Ask Pinkbike: bike sizing, sponsorship and one bike to do it all

At Pinkbike we are inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the simple “Can I have stickers?to more in-depth, introspective types of queries, like whether you should ask or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we’ll select and answer questions that kept readers up at night, though we’ll probably avoid the latter two and keep them more tech-focused.

Should I follow the manufacturer’s sizing recommendations?

Question: @maucina request in the All-Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: I was wondering if I should look up the span or manufacturer’s tables for sizing. I’m 6ft 3in and with all manufacturers I’m deep in size XL, but I had a Mondraker XL with a 510 reach and it was awful. I much preferred size L with a reach of 490. Should I then follow my preferred reach around 490 or the builders tables as some bikes run 490 in XL?

Back in the day, mountain bike sizing was based on seat tube length, and if you could straddle the frame without the top tube crashing into your important items, you were good to go. This is obviously no longer the case, and with all the numbers and opinions floating around, it can be quite a difficult landscape to navigate.

Let’s first look at the size charts of these manufacturers. These charts are a good starting point, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are suggestions, not hard and fast rules. You’re trying to find the bike that’s best for you, and you alone – deviating from the recommendations is no reason to worry. Now, if you told me that at 6’3″ you were planning on buying a size small, well, that might be something you’re worried about, but it doesn’t seem to be.

The fact that you have found a litter number that works for you is a great place to start. Reach is useful for determining what a bike will look like when you get out of the saddle – your descent position. Too much reach can make it hard to put weight on the front wheel, while too little reach can make a bike feel cramped, like you’re going over the handlebars. Personally I’ve found it to be about 20mm to suit my height, although it’s very possible to go even further either way – it’s amazing how much the human body can be adaptable.

However, range is only part of the equation. The effective length of the top tube is another useful number to consider. This one gives you an idea of ​​how the bike will feel when you’re seated, which is important because that’s what you’ll be doing for much of every ride. The angle of a bicycle’s seat tube has a big influence on the effective length of the top tube. For example, take the Mondraker Superfoxy. The size wide has a reach of 490mm and a seat tube angle of 75.5 degrees, resulting in a fairly long top tube length of 651mm. Compare that to the Canyon Torque, which also has a 490mm reach. It has a shorter top tube length of 636mm due to its steeper 77.5-degree seat tube angle. 15 millimeters might not seem like a lot, but if you’ve ever tried a 35mm stem versus a 50mm stem, you’ll know that’s a noticeable amount.

Reach and top tube length are the two numbers I refer to the most. The third number that is good to know, especially for taller runners, is the stack. This number gives you an idea of ​​how tall or tall the front of the bike is. Taller bars can be used to give you a more upright position, but there are limitations – comparing the stack height of the bike you’re on to the one you’re considering can help you get an idea of ​​this that you will feel. For a deeper dive into the importance of stack, reach and handlebar height, be sure to check out Seb Stott’s great article on the subject.

Confused yet? Let’s hope not, but there’s no denying that all the numbers can be overwhelming. If possible, I highly recommend that you test drive the bike or bikes you are considering. In fact, riding a bike, even if it’s just for a short loop, can make the decision-making process much easier.


How can I be sponsored?

Question: @Miles2423 request in the Freeride & Slopestyle Forum: Hi guys! I am interested in how do I know I should apply for a sponsor and how can I have a better chance? I’m a freeride/slope rider (that’s why I put this topic here) but I’m young (15 years old) and want to know when should I try one? I’m thinking something small (local Utah brands, etc.)

great quotes Ah, the dream of sponsorship. When I was around 15, I remember typing up a resume full of my glorious Sport-class XC racing results and sending it off to every brand I could think of. This led to me being sponsored by exactly zero companies, although once I received a bunch of lycra from the Saturn team. I rocked this kit, including the fingerless gloves that came with it, for years.

Anyway, enough memories, back to your question. How do you improve your chances of being sponsored? Be really good at what you do. It sounds simple, but let’s face it: It’s not really in a company’s best interest to sponsor a mediocre pilot, even if the YouTuber’s rise seems to have changed the game a bit, for better or for worse. the worst. (I vote worst).

Start by creating a promo reel, a short video that shows what you’re capable of on the bike. Make sure it showcases your skills – tricks should be completed cleanly, successful attempts should outweigh crashes, etc. free parts and/or financing help you achieve your goals more easily? Explain to the company what you hope to accomplish over the next year and how their support will help you achieve that goal. If you’re on social media, make sure your posts don’t contain anything that might upset a potential sponsor.

Keep in mind that some companies have limited timeframes for accepting sponsorship applications – which is usually in the fall and early winter. Be persistent without being pushy, and don’t get discouraged if that Monster contract doesn’t show up right away. Keep riding, keep training, and enter events and contests where you can show off your skills. Good luck!


Privateer 141 or Commencal Meta TR for smoother trails?

Question: Dylan asks on Instagram: I live in Minnesota and a lot of the trails around me are a bit boring. They become more and more fluid, but still quite flat. There are spots I go to twice a month with steeper drops, rocks and bigger hits. I have space constraints and can only have one mountain bike. I currently have a pre-order on a Privateer 141. Would that be a good choice, or should I go for a Meta TR 29 Signature?

great quotes The Privateer 141 and Meta TR 29 are both sturdy bikes that do well on rough trails, but I’m afraid they’re still a bit more bikes than you’re looking for. They are best suited for trails with steep descents and mounted, one of the reasons why the seat angle of both models is quite steep. It’s great for the kind of rides where you grind down a fire road and then bomb down a gnarly trail, but it can feel a bit odd on flat ground.

I’d be more inclined to go for something like the Ibis Ripmo AF (if we stick to the aluminum theme) – this bike pedals very well and has a more versatile nature than the brutal Meta TR or Privateer. Or if you didn’t mind having a little less travel, the Specialized 130/140mm Stumpjumper is a great all-around trail bike, and it’s also available in aluminum.

If you get that 141 I’m sure you’ll have a great time, you might want to try getting to those steeper areas a little more often.


Wiley C. Thompson