How To Set Up An Enduro Mountain Bike For A Bike Park

Something we often get
asked on Ask GMBN is what sort of bike do I
need to ride a bike park. The truth is you can ride a bike park on most types of mountain bike. Right here, I’ve got my Enduro bike, and I’m gonna show you my top tips on setting one up just to ride bike parks. (wheel kicking up rocks) I’m gonna take you through
my contact points first. That’s where my hands are, my bum is, and where my feet are on the bike. Up front, I got the high-rise option in a full eight hundred ml width bar. Not everyone needs a bar this wide, but I’m quite tall and it
suits the bike really well, having the bigger wheels. I like the high rise option because I like the way the bike feels like this. I get my position further backwards. And it gives a good feel on the bike. The most important thing really here is the brake lever
position, and I run these really quite high compared
to a lot of my friends. This is really good on your hands because you actually put a lot
of your weight directly onto the heel of your hands
rather than on your thumb, which you would normally
use on steeper descents. It takes a lot of the strain away and really tries to get
you away from arm pump, which you get on those longer runs. I also like to run my levers quite inboard so I’m braking right on
the end of my finger here. And also like this to feel
quite close to the bar, so that’s the bike point
of the lever itself. And the reason for that is when
you’re riding long descents, you know, twenty minute
descents and stuff, it’s quite strenuous on your forearms and on your hands itself and it’s a stronger position
for your hand to be in. When your brake lever
is nearer to the bar, you’ve got that more
mechanical advantage over it. It’s worth considering doing that. I know a lot of people don’t like that, and they like their brake
levers to feel further away, but it’s actually a weaker
position to have your hand in. In addition to that, you
gotta factor in grips. Grips are a completely
personal preference thing. I really like the the flange so I can lean up against that. And I also like quite a fat grip, whereas back home, for normal
riding on regular trails, I like a thinner grip so I
have more feel on the bike. But at a bike park, you need
all the padding you can, just to really minimise that
sort of shake and vibration. It’s all about minimising
that vibration and effort that’s transmitted through to your arms. If you can be nice and
relaxed on the bike, you’re in control, you don’t
have to hold on too tight, you’re gonna be able to
ride faster for longer and be in more control. Saddle position is actually a really important one for the bike park. You don’t really need
your saddle too much, hence I got it slammed out
the way on my seat post. Also, when I have to run
a saddle at full height for my maximum leg extension,
the top of the seat post is actually quite a bit higher. I’ve actually slammed
it as far into the frame that I can, and obviously dropped it. You want to get the saddle out of the way because it obviously makes the bike handle a lot better on the steeper stuff. But of course, I can still run it up again so I can transition with stages. Anywhere I need to pedal, it’s there. Final contact point to
talk about is the pedals. Now this is a completely
personal preference thing here. Many people choose to run a flat pedal in bike parks, for the obvious reason. They’re really good fun. They’re good if you like to
jump and play around with stuff. I know Blake is a huge fan of flat pedals. I really like clip pedals,
and that’s for a few reasons. It obviously, you got the security your feet aren’t gonna
bounce off the pedals, which is more important
on an Enduro-style bike because you haven’t got that extra cush that you have on a big downhill bike. But also, there’s a big thing that people do forget with clipless pedals is the fact that these
don’t have to pay attention to what your feet are doing on the pedals. Makes it a lot easier on your arms. You can take a lot of the
bike’s weight on your feet. Your upper body is more relaxed. And I’ve always found
if I do runs on clips, compared to flats in a bike park, I feel way less tired if
I’m running clipless pedals. Again that’s my personal
preference to do that but there is no right or wrong for this. You also might notice on here, I’ve got full chain
guide on the bottom here. Well, I’ve got an upper chain guide and it’s got a Taco bash plate. I probably wouldn’t need to
run one of these at home, I’d just run an upper guide, but having a bash plate
is really beneficial, especially at Whistler because
at the top of the park, there’s so much loose
rock that flies around. I’ve had it in the past where
I’ve damaged chains and stuff so it’s just that extra
little bit of security. It does also mean if you’re running some of the tighter,
more technical tracks, you’ve got that protection, as well, where you’re going over
logs and drops and things. Pretty sensible idea to have on your bike. Now the contact points
of the bike are done, I wanna run you through the
wheels, and the brakes and more control elements of the bike. I’m running a big 200 ml
disc on the front here, and I’m running a 180 on the back. I don’t normally run a disc as big as this on my Enduro bike. I tend to run 180’s front and rear. Again, that is a personal
preference thing but running a bigger front
disc does make sense to me. You ride the front brake
quite a lot for braking power, especially on those longer descents, really helps with your control. Tyres, of course, are a
personal preference thing, and you have to factor in in a bike park, you are gonna be riding rougher terrain a lot faster than you normally do. I tend to run a Schiebler set up and I do run inserts
inside my tyre, as well. Just that foam insert to help protect the rim against those
inevitable rock strikes. They don’t really weigh too much and they do give you that piece of mind. Because of the foam
itself, you end up running a little bit more sealant, as well. No bad thing, just gives you a
bit more puncture resistance, but don’t forget to carry an
inner tube with you, as well, because if you slash a tyre carcass, which is likely, you’re
walking pretty much. Now let’s look at my suspension set-up. I’m running four volume spacers in here. A lot of people don’t
like to run that many. I do like a really progressive fork. I like it to sit in that
mid-stroke, let it sit up nicely. I’m running this with 25% sag. I would normally run
30% but I want it to sit a bit higher for those long descents. And an Outback on the shock. I’m running six bounce in
that Monarch Plus shock, and the reason for that is, again, I want it to really ramp up
towards the end of stroke, and I’m running out with 30% sag. The bike sits bias towards the back, and that really is because you’re spending most of your time on a
steep gradient terrain. Keep the bike that bit more
composure on the rough stuff. The eagle eyed amongst
you might have spotted I’m running an angleset in here. Effectively, all that is
is angled headset cups so you can slacken or
steepen a head angle. The head angle on the Nukeproof
Mega 290 like this one is 66 degrees, which is
absolutely fine for a 29’er, but again, for running
a big mountain stuff, chair lift runs, or just want that little bit extra wheel basin, little bit extra on the head angle. This is with a one degree cup on here. I don’t wanna go too far. Just run a 65 degrees,
and the bike sits so well, and that is a perfect setup for me. The final thing to take into account with any bike that you’re
gonna ride in a bike park, especially a place like Whistler, is a bit of frame protection. You’re gonna get constant flying rocks that are going to chip your
paint away and stuff like that, but also bikes on chairlifts,
you get accidents where top tubes rub against each
other, brake levers do, even your knee pads can rub
through your top tube mat, so on this particular bike, I’ve got a bit of heavy tape all along the top tube here. I’ve got the crank cover
caps here, just on the end. Little rubber caps just to protect them for those inevitable rock strikes. And, of course, we got a nice, heavy-duty rubber chainstay protector, and a bit more on the inside of the seat stay. Just take into account when
riding bike in a bike park, it’s gonna age it prematurely, so look after your pride and joy. Hopefully this video’s given you some great ideas on setting up your Enduro bike for bike park riding. Don’t forget to click on the globe here to subscribe for more videos. Brand-new video every single day. Click down here if you wanna see Enduro bike versus downhill bike. That’s a really useful one to know about. And also click down here to find out about stashing stuff on your
bike with Greg Callahan. Finally, don’t forget, give us a thumbs up if you like the video.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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