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Mondraker MIND Telemetry Unavailable in the US

Mondraker MIND Telemetry Unavailable in the US
(clip from) Mondraker FOXY Carbon First Ride Review: Extended

Mondraker MIND Telemetry Unavailable in the US

 

I DON’T MIND

 
A question my, rather small, set in our ways, group of riding friends asked was what I thought about the Mondraker MIND Telemetry.
 
Well, for whatever reason: App licensing? Patent limitations? Something else I don’t know about? I dunno. But, however you cut it: MIND telemetry is not available on the US bikes.
And it doesn’t bother me.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy data. It’s interesting and you can look at it a lot of ways. But, like an old boss of mine was apt to say: figures don’t lie, but liars can figure…

APP DRIVEN TELEMETRY

 
So, app driven suspension suggestions (turn this dial put in this PSI) even based on a good deal of telemetry input, well it’s just not 100% credible to me. (funniest one was a GPS setting that rated like smoothness – What? How? Why?)
 
Telemetry sheets are graphs with spurts of data points. Usually spikes or arcs and all kinds of shapes. Any app that’s telling you “twist this 2 clicks and that 1 click and do this with the PSI” is using an algorithm of what it sees to make those suggestions.
 
Does data help a pro racer with a competent suspension tech? Yup. But a large part of that relationship is talking about “this is what I felt when I was riding best”, “this might have led me to be in the wrong position during ‘x’” and “ya, I just fluffed the lines there and the data is outlier.”
 
Working with a person who can chat about all the minutia has huge dividends and that’s one of the focal points of our bike suspension setup, delivery, and follow up process here at BikeCo.com
(which is SUPER important on the heavier eMTB rigs – if your eMTB isn’t setup right, well, sorry. You’re gonna chase that for a while and it’s going to compromise your ride quality)

CAN YOU SEE THE INPUT?

 
Riding footage adds an interesting dynamic to fine tune setup (notice the racers tend to practice with them?).
 
Being able to watch and see: “ya, that’s a proper line within my skill set and I think the fork should have rode taller” versus, “whoops, ya, I smashed through the travel because of rider error there – glad the bike was there at all!”

MY EXAMPLE: DEMO RIDE QUESTION

 
On my Mondraker FOXY demo I came across an example I think would have confused an app and led down the wrong rabbit hole.
The demo (which lacked the low and high speed compression controls on the FOXY Carbon RR Ohlins or the RAZE Fox Factory suspension) was quick to turn down, or dive into corner entry.
 
However, it felt like it would “stall” for lack of a better term when I tried to drive it to full lean angle around the apex.
 
So what was going on? What were my options? And, getting to the point of this blurb – does an app have any chance at this or did I need a certain amount of data and review with a competent person? (bet you know which way I’m going)
 
Joe and I chatted about it over lunch after the ride. (I have access to Joe Binatena one of the most sought after suspension people in MTB – and you know, if you buy a bike, suspension or a Pro Tune from The Bike Company so do you through our team…)
 
Mid to fast Bermed corners. Suspension PSI setup properly. Tire pressure OK, possibly a little high (I hate flats, and I hate flats more on test rides…)
 
I generally don’t trail brake through corners (in fact the demo bike had brakes I hated so I was braking super early to insure it would slow down…) so the bike was sitting at a proper attitude going into the turns.
 
If you brake too late or into a corner it creates a “nose down” attitude. This creates issues as the bike runs deeper into travel giving up some traction and having a more “harsh” feel – maybe harsh isn’t the right word, but a faster or more aggressive push back since it’s running at a deeper PSI?
 
Not to toot my own horn, but it might take a bit of experience to feel the bike “hang” during the lean. Of course, now that you know it can be a thing you’re ahead of where I was then right??
It might be more likely that a rider would note the bike felt slow rotating around the corner and wanted to push (understeer) to the outside of the corner.
 
Those complaints are probably going to lead to softer tires and possibly a softer suspension right? Help keep more grip to get around the corner?
 
Except, in my case that’s not what was happening. Those changes would just make the bike squirmy (too low of tire pressure) and slow out of pocketed corners as the suspension would use too much travel compromising momentum and steer input.
 
Would it have killed me to go the wrong direction with those setup mods? Probably not.
 
BUT! If I came back after the ride with lower pressures and still had the complaint and went well, if SOME was a good idea MORE must be better… I’m quickly off into the weeds of suspension setup and probably frustrated with my purchase.
 
Here’s where a live, thinking person with access to a team (am I describing BikeCo? Of course I am) has a huge advantage. If I had lowered the pressure and spoke with my contact and was like “WHOA, didn’t help” we’re probably looking at other setup options.
Because what was the fix? More ramp, more compression. The bike wasn’t exactly “pushing” or over-steering as much as it was unable to maintain the tighter early apex cornering line which then set me wider at exit.
 
Going frame by frame with the riding footage it seemed like the fork was setting in a touch deep into the travel into the corner apex / pocket, but then kind of slowly settling down a touch deeper as well. Probably the split second of the bike compressing (and slowing) drove my body slightly ahead in the bike which then added to more of front end settling in.
 
Watching the video the trail showed the bike SHOULD have load through the suspension at that point, but it was setting in (as you would expect) then kind of slowly continuing to load.
 
It made sense to have the suspension loaded into the corners, so I wouldn’t want to increase rebound as that would decrease overall grip and ride quality bouncing me around.
 
Air pressure was an option – however the bike wasn’t sitting super deep on the first section of the lean or cornering. So again, increasing air pressure would decrease grip and could induce skip.
 
So where were the answers?
 
Increasing Ramp Rate: make each MM of the suspension past sag take a little bit more load to compress it.
 
Increasing Low Speed Compression: similar to the ramp rate adjustment increasing compression slows the forks progression through the travel giving it more support.
 
Perhaps a small increase to High Speed Compression: Adding high speed compression in small increments can be helpful too.
 
Back to my point on having my phone send me a post ride SMS (not sure if that’s a function any have but it seems funny to say) to make all those ideal changes?
 
Yaaaa, I don’t think that’s gonna happen? So, no telemetry? I don’t MIND.
 
 
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Thoughts on the 2022 Mondraker FOXY First Ride

2022 Mondraker FOXY First Ride

With the Mondraker Demo Fleet here at BikeCo.com for a week I had an opportunity to grab one of the 2022 Mondraker FOXY demos for a morning to help better define some of the details that set this bike apart. Here are my thoughts on the 2022 Mondraker FOXY First ride!

spoiler alert… pulled the trigger on a FOXY Carbon RR with some upgrades… Learn about how I spec’d My Bike for Me (link at bottom as well)

I hope you enjoy the video with both my real time thoughts on the 2022 Mondrakers as well as some concepts to review on demoing not only the Mondraker but really any MTB. (Click to see part 1, “What to Look for in a MTB Demo” video)

With the modern economy demo fleets aren’t necessarily full of each size and each model you’re looking for. So, its more important than ever to be able to work and define whether you’re noting the Frame / Suspension Design, the Spec (Components) or the Setup. All three are critical in dialing in YOUR dream bike, however, the reality on a quickly setup demo you’re going to have some accommodations to be aware of.

This Mondraker FOXY was a very poignant illustration of that. With all of the carbon bikes allocated to dealers (like BikeCo.com!) the demo fleet is made up of more entry level aluminum bikes.

This made it more important than ever to be able to understand what performance attributes would be due to Zero Suspension Design and Forward Geometry, which are shared with the FOXY Carbon R while being able to decipher what influence the aluminum construction and more cost-conscious spec had on my demo ride.

So what did I find?

Mondraker ZERO Suspension

My Mondraker FOXY First Ride made one thing really clear: Zero Suspension is notably compliant and competent. The Mondraker FOXY rides well planted and is confident in fast direction changes. The Mondraker suspension also is exceptional putting power to the rear tire. The planted feel minimizes rear wheel slip under power even in less than idea climbing conditions.

How was I able to determine this? Just beyond amazing demo? Ya, not exactly…

Well, it might seem somewhat counter intuitive to be really impressed with a design when the ride experience was kind of just above so/so right? Not when you can break apart the bike design, spec and setup.

The FOXY demo had FOX Performance DPS rear shock and FOX Performance GRIP 36 fork. Both of these are quality bits, but neither has the external compression controls of the FOX Factory or Ohlin’s products to help provide more rider support quickly. Also, demo bikes are done to accommodate the widest range of riders. Well, many riders, especially lighter ones or riders with slower ground speeds, prefer less ramp rate so the suspension tends to have fewer volume spacers than you may run.

In short, I knew the suspension dampers were going to be somewhat overwhelmed – I tried to make up for some of this with a bit more aggressive air pressure but the mid-stroke of both fork and rear shock were going to be slightly lacking. Now, if the bike was mine could I get that dialed in over a few rides? Ya, with volume spacers and PSI variants you could get it close. With Pro Tune suspension you could get it even closer with size and speed based tuning in the circuit. But back to the FOXY.

The Mondraker Zero Suspension was exceptionally confident even with dampers that I knew were being overworked. How did this manifest on trail? Well, the bike didn’t squat into corners. In fact, even with a relatively soft mid-stroke in the rear shock the bike felt like it stood tall heading into turns.

Now, a little bit of that would be because the fork was being overwhelmed and allowing the weight to shift forward, but not all of it.

The FOXY was sure-footed and competent even with my body weight being tossed around a bit to make up for the lack of front end support. Impressively the bike was quick to change directions in both high speed “S’s” as well as medium or lower speed bermed switchbacks.

The demo bike was setup at 160mm with a 66 degree headtube angle. Personally I would be setting it p with a 170mm fork, not so much for the additional travel but to slacken the headtube, increase the trail measurement and raise the front end up just a bit.

This combined with a personalized cockpit (the demo bike even with full spacers underneath the stem was still a bit low for me) would have dialed in the front end and allowed the rear end to perform even better.

FOXY Forward Geometry

The Forward Geometry is what we expect in modern MTB geo. The Large Mondraker fit very similar to my current Large Yeti SB130LR.

Climbing you’re placed in a comfortable, powerful position allowing you to attack technical ascents. In fact, for a 150mm rear bike I was blown away with how well it climbed. The energy you invest pedaling can be felt in the acceleration.

Descending riders find a confident position able to control the front and rear wheel in a position without extreme body English movements.

MTB Demo Bike Checklist: 3 Lists of 3

I often tell riders to try to avoid coming back from a demo with a “I loved it” or “I didn’t love it” attitude.

Its tough to have all the bits line up to totally fall in love with a bike on a short demo. It’s not too hard to decide you’re not into the right bike if you don’t break apart what was based on bike design, bike category, spec or setup.

Being able to work with a resource to help define this will go a long way to understanding if you’re on the right bike with the wrong bits, or if you’re in the wrong category of bike (honestly the FOXY is probably a little bigger than I would ride – I’d probably lean into a slightly burly built RAZE – or maybe a faster spec’d FOXY… hmmm now I’ll have to go back and look again!)

So here’s my 3 lists of 3. 3 things I liked, 3 things I was neutral about and 3 things I would change if it was mine:

3 Things I Liked

Suspension had very consistent, confident, planted feel yet with power the bike was incredibly efficient. Felt like it was shorter rear travel than it is while climbing, found traction even in challenging conditions. Felt appropriate acceleration for increases in energy output.

Bike stayed behaved even when pushed past fork’s ramp or compression – that’s to say when I got in some “oh boy” moments and undoubtably was throwing my body around the bike didn’t spit me out but stayed competent and neutral.

Bike had good support in rear into corners, which must have been mechanical design as the shock was under ramped and didn’t have finite low speed compression controls.

3 things I’m Neutral About (I only did 2)

Geometry felt right for pedaling. Felt like I expected that size bike to feel. Didn’t feel a way off from my Yeti’s fit. (check dimensions)

Wheel and tire spec was as expected on a bike of this category. Not my ideal but worked fine.

3 Things I Would Change

Brakes. Magura or Hope for improved modulation and confident power. I’ve run both over the years with excellent results.

Suspension. Performance Suspension on the demo Foxy lacked the compression controls for fine tuning the feel. Combined with a much more linear feel due to fewer volume spacers than I would run had the bike diving more than I would have liked to see, but it 100% felt like it could be tuned out with volume spacers in Performance Suspension and volume spacers and compression settings in Ohlins of FOX Factory Suspension. I would likely end up with the Ohlins’ spec’d on the FOXY Carbon R for this bike, or a Factory Float X and Factory 36 if I went with a Raze.

Cockpit: Hands were a bit low on test bike (bars sat taller than Yeti next to it, but BB difference probably made back up for that). Getting your hands in the right place is important for finite bike feel.

In the market for #thebestinMTB? Work with the experts at BikeCo.com to get dialed in on the best bikes, with the best suspension designs, spec for your budget and setup to your needs.

See you on the trails! Nate at BikeCo.com

 

Shop In-Stock Mondraker Bikes here at BikeCo.com!

 

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22 Mondraker FOXY First Ride Demo
6-17 2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR with Upgrades Profile

Learned something about the 2022 Mondraker FOXY from this demo write up? Well see how I put together my personal FOXY Carbon after riding the aluminum demo…

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What to look for in an MTB Demo Ride!

We made a quick video highlighting some of the important concepts for demo-ing MTB setups to learn the most about the bike in the quickest amount of time.

We invite you to check it out above.

One of the important concepts: on your ride find 3 things you like, 3 things you are neutral about and 3 things that you’d change if it was yours.

Also, some data to bring that is awesome for setup as well as performance queries:

On your current bike:
What tire pressures do you run? What sidewall technology?
Is your current suspension setup “even” or a bit biased to a stiffer fork than rear shock?
What is your bike’s handlebar width?  What is your current bike’s approximate grip to ground measurement? Do you know how tall of rise your current bars are?

This data really helps our team work through your trail experience to help you define what you liked and what you would change on your next bike. In essence you’re looking to define if the category of bike is right for you, if the suspension design and trail feel is to your liking and if the bike’s geo gives you a fit with some adjustability.

Knowing how to setup a bike to allow you to quickly separate this data will go a long way to maximizing your trail time and what you learn about the bike! Shop #thebestinMTB including Ibis, Mondraker and Yeti bikes at BikeCo.com

 

Update: Check out these concepts in action with my Mondraker FOXY First Ride Impressions here!

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Welcoming the 2022 Mondraker Lineup with Fresh Content!

2022 Mondraker Crafty Carbon

With BikeCo picking up the 2022 Mondraker lineup it’s been a really interesting opportunity to create a variety of new content highlighting the bikes.

2022 Mondraker Raze Carbon

For the incoming 2022 Mondraker Raze Carbon we used an image from Mondraker’s marketing and PhotoShopped in a variety of upgrades that our staff and clients would want to see.

Custom Mondraker RAZE comparison

Digital upgrades to the image included the new FOX Float X rear shock, Factory Transfer Seatpost and Magura MT7 brakes with MDR-P rotors.

Custom Mondraker RAZE dream build by BikeCo

These updates to the Raze Carbon’s spec are almost all coming together on our purchasing agent Mike’s build BTW…

Providing the Mondraker Raze a bit more “punch” in the rear with the Float X will pair well with the FOX 36 fork’s performance window. With Mondraker’s Zero Suspension design being so efficient, and the new FOX Float X having a wide range of adjustability and a 2 position open / firm lever the additional downhill performance comes with a very minor sacrifice uphill or when accelerating.

You’ll see Magura brakes on probably a majority of the bikes BikeCo.com puts out. With nearly equal popularity the Magura MT7 and MT5 brakes provide excellent modulation, confident predictability and low service requirements.

MDR-P rotors on the Mondraker Raze Carbon – this is admittedly a bit of overkill. They ended up on this digital image for a pair of reasons. One, they look cool as hell. Two, since they’re more substantial brakes it made the PhotoShop work a bit easier… Just cause I’m in marketing doesn’t mean I’m here to lie to you! Hahaha…

Two other bikes that we’re really excited to be offering through the Mondraker US distributor Zeitbike are the Crafty Carbon and the 2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon.

2022 Mondraker Crafty Carbon

The excitement for the new Mondraker lineup had us invest in some additional creative assets. We wanted to share the absolutely breathtaking lines and colorways in more ways than just images in the alley.

To introduce the Crafty Carbon RR we shot a video and stills with a new backdrop as well as lighting fixtures to try to compliment the bike with a less “sterile” or operating room feel. These are bikes that look mean and fast just sitting there. We thought a dark, moody vibe with the Mondraker colors would create some really interesting visuals.

Using a jib and gimble with a GoPro 10 we were able to capture some cool video highlights of the bike. Still images were used to add some visual depth to the video as well.

With the popularity of the 2022 Crafty Carbon we wanted to give riders even a little more to wet their appetites – so Joe and I went out to generate a variety of still and video content.

Shot with a combination of GoPro, DSLR, point and shoot pocket camera and iPhone video at The Luge the Crafty Carbon’s performance was highlighted well.

The same camera assets were paired with the Shure MV88 and Shure MV7 with a laptop for a public interview setting with BikeCo owner Joe Binatena discussing the finer points of the 2022 Mondraker Crafty Carbon including the BOSCH Smart System as well as how the Zero Suspension is an ideal crossover from MTB to eMTB application.

We were glad the public interview came out as well as it did – footage like this gives a great feel but you are at the mercy of the outdoors. The advantages of the candid feel versus a sound studio recording aren’t always easy to capture but with the Crafty Carbon video I think it’s a good balance.

2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon

Personally the Foxy Carbon and the Raze are my favorite in the Mondraker lineup. While I kind of gravitate to the Raze in terms of travel and application I have to admit that the combination of the lines and colors of the Foxy have me pondering the bigger travel bike!

Like the eMTB Crafty we wanted to introduce the 2022 Foxy Carbon in a way that would highlight the visual attributes of this enduro bike. Forward geometry is long, low and slack. The combination of the gloss and matte on the Foxy strike an attract balance as well.

We are still storyboarding the follow up content for the Mondraker Foxy – probably some riding shots, a few video assets and maybe another interview? Possibly a group review with a few of us who have trail time on the Foxy?

Are you in the market for a Foxy? What questions do you have that we can answer? Hit us up by email or webchat and let us know!

In fact, whether you’re shopping the 2022 Raze, Crafty Carbon or Foxy we’re here to answer your questions to get you dialed in.

From custom tuned suspension offerings, build upgrades like Magura brakes, revised cockpits, oh, AXS anyone – BikeCo.com has you covered in any of the 2022 Mondraker MTB lineup.

 

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Increase Support & Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance

Products and Tips to Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance

As your riding progresses your settings and preferences are going to change. Faster, more aggressive riding puts different demands on your equipment and balancing your setup with these changes will help you improve your riding experience. You’re likely to find you need additional support from the suspension. This is typically done with increased compression or ramp rate which can compromise some of your small bump compliance. Let’s take a quick look at other components and techniques that can add some of your small bump compliance back as you ride faster.

 

Faster tends to be smoother

Imagine a boat going slowly riding up a series of waves. Up each face and down the back. Then the next. It has a certain “rock” to it right? Well if that boat is able to increase the speed it can decrease the vertical motion of “rock” by not dipping all the way down into each trough. Like “whoops” in moto – skipping across the top decreases the vertical motion. Same with your mountain bike.

Now, should you just skip out of control across everything? Nope. But momentum is often your friend.

Increase Support and Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance Cornering

Why You Need More Support

How does your setup need to change with that speed?

Well you’re going to need more support. If you’re running soft suspension it’s going to do a couple negative things.

First, it’s going to tend to “pack” and stay deeper in the travel then it needs to be. This will actually create a harsher ride as the PSI has increased while still being too soft for the next concern.

Burying the bike… Really a bummer and frankly can be kinda dangerous especially if the fork is too soft and buries itself into a hole or the front side of a rock you’re trying to roll past. Front end stuffs, bike slows way down or stops, your momentum keeps going and you’re a lawn dart. No fun.

So as your ground speed increases its important to give yourself that additional suspension support. While you might adjust sag a few percent most of this support is going to be through low and high speed compression as well as volume spacing to increase the air ramp rate and support.

Increase Support and Improve MTB Small Bump Compliance Support Image with proper compression

But, I Don’t Want A Bike That Chatters All The Time

No, you don’t want a bike that loses all of it’s small bump compliance.

And, sorry, but for just a second I’m getting on my soapbox: a lot of suspension talks about “small bump compliance” as the travel between full extension (you’re bike’s in the garage) and sag (with you sitting on it). This isn’t small bump compliance to me. This is droop. Sorry I’m a car guy and when the suspension goes away from me, or droops down – well that’s not what I consider absorbing a small bump. It’s falling away until the weight catches up. So, for this, Small Bump is referring to bumps that engage the suspension travel past the sag point in compression, ie you’re riding and hit a small bump and the suspension absorbs it…

OK, back to my point.

So you’ve had to make your suspension stiffer, or less compliant, in order to have it be able to “punch back” at the terrain without diving in and out of the travel. How do you keep your teeth from rattling out?

There’s a handful of places to look at that you can find small bump compliance outside of the suspension.

Rubber is a Damper

Many of the more “grippy” compounds actually are designed to incorporate additional damping. A lot of our racers will run the MaxxGrip front tire to get just even that bit more compliance since their suspension is so aggressive.

Tire sidewalls are playing a bigger and bigger role in fine tuning MTB riding compliance. Heavier sidewalls provide additional protection as well as damping through mass and material properties.

More aggressive sidewall technology provides additional mechanical support assisting the tire’s “air spring” to support your weight. This tends to allow riders to run a lower overall tire pressure providing better tire compliance and grip.

And yes, the air in your tire is a spring. And like your suspension it as it is compressed the pressures rise. The tire’s mass and sidewall properties effectively are the damper on this spring force. A heavier, stiffer sidewall is going to help slow the tire’s air spring better. This will help minimize harsh “run through” or even prevent or minimize rim strikes (which man, you can feel those in the hands!).

Another product that can help with compliance are CushCore tire inserts.

CushCore provide three unique modifications to a tires performance.

First, it’s a mechanical damper for the last bit of tire compression prior to the rim. Think of a jounce bumper in a shock: it’s a compressible item designed to absorb impact prior to it hitting a less compressible, and certainly less ideally compressible rim…

Second it works as a volume spacer in your tire. Similar to suspension adding volume spacers allows a lower starting PSI to more quickly ramp up to the proper supporting PSI.

Third and perhaps most notable and at the same time kind of the hardest to describe is how the CushCore’s contact point lowers the sidewalls leverage ratio in many conditions. That’s to say that by putting pressure on the sidewall, or maybe support is the better term, it shortens the available length of the sidewall which allows takes away some of the mechanical advantage the ground can apply to it. Think of waving a ruler holding onto the far edge, then holding in the middle. Lowering the leverage makes a big difference right?

Learn more about Maxxis tire compounds, sidewalls and tread patterns here

Magura MT7 HC MT7 and MT5 Levers Compared

Top to Bottom: Magura MT7 HC, Magura MT7 and Magura MT5 brake levers. Shop the Magura and Shimano brake lineup here.

Brakes, Braking and Slow is Fast

Stay with me on this one, it’ll make sense. Bigger brakes will help your small bump compliance. Well, bigger, more powerful brakes and a bit of technique.

You’ve probably seen it on trail – the rider heading into a chunky section who gets timid, grabs a handful of brakes, stuffs the suspension 1/3 down into the travel and then is, at best, jostled horribly across the terrain trying to regain control? So two things wrong there.

One, momentum is your friend like we mentioned earlier.

Two, especially with your fork, grabbing a bunch of brake OR staying on the brakes too late just stuffs the bike into it’s suspension. Instead of hitting the chunk at sag with say 80% of the travel left (and at the sag PSI) you’ve gone in at like half travel, cutting down both the amount of travel you have left as well as making the bike way more harsh as it enters chunk. No good!

Sort of like how when you corner there’s a point you need to be off the brakes and let the bike roll in (ya, you can trail brake to a point – but you’re not like smashing brakes while trail braking or braking through the corner) anyhow, so you ideally have a point that you need to get off the brakes and let the bike reset its rake and sag before you go blasting through chunk.

This allows you to take advantage of the more plush suspension further in the fork’s extension, have more travel left to absorb the terrain as well as resetting the headtube angle, and therefor trail measurements as well. All good stuff.

Handlebars, Grips, Gloves and Hands

So frankly, the two tips above are going to provide you the biggest jumps in small bump compliance as you up your compression settings. There are a few places that you can get a bit more feel, and every little bit does help.

Handlebars

Carbon fiber has a unique balance of stiffness while being able to slightly damp vibration input. Really that’s the beauty of carbon bars. Being a bit lighter is great too, particularly high up on a bike where center of gravity makes a big difference, but the real draw is the feel.

OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar Shape

Carbon also can be manufactured in a variety of shapes that would be really difficult in other materials. This allows two advantages. Weight saving and performance tuning. Removing material where it’s not needed such as the Tag T1 Carbon Bar with ovalized bar ends is an example of both.

The bar that probably takes the most advantage of this is the OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar. With it’s unique shape the OneUp bar is designed to improve small bump compliance by eliminating off-axis material in the rise transition.

Handlebar Width = Leverage Rate

Handlebar width is important to how your bike rides.

Obviously you need your hands in a comfortable position that allows you a power position to push the bar into corners and pull the bars over terrain. We’ve touched on that in other blogs over the years.

In regards of small bump compliance you’re looking at the leverage ratio of your bar’s design as well as your final bar width. As you narrow your bar you decrease the leverage ration which increases the bar’s stiffness.

We’ve actually seen handlebar manufacturers try to push a “one size fits all” on some stiffer bars because if you lower the leverage ratio they become like teeth rattling stiff. We don’t all need to run 800mm bars. (at 6’1” I run 785 as a point of reference)

If you’re trimming bars it’s worth a look how stiff the bars start out. If you’re trimming towards the minimum cut widths it might be worth looking at a less stiff bar to start.

Shop our favorite handlebars here!

Grips

Some riders are big fans of the grips with a slight rotation designed into them. We setup some clients on those if they want them – but – we don’t really ride those in the shop.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of the grip rotating and taking away some of the feel when I really clamp down on the handlebars. There’s also a part of me that doesn’t particularly like having more moving bits than needed on my setup.

Gripping

Now I’m not saying you death grip the bar. Far from it. Letting the bar slightly rattle in your hands helps minimize trail feedback. In fact one of the tips from my younger brother years ago on really long descents like San Juan Trail he would pick his spots and push his thumb into his middle finger and literally let the bar bounce in those circles. I never wrapped my head around that really – but he was doing 50 and 100 mile races and keeping your body feeling good was critical.

While we’re on how you grip the bar, it won’t change small bump compliance, but if your brakes or controls are out of position and require you to rock your hands “up” or “down” the trail feedback is much more likely to cause pain when you ride.

Similarly if you ride in gloves that are too big and “bunch” up in your grip position you can expect discomfort in your hands.

Gloves with large contact pads tend to create hand discomfort. Rather than minimizing trail feedback the extra movement thick contact pads either creates hot spots or perhaps has riders gripping a bit too much.

Wrapping It Up

Ok. Eighteen hundred words. That’s a bunch right? So to wrap it up in a quick paragraph:

Increase your compression and ramp as you ride faster to aid support at speed. Remember momentum is often your friend. Don’t slam on a handful of brakes into the terrain features and pack the suspension up. Run tires with appropriate support. Hold on right, not necessarily always tight. Should I have started with all of that and saved you the read? Hahaha… See you on the trails – Nate@BikeCo.com

 

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2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR in stock at BikeCo

BikeCo is excited to partner with ZeitBike USA, the US Mondraker distributor to bring the top tier of the Spanish MTB and eMTB lineup to the US. Check out some details on the 2022 Mondraker Foxy Carbon RR in the video and images below!

Like all of the brands we carry, as a US Mondraker Dealer BikeCo.com brings our clients access to the best in spec upgrades or swaps, the best tunes, setups and after sales service in MTB.

Featuring 150mm of rear travel and 160mm in the front the Foxy Carbon RR is a bike ready for the rowdy adventure days.

Rear suspension is controlled by the Ohlins TTX 2 air shock with adjustable PSI, Volume Spacing, Rebound, Low Speed and High Speed Compression.

Ohlins TTX 2 Air Shock HSC

The Ohlins RXF 36 M.2 fork provides riders with a 2 chamber air system, the main chamber as well as the negative, or Ramp Up Chamber.

Riders looking to increase support or bottom out resistance will increase their Ramp Up Chamber pressure similar to adding volume spacers.

Ohlins RXF 36 M2 Air and Ramp Up Chamber Mondraker Dealer BikeCo.com

The Ohlins RXF features Rebound, High and Low Speed Compression on the opposite leg.

Ohlins RXF 36 m2 LSC HSC and Rebound 22 Mondraker Dealer

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR Detail Images

Enjoy a few shots that highlight some of the build details on the 2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR.

This bike features the ZERO Suspension with Ohlins fork and rear shock, Forward Geometry, a 12sp Eagle drivetrain and is exceptionally light thanks to the Mondraker frame design.

2022 Mondraker FOXY Carbon RR in stock at BikeCo
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POC Standard, SPIN & MIPS Integra Explained

POC Kortal Race MIPS Integra

POC offers a lot of technologies on their MTB helmet lineup. Here we’ll take a quick look comparing the standard comfort foam, SPIN and MIPS Integra technologies.

As we showed in the video the major difference between a standard helmet and the SPIN option is the technology inserted in what we’ll call the “comfort foam” or “comfort pads”.

Rather than standard padding the SPIN (and MIPS Integra) feature an additional technology that improves the slight rotational slip plane designed to lessen impact severity.

Pinching any of these comfort pads you’ll compress the material. However, when you roll the materials between your fingers you’ll note a substantial difference.

The theory is additonal support in the SPIN and MIPS Integra design is designed to actually provide a small slip or rotation, extending the timeline of the deceleration and lowering the spike load of the impact.

Comfort Foam vs SPIN vs MIPS Integra helmet technology

SPIN comfort pad on the left and standard comfort pad on the right.

Below is the inside of a POC Tectal Race SPIN with the Spin comfort pad pulled away.

You can see that the SPIN pad mounts like a standard pad with velcro and sits directly onto the helmet’s internal foam.

MIPS SPIN mounting on foam

As a comparison the internals of a  MIPS Integra in the Kortal Race is shown below.

We’ve highlighted the edge of the slip plane that the comfort foam sits on.

The MIPS Integra’s comfort pad sits on this slip plane, connected by velcro tabs. The combination of the slip plane and the internal support / damping in the comfort pad gives riders another degree of protection in a crash.

MIPS Integra slip plane highlighted
MIPS Integra System : inside of a POC Kortal Race

If you jumped over from our Kortal Race review (or, even if you didn’t but want to read it!) you can find it here.

We hope this helped illustrate some technologies in the POC lineup. Having the SPIN & MIPS Integra explained is pretty simple, and should help you make the best choice of helmet technologies for your riding. We invite you to check out some other content or products here at BikeCo.com – the best in MTB.

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Clipless or Flats for MTB?

clipless or flats for mtb? Pedal Comparison

Wondering if clipless or flats are right for you? Let’s take a minute and go through some of the differences and preferences that will help you define Clipless or Flats for MTB.

First let’s look at some pedaling basics that will help you whether you choose to ride clipped in or on platform pedals.

Good Pedaling Practices

Spinning Circles

Spin circles. Seems simple right? Ironically after all the years of riding this probably one of my least applied practices… I’m going to reference a clock face with 12 being straight up, 3 being forward and we’re talking about the drive side crank, clock reference is flipped for non-drive.

Ideally you’re using a combination of muscles and movements when you pedal your bike, not just smashing down in the say 1 to 4 o’clock positions. (I’m so guilty of that).

Now, whether you’re running clipless or flat pedals you can take advantage of spinning better circles. It’s more efficient, it’s easier on your body, it probably looks better (according to my riding buddies who give me a hard time). How does the concept work?

Even though there is clearly a position of the most power you can still “drive” the pedals throughout most of the pedal stroke whether you’re riding flats or clipless. On the bottom of the pedal stroke, like say 4 to 8 o’clock you “drag” your foot back. Think of it like a moonwalk move or scuffing your foot almost. On the top of the circle you’re pushing that “scuffing” until the pedal drops back into the optimum power position.

Does this add a ton to your speed? Nah. But it is more efficient (when I remember to do it) and it fires different muscles that in turn helps ease the load across the rest of your legs.

One of the things new riders imagine is that with clipless pedals you can “pull” up on the opposite of the power down stroke. And, sort of you can, but again, it’s not nearly as efficient as the down stroke but every bit does help.

Footwork Matters

Getting the right foot “down” at the right time makes  a big difference. Learn to corner with your outside foot down. It greatly improves your ability to weight the bike and “drive” it through the corner with your feet. It also improves your ground clearance as you lean the bike over.

Heels Down

Again, this is for either pedal type. Get your heels down when you’re descending. It improves how the bike is weighted and gives you much more control, particularly in steep chutes.

Downsides?

Let’s get these out of the way right off the bat and move on with the day right? Here are the most common fears for each type of pedal.

Clipless: “What if I don’t get out of them?”

Yup. It’ll happen, but, from my experience it is absolutely not in the situation you’d think. I’ve run full speed out of crashes and then thought about, man, I never even mentally made the choice to clip out. It becomes automatic really quickly.

When I found it “more” likely to happen frankly is tired, at the top of a climb, when I would think I clipped one foot out and lean over only to find that I had in fact, clipped the other foot out. Almost always happens when there’s people watching. It’s like Murphy’s law.

Flats: “What if they hit me in the shins?”

Ya. That happens too. The last real good one I had was at the top of a trail bouncing off like a 6″ tall by 2′ long “table” messing around while chatting with friends. I wasn’t paying real attention and just kinda tried to save a foot coming off and then yup, snakebite.

The few times I’ve had bigger get offs with flat pedals I’ve been well clear of the bike pretty fast.

So there are the typical worries. Let’s compare some other aspects.

Comparing Cliplesss & Flats

Where are the real differences in your day to day riding? Let’s take a look.

Efficiency(?)

I started out riding clipless and went to flats the last few years. Honestly I haven’t noticed any efficiency differences – but – I’ve never been renowned for my pedaling prowess.

I’d imagine that clipless pedals are slightly more efficient for the average rider. I haven’t really looked into the weight differences between flats and clipless plus cleats either. If you’re riding XC / Trail and long adventure days that weight will mean more than an hour and a half rip after work.

Technique

Clipless pedals tend to hide technique issues. You can cheat on your bunny hops, you can pull the bike up or yank it around side to side in the air a bit easier if you’re offline, etc.

Here’s the scoop on that though: probably no one is grading your technique at the end of the ride except you right? So if you’re more confident clipped in then go for it.

When I rode clipless I kept a pair of flats around for the occasional rip to work on technique. It’s interesting as I found that where I thought “flats will be great in the gnarly stuff” once I got bouncing around in it I realized “hmm, I miss being attached to the bike a bit more!”. The bottom of our local Car Wreck trail was my big eye opener on that.

Once I moved permanently to flats I found that I had to corner slightly different or my “upper” or inside foot tended to bounce off the pedals. Clipless had kept me hooked in for all those years and it was an eye opener that I had been just floating that foot essentially.

If you ride flats you’re going to need to concentrate more on keeping your feet “planted” on the bike consistently. Whether bunny hopping the obstacles, or ripping through the chatter.

Using your knees as “suspension” to absorb the bike up and drive it down is a great technique to practice whether you’re running flats or not.

Confidence

You know, your riding is really about you. What are you confident on? What causes you concern? Sounds over simplified, but really if you’re thinking about “extra” things when you really should be concentrating on other things that’s no good right?

I’m going to use a recent experience as an example, although not MTB related. I was on the freeway the not too long ago on my motorcycle. Now, I’ve got a lot of years and a ton of miles on motorcycles so admittedly it can seem a bit “autopilot” at times. It was a high speed day but with traffic – nothing too out of the ordinary heading up to the shop from San Diego. Anyhow, when the hills dropped away into Del Mar and I got a cross wind there was a repetitive thumping on the side of my head… Turns out I hadn’t fastened the helmet! Instantly that was all I could think about. I didn’t want to pull over in the construction area and get creamed by a car so I rode on a bit looking for an offramp. I’m big on helmet safety and this was really not a good feeling and I got hyper focused on it. To the point that when I got off the freeway to correct it I ended up pulling over onto a steep grade and nearly dumping the adventure bike on my legs! I had been so mis-focused that I made a mistake I probably never had made in 20+ years of riding moto… Point is, if you’re having to really put tremendous thought into something it will have other consequences.

Are you worried about that technical single track and whether you could get a foot out before you tumbled off the edge? Well, being aware of that is one thing. Hyper focusing on it to the point you are scared isn’t fun or effective.

If you’re confident or even cautiously confident or aware you’re much better off.

Clipless Pedals Explained

Clipless pedals use a cleat to engage with spring loaded “clamps”.

As you saw in the video most clipless pedals are engaged by stepping “in and down”. The forward tab of the cleat fits under the forward bar and then you step down with your heel. As you step down the rear of the cleat’s radius will put pressure on the spring loaded bar (shown as rear in the video, but could be either front or rear depending on design) opening the bars allowing the cleat to pass before the spring clamps the bars in place.

To exit clipless pedals you pivot your heel outboard. This rotates the cleat in the clamps allowing the cleat to disengage. The geometry of the design means that it generally takes less pressure to clip out than to clip in as the spring loaded bar doesn’t need to move the same amount.

It’s pretty simple and your muscle memory will pick up on it quickly.

Differences in Clipless Feel

The main difference in clipless pedals is the amount of “float” they have in the design.

Float can be two different motions: lateral or rotational.

Lateral float is how much extra area there is for the cleat to move inboard or outboard while staying engaged. For instance Time pedals tend to have more lateral float than Shimano pedals.

Rotational float is dependent on cleat design. Most pedals have a similar range of rotational float before the pedal disengages, although some manufacturers may offer cleats that have different shapes providing quicker or later disengagement.

Many pedals offer adjustable spring rates. This adjusts to rider preference for clip in pressure, hold while clipped in, and to a lesser extent the clip out pressure. When I rode Time pedals I like a mid pressure setup. If I ride HT clipless pedals I tended to tighten the spring more to provide a more confident clip out feel (seems sort of counterintuitive I know, but it works).

Shopping Clipless Pedals

As mentioned previously there is a feel difference between clipless pedals.

Riders looking for a very “set in” almost like a ski boot feel gravitate to the Shimano lineup.

Those who prefer a bit more movement in their pedals tend to shop the Time lineup. The lateral float is felt most during climbing if you are a rider who likes to wiggle around.

Shopping Flat Pedals

Flat pedals come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Pedals generally are somewhat “sized” depending on your shoe size. If you’ve got big feet you should shop bigger pedals – makes sense right? (Luckily we list the platform dimensions to help riders compare our selection of platform pedals).

clipless or flats for mtb PNW Loam Pedal Dimensions

Thinner pedals will slightly improve ground clearance. Thicker pedals may tend to have better bearings for heavier riders.

Some riders prefer more mechanical concave to help sit “into” the pedal.

Hell, some riders love the look and color of a model and that’s enough! We only carry proper pedals so you don’t have to worry about falling in love with a garbage brand or model here at BikeCo.com

The Worst of Both Worlds

OK, this is a bit of a soapbox rant based mostly on my opinion. Grain of salt if you want – or agree with me and be right! (hahaha, just kidding)

What about pedals that have clips on one side and flats on the other? Well, they’re the worst of both worlds.

Reasons to commit to one or the other:

Clipless side – if you’re trying to clip in and only one side of the pedal has the assembly what are the mathematical odds that it’s facing the correct way? You might think 50% – but you’re wrong. Murphy’s law comes into play and its almost ALWAYS on the bottom and you have to flip the pedal around with your foot till you get it to step into it.

Flat pedal side – ever seen the road biker clippty clomping around the coffee shop and then WHAM!! slipped on the cleat? Ya. Cleats are metal. Metal on hard surfaces tends to be slippery as hell. Clipless shoes have a large area removed to accommodate mounting cleats and allowing them to move forward to back and side to side. So, your clipless shoe with a cleat in it essentially has a big void of traction right near the contact point of your shoe. That means your choices on the platform pedal side are total shit traction, or you can move way forward on the pedal to get to the shoe’s sole around your midfoot or further back. Which isn’t great for control.

Hopefully you’ve learned about the differences between clipless and flats for MTB – we invite you to shop both types of pedals as well as The Best in MTB here on BikeCo.com!

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Four Best MTB Dropper Posts

Top Four MTB Dropper Posts

Which are the best MTB dropper posts? The features, reliability, and frankly a bit of bling go into narrowing our list to the best MTB dropper posts on the market.

One thing about the MTB industry – it rarely stands still. MTB Dropper posts have gotten more functional, longer travel with increased service life. The seatposts we’ll examine are class leaders available in a variety of sizes to dial in any rider.

Most riders start their search by determining the size range they’ll need.

What Size Dropper Post Will Fit?

Starting with your inseam measurement you can deduce what size dropper posts will fit your needs.

Subtract the frame collar to pedal surface as well as saddle rail to saddle seating surface from the inseam measurement.  This will get you in the neighborhood to size you dropper.

Remember to leave some wiggle room to go down. Spec’ing a post that is required to sit collar to collar on your bike means if you need it shorter you’re going to have to adjust it in the seatposts’ travel. (either with PNW or OneUp style adjustments or by slightly lowering the saddle each time (less than ideal))

Further down in the post you’ll find dimensions comparing the travel, collar to rails, overall length as well as min and max insertion of our four favorite brands of post.

What are our Top Four MTB Dropper Posts?

This list shows our four favorites, in no particular order. It’s up to you to review sizing and features to decide which of these posts best suits your needs.

FOX Transfer Factory Kashima Dropper Post

It’s not all about the Kashima coating – well – some of it is about how good the Kashima coat looks with your FOX Factory fork and rear shock I suppose for sure!

200mm, 175mm, and 150mm travel options give riders of all sizes options.

The new seat clamp is designed to sit lower allowing riders more travel per size. The revised FOX Transfer is also notably lighter than it’s predecessors. FOX has improved the Transfer’s internals providing longer service life with easier serviceability. Perhaps as notable as the seat clamp is the reduced insertion depth, again, allowing longer travel in smaller frames.

FOX Transfer Seatposts

FOX Factory Transfer Seatpost. New head for lower overall length.

PNW LOAM & Rainier Gen 3 Seatposts

Compare PNW Loam and Rainier Gen 3 Seatposts

PNW Loam & Rainier Gen 3 Posts

PNW’s MTB dropper posts lineup feature some unique design advantages.

First, like the OneUp, the adjustable travel allows riders to maximize dropper travel. Looking for maximum travel? Well with the tool-less adjustability it couldn’t be easier to run the most seatpost your frame will allow.

PNW posts are cost conscious as well. The Loam post features a revised cartridge designed for ease of maintenance while the Rainier Gen 3’s cartridge absolutely shines in cold, wet, conditions.

The PNW travel adjust system provides 5 settings, each reducing travel by 5mm (total of 25mm).

This produces the available popular travel lengths:

200-175mm
175-150mm
150-125mm

Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 Seatpost

The Revive 2.0 MTB dropper seatpost features a unique “reset” capacity.

Utilizing an internal cartridge capable of purging air from the hydraulics with external controls you can eliminate any squish in your seatpost faster than your buddy can get his shoes on.

Simply engage the quarter turn access hardware near the seatpost head, compress the seatpost, and release the bleed hardware. It’s that easy.

The Revive 2.0 is available in long travel options making it popular with riders looking for maximum drop. 213mm and 185mm posts are available.

The Revive 2.0 has a max rider weight of 250lbs.

Bike Yoke Revive Seatposts

Bike Yoke Revive 2.0

OneUp Dropper V2

OneUp Dropper Seatpost V2

OneUp Dropper V2 Seatpost

The OneUp Dropper V2 seatpost is a cost conscious, long travel, adjustable travel option appropriate for a variety of riders.

The Dropper V2 can have it’s travel reduced either 10mm or 20mm below its stock height allowing riders some wiggle room on fine tuning their fit.

The V2 post also has a user replaceable cartridge available for $60 for the home mechanic.

Some of our favorite poits on the V2 dropper are its low overall length and stack meaning longer travel options will fit in smaller frames.

Popular travel sizes are 210mm, which can reduce to 200 or 190mm,  180mm (170,160mm) and 150mm (140,130mm)

Compare Dimensions on our 4 Favorite MTB Dropper Posts

Review Travel, Collar to Saddle Rails, Overall Height as well as Minimum and Maximum insertion of the FOX, PNW, Bike Yoke and OneUp dropper posts.

Seatpost Dimension Diagram
Measurements in MM
Travel Collar to Rails Total Length Max Insertion Min Insertion
FOX Transfer 200 238.9 530.7 291.8 150
FOX Transfer 175 213.2 475.1 261.9 100
FOX Transfer 150 188.2 418.3 230 100
PNW Loam 200* 250* 540 290 145
PNW Loam 170* 220* 480 260 120
PNW Loam 150* 200* 440 240 190
PNW Rainier Gen 3 200* 255* 555 300 180
PNW Rainier Gen 3 170* 225* 493 268 150
Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 213 255 582 327 130
Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 185 227 517 290 130
Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 160 202 467 265 100
OneUp Dropper V2 210* 243* 540 297 150
OneUp Dropper V2 180* 213* 480 267 120
OneUp Dropper V2 150* 183* 420 237 90
* PNW & OneUp posts have adjustable travel options