The comprehensive, omnibus Mountain Bike Thread

mtnbiker26

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Budget be damned, I just contacted Evo and went with the GX build instead. I guess the Pike fork is in fact that much better, as are the wheels/rims.

Any of you guys ride Wompatuck with any regularity? Anyone race the landmine classic this year? I'm usually in there a couple of times a week running, but the mtb scene seems to be going very strong. I won't stalk you or make you ride with me or anything weird, just curious.
Good call. NX isn't so great. If you hold it in your hands along with GX you can really tell a difference. The Pike is pretty decent, you'd have to spend almost a grand on a FOX to get any noticeable improvement. Be sure to play with the token spacers. It usually comes with two installed and will accept a max of four or five depending on model. They hog up internal volume which will affect the linear/progressiveness of the compression. Most guys run more tokens and less PSI which causes a softer initial travel for small bump compliance (less chattering through corners and less stepping out) with it firming up quickly on bigger hits to avoid bottoming.

I used to ride Wompatuck a lot since I worked at the shop that co-promotes the race. It's a strong MTB shop and Wompatuck is the home field. FOW (Friends of Wompatuck) also does a lot for the park and some of the members are serious riders so there's a strong push for mtb advocacy, trail maintenance, fundraising, etc.
 

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Alright, so after putting the bike together and playing around with the suspension over the weekend (easier said than done) everything is great except that I'm slowly losing air out the front tire. I can fill it at night and by morning it's noticeably softer. I've ridden it around a little, have spun the wheels in all sort of orientations, etc., but it keeps losing air. Slowly.

When I was putting it together I noticed that one of the valve stems wasn't screwed down tight. It shipped with the tires on and stuck to the rims but flat, so I basically screwed the stem down, filled them with air and threw them on.

If I can avoid take the tires off the rims I'd like to. I've had and mounted tubeless tires before, but haven't removed them, and don't completely know what to expect as far as the sealant mess goes. Do I need to unseat the tire and open it up, or can I get away with pulling the stem core and dumping some sealant in?
 

Masswhole

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Alright, so after putting the bike together and playing around with the suspension over the weekend (easier said than done) everything is great except that I'm slowly losing air out the front tire. I can fill it at night and by morning it's noticeably softer. I've ridden it around a little, have spun the wheels in all sort of orientations, etc., but it keeps losing air. Slowly.

When I was putting it together I noticed that one of the valve stems wasn't screwed down tight. It shipped with the tires on and stuck to the rims but flat, so I basically screwed the stem down, filled them with air and threw them on.

If I can avoid take the tires off the rims I'd like to. I've had and mounted tubeless tires before, but haven't removed them, and don't completely know what to expect as far as the sealant mess goes. Do I need to unseat the tire and open it up, or can I get away with pulling the stem core and dumping some sealant in?
Put in in thru the valve stem.
 

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You can pop the bead carefully and dump more sealant in or get a stem core remover and add it that way. I do the stem core and use a large syringe made for it. no mess
https://www.amazon.com/Stans-No-Tubes-2-Ounce-Sealant-Injector/dp/B001GSKL4A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1539617600&sr=8-2&keywords=stans+syringe&dpID=41j3FhSTPeL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch.

Mine still leak slowly even after I added more sealant. not sure if its the valve stems or the tires slowly seeping. But it is slow enough that I haven't felt the need to redo it
 

Supermoto

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You can remove a presta core with needle nose pliers. But the park tool makes it very easy.
I carry one and 2oz of sealant in case I get a puncture that the sealant isn't enough
 

mtnbiker26

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Yeah, Park valve core tool works well. It does Presta, Schrader and valve extenders.

Personally, I dislike the syringe because it tends to clog. I recommend buying a quart of Stan's AND one of the 2oz bottles. Remove the core, use the little bottle to add 2 ounces at a time.

Remember to shake the sealant bottle often during the setup. The particles quickly settle to the bottom.
 

new guy

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I didn’t get valve stems. There’s some kind of tape in there but it’s not laid down quite right.

Off to the local bike shop in the morning. I’m just glad I didn’t try to unseat the bead and pour a bunch of sealant in. Strange that the tube was leaking.
 

mtnbiker26

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Bikes never ship tubeless. They're in the box for months during shipping and storage. The air will weep, the bead will collapse and the sealant will leak everywhere. Tubeless Ready (or similar verbiage) just means that the bike includes tubeless compatible tires (lined with butyl on the inside to make them airtight) and can usually be setup tubeless with minimal work and expense. Typically, they're taped or come with a tubeless rim strip already installed and valves may or may not be included. You just need sealant and the labor to convert them. Keep the used tubes as your spares.
 

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Makes sense. This is the first time I’ve purchased a mountain bike from somewhere other than craigslist.
 

mtnbiker26

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I didn’t get valve stems. There’s some kind of tape in there but it’s not laid down quite right.

Off to the local bike shop in the morning. I’m just glad I didn’t try to unseat the bead and pour a bunch of sealant in. Strange that the tube was leaking.
Bring a wheel with you. The tape comes in many widths to fit the inner dimension of the hoop. It should go right to the edge so the tire bead will sit on the tape. Remember that the spoke bed is concave and it eats up tape width so you have to get wider than you might think. The shop might need to order the correct size. It's helpful to know that not all brands make all widths so it's possible that Stan's doesn't make the width you need but WTB does. Pull the old tape, clean with something like alcohol that will remove oil and adhesive but not soften the finish. Acetone is too strong. Re-tape the hoop and set it up with a tube for a few minutes so it smashes down the tape really well. Pull the tube out, install the valve and tire. Try to set it up dry to make sure your compressor has enough balls to seat the bead then deflate and add Stan's through the valve hole. Do it wrong and it's a giant mess. Do it right and you won't spill a drop. There is a risk of blowing the tire off of the rim and covering EVERYTHING with sealant so do the inflation somewhere it's ok to get dirty. I've seen it happen a few times and done it once myself.
 

mtnbiker26

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Makes sense. This is the first time I’ve purchased a mountain bike from somewhere other than craigslist.
A little off topic but bikes are in the box so long that Di2 bikes usually need firmware updates when they get built. I think six months to a year is typical.
 

new guy

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I figured Evo was putting the tires together as part of the build. The beads of the tires were actually stuck to the rim pretty good so I assumed it was sealant, but in hindsight that doesn’t make sense.

I actually switched my old Giant NRS to tubeless years ago. It was easy to do and it was more or less set it and forget it, for a couple of seasons anyway. Getting the tires on and off the rims is the worst part of it.
 

mtnbiker26

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....it was more or less set it and forget it, for a couple of seasons anyway....
Sealant is generally effective for six months to a year. It mostly depends on the volume of the tire and how much sealant is used. Weight wienies who only use two ounces of sealant will need to refresh it more frequently than the guy who dumps a half-pint in there. The original 2oz bottle of Stan's that came out around 2002 was designed for the 26 x 2ish being used at the time. I use 3oz for 29 x 2ish, 4oz for 27.5+ and all the new bikes with 29 x 2.6 or 2.8, and 8oz for fat bikes.

I ride year round so I tend to "re-Stan's" my wheels in the fall so the sealant is fresh and most effective during the winter. Fixing a flat on the side of the trail when it's 20 degrees and my hands are all wet with sealant is pretty miserable.

Be sure to use a little grease on the threads of your valve so the lockring won't seize on there. More than once I have seen a dude flat a tubeless and attempt to install a tube but the valve was stuck in the hoop. They're walking to the car unless that one guy in the group with the twenty-five pound Camelbak brought a Leatherman with the pliers. Every time you re-Stan's remember to pull the valve, clean and re-grease.
 

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Learning about using the center channel of a rim to get a tire on without levers was the best part of getting set up tubeless yesterday.
 

mtnbiker26

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Yup. Pinch the beads together and start opposite the valve stem. Work your way around and bring as much slack with you as possible. Finish at the valve. A lot times you can do it bare handed. Also, when you're struggling to roll the tire onto the rim, try not to use your thumbs so much, but rather use the area of your palm at the base of your fingers (most of us have calluses there) and drive that part of your hand against the tire to create friction and use your wrists to roll the bead up and over the hoop. It's almost like you're trying to give it an "indian sunburn".

Carbon hoops don't have hook beads, it's just smooth with no lip.The diameter of the hoop is slightly bigger so the tire fits tighter. There are also some flyweight carbon hoops that don't allow the use of tire levers because you'll break the hoop. You have to do it by hand and use all of the tricks at once or that second bead will never mount.
 

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Since no one's posted here in awhile...

Scenes from a work session: benching a reroute at River Highlands State Park yesterday:
20181201_093448.jpg 20181201_115518.jpg

Obligatory instructional diagram: [smile]

 

minininjer

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Very excited. I got a new bike today. Nothing "expensive" compare to all y'all's stuff but the last bike I bought was about 8 years ago and it was only $300. It was very ill fitting for me but I made it work and took it on frequent 10-30 mile rides on mixed paved and gravel trails and some dirt trails too. I haven't been on a bike outside for a year now since my torn hamstring surgery. Is it dumb I got one while it's winter? o_O Eh, I'll still take it out... def tomorrow! to just a local trail. Just sitting on a bike the dude at the store had me sit on for fitment and getting off, I could feel my ham being used (and not in a great way either) so I'll be taking it easy with the bike.



I might take that kickstand off... WTF, I didn't realize how huge it was until I got home with it...

hey, Supermoto... I definitely wanna try some singletrack sometime. Is Fountain Head ok for a super n00b? I think there is a beginner loop... what is that even like???
 

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Sweet bike.
I'm not sure how friendly the beginner loop is at fountain head. When I rode there. I was thinking, if this is considered a green, what the hell is the double black diamond going to be like. Other than a few spots, the big drops and jumps, the actual black diamond trail wasn't that much harder to ride. I would recommend Lorton as a good beginner place. Roseryville in Maryland is pretty beginner friendly Mtn Vernon park in Alexandria is good for beginners too. Plenty of paved bike trails around too.
 

new guy

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I was thinking of going out this afternoon. Expecting snow/ice/slush/mud. One of these days I’ll buy a rear fender too.

So what’s the deal, etiquette-wise, with riding when it’s super muddy? I know some online say you should stay home but others say it would mean missing 2/3 of the year.
 

Supermoto

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Generally it is frowned up when super muddy. But if its over frozen ground and there isn't a freeze thaw cycle, then its not as bad. People freak out when you ride in the mud because you ruin their nicely groomed, perfectly smooth trail that could be ridden on a road bike.
 

SpaceCritter

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Generally it is frowned up when super muddy. But if its over frozen ground and there isn't a freeze thaw cycle, then its not as bad. People freak out when you ride in the mud because you ruin their nicely groomed, perfectly smooth trail that could be ridden on a road bike.
Actually,

1. Ruts cause/worsen erosion, which means I have to go in and do remediation work afterwards - which, depending on how bad, could mean reroute and/or closure - and
2. It's bad PR with the other user groups and land managers, and bad PR can => loss of access. Before you go saying, "Well, the clodhoppers do as much damage and aren't even mindful of it!" Yes, I know. And they're irritating even in the winter when they're not doing "permanent" damage but rather just postholing. Thing is, by and large, and in most places and with most land managers, they have more clout than we do.

#1 = pissing me off (and everyone else who builds and maintains the trails you like to ride).
#2 = pissing off those who could kick us out, or get us kicked out.
 

Supermoto

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#1, you don't have to do remediation. Trails don't need to be dumbed down so everyone can ride them. They don't need to be smooth, flowy with no area that can't be ridden. Not every tree needs to be remove. Let trails wear in, let them evolve, if they get harder to ride then so be it. I have ridden the same trail system for 30 years, it get no trail work. The trails have worn in and stopped eroding, not every part is easy to ride, but it doesn't need to be.

#2 Everyone needs to stop expecting/ demanding smooth trails. To bad if some 40 year old soccer mom can't walk it while drinking her starbucks and yapping on her phone, its a trail in the woods, not a paved path. Plus It really doesn't benefit riders...here's an example. Mtn bikers did extensive trail maintenance to a local trail, they bench cut a 4 to 6 foot wide trail through the wood, removed any down tree and hardened any erosion area. Now the trail was smooth and flowy. But now also brutally fast for a flat curvy trail with no line of sight. They dumbed down the trail to the point the only way it was fun was at warp speed, they remove anything that would help control your speed. Mtn bikers got kicked out of there because the speed difference was too great. Plus the hikers complained the trail weren't like hiking in nature anymore. If they just left the trails alone, then they would have still been riding there.

This is the trail. they could have paved it and we would just all run slicks
wide trail.jpg
 
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