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  1. #1
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    Superlight - parts bin build

    I wanted to try the 650b wheelsize and after going through my parts bin, realized I could do it with only a wheel/tire purchase. I read the extremely helpful threads here about the Superlight conversions and thought I would share some of my problems and resolutions for the next guy.

    It sounded like throw some wheels on and ride, but there is severe tire rub on the rear and I am not comfortable with the minimal tire clearance on the Fox F100.

    Float R - no air, full compression. I hate reducing travel, but it's better than destroying tires. I am going to use a shim to shorten travel mentioned here -
    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b-27-5/650...ce-623853.html

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    Bottomed out - no air, single bottom out bumper. I will probably never hit the tire, but it's close enough that I will be thinking about it the whole time I'm riding.
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    Bottomed out - no air, doubled up bottom out bumpers on one side. I read this might work, but after pushing down on the fork, there is noticeable deflection to one side at bottom out. I am going to try single bumpers and a 3mm shim under each side for peace of mind. Any thoughts on the fork would be appreciated.
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    In progress build as it sits now. Full 9 speed XT build with Avid BB7 brakes. The only new parts are the wheels and tires - Fire XC Pro 2.1.
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    Last edited by blilrat; 03-07-2013 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
    NedwannaB
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    Looks like you've done your homework and it's coming along. That appears to be an earlier model frame ('04-'06ish?) which typically doesn't have the clearance advantages as the late models. I'm assuming you chose those tyres for their size to help with that. Curious to the new Fire XC's, what is the sidewall colour? Can't tell if it's the pic or if they are "natural" similar to what is used on a tubeular tire such as what Scott is running on Schurters machine.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  3. #3
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    Yes, I chose those tires based on size and yes, natural skinwall made in Japan Fire XC's. I saw them and being a vintage bike fan, had to have them. They aren't tubulars, but they look very similar to the dugasts Schurter uses.

  4. #4
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    I have the exact same frame sitting in the garage. Did you have to remove a bolted on brace? Hard to tell from the pics. I did pop one of my 650b wheels in my frame with the brace removed and found the same issue as you, plus the tire (a 2.1 Neo) didn't have much space on the sides.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the fork. You will NEVER come that close to bottom out with air in it. Until recently, Fox forks were notorious for not getting full travel. Adding an extra bumper for peace of mind is fine, but chances are, you'll never make use of them.

    Did you strip the frame? I know at some point in time SC offered raw or polished frames. I have 3 candidates for a paint stripper bath this spring. I was planning on stripping my blur LT frame, removing the FD cable stop (same issue as your pic) and drilling a hole for a stealth reverb.

    Anyway - good luck with the conversion. It may inspire me to build up mine.

  5. #5
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    I removed the brace, but I read somewhere here that the brace was for the V-brake option. There is no way a 650b tire would fit with it attached. The tire clears the stays more than I expected, but I won't be fitting anything bigger than a 2.1 on this bike. I figure if I like this size wheel, I'll probably end up with a 650b specific bike before the end of the year anyway. This is a factory polished frame.

    This is a PUSH'd fork and somehow, does get full travel. It's honestly the nicest fork I've owned. I added a small shim to each leg for insurance.

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    Rear shock now shimmed as pictured - 6 shims.

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    no air, full compression - Perfect

    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-8524651956_1bd3616c40_z.jpg

  6. #6
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    If you search "superlight" in this forum you should find a thread where someone ground down the cable stop (which is dead center on the back of the seat tube) and installed a clamp-on cable stop more to the side of the seat tube (SRAM on one side, Shimano on the other, depending on what you use). You gain a good 5-6 mm, possibly more with this mod. My clamp on cable stop should be in at the LBS, for my backup bike (Superlight).

    Reformed Roadie - I just moved all my parts from my LT2 aluminum frame to an LTc, but after 2 years + I can tell you that I never added any shims or performed any other modifications to my bike other than installing the 650b wheels/tires. I only ran Pacenti 2.3 and 2.1 Neo-Moto tires, but never had any sort of rub or bottom out problemss.

    Fred

  7. #7
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    I saw that thread, but wasn't committed enough to make irreversible changes to my frame. Who knows, I may ride it a few times and change my mind to get the increased travel.

    Did you run the 2.3 in the rear? The fire xc 2.1 is supposedly the smallest tire and I don't see how anything bigger would fit. I could easily fit a 2.3 in the front.

  8. #8
    Wrench
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    Great bike! I loved my 650b SL. I was really sad when my derailleur hanger died.

    Interesting to hear how it comes out. Looks like an awesome budget build.

  9. #9
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    I decided not to shim the fork so I just need to cut the steerer and it's complete. I also threw a little bling at it so it's not really budget anymore. After a short ride, I love it. This is the first time I've ridden Fire XCs and they gripped a wet trail really well. I'll see if I can have it dialed in for a race next weekend.

    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-8532359530_0103ded668_z.jpg
    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-8532360604_2fb253e41a_z.jpg
    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-8532361264_16b7452fa5_z.jpg

  10. #10
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    Fred, I had a Racing Ralph, and it did make contact w/ the FD cable stop at full compression. I have a Nickel now for trail duties...I was going to make the blur LT my enduro bike and put a Fox 36 up front a some bigger rubber front and rear...probably some Hans Dampf Super Gravities.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for posting this. I'm working on a Superlight 650b also. Well, I shouldn't say working since all I've done is to remove the brace and press a headset in. I'm intentionally being lazy since riding season is not near.

    I took the rear wheel off my SS 650b and find that with a Vee Mission 650b on a 2000 Superlight I have about 5mm clearance from the front derailleur cable stop with the suspension bottomed out. I know that the Mission is one of the smaller 650b tires that I've tried.

  12. #12
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    I just cut off the FD cable stop from my 2008 SL last night. A Neo-Moto 2.3 mounted on a Flow rim has about 2 mm of clearance with the suspension bottomed out. I was initially reluctant to make a permanent mod, but once I had my Origin8 clamp-on cable stop in hand and had fitted it to the seat tube to test how well it will hold its position, my reservations were quickly put to rest.

    Fred

  13. #13
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    @RagerXS -- how did you cut off the FD cable stop? I'm thinking about doing the same thing on my 2012 Superlight. It hasn't been a problem with the shock at a high PSI, but I'd like to get a bit more travel. Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by m4rcus View Post
    @RagerXS -- how did you cut off the FD cable stop? I'm thinking about doing the same thing on my 2012 Superlight. It hasn't been a problem with the shock at a high PSI, but I'd like to get a bit more travel. Thanks.
    I took the blade out of a hacksaw and used that by hand with the frame in a stand. Just a light-weight Ultimate Pro, but it's soft aluminum being cut and I wasn't applying much pressure with the strokes (don't want to fold the blade, etc.). Then I touched it up with a file. Just take your time and you will quickly realize that it isn't a difficult task even though you are worried the whole time about keeping your cut straight (maybe you won't, but I did).

    Fred

  15. #15
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    Thanks! I'm still on the fence about doing it. The frame is brand new, got it from the Santa Cruz closeout sale, and I'm still a bit worried about modifying it. Guess I'll have to get over that and get the saw out soon...

  16. #16
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    Get the clamp on stop, fit it around the seat tube without the tightening bolt and then press together with your fingers where the bolt would be and try to move it. I was so reassured by this that it relieved all doubt about cutting off the stop. YMMV.

    Fred

  17. #17
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    Thanks for starting this thread blilrat. I would love to try my 2003 SL as a 650b and every bit of info helps.
    I think my biggest problem is going to be my new Reba RLT fork. The 650b fork thread says it won't fit, and no way can I afford another one.

  18. #18
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Are any off-set shock mount adapters made to fit the eyelet bushing/bolt hardware of the superlites ? You could pick up a quarter inch of extra clearance with a set that spaces the swingarm back (it'll affect the frame geometry slightly but it buys the clearance needed for the tire).
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  19. #19
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    I've put a couple hundred miles on the bike since I started this thread. The height difference doesn't look like much on paper, but it took a couple of rides to get used to the increased height of the bike. I can say that it definitely rolls over obstacles better than the 26" wheel set up it had and I won't be returning it back to it's original wheel size.

    I have bottomed out the shock at least a couple of times so I ordered the Origin8 clamp on stop so I can remove the spacers and get back to full travel at the rear. I'll update the post with pics once I grind off the frame cable stop and add the adapter.
    Last edited by blilrat; 05-08-2013 at 11:48 AM.

  20. #20
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    Wow, great post. Keep us posted on how it rides. I've been playing with 650b front for a couple of years on my Turner but have not gone rear and am loving it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by blilrat View Post
    I've put a couple hundred miles on the bike since I started this thread. ........... I won't be returning it back to it's original wheel size.
    That's very encouraging to hear.

  22. #22
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    With the clamp on cable guide in hand, I grabbed my hacksaw, put on my big boy pants and hacked off the reason the bike was getting less than full rear travel.





    Removed the shims and at full compression -- sweet full travel again!


  23. #23
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    Nice job. I'm going to risk trying 650b (even though I have a Reba RLT fork) as soon as I can find a cheap enough wheelset.

    By the way, since there are a few Superlight owners on this thread, you might be interested to know that I've been trying to replace my 2003 Superlight with a new bike for a couple of years now. I just figured with all the advances in bike technology, there must be something better. Well I'm slowly learning that there isn't!
    A number of high end bikes have come and gone in my garage, and I've test ridden a bunch of others, and I still prefer the Superlight. It's fun, it's fast and it's simple.

  24. #24
    Tracking up the place
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    I did the 650 b superlight...I loved it. I sold it...to buy a blur trc the price was perfect and I had first dibs.. I then made it into 650 b. I had the front derailleur issues as well and the orgin 8 cable stop on the Sl...I shimmed it out and it is fantastic, but I needed to have my pushed vanilla Rlc rear shock messed with to get it right for me, I instead chose to upgrade my stable, swapped out the majority of parts, purchased in trade a 125 r for the blur trc.. I love my blur trc...you will love the sl650b
    "Home of the Bearlodge Mtn Classic"



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  25. #25
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    Can't beat the SL for simplicity and effectiveness. My wife and I have C-Dale Rushes and they are similar in simple design and feel, although they seem to take to 650b easier than the SL.

    Nice jobs on the conversions, the cable stop seems like a small price to pay.

    My wife is also rocking the Fire XCs as we ride those on our 26ers as well.....

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