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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently tried a cheap £3000 e bike, it weighs 25kg and has 150mm travel with low/mid range Rockshox air suspension. It was however running 2.8 Rekons.

Now the thing is it put my coil shocked SB165 with 180mm ZEB and 2.4 Magic Marys to absolute shame... It was so much plusher and more stable, where my bike would jackhammer down rocky ledges even with compression wide open this bike just floated down it and small bumps weren't figuratively 'erased' they were literally erased, biking on rough pavement and cobbles felt like biking on marble.

Do 2.8 tyres really make that much more of a difference than high end suspension when ut comes to small and medium size features or is it the fact it weighed 25kg opposed to my bukes 15kg? I thougt possibly the suspension was just much less damped but actyally the e bike suspension barely seemed to move, I couldn't feel any fore aft movement of the chassis at all, it was like riding a hardtail but on a cloud, it was so surreal and made me think why did I spend 4 x as much on a bike.
 

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The tires are part of the suspension. They are the contact point with the ground (obviously) and they take the initial inputs from the ground and transmit them to the rest of the "system." Running tires at too high a pressure makes for a hard initial contact. Of course you are running your 2.8 tires at a much lower pressure and you have the extra air volume. While you can never duplicate the same feel with the smaller tires, your experience may indicate that you are running the smaller tires on your other bike at too high a pressure. Just a thought.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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Suspension manufacturers hate it when riders discover this one simple trick...
ask any hardtail rider ;) cushcore also improved smaller hits and really improved handling (can run lower pressures with less squirm) for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SI? I'm running 2.35 Magic Mary's at 18 and 17psi so not high pressures. This E bike was running Rekon 2.8 Idk what pressures. It had fair cheaper suspension, no rear coil, and less travel and still spanked my bike in yerms of suppleness and rollover. Will fitting 2.8 f and 2.6 r make a huge difference compared to the Mary? For what it's worth my Mary's come out at 62mm wide which is quite big for a 2.35.
 

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SI? I'm running 2.35 Magic Mary's at 18 and 17psi so not high pressures. This E bike was running Rekon 2.8 Idk what pressures. It had fair cheaper suspension, no rear coil, and less travel and still spanked my bike in yerms of suppleness and rollover. Will fitting 2.8 f and 2.6 r make a huge difference compared to the Mary? For what it's worth my Mary's come out at 62mm wide which is quite big for a 2.35.
If you are running fairly high volume tires at low pressure on your full suspension bike and the suspension is that harsh compared to the rigid frame, I think it's safe to say that your suspension is not properly set up--at least for the type of suspension feel that you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think it's the SI, my suspension is a lot more squishy than the E bikes, and besides it's the 180mm ZEB up front that feels the harshest and Jackhammering me. The EBike had some random lower end 150mm Rockshox fork, stanchions looks pretty thin, but nevertheless even the front end was miles more plush. I think the 2.8 tyres and 10kg extra mass of the bike is what it's down to as the suspension itself is definitely not in the dame league.
 

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Big tires at low pressure (do you have any idea what the pressure was like on the 2.8in tires?) will "erase" lots of the very small stuff. Nothing about the fork will likely be able to compete with that.

However, the 2.8in tires usually start feeling mushy/squirmy at higher speed. Did you have any of those issues?

How long has it been since you serviced your ZEB? And how many tokens/etc do you have, and how much travel do you regularly have left unused after a ride? Its the fact that you say your fork is "jackhammering" on bigger stuff that is a red flag to me.
 

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I think it's the massive heft of the bike that makes it so plush feeling. Ebike right? No real need to make it as efficient as a traditional mtb.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is the bike in question... Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bike - 16", 18", 20" Frames | Halfords UK

E bike:

Rockshox Recon and Monarch RT. 150mm travel. 24.5kg. Maxxis 3C 120TPI 2.8 Rekons.

My Sb165: ZEB 180mm. 11.6 Coil. 15kg. Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35/2.4

Nothing makes any sense, his bike seemed more stable which would suggest his suspensiom was setup firmer, little bobbing if any at all when pedalling. But somehow it was miles more plush, rolled over stuff better and was super stable on step downs, it felt like going down a smooth slope almost, meanwhile my recently service ZEB felt like a jack hammer with compressiom wide open and more bob. So I thought is must have to be the tyres and maybe the weight of the ebike...but I though if the difference between 2.8 Rekons and 2.35 Magic Mary really is this huge a difference why is not everyone running 2.8? I mean the ebike felt miles more stable aswell as plush, like I could charge through anything like a train, no energy wasted trying to fight the suspension and arm pump, and grip was good too, so what is not to like about the plus tyres even if you have to run a bit more pressure than I did to get sidewall support for hard cornering they still seemed a massive improvement over regular size tyres. I mean if I spent almost as much as the ebike on suspension alone and my bike is only about 60-70% as plush it seems like fancy suspension is a waste of money and bigger more pliable tyres are a better solution.

in terms of my setup, running 30% sag rear, 25% sag front, with 2 tokens to try get the small bump out of the fork. 17psi front tyre, 18psi rear...as low as I can go without bottoming the rim on fast square edges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I just lowered my tyre pressure to a stupidly low 13psi front and back and dropped fork 2 psi just to see how different it feels and it now feels much closer to the e bike, I'd say around 80% -85%=there or so in terms of plushness and rollover... Though what is lacking that wasn't on the ebike sidewall stability and squirm even at low to moderate speeds. But I just love that feeling where the tyres feel like they are almost like a baloon and you hear that little soft pop sound as you go over square edges and bumps....it really tames the rattling massively and feels more poppy and fun at the same time but unfortunately with my 27mm internal rims and 2.35 Magic Mary that psi is far too low to not bottom the rim out and corner agressively.

This is why I want to fit a 2.6 or 2.8 to see if I can get a bit more cornering support and suppleness at the same time rather than one or the other...I know my rims are considered far too narrow but wonderinf if I could get a 2.8 and at least just try how it feels first before relacing my already pretty expensive carbon wheels to some wider hoops?

What is the lowest width rim has anyone here tried with plus tyres with moderately successful results?

Also if I go with a softer casing while it negate the point of me running low psi for sidewall support? Would a tougher casing and low psi feel cushier than a lighter casing and higher PSI?

I'm really surprised how tyre pressure makes a much bigger difference than better quality and more travel suspension.
 

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Is your bike too low on pressure and running deep into the ramp up portion of the air spring curve?
Too many tokens?

There was three things I noticed going from 2.8s to 2.5s.
1. The timing on steering changed. I kept turning too soon on corners and going off trail on the inside with the 2.5s. It's like there is some delay caused by tire flex or something. I adjusted within a ride or two.
2. Braking traction was reduced on the 2.5s. The 2.8s would feel like your face was trying to peel off when you grabbed a hand full of brakes. The 2.5s definitely gave up some braking power.
3. Traction in sandy conditions is lower on the 2.5s. The 2.8s just always felt strangely solid if you hit sand in a corner where the 2.5s will let go and start sliding.

Other that that, I don't recall it feeling any more stable or plush in general. I'd be pretty tempted to go back to 2.8s, but I kept tearing sidewalls on the rear. Strangely, a Rekon held up to a season and a half of abuse, including two trips to Moab, I wore it out before ever having any issues. I went thru three 2.8 DHRs within like 2 months though from pinch flats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
See above I just dropped PSI to a stupidly low 13 PSI and it feels much closer to the E bike now...trouble is with 2.35 magic mary and 27mm internal width the cornering stability just isn't there and I bottomed the rim at anything less than 17PSI fast square edges running my usual setup. Would using the wider tyres allow more cornering stability for the same equivalent plushness as my Magic Marys at 13psi if that makes sense? The way I can describe the feeling which I lile whether it's good for racers or not is when the tyre feels like an air cushion and you hear that audiable pop, like tapping a balloon. It really seems to calm the bike over chatter but seems more fun and poppy at the same time. It's almost like I'm looking for the polar opposite of more damping but thing is I am already running compression damping wide open and I'm of average weight. To me it seems damper doesn't benefit me much in a stability sense and only increases harshness as riding the tyres stupid low psi has no damping but the bike remains calmer as it can just plow rather than get rattled about...the only reason I could see damping useful for is rider body weight shifts.
 

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that yeti isnt working as it should.

get your yeti serviced and after that spend some time on setting up your suspension, you may need a custum tune and burnished bushings.
 

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The stability I'd attribute to the weight.

The very small bump I'd attribute to the big tires, low pressure, and thin casing tires. Same thing with the roll over (27.5+ has a similar diameter to a 29in tire).

Do you use all the travel on your zeb? How old is it? I'm curious if the forks bushings still haven't broken in, and if the rental bike had a lot of hours/was well broken in. And yeah, if you're not using all the travel, maybe you need less volume reducers/etc.

I had a 2.6in tire that measured bigger than some brands 2.8in tires (2.75in, at 15psi). And I have a low end fork (Moco yari). And I haven't noticed a big change in plushness dropping down to an actual 2.5in tire. But both of those tires were pretty heavy though (WTB light casing == ~1100-1250g), and only on the front. But I don't plan on going back to the larger tires at the moment, as for me, I didn't see much difference in the plushness.

I used to use some EXO casing DHF's, and those were a bit more supple at low speeds. But they took something like 5-10 more psi to not squirm/bounce around, which negated a lot of the benefit.

The heavier casing tires feel a bit stiff at low speeds, but a lot beter at higher speeds (aka, not the balloon feeling).

Also, when you talk about bob while pedaling, are you talking about the front or the rear? I'd imagine the rear is to be somewhat expected if your current bike has a coil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No my suspension doesn't need servicing it is very soft and smooth in itself off the bike...we are talking an elevensix with lighter spring than recommended, damping fully open and ZEB 180mm recently lubed compared to a Rockshox Recon and Monarch RT air at 150mm either end that the guy who owns it never even played around with the settings since he bought it. The suspension is definitely not the problem, you can tell mine is squishier just pushing down on it and the fact his bike seemed rock solid amd stable like the chassis didn't move at all, but somehow magically soaking everything up and rolling over stuff like a train.

But after lowering my psi 'too low' it definitely feels closer, still not quite as stable and more jerky but definitely about 85% as plush. I guess he must have been running fairly low pressures in his Rekons and the fact they are 120tpi, the ebike is 10kg heavier and he had much wider internal rim width around 40mm as opposed to 27mm it just all comes together, adds up and works without suffering from the tyre squirm and instability I'm getting.

I feel like strapping some weight to my bike, and getting wider rims and plus tyres, maybe add an aftermarker e bike motor like the Lift E kit just to add some dead weight XD
 

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But after lowering my psi 'too low' it definitely feels closer, still not quite as stable and more jerky but definitely about 85% as plush. I guess he must have been running fairly low pressures in his Rekons and the fact they are 120tpi, the ebike is 10kg heavier and he had much wider internal rim width around 40mm as opposed to 27mm it just all comes together, adds up and works without suffering from the tyre squirm and instability I'm getting.
i doubt that you rode the ebike as hard as your own bike.
[email protected] low preassure cant never be as stable and grippy as your marys regardless of the rim.

if you start to ride it as hard as your own, you will notice instability

the whole ebike is made for a relaxed ride
 
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