Ask Pinkbike: Tire Width, Cleaning Tips, Shock Setup, & Buying a Bike Without Trying It First

May 4, 2021 at 14:42
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.






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?


bigquotesThe 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.

Fox
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.



bigquotesRunning 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.

Kavenz VHP 16 review
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?


bigquotesBaby 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.

Time to scrape off the mud from qualifying and get things prepped for the real battle that starts Saturday afternoon here in Val di Sole.




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.



bigquotesI'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.

Photo by Trevor Lyden
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.





156 Comments

  • 46 1
 Been using Dawn for over 20 years with no problems
  • 99 2
 Maybe it's time to ask what you can do for Dawn rather than always asking what Dawn can do for you.
  • 17 0
 @rickybobby18: he is clearly a selfish lover. Dawn should look elseware when things get a lil dirty
  • 14 0
 Dawn likes it wider and more aggressive up front, and something a little narrower and faster rolling out the back
  • 13 0
 Used it as shampoo once. Actually kinda worked. I mean if it's good enough for ducks it's good enough for me
  • 7 0
 @DaFreerider44: I keep a bottle in the shower for when trailwork puts me deep in the poison oak.
  • 7 0
 @DaFreerider44: name checks out typical freerider behavior haha
  • 5 0
 @DirtBagTim: Toothpaste works good also on poison oak. Medic experience. Keep a tube in your kit when out riding.
  • 5 0
 @DirtBagTim: it is the best PO soap. It sure sudses up the shower tho.
  • 4 0
 You think Dawn is just used by you, but she's been used by every biker!
  • 1 0
 My bike prefers an after ride session with the Fairy. Works for the motorbike and car too.
  • 36 2
 Personally, I've purchased my most recent 3 enduro bikes without a demo ride (2015 S-Works Enduro 29, 2018 Yeti SB150, 2020 Specialized Enduro custom build), and each time I've found that overall the bike was exactly as advertised by reviewers. Assuming you have an understanding on how you like your bike geometry, selecting your new whip by triangulating from 4+ reviews is typically enough to get an accurate picture of how it will ride.

Additionally, I also feel that there is a strong component of how much a bike makes you drool. Same with skis. Get something that matches your intention and riding style, has favorable reviews, and that gets you really stoked....you'll end up loving it. Hell, 50% of my ski purchase decision comes down to how cool the top sheet graphics are.
  • 14 8
 My Ripmo AF wasn’t at all like the reviews. It shouldn’t be sold with a coil shock, cables rattle constantly, frame flex is unreal at the bb and the list goes on. If I could buy something else I would…
  • 3 0
 I finally got my bike, a Revel Rascal, delivered after no demo and a 4 month wait. I have no issues with it other than I went with a shorter dropper than I could have from them.
  • 24 6
 Buying skis based on the graphics is gaper status to the max.
  • 6 0
 @DHhack:

Fair enough hackman. A few thoughts:

For anyone coil curious on the AF or v2 a progressive spring helps, as does a rear shock with the right HSC tune for you (or adjustable HSC). Shock setup/tune is everything. Lots of riders love the bike with a coil (I run both and switch when I want but if I had to run only one setup all the time it would be air).

Cable rattle. No contest, guilty on all counts. It takes some patience and tinkering to shut it up.

Frame flex. Not noticeable by 99% of riders in my opinion.

Did you keep it? A great market to sell used assuming you can (probably not) find something else in stock.
  • 5 0
 @DHhack: damn, thats the first negative review I've heard about that bike. Bummer that it didnt work out.
  • 6 0
 Bought my current bike based on geo charts and a couple reviews. Has been exactly what I expected.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: just buy which ever bike Owen Pemberton designed that suits the trails you're riding the most and enjoy.
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: the wife and I bought two each this year, no test ride. Exactly as we expected due to research and geo charts, and for small bullshitty things - I've either modified to suit or adjusted riding style.
  • 4 2
 @gally-nh: I'm in my mid-30's and still rip park laps. Goggles under helmet. Tall tee under hoodie. No gape.

My point is that skis (probably more so than bikes) have gotten to a point where they are basically all the same in terms of overall quality. K2, Armada, Line, RMU, blah, blah, blah. Buy the ones that get you stoked.

That said, I once bought a pair of AM skis that I absolutely hated - Icelantic skis are garbage. Heavy, chattery, skied switch terribly. Hell, I'm from Colorado so I get the local stoke - but they were absolute garbage.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230: LoL I love my 5 year old Icelantic skis but they're also the only skis I've been on since I switched from snowboarding. They definitely need to be skied hard. Maybe I should be looking forward to my next pair of skis even more
  • 1 2
 Skis????
Wake me up when he says snowboard, will you?
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I was running a 525-650 progressive coil, it helped with pedal strikes but I was still bottoming out quite a lot. I’m a couple rides into a med/med tune RS Super Deluxe Ultimate and it’s been much better so far.

Frame flex is good in some riding situations and bad in others. I’m mostly worried about long term reliability. I’m almost 6’4” and 200lbs so it’s easier for me to feel I guess.

Keeping it hopefully until next season. Probably go back to something with more travel.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack:

I’m also on a SD for my air shock and like it. Sag is upper 20s on my Ohlins coil and the hsc adjust is nice, I run it in the middle setting mostly on the dh. I also liked the Jade-x and would have gotten a HSC tune on that shock to firm it up a little if I had kept it.

Will demo a friends v2 soon with similar build and see if I can discern a difference in stiffness. Demoed a Sentinel v2 last month and thought it was awesome, just a little too slack. Could see myself going to the ripmo v2 carbon frame next year or sentinel v2 but would want to (gasp) steepen the 63.6 hta with a +1 angleset.
  • 29 0
 "There's not really a need to wash your bike after every ride, especially if you're riding in dryer conditions'.

Generally, bikes placed in the dryer would have been transferred from the washing machine first, limiting their need to be washed again after a dryer ride. Additionally, riding in a tumble dryer would have some consequential results for both bike and rider!
  • 29 0
 It's amazing how a single letter typo can lead to a laundry list of puns on this website.
  • 3 4
 @erikvehmeyer: Funny how a single misspelling can completely transform the authors' intended meaning.....
  • 2 0
 Fortunately on pinkbike nothing is ever left hanging in the wind
  • 18 0
 I use mud to clean my bike
  • 16 2
 Certain cleaners can contaminate brake pads and rotors. I just use water and a light brush to clean most of my bike. I don’t see the need for soap.
  • 2 0
 have had the same issue...now I'll only use the cleaner on specific points instead of just randomly spraying the bike: pivots, chain, cassette, and suspension. Frame, wheels, and anything near the rotors or pads is simply water and a brush.
  • 7 0
 Soap also makes it a whole lot easier for water to get into bearings.
  • 2 1
 what are the thoughts on drying? Any reason to actually take a rag/towel to the bike after cleaning? I normally just wash and hang the bike in the garage to air dry.
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: Pretty sure anything that rusts needs to get dried (drivetrain). Other than that I mostly dry so my bike doesn't drip-dry into puddles in my garage.
  • 2 0
 @rickybobby18: note, I do hit my chain with a rag and oil post cleaning but that's about it.
  • 3 0
 @SATN-XC: I just bounce my bike a few times to knock off most of the water then I take a rag and lube to my drivetrain.
  • 6 0
 I use about 3oz of vodka, have a sidelong look at the vermouth bottle, some juice from the cocktail onions bottle, clean bike every time.
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: drying it with a rag is a great time to inspect your bikes for cracks, worn brake pads, etc. Plus, at least for me, it leaves water spots if I don't.
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: I use my cordless leaf blower to dry my bike after a wash,MTB and Moto.
Especially good on MTB drive train
  • 14 1
 Some people buy whatever bike and get used to it and love life. Other people a much more picky. Think about where you are in this spectrum.
  • 4 0
 If I’m out riding I’m typically loving life. But I’m at the point where I’m ready to treat myself to a long awaited upgrade so I guess I am probably being a little picky.... I’m sure that when I do make the eventual purchase I’ll be stoked either way
  • 1 0
 Yo, You just summed up the first 5years of mtb for me, I always bought a bike with little to no knowledge of it then got used to how its rides. Now I know what I want in a bicycle and filter through all possibilities, price points etc...
  • 1 0
 If you buy a good bike whether it's your preferred bike or not and get used to it, it will become your preferred style of bike eventually. Buy something that works well and then you'll learn to love it once you're used to it, or if it's geometry is not great for doing what you want to do then get used to doing whatever it is with the wrong geo.
  • 13 2
 I don’t think you can go wrong with a spur, tall boy, or stumpy. I’d choose stumpy though.
  • 4 0
 Boo. I love my Spur - most fun bike I've ridden to date.
  • 2 0
 Yeah they all look like great bikes. The Spur has been on the top of my list for a while, the Stumpy was a recent addition. Lightweight frame + SWAT....
  • 12 1
 If I run a narrow, faster running rear tire, and a slower wider front tire, does that shorten my wheelbase when riding?
  • 1 1
 Not by any significant amount. Maybe 1 mms or so. Wheelbase is fixed by the axle distance along the horizontal plane. So if you aren't seriously raising one axle relative to the other, you aren't going to change the wheelbase.
  • 2 0
 @st-lupo: whoooosh
  • 6 0
 Strange answer for the DPX2- he bottoms out at 25% sag regularly? Something seems wrong, slow rebound could cause this since the shock does not recover during repeated bumps. With all my Fox shocks the rebound wheel migrates to the slowest setting after a few rides if not checked.
  • 1 0
 DPX2 on progressive ratio bikes (not sure about Mega) do not work well for bigger dudes, had the exact same problem on my 2019 YT Jeffsy (160mm, 230x65 shock). Ended up buying a DHX2 instead, way happier.
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: yeah, correct answer is ditch the shock, get another one
  • 6 0
 I’ve tried lots of different DIY cleaners, diluted dish soap, simple green, automotive cleaners, etc.

Nothing has worked as well as the Mucc Off bike wash (the pink liquid). I’m not sure what’s different about it but in a single application it does what would take multiple coats and scrubbing with other cleaners I’ve used. I’m all about cheap DIY solutions but in this case I’m happy to spend the money.
  • 2 0
 I found a foaming spray cleaner, though costly, is great as it'll expand into the joints on the suspension pivots and help penetrate the chain. If you only use it in spot applications on moving parts (except brakes) and water and a brush every where else, you can make a single can last a long time and cost doesn't become an issue.
  • 2 0
 Maxima bio wash works great, too.
  • 2 0
 The Mucc Off cleaner has worked great for me. Its a bit more spendy than DIY solutions but that big jug has lasted me quite some time.
  • 1 0
 @topfuel564: Good to know, I just bought some a few days ago because my LBS was out of the Mucc Off cleaner. Hopefully it’s comparable.
  • 10 0
 @SATN-XC: Maybe I'm missing something, but I absolutely do not want water and cleaner expanding into my suspension pivots...
  • 1 0
 Same. Nothing gets my bike cleaner with as little effort as the pink MucOff stuff, and I've had zero issues with pivots/drive/brakes. 4 liters of the condensate costs me about $20 and will probably last 2 to 3 years of liberal use.
  • 6 1
 These days there are very few bikes from the big guys I wouldn't throw a leg over. Within their category they are all pretty similar, and the differences may be a plus or minus. Warranty and after sales service are more important.

I have a Focus O1E (XC bike) being replaced by an Epic Evo. What is the difference in reach, HA, STA, wheelbase, BB height? Don't know, don't care, I'll adapt. I didn't test ride either, nor any of my previous 10 or so bikes. Happy.

Find a category, pick something that looks pretty, has the components you like, and has a good warranty and, most importantly, get it from a good LBS. No wuckers.
  • 3 0
 I've seen simple green stain some carbon parts, mostly on those with a thicker laminate on the outside. I'd avoid it personally! I'm also the guy that thinks hot water, a brush, and a good towel dry are good 99% of the time, anything that needs a deeper clean I take off and clean separately.
  • 1 0
 I bought a new bike and wanted to get the stock lube off of the chain and was out of degreaser so I used white vinegar. It ate away at the coating. I then bought a new chain for another bike snd left it in concentrated simple green for couple days and same thing happened. I think it has to do with the acidity in the chemicals
  • 2 0
 simple green is amazing. It's the best bike soap there is. Very good at removing dirt and light grease, don't even need to brush.
  • 2 0
 Standard simple green is a bit caustic, and also should not be used on steel. The industrial simple green (which is purple), is much better for bike applications.

Though, if it's staining the laminate, I would be worried about the quality of the resin, because that shouldn't happen.
  • 2 0
 Citrus based degreaser is a better option than Simple Green, which is also hard on your skin. You can get the citrus for under $10/gal at the hardware store.
  • 2 1
 @jdendy: There's no need to remove the stock lube. Wipe down and add chain lube when needed, but you shouldn't be soaking a brand new chain in acidic solutions to remove the lube they've put in the pin interface at the factory.
  • 2 0
 @jdendy: I add chain lube directly on top of the stock grease, run it through the gears then scrub it off with a rag. I do the same when the chain is dirty. Works for me, I never have to use cleaner on my chain.
  • 3 0
 I'm not a fan of Simple Green either. I've seen it mess up too many clear coats in my shop days. I like Muc Off's stuff in general, but personally I usually just use Dawn ('cos I already have it).
I remove my wheels to keep the rotors from getting contaminated and avoid getting it on the brakes. If the bike is really filthy I'll remove the pads and install a bleed block when cleaning. If you do this try to keep the pad locations the same when you reinstall as they are worn to match the rotor so it will feel the same when put back together.
  • 1 0
 @mechaNICK: if you're going to hose it, then this, with intermediate possibility of Ziploc bags and rubber bands over the calipers instead of pulling the pads. Although, I almost always just clean the drivetrain and wipe sanctions and knock some dried mud off the downtube and go ride.
  • 2 0
 @muscogeemasher: our local mtb trails close when it's too wet because we have a lot of clay in our soil. However, I used to race and wrench for 'cross teams so cleaning was a huge part of that job. Dirt around the caliper seals can be hell on those parts so when I say really filthy I mean that the calipers need a wash too. Water and a clean shop rag only, keeps the suds away from your stoppers!
  • 5 2
 I have an unrelated question: What is with all the bolts on bikes nowadays? Even using proper good quality tools, proper torque settings etc. one slip and your hex/torx bolt it is stripped. So frustrating. Hey bike manufacturers, why are you so fu#king cheap!
  • 2 1
 Buy better quality tools. My hex bits are over 12 years old and no problems with slipping.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: I guess you didn’t read the part where I said “Even using good quality tools.....” Perhaps your bolts are also over 12 years old too.
  • 1 1
 @ismellfish: There are so many levels of quality of tools above “good” that’s it’s not even funny. If you’re serious about buying nicer tools look at the automotive stuff; you’ll end up with some unnecessary sizes but you’ll have tools that are designed for much higher torque values that end up lasting forever when used on bikes.
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: I don’t think you understand. It’s not the quality of the tools (although I only use high quality) it’s the declining quality of hex and torx bolts being used.
  • 1 0
 @ismellfish: depends on the application. The only low quality bolts I’ve consistently come across is the sram torx bolts for mounting spiders or chainring to their cranks and some seat rail clamp bolts. Everything else I’ve worked on has been pretty good, from bikesdirect.com, to dicks sporting goods GT junk, to RSD, to YT, Specialized, Ibis, Scott and whatever random friends bikes I’ve touched over the last few years.
  • 1 0
 @DHhack: He doesn't mean slippage caused by tool quality. He's saying that the human is sometimes clumsy and one instance of said clumsiness should not completely destroy a bolt.

I totally agree this is frustrating and should not be a thing on an item like a bicycle that manufacturers know fully well consumers will work on themselves more often than not.
  • 2 0
 Some of these are questions that could've been answered within seconds via google or talking to a fellow rider and they'll tell you why the rear tire is maybe narrower or if washing with soap is cool. I asked months ago why it is that some European companies like Last or Vecnum do not ship to the USA? It sill remains unanswered and even google couldn't help me much other than that it has to do with liability issues, but I'd like to know more details.
  • 1 0
 I'd guess understanding the go to market decisions of small Euro brands is probably not as relevant to even a fraction of readers as something like general maintenance, suspension setup, or tire selection. Just a guess.
  • 4 0
 I use car wash detergent. It's formulated to be gentler than dish soap. It's relatively cheap and lasts forever.
  • 1 0
 Just don't use the stuff with wax in it - your brakes will thank you. Smile
  • 2 0
 @spencerbrawn: Just be weary of the brakes or use the muc-off rotor covers! Or if your frame is matte, then avoid the stuff with wax in it.
  • 1 0
 @noone1223: I made that exact mistake last weekend, I had to burn my pads and rotors with a butane torch to stop the squealing.
  • 4 2
 How are those new bikes that huge of an upgrade over the Bronson? Steeper STA is about the only real difference. Still a great suspension platform. What else is really that different?
  • 10 7
 Bigger wheels. Smile
  • 2 3
 @mikekazimer: he doesn’t say how tall he is but the benefits might not exceed the trade offs by a ton. But he is looking at more XCish bikes so the bigger wheels might benefit him. But he makes it sound like he has kids and a limited budget, just keep saving for the kiddos and don’t worry about it IMO
  • 4 5
 Agreed, I'll take my 2013 Bronson over any of the listed options any day of the week.
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: I love 27.5. Would ride that Bronson any day, no question.
  • 3 0
 I really don´t agree on suspension. The Bronson V1 rear end was what made me look for a new bike. I´ve tried several shocks, I am quite confident in my ability to set up a bike and I was never happy with its performance in rougher terrain. All in all the original Bronson was fine when it came out but won´t hold a candle to a current trail or enduro bike
  • 6 1
 That’s a downside in my books @mikekazimer:
  • 2 0
 @Jasonbourne: don’t listen to an unpaid intern...you do you
  • 3 1
 Larger (and less versatile) wheels
  • 1 0
 I brought a 2021 Carbon Stumpy recently without riding it first and it was a big mistake. Sold it after 2 weeks due to it being way too big, lost a ton of money (cost 3.5k sold it for 1.8k) and now can't get anything else for months.
  • 1 0
 was it the right size?
  • 1 0
 @NivlacEloop: It should have been. I'm 6'5" so getting a bike too big normally isn't an issue. It was basically un-rideable.
  • 1 0
 I have had the same issue on sag with FOX. My for a 160lb rider like myself, my fork says I should be running 95psi. That's about 40% sag, and it would probably be more if I weren't on a full sus. My rear shock, a Trek/FOX Isostrut (Supercaliber) says I should be running 75 psi, and that's 50% sag. I thought maybe it was just a problem with my bike's unconventional shock, but with the knowledge of that DPX2 in hand, I'm beginning to think FOX just needs to reevaluate sag recommendations. My problem was remedied by simply putting way more air in. 110 in the fork and 150 in the shock got me to proper sag.
  • 1 0
 For a shock it doesn't make much sense to have a recommended PSI setting from the shock manufacturer. The leverage ratio will be different depending on which bike it ultimately goes on.
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: Yes, but in my case the shock only fits one bike: mine.
  • 1 0
 @Beersandbikes My local Specialized dealer (Hobart) is the only shop to have any demo bikes in the last year, they kindly let me take an Enduro for a four day trip to Derby - couldn’t ask for a better demo than that! The other way I was able to test a bunch of bikes was to borrow them from friends, acquaintances and people I met on the trails or the uplift shuttle at Derby. Some of those bikes people let me ride were rentals (Stumpy, Remedy, Slash) but others were people’s pride and joy Hightower, SB150 etc. You might to struggle to find anyone with a Spur, but there are plenty of Tallboys and stumpys out there if you head to any good trail centre (at least if you’re an average size male). You can learn a lot about whether you like a bike from a pretty short section of track, as long as you pick the right track.
  • 1 0
 One thing that I think would help with buying a new bike without a test ride is really diving deep into it's geo and suspension design and comparing it to other bikes that you have tried before. Usually bikes with similar numbers will ride in a similar way and when they don't have similar numbers, having a good understand of what that difference means would help you decide if it's a difference you'd like or not. It definitely doesn't beat a test ride but it is the closest you can get if you can't actually test a bike.
  • 1 0
 I did a heap of research and looked through ~10 bike MFG's before buying.

It took 7 months (May 2020 to Dec 2020) but I had specific criteria:

1/ Trail oriented
2/ Did not want to pay full MSRP

The results was a C2 2020 XL Optic. I wanted to support a local Canadian company, and liked the esthetics better than most other brands. Most of the newer Norco's have a clean design. I only sat on my bike in the shop before buying - the only bike I had ridden on the trails was a 5 min stint on a 2014 Rocky Mtn Instinct.
  • 4 1
 Most dish soaps contain a lot of salt which is not good for your bike / components.
  • 13 0
 I wouldn't worry too much about a bike's sodium levels - if the dish soap is diluted and rinsed off afterwards it shouldn't cause any issues.
  • 14 0
 @mikekazimer: Might cause the poor bike high blood pressure, though...
  • 2 2
 I'll admit I use WD-40 if I just washed the bike. It helps displace the water that is hard to blow out with a compressor. Other wise I'll use solvent.
  • 4 0
 I tend to not use soap at all for cleaning my bike - just water. Soap reduces the surface tension of water IIRC, which helps it get into crevices and bind with dirt, but it also makes it easier for water to get through seals and into bearings. Same reason soapy water is a great wasp killer...it makes the water able to penetrate into their respiratory system and they suffocate. Without the soap, the water can't penetrate. Just water, sometimes a little friction, and towel dry.
  • 1 0
 @Brazinsteel: Yeah- me too, I throw it ins concentrated bleach and afterwards in crude oil for an oil slick finish.

... wait, you aren't kidding?!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: How I wish I lived somewhere I didn't need to worry about my bike's sodium levels...not needing road salt may be the single greatest knock-on effect of climate change
  • 2 0
 My bike rides so hard it sweats it out.
  • 2 0
 @chrsei: I use the wd just to get the water displaced then triflow to lube it. The wd is very low viscosity and it seems to pull the dirt out a little better. It probably sounds like I'm a savage
  • 1 1
 About trying a bike before buying. If at all possible demo on a trail. A trail you know well is best, otherwise ride it on your current bike for perspective. If you're a new rider: keep in mind that just because a bike feels better than another riding around a bike shop parking lot that doesn't necessarily translate to trail riding. Often the opposite.
  • 11 1
 I kind of disagree with this. If you can verify fit, leverage curve and perhaps some other kinematics work for you, coupled with some positive reviews (media or friends) that's usually enough for me. The prospects of getting setup right (and even exact fit) is pretty tough within a single ride IMHO. I'd argue it might keep you away from a non-traditional (ie. horst, VPP) bike that you might really like...
  • 3 0
 @shredddr: I agree. I tend to think you need a good 3 or 4 rides ona bike to know if it is a good fit. If you just do a 1 hour demo the bike you are going to like the most is the bike that is most similar to your current ride as it takes time to get used to differences.
  • 3 2
 I think it depends on what kind of delta exists between your current bike and your prospective bike. If you're comparing relatively similar bikes (ie. 2 150mm 29ers with relatively modern geometry), the parking lot test might be sufficient as you have somewhat of a useful reference point via your old bike. Checking out the kinematics and fit will likely be enough in this case.

If, however, you're going from an old(er) bike with old geo, suspension/kinematics and fit, I agree a trail test could be critical. Bikes have progressed so far since 2014, that taking a quick rip on a trail could be very valuable. If nothing else, you'll be able to ascertain which feels more natural, and hopefully provide a little first hand context to the words in reviews- a twitchy handling bike today is absolutely nothing like a twitchy handling bike from 2014 for example. I think if you can, a demo is a great tool to verify/contextualize reviews and give you some confidence in your choice.

All that said, they'll all be so much better than an older bike. My brother rides my 2013 Norco Sight still, and it's hilarious seeing it next to my Ripmo. The Norco was an amazing bike for it's day, and there's nothing wrong with it, but it's just so dated and incapable in comparison. I imagine this will be a similar situation.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: I’d add that, other than waiting, the risk right now is low if you end up not loving a bike you bought sight unseen. If you buy it and don’t like it, you can likely find a buyer and sell it for close to if not as much (more?) than you originally paid. If the guy is on a bike from 2014, it seems like any of those 3 options would feel incredible by comparison.
  • 1 1
 @krehzeekid: the Bronson had some pretty modern geo. I’d agree a lot has changed with 29ers since 2014 but 2013/14 was when a lot of bike makers made the jump to modern bike geo, I just don’t think they had developed the work around a for the wagon wheels until a few years later. I mean I had a friend that was riding a 2012 Stumpy Evo for years and when you look at the geo it is right there with modern bikes except for STA and wheel size.
  • 8 0
 @iantmcg, don't forget to look at the reach numbers. That 2014 Bronson had a 429mm reach for a size large - that's the same as most companies' size small these days. Bikes have gotten a fair bit longer and slacker over the last 7 years, and the handling has improved because of it.
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer: Reach is a little silly because people used to size up when between sizes and I am hearing people are sizing down when in between now. You are right on HTA I would have just guessed the V1 bronson had a 65 degree HTA but looked it up and it is 67. The original guy never said why exactly he wanted a new bike. A angleset might be a decent idea though.
  • 8 1
 @mikekazimer: Also high speed handling has improved because of it. Not handling in all areas, we are past the point of pure improvements, everything is a trade off
  • 1 1
 @iantmcg:

This is correct: some parts of handling have gotten better and some parts have gotten worse.
  • 1 0
 @iantmcg: Longer each along with the steeper STA and other recent geo tweaks has been a game changer for me. I feel more centered and stable descending and my back feels much better on climbs and long days. I'm on the new Stump jumper.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: Curious what you think has gotten worse; no judgment, honest question.
  • 1 0
 @mtallman2: handling on tight courses is going to be worse. But I would agree it is less of a concern as tracks and even your local trail centers have in a lot of ways changed as bikes have. I am not a Luddite, bikes have changed for the better but I do still believe there are trade offs to geometry now. Honestly in the future I wouldn’t be surprised if top racers had like 3 or 4 bikes to choose from based on the course. The grim donut showed on a straight away open trail it is going to be faster than anything else. Now a course that borders on a BMX pump track an old bike with shorter front center and steeper HTA and 27.5 is going to have a clear advantage.
  • 1 0
 @mtallman2:

Low speed tech handling. Nowadays, bikes are so long that turning at switchbacks requires lifting the rear wheel and pivoting on the front wheel. That’s not an improvement in my book.
  • 3 0
 I have heard car wash soap is good for bikes. Something about not being harsh and good for the paint.
  • 5 0
 You can wash a bike ?
  • 1 0
 Muck off degreases - super awesome product, however quite costly in case u ride a lot in muddy conditions, used for years, then just stopped cleaning bike at all (only when u do service)

no difference in performance
  • 2 0
 Out of curiosity, I measured the size of the knobs on a DHR2 in 29x2.4 and 29x2.6. The knobs are identical, it's the spacing between them that's different.
  • 1 0
 That's an interesting piece of data. Thx
  • 1 0
 Have a friend who's idea of cleaning a bike is hosing it down and letting it sit. 25 years of premature bearing failures and I still can't convince him he doesn't need to use water 99% of the time.
  • 1 1
 Not sold on the narrow tyre in the rear.

1. It slackens the bike, good for park rats but not for elsewhere

2. I like a wide tyre in the rear for extra traction especially for wet tech climbs

3. where I live, swamp walks are 2 planks in parallel with a nice gap in the middle, I like the extra footing (only a few mm's) to not have my wheel lodge in the gap.

4. Also, soft ground whereby a narrower tyre will more likely sink into the ground and drag.

2.4 to 2.6 doesn't sound much but it makes a difference.
  • 5 3
 Simple green is NOT recommend for aluminum. There is an "aircraft" version for simple green that is aluminum safe.
  • 7 1
 From Simple Green's FAQ page: "When used with caution and according to the instructions, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner has been safely and successfully used to clean aluminum. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, Crystal Simple Green Industrial Cleaner & Degreaser, and Simple Green Pressure Washer Concentrates have been used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can accelerate the corrosion process.

Therefore, contact times for unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes."

Like I mentioned in my answer, it's not a good idea to soak items in a concentrated solution, but for spraying it on and then rinsing off it'll be fine.
  • 2 0
 Or just get the Simple Green 'Pro HD'. Oddly enough its actually purple in color. Specifically states it is safe for metal surfaces.

www.homedepot.ca/product/simple-green-4l-pro-hd-heavy-duty-cleaner/1000682744
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Second shoreboy's comments, the simple green PRO (the purple stuff) is a worry free and effective bike cleaner. Also about the same cost (sometimes cheaper, sometimes pricier).
  • 2 0
 A Fuel EX will for sure fit a 2.6" tire in the back, if tire clearance was in question.
  • 1 0
 can confirm did it on mine
  • 1 0
 I want to fill a spray bottle with diluted simple green to easily clean my bike. Does anyone have a good starting point for the dilution ratio?
  • 2 0
 I use about 1 ounce of Dawn per gallon of warm water to wash my bike or moto. Sometimes I use a similar ratio of Simple Green and both work well. Keep a spray bottle of 1:1 Simple Green around for tougher cleaning jobs. Always rinse with water and dry afterwards. Soaps and degreasers will pull grease from bearings and chains. The more often you wash, the more maintenance you should do. Parts that are going to have grease or loctite applied, I wipe down with isopropyl alcohol.
  • 1 0
 Vote for Stumpy - SWAT is something you will not regret and awesome warranty
  • 1 0
 @Beersandbikes I'm also in Sydney and have access to Transition bikes through my shop. Hit me up if you want to know more!
  • 1 1
 You would have to be bonkers to buy a stumpy in Australia. Ridiculously overpriced here.
  • 2 1
 Makes sense that he didn't get far with 1 psi in the shock haha
  • 1 0
 Thanks @mikekazimer. You’ve pretty much re-affirmed my own thoughts.
  • 1 0
 Heavy guys should ditch their Fox shocks and put on a Manitou Mara.
  • 1 0
 Last year trek fuel had a 2.6 rear tyre. This year they changed it to 2.4.
  • 1 2
 Would you buy a $7000 car without driving it and having your mechanic look at it? I wouldn’t.
  • 1 0
 "your mechanic"? The question was about new bikes, not used.

Dunno about you, but I know what I want from both cars and bikes enough so that with the exception of some really weird ones I could easily buy either sight unseen having checked out specs, geo etc. I'll stress again that's assuming we're talking about new stuff.
  • 1 1
 @Chabrosm don't set your shock up by sag. sag is just ride height.
  • 1 3
 I run 40psi in my maxxis minion dhf/r 26x2.7 would you say thats enough pressure or needs more i dont run tubeless
  • 4 0
 If you weigh 200+ lbs and only ride hardpack trails, you might be able to get away with 40 psi in your tires. But even with tubes, a tire that wide should probably be run around 30-35 psi.
  • 2 0
 @seraph: cheers mate il let some air out and see how i go
  • 1 0
 I weigh 220lb and run 30lb rear and 25lb front in my 27.5x2.5 tires
  • 3 0
 I run 20 in my dhrII on the rear with a Tannus tubeless, I don’t even what to try pressure that high!

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.019244
Mobile Version of Website