How To Set Up Your Cockpit On A Mountain Bike | Mountain Bike Maintenance

How To Set Up Your Cockpit On A Mountain Bike | Mountain Bike Maintenance


– OK, welcome to another
GMBN maintenance video. In this video I’m gonna be talking about how to set up your cockpit. I’m gonna be going through
stem length, bar width, bar roll, setup of your
handlebars, onto the grips, and then right through brake lever. It’s all about making sure that you have better control on that bike. So, let’s get into it. Now, when I go about
setting up my cockpit, I like to do it in a specific order. The first thing I’m gonna
start with is actually the stem and the spacers
underneath that stem. This has a direct relation as to how you’re going to be on the bike, how much weight is going
to be over the front or how much is going to be on the rear. If you have less spacers
underneath that stem, then you’re more likely to have more weight on that front wheel. If you got the stem higher up, it’s gonna push your weight over the rear. Start with a balance point. You want to have a couple
of spacers left over on top, so do not cut that steerer tube too short. Then, the other thing you can talk about with the stem is actually
the length of it. Again, that’s gonna affect your weight distribution on the bike. A longer one will bring
your weight further forward over the bike; and a shorter
one will bring you over the back more and give ya
a little bit more control. OK, to adjust that stem,
well, it is dead easy. All I’m going to need is a five-mil Allen key to undo the top cap, and then a four-mil Allen
key to undo the stem bolt. I’m then gonna put 10 millimetres on top and 10 millimetres below, and that’s gonna be my
neutral starting point. OK, so now I’ve got that set up, it’s into my neutral position, tighten my headset and
tighten the stem back up. We’re gonna move on to the handlebars. There are a number of different things you can think about here,
number one being width, but we’ll get on to that in a second. What I want to talk about is
the actual rise of the bars. These ones are 20 mil. You can get them in
increments of 10, 20, 30, even 40, depending on the
rise that you want to go for. They have backsweep and also upsweep, and you can adjust this
using the bar roll. It’s dead easy to do. What you actually just do
is undo these four bolts, and then you can just rotate
them backwards and forwards. So we’re gonna do that right now. With that loosened off,
what I’m gonna do now is just set up that bar roll. If I actually roll it forwards, it’s gonna pull my weight,
again, further over the front. Roll it back, my weight is
going to be on the rear more. You want to get it in a neutral position, really, just to start off. I’m just gonna play around
’til it feels comfortable. The backsweep isn’t really
affecting me too much. My arms feel like they’ve
got a bend in them, and everything feels
lined up through my wrist, my elbow, and my shoulders. Once I’ve got into that position, I’m just gonna tighten
those stem bolts back up. At this point, it’s a really cool thing that you can actually use this indicator. It’s on the bars right here. I’ve got zero to five. You can line up with the stem. When you do adjust it,
you can always remember where you’ve changed it from,
where you’re changing it to. It’s just a great way to
remember what you’re doing. We’ve now discussed stem
length, the stem height. We’ve talked about bar roll. It’s now on to the bar width,
which is one big question. A lotta people have debate about how wide you should actually have your bars. Now, I’m six-foot-two, and these bars are 780 millimetres in width. They’re totally stock. I’ve not cut them down. I find that they work perfectly for me. The best advice I can give
you here is trial and error. Do not get a brand-new bike, and then just cut the
bars down immediately. Go for a couple of rides. Get into the bike. Feel if the bars are too wide for you. Are you having problem getting through smaller gaps in between
trees or something like that? And then just work down in
really small increments. The great thing is, a
lot of bars have actually got increments already marked in them. So you can actually cut it down just by five millimetres at
a time on each side, and then work down until
you’ve found perfection. Before we get into the
really nitty gritty details of setting up the cockpit and the shifters and also the break levers, what I want to talk about is the grips. These are the Ergon GD1s that you see us running in pretty
much all of the videos. I absolutely love these things. They fit me perfectly. But grips are so personable. You can’t really find a grip that works for every single person. Some people like thinner ones; some people like thicker ones. For me, these are slightly tapered. What that means is they’re
a little bit thinner at the start of the grip where I hold on with both my thumb and my first finger, and then they get thicker as it goes out. This just gives me a little bit of extra damping when
I’m riding on the bike. I’m gonna take away some
of those extra vibrations that are gonna up my forearms. So if you’re in a bike
shop, perhaps the best thing is actually just to get
them outta the package, try them, hold onto them,
and see if you like them before you fit them onto your bike. OK, so let’s get onto
those really finer details. I like to keep it in that
order, doing the stem, then the bars, then the grips, and then, finally, on to the
levers and also the brakes. All we need to adjust is one bolt. I’m gonna use a T25 for my brakes. It could be an Allen key
that you need to use. I’m just gonna come onto the bars, I’m gonna loosen that off, (bolt squeaking) and then we’re gonna start adjusting. Just do one brake at a time. I really just like to go off of feel. I want to go back to
that point I mentioned a little bit earlier in the
video where you want to have sort of a straight line
through your wrist, elbow, and then on to the shoulder. Once you’ve got that, just
play around a few times. Tap the brake lever down. Have a look down. Make sure everything’s
feeling comfortable. Get into that riding position. And then we’re going to tighten
up the first brake lever. I’m happy with that. Let’s get on and do the rear. It’s exactly the same. Just gonna use my T25. Undo that. And then I can start adjusting it. That is feeling pretty comfortable. A tip that I can give ya
right here is, sometimes, just close your eyes because
then you don’t really fuss over them looking exactly the same, and you go off feel rather than looks. That is good. Gonna drop that down,
tighten that back up, and then we can get on
to the next adjustment, which is the actual reach. Using this little knob right here, you can turn that in or out, get that dialled in so you
can get this thing perfect. One point that I have forgotten
to mention at this point, though, is the fact that I’m
using one-finger braking. It actually slid that brake
lever right along the bar. I’ve got my finger, and it’s
getting into that little clasp right there at the
end of the brake lever, and it’s giving me the
maximum amount of pull I can pull on that brake lever, giving me the force to pull that brake on and stop me when I need to. OK, so that leaves two
things to get down, then; one, the shifter; and
two, the dropper post. I’m gonna start with the shifter. There’s not so much adjustment
that I have to do here. It’s just making sure that
I’m comfortable with it. You can undo this bolt right here, and you can put it in
two different positions: one closer to the bar, and
one slightly further away. With these two controls,
what you’re really looking to get set up for is that
you don’t really have to take your thumb away from the
handlebar, giving you maximum stability and holding
onto those bars super tight. What I’m looking for is just
to make sure that my thumb sits perfectly on both the triggers, without moving it around too much, and both are feeling good. There is one more
adjustment that I could do if I really felt like it. There’s a three-mil
Allen key just in there, and adjust to move the bigger paddle round to be in a better position, but I’m quite happy with where it is. Then, let’s move on to
the other side of the bars where I’ve got the dropper post. As you guys can see, it’s pretty
much perfectly set for me, so I’m not gonna adjust that,
but it’s super easy to do. OK, guys, there is an in-depth guide on how to set up your cockpit. I hope you found it useful,
and if you’ve got any comments or questions, leave
’em in the section down below. If you want to watch
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