The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes, Foxzocci Forks, and Suicide Shifters

May 11, 2020 at 16:19
by Mike Levy  
Art by Taj Mihelich


Whether you're a lifelong shop mechanic, a diehard DIYer, or still looking for that left-handed 5mm hex key, many of us enjoy working on our bikes nearly as much as riding them. That all begins with the basic skills needed to get yourself out of the forest, like fixing a flat tire or repairing a chain. From there, maybe you learned how to adjust your shifting, bolted on a new handlebar, or had a set of ISCG tabs welded onto your frame before you faced the bottom bracket shell back down to accept a modified Hammerschmidt crankset that's controlled by a fork lockout lever that you mounted on the underside of the bike's top tube like a suicide shifter... No?

Okay, that was a bit of a leap, but one of the best things about mountain biking is that we're all on, well, just bicycles. There's no rocket science involved, and most things can be figured out by looking at the problem for a few minutes or by watching an old Tech Tuesday video (RIP). On top of that, there are endless opportunities to mix and match components, be it in your drivetrain or, if you're like @mikekazimer, maybe you combined a set of Marzocchi upper tubes and crown with lowers and internals from Fox. Now he has a Foxzocci.




Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever else you get your podcasts.



THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 7 - PROJECT BIKES
May 13th, 2020

You mean you've never installed an XT derailleur onto a Fox 34?

Hosted by Mike Levy and featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike Podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?

Hit us in the comments with your suggestions: What do you want to hear us talk about? Would you be into watching a video version, or are our dulcet voices enough for you?


95 Comments

  • 17 1
 Terrain too steep for a singlespeed? I present to you the world's stupidest idea... a singlespeed ebike.
  • 1 0
 Market niche opening up right there!
  • 4 0
 That will look great hanging in my garage next to my fixed gear e-gravel bike.
  • 1 0
 There are a few SS e-bikes in the commuting world
  • 1 0
 @NorCalNomad: best idea for ebikes actually
  • 11 0
 I had a single speed commuter I rode to campus during college. There was one short but steep hill that I needed an easier gear for, so I modified a front derailleur to shift down into a granny gear on my 2x crankset using the front brake lever. Just had to hold the brake lever for the 100 yards I was going up the hill, then let it go and it would shift back up to my normal gear. With the chain tensioner I used it worked like a charm!
  • 8 0
 Excited for the next podcast about gearboxes as I have always wondered why they never caught on to the mass market? They make total sense in terms of maintenance and positioning on the bike. Why place your most crucial and precise moving component at the end of the bike where the most movement in all planes is experienced? A sealed gearbox placed in the middle of the bike makes the most sense for both maintenance and longevity.
I've ridden the Zerode G1 and G2 before locking rear derailleurs came onto the scene and there was virtually no chain slap from the G1 or G2. Also, jumping the Zerode DH bikes felt more centered in the air. What still puzzles me is why GripShift is the choice as the shifter? This kept me off the Taniwha. GripShift died in the 90's, what gives with them being on bikes again?
Lastly, did e-bikes steal the spotlight from a potential Gearbox adoption to the mass market? It seems as gearboxes were finally making their debut, e-bikes came out and nobody talks about gearboxes anymore. As a rider who will always pedal up, I would still like to see more gearbox options become available among the larger mountain bike brands.
  • 1 0
 I'm also confused why nobody seems to ride these. All the reviews I've seen have been pretty positive.
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: why are ebikes still using standard gears? People bang on about drag... Doesn't matter with an ebike.
  • 3 0
 @thepodge: looks like Nicolai will have something to announce soon along these lines...
  • 1 0
 @Katbox: and knowing Nicolai it will be good.
  • 3 0
 @thepodge: It wouldn't surprise me if this is why Shimano patented their "gearbox".
  • 1 1
 @thepodge: Drag always matters. Motor or not, I wouldn't want that friction.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I'd be interested to know your thinking on that. If the motor is helping overcome headwind / elevation / battery weight / cake, why not let it overcome a bit of drag too?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I really hope you guys do a podcast on gearboxes! I am so ready for my next bike to no longer have a vulnerable derailleur. A GX Eagle cassette, derailleur and chain needed to go around a long cage is close to two pounds. Taking two pounds of unsprung weight off the rear axle will do incredible things when it comes to the responsiveness of the rear suspension.
  • 1 0
 @Cbaas21: Imo gearboxes will probably never be popular because of the lack of flexibility, gear boxes are so big that they lower the quantity of bike models in which they can fit into, or even worse bike frames are being designed around the gearbox. Not the other way around.
Perhaps with new technologies SRAM could give a try to the hammerschmidt again, they should have a pretty good FMEA by now.
I want to have a drivetrain that fits most modern MTB bikes out there in the market. I dont want my drivetrain to limit my purchasing ability.
  • 11 0
 Has anyone seen where I put that left-handed hex key?
  • 4 0
 Next to the stripy paint
  • 6 0
 Near the bag of spare bubbles for the spirit level....
  • 6 1
 I borrowed it to change my car's blinker fluid
  • 4 1
 @ismasan: Make sure to change the muffler bearings while your at it....they should be changed at the same interval
  • 4 0
 um, it's in your right hand...
  • 2 0
 ... it's on the workbench right next to your singlespeed shifter.
  • 3 0
 Right near the detorquing wrench
  • 14 6
 Have a question you want us to answer in the next episode? Leave it below:
  • 6 2
 Why stop at 29" bikes? If 29" s that much better than 27.5, why not build a 30.5" bike? I seriously ask myself that question.
  • 9 0
 @TheGru: too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing.
  • 4 0
 @TheGru: 29 is basically an adapted 700c wheel. The rim size an bike frames were basically already in existence. It isnt like that wheel was created for mountain biking, the bikes and wheels have been optimized to finally be good. If you make a new rim, you need new tire production, bike design, suspensions built. Imagine doing that just to find a 29.25" outer tire diameter is the plateau of performance.
  • 1 0
 Is that saddle really at pedaling height on the Remedy?
  • 5 0
 @RonSauce: 29 is a 700C which is 622mm diameter. There is a 635mm aka 700B, 642mm aka 700A and 647mm aka 700. There are also other sizes between 700c and 650b.
So brands could test bigger if they really were interested in finding the optimum wheelsize.
  • 1 0
 Why is Mike Levy so low on the totem pole? He is clearly the comic relief we all need.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: Not really. The frame was too small, and the angle makes it look a bit odd. I think the Joplin dropper had 100mm of travel!
  • 6 0
 Any chance Pinkbike could rope in some experts on the podcast? Maybe do an episode with a couple pro trail builders or world cup mechanics.
  • 4 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: Yup, we'll be having guests on soon Smile
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: Sure, but people could have said the same 10 years ago about 26" wheels. bikes, tires, rims, suspensions ... all was optimized for 26" and then people started building different bikes and new tires and forks followed. I remember in the beginning there was hardly any 29" downhill tire available. What if the plateau of performance is at 32"? I could totally see your point if the majority of bikes were 27.5" despite 26" and 29" being around. What keeps us from being stuck at 29" similar to being stuck at 26" for to long?
  • 2 0
 @TheGru: firstly, I'm not saying 29 is the actual plateau, I'm saying it is a waste of r&d if it isnt much bigger. All of the standard wheel sizes have been around for quite a while.

If you want to run a 36" wheel, you need to design a wheel, design suspension, have your whole custom front end built. Then you get to figure out tires. All you're doing is asking for the same issues plus bike have/had. It might be an om idea, but without massive support it is a question not even worth asking.
  • 1 4
 @RonSauce: This is why I wonder if 650B will die off slowly. Surely OEMs would prefer one wheel size in terms of inventory etc. 29ers were late to the DH party for a couple of reasons, but if they are now strong enough for DH then I can't see the point of bothering to make any other wheel sizes.
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite I am a Clydesdale that rides reasonably hard and reasonably often, and I can’t ever find a bike or a free hub that can hold me for as long as I would like. Any recommendations on materials, manufacturers, models, etc. that I can actually ride for 5 years (or even two or three) without breaking? Aluminum frames seem to usually crack at welds, but I can check for damage and find the crack before a failure. Carbon can be laid up to avoid those stress concentrations and sudden variations in material strength (like from the HAZ on a weld), but can have voids/inclusions in the layup. So how does a buyer know they are buying a well made carbon frame, and do they hold up better than aluminum? What about steel? I guess my question is how do I figure out what bike will be the strongest and actually last? And the same question applies for hubs. What free hub can I ride without it exploding after a couple years? Everyone says the hub they run is bombproof, but I’ve been slowly making my way down that list and they all eventually fail within a couple years no matter how much money I throw at the new hub.
  • 2 0
 @pacificnorthwet: fellow Clyde here. King or DT Swiss hubs for me. And you have to service them. Pretty much every pawl based hub has died on me. Not yet tried I9 though, haven’t needed to
  • 2 0
 Post Covid19, do you think we'll go back to world racing schedules as we know it? And could we see a revival of local series as a result instead?
  • 3 0
 @TheGru: the industry is saving 30.5" for a few years time, when they need new standards to sell us. Amirite?
  • 1 0
 lets talk about three of your favorite recent bikes for trail, /AM /Enduro for each category include at least one budget bike. Or better just do a budget bike comparision for trail/AM/EN bikes out there and dont name just one bike but compare with the category. thank.
  • 1 0
 Btw. Any new standards on the horizon ?
  • 2 0
 Talk about spoke tension. I would have never guessed pro DH racers use low spoke tension on their race bikes. Please fill us in.
  • 2 0
 Can you put fox 40 lowers on a totem upper?
Then press tapered steer tube and collect all the chicks
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: and lucky to get it (sometimes)
  • 4 0
 Oh I also should add that I rode a 1st gen Remedy und the fun it brought was unreal. So many good times and memories from that bike. I went for 7 years with 26” wheels and I’m still alive...
  • 2 0
 That Remedy on the picture ain't first gen,maybe the first with this style of frame but the Remedy dates back to 2006,following the Liquid.
  • 5 0
 Re: The Deore oil slick thing, so glad that @brianpark knows about that Campy/Shimano STI thing. Shimano absolutely plays that game.
  • 3 0
 Surely one of these Pods needs to be about the changing standards and general technology advancements in MTB. I'm definitely in the minority here but the changing standards don't bother me too much as it all goes towards advancements. There can't be many sports on the planet where technology keeps improving at the rate the MTB in industry seems too. Will be super interesting what bikes will be like in 10 years time. Going to go out on a limb here and say the following items probably wont change toooooo much....wheel size, geo (we must be peaking at length of bikes now), general frame silhouette designs. But I think the industry is only getting started in some areas...derailleurs will surely be obsolete, tyres that are impossible to flat, electronic components is just getting started, even hidden braking systems so bending a rotor will be a thing of the past. I'm no tech expert so would be super interesting to hear thoughts on the future and what we might be riding in 10 years
  • 1 0
 Yup, it's in the schedule to happen Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: nice one!
  • 3 0
 Actually did a very similar botch job. Welded a ISCG tab to a Kona Unit, wrestled a Hammerschmidt onto it that I shifted with a Magura lock out lever. Also drilled a hole into the seat tube for an internally actuated dropper. The good old rigid dinlgespeed bike. Have sold it on since with the Hammerschmidt and it now lives on as a monstercross bike with a drop bar and the Magura lock out lever has been moved to the top tube by the new owner.
  • 7 1
 It's not "stankshun", please stop it.
  • 8 3
 No
  • 7 1
 Yes.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I find it hard to obey too and check me out
  • 2 0
 Good man, @mikelevy Normal Bikes Are Boring. Love that.
Lots of talented women and men get paid dozens and dozens of dollars to ride normal bikes at a very high level and show us how good and perfect they are. The rest of us get to ride whatever we want. I love seeing all the weird and wonderful things I see under everyday riders out on the trails. Cheers.
  • 2 1
 Leave it to Specialized to take something that's already existed forever and charge an arm and a leg for it.

My wife has had a Raleigh flat bar "road bike" for years now. The thing can take a pretty big tire 700x45 too. Funny enough for $200 I can put some suspension in the front and rear with a shockstop stem and cane creek thudbuster.
  • 1 0
 Interested in the Marfoxxy conversion, have a 36 float with a far too short steerer for new frame and access to a spare Z1 CSU... any reason I cant use the Z1 CSU on the float internals? Think there's less than 1mm difference on the ID between the CSU's...
  • 1 0
 I'd forgotten about the Larsen TT. I'm sure I had some that came in a soft compound too. Was great on the back, sometimes.
In fact they were even Super Tackys.
www.ebay.com/itm/2-pcs-x-Maxxis-Larsen-TT-Super-Tacky-Mountain-Bike-Foldable-Tire-26-x-1-9/264370507869
  • 1 0
 I love in the city, and to my mind, that specialized diverge is a perfect town bike. I've got a gravel bike and a flat barred old pub bike, always think the gravel bike with some 640b 47mm tyres and a flat bar is my perfect town bike.
  • 1 0
 Now that you're mentioning it @mikelevy , I don't know what exactly what happened to that shock technology, but I've noticed that SR Suntour does actually charge some of their shock cartridges with nitrogen. So there probably is a story behind it that is somehow linked to Millyards nitrogen shocks.
  • 1 0
 can you guys make a topic about "is it important to be mechanical wise to be a mountain biker?" i honestly get bored doing any type of mechanical work on my bikes, i prefer to pay and have them ready.
  • 1 0
 These are so great!! i can't tell me how much i love this podcast, thanks so much for putting these podcasts together i hope you keep them going even if we get out riding again
  • 2 0
 Hey thanks for answering my question guy! Mike vs. Mike MTB / DJ challenge sounds GREAT!
  • 1 1
 Edit: guys* not guy.
  • 2 0
 Yall need show notes with links to all the cool stuff you're talking about.
  • 2 3
 On the mtb v motorbike argument saying that the pro racers are on £100,000 is complete rubbish. Maybe on Mx works bikes. Check out how Graham Jarvis gets on with his mostly stock husky.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: I get one off parts are expensive and also that works Mx bikes are very expensive. I would argue that races like romaniacs or erzberg are just as competitive. With professional racers on bikes that aren’t far from stock.
  • 3 0
 It's a fair point - I bet to re-create his bike would be in $18-20k. Biggest expense over stock are the CV forks and special rear shock he uses, thats $7-9k alone....although they are re-used, so could be amortized over several bikes.

With that said, he'd still be 98% the same rider on a 100% stock bike re-valved, with his gummy tires and mouses...stock everything else. He does all the training courses on a stock bike and seems to get one just fine with them.
  • 6 0
 I'm not an MTB industry apologist. There are a LOT of places I feel people are being ripped off (where brands take margin without adding value), but I have no issue with the absolute highest end MTBs costing as much as off the shelf motorcycles.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I agree and I’m sure the MTB industry aren’t out to rip people off. One other thing I would like to mention is the KTM factory For off road bikes is based in Austria. The showroom bikes they sell are very competitive race bikes. And for roughly the same price as an S Works enduro.
Also I really enjoy your podcast and PB in general.
  • 1 0
 seems that marzo's CSU has a bit more steerer insertion depth than the fox eh?
  • 1 0
 Save the video version and just do a transcript.
Then we don’t have to see or hear you.
Win win!
  • 1 0
 And then you dont even have to read it, and your life can have peace.
  • 1 0
 Foxzocchi? Too easy. What about a Formocchi?
www.instagram.com/p/B68p6Z3DRXO
  • 1 0
 Once again. Thanks for doing this. Soooo much better than what else has been out there. Nice work!
  • 1 0
 Mike vs. Mike. Sounds like you guys are ready for a cage match! Let's see it
  • 1 0
 I'm assuming Mike is too busy testing and writing about the Grim Donut to do the latest Podcast?
  • 2 0
 Yes, exactly that.
  • 1 0
 Ya it's buried under the passenger seat of the mini or in the trunk...
  • 2 1
 Just noticed that microphone looks like... something else entirely.
  • 1 0
 The Diverge is a Dual Sport Hybrid.
  • 1 0
 Shimano Di3 coming anytime soon?
  • 2 0
 Love the podcasts
  • 1 0
 I don’t think a video option is necessary
  • 1 0
 Me neither
  • 1 0
 The suicide shifter goes well with the suicide dropper post.
  • 1 3
 Well I should add that I haven’t listened yet lol...
  • 1 4
 Wild project bikes? I thought y’all gon talk ‘bout GRIM DONUT!
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