The ultimate Beta Xtrainer suspension mod?
It’s been a long time coming to our blog, but back in October 2016 we decided to go nuclear with our Xtrainer suspension. Although our fettling had made a big improvement on the Xtrainer forks, it still wasn’t enough of an improvement for our needs – so we pushed the button and went for a complete suspension change.
We managed to pick up a brand new set of WP 4CS forks on ebay for about £500… bargain! We’ve seen a lot of complaints about 4CS forks, but we’ve had them on our bikes for years now and we really like them… lightyears ahead of the standard Xtrainer forks anyway. The forks were revalved for us by Gibbs Performance to match the bike/us and we added the correct springs too.
Next we had to work out how to get them on the bike. The Xtrainer top triple clamp fits the WP forks, but alas the bottom clamp is too small for the bigger forks. Back to Ebay and we managed to pick up an as new KTM SX bottom clamp and stem for about £50. The KTM stem is too long for the Beta frame, so you need to have it pressed out of the clamp and replaced with the shorter Beta one – it fits perfectly. The black anodised clamp matches the Beta one visually really well too.
We decided to go with a Brembo front brake as we found a complete setup for approx £100 on Ebay again, but we’ve heard you can reuse the Beta/Nissin brake with a Gas Gas hanger but you’d need to investigate that yourselves. The speedo cable from the Xtrainer fits perfectly on the Brembo with no mods. Do note though that the Beta front wheel has it’s magnet in a different place to KTM so if not using a KTM wheel then it won’t work unless you swap brake discs (a simple swap of the Beta spacers for KTM ones means you can use the Beta wheel or a KTM front).
About another £60 will get the the rest of the gubbins you need from a KTM dealer… Axle, axle puller, end cap and brake caliper bolts.
With the front sorted we plumped another £650 for the Fox Factory Podium Shock from the UK Fox distributor.
It seems it’s usually used on 85 size MX bikes, but looking at it side by side with the original shock the size was spot on.
It’s super easy to fit, just remove the end can, undo the top two subframe bolts and pull the frame/subframe apart and you can pull the old shock up and out.
The shock comes with a spring for your weight and has high and low speed compression adjustment, as well as rebound adjustment. The shock is night and day better than the standard one… plusher but firmer… it feels like a ‘real’ shock.
Worth the punt?
We spent about £1400 to fully upgrade the Beta Xtrainer suspension but was it worth it? That’s enough to have bought a 300RR instead? Well we have a Beta 300RR too and have ridden both bikes extensively in the UK and Spain over the last 6 months so we can honestly compare them.
In our opinion the beta 300RR is an awesome bike, and for average sized riders would be the route to go. But for hard technical riding for more vertically challenged riders the Xtrainer is better, and the suspension on our Xtrainer is arguably better than our standard Sachs suspension on the 300RR too.
We’ll be testing the suspension to the limit in a few weeks when we take part in Red Bull Romaniacs as part of a 4 man Dirtpunk team… more on that in the next blog post.