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How To Set Up Your New Mountain Bike On A Ride | Trailside MTB Maintenance

How To Set Up Your New Mountain Bike On A Ride | Trailside MTB Maintenance

– Whenever you get a new bike, getting it set up is really important to get the most out of it. And the sort of stuff that
you’re gonna do at home when you 1st get your bike
is get your suspension setup, get your saddle at the right
height and the right angle, perhaps adjust your controls, and get the levers in a position you like. But bear in mind these are all guidelines. It’s gonna feel different in every situation out on the trail. So what we always recommend doing is get your base settings at home, and then go to your local riding spot, somewhere that you know really well. Even just a short
section of trail will do. And then get to know your bike a bit, and you’re gonna be making
some running changes when you do that. So today, instead of just doing this stuff at the GMBN workshop, I thought I’d bring you
to our local trails, and just show you how
I do this whole process for my own bike, just to dial things in. (gentle music) Now this is my new Nukeproof Mega 290. It’s a size XL, and it’s
got 29 inch wheels on it. Now I have had a couple
of these in the past, but i have varied slightly, and in more recent times I’ve been riding a 27 1/2 inch wheel version, which is completely different to ride, and I’ve also been riding a SCOTT Genius with 29 inch wheels. Again, completely different to ride. Now I have go to settings
for everything that I like, where I like the feel of stuff, but it doesn’t always
translate to the bike. So the 1st thing I wanna do is get to grips with the handle bar setup. So again, I’ve got my
high rise bar on here. I’ve put it on at about the same height, in fact, that the SCOTT front end is. I’ve been riding that bike all summer, really familiar with the bike, again, it’s a 29 inch wheel
bike, 150 wheel travel, just like this, so very
similar on sort of, on paper. But I do know that this bike has a few other things going on. Like it’s got a longer chainstay out back, which is gonna effect, ultimately, how high
I need to run the bars in order to get the bike to
feel the same on the trail. Now, it’s really important to note that once you get your bike setup, you will find there’s
things that you like, and other things that you don’t like. But also, the characteristics they offer. For example, having a low stem is great, it gives you loads of
grip on the front wheel. But it also means it can be really hard to pick the front wheel
up, it’s just a compromise. Likewise if your stem is really high, you can struggle getting
enough grip on the front wheel when you’re turning
and you get understeer, and you can slide out. So it’s a real balance to get things the way that you want them. But ultimately it is how
it needs to feel for you. So to some people this looks correct. To me, I’m not so sure it’s correct. I think I’m gonna have to rise this. But I’m gonna have a little feel, and just see how it is when
I actually get on the trail. But another thing to note as well is this is the 1st time
I’ve had Shimano brakes on a bike for some time. The last, in fact, probably the last five
or six bikes I’ve had have all SRAM brakes on them. Now, a SRAM brake lever
is quite a lot longer. So I’ve set these up to feel kind of how my SRAM brakes would feel. But I’m not quite sure, because again, they feel totally different. The bite point is different on these. You can adjust these things, but it doesn’t feel bad as it is. Again, this is one of
those running changes that you tend to make
on a bike when it’s new. And the only way to do this
is to get out on the trail, and have a little feel, see how it is. Now this is where coming to somewhere that you know comes in, because this is just a little
bit of undulating trail, nothing fancy to it. But I’m gonna get a good idea of the weight distribution on the bike. This is exactly where I wanna be feeling if I do need to raise the
stem or if I need to lower it, and do anything like that. ‘Cause it does effect your for
and off position on the bike. That’s all I’m looking for here. This is gonna give me a
good indication of that. That actually feels quite nice. But I’m not sure, whoa, feels quite hard to get the
front wheel off the ground. I think I need to kind of raise that up. Well it didn’t feel too bad, but actually, it’s quite obvious to me that the stem is too low. And the reason I say that is, because just on these
sort of undulating grounds it’s nice to just pick the
front end up and stuff, and it actually feels quite hard to get the front end off the ground. Now because it’s a long bike, and it’s got a really long
chainstay this is vital. So whilst it’s got a nice feeling, it feels like a nice attack
position on the front, you’re quite low to be able
to get the front end up. So I’m actually gonna raise that stem, because when you’re trying to do a manual your feet are effectively
further away from your fulcrum, which is that rear wheel axle. So you need to compensate by bringing your upper body back again. And the way to do that
is to raise that stem, and it makes all the difference. Also, the brake levers, they’ve got a bite point I really like, but they’re actually hitting my finger, so I need to move them a
little bit more inboard. Whereas the SRAM levers I’m more used to, I’d know exactly where
I like them on there, but these are a bit unfamiliar
for me at the moment. So I made a few minor adjustments, I’ve got the brake lever
slightly further inboard than they were previously. They do feel a little bit better actually. And now I’ve just raised
the stem the whole hoax, so I’ve gone all the way up. I think this is gonna
be really really close to where I want it,
but I’ll soon find out, ’cause what I’m looking for
is the bike to feel planted but agile enough that I can get
the front wheel up any time. So you gotta kinda forget the conceptions of the workshop setup, you have to adapt on the trail to get it to feel how you want, and I know what I want out of my bike, and I wanna be able to
get that front end up. Oh my god, it’s like leagues
better, straightaway. So actually, I’m pretty
happy with how that feels. I mean, I might go down another
five mil on the stem spacer, but the bike feels pretty balanced. Got a good feeling of it. The next thing I wanna
figure out is the suspension. So I’ve done my base settings on it. But I’ve come here ’cause there’s some
bomb holes with G outs, and there’s a couple of
little jumps and stuff. Just to get an indication of
how the bike sits on the trail. Again, something you’re not gonna know until you actually ride your bike to find out it’s characteristics. So, let’s go find something now. So the next thing I’m looking for is how my suspension feels. So I’ve got it setup
with some base settings, so factory recommended settings. In this case they’re from FOX. I’ve got my sag setup with 25 to 30%, like a little bit further than usual, I normally like it about 30, and what I’m looking for here is actually how it feels on the trail. So you got two main adjustments, you got low speed compression, and you got high speed compression, and then of course
there’s rebound as well. Rebound controls the rate at
which it extends afterwards. Now what I’m gonna be looking for in this section of trail in particular is how much grip the bike has got. So I’ve gone with some
pretty chunky tires on here, so I have an indication of that. But actually suspension makes
a big difference to this. So low speed compression keeps
the bike up a little bit. It resists a bit of movement
to your body weight, and that sort of thing. But if you have too much
low speed compression on you can actually feel the difference, it feels like you lose a bit of grip. But also, I wanna make sure
the bike feels composed. Coming to something like this, there’s only a little step up, but it’s the sort of jump if you got your suspension
not setup quite right it can kick you a bit funny. And I’m quite heavy, so one of the things I
struggle with on a bike is hitting jumps and kicked on at back. It’s not a nice feeling. The common misconception
is just to crank on loads of rebound damping
to try and slow down the rate at which the shock extends. Now whilst this is the right thing to do, it doesn’t always work,
especially for the heavier folk. You just think that the shock is basically storing the energy, and the energy has to be released. And the rebound tries to tame that. But if you actually
absorb more of that energy in the 1st place by using
high speed compression there’s less energy for
the rebound to actually try and tame on the way out. So I’m gonna have a little play with this, just hit it a few times, and just getting a feel of it on this I’ll know exactly how I want
my bike to feel on other stuff. It’s just a kind of a feeler gauge, something that depending
on where you ride, and how you ride, you’ll get to understand
what you want from your bike. (gentle music) Whew, huh, feels pretty good, but I do feel like I got kicked
at the back end of it there. I think I’ll run that a couple more times just to make sure I didn’t hit anything. Then I might make some adjustments. Let’s see how it feels. So I’ve just rid in this
little section of trail, what? Probably about 10 times now. Made a couple of little
adjustments on the way, because I was getting kicked a little bit just as I was coming into
that little compression there. So I’ve made some high speed
rebound adjustment on that, and it has made a little
bit of a difference, but also added on a bit of
high speed compression too, just to sort of cope with that a bit. I was worried about it
feeling harsh, but actually, looking at my O rings front and rear, I’ve used, kind of, pretty
similar travel front and rear. Quite pleased about that, but what I have noticed is the
fact that on the run in now I’m actually sliding a little bit. Now it could be I’m going a bit quicker, but I think it’s a tire related thing, ’cause the suspension feels
pretty good on this now. I’m quite happy with that. I may well make some changes
later but it’s pretty good. So I’m just gonna have a look at this little bit of a
turn where I’m sliding. So we’ve got a unique
type of mud here at us. The combination of the mud
with the limestone underneath is like really really slippery
when you hit the limestone. So I’ve put some Der Baron tires on, which are quite a little more aggressive than I normally run, and the
reason for that is ’cause, well we’re in the Winter season now so you just need a
little bit of extra help. I’m not quite familiar with them, they’re a little bit firm at the moment, so I’m gonna look at
taking some pressure out. And then I think, pretty much got a sweet
spot with the bike. Actually it’s a little
strange bit of trail. There’s a bit of a makeshift burn here, but you’re not even using that. I’m kinda sliding a
little bit to the outside, which is expected, but not quite got the
feel of these tires yet, so I’m gonna try a few
times, and maybe just lower, take a few pounds out and see how it is. (upbeat music) Got a pretty good feeling for the bike. Actually, let out a bit of
pressure out of the front tire, made all the difference. So it just goes to show, a little session in the woods just to shave things down a bit. I only made a few adjustments but they do make a big
difference to how my bike feels. Pretty happy with that now. I guess this is more time for the, go and play in the
woods, have a bit of fun. Well there ya go, I’ve got my bike setup, been playing in the woods,
fine-tuned a few things. It feels really good, it just goes to show you that however much time you
spend in the workshop setting up a bike, you also need to figure
these things out on a trail, just to get it setup the way you like it. For a couple of videos
like this click down here if you wanna see how to setup
a bike straight from the box, and click up here if you
want to learn everything about body position on the bike. Don’t forget to subscribe to GMBN Tech if you haven’t already done so, and tell everyone about us. And if you like GMBN Tech, and you like messing around in the woods, give us a thumbs up.

76 comments on “How To Set Up Your New Mountain Bike On A Ride | Trailside MTB Maintenance

  1. I just read abouth Chris Porter G16. Can you make video with Chris, talking abouth bike geometry, suspension etc. 2-3 hours video dont mind 😀

  2. You make bike setup sound so easy… do you have any tips for those of us who can't decide if it feels better or not after each adjustment or does it just come with experience?

  3. You guys could benefit with more popularity if you guys can hire a rad chick who knows MTB! That should keep things new and progressive in your goal with gaining more subs and views! Think about that strategy!

  4. With hope brakes and hubs that bike would be my dream build legit everything about it its lovely especially how much tuneable the suspension is

  5. Hi Doddy, how does the nukeproof 27.5 ride compared to the 29 from a tall mans perspective? new bike looks good with fox on it!

  6. Are you going to do a review on this bike? Pretty sure 27.5 mega has too much travel for trail riding for me, but 29er looks a bit more reasonable.

  7. Hey Doddy know of any manufactures attempting any modular or stiff adjustables on bikes apart from them flip chips, and im interested what makes these mutating wheel size bikes tick, are they a good design for all frames or do they sacrifice extra weight and geometry tweaks ect.

  8. Just got a new Trek Marlin 5 for Christmas… but it’s a size bigger because I still have a couple inches to grow. Any tips for the set up?

  9. What can I do to make my cheap fork work better i cold conditions? It gets stiffer with time I ride, can I get rid of this effect or can I at least make it get stiff slower?

  10. Beautiful Mega Doddy! Getting my new Scout Comp soon! But not soon enough..should arrive on my doorstep after the holidays..woot woot!

  11. Great content and makes me think 'I need to test my rear suspension shock'. and 'I need to move a spacer above the stem to gain more front end traction'. But I've already played with it for hours and hours, I just want to ride my bike.

  12. Good on you for glasses (for most of the riding) As an eye doc in Colorado, drives me nuts when riders are not wearing eye protection.

  13. I find I am often tweaking, tinkering… temperature also makes a huge difference to suspension…taking bike from cold garage ti warm trails, or warm house to cold outside…set it in conditions riding in

  14. Hi Doddy. Thanks so much for the set up tips and the good explanation for all adjustments. I've been wondering about bar height and stem length. The fact that  I'm riding an XL frame and I'm 6'2" similar to yourself I really struggle to get my front wheel up so I've bought a 60mm stem to replace my XC 100mm stem and I'll get right on it as soon as I get back onshore. Hopefully I can make it easier for myself and get learning to manual. Thanks again for this and all the other vids pal  Merry Christmas!!

  15. First thing I do when getting ready for mountain biking or Motocross is remove my wrist watch. It can hurt when you come off.

  16. Glad to see Doddy finaly getting some riding done! 👌🏻🕊
    Seems like he got locked up int the shed, solely slaving on all the other's bikes!

  17. Hey Doddy, I have trouble finding long enough riding pants as i'm 6.5ft tall…what do you recommend for the taller guys of us?

  18. @GMBN Tech You told us about the differences between the Scott and the Nukeproof even they both have 29ers and 150mm of travel. What are those differences and how do they affect your riding? #askgmbntech

  19. I weigh 90kg, ride a giant anthem xc style, 27.5 wheels 120mm rockshox recon gold fork and 100mm rockshox monarch r shock. If you fall into this category, could you please explain me, what set up do you run? sag and air pressure and the whole nine.

  20. I would be raising that stem, and sliding the XT levers inboard. (edit: < wrote that while watching the video and b4 you did it!)

  21. Mine still feels rubbish to be honest I have an orbea rallon m10 carbon 29er dont the sag n the forks are good to go its just the rear suspension. When full closed there is still alot of movement within the travel. I currently have 325psi in any other tips?

  22. I feel like a very key point with any new MTB is to KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR SPOKE TENSION. Freshly laced wheels will very often need re-tensioning within the first handful of rides, and if this is overlooked you might end up with flatspots or worse on your brand new babys wheels.

  23. Great and easy explaining in combination with all the parameters I have to think about when I do my first setup. Great! MORE videos like this. Maybe like „the bike feels good, but now I see I have a SAG of 42% what can I do“ i think 80% of us are hobby bikers and need more help like this!!!! THANK YOU

  24. Good advice and some nice skills on show Doddy. Appreciate having such good advice explained so clearly, applying your advice is improving my bikes.

  25. 5:22, swore you said bumholes, not my kinda forest! 😂😂😂 Love the video, currently looking at a mega 275. great insight!

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