Helmet Fit, Tire Picks & Teaching Teens - Pinkbike


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.

My Helmet Sits Too Low On My Head

Question: Dannyfag asks in the All-Mountain/Cross-Country Forum: I have ridden for years and owned a variety of XC lids that I have worn with glasses, and had no issues. The problem is that my last lid, a Troy Lee A1, fitted well, but as soon as I hit rough descents, the thing started pushing my glasses down my nose - to the point I can`t see the trail and have to stop. I guess I don`t have a tall enough head, or it could be my biggish nose is making my glasses sit high.

Anyway, after a recent crash, I had to replace it, went for the Giro Chronicle and had the same problem. I let a friend try my lid on and it just sits higher on his forehead, so he didn't have this issue. Does anyone know a modern day lid that sits slightly higher at the front?

Almost all new mountain bike helmets have extended protection at the rear and a slightly lower brow to meet protection goals. Together, those features can and do create fit-up issues for many riders. I also wear glasses and have a big nose, and the shape of the back of my skull tends to push helmets forward. That said, I have successfully used both of the helmets you mentioned. I am interested to know if you have overlooked the angular adjustment feature at the back of their head bands? I use the highest position, which makes plenty of room for my glasses and keeps the helmet's brow well clear of my field of vision.

The angular adjustment of the Troy Lee Design A-series helmets is hidden underneath the padding and MIPS layer. The head band has snap fittings that can be set into a row of holes molded into the back of the shell. Giro's Chronicle has a similar feature.


Teaching Teens DH

Question: @CONomad asks in the Fitness, Training, and Health Forum: So I have been asked by my new in-laws to take my cousin's two boys to the bike park and help them through their first day of lift riding. I consider myself to be a pretty competent rider but have never coached anyone from the start before and was wondering if anyone has any gems of experience they'd like to share? Particularly concerning two young teenagers?

First off, that's awesome. Although I rode bikes quite a bit as a kid, it wasn't until a guy named Andy DeVault took me out riding to some new to me spots (this was prior me being able to drive) and taught me some basics when I was about that age when mountain biking really clicked for me. Years later, I still look up to Andy and could never thank him enough for just taking me mountain biking and encouraging me as a kid. If I can recall anything from that far back, the overarching theme would surely be to just get out and have a good time. Don't worry too much about the specifics or "coaching" them technically. Just go mountain biking with them, make sure they don't get in too far over their heads, and always have a positive attitude. These kids will hopefully have a great time and ask you to take them out again.

You probably know the basics and if they need help or are struggling with something then it will be pretty obvious how you can help. Have fun!

Daniel Sapp

29" Tires for Rocky DH?

Question: @tall-martin asks in the Downhill Forum: I'm off to ride the Fort William World Cup DH track for a couple of days next week, I'm excited! It's my first time on an uplift day with my 29" Geometron G13 and I'm going to get some tougher tires than the DHR2 that are on there now.

What Maxxis tires would you get? There are 2.5" and 2.3", Double Down and DH casing, plus Shorty, DHF and DHR2 tread patterns to chose from. Should I try 2.5" DHF DH casing on the front? Plus a 2.3 downhill on the rear? These tires will do the odd uplift day at Antur Stiniog and Fort William, plus Morzine or Whistler next year, so there is no need for them to be pedaled up anything.

First things first, if you are going to Fort William to lap out the downhill track, especially on a G13 'trail' bike, there is only one casing option, and that is the full DH casing, no questions asked, front and rear. Double Down is tough, but the relentless rocks at the Fort will not be kind to anything.Secondly, you should opt for the bigger 2.5" size front and rear. You say they won't be pedaled much, so maximum size and cushioning is required, and adding some kind of tire insert would not be a bad idea, either.The intermediate/wet conditions that the Shorty is designed for is out for the Fort. There are very short sections of muddy or dirt surfaces, but the majority of the track is gravel, rock, and hardpack. When the gravel is wet it grips like hell even with dry condition tires. So, the choice is between the DHF and DHR II. Their braking characteristics define them. The Fort is relatively flat, so braking is less of a priority than rolling speed, so double DHF is always a winner there, but a DHR II rear isn't a bad pick for your plan to go abroad next year to help you slow down on steeper slopes.

Whistler is usually fine on dry condition tires, thanks to its famous hero dirt when it rains. Heading to Morzine and the Portes Du Soleil for a week offers you a near 50/50 chance of deep mud and torrential rain - or bone dry hardpack and dust for a week. More braking performance is needed there on the steeper gradients. Overall, a DHF/DHR II combo will be your best bet, but maybe keep a few pennies in reserve to splash out on a pair of Shortys or Assegais if conditions start to go bad in the Alps. You should also choose the softest MaxxGrip compound for the best grip on the Scottish rocks, but after a few days there and at Antur they might be ready for the bin instead of another riding trip.

Paul Aston