A Stubborn Dropper Post, Bike Fitting, & Big Mud Tires - Pinkbike


Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.

Stubborn Dropper Post

Question: SuperDucky asks in the All-Mountain and Cross-Country Forum:I recently bought a used Giant Trance Advanced SX from 2014, and the dropper will not fully extend. It will only fully extend when I hold the lever and pull it up. I tried loosening the seat collar and cleaning the post Any other suggestions on how to fix it? And, if the price is too high to fix it, should I just get a new dropper, like the RockShox Reverb?

bigquotes Giant Contact Switch dropper posts have simple internal mechanisms, powered by a replaceable cartridge. If you have average mechanical skills, you can fix your post for the cost of a new cartridge - about $60 USD. Here's a link to the User Manual, which clearly explains the post's internals. Oddly, replacement cartridges are not easy to find on Giant's website, but they are readily available on the web, where you will also find a number of how-to videos as well.RC

Picking the Correct Size Bike

Question: Pinkbike user @savmm32 asked this question in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I'm just getting into mountain biking. I've been borrowing a Juliana Medium. I'm 5'6 130pounds. I'm wondering if a small frame would be ok for me or too small? Any insight would be great!

Choosing the correct size bike is important...really important. A bike that fits correctly can give you days of fun and get you hooked on mountain biking for life where the wrong size could be uncomfortable, challenging to ride well, and cause a multitude of long term issues ranging from knee and back pain to difficulty controlling the bike and deflated stoke as time goes on.Fit can be tricky at times however, referencing the sizing chart on Juliana's webpage with your height gives a really strong indication that you should continue riding a medium in that brand. There is a chance that a smaller bike could work for you but it's highly unlikely that it would be ideal. The charts and sizing recommendations that manufacturers use work for most people and unless you have a body type that is far from standard- for example, extremely short legs and a very long torso...it's probably going to be right for you too. The best thing to be sure is to get out and ride whatever you're considering and compare the sizes to each other. If you're having second thoughts at all, get a professional opinion before throwing down your cash, especially if you're far to one side or the other of the sizing chart or close to in between sizes. Don't settle for close, get it right and feel good about your decision. Also, remember that a medium in one brand is not always the same as one from a different manufacturer. The staff at any reputable bike shop should be able to size you and guide you to make sure you're on the right steed. They can also make recommendations and small changes such as saddle height, handlebar width, or a different stem...all minor details that can make a major difference in how much you enjoy riding. If anyone ever recommends getting a bike that's a good deal over one that's a better fit, turn and run...they don't have your best interests in mind.
Daniel Sapp

Plus Sized (27.5+) Mud Tires

Question: Pinkbike user @ AlbinoBlacMan asked this question in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear: Does anyone have recommendations for 27.5+ (2.8 or 3.0) tires that are going to be decent in the mud? The weather is kinda rough (snows melting so lots of moisture) but I want to get out and ride (don't worry, I do trail maintenance and fix the mess I make). I get that usually skinnier = better for mud, but I only have one MTB with one set of wheels so I'm committed to 27.5+ at the moment.
You're correct that skinnier tires are better in the mud as they will cut through the slop and find traction in the harder dirt below. My best recommendation would be to find a lighter weight 29" wheelset and set them up with some narrower mud tires, I like the Michelin Wild Mud if you want massive mud bite and don't mind a lot of rolling resistance on asphalt, or something like a Maxxis Shorty works well in a range of soft conditions. The added benefit of having an extra wheelset means you can simply swap the wheels and rotors instead of wrestling with tires and sealant, you can also get away with a lighter wheelset in the mud as you are generally moving more slowly and the mud act as padding against rocks and roots.

If the cost of a new wheelset is prohibitive, I have had good results with a 2.6" Schwalbe Magic Mary in Soft Addix compound and Surly's tough 3.0" Dirt Wizard, both of which will offer more bite than most other plus-sized tires out there.

Paul Aston
Schwalbe's Magic Mary in 2.6" or Surly's Dirt Wizard are good plus-size options for wet conditions.

Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.