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Znarf's posts

827 posts found

April 24, 2020, 3:19 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: NSMB - 2020 - Hardtail Thread

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!

April 14, 2020, 3:06 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: DVO forks, why are they rare as hens teeth?

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.

Feb. 27, 2020, 1:41 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Shimano brakes

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.

Feb. 17, 2020, 3:17 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Best Saddle of all time

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.

Feb. 12, 2020, 11:08 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Shimano brakes

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?

Feb. 10, 2020, 6:13 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Shimano brakes

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...

Jan. 23, 2020, 12:38 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

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!

Jan. 22, 2020, 9:40 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

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.

Jan. 15, 2020, 9:30 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

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

Jan. 14, 2020, 10:48 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

Posted by: tungsten

Posted by: Znarf

Posted by: tungsten

too steep

too low

nice though

What is too steep? =)

The seat tube angle is a revelation for long legged and or tall people.

I´ve spent the year on a V1 Madonna and have now sold off all my other bikes with different geometry. In comparison they are unridable.

Seriously - as good as the Madonna looks on paper - ride one and you will buy one if it generally is your type of bike and you have rowdy trails (and you've got LOADS of them in BC) ;-)

And then, a full riding season later you'll love it more, because the bearings are still clean and running smoothly and even if you HAD to change them, it is dead simple. On my boutique carbon bikes a bearing swap always felt like a cardiac medical transplant to me ;-)

I totally LOVE this bike!

Oh I'm just a little concerned about the rush to extremes. If seat tube was a degree slacker (I 172)* and bb 340 w/170 the want would be bad. Real bad.

The welding is beautiful.

Glad u lovin' yours.

CM better hurry up w/some deets before I buy a RipAF.........

*Know how road frame st angles get slacker the bigger the frame? Wish mtn bike makers would do similar but in reverse. WEithin reason...

Ok, I hear you :)

RAAW actually has exactly what you demand. Bigger frame sizes have steeper STAs and smaller a slacker one, also shorter and longer chainstays. Maybe not slack enough for what you want though? I find that ideal STA and shoe size influence each other actually, additional to size, leg length, proportions etc.

Jan. 14, 2020, 12:32 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

Posted by: tungsten

too steep

too low

nice though

What is too steep? =)

The seat tube angle is a revelation for long legged and or tall people. 

I´ve spent the year on a V1 Madonna and have now sold off all my other bikes with different geometry. In comparison they are unridable. 

Seriously - as good as the Madonna looks on paper - ride one and you will buy one if it generally is your type of bike and you have rowdy trails (and you've got LOADS of them in BC) ;-)

And then, a full riding season later you'll love it more, because the bearings are still clean and running smoothly and even if you HAD to change them, it is dead simple. On my boutique carbon bikes a bearing swap always felt like a cardiac medical transplant to me ;-)

I totally LOVE this bike!

Jan. 6, 2020, 2:32 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: EXO + vs Double Down for rear tire

I feel the Maxxis WT tires on 30mm rims in EXO or EXO+ (I don’t notice a big difference between these two) and a good insert work pretty flawless for my kind of riding on a 160mm 29er at 77kg rider weight.

No punctures and the casing lasts as long as the thread. Which isn’t the case on 2.3 Exo Maxxis tires for me. I can run them with an insert on 30mm rims and the same trails. But I will punch little holes in them and at some point the casing/tire will start to wobble and bleed sealant through the sidewalls and make the tire more or less unridable before the thread is worn out.

A proper balance between casing thickness and insert firmness combines advantages for me. Rim stiffness is very relevant for snakebite protection! On very stiff rims I flat my front wheel tire. On my vertically compliant Notubes Flow MK3 front rim I don’t flat.

I’d totally try a Exo/cushcore combination if I was in your shoes...

Dec. 18, 2019, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Running Inserts

I actually didn’t have trouble installing the ARD and tire on DT EX511 rims, Bontrager Line COMP and Notubes FLOW MK3 rims with 2.4 WT Maxxis tires. All are roughly 30mm iw

It even worked relatively straight forward with a 2.3 DHR2.

It’s absolutely helpful if you have a second pair of hands keeping the tire bead in the middle channel and it is an absolute must to start mounting the bead OPPOSITE to the valve.

But I can absolutely imagine how that asymmetric rim channel could make for a messy beer related rim job!

Dec. 16, 2019, 9:28 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Running Inserts

I am not the OP, but have been running the Nukeproof ARD for a full season on the rear wheel. They are pretty firm/hard, I wouldn’t expect a lot of extra damping, but they absolutely prevent pinch flats, are easy to mount and unlike Huck Norris or Marshguards FCK Flats they don't have a gazillion of little cuts, holes and punches once I have to swap my tire, because the thread is worn out.

I had a spoke coming loose with them on my rear wheel, which I didn’t have happen the last four seasons with Schwalbe ProCore neither with Marshguards FCK Flats. It were different wheels though and I’d tend to think it was a wheel issue mostly and less the firmer insert.

A couple of friends had to shorten (cut a piece out and reglue) their ARDs, because they grew in diameter and started to rattle pretty awful in the rim/tire. They all used Notubes sealant. I use e*thirteen tire plasma and mine didn’t grow. Coincidence maybe.

The provided tubeless valves didn’t work for most people I spoke to. They wouldn’t seal at the rim/valve hole properly. I use a ghetto valve (round cut out of an old tube) and that works without issue.

Generally I’d recommend them. Value is good.

Dec. 8, 2019, 12:53 p.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: June 29, 2006
Re: Does Carbon Handlebar make sense if....

Posted by: Timer

@Znarf: I know a few people who swear by Syntace bars, mostly because they can be had with a 12 degree backsweep. What sweep are you using?

That is right! Some people love the 12deg bars, but I much prefer the classic 8deg backsweep for technical riding. I like the 12deg for seated riding but don't get in a stable position standing up and descending etc. But they do offer most of their bars in 8 AND 12deg.

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