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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 -
    650b shock bottom-out shim for seat tube clearance

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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 whuuut, 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
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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 10:48 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
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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.....

  26. #26
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    Hi! I got a brand new 2013 SL 26" wheel frame, do I need to reduce the travel to have clearance with the 650b wheel? Can I just simply change the wheel set? It seems that the new frames have way more clearance.
    Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  27. #27
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    Hi All. I do have a brand new 2013 SL 26" wheels frame that seems to have better clearance in the rear. Do I need to shim the shock in order to convert it to 650b? or with the newer frame this is not necessary? Your advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks

  28. #28
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by aburgosn View Post
    Hi All. I do have a brand new 2013 SL 26" wheels frame that seems to have better clearance in the rear. Do I need to shim the shock in order to convert it to 650b? or with the newer frame this is not necessary? Your advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Don't worry, your question will get answered in a timely fashion, no need to double post.

    I have a new 3.2 model frame too. Not running yet tho. Probably won't be an issue if you're a liteweight rider like me. Some of the posters noted not needing to modify their shock travel on early models. Will depend on what tyre you plan to run in back.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  29. #29
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    I am in the middle of a 2012 sl/27.5 conversion. I don't have wheels yet but I would like to run rocket rons once complete. Anyone run a 27x2.1 or 2.25 without any shock or frame mods?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Superlight - budget/parts bin build-image.jpg  


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by poorboy006 View Post
    I am in the middle of a 2012 sl/27.5 conversion. I don't have wheels yet but I would like to run rocket rons once complete. Anyone run a 27x2.1 or 2.25 without any shock or frame mods?
    I'm running a pacenti quasi-moto 2.1 on the rear of my 2012 superlight 27.5 conversion. Works fine without shock or frame mods. I am running the shock pressure about 15 lbs over my body weight though. So far no rubbing on the seat tube.

  31. #31
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    Thanks for the info. Have you let the air completely out of the shock and tried full compression? I tired to measure the center of the axle to the front der cable stop without any air and came up with 13.75in. The o ring on the shock still had 1/4 to go before the end of the stanchion so I wonder if the bottom out bumper is hitting meaning there is still some squish left. I feel that a 2.1 (27.5in actual diameter) will be the max for an unmodified fit.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by poorboy006 View Post
    Thanks for the info. Have you let the air completely out of the shock and tried full compression? I tired to measure the center of the axle to the front der cable stop without any air and came up with 13.75in. The o ring on the shock still had 1/4 to go before the end of the stanchion so I wonder if the bottom out bumper is hitting meaning there is still some squish left. I feel that a 2.1 (27.5in actual diameter) will be the max for an unmodified fit.
    Well, now that I think about it I was a bit worried at first since the rear derailleur tab did rub when fully compressed. I compensated for that with additional pressure in the shock. Sorry, not much help I know. It is an amazingly fun bike though. Good luck with your build.

  33. #33
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    Nice work on the cable conversion. The aftermarket replacement is also a nice looking piece.
    I don't rattle.

  34. #34
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    I was able to try out a wheel from my friends 27.5 converted rush to verify some questions I had for tire fit. The rear tire was a Racing Ralph 27.5x2.25. The pictures were taken @ 30spi and the tire will ever so slightly rub the seat tube under full compression (two guys pulling up, zero shock pressure). I want to run a 27.5x2.1 rocket ron without any rubbing and without any shock shimming.

    1st picture shows rear wheel installed without any compression to check for front derailleur and chainstay/seatstay clearance. The 2nd picture is at a bad angle, the tire actually is not touching the seat tube as much as it appears. The 3rd picture gives a more accurate view. As you can see the 27.5x2.25 RaRa rubs the cable stop between the tread blocks.

    Once the Rocket Ron 2.1 arrives I will be able to tell if I will need to run a cable stop adapter. I really do not want to cut and grind the tab off.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Superlight - budget/parts bin build-sl2.jpg  

    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-sl3.jpg  

    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-sl4.jpg  


  35. #35
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    My frame was much older than your's, so I'm not sure how much help I can be. Removing the cable stop not only gave me full travel, but removed the nagging thought that the tire would rub whenever I hit a rough section of trail. There was no downside to removing that braze on.

    Just looking at your pictures, I would say you are going to get some rub on the cable stop and once you install the cable, the housing. The only way to know for sure is to install the tire and ride.

  36. #36
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    Another suggestion--go 1x10 (or 8,9, 11) and do away with the front derailleur (and the tab) altogether. That will also save you another pound of weight, making it truly "superlight"!

    If you are worried about the gearing, just opt for a 30-tooth or smaller front ring. That should take care of things. My 26" rigid sports a 30T by 11-32 eight-speed cassette. My 27.5# full suspension sports a 30T by 11-36 ten-speed. I find that to be more than enough for northern Cal climbing.

    Check out the detailed blog discussion below to see how much gearing you really miss out by going 1x.

    Is a Single Chainring Set-Up Really Better? | Art’s Cyclery Blog

  37. #37
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    blilrat- not trying to take over your thread it just seemed like a great post to place since you have already shared a ton of info here...thank you for that.

    I have on order a crossmark 27.5x2.1 to see how that fits next since the RocketRon 2.1 seems impossible to order. I was debating 1x10 since I have the new slx clutch type rear derailleur but I am still on the fence...plus I would have to chop the cable stop for that anyway. Thanks for the article Teekay, stinks that my x7 crankset and its 120bcd will not work with 30-32t single rings...

  38. #38
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    no problem. I sold the frame in this post recently and am in the market for another so you're giving me an opportunity to learn.

    Doesn't Wolftooth make a 30t for the SRAM crank?

  39. #39
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    looks like the smallest they carry for a 120bcd is 36t... What bike did you move onto?

  40. #40
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    Received my tires today. Crossmark EXC 27.5x2.1 and an Ardent 27.5x2.25 SC. Weights are both below advertised! Just waiting for wheels to be built to find out if the 2.1 fits without modification.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Superlight - budget/parts bin build-crossmark.jpg  

    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-ardent.jpg  


  41. #41
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    Hi Poorboy006. What size is your frame?
    My frame is a 19" frame. I am running a Kenda Navegal 27.5x2.1 and it does not seem to rub. I am almost done with the bike and will post pics soon. I have ordered the WTB Wolverine 2.2 tires and will test them to see if it rubs.

  42. #42
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    My frame is a large which I believe is a 19. So you bring me good news!

  43. #43
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    WTB Wolverine 2.2

    Hi Poorboy06. I got the WTB Wolverine 2.2 tires and installed them yesterday. I did test the clearance by removing all the air from the shock then compressing it with my weight (I am around 190 lbs). You can see there is plenty of clearance. It seems I won't need to do anything other than ride I will finish the bike tonight and test it in some rocky sections tomorrow. I will let you know.

    BTW my frame is a 2013, not sure if that also gives more clearance compared to older frames. What year is yours?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Superlight - budget/parts bin build-img_0756.jpg  

    Superlight - budget/parts bin build-img_0757.jpg  


  44. #44
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    Those pictures aren't under compression I take it? How much clearance with the 27.5x2.2 tires did you actually get? The wolverine must be a lot lower in overall height than the racing Ralph's I tried out...

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by poorboy006 View Post
    Those pictures aren't under compression I take it? How much clearance with the 27.5x2.2 tires did you actually get? The wolverine must be a lot lower in overall height than the racing Ralph's I tried out...
    The Wolverine is pretty tall, mine is about 27-7/8" on an i23 rim

  46. #46
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    I did not measure the overall tire diameter, but the pictures are under full shock compression. I would say that the clearance is about 1-¼". I will be able to run the frame with no issues at all with the Wolverine 2.2 set up. I will test the bike this weekend on a very rocky technical section. I will post my comments later. Good luck!

  47. #47
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    I must be missing something but your wolverines give you over an inch of clearance compared to my Ralph's which actually touch the seat tube under full shock compression..

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by poorboy006 View Post
    I must be missing something but your wolverines give you over an inch of clearance compared to my Ralph's which actually touch the seat tube under full shock compression..
    Those photos really don't seem like they could possibly be under full shock compression: not even for a 26" tyre. That's not a 29" frame is it?

  49. #49
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    It is a 26in frame. I removed the air entirely from the shock and had my wife sitting on the bike so I could take the picture.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by aburgosn View Post
    It is a 26in frame. I removed the air entirely from the shock and had my wife sitting on the bike so I could take the picture.
    That's amazing. It seems like so much more clearance than all the other SLs I've seen.

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