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Ask Pinkbike: Crash-Proof Rain Jackets, Shock Setup, Bike Sizing, & a Degreaser Dilemma

Nov 28, 2019 at 23:01
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.

What size bike?

Question: @Haygie31 asks in the Freeride & Slopestyle Forum: What bike size do I need? I've looked everywhere on Google and can't seem to find anything. I'm 5'10".

bigquotesIn this case, a Google search will probably just end up making you more confused than when you started. Choosing the right bike size isn't as easy as it once was, but with a little research and a few test rides your chances of getting a bike that fits you perfectly are better than ever.

The best place to start is by looking at the manufacturer's geometry chart for the bike you're interested in. In many cases, there will be a list of recommended heights for each size, which will provide a good starting point. However, things get a little trickier when you find yourself between sizes, which is going to be a common occurrence given your height. 5'10” is typically right between a medium and a large, and you'll need to look at a few other numbers and think about your riding style before deciding which way to go. This is when a knowledgeable local shop can be an asset – they should be able to talk you through the differences in each size and help you make a decision.

I'd also recommend demoing a bike before you buy whenever possible, whether that's by attending an organized event, through a shop, or just snagging a buddy's bike for a ride or two. Riding both sizes of the bike you're considering will make it a lot easier to come to a final decision.

If you decided to go a little further down the geometry rabbit hole, one of the numbers that you'll see tossed around when talking about frame size is 'reach.' Reach is the horizontal distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the head tube. That number is used to provide an indication of how long the bike will feel when you're standing out of the saddle, the position you should be in while descending. It doesn't tell the whole story, but it's something you can use to compare two different bikes and get a rough idea of what might work best for you. There are other geometry numbers that are worth paying attention to, like the seat tube angle and effective top tube length, but visiting a local shop and ride a whole bunch of bikes to see what works for you is the best tactic to avoid getting too overwhelmed by numbers and opinions.

Photo by Trevor Lyden
Bike sizing can get confusing due to the fact that every manufacturer's geometry numbers vary slightly.

Tough & Cheap Rain Jackets?

Question: @captainjack07 asks in the Bikes, Parts & Gear Forum: Is there a wet weather riding jacket for dh/enduro/bikepark that can withstand a crash or two? I guess I'm thinking something waterproof or really water-resistant, fairly breathable, maybe tougher materials on the elbows/forearms, and doesn't cost $200-$400 because, well, I'm going to crash in it (and I am not a dentist). There's a chance whatever I buy doesn't even make it through an entire day before I destroy it. So, is there anything out there like this? What do you all wear or suggest?

bigquotesWaterproof, breathable, and tough is a tricky combination to find when it comes to rain jackets, especially since many of them are designed to be lightweight and packable rather than being able to withstand cartwheeling through blackberry bushes.

You didn't mention what your budget is, but there are plenty of options in the $80 - $100 range that should do the trick. I'm a fan of Marmot's Precip jacket – it's simple and effective, with pit zips to help with ventilation, and it's easy to find it on sale for well under $100. The fabric is moderately tough, but don't expect miracles - it can still rip if you end up sliding through a boulder field or run right into a spear-like branch. If that's too much money, secondhand will be the way to go. Outdoor stores often have a consignment section, where you might be able to score one of those expensive jackets for a fraction of the price.

If you somehow found a nice dentist that was willing to buy you a $200 jacket, Leatt's DBX 5.0 would be my recommendation. It's not light, and I wouldn't really want to pedal around in it all day, but the fabric is incredibly tough, and should be able to handle all of your crash-filled rides.

On that note, if you do find a cheap rain coat, it might be worth investing the money you saved in a lesson or two. Crashing every once in a while is expected, but if you're regularly flying off your bike there's probably room for improvement in your technique. And just think how much longer your equipment would last if you spent less time rolling around on the ground...

Bontrager Avert Stormshell
There's a massive number of rain jacket options out there, some that are much better suited to the rigors mountain biking than others.

Transition Sentinel Shock Setup?

Question: @rangerdanger2001 asks in the Mechanic's Lounge Forum: I have a 2018 large Transition sentinel with a Fox DPX2 Elite. I have an issue with the rear shock setup...

I’m 5’10, 190 lbs with gear, I ride pretty hard. I ride a variety of trails including steep, loamy and rocky chutes, big drops, very fast chattery sections, as well as mostly flat XC style trails.

When I’m riding in the more technical trails the bike obviously usually feels much better all around compared to the XC trails considering the geometry. However on any drop more than like 3 feet as well as just jumping around the trail the bike tends to bottom out harshly. I have the largest volume spacer in the shock running around 200 psi. Is there any way to further increase the progressivity of the shock? Any suggestions to make the bike feel more planted and comfortable without running lower pressures? I’ve messed about with the rebound and I think I’ve got it feeling pretty good on 90% of the time.

Any other shocks that might help? I’ve looked into MRP's progressive coil, seems like a good option to me considering the more planted feel of a coil with a more progressive design. Would that be more progressive than an air shock with a lot of tokens? Transition says the sentinel has quite a linear design...

bigquotesThe first step that I'd take is to check the amount of sag . Transition recommends running between 32-35%, but if you've already maxed out the number of volume spacers, the next step is to try slightly higher air pressure. Give it a try with 25% sag and see if that helps. It'll feel a little firmer throughout the entire stroke, but hopefully that extra support will help keep you from blowing through the travel as easily. It's worth checking your fork setup while you're at it – if you're running it extremely firm, that could be forcing your weight further back, and causing you to put more force into the rear shock than a more balanced set up would.

As far as potential upgrades, I'd recommend against a coil shock, even one with a progressive coil. As you mentioned, the Sentinel has a fairly linear suspension curve, which means that there's a chance you'd still need to overspring it in order to avoid having the same problem that you're already experiencing. A Float X2 would be my recommendation. You'd gain the ability to adjust high-speed compression and rebound, but the biggest selling point is the newer version's generous bottom-out bumper. That bumper makes it nearly impossible to experience a harsh bottom out, which is exactly what you're looking for. You'll need a 205 x 57.5mm shock, which can be a little harder to find, but a good shop should be able to reduce the stroke length of a 205 x 60mm shock for you by adding in a 2.5mm spacer. 

Transition Sentinel

Degreaser That Actually Degreases?

Question: @lucapcp asks in the Bikes, Parts & Gear Forum:

Once upon a time, I had a "Mud Shine" orange-based degreaser that worked very well to clean my gears and chain. But since I run out of it, I am struggling to find a good replacement. Most degreasers I buy are not actually able to dissolve the grease that accumulates e.g. on the shifter gears; if I spray them on a toothbrush and then brush the gears, and then I spray water on the toothbrush, the toothbrush is still completely gunky, a sign that the so-called degreaser is not dissolving the grease. Most "degreasers" I find for sale are some kind of mild soap, which is rather unable to dissolve wax/oil residue.

Can anyone recommend a good degreaser for bike chains and gears that actually dissolves the grease?

bigquotesI'm a little confused by your evaluation methods. I'd focus more on what the derailleur pulleys look like after you scrub them, rather than examining the toothbrush you're scrubbing them with to determine the effectiveness of a degreaser, but that's just me.

I try to avoid harsh solvents when it comes to bike cleaning. A bucket of warm water with some Dawn liquid dish soap squirted into it is really all it takes to clean up a filthy bike. Simple Green diluted with water in a spray bottle works well too, and you can purchase a gallon of the stuff for next to nothing. Yes, there are stories floating around about how it can affect chain strength, but unless you soak parts in it for months at a time there's nothing to worry about. There's also no need to do a full deep clean after every single ride, especially if it wasn't particularly muddy, and in many cases a light hose down and a wipe with a rag is all that's required to get your bike ready for its next outing.

One easy way to reduce the time spent cleaning your drivetrain is to avoid applying too much lube to your chain, and to avoid lubes that build up and create a grimy, greasy mess. My personal favorite is Dumonde Tech's Lite chain lube. I'll apply it every couple of rides depending on how many puddles I've been splashing through, and the amount of gunk that builds up on the cassette, chainring, and pulley wheels remains fairly minimal. 

The bike wash hoses getting a good workout on Friday afternoon.
Fancy cleaners aren't required to keep your bike looking fresh.

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,763 articles

  • 150 1
 Pick a frame size and be a dick about it.
  • 52 1
 Pick your geometry and be a dick about it.
  • 7 2
 How can I like this more.
  • 22 1
 @zmums: jump up and down while cheering?
  • 11 0
 Pick a bike brand, stick to their sizing recommendations... and be a really big dick about it (bad mouthing other suspension linkages and wheel sizes along the way).
  • 5 0
 Pinkbike a comments section. Be a dick about it.
  • 2 0
 Ride bikes that are too small and pretend it's a DJ.
  • 75 1
 Light cheap durable rain jacket. Got one at a clothing boutique called Target (pronounce with french accent) it’s made by Champion (also french accent). It’s imported.......from china. $12 survived 5 seasons.
  • 79 2
 Ah oui - Tarjay.
  • 19 1
 I'm with you here. The real gems are at Targét. MTB specific clothing sucks for the price.
  • 18 1
 The breathability of a rain jacket has a lot to do with humidity. If it’s humor your always going to have hot wet air inside your layers. I find that an umbrella works so much better, I would recommend you try one. I use a ODI brolly that comes with your choice off lock on grip. It’s not cheap at $70 but I think it’s worth it to stay dry and if your going to crash just let it go and it will float down to the ground.
  • 11 1
 @T-Bot: pics or it didn't happen
  • 43 1
 @T-Bot: my humor is a little dry so I should be ok in a normal jacket - right?
  • 3 2
 $12 Clearance at the North Face outlet upstate, 12 seasons, DH, freeride, trail digging, crashes, still looks mint. Got Columbia softshell at Ross for my wife for $30. Thing has welded seems and rivals my $300 softshell used for backcountry skiing. Have a closet full of goretex probably worth 10k at least. Would get the $30 softshell any day use 5 seasons and throw it away.
  • 25 1
You've spent 10k on goretex products,?
  • 1 1
 @aps62: Yep. Youre good. I would reccomend the Pit Viper Wipeout Windshirt.
  • 11 3
 @hhaaiirryy: Hahaha, I'm afraid to get the calculator out but have been skiing since I was 4 and mountain biking for 33 years. Yes between baclavas, tons of jackets, pants, gloves, minimal active wear, etc. That is a rough estimate. I have one jacket that is $700 with a $300 windstopper zip in jacket. Things cost alot in the 90's and I made alot back then so went a bit crazy. The real story is that stuff sits there until negative 10 at least and the $30 who care if it rips jackets are my thing now. Looking at a shredded $250 jacket is traumatizing to me.
  • 8 0
 @hhaaiirryy: Jorge goes big. Jorge never goes...home.
  • 4 1
 Marmot is blowing out their Precip jackets on their site right now and mine has survived 10+ seasons of DH racing and gnasty trail rides. Washed & Nikwax'ed it a few weeks back and it still looks new. I should post a pic on the 'Gram and get a freebie for it.

Oh...and they just warrantied a tent for me with all time customer service. Super happy!
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: Hahaha true statement, have gear probably older than alot of people in here that still looks mint. Don't crash often but when I do eyuyuyuy massive. Doing mega trail work now before the real snow come and look forward to the cold. All year is bike season.
  • 4 0
 @jorgeposada: Same here, I have some great cheapo technical pieces from Costco's Kirkland signature brand the hold up great for mtb (and yardwork, fishing, etc.) and were in the $20-30 range and basically disposable - softshells, ultralight hardshell, down vests and coats, etc...the softshells are particularly heavyduty, total opposite of like an arc'teryx backcountry piece...
  • 1 1
 @hhaaiirryy: 10 drysuits?
  • 3 1
 If you want fancy Gore-Tex style waterproofing for $100 and a helmet-compatible waterproof hood... this one from DHB has been fantastic for me:

  • 2 1
 @Mtmw: I have one of these too. If you can get it on sale and use a discount code, this can be a fantastic value.
With a light fleece, this is a go to jacket until the temperatures drop under the -10 C range.
Has been very durable and would get another if I needed to.
  • 2 0
 @ccrida-pnw: Exactly have certain gear for different conditions. Wish they had cheap offerings back in the day but glad it's here now. Muddy, snow, slop riding building, yes you will be warm without any goretex involved. My family in Pennsylvania put me on to Cabelas bargain cave. Wooooh if you can find something close to your size , insane 85% discount on legit gear.
  • 1 0
 @hhaaiirryy: You spent 10k on a bike?
  • 2 1
 @billbek: I didn't know you could get it cheaper, but I can say I've been amazed that it isn't better known. It replaced a Gore-Tex jacket for me and has been absolutely flawless pnw raingear, really truly breathes, and has lived through more than one tree impact. I'd buy another even if price was no object.
  • 1 0
 @Mtmw: I think I got mine on one of their super clear out deals and needed a jacket for commuting and winter (fat) biking. It was probably $85 CAD when the deal was done and I regret not buying two at that time.
If I am doing a lot of climbing I can sweat out the membrane and once it is wet it won't breath as well.
The only thing I wish it had was some pit vents or some other way to spill heat.
I have had pretty good luck with CRC shipping by normal post (free).
It is a good looking jacket too.
  • 3 1
 @jorgeposada: I'm sure you did make a lot back then, being the catcher for the Yankees and all... Wink
  • 1 1
 @jorgeposada: Or donate, recycle or up-cycle it maybe?
  • 1 2
 @hhaaiirryy: Spend money on gore-tex and be a dick about it
  • 2 0
 @Borgjonny: Sensative types don't last too long in the mountains.
  • 1 1
 @Endurahbrah: I don't think your sure about anything but keep trying.
  • 3 0
 Picked up a Wrangler rain jacket at K-Mart in '96 for about $35 that has worked great. It was last century so they may not be in stock anymore, if you can find a K-Mart that is open.
  • 1 0
 Use Gear-Aid repair tape. It's an adhesive patch they sell at REI for $4 a roll. It's super durable, easy to use, comes in all sorts of colors.
  • 30 1

I'm hundreds of dollars in the hole for a bunch of useless jackets that don't work any better than a $1 garbage bag.

You know why...when your body is sweating at 100% humidity and it's raining at 100% humidity, your breathable material is just an expensive garbage bag instead of a cheap one. You are going to be soaked.

You know what else most of those fancy jackets have? A DWR layer that doesn't like friction. You know what causes friction? A camelback, a fanny pack, your arms rubbing against your torso, mud, and other bike-related shit. So then your DWR goes, it does an even worse job at keeping you dry, and you'll wish you hadn't spent all of that money.

You can buy these Frogg Troggs for like $35 on amazon. They will last a season or two, then throw em away. Your DWR will be shot on your other jacket you spent $200 on by then anways, no matter how many products you use to try to salvage it.

  • 2 1
 frogg toggs are great and non-mtbers use them a lot. i dont know any jacket that isnt 400usd that is somewhat breathable to a level that kinda works for biking. the only ones i know are using goretex permanent beading fabric or similar (its not very durable and its very expensive).

The alternative to that would be any non-breathable jacket with large pit zips (these don't use or need DWR). I have that and I like it. Its a bit more expensive than frogg toggs but usually isolates you better from cold as well. The advantage of these is that when your start to sweat you dont feel the cold rain and you're still warm, without being overly clamy inside thanks to the pit zips
  • 4 1
 yep, breathable membranes in expensive jackets are great for lower output, low humidity environments. they are fantastic for staying dry while lift-served skiing, as all that moisture is quickly drawn out to the outside. for a high output, high humidity environment like climbing a mountain in the rain, they are not moving any moisture out at all. you're better off just opening the pit zips of a non-breathable jacket.
  • 12 4
 I find my skin to be the best waterproof jacket. I the winter I just wear a light merino tee under a jersey with some elbow pads. My stuff gets wet, but I ride hard and stay warm. Then all you have to do is dry it off with a towel and it's ready for the next ride!
  • 7 1
 @xeren: You ain't wrong. As a sweaty bastard I have spent a lot of time stomping around the mountains in 'waterproof breathable' gear that was just soaked. Pit zips and the front zipper are all that really help me. A friend who was a mountain guide and original Goretex tester said they all called it 'the big lie'. I'm reminded every time I'm in pouring rain, with the inside and outside of my DWR jacket soaked.
  • 2 0
 STOP!Youre making me feel bad...and clammy.You are %100 correct though
  • 2 0
 I am a big, heavy sweater. The two jackets that actually work for me are the Patagonia Dirt Roamer (wind/light rain) and the Endura MT500 Waterproof II (raining for real). The Endura has been pretty solid for me and definitely is made of burlier fabric but is super breathable.
  • 1 0
 it s simple physics, it s impossible to make something that shields off water completely but lets humidity (=water) outside at the same time. however, i find that more expensive jackets are lighter and dry a lot quicker after the rain stops (like all good technical clothing) so you wont feel soaked in the end. also better ones should have structure so even if it rips a bit, the hole won t extend, I have ripped all my rain clothing but it s not noticeable
  • 3 0
 @DrPete: As a fellow sweaty b****d who has a ridiculously high body temperature, I have also found Endura fabrics to be pretty good. I'm using the MTR Shell jacket with the 40,000 thingumyjigs breathability rating and it's the first waterproof jacket I've had in my time riding that seems to also breathe well...for now!
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: yep Endura MT500 FTW!
  • 19 4
 Transition needs to update its linkage to be more progressive. Both the sentinel and the scout are far to linear, which is such a shame because the geometry is so spot on.

According to Fox the DpX2 shock that they spec are also silly. The fella who has the largest volume spacer in there is technically voiding his warranty. The shock that Transition specs can only take a medium volume spacer before it experiences "spikes" in shock pressure that will aerate your damper (force you to rebuild it) and/or destroy your shock. (Though I ran the largest spacer in the Scout for a bit and had decent luck).

If Transition can update the linkage, (and maybe shave a pound of their frames...) they'd have the best bikes out there.
  • 19 2
 But what about #oncoil?
  • 1 2
 Huh. How do you know this? How can i find out if my fox dpx2 can take the largest spacer.
  • 5 4
 Eh, I kinda blame Fox for this. I also wanted less volume in my DPX2, only to find out that it already had the largest allowable spacer in there. They need to design a shock that can handle larger spacers so that they can be used on a wider range of bikes.

I'm consistently underwhelmed by Fox, will probably be swapping in a DVO topaz instead of paying the ~$170 service that the DPX2 requires
  • 1 1

Hey Randy rocks a coil on his Sentinel.... tho some factory voodoo mama juju tuning done for sure. Me thinks the MRP progressive spring on a shock w/ HSC adjust is worth a shot.
  • 7 1
 I think his PSI setup is wrong. Its telling that there is no sag % listed and he just listed out his weight and PSI. 190lbs and 200psi is pretty low. I have this shock and also weigh 190lbs. I'm running about 220PSI at 30% sag on a fairly progressive suspension. The dude just needs to add air...simple as that. So he could prob easily run 225. Yeah Transition needs a better link...but he isn't doing big 12ft drop or anything.
  • 1 16
flag Shafferd912 (Dec 5, 2019 at 15:20) (Below Threshold)
 Giant has the same linkage style, and the problem that the guy describes above is EXACTLY what happened to me with my Trance. Eventually, I sold the Trance, and bought an enduro bike. (Commencal meta for anyone wondering.)
  • 2 1
 I think most people in his weight range run body weight +45psi, so 230-235 might be a good guess.
Their recommended sag is correct if you use their method, which is no weight on the bars, just sit on the seat and lift your feet off of the ground (for real, go look at their setup guide).

For those talking about the spacer deal:
The shock is actually a 65mm with 7.5mm of travel reducing spacers. So a much lower compression ratio than it's designed for. It should be ok to run massive spacers.
  • 4 0
 @Shafferd912: Giant uses their Maestro lay out, Transition has Horst link. Very different.
  • 5 0
 @Shafferd912: I never down vote but you’re funny. Giant and transition aren’t anything alike linkage wise.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: Agreed. I am 160lbs with gear and run 205-210psi in the DPX2. Still get bottom outs on occasion but it's good most of the time
  • 1 0
 Bikes with high leverage ratios and linear linkages should generally not run large volume air cans (which are designed to be more linear) as they need lots of spacers to get enough progression for aggressive riders. Obviously it can be done but these bikes tend to work better with lower volume air cans.

That said, I do believe that the X2 performs very well on the Sentinel, so what do I know Wink
  • 1 0
 @matixsnow: go to the fox website and put in the 4 letter code on the side of your shock. You may have to click around a bit, but it'll give you a chart with what shock allows for what spacers.
  • 2 0
 I put a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air on mine. Makes a world of difference. Let's you crank up the HSC, absolutely transformed the bike. I was thinking about selling the bike before trying that shock. Now I love it.
  • 16 0
 There's no need for degreaser when using Squirt Lube, warm water and that's it!
  • 4 1
 True. Haven't degreased for years and my chains last longer then most people's. Just make sure to wipe the excess lube.
  • 8 1
 as I learned from motos, leave your chain with that dirt/chainlube residue. degreasing and re-greasing all the time makes the chain wear WAAYYY faster. the cleaner gets in all the nooks and crannies, and ends up pushing dirt further into where it shouldn't be. Hose it off and just keep applying lube. the filmy sticky mess on the chain actually protects it
  • 4 0
 There’s no need for degreaser.
  • 2 3
 Blast all the crap off with air, reapply lube, wipe excess, done.
  • 6 0
 I was always told a clean chain is better, so was incredulous after hearing from old school mechanics (incl. Sheldon Brown) that using degreaser wears your chain faster. Experiment time. On the same bike, in the same conditions, wearing the chain from new to 0.75 I was able to REDUCE the chain's lifespan to less than 1000 miles by cleaning it as thoroughly as possible (place weekly in container of Simple Green and leave on washer/dryer to agitate all crap out - chain comes out sparkly). I got 2-3k miles out of chains I degreased but didn't agitate. Life of over 4000 miles was achieved by cleaning the chain only by holding a rag around the chain and running it through and then applying lube - no degreaser used.
  • 1 1
 @rglasser: not sure why you are getting downvoted. Some degreaser brushed on with a toothbrush to chain and cassette then hosed off at 100psi works great. Wear goggles and hold a rag to catch the crud flying off. Don't spray air into any bearings
  • 1 0
 @aceface17: Wait, so I've been doing it right all along?? Awesome!
  • 1 0
 @aceface17: depends on if its an o ring or xring chain vs. Regular on a motorbike. I use diesel oil as a chain cleaner for m/c's, it cleans, lubes, and is o ring friendly.
  • 1 0
 I'm a +1 on just spraying, reapplying lube, and wiping.

There are degreasers which will strip the oil and grease off components with reckless abandon, but they're also horribly harsh. I took an industrial safety course when I was working down in Texas. The instructor used to wash all his machined components in benzene, then he'd wash his forearms in the benzene. Benzene is an amazing degreaser, so much so that it pulled all the subcutaneous fat out of his forearms. I'll spare you the details, but his forearms weren't that pretty. All you need is elbow grease and an expectation that anything on a mechanical system should probably have a thin sheen of oil on it.
  • 1 0
 @tanadog: Facinating article. The whole thing about cooking your chain in that wax lube in a crock pot is a little nutty but sounds like it works.
  • 1 0
 As an experienced chemist in pharmaceutical industry, I would tell you that guy using benzene is going to get cancer. In a lot of cases, people are not aware of the toxicity of chemical solvents and should stay away from them@viccuus:
  • 1 0
 @cavitand: Agreed. Learn to live with the grease.
  • 1 0
 Not only that, but most of the strong degreasers are horribly toxic, bad for you and worse for the environment. If you need to degrease the bike it probably means you are using way too much lube. The only reason to do a thorough degrease of the drivetrain is when selling a bike. I just brush off everything, apply new lube, and wipe the chain. If the cassette gets full of crud, a good soap and brush treatment does just fine.

Note that the original question called the cassette "shifter gears".
  • 8 0
 Just gotta say this is awesome advice all round. pb editors have to deal with the most ornery comments, but they are down to earth and realistic. I would also like a dentist to buy all my gear.
  • 6 0
 As for the Sentinel question-- I weigh 175lbs kitted up and ran exactly 200psi giving me ~30-31% sag. I'm guessing at 190lbs you are running too much sag for your riding. With 200psi I almost never have a "harsh" bottom out (I have the .86 spacer or whatever was included in the 2019 model). When riding park I always up the pressure ~5psi to avoid any harsh end-of-travel events. That said, I just switched out this shock for a DVO Topaz which I'm having a little harder time avoiding bottom out on my biggest drops and compressions. Also, as Transition recommends- run the rebound FAST!
  • 3 1
 ^This guy.

175lbs myself, running 205 psi with the compression clicked 2 from open and the stock volume spacer. It's one of the few bikes I've ridden that adding more pressure made it feel more supple/bottomless. I'm guessing you're just off on that pressure and probably should trying 230psi and seeing where it gets you.
  • 3 1
 One interesting thing to note from Transition is their guide says to sit on the seat (dropper down) and then just lift your legs off the ground to set sag. This puts zero weight on the bars. With this method, I've found my preferred setup to be 225psi (for my 180ish lb riding weight). That gives me the same 30-31% sag. I imagine that using a more traditional method of setting sag (with any weight at all on the bars) would put me in the ~25% range.

As you said, fast rebound (2 clicks from open)
Not much compression, 0-3 clicks from open depending on how many braking bumps there are.

Page 3:
  • 1 1
 I'm 205lb w/out gear running a 11.6 coil on my Sentinel and it is awesome. I have yet to have a harsh bottom out in the park or in enduro races. The 11.6 does handle the last bit of travel quite well.
I've thought about trying the air shock again, but haven't yet gone for it.
  • 2 1
 @cgdibble: Don't do it -
  • 1 1
 @downcountry: Yeah, I don't think it'll really ever happen.
  • 2 1
 same same. Very rarely do I hit bottom on the sentinel and when I do I had it coming. Rebound is wide open and I don't fuss with compression but it's near open. Stock spacer situation whatever that is. I'm about 180 with gear and also consider myself an aggressive rider given our terrain around Nelson. Kinda hard not to be. I've only hit bottom on big slab compressions. No complaints to report. Excellent bike!
  • 1 0
 @Klainmeister: Same here: more pressure made the ride more plush. I'm running 250, weigh 215 with gear. Also dropped to a 0.2 spacer.
  • 6 1
 For rain jackets, it's worth checking out motorcycle gear... I got an Alpinestars rain jacket for $50 on sale at Cycle Gear and it's WAY more heavily built and durable than anything mountain bike specific. Not quite as fashionable but much heavier duty.
  • 4 1
 Word Leroy, word. Function over form.
  • 4 2
 Shoulda bought a Harley jacket!
  • 5 0
 Dude...that sentinel needs like 260 psi in the rear...ditch the volume spacer and pump that sucker to 260psi to ride at a sag more like 26 not 32...that's how transition bikes rear suspension needs to be set up.
  • 3 1
 The Leatt DBX 5.0 is a rad jacket, but the forearms are ridiculously tight - like it was designed for a roadie. After starting to ride, enough blood starts flowing I cannot push them up, plus it doesn't have pit zips and has heavy fabric, so runs hot. Yes, it's definitely durable. The taped seams have also started delaminating - have not contacted them yet, but am sure they will support it.

The Dakine jacket isn't the best quality, but has survived many crashes (amazingly) unscathed. Forearm/elbow impacts even.
  • 3 1
 Jackets, Iam into Leatt dbx 5.0 now, it's pretty good and really tough enough, but also having 2.0 for "warmer" days. Before I had some Dakine which was light enough but still very solid in crashes, it costed something around 200cad , however Iam not sure they have it anymore
  • 2 1
 I ride in Columbia stuff. Soft shell jacket and flannel when its cold. A PFG (fishing gear) Columbia shirt in the spring/ summer. If it is raining outside, a Columbia rain jacket. The fit is good. The materials are good. The price is very good. A lot of their outerwear is UPF treated, wicks far better than any bike specific wear, and the shirts have vents built in. Plus, you can get designs and colors, unlike a lot of the bike stuff which is boring solid colors (or, stepping out with stripes!). Bike shorts are pretty much the only bike specific stuff I get. The prices that Fox, Giro, etc... want for a bike jersey that does not breathe and barely wicks is laughable.
  • 1 0
 Mammoth rain jacked +++
It cost under 80$ already serve me 4 seasons, light, durable,breathable, i would recommend to look camping aoutdoor equipment for rain jacket;

For the degreaser - muck-off is nice, or just soapy water;
I do not bother myself lubricating chain often, so not a big problem to degrease; Any xtr chain will last you quite long without maintanance
  • 1 0
 Degreaser recommendation. I use Autosmart Tardis. It's solvent based and used in the auto trade to remove tar spots from bodywork. It can also be bought in 5L drums. Spray it on, agitate, and rinse with water. Your drive train is left sparking. Just remember to re-lube as this stuff leave nothing behind.
  • 1 0
 Instead of just dowvoting people who say to use compressed air, maybe these downvoters could explain why it is a bad idea. (Which I personally don't think it is.) Don't get any air in the suspension bearings or spray it at yourself and you're good to go. Toothbrush on some degreaser, put a rag behind to catch crud, and wear eyeglasses. It doesn't waste water and uses very few resources, so it probably counts as one of the most environmentally friendly options. With the advent of quick links, taking off your chain and dropping into a jar of degreaser, put on the lid and swish around vigorously. Then brush off in the laundry sink and blow the water out and reapply lube works well too.
  • 1 0
 Only two things are waterproof. Roofs and rubber. Goretex comes close, but hates dirt and doesnt crash well. In my experience, buy once cry once, but not good for mountain biking. Nothing is as good as Goretex. I just take my off brand "water proof/breathable" jacket so i don't get soaking wet, and carry a change of clothes if I'm driving to the trail. And a beer.
  • 1 0
 Gasoline is the best degreaser you already have laying around. I know, but if you release your precious pearls from your grasp, I can explain. You don’t need to pour a gallon of gas into Gaya Earthmothers delicate bunghole, a little bit goes a long way.

Dip a worn out toothbrush in some gas, scrub your drivetrain, wipe clean with a paper towel. It’s cheap, you already have it, and it works better than anything else I’ve used.

Also I have a 12$ rain jacket from Costco that has worked great. Maybe I’m a pussy but I actively avoid slamming and ripping my shit up.
  • 1 0
 If you have to "de-grease" on your bike, you are doing something wrong. Chains get a dry teflon-type lube like Finishline dry lube. Even in the muddy NE never had a chain wear issue. Bike's get the "dust broom" treatment to knock off any dirt or mud. Almost never "wash" my bike. Doing it for over 25 years.
  • 2 1
Carbon tetrachloride or Trichloroethylene.
Just don't drink it. Or get it on your skin. Or breathe.
If that makes it too hard to use, go with ZEP heavy-duty citrus degreaser, available at Home Depot.
  • 1 1
 Second the ZEP stuff. I was a big fan of the Pedro's citrus degreaser but it's very expensive. The ZEP stuff works just as well and you get about ten times as much for the money.
  • 2 0
 Got a huge jug of zep for like 12.00. Works great for all kinds of stuff. @Trudeez:
  • 1 0
 simple green
  • 1 1
 If any jacket manufacturers are reading this post I have a great idea i can pitch. PM me and we can talk.

FYI I am still using a 15 YO MEC freeride type jacket(copy of Raceface i believe), still 90% water resistant but most importantly super durable almost a canvas type material.
  • 2 1
 For a quick rinse and wipe down at the trailhead o use a cheap 2 gallon pump sprayer that I got at walmart. It's good enough to get the major mud off so deeper cleaning is much easier.
  • 1 1
 Gt85 (ptfe) lube and autoglm cleaning
Been using these for many years
Ptfe is a dry lube so no crud build up but you must spray every ride
i find a cheap supply of gt85 and buy loads
Also give a squirt on fork stantions rear shock and dropper. Keep overstay off brakes though
  • 2 1
 Head's up -- Dawn is a degreaser. Hence their motto, "Dawn takes grease out of your way." It might be a mild degreaser, but it is a degreaser. Might want to lube necessary parts after using Dawn.
  • 2 0
 and Dawn is the business if you ride or build trail in poison ivy/oak country.
  • 1 0
 Haha rad. Lessons?! I need more than lessons! Hah! Thanks. Good tips. Will def try Targe (Target pronounced french-ish) and some other suggestions unless there's a dentist out there that wants me to have a Leatt DBX 5.0
  • 3 0
 In Australia at the moment we don't wear rain jackets, we wear smoking jackets because of all the bushfires.
  • 1 1
 Has anyone wondered why isn´t there a chainguide that pulls the chain up and back while guiding it, so it can reduce chain tension?? I know it wouldn´t work on all frames, but it would be a start atleast
  • 3 1
 Do you mean the lower or the upper part? Most chain guides (exclusively) work with an upper part. It shouldn't pull the chain as you already put a lot of stress on it when pedaling. Exceptions are idler pulleys of course, if you'd consider these chain guides of some sort. Lower guides though do exactly as you mention, pull the chain up and back. Some brands like Liteville mount these separately on the chainstay but other chainguides have these have a lower pulley or slider that's mounted to the same (ISCG05 mounted) backplate. But nothing really reduces chain tension, does it? Upper chain tension depends on the pedaling force, lower tension depends on how hard the derailler cage pulls.
  • 3 1
 Muc-off products are worth the $. A little goes a long way, and leaves like new results.
  • 1 0
 Speaking of degreasers I would recommend Muc-Off's biodegradable degreasers, yellow bottle. Works like a charm in my opinion.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer if a coil shock wouldn't be good for the Sentinel then why would Rockshox make a Super Deluxe Coil specifically for it?
  • 1 1
 I pick the bike size based on my dick size, large. I've also had comments (obviously from the women I've been with) like "it's magical" so if there's a size called magical, that be my frame size. Simple man, simple life.
  • 2 2
 Simple Green Industrial degreaser - get the non-dyed one with no scent. Probably one of the best degreasers you can purchase.
  • 2 2
 This an excellent degreaser. In fact, It is exactly what I use when I’m in the mood to destroy then replace all of my linkage bearings.Wink
  • 3 2
 exactly, or any similar lemon-based (ie citric acid) degreaser
no need for chemical based ones for gunk etc. citric acid will get rid of it all and its not bad for the environment
  • 2 0
 The Simple Green website warns not to let aluminum parts soak for more than 10 minutes in it because it is alkaline and corrodes it (simplegreen.com/faqs).
  • 2 2
 Why would you ever pick "What size bike?" as a topic for this column? Especially a blatant trolling question like that one... "I've looked everywhere on Google..."? Come on.
  • 3 0
 to be fair, there isn't much on dirt jump bike sizing. Most brands offer 1, sometimes 2 sizes. Chromag offers 4 which is pretty cool for taller riders.
  • 3 2
 Baby wipes are a fantastic degreaser. I use them to wipe down my parts all the time. They are easy on the skin too.
  • 3 0
 do you use chain lube to moisten your baby's bottom then? that makes no sense. they might wipe the gunk off but they're not a degreaser.
  • 3 2
 Tip for making your rain jacket last longer if you're crashing a lot - wear elbow pads on the outside.
  • 1 0
 I’ve gone with all WPL products for degreaser/chain lube/grease/fork and seal. Works great, good for the environment.
  • 1 0
 If you want a dropperpost with the longest possible drop, you'll have to consider seattube length as well.
  • 1 0
 For water proofing, get ya-selves a Dri-Za-Bone. The full length one should be great on the trails Wink
  • 1 0
 Zep Fast 505 Cleaner & Degreaser...buy it and don't look back
  • 1 0
 if it rains.. I just go inside.. yay Colorado!
  • 1 0
 If we don't they will close the trails... Yay. And then wait 30min it stops and 2 hours on a hot summer day and its dry again... Yay colorado
  • 1 0
 Pick a way of degreasing. And be a dick about it.
  • 1 0
 I keep bottoming out my shock, should I get a coil? lol
  • 1 1
 ZEP heavy duty citrus decreaser at home depot. $7 for a gallon.
  • 1 1
 Degreaser? What about using Kerosene?
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