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  1. #1
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    BD gravity 29 point 4 first impressions

    Hi, I couldnt' find much info on these bikes before my purchase, so here's my observations from my build this morning

    Everything came perfectly intact, no problems with the build whatsoever! I'm very impressed with how the bikes direct bikes come nearly perfect right out of the box. I ordered a windsort knight a few months ago for a friend, and it too was perfect out of the box. I've worked at a dozen bike shops and I've built many many bikes, and out of the box, the two bikes I've bought have been surprisingly easy to build.

    Before buying this bike I spoke with several previous employers about getting a similar bike from giant, specialized, trek etc. none of the companies had a ten speed bike with a comparable fork for a comparable wholesale price. A friend at one shop told me I could get what I was looking for if I waited a little bit for a 2012 model. Clearly the big bike companies with annual product releases have trouble competing with the rolling product release that bikes direct employs.

    I also like knowing that boxes and boxes of catalogs weren't printed to help market the bike I bought.

    Compared to shopping at a physical bike shop, I like that I know exactly how much I'm paying when I make my choice, there's no calculations required for tax or shipping, etc.

    And now.....the bike
    17.5" frame is about perfect as far as reach for a 5'8.5" guy, maybe a little short with a 90mm stem.

    Standover has my crotch just touching the top tube with stock 2.1 tires. I presume they suggest choosing a model with 2" of clearance because of liability concerns. The 15.5 would have left me with maybe 1.5" of clearance, but the bike would have been way too small to be comfortable on long rides (I prefer to be somewhat stretched out, as it keeps my lower back happy)

    The Recon fork much to my surprise has an airspring. the website said nothing about this, so it is a pleasant surprise, though i originally thought I was choosing a bike with coil springs, as I want everything to last forever with relatively little maintenance. I'm content with the tradeoff and surprised the bikesdirect site wasn't more specific about which recon comes on the 29.4. perhaps they vary? I'm muscular and about 200lbs, so i'm pleased not to have to worry about upgrading to a stiffer spring. I just used my trusty topeak road morph g tire pump(the only mini-pump of a dozen or so I've owned that's ever met(or exceeded) my expectations) and put 130psi in the fork, a stiff setting for a ~200lb rider.

    the lockout on the fork just feels like a much stiffer spring--with modest compression I can use at least an inch of travel.

    The paintjob looks fantastic. I haven't tried removing the logos yet, but hopefully some acetone will leave the underlying attractive grey color intact. anybody have experience removing the logos from the gravity brand frames?

    Handlebars are rather narrow.

    there's very little grease on various bolts on the bike, and not much in the headset. Every manufacturer's bikes I've built tend to have precisely this same problem.

    the fsa cranks appear to be designed to be used with pedal washers, but none were included. This is basically my only complaint, and its quite minimal and possibly not even relevant.

    rims are drilled for schraeder, tubes are schraeder. The wheels seem to be the only place these bikes skimp, but no surprises. I expect to start breaking the off-brand spokes after a few rides as usually happens with off-brand spokes.

    overall I'm very pleased. I'll try to get some pictures soon.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 05-25-2011 at 06:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    see if you can throw a review up in the review section too:

    http://www.mtbr.com/reviewscrx.aspx

    makes us a better and more comprehensive resource!
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  3. #3
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    just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a Gravity Bike section. I will pass that on.
    Try this: HTFU

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher
    just noticed that there doesn't seem to be a Gravity Bike section. I will pass that on.
    Gravity is a BD brand (interesting first post by the OP ), the Motobecane forum tends to cover all of the brands such as Moto, Windsor, Dawes, and now Gravity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    ... (interesting first post by the OP ),...
    That's what I was thinking. Mods should move this to the BD bin aka Moto forum before flames start blazing.

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    I spent a big part of today looking at the 29ers on BD.com. I had settled on the Gravity point 4, but the 19" were all sold out by the time i ordered.

    If the Point 5 was $100 less, I would get one of those instead. I really like the looks of the Point 4's finish, actually.

    it is good to hear reality-based reviews of these bikes. Without actual ride reports to compare to, it is hard to know if it is a deal or not.

    I am really considering a Rocky Mountain VertexSE, but if I can save a grand for the same spec, that's a bargain. Of course the Rocky has a 7005 aluminum frame and will end up lighter and potentially stiffer. All for the low, low price.... :-|

  7. #7
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    Concur. The piece where he compares the value of the frame to giant, trek, and specialized reads like something from a press release. And the bit about grease on the bolts....odd.
    Vecsus

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    Freakin awesome first post, you should write advertising type.

  9. #9
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    yup, I like the bike.

    Just got back from a ride and everything worked well. The biggest difference about the 29er I noticed was the tendency to stand up from the centrifugal force. I had two sticks poking out of trees scratch me while riding in in tight singletrack on a ride I do frequently, so I think to move the bike around under me I needed to move further side to side than with my 26", i.e. compensating for the increased momentum of the wheel.



    regarding the grease on the bolts, greasing metal on metal contact points is a good way of keeping them from seizing. Anti-seize works even better when the metal is not bearings. A properly assembled bicycle should have all of those metal on metal contact points greased or treated with something e.g. anti-seize, but all manufacturers miss some spots, often many spots

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the review. I think some of these guys are a little sensitive to anything positive said about a mail-order bike. They must own stock in a LBS...

    Enjoy the ride make sure to post back if you have any issues or points of interest to help others out. And once there is a Gravity bikes section in the review area please post it up to help others as was mentioned.

    Oh and got any pics?

  11. #11
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    I set up my new gravity 29 point 4 as tubeless last night, and everything worked out incredibly well.

    I used gorilla tape to wrap the rim and secure the presta valve stem I cut out of an old tube in the rim. I left as much rubber as I could but it wasn't much because I didn't want the rubber around the stem to protrude from beneath the tape or get involved with the tire's bead interfacing with the rim.

    then I put the tire on and sudsed it up with soapy water and added a couple of ounces of slime in the tire by using a tire lever to pull the bead away from the rim.

    Then I blew it up with an aircompressor, though the fit was so good, I think I could have been successful with a floor pump, maybe a hand pump.

    Then i spent some time sloshing the tires around to distribute the slime so it could start working on micro holes pre-existing in the tire.

    overnight there's no noticeable loss of pressure.

    This was my first tubeless setup, and I am amazed. I am using tubeless because I get too many flat tires from blackberry thorns that are abundant on the trails I ride. I will not be running low pressure, but something around 40 or 45psi because I don't like the feeling of squishy tires when I pump through depressions or jump various bumps on the trail or on the way to the trail. I have a background in bmx and dirt jumping, which has a significant influence on my riding. The wheels feel a bit lighter, but this depends on how much slime is put inside. However 29" tubes are heavy and it seems a lot of slime would have to be used to equal the weight of the omitted tube.

    So for anybody who is contemplating a ghetto-tubeless setup with WTB speed disc AM 29" rims and WTB Prowler SL race tires is almost sure to have an easy time getting it to work!

    Also, be warned that if you pump the tires over 60psi, they might blow off the rim. I didn't realize the pump I was borrowing had a pressure gauge that was way off, and when I aimed for 50psi, I must have hit something more like 65 and the tire blew off with a deafening boom. The bead was seated properly. its interesting that the tire blows off the rim at a lower pressure without a tube inside than with a tube inside. Interestingly, the force of the air escaping blew the reflector off the rim and the pump off the valve, breaking the tip of the valve off inside the pump. not to mention slime went everywhere . I started over and no problems at ~40 psi and bunny-hopping and jumping curbs. I do most of my riding on our town's rather extensive network of DIY trails, so reflectors are nice to have because I often have a couple miles of road riding to get home.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    Also, be warned that if you pump the tires over 60psi, they might blow off the rim. I didn't realize the pump I was borrowing had a pressure gauge that was way off, and when I aimed for 50psi, I must have hit something more like 65 and the tire blew off with a deafening boom. The bead was seated properly. its interesting that the tire blows off the rim at a lower pressure without a tube inside than with a tube inside. Interestingly, the force of the air escaping blew the reflector off the rim and the pump off the valve, breaking the tip of the valve off inside the pump. not to mention slime went everywhere . I started over and no problems at ~40 psi and bunny-hopping and jumping curbs.

    This tire is probably shot, search out converting tubeless and you will see that generally when you blow off the rim it ruins the tires bead and the tire will be much more apt to pop the bead off at any pressures. This can lead to dangerous blowoffs in corners.

    I do recommend replacing that tire.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    Gravity is a BD brand (interesting first post by the OP ), the Motobecane forum tends to cover all of the brands such as Moto, Windsor, Dawes, and now Gravity.


    Things seem a little questionable.

    First he states he has worked in a dozen shops.

    Then claims he used a tire pump to inflate fork?
    I resolve to constantly assert my honest opinion on anything and everything - whether it is requested or not.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus View Post
    Concur. The piece where he compares the value of the frame to giant, trek, and specialized reads like something from a press release. And the bit about grease on the bolts....odd.
    That's because it IS a press release.

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    Yeah reusing a tire that has been blown off of a rim is not something that someone experience in a dozen shops would do. IMHO this whole thread smells.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    This tire is probably shot, search out converting tubeless and you will see that generally when you blow off the rim it ruins the tires bead and the tire will be much more apt to pop the bead off at any pressures. This can lead to dangerous blowoffs in corners.

    I do recommend replacing that tire.
    That's good advice, and I'll keep it in mind. I'm a grad student on on a limited budget, so I'll stick with the tire and keep my fingers crossed.

    and for all the conspiracy theorists out there, i'm not affiliated with bikesdirect other than as a customer who has been pleased with two purchases from the company.

    I made the first post because I use google to find about potential purchases, but I found nothing about the bike I ended up purchasing, so the next person who googles for this bike will at least get to read what my experience has been. For the same reason I also posted about my experience with the particular rim/tire combination for conversion to tubeless.

    I'm mostly worked in shops that focus on bmx bikes, road bikes and commuters. Most bike shop mechanics spend a lot more time working on ****ty old bikes than fancy new ones. A few shops do get a lot of high end new stuff to work on, but that's a small segment of the market for bike repairs. People with nice bikes are less likely to bring them in for repair, becuase nice bikes don't need many repairs. So I've had only limited experience with tubeless and I haven't overhauled a fork in ten years. I've bled hydraulic systems, but never replaced a hose or rebuilt a caliper. There's also a tendency to let the head mechanic work on the nicest bikes. Now I haven't given you enough information for you to have any idea how many hours I've worked in bike shops; I've never been a head mechanic but I do know a great deal about a very wide range of bicycles and how to fix them.

    Why not use a tire pump to inflate the airspring on my fork if I can easily achieve the pressure needed? I don't own a shock pump because I've never had an air sprung fork before, so why spend more money when it seems I don't need to? I can imagine that there might be chemicals in my tire pump that will degrade the seals on my airspring, though I dobut it. If you have reliable information showing that my tire pump will damage my airspring's internals, please share it with me.

    Those who are smug about bicycle components, where you buy your stuff, what people choose to ride and how many posts they've made to online forums are almost always hiding behind their own insecurities. You'll probably find yourself a lot happier if you drop the pretentious bullcrap, ride your bike more, and accept that you can't change the fact that you've got inadequate genitalia.

    And for those who've refrained from developing bikes direct related conspiracy theories or at least not posted their weak suspicions, thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    That's because it IS a press release.
    please get serious
    a 'press release' would imply something we issued - which this clearly is not

    and what would be the point? as most see our 29ers sell out before we can get more

    situation with Gravity 29ers is clear; there are lots out there being riden by cyslists
    many of the owners will post their experience
    I expect almost all, if not all, to say that these bikes ride like other bikes that cost twice as much
    and in a few years everyone will see that they are also exactly as durable

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    There he is.

    Well, looks like this thread is already half way in the recycling bin, along with that "existential nature of BD" thread.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect View Post
    please get serious
    a 'press release' would imply something we issued - which this clearly is not

    and what would be the point? as most see our 29ers sell out before we can get more

    situation with Gravity 29ers is clear; there are lots out there being riden by cyslists
    many of the owners will post their experience
    I expect almost all, if not all, to say that these bikes ride like other bikes that cost twice as much
    and in a few years everyone will see that they are also exactly as durable
    Ok, i think we all know that it's called viral marketing, not a press release.

    So you're saying, for the record, that BD has absolutely nothing to do with these repetitive cookie cutter posts of "reviews" that are only for BD bikes, usually posted by people with only 1 or 2 previous posts, that seem to come out every few days?

    These reviews are all almost identical, and you can't find a review like them for any other bike. We never see a person with a Giant or Specialized or Trek or Pivot or RIP that has ever written one of these almost identical review listing each part, talking about how AMAZING the bike is, oh, except they had to pump up the tires, or adjust the handlebar, or twist the pedals or something ridiculous. And Bikes Direct in no way has anything to do with this? Rigggght.

    PretendPerson indeed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    Why not use a tire pump to inflate the airspring on my fork if I can easily achieve the pressure needed? I don't own a shock pump because I've never had an air sprung fork before, so why spend more money when it seems I don't need to? I can imagine that there might be chemicals in my tire pump that will degrade the seals on my airspring, though I dobut it. If you have reliable information showing that my tire pump will damage my airspring's internals, please share it with me.
    Actually yes, you can damage your fork with your tire pump. Look at the volume of your tires, and now at the volume of your air cartridge (if you don't feel like taking your fork apart, it's tiny.) Tire pumps are designed for a much larger volume and put out way more air per stroke than a shock pump, making it easy to over pressurize them. Not to mention that shock pumps have pressure release valves as well, which is really handy.

    PS: on the whole dislike of BD thing, I don't like them because they don't attempt to further technology or improve the bike industry. What do you think their R&D budget is? Extremely low, I would guess. This is another reason why the big brands cost a little more- they're creating new technology and doing good things. As well, a lot of company support trail building efforts, sponsor teams, etc.

  21. #21
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    Awesome freakin thread. Too bad I'll be out in the mountains for three days at the Virginia IMBA festival. Hate to miss the drama. I bet I don't see a single bikesdirect product among the ~300 riders out there.

    I especially like where the dude says that the centrifugal force of the 29er wheels make him stand up more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    Ok, i think we all know that it's called viral marketing, not a press release.

    So you're saying, for the record, that BD has absolutely nothing to do with these repetitive cookie cutter posts of "reviews" that are only for BD bikes, usually posted by people with only 1 or 2 previous posts, that seem to come out every few days?

    These reviews are all almost identical, and you can't find a review like them for any other bike. We never see a person with a Giant or Specialized or Trek or Pivot or RIP that has ever written one of these almost identical review listing each part, talking about how AMAZING the bike is, oh, except they had to pump up the tires, or adjust the handlebar, or twist the pedals or something ridiculous. And Bikes Direct in no way has anything to do with this? Rigggght.

    PretendPerson indeed.

    Yes - BD did not do this post or any post like it
    years ago [like 5 or 6] one employee did some shill posts on RBR - once I found out it was stopped - he never posted on BF or MTBR

    what we did was sell bikes; some of which go to new MTBR members that want to post about them - you should give these cyclists a break

    You can beleive what you want; but reasonable readers will understand what is going on here
    Haters have to hate

    And think about it; it would be insane for one of my employees to come on here and do a post like this as they know if I found out they would be terminated -

    PLUS have you noticed these bikes sell out before I can get more?

    My hope is the OP comes on and posts a picture of his bike; his dog; and his brith certificate - so you will know what you feel you need to know - but I can not force him to do that -- I can just thank him for his purchase; hope he safely enjoys his bike; and wish that he not evaluate all MTBR members based on comments like yours

  23. #23
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    mike from BD subscribes to the philosophy that there is no such thing as bad press - especially when it's free. I believe Mike when he says these posts are not his doing. Doesn't change the fact that a good number of them are designed to promote Bikesdirect products. I also suspect that more than a few are started by BD haters just to generate drama.

    And Mike, selling out of a product doesn't necessarily vouch for its quality. Millions of walmart and kmart bikes are sold every year and they still suck. If you really believed your products are on par with the mainstream brands you wouldn't need to compare your stuff to their on every one of your models. I don't see Pricepoint doing that on their website with their Sette bikes. Let the product speak for itself and stop trying to force comparisons.
    Last edited by Vecsus; 05-26-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect View Post
    Yes - BD did not do this post or any post like it
    years ago [like 5 or 6] one employee did some shill posts on RBR - once I found out it was stopped - he never posted on BF or MTBR

    what we did was sell bikes; some of which go to new MTBR members that want to post about them - you should give these cyclists a break

    You can beleive what you want; but reasonable readers will understand what is going on here
    Haters have to hate

    And think about it; it would be insane for one of my employees to come on here and do a post like this as they know if I found out they would be terminated -

    PLUS have you noticed these bikes sell out before I can get more?

    My hope is the OP comes on and posts a picture of his bike; his dog; and his brith certificate - so you will know what you feel you need to know - but I can not force him to do that -- I can just thank him for his purchase; hope he safely enjoys his bike; and wish that he not evaluate all MTBR members based on comments like yours
    My comments are meant to help newbs know the difference between a real review and a fake cookie cutter one for BD, so don't try to say I am bad for helping other people. I also did not ask if one of your employees made this post, i asked if BD in ANY WAY has something to do with them. I see what you are doing, avoiding the real question.

    You make some decent bikes, why not just come on here and post info about them as an honorable form of marketing, not a dishonest and viral one.

    Btw, your shill above states that one of the reasons to buy a BD bike is because you don't run out of them like lbs's do, so you might want to stop bragging about selling out of them in the same thread.

    A guy who has worked in 12 bike shops buying a bike from BD rather than a reputable shop with a good BBB rating from a friend who could get him a much better bike for the same price? Sure, right. And then mr. 12 bike shops tries to blow up a fork with a floor pump? Lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus View Post
    mike from BD subscribes to the philosophy that there is no such thing as bad press - especially when it's free. I believe Mike when he says these posts are not his doing. Doesn't change the fact that a good number of them are designed to promote Bikesdirect products. I also suspect that more than a few are started by BD haters just to generate drama.
    You think people who hate BD start ookie cutter praise threads? Do you tell everyone how wonderful your ex is in bed as a way to get people to nit want to date them? This makes no sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    You think people who hate BD start ookie cutter praise threads? Do you tell everyone how wonderful your ex is in bed as a way to get people to nit want to date them? This makes no sense.
    Dude, relax. I am as anti-BD as anyone. I even quit beng a mod because I was tired of being part of a forum staff that defends this crap. I'm just saying that not ALL of these posts are cookie cutter. Established forum members creating new accounts just to stir ***** happens all the time.
    Vecsus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus View Post
    Dude, relax. I am as anti-BD as anyone. I even quit beng a mod because I was tired of being part of a forum staff that defends this crap. I'm just saying that not ALL of these posts are cookie cutter. Established forum members creating new accounts just to stir ***** happens all the time.
    I agree. And when I see someone really buy a BD bike, post pics of it, and do a real review, I go out of my way to compliment them.

    Sorry if I came off harsh.

    Btw - that sucks that you had to quit over that crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    You think people who hate BD start ookie cutter praise threads? Do you tell everyone how wonderful your ex is in bed as a way to get people to nit want to date them? This makes no sense.


    Sure they do, nothing like a BD thread to start a flame war. Sock puppet account, start BD thread. Look how many threads are started by users with their first post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Sure they do, nothing like a BD thread to start a flame war. Sock puppet account, start BD thread. Look how many threads are started by users with their first post.
    My question is why would someone who hates BD start a thread complimenting BD?

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    This is all amusing. Putting me in something like the position of Obama wrt birth certificates is an especially amusing part of it.

    But aside from pointing out that its discouraging to know that my honest review could be deleted(or at least people are suggesting this is a real possiblility), one which might bring viewers to mtbr (I'd bet a lot of money that the majority of readers never create an account, like me up until this first post), I have one point.

    I would like to point out that nobody can tell me a good reason why there's anything remotely unreasonable about pumping up my fork with a tire pump. The only attempt that has been made to provide a rationale for this position is a reasonable caution against getting really really excited and pumping up the shock until Iblow it out...yah know just 'cus I get all distracted by all that mini-pump stroking action. I'm starting to feel like the smugness police here, but for jebus chirst's sake, back up your condemnation of my thrifty decisions.

    And while I'm lauding BD, I might as well draw attention to how badass I find my topeak mountain morph pump to be. I've owned quite a few mini-pumps and none could have pumped up a fork to over 100psi except this one. And its over three years old, which is 6 times the average life of a bicycle accessory, IMHO.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 05-31-2011 at 10:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    My question is why would someone who hates BD start a thread complimenting BD?
    To start a flame war. Look at majority of BD threads and the results. Things start to slow down so people start threads to stir the pot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    I would like to point out that nobody can tell me a good reason why there's anything remotely unreasonable about pumping up my fork with a tire pump. The only attempt that has been made to provide a rationale for this position is a reasonable caution against getting really really excited and pumping up the shock until Iblow it out...yah know just 'cus I get all distracted by all that mini-pump stroking action. I'm starting to feel like the smugness police here, but for jebus chirst's sake, back up your condemnation of my thrifty decisions.
    .
    Biggest issue is that when you remove the mini pump from your shock.. you hear that PSSST of air and you just lost around 30-50lbs of air. So you can never get it dialed in properly.

    A shock pump seals around the shrader valve as you screw it on, and then you turn a knob on the top which opens the valve. So you pump the shock to pressure, unscrew the knob and remove the pump without loosing a pound of air. Here is the one I use to get a better idea. Sette ST-35 Shock Pump

    Congrats on the new bike.. please post some pictures when you get a chance!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEARHEAD_ENG View Post
    Biggest issue is that when you remove the mini pump from your shock.. you hear that PSSST of air and you just lost around 30-50lbs of air. So you can never get it dialed in properly.

    A shock pump seals around the shrader valve as you screw it on, and then you turn a knob on the top which opens the valve. So you pump the shock to pressure, unscrew the knob and remove the pump without loosing a pound of air. Here is the one I use to get a better idea. Sette ST-35 Shock Pump

    Congrats on the new bike.. please post some pictures when you get a chance!
    And someone who worked in 12 shops would know this. 10psi makes a HUGE difference

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    And someone who worked in 12 shops would know this. 10psi makes a HUGE difference
    Ya it does make a big difference... but I suppose if he never dealt with an air fork in the bike shop it would hard to know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
    And someone who worked in 12 shops would know this. 10psi makes a HUGE difference
    Yeah, a "review" from a guy who has worked in "twelve shops" and cannot understand not to use a tire thats been blown off of a rim or not to use a tire pump on his fork.

  36. #36
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    i like the topeak morph series of pumps too. got the road one on my tourer and it works great.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by floydlippencott View Post
    Yeah, a "review" from a guy who has worked in "twelve shops" and cannot understand not to use a tire thats been blown off of a rim or not to use a tire pump on his fork.
    all I have to say is that the people who are freaking out about my choices are total d-bags. Those who have responded intelligently are not (e.g. Gearhead and others).

    the tire pump works great as a shock pump, though of course there is a loss of precision. Your argument is similar to saying that its stupid to drive a car which has an imprecise speedometer. Of course I can't tell you the precise amount of pressure in my shock, but nor can the driver of that car tell you his precise speed, but they're both somewhat important for optimal performance, but clearly neither measure needs to be precise to enable successful enjoyment of the vehicle. At this point will I ever carry a shock pump with me on a ride? probably not if the tire pump does a great job. Will I get one to use at home so I can know exactly what each pressure level feels like? maybe, but probably not anytime soon, as my research stipend is quite modest.

    I've been riding a trek 6700 from circa '99 for the last 5 years. no rebound damping, no disc mounts on the frame, etc. and I still enjoy riding and have no trouble going as fast or faster than almost everybody I ride with even if they're on high dollar bikes.

    regarding tires blowing off, it happens all the time at shops when a bead isn't seated properly on the rim. Why do those tires blow off the rim and almost never have any damage, but in this case blowing off the rim is a mortal blow?

    The guy who helped me setup tubeless had the same thing happen to him, and he's used the tire for a year since. Clearly blowing off the rim can damage the tire to the point of unusability, but the probability of such damage is certainly less than 1.

    So please, anybody who can make an intelligible argument that I'm demonstrating too little knowledge to have worked in a dozen shops, please do so! So far the arguments have been quite pathetic.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 05-31-2011 at 10:57 AM.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    all I have to say is that the people who are freaking out about my choices are total ****** bags. Those who have responded intelligently are not (e.g. Gearhead and others).

    the tire pump works great as a shock pump, though of course there is a loss of precision. Your argument is similar to saying that its stupid to drive a car which has an imprecise speedometer. Of course I can't tell you the precise amount of pressure in my shock, but nor can the driver of that car tell you his precise speed, but they're both somewhat important for optimal performance, but clearly neither measure needs to be precise to enable successful enjoyment of the vehicle. At this point will I ever carry a shock pump with me on a ride? probably not if the tire pump does a great job. Will I get one to use at home so I can know exactly what each pressure level feels like? maybe, but probably not anytime soon, as my research stipend is quite modest.

    I've been riding a trek 6700 from circa '99 for the last 5 years. no rebound damping, no disc mounts on the frame, etc. and I still enjoy riding and have no trouble going as fast or faster than almost everybody I ride with even if they're on high dollar bikes.

    regarding tires blowing off, it happens all the time at shops when a bead isn't seated properly on the rim. Why do those tires blow off the rim and almost never have any damage, but in this case blowing off the rim is a mortal blow?

    The guy who helped me setup tubeless had the same thing happen to him, and he's used the tire for a year since. Clearly blowing off the rim can damage the tire to the point of unusability, but the probability of such damage is certainly less than 1.

    So please, anybody who can make an intelligible argument that I'm demonstrating too little knowledge to have worked in a dozen shops, please do so! So far the arguments have been quite pathetic.
    as far as the tire blowing off the rim the reason that this can ruin a tire is it can create a weakness in the bead, it can stretch the bead or it can break the bead. This can be indeterminate when looking at the tire yet under the stress of riding it can cause the tire to walk off the bead. Which when running tubes really isn't a huge concern as the tube holds the bead on and you would at notice a wobble as it slowly works its way off.

    However as a tubeless tire all you are relying on to hold the tire on the rim is air pressure and the strength and integrity of the bead. If you are unsure of the integrity of the bead then you lose one of the things holding your tire on. Is your tire ruined? I don't know. Would I want to risk finding out on a trails somewhere at speed? Heck no.

    see this thread regarding tires that blow off and won't stay on: Tubeless Challenges

    I think what people are trying to get to with the pump thing is that tire pumps are notoriously inaccurate at high pressures but suspension components are highly precise when it comes to their performance in regards to air pressure. When I ran suspension I could tell the difference in performance between 5psi. On low pressure forks I could tell at 2psi. (Some forks use high pressure (75-290psi some use low 15 psi to 40psi). It isn't a deal breaker but the ability to repeatably pressurize your fork should be a consideration. Shock pumps are cheap, check pricepoint.com for cheap ones, it is easy and repeatable.

    Finally if you frequent a shop that blows tires of rims all the time I suggest you frequent another shop. If I paid good money for a tire only to have a shop blowing it off the rim while working on my bike I would be very rapidly a new customer at another shop. Tires are not cheap and stretching the bead whether you run tubeless or tubes, any kind of bike is ruining the tire.
    Try this: HTFU

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    as far as the tire blowing off the rim the reason that this can ruin a tire is it can create a weakness in the bead, it can stretch the bead or it can break the bead. This can be indeterminate when looking at the tire yet under the stress of riding it can cause the tire to walk off the bead. Which when running tubes really isn't a huge concern as the tube holds the bead on and you would at notice a wobble as it slowly works its way off.

    However as a tubeless tire all you are relying on to hold the tire on the rim is air pressure and the strength and integrity of the bead. If you are unsure of the integrity of the bead then you lose one of the things holding your tire on. Is your tire ruined? I don't know. Would I want to risk finding out on a trails somewhere at speed? Heck no.

    see this thread regarding tires that blow off and won't stay on: Tubeless Challenges

    I think what people are trying to get to with the pump thing is that tire pumps are notoriously inaccurate at high pressures but suspension components are highly precise when it comes to their performance in regards to air pressure. When I ran suspension I could tell the difference in performance between 5psi. On low pressure forks I could tell at 2psi. (Some forks use high pressure (75-290psi some use low 15 psi to 40psi). It isn't a deal breaker but the ability to repeatably pressurize your fork should be a consideration. Shock pumps are cheap, check pricepoint.com for cheap ones, it is easy and repeatable.

    Finally if you frequent a shop that blows tires of rims all the time I suggest you frequent another shop. If I paid good money for a tire only to have a shop blowing it off the rim while working on my bike I would be very rapidly a new customer at another shop. Tires are not cheap and stretching the bead whether you run tubeless or tubes, any kind of bike is ruining the tire.
    After riding in the mountains over the weekend and talking to some other people who've had good luck running tubeless with a tire that's blown off once, I'm content to take the risk inherent in assuming no relevant damage was caused by the blow-off.

    After the same riding, I do see how the certainty of knowing how much air is in your fork. With my old rock shox judy c it was very obvious when I bottomed out, so I knew the fork was about right for my weight and riding due to the fact that I'd only bottom it out every ride or two.

    Now I can only tell how much travel I'm using by how far up the oil marks left by the seals appear to be. Perhaps I'll buy a shock pump in the future, but its awesome to know, regardless, that I can use my tire pump any time i'm on the trail and get quite close to the amount of pressure that I desire.

    Thanks for the serious post, rockcrusher

    oh, and almost every shop has a new guy learning about bikes from time to time, so a blow-off now and then isn't necessarily a sign of a bad shop. People also replace tubes and tires out front if they don't want to pay for labor but need to use a pump, so its not unlikely to hear some blow-offs when at a shop due to their mistakes.

  40. #40
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    if you constantly have oil rings on your fork and you find yourself having to air it up in the middle of a ride then you need to have the fork serviced by a qualified shop. A good fork will go a long, long time without needing air added.
    Vecsus

    HTFU or STFU

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus View Post
    if you constantly have oil rings on your fork and you find yourself having to air it up in the middle of a ride then you need to have the fork serviced by a qualified shop. A good fork will go a long, long time without needing air added.
    I own a Tora and RST fork and haven't adjusted the air in either for over a year, I use some fork pump I bought off of ebay for 14$ to check them but don't feel any need to tote it along anymore. Although I admittedly most often ride my rigid bike. All 29ers, btw....

    Rockcrusher gives good advise on the tire bead grasshopper, ignore it at your own peril
    wherever you go, there you are

  42. #42
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    Seems to me that 12 shops is an awful lot to have worked in. Unless it's your career of course, but he's a grad student, so that can't be right.

    Could it be that he didn't last at any of the shops because he already knew everything and wouldn't listen when someone tried to show him he was wrong?

    I think the first word in his forum name may be the real explanation for his words.
    Originally Posted by Vtolds/Dremer03---- "assume any bikes left unlocked and unattended are free to take"

  43. #43
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    Wanted to give my first impressions on my 29Point4 also, guess I will start another thread, this one has become toxic..... : (

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by PretendGentleman View Post
    .

    the tire pump works great as a shock pump, though of course there is a loss of precision. Your argument is similar to saying that its stupid to drive a car which has an imprecise speedometer. Of course I can't tell you the precise amount of pressure in my shock, but nor can the driver of that car tell you his precise speed, but they're both somewhat important for optimal performance, but clearly neither measure needs to be precise to enable successful enjoyment of the vehicle.
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Now thats just frikin funny, Ha, Ha, Ha, Yea, those lame fork companies with their lame pressure parameters, Ha, Ha, Ha, who needs precise pressure settings, just pump in some air and hit it, it'll be rad!!!! Ha, Ha, Haaa...., maybe not.
    Last edited by reydin; 05-30-2011 at 11:34 PM.
    If I had a black light this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.

  45. #45
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    I suppose its unrealistic of me to think that I would have much credence when stating my work history in an online forum, but that's ok, people who are curious about the bike will still find my post and they will get a reasonable sense of what to expect in the bike.

    But to reiterate myself, yes the bike rides great even when I judge shock pressure by sag, a reasonably accurate but only modestly precise pressure gauge, and my subjective sense of stiffness of the spring. There's no doubt in my mind that there are benefits to more precise measurement of air pressure in the spring, but I also have no doubt that the costs are comparable to the benefits, especially in the short-run (i.e. I've only had the bike for a week).

    And to titillate the curiosities of those who speculate about my work experience: I've worked on and off at shops over a span of a few months over ten years. In 2003, for example, I was working 60 hrs/wk mostly at two shops in L.A. (coates and incycle san dimas(also the chino store at times)), but I only got the jobs for the summer and I was only in L.A. for that summer, between undergrad semesters, visiting my parents. the next fall I got a job at a different shop in a different town.

    The process unfolds something like that. When I want a job at a shop, I go into a few with my resume full of positive references from previous employers, and its almost always easy to get a job unless its the middle of winter. The town I live in now has four shops, and I've worked in three and have a great relationship with all four of them. I often don't stay long because I'm going on a cross-country bike tour, a cross-country bmx dirt-jump tour, heading to Europe, starting an organic-style (i.e. not certified but practicing) vegetable farm, etc. These are all reasons I've left shops in the past.

    I have also left shops due to unfriendly circumstances, and these situation are why I'd probably never start a shop, such as when my first employer started taking extra "taxes" out of everybody's pay checks. Or another employer told me to charge more "taxes" to customers who were paying with credit cards. When an employer starts making up taxes, the ship is sinking, so get out while you're still getting a pay-check.

    More recently I left the shop I was at because I was offered a better deal from the local research university. I walked in, talked to a professor, and showed my resume. And he offered me a full research assistantship, to pay my way through the department's phd program--I started school a month and a half later(almost two years ago), and all told I'll be on the job market in a year and may never work at a shop again. I owe a great debt to my amazing high school math teachers.

    well, all this personal info is over the top, but that's what the internet is best for, eh?

  46. #46
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    Still liking the fit of your bike? I'm about the same height as you, I fall some where between 5'8" and 5'9" and I usually wear 30 inseam pants
    I'm having trouble trying to decide between a 15.5 and 17.5 frame. I think I want to get the 17.5 but kind of concerned about the high standover.
    The other thing is that my current bike's measurement(SC Blur Medium) is closer to the 15.5 than the 17.5 and I feel pretty good on my current bike so not sure if the 17.5 will feel too big.
    I guess the only way to know is to actually ride it to see how it feels.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
    Still liking the fit of your bike? I'm about the same height as you, I fall some where between 5'8" and 5'9" and I usually wear 30 inseam pants
    I'm having trouble trying to decide between a 15.5 and 17.5 frame. I think I want to get the 17.5 but kind of concerned about the high standover.
    The other thing is that my current bike's measurement(SC Blur Medium) is closer to the 15.5 than the 17.5 and I feel pretty good on my current bike so not sure if the 17.5 will feel too big.
    I guess the only way to know is to actually ride it to see how it feels.
    Just hearing that you're about my height, I'd recommend the 17.5". I think having room under the top tube doesn't affect the safety of riding for me compared to other issues like not having a pad on my stem. I hit my knees on my bars or stem a lot more often than my crotch on my top tube. I actually don't think I've ever hit my crotch on the top tube of any bike.

    I ride a 19" Trek sixty-something hundred from ~1999 and the position on the 17.5 is quite similar.

    I know for me, if I had the 15.5 I would have gobs of seatpost extended, but I keep my post relatively high. I also would probably find that the reach to the bars is a bit short. I prefer to be in a somewhat more stretched position, as I think its useful for putting power into the pedals. Sitting upright might be more beneficial for downhills and maneuvering, but I set up my bike to aid me in my weaker areas of riding (mashing the pedals) knowing that my stronger areas (fast descents, technical single track) are still strong. sort of an averaging effect, as a mix of abilities is better than extremes, i.e. sucking at pedaling and being fast downhill vs decent at both.

    Now that I've got over a hundred miles of single track logged on the bike, a few observations:

    -more effort required than my previous bike to keep traction on the back wheel while climbing. Probably due to long chainstays. I can compensate and climb just as well, but a behavioral adjustment was required.

    -seatpost slips, I'm about to write an e-mail to BD.

    -chunky non-brand components, e.g. bars. Totally what I expected, but worth noting. I stole the bars off my 26er and even though they're truvativ holzfeller bars, they're half the weight of the ones on the gravity. Presumably the other non-branded aluminum bits are similarly hefty.

    edit: I took off the stem today to trade it for a longer one, and it was surprisingly light. comparable to the fairly nice specialized stem I was putting on.
    Last edited by PretendGentleman; 06-09-2011 at 09:10 PM.

  48. #48
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    Thanks for the info. I've pretty much decided on the 17.5 Just need to order it now.

    Regarding your slipping seatpost, does it slip alot? My Blur had the same problem ever since I went to a Thomson seatpost. Seems like no matter how tight I tighten the quick release, it slips just a little bit.
    Read on the Santa Cruz forum where someone suggested putting some chalk on the top of the inside of the seat tube. Fixed the problem for me. You might want to give it a try. Worse case scenario just wipe it off if it doesn't work.
    Last edited by pwu_1; 06-09-2011 at 01:46 PM.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
    Still liking the fit of your bike? I'm about the same height as you, I fall some where between 5'8" and 5'9" and I usually wear 30 inseam pants
    I'm having trouble trying to decide between a 15.5 and 17.5 frame. I think I want to get the 17.5 but kind of concerned about the high standover.
    The other thing is that my current bike's measurement(SC Blur Medium) is closer to the 15.5 than the 17.5 and I feel pretty good on my current bike so not sure if the 17.5 will feel too big.
    I guess the only way to know is to actually ride it to see how it feels.
    I cannot say it enough but the sweet taste of a good price fades way before the bitterness of poor fit.

    Sometimes it is worth it to either get a professional bike fit from a local shop that knows what it is doing or buy locally so you can try the bike.
    Try this: HTFU

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I cannot say it enough but the sweet taste of a good price fades way before the bitterness of poor fit.

    Sometimes it is worth it to either get a professional bike fit from a local shop that knows what it is doing or buy locally so you can try the bike.
    no doubt there's wisdom there. Also depending on the shop, you typically get quite a bit of labor along with the bike, so if you're not very confident about maintenance, you may save in the long run.

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