Ask Pinkbike: Preventing Tire Buzz, Progressing Safely, Rebound Adjustments, & Which Bike to Buy?

Jul 13, 2021 at 14:33
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.

Should I Mess With My Rebound?

Question: @Artjr asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I have the Rockshox Pike dialed in around 90% of my course. One section is a very rooty downhill into a berm. I'm having a rough time getting across the roots at a good speed without the feeling of losing control. I get such a shake it feels like the bars could be ripped from my hands. Never messed with rebound, is it something I should try?

bigquotesYes, messing with rebound is something everyone should try, but before you go spinning that red dial it's worth taking a step back and looking at your overall setup. Start by checking your air pressure. If you need a starting point, there should be a sticker on the back of the lowers that provides suggested air pressures for different rider weights, or you can visit RockShox's web site for those base settings. Too much pressure could cause your fork to feel like it's trying to rattle your fillings out in rough terrain, even if it felt fine on smoother sections of trail.

Once you're confident that the air pressure is in a reasonable realm, I'd suggest checking your compression settings. Depending on the fork model, you'll either have low-speed compression or high-and low-speed compression adjustments accessible on the top right side of the fork. How many clicks are you from fully closed? If the dial (or dials) are nearly all the way closed, opening them up by a couple clicks may help.

With those details taken care of, now it's time to tackle the rebound settings. Ideally, you want your fork to be able to absorb repeated hits without packing up (that's when it rebounds too slowly to deal with the next impact). Stand next to the bike and compress the fork by pushing down on the handlebar. Unweight the fork, and attention to how fast it returns to full extension. Does it seem like the front wheel wants to spring off the ground? Or is is rebounding like it's full of molasses? In general, it's better to have a fork rebound on the quicker rather than the slower side of things, but personal preference plays a role here.

Find a section of trail that's easily repeatable, and change one thing at a time to see what feels best. Keep track of your air pressure and rebound / compression clicks, so that you can easily return to a setting that felt good. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the possible combinations, but don't be afraid to experiment – those dials aren't just for show, and they can make a big difference when if comes to how your bike feels out on the trail. 

Fox 38 vs RockShox Zeb
More jackalope, less turtle.

Pivot Mach 429 or Spectral?

Question: @rowbearto-Prescott asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: For my 70 BD present, should I purchase new Pivot 429 v3 or Canyon Spectral 29? Thoughts?

Riding in Prescott, AZ so riding on forest trails, some rock / loose rock, decomposed granite. I have a Pivot 429 v2 w/ 27.5 wheels and want to move to a lighter / faster machine. If I went Canyon, it would probably be Spectral 29 CF 8.0. A lot of bike for less $$$ than the Pivot. Any words of wisdom, pro and/or con? I ride about 3000 miles/yr, 3-5x/wk.

bigquotesKudos for still getting after it! I sure hope I'm shopping for a sweet new ride when I hit 70. As for which bike to go with, you've listed two very different options. The 429 is a quick and snappy short-travel machine, while the Spectral is significantly longer and slacker. Given your desire for a lighter / faster bike, I'd steer you towards the 429. It'll work well for the trails in your area, and you won't ever feel like you're dragging around more bike than you need. Yes, there's a significant price difference, but you only live once, right? 

Canyon Spectral 29 2021
Canyon Spectral
Pivot Mach 429

Tire Buzz Prevention?

Question: @markmrobbins asks in the 29ers forum: Twice in the past two weeks I've had the very new and very painful experience of racking myself when descending steep bumpy terrain - my butt hits my rear tire and pushes my crotch into the back of my saddle. Has anyone experienced this or know why this is happening?

I recently switched from a 27+ intense ACV to a 29er fezzari la sal peak. So I'm guessing it has something to do with the bigger wheel size and/or higher seat tube angle. And I'd assume it's just a technique issue where I'm pushing my hips too far back and low. But I'm also wondering if it's a bike fit issue. I currently have a 125mm dropper on but think I have just enough room to fit a 150mm dropper and am wondering if that will solve the issue, tho I think there would still be just enough room between the saddle and rear tire to still pinch myself in there.

Thoughts? I really want to make sure I never do this again! Without going into too much detail it's really really painful!

bigquotesThe ol' crotch to back of the seat smash is a painful, annoying experience, no matter how hilarious your buddies think it is when they find you doubled over on the side of the trail. You've pretty much mentioned all the potential culprits – those bigger wheels and a riding position where you're too far off the back of the bike can certainly make this a more common occurrence. I think that going for a 150mm dropper is a very reasonable next step. While it won't eliminate this issue, you'll at least have more room to shift your body around, and create more clearance between you and the back of the seat.

Speaking of seats, how's the padding situation at the very back of the saddle you're currently using? I've had saddles with a hard plastic portion at the back that seemed like it was designed purely to inflict harm. Swapping saddles might be a way to at least reduce the pain if this situation happens again. 

Prologo Scratch M5 Check Out
Not all seats are designed with crotch-smashing comfort in mind.

Older Rider Starting Out - What's Realistic and Safe?

Question: @o4Msf7 asks in the Beginners forum: I am turning 49 later this year and bought a Norco Fluid FS1 and a Trance X E bike last year so our family could ride together. My tween son is a keen rider and hits big jumps and some very steep slopes on his Trance Jr. This year we have been to a few mountain bike parks and despite having zero experience I have followed my son down some blue/intermediate DH trails and have to admit to being pretty scared on some sections. My son meanwhile flies over the jumps with great skill and comfort...

I want to support my son in his riding and he is too young to be left riding at MTB parks by himself so I feel like I need to ride down the trails with him. As a complete beginner at nearly 50 have I left it too late to ride on DH trails at this level? Has anyone else started this late in life with no prior riding experience? I really can't afford a serious injury workwise so I need to stay safe (within reason) but want to support my kid. Any tips or advice?

bigquotesIt's never to late to start mountain biking, and I'm positive you'll be able to confidently make it down blue / intermediate DH trails, but that's going to take patience, and some lessons.

In the early days of mountain biking lessons were basically unheard of. You just went off into the woods and crashed until you stopped crashing so much, and if you made it through that phase you were officially a mountain biker. Luckily, things have changed, and there are lots of reputable mountain bike coaches that can help you progress. Just like with skiing, you wouldn't point yourself down a steep run without at least having some idea of what to expect – lessons will dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes you to get comfortable on the bike. If private lessons are too pricey, group clinics can be a way to reduce the cost and still gain some valuable skills.

I'd also recommend getting your son connected with other riders his age – lessons or at least a group of riding buddies will help him progress even faster, and you won't need to worry as much about trying to keep up with his high-flying antics.

What do you do when you've got a future Jackson Goldstone on your hands?


  • 157 7
 The real question is, how much content will be behind a paywall?
  • 147 16
 I'm not sure - hopefully barely any, because I really don't like paywalls either. The good news is that nothing's changing in the near future, so you might as well keep enjoying all the content and worry about other things, like grizzly bear attacks or spontaneous human combustion.
  • 93 2
 @mikekazimer: The reason we love Pinkbike is its a free community where everyone is welcome, young or old. A paywall makes it a community for the 'Haves' and makes the sport even more inaccessible for people just starting. Really hope this decision is reviewed by Outside, PB is cool: don't ruin it.
  • 16 0
 @DannyJB: agreed. Ironic considering the push to “inclusiveness”.
  • 61 1
 @mikekazimer: If you and Levy, Park and Sarah started a new site it would probably take over the scene, and you guys would be super rich in 23 years.
  • 12 59
flag Sethsg (Jul 14, 2021 at 9:22) (Below Threshold)
 @DannyJB: Oh yes a paywall of $ 20 a year is horrible we can afford to buy several thousand dollar bikes, and buy a $ 12-14 cup of coffee every day (this adds up) because we are too lazy to wake up earlier before work and make our own. Yes, it will suck a bit, but at least PB will have the same staff.
  • 5 0
 @paulwatt: They could call it... Blue Bike... or Pink Cycle... or Pinkers???
  • 8 0
 @dmackyaheard: Blue Balls Bike Bashing.
  • 15 0
 what the f*ck is a paywall? Is this a new standard? seriously
  • 28 0
 @Sethsg: @Sethsg: shoot bru you're rich. I don't know anyone buying $12 cups of coffee. Is that the stuff made from the cats the poop out the beans?
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Go to this site and start reading an article. Within a minute you'll experience it:
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Every time something a subscription service pops up, a group of people come in and say "just eat out, or buy drinks once less time a month, its no big deal", or something similar.

I think its safe to say that many of us here afforded our multiple thousand dollar bikes, simply because we weren't paying for subscriptions to everything, buying $14 cups of coffee every day, and eating out every meal. So its hard to just "stop" doing something we're already not doing.

I just did some quick math. A yearly subscription to Trailforks, Strava, and BetaMTB alone is $146. More if you're paying monthly, or find other services out there to pay for (whoop is $360/yr).

Personally I'd rather have something physically bike related, like new tires/brakes/suspension fork/frame/etc> with my money, than a bunch of subscriptions.
  • 1 2
 @ocnlogan: Yes that is true, I do think it would suck if PB made you pay for content but they cannot continue to make money like they are using ads, because as more websites get more traffic, the amount you get paid per ad view goes down.

Also if you use apple there is a hack I know that lets you read articles that you need subscriptions for, I can read all of Beta's articles even though I don't even have an account with them. I can show how just send me a personal messege and I'll get back to you, I'm surprised more people don't know about it...
  • 5 0
 @ocnlogan: HOLY **** I never heard of Whoop until just now and after looking at it I remembered that A) I'm not Patrick Mahomes, and B) my Apple watch does much of that for free.
I'm also not interested in wearing a device while sleeping.
Some people must really enjoy setting money on fire. BURN MONEY BURN!!!
  • 5 1

To be fair, your apple watch does it for "free", but you probably had to buy it. IIRC, Whoop is the other way around, you pay for the service, but the hardware is "free". I guess for some people that may end up being cheaper, but I'd bet thats a small minority.

Yeah, I find it amazing how much some people are willing to spend on small things that add up. So the call out to stop eating out all the time, buying coffee, whatever small purchases you make regularly, really can add up.

When I finally started my first "real" job a few years back, it was office culture to go out to eat every day. Most people would drop $10-20/day on lunch pretty easy. I went once or twice to get to know people, but then ended up staying and working at my desk/eating food from home.

By not going out to lunch every day with them, I saved a minimum of $2500/yr ($10/day x 5 times a week x 50 weeks a year = $2500). And that is with the minimum. Once you add in tip/fuel costs, it really adds up. A few years in, I bought a second vehicle, and my co-workers were like "where did you find the money", because I had the reputation for being "cheap" (not going out to eat). Some of them were really surprised when I showed the math above.

Not saying that its bad either. Just for me, I have so far valued durable goods over a nice lunch every day (besides, I'd get fat eating out each day, knowing me).
  • 5 1
 @jason475: I second that - WTF is a paywall - Is that something like Trailforks where ppl need to pay for free contributions on a community based free map solution?
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: You're absolutely right about the Apple. In my particular case I would counter that it is free in the sense that when I got it I was a pretty sedentary dude. I didn't get it at all for fitness, and back-in-the-day me would be as surprised that I mountain bike now as anyone else. So I'd have it anyway.
But yeah. I agree with your take on money spending as well. I'd rather get a new bike tool than a Starbucks any day my friend.
  • 1 0
 @DannyJB: A community where everyone feels welcome? You must be one of the cool kids, cause I'm def on the outside looking in, in this group.
  • 1 0
 @MattyBoyR6: $ 12 CAD
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: it's not really "spontaneous".....those chili cheese fries didn't eat themselves, you know!
  • 1 0
 @Sethsg: It’s the principle of the whole thang. It’s principalities in this.
  • 1 0
 The comments section will be behind the paywall...
  • 1 0

"I'm on the outside looking in - not part of the scene
Halfway in, halfway out - caught in between
Grow your hair, shave your head - can't please em all
If I can't please everyone, I won't try at all"

"Outside Looking In" by Artificial Peace, 1980. From memory

That's content right there you can only get on this side of the #Punwall.
  • 1 1
 @CircusMaximus: A little naive. Money and the pursuit of it will always be king. This is a business.
  • 60 0
 So, about that Outside takeover...
  • 32 0
  • 3 0
 Ride In Perpetuity
  • 40 1
  • 36 0
 Why, just why, would you decide to go Outside, stay free, stay Pinkbike.
  • 7 7
 Do you really have to ask “why”? The reason of course is money… and good for them for creating something that has grown into something valuable. Free, free, free… everyone expects goods and services for free.

Free was good while it lasted, but we can all agree that PB offers something worth paying for.
  • 5 0
 @Baller7756: It's only sort of free. We pay for use of the internet. I'm old school where I paid for cable tv and all the channels and shows were "free" because it was all paid for with ads that you had to watch and your cable subscription fee. Nowadays, we pay for our internet use, which is comparable to the old cable subscription, pay for each service provider, Netflix, Amazon, etc. and now we're also supposed to pay for all the internet sites too. Good thing is, we all get to make that choice, and we can decide where we draw the line. I for one, will spend my money doing things, not reading about them.
  • 1 0
 @kkse: Gotcha on the pay services… but it’s exactly what we complained about when we had to pay $200 cable bills and only watched a few channels. Now you only pay for what you want.
  • 2 0
 @kkse: as well, at the mo. PB is free, funded by advertising. Companies that advertise have an ad budget. That €£$ comes from... the products we buy..
I definitely won't be paying twice for PB
  • 2 0
 @Baller7756: It's not just about free or not. Lots of people here would swallow a subscription if PB remained independent and the money actually went to the PB crew. Not many PB users, on the other hand, are willing to line the pockets of the VC fund that owns Outside and has nothing to do with mtb while getting watered down content and shitty listicles in return. And eventually watching this unique international mtb hub die and get binned after it's been milked.

Of course I know why the Burkats sold it and would probably have done the same given a chance to secure my family's well-being for years to come. But let's not pretend for a second this will be good for the users or the site itself. Look at other Outside-owned publications for proof.

"we can all agree that PB offers something worth paying for"... Not really, I don't think we can all agree on that. Looking through the 1500 and counting comments under the announcement, in fact not many people agree with that statement and even fewer think Outside's VC owners deserve a penny of our money, especially when the Outside+ membership will include loads of irrelevant fluff we don't care about.

Plenty of places to get mtb news, race results and reviews. What makes Pinkbike Pinkbike is the community and character, part of which has always been not belonging to a huge corporate media conglomerate but instead to two guys with names, faces and a passion for the sport.
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: Why do we assume the small business is better than the big business? Would we be in such an uproar if say… Amazon bought PB and included it in its Prime membership… a massive company that we all “line the pockets” of daily?

Of course we are resistant to change… evidenced by the negative comments here… that’s human nature. Our resistance to change is not an indicator of how the PB site will serve us in the future. The same uproar occurred when PB monetized TrailForks.

Of course, if this model is the preferred delivery of MTB content, then surely someone will copy it. Perhaps it will be one of the already existing sites, perhaps it will be an all new site?
  • 21 0
 I hope I am still riding when I am 70!
  • 3 0
 How old are you? 69..?
  • 19 1
 I can't see this article. It's already lost behind the paywall. RIP
  • 12 2
 26" was never a great issue with you ass buzzing the tyre, bigger wheels have problems that 26" did not have?
29 is not for smaller riders!
  • 5 1
 26" wheels never really had any issues - period. It's an issue now since everyone is not carrying much stock on 26" rims and tires only because the game is in for 29" wheels and then Trek is trying to bring in over 30" sized wheels and tires. WTF - if only people learn to ride bikes rather than counting tires to roll over the rough's like a marketing gimmick to make the wheel rounder!
  • 2 0
 I had a terrible experience when I switched from 26 to 27.5 when I was riding park on the jump run. It's pretty common if you're gonna case a jump to "pull up" the back a little mid-flight as an adjustment for coming up short so you can make the landing- just bunnyhopping in mid-air really. I was used to the room 26 gave me and got sucked into the frame when I landed. had bruised inner thighs for weeks from getting pinched between the frame and tire. Needless to say, I'm never going 29 after learning that lesson, but I love a mullet for sure.
  • 1 0
 @ranke: agree. I've tried all the wheel sizes an my new 27 trail bike.... kinda sucks for the jumps. Mini mullet would be perfect but, that's only for a lack of 26 inch forks.
26 is the best for jumps and an agile bike
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: I totally agree. I tried a few 29'er bike - the last one being a Norco Optic. It rolls nicely and tracks well, but not as playful as my older Stumpjumper with 26" wheels. I thought I was doing well on the DH runs. But I looked back at all the similar runs on the same segments in Strava, still all my PR's are with the standard 26" wheels. For maneuverability, the 26" wheels hands down on tight technical sections. 29'er wheels and rubbers don't move as quick and on steep climbs, if you don't have enough speed to start - man, is it hard to get your bike rolling with the bigger wheels!
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: My 2016 Stumpjumper 6 fatty works great with 26" wheel in the back!
  • 8 1
 The only solution to ass buzzing is smaller wheels. The other solution is riding very far over the front with arms bent and moving less on the bike. Going to a bike with less travel will also help slightly. But really the problem is the shear size of the wheel. Changing dropper won't help you at all. Despite what the industry might say, a big rear wheel is no fun for short people.
  • 3 0
 If getting the longer dropper means he can stay more in the center of the bike instead of having to get behind the saddle it'll certainly help not get tire buzz and decrease the chance of dick smash.
  • 6 0
 Taller bars and a position more over them will solve the tire buzz. Most folk still ride too much off the back of their bikes (I did too!) given how much modern geo needs you on the front wheel. Get in the front seat and trust that front tire.
  • 5 0
 How stoked are you that as corny as you are, as Canadian mountain bikers, you’ll still be able to claim “and then Outside Mag, the blandest of the bland, came in and ruined Pinkbike?” You’ll be right, of course, but holy shit what are the odds?
  • 5 0
 the new 429 would be the perfect bike for prescott riding. nice and light, big room for a bottle, and the new tool carrier system. would be my choice for sure.
  • 3 0
 Yes, the BB is much higher on the Pivot,(9mm) perfect for the rocky Prescott trials.
  • 3 0
 I ve been reading too much instead of riding. Bikes are way too expensive that what is really Is. I don t have carbon , 29 wheels, garmin on the bars and a bottle of water ( i never even needed them ) .
So my next step was a 2021 Ebike ( or modern horse as i call them), with an obsolete tech that will go out after the warranty expired ( or before) make me ride twice a week and maybe stay in the house to look at it more than what it was designed to Fill and fit ...Riding more and more .
The salesman was a concept, arrogant and full of je ne sais quoi.
So i thought a lot and, i went mullet, full sus , 5 bars of energy on a good Lcd and a range of 140 kms.
I bought a Honda crf 250L and went to ride 3000 Kms, just back , it s an awesome bike. Does things differently , taking me to places and landscapes i never been or always wanted to ,with a smile and enjoyment. always in nature, top of a mountain or Dirt.
I ll keep my Devinci 26 , long life to any wheels and PB ,. Time for a change but i ll keep my 10 years old Devinci, i could not part with a friend so much fun and memory , because at the time i bought it exactly for that purpose.
  • 8 2
 More motorbike content. How long before they just say ‘f*ck it’ and remove the pedals?
  • 2 0
 A good few of hybrid e moto type things been seen at trail centres here.........
  • 3 0
 To the beginner bike riding dad: At first, all the respect to you sir! Second, few lessons with coach definitely helps, but maybe you could try rent a DH bike for once, I'd say its burly construction, longer travel and slacker head angle would help you to get into it a bit easier
  • 6 1
 Watch the podcasts be locked behind the paywall!
  • 9 5
 If putting it behind a paywall will keep Levy from shilling for the Tim Hortons military-industrial complex I'm all in. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!!
  • 2 0
 As much as I enjoy the PB podcasts, I'm certain I would not pay for content. Especially being there are so many other podcasts and forums out there. There will be a shift of "core" riders (including keyboard riders) to other outlets. My concern would be for all the PB employees that lose a fan base. Honestly, Vital and NSMB aren't too different from early years of PB, so migration won't be difficult. Hopefully PB staff us getting paid big time for their upcoming hardships.
  • 4 0
 Please sell the Bike, keep the Pink!
  • 1 0
 Hey it may help to define what fully closed is on the compression setting. I am not sure what fox has labeled on their dials but with rockshox being "-" & "+" it may not be obvious which is fully closed for a beginner..
  • 2 0
 I thought Rockshox had a turtle and a rabbit.
  • 2 0
 Fully closed for compression would be the most amount, meaning the most resistance to compressing or “+” maxed out. For rebound it means the slowest amount.
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: My understanding was it was the opposite?
  • 1 0
 @MattyBoyR6: That is for rebound, not compression. For compression it is +/-
  • 1 0
 @Peoreo1a: No with the compression open or (-) the oil can flow freely through the damper meaning the least amount of resistance. With the rebound open the same the oil can flow freely through the rebound damper and gives the most or quickest amount of rebound.
  • 1 0
 This gets me all the time :'D so fox.. the + is adding damping? RS the rabbit makes the damping faster so removing damping???????
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Yes the rabbit would be (-) and the turtle would be (+).
  • 1 0
 Just think lefty loosey/righty tighty - Fully closed is dialed all the way in (clockwise) irrespective of the +/- or turtle/hare.
  • 2 1
 i can only imagine the number of commercials on the youtube vids now, or that every one of them will be sponsored and paid for and thus totally biased
  • 4 3
 Anyone 29” sucker who’s ripped a pound of flesh off their ass or been tire forced into rooting their saddle should’ve stayed on 26” like wise folk.
  • 2 0
 Everybody wants to ride an xl, but nobody wants to use xl wheels.
  • 3 1
 Ha ha, the Jackalope! Is that a Rock Shox fork? I gotta fever, and the only prescription is more Jackalope!
  • 3 0
 The question was, "Can I HAVE stickers?", not "Can I PAY FOR stickers?".
  • 3 0
 Ol mate need a couple of clicks of HSC before changing rebound.
  • 3 2
 Who much will it cost for the additional content
  • 1 0
 pb = PaywallBike

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