Video: $450 vs. $2000 Suspension - Budget vs. Baller Episode 4

Dec 6, 2021 at 14:57
by Pinkbike Originals  


There's no doubt that your suspension plays a huge part in how your bike rides, but do you need to spend all that extra money on fancy coatings and excessive dials? Well, today we're going to find out with Henry's $450 option versus Jason's $2000 option. What could go wrong?


WATCH ALL EPISODES OF BUDGET VS. BALLER HERE


Presented by


Jenson USA





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259 Comments

  • 445 118
 When I’m buying a fork I’m not trying to choose between a bottom of the barrel fork and the most expensive, its usually between a $750 and $900 fork. This series is lame.
  • 277 46
 To quote your own profile page, "Yea, well, you know.... That's just, like... your opinion, man"
  • 168 1
 Yeah it would have been cool to see a comparison between a Rockshox Domain and Zeb Ultimate or a 35 gold vs a Pike Ultimate
  • 89 1
 I agree. Comparison to something like an Auron35 with an msrp of $650 would be way more interesting IMO....
  • 194 2
 The bikes already had Yari forks.
They could have installed a Charger Ultimate Damper in one of them (around $300.00 USD) and a completely new ZEB / 38 in the other one.
The "upgrades" they are choosing for the budget bike seem like a complete Joke....
Wait a minute....
  • 13 5
 @rustiegrizwold: well played.
  • 90 1
 This JensonUSA sponsored series feels more like a marketing tool to convince us we need the pro-level stuff and that aliexpress/wish stuff is badbadnotgood. I mean, the latter is probably generally true, but I much prefer seeing comparisons like the budget bike field tests last year when we got a sense of how close to ideal the real budget stuff is.
  • 75 29
 I'm just going to throw this out there. They have 'reviews' for the product comparisons like you guys are talking about. This isn't supposed to be a 'review', it's a comparison of High Vs Low, not High vs kinda-High. I love it, I want to know the downfalls of the cheap eBay stuff because maybe we'll find out that we don't really need all the super high end stuff from this series... And maybe we've gotten a bit too picky.
  • 38 1
 When Jason was complaining his Yari was completely blown, my answer would have been... $10 worth of o-rings and oil&grease. At least Henry did the smart thing with that rear shock, instead of getting some aliexpress junk shock, first logical choice of the series.
  • 17 1
 @JuanFco: Agreed. You could also get a used 2018ish 36 or lyrik or something on the pinkbike classified section for $650 if you're lucky and get a much more realistic "budget" upgrade.
  • 20 0
 @ChristianToole: Yes. Not a budget fork with fake Kashima stanchions. $550 for a Domain I think still qualifies for budget.
  • 4 4
 The $750-$900 fork is pretty much a premium fork if it has the same internals (damper and air spring). It just doesn't have some of the extra settings. The extra settings of low/high speed compression are nice though.
  • 7 1
 @JuanFco: THIS. I put a charger 2.1 Rc in my 180mm Yari and I feel it is a fantastic fork. Would love to know how it stands up against a ZEB Ultimate which in my mind, is the best fork I would ever want.
  • 18 1
 Yeah, I agree - Choosing the lowest-quality products like this is useless and not informative. Was really hoping that they would choose a budget product that most mountain bike riders are actually considering buying (like a Marzocchi in this case). You don't need a whole series to understand that buying the cheapest thing possible will result in a bad experience.... we all know that already.
  • 5 0
 @quillankr: i guess they want to prove that bling components are absolutely necessary for your ride experience.
  • 37 8
 What a load of shit. Reading this first stack of comments has told me I don’t want to watch this video. If you already have a Yari and you’re on a budget, why would you do literally anything else other than servicing the said same Yari?
Absolute load of bollocks series. Total codswallop.
@GMBN @Doddy can you please re-hash this series with some common sense and actual real world-ness about it?
  • 13 1
 @Inclag: but then the Auron might win...
  • 20 9
 The only good series Pinkbike have put out this year was the stuff with Ben Cathro. Everything else (not including field test because it’s not really a series) has been god awful
  • 23 0
 I just can't believe he sprung for the 336 when everyone knows you can get a perfectly good ZTZ, BOLANY, or BUCKLOS for literally half the price!
  • 2 0
 @two-one: I recently swapped out the stock damper in my Yari to a Charger. Without a doubt a big improvement. No amount of fresh grease or fresh oil can match the sophistication of the charger performance compared the simple yari damper.
  • 4 12
flag deeeight (Jan 4, 2022 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 @two-one: They're not actually buying stuff from AliExpress... they're picking from things sent by companies to be reviewed that have been accumulating pending time to actually get it done. If Henry was really ordering parts... he'd just be getting black or grey ones that would go with any color scheme of bike really... and not say, annoized turquoise for the bar & stem that clashes badly with the Giant's colors. He also could have ordered Maxxis or CST tires from AliExpress instead of those oddballs he got stuck with He could also have just ordered a Suntour fork, or a Marzocchi, or Rockshox, or Manitou... all of whom are made in China and Taiwan.

Somebody else said they should have started with bare frames...I think they should have started out with Walmart USA bikes from Mongoose or Hyper... that come with low end components to hit a price point... but are otherwise using decent frames. AND THEN upgraded both of them. The Hyper Sinnister's carbon XC hardtails for example are very popular among youtube channels that do bike reviews. There's nothing unusual at all on the frame to source other than the 135mm dropout rear end is a bit behind the times. But its a 31.6 post, 1x cable routing only, 44mm cups headtube, 73mm BSA BB shell, and fits 27.5 or 29 tires depending on which version you buy. Or the Schwinn Axum 29er hardtail... again... popular among youtube bike channels, nothing unusual to its alloy frame other than the open QR dropouts.
  • 7 0
 @quillankr: the reason they don’t compare a 36 to a z1 or a lyrik to a yari is because there’s hardly any difference. They’re all as capable as each other, you can set them up to feel almost identical. Slight differences at best that aren’t going to make you a better rider but I’m guessing a 36 review that ended with amazing fork but for the money you might as well get a z1 and set of pikes for the trail bike with the change wouldn’t go down well with the sponsors.
  • 17 1
 This series continues to disappoint with all the stupid cheap garbage they’re putting on the low end bike. No effort to actually make a value build. You’d think with all the feedback from first two vids they’d listen a little. Good work guys this is a series people don’t even want to watch.
  • 15 2
 @Ryawesomerpm: The entire series likely was finished months ago. They're simply broadcasting it now because pinkbike academy is finished.
  • 1 1
 @theging: if that's the case why are they both using Giants? Henry should be on a supercycle and Jason should be on some carbon super bike.
  • 19 9
 Y'all are missing the point of this series. It is for entertainment purposes only and is a play on Donut Media's HiLow series. It's not intended to make any practical real-world comparisons of what you might be debating buying. Under that context, this series is very entertaining. That said, if they were to redo this series it would be nice for them to pick products on the low end of the budget which are improvements to the base level already on the bike and not just picking low-end junk with some of it being worse than what they started with.
  • 9 1
 Yeah, I'm not in love with thsi series, despite 2 knowlgable and likeable hosts. It's like "$$$ Jenson sells, vs Ebay".
Why not pick Suntour or Xfusion or somethng else Jenson sells and see how that goes?

Personal note - I bought an X-fusion Slide 29 a number of years back to put on a 29er HT for my kid. It was nice! Better than most low end 29er forks at the time.
  • 3 2
 @Wearsmybike: leave our autism’s alone.
  • 8 2
 @Wearsmybike: Except Donut Media's series wasn't garbage. Donut's HiLow is comical and entertaining but it also has real world merit. They aren't pushing the expensive stuff as the holy grail, but rather explaining the pros and cons of the cheap and expensive upgrades. I understand you can't get as much content out of mountain bikes as you can with cars, but with this series its like they don't even put in the effort to make the content good. If they advertised the series to be purely for entertainment there would be a lot less disappointment but they didn't. They advertised the series in the pilot to be similar to Donut's HiLow and it simply is not, and they didn't even try to make it similar.
  • 12 0
 @Wearsmybike: "Y'all are missing the point of this series"

I'd say the series was initially put forth as being something it's not hence the negative feedback.
  • 44 2
 @big-red: Sponsoring a video series on Pinkbike is a definitely marketing tool to try to connect with more riders, but we didn't have any part in writing the scripts or defining any of the parts being spec'd on these bikes. Pinkbike presented the Budget vs Baller series idea and we were excited to be a part of this type of comparison. They submitted a list of requested parts and we did our best to supply those parts in light of current supply chain challenges. Hope that helps clarify our role in this project. Cheers!
  • 39 0
 @FatTonyNJ: Good points! We didn't create, write, or choose any of the build list for this series. We simply provided the parts that were requested for the baller build. We definitely sell much more budget-friendly products that are still really good, and it would great to pit the top-end versus the value-oriented products. Maybe we can try a revised version of this series later.
  • 6 1
 For the same amount of money the budget bike could have had a professional rebuild of the existing fork and shock(which they did) and would have been way farther ahead of the cheap fork they used.
  • 2 0
 If you're new to MTB and don't know the difference between one part, or one brand, it can be temping to buy the cheap option since - what's really the difference? I know I was guilty back in High School. However, I think this series kind of points that out in a not so obvious way.

For those of us very engulfed in biking it's rather obvious and I would love to see the next series do as many have suggested - Budget vs Baller and not necessarily this series of Cheapest vs Most Expensive.
  • 14 5
 @jensonusa: Thanks for the input as to your support on the series. It's cool that you guys are able and willing to support things like this. I'll freely admit I haven't watched the videos because a) like all PB users, I check the comments section first, and b) based on my comment review it seems like there is little to learn or take away from comparing high end components to 'Take a flyer on it' Aliexpress parts.

Personally I'd love to see PB put a different spin on this if they give the concept a second go around. I'd like to offer up my suggestion. Give 4 PB staffers the challenge to commit to a single 'daily driver' bike for an entire bike season/year and have them all commit to some low stakes informal weekday race series or wednesday park day rides or the likes. Make sure that the riding or racing falls under the heavy trail or enduro category to ensure drama......a race series of sorts would be preferable to ensure pushing the products to their limits or a reasonable end of year mileage goal..... These bikes must be used whenever not testing products and must be used for the aforementioned committed weekly rides, party laps, beer store runs, etc.... Total mileage and usage must be logged....

Rider #1 is able to select a 'Baller Ride'. This bike can be brand spanking new with whatever components rider desires (within reason). This rider can replace parts as needed only with the support of a bike shop (Jenson or local affiliate to perform work/support). Shop time and cost must be captured.

Rider #2 is able to select a 'Performance Ride'. This rider would have a set $7000 USD budget to purchase and to support their bike maintenance for the year. Maintenance cost must be properly captured and ding the budget... New tires, pads, inserts, tubeless sealant, fork/shock service, chain lube/chains, aftermarket suspension, etc. Maintenance cost through a shop must also ding the budget as should any shipping cost. Any sweat equity maintenance time work must be logged. $7000 budget seems fair if one were to consider a $5-6k bike and $1-2k for maintenance.

Rider #3 is able to select a 'Budget Ride'. This rider would have a set $4000 USD budget to purchase and to support their bike. As with rider #2, the same maintenance rules apply within the budget constraints. There are several brands offering base build bikes in the $2-$3k range so this seems like a fair challenge.

Finally rider #4 is stuck with a 'Dirt Bag' $3k
budget. This budget is perhaps the most challenging. Do you purchase a new bike at $2k or less with lesser quality components but warranty or go for something a couple years older through PB classified or a demo bike
sale? Same maintenance rules apply. With this budget we're likely talking much more sweat equity maintenance time. Wheel relaxing, fork/shock servicing, etc....

All riders would need to maintain a ledger and clock in and out all their maintenance time.

What would be interesting about this would be several things in my mind. Would the baller bike require the same maintenance as the other bikes? If so how does that cost add up in working exclusively with an LBS and what would be the total ding and what's the reviewers perception of the bike and not having to do their own maintenance? Is there any differences between a baller and performance bike? Are there things that the rider learns to deal with because they don't want to drop $$$ on something they are unable to afford? Would they try to sell some parts new off the bike to try to customize it more to their liking? How about the budget and dirt bag bikes? Are they durable and do they require more maintenance? Is the warranty worth it at a $1k difference? How much extra time may an owner spend maintaining their bike if bought used or budget? Do they need to bum parts from fellow riders at a race? Relace wheels late at night? Is trying to save a few bucks affecting their normal job due to lack of time? Would trying to save a little more be worth it in the long run? This IMO would be fascinating.....
  • 6 1
 @jaame: mate GMBN are just as bad with their partnership with decathlon! Trying to tell people they could buy a functional mountain bike to be used on trails for £400!

C’mon! Decathlon we’re pulling the strings there.

Mentioned it in the comments and called out for being a snob by a ton of people who clearly don’t ride mtb like hey my £250 Carrera is amazing!
  • 2 0
 @theging: I agree that's the idea, but then they compare them as if you were making a choice between the two on what to spend your money on. They should embrace than you shouldn't buy either product, and have the commentary reflect that it's just entertainment instead of talking like it's a buyers guide.
  • 4 0
 This is so dumb. Why not put up a Suntour Aion or Auron against the fox? Those are $500 bucks new and real forks.
  • 4 0
 @Wearsmybike: HiLow still makes improvements on the vehicle despite of the price range.

HiLow on the Tacomas had the low tires and wheels win because the hi were too pricey to offer indistinguishable performance gains.

When the series started, I really thought I would see if a zeb or 38 would be lightyears ahead of a suntour or RST fork. Not a CaXiMa 336 FoRk
  • 4 0
 @jensonusa: Good on you for letting us know your actual part in all this and acknowledge how the budget fork was not supplied by you. That said, I am not sure I even know what the brand name is of the budget fork, but the fork did perform amazingly well for a $250 fork and Henry's refusal to attempt to add volume spacers since none came with the fork (even though neither my aftermarket Z1 nor my Boxxer came with any either, nor did my new Spesh complete bike with a 36). This fork looks great for any beginner to the sport, as Henry says, which seems to indicate there could be a market for companies to buy Alibaba/ebay blank frames and low budget components to sell complete for under $1000 (which always seems to be the budget everyone initially has to spend on an entry level mtn bike, until their knowledgeable friend educates them otherwise). In fact, Jenson could start doing just this thing.
  • 3 2
 @Garpur44: their content in general has gone downhill tremendously in the last 2-3 years. They changed their target demographic abs leaned into the sponsors more and now they’re just kind of a shell of what they started as.
  • 1 1
 @jensonusa: Hey- - someone had to do it, why not Jensonusa? I'm diggin' the series so far.
  • 4 1
 @Rubberelli: Not sure I would call the performance amazing, even at $250. Did you see Henry trying to compress it in the shop and then later mention that if he even put one click of compression dampening on it that it would basically lockout. This quick test also gives no indication of long term reliability/safety. A lot of these forks are cheap for a reason - cheap materials and poor tolerances. Also good luck if you need parts for one of these. I think a beginner/budget build would be a lot better off having someone in the know help source a used name-brand fork that is serviceable and has available replacement parts. As I mentioned above, they would have been better off keeping the Rockshox fork and spending the money on a professional fork service.
Also, down the road, if that person gets more into riding and is ready to upgrade parts or the whole bike the resale value of the name-brand fork will net them more money back. I think you'd pretty much have to give the cheapy fork away once it's got a season or 2 under it.
  • 2 2
 @TheSlayer99: First world problems complaining about well made, well produced and entertaining free mtb content.....
  • 3 0
 @jensonusa: Thanks for the reply! You guys have a special place in my heart, because I still have an old steel Zion 737 somehwere in my garage. Smile
  • 2 0
 @deeeight: i don't think any serious company would send these "budget" parts for review because they're evidently absolutely worthless. They're just getting the absolute cheapest thing possible and don't care about the colors or anything else, really. I'd be fine with the bare frame idea but that would mean building up the entire bike in one go.
  • 3 0
 Agreed this is a waste of time
  • 4 2
 @jaame Come on GMBN is complete click-bate BS. I don't argue that this comparison is stupid and the idea that you'd buy the cheapest Ali-express fork rather than rebuild or source a decent used fork first is dumb, but at the same time GMBN hasn't produced much useful content for anyone but inexperienced under-informed riders.
  • 2 0
 @andelinc: this is the real secret for budget suspension performance, you can pick up a 2018ish lyric or pike for $400ish on pinkbike buy-sell or ebay if you keep an eye out. $50 in a full seal kit and oil, and an hour rebuilding the damper and it's good as new. The charger 1 is as just good as the charger 2 for basically everyone except light weight riders.
  • 1 0
 @Ryawesomerpm: this is supposed to make people spend money, not save money
  • 2 0
 @FatTonyNJ: I'd love a garage big enough to put a 737 in it
  • 1 0
 I’d ride my Auron over any Pike or Fox34 Performance Elite etc.
  • 1 0
 @bmied31: Exactly... I'm at five years now on a Suntour Raidon RL 130mm on my Specialized Fuse 6Fattie hardtail without a rebuild. Air seals haven't failed, cartridge hasn't blown, and all it took to solve the spring ramp curve was adding about 10cc of oil into the air chamber after pulling out the valve core of the schrader valve in the top cap. Is it heavier than a lower/mid level Rockshox or Fox fork ? Yes. Do I care at all? No.
  • 2 0
 @h82crash: umm...all air forks fail to compress when they have too much air! He let some out and presto! the fork began compressing. I did not hear the comment about the compression knob, but I did hear him say this cheapo fork was vastly better than his old fork in need of service. Thus, a beginner would have to buy a used decent quality fork in need of service (prbly $400-$500) and then get it serviced (prbly $150-$200). We are literally talking about spending 3 times as much and maybe 3/4 of their entry bike budget on just the fork. Also, did you hear the guys say before they went to ride that they were going to see who was faster, yet they never told us who was faster. Could Henry have won on cheapo fork?
  • 2 0
 @Rubberelli: The fork was already on the bike when he bought it. No need to shell out another $400-500 on ANOTHER used fork??? (also, just looked and plenty of good forks starting at $250 and just because it's used doesn't automatically mean it's "blown". And most of the time you just need new seals and a tear down, clean, relube and your good. You can do that for WAY less than $150-200)

Yes, you buy used without being able to try it you do risk that it will need repairs. BUT way LESS risk than ordering some fork nobody ever heard of...
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: someone who has never owned a mountain bike is going to tear down and rebuild the used fork they buy? What with all the bike and suspension tools that they don't own?
  • 1 0
 @Rubberelli: Wasn't taking any shots at you, just saying it didn't look like a very good performing fork. I more than understand about too much air in the fork but he let out a good shot of air and it still hardly moved and Henry said 'they're coming to life now' then gave a sarcastic look meaning not really. Also watching the amount of fork movement as he rode didn't look too encouraging.
Also as far as budget thing goes, my comment was in reference to this scenario where, as @stiingya said, there was already a name brand fork on the bike. They rebuilt the Rockshox rear shock so why not put the $250 (or less) into a fork rebuilt rather than go to some no-name fork.
  • 1 0
 @h82crash: No-name fork doesn't automatically mean bad fork. If you ever physically examined a lot of those forks... and have been around Fox, Manitou, Rockshox, X-Fusion and Suntour forks over the past decade, you'll instantly recognise the crowns, lowers, and internals as being identical to things used in those more known name brands.

The reason for that is simple... with Fox, Manitou and Rockshox... most of their OEM only lines, and many entry level to mid range retail models are made in the same factories that are churning out these noname brand forks. And X-Fusion and Suntour do OEM production for other fork makers also, including in the case of suntour...mass producing and selling their sealed cartridge dampers. And really...you're typical noname fork is using a using a pretty simple and old technology damper and air spring assembly.
  • 1 0
 @h82crash: Simply because this excercise is to compare two new products, priced vastly different from one another! Otherwise, wouldn't every review have to read something like "It's a great fork if you snap yours in half, but can you really justify the $1,000 price tag, when you can rebuild what you already have for $50?"
  • 2 0
 @Rubberelli: Owning a mountain bike for X period of time isn't what makes you capable of working on a mountain bike? Lots of people are mechanically inclined and can learn how to do it. I'm living proof. Sure that's no guarantee... So take it to the Bike shop? (I've started a project and had to head to the bike shop and drop off my bike with my tail between my legs. So what) Of which, I mean if you buy a used bike and have no knowledge of it, try to ride it and it's not working aren't you taking it to a bike shop already?

Also, likely someone brand new to mountain biking could have rode those used Giants the way they were for a fair bit and been fine!! Smile Smile Smile Maybe...? maybe not.

Still just back to the $150-200 fix at the shop which is still a WAY better option than an unknown $450 fork that might not be worth that money, might break in a month and might not have parts, support, or even a company still in business when you need it to be.

@deeeight this is true. X-fusion and Suntour are great examples of that and I'm sure there might be others out there? But I still don't get the point of spending $500 to take that risk when there are plenty of brand name used forks for cheaper and brand name new forks from X-fusion and Suntour and others with known use/reviews/support/parts/etc.

And back to the thing where they had good forks already, they just needed some work.

Someone buying a bunch of cheap forks to test them out see if there is a diamond in the rough is a worthy cause. But that isn't this. Maybe they will get lucky and something they got works? Hope it's still working in a month...
  • 2 0
 @Rubberelli: this exercise is just to throw crap on Henery's bike for laughs. Which if they'd had been more obvious and upfront about in the first place would probably have gone over much better...?
  • 2 0
 @big-red: bang on, pinkbike has sold out. Outside will ruin it
  • 1 1
 @stiingya: that may have been the original idea, but since they have intentionally left out who won, yet included that they were going to in fact race, then we can only assume Henry won with the $250 fork. A fork he actually recommends to beginners.
  • 2 0
 @Rubberelli: Henry is a faster rider, did you not watch the original episode? Above it says a $450 dollar fork. Not 250. But I stand by my statement that you have no idea who makes that fork, no idea how long it will work and no idea if you can get parts or support for it if it stops working. Stupid way to spend your money... but feel free
  • 2 0
 A more objective test would have been to have both riders do timed runs on both bikes, initially and after each upgrade, and see what, if any improvements were made against their own baseline times.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. This is Walmart vs Bike Shop. IDK of anyone that is trying to decided between Walmart and high end Bike shop. I just can't guess how this ends.... I think most of us was hoping a comparison of products we all but...Yari vs Zeb etc
  • 192 32
 Another swing and a miss by Outside with this series.
  • 43 58
flag kokofosho (Jan 4, 2022 at 9:16) (Below Threshold)
 Any yet you are engaging with the content. I would say that they hit at least a single here.
  • 41 0
 @kokofosho: Rather a deep flyball. Often looks promising initially.
  • 14 0
 Ben Cathro could do it in half the time and give real information. And what's up with all the slomo? These need to be 5 mins.
  • 16 2
 @oscartheballer: Those five minute videos don't monetize, baby! It's all about the $$$!

- Incognito Robin, Probably
  • 4 9
flag jokermtb (Jan 5, 2022 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 another complaining freeloader consuming free content..........
  • 148 0
 Next week Jason is handed $1M and a new house. Meanwhile Henry will be stripped naked and beat in the alleyway while his gf moves out. All goes to show, buy all your parts from JensonUSA or end up like Henry.
  • 33 0
 I think they should do a series where they have a budget and then buy everything off of PB Buy/Sell. That would be good on so many levels, including the people that get to see their goods on a fresh build.
  • 6 0
 @rrolly: this is a great idea!
  • 5 0
 @rrolly: LinusTechTips did a series like that called Scrapyard Wars
  • 7 0
 At least Henry gets to flex his mechanic skills on Jason.
  • 107 3
 Another Bentley vs. Tata Nano comparison. And once again, as irrelevant as that sounds.
  • 6 0
 That actually sounds more entertaining! Sounds like vintage top gear.
  • 3 0
 @OCSunDevil: yeah, as a TG plot it's great. With complete bikes it's great. Cheap bike vs. expensive bike can be entertaining, but it's been done.

Just like a TG episode about new vs junkyard alternators would be dumb, boring, and irrelevant (remanufactured would be the way to go) this series isn't entertaining and fails to inform.
  • 68 4
 I think it's for entertainment value, versus educational value.

What the series actually is ... is "cheap as possible but still moves on two wheels versus as expensive as possible"
  • 41 0
 A third, middle category might've made this series actually useful:

1) Top of the line, absolute baller - Zeb Ultimate, 38 factory, ZIPP Motos, AXS
2) Mid tier, bang for buck - take-off 36 Rhythm, Bomber Z2, SLX, etc.,
3) As cheap as possible, chinese knockoff trash (i.e. Henry's current setup)
  • 14 0
 @rowdyhonzo: yes, but this might actually prove that you don't need that top-of-the-line stuff. how would outside's ad clients sell their overpriced stuff then?
  • 5 0
 We've ready seen Skills with Phil take a Walmart bike down the Whistler bike part to see how shit budget bike parts are. Much more entertaining too.
  • 3 2
 @Ktron: Sam Pilgrim did it also, pre-pandemic and it was still perfectly rideable at the end. Seth from Berm Peak has used AliExpress sources parts for builds he was doing in 2021. Sombrio just released their first mountain bikes a few months ago and most all of the components are things commonly found on AliExpress/Alibaba. AliExpress is simply the individual consumer side to AliBaba (where you can order a single item), and AliBaba is who the actual brands are usually sourcing from when trying to find components (and the minimum order is a hundred units) to put on their bikes. Most every company that does OEM sales / production out of Asia are on the two platforms. I get my prowheel cranksets for example, direct from Prowheel's store page on AliExpress. Prowheel is probably the #1 OEM crankset maker in the world now, especially for 1x drivetrain bikes as shimano basically doesn't offer anything for that below the Deore price range. They're make nice forged alloy cranksets. Most of the higher end ones either run 4-bolt 104mm or SRAM GXP DirectMount spline chainring interfaces.
  • 1 0
 @rowdyhonzo: or just reconditioned / serviced. Upgrade the Yari and you have a Lyrik...
  • 1 0
 Just wait til Henry's sketchy stem snaps.....
  • 1 0
 @jokermtb: A raceface Ride stem would be just as likely to break. Stems don't NEED to be super expensive to handle XC/Trail riding which the frames they're on are meant for. But if they should go to whistler bike park and take all the big jumps on A line at speed... I'd expect the frame to crack before the stem does.
  • 65 4
 Please change the series name its misleading
  • 38 1
 Watching this series is like watching those clips of people hurting themselves on purpose. You know the type, where they intentionally belly flop onto a huge cactus or similar and then roll around in pain: It's just plain gross. It's like yeah, you put on the worst tires you could find, and guess what, they were awful.
  • 22 2
 Sam Pilgrims youtube channel is way ahead with this type of content
  • 36 0
 The best thing in this episode is Henry using a hex wrench to keep his headset/stem assembly together after removing the fork. Thanks for the tip!
  • 1 0
 Yes - I took note as well.

@henryquinney - Thanks for that tip - no more hanging the bars from the brake cables.
  • 34 1
 If they would make reasonable choices for the budget parts, the end results would be microscopical in terms of time difference, which is bad for the sponsor(s) Smile
Clever way to advertise.
  • 7 0
 I don't know if I'd say it's clever, but this is certainly a "way" to advertise. A pretty lame way imo and others if the comments are suggestive of the greater opinion. It's fairly telling that they don't use actual popular and useful budget options like sr suntour or x fusion that Jenson doesn't carry.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, not that clever. For what it's worth, it's made me less likely to order things from jenson, cause this is such garbage.
  • 16 1
 @kcy4130: We sell a wide variety of products that range from very affordable (but good) to top-tier and would have loved to see this series go that direction. Unfortunately, the scripting and the product selections weren't up to us. We were excited by the series concept of comparing budget parts to baller parts, and supplied the baller parts that Pinkbike requested. Hope that helps clarify the extent of our role in designing this series. Cheers!
  • 1 10
flag speed10 (Jan 4, 2022 at 21:42) (Below Threshold)
 @jensonusa: a ‘baller’ move would be for jenson to pull funding on this train wreck that is clearly not helping promote their perfectly good business. I’ve been a happy customer of Jensons for maybe 2 decades now. I have never been more put off. We understand that you didn’t write the script but you reviewed it and funded it. So you are culpable. Pull the plug before you do more harm to your brand.
  • 3 1
 @jensonusa: Fair enough. You're back to my default, if prices are equal.
  • 2 0
 If the title of the series wasn't that misleading, It would be a good entertaining piece. Shitty vs Baller would be better.
  • 35 5
 A friend of mine worked at a bike company and would service shocks for employees. You'd often get people who would want their shock serviced or tuned for no reason other than they could it get done for free. He would ask them what issues they were having and he'd know right away whether they were serious or just taking advantage of a hookup. So for the people who had no idea what they were talking about or what they wanted, he would take their shock in the back, spray Simple Green on it and deem it ready.

You know how this ends: The Simple Green shocks' performance improved dramatically, according to their owners!

Most people on this very site couldn't tell the difference between these forks. (Before you flame and downvote to save face and keep it real, keep in mind that I'm not saying I'd be able to tell the difference either.)
  • 8 2
 If you actually do that with simple green, it reacts with the clear coat on crowns and lowers, making them hazy and shitty looking....If your claim is true, I'm guessing he used something other than simple green....
  • 3 3
 @takeiteasyridehard: Most cleaning products are meant to be rinsed off after applying. I have never seen anyone spray simple green on a product with a nice finish and just leave it.
  • 2 0
 That could be said for the whole industry in general. "tHiS BIke will TaKE aNYthiNg yOu cAN tHrow at IT" is a personal favorite phrase of mine. Or their new overpriced shock "transfORmeD the BIke brO"
  • 3 2
 @drunknride: I just want to confirm that simple green will ruin your forks. I used simple green to clean my fox 40 and it did exactly what takeiteasyridehard said. It stripped the top coat off the finish and left a milky hazy residue that does not come off. Essentially it ruined the finish of the forks, and yes I rinsed it off pretty much right after I sprayed it on and I also diluted it according to the instructions on the bottle. I would never use it again to clean anything, if your not convinced give it a try and spray down your forks you’ll regret it.
  • 6 2
 @laerz: I've been using it for most of my life on many different things (yes bike parts too) and never had something ruined by it. Maybe fox forks have a shit finish, doesn't seem to effect their shocks?

And yes I realize there are better products for cleaning your bike
  • 2 0
 @drunknride: to be fair I have used it on other things as well, such as car and motorcycle parts without an issue but they were all bare metal parts, so no finish to ruin, but after the incident with my fork I don’t use it anymore. Could be the finish on fox forks is unique and reacts to it but I’m not taking chances and I won’t use it on my bike or any painted or finished surfaces. The fork looks like crap now and there’s no going back.
  • 19 2
 Fox recommends full rebuild every 5 hours of riding.
  • 1 1
 @drunknride: Seconded.
  • 2 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Okay, it was water, not Simple Green. Whatever.
  • 6 1
 @drunknride: if you do a search on the internet “simple green and aluminum” you’ll come across numerous accounts of accelerated corrosion and embrittlement on bike forums, car enthusiast sites, and has also been banned as a cleaning solution by the US Air Force.

Simple Green’s website also has a disclaimer stating:
“ 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. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green product residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation.”

simplegreen.com/faqs/15

Consider this a PSA for everyone here! Just don’t use it on bikes, and get a bike specific wash like Muc-Off or Pro Gold’s bike cleaner. It’s not just marketing wank - they’re formulated that way for a reason.
  • 4 0
 Yes. Simple Green can cause hydrogen embrittlement - Silca have talked about this before. You should only use stuff marked as "aerospace" degreasers on bike parts. Simple Green do a aviation version that is safe apparently, and most citrus degreasers are fine too. Anything containing sodium hydroxide is likely to be bad.
  • 2 0
 You know. I have done an upgrade lower service on my suntour fork. It comes without oil internally, the foam rings are just there and that's it. A new set of real foam rings installed wet, some 20ml sinthetic 80w gear oil and a little bit of suspension grease made the fork so much supple that it seemed to be coil. Anyways, this is a demonstration that even a bad suspension might have room for improvement to become something that challenges the good one. That 250 fork has zero chances of being it.
  • 2 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: I love how this is the part you focused on... missing the point here bud.
  • 2 0
 @stumphumper92: If it prevents people from messing up the finish on their forks, it was worth the comment. I have to say, if you want me to comment more to the point he was trying to make, I would disagree with the rest of the initial comment by singletrackslayer also. In the 17 years I worked in shops, 13 of which I did a lot of suspension, the overwhelming majority was the opposite of what he said. That is, in my experience most people neglected having their suspension serviced until there was a mechanical issue or the bushings had rubbed all the anodizing off the stanchions. I maybe encountered 5 people out of hundreds if not thousands who wanted their forks serviced prior to the recommended intervals.
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: be careful with that - the cartidge dampers on most suntour forks can suck in bath oil on big compressions, and since they can't bleed off the excess oil, the damper will eventually be hydro-locked. A bit of bath oil in the spring side works great, but I'd stick to grease in the damper side if the fork is going to last.
  • 1 1
 @arden0: Really? I have never seen those suck anything since it's a sealed unservicible cartridge. I just implemented a splash bath system whereas there was nothing before. Also, I'm using little to no oil, so hydrolocking the fork itself is impossible.
Anyways, thanks for your concern
  • 19 1
 when you could've gotten sr suntour for the same price (yes I get that's not the series' point)
  • 10 0
 I feel that the series point was missed on episode 2. Along with everyone else, everyone thinks that it should have been affordable Vs top spec, or even WHAT to change and WHAT NOT to change. Like @JuanFco said, repair it, don't make it shittier
  • 36 17
 Different strokes for different folks. I am enjoying this series.
  • 13 1
 Agreed, Henry and Jason have some good back and forth. Plenty of other sources to learn about equipment choices, including on this site. I see this as pure entertainment. Some people seem to think they will be forced to buy new stuff from Jenson because they watch this?
  • 2 0
 Not useful info per se but I'm still watching every one so whatever that is...it is.

I'm genuinely terrified of aliexpress off brand/no brand gear so no way ever putting that on my bikes. Don't need that in my headspace.
  • 5 1
 It's entertaining. Not everything has to be a super serious review. Apart from which, I have actually had these very conversations with people who are just getting in to mountain biking "I found this stem for $12, can't believe you spent $140" is literally a conversation I have had (with a person who spent $80 on a stem a month later after their $12 stem slip threaded).
  • 2 0
 @nzstormer: The person who spent $12 and then upgraded, was still $48 better off in the end.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: That's pretty much the point of this series - it's all dependent on your point of view. I could say that they wasted $12, and I wasted nothing. I could say that I get $200 of enjoyment from my $140 stem. I could say my stem will be transferred from bike to bike, ultimately saving money in the long run.
People in these comments seem to believe that no-one buys these products, but they are for sale, so I'm pretty sure some people are buying them (and companies don't make money selling 1 or 2 stems).
Semantics aside, I think the criticism on this series has been unfair - I've enjoyed it.
  • 13 0
 Instead of making this garbage you could have paid some Eastern European kid $2400 to make an edit and he would have done double backflips into a quarry and then gone home and finally had enough money to eat something other than boiled cabbage.

Instead you’ve got a bunch of random people no one cares about answering questions that no one asked pushing the culture of biking towards technology obsessed Amazon employees who complain when the trail has roots in it.
  • 15 0
 Should've just rebuilt the budget fork.
  • 16 5
 This is sponsored by Jenson. They want you to buy upgrades from them. This isn't meant to be beneficial, just entertaining. But Pinkbike is getting some stink on them by participating in this "comparison".
  • 3 1
 "some stink"?

My view time on Pinkbike has dropped dramatically in the past six months, all they post are who's leaving what team and garbage articles.

Maybe they have a target audience and they're trying to develop that content?

That ain't me.
  • 13 0
 Really it’s downgrading vs upgrading - this is strange
  • 9 0
 The Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork and Bomber CR shock for just over $1000 dollars will get you 90% of the performance as Jason's setup at half the cost. I'm sure they have already filmed the series, and there is no going back, but they could salvage it if they do a part 2 with more reasonable spec choices like this.
  • 9 0
 Legitimate question: During the production of this series, did no one stop and think "Huh, maybe we could actually make this informative by picking sensible upgrades for the budget bike rather than intentionally downgrading it".
  • 1 0
 No bc it's one giant ad
  • 9 1
 This series is a great idea. As others have said (in less kind words) the execution could use some adjustment. Getting Henry's fork serviced would have been a reasonable and cost effective upgrade. It would also be cool to see a bit more effort put into the riding challenges. Tech climbs, long rides, more adventurous riding with a goal in mind if that makes sense. I don't really care about the times unless they're going to swap bikes and do runs back to back. Thanks for the entertainment!
  • 5 0
 I would love to see PB give each rider a budget for the whole build! $8k for Jason's parts, $1.5k ish for Henry. New parts only (and maybe pay a local shop for wrenching?), but riders can choose their own components. That feels much closer to how most of us operate in the real world. I'll try a dropper lever from AliExpress, but no way is a $6 stem going on my bike.
  • 8 0
 When this started I was really hoping for the budget to be based on high value (low cost/good performing parts), not the cheapest parts that could be found on alibaba. No one would ever go "oh gee, my Yari is clapped out so I'm going to down grade to this knock off pogo stick because it's cheap" Most people would fix it for less, or buy used. Glad to see the rear shock was serviced rather than replaced with junk though.

Entertaining, sure, but missed the potential of being very valuable for people who might actually be on a budget and need help deciding how to focus their needs/wants to maximize performance vs cost.

Also, you should be trading bike on ever episode and actually compare before and after for each bike.
  • 2 0
 I thought the same as you, but I'm quite enjoying it for the entertainment value. Personally I'd have enjoyed a little more detail on how the cheapo fork actually performed and what you DIDN'T get for the money in terms of tech and performance.
  • 12 2
 completely missed the mark with this series. What a waste of time and resources
  • 10 3
 I paid 450 for new Suntour Durolux EQ RC2 and it blows both newest Pike Select+, Fox 34 and Fox 36 out of the water.
It actually performs like a proper fork with damping and it's both easy to do full service and has maintenance ports for both top and bottom bushings, doesn't have a creaky crown and is plenty stiff.

Never again would I pay for RS or Fox garbage.
  • 2 0
 Just for a Durolux36 for 475EUR, mounting it today. Curious to see how it performs.
  • 7 0
 hands down Marzocchi Z1 is the only fork anyone ever needed. Still amazed at its performance and factory tune being soo damn spot on. I have a 36 grip2 and a 38 grip2, would have to say the Z1 made me ask myself... why.... it does not hold you back.
  • 2 0
 I have a z1 on my altitude and a 36 grip 2 on my new bike, i agree 100% the z1 is all the fork youd need
But the old "it says its better, itll make me better " thinking still holds true for too many people.

I can easily afford any of the high end parts/bikes but i chose not to, unfortunately Money doesnt buy Pro skills and thus me having full on high end pro parts wont magically make me good, ill look good though lol.
  • 5 0
 @noideamtber: yeah the Z1 is no doubt great if you need a new fork. If you already have a Yari, the best fork is a serviced Yari
  • 9 1
 this series is so stupid. If you are on a budget don't waste money on crappy alibaba low end shit parts, spend the same money on nice used high end parts.
  • 6 0
 We may have learned more if the challenge was, "Henry, you have one month and $1,000. Jason, you get double that amount of money, same time. Purchase what you want, used or new. Repair or rebuild when it makes sense. Make your bike better...faster, safer, more comfortable, etc. (anything but it just looking cooler)".
  • 1 0
 that seems like such a sick idea
  • 6 1
 surely it makes sense for the budget option to be 2nd hand parts or brand new cheap parts, no one is buying blue handlebars for $9 or those tyres if you buy that bike, youd just keep the ones on there. I like the idea of this series but think it's missed the mark.
  • 8 0
 Whoever came up with these budget "upgrades" deserves a death ceritificate, because he/she is completely braindead.
  • 5 0
 Does anyone think they are not comparing mid level spec to top end spec (e.g. Fox factory vs performance) because it would show that there is only marginal if any performance gains (to the average person) for forking out the extra money?
  • 1 0
 PB doesn’t care if you buy Kashima. But they do care if their video series is boring, and they do care if the presenters have to spend ungodly amounts of time susing out tiny differences in components.

The whole thing is a farce regardless of what components they buy because they’re not riding each other’s bikes and comparing notes. It would only add 30 minutes to the process, but apparently they’re phoning it in so hard even that is too much to ask.
  • 5 0
 Is it just me or does @henryquinny 's fork look lime it is not set to the right pressure? It seemed too stiff, which is a good explanation for the behavior (good on big hits, too rough on fast chatter). If it needs more progression there are methods for that. I think the old budget trick of an extra dab of grease in the air chamber to compensate for not having tokens might have been a nice addition to the video. With Henry teasing Jason: "oh, you only have the choice of a number of tokens? I have infinite adjustment in the amount of grease..."
  • 4 0
 Totally agree on Henry's fork looking like it has to much pressure, it does not bottom out in the big roller, Jasons Fox did just that (thanks for the slomo PB).

And generally agree on a great idea for a series turned sour by bad execution.
Henry is a skilled mechanic! Let him use it!
  • 4 0
 @Der-Kaiser: They could have prevented so many negative comments by simply changing the title to: 'Dirt Cheap VS. Ultra Bling, a comedy show'
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney can you clue us in on your sag for this fork? Genuinely curious about the performance here as it didn't seem like absolute trash.
  • 3 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: I was running about 15%, if memory serves. The problem was that the fork went from fully open to fully closed within one click and I would rather have go slightly stiffer than end up smashing through the travel. I think, with some fettling, you could probably remove the damper and increase the size of the orifice one way or another to potentially improve the range of adjustment.
  • 7 3
 We keep offering what we want to see (almost universally we do not want to see POS parts we would never put on our bikes, but rather affordable/usable parts) and outside/pinkbike keeps ignoring it.

That doesn't bode well for a website whose most valuable users are those who engage (behind of course paying members). Lets piss everyone off by keeping on digging! Seriously f*ck it, I'm done with these videos/this series.
  • 4 0
 This is one of the worst series I've seen here. You guys should have established a budget from the beginning - let's say 2k for the cheap bike and 6 or 8k to spend on the high end one. The way you're doing it, it's just random money spending. You should have covered maintenance costs as well. Parts swapping on a used bike will only happen after you figured out what's broken. And no one would downgrade their bike.
  • 3 0
 I think this series was well intentioned, but it doesn't really answer the average consumer's questions about where/how to spend money. I doubt many people on here are buying things on the extreme ends of the spectrum. At least compare stuff people have heard of and might actually buy like Vee vs Maxxis tires or the Rockshox Recon vs the Fox 36 Performance Series. Cool concept otherwise.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark it has been really good to see Pinkbike increase its focus on climate change with opinion pieces on greenwashing and the like. However this series seems to fly in the face of a lot of your editors` comments about what we actually need as riders and don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. I understand it is meant to be tongue in cheek but it would have been good with a series that is actually informative for newer riders and those on a budget rather than an ode to consumerism and buying new stuff. As many above have highlighted, what can simply be serviced or fixed, when should something be upgraded and what is a good budget option are the types of questions many viewers would value. This would also be more in tune with your stated goals of producing more relevant content for beginner riders. Maybe something you could address in the coming q and a podcast
  • 2 0
 Hmm, not so sure that the coil is the best choice for that Reign. X2 or RS Super Deluxe would probably better fit to that LR. I like the idea of the series. But it would require much more sensible parts choice and for some parts like rear suspension an explanation why a part has been picked.
  • 3 0
 Totally agree, the damper upgrade on Henry's fork would've been like $300 and much better than and getting a cheap fork with little adjustment. Yeah that doesn't make sense to me
  • 2 0
 This series is answering a question, that every one knows the answer to. And it ignores the questions that everyone is looking for an answer to:

1. If I spend $1,000 on a fork, which one is better between the company’s that spend advertising dollars on the Pinkbike ( Fox,Sram, etc).

And

Secondly: If I rebuild my fork for $150-200, will it be comparable to current quality forks being sold right now.

I don’t think Pinkbike is willing to risk advertising revenue by saying this is better than that. So instead, they give us absurd comparisons, of products they would never have on their own bikes in real life…
  • 2 0
 I thought the last part where they compare the serviced shock vs the upgraded shock was spot on...The fork should have been the same...spend money on something new? or service what you have if it's already a potentially good value like the Yari...if it can't be serviced then replace it with the "finest cheapest" and for god sakes, just use a poll and get your readers to decide what THEY would determine to be the best value...don't just buy a silly tires or a knockoff fork for a laugh.
  • 2 0
 Hey PB: Go back to the source material and look at what they did. Look at the feedback. These videos are dumb, pointless and alienating your normal viewers who definitely arent dumb enough to waste money on the cheap crap you're sourcing from Ali express but equally might not be in a position to spend top dollar. get a grip.
  • 2 0
 yeah this series fails on all fronts, its not funny enough to get away with putting the really naff stuff on and showing it up for rubbish it is and because of the garbage being done on the budget bike it doesn't work as a serious and useful comparison. Done right a budget vs baller on the same mid spec frame would be great, a genuine series looking at both ends of the spectrum of after market kit would be awesome.
  • 5 0
 I feel like most of these upgrades arent really upgrades...
  • 2 0
 I noticed they have not done the timed riding anymore... Jenson probably did not like how Henry would be loads faster on the "Budget bike" compared to Jason. They should have just had Henry ride both and compare.
  • 11 5
 Meh, wouldn't have bothered us. We sell tons of value-oriented products that perform exceptionally and a lot of us build our personal bikes with those very parts. We also know that sometimes its beneficial to pay more (however marginal) and sometimes its just for fun and looks. Either way, we just want to get people riding bikes that make them smile. Beyond supplying the high-end parts for this series, we were not involved in the scripting or planning. Cheers!
  • 2 1
 Jenson in here doing damage control.
  • 4 2
 I'm having a blast with my DVO Beryl fork - same insides as the Diamond but heavier parts and less adjustments on the outside. It's been smooth and solid for almost 4 years and cost about $450 back then, and on sale.
  • 1 0
 the way this challenge is done, they should have started with a frame only, instead of replacing decent stuff that just needed a service/overhaul on the budget bike....a lot of the items they got rid of are better than what they put on. if you discount all the components already on the bike, the budget vs baller makes a bit more sense, but its more like a garbage vs baller build. how many people are actually putting this bottom of the barrel stuff on their bikes? it really makes the series unrelatable to the target audience....
  • 1 0
 Series is fine for what it was. It did not really promote the high-end stuff well if that was its point. Tires were the only place it mattered - for this level of rider, all the other components were clearly overkill with very little benefit and they made that clear without saying it directly (maybe except the crazy beach bike saddle).
  • 4 0
 Hopefully the next time they do this series they take the comments into consideration and do it right
  • 2 0
 This series just seems pointless. Instead of the budget choices it would have been far more interesting to pit low end rockshox vs high end ohlins or something. The Rockshox 35 is still fairly budget, just not total crap.
  • 1 0
 Certainly an entertaining series to watch even though the "budget" upgrades are questionable at best. I wish they would had given Henry a budget for each component to upgrade to see what he thinks the best option would be for each component. IMO this would be similar to what the spirit of the show was intended to be.
  • 5 0
 This is so bad, just really really terrible
  • 1 0
 They should have done this series with a budgetary limit as opposed to picking the absolute worst vs best product. THey should have given Henry $1000 to fix his bike and Jason $5000 to fix his. Then it would be up to them to find the best way to use their funds to make their bikes better. That would have been much more entertaining and useful. This is really just them trying to see how horrible they can make Henry's bike, which serves no real purpose.
  • 1 0
 Gave it a chance at first but after the last couple episodes I'm not even wasting my time clicking "play" on this one. Thanks for at least putting the alibaba special fork in the thumbnail to save our time. Such a shame. The series was a promising idea but turned to shit very quickly.
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't consider the Chinese fork a budget fork in the way most people buy budget forks. I could maybe understand a Bomber Z1 or similar, but I doubt if your on PB your actually buying the chinese fork. I understand the cheap handlebar/stem/pedals/grips, but the tires and the fork are pretty lame. Fun series to watch, but I feel the extremes on either end need to be throttled back a bit.
  • 1 0
 I’m going to assume lots of people haven’t seen the series that is the inspiration for these videos. It’s taking the cheapest available thing, and comparing it to the most expensive version. As in $200 truck lights vs $4000 truck lights. It’s not supposed to be a buyers guide , it’s supposed to be a “is more expensive more betterer” and fun.
  • 1 0
 Problem everyone here is bringing up is, Donut actually upgraded both vehicles through their Hi-Lo Series. The Low 350z and Tacoma both came out better at the end of the series. It was a series of the cheapest improvements. Improvement being the keyword. As with the Pinkbike series, we are without a doubt witnessing low bike devolve.
  • 1 0
 @focofox37: I’ll give you the Tacoma without a doubt. I’m fairly certain the Z is not drivable, but I won’t say that as fact.

You’re right though, they do at least try to make low car work the best they can.
  • 1 0
 Edit:// I’m wrong. Low car Z runs. For some reason I was under the impression that they were having some over hearing issues.
  • 1 0
 @grnmachine02: I mean, they had a hell of a time with the turbo set up, and broke down numerous times on the way to ABQ. But it was faster than stock... Reliable... No lol
  • 1 0
 I was engaged with the idea but the execution isn't making sense. The parts spend on the 'cheap' bike is exceeding the purchase price of the bike and not really improving it. It also doesn't make sense that the base bike is the same. I think this would have been better to have compared a new bike against a used version of the same model but perhaps 2-3 years old. The used bike would then be upgraded with used parts and the new with new. That's how people with significantly different budgets would behave in reality.
  • 1 0
 Budget vs Junk - This series had some much potential but unfortunately falls flat. your essentially downgrading the budget bike at this point. there are plenty of Real budget forks on Jenson you could have picked like the Yari or marz bomber for example. Jenson also have damper upgrades which would be more of an upgrade than the junk fork on the "budget" bike.

Would be nice to see this series re-done with a real Budget vs Baller build, High end components (xt, xtr, xo1 wireless) vs Low end (deore, nx). what makes the most since to splash the cash on vs what components really don't offer much in performance gains.

hopefully the series gets better in the future as I think Pinkbike has a lot of knowledge to offer
  • 1 0
 I don't like how they deviated from script and let Jason use the oft-ignored but still underdog Park HMR-8 for that crown race install. He should have been provided the Abbey Team Issue Titanium Hammer, or at the very least, the Park HMR-4 (at twice the weight) to keep Henry in his place. Yeah, this series sucks.
  • 1 0
 Honest suggestion: please give these bikes away to kids who can't afford them!

You can have FOUR bikes: one Giant with all the upgrade; one Giant with all the stock parts, but serviced; one bike with all the cheap bits (I'm sure you can find a frame); one bike with all the leftover parts from the upgraded Giant, but with them serviced (one used frame here).

Go! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 All that Kashima-talk was made undone when Lucas realized he did not even set it up right. I mean he keeps on joking about where is the manual on the other fork, while it seems he didn't even read the Fox one. If you have a lot of meat on your bones, maybe you should try adding some more air to that fork. Looks like you are bottoming out on a simple drop.

I guess that 'pro-tip: align your decals' dude mechanic from the PB Academy isn't around anymore.

The series would have been way more interesting if it was "Mechanic vs Upgrades" - where one services the juice back into lifeless components, and another one that swaps out certain parts to build their racebike. Afterall there is a lot of Mechanic trickery which can make normal parts perform loads better.
  • 1 0
 I don't understand all the complaining. I like seeing them scrape the bottom of the barrel with this aliexpress junk. Certainly more entertaining to me seeing Henry trying to stay upright on really questionable gear rather than doing the obviously sensible thing and choosing a middle ground. Of course they could build the budget bike out with okay components, and in the end it would be... Okay. If some commenters here got their way we'd get a painfully boring and obvious conclusion to the series something like "the baller stuff is really nice, but if you're tight on cash the budget build makes more sense"... riveting...
  • 1 0
 Lost all respect for there opinions, even with the terrible product choices they two don’t provide any valuable information. I don’t even know where to start with there Mech skills, I wouldn’t let either touch my bike
Weak
  • 5 2
 I feel bad for Henry. Welcome to Pinkbike - hope you don't die with this build!
  • 1 0
 It would be cool (or even more relevant) to pretend like they each got $2000 (or so) for a present/award/inheritance, and see where they decide to spend their money vs where they chose not to.
  • 1 0
 Henry-It's not important where I got these parts but if you work at Pinkbike check your brakes before you go riding. This really is budget or you took Jason's for revenge or something
  • 3 0
 I think they could have made the video 2-3 minutes and it would have been plenty of content.
  • 1 1
 Does anyone remember the cost of the bikes? Not what they are new, but did they say what they bought them used for? If Henry’s bike cost 400 bucks then what is being installed could be realistic options for people on a budget. If they spent 2k per bike then I would hope at the end of this they bluntly stare it would have been better to spend money on something else. I have an interest in knowing how dirt cheap questionable parts perform, so for me the episodes are great. That said I’m a bit scared for anyone looking at the buy/sell section thinking they can snag a deal and put this stuff on it… and survive.
  • 1 1
 None of these parts are actually being paid for... they're being submitted by dealers, distributors and brands for review and testing... they're just picking the most extreme ends of what's in the review bins/rooms for this series. I'm sure there are some Suntour or lower end Marzocchi units Henry COULD HAVE CHOSEN instead...
  • 3 0
 Originally thought I would enjoy this series, but damn is it painful to watch...

Budget ≠ garbage
  • 1 1
 Lots of people salty about how this is too far off to be valid. If you're new and/or have a very limited budget, it's good info to know that you're better off riding what you got instead of "upgrading" to new amazon/ebay parts. The next logical iteration would be to mid-priced components, but this series is Budget vs. Baller and not Reasonably Priced vs Baller.
  • 1 0
 I think it would be more useful - to using the same brand in the upgrades changes BUT using performance versus high end parts.

Henry - when venting air - be careful of oil getting on your rotors Smile
  • 1 0
 Watching this series just makes me scroll through the BuySell section of this website...do some compatibility homework and you can put together a legit ride...prolly even find a car to get to the trailhead as well!
  • 1 0
 I think they missed a trick here by not doing a full service on things like the bearings on both of the bikes. A new shock with shot bearings is still going to be a bit rubbish.
  • 1 1
 Another episode of how to burn your money, two different ways.Either throw the most expensive parts you can find onto your used ride, or spend money buying crap. This could be an interesting series, but now it is just an not even funny advertorial.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the idea on using the the Park hex wrench to hold the bar in place! Decade plus of working on bikes and never thought of that one. . .
  • 6 7
 The potential value in a series like this is to teach riders on a limited budget where the peak is in the price to performance curve. When does your money stop paying for meaningful change and start paying for bling and bullshit. That peak in the curve is hard to find and moves over time. It's entertaining to stake out the absolute min and max on this curve and watch someone suffer on terrible parts on film. But it's not useful or educational.
  • 5 1
 If that was the point then I’d argue that more than two data points are needed.
  • 1 0
 @mtmw

This curve that you speak of is really easy to explain, Richard Cunningham used to say this was a bike costing $5k, would be “ the sweet spot.” Where spending more money than 5k would not equal significant gains. For components and parts it can be summed up in one sentence:

Buying the 2nd or 3rd best part that a company makes is where the value is best.

Shimano: SLX, XT, Ultegra, 105

Sram: GX, XO and Rival.

Fox: Performance elite.

Wheels: typically the best aluminum wheelset that a wheel maker sells are the value buy.

What I would really like to see pinkbike do, is to take all the junk parts and build a Grim budget AND then actually race it.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: completely agree about SLX and XT being much better value than XTR.

I will gripe about the Fox Performance Elite stuff though. Pre-pandemic, it was hard to track down and the price difference it and Factory was hardly noticeable. Seemed like it existed only on paper to act as a mental bridge between Performance and Factory for potential customers.
  • 4 0
 Booooo
  • 3 1
 This Himalo fork is way cheaper, around 175EUR here, not 450USD:

fr.aliexpress.com/item/1005001694250003.html
  • 2 0
 But why didn't you guys swap bikes? That would had made a more credible comparison.
  • 2 0
 For riders curious in chinese suspension www.endurorider.pl/uding-ud32-29er
  • 3 0
 3:05: Jason’s excitement over the new shock is apparent.
  • 1 0
 At least Henry’s bike has proper tyres now…
Idiot move with the crap fork. Service & upgraded damper would have done the trick. Or maybe a Marzocchi / Domain
  • 1 0
 The stiffness of the Himalo fork is also explained by the fact that it only has 140mm of travel. The 180mm stanchions are just for show.
  • 1 0
 Wish they would have started with the same frame and one did a super high end build and the other a sort of tight budget build and then compare them.
  • 4 0
 is this gmbn?
  • 1 2
 This is an entertaining series for what it is. Not that I would ever buy it, but I've always been curious whether some of that cheap junk is even rideable and we are starting to get answers. PB did a series on budget trail forks a while back (including OEM takeoffs) which led me to buy a Revelation Charger RC takeoff for $300 to try longer travel on my trial bike. Excellent fork!
  • 3 2
 So many complaints about fun, free content. Honestly, pink bike posters are for the most part the biggest group of entitled Karen's on the internet.
  • 3 0
 Hahaha holy shit once again a total waste of time
  • 2 0
 I thing I love most about watching these videos is the mech skill difference between Henry and Jason.
  • 2 1
 This reminds me of people that dump 12k in parts and paint into a 1992 Honda Civic. At the end of the day, it’s still a giant. Lol
  • 2 0
 Loving bar flex in the slowmo’s of the budget bike
  • 2 0
 This works better when my boy James Pumphrey does it over at Donut…
  • 4 2
 There always be moaning people ,,, Personally i do like this episodes !
  • 4 1
 VS = Versus, not Verse
  • 1 0
 Dear Outside CEO or overlords, here is your applicable Dilbert for this series.

dilbert.com/strip/2008-07-27
  • 1 3
 450vs 2000 lol. I brought a set of suntour areon for 80 quid of ebay .all the paint was scuffed damping still working stations OK gave them a basic service worked fine. Put them on the my ebay brought mount vision 2 frame cost 275 the frame never broke or cracked had it for about 12 months got bourd and brought a new bike . Thay worked fine that's budget. Sold the bike with forks still working chipped pain n all . Most people won't be any faster up hill or down on a 8 grand fs over a 15 year old 26er stumpjumper for 600 quid.
  • 1 1
 Bought unless you were bringing the forks from somewhere.
  • 1 0
 Do a full service on the stock fork from Henry's bike and compare that to the new fork he installed..
  • 2 1
 why would you replace a pike with a no name piece of shit fork? makes no sense.
  • 2 0
 Such a great idea, which turned out so stupid.
  • 1 0
 Why the fuck do people still piss about with traditional Allen keys, get some T handles or screw driver handle ones.
  • 2 0
 Dumbass vs Baller ? Some crazy poor purchases for sure.
  • 1 0
 Funny seeing DJers with high end forks, only to pump them so hard they're basically rigid.....
  • 1 0
 minute 3:06 - Jason please put both hands on the table were we can see them :p
  • 3 1
 Wow the complaints, I like the series, good job guys.
  • 1 0
 Just bought a Lyrik select plus from CRC for £490 , with the B1 air spring it is much nicer than my ultimate
  • 2 0
 What's wrong with comparing a Porsche 911 to a Toyota Prius?
  • 1 0
 A great idea - but executed really badly.

Budget vs. Baller? More like Bullshit vs. Baller
  • 2 1
 This series must be up there as the worst ever produced by Pinkbike. Here I was thinking GMBN's content was cringeworthy...
  • 1 0
 Wait, you can get a Z2 for something like $450, right? Why not compare that?

-W
  • 1 0
 i don't see how any of the shit on the budget bike is an upgrade, the original parts were beat up, but they are still better
  • 1 0
 Rockshox 35 is 458 dollars on amazon, THAT would be the fork to test. If you want a 200 dollar fork get a 130mm Judy.
  • 1 0
 Something like the suntour Triair and the Durolux or something from x fusion for the budget bike would be more interesting
  • 1 0
 another video with henry fading in and out talking and is hard to hear...ugh
  • 1 0
 Henry what is under your shirt mate
  • 1 0
 Then you get a stantion scratch, like I did a week after I got my 38.
  • 1 0
 less controls but keep it high end.
  • 1 0
 Outsider+ showing how they can ruin stuff, huh.
  • 1 0
 Another episode of ... pure ads?
  • 1 0
 Barely making it vs. Baller
  • 1 0
 Oh yea Jensen is the first place I'm calling for suspension tuning advice
  • 1 1
 Pointless and little use to the majority of readers. Why the deterioration in quality. Oh yeah, it is quantity now Smile
  • 1 0
 Sure, day one may feel great with the cheap fork, but what about day 20?
  • 1 0
 that 450$ fork is a Chinese copy of the fox
  • 1 2
 Of course you don't need to spend all your money on that fresh Kashima coating, but you know you want to.
  • 1 0
 Saw this coming





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