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  1. #1
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    Help me refresh my 01' Santa Cruz Superlight build.

    Looking for some suggestions on refreshing an old XC workhorse.

    Background:
    Was into mountain biking neck deep in the late 90's and early 2000's. Did a tone of xc riding with groups as well as got into racing for a bit (24hr of snowshoe).

    Built up an 01' Santa Cruz superlight from the frame up exactly how I wanted it. Double front chainring to save weight. XTR where it mattered (rear derailleur, calipers). Chris King Headset. Sid Air fork. Sram twist shifters. Fox Air Rear Shock with Lockout. Was focused on light weight yet durable.

    When I bought the frame I was between sizes and chose the size down instead of up. This resulted in quite a twitchy ride as I had quite a few spacers under the stem and quite a long stem. I even tried a laid back seat post to stretch out a little more but couldn't keep the front end on the ground when climbing. Finally settled in as this is just how this bike is going to ride and got used to it.

    Got out of serious riding by about 2005 and have always kept my Superlight with no changes aside from adding an easton riser bar. The rise is nice for my wrists and back and the width I cut it to gives me a bit more leverage but added a little bit to the twitchy handling. Just kind of been generally keeping it running for family rides with the kids and trips with the wife where biking is a means of transportation.

    So on a family ride on some paved trails yesterday I went to top off my fork with air using my crumby sid adapter that never seated well and the forks lost all air bottoming out. Couldn't get them to hold air so rode the ~5 mile ish ride ridged and bottomed out.

    With my kids getting older and showing interest in riding off road, want to start piecing my ride back together. The fork is the obvious short term need and wandering what some suggestions would be. Wondering if I should go longer travel that might also raise the front end some to help with the twitchyness.

    Keep in mind, I am still not going to be riding every week or anything so wanting to stay on the cheaper side but looking for suggestions of a quality fork replacement. Also, any other suggestions of things I have missed out over the years that I should look into?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Andy

  2. #2
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    Assuming the fork was in good condition before it sat, it probably just needs a rebuild with some fresh seals/o-rings and it should be fine. That being said, quality mechanics that can/will rebuild the older forks are fewer and farther between.

    You mentioned (hinted rather) that you sized down and the bike has felt small/twitchy since, it would probably be best to find someone to rebuild the fork that you have, or get an entry level rockshox xc30/32 with 100mm travel. I'm guessing that is 20mm more than what you currently have. That'll tame the handling of the bike a little bit, they are available with a straight steerer tube and brake bosses (assuming you have v-brakes), but they will be much heavier than your SID.
    Deflated - buy parts to sell parts to buy more parts.. bikes are my drug of choice

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  3. #3
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    I would start by rebuilding the SID. Then, get wider bars and a shorter stem. This tends to work well since the wider bars change the amount of reach which mimics a longer stem but you have a lot more leverage. If you're apprehensive you can get short stems for like $6 on ebay.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I am confident in my ability to rebuild the fork I have so I may go that route. I did find a new valve adapter like the one I have and forgot there used to be a little O ring on it that is not on mine any more. May be why I can't keep air in it when I try to refill it. Ordered a new one on Amazon and will try that first.

    Jason Rides you are right that mine is an 80mm fork. Wanted to go 100mm when I built it but I think budget was tight and found a deal on the 80. Found a few 100mm forks that are a bit heavier but still air shocks that I may pick up for $250ish.

    Also, I have thought about a shorter stem now that I have wider riser bars on. I will grab a stem too and see how that effects the handling.

    Thanks for the replies. Excited to get this thing back in shape and then me back in shape.

  5. #5
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    Some of those older forks are travel adjustable internally. So if you are gonna tackle a rebuild, look at the manuals and you may be able to bump the travel up to 100mm. Then you'll have a win/win!
    Deflated - buy parts to sell parts to buy more parts.. bikes are my drug of choice

    FATTrailer for the kiddo

  6. #6
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    Yeah, unfortunately this one is not adjustable as it was the 'weight weenie' model that I was looking for.

  7. #7
    Cycologist
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    If you still have v-brakes, get some modern hydros.

    I just sold my 2001 SL frame and most of the parts. Kept the fork as a spare for a couple of 26ers I have.
    There are two types of people in this world:
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  8. #8
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    If you feel the steering is twitchy do not shorten the stem. Shorter stems speed up your steering. If anything go a bit longer. Everyone today thinks short stem wide bars is the answer to everything for some reason? Short stem with steep head angle and compact geo is a bad combo.

    A taller front end via increase travel, taller axle to crown, or even just a tall lower head set cup will help slow down the steering. You can also run a lower volume tire in the back, higher up front in combo with any of the above. 17mm equals 1 degree of head angle. 1 degree will slow the steering and add stability.

    A nice way to increase the rigidity on any 135mm frame is a 10mm through axle. If you can find a used rear wheel with a 135x10mm hub buy it. Just throwing that out there in case a deal presents itself. I wouldn't spend too much just for a through axle, but considering the deals floating around out there on 26" 135mm wheels you might find something for pennies.

  9. #9
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    I can't help on the fork, but just refreshed my '05 Heckler. Didn't see the need for xtr, but went full XT with brakes and drivetrain. I went 1 x 11, but on a race machine, maybe go back to the double chainring/FD and 11speed rear? I had to upgrade brakes and went xt 8000 series. I did a 4 pot up front but not necessary with your ride. I do notice with my combo I spin out really quickly, but it is not set up to race.

    I did upgrade the rear hub, and wheel but mine was shot and I had rebuilt it many times.

  10. #10
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    Small update. Got a new Rock Shox Sid air adapter (my old one was missing the O ring therefore not sealing against it) and the forks aired right up. So replacing the fork will drop on the list (although going up from 80mm to 100mm would help this thing a lot).

    One thing that was high on the list was a new rear tire as the IRC mythos that was on there had a roofing nail embedded in it (tire is 16 years old). Before I got out of riding tubeless was starting to make its way in. I had tried a ghetto set up back then but didn't give it the full try with sealant and all and never made the switch. Figured I would use this as an excuse to convert to tubeless.

    Ordered a Kenda Kozmik Lite II, some stans juice and valve's and proceeded to clean and gorilla tape up my rims (old Mavic XTC's I think on XT hubs) while I waited for the new stuff. One wrap of gorilla tape overlapping the valve hole by 4 spokes and she was ready. Only put the tape in the valley of the rim right up to the edge of the wall but not up the wall at all. Got my tire and stuff in the mail and mounted the tire up with the old tube to set the beads and get it into shape. Removed one bead and the tube, put the stans in and valve and it took air pretty easily with a traditional bike pump. I was beside myself how easy it was. Did the usual sloshing and spinning and bouncing to get all the juice coating the inside but kept getting tiny leaks near the bead that would deflate the tire from 40psi in about 12 hours. Went to Walgreens and got a child's medicine syringe (10ml) for free from the pharmacy. Removed the valve core and put another 60ml in and aired it back up.

    By this time I had already ordered another Kozmik lite for the front as these tires look perfect for my mostly paved and hard-packed family riding but fully capable off road if I get back out there. Did the same thing to the front and it took air right away and sealed up perfectly.

    Set them both at around 30psi and took off through the neighborhood with my daughter hitting any and all curb drops that I could. Feels awesome and when I woke up this morning still perfectly inflated.

    I am blown away how easy this was. I did try an old (12+ years) kenda I had on the front before getting my second shipment and it was a nightmare to try to get it seated and holding air. Once the new tire came I was expecting a struggle and/or having to re-tape and everything. Turns out the old tire was just too cracked and weathered to seal up.

    Getting excited to get back out and ride with this small change. Think hub rebuilds are next as spinning the tires to distribute the stans around showed how slow they are rolling.

  11. #11
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    So thought it only appropriate to put a picture up of my ol' ride and the little changes I made.

    1x up front with just the small ring from my 2x initial setup (29 tooth but may try to get it up to a 32 up front) had to get some single speed crank bolts for it.
    Ditched the half pipe shifter and picked up a x.5 rear shifter to clean up the handlebar.
    Grabbed some locking grips of amazon for $10.

    Got her all trimmed and somewhat cleaned up and lubed (drivetrain at least).

    Falling in love with her all over again. Now to find some time in my busy work/parent/house/husband life to make it to a trail.Help me refresh my 01' Santa Cruz Superlight build.-unnamed.jpg

  12. #12
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    Cool

  13. #13
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    looks great!

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