MTB stuff that has filtered down to other cycling areas - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

MTB stuff that has filtered down to other cycling areas

Mike Ayling

First we have the suspension fork.

Introduced to stop the MTB bouncing around when fanging downhill.

The industry introduced the “Hybrid” said to combine features of a MTB and a road bike.

Early models had a fork travel of 50mm or so and as they were seldom serviced the owner usually ended up with a rigid fork anyway. Current models appear to offer a slightly better quality suspension fork with a bit more travel. And of course a lot of already heavy ebikes come with one.

32 mm is now the standard tyre width for commuting and general purpose entry level riding which depending on rider weight can be run at 60psi or less giving quite a comfortable ride without a suspension fork.

Then came disc brakes.

They were destroying rims very quickly particularly in wet muddy conditions. Discs have sucessfully transitioned to almost all areas of cycling and most riders love them. Also some touring and tandem riders using incorrect braking techniques managed to overheat rims on long descents resulting in tubes exploding from the heat with bad results. So a big plus for tourist and tandem riders. IMHO they are ugly and a lot heavier than rim brakes but you can use tyres that are a lot wider than you could accommodate with rim brakes.

Through axle aka slow release axle.

Quick release axles were tending to come out of the dropouts under hard braking which was not a Good Thing so drop outs were removed and a hole put through the fork smooth on one side and threaded on the other. Professional Race mechanics now use electric rattle guns to remove and replace through axles for quick wheel changes.

Tubeless tyres

Running fat tyres at low pressures to get more rubber on the road resulted in pinch flats in tubes so tubeless was the answer. They require high pressures to seat properly on rims, a job best done by a bike shop which has high pressure air available and the slime requires topping up at intervals. Tubeless are great if you live in an area with a lot of goats head thorns or commute on roads with a lot of debris but if you are puncture averse for general conditions stick to one of the Schwalbe heavyweight options with a tube inside.

Bloke on the train

Returning from my ride last Sunday I met a young bloke with a beautiful Cervello road bike.

He complained that he had to cut his ride short because he had neglected to charge his Di2 battery so could not change gears. Looking at his bike I noticed that shock, horror it had rim brakes and he said that he chose them because they were lighter than discs! He then commented that his tyres were 25 X 622 running tubeless at 100psi. When I suggested that being tubeless perhaps he could run them at slightly lower pressures he maintained that it would slow hum down.


Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Keith AdamsTo Mike Ayling

"perhaps he could run them at slightly lower pressures he maintained that it would slow him down"

Perhaps, but it apparently depends on the surface being ridden.  I read an article recently that claimed lower pressures on rough surfaces are actually faster overall, because they absorb some of the impact and the rider spends far less time and energy bouncing around, enabling cycle and rider to make progress more rapidly.

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Keith Adams

I have not read that particular article but I frequent a number of cycling forums and am aware of the gist of it.

Btw the professionals in Europe who race on cobbles are using 30 and 32 mm tyres so they must have read the article too.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Wayne EstesTo Mike Ayling

My local roads are mostly chip-seal. 100 psi causes way too many airborne episodes. 80 psi is faster, safer, and more comfortable because the tire stays in contact with the road instead of going airborne on big bumps. That applies to 23-28mm tires. I use lower pressure with fatter tires.

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago
Mike AylingTo Wayne Estes

Ha Ha I thought that once chipseal got a grip on your tyres it did not let go, even over bumps!

Back on message I weigh 70kg or 154 pounds and I ride my unloaded bikes on 32mm tyres at 60 psi for a comfortable ride. 

Reply    Link    Flag
1 week ago