Waltworks Weight NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG
THE WEIGHT IS OVER - TWO

But Weight

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major (Unless Noted)
Date Oct 25, 2021
Reading time

The Terms

It's generally safe to say that shaving weight is a rich rider's game. It's a combination of having the cash to buy parts that use exotic materials and manufacturing to cut grams without sacrificing performance or durability and also having the cash to replace said parts when they wear out. Cassettes are one of my favourite easy examples. A Shimano XTR M9100 12-speed, 10-51t cassette features titanium, steel, and aluminum construction, weighs 359 grams, and will run you around 380 USD. A Shimano SLX M7100 12-speed, 10-51t cassette that's all steel except for the aluminum 51-t cog weighs 534 grams and costs about 105 USD. That's a 175-gram difference for just over a buck and a half per gram, or 275 USD to save less than half a pound.

Compared to a cassette, it's actually more expensive per gram to save weight on lots of other parts of the bike, but this is where the disposable mountain of monies comes into play. Go a step further and cut the durability factor by running lightweight XC parts on your Enduro rig. Just be prepared to replace parts due to failure more often. Wheel companies are practically begging you to run their XC Race carbon rims on your big rig by making them available in Enduro-friendly 30mm widths and when those carbon cranks fail they'll probably be covered under 'warranty' anyways. Heck, dropping weight is easy!

Or actually, not. For a number of reasons, this project certainly isn't an example of how to convert cash into weight reduction. I also endeavoured to avoid decisions that were more likely to leave me stranded on the trail - or at least be cognizant of how any reduced theoretical durability would really affect me in the forest. My framework is simple: any component I changed out should be replaced with one of equal value or at the very least the net change in comparative costs should be approaching zero.

Walt V2 Mandrew (10).JPG

My Waltworks V2 in lightweight guise. Well, lighter-weight guise. Compared to my first weight weenie piece, I dropped over six pounds.

I like to think that my desire to keep things similarly durable kept me fairly honest. The Weight Is Over is more about controlling my tendency to think “who gives a crap about 100 grams” over and over again or to buy the lighter of two apples than trying to hit any target. For example, I'm running CushCore inserts front and rear on both setups. On my lighter weight build, I swapped 40/35mm internal width WTB KOM Tough rims for 25mm (but still tough) DT Swiss XM421 rims, and I changed to the lighter CushCore XC inserts to complement my much narrower rubber. More on that in a minute or two.

I removed my steadfast SR Suntour Durolux EQ, which is lowered from 170mm travel to 120mm travel, and replaced it with a fantastic 120mm travel Manitou R7. This dropped a pile of grams with a minor performance trade-off. I'll dig much deeper into the R7 in the future but simply put, the 32mm stanchion fork is a stiff wee beastie. Because of the very slack head tube angle (HTA) on my V2 when I am coming across flat, janky terrain, it certainly didn't slide as easily as my Durolux, which I suspect comes down to stanchion flex, and when hard on the binders down steeper lines, the Manitou is a touch skittery. But the suspension performance is excellent and I certainly don't shirk any lines because of a lack of stiffness, so I think it's easy to say it's a gram-dumping success story.

Wolf Tooth CAMO Stainless Weight NSMB AndrewM.JPG

The one questionable swap I made is to remove my 30t Wolf Tooth stainless steel oval ring and bash guard combination at 198 grams...

Wolf Tooth Weight Savings NSMB AndrewM.JPG

...and replace it with their 28t aluminum oval CINCH ring. The 28t lets me run a smaller cog in the rear as well and adds a bit of ground clearance.

In terms of durability, the only questionable choice I made is ditching my proven stainless steel oval ring and CAMO Bash spider setup in favour of an aluminum narrow-wide ring. I did gain a bit of ground clearance with the smaller 28t aluminum oval ring but the 1/3 pound weight savings presents a durability risk especially without the bash ring.

Otherwise, it is my typical aluminum 30X bar, NSBillet Overlord stem with huge hardware, and of course, the Waltworks isn't exactly a lightweight frame. I did swap my Race Face Atlas cranks for a pair of Turbines which apparently saves me 70 grams at the cost of having boring black cranks instead of sweet anodized blue ones.

Rolling

Okay, so the aluminum v steel chainring choice represents a potential durability issue but I'm not that concerned as Wolf Tooth's aluminum rings have been excellent and my ground clearance is increased. I certainly recognize that I'll be replacing the aluminum ring much faster due to wear.

However, chainring choice isn't the material malfeasance that is bothering me right now. As I was in the process of dropping weight on tires, inserts, hubs, and rims I somehow managed to talk myself into aluminum nipples instead of brass ones. Ugh. Now it's not that I think aluminum nipples are inherently bad; however, I'm not a very experienced wheel builder and I laced these lighter hoops up for riding a hardtail on the North Shore. It was a mistake to save, what, 40 grams? A mistake I'll be paying for this winter when I re-lace the wheels with brass nips for added durability and infinite re-tensioning.

Aside from some nipple woes in the back, the wheels are excellent. I'm impressed with the stiffness of the XM421 rims and the Industry Nine Hydra hubs are, as previously noted, excellent for a significantly reduced gram count compared to the King hubs that I normally run on my single speed.

DSC09539-denizmerdano-clairebarian-andrewmajor.jpg

I mainly notice the difference in weight and rolling speed on paved climbs. Once I'm in the woods this lightweight tire and rim setup is certainly a bit faster but overall there's been no increase in fun factor. (Photo: Deniz Merdano)

On the CushCore front alone I've dumped 180 grams per wheel and dropped another 350 grams by going from my beloved Tough Casing 2.8" WTB Vigilante up front to a 2.4" DHRII EXO+. In rubber alone, I've dumped 810 grams, and that doesn't include the 325 grams for the rims and over 100 grams more for the difference in hubs and nipples. Call it 1,235 grams off the wheels, which is more than the weight of a Santa Cruz Highball frame.

Not surprising at all then that my bike rolls faster on the lighter weight setup. It's especially noticeable on the pavement where the tires cruise at a much faster clip, with less effort compared to my 29+ setup. This isn't surprising. I'm sure most riders would suspect a 2.4" DHR2 MaxxTerra EXO+ tire would roll much faster than a WTB 2.8" Vigilante High Grip / Tough Casing option.

One surprise is that the 2.3" Specialized Purgatory I've been using isn't any faster than the 2.6" I normally rely on, and actually is quite a bit louder due to the spacing of the similarly sized knobs. The 2.6" Purgatory on a 35mm rim with a CushCore Pro insert is totally my jam. Surprising amounts of grip for the rolling speed and vice versa.

Waltworks weight savings NSMB AndrewM.JPG

Plenty of weight savings here, but next time I'm building my own single speed wheel for the North Shore I'll take the small weight penalty to use brass nipples for sure.

But Weight

Going from a massive set of 29+ tires, beefcake 40mm aluminum rims, and some hefty inserts to a fairly standard setup that would have cost similar money, if not less, makes for a fairly easy way to drop a lot of grams. Swapping my lowered Enduro fork with 120mm travel for a dedicated 120mm fork and I'm still on the low-hanging fruit. I downsized from a 203mm rotor to a 180mm rotor in the front, which worked well when paired with the MaxxTerra tire rather than the tackier option I normally run. I even added some grams by running the NSB's aluminum Daemon pedals rather than the composite OneUp pedals that were on my Walt for the first weigh-in. Toss in the chainring swap and a few grams for the different Race Face aluminum cranksets and I dropped over six pounds.

Even before swapping the fork out, just running the lighter wheels and rubber made an amazing difference. My ride from work or from home up to the trails was faster and I was even more motivated to ride to the trails than usual. The DHR2 MaxxTerra is the same 2.4" tire I am running on the Canyon Lux and it was fun to compare it on an 25mm vs 30mm rim. The setup was great on the tamer trails in Cumberland and in the dry and loose conditions we experienced on the North Shore this summer.

But, quite frankly, as I look back at my notes and consider the whole experience I have to say the results are a great disappointment.

Waltworks Weight NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

Not quite an apples-to-apples weight comparison as this number doesn't include two full water bottles and my EDC Lite tool. Still, I think it's an impressive change.

Weight Weenie NSMB AndrewM.JPG

This number does include two full bottles. Still, I think it's insane to think of how much of the difference in weight in rolling over - rims, CushCore inserts, and tires.

For one thing, now that the Shore is back to its natural, greasy state, I miss my 29+ Vigilante on every ride. It doesn't fit in the R7 so it's not a simple wheel swap - it requires popping on my Durolux EQ for the necessary clearance. Equally, the added traction and comfort from the big 2.6" rear tire, insert, and low pressure are missed every time I come off my line into some jank.

The smaller front ring has given me more gearing options with a preference for 21 or 22t to match the 28t oval. I could easily keep this setup and go back to the bigger rims and bigger rubber at the same time. While the lighter, faster rolling, rubber wins on pavement and gravel I'm also not racing anyone. I'm quite content to wander my way up to the trails and once on singletrack I'm not convinced that the rolling weight is making that big of a difference. Or perhaps the trade-off of increased traction makes up for it enough in my mind that I've decided the extra weight and rolling resistance isn't a big deal.

Certainly compared to my riding friends I'm not slower or faster relatively. I stay fresher longer for with my lighter and faster setup, particularly if I'm road riding to meet someone, but it would have to be a big day to make me choose 2.4/2.3" rubber rather than my usual 2.8"/2.6" setup.

Waltworks Weight Savings NSMB AndrewM (2).jpg

Mythical climbing? Not really. The faster, lighter rubber and hoops make a difference on the road less traveled, but relative to my regular riding friends my singletrack place was unchanged.

Waltworks Weight Savings NSMB AndrewM.jpg

I did enjoy playing around with different gearing options thanks to the 28t oval ring instead of my usual 30t or 32t but I could have had the same effect, and increased clearance, with steel.

This experience was very reinforcing for my long-standing disregard for bike weight concerns for my personal rigs. That's not saying it doesn't really matter to some riders and some applications, but I think it's worth it to err to the side of durability, especially with my rubber and rims. I'm not dropping fishing weights down my seat tube or anything silly like that, but my renewed focus is certainly on having fun, living flat-free, and not being concerned about grams.

I plan to be back on the 29+ rubber this winter on my hardtail and will save the lighter, narrower rims for exploratory rides and XC outings. It has, however, been an awesome opportunity to remind myself how happy I am with my personal bike and my usual setup.

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Comments

craw
+6 Andrew Major IslandLife Vik Banerjee Timer kcy4130 Mark
Cr4w  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9 a.m.

So maybe the takeaway is to split the difference? Instead of going from very overbuilt/heavy parts to insufficient-enough-to-affect-enjoyment weight maybe something in between?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+4 BadNudes bushtrucker Vik Banerjee ElGenerale
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

My goal was to split the difference - nothing stupid light, still running inserts, etc. You mean splitting the split distance?!

On the hardtail, now that we’re back to perfect Shore conditions I’m back to my Plus setup. It’s worth the weight.

Reply

cooperquinn
+3 Andrew Major IslandLife Cr4w
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:40 a.m.

I'd generally agree with cr4w that there's a lot of difference splitting to be had in what you've done here. :)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3 Cr4w Vik Banerjee Mark
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

Certainly, many degrees of changes to be made through 6+ pounds. My takeaway from one extreme to the other though - and I still don’t think my lighter extreme was that extreme (still great brakes & rideable rubber) - is that aside from an easier pedal to the trails on pavement I was quite happy with the heavier setup. 

Don’t really need to split any more hairs at that point.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
+3 kcy4130 ackshunW Andrew Major
DancingWithMyself  - Oct. 26, 2021, 3:38 a.m.

My impression of Shore riding may be too narrow, but I think bike weight is much less noticeable on winch-and-plummet riding and much more noticeable on more rolling terrain.  Mainly getting the bike off the ground and moving it around without the speed generated by really steep descents.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 6:51 a.m.

Good point. Though I did also pedal this setup on Squamish XC and in Cumberland where I also have a fair few hours on my heavier setups and I don’t think my conclusions are different. Could certainly come down to the mentality I have riding here though. A long held bias towards overbuilt.

DanL
+2 Andrew Major Dogl0rd
DanL  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

"Once I'm in the woods this lightweight tire and rim setup is certainly a bit faster but overall there's been no increase in fun factor" - I'd say my fun factor would be severely constrained without the (heavier) tyres and inserts/ coil front and back - it's rarely the bike and weight that is holding me back. Fair play to anyone who can do the weight shaving though but it feels like a diminishing return when riding here on the usual 2hr outings into the dankness.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Cr4w Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:17 a.m.

To be fair, it’s not like I put on a pair of 2.4” Aspens and road off into the woods.

It’s a 2.4” DHR2 EXO+ up front with CushCore XC inserts in both wheels. Hardly a weight weenie setup.

That said, now that things are greasy again, for the hardtail at least I certainly miss the big, soft, sticky rubber and full sized inserts.

Reply

Timer
+1 Andrew Major
Timer  - Oct. 26, 2021, 1:19 a.m.

So much depends on personal priorities. My time and fitness are limited. Fast rolling wheels and an efficient drivetrain allow me to climb further, go farther, ride more trails and just do more mountainbiking in the same amount of time.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 6:55 a.m.

Do have to say, efficient drivetrains is a key. I’ve spent a lot of effort explaining to less-fit riders like myself how bad the drag is in the lowest gears of the newest drivetrains. Smaller rings moved inboard are going to make up for any amount of pounds of bike weight dropped for a lot of folks, I think.

Reply

just6979
+1 Morgan Heater
Justin White  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:45 p.m.

Is more miles in a given time always "more mountain biking"? I just count the hours, period.

And every bit of time fixing something broken is time getting zero miles no matter how fast you or your bike is.

Reply

cooperquinn
+4 Todd Hellinga Andrew Major Timer gubbinalia
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

Its important to highlight that "performance" is subjective; different riders are looking for different things out of their gear.

Saying there's a loss or gain in performance is only valid in the context of how *you* define the characteristics and goals; a high performance tire could be a DH casing Assegai, 2.1 Aspen, or Specialized Hemisphere. It all depends on the application.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:52 a.m.

Absolutely. I’m only looking at it from the perspective of riding the same bike to and on my favourite trails.

If I was racing XC or Enduro or riding elsewhere my experience would potentially be very different.

Likewise, if I was riding a similarly slack and long FS bike my experience may be different.

But my takeaway was still, for local trail riding, that a substantial difference in weight didn’t really change my experience much. Any middle ground between the two setups would mean even less so.

It’s not scientific in any way, but I still thought it was an interesting experience.

Reply

craw
+3 Andrew Major Vik Banerjee Mammal
Cr4w  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:04 a.m.

Andrew has a real taste for the super heavy tires and CC Pro. I get by on EXO+/DD and Tannus tubeless inserts and get great performance, durability and comparatively low weight. Horses for courses.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

Same, except on EXO x 2 and Tannus for my hard tail. I switched to carbon rims this season, which dropped around 90g of big-radius rotational weight, but I'm still running my steel cassette for the long-value game. It's all about strategic compromises that jive with what you value most.

Reply

denomerdano
+4 Paul Stuart Cooper Quinn ElGenerale kcy4130
Deniz Merdano  - Oct. 25, 2021, 12:54 p.m.

Lifting up Cooper's 25lbs Spur next to my 35lbs Rallon.. I just about lost my lunch.. He also did not seemed to be having any less fun on the descends either with his maxterra Dissectors.. Now I just don't know anymore....

Reply

xy9ine
+8 Cooper Quinn Velocipedestrian Andrew Major Vik Banerjee nothingfuture Mammal shenzhe Spencer Nelson
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 25, 2021, 1:39 p.m.

why i'm making a concerted effort not to try one of these (lightweight aggressive surprisingly capable shorter travel) things. my 36lb trailbike is perfectly fine (daily affirmation made by avoiding any evidence to the contrary).

Reply

cooperquinn
+1 Andrew Major
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 25, 2021, 1:47 p.m.

Ok, but in my defense, those tires are super scary on wet roots. Which is pretty much all we rode that day.

Reply

syncro
+1 Andrew Major
Mark  - Oct. 25, 2021, 4:12 p.m.

Super scary or super fun?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Mark
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 6:57 a.m.

The latter becomes the former in a heartbeat. 

Just like most the time MaxxTerra is a great choice for a longer lasting, faster rolling, still grippy tire and then suddenly you’d LOVE to exchange it for MaxxGrip.

Reply

cooperquinn
+1 Spencer Nelson
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:53 a.m.

"flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror”

cooperquinn
+2 Mark Pete Roggeman
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

We'll have to check my facial expressions in an upcoming review. 

I'd say that, unless you're veeeeery comfortable sliding around a lot, TNT and Dale's isn't the best choice for f/r Maxxterra Dissectors if its wet out.

Reply

syncro
0
Mark  - Oct. 26, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

Hahaha - I'll keep my eye out for it.

I definitely think there is a range where scary = fun, and that range tops out at any sort of potential injury that could keep you off the bike for more than a week or worse. Of course knowing how to crash well helps mitigate that a bit, but I'm more than happy to lug a little extra weight around in the names of durability and safety for the typical S2S trail.

pete@nsmb.com
+1 Andrew Major
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 26, 2021, 2:09 p.m.

That is a trail combo that definitely lets you know if you are running the wrong rubber. *shudder*

skooks
+2 Vik Banerjee Velocipedestrian
Skooks  - Oct. 25, 2021, 10:01 a.m.

My hardtail crew consists of myself on a steel-frame Knolly Tyaughton and a couple of guys on the titanium version of the same bike. Totally different ends of the weight spectrum. Mine is built up heavy with burly wheels and tires with inserts, 160mm fork, and steel chainring. Theirs both have carbon wheels and no tire inserts. They are gorgeous bikes for sure, and *significantly* lighter than mine. I had cost and performance goals for my hardtail and I hit them both. As far as I can tell I am having just as much fun on my bike as they are on theirs, which is the only metric I use to measure my rides.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:29 a.m.

If you're ever near a scale I'd be very interested to know what significant adds up to.

Reply

Vikb
+1 Andrew Major
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 2:33 p.m.

I'd be curious on flex/ride quality comparo between Fe and Ti Tyaughtons. Usually, but not always the Ti frames are nicer, but sometimes it's the steel frames that ride better despite the magical reputation of Ti.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 2:44 p.m.

I don’t have endless experiences with Ti frames but I’ll say my Explosif was no more magical than any of the similarly beefed up steel frames I’ve owned.

On the other hand, my Raijin was magical. And everyone I know who’s ridden one - in any size - also thought there’s was magical. But then most of us broke them. In my case I tore the headtube off the down tube XC riding.

I think they’re great comparisons as both were USA Made Lynskey frames. The Raijin was significantly lighter than the Explosif and everything that titanium’s legend is built around. The Explosif is a clear example of how at some point - steel, aluminum, Ti - the material doesn’t matter.

I’d love to throw a leg over the new aluminum Chameleon to see if they’ve captured the ride of the previous gen while updating the geo. That (aluminum) frame had significantly more ‘give’ than my Honzo or my Walts or my Explosif without feeling flexy.

Reply

joseph-crabtree
+1 Andrew Major
Joseph Crabtree  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:23 a.m.

Broke the downtube on my Raijin just below the headtube, that was a long walk home.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:52 p.m.

But it was a truly beautifully riding bicycle before it broke oui?

Reply

Vikb
+4 Sean Chee Andrew Major kcy4130 Justin White
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 10:01 a.m.

When it comes to bike performance my concern is low[er] rolling resistance tires over lower weight. If your tires roll well big days are easy. If they don't it's just hard. OTOH an extra 1-2kg of bike weight is not noticeable [to me] from a tiredness/endurance standpoint. Of course a MTB with terrible traction is not fun and can even be dangerous so the challenge is to put on tires that hit that sweet spot such that you don't hate them riding to/from the trails or shredding on the trails.

Having had very light bikes and very heavy bikes in the recent past I will say there is a point in terms of light weight where the bike actually rides worse. A light bike is easy to deflect off line and ends up being more demanding to ride than a heavier bike that feels more planted and stays on track easier.

Obviously when it comes to traction and weight you can get silly in either direction. I take a great deal of satisfaction when I hit the right balance in setup choices to get a great riding bike that I am just as happy to ride all day as I am to throw down a really difficult technical line. The One Bike To Rule Them All, All of The Time!

And I am a lot less excited about building/setting up a bike that's highly specialized so it's great in a small niche and not great the rest of the time.

Reply

craw
+3 Andrew Major Timer Mammal
Cr4w  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:06 a.m.

The S2S corridor (Vancouver to Pemberton) is the ultimate niche place. The way I set up my bike for pedalling here would be overkill at bike parks in the rest of the world.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:28 a.m.

Gearing aside, there's not much I'd change about my V2 to go ride anywhere I've been. I'd swap the front tire from the 2.8" Vigilante High Grip to the Fast Rolling version sure, or maybe to an even faster high volume tire but one thing this experiment has really brought into focus is how genuinely happy I am with the bike the way I intended to build it from the start.

Reply

Vikb
+1 4Runner1
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:41 a.m.

I'd use the same setup from Pemby/Whistler/Squamish to Van Island to Moab/Sedona, etc... Any of the chunky techy places to ride...which is pretty much all I am interested in. I don't ride park or flow trail...except on rare occasions.

Reply

Timer
0
Timer  - Oct. 26, 2021, 1:06 a.m.

I wouldn't choose such a narrow definition, but the "relevant area" for NSMB is certainly special in terms of bike setup needs. Its one of the very few places where i would say f** it and just run Maxxgrip DD year round on the biggest bike i can still somewhat pedal.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Vik Banerjee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:26 a.m.

For certain it's about balance. This is where I have to plug the Specialized Purgatory tire as an amazing rear option. Interesting the 2.6" actually rolls nicer (smoother, quieter) than the smaller 2.3" so that's an extra level of winning for the hardtail. I've never experienced a tire that has rolled this fast on pavement and gravel, provided this much traction climbing - even when it's loose, even when standing on the single speed, and at the same time was so good braking downhill whether we're talking about loose dirt or greasy armoured rock. 

I'm just running the standard Gripton compound as well --- not one of the new fancy options.

Reply

kperras
+2 Andrew Major Justin White
Kenneth Perras  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:30 a.m.

WRT to tires, you could have gone to a fast rolling, reinforced casing tire like a 2.4 DHR Double Down in the rear, and a high grip, light casing tire in the front like a 2.5 MaxxGrip Assegai or DHF (DHF clears better in the mud and grips slick surfaces better as well). Paired with inserts, it's an ideal low PSI, winter combo.

Reply

cooperquinn
+2 Andrew Major Mammal
Cooper Quinn  - Oct. 25, 2021, 1:48 p.m.

I mean, this is my winter tire combo, but the Assegai is basically a boat anchor no matter what casing. In maxxgrip, I'm confident its the slowest rolling tire known to man.

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Andrew Major Zero-cool
Perry Schebel  - Oct. 25, 2021, 5:15 p.m.

they roll pretty ok once they're down to semislick tread depth. i burn through my worn MG front tires on the rear, and am always impressed with how well sticky rubber works despite a lack of meaningful knobs.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 5:27 p.m.

That's an interesting counter-narrative to the value debate on MaxxGrip v. MaxxTerra. Certainly once the mechanical grip is gone on an MT tire the tire is done, but perhaps you get enough sticky-slick life out of an MG tire that it could actually take more hours or riding?

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:55 p.m.

I wholeheartedly agree with you. I tried an assegai for a while and whilst it is an awesome tyre, I couldn’t get over how sluggish it felt compared to my standard DHR front. I will reserve the assegai for visits to gnarly trails that I am not familiar with. Bike parks and the likes that I don’t need to worry so much about undertaking the uplift myself will benefit from it.

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Bad-Sean
0
Sean Chee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:34 a.m.

For general trail and gravity assisted riding, I’m a big fan of wide heavy tyres with low rolling resistance run at high pressures. The gyroscopic stability provided by them when spinning far outweighs the negatives for me. Currently I’m running DHR on the front and a Dissector on the rear. Only because it’s been a very wet winter in Perth, it would probably be considered dry by BC standards. The ground is starting to drain now so at the next service I will put my favourite tyre, minion ss, on the back. 

My “XC” bike runs ikon front and ardent race rear. That bike is really just for exercise, so the lighter weight and low rolling resistance setup makes life easier when I am trying to grind out the km.

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andy-eunson
+1 Andrew Major
Andy Eunson  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:41 a.m.

I don’t do the weight weenie thing much anymore. I sort of did at one time because I was racing xc a lot. Neither am I a weight unweenie. That’s the person that buys cheaper stuff because this bar is only 100 grams more, this seat is only 80 grams more, these tires are etc etc and next they are riding a boat anchor. With tubes pumped to rigid inside tires made from old hockey pucks because durability is their prime metric. At my weight of 143 ish, I can run low psi and rarely bottom out my tires enough to damage a rim so inserts do nothing for me. EXO or equivalent casing are all the durability I require. At my weight proportionally a 2.5 is plenty wide whereas heavier riders may see a benefit to wider rubber. I don’t seem to wear out chainrings or cassettes much anymore because I use XO1 level stuff which is going the distance and more. So I see no benefit to a steel ring. I do like my big brakes though. And I’m not doing without a dropper. But I feel no difference in a carbon bar versus aluminum so I buy aluminum.

Reply

SprSonik
+4 Niels bushtrucker Andrew Major Sean Chee
Mark Forbes  - Oct. 25, 2021, 1:16 p.m.

Most of us can lose far more weight than that from our bodies for free, and get the benefits in all aspects of our lives. 6 pounds out of over 220 pounds rider and bike   ( most of my buddies are 180+) is minimal unless you are an avid hill climber.

Reply

Bad-Sean
+1 Andrew Major
Sean Chee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:47 p.m.

The really frustrating part of that is you can’t feel the weight difference so obviously as you can with a bike. 

I recently lost 20 pandemic pounds and do you think I can feel a difference to my riding? But jumping between my 32lb trail bike and 40lb downduro is definitely noticeable. I’m going to try to lose another 40lb. If I succeed and don’t notice a difference in my riding I will be furious.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, midnight

I'd agree, but other than hike-a-bike sections and loading it on the roof I didn't find the weight difference that obvious on the bike either - even with much of it being in the wheels.

Also, an acknowledgment of your solid effort working on your fitness!

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Dogl0rd
+1 Sean Chee
Dogl0rd  - Oct. 25, 2021, 4:04 p.m.

I never think about the weight of my bike. If you only ever run a one bike quiver, you just don't know the difference, and it feels good not to, not to be tempted to make more upgrades. I know I'm not going to get better at riding by making weight a focus, so why bother. My bike is lighter than an e-bike, I'm good. Now how can I hit that corner harder or eliminate that sketchy moment...

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AndrewMajor
+2 DancingWithMyself Sean Chee
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:59 p.m.

I know a couple of folks whose theory on getting the best mountain biking experience on their budget is just to ride their bike. Their one bike. And no one else's. 

Can't argue with that. It's certainly been my experience all the times I've only owned rigid single speeds.

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DancingWithMyself
+1 Andrew Major
DancingWithMyself  - Oct. 26, 2021, 3:31 a.m.

I’ll second this approach.  I’m fortunate to be able to afford really nice bikes, but I’ll never, ever ride a friend’s bike or a demo unless I’m getting ready to buy a new bike.

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AndrewMajor
+6 Greg Bly Mammal Carmel Velocipedestrian DancingWithMyself Spencer Nelson
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7 a.m.

Had a rethink on this, and maybe micro-dosing oneself with short pedals around on friends’ bikes known to be shite, poorly maintained, poorly setup, etc would be beneficial to keeping stoked on ones own rig?!

Ha.

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 26, 2021, 4:12 p.m.

Easily done when your friends don't keep the machine running as smoothly as you would.

Even a 'better' bike will feel worse.

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ElGenerale
+2 Andrew Major fartymarty
ElGenerale  - Oct. 25, 2021, 9:12 p.m.

I'm just here for yet another look at that beautiful WW frame.

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Vikb
+2 Andrew Major fartymarty
Vik Banerjee  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:55 p.m.

Chromag makes nice bikes! ;-)

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AndrewMajor
+1 fartymarty
Andrew Major  - Oct. 25, 2021, 11:57 p.m.

HAHAHAHA. Personally, I think this Chromag looks much better in its rigid guise. And most folks agree? At least, that's when I get the most unsolicited comments about what a great-looking Chromag I have... because, of course, they're known for their rigid fork builds.

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kcy4130
+1 Andrew Major
kcy4130  - Oct. 26, 2021, 5:34 a.m.

Did you only ride light vs heavy with single speed setup? I wonder if weight difference pros/cons would be more significant or easier to detect with gearing? I don't know, never tried ss on a trail bike, but in my case I'm sure there'd be a lot more hike a bike on climbs. I do think lower weight might be more beneficial on a hardtail or rigid than on a full suspension. I mean, light weight is most noticeable and appreciated when doing dynamic moves like bunnyhopping, lifting front then rear up a step, short burst of max acceleration to get speed for something... basic trialsy moves in short. Hardtails/rigid are great for these moves because none of one's energy is wasted pushing thru suspension. Whereas on a full suspension on climbs I'm much more likely to just sit and spin, and descents are more point and plow, in which cases the advantages of light weight are reduced. That said, my steel hardtail is ~33lbs so I'm definitely not making any big compromises in performance to save weight.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:13 a.m.

Yes, the only mountain bike I own currently is my V2 (my V1 is doing commuter duty) and it’s a single speed.

I’ve pedaled some heavy multi-speed bikes this year, and some relatively lightweight ones as well but not to the same extent on one bike.

I’d say riding a #1FG bike (which I’m not an evangelist of - but you should totally try it) is about varying effort rather than varying gearing but the actual effect/lack of effect from dropping weight in terms of speed/efficiency boost is probably similar?

It’s an interesting thought.

Counter point re. rigid/short travel/hardtail is that heavier wheels do help calm the bike down and keep it planted.

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maximum-radness
+5 Andrew Major Mammal Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian Spencer Nelson
Maximum Radness  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:04 a.m.

There is a certain “trail-honesty” in this writing style. 

I love what you guys are doing with a lot of these articles. 

It’s like talking to a good bud at the top of a climb about why he got “that bike” but the conversation just keeps opening up. 

I agree with about 85 percent of what you found here regarding weight vs. feelings. One of the coolest things about mountain bikes vs. moto is that you feel so much more. Kinda like skiing or snowboarding. The gear and the weight and the pressures and the tech IS IMPORTANT : because MY FEELINGS are important. 

These exercises are so crucial and so many “regular riders” skip the experimenting step- this is where we find “OUR JAM” and that’s kinda the whole point of bikes for me- and i suspect, many of us. Including those “regular riders”…

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AndrewMajor
+1 Velocipedestrian
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:21 a.m.

Cheers!

One thing I think is both unique and awesome about NSMB is the level of engagement in the comments. It really turns every article into more of a forum if you will.

I certainly would get bored constantly having the one-sided conversation that is writing editorial but for the usually interesting and informed responses. I love seeing where the conversations go and being part of the catalyst for them.

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doodersonmcbroseph
+3 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman shenzhe
doodersonmcbroseph  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:57 a.m.

Is NSMB moderated to keep the trash out? Or does the trash just not come here? I do like that the comments/conversation/forum stays out of the gutter, well done.

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AndrewMajor
+5 Mammal Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian mikeynets doodersonmcbroseph
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 10:41 a.m.

You don’t have to pull any big weeds in a well-tended garden. I think folks figure out quick that this community is seeded with a plethora of different, and often differing, opinions but none of them are grown in shit.

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 Andrew Major
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 26, 2021, 2:16 p.m.

Long, long ago we had a team of mods that helped with the forum - but forums were also much more active back then, for better and worse.

As Andrew said, our readers do a great job of helping set the tone around here. Every now and then someone comes rolling in heavy, but it doesn't last long.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:25 a.m.

It constantly amazes me how many riders I meet who actually aren’t bike nerds. Then, wrenching in a shop, it also constantly amazes me how many riders have really loose stem and grip bolts.

I like to think that NSMB has something for everyone who loves mountain bicycling but it’s also, obviously, a home to a lot of riders for whom the technical element parallels the having fun riding element.

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doodersonmcbroseph
+1 Andrew Major
doodersonmcbroseph  - Oct. 26, 2021, 10:02 a.m.

I love the 'nerdy' side of bikes in general. I've had a decent hiatus from MTB; a lot of bmx freestyle and a decade of getting mixed up in cars, autocross and track days etc. Coming back to MTB reminds me that experimentation allows you to feel those tuning changes more significantly and at a much lower cost than many other 'vehicles'. You also don't have to wait for an event. You can just go try it out as soon as you are able to hit the trail.

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mhaager2
+2 Pete Roggeman Spencer Nelson
Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:48 a.m.

So totally different riding out here in Edmonton. Very short but punchy ups and downs and constant gradient changes. Up, down, up, down.... Always thought that weight was super important in this kind of riding. 

Had a Yeti SB 4.5 set up around 27.5 lbs.  It was good around here,  but left me feeling underbiked at times in trips elsewhere.  Recently went to a Druid weighing 31.5. I thought it was going to be a boat anchor round here but it turns out it's great, especially for more technical climbs. PB'd some of the more technical trails, but can't catch my PBs on the more sustained fast trails. Enjoy riding the Druid more overall though so sold the Yeti which I had thought I would keep as my "little " bike.  Weight is not unimportant,  but this experience reinforced that its only one aspect,  and often not the most important one to consider.

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 Andrew Major
Pete Roggeman  - Oct. 26, 2021, 2:18 p.m.

No question that kind of terrain favours a slightly different bike than the trails we have on the Shore. You could also run a light wheelset on the Druid and it would probably really sing in rolling terrain.

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mhaager2
0
Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

My current wheelset is actually very light.  It's a 2016 Roval Traverse Fattie SL. 30 mm internal but sub 1600 g. It seems more recent renditions of this wheel set have gained significant weight.  Not sure if they had failures or why they have become heavier.  These have been quite bomber for me.  I did have to get the rear wheel redone with new spokes recently as I kept snapping spokes repeatedly all of a sudden.  I thought about getting new wheels but it's hard to find anything with that internal width at that weight.  Faster rolling tires will certainly help. Currently I've got a 2.5 DHF maxxgrip up front and an aggressor 2.35 in the back given that it's fall and I was going on a trip i BC, but in the summer I ll change that to a smaller DHF in maxterra up front and try a Ardent 2.4 in the back I think.

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mhaager2
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Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 8:25 p.m.

It's interesting as I know a fair few folks from flatter locals (less pedal up / ride down) and maybe it's being removed from a hyper-conscious mountain bike culture or maybe it's the more rolling riding but in my experience folks on the Shore are way more concerned about weight than folks who could, in theory, get much more enjoyment out of lighter weight builds. 

If you don't mind me asking, did you pick up your Forbidden directly or through one of their Alberta dealers? I was surprised they don't list an Edmonton dealer - it's been a lot of years since I had a finger in that scene but it strikes me as a brand that would have been right up Hardcore's alley.

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mhaager2
0
Moritz Haager  - Oct. 26, 2021, 9:01 p.m.

I'm surprised at that actually.  Kinda figured it would be the converse. I had the privilege of riding the shore for a month (in December no less) while doing an elective in Vancouver and if those were my regular stomping grounds I think my bike would gain some weight probably in the form of meatier wheels and probably tire inserts,  maybe even coil suspension. 

Yeah no dealer here.  You are however very right. The guy at Hardcore told me he talked to Forbidden about becoming a dealer but they were unable to accommodate them as they could not keep their existing dealers supplied at this time.  Covid I presume.  It was hard to find one.  I was looking at the XT build but it was not clear when that would become available. I looked at used ones but eventually I found a frameset at Inside Line in Calgary. I bought some other parts from them and used some existing parts. Really it was a terrible time to buy a bike but I had the new bike itch so bad and this was a bike I have been super intrigued by that I just couldn't help myself.

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cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major
cheapondirt  - Oct. 26, 2021, 12:14 p.m.

Last winter I ran a 2.8 vigilante "light" high grip up front. It was a noticeably heavy tire and switching to a 2.6 magic Mary...heck I can't remember which casing, but on the lighter side.. really livened up the bike. Without sacrificing traction, as far as I could tell. But of course my fork is at 170mm, set on the soft side, and it's doing a lot of the work.

I liked the vigilante though. Just think plus tires are rad for hardtails/rigid and less so on a fully suspended bike.

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AndrewMajor
+1 cheapondirt
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 1:06 p.m.

I've really enjoyed running Plus tires on shorter travel full-suspension rigs as well as hardtails with any amount of travel from rigid to a 170mm front end. But I'd totally agree that with more travel front / rear the 2.6" option is excellent. 

If you still have your 2.8" Vigi (if you didn't wear it out) they've been discontinued so I'm certain a fan of the tire will be interested in buying yours. It's interesting that just as I start seeing other folks getting into aggressive rigid bikes (Stooge makes a few bikes that are comparable to my V1 geo wise) that the options for aggressive 29+ tires is constricting extensively. No more 2.8" Vigi or 3" SE4. Sad days indeed.

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cheapondirt
+1 Andrew Major
cheapondirt  - Oct. 26, 2021, 5:06 p.m.

Sorry, I sold it months ago to keep the fun fund cash flow rolling. That's disappointing it was discontinued!

Your bike, v2, was the first one that got me interested in the rigid genre. I follow Stooge on instagram. If N+3 was an option something of the sort would be on my list right behind dirt jumper and DH rig.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 7:50 p.m.

Stooge has gotten pretty close to my V1 geo now. Certainly I’d be between them and a Unit with a -2 Angleset if replacing V1. Nice that there are great stock options now!

Still have never seen anything like V2 out there. Which is funny because I love it and think others would too. Been running it rigid again the last few rides and that’s my happy place.

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just6979
+2 Andrew Major Timer
Justin White  - Oct. 26, 2021, 1:12 p.m.

"Not surprising at all then that my bike rolls faster on the lighter weight setup."

But it doesn't roll faster because of the weight, it's because of the changes in tread and casing. If you could magically get lighter tires of the same size and stiffness, it wouldn't roll any faster. Accelerate faster, yeah, but roll faster? Nope.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Justin White
Andrew Major  - Oct. 26, 2021, 1:38 p.m.

I should have written that much more clearly and certainly you’re correct.

What I should have said is that it “rolls along faster” by which I meant not rolling efficiency on pavement but rather that it’s easier to keep up to speed (accelerating and decelerating much faster) on rolling terrain. Also, it’s easier to keep the wheels rolling up steep climbs.

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HeavyFlow
+1 Andrew Major
Hank Sola  - Oct. 27, 2021, 12:12 p.m.

I recently built up a 25lb hardtail (29" Carbon SC Chameleon) to complement my 35lb enduro bike (27.5" AL Transition Patrol).

After riding both off an on in both SoCal and New England, I am convinced that weight does not really matter to me.

When I hop on the Patrol, there is no reaction like "Oh man this is heavy".

I do agree about the "on the road" part.   The hardtail feels more like a road bike on the road and the Patrol does feel a bit portly.   But once on the trail, it makes zero difference to me (Except portaging!)

So, I agree!

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Zero-cool
+1 Andrew Major
Zero-cool  - Oct. 28, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

I really think my hardtail would ride better if it was a bit lighter but as it currently has a KRS seat, a 16kg 3 year old and a huge back pack to carry all the stuff needed to keep 3 year old twins happy on a bike ride I think I’ll probably wait a bit to start spending money on it.

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geraldooka
+1 Andrew Major
Michael  - Oct. 29, 2021, 4:23 p.m.

Andrew all I can say is you're a beast man!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 29, 2021, 7:05 p.m.

Thanks, Michael. But, sadly that's not the case. I haven't been in proper shape for years and I'm an almost-middle-aged, dad-bod sporting, super-Gumby. There's not a mountain biker alive, or at least one that hasn't started e~doping, who couldn't have a great time on a single speed with great geometry. It's about patience and persistence.

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