The an­swers to all your tech­ni­cal ques­tions, plus how to get the right chain length and our blu er’s guide to tube­less sealant

Your ques­tions an­swered

Mountain Biking UK - - CONTENTS - Swiss Army Bike

I’ve put off buy­ing a new bike for two years due to the rapidly-chang­ing tech­nol­ogy and trends, but can’t wait any longer. For­tu­nately, in the in­ter­ven­ing time my bud­get has risen to £4,000. Presently, I have a 2010 BMC Trail­fox and an old Or­ange hard­tail, but I want one bike to cover ev­ery­thing. The new breed of long-travel 29ers which also ac­cept 650b+ wheels have caught my at­ten­tion. Any sug­ges­tions? Chris Bam­ber, via email

Build­ing a bike that can be switched be­tween wheel sizes with­out be­ing com­pro­mised in some way is a big ask, but there are some that can do this re­ally well. One of the first was the 135mm-travel Santa Cruz Hightower, which uses a small flip-chip to keep its ge­om­e­try the same whether you’re run­ning 29x2.3in or 27.5x2.8in tyres. Santa Cruz now of­fer the 150mm Hightower LT too. Both are only avail­able with car­bon frames, so aren’t cheap. The £3,999 full builds come with a Rock­Shox Revelation fork, which is OK but no match for the Pike, and SRAM NX Ea­gle 12-speed gear­ing, which we’ve had good ex­pe­ri­ences with.

Scott’s Ge­nius also lets you ad­just its ge­om­e­try to suit dif­fer­ent wheel sizes. The twin-ring 930 model costs £3,899 but, if you like the look of this bike, we’d rec­om­mend push­ing your bud­get to £4,099 to get the Ge­nius 920, which has a 1x driv­e­train and car­bon front tri­an­gle.

Our pick would be the Whyte S-150C RS though. It doesn’t of­fer any ge­om­e­try ad­just­ment, so fit­ting 650b+ wheels and tyres does drop the bot­tom bracket pretty low. But at £3,850 it’s cheaper than the oth­ers here, and comes with a bet­ter spec too. That in­cludes a Rock­Shox Pike fork, SRAM GX Ea­gle gear­ing (a step up from NX) and some great rub­ber from Maxxis. It comes with 29in hoops as stan­dard but, for an ex­tra £599, Whyte will pro­vide a spare set of 650b wheels, Maxxis Rekon+ tyres, sealant and disc ro­tors, mak­ing it easy to go 650b+.

Penny-far­thing ef­fect

I’ve been fol­low­ing Rus­sell’s progress with his Spe­cial­ized Turbo Levo long-ter­mer with great in­ter­est, as I ride a 2018 Spe­cial­ized Kenevo. I was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in Guy’s advice that he should try a 29in wheel up front and 650b+ on the rear. This sounds like an ex­cel­lent so­lu­tion to the prob­lems I’ve en­coun­tered. My Ken­ovo has a dif­fer­ent fork to the Levo – a 2018 Rock­Shox Lyrik. Will a 29x2.4in wheel/ tyre fit in it?

Chris Jones, via email

This is some­thing Seb tried while test­ing the Kenevo for our biketest on page 94. Un­for­tu­nately, it uses the 650b ver­sion of the Lyrik, not the 29er vari­ant. While this has plenty of room for a 27.5x2.8in tyre, it doesn’t have quite enough for a 29in wheel with wide rub­ber on. Sorry to be the bear­ers of bad news, Chris!

This sucks!

I still run two chain­rings. Lately, I’ve had a num­ber of trans­mis­sion prob­lems, in­clud­ing shift­ing is­sues and the chain derail­ing and get­ting wrapped around the rings. Any ideas what’s caus­ing this? Clive Win­ston, via email

Sounds like a bad case of chain suck. Start by check­ing the rings for wear or dam­age – if the teeth are start­ing to look like shark fins, they could be hook­ing the chain and not dis­en­gag­ing when they should. The chain could also be stretched. Be­fore fork­ing out money on new parts, give the driv­e­train a degrease and re­lube, as a sticky, gritty and gunked-up chain is an­other pos­si­ble cause.

Whyte’s S-150C is one of our favourite bikes of 2018 and can be used with both 29in and 650b+ wheels/tyres

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