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That plate just covers up the mount for a direct mount front derailleur. If your bike has a port for an internally routed dropper post it’ll probably be either on the downtube or near the bottom of the seat tube. The manufacturer’s website might have some info on where it is. If you’re running an external cable, your frame might not have routing for it, in which case you’d just use some straps, zip ties, or electrical tape to hold the cable in a few places. Just be careful that nothing pulls on it as you turn or your suspension sags.
I really enjoy fall and winter riding. I’m fortunate enough to have year-round riding where I live. Unfortunately I’m going to miss out on our first few weeks of really good fall riding weather since I broke my scapula last week. We had a really hot, dry summer and I was looking forward to some cooler temps and rain. Guess I’ll have to wait a while longer.
My local bike park (Windrock) runs shuttles all year, and I love riding there in the winter.
“I got this”
If you’re after flat-out grip, the Vigilante 2.5 is a great choice. I’ve been running them on my hardtail the past year and they’re some of the grippiest tires I’ve ever ridden, particularly in loose corners. They tend to squirm a bit on very hard ground. The downside to all that grip is that they roll extremely slowly. I ignored it for a while, since my hardtail was also on bikepark duty, but now I’ve switched to a Trail Boss 2.4 up front. It’s faster rolling and still pretty grippy in loose dirt. I imagine it will make an excellent rear tire as well. I haven’t ridden a dhr ii before, but I imagine it will roll faster than the Vigilante. For your bike specifically I might suggest trying a WTB Trail Boss 2.6 up front and a 2.4 out back. Some other front options could be a Maxxis high roller ii or an e*thirteen trs. I like the high roller front and back, although you really need to ride aggressively to get the most out of it in the corners. I like the old versions of the e*thirteen tires, and I hear the new rounder one rolls even faster. The old ones are on sale here. Plus compound is faster rolling and race is stickier. There’s also the new Maxxis Dissector to consider, which looks like a promising aggressive trail bike tire front and rear.
Renthal ultra tacky push-on. Currently wired on, but I’ll probably glue the next pair. Super grippy, pretty comfortable. Way cheaper and comfier than lock-ons.
Both wheels are slightly out of true and dented. There’s a reason I don’t get expensive carbon wheels.
If they get really bad and need to be trued I’ll take them to the shop.
Another big rider here (215 lbs), and a fairly aggressive rider, and on a hardtail. My back wheel hates me.
I’ve been running Nukeproof ARDs front and back for about a month and a half now, and I think they’re worth the price and weight. They feel very firm in the hand; I can’t really compress them much with my fingers. Installation is more difficult than a tire with no insert, but seems easier than some of the horror stories I’ve heard about Cushcore. The main difficulty is getting an old tire off the rim, since the shape of the insert supports the tire bead quite well. On the trail they seem to damp small chatter a little bit, although a softer insert would likely do more in his regard. I have been able to run lower tire pressures front and back. It’s only a few psi, but it’s enough to make a difference. On hard hits I can sometimes feel the insert bottom out on a rock or root, but it is less harsh than the rim hitting by itself. I just spent a day at my local bike park and my rear tire was really lower than it should have been for some of those trails, and I definitely bottomed out my rim a few times, but I don’t think I dented it at all. They also support the tire bead and sidewalls pretty well, so it would be much harder to burp a tire under hard cornering. One thing to note is that they fit on the rim rather loosely; this makes installation easier, but it allows the insert to rattle against the tire sidewalls a little bit. It isn’t too loud, but it is noticeable.
Another thing to consider is longevity. I just swapped out my rear tire and the insert seemed pretty much brand new, except for a minor deformation in one spot. I don’t know how they’ll hold up long-term, but I expect them to last a good while. Only time will tell. NSMB did a good article on the pros and cons here.
And for reference, I’ve had the inserts in the following tires: F: WTB Vigilante 27.5 x 2.5 tough/high grip, e*thirteen LG1+ 27.5 x 2.35. R: WTB Vigilante 27.5 x 2.5 tough/high grip, Maxxis High Roller II 27.5 x 2.5 WT Double Down 3C Maxxterra. All mounted on Stan’s Flow MK3 wheels (29mm internal width).
I ordered a backpack from them not too long ago and was happy with the experience. They seem pretty reputable, but make sure you opt out of all the e-mail newsletter stuff, because they will flood your inbox with stuff.
The biggest issue I have with my kneepads is that they slide down. Any fasteners, such as velcro, etc. need to be very strong. In some cases it could be the difference between a nasty bruise and a cracked kneecap. If pads don’t stay on the place that they need to protect, they’re useless. I only wear mine at the bike park, because they suck to pedal in, so stuff that’s well-ventilated and don’t bunch up and chafe at the back of the knee would be nice. Fitting farther up the thigh helps them stay on. If they’ve got a hard shell at the front then some sort of hinge that allows the knee to flex freely would be nice. You might be able to get some ideas from medieval plate armor; as far as hard shell designs go, they had to keep the wearer alive and able to move easily.
As for helmets, the less I can notice it, the better. Good ventilation, padding, and well-positioned straps help.
It depends on the area. My local trail system used to allow horses but they’ve been banned since 2012. I assume this was due to the higher mountain biking, hiking, and running traffic. A little farther away is Big South Fork, where many horse trails are open to mountain bikes and foot traffic. As far as I know there isn’t much conflict between these groups, but it’s a big park with plenty of room for everyone. To answer your question, you shouldn’t ride on trails that specify “horses only” or “hikers only”, but if you’re going to ride one of these types of trails, (which you shouldn’t) ride the hiking trail. The reason for this is that some horses spook easily. A spooked horse can be very dangerous to its rider and to you. Remember, we nail pieces of metal to their hooves, and they can kick really hard. A mountain bike moving fast can be scary to a horse and it could buck its rider, kick the mountain biker, kick anyone else in reach, fall on someone, etc. Somebody riding a nervous horse might ride a horse only trail because it’s safer for them, the horse, and everyone else, as there are supposed to be fewer unfamiliar trail users to scare the horse. Best to be polite to other trail users, and not ride trails you’re not supposed to. Be a good example for other mountain bikers, and don’t give a bad example to someone who might want to take away our trail access.
It pisses me off to no end. You packed it in so you can damn well pack it out. I live in Eastern Tennessee and it seems like the people around here have zero regard for the environment around them; I see garbage on trails everywhere, from trailheads all the way out to the middle of nowhere, deep in the forest. It’s lazy and there’s no excuse for it. I try and pick stuff up when I’ve got room in my pack, but I don’t always have enough empty space to pick up much.
Most trail users are grown adults, or certainly old enough to know better. This isn’t a fairy tale, you don’t have to leave a trail of crap to lead yourself out of the forest, so stop leaving your trash for someone else to pick up. Be responsible for your own stuff, since mommy isn’t here to clean up after you.
Sorry for the rant, but this stuff really gets under my skin. It’s disgusting.
My 2017 Orange Crush. Probably the only Orange bike in Tennessee. Long, slack, aluminum hardtail made for getting rowdy. The picture isn’t quite up to date; now it has Stan’s Flow mk3 wheels, Deity CZ38 handlebars, WTB Vigilante tires front and back, (27.5 x 2.5, tough, high grip) and a 170mm travel Oneup dropper post. It’s more fun than any other bike I’ve ever ridden and has been rock solid on every ride, from xc to the occasional trip to the Windrock Bike Park. It’s very composed on steep and loose terrain, and corners like a dream. I think that the frame is one of the nicest blues I’ve ever seen on a bike, and it looks amazing with the orange accents. It’s been a year and a half since I got it and I still get excited to ride it. It’s battle-scarred, it’s a little heavy on the climbs, and it rattles my bones a bit on the descents, but it’s still kicking after all the crap I’ve put it through, and it has greatly increased my average smiles-per-mile rating.
I don’t think I’ve had any other bike that my skills have progressed on as much as this one. I’ve learned a lot about riding smoothly, a necessity with the rigid rear end, and I’ve ridden more trails that I would have been absolutely petrified on two years ago. It’s amazing how much better each ride is when you’re riding the right bike for you.
I’d be perfectly fine with 26 inch wheels, but 27.5 is also just fine. Internal cable routing is pretty annoying, but the one thing I really don’t care for is the obsession with carbon everything. In my opinion it’s too expensive and too fragile to justify the weight savings. I currently ride an aluminum hardtail with aluminum wheels and no carbon components. My last bike was a carbon hardtail. Guess why I switched back to aluminum. Over the course of a single year the carbon frame had a chunk taken out of the bb shell by a rock strike, and the frame was cracked on the downtube when I went over the bars on a jump and the bike landed on it’s side. Is it unreasonable to expect a bike to survive a fairly mild crash? My aluminum bike has taken many much harder rock strikes and hits, and has had no damage beyond the paint. As for wheels, I’m currently running a Stan’s Flow mk3 wheelset, and the 27.5 aluminum rims come in at a whopping 480 grams each. Not much heavier, if at all, than a comparable carbon rim. And the real kicker here is that a wheelset is about $680 with their neo hubs. Not a bad price. And if you dent a rim? New rim runs around $100. Just this last weekend I smacked my rear wheel on a rock and dented it; completely my fault, the combination of sloppy riding, too low tire pressure, and a hardtail meant that my rim was in for a hard hit. I suspect that that hit would have cracked a carbon rim and rendered it unrideable. When carbon breaks it tend to do so catastrophically. My wheel still holds air and is still rideable, and if I want to replace it I won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do so. Carbon is nice if you’re a roadie, a featherweight xc rider, or a sponsored racer, but not so much for aggressive riders paying for their own stuff.
Also I’d like to see more configurability on reasonably priced bikes. Having a choice between shimano or sram for drivetrain and brakes would be nice.
Sorry for the rant, my typing fingers got away from me a little bit.
That’s better. I couldn’t get the image to show up last time. 2017 Orange Crush; the picture is a little outdated, since now I’ve got some Stan’s Flow mk3 wheels on it and a 170mm drop Oneup dropper post, going to that from a 100mm drop was a huge improvement. It’s the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden.
After looking at both of them I’d suggest the Nukeproof. The spec on both of them is nearly identical, so what it comes down to is geometry. They’re also very similar there, but the head tube angle on the Nukeproof is slacker by a degree at 65, compared to the 66 degrees of the Vitus. This brings the bike very close to the geometry of mine, (2017 Orange Crush) and will help keep the bike stable on steeper and higher speed trails. This is also important because of the fact that there is no rear suspension sag when you sit on the bike, so the front will sag a little making your effective head tube angle a little steeper. Another thing to consider is the forks. I think that the charger damper in the fork on the Nukeproof is a slight upgrade from the motion control damper that the Vitus has, but this is probably a very minor upgrade.
Also I think the Nukeproof looks cooler, so there’s that.January 20, 2019 at 22:27 in reply to: New front tyre for aggressive riding/enduro racing #255097
I haven’t gotten a chance to ride in really dry conditions on the vigilante yet, but it works very well on looser, gravelly terrain. It’s a really versatile tread pattern.January 20, 2019 at 15:05 in reply to: New front tyre for aggressive riding/enduro racing #255062
Let me throw another suggestion in there: a 2.5 WTB Vigilante. I’ve been running one (tough casing, high grip compound) as a front tire for a few months now and it’s great. It’s got fantastic grip in loose, muddy, and otherwise less-than-ideal conditions. Before the Vigilante I had a Maxxis High Roller II for a front tire, and the Vigi feels every bit as grippy as the High Roller, plus the Vigi rolls a bit faster and is typically a little cheaper.
I spent a very muddy day riding at Windrock bike park about 2 weeks ago. Windrock is home to some of the steepest, gnarliest, and most difficult trails around. For this day of riding I was rolling on the vigi up front with a high roller II out back. Not once did I feel like didn’t have enough grip. For a front tire, it is very grippy and predictable, and much better than the old 2.3 vigilante.
I agree with FredCook. I’d feel much better about carrying it in a backpack rather than on the bike.
Not very well. I go to a martial arts class twice a week, so I’m still getting some exercise. I have small loop of trails in the woods in my backyard, so sometimes I ride those a bit. I hate stationary exercise (stationary bike, rowing machine, lifting weights, etc.) so I don’t really do much of that. Even if trail conditions aren’t good enough to ride, they might be good enough to hike. I usually feel better if I just get out for a short hike or walk. If the weather is too bad for even that, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe try going to a karate class, you might like it.
Thanks for all the suggestions folks!
Framebreaker: thank you for the recommendation for Pearl Izumi. I got an mtb barrier jacket from them in XXL and it fits great. Plenty of room to layer underneath. I got the Leatt shorts in XXL and they also fit quite well (I wear a 36in waist in most jeans).