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  1. #1
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    Hightower LT Build Log: Big Boy Bike!

    Hey guys,

    I am pretty fired up about my soon-to-arrive bike and wanted to create a thread cover the build, modifications, riding impressions etc.

    A little background on me... I am what they call a large human; 6'8" 250lbs (~275 geared up), size 17 shoe, XXXXL gloves, 7'2" wingspan, large!

    My riding background started with downhill, freeride, and dirtjumping and most of my bike handling skills were honed while attending school at UC Santa Barbara. Post college I had a career which took me abroad for several years but once I landed back in the US I lived in the Bay Area and spent most of my time riding Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland and Demo Forest in Santa Cruz.

    My riding style can be described as powerful and aggressive although big boys fall hard and after separating a few ligaments in both my shoulder and knee I am putting an emphasis on keeping the rubber side down so I can enjoy mountain biking in good health for a long time!

    My first bike was a 1990's 21" Trek 930 and this is the bike I started to ride DH trails (Tunnel, San Ysidro, Cold Springs) on in Santa Barbara, lol. Steel XC hardtail with an elastomer fork and cantilever rim brakes. After breaking ALL the parts and multiple frames I got a job at a bike shop, saved up, and bought an XL Banshee Scream spec'd with a Marzocchi Monster T. 61 lbs of Burliness. Aside from blowing up the rear suspension linkage hitting a stair gap the bike served me well.

    Want a wild ride? Take this down Tunnel or Cold Springs trail in Santa Barbara!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-p4280632.jpg

    The Scream was accompanied by a Morphine I built up for DJing and general mayhem. Fast forward a decade and the Scream has been parted but the Banshee Morphine lives on as my sole do everything bike. It has received a few choice upgrades to make it a more cooperative trail bike but an 18" freeride frame that heights 42lbs with 1x9 drivetrain is far form ideal. As it is, the Morphine has served me well and provided excellent workouts on climbs. lol

    The old whips!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-p4pb419049.jpg

    Glory Days
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-cimg0835.jpg

    Morphine massaged into a wanna be trail bike (current setup).
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9670-001.jpg

    With my size 29ers seemed like the logical choice as 29s for me is like 26s for normal sized individuals but my concern was wheel strength. With 29s creeping into Enduro and DH there are finally some viable wheel options. Combine that with the XXL sizing offered in the Hightower LT (as opposed to the Nomad and Bronson which top out at XL) and the new HTLT definitely caught my eye. I knew it would be good since I had demoed an XXL TallBoy, an XL Nomad, and XL Bronson.

    I am a fractional co owner of a bike shop out on the big island, Mountain Road Cycles in Kamuela. The main owner/operator is a good friend who spurred the mtb chaos in Santa Barbara. Our shop carries Santa Cruz so I am able to get excellent pricing.

    After some deliberation with my partner we decided to order the XE build as it gets the Fox 36 PE and DPX2, the -200grams of the CC frame and Kashima coatings mean nothing to me. Shimano brakes get the nod over SRAM for reliability and the E-13 + XT drivetrain seems like a nice blend of function and reliability, the rest of the components are a wash.

    The XE HTLT is spec'd really well but there are some choice upgrades I am making off the bat to tailor this bike to my needs.

    Modifications (First Phase)
    - Fox 36: 150mm ->160mm travel conversion and VC49 (firm) revalve.
    - DMV Vault Pedals
    - 203mm Shimano Rotors
    - Chromag Squarewave XL Grips
    - Deity Holeshot 825mm Handlebar
    - Huck Norris Inserts
    - OneUp Bash Guide
    - Kabolt Front Axle & Maxle Rear Axle
    - Custom Machined Top Cap

    Bike arrives Monday!

    Here are some pics of the goods.
    Evan

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9817.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9818.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9821.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9822.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9830.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9831.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9832.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9833.jpg

  2. #2
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    I'm interrested to see your build. I'm 6,5 and got my XXL Hightower standard a month ago. I went custom with a 150 mm Lyrik and GX Eagle drivetrain + Shimano XT brakes.
    Love it so far and it fits me very well, except the short steerer tube, but that's how SC build their bikes. It's definetly a (one of the few) bike for big guys

  3. #3
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    I've been on the XE build with just a few additions, for about 3 or 4 weeks now. Such a great sled man. You are gonna be fired up!!! I'm 5-9, so I can't relate there. Ha!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuenni View Post
    I'm interrested to see your build. I'm 6,5 and got my XXL Hightower standard a month ago. I went custom with a 150 mm Lyrik and GX Eagle drivetrain + Shimano XT brakes.
    Love it so far and it fits me very well, except the short steerer tube, but that's how SC build their bikes. It's definetly a (one of the few) bike for big guys
    Yea, the XXL HTLT is a good fit for me. If I had to be picky a steeper seatpost angle would have been appreciated and if that was a reality then perhaps some additional reach to compensate but this is really splitting hairs and just an assumption based off geo numbers so I will stop there and see how the actual riding goes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuch View Post
    I've been on the XE build with just a few additions, for about 3 or 4 weeks now. Such a great sled man. You are gonna be fired up!!! I'm 5-9, so I can't relate there. Ha!!
    Yea, real fired up!

    ------------------------------------------

    New Bike Day!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9848.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9855.jpg

    Build it up
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9860.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9861.jpg

    Here are some pics after the initial build. There are some additional parts and tools on the way to finalize everything. It has been a while since I have built a bike and in particular a modern one, it was an enjoyable process with all the slick engineering that goes into everything.

    The XE spec Santa Cruz came with M8000 XT brakes and the XT M8000 shifter but for whatever reason Santa Cruz specs the non I-Spec II variant, silly. I have
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9867.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9868.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9869.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9870.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9871.jpg

    Here is my XXL HTLT compared to my buddies XL TallBoy
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9866.jpg

    I will get some better photos once the build is properly setup but now time for a ride!

    Evan
    Last edited by ucsbwsr; 11-14-2017 at 02:32 PM.

  5. #5
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    WOW! It's a beauty! enjoy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Modifications (First Phase)
    - Fox 36: 150mm ->160mm travel conversion and VC49 (firm) revalve.
    - DMV Vault Pedals
    - 203mm Shimano Rotors
    - Chromag Squarewave XL Grips
    - Deity Holeshot 825mm Handlebar
    - Huck Norris Inserts
    - OneUp Bash Guide
    - Kabolt Front Axle & Maxle Rear Axle
    - Custom Machined Top Cap
    Looks like some smartly chosen upgrades and mods. Curious why the changes on the front and rear axles? I'd like to change the rear axle on my bike to a bolt-in, but mainly because I hate the way the QR version of a Maxle thru-axle operates.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo6500 View Post
    WOW! It's a beauty! enjoy
    Absolutely, a few hours of enjoyment as I built it up followed by 27 miles of enjoyment shortly after.
    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Looks like some smartly chosen upgrades and mods. Curious why the changes on the front and rear axles? I'd like to change the rear axle on my bike to a bolt-in, but mainly because I hate the way the QR version of a Maxle thru-axle operates.
    The Kabolt and Maxle I purchased are bolt style and I went this direction as I prefer the clean lines without the external levers, there is no chance of then getting caught on anything, the downside is needed a 5/6mm allen wrench for installing and removing the wheels which I will always have on hand. I am still waiting for the Kabolt to arrive but you can see the Maxle in the pics below, it is real clean. I love the look (and function).


    ------------------------

    Here are some pics before/after the first ride. The bike was operational but I was waiting on bleed kits so the handlebars had a rats nest of cables and hoses.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9874.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9875.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9876.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9877.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9881.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9882.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9883.jpg

  8. #8
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    The Reverb and Shimano bleed kits arrived so I could clean up the hose/cable routing. I also applied some frame protection in select locations, recalibrated the shifting, and fiddled with my suspension.

    Stock downtube
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9919.jpg

    I had some leftover 3M 1080 vinyl left over from a car project so I cut a strip to match up with the black oem paint.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9920.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9921.jpg

    It came out pretty clean!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9922.jpg

    Next was adding some of the clear frame protection supplied with the bike from Santa Cruz and I also added some 3M mastic tape on the chainstay.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9923.jpg

    It took a bit of trimming and test fitting but I created a fairly contoured piece to add some protection and visually be unoffensive.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9924.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9925.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9926.jpg

    Up next was the cables for the cockpit
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9927.jpg

    I gave myself enough cable/hose length so that I could so a bar-spin if I wanted, this should also allow enough movement to keep everything safe in the (likely?) scenario of a crash. I used some heat shrink to keep things tidy and noise free.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9928.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9929.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9930.jpg

    Here are a few pictures comparing the old ride vs new. 18" Banshee Morphine, it is interesting since the Banshee has a lot of similar geometry with short chainstays and slack head/seat tube angles.

    The bikes were lined up on the rear axle.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9932.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9938.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9941.jpg

  9. #9
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    I thoroughly enjoyed your write-up, and brief overview of your bike history.

    Are you officially loving your new ride or what?!?

  10. #10
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    Nice bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    The XE spec Santa Cruz came with M8000 XT brakes and the XT M8000 shifter but for whatever reason Santa Cruz specs the non I-Spec II variant, silly.
    My Bronson CC XT came the same way, bugged me just a little too.
    I wouldn't **** you, you're my favorite turd.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willstylez View Post
    I thoroughly enjoyed your write-up, and brief overview of your bike history.

    Are you officially loving your new ride or what?!?
    Glad you enjoyed the write up and yes, thoroughly stoked on the bike!


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interesting Santa Crux spec'd this XE build with Shimano M8000 XT brakes and shifter but they chose the regular XT shifter as opposed to the I-spec II variant which can integrate into the brake lever. I would consider this an oversight.

    With the relatively low price the shifters can be had for it made since just to buy a new one as opposed to converting my current unit.

    I also purchased a pair of Problem Solvers Mismatch adapters to join the 1x Reverb remote to the Shimano brake.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9953.jpg

    Before/After
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-cxot2729.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-fadv3070.jpg

    Much cleaner
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9959.jpg

    Added a bell as it is needed for where I ride.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9961.jpg

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Interesting Santa Crux spec'd this XE build with Shimano M8000 XT brakes and shifter but they chose the regular XT shifter as opposed to the I-spec II variant which can integrate into the brake lever. I would consider this an oversight.
    A lot of people don't like them because it doesn't allow you to rotate the shifter relative to the brake and there is very limited side to side adjustment.

    Sweet build!!!!
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  13. #13
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    Sweet build!! Great write up.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    A lot of people don't like them because it doesn't allow you to rotate the shifter relative to the brake and there is very limited side to side adjustment.

    Sweet build!!!!
    Makes sense but still a silly issue to have.
    Quote Originally Posted by jbadger1977 View Post
    Sweet build!! Great write up.
    Thanks!

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Fox Kabolt arrived which means I can finally get rid of the QR "eyesore" axle.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9989.jpg

    Before
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9988.jpg

    After, so much cleaner.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_9990.jpg

  15. #15
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    Sweet build. Great parts selection for a big guy. I was having some shutter problems with my front brake and ended up switching out the adapter to a North shore bullet one. It's more rigid and really made the front brake feel more solid. I'm a big fan of the bolt on axles too. One up makes a great tool pump combo if you don't like riding with a pack.
    I always wrap my rear stays with 3m tape to prevent damage. They have lots of colors to pick from. The inside by the tire needs protection too, or rocks will thrash the paint.
    My XXL Tallboy.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-20170831_133959.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-16991819_10211089392846684_5756699279521532842_o.jpg
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    A lot of people don't like them because it doesn't allow you to rotate the shifter relative to the brake and there is very limited side to side adjustment.

    Sweet build!!!!
    ISpec II added the ability to rotate as well
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  17. #17
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    Nice build, seems you're enjoying it as much as you should Bit of advice, route that rear brake cable insie the stay or maybe one day find out how easily it can be snagged by a branch,or rock.



    Agree with Joe, limited doesn't even remotely describe the i-spec adjustment, I would need to run my brake levers so far down to get my shifter to where I like it, much prefer using separate shifters and brakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    A lot of people don't like them because it doesn't allow you to rotate the shifter relative to the brake and there is very limited side to side adjustment.

    Sweet build!!!!
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Sweet build. Great parts selection for a big guy. I was having some shutter problems with my front brake and ended up switching out the adapter to a North shore bullet one. It's more rigid and really made the front brake feel more solid. I'm a big fan of the bolt on axles too. One up makes a great tool pump combo if you don't like riding with a pack.
    I always wrap my rear stays with 3m tape to prevent damage. They have lots of colors to pick from. The inside by the tire needs protection too, or rocks will thrash the paint.
    My XXL Tallboy.
    Thanks, the XE spec was a pretty good fit for me with the focus being reliability and durability, after a few choice upgrades it is even better. I will probably swap the front (or both) calipers to the new M8020 XT calipers to get better modulation and more power but I want to get more time with the current setup to find the limits.

    I have seen that OneUp tool. I don't mind riding with a pack since I am used to it and like some of the added functionality and protection it offers. I drink so much water that for only the shortest rides a bottle will do.

    If I add more protection I will probably stop by the local detailing, clear bra, and vinyl automotive shops to see if they have some scraps of clear bra.

  19. #19
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    Hi,may I ask you about foto "you on the bike". I am 6,6 and about your weight and I am afraid that the HT LT is small fot me. Thanks

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOS View Post
    Hi,may I ask you about foto "you on the bike". I am 6,6 and about your weight and I am afraid that the HT LT is small fot me. Thanks
    Sure, here are some pics.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0088.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0095.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0106.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0130.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0150.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0171.jpg

  21. #21
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    Added some Huck Norris inserts.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0053.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0054.jpg

  22. #22
    FOS
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    OK,it looks good. It realy help. Thanks a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    The Reverb and Shimano bleed kits arrived so I could clean up the hose/cable routing. I also applied some frame protection in select locations, recalibrated the shifting, and fiddled with my suspension.

    Stock downtube


    I had some leftover 3M 1080 vinyl left over from a car project so I cut a strip to match up with the black oem paint.


    It came out pretty clean!


    Next was adding some of the clear frame protection supplied with the bike from Santa Cruz and I also added some 3M mastic tape on the chainstay.


    It took a bit of trimming and test fitting but I created a fairly contoured piece to add some protection and visually be unoffensive.


    Up next was the cables for the cockpit


    I gave myself enough cable/hose length so that I could so a bar-spin if I wanted, this should also allow enough movement to keep everything safe in the (likely?) scenario of a crash. I used some heat shrink to keep things tidy and noise free.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9929.jpg 
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ID:	1167792

    Here are a few pictures comparing the old ride vs new. 18" Banshee Morphine, it is interesting since the Banshee has a lot of similar geometry with short chainstays and slack head/seat tube angles.

    The bikes were lined up on the rear axle.
    Did you mean to turn the grips around backwards? You had them with the bell inside on earlier pics. Those are interesting grips... I have large hands too and would like to try those.

    I also like those bars. I just got some 800mm bars, but 825 sounds even better.

    Thanks for the write up. I'm a 6'9" clyde myself.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Sure, here are some pics.
    This is great! I'm looking at the pics thinking "those wheels look small". And they're 29ers! I thought I was on the large end at 6'3" 240lb. The world is designed around guys who are 5'9". Nice to see a few companies providing options for the big boys. And those handlebars look like toothpicks in your hands! I love it. I am awaiting further feedback on your riding experience.

    BTW, pulling a manual for a garage photo shot...awesome!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    This is great! I'm looking at the pics thinking "those wheels look small". And they're 29ers! I thought I was on the large end at 6'3" 240lb. The world is designed around guys who are 5'9". Nice to see a few companies providing options for the big boys. And those handlebars look like toothpicks in your hands! I love it. I am awaiting further feedback on your riding experience.

    BTW, pulling a manual for a garage photo shot...awesome!
    The handlebars are 825mm wide too! lol

    I have always been pretty good at manuals but jumping from the hardtail to a 29" full squish is throwing me for a loop and I am still trying to get my manuals back to what I consider "acceptable" so I am always practicing!

    For the HTLT, I have about 400 miles on it so far. Seeing how I dwarf the bike you can imagine how grossly undersized the 18" Banshee Morphine was for me, not to mention decade old geometry. The LT has been great so far, there are a few drivetrain hiccups I am working through but they should be resolved shortly. With my size I need near maximum psi to get a proper sag setting out of the Fox 36/DPX2 and with my "firm" VC49 tune from Fox small bump compliance is almost zero, the DPX2 does a much better job soaking up the little things but in general the bike has an interesting suspension feel where I feel most of the tiny bumps but medium and larger hits are soaked up well. The sensation is similar to riding a hardtail in terms of trail feedback which I appreciate.

    The rear wheels already needed to be trued so to very stoked on that as I have only done mild trail riding on it.

    Personally I could use longer reach on the bike and I will be reluctantly upping the stem from 50mm to 60 or 70mm. I like the direct steering feedback with shorter stems but I still feel like a longer cockpit is a priority.

    The main complaint on the bike is the slack seat tube as it puts my weight too far over the rear axle. I have a 36-37" inseam so long but not freakishly long considering my overall size, something steeper like what the Nomad V4 has would really be helpful but then again that would shorten the reach. Fingers crossed SC lengthens the HTLT and steepens the seatpost. The XL Nomad V4 has nearly the same reach as the XXL HTLT.

    Overall the bike rips and I am surprised how natural it feels while cornering and riding aggressively in general.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    The handlebars are 825mm wide too! lol

    I have always been pretty good at manuals but jumping from the hardtail to a 29" full squish is throwing me for a loop and I am still trying to get my manuals back to what I consider "acceptable" so I am always practicing!

    For the HTLT, I have about 400 miles on it so far. Seeing how I dwarf the bike you can imagine how grossly undersized the 18" Banshee Morphine was for me, not to mention decade old geometry. The LT has been great so far, there are a few drivetrain hiccups I am working through but they should be resolved shortly. With my size I need near maximum psi to get a proper sag setting out of the Fox 36/DPX2 and with my "firm" VC49 tune from Fox small bump compliance is almost zero, the DPX2 does a much better job soaking up the little things but in general the bike has an interesting suspension feel where I feel most of the tiny bumps but medium and larger hits are soaked up well. The sensation is similar to riding a hardtail in terms of trail feedback which I appreciate.

    The rear wheels already needed to be trued so to very stoked on that as I have only done mild trail riding on it.

    Personally I could use longer reach on the bike and I will be reluctantly upping the stem from 50mm to 60 or 70mm. I like the direct steering feedback with shorter stems but I still feel like a longer cockpit is a priority.

    The main complaint on the bike is the slack seat tube as it puts my weight too far over the rear axle. I have a 36-37" inseam so long but not freakishly long considering my overall size, something steeper like what the Nomad V4 has would really be helpful but then again that would shorten the reach. Fingers crossed SC lengthens the HTLT and steepens the seatpost. The XL Nomad V4 has nearly the same reach as the XXL HTLT.

    Overall the bike rips and I am surprised how natural it feels while cornering and riding aggressively in general.
    Slack seat tubes are very annoying. On my Stumpjumper and Fuse I turned the dropper posts around backwards so the offset would put my butt back over the cranks. It looks weird, but that's better than sitting on the nose of the seat. It looks like your dropper doesn't have much offset though.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Sweet build. Great parts selection for a big guy. I was having some shutter problems with my front brake and ended up switching out the adapter to a North shore bullet one. It's more rigid and really made the front brake feel more solid. I'm a big fan of the bolt on axles too. One up makes a great tool pump combo if you don't like riding with a pack.
    I always wrap my rear stays with 3m tape to prevent damage. They have lots of colors to pick from. The inside by the tire needs protection too, or rocks will thrash the paint.
    My XXL Tallboy.
    Where did you find colored mastic tape? Or are you just using regular electrical tape?

  28. #28
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by forealz View Post
    Where did you find colored mastic tape? Or are you just using regular electrical tape?
    For black tape I use the 3m Super 33+ electrical tape.
    The colored tape is just standard 3m electrical tape.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Personally I could use longer reach on the bike and I will be reluctantly upping the stem from 50mm to 60 or 70mm. I like the direct steering feedback with shorter stems but I still feel like a longer cockpit is a priority.

    The main complaint on the bike is the slack seat tube as it puts my weight too far over the rear axle. I have a 36-37" inseam so long but not freakishly long considering my overall size, something steeper like what the Nomad V4 has would really be helpful but then again that would shorten the reach. Fingers crossed SC lengthens the HTLT and steepens the seatpost. The XL Nomad V4 has nearly the same reach as the XXL HTLT.

    Overall the bike rips and I am surprised how natural it feels while cornering and riding aggressively in general.
    Bike Looks good!, that slack seat tube is what removed that bike from my list...and I think I have removed the evil wreckoning for the same reason.

    Top of my list right now is the Guerilla Gravity Smash but i'm still looking. Going to demo a Spec Enduro 29 next week.

    I'm 6'6" 225lbs, 37" inseam. 6'8"-9 wingspan.
    Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead XL

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMDirtFace View Post
    Bike Looks good!, that slack seat tube is what removed that bike from my list...and I think I have removed the evil wreckoning for the same reason.

    Top of my list right now is the Guerilla Gravity Smash but i'm still looking. Going to demo a Spec Enduro 29 next week.

    I'm 6'6" 225lbs, 37" inseam. 6'8"-9 wingspan.
    That "The Smash" looks pretty cool, I am a big fan of the raw aluminum look and it has some geometry with that long reach, high stack, and steep seatpost.

    Not sure of your intended use for the bike but what about the V4 Nomad? Reach might be on the smaller side but it has a lot going for it (except for looks IMO).

  31. #31
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    I have some issues with the drivetrain popping under hard acceleration and I noticed my higher gears showing excessive wear.

    I got E13 on the phone to discuss my issues and they suggested shortening my B-adjustment. I set up my Shimano M8000 Xt rear deriulleur to Shimano's specs of 8-9mm from upper jocky to lowest gear for a 46t cassette. However E13 notified me that the 46T Shimano vs 46T E13 have different higher gears and the E13 requires more chain wrap. I readjusted my B-screw down to ~5mm and the problem was still evident but not as common in as many higher gears. I noticed some deformation on the teeth of my 5 highest gears and E13 was quick to respond by shipping me a replacement for the steel portion of my TRSr cassette.

    The E13 cassette arrived and while disassembling and cleaning the rear during the cassette swap I figured it would be good to inspect my hub at this time, interestingly I found that I had snapped a chunk off of my freehub body which rendered 2 pawls inactive. Interestingly there were not any clear signs suggesting there was such carnage inside the hub for the most part it sounded and operated like normal.

    My wheels are E13 TRS+ rims laced to Novatec D641/642 hubs and one thing I found interesting is on the D641 rear hub which has 6 pawls with a 3 + 3 offset they engage in an interesting manner. Instead of pawls alternating engagement: On-Off-On-Off-On-Off, they have a pair engaged next to each other: On-On-Off-On-Off-Off. Seems odd.

    Anyway, with my size/weight/power I put a lot of stress on bike components and have broken my fair share but considering I have <500 miles on this new bike I am a little annoyed with the wheels since I have already had to true my rear rim and now I find out my hub has partially exploded.

    Evan

    400 miles vs new
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0207.jpg

    400 miles
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0208.jpg

    new
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0209.jpg

    Hub Carnage
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0213.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0211.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0212.jpg

    Pawl engagement, notice 9, 11, and 3 o'clock are engaged but 1 o'clock isn't. 5 and 7 o'clock are broken but won't be engaged like 1.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0214.jpg

  32. #32
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    Wheels is the one place I've learned to spend money. Off brand or low level hubs have never worked. I've had good success with Chris King and DT. Currently using a DT 350 rear that has been bomb proof. Carbon rims have all but eliminated the need to constantly check and true my wheels. I would rather buy a base level bike and add carbon wheels than any other upgrade.

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    Cassette still looks usable with little to no hooking. Only the coating is wearing off.

    Not surprised at all that you destroyed the rear hub so fast. At your weight you need a real hub. The cheapest hub that I would buy would be a DT 350. They are bomb proof with the 18 rings and okay with the 32.
    Any of the other high end hubs will work too. King, I9, hope, Onyx, P321. Rear hubs are always worth the money.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  34. #34
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    That sucks about the hub. Did you contact SC or the dealer? curious to know what they had to say.

    I'd highly recommend going with something without a pawl type drive such as DT Swiss ratchet system or Chris King ring drive. Good luck
    2008 BMC Fourstroke 19-559 ISO (RIP in peace)
    2017 BMC Speedfox 25-622 ISO
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    Wheels is the one place I've learned to spend money. Off brand or low level hubs have never worked. I've had good success with Chris King and DT. Currently using a DT 350 rear that has been bomb proof. Carbon rims have all but eliminated the need to constantly check and true my wheels. I would rather buy a base level bike and add carbon wheels than any other upgrade.
    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Cassette still looks usable with little to no hooking. Only the coating is wearing off.

    Not surprised at all that you destroyed the rear hub so fast. At your weight you need a real hub. The cheapest hub that I would buy would be a DT 350. They are bomb proof with the 18 rings and okay with the 32.
    Any of the other high end hubs will work too. King, I9, hope, Onyx, P321. Rear hubs are always worth the money.
    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    That sucks about the hub. Did you contact SC or the dealer? curious to know what they had to say.

    I'd highly recommend going with something without a pawl type drive such as DT Swiss ratchet system or Chris King ring drive. Good luck
    Thanks for the input. Surprisingly this is my first hub failure. In have made some impressive gouges on the splines of the Shimano driver on my Profile Elite hub but that is a little different than a internal failure like this.

    My previous hubs were a 36poe Hadley, a 72poe Hadley, and the current hub on my hardtail is a Profile Elite w/ 204poe. These Novatec D642s are also 72poe IIRC.

    Personally I think I would have a hard time going back to anything below 72 engagement points.

    The Profiles I have are awesome a have never given me any major issues. There have been some annoyances like the "seal" which is essentially a hard plastic ring that
    allows all kind of contamination into the drive mechanism, there is also a lot of drag but other than that I love them. Either they got more expensive or I got a really good deal on ebay when I bought mine.

    Hadleys are always a safe choice.

    Project 321 is appealing with the magnetic drive (low drag and stronger engagement when pawls are seated), they have a great warranty, and the "stronger" hub configuration with fewer poe still has 144 which is plenty.

    i9 is the other high contender on the short list. POE is good, warranty is good, I like the idea of the straight stoked wheel builds, and I can get these for a reasonable price through QBP. These would be my choice if I went with the Santa Cruz Reserve wheels.

    hmmmmmmmmmmm

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    Novatec was quick to respond and I had a new freehub and ring in my possession ~5 days after contacting them with the issue.

    The replacement process was simple.

    Although a failure like this is always a bummer I understand things happen and I am pleased with how the warranty and repair procedure went. Now we will see how the new freehub holds up to some big boy torque!

    Round 2 FIGHT!

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0284.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0285.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0340.jpg


    Also, we had a short stint of rain here in San Diego and I threw on my Ass Savers fender since I wasn't sure what to expect with the trail conditions and mud. The trails were not that muddy but I have kept my fender on since I notice it protecting the frame (and my face) from rogue rocks which get flung up from time to time. I don't see a reason to take it off at this point...
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0351.jpg

  37. #37
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    I would say definitely go with a higher end hub. Last thing you want is having to hike out due to a hub failure. Since I live in SD I would highly recommend some carbon rims (chose your poison here, but SC is a great option) and some nice hubs. Add in CushCore and you have an indestructible wheelset for all the rocks around here.

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    I hate to be a downer but you are likely going to destroy that rear hub again...sooner than later. I'm just not a fan of pawl designs like that. With your size and, likely, power those aluminum blocks where the pawls seat will just keep ripping off. I had a friend do this to his Novatec hub earlier this season and he's only 210 lbs. The failure looked exactly the same.

    That sounds like awesome warranty support and I suppose you will be faster the next time you have to replace it!

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    Are disc mount brake adapters the same for front and rear on this bike?
    What is cat. no. If you don't mind, can't really see from the picture?
    And what kind of mismatch adaptor is used?
    Thanks.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I would say definitely go with a higher end hub. Last thing you want is having to hike out due to a hub failure. Since I live in SD I would highly recommend some carbon rims (chose your poison here, but SC is a great option) and some nice hubs. Add in CushCore and you have an indestructible wheelset for all the rocks around here.
    Yea, I got in touch with Santa Cruz initially when the hub blew and although NOvatec was quick to respond and get me up and running with replacement parts I am in the discussion with Santa Cruz. I am actually a fractional owner of a bike shop with my buddy (who is the main owner and operator) and he maintains a strong relationship with SC and I think one of the guys in the warranty department discovered this about me and it getting me into the system so I might have some options to upgrade my hub/wheel if I want. Curious to see what specific options and prices are. When I talked my business partner he said his pricing for SC Reserve wheels on i9s was $1,2XX, although that is where I would like to end up I might just get an i9 laced to the E13 TRS+ rim as it should be a very small amount of money out of pocket given the warranty issue. We will see.

    I have a set of Huck Norris inserts installed but to be honest I don't really run my tires low enough where rocks can blow through the tire and hit the rim, I usually run a higher pressure to maintain cornering stability (270 gear up with some body English).

    Which brings me to the Cushcores you mentioned, I would love to give them a try in the future as the volume reduction/tire bottoming out reduction makes a lot of sense as does the tire dynamics with the insert's dampening. It will be good to spend more time on the Hucks to have a solid basis on comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baho View Post
    Are disc mount brake adapters the same for front and rear on this bike?
    What is cat. no. If you don't mind, can't really see from the picture?
    And what kind of mismatch adaptor is used?
    Thanks.
    There are the adapters you need:Shimano F203P/PM Disc Brake Adaptor | Jenson USA

    For the Mismatch adapters I used the SRAM one for my Reverb (since it's SRAM) and the Shimano one for the my brake/shifter (since it's Shimano). It should be easy to track down what you need knowing that. The only frustrating part is the only sell the Mismatch adapters in pairs and as it is I have 2 extra SRAM adapters for the right side. Let me know if you could use one!

    Evan

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Yea, I got in touch with Santa Cruz initially when the hub blew and although NOvatec was quick to respond and get me up and running with replacement parts I am in the discussion with Santa Cruz. I am actually a fractional owner of a bike shop with my buddy (who is the main owner and operator) and he maintains a strong relationship with SC and I think one of the guys in the warranty department discovered this about me and it getting me into the system so I might have some options to upgrade my hub/wheel if I want. Curious to see what specific options and prices are. When I talked my business partner he said his pricing for SC Reserve wheels on i9s was $1,2XX, although that is where I would like to end up I might just get an i9 laced to the E13 TRS+ rim as it should be a very small amount of money out of pocket given the warranty issue. We will see.

    I have a set of Huck Norris inserts installed but to be honest I don't really run my tires low enough where rocks can blow through the tire and hit the rim, I usually run a higher pressure to maintain cornering stability (270 gear up with some body English).

    Evan
    Lucky guy...I'm jealous. I got my bike shop to match Competitive Cyclist's deal on Reserve 30s for around $1279 with the DT350s

    So that price with i9's makes me extremely jealous.

    Just go with the Reserves man. Sell off the other wheels to recoup the cost. You'll have peace of mind, quality parts, and a warranty to back you.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by forealz View Post
    Lucky guy...I'm jealous. I got my bike shop to match Competitive Cyclist's deal on Reserve 30s for around $1279 with the DT350s

    So that price with i9's makes me extremely jealous.

    Just go with the Reserves man. Sell off the other wheels to recoup the cost. You'll have peace of mind, quality parts, and a warranty to back you.
    Yea, I am supposed to hear from Santa Cruz this evening with options and pricing. I isn't clear if it will be just for upgrading the rear hub on my current wheel or if it will be a complete spread on pricing for all wheels builds and components.

    Either way I am very interested because I already blew up my replacement hub, it only took about 25 miles this time and I blew out the material for all 3 pawls. :|

    I didn't ride for 4 days so the "fresh legs" got it.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0420.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0432.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0426.jpg

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    Holy cow, man. You need a T-shirt that says "I eat freehubs for breakfast!"

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    Holy cow, man. You need a T-shirt that says "I eat freehubs for breakfast!"
    They are delicious!

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