If you have ever visited any popular bike park, chances are you’ve seen a wide variety of people on shorter travel full suspension bikes. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to check out a small variety of bikes that fit into this general genre of park bikes. For our test we’ll be utilizing a similar build spec across all the bikes to even the playing field. Check out the build we’ve selected and stay tuned as we update this article with additional park bikes. This is a multi-page article so be sure to scroll through the pages.
As stated, we wanted to use a basic build across the bikes we’ve selected. We’ve picked parts that we feel are suited for a park bike.
- Industry Nine Enduro Wheelset
Industry Nine Enduro Wheelset (click to enlarge)
New this year, Industry Nine is offering a variety of house brand rims with their wheelsets. The rims we’ve got set up tubeless with only some Stan’s No-Tubes strapping tape and some valve cores. These wheels are stiff and responsive. We’ve posted info on this wheelset on our hompage before so be sure to check it out if you’re interested in learning more about these sweet wheels.
- Schwalbe Muddy Mary UST 2.3
Schwalbe Muddy Mary UST (click to enlarge)
Muddy Mary tread detail (click to enlarge)
We opted to use the UST Schwalbe tires in a 2.35 as they’ve got a nice well rounded tred design, a wide casing (bigger than a 2.5″ Maxxis in comparison) and offer pretty low rolling resistance. The 2.35 UST tire installed easily on our rims and were easy to setup tubeless to help save some rotational weight while adding some puncture protection as well as eliminating pinch flats since there are no tubes.
We added some Stan’s tubeless sealant to our wheels to help give them flat protection and help seal the tires more. The Stan’s NoTubes sealant helps seal holes in tires, so where you normally would get a flat tire from a puncture, Stan’s sealant will let you keep rolling. NoTubes works as advertised and is a great addition to a tubeless setup.
Stan’s No Tubes
Shimano Saint shifter
We opted for the Shimano Saint shifter here and it’s shorter paddles are nice and compact. They help stop any accidental shifts and are durable to crashes, knee smacks, and just about anything else that you can throw at it.
Shimano Saint RD-M810-SS rear derailleur (click to enlarge)
We’ve had a good amount of time on this new Shadow Saint derailleur and it works great. The integrated skid plate works as advertised when needed and overall the Saint derailleur performs well and can take a beating. Point One Racing customized our Shadow hanger with a nice nickel finish for an extra custom touch. See our review of the 2009 Saint gruppo to learn more.
- FOX 36 Talas RC2 (show below)
- FOX 36 Float RC2
FOX 36 Talas fork (click to enlarge)
For the fork we decided to use the FOX 36 series forks. The Talas RC2 (adjustable between (100-130-160) and Float RC2 (160mm) specifically will be used. These forks are great for park bikes and offer an impressive secure ride. The axle system on the 36 forks is one of the best in our opinion in offering quick removal and secure tool-free clamping. An important characteristic in dialing in the feel and performance of a fork is it’s damping and the FOX doesn’t disappoint. High speed and low speed compression control as well as rebound are easily accessible and adjustable on the 36 RC2 lineup. The Talas and Float models are air forks and have a great tunable feel to them. Dialing them in with the external adjustments and air pressure is easy and works very well. The 36 series fork is a great option on these bikes as they offer ample adjustability, performance, and reliability.
dropout detail (click to enlarge)
Hope Tech M4 brakes (click to enlarge)
Hope Tech M4 brakes (click to enlarge)
Hope Tech M4 brakes were chosen. A 7″ front, 6″ rear setup was selected. Check out our preview on the Tech M4 brakes to learn more. The Tech M4 brakes came with floating rotors and caused some interference with the fork disc mounts with the brake/fork/wheel combo. We changed the rotors to a standard non-floating type to alleviate this.
- Shimano Saint / SLX 11-28t CS-HG80
Shimano Saint / SLX 11-28t cassette (click to enlarge)
The 11-28t cassette offers ample gearing when paired with our 36t chain ring. It gives enough top end and enough low end for park riding.
- 36t e.thirteen Guide Ring
e.thirteen 36t Guide Ring
Light and strong. The e.thirteen chainrings are great and it is one of our first choices when picking a single ring chain ring.
Shimano SIS housing
For shifting duties, we opted for the Shimano SIS housing. It’s lightweight and works quite well in our experience.
MRP Mini-G (click to enlarge)
We picked the MRP Mini-G as it offers a good bit of protection. The Mini-G takes anywhere from a 32t to a 36t chainring. It is compact and protects the drivetrain essentials well. Putting a small piece of velcro on the upper guide arm helps well to quiet any chain slap. We’ve posted a full review previously on the MRP G2 guides so check it out to learn more on the G2 chain guides. Point One Racing customized our MRP backplate with a nice nickel finish.
MRP custom nickel backplate (click to enlarge)
- Shimano Hone 170mm (pictured above)
We’ve used this crankset before on previous builds and have came away impressived with it. The crankset features steel pedal inserts and is a strong option for a crankset in our opinion on a park bike.
Hands down, Thomson makes some of the best seatposts. It’s one of those great set and forget pieces that you never want to neglect but can because it’s made well. It’s lightweight, strong, has clean markings, and is easy to setup. It’s almost a defacto that you’ll see a Thomson on all of our builds given their performance, weight, and elegance. Read our full article on Thomson’s seatposts to find out more information.
Thomson Elite seatpost (click to enlarge)
Thomson X4 stem (click to enlarge)
The Thomson Elite 50mm is clean and works well for our intended purposes with this bike.
Syncros Bulk handlebar (click to enlarge)
A low rise handlebar that offers a nice sweep and width for our park bikes.
Sunline Big S grips (click to enlarge)
Sunline makes some nice lock-on grips that are easy to install and don’t develop slop / play that can often occur with lock-on grips. The Logo S grips offer some nice cushioned feel as well. See more on the Sunline grips here.
Continue on to see the first bike, the Corsair König, that we selected in our park bike comparison.
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