“Ask MBA” peeve of the
month: Shorter days. We like riding
with lights as much as the next guy,
but can it just be summer already?
Q: Converting my Yeti 575 to a
1x10 drivetrain. Was looking at
putting on Shimano Zee cranks, but
I don’t know what length I’d need.
Additionally, would I need a new
chain versus the one I have on my
3x10? Also, would a 36-tooth chainring be best for trail riding? Also
looking at an MRP G2SL chainguide, and I know my frame has
ISCG-03 mounts. Is that the same
as normal ISCG-05 mounts?
—Mitchell, who just wants to
A: The Zee cranks are a good choice.
The length is your preference, and either
170 millimeters or 175 millimeters will
work fine. The 170-millimeter version
will give you slightly better ground clearance, and the 175-millimeter version will
provide a bit more leverage. We typically
like shorter cranks, but it’s just personal
As for the chainring, 36 is a mighty
large ring if you’re going single for the
first time. We might recommend going
with a 32 or 33 to start with. Either way,
make sure it’s designed to be run as a
single ring. Try something like a Renthal
or an MRP ring.
The ISCG stuff isn’t as complicated
as it seems. The ISCG-03 (also sometimes just called ISCG) mounts have a
smaller-diameter bolt-circle mounting
pattern and the ISCG-05 mounts have a
larger one. The two mounts are not
compatible with each other. For your
bike, the standard ISCG version (not
the ISCG-05) is the correct one. By the
way, the G2SL is an awesome chainguide. You won’t be disappointed.
RIGID IS RIGID
Q: Have a rigid Niner MCR 9
with largish ( 2. 4) tires and low air
pressure. When I ride for more
than three hours, it beats me up.
Could you recommend a suspension
fork and comment on whether a
rigid carbon fork would make much
of a difference?
—Kevin, who is looking for a
A: A rigid fork—carbon or steel—is
going to be just that: rigid. While you
have done a good job making that rigid
bike as comfortable as possible with the
larger-volume tires and lower tire pres-
sure, none of that is going to hold a
candle to the comfort a suspension fork
will bring to the party.
The addition of a suspension fork
will add a bit of weight to your bike,
but for around $800, you can essentially get a top-of-the-line fork from any of
the best suspension companies, ensuring that the weight gain is minimal.
Both the RockShox SID RCT3 and
the Fox 32 Float 29 Fit CTD are great
options that are available in 3.9-inch-
travel versions, which will work perfectly on your MCR, which is optimized for forks between 3.1 and 3. 9
inches of travel. Going toward this end
of the travel spectrum will make your
bike feel more trail-capable and give
you the comfort you’ve been looking
for on long rides.
STUMPS, YES. BUT 4-FOOT ROCKS?
Q: Ride a 2012 Specialized
Stumpjumper FSR Comp EVO. I
ride a downhill run with 4-foot
drops. Will my air shock hold up,
or should I get a coil-over shock?
—Ryan, who wants his bike to
A: Specialized designs their bikes a
little differently from most companies,
and they tend to use custom-built
shocks for their bikes. The FSR EVO is
no exception, and it uses a very odd-
sized shock that will be difficult to
replace with anything other than the
stock one. Most shocks come in com-
mon sizes, such as 190 millimeters
(eye-to-eye length) by 51 millimeters
(stroke) or 200x51, but yours is a
194x51. That little 4-millimeter differ-
ence might not damage the bike, but it
certainly could. We wouldn’t recom-
mend going with a different shock for
that reason, especially if you’re doing
aggressive riding that could end cata-
strophically if the shock fails.
The upside is that the stock shock
will handle just about anything you
throw at it. Just be sure that you perform the recommended maintenance on
schedule to keep it performing like it
FOR THE DUSTY TRAIL
Q: Live in Albuquerque, New
Mexico. The trails are sand, hardpack and rocky. I am a big fan of
Maxxis tires, as I run them on our
dirt bikes with wonderful results. I
am looking for an all-around, 26-
inch tire, but not necessarily within
the Maxxis line.
—Andrew, who is seeking traction
A: Sounds like your conditions are
pretty similar to the riding around here.
Two of our favorite tires in that category are the Maxxis Ardent and
Continental X-King. The Ardent is
slightly better for aggressive cornering.
On the other hand, the X-King weighs
slightly less and will roll faster. Either
choice is a good one for the type of riding you’re doing. ;