Okay all here's my low tech attempt to create a Clyde FAQ. I suggested this several weeks ago and a few people liked the idea but otherwise there wasn't much of a response. So I'll just do it. Since I'm setting it up, I'll throw out the rules.
1. I will create "Responses" Underneath this post that are the individual questions.
2. Any suggestions related to a specific response or additions to the FAQ should only reside under the response. For example, the first Response to this post will be: What Tires Should I Buy. Any tire responses should reside under this response or post.
Yeah, I know it's not great. But it will work so long as we all play nice.
3. Please add your FAQ's and contribute. But.... don't give sh!tty advice. Don't use words like 'best" and "the one and only".... (unless you're talking about Thomson seatposts). Try to provide real, qualified answers. Please state personal opinions as opinions and not statements of facts.
I will contribute my FAQ’s as I have the time to do so. Please add yours. If I give bad advice, please let me know and I’ll change the wording and verbiage of my post. Please allow others to critique your posts and be willing to edit based on someone else’s point of view. Don’t have thin skin.
4. If you have a better idea or approach for a Clyde FAQ, speak up if you’re willing to take ownership of it. If all you’re going to do is complain, then please feel free to not contribute.
5. Unless Rule #4 is implemented, please try to post your responses/suggestions under the appropriate FAQ. This will turn in to a useless mess of disparate posts unless we make tire recommendations under Tires post and shock suggestions under the Shock post.
What Tires for a Clyde?
Tires, like many other components in mountain biking depend largely on the type of riding and the type of trails you’re riding on. It’s hard to provide you with the answer to “what’s best?” for these reasons. But a far better reason is that tires are a personal preference. What works for one rider may or may not work for another rider.
The “right” answer is to try a couple different tires based on recommendations from Clydes and other riders in our area. Generally for Clydes, the bigger and beefier, the better. Some popular tire brands for Clydes (in no order of preference) :
MTBR’s Shiggy has a site set up to answer any and every question you could ever have regarding tires: http://mtbtires.com/ The rest of this Tire FAQ contains mostly Clyde specific information.
Tire Pressure and Tire Volume
Tire pressure and tire volume go hand in hand for Clydes. Generally, the higher the air volume a tire has, the lower the pressure you can run. If you think about an ATV, they have big fat balloon tires that are run at 10-15 psi. The opposite is true as well: Running a lower volume tire requires higher pressures to prevent pinch flatting. The example in this case is a road bike tire. Road bikes have very low volume tires and are generally inflated between 100-120 psi.
Large Volume Tire Advantages
- Better traction/grip due to lower pressure
- Less prone to pinch flatting
Large Volume Tire Disadvantages
- Increased weight
- Increased rolling resistance due to lower pressures
In this author’s opinion, the advantages to a Clyde for running higher volume (2.4+) tires far outweighs the disadvantages. Better traction means carrying more speed on the trail, which helps overcome the disadvantage of increased rolling resistance (object in motion tend to stay in motion). And the weight disadvantage of smaller volume tires? You’re kidding, right? You’re a Clydesdale. The weight delta between a 2.2 and a 2.4 is inconsequential when compared to 200+ pounds.
What Tire Pressure for a Clyde?
Every individual’s tire pressure preference will vary depending on the types of trail (rocky, smooth, roots), the size of tire you’re running (covered above), the style of riding you do (keep the tires on the ground or catch big air) and your skill level. A buttery smooth riding Clyde may be able to run 25 psi on 1.8 tires (yeah, right…) while a smash and bash Clyde may flat every couple of miles while running 2.5 tires at 50 pounds. A good way to determine the right pressure for you is:
1. Inflate your tires to the maximum inflation recommendation by the manufacturer.
2. Lower your tire pressure by 5 psi increments until you feel you’re rolling the tire underneath your rim or you can feel a “clunk” of your rim hitting a trail obstacle as you go over it at your standard speed.
3. Make micro-adjustments back up until you determine a tire pressure that works for you.
Carbon Fiber FAQ
Is Carbon Fiber Good For Clydes?
The answer depends on the specific component. Carbon fiber (CF) is extremely durable and has many desirable characteristics. For Clydes, CF functions best as a wholly molded product as opposed to a component in a fabrication process.
In other words, a CF handlebar is Clyde worthy while a CF seatpost is not. Why? The problem with CF seatposts (or any other fabricated component or frame using CF) and Clydes has to do with the bond between the Carbon Fiber and the attached components. Clydes put a tremendous amount of pressure and torque on their components and the epoxies used to join the fabricated components don’t usually hold up to the abuse that we give them.
Clothes for Clydes?
A few links from here:
These are nice, and sizes up to XXL are readily available.
Hey, I discovered Champion brand. exercise shirts at Target. They have multiple styles, color, made of moisture wicking tech fabrics, have vented sides and are inexpensive. I think the most expensive one I've seen was 16.95. I've been using these all summer and they have been awesome. The have short sleeve and sleeveless shirts. I feel like a nut spending $40-70 for jerseys now that I found these. If looking for a longsleeve downhill type jersey I usually go with Fox. You can pick them up at Cyclegear for much cheaper that bikes stores and they usually have lots of choices for larger sizes which you never find at a bike store.
Let the market decide!
Frame Material FAQ
Which Frame Material Should a Clyde Choose?
Steel? Aluminum? Titanium? Carbon Fiber? The choice of frame material can be a daunting one. There are many rumors and opinions regarding various metals and their characteristics. The truth is often times overlooked in generalizations: In the hands of a skilled bike builder, any material can exhibit any desired ride characteristic. Of course, the opposite is true as well: A desirable characteristic associated with a metal can be worked out of a frame.
So with this general understanding, the following are general characteristics of the four basic frame materials that you’ll likely find in the bike industry.
Aluminum (AL) is generally considered light but stiff and inflexible. While this is true on lower end frames, there are plenty of upper end frames that provide a compliant, smooth ride with AL. Most full suspension are made from AL because the need to provide flex in the frame isn’t required.
Titanium (Ti) is usually a desired (and expensive) frame material that is supposed to provide the best characteristics of Aluminum and Steel. Ti can offer a strong, light, compliant ride. The caution for Clydes is that because Ti builders tend to work with really thin Ti tubing, Ti bikes can be too noodley for the big boned on the trail. If you’re considering purchasing an off the shelf Ti framed bike, please test ride the bike first.
Steel is considered flexible, comfortable and heavy. Many low end department store bikes are manufactured with steel because it’s cheap to work with and in the lower end prices ranges, doesn’t require specialized equipment or knowledge to fabricate. Steel in the hands of an upper end bike manufacturer or custom bike builder on the other hand can be a work of art that provides a flexible, comfortable and lightweight frame.
Last and least (for Clydes) is Carbon Fiber (CF). Lightweight, stiff, durable are the positive characteristics of CF. The caution for Clydes is not in the material itself but in the areas were metal is bonded to the frame. At these interfaces, the carbon fiber is molded around the metal components and mechanically locked in place. In most cases, the manufacturer will also include some sort of epoxy at the interface. Due to the extra torque and stress that Clydes put on their equipment, most CF frames that fail on Clydes is not in the CF but at the interface.
Ken, thanks for starting this thread! So, having read the various tire pressure threads here, a couple basic questions have come up.
Originally Posted by Ken in KC
First, while the concept of "bigger is better" makes sense, I'm curious whether there are real answers in the 2.1" vs 2.25" vs 2.4" vs whatever tire size on 26" rims. Many appear to be running 2.35" rims from the threads I've been reading, while I'm still on my stock 2.1" Ditch Witches; another poster has said we're all crazy for running less than 2.4"s! What's the deal?
Second, does larger tires necessarily mean new rims? For example, what size tires can I run on my 2.1" Witches before I can expect to start having problems? And without making this a Rims thread (still researching that, too), what rims would be recommended if I were to take the advice of posters here and go with a 2.35" or 2.4" tire? More spokes on a new set?
I ride basic XC, no jumping or drops... Thanks!
ps: how about a FAQ for forks? Looking into replacing my Marzocchi's, too...
ok here's a question for the FAQ
What does "Clyde" mean? Or rather I can guess what it means but where does it come from? (to me the Clyde is a town in Scotland!)
Like catnip for people