How To Set Up A Mountain Bike For Jibbing | Barspin And Freecoaster Hacks

How To Set Up A Mountain Bike For Jibbing | Barspin And Freecoaster Hacks


– For quite a long time, mountain bikers have been
quite into riding street and have associcted tricks to do with it, but in recent times,
jibbing has actually become quite popular, probably because
of the fact that 50:1 boys, Josh Lewis, Josh Bryceland, all those guys are doing loads of BMX orientated
tricks out on the trails. Now I’ve got Chris Smith’s
brand new Nukeproof bike here, but he’s not gonna be doing
any Enduro stuff on his. He is in to jibbing, so today we’re setting his bike up for jibbing with two particular things in mind. Setting it up so it has
a make-do free coaster, and also routing the cables
so it can do barspins. Now I’m gonna run you
through all of the processes you’re gonna need to
take into consideration, but before we do that, there’s a few things
you’re gonna need to do, if you want to do this to your
own mountain bike at home. Now the first thing, if you want to set your
bike up for barspins, you’re gonna need to route the cable through the head tube of the bike. That enables it to do a full rotation. Otherwise, you’re gonna
pull your cables out, and that’s no good. Now in order to do that, you
need a hollowed out star nut. Now that’s just something that
does come from the BMX world, it’s is very popular in slope style. Your simply gonna put
the front brake hose in and it’s gonna pass right through there. It’s gonna pop out on the
underside of the steering tube, and it routes all the way back down to the original position. It’s quite a specialist kit and to fit one of these, there isn’t really a
dedicated tool for it, unlike the conventional star nut, in which case you have a
star nut installation tool. For this, your actually going
to have to be very sensible with where you hammer
it in using the bolt, so I’m gonna run you through that process. Now also to do this, you might need a slightly
longer section of brake hose, and of course that’s gonna mean you need to bleed it as well. So you’re gonna need the
Red Elephant bleeding kit, for your particular brake. Now we’ve got a few bleeding
videos up on GMBN and GMBN Tech so we’re gonna put some links to those in the description below
because that’s a special process just on it’s own. But today we’re looking at how
you actually set the bike up to do that. Next up, is looking at
the free coaster setup. Now a free coaster is something
seen in the BMX world, and it’s essentially a
clutch system inside the hub, that disengages the drive system
enabling you to free roll, or coast, backwards and forwards without the cranks rotating. So really useful for
those backwards tricks, or fakie, as it’s known
in the street world. Now, why would you want
to do a trick like that, well look at the sort of stuff that’s been done at the big
slop style competitions. Riders like Brett
Rheeder, Brandon Semenuk, there doing tricks known as half-cabs. Where you effectively
do a 180 before a drop, and you go off the drop backwards and then perform whatever
trick it is you fancy doing. Of course they are extremely advanced, but in order to do that you
do need a specialist kit. Now in the slop style world, they tend to run a single speed setup. So they can use cross-over BMX components that are profiled to a specific
free coaster cassette hub, that is compatible with mountain bikes. But there is a really
cool hack you can do, and I’m gonna show you how to
do it using just a few spacers and a conventional cassette. But note this will not
work if you’ve got an XD Star Lock, a Sram Eagle, or any other Sram style
one piece cassette. So it needs to be your
traditional cassette. You can take each component apart because you’re gonna need to replace a couple of these sprockets
with plain old spacers, and I’ll show you exactly
why, and how to do that. (upbeat music) Now first thing’s first, let’s get it set up for the barspin. Now the barspin is a trick, obviously it’s come from the BMX world, where you have tiny little wheels, and you have massive handle bars. You also have different systems
for running those cables in order to spin the bars around. Or, quite simply on some bikes, you just have a single
brake with a long hose in which case it’s no problem
to throw those bars around a few times, and you can
throw them back the other way and it doesn’t interfere with anything. But on a mountain bike,
there’s a whole realm of issues that can actually attempt
to stop you from doing this. So first up of course is this
snakes mess up the front here. This is all the cables going on. They are trying to stop you from spinning the bars all the way around, and of course if you do spin them around
when their like this, there’s a good chance you could rip your hydraulic
hoses out and damage stuff, so straight away that is a no go. As you can see on this bike, the front brake hose, straight away, is stopping anything other
than a traditional x-up, and the same goes for the other direction. You’ll get around a certain way and then that front brake hose
is essentially what stops it. Right now, I’m setting his bike up with a full 800mm bar, 38mm rise, and we’re just simply gonna
route that hosing through, and it’s gonna enable him to do bar spins. Okay so first things first, you want to be removing your
front brake from the bike. So this is to check that you can even turn your
handle bars all the way around. Now some frame designs, the top of the full crown
is actually going to foul on the frame it self here, so
that’s obviously not possible. Some bikes are shorter than others. Now depending on what wheel size you have, this is gonna be an issue for you. So on Chris’ bike there loads of room here between where your front foot would
be, your leading foot, and the front of the wheel. No problem. That’s with 27.5 inch wheels. With 29 inch wheels it
creates more problems, especially if you have a short bike. But then there’s two other factors you need to take into account. Bar height, and bar width. Now bar height is essential. It has to be high enough, in
order for all of your controls to clear your top tube. Now some frame designs have that bulge at the front of the frame, and it simply might not be
possible with your frame. With this one, it’s quit
close but it’s not too bad. We’ve got 2 spacers under his stem, and he’s got 38mm rise bar on here. Your gonna need to make sure you keep your stem and
your bar nice and high in order to do this
trick on a mountain bike. Of course that might not
suit your day-to-day riding so you have to take
this in to consideration if it’s even worth doing
in the first place. The other thing to take into consideration is the end of your bars
and your saddle height. So when the saddle is low the position would be
when you throw a barspin. If you’ve got an 800mm bar, you might not physically be able to spin those bars all the way around because your legs are gonna be in the way, and obviously the saddle
is gonna be there. So there are plenty of little things you’re going to have to take into account. Again, Chris is gonna touch on these with the actual riding techniques and the things you need to
do in order to master it. The next process is to
make sure you’ve got plenty of cable slack. At no cost should you be doing this when you’ve barely got enough cable because accidents are gonna happen, you’re gonna damage
some of your components and of course that’s gonna
mean sooner or later, your gonna crash when you’re
doing this stuff as well. So on this particular bike Chris
has a dropper post on here, but we have installed this dropper post with a nice long cable already so it’s got plenty of slack for that, and the same goes for
his rear transmission. So the rear cable goes all the
way to the handle bars here. It’s got a nice amount so
you’re gonna be able to get a full rotation of the bars. Now unlike the BMX setups
where you can throw the bars, and you can keep doing it. On a mountain bike setup, you could tend to do a barspin, maybe two, but then you’re going to have to correct and throw it back the other way. So Chris is gonna go
through all of this stuff, and all that sort of top tips to learn how to do these things in a video that’s dropping
on GMBN next week, so make sure you keep
an eye out for that one. If you’re bike’s not geared up for it simply don’t go any further until your prepared to put
your hand in your pocket and get that stuff done. So with our front break removed take your front wheel out as well, your not gonna need that at this stage. Then remove, using a 5mm alan key, the top cap from your stem. Remove that from the bike all together, and then comes a little
bit of a tricky part. Now the traditional star ankle nut that sits inside the
steerer tube of the bike is effectively barbed. It can only go one way. So what this means is your
gonna need to hit this all the way out of the other
end of your steerer tube. Now be careful here because some steerer tubes
might have plugs in the bottom, some are tapered to the point where you can’t actually
get them out of the bottom, and that’s a no go, but it does mean you could
knock the star nut down in that steerer tube and
replace another one on the top. It’s not an ideal situation and I wouldn’t recommend doing that but it does mean you have that option if you insist on doing this process. The best thing to use
is an old section of bar that’s a non specific tool. The star nuts not gonna be good for use when you’ve knocked it out anyway so basically the aim is to punch it out. Use a mallet, good firm strokes. Get it removed from the bike
and bin it for recycling. Now traditionally when installing star
nuts into steerer tubes, you would use a star
nut installation tool. Now there’s a couple
different styles of these. This is the older style. It will work absolutely fine, and the idea is you screw
the star nut onto the tool, and then simply put, you
smash it in with a mallet. Now because of the way
the tool is designed it will get the star nut
to the required depth essentially to do its job. Now unfortunately these are available with
traditional threads on, and these ones have a
whopping great thread, so really what you’re gonna have to do when you install one of these is carefully use the bolt it comes with in order to install it. So you need to be very careful doing this because you don’t want
bend it or damage it. Literally use that to tap
the star nut into the frame, and you want it to be in
there about 6mm or so, so it’s not gonna move
but it’s far enough down to get some good purchase
for those threads. Now here comes the slightly more tricky bit of the process. I’ve actually got donor brake here, this is one of Neil’s spares, I don’t know if Chris asked or not, but it’s one of Neil’s spare brakes, it’s actually back brake so
it has a lot more hose on it. Now if the existing hose isn’t
long enough for this process, which I don’t think it is in this case, your gonna need to put
a new brake hose on. So firstly, you’re
gonna need to disconnect your brake hose from your brake caliper in order to route this through. So before you actually do that, remove the brake pads, make sure there somewhere they
can’t get any oil near them, and the same with the
wheel and the discro too. You need to make sure that
these can not be contaminated otherwise that’s a whole nother video on how to fix them again afterwords. Again, I’m gonna put a link
to that underneath this video on the chance that, that could happen to you. Now if you’re installing a new cable this is where you need to
remember to get all of the barbs, the olives, all of that stuff in the correct order because you only get one
chance to do this right. Otherwise it becomes a right phaff. Now, don’t at this stage put
the bolt into the star nut. Keep the bolt itself and put
the cable through this first, before you actually thread it straight in. Otherwise it’s gonna become
really hard to find the cable through that hole, when your actually gonna
put it through the threads in the actual star nut itself. It’s quite a tricky process, and also you’ve gotta make
sure you leave plenty of cable. You’re better with too
much cable than too little because if you ever want
to adjust the height of your handle bars we
have to remove something to put some grease in. If you’ve got barely any cable in there, it’s not gonna allow you to do this. You also need to pay attention
to the cable reaching itself. So when the cable comes out
the bottom of the head tube it could get fouled by the
tire under full compression. So you gotta make sure. You might need a cable tie depending on your particular routing to keep it on the crown and make sure it follows
down the back of the leg. And of course when you are
actually fully connected, it’s all in the right place, and you’ve checked to make sure you have enough room to
spin those bars around. Then is the time to bleed your brakes. Now of course bleeding the brake is just the same process as it would be for bleeding a Schmire, or Sram. Whatever your brake is, just follow the same process as usual. Okay so there you go,
the front break is setup. It is routed through that steerer tube, through that hollow cap there, basically enabling barspins. Now just to clarify a few points on this, you’re probably gonna
need to bleed your brakes, so again I’m gonna throw that video link underneath this very video. Your gonna need to get one of those hollow, star nut and bolt combinations. Get them online, get them at
various different bike shops, stuff like that, and of course, you’re probably gonna need to get yourself a new section of hose. Obviously in this case, I borrowed another section of
hose from another back brake but I still needed to bleed it, still needed to put new olives and barbs and all that sort of stuff
onto the brakes themselves. And I’ve obviously left enough here, as you can see that it caters for any sort of margin of error, and I’ve actually left it a bit
loose on the underneath here so Chris can just tailor
the setup to his preference and of course, he is gonna run you through that out on the trails next week. (upbeat music) Now just another thing to mention before moving on to the
free coaster system, is a bit of protection for
cranks and bottom bracket. Things like lock slides, and stalls are quite common when you’re jibbing and playing in the woods. It is really easy to
damage your chain rings, so get yourself some sort of bash guard that enables it to slide over. Chris has got an MRP on here. It’s got an upper guide and
a lower bash protection. It fits directly onto the frame, onto the ISCG mounts. You can also get an adapter and there’s various
different systems available. Loads of options of the
market, e13, MRP, etc. So make sure you get one of those, at the very least, just the bash guard for the bottom there. It is really really essential
for those sort of tricks. But now we are gonna move
onto the back of the bike and this free coaster system. (upbeat music) Now what is a free coaster? So at the beginning of
the video we explained a free coaster is a system that decuples effectively the action of
pedaling from the transmission. So what that means is you can
go backwards without pedaling. Now when doing 180’s or
any sort of fakie trick where you are going backwards, conventionally on a mountain
bike you’re restricted to the conventional style which would be allowing the pedals to go backwards, as the wheels come around like so. And it looks like your pedaling backwards, but your not, you just allowing
the pedals to go backwards while you’re doing it. Now free coasting essentially decuples it so you have a free wheeling action when the wheel goes front and backwards, which enables you to go
backwards without pedaling so it’s a really really cool way of incorporating new tricks. But of course having all the
system on the back of the bike, kinda gets in the way of that Now we are aware that there are some pro
types in development. You might have seen some
on some of the 50:1 guys bikes, seeing them in action. But there’s another way you
can get a similar effect by using your standard cassette. Now Chris’ cassette on here
is a Sram Eagle cassette. It’s made of a single piece, so that’s not really the job
that we’re gonna need for this. What you need is a cassette, where you can take out
the individual sprockets. Your gonna be taking two out and we’re gonna replace them with spacers, enabling the chain to
pass over those spacers, effectively decupling the transmission by skew from the back of the bike there. So you’re gonna have that
same effect as free coasting. Now it’s really similar to the
video that Neil did recently, except he was doing it to decuple the chain from the suspension, so he could get an idea
of what the bike felt like with no chain on. Of course that was something talked about after World Cup rounds when Aaron Quinn snapped his chain and still managed to win of course, and he commented off camera, at the bottom, but it was caught, him saying man that
suspension felt really good on that bike with no chain. Well it’s funny though isn’t it because you don’t have a chain
controlling any chain tension and interrupting that suspension design. But if you want to find
out more about that, I’m gonna throw you to
that video afterwards so you can check that out, but it’s essentially same system and Neil runs through that, except on Neil’s particular setup, he set it up so the spacer was replacing his smallest sprocket. On this setup for Chris, he wants to replace the
next two sprockets up. So you’ve got a nice big
space to shift the chain down in to, and it’s also got that small 11:2 sprocket to act as a little barrier so the chain can’t jump out accidentally. So what that means is he’s really safe to do his nice big 180’s, land backwards, and nothing
is going to get out of line and he’s gonna have to coast
out of frame, hopefully. So this is a really cool little hack, but it’s something that you really need to remember about this. So firstly, when you’re
performing this trick, you obviously need to
remember what gear it is so you can shift it into it, so you’re ready, so it’s
a blank pedaling bike, a free coasting bike, and then you perform your trick. But it’s essential that you don’t accidentally
shift into this and try to pedal because if you do that you’re gonna throw all
your weight forwards and you’re gonna go over the bars. Now when you’re learning
free coaster based tricks, if you can already do a 180 on a bike without a free coaster, the first time you use a free coaster, it’s gonna be really odd because you’ll be used to landing and having the tension on the pedals. When you land on the free coaster system, there’s nothing there, so I’ve had it before,
when I was learning them. In fact Chris taught me these years back, doing a 180 with a free coaster, and I actually went over the
handlebars going backwards because I was so prepared for the pedals to take me backwards that I had tension and It wasn’t there, and I
went straight over the bars while I was going backwards, so you’ve got to be
prepared for all this stuff, but that’s all the fun part of learning. And Chris is gonna take
you into that in a video, but I’m just gonna demonstrate
to you how this works. So at the moment, as you can see, it free rolls backwards,
and it pedals forwards. Now if I just change it
onto the blank sprocket, we’ll see what affect that has. So it’s on that blank sprocket, so if I were to pedal forwards, nothing happens. If you pedal backwards, and what I mean is basically that wheel can go backwards, and the cassette spins, and the chain, as you can see, spins along
on the actual body there. Quite a cool system I think. Bit of a hack, definitely works. So there you go, so that is, loosely, how you set your bike
up for a bit of jibbing. There’s no real rules to
doing it but the barspin setup and a free coaster setup certainly
enables a bunch of tricks and look out for the video on GMBN soon, of Chris Smith showing
you how to do those, out on the trail. If you want find out how
to bleed a Sram brake that I used here with
the bleeding edge system, click right down there. And if you want to see a bit
more about this decupling, free coaster star system, and how Neil used it, click down there. As always if you love GMBN Tech, give us a thumbs up and please
don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already done so.