Author Topic: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......  (Read 1577 times)

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Offline coop3422

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Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« on: June 21, 2016, 08:07:59 PM »
So I got the new bike out for it's first ride tonight, and it made me think of a number of things:

I was going through Fish Creek, and it seems I'm the only one who didn't have a helmet on. I get it, and a regular helmet was on my list of things to order. Going through the singletrack could result in an ugly accident. I saw a guy wearing a full face which seemed overkill, and I'd be way too hot. But I have a nice one, and it would save me from buying a new one. What do you guys wear, if anything, while trail riding?

My DH bike had platform pedals with pins, loved the grip. But if your foot slips off, it can't get pretty ugly. The pedals seemed fine, but once I started going, it felt like my skate shoes were sliding around on them, so they need to go. What do you like for trail riding? I'm not sure if I could get used to clip ons, but I've never actually tried them.

Dropper post is a must, and going in my first parts order. Nuff said.

I have Juicy 3's, and the stopping power was pretty good considering I bought it used and took it right out. I did notice the levers, front more than rear, would have maybe half an inch of wiggle/play after pressing them a good amount. Even when this happened I still had good breaking power, but I was wondering if this is a sign of needing a bleed? I'm going to read online to see how hard they are to do. Might order a bleed kit and some new pads, just to really set it up after buying it used.

My rear air shock is my first air shock. I've read you're supposed to have about 25% sag. Set mine up to that, maybe even a little less. I was constantly checking the o-ring to see how much travel I was using, and it seems like gunning through a trail was using about 75% of the travel, without jumps. Should I put more air in, or is that final 25% good enough to not bottom out and jumps?

The bike has 150mm travel in the rear, and 140mm in the front. I'm a big fan of RockShox, but the Pike they put on the Pitch Comp is very entry and doesn't have motion control/lockout, etc. I'm thinking I want to swap it out for something for 150-160mm, maybe an air fork as I've never had one. But that might wait till next year, the Pike I have seems fine for now. Although I would like the increased height in the front I think.

Well that's a lot for now, guess I'll let some discussion get going.

Offline KennyB

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 11:25:11 PM »
Full face is overkill for anything besides downhill or park riding, it's too heavy and warm for trail riding besides the fact you look like a tool. I have a Troy Lee Designs A1 and it's the most comfortable thing I've ever put on my head. They are expensive but once you put it on you'll somehow justify the price to yourself. 
I ride flats,  I can ride both but for my style of riding I like the freedom of flats and don't have an issue skipping pedals usually. If I was racing or concerned about speed or grinding climbs and not riding to play I would ride clips just for the extra power.
And as for the rear shock it sounds like it's set up fairly well,  the last bit of travel is usually very progressive and won't use much of it except for larger impacts so using 75% of it under normal use is a good starting point. I personally set mine up with about 20% sag for a little more responsiveness and big hit absorption over plushness. 

Offline RockThePylon

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 11:47:45 PM »
Ride with a helmet, always. Your head is fragile, and important. $50 gets you a decent half-helmet that you can comfortably sweat in.

I ride with SPD clips/pedals. Your feet stay perfectly placed over the fast rough terrain that would rock your feet off flats.

I have a RockShox Lyrik 2-step, and the height adjustability is nice, due to the geometry and springrate change. The bike is immediately firmer and more agile, and it makes long climbs a bit nicer. A lockout might be nice for all out XC, but I don't appreciate them.
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Offline Unholysavage

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 07:50:25 AM »
you have a Pike, why not look into upgrading to a Charger cartridge? could be considerably cheaper than a new fork, and the Charger is about as good as one can get for a trail bike. you may even be able to convert it to air if the insides of the stanchions aren't scored from the coils.
for the rear shock, stick to 20-30% sag and tweak the compression/rebound if required. adding air pressure will only destroy small/medium bump compliance, which will make the back end feel like assay. using 75% of your travel could be perfect as is, I wouldn't change anything unless you notice that you're bottoming out on relatively small stuff. most shocks (particularly air shocks) and rear suspension designs are progressive at the end of their travel.
as mentioned, a full face is overkill for anything but DH. def wear a helmet for any kind of riding, and make sure it fits well.
for trail riding, clipless pedals are far more efficient and they take no time to get used to. I prefer flats on my DH bike, but I also wear 5.10s and seem to crash a lot LOL. if you decide to keep with flats, go with the thinnest pedals you can find as they a far less prone to spinning out from under your feet in the gnar. pedals with thinner pins also grip 10x better than ittshay allen screw pins. I've owned a ton of flats, and my HT AE03s are the best I've found - they're phenomenal for grip and rock clearance. if you decide to go clipless, which I highly recommend, my suggestion is go with something like Shimano XT m8020 pedals. super reliable, and not expensive. my Crank Bros pedals shed mud really well, but they aren't nearly as easy to unclip in an emergency as my old Shimano XTs were, have basically no adjustability, and they require frequent rebuilds. friends keep telling me to switch to Time, as they're the best of both worlds, but they're not cheap.
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Offline coop3422

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 09:26:43 AM »
I thought air shocks ramped up towards the end of their stroke, so I think where I have it should be good. The only setting it has is rebound, which I have around the middle as it felt best.

I always used flat pedals with pins, good grip with skate shoes. I’ll probably order some of these as they’re much cheaper than clip pedals and shoes. Maybe I’ll revisit this next year. I do like the freedom of taking my foot off the pedal so easily.

A Lyric is on my short list of fork upgrade options. I was thinking of modifying my Pike, but it depends on the cost because used forks with more travel can be had in the $200-300 range. If it costs $100 to modify my Pike, I may be better off to buy a fork and sell mine. I need a straight 1 1/8 steerer with a 20mm axel, so not a ton of options. An RS Lyric, or a Fox 36 are the two I’m seeing most that would fit the bill. I might be able to break even after selling the Pike, which is why I was considering it over modifying it.

As for helmet, I’m planning on buying a regular one, as a full face felt like overkill. I was just curious as I saw a guy wearing one yesterday. Anywhere locally that has good prices, or anywhere online I should check out, outside of Jensen or CRC?

Does the wiggle in my brake lever (goes away) indicate they need a bleed?

Throw in your own questions, I thought we could use this as a gear/setup thread, to not clutter the biking 2016 thread.

Offline Unholysavage

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 01:21:36 PM »
IMO/E, when it comes to suspension well damped suspension trumps an extra inch of mediocre-damped travel.
a charger'd Pike with 140mm of travel will feel better than a 160mm Lyrik, stay higher in its travel while braking, and be more controlled in the rough. more travel may automatically seem great, but if it's not nearly as controlled as the shorter travel fork, you don't gain anything. 
if you go with a used Fox 36 be aware that older Fox forks require regular maintenance, more than pretty much anything else. if a fox seal starts to leak replace it immediately or risk killing a stanchion.
if you stick with flats, I strongly suggest buying 5.10 shoes. they use the same stealth rubber as they use on their climbing shoes, which will keep your foot glued to your flats considerably better than a regular skate shoe. I used to wear skate shoes thinking they did a good job, until I went 5.10s. it's like comparing all seasons to slicks.

I'm not sure what you mean by brake lever "wiggle". are the levers loose at the pivot, or are you finding that the brakes engage closer and closer to the bar as you use them? brakes that need bled will feel soft at the lever once they engage, with an inconsistent bite point (brakes don't engage with the same amount of lever pull each time).
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Offline Claw

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2016, 11:46:21 PM »
Get your Pike Avy'd.

http://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/Rock%20Shox/Pike%20Open%20Bath%20Cartridge%20Kit.htm

It makes my shock (Fox CTD) feel like a night and day difference from stock.  I'd get them to modify my Pike, but I don't have the money..  I'd go for a 27.5 next liftime and upgrade those shocks instead.
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Offline kold911

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 07:35:14 AM »
Helmet.. Hell yes. definitely required. I wear an enduro style, they cover more of your head (back), yet still are decent to wear on climbs. Full face, definite overkill, although there is some good "jump" areas in fish, so maybe he was riding those?

flats vs clips.. Completely depends on the riding you plan on doing. I rode flats/5.10's last year, I switched to spd, and am much quicker. Hills/descents/etc, just all around better. Yes Descents took abit to get used to, but well worth it.

Jeff

Offline Unholysavage

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 07:41:00 AM »
having not owned a RS product in years, I did some googling. you may be able to increase the travel on your Pike from 140mm to 150-160mm without needing new internals. saw some talk of taking spacers out from beneath the negative spring on some model years, may be worth looking into a bit more if you want a bit more squish.

Avalanche is quality. I was the very first person to put Craig's damping cartridge in a second gen 888.
when I received my Avy cartridge the adapters wouldn't fit my fork (Marzocchi had changed the stanchions slightly between 2005-2006). I called the number on Avy's website on a Sunday and Craig immediately answered the phone. he had designed his adapters using an 05 fork, and didn't know that things had changed for 06, so he immediately went out and borrowed a fork from a friend to make me new adapters. I had them in my hands that same Wednesday, no cost to me. absolutely phenomenal customer service, he even called back a couple of times afterward to get feedback on how his cartridge performed to see if I needed any changes to the valving. his Avy cartridge is a work of art, the only other damping cartridge I've seen that's fully CNC'd aluminum is my Manitou Dorado.
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Offline Claw

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 09:50:46 AM »
That's a ringing endorsement of the Avalanche products (and Craig Seekins).  I've dealt with Craig a few times and his customer service is second to none.

Agree with Unholysavage, this guy knows his stuff.
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Offline coop3422

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2016, 11:25:15 AM »
I’m just not sure of the cost, or difficulty to add the motion control to the Pike. If I have to get a shop to do it, I feel it won’t be worth the money. As I could buy a Lyric that already has the adjustments installed. I’ve always wanted a Fox because I’ve never had one and I’m curious. That said, the service concerns me, they seem to be more temperamental than other brands. I also my consider a Marz 55, any thoughts on those? Had a 66 on my old bike and it was rock solid.

I’ll take a look at 5.10’s, may give them a try later in the season. Already need a new helmet, dropper seatpost and pedals which will be a big enough purchase lol.

The first half an inch of lever travel is lose, it can wiggle and has no action. It goes away after a little time, I’ve never had that before so I was curious. The lever doesn’t pull to the bar when this happens though, still has good engagement and braking. My old Saints couldn’t get a good bleed and pulled to the bar all the time, so I’m used to that feeling.

Avalanche looks interesting, although that’s as much as I paid for the whole bike after USD conversion. Plus, that is for the newer air Pikes, mine is a coil version. Modifying it to 160mm and adding motion control could be a good idea. Mine is a 327 which was made specifically for the Specialized Pitch Comp to be a bit cheaper. I’ll need to see if this specific one could be extended.

Offline coop3422

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2016, 07:01:59 PM »
Ordered a dropper post and a helmet off Jensen. $200 cad shipped, not bad.

Offline THE EDJ

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2016, 08:46:14 PM »
We have a lot of "enduro" style trails out here. A lot of the routes are mostly downhill and accessible via shuttle. You can wear a full face, but there are still some pedal sections to connect the DH sections and a full face is just too hot and since I like to wear goggles you often end up foggy and unable to see by the time you get to where you will need them. Despite the lack of full frontal protection, I ride with a helmet that has excellent rear and side protection (Bell Super) so I can breathe easy on the climbs and still feel confident going down.

Flat pedals are awesome. That said, a lot of them are junk so finding a good pair with good grip is a must if you like getting rowdy. Flats force you to hone your skills and don't allow any cheating with respect to hopping over obstacles or getting bounced around when things get rough. If you want to improve technique and learn some good technical skills then stick with flat pedals.

Avid brakes are finicky. You need to store the bike on it's wheels. If you store the bike hanging vertically or upside down on the seat/bars, air tends to move around (regardless of how well bled they are) and they can feel really spongy until you get the bike upright for a while, which leaves you with uninspiring performance and some potentially sketchy situations.

I know your rear shock just exploded, but damping is super important. Getting the sag set up is the easy part, tuning the shock to suit the terrain or your preferences can take time and experimentation. To be honest, I don't screw with mine too much, I set it and forget it.
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Offline Unholysavage

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 08:57:27 PM »
If you're looking for good head protection, but not full face, check out Urge helmets. They make enduro helmets that cover the ears and side of the head but still have good airflow. I don't own one but spoke with a few Enduro racers at Whistler last fall who had high praise for them. I'm thinking of picking one up as my XC helmet may be lacking for the riding I do.
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Offline coop3422

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2016, 10:08:57 PM »

Avid brakes are finicky. You need to store the bike on it's wheels. If you store the bike hanging vertically or upside down on the seat/bars, air tends to move around (regardless of how well bled they are) and they can feel really spongy until you get the bike upright for a while, which leaves you with uninspiring performance and some potentially sketchy situations.

I know your rear shock just exploded, but damping is super important. Getting the sag set up is the easy part, tuning the shock to suit the terrain or your preferences can take time and experimentation. To be honest, I don't screw with mine too much, I set it and forget it.

The helmet I got looks to have pretty decent protection. It should do.

I have some Specialized white platform pedals lined up on PB that I'll be buying Thursday. They should look, and perform very well. Looking forward to them.

My rear shock is fine, works great actually. That was someone else that blew theirs. I was thinking, and looking into getting an RP23 for the pro-pedal. I might, but I'll get a few rides on mine first before spending more.

With the new helmet, dropper and pedals, I think that will make me happy through this year. But I might get an Avid bleed kit and try. My old Saints sucked after paying for a bleed. While my Juicy 3's have some play, the braking power is solid so far, so I think I'll wait and see. I'll try doing them myself the first couple times.

Offline THE EDJ

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2016, 09:02:08 PM »
The helmet I got looks to have pretty decent protection. It should do.

I have some Specialized white platform pedals lined up on PB that I'll be buying Thursday. They should look, and perform very well. Looking forward to them.

My rear shock is fine, works great actually. That was someone else that blew theirs. I was thinking, and looking into getting an RP23 for the pro-pedal. I might, but I'll get a few rides on mine first before spending more.

With the new helmet, dropper and pedals, I think that will make me happy through this year. But I might get an Avid bleed kit and try. My old Saints sucked after paying for a bleed. While my Juicy 3's have some play, the braking power is solid so far, so I think I'll wait and see. I'll try doing them myself the first couple times.

Shoot, yeah, I didn't look at the user names haha, glad your shock is still kicking it!

One other recommendation on the clothing front, if you spend any time in saddle, get some padded cycling shorts. They might have changed biking for me more than a dropper post.
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Offline coop3422

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Re: Parts, clothing, wrenching, setup, etc......
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2016, 09:06:18 AM »
Shoot, yeah, I didn't look at the user names haha, glad your shock is still kicking it!

One other recommendation on the clothing front, if you spend any time in saddle, get some padded cycling shorts. They might have changed biking for me more than a dropper post.

That's a great idea actually, I think I'll look into a pair. Seats tend to not be the most comfortable.

Although it just dawned on my that if Canada Post goes on strike, who knows when I'll get my dropper and helmet. Kinda pissed.