Ask Pinkbike: Multi-Tools, Suspension Suggestions & Cutting Carbon Bars

Aug 6, 2018 at 10:06
by Pinkbike Staff  

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.




Multi-Tool Advice

Question: @BarneyStinson asks in the All-Mountain/Cross-Country Forum: What tools on a multi-tool do you consider essential for trail riding? I reckon suitable Allen Keys, some torx keys, a chain breaker. Anything I've missed?

bigquotesYou've pretty much covered the bases, although not all multi-tools are created equal. One thing that's important to consider is whether the allen and torx keys are actually long enough to be effective. There's nothing worse than pulling out a multi-tool on the side of the trail and finding out that it's too stubby to reach the limit screws on your rear derailleur, or that the 8mm Allen key is so tiny that it's basically there for show. I'd recommend looking for a tool that has at least a 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys, plus a T25 and a chain tool. A flathead screwdriver bit can also come in handy. I try not to go too crazy with the amount of tools I carry, but I do like to be prepared, and I typically also carry a small knife, which I've used to do things like trim tire plugs, cut zip ties, etc...

With a with a multi-tool, a knife, tire levers, tube, pump, and some tire plugs stashed on your bike or body you should be able to deal with most of the mechanicals that could potentially occur out on a ride. Of course, for bigger excursions you'll want to add a few more things to that fix-it kit, but most of that time those tools and supplies should suffice.

Crankbrothers' F15 multi-tool has been serving me well for over a year now – it's a nice little option that hasn't ever let me down. For more ideas, Richard Cunningham put together a selection of even more choices that's worth a look. 
Mike Kazimer

Crankbrothers F15 multi-tool
A good multi-tool should hold up to years of regular use.






Suspension Options

Question: @Gmoneyog1 asks in the All-Mountain/Cross-Country Forum: I own a Canyon Spectral with the Fox Factory Kashima kit on it, and I love the Fox stuff but I've always been on Fox... If you know what I mean. I've been looking into other suspension options lately, and there are a lot more. What are your opinions on them? I'm not a huge RockShox/SRAM guy, but I'm open-minded.


bigquotesDepending on your budget and intentions, Fox, RockShox, DVO, Manitou, MRP, and Cane Creek all make some decent stuff. But as with a lot of things in life, the more you spend, the more you get, and the top drawer offerings from all six companies won't be holding anyone back. Since you're currently on the Kashima-equipped fancy pants stuff from Fox, I'll assume that you want the same level of gear from the other guys, too. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Do you service your own stuff, and is it important that you can get parts quickly? The Pike and Lyrik are good options as they're probably the easiest to service and, depending on where you're located, to find spare parts for. With fewer external dials, I also think of RockShox's forks as being better suited to those set-and-forget types, but performance doesn't suffer because of this. If you like to tinker with settings and want the most adjustable suspension, Fox's new Grip2 damper is the ticket. It also happens to kick ass as well. Manitou's Mattoc is the sleeper here; it doesn't get enough respect but performs just as well, and its hydraulic bottom out adjustment (HBO for short) is an awesome, functional feature. DVO is certainly the cool kid on the block right now, and the Off The Top (OTT) dial is a neat tool, too. Cane Creek's Helm fork would be my choice if I were a large rider who wanted a sturdy feeling fork with damping the suits very aggressive riding. My personal pick would be MRP's Ribbon, though, because I like stuff that's a bit uncommon, and its twin-tube damper massively impressed me when I had it on the front of my bike last year.
Mike Levy

Staff Rides - Mike Levy s Rocky Mountain Element
MRP's Ribbon fork was our Suspension Product of the Year Winner in 2017 for good reason.





Cutting Handlebars

Question: @stevecous asks in the Mechanics' Lounge Forum: Handlebars seem to be getting wider and wider yet my requirement does not. I am looking to buy a Raceface Six-C 820mm bar and want to cut it down to 760 which is below the stated minimum. Does anybody know the reason for the minimum length on bars? I can't imagine it would weaken the bar.

bigquotesI doubt you're the only one that's wondered this. While wider bars do offer more control, it's important to have your bars the appropriate width for your shoulders and 760mm is pretty reasonable width for a lot of people. The bars should be plenty strong at whatever width. A lot of manufacturers, such as ENVE, don't recommend cutting a bar narrower than a certain width because it will adversely impact the ride quality. Engineers at Raceface will tell you that "not following the recommended guidelines can create a serious safety issue for the rider if they cut beyond the bar trim recommendations and that a rider should always be sure that the bar is rated for the type of riding they will be using it for."

The wider the bar is, the more leverage you have on it. If the bar is cut down, it's going to be stiffer. This can cause the quality of the ride to decrease and not be what the manufacturer considers "ideal". In other words, it could be harsh and beat you up a bit more. RaceFace and other brands make narrower bars that can be run at 760mm and still be in their recommended range of cutting, so it's worth exploring those options before you clip 60mm off of those 820's.

If the bars are cut narrow enough that your controls are not able to be clamped to the intended surface, especially on a carbon bar, that's a whole other issue and could compromise the integrity of the bar. And, remember, always make sure your bars are clamped evenly and you torque the bolts to the manufacturers' recommended setting.
Daniel Sapp

Cutting down a set of already stout bars below the recommended width is the recipe for a harsh ride.






144 Comments

  • + 89
 Race Face Carbon fiber handlebars are designed and manufactured with reinforcements at and near the end of the bars to resist damage from both impacts and clamping forces from bar-end and lock-on grip clamps. If these bars are cut shorter than our indicated minimum width, it is likely that this reinforcement will be compromised or even removed completely. For optimal performance and product safety, never cut Race Face handlebars beyond the indicated cut limit.
  • + 32
 Something PinkBikers should think about is carbon fibre dust is 10X more hazzardous to your health than asbestos. Wear a breather and cut outdoors.
  • + 5
 When Barney Stinson asks about multi tools.
  • - 1
 @madmon: im not doubting its not good for you, but it's nothing like asbestos.
  • + 1
 @madmon: This isn't true. It is a good idea to protect yourself from inhaling any kind of dust generated by cutting to prevent mechanical irritation of your airways. Carbon dust is not in any way more toxic than asbestos.
  • - 1
 @madmon: I believe carbon nanotube dust is that bad, there's no evidence showing regular bike grade carbon is any worse to breathe repeatedly than fine sawdust. Still to be avoided , but you probably won't get cancer from cutting bars.
  • + 1
 came here to say that^
Thanks for chiming in @raceface
  • + 0
 @j-t-g: yeah I doubt they would sell asbestos frames, examining a rockstrike / crack = certain death
  • + 0
 @madmon: is that true? Do you know of any decent scientific evidence you could point us too as that is very interesting and worrying.
I’d like to find out more.
  • - 3
 @sewer-rat: when a carbon seat post snaps it is almost like certain death. Haha.... yes sorry science is truth. Asbestos built houses that kills us and we now use carbon fibre to take it's place. Fibers so strong they can not be broken and you fools want to hack saw them and then breath in fine powdery fibrous dust that cuts the lung tissue into tooth paste and sits there unable to digest or get rid of. Like other like products, styrofoam, it will most likely end up in the bone marrow.
That said I have not mentioned why anyone would cut a bar at all.
  • + 1
 @madmon: wow!! I don’t own anything carbon (and I’m in no rush to either), I just can’t see how this (if true) would pass legislation
  • + 3
 @madmon: stop spreading BS and do a little research in stead of spreading fear over something you clearly believe but have no facts to back up. ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20150012180.pdf
  • + 1
 @otrider: Im saying 10X because no one is aware of the health factors. yes the dust is on par with asbestos but DEath= Death either way and not having a clue about the hazards of carbon makes this dust 10 times as deadly. Workers overseas were dropping like flies 10 years ago until preventative measures were instituted in the factories. Loads of info and facts about this.
  • + 35
 MRP's stuff is also very easy to work on yourself and they make awesome videos showing you exactly how to do it. My Ribbon is the first fork I've ever done my own work on. I did a travel change and then the coil conversion. Both were super easy and didn't require any crazy specialty tools.
  • + 7
 this brings me hope...when you live in a small town and your LBS says "Well we don't work on Fox, but we can mail it to their mechanic..." Nope, Nope Nope.
  • + 4
 @preach: Find a new LBS... not much of an excuse for them these days for them to miss out on your patronage. Fox's website has pretty much every diagram, tool needed, part number, service procedure, shim stack to tune base valving, setup recommendations, and upgrade options available for all to see. You or any LBS should be able to look it up and get it done for you!
  • + 4
 Simple maintenance like leg oil is easy on MRP (as with most forks), but I found their damper rebuild to be the most difficult I have done. It requires multiple special tools and crazy patience.

Worth it in the end, as it’s the best suspension I’ve ridden, but I wouldn’t want to mislead people.
  • + 10
 @preach: lol, last time I took a 36 into an LBS for a warranty problem, they butchered the rebuild. Had to send it to Fox myself to straighten it out. Now I either do it myself or send it to the real professionals. No more self taught middle men (flame away, shoppies).
  • + 6
 And The one time I’ve needed customer support from MRP they were awesome to deal with.
  • + 4
 Just visited their facility yesterday in Grand Junction! The amazing staff and amazing facility put out some incredible products... the Ribbon will definitely be my next fork. For those who are curious they’re working on an air version of the Hazzard... looks hella legit but it’ll be a while, still in prototype phase. Love MRP.
  • + 5
 Plus one for the Ribbon coil. All the endurocliches of coil are true and interestingly my arm pump went away...
  • + 1
 @preach: is it that bad? I sent my stuff to fox and had it back in 6 days all ready to go. Then I got a personal call from the tech that worked on it who explained everything. Pretty awesome and geez is the new 36 Grip2 nice (once I figured out the compression click stuff)
  • + 1
 @Svinyard: they said 45 days. So::: not so much
  • + 1
 @preach: that's a shop that just didn't want your business. I've never seen fox take anywhere even close to that.
  • + 1
 @ninjatarian: The Ribbon damper? I've been wanting to put an eye on one. Everyone I talk to that has one hasn't been inside it. Are there videos of this procedure anywhere?
  • + 3
 @Syt565: Stage & Loop dampers, which are twin tube (although I don’t know how similar to the Ribbon). Unlike Fox or RS which use a cartridge damper, MRP turns the stanchion itself into the sealed damper.

Never the less, it doesn’t need super frequent service and the performance speaks for itself. Everyone owes themselves a ride on their stuff.
  • + 2
 I disagree that the MRP Stage/Ribbon dampers are difficult to work on. With the two provided tools, the damping fluid change is very easy. Servicing the damper seals requires a few extra steps but all trivial. I find it easier than working on the XFusion damper or Marzocchi CRD cartridges, and the bleeding procedure leads to consistent results every time.
  • + 1
 @StiHacka: Never worked on X Fusion or the CRD (I’ve been told that CRD is a massive pain).

I wasn't provided any tools for the service, I had to order them from MRP, and they weren’t cheap. Furthermore, because my forks had different diameter stanchions (32 & 34), I needed two different bleed cups even though they are the same tool.
  • + 2
 I have a 170 MRP coil and its been flawless. I am beyond thrilled with customer support, and the coil is incredibly easy to work on. just a few tools and some fresh oil and slick honey. I am drinking all the Enduro koolaid and loving it.
  • + 1
 I have to say that DVO is also extremely easy to work on, and easy to get parts. DVO has a whole separate website dedicated to setting up / servicing your suspension, along with a video showing you how todo everything from just a simple lowers service, all the way up to a damper service. You can also give them a call, and talk to the same techs that set up the suspension for all of the pros (Giant factory off road team), if you have any questions.
  • + 1
 @ninjatarian: So is it a shims over piston or spool? I'm sure I read on some thread it was spool.
  • + 2
 Haha! This is an excellent choice!
  • + 21
 Good thing there's one built into that Crankbrothers tool I recommended... And SPD pedals double as bottle openers too.
  • + 9
 @mikekazimer: DMR Brendog vault flats can open a beer as well. Figures, British rider's signature pedals, probably legally required to.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: but that means I gotta ride clips and can’t be like Sam Hill!!
  • + 2
 @sewer-rat: flat pedals are good for opening beer bottles in a pinch!
  • + 3
 @bman33: faith is restored!!
  • + 53
 @mikekazimer: grumpy old man yelling at clouds here, but I'd argue that anyone who can't be bothered to learn how to open a beer using any reasonably hard edge (side of a pedal, body of a multi tool, picnic table, what have you) doesn't deserve a good beer and should stick with twist tops.
  • + 5
 @g-42: I vaguely remember it being a prerequisite for graduation in my mechanical engineering program.
  • + 0
 @g-42: #mancardstuff Agreed!
  • + 15
 @g-42: a brand new Bic lighter weighs 22 grams, and is the best way to launch a bottle cap into orbit, as well as serving the secondary function of igniting your drubs.
  • + 2
 @g-42: This a thousand times. A decently shaped rock can pop a top as good as any lighter. I like the edge of the table too, at home it's the edge of the work bench.
  • + 17
 @g-42: if you can't open a beer wif yer remaining teef you ain't a real man.

+10 points for opening with eye socket, +100 for nether regions
  • + 19
 Who brings bottles on trail rides?
• You can't crush them after drinking.
• They weigh more than cans.
• They're dangerous in a fall.
  • + 11
 IF you bring bottles (why?) a tire lever works just as well. Pedros especially.

Bike industry: stop putting bottle openers on everything.
  • + 4
 @g-42: "old man yells at cloud"
  • + 4
 @dontcoast: It's a design tradition. Built in bottle openers have never been about function or utility.

My 10 yo Cove Handjob has a bottle opener on the rear brake tabs. Problem is you've got to hang the bike upside down to use it.
  • + 3
 @spankthewan: Decent beer has only just started coming in cans. Things will change.

My enduro fanny pack was marketed as being able to hold 6 cans!
  • + 3
 @KiwiXC: Fair enough, but it's soooo played out now.

If we can get a lighter or a can crusher or a weed stash for a change that'd be nice.
  • + 6
 @dontcoast: How about a grinder integrated into a top cap?
  • + 5
 @KiwiXC: Ahh, good ole upsidedown handjob
  • + 1
 @KiwiXC: Not surprised that comment was from a Kiwi. Sweet as!
  • + 1
 @dontcoast: not to give props to Cannondale on the lefty, because well it’s a lefty. But if you seal the bottom with a drain plug or another one of their press in top caps, you have a massive storage compartment. Can easily fit an incredibowl m420, lighter, and more than enough ganj for even a multi day mission.
  • + 1
 @KiwiXC @mountainyj: now you're talking!
  • + 4
 All you need is a bic lighter. Can open a bottle of beer, start a fire and start my joint
  • + 1
 @g-42: What is someone doing with a glass bottle while riding anyways!?!? Can's are clearly the choice way to drink during a ride
  • + 7
 I would not recommend cutting a bar shorter than what the recommended minimal length as the brake clamp might fall in a spot where the layup can't handle the additional stress!
  • + 13
 If only there was a material that could handle the extra stress of a brake clamp?
  • - 1
 @dubod22: what are you moaning about? It's not like anyone is forcing you to use a carbon bar
  • + 6
 Worse story with handlebar you can get is when you can't put your controls inward enough and you just destroy whole feeling of a bike with a few movements Smile But then when you go for a ride to try it out and realize the damage you've done, your bar snaps cause you put your brake lever in the wrong place... based on a true story. P.S. not mine Smile
  • + 4
 Not everyone is a fan of these classic beam-style multitools, so I just want to throw in my two cents for the Topeak Ratchet Rocket in its various configurations and permutations. Ratchets make life easier and faster, and a tool that runs on bits adds versatility without much weight or size. Tough as nails - I once stomped on it to loosen a pedal (would not recommend) yet it's amazingly kept on clicking. The best versions come with a chain breaker built in, and you can even get tiny preset torque adapters.
  • + 2
 Best multi tool I have is one I pieced together Frankenstein-fashion. I've got several multi tools laying around from years past found on trails and handed out at races. It's easy to pull off tools you don't need, like a Philips head, and replace them with a T25 torx head. I've even pulled off a chain breaker from a bulky multi tool that now sits at the bottom of the pack as it's rarely needed. Or, you can, for pennies, just carry a pack of hex wrenches. On longer rides I also bring a minimalistic Leatherman tool.
  • + 2
 I even use this tool for quick repairs I do at home even if I am in the workshop and have all tools you can imagine. The quality is superior, had it for one year now and it works like new.
  • + 3
 The best multi-tool is the one your buddy carries. Wink
  • + 7
 Where is SR Suntour and their R2C2 RC2 PCS damper?
  • + 2
 At nsmb.com ???? they have reviewed auron pcs and two durolux forks with teardowns and what not.
  • + 4
 I haven't had the best luck with that damper, but Suntour have been working to improve it. www.pinkbike.com/news/suntour-durolux-29-review.html
  • + 1
 Agreed!
  • + 7
 Not on this list.
  • + 1
 Haha, I'm trying to support SR Suntour as a company, and it's failing. Still, full support, my fork was half the price I would have paid otherwise. I think R2C2 is a great idea, but great ideas in my opinion often are better on paper than in practice. Lots of ways to fail a great idea, or even a complicated idea.
  • + 4
 here's a clue for those scarecrows who cant figure it out. What tools do I need ? Erm look on your bike - count the bolts, count the type of bolts, find the tool that fits them all.

Seriously
  • + 7
 So, do I need a bb tool? Bleed kit?
  • + 8
 Yup walk 5 miles out of the bug infested woods and you will know what tools you should have had.
  • + 3
 Okay, I guess I'll just have to find a way to recharge my IFP's nitrogen charge as well as machine a new fork trailside...
  • + 2
 @spaceofades: Depends on how much you like walking, maybe check your bike before you ride, just a thought.
  • + 2
 @vtracer: Charge it with air instead and ride slow to avoid overheating your shock :-}, I doubt there are many who machine forks trailside, but give it a shot and let us know how it works.

There are people who break just about anything, sometimes its not the part but the person.
  • + 1
 @spaceofades: absolutely not - you only need carry what will get you home everything else you can improvise.
Realistically tyres are the main thing that stops you getting home.
If you keep your bike well-maintained after every ride there’s very little chance of ever needing a multitool - yet every multi-tool is mainly Allens!
Quick links/ tyre levers and a pump are far far more essential than Leatherman, Allen/Tory multitool etc
  • + 1
 @spaceofades: Might as well just carry a spare bike on your back, you know, just to be safe.
  • + 5
 @mikelevy Nice response on the suspension question. Do you have any hands on experience with the XFusion Metric HLR to compare against the others that you spoke to?
  • + 2
 Good question, I've wondered about those forks for years. Had an X Fusion Velvet and loved it. It hit WAY above it's pay grade, especially for an XC fork that got used for DJ a lot.
  • + 7
 I don't have any time on the newer X-Fusion stuff with the Roughcut damper, but I know people who have and it's all been positive so far.
  • + 1
 Xfusion got rid of their US service center and customer service is reportedly pretty awful now
  • + 1
 @chize: you got down voted for speaking truth. Xfusion in Santa Cruz is gone.
  • + 7
 i've been told that short and stiff is not good for sensation.
  • + 4
 Sure beats long and like a cooked noodle
  • + 6
 The Coil man, MrP ribbon Coil...
  • + 2
 love mine, just have to get used to the noisy damper. "was that your fork??"
  • + 5
 @olslash: truth. My Ribbon air is a great riding, stiff, well damped fork. The Volume adjustment works exactly as advertised, and the negative chamber allows it to sit well into sag without being too plush or too bottom out happy.
But that damper is loud! The first time I rode it I took off to my local jump line and rolled and "slurp, whoosh!" The first time I rode with friends my buddy asked what ramp control did and I told him it effectively changed the volume, he then asked me to turn it down.
  • + 1
 In addition to the standard stuff for a Multi-tool, a small roll of Gorilla Tape, good call on the pocket-knife, and a couple of zip ties in the micro, small, medium, and large size. This typical stuff, a multitool, a couple of co2 cartridges will all fit in even a small seat pack like the EVOC.
  • + 2
 My specialized came with a SWAT tool, which is actually quite useful. I thought oh I should put another one on my road bike, and then I saw that it costs $42 for a tiny multi tool. Ummm no thanks.
  • + 1
 60mm cut on any handlebar would make the bar way too stiff. All bars at it's manufactured length is designed with the right stiffness/flex in mind. When you significantly cut the bar down you are drastically changing the way the bar feels and flexes.
  • + 1
 Right, but it's pretty common for people to cut a 800mm carbon (or aluminum) bar down to 780 or 760. How much do you think 20 or 40mm changes things?
  • + 5
 @islandforlife: Stiffness is inversely proportional to cantilevered length cubed, so small changes in length make a big difference. That said I have Six-C bars cut to 780 and I wouldn't be concerned about them being too stiff if I were to cut them 20mm shorter.
  • + 2
 @islandforlife: 20mm or 40mm changes things enough that it's pretty common for people to cut the bar that much.
  • + 32
 if your bars are too stiff, try aluminium bars with 31,8 clamping diameter. Those things rock, it will be a big thing one day.
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: 20mm cut i think should be the max. It makes the bar a little stiffer but not much a big deal. It also depends on what type of riding you do. For freeride, i like my bars flexy so my wrest don't break off big landing jumps. As a result, the bar cut should be minimal like 10mm. for XC it does not matter at all what length you cut the bars. also, carbon is stiffer in general and the feel/stiffness of the bar is more noticeble when cut.
  • + 2
 If you can afford carbon bars but they feel too harsh, you may want to consider titanium bars instead of aluminium. They should last you longer too.
  • + 4
 @vinay: they only cost nearly double the carbon bars, like Thomson > Enve. In general whatever you buy from titanium you can look down on carbon as the belongings of peasants in denial.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah but then again, you know you can trust them after a crash. Titanium bars should outlast several aluminium or carbon bars, especially if you also happen to crash. Back in the days I was told I should replace aluminium bars every three years or so because of fatigue. Not sure if it still holds.
  • - 1
 Also now 100% seriously. The boring and sad truth is that carbon bars are not made equal, different makers make different bars and some are more compliant than other. Good luck with figuring out which ones are good, because it is a rather hard task to expect someone who lashed out tons of money for a carbon bar to tell you it sucks. He'd have to admit he made a foolish decision and burned lots of his money. So in most cases you are sentenced to gamble with your own money and this particular gamble ain't cheap. If anyone has ever tried Renthal Fatbar in alu (not Fatbar lite!!!), how awfully rigid they are, imagine something even worse and 3 times as expensive. Oh you saved 100-150g, amazing, considering that if you crash and there's a big mark on it, you'd better change it. Rode RF SiXC and Next SL bars and they are awful. Candy Ray mhwaaa, sweet!
  • + 1
 I cut my 800mm Bontrager Line (aluminum) 35 to 780 and then to 765, I never rode it at 800mm but at 765 it's incredibly stiff, probably too much. I'm a 100kg and always felt that my 31.8 bars flexed a bit too much, now with these bars I'm wishing I had some of that flex back. I'm thinking about trying the carbon version, but may just get a good quality 31.8 aluminum bar.
  • + 1
 @vinay: fatigue life with aluminum is very real. It has more to do with number of rides than years riding them though. Carbon doesn't really fatigue and has a much larger strength to weight ratio so it will likely out last anything. Titanium bars would also fail in a crash that would break carbon bars, but they bend a bit instead of just snapping like carbon so you'd still be able to ride back to the car. I've slammed carbon into rocks hard enough that aluminum would have dented or bent really bad and all the carbon has to show is a scratch, which doesn't matter because the outer layer is actually for scratch protection.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: it's all personal preference you see. I think the Six-C bars I have are great because I like my suspension to do all the work and everything else to be pretty damn rigid. It's also a myth that you could replace carbon components with scratches or gouges every time. The outer layer is usually kevlar or similar and not structural. Thin shooting cracks are what you have to watch for.
  • + 1
 @taquitos: I have personally seen a carbon roadie bar (possibly Bontrager) with a major scratch, that looks like... a freaking scratch, not crack, not dent, screatch - being broken off by hand using of a bit more force. I would never use a carbon bar with any deeper hole in it. Any person with a bit of expertize would recommend you to check a composite handlebar for structural damage as soon as there is a slight suspicion. I know of broken alu bars, I've bent one badly myself. I know it's not just carbon, but carbon has this ugly property that while it takes more crap than alu, it dies spectacularly.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: that was because it was a rode bar. Way different set of requirements. I'm that guy with the expertise. The only way you can actually inspect carbon for cracks below the surface, which is what is of concern, is ultrasound. If you see something on the surface that looks like a crack it might not be that bad even. My frame slammed a rock hard. Really really hard. It has a couple of cracks in the outer layer/paint. No way to know if there's internal damage so I marked the ends of the cracks with a marker and kept an eye on them. They haven't spread so the carbon itself is fine.
  • + 1
 Just picked up a Helm, love the thing. IMO a big improvement on the Pike 2018, which I couldn't get to have any descent midstroke support. The Helm is stout, riding right in the sweet spot and just eats those large repeated impacts. Paired with a DB coil, it's a confidence inspiring rock-eating machine.
  • + 1
 Must say, for self service DVO really is the tits. Also, pretty much never met a RS product i liked, kinda like Mr. Levy never met a sram product he didnt think was the best option. The guys straight up said he didn't like RS products in the question. LOL.
  • + 1
 Is the charger damper really the easiest one to service out of the new crop of forks? I've rebuilt a few chargers, and it totally sucks compared to the emulsion dampers on my bikes. I'm not overwhelmed with the performance, either- my pike rct3 came off the bike and i put my old fork back on.


What out there really can have a full fluid change with a minimum of fussing and no special tool kit?
  • + 1
 @scottzg: nah these guys don't service their dampers you can tell. A service for them is an oil and seal change
  • + 1
 This is a serious question, and I don't know where else better to put it, "does installing a zip tied mudguard damage the finish on the fork?". I want to put one on because I like them, but I zero negative effects.
  • + 4
 The picture with the saddle bag strapped around the dropper shaft.... Smile
  • + 2
 It's not an issue, and the strap doesn't keep the post from fully dropping.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: oh, it's an issue. Believe me.
  • + 1
 I think after the law about picking up dop poop in a bag, saddle bags are unlikely to have a come back anytime soon.
  • + 2
 I’ve had my Ribbon out for one ride and don’t want to ride anything else. Can’t wait to get their Hazzard shock on my bike when the progressive springs come out.
  • + 4
 Get manitou, you won't need anything else especially those fox
  • + 1
 My Dorado begging for her third painful service this summer is telling me you are wrong
  • + 1
 @mollow: you are doing It wrong, send it ti someone else.
  • + 2
 Super glue, a shoe lace, 3 zip ties, and a small adjustable wrench have saved me on more than one occasion. Just think of the extra half pound as added training...
  • + 1
 A razor blade (with athletic tape wrapped around the cardboard wrapper to beef it up) is a great alternative to a knife for infrequent emergencies.
  • + 9
 And the infrequent prison riot.
  • + 0
 If I were you I'd try dvo or MRP. from experience cane creek can't build anything that lasts longer than 1 ride and rockshock isn't as good as fox. Ps. Why change when you have probably the best suspension out there?
  • + 2
 Cause the guy doesn't want to be so close-minded. Smile
  • + 1
 It is beyond me why you can't buy a single, simple tool with a 4 and a 5mm allen on each end. That's all I would take.
  • + 2
 I cut my carbon bars with a sledgehammer.
  • + 1
 Love my CB multi tool, not sure about anything else CB branded though.
  • + 0
 I love my Blackburn Wayside Multi-Tool. The 2, 2.5, 3, 4 & 5mm hex keys are removable.
  • + 0
 cane creek is the way to go, helm coil for the win
  • - 3
 What about the halston inversion fork?
  • + 2
 It's honestly so funny, because nobody actually cares except like 45 professionals in the whole world. Everyone else just pogo sticks around on old car springs, and bangs their sister.
  • - 2
 I'm following @BarneyStinson just cuz Barney
  • + 2
 I'll take a pass on anything that still has rim brake mounts
  • + 1
 @vtracer: Razz And a handlebar with a width congruent to the fork's travel.
  • + 2
 In their defense, that's their touring/trekking fork. There remains a demand for rim brakes as then they won't have to worry about brake rotors rubbing their front bag. They don't seem to have rim brake mounts on their mountainbike forks.
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