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Thread: A 29er is born

  1. #1
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    A 29er is born [build finished - updated with pics]

    After quite some time of heavy 29er surfing on the web, I actually got to the point where I started to build one myself. I will share some pictures and a little story of the progress. Hope you like it and get some inspiration in these dark times!

    Okay, lets get started. The purpose is to build a fully rigid bike for XC and trail use. There’s no set budget limits, but the idea is to build a reasonable bike at a reasonable price. As for the frame, I initially was thinking about an Inbred steel frame. I then accidentally stumbled over a thread about a RCZ 29 here on mtbr, which was a completely unknown brand to me (showed out to be the house brand of RCZ bike shop, based in Luxemburg). I liked the looks, and the geometry seemed to be about right, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m 172cm (5’7”) and ordered a 16” frame.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RCgBCLRDQvMdCluTZ8iwMQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rCNO5KzkMZM/TmqGPW4j2pI/AAAAAAAAAs4/dtJmzWIGHrQ/s800/1%252520rcz%252520frame%2525201.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/IVhpodNhXXW95xrIJXyNRw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-1tC_ARDqLLc/TmqGp5CQlXI/AAAAAAAAAtE/FluOt3ACkmo/s800/2%252520rcz%252520frame%2525202.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    When I got the frame I was really impressed. The looks and finish are absolutely great for a frame in this price range. Chainstays and seatstays are nicely formed, and the top tube is lowered a bit for better standover. Frame weighs in at 1612g with gear hanger.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mPQq4x8vVu7-slyov4pGuQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mDwJZjXRBRg/TmqGp6ueVGI/AAAAAAAAAtA/qMbimWeP2VI/s800/3%252520rcz%252520frame%2525203.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iOcqXT3Wbfr1pKfdqFYuzQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-l2TFp48yodw/TmqGpqNG9GI/AAAAAAAAAt4/Tzx19rFHbLg/s800/4%252520rcz%252520frame%2525204.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    Now it was time for some headset fitting. For this I used a M10 threaded rod and some washers, and simply press fitted one cup at the time. Haven’t done this before, but it was much easier than I thought it would be. Headset is a FSA Orbit MX.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QHFlYOL8GsyRFhbY28xgBw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7nBW0w9Yi9c/TmqG8gSGFkI/AAAAAAAAAtM/ip1ZI2MPJTo/s800/5%252520rcz%252520headset.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    With the frame under the bed, I started thinking about the choice of fork. As I mentioned before, the bike will be fully rigid. I’m actually not completely sure about this, as the terrain up here is pretty rough with a lot of rocks and roots, but I can always add some suspension later on. I felt carbon was the way to go, and after many hours on the web (again ) I finally pulled the trigger on an Exotic carbon fork. The A-C of the fork is 465mm, with an offset of 42mm.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QMSP-NNXJ0s6G2p-jlWjsA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-PlbGIj2WApg/TmqG3P5df3I/AAAAAAAAAtI/hKsEYyEjEhA/s800/6%252520rcz%252520fork%252520mounted%252520on%2525 20frame.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    Next up is the wheelset. I already had a front wheel from an earlier 69er experiment with my Inbred 26er (actually this experiment turned out quite well, but I still wanted a complete 29er). The front wheel is build around a Mavic A317 disc and a XT M756 hub, with some DT comp spokes. For the rear wheel I used the same rim and spokes, but threw in a SLX hub instead. According to Shimano tech docs, the SLX has the same freehub as their 29er specific hubs, so I figured it should be well suited for this kind of duty.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ErkAp7I_NdbdL5qdVtPzTA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-C5FYzXdpcG8/TmqHAdLoBEI/AAAAAAAAAtQ/VeMG6JeiaGE/s800/7%252520rcz%252520wheel%2525201.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/UmGtcGFBt8fYmhIpuv_V1w?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Py2dWJAwX0c/TmqHMO7xhaI/AAAAAAAAAtU/yct8POQkvKQ/s800/8%252520rcz%252520wheel%2525202.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/H7VJbVKiXjzKQ5B3l7i7VA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-CaOdBjTA7Ek/TmqHNzD3aSI/AAAAAAAAAtY/DFYoIU5IIqY/s800/9%252520rcz%252520wheel%2525203.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CCU76jHAPSR23wO1mekLCw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-f_kvsOPr7AE/TmqHOGq4ZBI/AAAAAAAAAtc/SRaJxXJQmHo/s800/10%252520rcz%252520wheel%2525204.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    Rubber time! I've got a Panaracer Rampage 2.35 in the front and a Michelin Wild Race’R 2.0 in the rear. Based on earlier experience with Michelin’s very similar dry series in wet conditions, I’ll maybe have to get another Rampage for the winter season...

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4uisj9lEE9Xujtohl4Kagg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-OCHs1n1qbpE/TmqHcyluBqI/AAAAAAAAAtk/GYqpSU0w860/s800/11%252520rcz%252520whole%252520bike%2525201.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    The Thudbuster post, saddle and handlebars are just temporarily installed. Still haven't decided on what gear to use.. I guess I need some more web surfing.

    Next up are drivetrain and brakes, which are still on order. The drivetrain will be a 3x9 mix of Deore and SLX components, and the brakes will be Shimano's new M596 series with XT and SLX rotors.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gX0i-rsFXg7Hm7eF2m-VAQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RjAwax0rY9M/TmqHbGr8qFI/AAAAAAAAAtg/aAJahGBcehU/s800/12%252520rcz%252520whole%252520bike%2525202.JPG" height="451" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>
    Last edited by dadel; 10-05-2011 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Title update

  2. #2
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    That looks sweet. When together it should be a lot of fun. I am waiting for a bunch of good stuff to show up so I can slap it on my bike. I can ride it but it will ride better when all my stuff gets here!

  3. #3
    Plan #123-D
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    Thanks for sharing the process!
    C'mon lets go for a whirl.

  4. #4
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    Very nice build!
    2012 Cannondale Trail SL 29ER 4

    1994 Cannondale Super V 1000

    1996 Cannondale F500 rigid-fork 69'er

    Motiv 26'er

  5. #5
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    Nice work so far. Please keep sharing.

  6. #6
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    Nice parts choice. I recently installed an FSA Orbit MX on my Soma DoubleCross - very pleased with the quality. I'm normally a Cane Creek guy but have used King as well - pretty sure this FSA is going to do as well as the CC and King headsets.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  7. #7
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    Great job! I like the pictures and the comments for each step. Keep it coming!

  8. #8
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    Rubber Time? That's what she said...

    Sorry...someone had to say it!
    "...quit hitting me with your hammer"
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  9. #9
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    Rigid fork and Thudbuster post is an interesting combo.

    Good work building it all yourself!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGrant View Post
    Rubber Time? That's what she said...

    Sorry...someone had to say it!
    Oh yes..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre View Post
    Rigid fork and Thudbuster post is an interesting combo.
    Don't you think it look nice? Actually, the Thudbuster is temporary and only there because I couldn't find any other seatpost at home.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all replies, I'm glad you like it! Will be back with some updates as soon as I get more parts and some time to build.

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    So, after a long week away on business, I came home to a box full of brand new drivetrain and brake components!

    Somehow I got myself interested in trying out the M590 incarnation of the 'budget' group Deore. I hade Deore on my first bike in 2002, but this newer one looks more like the XT and SLX components I have on my other bikes. However, since the deore shifters do not have the option of removing the gear indicators, I upgraded them to SLX. Without any better reason than saving some weight, I also upgraded the cassette to SLX.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7Y_H5VDtTb67aSce1LC6WQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZvoqbH1AsQM/TnSitGyOdSI/AAAAAAAAAv4/LgXe4w9slhc/s800/P1030833.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    Brakes are also Deore, but these ones are the M596 from the new 2012 10-speed series. Read somewhere that they will be 14 % more powerful than the last ones.. Well, let's see about that, but I find the looks very appealing. Discs are XT 6-bolt up front and a SLX centerlock at the rear.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xmP8SmDfYeeieGJdUpLyfA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_x9M-Gd0Hjw/TnSisHxn-FI/AAAAAAAAAv0/uZWW5TYsT4A/s800/P1030834.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">Från <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/114702804006792510377/RCZRace29er?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">RCZ Race 29er</a></td></tr></table>

    So far so good, but now I have a dilemma. I was checking out the RCZ the other day and got my eyes on their 29er wheelset. There is nothing wrong with the A317 I have at the moment, but a nice wheelset in white would totally do this bike and on top of that save like 500g of rotating mass. At the moment I actually thinking of upgrading a bike that isn't yet in one piece...

  14. #14
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    Nice build! Depending on what you would ask for the A317, I would potentially be interested in taking them off your hands...so you can get that white wheelset....
    C'mon lets go for a whirl.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aperzigian View Post
    Nice build! Depending on what you would ask for the A317, I would potentially be interested in taking them off your hands...so you can get that white wheelset....
    I would be happy to sell the A317s, but the shipping rates from Finland are unfortunately so high that you probably could buy a similar wheelset in the States for less.. sorry..

  16. #16
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    Ah...I understand. Gotta love those darn postage rates...Good luck with the rest of the build!
    C'mon lets go for a whirl.

  17. #17
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    Pretty solid budget build. Lookin' good.

  18. #18
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    wow

  19. #19
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    Awesome bike, I love the white and red!

  20. #20
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    New cockpit parts arrived yesterday! Decided to go RCZ all the way and got their carbon riser bar, an aluminium stem, and some foam lock-on grips. The bar looks really sweet! Considering the price tag at just under 40€, I think this one is a great deal.

    The stem looks suspiciously similar to the Sunline XC-1, which I also think is the exact same as the On-One Superlight and the stem offered by Superstar bikes. Must be a very good design as it's sold under so many brands...





    Had very little time to finish my build, but this weekend I will try to put the last pieces together and shorten the brake hoses. Looking forward to the first ride!!

  21. #21
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    Excelent! The RCZ's components has a good quality and looks pretty nice!

  22. #22
    29er for life!!
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    Nice lookin 29er ya got there...

  23. #23
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    coming along nice...thanks for sharing the build....should be a fun bike

  24. #24
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    A 29er is born [build finished - updated with pics]

    Thanks for all replies.
    Now the bike is finally done!

    I've made some testing during the last couple of days, and I have to say that this is probably the most fun bike I have ever had. The frame seems to be spot on for me, but of course the whole 29er thing has a lot to do with as well. A lot of fun it is. Every time I take a ride, I actually feel the same excitement as with my first real mountain bike, a trek 4900disc, almost 10 years ago!

    Here are some pictures and thoughts from my after-work ride today:





    The components all seem to work pretty well. The RCZ cockpit feels nice and I think the looks are really great. Lately I've used wider and much wider bars than this, but due to some very close calls with trees lately, I decided to go back to 600mm for a while...



    I think the Deore/SLX drivetrain was a wise choice. Feels smooth and efficient, and I actually starting to think that upgrades over this level is really a waste of money for weekend warriors like me.. Also the Deore M596 brakes feels quite decent, although they're not fully bedded in yet.



    Now, my new bike doesn't look exactly new anymore. I guess I'll have to get some more Muc Off and roll out the garden hose this weekend...



    I hope you liked it! Will be back with some more ride impressions when I've made some more testing. Over and out.
    Last edited by dadel; 10-05-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Title update

  25. #25
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    Looking good, all covered in mud! Well done on a solid build. And great to hear that you are loving the ride!

  26. #26
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    like the build mate, agree with the level of components for that level of riding.

    looks good.

  27. #27
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    Love seeing these custom builds! Tight work there - thanks for posting.

  28. #28
    Axles of Evil
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    great job

    bonus points for building it yourself.

  29. #29
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    Love it. Sweet ride.

  30. #30
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    looks good! You might motivate me to make some part changes on a fixer I've had sitting in the garage for a while. Glad you are enjoying it.

  31. #31
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    So you didn't like the thudbuster?

  32. #32
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    Nice ride...

    I love the color coordination and build. I had never heard of this frame before your post but it looks really good. Nice to see something different too .
    EAST COAST
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  33. #33
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    Nice bike and great build!!!
    Question: before going with the solid seatpost, did you ride the bike with the Thudbuster?
    Is there a noticeable difference riding with suspension seatpost and not? Just wanted to know if it'll be worth it to get one. Thanks and safe riding!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelzilla View Post
    So you didn't like the thudbuster?
    The thudbuster wasn't meant to be on this bike (at least not yet ), but it was the only post available during the build. I'm still a seatpost short, so the "normal" one in the pictures is borrowed from my full sus Kona. The thudbuster itself is great, but I haven't used it much since I got the Kona a few years back.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxedrn View Post
    Nice bike and great build!!!
    Question: before going with the solid seatpost, did you ride the bike with the Thudbuster?
    Is there a noticeable difference riding with suspension seatpost and not? Just wanted to know if it'll be worth it to get one. Thanks and safe riding!
    I didn't try the Thudbuster on this one, but a couple of years ago it was on my main ride (Trek hardtail). I think it actually was pretty good. The positive thing was that I could sit down more often if I wanted, but still had the responsive hardtail feel. I also think climbing was a little improved. The only negative thing was the setback, which also increased with compression of the post. A hardtail with a thudbuster will never be a full sus, but if you have a hardtail you want to keep, a thudbuster could make it more comfortable.

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    Thanks for all replies, I'm happy you like my build!

    In the last couple of days, I've made two rides in the wet autumn forests. I'm actually very impressed how the bike handles in technical terrain, and how I manage to survive even with a rigid fork up front and a summer tire in the back. I think the 29er bug has bit me...

  37. #37
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    thats great build..nice job

  38. #38
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    Great looking bike! Nothing beats building it from the ground up.

  39. #39
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    i love these build threads.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadel View Post
    Also the Deore M596 brakes feels quite decent, although they're not fully bedded in yet.
    Any updates on those brakes? I'm considering getting a set.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel View Post
    Any updates on those brakes? I'm considering getting a set.
    Thanks for your reply! The brakes feels quite okay and have good modulation. The power isn't exactly up there where I want it yet, but I didn't bleed the brakes after I shortened the hoses and on top of that I think I have some kind of oil on my front disc... I guess this could have something to do with it. Overall I'm satisfied with them and considering the price, I would rather get these than buy another pair of XT M775 I have on my full suspension Kona. I hope this helped a little..

  42. #42
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    Thanks for all replies, I appreciate it!



    During the build I checked the weight for all the components. I'm not a particular weight-weenie, but as an engineer I like to put numbers on things... Here is a simple excel table over the bike:



    Complete with pedals the bike weighs in at 11.5 kg (just over 25 pounds). Not particular light, but not too heavy either. Next on the upgrade list is however a new wheelset, as this probably would make it even faster.

    Another thing I've been thinking about is suspension. For next summer season I want to have a suspension fork available to switch to when I want/need a smoother ride. However, I can't decide if I should go for a nice Reba or get a more budget Recon silver solo-air. Any thoughts about this? Maybe other alternatives? Has anybody experience of the Recon silver solo-air or links to some useful reviews? Haven't found any good yet..

  43. #43
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    are the rcz frames available in the us? If so, do you happen to know how much shipping was?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcmay View Post
    are the rcz frames available in the us? If so, do you happen to know how much shipping was?
    I think you can order them directly from the rcz bike shop. I just checked their website and it says shipping to the US would be 49.99€..

  45. #45
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    pretty awesome build! I like the weight chart as well.

  46. #46
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    Oh the places you will go! Great build.

  47. #47
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    Updates

    No updates in this thread for a while. We had a lot of snow this winter (again), and because I didn't buy any studded 29er tires yet, I've been rolling around on my stone age trek for some time. Maybe in a month or so it will be possible to do some actual offroad again!

    I got some upgrades for the bike:

    1. Rockshox Tora 318 solo air -07. I got this second hand and quite cheap from a Cobia as an experiment if I should go suspension or stay rigid. It is kind of heavy and will add about 1400g to the bike, but if I like it, I will buy a new Reba or similar later.

    2.RCZ 29er TSS wheelset. This is the main upgrade for next season and will save just under 400g of rolling weight. TSS stands for "Tied spokes system" and in reality it means that the spokes are tied. I don't know what to expect of the TSS, but it looks kind of cool and didn't cost me much over the basic version without TSS. They didn't come in white though...

    I haven't put any of the parts on the bike yet but here are some pictures. What do you think?








  48. #48
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    I've never seen the TSS....looks good though!

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