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  1. #1
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    Butcher or DHF: How far do you need to lean?

    After setting some unexpected PRs on my cheapie Pisgah 29x2.35 front tire (60a/50a), I'm considering trying a Butcher Control 2.3 or Minion DHF. My rims are 2018 Bontrager Duster Elite which are 21mm internal width (I think).
    I weigh 160lbs, on a Top Fuel 8. Run 22psi front and 26 rear (Race King). thanks

    I'm intrigued by the more pronounced cornering knobs, which are so unlike my usual Fast Traks/Python/etc.

    My concern is that some of my trails don't allow a lot of lean. There may be closely spaced trees and/or multiple rapid-fire turns where you don't have time to lean the bike over too much.
    I occasionally employ a flat-cornering technique, but it isn't always possible (or I'm too chicken to use it!).

    My trails are typical southeast Michigan: Sandy, loose over hardpack, hardpack, some rounded rocks and occasional roots ranging from tiny to scary.

    The dry, sandy/dusty loose over hardpack corners are my greatest concern.
    I think that I can get a slightly early apex and lay the bike over to engage the side knobs, inducing a slight drift before the knobs catch. This will put me back on a good line.
    The other option is a slightly late apex with a kind of "snap turn:" a sudden quick lean to engage the side knobs and snap the bike back on line.
    There are almost always trees on the outside of turns, and the dusty stuff means a small drift is likely (which I'm still trying to get comfortable with).

    What do you guys think about the Butcher or DHF? The Purgatory apparently has some Butcher-ish qualities, but with transition knobs which might be an option...

    Thoughts?

    Bob

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you need some intermediate knobs. Take the new Assegai for example. Don't think that's in anything but a DH casing though. Magic Mary has similar 3 row centre knobs and is available in more casings and sizes.

  3. #3
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    A leaned bike takes up less lateral space than an upright bike. So how would trees affect this?

    Both the tires have a center channel that give some cornering bite when upright. But at the lower pressures like you're using, you don't need much lean to engage the cornering knobs.

    I have a 2.6 Butcher (2.35 actual) on the front of a bike right now, a Goma 2.4 on another, and coming from Morsa 2.3s I can't discern any necessary lean on these two tires to engage cornering bite. I put them on for the same powdery dust you mention and they work really well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    multiple rapid-fire turns where you don't have time to lean the bike over too much.
    You have to use 'countersteer' to quickly flop the bike side to side. You can lean they bike very quickly with the right technique. Watch some videos of Josh Bryceland trail riding.

    That said, I'd recommend the DHR2 over the DHF. It doesn't have as wide of a transition gap and is probably a better all arounder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    A leaned bike takes up less lateral space than an upright bike. So how would trees affect this?
    Depends on how far you're leaning but the real issue is usually position of the inside grip relative to the tire and tree, not total lateral space. If there's a tree right on the inside of a turn the reduction of lateral space due to the outside grip moving laterally closer to the tire is irrelevant.

  5. #5
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    Leaning is definitely a rider technique approach vs a trail induced action. Nearly every turn should be the riders body weight leaning the bike into transitional or side knobs especially in loose turns. A heavy lean of the bike requires the ride to weight the bike from the topside of the lean (pushing edge knobs into the ground) or else you'll slide out. The only time a lean may not be used if the turn is very mellow and at slow speed or the trees are hitting both sides of your bars.

    I have ridden most of the tires in the specialized line up and liked them for quite sometime...until recently. I ride any where from mellow single track in Charlotte to chunky Pisgah stuff. I currently ride a butcher front and ground control back and have liked this for sometime. You will get a TON more traction from a butcher up front and they don't roll that bad either if you keep a lighter weight back tire. The only thing that is prompting me to not like spec now is their gripton compound. Historically their chunkier stuff has had a slow rebound low durometer rubber. The gripton stuff does not have the same slow rebound quality and tends to feel bouncier, I have also found them less durable in the control casing then previous years. May try a maxxis soon.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    "A leaned bike takes up less lateral space than an upright bike. So how would trees affect this?"

    I wasn't clear regarding trail conditions. There are areas where there is a tree on both the inside and outside of the turn, staggered. The only way to lean would be via late apex because otherwise your head/shoulder will hit the tree on the inside. A late apex at high speed may carry you into the outside tree. Some of the turns are mildly decreasing-radius.

    The best way I've found is a somewhat late apex, entering with just a little lean. might add a slight drift of the rear wheel, then a sudden snap-turn with the front. I kind of load the fork, turn hard and unload it to spring out of the turn.
    Hard to describe.

    Anyway, Bryceland can ride! I haven't found the counter-steering section yet, but I need to learn. I admit that drifting or having the wheels off the ground kinda scares me. Always has. I'm more of a cross country rider: point A to point B as fast as possible while sticking the tires to the ground. But I want to change this.
    I'm getting older, not as strong, and don't have nearly as much time to practice--but I'm still gonna try!
    I figure some good tires and advice will help me develop skills...or crashing.

    Sounds like a Butcher/DHF/DHR2/Morsa would be fun to try.
    Butcher is a less expensive and lighter. Morsa and DHF heavier. Morsa rolls pretty fast, I hear. DHF has legendary cornering. Nice to have choices!
    I admit to being a bit of a weight weenie...beads of sweat upon my forehead just thinking about a 900+ gram tire.
    But, I'm having fun trying to corner faster! Might try one of these tires, and if I don't get on with them, try some with intermediate knobs.

    I really appreciate the advice.

    Bob

  7. #7
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    I have found I don't really feel the weight as much on the front...on the back, yes, dedinitely

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  8. #8
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    I'd go with 2.3 DHF/Aggressor combo.

  9. #9
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    I have a buddy who rides that combo and really likes it, rolls well but comes a bit on the heavy side
    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    I'd go with 2.3 DHF/Aggressor combo.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    Anyway, Bryceland can ride! I haven't found the counter-steering section yet, but I need to learn.
    Unfortunately countersteering has a couple different meanings. In this case I'm not referring to the automotive definition of correcting a slide but instead the technique where before a corner you turn the opposite direction to initiate the lean. So if you're coming up on a lefthand turn, just before the corner you steer right (turn the bars right, not lean right) this causes you and the bike to start to lean left. You could just lean the bike left but the countersteer method initiates the lean with more momentum. The extra lean will decrease the bike's turning radius and improve traction.

  11. #11
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    Oh, that makes sense, thanks!
    Viewing the videos, it apparently places your front tire to the outside of the turn and engages the side knobs a earlier.

    If I'm seeing this correctly, after the initial countersteer maneuver, you are already in cornering position, leaning on the knobs. As long as your line is good, you just let the tires carry you through.

    Interestingly, it looks like the front tire cuts across and ends up tracking a bit inside the line of the rear, unlike a normal lean where both tires are tracking a relatively close line. The rear tracks a bit more to the outside, and the front pulls the rear back in line when exiting the turn. Sometimes there is a tiny slide.
    I think front tire is sort of pivoting around the rear.
    Now I see the value of having a rear give up traction a bit earlier than the front.

    And, he exits the turns closer to the center of the trail (where my technique pulls me perilously close to the outside edge), which is a safer and more neutral position in relation to the next turn.

    This is really cool stuff.
    I need to watch a lot more to figure out the mechanics because it is so foreign to my style. I think aggressive tires will help.

    Bob

  12. #12
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    Bryceland was just an example of what's possible. I would start with the following videos for actual instruction though. Simon Lawton and Phil Kmetz are former pros and know their stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrHWdScZ0Uo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQoLJfvVoa8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqVSIfv8mRA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N61WSTm23o

  13. #13
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    Those are excellent, thanks Jeremy3220. I really appreciate your help.

    Bob

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    Those are excellent, thanks Jeremy3220. I really appreciate your help.

    Bob
    No problem!

  15. #15
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    FWIW, I love the DHF, but don't like the Butcher quite as much as it doesn't seem to provide as much cornering feedback as the DHF. More detail in our review at: https://www.dirtmerchantbikes.com/sp...tcherpurgatory

    I don't like the Purgatory as a front tire. It seems to lose cornering grip somewhat unpredictably in my experience. If you think you do need intermediate knobs, a better option is the Hans Dampf which I find very predictable at all lean angles.
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

  16. #16
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    I had analysis paralysis...eye was twitching over the 900g weight, so I just quickly found the right size DHF and ordered it.

    I later realized I ordered the dual compound.
    Apparently the 3C is a bit more grippy due to softer side knobs.
    I found a website that states the dual has 51a/60a durometer. This is the same as the Forte Pisgah 2, I think, which handles nicely. (Does Maxxis make that tire?)

    For $52 shipped I won't complain.

    Bob

  17. #17
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    Well, the DHF sure is a great looking tire!

    And 100g over the advertised weight so it is going back.
    Am I being unreasonable? I understand there are normal variances, but >10% is crazy. I know the DHF isn't meant to be light, but better QC would be nice.
    I have to draw a line somewhere.

    Love my Fast Traks, but I nearly sent them back because they were each 60g overweight (700g vs 640g).

    I know I'm not the only one that gets torqued over this...

    Bob

  18. #18
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    If each tire you get is being weighed as 10% heavier than listed would that indicate your scale is off by 10%?

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  19. #19
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    I thought the same, and double checked the calibration... it is accurate. Darn it.

  20. #20
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    Pass the crow, please.

    I tried the DHF, 22psi tubed.
    Was within 54 seconds of a PR for a favorite loop, despite adding ~425g (Fast Trak tubeless is ~825g Minion DHF w/tube ~1250g).
    I was behind a slower rider for the first half mile, was a bit tired, the weather was hot and humid, and I wasn't pushing the tire for the first half of the ride.
    It could have easily been a PR.

    The transition wasn't bad at all, but I focused on exaggerating my lean as much as possible. I noticed a slight drift on occasion, but not enough to scare--remarkable, because I don't like drifting.

    There were times where I could hear skit-skit-skit-skit. I initially thought it was disk rub, but it was the side knobs trying to rip into the dirt!

    Turn-in was just a fraction slower than my short-knobbed tires, but it was surprisingly sharp.

    I thought the slight delay would place my exit more to the outside of the turns. But when the side knobs were engaged, the tire seemed to oversteer and place me on a line inside my normal exit, even at higher speeds.
    It worked well using the countersteer method.
    I did whack my helmet, elbow and bar on trees, but I'll get my timing down better to resolve it.

    The porkster will stay on for now.

    I can't wait to drop the Mino into low position, and hit a bigger, more wide open trail!

    Bob

  21. #21
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    Awesome, glad you figured it out! Welcome to the chunky side!

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  22. #22
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    Thanks wytemike21.

    I still love the super fast rolling light tires, but the chunkies are so fun!

    Here is a pic of one of my (soon to be retired) bikes. It weights just a tick under 18.2lbs with latex tubes and my old Litespeed Ti seatpost (currently on my wife's bike). Drivetrain is mid-90s XTR.

    The fork is a 2.9lb 72mm travel AngryAsian with Englund air carts (still works great).

    Tires are 360g 2.0 Schwalbe Fast Fred. Interestingly, the tires grip better than you would think. They are some sort of "qualifier compound," and the casing is incredibly supple. When off the rim, they flop around like a t-shirt.

    The bike is an absolute blast to ride, but will punish you severely for inattention.
    I'm the goof-ball that rode this bike with Pythons front and rear in Pisgah about 12 years ago (Pisgah was wonderful!).

    I'm getting older, not as strong, and unable to ride more than ~1x/week, so my ability to pilot it effectively/safely is diminishing. I have a family and career. Thus my new interest in grip.



    Bob
    Last edited by pedalinbob; 07-24-2018 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Clarity

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