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andrewbikeguide's posts

53 posts found

Oct. 18, 2020, 9:50 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Re: The riddle of cleaning your helmet sponge

Pop the liner in a bucket with near cold water and Euculan (a gentle wool wash detergent - and then rest helmet on top of container so that straps sit in the water. Leave it to soak for a few hours (the light brown stain in the water will be a good clue!). Empty, fill bucket with clean cold water and leave both to sock for 30 minutes (this is the rinse), press mostly dry with a towel and hang to air dry. Job done, stink free and clean for another few rides.

April 24, 2018, 8:37 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Re: Dropper Question: Reverb vs Fall Line

Bear with as I have quite a bit to relate: I have had three Fall lines (and no not because they don't work!! I still own two of them). I started with the 150mm in my Nomad 3 (XL - rider 6'2" with 34" inseam). 9point8 sent it to me in March 2016 and it set up easily, although the original system of cable end at the post was far more finicky and a PITA to get perfect as one guess-imated and trimmed the correct cable housing length.

As soon as the Digit remote was available I bought one of them and it is far easier to set up.

Wear and tear? I rode 1800 km in training in three months, the 2018 Trans-Provence and guided all summer without an issue.

In November 2016, when it became available, I bought a 175mm dropper as there are times when the seat cannot be low enough with the 150mm!

I switched the 150mm to my fat bike and the only issue I had was a seat collar failure (and not from over torquing) where it cracked and a piece that surrounds the angle adjustment bolt fell away, luckily this happened on the trail to work rather than miles from home on a training ride.

9point8 responded to my email within five hours, I had a return label that evening and the seat post was re-built and returned to me within 10 days which is pretty good in my opinion. As it was not as a result of over torquing they even paid the shipping.

I am fairly certain that it might have been an invisible crack from a fairly big off (fell and flipped 12' off a rock wall into an olive tree, I don't know how I walked away from that one with only scratched and small rotor burn!!) during the Trans-Provence that finally failed and I told 9point8 that the dropper post had had a fairly active life including a few pretty decent crashes. The main point is, that other than the metal failure, the seal was perfect and the action almost as crisp as the first day.

My first 175mm 9point8 developed a leak last summer (full time guiding again so lots of miles and use - I use my dropper more than I change gears on a lot of trails) and it turned out that the schraeder valve core had become loose from trail vibration. I now carry a valve core tool but luckily, at the time, the maintenance chap at Tyax had a valve core tool for his ATV that he let me borrow.

I bought a full re-build kit and after watching the video (and having t available on my phone during the service) I managed a full re-build in about 40 minutes. Other than the brake release tool, which is fairly cheap to buy, it requires no tools that most keen mechanics don't already have in their tool kit.

So the 150mm post did a full (hard) summer and two winters and is now back on the Nomad 3 as it lives with its new owner.

My Sight has a new 175mm Fall line with Digit remote, and 300 km of spring training without a hint of trouble.

My Range has the 'old' 175mm Fall line with Digit remote which has 2800 km (mostly off road) on it but refreshed with a full rebuild kit.

I have also run Lev and Lev Integra (both pretty good) on older bikes and I have used Reverbs on rental/ demo bikes (even with the new remote it is still not as crisp feeling and the seat wobbles). The best I have got out of a Reverb is six days without an issue and I honestly believe that the hydraulic remote is the biggest weakness (now that the post seal overlap issue has been addressed - apparently) and those Reverb owners I know who have converted to something like the DeHy or Wolftooth ReMote Sustain seem to experience less problems.

The question of longer dropper posts exerting more force on the seals is just physics, of course they do which is why BikeYoke are proposing bigger tubes or integrating into the seat tube (34.9mm versus 31.6mm is a 10% increase in diameter let alone the increase in volume and surface area) to make the longer posts stronger and less likely to over-load the seals. But like suspension anything with a seal that experiences some small and continuous amount of lateral load has to be serviced and replaced eventually. The fact is the home rebuild on the Fall line is simple and relatively in-expensive.

Considering how well the Fall line works, how reliable it has been for me, how simple it is to set up and maintain, how there is only an hour down time for a full rebuild, the smooth light action and replaceable mounting bolt of the Digit remote and their customer service I just don't see why I would run anything other than a 9point8 dropper post.

March 30, 2018, 9:11 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Re: crank length

170 mm for the last ten years to counter the mid range sag when pedalling tech with VPP bikes, the extra 5mm clearance seemed to help a bit. 

The science behind shorter/ longer is varied but essentially if you are a spinner then shorter is better and if you are a pusher (or like standing a lot) then longer cranks make sense.

The opening the hip angle is also a very valid reason for shorter cranks.

March 29, 2018, 8:14 p.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

2018 Norco Sight C9.1 but I have removed a lot of the OE build parts (everything SRAM) and added everything that I prefer to run.

March 29, 2018, 4:58 p.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Re: long travel wagon wheelers

I just finished building this bad boy, 2018 Norco Sight C9.1. Two rides in and it is impressing me a lot. 130mm rear and a 140mm fork. Still playing with bar height but do not let the spacer stack fool you as the head tube is surprisingly short (104 mm). I will banter back and forth as required based on the responses.

XL frame

Fox 36 Factory Fit 4 140 mm with Vorsprung Luftkappe and Fractive Tune

Fox DPX2 rear shock

Shimano XTR M9020 crankset w Stages power meter

OneUp Components 30T Oval and Chain bash

e*thirteen TRS+ 9-46T 11 speed cassette

e*thirteen TRSr carbon 31 mmm wheelset w DT240 hubset

KMC XSL11-TiN chain

9point8 Fall line dropper 175mm w Digit Remote

XTR M9050 Di2 GS RD w M9050 RH Shifter and M9051 Controller

PRO Tharsis Di2 Carbon handle bar (780 mm)

PRO Tharsis Di2 Stem 45mm (0º rise)

Ergon GE1 Slim grips and SME3 Pro Carbon Saddle

XTR M9000 levers w Saint M820 callipers & metallic pads

Feb. 7, 2018, 4:18 p.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Re: Hey single-bike people - how often do you get a new bike?

Posted by: ReductiMat

Thanks shoreboy, I forgot about Princess Auto.. probably the same one that KMS sells.  Would you agree that for the amount it's needed for bikes, it'd make no difference than buying "a good one"?

I have the exact same one and for the number of times it gets used each year (even with three bikes and helping friends who don't own a bearing puller) it is more than well enough built. RRP and RWC make far sexier ones but they are also 3-4 times the price.

May 15, 2016, 8:58 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Bronson sizing question


Measure your current bike for these measurements:

seat (the point directly above the centre line of the seat post with the dropper extended) to centre of handle bar in the stem.

centre of bottom bracket to the centre of the end of grip (with stem pointing straight ahead).

end of grip (centre) to the floor (direct right angle) again with stem pointing stright ahead.

These dimensions essentially do not change across similar style bikes. Across 20 years of competing at WC level Steve Peat's grip to floor measurement has changed less than 10mm even with all the changes to frame geometry, stem length, suspension travel and bar width.

This is the fit that you want or need to be comfortable on a bike (ie ride for hours or ride well).

If there is anything lacking on your current bike ie you would like the reach to be a little longer then factor this into your calculation when comparing the Bronson.

Get as close as possible factoring the size stem you think you will be using/ want to use.

Short answer is if the Large Bronson is close to your current fit or the additional reach you are trying to achieve then there is no need to size up. If you can only get the dimensions you want by running a 70 mm or longer stem (or worse, being tempted to slide your seat back on the rails (worst set up mistake ever)) then perhaps you will be missing the point of the modern frame/ geometry and should look at the extra-large.

For example a friend has a Bronson V2 and a Nomad and he is running a 50mm stem on the Nomad and a 40mm stem on the Bronson (both size large and he is 5'10").

If you PM me your current bike frame and size I can work it out for you if this does not make sense.

Jan. 22, 2015, 10:44 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Tires 27.5

Good combo but I find that Specialized tyres wear almost as fast as Maxxis do

Jan. 19, 2015, 7:20 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Continental Mountain King II - Pressure advice

You failed to mention what compound you used for the other tires as that definately has an effect on tire wear.

Fair enough.

Maxxis 3C or Super Tacky, doesn't really make much difference to overall wear, just the ST are less likely to suddenly lose entire knobs during that final 2-3 days when one is trying to get the most out of the tyre but knows that it really should be replaced.

Schwalbe Vertstar: as grippy as Black chilli but rolls slower and wears way faster, slightly grippier than 3C but maybe it is just the difference in tread patterns (Schwalbe to Maxxis).

Schwalbe Trailstar: not as grippy as Black chilli still rolls slower (especially Hans Dampf) and still wears faster.

A Magic Mary made out of Black chilli rubber with their Enduro weight case (or the new Procore) might be the ultimate tyre for all round but as it doesn't exist I am more than happy with the Trail Kings.

Jan. 18, 2015, 6:36 p.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Tires 27.5

Conti Trail King Protection Black chilli front/ Mountain King Protection Black Chilli rear
2.4" if you are bigger/ ride really hard or 2.2" if you are a little lighter or not so hard on your gear or a bit of weight saving.

Better grip than the HRII (IMO), roll just as well (or faster in the case of the MKII) and better wear.

Jan. 18, 2015, 10:32 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Continental Mountain King II - Pressure advice

I've read a lot about them, and a number of folks were saying they couldn't be happier. Even some of those UK guys who apparently ride in slop all year round were praising them.

Obviously Hans Dampfs are at the top of my list for a replacement. The question is: how do they wear?

Perhaps the aforementioned solution of saving them for summer is the way to go.

Hans Dampf are a great tyre but last about 50% of the time compared to a Mountain King.

My wear and tear list (based on 100 days per year in the bike park) goes like this:

Conti Trail King: 40 days
Conti Kaiser Projekt: 30 days
Schwalbe Hans Dampf/ Magic Mary: 20 days
Maxxis HR II/ DHF: 12-15 days
Maxxis DHR: 10-12 days

Rear tyre always goes off about five days before the front. I have a swap rotation system so I never have a new rear tyre pushing an old front tyre.

I find that the Conti and Schwalbe are equally grippy, both are more grippy than the Maxxis. I find a similar wear rate on my trail bikes but obviously the tyres last a lot longer.

Just my two cents worth but after 7 years of full time spring/ summer and autumn biking in Whistler it is what I have found works.

Heard great things about the Specialized tyres but similar wear rates to the Schwalbe. Not really tried anything else as nothing seems to compare to the grip and wear of the Conti.

Jan. 18, 2015, 10:13 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Continental Mountain King II - Pressure advice


I've recently mounted up some Conti MK2's tubeless (Protection, Black Chilli 2.4). I've read a lot about these tires. Most of it good.

Maybe I'm missing something, but wet/damp weather traction is severely lacking. I've been thinking that perhaps my pressures are off.

My question would be: What pressures are you guys running with your tubeless setup? (Or even with tubes for that matter)

My last set of tires I was running at around 28-32 for most conditions, but maybe the sidewall was flimsier. Bontrager XR4 (first gen) for reference.

I don't want to go burping this tire around every corner just so I can ride when it's damp.

Firstly asking a question about the pressures should include what bike you ride and what you weigh. Also where you ride ie trails would be useful too.

I ride all trails in Whistler and these are my 'go to' tyre for all round riding and have been for the past three years. The key to them is a: run them tubeless and b: get there tyre pressures right for the conditions.

I rode them on my Blur TRc (125mm ) and now on my Nomad 3 (160 mm) and I weigh 102 kg with my riding gear on.

Summer (when you are generally travelling faster): front: 24-26 psi, rear: 25-27 psi depending on how rocky the terrain is, ie slightly higher pressures when it is rockier.

Winter (when you are more likely to be travelling more slowly): front: 20-22 psi, rear: 22-24 psi depending on how rocky and how wet the trails are.

Basically the faster I think I will be travelling on chundery/ rocky trails, I stick to the higher end of those pressures. More loam, wetter, less speed, wetter roots I drop to the lower end of the pressures.

I start my rides at the higher end as it takes less time to burp tyres than inflate them on the trail.

These are awesome tyres and 95% of the negs come from forum jockeys who have never ridden them or are the sort of rider who think that it is still 1995 and we should be riding 2.4" modern trail tyres with 30-32 psi in them.

If you want an even more capable tyre (with a little extra weight) for serious grip and that is less sensitive to tyre pressure set up then try the Conti Trail King. I run the 2.4" Trail Kings on my V-10.5 as well as they are a fast grippy tyre. Even for DH I only run 26 psi front and 29 psi rear(tubeless). Three flats over the past four years (riding about 200 days per year) two from faulty beads (faulty batch of Trail Kings which were replaced on warranty) and one cut side wall on a Mountain King in a very fast rocky trail.

Oct. 20, 2014, 10:12 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Winter Riding Footwear

@craw I have used Seal Skinz for years, run a thin pair of cycling socks underneath for extra comfort, but I find them to be pretty good. No hot spots even when walking. Take up about the same room as a thick pair of woolen socks worth thinking about when sizing your shoes. I can lace mine so that I can wear thin cycling socks (Dissent) in summer and Seal Skinz in autumn (winter is all about the skiing!).

Oct. 20, 2014, 10:09 a.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Winter Riding Footwear

The new 5.10 Impacts, either flat or clipless versions (I have both), are lighter, warmer and more water resistant (I will not say proof) than the original/ older models. Combine with a set of Seal Skinz socks for cold weather/ lots of puddles and one should keep fairly dry and toasty feet on the pedals for 99% of the ride.

April 6, 2014, 3:44 p.m.
Posts: 53
Joined: Sept. 14, 2008
Sticky 27.5 xc tires

If you have a wider inner rim profile 23-24mm then you can run the 2.2" and still get a good tyre profile.

I have run Continental Black Chilli tyres for three years now (including on my downhill bike). Be careful with buying UST models as some are not made with the Black Chilli compound. I believe that they are sticker than Super Tacky and last much longer.

I get 10-15 days out of a Minion 3C or ST on my DH bike and get better grip for 30-40 days out of the Trail King (2.4" UST Black Chilli).

Front grip more important than anything: Trail King 2.2" Protection on the front, Mountain King 2.2" Protection on the rear.
All round: Mountain King 2.2" Protection front and rear.
Decent grip but low rolling resistance: Mountain King 2.2" Protection front and X-King 2.2" Protection on the rear.

Bump it up to the 2.4" models if you need more tyre volume because you are either a big guy or ride heavy.

I am running Trail King 2.4" UST on my DH bike in summer and I run Mountain King 2.4" Protection on my trail bike (blur Trail C) all year round.

I'm going to be running the Trail King/ Mountain King combo in Spring/ Autumn and Mountain King/ X-King combo in summer once it's dry on my Nomad 27.5.

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