Downhill Bike or Trail Bike? | Ask GMBN Anything About Mountain Biking


(intense boom)
(splash) – Right, welcome to this week’s Ask GMBN and we’ve Chris to help me out this week. All good information, I hope. Got some cool corrections,
actually, from last week’s show. Tastemoze actually told me
that KMC make gold chains, so I was talking about that last week. Somebody really wanted the SRAM one, but there’s multiple options out there. And Lisa Rogers also told me
about converting from seven or eight speed up to 11 speed. Actually, do you remember,
Chris, back in the day, a seven speed was actually
narrower than an eight speed, so- – I do, yeah, I do remember those. – I didn’t know that-
– I didn’t know that either. – Because my retro bike I’ve
got, I did have seven speed, but you have to run a spacer on there. – Yeah, on the cassette, you mean. – So you can go from eight
to 11, but not seven to 11. So there you go! All the good info. Right, let’s get into
the proper questions. – Cool.
– So! Wrath of Gods is planning to compete in the Mountain of Hell. Have you ever done that?
– Never done it. It’s been on my to-do
list, but never done it. – Yeah, so Alpe d’Huez
holds the Megavalanche and then Les Deux Alpes, on
the other side of the valley, holds Mountain of Hell. Super gnarly, same sort of style event. – Right. So really hard. – So Wrath of Gods, yeah, he’s got a Canyon Sender downhill bike, 200 mil traveled, of course,
or he’s got a Canyon Neuron which is a 29er, 110-mil
traveled trail bike. Says “watched the Mountain
of Hell runs on Youtube, “I can tell the race
is 80 percent downhill “and 20 percent uphill.” From what I know, that
is about, yeah. ‘Cus- – Yeah, that kind of
like, mega star, there. – Yes, there is pedalin’ involved, but doesn’t know what bike to take. Obviously, the sender’s
good for the downhill part, it’s gonna be a massive workout. What would you reckon? – I don’t know, I done the
Megavalanche, which is, as you said, just on the other side, and that was probably the
hardest event I’ve ever done in my life.
– True. – Yeah, it was really-
you’ve done it, as well? – I did, yeah, I did it
on a Santa Cruz Nomad back in the day, it was 50 minutes of a really tough workout, to be fair. – I had a few mechanicals
as well on the way, so it didn’t help. But yeah, it’s literally the
hardest race I’ve ever done. But my gut feeling with that
one, I would probably go for that short travel bike, I think. Would you agree?
– I would as well. If I was racing that, I
would take the Neuron. – For racing, for sure. But, as I said, if you want to enjoy it, that downhill bike would be a lot more fun but those climbs, especially
on the Mega, were super steep. You wouldn’t get that up
them on a downhill bike. – Yeah, I can see it from both angles. Friends of mine have done
the Mega on downhill bikes for fun, purely for fun, they want to bomb the downhill stuff, they’ll get off and
they’ll push them up hills. So it’s one of those,
do you want to race it, then take Neuron, if you
want to go there for fun, I would take – – Obviously, those newer
bikes are a lot more capable as well, so, yeah, I would go for that short travel bike and get a good result. – Take both, and have a good holiday. – (laughs)
– Right. Move on to a question from Palle Hansen. He says he’s got the Scott
Spark 940 2018 model, so much like the Genius and
the new Ransom that I’ve got, runs the Nude shock, so
it’s the Fox One Force for Scott bikes, so you can
use that twin-lock lever, and he’s got the Fox 34
Performance Fork on the front. “Can you fit volume spacers to the shock?” He says he goes through and he bottoms out the suspension an awful lot. He’s also worried about the
shock having nitrogen in there and that he shouldn’t mess with that. – Right. I think you can just add
the volume spacers to it, it’s not too big a job. – No, it’s just like,
Doddy has done a video, which we’ll throw to in a second, but basically, yeah, you let the air out and you unscrew the… the sleeve? – Yeah, the sleeve, now it’s sleeve. – And you can add volume spacers. You’ll be limited to how
many you can put in there, but yeah, it’s just like a
normal shock in that regard. Nitrogen is deeper in
the shock, you shouldn’t, well, you won’t need to go
into there to mess around with it, so leave that
nitrogen part alone, just use your volume
spacers in the outside bit. Check out this video from Doddy
to show you how to do that. – The air shock is the
most common form of shock seen on the average
mountain bike these days. The reason for that is it’s lightweight, and it’s easily adjustable for
a whole wide range of riders. In addition to that, you tend to have two dampening adjustments,
rebound and compression. Rebound tends to be a red dial,
and compression a blue dial, or sometimes a lever, so you can add on a bit of compression, make
your bike easier to climb, for example. – Nick the Car Guy has
got a Trek Marlin 5 2018 with bolts for a water
bottle cage on the seat tube, and he’s asking, “Can I fit
an internally routed dropper using these holes?” – I don’t know about that one. For one, I think if you’re
going to run that cable through there, that is going
to be a hell of a kink going up just because it’s just going
to be 45, 90 degrees going up, it’s going to be like
that up the seat tube. So straight away, that cable
and the sort of friction from that won’t make that run smooth, even if you did manage
to get it through there. – Yep, even if it’s
hydraulic, it’s such a kink, it’s going to probably,
potentially, damage the hose, isn’t it?
– I would go, if it was a hydraulic, possibly
it might work for a while, but definitely not on a cable. 100 percent not.
– Big problem, I think, is that it’s not going to
be a big enough diameter, so to get even a hydraulic
one through there, you’re going to have to
drill it, so therefore… It’s doable, but I wouldn’t want to do it. – Well, I kind of, I have
seen a few people sort of drill through on the older
bikes, especially aluminum, you know, I wouldn’t do
it on anything apart from aluminum or steel. You can sort of drill through,
put a little porthole through lower down the seat tube
somewhere, conveniently. – We’ve talked about it a few times. I think I would on an older bike. – On an older bike, yeah,
for sure, but if he says- – Something with warranty.
– it’s a 20- yeah, a 2018 bike, I would
probably look at other options, get that external dropper
or something for it. – Yeah, unfortunately. Luis Donaldo Serrano Lozano, good name, his left crank arm is
damaged, super creaky, so he wants to replace it,
but he doesn’t want to buy the whole crank set. He’s found on eBay a single
left crank arm that’s 180 mil, but his cranks are 175. “Is there a problem using different size “of arms on each side?” – Certainly is. (laughs) – You can do it. – You can definitely do it,
but you’ll be running into some hip problems, probably
later on in your life, have to have those special
shoes to make up for that. – It’s gonna feel weird.
– Yeah. You could do it.
– You could do it, yeah. – But it’s not ideal. Just save that money, get a
proper crank set, I think. – You’ll probably be able
to find one, a single crank. It might cost you a bit more
than the one you see on eBay, but yeah, it won’t do it. Dino Nuggets has got some
five-ten shoes, but he runs the plastic pedals, like BMXes are on plastic pedals, aren’t they? He’s got plastic pins but he
keeps slipping off his pedals. “Do you think I should
upgrade to a better pedal “or go straight to clips?” – I think you’re personally
going to struggle with it, a big change in your riding style is to go from flats to clips. Personally, if that was me, I would just upgrade those pedals,
definitely metal pedals, five-tens, that’s a pretty
unstoppable combo, to be fair. – Exactly.
– You shouldn’t have a problem with that.
– Definitely. Kevin26713, “how can I
improve my rolling speed, “especially on fast smooth trails? “Lots of my usually
heavier friends can carry way more speed while coasting,” even jumps like the
trail jumps at Whistler. He pumps and tucks as much as he can, he’s tried higher tire
pressure, stiffer suspension, but can’t go any more
without sacrificing grip. “It can’t just be that I’m light, “Troy Brosnan doesn’t seem to be slow!” He’s thinking of a 29er
downhill bike next year to help. D’you reckon? – Either invest in some pies, so you put on a bit more
weight like your mates, and that actually will help
when you’re pumping those bumps, that extra weight.
– Yeah? I do notice it, only on roads. If you roll down a road
next to Steve Jones, let’s say, for example, he
weighs a bit more than I do, and he will pull away. But I would say on trails,
it’s more down to skill. – Definitely, yeah, and technique. – You can go as fast as a big guy, and they’re going to
slow down on some stuff where you’re not ’cause you can just be lithe to through-sections. – Yeah, it’s more technique,
pumping that terrain, making sure you’re maximizing that, every downslope just give it
a good push on the suspension. And you’ve pretty much
covered all the other bases, so it’s just basically got to be that. – More power in the legs,
that’s going to help as well. Right, Brandon Tasker says
that trail and enduro bikes progressed so much in the last few years, but what about dirt jump bikes? “Has the geometry changed at all? “I’m asking because I have
a Kona Stuff from 2007.” I used to have one of those,
with 24-inch wheels on it. “Should I rebuild it or get a new frame?” Did you ever ride 24-inch wheels? – Yeah, of course, I loved-
– On your Ozono. – On my Ozono, yeah, I
used to run 24-inch wheels. – I did as well.
– Yeah, it’s pretty bad. – My initial reaction to this was, nah, they haven’t changed.
– They have. – And then I looked at a photo
of the Kona Stuff from 2007. – I’ve got a few of my old
retro bikes in the shed at home and I actually get
those out now and again, and I think, how the hell
do I even ride these things? And one of those is a dirt jump bike. And compared to all the new school stuff it looks so out-of-date now, as well. – So I’ve got some figures. I’ve got the old catalog
for 2007 Kona bikes, and the new one, what’s
it called, the Shonky? So the chainstays on the old bike, we’re talking about small
sizes both, is 16.7 inches, whereas the new one is 15.7, whereas a new NS Decade
has 15 inch chainstays. So they’ve got much shorter. Because- – We’re talking, yeah,
two, two and a bit inches. – The rear tire basically rubs on the- – You can literally get your
hand down between the seat tube and the back tire on these bikes. And not to mention things
like the dropouts as well, you know, a lot of
those older-school bikes will be a vertical dropout, probably with a derailleur hanger as well. – Rather massive rear mech on there. – Exactly, yeah, rear
mech or a chain-tensioner, and a lot of the new school
bikes are also vertical dropouts with chain-tensioners built in. So they have changed a lot, and as well, the reach on the top tube is far, I think you’ve got some
figures there, Don, as well. – Yes, they’ve got longer. So the old bike was 22
inches, new bike is 24 inches, with about 24-inch
wheels, and my rear mech, that was almost dragging
the floor, I suppose. I suppose you could have
kicked it, for a turn. – For that whole thing, I
think the new school has gone longer on the front and
shorter on the back, whereas the old-school bikes
tend to be a bit of both. You can literally get
your hand in sideways by the back tire. – Enough to warrant buying a new bike? – No, they’re not, it
depends what you like. Like, I’m better personally
on an old-school jump bike than I am on a new bike,
on the new-school one, because I just find them
so small, just like a BMX. Whereas I can get on
an old-school jump bike and do all my old stuff, back to front. – You got more space in the front to spin your 800 mil bars, though.
– Exactly. (laughs) – If you’re going totally new school. – I think if the bike
isn’t better than you, then it’s not worth upgrading. – That’s a very good point. I think in fact we should
say that for every question they can ask, probably.
– (laughs) – Nice one, Chris.
– Cool. – What the hell have
you brought to trials? Did you rob the museum? – Buddy, this is a 2012
Nukeproof Mega, the original. (heavy metal music) – Fast-forward to 2018,
take a look at this. This is the Nukeproof
Mega, and it’s full carbon. – That’s the Enduro World Series championship-winning bike from last year. – It is.
– Alright. Let’s take it for a ride. – You’re gonna ride that? Alright. You know rough it is here? – Right, I have some quickfire questions. Let’s kick it off. Snitchell says, “what is better, “hydrological disk brakes
or cable disk brakes?” – Hydrological, I’m not too sure on that, but the hydraulic one, for sure. I think hydraulic would
win for me every time. Cables are good if you
get the Avid-style ones, they’re really good, powerful, but they do need a lot more maintenance, whereas a hydraulic pretty much just needs to fit and forget, just
stick a new set of pads in. So hydraulic, for me. – Definitely, me too. – So, Neil, of Ask GMBN, from Lancelot, “Are Softails MTBs awesome? “Your Moots Mountaineer looks amazing.” – First time I’ve ever ridden a Softail, have you ever ridden one? – No, I don’t think I have, actually. – They’re kinda specific,
like, I think it really works for that adventure bike
where you load it up and you ride long days, because you don’t really need suspension. It’s tough, I didn’t
actually feel it working, but when you look at the video, which is coming out in a few weeks, you’ll see it moving low. So it does just make the bike more comfy. I loved it, that was such a
good bike for that adventure. – It did look cool.
– But for everything else, for normal roading…
– How much travel has it got? – 32 millimeters.
– 32 millimeters. I did have a quick bounce
on it down at the workshop, it did feel quite fun, yeah. – A cool bike.
– Yeah, definitely. – Ricky Marek, “a heart rate
monitor mountain-biking, “do you use one for your
normal mountain bike rides?” Chris, do you ever use one? – I don’t, personally,
but it’s something that is on my to-get list soon, especially mix it out with all the data. I think it’s pretty cool. – I go through phases. I used to use one an
awful lot when I raced, for training and just to
keep an eye on my efforts, but if you talk to the road
guys they don’t really use them, ’cause they’re not accurate enough. But I did like it as a sort
of introduction to learning about the physiology of going hard. It really taught me to know
personally how long I could hold these efforts for. But it’s pretty nerdy, but
I like that occasionally. Semi Tyminski, question about bum bags. Hip packs, he calls them,
but I call them bum bags. Do you run one, Chris? – I always tend to run a backpack. Old school, with the Camelbaks, with your bladder and that in there. I’ve not yet to try a bum
bag or a hip pack, actually. – I like it. Most of my bikes, now, I run
a water bottle in the frame and the bum bag for longer rides, where I want to chuck a tube
and some food, or whatever. I also like to run around town, you know, bring back the 80’s, as well. Right, on to Correct Me If I’m Wrong. So this one is from Stravos, he’s sent this in using our
uploader, cheers very much. Stavros, even. He’s riding a Cube Aim 2016 in Greece. So he says he’s trying
to improve his skills and he wants to do some races. Check out this video, Chris. He’s doing some jumps,
and he’s worried about his feet coming off. So he rolls in, hits this
fly-off, and his feet bangs off. – [Chris] Right, let’s have a look. – [Neil] It’s quite good
in slow-mo, this one. I would say he’s… you see that? Phwoar, that’s a big
shinner there, isn’t it? – [Chris] Yeah, definitely. Looking, I don’t know, a little
bit stiff through the legs, maybe, like, a little lower? – [Neil] That’s what I
would say, is try to relax. It’s easy to say, isn’t
it, hard to do with jumps, especially if you’re a bit worried. Be a bit looser with the legs, I guess. – At least pushing through with his legs, rather than bringing his
legs up and taking that, he’s pushing through as
soon as he’s landing, and his feet are just going
to slide straight off. He’s not absorbing the shock. – Also, we’ve talked about kit already, like with five-tens and grippy pedals. That is definitely going to help. So it looks like you’re running
in sort of running shoes? – Yeah, trainers.
– Trainers. That isn’t going to help with grip. But relax, and think about
improving your jumping. How did you improve your
jumping when you started, Chris? – Crashing, I think, was my best thing. It was just learning from those crashes, learning from those mistakes. And you’ve got to make those
mistakes to learn from it, and just correct yourself,
and just good kit. Well, not good kit, not the best kit. Just making sure you’ve got
the right tool for the job. As you say, we mentioned
footwear, gloves, helmet, all that stuff makes a massive difference. – Absolutely, yes. – Contact points on your bike is vital. – Definitely. Right, that’s it for this week’s Ask GMBN. Keep sending your videos via the upload, and questions down below
this video, check ’em out. If you want to see a
tour of Doddy’s bike cave and Doddy showing you loads
more mountain bike tech, click over there for that one. Over there for Blake’s
video, Show Us Your Lid! And give us a thumbs up!