But if all E-MTB discussions end in a certain argument or line of logic - maybe this should be called empirical evidence and be treated in a rational manner?
Joined June 29, 2006
Posted in Maxxis DHF MaxxGrip or Assegai MaxxGrip
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Posted by: grambo
I ran a DHR II ...
Posted in NSMB - 2020 - Hardtail Thread
2 months, 2 weeks ago
Bling bike, very cool!
What kind of 36 ...
Posted in DVO forks, why are they rare as hens teeth?
2 months, 3 weeks ago
Posted by: JVP
I've got about a ...
Posted in Shimano brakes
4 months, 2 weeks ago
My new 8120 XT 4piston brakes work great ...
Posted in Best Saddle of all time
4 months, 3 weeks ago
I ride the SQLAB 611 Active 14cm, my ...
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A friend of mine is working for and with Schwalbe. He is very resourceful and a tinkerer, the most nerdy (in a good way) biker I know. Rides with him turn the uphills into incredibly interesting and controversial discussions on nerdy bike topics. Tire compounds were the thing for many 2018 rides =)
He was closely involved with the development and testing of the new ADDIX compounds a couple seasons back and tested all kinds of attributes and behaviors of different makes and compounds both in the lab and on the bike.
If I sum up his findings (to my best ability) he stated that current soft compounds are massively better in varying temperature ranges than those from ten years ago. Like with car tires, wear and tear (knobs tearing out) will increase massively when you run winter tires in very hot temperatures. Also, summer tires will harden significantly below 7deg C.
Maxxis recommended the 60a tires because of knobs tearing with soft compounds in winter. At the same time, grip will suffer because the compound hardens. A soft tire will feel pretty close to a harder compound below zero. But there seem to be big differences for different compounds. Oil viscosity vs. temperature seems to be a great analogy.
In my experience you can feel those alleged differences at temperatures right around the freezing point of water or slightly above, when you have frozen soil, ice, mud and wet, slimy roots. Your super grippy tires will feel not that grippy at all.
Same trails, same tires, same rider and 5 degrees lower (everything's frozen solid) - you'll have loads of grip. (on BOTH soft and harder compound tires).
All that is pretty theoretical - I'll happily run my Maxxis 3c MaxxTerra or Addix Soft tires front and rear all year round. Swapping tires is a little bit messy with sealant and the 2.5 Shorty WT works pretty okay in almost any condition.
What are your feelings on low temperates and very soft tire compounds? Some soft compounds harden very significantly below 7deg Celsius. At freezing temperatures this becomes very noticeable. The older Schwalbe Vertstar tires were awful, the ADDIX Soft and Super soft are a lot less awful in the cold.
Maxxis even recommended the dual 60a compound for low temperatures because of this.
Continental Black Chili is said to be good in this regard.
Maxxis 3c Maxxterra works pretty well, but also gets harder and louder when cold. At least in my experience.
It'd be very interesting (and nerdy) to see a systematic test between different compounds and their behavior at cold temperature...
I experimented with GX Eagle at some point, but ultimately didn't need a 500% range, as either I could as well push the bike once I needed a 30x50t on very, very steep climbs or I could reach crazy speeds with a 34 or 36x10t - and I would only reach these on the road realistically, as I just don't launch these gigantic Grand Canyon gaps. Or if I do, there's usually enough "gravity" or slope involved.
But I had to pedal around a gigantic, clanky cassette with a very long cage derailleur and LOADS of chain length.
I went back to my 10-42t 260g XX1 11spd cassette and a 28t on my LT 29er with 11spd Shimano RD. That works for me even on very steep uphills (Alps) and 28x10t x29" 2.5 tires is plenty of top-speed for me.
I´d love a 10 or even 9spd version, if durability was noticeably better. But I´d guess there'd be a point where gearing differences become coarse. Manageable but coarse...
I don't know if links are permitted on numb.com? But have a look at:
I find the drag and drop and customizable interface really helpful for figuring out gearing and comparing different drivetrains and wheel sizes etc.
I’d be interested if the seat angle is great even for really long-legged people? 76 sounds steep BUT:
My RAAW Madonna sports a 78.2deg effective and 74 actual seat angle. And I feel it is perfect. No need to ride your enduro rig with less sag to not make it slump on steeper climbs, no back pain. And with a 210mm dropper it is fantastic up and down. With less drop the saddle doesn’t move enough, with that steep an angle. (no theories here, I actually tried and tested these combinations a lot over the last couple of years)
I also have a 29er Orbea Rallon which sits around 76degrees, varying with bb settings.
At almost 37“ inseam, 76 is tolerable, but the 78 is really a lot better on a slack bike with lots of rear travel - for climbing and pedaling from and to the trails. Also dropper posts last longer for me on bikes with steep actual ST angles.
Could you maybe measure the actual seat tube angle?
The new Enduro looks great - but this detail could make or break the bike for tall/long-legged folk.
I’ve been riding a Raaw Madonna since March this year. I bought it as a backup for my carbon Orbea Rallon 29 and intended to primarily ride the Orbea and the Raaw for winter rides or when something on the Rallon is broken only.
Since I took delivery of the Madonna I didn’t touch the Orbea once. Even though the Rallon is a great bike, too.
The Madonna felt absolutely spot on for me from the first minute. I have had a lot of nice bikes (instead of owning decent cars) over the years, but very few felt as great from the get go to me.
If you ride a lot, the Madonna is a fantastic bike. It’s incredibly solid, the performance of the rear suspension is absolutely superb! I love the geometry and especially the longer chainstays and absolutely find it strikes a great balance of confidence and flickability. It climbs great, the seat angle is perfect for long legs, even better than the Rallon‘s.
I believe that the bearings and frame parts will last for a couple of seasons, for real! Most bikes I get around a full season max before the bearings are not rough, but stuck! Also, another unexpected side effect of the alloy frame: it stopped my whimsy fussing about getting the frame dinged/scratched/clamped/crushed in transport (train, ferry, roof rack, shuttling, lift) etc. Carbon frames are strong while riding, but I worried (and actually destroyed one) about them all the time...
And yes, it is not cheap, but when handling the frame in person, it’s incredibly well built and in my opinion worth the price.
If there is a chance for a test ride, do it!
I am not sponsored or affiliated with RAAW in any way. I just own one and paid full retail for it.
It would be a gross generalization (and a wrong one imho) that "Europeans accept e-bikes". Most of my serious (bio-biking) buddies don't accept e-bikes. They feel that e-biking is a totally different sport and not the right one for most of them. (on trails for recreation).
There are however TONS of people who never actually rode their bikes and now ride e-bikes a lot. But most of them will not ride trails, only bikepaths or bike lanes. They often lack skill and our endurance to ride the heavy bikes safely on trails.
And then there is the group of e-mountainbikers on trails, which consists mostly of fit-ish younger guys too lazy to ride proper bikes. Some of them don't know trail etiquette, because they just ordered their e-bike online after watching rad youtube-vids with loads of skidding and sick e-bike jumps.
And then there are 0.01% former real bikers, who can't ride because of some health issues or really old age. And if they can ride again on an e-bike, I am all for it. Truth to be told, these cases are pretty rare.
If it was up to me, I´d ban e-bikes on trails, but introduce a special permit for people with a certificate of disability.
For commuting and general recreation riding (not on trails) an e-bike is LOADS more efficient than your average Best-Ager Mercedes Cabriolet - so I am all for it.
@Dolomite - e-lobbying across the big pond, eh?
I live in Southern Germany (and manage and build a legal trail system here) and I travel a lot with my mountain bike, all over Europe and have spent quite a bit of time in BC and North America as well, biking.
Just for the record, I disagree with several of your "conclusions" and "facts".
1. the Dolomites, parts of Austria and South Tyrol DONT have THE best trails in the world. There are great trails in these regions, but that is true for a lot of regions. I don´t know if you´ve ridden all regions world wide a lot, but if you don´t, you just can´t speak of "world´s best".
2. E-Bikes and trail access are absolutely not without trouble (in Europe) and I for example have certainly NOT understood the potential of E-Bikes the way you have. I however understand that there´s a boat load of POSSIBLE trouble.
3. As with guns, not E-bikes kill trails, but some people riding them ;-) I´ve experienced douchebag non-e-bike behaviour on trails over the last twenty years. And I´ve experienced douchebag e-bike behaviour on trails. If you have physical ability as a selecting factor (only dedicated people get to 6000ft mountain tops self propelled) there´s a humbling element. Lazy people just don´t go there a lot. And if you´ve climbed LOADS you just don´t argue. You sit there and nibble your energy bar and some water, content with little stuff.
Add a motor though and things get ugly. I KNOW - riding an e-bike can be very exhausting. And absolutely not everyone who rides one is lazy or a douchebag. In fact, there´s no reason that regular mtbers are douchebags, too. And in lift or shuttle assisted riding areas the douchebag factor is higher as well. But suddenly every "regular" tough climb is not as strenuous as before. You´ll have e-bikers speeding climbing trails. And some who don´t. But what´s the point of lugging 5kgs of motor and battery and NOT speed? You could just ride a regular bike...
Yeah - you can rack five times as much elevation a year with your e-bike. But know what? I could multiply that with my car. And could even do it in the rain, without getting wet. In fact - I could do it with a bike on my roof rack. =)
To be fair, as long as you ride your e-bike responsibly, I couldn´t care less if you ride e or non-e. Have fun and enjoy yourself. But just to give the Canadians here a second, non-e opinion I thought I´d contrast your pro-e-bike european opinion with a european non-e-opinion...
Also try Syntace bars. They come in 12deg also, loads of different rises, widths and materials. Not cheap, but probably the highest quality bars and stems you can buy. Don't know if they're available in Canada though?
Posted by: grambo
I ran a DHR II DH casing up front for a month on my DH a couple seasons ago while waiting for Addix Magic Marys to arrive. Maybe it was my imagination but it felt like I could notice the 2.4 was narrower/smaller profile than a 2.5 DHF or 2.35 Magic Mary at the time. Felt fast and cornered same as DHF, definitely more braking traction, but just felt small volume wise. I think they make a 2.5WT DHR II now.
I felt like the 2.4 WT DHR II has noticeably/perceivably less volume than a 2.5 DHF WT and a more square shape on the same rim and therefore didn’t like it as much as a front tire. Braking traction was very good, cornering not bad, but different compared to the DHF.
I like the DHR II as a rear tire though, Vice versa for the DHF.
I bet I could get used to both given enough time. But I prefer more cushion up front and a bit more square profile for the rear wheel.
Bling bike, very cool!
What kind of 36 fits a 29x3.0" tire - is that a regular 29" 36 or is there such a thing as a dedicated 29+ 36?
That tire looks massive!
Posted by: JVP
I've got about a year on the Onyx SC in 27.5 flavor. Came from a 2017 Fox 36 RC2, with some time on a Lyrik from a few years ago. I'd say the DVO is a little less refined with occasional noise from the OTT negative coil spring near top-out (don't notice it riding), but plusher, stiffer, supportive, more durable, and easier to work on. Biggest current DVO downside is lack of offset options and the odd almost-at-top-out noise/clunking in the parking lot. Biggest positives are reliability, and combination of plush and supportive.
Durability: The DVO is a lot more durable than the 36, which is why I made the switch. I was one of the people that would kill CSUs every few months. DVO is a little heavier (200-ish grams), which is what I wanted for my trail/everything bike. The DVO also runs 40cc of bath oil in both legs, which is freaking awesome for keeping it feeling good when it's not fresh.
Damping: I was super happy with the Fox 36 RC2, but the DVO feels great. DVO stuff is generally lightly damped, so I run the LSC at 3 of 6 all the time, where the Fox was close to open. The Onyx LSC adjustments could be finer, I really only use the #3 setting. I run HSC fairly close to closed (1/3 to 1/4 out), where the 36 was set fairly open, plus a bottom-out token. The Onyx is really well controlled, I quite like it, but the Fox has more usable adjustments and LSR + HSR, while the DVO is LSR only. No complaints with the Onyx default HSR shim, it's where I want it as an aggressive 190lb non-racer, handles bomb-holes and flat landings nicely.
Air spring: I quite like the DVO, but also liked the Fox. Wasn't a fan of older RS air springs, they felt wallowy. I've got the Onyx set a few psi more than they recommend, and the OTT 9 turns in to add plushness at the beginning stroke. I ran 6cc extra oil in the air chamber at 160mm, now at 170mm I'm running it stock. Lots of mid-stroke support, which is sweet. DVO wins on this one.
Service: DVO crushes the Fox here. Lower leg service is easy with no special tools. Fox is easy, too, but you need to be morecareful knocking out the threaded pieces when pulling the lowers (get the expensive lower removal tool for the damper-side). Rebuilding and bleeding the damper is super easy on the DVO, which saves $170/year. I just had to make a damper cup thingy from a Nuun tablet package (or buy the bleed cup from DVO). I always found the FOX RC2 rubber bladder was totally bungled after a year, Grip2 probably fixed that. I eventually stopped doing my own damper service on Fox so that I could get new CSU every time I sent it in to Fox.
The only thing that is fiddly on the Onyx is changing travel, but at least the travel spacers are cheap. DEFINITELY buy a burly automotive-style pin spanner like this one or you'll wreck shit. It's easy once you have this tool and some Loctite. The DVO spring-side lower oil does look uglier than the Fox ever did when I service them about 3x/year, but that's because it's mixing with grease from the OTT spring. I'm fine with that.
Support: DVO (in the States, at least) is second to none. A tech guru (Ronny, from back in the Marzocchi days) actually takes your phone calls, doesn't bullshit questions when asked, and will even give you advice on re-shimming (needed on the original Jade shock, which I didn't like and sold). Most parts available on their website and not a ripoff.
That's great and detailed insight, thanks for taking the time to write that! Refreshing and a good read, even though I am not in the market for a DVO fork. I DO kill Fox CSUs regularly, though.
My new 8120 XT 4piston brakes work great so far. They are a bit stronger and modulation is a tad more predictable compared to my 8020s (which are good, except for the flexy lever clamps).
I really like the wider lever blades. Bitepoint is pretty consistent so far.
Annoying: I-Spec EV might be a great thing, but with adapters and some fettling to fit Ispec II (which works) ergonomics are not ideal. My matchmaker compatible wolftooth remote is angled too far away, my ispecII-XT-trigger sits too close to the bars. It works, but not great.
I ride the SQLAB 611 Active 14cm, my sit bones measure 12,5cm roughly. The saddle is very comfortable, after you find the right angle with some experimentation. And a minuscule difference in angle makes the difference between discomfort and comfort, more than on conventional saddles imho.
It isn't super squishy though, pretty firm. The 612 is even LESS squishy. Don't know how it rides without a chamois.
They have squishier saddles though. They look a bit different, but a comfortable saddle may be more tolerable than an ugly one?
The 60X for example has more padding, without being a full blow trekking bike saddle. It's designed for e-mtbs - if you can get past that, it might fit the bill...
Even more padding on the 610. I rode that without chamois on my commuter for a while, worked great for me.
On my steep seat tube, long reach bikes (upright seated pedal position) I really DID have to go a bit wider on my saddles. And the SQLab shape with these weird steps really works for me. I don't have to angle the nose down, which has different draw backs...
I first rode the SQLAB 611 in 15cm. It was very comfortable for my sit bones, my legs rubbed the part between the nose and the tail, where the saddle tapers out. That made pedaling harder and while it didn't really hurt got uncomfortable over time.
The 14cm wide model is really only a tiny bit narrower at the tapered part, but I can ride it for hours without any issue and my legs feel much fresher.
I am 77kg and not very fleshy around the sit bones. I prefer a tad more padding.
If I recall right, Shimano did recommend the gravity bleed in their manuals even way back. (My 755 XT´s manual stated this way back). Of course they didn't recommend it WITHOUT the bleed nipple, but with a hose attached. And without spilling oil all over the procedure is even simpler. Dirt gets flushed out anyway?
Or are there any other advantages without the bleed nipple?
The (imho) most plausible explanation I've read somewhere is a tolerance/variance in bores and holes somewhere between the fluid in the line and the fluid in the reservoir. When viscosity changes (either very hot or very cold temperatures) and you pump the lever quickly for several times, your bite point can vary, because the amount or pressure (not sure how to express that properly in English) of fluid in the line changes and equalization sometimes doesn't result quickly enough. Depending on the fluid (some use Putoline 2,5WT fork oil and claim that it solves the "issue") and probably also the degree to which the bore or hole is smaller than it should be for a quicker equalization the bite point will wander a little or a lot. The problem seems to occur more often and in stronger form at the rear brake, which has more fluid (longer line), smaller rotors and gets dragged more. Which makes a fluid/equalization issue more probable.
Closed system hydraulic brakes like the Hope C2 or the Magura HS33 rim brakes can show a similar, but more dramatic, behavior.
If the brakes are not bled very thoroughly you can probably have the above issue and ALSO bite point wandering because of air somewhere in the system at the same time. Also a misaligned caliper and sticky piston, pad wear and worn rotors.
Combine all that and internet message boards...
However: Shimano DID warranty the odd brake. But they warrantied quite a lot of M8000 XTs back from the first batches. I warrantied a M8000 right hand lever and saw a couple of pairs go through my LBS for warranty.
Now I am riding M8020s (same lever, 4pot caliper) and they are almost not showing this behavior.
I bought some M8120s and am curious how these will feel. Mostly for the fatter lever blade and the stiffer clamp.
My personal voodoo, apart from not bleeding my brakes while drunk, is to lube the lever piston with a q-tip and some mineral oil. I swear it solves the issue!
As the mineral oil doesn't damage my paint and is not THAT poisonous I don't mind bleeding my Shimano brakes. With the little plastic bucket it is so easy...
Posted by: Hepcat
Posted by: human_touch
Hey, I'm looking for a new bike, shortlisted GeoMetron G1 and Raaw Madonna V2. Ridden G1 on 2 occasions, second time with full setup for my weight and style. Liked the bike, felt very confidence boosting on steep tech stuff. Unfortunately didn't have chance to test its behaviour on slower trails with closed turns and tight switchbacks - I'm bit worried how the slack HA would impact the behaviour there.
It's a legit concern. Couple common examples: Turn downs on Upper Tall Cans and the tighter turns of 7th Secret are noticeably more awkward on a long travel 29er, for me at 5'10" anyways.
Butt buzz on steep roll ins is something to take note of too.
Lots of positives to offset these points, but might as well go into it eyes wide open.
That's right! Keep frame sizes and body dimensions in mind! One man's (or woman's) trash can be another man's gold!
For me at 6" I´ve never buzzed the rear tire on my 29er, 27.5er and 26ers and find tight corners pretty manageable, I loved 7th secret and the tighter sections on Crinkum Crankum and lower part of Kirkford even more on my long 29er compared to my moderate wheelbase 27.5er and short wheelbase 26er (three visits to the NS). But I have a tall inseam and shorter bikes now feel awkward (and in retrospective always have, I just didn't know better), because I never really knew where I should fold my long arms and legs into or around the small, cramped space between the bars and the pedals =)
But that will absolutely vary with body dimensions, riding style and preference. And I met enough people who totally outride me on short and or otherwise very different bikes.
One area which I personally find very difficult with long bikes: Slow speed drop off style stunts with short, flattish sniper landings with subsequent stunts and or ledges following immediately. I struggle to place the long bike in between obstacles and went over the bars twice in the last two seasons. Rider error. Some old school stunts are really dangerous on these newish bikes, when downtube or chainring scrape the lip or run-in of a steep low speed crawl roller. (like the one on 7th secret at the inside of a sharp left-hand turn, if I remember correctly.
Looking at some gnarly old school stunt features I can totally wrap my head around how someone could design a long travel freeride bike with 68degree head angle, but 180mm travel, 365mm bb height, 380mm reach and high-rise bars. I recently hopped on such a bike though and rode it for a bit. It was nostalgic -> in the sense that I felt like I could go over the bars unintentionally even on level ground.
Modern bikes are fantastic!
I haven’t ridden a G1, but I bet it is a great bike!
I love my Madonna V1 (which is obvious at that point). I can only add that I disassembled my frame yesterday, checked all the bearings and cleaned it thoroughly.
Even after a full season in dusty and then wet and nasty conditions they were all fine AND the grease around and on (and inside probably) the bearings also was still virgin fresh. (there are sealed caps around the sealed bearings). Best thing was, the total disassembly and the assembly were a breeze. No pressure or convincing was necessary to reassemble pivots and frame parts - fool proof and no corners cut during construction. (which can’t be said about my last couple of boutique frames I disassembled, with the exception if Santa Cruz).
But I guess Nicolai should be absolutely comparable!
Regarding geometry - then pros far outweigh the cons if you don’t buy an XL at your height. You’ll manage tighter corners after a couple of weeks and maybe you’ll wonder how you could ride too small bikes for so long :)
I ride a Madonna V1 in large. I have ridden my buddies XL often as well. At 6“ both work and I can happily ride the XL with a bit shorter stem (mine has a 40mm his a 30mm). A Large should be a great fit for you.
My first bike with a low bottom bracket was a Santa Cruz Heckler (2003 model) - the bb height resulted in a couple of nasty crashes where I accidentally placed the pedal somewhere at speed where I shouldn’t have.
I then adjusted to it and while I was a bit scared for a while, the riding and cornering characteristics of the low bb where something I didn’t want to miss.
With the yet lower bb of new school enduro bikes, where bb height hovers right at the „very dangerously low“ point, I find dynamic ride height is critical.
On my 2018 Orbea Rallon 29“ BB drop is 28mm in the higher and 35mm in the lower setting (same 35mm like on my RAAW).
I crash and find pedal clearance not sufficient on the Orbea with the lower setting, but on the Madonna I can absolutely get away with that. Static sag is comparable. At the same sag the Madonna is more sensitive yet doesn’t mush in the mid stroke as much.
I do notice when my shock is quite a bit underinflated and too soft, edgy roll-ins into rock rollers then give crunchy noises.
I absolutely have to admit that slim pedals and 170mm cranks help. I really couldn’t imagine the bb getting any lower on this kind of bike. And I also hope I don’t accidentally land a big jump or drop with one pedal in the 6 o’clock position :D