Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Running a Pivotal setup on a Wildcard

2 cool things showed up at work Rockshox Lyric 2-step back from the nice warranty people at Fisher Leisure (UK Rockshox Distributor), and a DMR "Lockjaw" seatpost

The Domain 318 fork I've been running the past 2 months has been great on the dirt jumps and in Esher slopestyle park, but as i found out last weekend at Woburn Sands, its not so great on the faster twisting downhills where the simpler Motion Control damper lacks the subtle feel and traction that the Mission Control damper on the Lyric and Totem forks provides, the Domain cannot be faulted at the pricepoint it sells at (almost half that of the Lyric and Totem) but its hard to be happy with a simpler fork once you've had a top of the range fork!

It didn't take long to figure out running the Lyric makes the Wildcard a better all rounder for climbing, descending and jumping, and drops a full 1lb of weight off the bike, which is always nice....and being a lazy sod its nice to go from 115mm to 160mm just by flicking a switch rather than the labourious U-Turn wind...down....

The DMR Lockjaw seatpost is something i've been wanting for a while, thanks to the guys at DMR bikes (Upgrade Distribution) for sending one over to me!

In the BMX world, pretty much everyone is now using Macneil's Pivotal system for the seat and seatpost, which has taken the BMX world by storm (as well as making Macneil a big bag of $$ cash in the process)

Pivotal is so simple its genius - by ditching the traditional saddle rails and engineering a saddle with a pivoting-bolt in a reinforced, "toothed" nylon hull and matching seatpost head, you drop a load of weight, simplify your setup and most importantly make a very heavy duty system that resists "offs" alot better than the traditional railed saddle ever can.

The bolt is accessed using an allen key inserted into a "Pivotal branded" rubber flap on top of the saddle hull, you set the angle by rotating the saddle against the toothed seatpost head and then lock the allen key bolt down...

The I-Beam made by SDG was flawed, in my opinion, because it still used a rail, albeit a single nylon central rail rather than the conventional tubular steel or titanium rails that have been used on saddles for years, I have seen several broken I-Beam saddles over the years, and its not cheap to boot either

Macneil were very smart and had their people in Taiwan license the Pivotal system, which has resulted in every BMX company large and small starting to produce both Pivotal saddles and Pivotal seatpost, both in regular and "stub" (about 100mm long for slammed setups); you can get the Pivotal compatible saddles in 5 or 6 variants (different hull shapes) as well as with different amounts of padding, and a huge range of colours, graphics and embroidery

To run the Pivotal setup on a MTB you will need to get a shim to reduce the internal diameter of the seat tube from 30.0mm (on the Wildcard) to 26.8mm or 27.2mm to fit the DMR "Lockjaw" Pivotal compatible seatpost - I have not seen shims that will take the diameter down to 25.4mm (bmx standard) and you are better off anyhow using a DMR or Alien Nation MTB post (Keith runs one of these on his AMP) to enjoy the extra strength of the larger diameter posts

Here in England, USE make a fine selection of shims, so all i added was the DMR Lockjaw post in 26.8mm and a Macneil Pivotal SL saddle left over from my BMX spares

the end result fits the Wildcard perfectly, its lighter, feels great when dirt jumping, there is no chance of it ever slipping (the clamp) and its very hard to break as i have found out during numerous slams on my BMX over the past 2 years

The DMR seatpost costs just GBP£25, the Pivotal BMX saddles usually GBP£20 and the USE shim is GBP £5-6, its shaved 150gm off my previous Thomson / SDG Bel Air Ti setup

I wouldn't recommend it for XC or All-MTN as the saddle is not designed for pedalling (its small, short and hard) but for DJ, Slopestyle and shuttling its ideal - I never sit down on my Wildcard so its a great way to save weight, toughen up the saddle setup and looks damn cool too ;)


Rob C