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7 Pro Tips For The Ultimate Custom MTB Setup | Mountain Bike Maintenance

7 Pro Tips For The Ultimate Custom MTB Setup | Mountain Bike Maintenance

– Whilst getting your bike set up is a relatively straightforward process. The thing that really
defines your mountain bike as your bike is the little custom tips and tweaks you can do to it. So with that in mind, when I have my own bike what I like to do is get
suspension dialled in. Then after that, these are my seven best tips and tweaks. So without a doubt a dropper post is one of the most useful bits of kit a modern mountain bike can have on it. And of course, they’re very useful on all sorts of terrain
for getting your saddle up, saddle down, out of the way. But, if like me, you’re
riding bumpy conditions, or sometimes wet and muddy conditions, could be a bit of a struggle sometimes to keep grip on the actual lever itself. So I have a single source
of little custom hacks and bodges for this. Some people have actually gone as far as cutting with a
hacksaw onto their levers to get a bit of traction, or even using self-setting rubber. But really you can’t beat a good bit of skateboard grip tape. It’s dirt cheap and you can just custom form it to fit your one. You can also use it on the
brake levers themselves. Now I’ve got a Crankbrothers
Highline dropper post on my bike and they actually make their own little kit of these little gripper pads that you can put on your own levers. And they’re mint, it grips nice and tidy. It’s a nice little custom
touch for your bike. So a chain slap is one of
the most frustrating things you can get on a bike. Not only is it loud, with your chain rattling
away on your frame, it actually chips off your paint. And it’s not really good for
you bike in the long term. So while a lot of bikes these days do come with chain slap
protectors on them, sometimes they’re not
actually a soft rubber. The harder rubber can still
make quite a bit of a noise. So what I always like to do straightaway with any new bike I get, is put a decent chain slap protector on to stop that. And what I tend to use
is Scotch 2228 tape. And this is a rubber mastic tape. You can get this from
electrical retailers. And there are other
similar ones out there, other unnamed mastic tapes you can get. And it’s literally sticky-back rubber. You can apply it to the length you need on your chain stay. Stays on there whatever the weather. And because the rubber itself is actually very soft compound, it’s got a good damping quality to it. Now I also like to put some
on the inside of my seat stay, just where the chain can also flick up and take away the paint. And if riding abroad, say in the Alps, I actually put some on the underside of the down tube too. I mean this particular bike, my Canyon here, has got a down tube protector, so it doesn’t need it. But this stuff’s really effective for that and it comes in 25mm width and also a 50 mil, if you
want the extra protection. This stuff is well worth looking into. Clipless pedals are one of
the most important things for me on my bike. I’ve always ridden clips and I prefer the way the
bike feels with them. Now with that in mind, there’s two types of pedals. There’s the smaller, more
cross country focused lightweight pedals. And you tend to run these
with a more trail-based shoe. Or the more heavy-duty shoe
and pedal offerings like these. So the thing I like about these is they still manage to make a bike feel like it’s got a downhill feel with the flat pedals, but you’ve got all the
benefits of clipping in. However, they’re a lot harder to set up and get just right. And your shoe and pedal combo is absolutely essential to getting that real good feel. Now while some riders will actually take a knife to the sole of the shoe to customise the cleat
recess if they need to, a better way of doing it, really, is by using these little spacers. Now although these are
Crankbrother spacers, you can use these on any
cleats on the market, whether it’s Time, Shimano, Look, etc. It really doesn’t matter. And there’s actually a
better way of doing it, because you remove the cleat slightly from the bottom of the sole and it just gets
engagement that bit better. Now whilst the plastic spacers are the best way to do this, I actually use a slightly
different technique. I’ve always loved the
firm, click-in action of other pedals like Shimano, but prefer the feel of
a Crankbrother’s pedal, where you can actually
move around more on it. Now to get that same snappy feel, I just unclip the pedal here. You’ll see that I’ve got
metal spacer under the cleat. Now these are made by Crankbrothers and are actually designed to protect the sole of carbon shoes from the clip mechanism. What I’ve found actually, is using them on these shoes, makes it way easier to engage. You’ve got that really defined click when you clip in. It doesn’t affect the feel of the pedal. Now that’s my little custom sole tip. So this setup tip is a bit of a weird one, because it’s not a common occurrence, but actually it’s a preventative measure. A long time ago, cut the story short, I was out on a ride,
and I lost a cleat bolt. And I was so far from home that it would have ruined my ride. And I was trying to find
another bolt on the bike I could replace it with. But at the time, the only bolt suitable I didn’t have ’cause I had
centre lock rotors on the bike. I did bump into another cyclist and he let me pinch a bolt
off his disc rotor though. So I replaced the cleat bolt with that. Now although it got me home, it was pretty uncomfortable, clicking wasn’t that good all the time, but it did work. So it made me think, why didn’t I carry a spare on my bike? Why not in the bag? If it’s on the bike, I’m never going to forget it, it’s always there. So I now carry one of
the countersunk bolts on each of my wheels. So, whatever I do, I’ve got five normal disc rotor bolts
on one countersunk bolt. Holds the disc rotor on just fine. And I know it’s there for emergencies if that ever arises. So going along with the theme of keeping things on your bike that you might not need, but actually can save you when you’re on that ride with no tools. One of the things I always tape
onto the controls of my bike is an adjoining chain link. So be it SRAM or Shimano, depending on your preference, just get a bit of electrical tape, get one of those links, and just tape it around
one of your gear cables. It’s always on your bike and you’ll forget about
it until that one time you’re out for a ride
and you snap your chain. You can fix this, no fuss, get back on the trail, job done. Now most modern bikes have
pretty good cable routing, but you can still get cable rub depending on how you run your bars, flip, forwards, up, down
and that sort of set up. So as you can see on
my personal bike here, the cable do actually strike each other. Now, I like my bikes to
be silent, if possible. And I also don’t really want
my paint to get rubbed away. So a little trick I like to do is actually attach the
cables together here using some electrical tape. It stops the cable wandering around within the frame as well, ’cause it’s bound to the next one. Now in addition to hatching
the cables together with the tape, something I also like to do is I’m not really a fan
of the clear patches, because I do find that they discolour and come off in time. So what I actually like to use is the same rubber mastic tape I use in my chain stays and just put a little patch just under where the cables contact. So not only does it stop
them rattling around and sort of rubbing on the frame as well. And at the end of the day, it’s all about making a bike silent, so, for me, anyway. So that’s my little custom tip there. So the last one’s not really
a custom set up tweak as such, it’s more something I like
to do before going riding. Now, I really like to pay
attention to my suspension and view that lower leg
services quite frequently to keep them running nice and smooth. But if I’ve been riding
a lot of wet conditions or dry conditions, the seals can still dry out. So you can do a super fast little tweak just to get your forks running
smoothly before you ride. Now the obvious choice would be to flip your bike upside down, so that lower leg lube is in sight there for coating the bushings, but another little cheater one you can do is just by simply rolling
the garter spring down on the fork and taking the
end of an uncut cable tie and just slide it between the
stanchion and the wiper seal. You can just apply some
decent suspension lube directly into the seals. Now using the plastic end
of a cable tie is good ’cause it won’t scratch your stanchion. Just make sure you don’t do this with a screwdriver or anything else that’s likely to damage either the seal, or more importantly, the stanchion. It’s a super fast little way or just applying some suspension lube, wipe off the excess, go and hit the trails. Happy days. So hopefully seven of
my little favourite tips have been helpful for you, guys. I’d like to hear if you’ve got any little set up tips and tweaks you’ve got. So don’t forget to leave a comment below. Subscribe here by clicking the globe. You’ll get a brand new
video every single day. And I must refer you to a couple of really helpful videos. One of them is how to set up a new bike so if you want to click down here, really informative video. And the other one is
how to silence a bike. And that’s not only from chain slap, also creaks and stuff. So click down here. And don’t forget to give us a thumbs up if you like the video.

63 comments on “7 Pro Tips For The Ultimate Custom MTB Setup | Mountain Bike Maintenance

  1. What are your pro hacks and cheeky spare storage solutions? Let us know…down below 👊

  2. How about lubing your stanchions with regular silicon spray? Some says it could help in the same way as a fancy dedicated oil?!?!

  3. The scotch 2228 tape looks perfect for the job but it's £17 per roll. Crazy. Have you seen it anywhere cheaper, GMBN?

  4. Hey 🙂 Ive tried sourcing "Scotch 2228 Tape" but its not imported into SA and cant find an alternative. What tape did you use on your bike and is there a similar product that you could suggest?

  5. How to get rid of the rattle from the internal dropper post cable? I've tried fastening it with tape but it still hits the inside of the frame…

  6. Not sure about fork. Silicon spray is IMO better. Zip ties are great for releasing extra pressure in lowers after service but on the trail there is risk of dust coming under seal. Other tips are great😊

  7. That chainlink fitts perfectly into the little housing of a FOX – fork (only fox)
    replace the cap like you normaly do to add some airpressure and put in the link.
    always there and always clean !

  8. I use hockey (stick) tape in a lot of places like chainstays. Seems to have good all year qualities for abrasion and slaps…

  9. @04:37 My inner Nerd would 3D print a bracket that could be mounted onto the saddle rails into which an assortment of replacement screws could be screwed into. After swapping out the I-Spec II compatible Shimano Deore shifters for non I-Spec II compatible Shimano XTR Di2 ones I was left with loose break levers since I was missing the spacers normally residing inside the clamps. Some 3D modelling and 3D printing made quick work of the issue ( )

  10. Hi ,can you make a reason for why we need to upgrade our bikes,Because my parents don't want me to upgrade my bike .T.Y😎

  11. NEVER shove anything into, or down the seals. There are lubes that are applied directly to the fork.
    The cables move indepedently and should remain so. To stop this can damage the housing or cables, and make for pressure being put on certain areas along the cable rout. Instead, take a 1/4 inch tube, with a diameter a bit larger than a straw, and more sturdy, cut it from end to end in a spiral, then wined the now spiral tube around the cables needing collected. Putting the tape behind this then.
    The cables can then move freely in the manner they are designed when turning or dropping.

  12. Hey GMBN crew,what's the best way to remove a factory chainstay protecter without damaging paint.Just ordered a roll of mastic tape

  13. Great vid! A personal tip of mine is to put a few folded cable ties inside my bottom bracket between the cranks. you never know when one might come in handy!

  14. I use clear circular sticky labels of varying sizes to stop the cables rubbing on the frame. Once they are on, they are pretty much invisible, and they haven't worn through yet. I think I paid about 80p for a load of them from WH Smith a few years ago. They do the job perfectly. 🙂

  15. Should be Silent slow rebound rear fast front and really really stiff suspension .bar high and far back that is a mint bike and high spoke tension and some threadlock about 50 psi front 60 in the rear and tubeless cause I hate flats and some barons and yeah I ride Freeride and big jumps

  16. I'm only 13 years old and I want to be a rider I start road biking but my bike is hardtail trinx!

  17. Make sure you don’t ride the bike, otherwise you’ll hear all this noise from the tires going over gravel and dirt.

  18. Uh. I've been riding and maintaining bikes for over 20 years. You should NEVER pry up the seal on your shock to lube it. Grime and dirt will get passed the seal and go straight to your bushings.

  19. good hack for helping tune the grip of flat pedals is also grip tape. you can make them grippier by applying grip tape to any of the flat surfaces on the pedal. silva grip is best. its a metal grip tape that lasts forever. can also help keep you on a pair of pedals longer if you happen to rip pins out and the threads get damaged.

  20. I have attached a valve converter to my valve, so when i want to inflate the wheel in a gas station or something i have the converter

  21. One thing u can do about the inability to grip the shifter or dropper remote take hot glue and 80 grit sandpaper cut it to size and glue on

  22. Multitool has saved me and got me back home already several times. Will stick chainlink to my bike though. Great tips

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