram (which must be correct because I found it on the internet) a 40mm riser bar angled on the same axis as the forks would reduce reach by about 17mm (i.e. same as a zero rise bar with 40mm spacers), whereas the same bar angled vertically would leave the reach unchanged:

s14761.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Riser-2-600x439.jpg

I was stressing on a 10mm reach difference between two bikes I was considering recently, so it's 'interesting' to realise that bar choice could account for almost double that.

That's from this article originally (enduro-mtb.com/en/the-right-mtb-handlebar-rise)
  • 3 0
 @Woody25: That figure will be correct with only one specific head tube angle (which I can't be bothered to do the trigonometry to calculate for myself).
  • 1 0
 @Woody25:
That diagram is only true if you setup your rise at 90 deg to the ground.

@st-lupo:
You're right - sweep numbers are based on the rise being directly vertical (90 deg to the ground).
  • 2 0
 I've always ran my bars with the rise inline with the steering axis for the most part. I've done this since I started on BMX. If the bar rise is vertical it increases the distance from the steering axis just like a longer stem does, which affects the handling.
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: you can clearly see in your example picture the grip is further forward of the steerer in the +40mm rise bar than the 0.
Richard Cunningham went over this
m.pinkbike.com/news/exploring-the-relationship-between-handlebar-vs-stem-length.html
  • 2 0
 I'm actually totally wrong here about that diagram. I think the guy who made that diagram is saying you can roll your bars to compensate when you change spacers and/ or stem.
  • 1 0
 Theoretically I would put the bars as level to the ground as possible. If you roll the bars front or backwards, the bar angle at your palms would not be flat, causing your hands to sit at an angle. I can't see this being good for your wrists in the long term. I would also assume that the rise and bar flex is originally tested with the bars at a 90 degree angle to the ground. There is too many possibilities for mounting your handlebar at different angles, and if I were going to produce a bar I would create them with the intent of running it parallel to the ground or parallel to your palms at your relative seated position.
  • 2 0
 Get yourself a 70mm rise bar (www.ergotec.de/en/products/lenker/sub/mountain-bike-lenker/produkt/riser-bar-70-31-8.html) with a reasonable back sweep and play around till it feels right. I'm running these on both bikes and have the rise parallelish to the HA. Then throw stem length (Effective Stem Length) into the equation and you've got ton of playing around to do.
  • 2 0
 @plustiresaintdead: Sqlab have a line cut into the end of their bars to provide a zero via spirit level. Germans…
It’s annoyingly handy as it has stopped me trimming my bars down to my preferred width. More manufacturers should do it.
  • 19 1
 Dario’s comment about rolling bars forward to use backsweep to compensate for not enough stack/rise is interesting. Bar roll feels best for me when backsweep is in line with the angle of my arms (rather than horizontal to the ground), but his logic is compelling enough to maybe try a higher rise bar with less forward roll just to see if there’s any magic there.
  • 3 0
 Kaz mentioned a while back that there may be some content coming about this trend toward higher front ends, possibly looking at higher rise bars and that Raised Reversed Stem that was doing the rounds.
  • 10 0
 I always set my bar roll to get my wrists at a comfortable angle (even pressure across my palms with straight wrists). The stem length & spacers are selected second, and should take care of the rest.
  • 10 1
 I think @mikekazimer and @henryquinney could be running stems that are fairly short and compensating by rolling bars forward.

There's this dogma that super short stems are "the thing". That might be the case for some setups, but running up to a 50mm (with sensible backsweep) can also be the balanced setup. It's all about where your hands are. Gotta experiment to find what's best for your body shape and bike.
  • 6 9
 @JustinVP: it’s an old trend that’s not really died with the pinkbike staff or it’s coming around again but all DH riders are on 50mm stems as are most enduro racers. 35 / 40mm stems were popular when reach numbers were rapidly expanding around 2015 but we all went back to 50mm stems soon after due to short stems making your bike handle like a pig in a thunderstorm, mondraker were even doing 0 reach stems at the time.
  • 22 0
 @JustinVP, I wouldn't say that's the case for me. I've experimented with lots of set ups, and in most instances with modern geometry a 40mm stem feels perfect for my dimensions. As for the bars, I'd call my set up more vertical than forward - the rise isn't really lengthening the reach by any significant amount.

As always, when it comes to bar / stem setup it's really a matter of personal preference.

And @thenotoriousmic, I think you'll find a decent mix of setups in the enduro world - it's definitely not 50mm stems across the board: www.pinkbike.com/news/what-geometry-numbers-pro-enduro-racers-prefer.html.
  • 4 4
 @Woody25: I'm no pro or close, but a year or so ago upped to 50mm rise bars and then 30-35mm stack under it - times went down / faster quite a bit then leveled out. Recnetly went up to max spacers below the 50mm bar and times got faster again, this time 10-15 seconds on DH tracks I have 75-100 rides on (Strava times) and that I've literally been trying to go faster on for months with little luck - just sitting at my max times more or less.

There's something to the raised-reversed stem, but 1) it looks so awful and 2) for climbing, it blows ass but 3) shy of dropping $400 on a RRS, try a max riser bar & max spacers...I'll bet you gain a lot of DH speed. I"m also on a 35mm stem...dunno how other DH riders are doing 50s but I'm looking to get more directly over or just behind the steering axis, not in front of it.
  • 1 0
 @JustinVP: Here is my anecdotal evidence supporting your statement:
Running a 40mm stem on my 29'r hardtail with 29x2.6 tires, bike had some oversteer issues.
Swapped to a 50mm stem, oversteer vanished, bike feels more nimble and precise.
(The 2.6 tires are ridiculous and are probably the root problem but they were on sale *shrugs)
  • 6 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I actually tried to do exactly that on the weekend. I've got high rise bars on my DJ so thought "I'll shove those on my trail bike!". I stripped the cockpits of both bikes and only then did I remember that my new trail bike came with a 35mm diameter bar.... Thank you to the MTB industry for that completely unnecessary standard change.
  • 1 1
 @Woody25: So it was a bust?
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Temporarily... I need to rob a 31.8mm 50mm stem off another bike, but the only other 50mm 31.8mm stem I have is a Renthal one that I've only just managed to stop creaking, so I couldn't face stripping it off the other bike and going through the process of trying to shut it up again! I'll give it a go at some point soon and report back.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: 50 wouldnt put you over it on any modern bike.
Less than 40mm may put you too far behind it to effectively weight your front wheel without exaggerated movement.
Also front wheel wander when climbing on bikes with highish front like a Slash is terrible with less than 45mm.

Remeber Jesse Melamed talking about this a year or too back saying some stems were too short.
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: There's always the Diety 50mm bar...totally a ripper
  • 3 0
 40mm stem was my go-to for ages until I switched to a 12 degree backsweep bar. Moved up to 50mm to compensate.
  • 2 6
flag thenotoriousmic (May 16, 2023 at 13:25) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: Still almost exclusively 50mm in WC and mostly 50mm in enduro and even in that survey 50mm was the only consistent length. It’s was ether 50mm or somebody was riding something completely random. Somebody was even riding a 42mm stem.
  • 4 1
 @Woody25: the easiest way of getting a rental stem to stop creaking or slipping is by replacing it with a DMR defy 50mm stem. Since I’ve done that I’ve never had an issue with my rental stem creaking or slipping,
  • 2 0
 I'm running www.ergotec.de/en/products/lenker/sub/mountain-bike-lenker/produkt/riser-bar-70-31-8.html with a 32mm stem with the bars rolled back parallelish to the HA angle - it gives a -ve effective stem length which you get used to. It's like a cheaper version of Bronsons Raised Reverse Stem.

@mikekazimer - are you testing the RR stem?

@Mtn-Goat-13 - I was running a Surly Sunrise bar (83mm rise) on 32mm stem with 20mm spacers (113cm bar height - similar to Paul Astons who always complains about every bike having a low bar height) and it was great once you got used to is. The bars were way too stiff so I went back to the Ergotecs and have a 112cm bar height.

@tremeer023 put me onto the Ergotecs a few years back - I think it came out of a NSMB article on alternative bar sweeps etc.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Sounds like you and henry should try some 12 degree bars for more upsweep! If you use it for backsweep it's only for sitting down but woll them mor forward for comfortable bars on the way down.
A lot of people use Renthals moto bars or SQ Labs 12degree bars.
  • 1 0
 @LDG: interesting most MX bars are 10-15 degree backsweep - www.fasstco.com/collections/motorcycle/products/flexx-handlebar (ergonomics tab).

SQ Labs make a great feeling bar, I just wish they had a higher rise version.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Well damn my man, ya got me beat on that rise...83mm rise! I was debating some 80's lately but just didn't bite. I think I'm at a 60mm-70mm higher rise than how my bike came (YT Capra). But -wild to hear anyone else is doing this. I'm no techincal climber and will try some, but am mostly just pedaling up old logging roads / fire roads (etc) and dropping the good stuff from there so the higher rise doesnt affect me at all an infact - is way easer on the back (I'm 6'5''...long torso). I approve
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I'm 6'1" so you could go quite high. The 70s are fine on tech ups as long as your STA is steep enough.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Prob where I'm nuked - climbing always sucked on the Capra (2019) w/ a slack STA, surely better now (and I often run a rear 27 to get rowdier - totally works just fine, keep getting PRs too whether 27 or 29) but also being a shitty climber doens't help...I'm that too. Usually have to lock out F&R on any climbs though. What bike are you riding?
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: XL 150/140 Murmur / L 140 Solaris Max
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic: That is an incredibly biased way of looking at data. Even if your experience says otherwise, to conclude that Kazimer's link backed you up is wild. 11 people gave an answer of 42 or below. Only 3 said 50, and one said 45 to 50. The single most common answer was 40mm.
  • 18 0
 15 minutes of good mood and fellowship. Thanks guys!!!

Next turn: Christina / Alicia / Sarah's bikes test and round table??
  • 17 1
 Levy secretly snuck out the backdoor and hoped his Pinker Downcountry fans wouldn’t notice. Where you at Levy? We still have unfinished Mike vs Mike episodes
  • 19 2
 This format is great.. keep it up.
  • 15 0
 Seeing dudes riding a trail at normal speed made me feel better about myself.
  • 15 1
 Do you guys want to review my clapped-out 2019 alu jeffsy?
  • 1 1
 I’ve had 2 close calls with rotor bolts wiggling loose and now the little bastards get fresh loctite every time I remove them. Thinking of going to the red stuff if that keeps up.

Dario - thought you had an aluminum stumpy Evo?
  • 4 0
 @sjma: loose rotor bolts are for beginners. Loose calipers are the real shite, ask me how I know!
  • 10 1
 Who needs a perfect setup when you can have a perfectly imperfect bike and blame it for all your questionable line choices? It's all about adding a touch of adventure to the ride and keeping your trail buddies entertained with unexpected dismounts. Embrace the quirks, folks! Happy trails and wobbly tales!
  • 4 22
flag Titusdad (May 16, 2023 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 Who needs a perfect setup when you can have a gloriously flawed bike, right? I mean, why bother honing your skills and investing in quality equipment when you can blame your laughable bike for all your pathetic line choices? It's amusing to see you struggle, desperately trying to salvage some dignity while the rest of us effortlessly conquer the trails. Oh, and those unexpected dismounts? They're not entertaining; they're downright embarrassing. But hey, if being a source of amusement for your trail buddies is your thing, then by all means, keep embracing those quirks. Happy trails, and may your wobbly tales serve as a constant reminder of your mediocrity. Cheers!
  • 2 0
 @Titusdad: Did you make a new account to reply to this?
  • 1 12
flag Titusdad (May 16, 2023 at 10:38) (Below Threshold)
 @sudochuckwalla: The comment was so bad I needed to
  • 1 0
 @Titusdad: cooooooooooool
  • 14 6
 As a metallurgist....I can't listen after someone jokes about stripping anodize off of aluminum...do not strip anodize off of aluminum parts unless you want catastrophic corrosion cracking failures at some undetermined and unexpected point during a ride...ughgh
  • 5 1
 Let me start by saying I've never even considered stripping anodization off anything. But I've always heard that bare aluminum immediately forms a hard oxidation layer when exposed to air. Is that only the case for elemental aluminum, and not for its alloys?
  • 5 0
 Very interesting! Why is it that removing the anodization weakens the part?
  • 5 0
 Please elaborate.
Do heat treated aluminum alloys (such as 6061) have less protection given by the oxide layer that forms on their outside? This oxide layer would normally protect the interior aluminum in the absence of anodizing.
What conditions would have to exist to cause a problem with the oxide layer? Human sweat? Industrial Pollution?
Is the impact resistance benefit from anodizing that great?
Are my aluminum cranks going to corrode and snap due to heal rub?
  • 5 2
 I’m not saying you’re wrong but I’ve stripped anodising of loads of aluminium parts using caustic spade and polished it to a mirror image and never had any issues at all.
  • 34 1
 @blueninja:
Aluminum possesses a transparent oxide layer that forms instantly in the presence of oxygen. A popular joke within the aluminum industry is that one never truly sees aluminum itself, as there is always a thin oxide layer on its surface. So, when you polish an aluminum component to achieve a shiny appearance, you are reducing the thickness of the structural portion (aluminum) while simultaneously creating a new corrosion layer. While this may not be critical for a robust part like a stem, which typically has ample material, it is not advisable to remove the paint or anodized layer from an aluminum tube located near a weld.

Aluminum tubing is often thinner and larger in diameter compared to other metal tubing to provide stiffness and save weight. Welding aluminum without compromising its heat treatment (or temper) is challenging, resulting in welded areas having lower ductility than the parent aluminum alloy. By removing the anodized layer and allowing new oxide to form, there is a possibility that the fresh oxide might develop within existing micro-cracks near the weld or beneath a welding fillet. Oxides have a greater volume (lower density) than the parent metal. Consequently, when oxides form, they can exert stress by wedging themselves within cracks or under welding fillets, leading to gradual crack propagation. As the crack propogates, new oxide forms at the crack tip, creating further wedging stresses. In the presence of an electrolyte (such as water and salt, like road salt or sweat), this oxide wedging process accelerates due to the low cycle fatigue that occurs during bike riding. While it may take several years for a crack to propagate and cause failure, the risk is undeniably present.

One issue with aluminum is its high specific modulus, which refers to its stiffness relative to its density. Aluminum is exceptionally stiff per unit volume compared to other metals, making it advantageous for bike frame design. However, when aluminum frames fail, they often fail catastrophically due to their lower ductility, and welded areas are particularly susceptible due to the compromised heat treatment. In contrast, materials like steel or titanium, with lower specific moduli, exhibit more ductility and tend to deform before failing, providing visual indications of impending failure.

When an aluminum bike is manufactured properly, with careful welding and robust anodizing or paint coatings, there should be no issues. However, I strongly advise against removing the paint or anodized layer from an aluminum component or frame, as it increases the risk of accelerated crack growth and potential failure.
  • 3 0
 @retrogressionage: awesome explanation, thanks dude.
  • 2 0
 @retrogressionage: Thank you so much for your in-depth reply.
  • 3 0
 @retrogressionage: thanks for sharing the knowledge!

Could paint removal not compromise frame strength if conducted by professionals and followed by new paint coating or varnishing (for a raw look)?

Having not the most high-quality paint on a good bike, I’ve been thinking of turning it into “raw” after a season or two (frame, fork, cranks)…
  • 2 0
 @retrogressionage:
Great reply thanks.
Additionally, a chemical used can cause damage to aluminium (think about sweat?)
chinook-helicopter.com/maintenance/issues/cleaners/cleaners.html
  • 1 1
 @retrogressionage
Specific moduli :
- Al 70GPa for 2,7kg/l
- Tu 115 GPa for 4,5kg/l
- steel 210GPa for 7,8kg/l

So same-ish for the 3.

Also, "with lower specific moduli, exhibit more ductility", makes no sense. A metal will mostly keep it's stiffness whether it's heat treated to have 10 or 50% yield elongation.

I'm sure you know this, but people who don't will drink your words without filters, so seems messy to mix up this stuff.

Back to bikes : why aren't the whole frames heat treated after welding? Unmanageable warping?
  • 2 0
 @Velosexualist: It is ok to strip paint off of an aluminum bike to get the raw look, but make sure that you have someone who knows what they are doing and have it clear coated with a durable finish. Anodized finishes are not like painted frames though...the anodized layer is actually corrosion product (i.e. like oxidation but a different chemical process) and the anodized layer is actually chemically bonded to the aluminum metal (unlike paint)...I would not recommend removing anodize from a frame to give it the raw look because the types of chemicals and/or sanding that you would need to do to completely remove the anodize layer would potentially compromise the tubing and welded areas.
  • 1 0
 @Uuno: it’s called post weld heat treating, most welded aluminium frames will be post weld heat treated and some premium steel components.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I have also done this to several components with no issues ‍♂️
  • 1 1
 @Crankhed: Agreed. For those that don’t know. Don’t use oven or drain cleaner like the dude in the video. It can work but it’s hit and miss but you need to use caustic soda which is the active ingredients in oven cleaner and warm water in an plastic tub that won’t melt and then polish with wet and dry and metal polish.
  • 10 1
 Such a good idea. Def need to see you guys hop on Levy's sketchy bikes. Like Henry. Something tells me he'd have words for a lightweight downcountry bike.
  • 6 0
 After that video of Dario nerding out about SRAM 10-42 cassettes or something, I'm quite shocked he's on a Yeti with SRAM Transmission. The mismatching, highly customized, function-over-form aesthetic is what I expected, but not on a Yeti! I had definitely thought he'd be ridding and older non-boost Knolly or a bespoke Canfield prototype that never saw mass production.
  • 4 0
 @henryquinney In the weight check in article you had the Ohlins coil on, now back to the TTXAir in this one. Can you compare running the TTX coil vs air and which one you prefer?
  • 9 8
 Not getting along with sram brakes. This seems to be a consistent talking point. I’ve never been a fan either and while they can be setup to work well there seems to be much better options out there to eliminate potential setup and performance issues with a critical component. While I love my sram drivetrains, why do people continue to run their stoppers when there are so many other really good brakes out there? …. Discuss amongst yourselves
  • 25 0
 Because they came stock on our bikes and we are poor
  • 8 7
 Because Code R brakes are perfectly good brakes, and not everyone is going to throw hundreds of dollars at new brakes.
  • 1 0
 I like mine, at least when brand new and freshly bled.
  • 7 1
 I would also guess that most people haven't experienced a lot of other brakes to know that there are other way better options. I didn't realize how much better the Hayes Dominions that I now use are until I tried them.
  • 4 0
 @Schlobo: This, every low end bike build comes with this crap, most probably sram gives it for free... Last week my 13 year old son tried his mother's bike with Guide R and he was so pissed off and he weights only 45kg and brakes are bled properly. He has shimano deore on his bike (but with larger rotors) and the difference is night and day.
  • 3 2
 Anything less than RSCs are generally considered trash. If they work for you- awesome!
But unfortunately even the lever throw is different and only RSCs get them out of the entire line up.

But a properly bled RSC with Galfer Rotors and MTX pads went from suboptimal to pretty dang good feeling! I didn’t say great. But pretty dang good!
  • 10 2
 I didn't hear them fault the brakes, just the setup. Did I miss it? I don't understand Code brake hate. They're good.

Rode Code RSCs for 4 years on 1.8mm x 200mm/180 rotors? Needed a bleed every year, maybe. I weigh 200 lbs, and do a decent amount Colorado park riding, so I imagine I'm a good test of brakes. Didn't have issues on long, hot shuttles like Mag 7 or WE in summer.

Compared to 4-piston XTs (huge reliability issues and wandering bite point), Quadiems (not powerful enough even with aftermarket pads/203 rotors), and Guide RSs (not powerful enough), Codes win. Can't speak to Hayes, but Curas and DH-Rs do have more power with less effort, but those are rarely OEM specs.

I think the bigger issues is SRAM/bike companies have bad spec choices, like G2 brakes on a 170mm enduro build.
  • 4 0
 @Schlobo: Exactly. Why throw out perfectly functional brakes?

I used to swear by the feel of Sram brakes, after getting some modern shimano XT 4-pots I'm done with Sram brakes. The bike I'm building will get something with oil (eff DOT on a bike). I'm leaning towards TRP, but might do Formula or Magura.
  • 5 3
 @nickfranko:

"Code R brakes are perfectly good brakes"

bahahahaha
  • 6 5
 @TheRamma:

They are not good.

They are the worst possible option relative to all of their direct competitors at every level/pricepoint
  • 3 1
 @eh-steve:

Flip the Sram brakes and put the $$$ towards a set of something proper!
  • 2 0
 I’m a fan of my Code RSCs.

Didn’t get on with the RSs so well…
  • 1 0
 Since I put 220 rotor front and rear my guide ultimate are ok (but far from awesome). At least they no longer overheat in long dh. But sure if I had enough money I would never have kept them...
  • 1 0
 @BarneyStinson: that's interesting, I've always thought of swinglink as more important than contact adjustment. Different pads maybe?
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: one week on my RSC Guides that came on the bike...prob wouldn't have binned so quick if I never had experienced brakes with actual power prior. I'd ride Codes, like them but the guides are awful
  • 2 0
 @Schlobo: magura MT5's are 70 bucks on german discount sites
  • 2 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: yeah anything more than aggressive xc riding and the guides are trash. Wink
  • 2 0
 @mior: Lots of Euros mixing XT levers with Magura calipers. Saw tons of this setup in Finale and they all swore by it.
  • 4 0
 @Jvhowube: Shigura brakes? I'd try them except I'm perfectly happy with straight Shimano brakes. But I am intrigued.
  • 2 0
 @barp: some dont like the magura levers. personally, i like them.
  • 2 3
 All three guys complain about their brakes. All 3 ride SRAM. Hilarious. I wonder what it could be....
  • 2 0
 Easy just drop another couple hundos on Cascades aftermarket sram calipers for 20% more power and some galfer rotors and pads and then I hear the RSC is the best brake ever.. I'm memeing but I DO actually want to see a test of is RSC+galfer pads and rotors and then with Cascade calipers is actually worth the upgrade over another choice
  • 1 0
 @TeaPunk: same here
  • 1 0
 @mior: Good to know, but I got my Code RSCs for free so hard to beat
  • 1 0
 @Schlobo: free is good
  • 2 0
 @TeaPunk:
Im running galfer rotors and race pads with my XTs and love it. its like dropping a pair of anchors when i pull my brake levers. galfer rotors and pads are prob the best upgrade for the money that I've made.
  • 1 0
 @madknoleg: I just saw that cascade makes stronger calipers for shimano too lol waiting to see someone crazy enough to test that all together
  • 7 6
 Where is the review? All I see is a “blankety blank” auto start video. Would like to read something every now and then. Not everyone is enamored with Outside’s “video centric” approach. I will now go outside and yell at kids on my grass.
  • 2 4
 -Moves to Vital…
  • 8 0
 www.pinkbike.com/news/tags/reviews the tech team has been killing it with long-form reviews lately.
  • 4 8
flag paulmtbb (May 16, 2023 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: and I see no improvements to PB its self. Where are the mods on the forums? Why aren’t new mods being appointed to replace inactive ones?
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: you said it man
  • 1 0
 I love how your bikes show signs of serious use, like scratches that look like a rock took a bite at you. The smorgasbord yeti also resonates with me as I have a '15 unit with gears and a 130mm Bomber that is a parts bin bike. Sram guide up front and a bb7 out back. I have a 2020 stumpy st with 2.8 recons on it that rips, however the unit is more fun to ride somehow.
  • 5 1
 Would have paid money to see you guys ride Seb's bike!
  • 1 1
 Great video. Great to see you talk about and compare the bikes you're interested in owning, versus what's new for the field test. But I love the field tests too.
I was hoping Dario would have his 41 pound Stumpjumper Evo Alloy that he mentioned at 10:50 in this vid: youtu.be/fQ4fYWt0p3o
Surprised to see he went all the way up to a Yeti. Thought it would be too boojie for him. LoL
  • 1 0
 Still have my Big Metal Stump, the Yeti's just a loaner!
  • 1 0
 I would pay money to see these guys review my bike.... My front and rear brakes aren't even the same brand.... Not because I prefer it that way, but because that's what I had in my parts bin.
  • 4 3
 "I run 10% sag" - oh no Henry, the armchair engineers are about to tell you all about how you're wrecking your bike's geo and it'll be unrideable.
  • 4 4
 verry intresting video! The three of you are so incredibly lucky the rotor just not bent with loosen bolts ! absolute dramatic crash could have occured anytime you pulled the front brake !
  • 10 0
 Nah, isn't that just called a floating disc? Most people need to pay extra for that.
  • 7 0
 @st-lupo gets it.
  • 2 2
 Lol a bent rotor would not cause you to crash
  • 1 0
 @redrook: Would you bet ? Just try to remove 3 bolts from your disk, and go for a ride on a steep track.
  • 2 1
 @jpnbrider: I would bet because I have had bolts come off my disc before Big Grin What exactly would cause the crash? The disc is still going through the calliper. Even if it came off entirely you wouldn't crash, you'd just have no front brake.
  • 2 2
 @redrook: when you loose bolts your disk can’t handle enough torque, it doesn’t just slightly bend , it can get completely twisted , and I can ensure you your wheel would then stop brutally. Luckily I experienced it only on my back brake , which ended in skidding and not crashing , but once it got locked , man it was violent and really un possible to make one more wheel turn, if this happen on the front wheel , this is just dramatic OTB.
you can bet it , but don’t ever try it just to prove you’re right Wink
  • 2 2
 @jpnbrider: Haha nonsense, maybe on your supermarket bike Wink
  • 1 2
 @jpnbrider: That is 100% bullshit. How could it possibly bend sideways? And even if it did bend, what's stopping it rotating? What is causing the wheel to lock up? What you've said makes no sense.

Lets see some photos of this dangerous phenomenon.
  • 1 0
 @rbeach: www.pinkbike.com/photo/24800286
So my supermarket bike was just a supreme dh, formula disk, I lost 3 bolts due to vibration and got this just riding on a fire road in straight line , no hit
  • 2 0
 @rbeach: what you call Bullshit is just engineering , the brake torque your disk can handle is dépendant on how many bolts are tightened. This is just a fact , if you never experienced this , well I am happy for you man
  • 1 1
 @jpnbrider: Lol I'm calling your account bullshit, I simply don't believe you. That looks like you smashed the disc off something. Much more likely to shear the other bolts before the disc would bend sideways - and why would it, the lateral forces are exerted by the pads on both sides, not just one.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer, or either of the others I guess, would you have any apprehension about taking that Fuel EX, as is, on any big dumb rides? Meaning like 10-12 hours?
  • 1 0
 No apprehensions from my end - it’d be great for that sort of mission, assuming the terrain was appropriate.
  • 1 0
 Good stuff. Dario's GPS positioning made me rethink mine and get it off the stem. Mounted it to the upper link of my Heckler instead. Fits perfect.
  • 2 0
 can we get a thorough review of the grim donut?
  • 1 0
 They can’t. Once that gets out and we realize that no other bike on the market even comes close to the greatness that is the grim donut PB will go under. All the reviews will end up something like “it’s a cool bike but it sucks compared to the grim donut.”
  • 2 1
 Henry how do you like the Mazzas? I´d say on wet roots they´re kinda shaky
  • 3 1
 Highly entertaining, thanks for putting this one together!
  • 3 3
 This is what happens when brands are all holding new bikes back because too many old model on the shop floor and the PB editors get bored
  • 2 0
 "Mondeo with chrome wheel arches" Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Biggest surprise: no Maxxis tires.
  • 2 0
 The Spire and it’s not even close
  • 1 0
 What does Henry say at the 20 second mark, "the (what?) on the downtube"? I've got to be hearing that wrong...
  • 1 3
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  • 2 1
 Yeah, Purple Barney for the win
  • 2 1
 The first aired Mand Sandwich ever? I’ll just check w google……
  • 1 1
 Transition Spires are on sale as of today if you happen to want your own purple people eater.
  • 1 0
 I wonder why, if they're releasing an updated model soon
  • 1 0
 At least someone has taste
  • 2 1
 It actually looks like there bikes are to small..
  • 2 0
 No text, no go-
  • 1 0
 the true question is, where the hell is Levy?
  • 1 0
 none of the above 29 is dead
  • 1 0
 Where is mike levy?
I want to see his ride.
  • 1 0
 Been there, done that with the wandering rotor bolt.
  • 1 0
 Awesome
  • 1 1
 I thought Dario had an alloy stumpy?
  • 1 0
 enjoyable to watch!
  • 2 3
 Fuel by far the most interesting of these.
  • 4 0
 Spire was most interesting for me because I love the idea of a 170mm bike that really can be pedalled and pumped like a trail bike, but I'm not sure such a thing is really possible!
  • 4 5
 @Woody25: I have a Nomad Mk4 with a cascade link, coil shock and over sprung and its pretty much a 170mm trail bike that can be pumped like a trail bike.
  • 2 0
 @Woody25: I bought a Fezzari La Sal, it pedals really well and pumps through rollers with ease. But I'm coming from a Capra, so that's my baseline.
  • 4 0
 @Woody25: I recently got a spire, and can confirm. It pedals exceptionally well for how much travel it has, and feels more lively than the geo would suggest.
  • 1 0
 @Greghoin: My Niner WFO is pretty much the same. 170/180 travel, but can be pedaled everywhere. It's not a rocket ship on the climbs, but is better than most would think a long travel bike would be.
  • 1 0
 Trek Slash is another long travel bike which pedals great, reduce the sag and you've got a trail weapon.
  • 2 1
 @Woody25: Rocky Mountain Altitude
  • 1 0
 @Greghoin: I've heard that people think their Spire pedals better than a Sentinel, what gives there? It's more efficient? Also I don't know why Pinkbike hasn't reviewed the Arrival 170, much less 130 yet, because I'm reading from owners experiences slowly here and there that it's as good as if not more than their previously owned Sentinel or Nomad/Megatower (I forget which), and that has my attention.
  • 1 0
 @Jvhowube: I always wondered how Altitude vs Spire would fare as an only bike, way more than I need but I always end up coming back to gawk at both.. thinking of checking out a dealer with Altitude Powerplays
  • 2 0
 @TeaPunk: couldn’t compare to the sentinel, as I haven’t ridden one. I’m coming from a Hightower and feel like the spire pedals better (weight aside).

But I think the geo works: climbing position is great and centered, and the longer chainstays provide a ton of traction in the steeps.

And the suspension is quiet efficient: I was expecting to have to use the climb switch often on a 170mm bike (with a coil), and it turns out it’s not that necessary.

The arrival looks incredible, I wish We are One was better distributed in Europe.
  • 3 6
 I don't know this for a fact but I'm guessing Henry is the only one with his brakes set up correctly. Front brake on the right !! FTW
  • 2 0
 User name checks out
  • 1 2
 Wait no comments on Henry’s brakes being on the wrong sides?
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