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About mkeeping

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  1. I find that I a harsh fork makes me slower. It might be tolerable in a motocross race but when you are racing 2+ hours the harshness wears you out and start to make mistakes. This was the same issue all the guys I ride with had. After a revalve and getting the high speed damping dialed in the shock soaks up big step-ups, either rocks or roots, and has far more traction in all circumstances. The compromise is that the bike squats more coming out of corners and this lightens the front end on corner exit as well but, overall speeds are higher so it's a compromise that I can live with
  2. I've mentioned in a couple of posts what I found lacking in the shock. Too much high speed and not enough rebound. For me I needed to revalve the fork and shock as I don't truly use the bike for it's intended purpose i.e. the bike was designed for XC racing and light motocross. While I do race XC the racing is more like an enduro with some grass track. I also race enduro and I felt that I needed the bike to be softer front and back so I revalved the fork myself and sent the shock out since I was setup to vacuum bleed at the time. I agree with you that there are lots of options out there for the AER fork. I have a set of cone valves so I ran them while I was tweaking the AERs but I find most people seem to have been quick to do spring conversions without giving the AER a fair shake. I know people that did spring conversions before riding the bike and other that went to spring conversions before even trying a revalve. To each their own but I enjoyed working on the AER fork and once I got it dialed in I felt that it is one of the best forks I've ridden. They are light weight and easy to work on.
  3. I believe you mentioned that you have the compression adjuster all the way open and that could also be a contributing factor to the harshness you are feeling when you raise the air pressure. You may end up letting too much of the oil bleed by the shim stack with a fully open adjuster and you get too far into the stroke too quickly and then you end in the part of the stroke where the air spring starts to really ramp up the pressure quickly thus creating harshness. If your current settings work for you that's great but I just wanted to point out that your settings seem to be pretty far off of what my friend's are running and they are similar in size to you. This may be attributed to the differences in terrain and riding style. When I was talking about the HS dampening and rebound I was generalizing about the stock valving on the shock and not about the settings on the shock and, that's why I had mine revalved. Regardless, there's no need to be nervous about adjusting the high speed dampening as you can always set it back to your original setting. I mark my HS adjuster with a sharpie as a reference point and then tune it on the trail. I've always found that the HS adjuster is the most important adjustment to get right on my bike and in the process I've realized that I like less high speed dampening and more rebound than my friends. As with anything suspension related it's all a bit of a compromise.
  4. I have the same bike but you and I are different in body weight. I was really unhappy with the fork on this bike until I put the mxtech midvalve in it and once I was satisfied with the fork it made me realize how bad the shock was so I sent it out to have it revalved. That being said it seems like you have too little air pressure in the bike for a guy your size but that can be a preference thing. I got to my preferred air pressure by determining how much fork dive I wanted in order to get the bike cornering it's best and then I use the compression adjuster to dial how fast it goes through the stroke. I guess that's just another way of saying that I use the air pressure to control the chassis balance fore and aft. For the type of riding that I do I found that the shock had too much high speed dampening and not enough rebound.
  5. I think your safest bet would be to enter the C class. Many times new riders have come out and dominated their class and it isn't a big deal since no one can expect you to know where you fit into a class structure prior to your first race. I think it's mentally better to get a win in a C class than to finish last in B; especially in your first race. I normally tell first time racers to just pace themselves and try to finish.
  6. mkeeping

    Critique My RIding Stance?

    I have to agree with all of the people who recommend avoiding bar risers. I tried to find some examples of fast, tall, pros who use risers and I didn't have any luck. There are lots of examples of tall guys who don't run risers, off the top of my head I think Benny Bloss (6'5"), David Knight(6'4") and Cody Webb(6'3") all run pretty standard setups.
  7. mkeeping

    Fast racers, how do you do it?

    How long have you ridden/ raced? I started racing in 2011 and I was terrible. I was also 38 years old. I started off in C class and this year I was promoted into the Vet AA class. Last weekend I finished 15th overall in an Enduro and it was my best finish ever. How do you train? I either cycle or run on the days that I cannot ride. Between riding and training I try to only take 1-2 days off a week. I used to lift weights a lot but I find that focusing cardio has lead to better results. How often do you ride? I try to ride every chance I can get at as many different places as I can. I typically ride 2-3 times per week and each ride is about 3 hours. I took 4 weeks off for vacation this summer and I think I rode 4-5 times per week. I believe the bike I bought last August has about 200 hours on it and our riding season in Canada is pretty short. Is it possible to get "stinkin Fast" without riding 2 times a week? I don't think so. The people that I know that are really fast ride a lot. I think you can maintain your skills and see some improvement riding twice a week but I don't think I'd expect huge improvements. Mentally, I think there is fine line between being overly cautious and taking too much risk. I have a friend that is pretty scared of getting hurt so he really doesn't push too hard and his gains come more slowly as his confidence doesn't build that fast. I have another friend that is fearless and spends a lot of time riding over his head. His skills build slowly as well; since he spends a lot of time recovering from broken bones. There is a happy medium where you can push yourself to go faster but minimize the risk of injury. This is the sweet spot for making improvements. My improvements are a result of the commitment and sacrifices that I've made. I bought a trailer 3 hours away that is in a campground next to the best offroad riding area in my neck of the woods. I make sure that I have great equipment and that is a big financial commitment. I replace my bikes regularly and ensure that I always have great suspension. My life basically revolves around this sport. It's worth it to me as I can still remember being lapped by the Pros and thinking to myself that we aren't even doing the same sport. Now when I'm lapping others I wonder if they are thinking the same thing.
  8. mkeeping


    They forks have changed a bit over the years. The older ones had the larger axle. They made some changes to them recently and you'll see that they are black with red seal holders. While there are stock settings for the various disciplines that were provided by WP, I don't think you will find that many used sets have stock settings. They ship to the WP authorized re-seller without springs or valving and the re-sellers valve and spring them for the customer. There are different cones for the various disciplines ie. there is a red colored cone for offroad and a blue colored cone for MX....
  9. mkeeping

    tire pressure in mud

    In a extreme mud race there won't be too many high speed corners. I'd be more likely to sacrifice some high speed cornering stability for the added traction that lower pressures will give you.
  10. mkeeping

    Tubliss tire choices

    You buy a tire stiff and hard so that the side wall doesn't flex when you are running no psi and the tire doesn't roll over; the cut prevention is just a benefit. When you're not running any air there is nothing to leak out at the bead but, even if you are running a couple of pounds of air I've never had a leak at the bead. The only time I've seen that happen is when someone forgets to check the air pressure in the high pressure chamber. YMMV
  11. mkeeping

    Wet roots.

    It was snowing at the enduro two weeks ago and the roots were wet. I saw people sliding all over the place and having trouble getting over logs and whatnot. I had a brand new Golden fatty on the front and Starcross 5 soft on the rear. I was running tubliss with about 9 pounds of air front and back. This setup was so confidence inspiring that I was able to continue accelerating on some of the roots. With a good setup you can stop worrying about the roots and start looking for places where you can go fast.
  12. mkeeping

    my first cross country race ever

    If you're doing a cross country event you will do laps and there will be a designated pit area where you can keep your goggles, gloves and gas. The number of laps will depend on the length of the course. You'll find out how long the loop is during the riders meeting and you can use that to determine how many you can make it between fuel stops. Full bark busters are worth having as the the flag type guards break way too easily and that makes for a very tough day. You sound pretty well setup so I would just go out there and try to finish. You will learn a lot in first race, as your friend says 'it's a whole different ballgame'. I think one of the biggest mistakes first timers make is that they get so excited and nervous during the start that go out way too hard and end up exhausting themselves on the first lap. Cross country racing requires that you pace yourself and learning how to do that comes with experience. Good luck!
  13. mkeeping

    Back brake...

    I don't think I was discounting Lafferty, I imagine that was more directed towards motrock93b, but a better question is why discount anybody? Different setups work for different people. All I can say is that people have to experiment to find a setup that works for them and even that setup will evolve over time.
  14. mkeeping

    Back brake...

    Wouldn't it be fairly easy to prove or disprove where the pro's set their brake pedals by googling images of their bikes? Based on a quick look it seems to me most people run between +5 and -5 millimeters from level. However, it would be near impossible to figure out how much free play they have.
  15. mkeeping

    Collarbone Question

    It broke one year and one week after the initial break so I don't think that I was pushing it. I have surgery today or tomorrow.