Adjustments on the fly

On Sunday I met my mate G and we headed up into the forest for a couple of hours.

That day there was a huge Enduro event in the forest, the local club’s ‘2W’, which sells out the 650 places available every edition.

We were thinking some parts of the forest might be a bit of a zoo, but we went riding anyway. As it turned out we went exactly where we wanted to ride, and we hardly saw anybody at all. A few empty buses heading back down the hill, a short queue at one trail entrance, a few race marshalls here and there. Winning.

G had put some extra air in his shock before the ride, a bit too much. Reckoned he could feel the extra few pounds pre square inch on the roots of our favourite trail. Neither of us was carting a shock pump, and he was very leery about letting any air out in case too much escaped and left him under-inflated.

When the harshness got the better of him and he gingerly let a few squirts of air out of its confinement in the shock, we discussed the possibility of having an on-board adjustment system. 

Some sort of a little pressure vessel connected to the shock, like the adjustable tyre pressure systems the logging trucks have.

That would be good, we thought.

So imagine my surprise when I spotted this article today. It is a system on road bikes to allow the rider to adjust tyre pressure while riding. The jury is out on whether this will become a thing, but this weekend at least one team is using the system in Paris-Roubaix, nicknamed “The Hell of the North”, it’s a 257km slog across the ancient cobbled farm tracks of northern France.

While G was faffing with his shock pressure, I snigged my shorts in a half a size, having somehow relocated my breakfast while climbing to the trails we like. 

We have had this adjustment system in action for several decades now, and it is possible to change the waist measurement of our shorts while riding. 

Of course, we would recommend stopping to adjust your shorts. It’s mountain biking, not a race.


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