I’m approaching the 1000km mark on this bike in the 3 months I’ve had it. A few more subtle changes have been made that further refine the bike to my tastes.
I was very much on the border of large and extra large, I went with XL, and I realised the bike was marginally too long for me; lifting the front end was just slightly too much effort to be comfortable. With this in mind I made some changes.
Firstly, I borrowed a shorter stem from a friend (and subsequently kept it). 45mm versus the stock 60mm. This made the bike feel that little bit more poppy and direct.
Secondly, I pushed the seat forward a few millimetres. It’s amazing how the smallest changes can have such a big impact. I found when climbing I was really quite far forward on the seat – sitting on the narrow nose. Shifting it forward made things more comfortable as I was sitting on a larger surface area during those really steep and nasty climbs.
Thirdly, I bought a 140mm air shaft for the fork. This raised the bottom bracket ever so slightly (more on that soon), and while I don’t think the extra 10mm of travel has had much of an impact, the lower leg service has made the fork more supple, particularly around initial stiction. I’ve read a few times that out of the box forks can be a bit hit and miss in their setup – a lower leg service, which is actually quite easy to perform – is a worthy task to undertake.
Related to the fork lengthening, I had set the rear shock into the high position. This was to raise the bottom bracket by 5mm as it’s pretty rocky where I ride and I was suffering with a lot of pedal strikes. This also steepened the head angle by half a degree. Lengthening the fork took that back to the initial 66 degrees.
The next major upgrade I want to make is to replace the cranks with 170mm or even 165mm. They’re 175mm stock and, as mentioned, I get a lot of pedal strikes. It’s been very unnerving at times. It has forced me to become better with my timing when riding through very rocky sections. Becoming a better bike handler is no bad thing, but I do think reducing the length will refine it that bit more. I’m not in a huge rush to do this but it is in the back of my mind.
I’m not sure how many hours I’ve ridden – Strava seems to only give me distance metrics (Strava is so roady!) but I’ve just given the rear shock a can service. Again, very easy to do. I was getting a bit of a squeaky sound at the start of the shock stroke – like a mouse screaming. While I was in there I’ve removed one of the 2 volume spacers – just to try it out really. It’s back together and the shock sounds and feels better. I’m yet to ride it to feel the volume spacer difference.
Not long ago I received an email from YT stating they were sending me a new toolkit with a shock pump that has a shorter valve head on it. As mentioned in my part one the supplied pump didn’t really fit. Reading forum posts it seems later deliveries of the bike have the updated shock pump. I’m glad to see YT have addressed this issue.
I’ve also been reading of the problems people have been having with the lockout switch. Interestingly it appears YT have started supplying a different shock with open being the natural position. Mine, which was one of the first out of the door, has a shock that defaults to locked out; Requiring the bar lever to be engaged, pulling the cable, to open the shock. I do wish mine was one that defaulted to open. I’m a bit annoyed about that actually.
While I was writing this the doorbell rang and the new YT toolkit arrived. Now I have more Allen keys than I know what to do with, and another torque wrench.
Overall, I’m really enjoying the bike. I’m really particular about my setup, as you can see by all the tweaks I’ve made, and whichever bike I got I would have been experimenting with different settings.
Hi there – thanks for the detailed posts. I am 6’1 or 186 CM and just ordered a Large thanks to your feedback. I am on the cusp, but have a large 2016 Niner Rip 9 that I have always felt was a bit big on me. I have shortish legs and arms for my height. I prefer a bike that is a bit more maneuverable, where I dont feel stretched out on. I am hoping I made the ride decision! Ship date is in 2 days.
How tall are you? You said you were on the cusp of L/XL. Knowing your height would be helpful as I’m debating between a L and XL myself. Also how is does the suspension perform through rock strewn trails, roots, and braking bumps. Have a lot of that near me. No ledge just a lot of square edge rocks littered through the trails. Thanks for the write ups. Super helpful to a prospective buyer.
Hi Andrew. I’m 186cm tall.
I’ve got those kinds of trails round here too. I’d describe the suspension as efficient – you’re aware of it and it’s not as bump swallowing as other bikes I’ve ridden, especially on the square edge stuff, but it’s by no means bad. It’s XC plus, rather than enduro light.
It’s difficult to decide with so many bikes available and trying to get these subtleties across in language, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this bike. I’m very happy with it.
Thanks so much for your quick input! I’ve been looking for a bike for about 3 months and this one just happened to be in stock in XL. I’m about 185cm so it makes me feel much better that it fits you well. I don’t mind swapping for a 40mm or so stem if need be. I come from an enduro (dirt bike) background, this will be my first mountain bike. Sure is information overload with all the bikes and spec levels out there. I’m looking at the comp model. Both the comp and your pro really look like you get a lot for your money compared to other brands. Best of luck with the bike.
nice reviews and posts over the last months. I have the same bike and originally suffered from pdeal strikes, I was wondering how you went with the cranks. I havent gone that route but found just a souple of PSI extra in the rear shock kept the bike from sagging under pedal as much without ruining the ride.
I’ve replaced the cranks with some XT 165mm. This coupled with setting the shock in high position and converting the fork to 140mm has given me close to 2cm difference at the end of the pedal.
That’s under a centimetre in the BB height, and then the 1cm off the crank arm length so the stability you get from the low BB hasn’t been affected as drastically as that sounds. It’s made all the difference for the terrain around here and I feel a lot more confident with it, far fewer pedal strikes happening.
Could you take a closer photo of the tool mount you made out of the old bottle holder?