Ask Pinkbike: Carbon vs. Aluminum Rims, Mismatched Drivetains, Coil Shock Sag, & How Much Travel Does a Beginner Need?

May 12, 2020 at 13:18
by Mike Kazimer  

Here at Pinkbike, we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.

How Much Travel For My First MTB?

Question: @TrickyNI asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: Is a 160mm travel bike front and rear like the Whyte G160RS too aggressive and too much for a first bike to hit the local trail centres?

Should a first MTB owner look something less aggressive geo with a higher bottom bracket and 120-140mm travel? Like a Giant Stance 2, Vitus Mythique or Whyte G130?

This question comes up quite often, and it ties right in with a recent episode of the Pinkbike podcast, where we discussed the concept of being over-biked vs. under-biked. You can listen to that here.

There's nothing wrong with starting out on a long travel bike like the G160, but it's best to assess your skills and think about what type of terrain you'll be riding the most. If you're just starting to get your wheels off the ground, and still learning things like proper cornering, braking, etc..., then those shorter travel, more trail-oriented options that you listed will be easier to learn on. They'll feel more maneuverable at the slower speeds that you'll be traveling, which will let you focus on dialing in those skills rather than struggling to handle a big, cumbersome beast of a bike.

Now, maybe you're entering the sport with dreams of hitting big jumps, going as fast as possible downhill, and eventually seeking out and riding the hardest trails around. If so, that Whyte G160 or something similar will certainly work, just keep in mind that it's not as well suited for the tamer terrain where you'll learn the basics.

You'll also inevitably encounter riders who think that everyone should learn to ride on a fully rigid hardtail with cantilever brakes, but don't pay attention to them. Hardtails are fun, and can be a useful learning tool, but they're absolutely not a necessity for learning how to mountain bike. I'd also suggest taking a lesson or three if there's a good skills coach in your area – that can speed up the learning process, and get you tackling those advanced trails much more quickly (and less sketchily). 

Vitus Mythique 29 VRX review photo by Anthony Smith
A do-it-all trail bike like the Vitus Mythique can be an excellent entry point into mountain biking.

Carbon Wheels in the Bike Park?

Question: @Lando406 asks in the Downhill Forum: I'm thinking of purchasing a set of carbon wheels for my 2020 Norco Sight, and I plan to ride a lot of bike park this summer (pandemic conditions notwithstanding...). Is bringing carbon wheels with a lifetime warranty to the bike park a bad idea? Better to run the aluminum wheels I have at the bike park and run carbon elsewhere? Is the carbon game worth it in the end? $1650 for a carbon wheelset with a lifetime warranty or $700-$1200 for a nice set of aluminum wheels with less than a lifetime warranty. What do you guys think?

Carbon wheels can certainly handle bike park usage, but you'll want to make sure the wheels you buy are designed for that type of riding. An ultra light set of carbon (or aluminum) wheels designed for XC racing obviously isn't going to be the way to go for smashing through brake bumps all day long.

There are two schools of thought here – you can go with aluminum rims and save some money initially, but it's likely you'll need to replace a rim or two by the end of the season once they get dented and dinged beyond repair. Those dents and dings won't happen with carbon wheels, but if they do break you won't be able to repair them – there's no bending back carbon, and they'll need to be sent in for a replacement.

In the end, it's up to you and your wallet, and how long you plan on keeping that set of wheels. Either way, I would suggest investing in some DH tires and possibly some tire inserts for either wheelset if you're planning on racking up a bunch of park days – those heavier duty tires and the addition of a foam liner can help protect your investment by reducing the chances of a rim vs. rock incident.

Zipp 3Zero Moto carbon wheels
Carbon wheels are getting stronger and more reliable, but aluminum rims aren't going away any time soon due to their excellent price vs. performance ratio.

SRAM Chain With Shimano Chainring?

Question: @Endosch2 asks in the Mechanic's Lounge forum: I am building an SB-100 for my wife. I want to go with the new XT 12-speed. I have a set of take-off wheels with an XD driver rear hub. I know I can use an XT 12-speed shifter and rear der with the 10-50 SRAM Eagle Cassette. I plan to use a SRAM GX chain.

Can I also use an XT 12 S crankset ? No problem, right? Just need confirmation, I am trying to delay the wheel upgrade for a bit by using the older wheels. I cannot change the freebub on these.

bigquotesAh, the classic, “Here honey, I built you up a bike with all my leftover parts” scenario. The short answer? Yes, you can use an XT crankset as part of your hybrid drivetrain – that SRAM GX chain should work fine with Shimano's tooth profile.

However, I'd strongly recommend getting that MicroSpline-equipped wheel along with a Shimano cassette and chain as soon as possible. The cobbled together drivetrain you're proposing will work, but it lacks the defining feature of Shimano's new drivetrains – the ability to shift under load, which is only possible with a Hyperglide+ chain and cassette. 

Shimano Deore XT 8100
It's possible to mix and match certain SRAM and Shimano drivetrain components, but the best results occur when sticking with one brand.

How Do I Check Coil Shock Sag By Myself?

Question: @gnarcissistictendency asks in the Bikes, Parts & Gear forum: Hey guys, I’m wanting to know if there’s a company out there that makes some kind of gadget that makes checking your sag on a coil shock easy...? Since we're in quarantine I have no one to help me measure my shock sag.

bigquotesReverse Components has a device on the way that's designed to accomplish exactly what you're suggesting, although I haven't had a chance to check it out in real life. Measuring coil shock sag can be kind of a pain without someone to help, especially if the shock doesn't have the handy sag gradients found on RockShox's coil and air shocks.

In a pinch, I'll slide the bottom out bumper (that sort of dome-shaped foam piece at the bottom of your shock) up to the base of the shock body, using it the same way I would with an o-ring on an air shock. Sit on the bike and get off, and with a set of calipers or a tape measure you'll be able to see if you're in the ballpark. The coil spring's position sometimes gets in the way of totally accurate measurement, but this should do the trick until you're no longer in quarantine.

Reverse Components Bike Hacks Collection
Reverse Components' travel and sag indicator might be just the ticket for checking sag in a time of social distancing.

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,743 articles

  • 54 12
 'I can get 4 aluminum rims for the price of one carbon'
'Carbon is the best!'
Everyone needs to realize that not all carbon is created equal. How come carbon rims are all draped under the same blanket but aluminum rims are all known to be different and treated as such? Different alloys and the aluminum supplier play huge factors in the aluminum rim quality and durability. Conversely a cheap carbon rim from overseas is not the same as a carbon rim made here from carbon sourced from quality companies. Carbon supplied to aerospace is NOT the same carbon used for making knockoff rims from China or wherever. Theres 2 camps, those that see rims as consumable and those that see rims as an area of performance for their bike. Either side is correct imo.
  • 5 0
 Correct. These are 26ers I assume, but still fun:
  • 73 7
 That is true. When Luescher teknik cut through two carbon rims, one cheap and one supremely expensive, it turned out that the one with voids and wrinkles came from Utah.
  • 6 3
 @WAKIdesigns: You got a link to that?
  • 14 1
 Good thoughts Tmack. This is like the air vs coil debate. It will go on forever and at the end of the day merely comes down to personal preference of the rider.

And to WAKIs point the reputable China-direct brands (Light Bicycle, Nextie, Tandell) are making good stuff and have been bombproof for me which is well worth the 2x cost of aluminum.
  • 8 0
 @JoeRSB: Here's the video Waki was talking about!
  • 5 3
 Precisely. DT Swiss wheels are plenty stiff, light enough, and ultra reliable. Even if they do fail I'll be able to finish my ride. That's all I'll ride these days, and I have 4 sets for the cost of a good carbon one.
  • 2 1
 Have ridden both and prefer the old school aluminum. Usually make rims last, I have a few that might be older than some of you. Carbon felt good and I had no issues, a bit stiff when paired with aluminum frame. My fried blew up a very expensive carbon rim (no names dropped) on a very mild section recently, sounded like a gun shot. Anything can happen to a rim , hopefully not in a race or critical section.
  • 7 1
 I agree, not all carbon is created equal. Also, just because a wheel set is expensive does not also mean it's good quality.

In 2013 I bought a custom carbon Flite wheel set for $2600NZD from Wheelworks that was marketed at the time as high quality for all mountain use (the spokes alone were $8 each).

After 2.5 years of regular general trail riding the rear rim split. I raised it with Wheelworks and the staff member I spoke to said that model of rim was Chinese-sourced and they were not going to warranty it's replacement.

Rather than bin the wheel, I sourced a replacement with a similar profile from Light Bicycle in China. This rim lasted 12 months and then failed also.

On the other hand, I have a set of Enve AM wheels on another bike that are 6 years old and have had no problems.

My learning from this is the next time I buy a carbon wheelset I'll stick to high quality brands that MAKE their own rims and carry a decent warranty.

Just my experience, I'm sure loads of people have had issues with expensive rims and had great riding from Chinese ones.
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro: What wheel set are you running. I’m in the market for an upgrade.
  • 1 0
 what wheels do you recommend for me, I just want something that will stay true unlike the roval traverse that I broke and my e13 trs than never wants to spin straight. I was looking at the stans ex3 and the i9 s/s enduro wheels. I weigh 140lbs, ride very rocky enduro and DH style trails.
  • 22 1
 @skyrez18: Can I toss my hat in the ring for We Are One? At the risk of being downvoted to oblivion, I must say the rims have been amazing under my 230 dad bod.
  • 3 1
 I have been on a pair of Enve M60s that have given me no issues for 5 years now. They came on a used bike - I would not have bought them otherwise. I flatted halfway down the first stage of the Squamish Enduro (short course) last year and proceeded to ride the rest of that stage on the rim. It held up fine and has been fine since. Except for flatting again on the second stage... hanging on to them now since Enve introduced their retroactive lifetime warranty. Gaudy stickers are long gone though.
  • 6 4
 @Tmackstab: Why would anyone down-vote a We Are One recommendation? They are the best value rims on the market!
  • 1 0
 @Tmackstab: Thanks! Ill check them out.
  • 3 0
 @motion: their warranty is second to none. I’m a huge fan of Nox Composites, but brand loyalty on this next set of wheels is hard to maintain when We Are One is such a good deal
  • 2 2
 @Ritgut: lol Enve is notorious for making void filled carbon rims
  • 2 0

Rear is a Light Bicycle carbon i30 32h laced to a Project321 hub by Wayne at speedgear bike shop. Check him out he does all kinds of custom wheel builds carbon or alu.

Front is a Tandell carbon i32 28h laced to a Hope Pro 4 hub built by a local shop.

A million ways to spend your monies on a wheelset.
  • 2 0
 @Ritgut: I have a 7 year old set of "AMs" and they are still going strong. Great rims.
  • 14 1
 I've said it before and I'll say it again: when aluminum fails, people blame the manufacturer, but when carbon fails, people blame the material.
  • 3 3
 I’d rather have a new yo-yo than a pair of carbon rims.
  • 1 0
 @jflb: Hey! Neat!!!
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I second that.. been riding light bicycle on the past 4 bikes and never had an issue.. still going strong...
  • 18 0
 @Ritgut: I'm sorry you had a bad experience with one of our wheels. Are you able to get in touch with me directly so I can see what rim you had and what went wrong? We started our lifetime carbon rim warranty in 2015 so it sounds like your wheel predates that but it doesn't sound like you had a great interaction with us when you reached out and I'd like to see if I can fix that.

My email is or you can reach me on 04 387 3592.

  • 2 0
 I thought there were only two companies in the world that manufacture the actual carbon, so whatever rim you buy the carbon is going to be good. It's what happens to the carbon that makes the difference I think. Design, layup, glue, QC.
  • 2 5
 @jaame: well, as long as design is ok, there's certainly less difference in end product quality made by Li Wei on friday and Li Wei on monday, compared to José on friday and José on monday. There's also more consistency involved in general among rims made by Li Wei, Wang Fang and Zhang Xiu Ying, than among José, Louis and f#king Jeb.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: how do you do that e with an accent?
  • 1 7
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (May 13, 2020 at 3:49) (Below Threshold)
 @JoeRSB: no he doesn’t because he’s full of shit
  • 1 0
 @saladdodger: me too! Awesome rims!
  • 4 1
 @Ryanrobinson1984: pff, if you had a bit longer attention span you’d see someone else provided a link. Hugs and kisses Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @onlyDH: Looks like they're priced about the same. I just ran through both on their wheel builder page and not much difference between price.
  • 1 0
 @ChrisNJ: prices are the same, but the we are one warranty and replacement policy brings a ton of value and piece of mind
  • 2 0
 @jaame: For bikes it's prety much Toray and Mitsubishi, but there's loads more that make finished carbon fibre product uni-d or woven cloth, Solvay, Hyosung, SGL, Formosa, Toho Tenax (Teijin), Hexcel, Cygnet, Dow, Cytec, Kemrock.

There's loads of precursor manufacturers, though not all of them necessarily produced continuous fibres as their majority product.

CTS LLC, Cygnet, DOW, First Nano, Fisipe SA, FRP Services, Georgia-Pacific, Kemrock, Toray, Mistubihsi, Omnia, Tango Engineering.

(Nice to see Cygnet in the UK up there, a proper end to end manufacturer of carbon)
  • 3 0
 @onlyDH: If I ever were to get carbon rims, I'd get SC Reserve or We Are One. However, alu has been way too good to me, especially the DT XM and EX series rims to justify paying for carbon.
  • 2 0
 @Tmackstab: 230 dad bod yeh yeh!
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: please say that again?
  • 7 1
 @onlyDH: There is an issue though. Carbon rims do break and many products break as often or more often than quality alu rims. I am not taking this out of my bum, I've been talking to friends, bike mechanics, read reviews and anecdotal evidence from people online, many of whom were happy to provide pictures. It's not a big secret that EWS racers sponsored by companies which make carbon rims did not want to run them ,usually a racers sponsored by a big company selling bikes, who also make carbon rims, I won't point a finger but Specialized Roval, Santa Cruz Reserve, Trek Bontrager, ibis - you get the picture I hope. Recently I sold an alloy wheelset and the buyer said right away: I bought pricey carbon rims for my son who races enduro. They will break, he broke a few, we have lifetime warranty - no probs - but I need a spare wheelset he will be riding on for most of the time.

I mean... let's be clear about this that it is not unusual for carbon rims to break, and warranty, no matter how great - still doesn't solve the issue that you need a spare wheelset when waiting for replacement. Even if it takes Enve or WeAreOne only a week to provide them to someone living in Europe. It's all cool when you are riding around your home, around a big city, but becomes a major problem when on a road trip. A replacement alloy DT Swiss rim can be had on next day almost anywhere in Europe. For 100€. Yes it may not be an issue in North America but at this point, NO carbon rim maker that I know of, can send a replacement and it will be at your door, or door of a hotel you are staying in, within 24h.

There is a level of inconvenience involved in all this and it is hard to argue that Trail and Enduro grade alloy wheels are not durable at reasonable weights. XM841, EX471, EX511, XM521, Spank Spike - have fantastic reputation. I personally have had some issues (EX511) but replacement is available near instantly for 65-105€.

For 300+ dollars a rim one could expect MUCH higher durability and the issue is whether such thing may even exist.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: totally right. The inconvenience would be workable except on a road trip. You don't want your only riding holiday of the year to be ruined by a broken wheel.

So, how do you do the e with the accent? I am talking about the letter e, with the line on the top.
  • 1 0
 @sq225917: thanks for that info. Very interesting to know how many companies there are making it.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: all very reasonable points. The ride reel is the only reason why I drop the money on carbon. It’s hard to tune the precise and lively feeling of carbon rims into the bike without compromising on tires or suspension.

I’ve always got a spare set of wheels, rims, and spikes around. But i do agree that $400+, low tech rims should be higher quality

Two years ago, I put about 70 days of park riding on a set of vibrocore 350s, and didn’t put a single dent in them. I def don’t doubt that aluminum rims can be solid
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: @gnarlysipes Wayne from @speedgearbike built my lastest wheelset also. They're awesome. He was more affordable than my LBS, and built the set with parts I sent to him (DT rims and Hope hubs). We had a few detail issues during the build, but overall I'm a happy customer. They ride like a champ. I highly recommend.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I do have a spare set of aluminum roval traverse wheels. In that case what wheels would you recommend? Priced between 700 and 1500.

They NOBL tr37 with Onyx hubs were looking nice.
  • 2 0
 First of all, don’t knock Chinese carbon rims...clearly you don’t have much if any experience with them. Myself and many friends have ridden hard and raced on lightbicycle carbon rims...have found that they are no different than domestic name brand rims in reliability, and their price is substantially lower.

I’ve been through probably 3 sets laced to hopes and happy every time.

Carbon is the way to go for reliability period. If you run a heavier casing tire and or insert, and aren’t 250lbs, really should consider carbon.

Some prefer the compliance of aluminum, and if you race enduro at least at a high level you’ll probably not run carbon to play the mechanical game...failed carbon is game over, alu not as much.
  • 1 0
 WHile I know they are not the best example, I smashed the stock carbon wheel on my E29 in I think the first month of having it on my local trails (I ride my local trails aggressively). I've also been through a couple of aluminum wheels since then. But at $100 each I don't mind having a spare. And building them myself means I don't have to wait on warranty work.

I just can't justify the cost of a carbon hoop, knowing I am going to break it just as often as a $100 hoop. And I don't care about the weight, I am already climbing 8000' days on 1300g tires, on my 40 pound E29.
  • 3 0
 @skyrez18: I don’t know which carbon rims are good. To me it’s a minefield. I can swear by alu DT and Spanks because Me and friends have had good experiences with them. Carbon rims would have been too costly for me to experiment with. I owned Light Bicycle rims and they served me well aside of the fact that they were rough and noisy as hell. I sold them because I got tired of feeling like I am riding with 40psi in my Tires when I was rollong over roots, and hearing bangs as if tire bottomed on the rim so I was stopping to check if I punctured. Then in rockgardens or on offcamber corners I felt like I am riding a too stiff fork because I felt like I am deflected more by rocks due to their stiffness. I got exact same experience with NOBL and Enve M70. The only compliant carbon rims I rode were some XC Rovals on Epic SWorks. If money were no object I’d buy latest ZIPPs because their approach just makes most sense to me. Crankbros look good too since they claim they focused on compliance when making them. Many speak well about WeAreOne.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: lol, I’m only playing Waki!! I’m always there to just give you a quick unnecessary jab right in the side!! I got you brother!
  • 1 0
 @Ryanrobinson1984: oh I thought you Inspected my large intestine, since you said that I’m all fudged up.
  • 1 0
 A few words from Aston about carbon wheels. Seems to be one of many liking Newmen stuff.
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: Paul Aston and Jens Staudt RULEZ
  • 33 3
 I think that starting on a hardtail does give you the advantage of cleaner jumps, bunny hops and handling your crap on a rooty/rocky downhill section of trail. then when you get a full squish you feel like superman because you've developed skills and now have the rig to go with it.
  • 17 8
 Just buy a cheaper full suss and a dj... and some spades, and buckets, and rain covers!
  • 17 2
 That's just an illusion you get from switching to better bikes, it will go away as you grow into the bikes. Starting hardtail also give you some issues to deal with like riding nose heavy, don't know rear squish gonna eject you to the moon if you don't load them properly on jumps, ETC.
  • 6 2
 And with flat or clipless pedals? (Just trolling, everyone knows is better to begin with flat ones Wink
  • 21 0
 @fautquecaswing: One each. Wink
  • 5 0
 When I started riding people would say start on a hardtail to get your skills dialled, but seeing kids absolutely shred on small full sus bikes now Im not sure how valid that is. Also one of the top NZ guys at the time show up at national level dh races with a hardtail and beat everyone on full sus rigs, not sure that would happen nowdays.
  • 6 5
 @zyoungson: riding hardtails definitely makes you a much better rider. You’l be better in the long run if you learn on hardtails but you’re just as well starting on full suspension and graduating to hardtails when your skill and confidence grows.
  • 6 0
 @zyoungson: talk to Connor Fearon about winning on a hardtail
  • 9 0
 Actually, just ride a BMX and nothing else for a good ten years, that will make you an even better rider! Just kidding, go out in the forest and have fun! Life is not all about performance, and.for most people, a variety of experiences is good to figure out what they like. Like waki suggested, maybe switch it up if you like. Variety is the spice of life!
  • 2 0
 I totally agree. My friends and I raced XC for a while and learned everything on a racy hardtails. We went to a bike park one summer and rented enduro bikes and it was like our skills progressed by like five years. We lapped a lot of the park rat guys who were kitted out on DH bikes. Riding sketchy shit on hardtails when you’re a beginner makes it easy to hone technical skills because there’s no room for error— you’ll get bucked and probably die if you choose the wrong line or screw up your body position!
  • 5 1
 @bridgermurray: Here here sir!
And like 50+1% of his comments, don't listen to Waki!
It's far better to buy a half-decent hardtail, then a junk fs, ride it once. Hate the thing. Give up mtbing altogether. Take up rbing. Start doing dope. Get signed up to a team. Do more dope. Win a few races. Do more dope. Win the Olympics. Get caught doping. Get kicked out of road cycling. Mope around a few years. Buy a half decent mtb. Take it for a few ride. Doubt everything you did for the last 15 years cycling. Learn to mtb good. Win a few races. Have a few beers. Win the king of crankworks. Have a few more beers. And tell all those young, would be dopers out there, not to waist 15 years of there life, and buy a nice hardtail. Moral of the story, no matter what you ride, get out there and shread!
  • 6 5
That is total bullshit.
  • 3 2
 @wcr: how do you dope and win Olympics when almost everyone there due to better genetics and structured training from early years will be stronger and better than 99% of humans can ever be with doping, and then they dope on top of that? Big Grin

As to hardtails - what makes difference is deliberate practice in certain environments, like parking lot, sloping gravel road, skate park, pump track, BMX track, dirt jumps and it so happens that a hardtail is best tool for the job there,particularly a DJ hardtail. If you do insist on getting better on a hardcore, aggressive HT you would at least want semi slick tires to practice (end have loads of fun) in those locations. But that requires having an idea about breaking down skills, practice then time for it that you take away from riding in the woods and then persistence. Just riding in the woods on a hardtail hoping to get better at MTB faster than if you did it on FS straight away is steam punk hipster fake hoax news. There's plenty of talking baout "natural" riders but if you watch insta posts of many youngsters like Kade Edwards or 50to01 lads, you'll see that they sesh a lot, they play with their bikes a lot while Dentists and engineers keep pumping out Watts, miles and Verts on Strava.

Thank you for listening - again.
  • 1 0
 A foundation in trials and street riding, possibly on a bmx, will give you amazing transferrable skills. I would recommend anyone to start on a small strong hardtail like a DJ bike. Great for skills.
  • 1 2
 @jflb: You’re total bullshit.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: "they play with their bikes a lot while Dentists and engineers keep pumping out Watts, miles and Verts on Strava."

Triggered! haha

It comes down to time and how to efficiently use it. I'm an engineer and father approaching 40. I don't have time to play around in a technical session for 2 hrs in the woods because I'm working a vast majority of daylight hours and I want to spend time with my family. The efficient way for me to get faster is to spend those non-daylight, kid-is-asleep hours pushing pedals on the trainer and other ways to make my engine stronger. I want bang for buck on my single track time, so that ends up experiencing more singletrack instead of perfecting skill. I'm admittedly not a super skilled rider. When I started riding in my mid 20s, I was riding with engineers and lawyers that were in their late 30s that were riding the way I ride now -- with time constraints. When I had that free time in my 20s, I probably should have been playing around in the woods working on skills instead of seeing how hard and how far I could ride.

Ironically, as my daughter is now 7 and riding single track, we do session quite a bit. Difference between learning cycling from your parent that is into the sport versus figuring it all out on your own, I guess.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: I get it. I do. I have a BMX. But we have to zoom out and realize that when someone relatively new to the sport asks: which bike should I buy FS or HT? saying that he should spend X hundreds of days on a BMX sounds like a ridiculous advice. If cash allowed, I'd say fk those elitist pricks and buy a Turbo Levo.
  • 1 0
 @qb007: if that’s what you enjoy doing then all the best but if you only work on your fitness and not on your technical skills, You’l hit a wall where you won’t progress. You could buy a bmx for around £400 new and when you don’t have time to go for a ride you could just go down to your local skatepark and pump around for an hour. It’s amazing for your bike handling and it’s really good for your fitness.
  • 5 0
 @qb007: I am an architect/ engineer nearing 40 with a 6yr old son and 8yr old daughter. This is not a bash. It is triggering encouragement to practice, coming from my experience pf spending non-fathering years on pumping out Watts, mileage and verts without Strava Big Grin - deliberate skill practice takes no more ghan 30 minutes and what’s more, it usually becomes inefficient after this time. Quality and Consistency of showing up Over pumping out practice volume. I am an amabassador and coach on a coaching site and watch many how-to’s online. It is all very accessible these days. But without a shadow of a doubt deliberate, structured, relatively short practice sessions (once you got guidance how to practice) give huge benefits on the trail. You will be far better off dedicating 2x15-30mins a week to learn to bunnyhop (like above 2ft) to corner with use of cones on parking lot or wide sloping gravel road, manualing, wheelieng than spending this time just riding. This session may be a part of your evening ride. But dedicate this bit of time to a particular element of riding.

An example. I had huge problems with jumping big lines. Big I mean 20ft+ jumps. So out of sheer chance I came to old dirt jumping site and found huge jumps there. I mustered some courage and after a month of casing them I started getting comfy on them. Then by going there once per 2 weeks by average, I learned to take off quite well and style a bit. Finally I came back to the bikepark and on the take off of the first bigger jump, as I felt my body doing the right thing almost on its own, I laughed to myself. I rode the whole line overjumlong almost everything but in 99% control. I then progressed to the big line, then hit the world cup jumps. That’s not the end of the story. Styling it up in the air, whipping, tabletops, makes your brain and muscles perfectly fine with flying at an angle and sometimes landing in a weird way. That, apart from abolity to launch from features to go above others, is the key to bomb down rock gardens. Once you are no longer bound to fighting to stay upright, once you no longer require this level of control to feel safe: you get much safer and faster. Because getting loose, just gets deeper. Your threshold of what feels sketchy moves further. You may even, like I did, feel that trying to stay up right at all times is dangerous and caused you many crashes.

Another example: skatepark. If you conquer the quarters, jumpong into them, from them, inevitably exposing yourself and quite extreme angles at which your wheelbase is in relation to the ground, as well as your COM is in relation to the wheelbase - it makes you conquer the fear on steeps. That is because such practice teaches you to MOVE over the bike. Riding becomes a sequence of particular movements, each of which can be practiced separately.

Learning to learn, is the biggest asset one can have for everything in life. Learning to wheelie did it for me. I learned to wheelie in a structures way, then manual, and it became obvious to me that I can learn anything if I took it apart. Within the available time limits and resourse off course. We have famtastic results with 50+ students on our site. Both in terms of skills and overcoming their fears that hold them back and often, paradoxically, lead to crashing.

  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: The limiting factor isn't the cost of the BMX bike. It is the time. I'm going to hit a wall one way or the other because I just don't have the time. I've made peace with that. The nearest skatepark is 25 minutes drive each way. I would love to be able to dedicate the time to really perfect skills, but I'm more in danger of slowing down on the mountain bike due to getting fat than I am for my OK skillset. I guess the whole point of this is that pragmatism drives many of us to ride the way we do versus what is the ideal way.
  • 1 0
 @qb007: you don’t need a skatepark. Big concrete or asphalted surface and cones is a treasure. You then move the cones to the gravel road and trust me, off camber corners will not be the same. Pumping flat ground drill is the king. Same with cutties on gravel. Most pros, like Bryn Atkinson, Joe Barnes, Jared Graves agree. The only problem is that you need a HT for parking lot. Pumping with a FS with knobby tires is near impossible. A DJ with slicks can be chainlessly pumped on asphalt up yo 20km/h
  • 2 0
 @qb007: that’s fine dude. You’re under no obligation to get better, just as long as you’re enjoying it that’s all that matters. I always quit when I get good anyway and come back when I’m feeling sketchy for maximum enjoyment. Haha
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Riding hardtails making you better is a myth. The way you ride a hard tail is different than a FS. By that logic, riding a fully rigid frame would make you even better.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I think the problem is that people are unaware of how little it takes to get much better. What 50to01 do is way above doing little. Some just sit in the woods all days instead of studying... But for some reason, due to roadie contamination in MTB, individuals are perfectly fine with pumping out hours and hours of steady state cardio on road bike/ trainer which gives little and in absence of strenght training even takes away from explosivity which is typical for MTB even loosely related to gravity.
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: riding pumptrack, dirt, skatepark makes you a better rider and it so happens FS, even XC FS is worthless with it. HT with Minions not much better. You want hard bike with slicks. Just riding a hardcore HT in the woods to get better at FS is BS. Hardcore HTs like Scout 290 are for folks who can't afford a FS and for "conneseurs". Fine. All fine. We all like different things. Just don't let anybody tell you they make you better for riding FS.
  • 3 5
 @WAKIdesigns: I wish I could block you from this site.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: reputation is the key. Doing stuff over and over until you get it right. Something that rarely happens for most mountain bikers who ride a trail and might never ride it again. Doesn’t matter what it is. I spent the winter riding indoor parks on my bmx. It’s made me better at riding mountain bikes. There’s a reason it takes pro bmx’er about two weeks to rise to the top of the mtb world.
  • 1 1
 @rrolly: sorry mate but that comment just makes you seem uniformed. Go give it a go and see for yourself.
  • 1 0
 I bought a BMX last week from FB marketplace for £30. I've put £57 into it because it didn't have a brake and the paint was coming off the cranks and forks. It's now an £87 BMX. I should have just bought one for £100 that didn't need anything doing. There are tons of them about.

Time is often a limiting factor, which is why I'm making the most of being furloughed.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I know that in BMX and skate world, reputation is the key but I guess you meant repetition Smile
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: @WAKIdesigns: I have to give you more than an upvote for your long post above about developing skills. One of the best posts I've ever read on how to truly get better at mtb. We all wish just riding will make us as skilled as we like to be but this is why there is coaching. Just like in auto racing if all you do is try to go as fast as you can around the track you will never progress past a point. YOu must break movements down into sequences, apply rational thought and effort to habits, break out of comfort zones. I'm as guilty as anyone of just riding my bike while expecting to get better but always running up against the same barriers. Although I must mention, all that getting off angle and out of position will lead to falls, which is why it seems to get harder and harder to do such exercises. Been able to wheelie since 6th grade, but at 52 trying to learn manuals has been a frustrating experience, I think I can never get over the fear of smashing my tailbone.
  • 1 0
 @preston67: erm, if you can do coaster wheelies then you can feather the brake for manuals no? O learmed to manual with minimal or no use of rear brake by trying to manual a BMX, which is damn hard. We have a great course on manuals on RLC. Smile
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Thank you for confirming everything I said.... Big Grin
Tell that to Blade Samson, Seth, Matt Jones, and every rider that has learned to ride on ht, and still rides ht Smile .
Just like Waki, doesn't listen to anything you say, picks out 1 thing he doesn't like, and mouths off. Thank you for not letting us down, lived up to your smart mouth yet again Big Grin .
So if ht's were so lousy, then why are companies making new models, with, let's say, 64 degree head angles, 160mm forks, tires fit for a moto, and seat posts almost straight up your arse. And before you start calling me a dumb a**, remember there's a thing called, "Learning Line Choices" and "Bike/Rider Control".
Now I expect you to go off... Come on Waki! Life up to your reputation Big Grin .
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I have. Riding a hardtail is not bad. It just is different in how you ride. I can't count the number of times I've coached people to stop riding their FS's like a hardtail. The shift in weight alone while you ride does not allow you to maximize what a FS does when you ride a HT.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: not really just buy your hardtail in a slightly smaller size and you’re good to go.
  • 2 1
 @wcr: you are a moron. An elitist moron who cannot even live up to your own expectations. You just babble "start on a HT bullshit" with zero information on what is the asking persons life situation, age, time availability and you quote pros who rode their bikes for hours and hours, no end since years and years. It's obvious you never gave any advice on bike purchase to anybody. Because if a student or someone with daytime job came to you and asked you what he should buy and you told him he needs to go to BMX track for the first 5 years like Arron Gwin or Danny Hart - then you will sound like... a moron. I am not going off mate. Just enjoying myself that there are as inconsiderate stupid people like you, and I am not one of them. Schadenfreude really. Sorry mate, vast majority of people in this word don't have as much time to wank out like you do. They want a Mountain Bike to ride and you are giving them advice how to become a new Brage Vestavik, even though you are not one. "How to get there" by "I've never been there". Sorry mate, come back when you are higher level troll hunter.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: Add flat pedals vs clipless on top of that. I always compare riding HT clipless as getting some suspension since you become more active with your legs. Riding HT on roots and rocks on flats takes too much effort and focus to keep foot on your pedals, while with a bit of practice it becomes nearly a non issue with FS. I hate reminding myself supple feet - supple feet! Drop the heels more, more! On FS... keep it smooth with the feet and legs for this section - End of story. FS flats vs clipless is almost same thing. Otherwise Like you said, HT forces you to be more on the front. Also finally, to nerd it out completely, fork size matters. in my personal opinion forks above 140 make no sense on HT, Simply because there's toom uch change in geometry as the fork goes through it's travel. Then this wheel is falling into holes and then rear wants to kick you forward. I ride HTs iwth forks no biger than 120 even though there's worse grip and more side deflection on bumps. But the whole bike is more stable through bumps. The whole sinewave of light/heavy is different on HT than on FS.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: the whole head angle thing isn’t really an issue and besides it’s worse on a full suspension as your not hitting the a bump with both wheels at the same time. 160mm is perfect and there’s absolutely no chance in hell im riding a hardtail in clips. Buy some five tens and some Sam Hill pedals.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Thank you again Sir Waki, you have absolutely lived up to your reputation Big Grin .
Hey, how do you think a guy get's his stripes?... Go after the biggest troll on PB.
Who do you think you just described Wink .
I ain't bothering to splain my whole situation, other then every time I hop on my 70.5 degree head angle, built up from junk "hybrid", I have a blast, learn so much.
And I ain't set-back because I don't have the most expensive, progressive, state-of-the-art full sus. In fact, I per-fer cheapish bikes, i'm not afraid to bash, bang, bruise em' up, much more so then, let's say, a five grand rig. And don't think i'm a lacky on a bike, every time I ride, I push myself to be better, every single time!

It's pretty rich, coming from a dude who can afford to ride anything they want Big Grin . Matter of fact, I did help/advise my bro dude to buy a waaaay better ht, then from where I started 2 years ago Wink . With actual, progressive geo, and properly burly tires/35mm rims. Take a look at a 2018 Norco Fluid Ht.2+, and tell me i'm a dumb a** for advising this bike. Your pick.

I know a thing, or two, about advising bikes. Pick your riding interest/type of terrain you are going to be riding, and pick the best fit for you.
But not like you, Mr. Smart mouth Wink . All you want to do is force every rider to chug 180mm travel, super duro sleds, am I wrong?...

I'm sitting here, laughing my a** off, you just described yourself to a tee Wink .

Here's something to eat your craw even more up....
I believe, probably the best bike you can buy, is a full sus trail bike, something around 120mm-130mm travel. With a nice, but not to extreme 66-67 degree head angle, and a slightly relaxed seat tube angle (no need to go full grim doughnut).
A bike like that pretty much covers anything an average joe needs. And if you want to go a little more progressive, then you could take a look at something like the GT Force, or the Vitus Mythique. And, dare I say, a 29er...
But for me personally, i'm a hardtail guy all day long. Sure, ya got to do more work, watch your body position more, use your legs as your suspension, but man, do you have a blast on dem flow trails!
Another huge benefit of a ht over fs, is you have so much less to maintain/go wrong. I like stuff that's simple, easy to maintain, that works Smile .
Well, no wonder why it's sketchy riding ht for you, your riding slicks, on a full down hill course "eyebrow raise".
Stick a 130mm air fork, and some dhf's on that bad boy, and go for a blast!
Now let that chew at you for awhile...
  • 26 0
 First bike should be the one that really gets you wanting to ride. Who cares what it is, are you out on the trails having fun? The rest of it doesn’t really matter so long as we aren’t talking Walmart bikes.
  • 21 2
 *unless it’s an ebike. No ebikes! Big Grin
  • 6 0
 This is the way
  • 20 0
 Coil shock sag - just slide the bump stop against the shock body, check sag like you would on a fork, ride.
  • 6 0
 They say as much in their response but its buried in the second paragraph. Should have been the first sentence.
  • 3 0
 @freestyIAM: Go figure. I started reading the first paragraph, went to Reverse Components, realized none of those released tools were on their site yet and went on to the next question. Thanks for pointing it out though! It works for me, although there’s much less fiddling than with air.
  • 5 0
 Zip tie works if the shock is missing the rubber bumper. No need for fancy vaporware.
  • 14 0
 Put a dab of grease on the shaft, sit on the bike and, when you get off your sag will be marked.
  • 6 0
 I use a dry wipe marker. When you sit on the bike, the seal wipes the marker away and you get clear reading to measure
  • 27 7
 How I check sag on my coil shock...I don't.
  • 4 1
 Why all sag adjustments with a coil shock should be made with spring rate, not preload
  • 8 1
 Truly. Sit on it, go 'yeah, that feels about squishy enough.' Throw shock pump in river. Go ride.
  • 1 0
 the dirt mark shaft baby... haha
  • 12 2
 Either Aluminium or Carbon wheels, the key are inserts to save you money in the long run! Nothing worse than finding a rim dent or crack!
  • 100 2
 You forgot to mention that the inserts are absolutely delicious and filling. I ate an entire cush core and was full for days, then I went to the Dogtor and took a nap and then I had to wear this cone that made it hard to lick my genitals and I got my head stuck in things more than I usually do. But the cush core was pure delectable bliss and went down like a pool noodle or an expensive duvet cover.
  • 2 0
 @IamTheDogEzra: That was literally one of the most bizarre and also entertaining comments I've read on PB in years! Smile
  • 13 0
 @DroppingThreeTwoOne: I listen to DMX cuz he barks and I like it. I also bark in profanity. But in my heart I'm still a good boy.
  • 3 0
 @IamTheDogEzra: when the cone was removed did you still find it hard to lick your genitals... 'cause they were gone?
  • 8 0
 I would tell the rider asking about carbon wheels at a downhill park that it’s a mistake to upgrade the wheels. Buy a cheap dh bike and save your new bike. For a little more than the price of a good set of
Carbon wheels you can get a deal on a close out dh. Riding non-dh bikes on a regular basis at bike parks will wear a bike really quickly.
  • 2 0
 I hear, “Riding non-dh bikes on a regular basis at bike parks will wear a bike really quickly,” all the time, but what does that really mean?

I got about 80 DH runs on my Bronson last summer, and I don’t feel like it’s “worn out...”
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: Check your frame bearings. I bought my Trek Slash last year in june and gave it an inspection last week. About half the bearings felt a bit rough already and the oil and foam rings in the fork were black completely black. I happen to live an hour away from a park, meaning I get a lot of laps in and even an enduro bike got beat pretty badly.
  • 1 0

To expand on what Pavel-Repak said, most trail/enduro bikes are not designed for regular bike park use. Their suspension designs are made for smaller jumps, features and trail rock size ( burly-ness). They can ride the park but, they have a lot less material and suspension travel than a DH bike.

This means that stuff heats up faster, which wears out bearings , which increases friction, which wears out suspension quicker.

All of this adds up to more Maintenance and part replacement/ fork and shock rebuilds.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: sounds like something they told you at the local bike shop!

Seriously tho, replacing bearings is easy and getting shocks and forks serviced is too. It’s something that should be done yearly anyway. Although sometimes I go longer and it’s no big deal. My bike isn’t “worn out.”
  • 8 0
 My first real mountain bike was a 15" titanium hardtail off a racer friend. Waaay too small, so I got a 135mm stem and was happy as a clam. Several thousand over-the-bars later on Galbraith and I was hooked for life.

So definitely start with a cheap, ill-fitting bike. That way literally anything that actually fits will be a tremendous upgrade.
  • 1 0
 My first bike was a medium DJ (I’m 6’6”) with a 100mm stem to make it fit better, triple ring cranks, two piston brakes, and a 160 fork slapped on for good the time I was hooked enough to save up for a full suspension that fit me, the new bike made me feel like a hero. That being said I’m not sure the best course of action if for everyone to suffer like we did.
  • 12 3
 I believe a sturdy carbon wheel set with a good warranty like the SC Reserve wheels is one of the best investments you can make to improve the way your mountain bike rides.
  • 4 0
 I used to cringe and check the wheel after a heavy rock strike. Finally broke that habit after a couple months on Reserves. Blown away by the durability and how they hold true. FWIW I killed the stock alu rear wheel on my bike in 81 miles.
  • 3 1
 See also WeAreOne and Crank Bros. I've park'd my Synthesis wheels without any cracks or failures.
  • 3 4
 Definitely one of the better carbon rims with a decent warranty but they’re still breaking left right and centre and the ride quality is still poor compared to a decent alloy rim.
  • 3 1
 I have been very happy with the ride quality and durability of several aluminum rims, but no matter what I try I blow through rear hubs almost every season. I don’t get the point of spending a bunch of cash on carbon rims when that’s not the part of the wheel I have issues with.
  • 2 1
 SC reserves are tough but also heavy as shit no point in upgrading unless you’re constantly destroying your rims imo
  • 4 0
 @pacificnorthwet: Need you some DT hubs
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: I went with Hope last time, and DT 350 is next on the list.
  • 2 1
 @pacificnorthwet: ive heard from some bigger friends that seem to have blown every hub out there that industry nines are bomb proof aswell
  • 13 3
 Are carbon rims still cool? I thought we were all back on alu
  • 9 0
 Carbon is so 2016
  • 6 15
flag thenotoriousmic (May 12, 2020 at 16:24) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah they didn’t work. Everyone’s back on alloy and why wouldn’t they be? They ride better than carbon, they’re tougher, dent instead of crack and in the worst case scenario cost no more the £60 to replace. Stay vigilant though the Mtb industry are definitely thinking of new ways to dupe you into buying overpriced cheap Chinese plastic in the future. They won’t have given up just yet.
  • 5 0
 I remember being a beginner MTBer pretty clearly. The best bike for a beginner is the same as the best bike for an experienced rider on whatever mountain IMO. E.g. Buy the cheap version of your experienced friend's bike. No sense in buying a bike that only works on blue trails. Also, over biking a new rider lets them ride more difficult trails earlier, so group rides are more closely matched. As someone who came from years of road riding the exertion required to ride a big bike wasn't a problem, but riding down the mountain was scary as hell and any help I could get from the bike was 100% appreciated. Newbies don't know shit about poppiness or anything like that, so a big bike is fine because they can get down a trail feeling more secure, which means they can ride more trails and experience more rather than being limited by a difficult to control bike. Having a learning curve that is too steep is intimidating and off putting. I guess if you were starting off riding alone all the time then a bike with a steep HTA and short suspension travel would be okay since you wouldn't have anyone you are trying to keep up with.
  • 8 0
 I’m down for carbon rims with a lifetime warranty.
  • 5 1
 The issue is with this from the extended riding group, you go away for a riding weekend, and we dont get many of those. Alloy rim dings, keep riding all weekend, carbon breaks, no more riding for that weekend. Plus the time and expense of claiming warranty and often paying for a wheel build (depending on brand plus rim vs complete wheel purchase).
  • 2 0
 Does it actually cover crash damage? Or just manufacturing defects?
  • 1 0
 Mine do . Reserve wheels cover all @nordland071285:
  • 1 0
 @smuggly: Exactly this. I don't live in a place where I can bike all year long, my season is about 3 months prime time biking and 5ish months overall. I do love the ride of carbon wheels but I don't own any because even if they have a life time warranty, if it takes a month to get it sorted out thats possibly 25% of my season. I doubt it takes a month for the warranty on every brand but I'd be shocked if its under two weeks and imagine most brands take around 3 weeks.
  • 3 0
 "They'll feel more maneuverable at the slower speeds that you'll be traveling, which will let you focus on dialing in those skills rather than struggling to handle a big, cumbersome beast of a bike."

Wouldn't this relate to their size? If they're a 6'4" tall guy, the 160mm bike is probably fine. If they're 5'1" woman, yeah maybe it's a big bike to learn on.

And same thing applies to wheel sizes. If they're not intending to immediately start racing for money, you probably should have recommended they go with 27.5 instead of 29 (or stick with, since that Whyte is 27.5).
  • 4 0
 You can even mix and match shifters and derailleurs with Shimano 12 speed and Eagle. I’m using a full SLX 12 speed group with an X01 shifter and it works perfectly.
  • 2 0
 You actually can fix carbon rims for quite cheap... Not everything is possible to fix on a carbon rim but most of no problem. Same with carbon frames, you can easily fix them to be stronger then original with marginal cost.
  • 2 0
 So...I'm on a DB lux 1 with janky 1x9, hydraulic brakes of a giant talon, and a Suntour raidon. I've also passed solidly above beginner and into intermediate. Is it time for an upgrade? ThanksSmile
  • 24 0
 Yes without a doubt! I personally recommend the. Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL Founder’s Edition.
  • 3 1
 Yes! What's your budget? The Vitus Mythique VRX that Kaz mentions above just was reviewed in PB, and the guys really liked it a lot.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: My budget is around 2000 so that would work. thanks for the suggestion
  • 3 0
 @Supergirl56: its also worth looking around for a good second hand deal, you can get a lot more bike for your money sometimes
  • 3 0
 Missed an opportunity the 'reverse components' sag meter: Add an opening to the top so it acts like a slide whistle when you're going fast!
  • 1 0
 Having worked in a shop for a long time I always recommend that people who are wanting to be super committed to riding from the start have their first bike be a hard tail. You can usually get better components for less money on one and I feel that makes a bigger difference in how well you enjoy the ride than full suspension does. Definitely consider what your local trails are like, and the style of riding you want to do. A hard tail isn't the best dedicated downhill rig.
  • 3 1
 "I am trying to delay the wheel upgrade for a bit by using the older wheels. I cannot change the freebub on these."

You have to thank the bike industry for changing standards every year!

Microspline, go to hell!
  • 1 0
 Warranty, warranty, warranty when it comes to carbon especially if shelling out the dough. I broke many carbon rims in past and have had excellent warranty replacement by companies (US) and stiffed by others (overseas). After last failure, I vowed to never run carbon again regardless of getting free warranty replacements. It has been two years now, so still hanging in there. Definitely go DH lay-up in carbon if aggressive rider with foam inserts as insurance or don’t bother and go solid DT’s EX model and let er’ rip until dented beyond repair
  • 1 0
 The new "lifetime warranty no questions asked" trend amongst prominent manufacturers of carbon rims is definitely a strong argument for pulling the trigger and forking over the $$$. Ive never even considered a carbon wheelset through out the years I've been riding, but seeing videos of people going through the warranty claim process and seeing the ease with which they find themselves with brand new carbon rims in hand after some trail disaster has definitely changed my opinion on carbon wheelsets. Enve, Santa Cruz, and We Are One I have heard from several people are REALLY good about warranty replacements and make the process relatively painless. Anyone know what Zipp's stance is on lifetime warrantys? Of all carbon rims the threezero moto with its hella shallow rim depth and box sectionless design allowing it to pivot around spoke nipples and yeild on hard impacts rather than dent or snap makes it my number one choice. . . With Onyx Vesper hubs and Sapim CX Ray spokes up front and CX Sprint in back, sapim polyax washers and 18mm Alloy polyax double square pro secure nipples
  • 21 21
 Nothing like watching your buddy blow up his new carbon rim at the bike park while you're lapping downhill tracks the rest of the day with 50 or so dents in your $400 wheelset. Carbon on a park bike? Dumbest thing I've ever seen.
  • 2 3
 The truth.
  • 1 0
 You know that you can easily fix broken carbon rim right, most of a time.
  • 1 1
 I see @TrickyNI is from Northern Ireland. Unsure of how things are over there I took a look on youTube;
I really think a 160mm enduro bike is overkill for that terrain independently of your level. I would stick to 140mm max. And 27.5" cause being a begginer you wan't something that's maneuverable rather than a moster truck.
  • 4 0
 OVERBIKE!!!!!!! I love friday fails!!!!!
  • 4 0
 Right man. We need the newbies on Giant Reigns to keep us cheerfulSmile
  • 6 2
 "Ride a rigid HT"

Dick Pound
  • 1 1
 A little podcast question, since the old "people being over or under biked" is always a matter of controversy, what about bikes being over or under skilled? It drives me nuts to see a top of the line *insert dentist bike here* being ridden by someone with a bell super dh and elbow pads down a local blue trail, people have been skipping the whole growing-with-your-bike thing for a while and just dive into the deep end and get something that honestly I believe it prevents them from learning all the right skills and body position because the bikes are just so capable it allows for bigger mistakes. Call me a snob or whatever but I think buying a full on enduro race bike off the gate and throwing a pair of clips on it won't make you ride any better
  • 2 0
 > Ah, the classic, “Here honey, I built you up a bike with all my leftover parts” scenario.

I totally thought I invented that scenario.
  • 1 0
 Coil shock sag? There's a f*ck-off huge, cone-shaped "o-ring" on them...bend the tip if a zip-tie to the required sag measurement. If it fits exactly, sag is right. If it doesn't it isn't.
  • 2 0
 « I'd also suggest taking a lesson or three if there's a good skills coach in your area«  great advise!
  • 1 0
 Also, the frame is a bit too small now that I put on a 30mm stem over the 80/90 one it came with.
  • 2 1
 everyone needs to ride a hard tail at some point. If you want to learn how to ride well that is. imo
  • 2 0
 With this economy, I don't see a lot of carbon rims being sold.
  • 3 0
 Why? Pretty soon we'll all be getting $2K/month UBI. Just got my gubmint cheeze hush money first installment last week.
  • 1 0
 Checking sag on coil - use a chopsticks and a zip or rubber band. Done no need to buy fancy tools or anything.
  • 1 0
 Eagle chains fo not mesh with shimano 12s rings. They might look ok in a stand but it’s not secure.
  • 3 1
 Tool for checking sag on coil shock? Omg dude spit on the shaft
  • 1 0
 You want 26 up front and 24 on the back with triple chain rings on a hardtail - then you'll really learn how to ride lad.
  • 6 9
 I know I'm directly contradicting what they say but I don't see why anyone would learn on full sus, hardtails have WAY better components for the same price and they teach you how to absorb bumps with your body and pick a good line
  • 13 1
 Depends on where you ride. I'm glad I learned on a hardtail, but that was on clay trails back east with just a few roots to contend with. Now I'm in Colorado and about 2% of the trails in my area would still be fun on your average hardtail and I think a beginner would be turned off pretty quick.
  • 7 3
 who picks a good line anymore when you have 160 29ers on a local black but really a blue but really a green trail.
  • 2 1
 @DroppingThreeTwoOne: LMAO!!!! Good one mate.
  • 8 0
 @nonillogical: I had my first experiences mountain biking on a borrowed HT in the northeast, and vividly remember getting demolished by roots and rock gardens.

Then I had a few trips to bike parks renting a DH bike and had a blast, but the bike did all the work and I was free to pick horrendous lines and case table tops all day without feeling a thing.

So when it came time to pick a bike of my own, I decided to get a hardtail in the hopes of learning some real technique. I picked a Kona Big Honzo ST and so far I'm super happy with the decision. Lately I've been riding some gnarlier, rooty black trails here in WA and I can feel myself progressing much faster than I have before. The plus tires definitely help keep things comfortable through rock gardens and the like, but the feedback is invaluable for helping me improve as a rider IMO. I'm sure I would be faster if I'd spring for a FS, but I'm out here for fun rather than trying to set records.
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 Hey Kazimer,
Why would you say I need 2020 Shimano Hyperglide+ stuff to shift under load?I think my 8sp.XT/XTR have been shifted under load thousands of times without a whimper.Wanna buy some?
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