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.
Setup tips for Fox DPX2 on 2019 Nukeproof Mega?
Question: @Chabrosm asks in the Mechanic's Lounge forum: Hi everyone, I have a 2019 Nukeproof Mega 27.5 in XL frame with a Fox DPX2 and I am having issues with setup. Tried to set initial sag by Fox's 1 PSI for 1lb of weight suggestion (I am 200lb) and it's not even close. When I put 200 PSI in, sag is like 50-60%. I need to pump it to almost 300 PSI (max) to get that 25% sag. And then when I ride I still bottom it out super easy....
Any ideas? Anybody with similar issues?
The max pressure for that shock is 350 psi, so you do have the option of going a little higher, although I'd recommend checking out the volume spacer situation first. If the shock feels good on the trail other than the fact that it's too easy to bottom it out, adding a larger spacer may be all that's needed to solve that issue.
The 2019 Mega has a 230 x 65mm shock, which means Fox's grey .4” spacer will be the largest size that you can fit. Fox's instructions for swapping volume spacers along with a compatibility chart can be found here.
Adding a larger volume spacers is a simple way to improve a shock's bottom out resistance.
Why does my bike have a narrower rear tire?
Question:@mistercoffee asks in the Bikes, Parts & Gear Forum: I just bought a Trek Fuel EX 9.8 XT. Love the bike, but there's one small puzzle---the bike comes with a 29x2.6 tire on the front and a 29x2.4 tire on the back. I checked the website and it's advertised this way, so it wasn't an error or an out-of-stock situation when it was built.
I'm mildly curious as to why they'd make this specific configuration decision.
Running a slightly narrower rear tire is a very common spec choice. Your front tire is the first point of contact on the trail, so having something wide and grippy helps keep the front end going where it's supposed to. Losing traction at your front wheel has much more serious consequences than the occasional slide out from your rear wheel, so many riders prefer to run a wider tire with a more aggressive tread pattern up front, and something a little narrower and faster rolling out back. The narrower rear tire is also less likely to fold over during hard cornering, so you'll get a more predictable, less vague feeling in the turns.
Another reason you may see narrower rear tires has to do with frame limitations – not all frames can accommodate a 2.6” or wider tire, and more clearance between the tire and the frame helps ensure there's room for the wheel to spin even when it's packed with mud.
A narrower rear tire helps provide more frame clearance, something that's especially useful on muddy days.
Can I shampoo my bike?
Question: @Sebrios asks in the Bikes, Parts & Gear Forum: Hello. Wondering if its possible to use baby shampoo to clean the bike and drivetrain instead of the bike-specific soaps because are crazy expensive where I live...or what do you guys use?
Baby shampoo wouldn't be my first choice, but there are plenty of relatively inexpensive cleaners that work great on bikes. A bucket of warm water and a couple squirts of Dawn dishwashing liquid or something similar will work just as well as those pricey bike-specific soaps.
Simple Green is another inexpensive option – you can buy a gallon of the stuff for around $20, and then dilute it with water in a spray bottle and use it for all your cleaning needs. At one time there were rumors floating around about Simple Green causing issues with chains, but that seemed to be related to leaving a chain soaking in a concentrated solution for multiple days. If you spritz it on and then rinse or wipe it off it shouldn't cause any problems.
Everyone's level bike cleanliness comfort level is different, but as long as my drivetrain is relatively clean and lubed and the frame isn't absolutely coated with mud and grit I don't typically go too crazy with the degreasers and cleaners. There's not really a need to wash your bike after every ride, especially if you're riding in drier conditions. In those instances, a wipe down with a cloth and a re-application of chain lube if needed is likely all that's required to get it ready for the next ride.
Buying a bike without trying it first?
Question:@Beersandbikes asks: I’m currently riding my 2014 V1 Santa Cruz Bronson that I’ve owned since new. I keep it well maintained there isn’t much I don’t ride it on. I’m a Dad and new mtb purchases tend to take a back seat when kids come along, but last year I was finally looking to update, but then COVID.
Since COVID it’s become impossible to test ride new bikes in Australia. Availability is tough enough so Demo bikes are non existent. I’m now reliant on yourself, @mikelevy and other journos from some of the other great mtb sites our there to get your views and opinions on how bikes ride & perform out in the trails. (Knowing of course that the PNW terrain is slightly different to what we have down here in AUS)
If I’m going to spend between $5-8k on a new bike, how important is the demo ride? How many other people actually demo bikes before they buy these days? I mean properly demo, not just a car park test.
For reference I’ve been weighing up the Spur, Tallboy and new Stumpy.
I'm a big proponent of trying before you buy whenever possible, mainly due to the fact that everyone has their own preferences and ideas of what their ideal bike will feel like. Events where it's possible to spend time on multiple bikes over the course of a day or two make a lot of sense, especially for riders like yourself who are trying to choose between three fairly similar options.
That's the ideal scenario, but Covid obviously threw a wrench in the works. The good news? You've held out long enough that whatever bike you end up with is pretty much guaranteed to be a noticeable improvement over that 2014 Bronson, especially if it's one of the three options you mentioned.
As far as which one of those bikes to go with, that's a tough one. The Spur is like the love child of an XC race bike and an enduro rig, with impressive capabilities on the descents especially considering there's only 120mm of travel. The Tallboy has the same amount of rear travel, but its frame is heavier than the Spur's, and is really more of a short travel trail bike than an XC-speed machine. The Spur makes you want to sprint, and maybe pull that Lyrca out for the occasional local race or two, while the Tallboy is a bit more about all-round trail riding.
As for the Stumpjumper, that has more travel front and rear, with an impressively light frame and room for all your snacks inside the down tube. That extra squish provides a little more room for error on those botched lines, and adds additional comfort on extended adventures.
Personally, I'd be totally happy riding any of those bikes as a daily driver, but there's something about the Spur's manners that puts it on the top of this list of three excellent bikes. It's light and fast without feeling too uptight and serious, traits that encourage goofing off on the trail rather than constantly checking your heart rate and average power output.
It can be nerve-wracking purchasing a bike without getting to try it first, but the good news is that today's bikes are better than ever.