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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.

  23. #23
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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 
Views:	158 
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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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    2016 Fuse Pro (29er)

  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.

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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.
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  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.
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  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)
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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.

  38. #38
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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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    Big Update/ Photodump from the last 6 weeks, here we go.

    After blowing up 2 freehubs in a pretty efficient manner Novatec sent me a different freehub which had different a different pawl design (smaller) and a different engagement ring with more teeth. POE jumps from 84 to 120 and the thought is with less dead space to preload crank force into the pawls when I get on the gas the chances of the pawls and freehub surviving is better. Per my request the sent me an additional hub and ring so I could repair my wheel immediately in the off chance I had more success destroying bike parts.

    I am happy to report the higher engagement has been a success so far.

    LEFT: 84poe RIGHT: 120poe
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0600.jpg
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0601.jpg

    Some snaps from a trip to Lake Havasu, AZ. Awesome terrain.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0646.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0679.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0681.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0683.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0695.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0696.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0697.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0647.jpg

    Huck Norris is mortal.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0654.jpg

    It was time to replace my Fizik Gobi, went with a Ergon SMC4 Sport Gel. So far so good.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0641.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_1003.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_1005.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_1004.jpg

    After dicking around with a cageless Fabric water bottle (didn't fit) and then getting a WolfTooth adapter rail which was recommended to me someone on this forum, I still wasn't' finding success in a sleek water bottle setup so I took a more traditional approach and just got a regular one. Naturally I had to get the Storm Trooper bottle.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_e1146.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_1142.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_1143.jpg

    Here are some random pics of my locals trails in San Diego. Pretty mellow but there are some interesting sections and I am always finding new trails which keeps it interesting.

    Cheers,
    Evan
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_1073.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0416.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0276.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0273.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0275.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0278.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_0043.jpg

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    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. 

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    This look is so fricking clean bro! I hope I can get mine this dialed in and clean...I'm good everywhere else but here! LOL
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    How are you liking the DPX2 and the Fox 36 combo? I'm a little lighter than you, 260 geared up, and seriously considering going to coil front and rear. My Bronson is a '17 and I still haven't gotten my Pike and Monarch Plus sorted after 2 months of riding. Do you have a hard time getting pressures dialed in?
    I wouldn't **** you, you're my favorite turd.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    How are you liking the DPX2 and the Fox 36 combo? I'm a little lighter than you, 260 geared up, and seriously considering going to coil front and rear. My Bronson is a '17 and I still haven't gotten my Pike and Monarch Plus sorted after 2 months of riding. Do you have a hard time getting pressures dialed in?
    Dude...coil at your weight and you can't go wrong...Pike/Debonair combo on my Nomad and I finally got it dialed with a couple tokens in the fork and some volume spacers in the rear...but small bump was still bone-shaking...good for pretty much everything else. On my HTLT i just went straight coil front and rear with PUSH, but even if you went a different direction I think the weight penalty is worth the performance (IMO). Couple of guys I know have Fox rear coil and then PUSH ACS-3 for the fork on the HTLT and they both love it and are very good riders...if that makes any difference.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    How are you liking the DPX2 and the Fox 36 combo? I'm a little lighter than you, 260 geared up, and seriously considering going to coil front and rear. My Bronson is a '17 and I still haven't gotten my Pike and Monarch Plus sorted after 2 months of riding. Do you have a hard time getting pressures dialed in?
    I am liking it but I don't have lots of experience on modern bikes setup for my size/weight/style. Before getting the HTLT I demoed a handful of modern Santa Cruzes but saddle time was limited poking around the Santa Cruz mountains and my last full suspension bike was a Banshee Scream with a 5th Element in the rear and a Monster T up front. After getting the HTLT suspension initially setup with proper sag and baseline settings I felt it was much firmer than I was expecting, it felt like I had absolutely zero high speed compression and I was feeling all the little bumps coming through the handle bars, not sure if this is just the way modern suspension is now or if it's a byproduct of the air suspension being pumped up so much to support my weight, I would guess a combo but predominantly the latter.

    I played with the suspension a bit, removing a volume spacer in the fork and upping preload in the rear, I also made rebound slightly faster on both. Fox recommends cranking down the rebound (slower) as preload psi goes up to where I am on click away from full slow at my ~340psi in the rear shock, that seemed excessive and I like a playful bike with a faster rebound so I brought it back 2 clicks on each component. I am about 115psi on the fork (120 is max) and ~330psi on the DPX2 (350 max).

    Also, before taking delivery of my bike I had FOX retune the 36 I was told they were tuning it for my weight but in actuality what they did is add the tune from the previous VC49 tune found in the previous generation, the new 2017/18 forks have "E18" which is supposed to help with small bump sensitivity. I felt a little mislead as I was hoping they would do a more substantial revalve where I could use normal pressures, instead I paid extra to get a "firm" tune so my 36 is presumably rides taller and harsher than stock. I do have my E18 shim stacks so I can always reinstall them.

    Currently I em enjoying the bike and I honestly don't think about the suspension much while out riding which I think is a good thing, it just seems to work. However I do seem to have a tuning conflict with getting the recommended sag and bottom out resistance. The terrain I ride is pretty mellow for my standards and there are only a few larger hits that can get towards the end of the suspension. I have, not my knowledge, never bottomed out which is great big picture but I with the normal trails I ride only use about 80% of the travel which seems to be less than ideal as there is more to use without bottoming out. My predicament is lowering preload may allow more complete suspension use but will drop me out of the recommended sag setting. Removing a volume spacer but keeping preload the same will directly allow use of more travel but might also introduce bottoming out. My plan is to rent a shock-wiz to see what it says.

    Being near the very end of what the air fork/shock can support does seem to present some limitations and I don't know that any combo of preload, spacers, and adjustments will get the suspension to perform as good as it can and how many other "normal" sized riders can enjoy it. That being said I am enjoying the suspension as-is and will probably play around a bit more to see if it can be improved for my needs. I have come overlooked the harshness presented but what I consider the lack of high speed compression suppleness being both that the suspension is air and I have it pumped to the gills with pressure. My other bike is a beastly hardtail so the I view this "harshness" in a positive light as trail feedback similar to what a hardtail would offer but not as extreme and in this regard I like the air and the feedback it gives, when this is combined with the playfulness and big hit absorbing capabilities it is an appealing combo. Personally the snappy and communicative ride, even if it can seem harsh at times, I prefer over the "I rode over that and didn't feel anything" magic carpet ride.
    Then again I haven't ridden a modern coil but I know that characteristic is usually referred to as the one strength they have over air.

    Also for pumping up the DPX2 I originally had a Fox shock pump but it topped out at 300psi so I would go beyond the gauge markings and guess what psi I was at, there was ~15psi lost when removing the pump so it wasn't very accurate. Now I have a Rockshox 600psi capable pump, it still looses about 10psi when removing the pump but I have tested and it is consistent so I just over inflate by 10 psi but it is a lot easier to reach the 300-350 pressures than with the little Fox.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lowball View Post
    Dude...coil at your weight and you can't go wrong...Pike/Debonair combo on my Nomad and I finally got it dialed with a couple tokens in the fork and some volume spacers in the rear...but small bump was still bone-shaking...good for pretty much everything else. On my HTLT i just went straight coil front and rear with PUSH, but even if you went a different direction I think the weight penalty is worth the performance (IMO). Couple of guys I know have Fox rear coil and then PUSH ACS-3 for the fork on the HTLT and they both love it and are very good riders...if that makes any difference.
    How much do you weigh geard up?

    Evan

  50. #50
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    I don't weight as much as you but I have a lot of experience tuning suspensions.
    With an air spring at your weight you are probably not getting enough sag. This will make the suspension harsh.
    I would reduce air pressure until you have 25-30% sag.
    Now you need to check that you are not bottoming out on good sized hits. If you are using too much travel add spacers and reduce PSI. Big guys almost always need to add spacers.
    As far as the fox tunes go you are much better off with the stiffer tune. It basically only shifts the first 4-5 clicks of LSC. I doubt you are all the way open and it actually gives you a bigger usable top range.

    Rebound I would run more than you think you need. At your weight you will almost be maxed out.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    .


    How much do you weigh geard up?

    Evan
    Evan...I'm about 225 geared up...so Clydesdale, but not to bad LOL...but the coil I had on my old ver1.5 nomad was so much better then the N3 setup i'd been running the past 3 yrs...but the volume spacers helped for sure.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    I don't weight as much as you but I have a lot of experience tuning suspensions.
    With an air spring at your weight you are probably not getting enough sag. This will make the suspension harsh.
    I would reduce air pressure until you have 25-30% sag.
    Now you need to check that you are not bottoming out on good sized hits. If you are using too much travel add spacers and reduce PSI. Big guys almost always need to add spacers.
    As far as the fox tunes go you are much better off with the stiffer tune. It basically only shifts the first 4-5 clicks of LSC. I doubt you are all the way open and it actually gives you a bigger usable top range.

    Rebound I would run more than you think you need. At your weight you will almost be maxed out.
    Thanks for the info.

    I will have to double check my sag but I am pretty sure I am around the recommended sag, ~20% on the 36 and 30% on the rear and this is with 115psi F and 340psi R.

    If I am at those sag levels would you still recommend dropping pressure?

    IIRC I currently have the light blue vol spacer in the rear (as installed by Fox for my setup) but I have 2 larger reducers I can use, just never noticed bottoming to this point.
    Fox 36 came with 3 reducers installed via Fox but I took one out a while back.

  53. #53
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    I would try less pressure in your fork and see how you like it. If it feels better,but you are using all your travel add a spacer and drop 1 or so psi.
    Suspension is a system and lowering your fork psi will decrease your rear sag. I like to bounce my bike with my weight centered and measure how deep both ends went. They should be close percentage wise. If your fork is 50% and your shock is 70% I would try to balance them closer.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    Now that my 120poe Novatec hub is holding up my E13 TRS cassette is wearing quickly from pedaling forces. After some discussion with E13 we arrived at the conclusion that the their cassette "isn't built for me." They have offered great support resolving my cassette issues but it is time to find a more durable cassette. I picked up a SRAM GX cassette and a new PC-X1 chain in hopes that the 100% steel cogs will fare better.

    Other mods include swapping the Huck Norris inserts for Cushcores and replacing my metallic front brake pads for resin. I am pretty sure my front pads were mildly contaminated since they could barely lock up the front wheel under load. Once they were removed I was surprised at how worn they were. I cleaned and sanded down the rotors to offer a fresh bedding surface. I am also hoping the resin helps improve the modulation.

    Although I did suffer a pinch flat with the Huck Norris inserts it might have been in part to the dangerously low pressure I was running at the time on the sharp-like-glass rocks in Arizona. For me making the switch to Cushcore is less about flat protection as it is the lateral tire support. The Cushcores are essentially sway bars for the tire which will be a welcomed enhancement. As I get settled into the bike and progress my cornering abilities I am noticing I keep upping the tire pressure to keep the tire from folding. Looking forward to how these work out.

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    Installing the Cushcores wasn't as bad as some people made it out to be, but I also have a lot of experience replacing DH tires on old school DH rims (think Arrow DHX) which requires huge metal levers, your foot, and swearing so cushcores were a relative cakewalk once you figure out the technique.

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    Here are some random riding pics!
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    I want to say thanks for putting this thread out there as an information source for large men.

    I have a friend who played football in college and coaches high school now. He still hits the gym hard and has been destroying Novatec hubs as well. He sent Novatec this thread and they recognized your case and agreed that the better hub internals would benefit my friend. We are heading to Moab next week to test the results!

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    Oh, and that's good to know on the E13 cassette. It has been on my radar and I've wondered what the durability would be like.

    I have usually used Shimano cassettes but eventually they all fail in a similar manner. The XT cassettes have most of the low range gears on two aluminum spiders. Eventually, the rivets holding the gears to the spiders begin to get loose and creak like crazy. After a time in this condition one of the aluminum spiders will actually break and the cassette is done.

    The SRAM XX1 11 speed cassette on one of my bikes has been the first bulletproof solution I have found. No creaks, no breaks.

    I am trying an 11-50 11 speed Sunrace cassette on the other bike. It is a spider design like the Shimano cassettes and I expect an eventual similar demise. After that I will convert to SRAM 12 speed so I am interested in your experience with the GX cassette. The GX involves rivets but there are many more than the Shimano cassettes and the gears are steel with no soft aluminum involved other than the big cog.

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    Santa Cruz quite shipping these bikes with Novatec hubs. Mine (S build) came with DT Swiss 370s.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Santa Cruz quite shipping these bikes with Novatec hubs. Mine (S build) came with DT Swiss 370s.
    Bummer for Novatec! Assuming my hub continues to work I am glad I got the Novatec (plus upgraded to 120poe) vs the DT Swiss since the slower engagement would drive me nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    Oh, and that's good to know on the E13 cassette. It has been on my radar and I've wondered what the durability would be like.

    I have usually used Shimano cassettes but eventually they all fail in a similar manner. The XT cassettes have most of the low range gears on two aluminum spiders. Eventually, the rivets holding the gears to the spiders begin to get loose and creak like crazy. After a time in this condition one of the aluminum spiders will actually break and the cassette is done.

    The SRAM XX1 11 speed cassette on one of my bikes has been the first bulletproof solution I have found. No creaks, no breaks.

    I am trying an 11-50 11 speed Sunrace cassette on the other bike. It is a spider design like the Shimano cassettes and I expect an eventual similar demise. After that I will convert to SRAM 12 speed so I am interested in your experience with the GX cassette. The GX involves rivets but there are many more than the Shimano cassettes and the gears are steel with no soft aluminum involved other than the big cog.

    I never realized the XX1 was mainly machined from one piece of chromoly, probably since I never considered paying $300 for a cassette. Good to know though but hopefully this GX proves to be a workhorse, with so many pins there are so many locations for play to develop but time will tell, only about 80 miles on it so far.

    The bike just got a bath so I got to get a good look at the cassette.
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    Surprised you switched from metallic pads to resin... I've been thinking of going metallic on my Guide RSCs.

    Also, with cushcore are you running tubeless?

    I'm running tubeless on my Reserve 30s and I still run about 37-40 psi in the rear and 35-37 psi in the front.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by forealz View Post
    Surprised you switched from metallic pads to resin... I've been thinking of going metallic on my Guide RSCs.

    Also, with cushcore are you running tubeless?

    I'm running tubeless on my Reserve 30s and I still run about 37-40 psi in the rear and 35-37 psi in the front.
    Yes, Cushcores + tubeless. You would have to modify the insert and have a crazy long valve stem to even attempt fitting a tube which I wouldn't recommend.

    From what I gathered the resin has better modulation but wears faster. Metallics have a strong bite and perform well in a variety of conditions. My priority was better modulation on my Shimano XT brakes. Next step will be upgrading the caliper to 4 piston Zee, Saint, or XT 8020. In general I like the "right now" response of the XTs but even after a few months of riding I still find myself not 100% dialed in with brake control so if I can gain a little modulation it will go a long way.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Yes, Cushcores + tubeless. You would have to modify the insert and have a crazy long valve stem to even attempt fitting a tube which I wouldn't recommend.

    From what I gathered the resin has better modulation but wears faster. Metallics have a strong bite and perform well in a variety of conditions. My priority was better modulation on my Shimano XT brakes. Next step will be upgrading the caliper to 4 piston Zee, Saint, or XT 8020. In general I like the "right now" response of the XTs but even after a few months of riding I still find myself not 100% dialed in with brake control so if I can gain a little modulation it will go a long way.
    yeah you definitely need 4 pistons

  62. #62
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    Got the bike all cleaned up and pretty but that didn't last long.

    Snuck in a early weekend ride before the rain came through San Diego. First time riding Black Mountain Open Space which has some fun trails, some rolling loops with sprinkled technical sections and a few chunkier DH oriented trails you can lap with an easy fire road climb back up.

    I ran the tires with my usual 30F/32R pressure but with the new Cushcore inserts. Tires felt more "solid" over rough stuff, presumably from the dampening effects. I will play around with some lower pressures in the future.

    I suffered a mysterious tire laceration while cruising down a smooth part of singletrack; there was no impact so I just assume I ran over a razor sharp rock at the right angle. It was at the end of my ride so instead of dealing with removing the C-Core and installing a tube I decided to end the outing with a "trail run." I didn't have any tire plugs, lesson learned, have some ordered now.

    This is the 2nd cut in my Minion DHR II and the 3C tread is showing considerable wear so I decided to replace the tire, with my size/weight/power the 3C wears pretty quickly so instead of moving the other DHR II front the front to the rear I decided to get a a pair of new tires.

    29x2.5 WT Dual Compound Maxxis DHF front and rear!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post

    This is the 2nd cut in my Minion DHR II and the 3C tread is showing considerable wear so I decided to replace the tire, with my size/weight/power the 3C wears pretty quickly so instead of moving the other DHR II front the front to the rear I decided to get a a pair of new tires.

    29x2.5 WT Dual Compound Maxxis DHF front and rear!
    I've been rocking dual compound for a while with my DHF AND DHR II combo. Definitely not as grippy, but definitely tough. I think it's lighter weight too

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by forealz View Post
    I've been rocking dual compound for a while with my DHF AND DHR II combo. Definitely not as grippy, but definitely tough. I think it's lighter weight too
    Although more grip is always appreciated I think my predominantly dry, lose, rocky conditions allow me to get away with a harder compound compared to say a wetter slippery environment, tread pattern seems to be more critical.

    My DHR II up front is showing reasonable durability so if the DHF DC up front leaves me wanting something more I can replace it with a 3C.

    I am excited to try he DHF as well. Believe it or not I have never ridden one and from the descriptions + my very pleasant experience with the DHR II the DHF should be about perfect for my style and terrain. \M/

  65. #65
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    New tires and plugs arrived just in time to replace the rear tire, make the bike rideable, and squeeze in an afternoon ride with the boys. We beat the rain for most of the ride but it caught up to us in the end.

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  66. #66
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    I use the One up pump and have integrated a Dyna-plug into it. Haven't had to use it luckily.
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    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    Just wanted to chime in with my recent hub experience. Great thread, by the way!

    I'm 6'3" and run about 300lbs geared up. I have a XXL HTLT S build that came with the Novatec hubs. At 185 miles on the bike, the rear hub blew up, somehow resulting in a couple of bent gears on my GX cassette. Mike's Bikes handled everything through Santa Cruz free of charge and I didn't have to do a thing, which was awesome. After a short delay caused by SC shipping the wrong parts the first time, I ended up with an entire new rear wheel with a DT 370 hub, and a brand new GX cassette. I get to pick it up tomorrow.

    Other than the hub, I have nothing but love for this bike! It has changed the way I ride, but that's probably to be expected considering my last bike was a Specialized Crave lol. Like others have found, the Hightower LT seems to be able to handle some serious clyde power. I've had the same suspension issues as ucsbwsr, but since I'm used to the hardtail, the firmness off the top caused by the pumped-to-the-limit rear shock doesn't bother me at all. Before I bought the bike I was more concerned with bottoming out, but that hasn't been an issue. The LT is stiff AF, stable, and fast...freaking awesome.

  68. #68
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    I gave the bike a thorough once-over and cleaned/regreased the rear linkage to resolve some creaking I was experiencing under hard acceleration. I didn't have a grease gun or any of the very sticky grease which came on the bike so I used some Phil's for the time being and plan on investing in some more suitable grease and a grease gun.

    The downside of the sticky grease is it attracts dirt. Someone needs to design a grease which is hydro and dirt phobic on the outside!
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    I have ~100 miles on the new SRAM GX cassette and PCX1 chain, so far so good. Shifting isn't as flawless as it was initially but performs well with only small hiccups from time to time. The cassette has been rock solid in terms of creaking or emitting any noises with it's many metal pins.
    There is some slight wear forming on some teeth but there has been zero noticeable degradation in performance.
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    Last edited by ucsbwsr; 04-19-2018 at 10:01 AM.

  69. #69
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    Went out to Lake Havasu, Arizona for the holiday weekend and rode Sara Park again. The trails are awesome there. Lots of loose rocky tech. Fun stuff.

    Originally we were going to drive my girlfriend's Prius so the HTLT has the wheels, pedals, and saddle removed to fit better. We ended up taking my wagon with racks so when installing the seat I left in slammed and the angle in "DH" mode, the bike looks pretty mean in in this setup!
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    Here are some pics from "Recycle" and "Water Bottle" in Sara Park:
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  70. #70
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    Went out to Lake Havasu, Arizona for the holiday weekend and rode Sara Park again. The trails are awesome there. Lots of loose rocky tech. Fun stuff.

    Originally we were going to drive my girlfriend's Prius so the HTLT has the wheels, pedals, and saddle removed to fit better. We ended up taking my wagon with racks so when installing the seat I left in slammed and the angle in "DH" mode, the bike looks pretty mean in in this setup!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here are some pics from "Recycle" and "Water Bottle" in Sara Park:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You have to transfer from a loose creek bed up onto off camber rock and ride under the tree.
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    Techy little climb with high consequences for falling to the right. Took me x2 but I cleared it.
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    Off camber rock
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    Drop made with a metal chute
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  71. #71
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    Those poor hubs never had a chance... does this mean some reserve 30s? How you liking the new tires?

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    Quote Originally Posted by forealz View Post
    Those poor hubs never had a chance... does this mean some reserve 30s? How you liking the new tires?
    Not yet, Reserve 30s laced to i9s with a steel freehub seem like a great fit for me. I will be selling this HTLT at the end of the summer to get into a 2018 so if I play my cards right I might try to incorporate the wheel upgrade into the new bike. Aside from the accumulating wear on the rear hub it has been performing flawlessly so no real complaints about the function of the unit.

    As for tires. I put the 2.5 DHF DC on the rear and left the DHR II 3C up front. For me it is hard to notice the difference in the compound out back since the terrain here is so loose and rocky, I have also been playing around with tire pressures and raising them up to 31F/35R to help the sidewalls during hard cornering but am noticing the lack of grip at higher PSI. The DHF is wearing noticeably slower than the 3C DHR which is nice to see (and a big concern for me since with my power/weight/riding style it gets old blowing through $90 tires).

    I have noticed my tires are "sweating" sealant from random areas on the sidewall as well as areas where there is a crease or raised lettering. I did some research and it looks like this happens on Maxxis tires with Stan's sealant. Odd considering that has to be one of the most frequently used combinations if not THE most common. The sweating disperses fractional amounts of sealant but over time I am sure it adds up and will need to be topped off so not a huge concern but rather annoying and odd.

    Once my front DHR II gets chewed down more I will throw on the other DHF DC I have on the shelf, I am curious to see if I notice a big difference in the harder compound up front. Time will tell.

    Evan

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Not yet, Reserve 30s laced to i9s with a steel freehub seem like a great fit for me. I will be selling this HTLT at the end of the summer to get into a 2018 so if I play my cards right I might try to incorporate the wheel upgrade into the new bike. Aside from the accumulating wear on the rear hub it has been performing flawlessly so no real complaints about the function of the unit.

    As for tires. I put the 2.5 DHF DC on the rear and left the DHR II 3C up front. For me it is hard to notice the difference in the compound out back since the terrain here is so loose and rocky, I have also been playing around with tire pressures and raising them up to 31F/35R to help the sidewalls during hard cornering but am noticing the lack of grip at higher PSI. The DHF is wearing noticeably slower than the 3C DHR which is nice to see (and a big concern for me since with my power/weight/riding style it gets old blowing through $90 tires).

    I have noticed my tires are "sweating" sealant from random areas on the sidewall as well as areas where there is a crease or raised lettering. I did some research and it looks like this happens on Maxxis tires with Stan's sealant. Odd considering that has to be one of the most frequently used combinations if not THE most common. The sweating disperses fractional amounts of sealant but over time I am sure it adds up and will need to be topped off so not a huge concern but rather annoying and odd.

    Once my front DHR II gets chewed down more I will throw on the other DHF DC I have on the shelf, I am curious to see if I notice a big difference in the harder compound up front. Time will tell.

    Evan
    I get the same thing on my DHF in the rear of my Bronson. I found that after about 6 months and 175 miles the rear wasn't sealing a couple pin holes I had in the tread area. I added 2 oz of Stans and it has been fine since. In light of what you said about Stan's and Maxxis tires, I will probably switch out to Orange or ASB when it's time to refresh again.
    I wouldn't **** you, you're my favorite turd.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Not yet, Reserve 30s laced to i9s with a steel freehub seem like a great fit for me. I will be selling this HTLT at the end of the summer to get into a 2018 so if I play my cards right I might try to incorporate the wheel upgrade into the new bike. Aside from the accumulating wear on the rear hub it has been performing flawlessly so no real complaints about the function of the unit.
    Isn't this bike a 2018 already??? So is this HTLT not to your liking exactly or just like getting a new frame/bike every year?

    Did you see that clip of Reggie Miller on that XXL Tallboy? That's a tall dude!
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowball View Post
    Isn't this bike a 2018 already??? So is this HTLT not to your liking exactly or just like getting a new frame/bike every year?

    Did you see that clip of Reggie Miller on that XXL Tallboy? That's a tall dude!
    I am a fractional owner of a bike shop with my buddy from college so I have the ability to get wholesale pricing since we carry Santa Cruz. I love this bike, love the size, love the color and would have no problems keeping it for a long time. My only grips are mainly with the seatpost angle which makes me feel very compromised on steeper climbs. Fingers crossed they address this in a couple years or maybe offer a Nomad in XXL.

    My buddy stresses to importance of not getting attached to the bikes, if I "ride em and leave em" I should be able to get a fresh bike every year. Weird concept for me since I am still in the honeymoon stage with the HTLT but he is right. So we will see if I can keep my emotions under control. lol

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    I am a fractional owner of a bike shop with my buddy from college so I have the ability to get wholesale pricing since we carry Santa Cruz. I love this bike, love the size, love the color and would have no problems keeping it for a long time. My only grips are mainly with the seatpost angle which makes me feel very compromised on steeper climbs. Fingers crossed they address this in a couple years or maybe offer a Nomad in XXL.

    My buddy stresses to importance of not getting attached to the bikes, if I "ride em and leave em" I should be able to get a fresh bike every year. Weird concept for me since I am still in the honeymoon stage with the HTLT but he is right. So we will see if I can keep my emotions under control. lol
    Got it, that makes sense but you're still spending money! LOL

    But I'm sure the cost is not huge based on sell the old one at a good price still and then get a good price on the new one too! Sounds like a good program! LOL
    Last edited by Lowball; 04-13-2018 at 02:47 PM. Reason: sp correction
    10 TransAM SS
    S-Works M2
    Nomad3cc xx1 - Sold
    Hightower LT - 2018 LG

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    Not yet, Reserve 30s laced to i9s with a steel freehub seem like a great fit for me. I will be selling this HTLT at the end of the summer to get into a 2018 so if I play my cards right I might try to incorporate the wheel upgrade into the new bike. Aside from the accumulating wear on the rear hub it has been performing flawlessly so no real complaints about the function of the unit.

    As for tires. I put the 2.5 DHF DC on the rear and left the DHR II 3C up front. For me it is hard to notice the difference in the compound out back since the terrain here is so loose and rocky, I have also been playing around with tire pressures and raising them up to 31F/35R to help the sidewalls during hard cornering but am noticing the lack of grip at higher PSI. The DHF is wearing noticeably slower than the 3C DHR which is nice to see (and a big concern for me since with my power/weight/riding style it gets old blowing through $90 tires).

    I have noticed my tires are "sweating" sealant from random areas on the sidewall as well as areas where there is a crease or raised lettering. I did some research and it looks like this happens on Maxxis tires with Stan's sealant. Odd considering that has to be one of the most frequently used combinations if not THE most common. The sweating disperses fractional amounts of sealant but over time I am sure it adds up and will need to be topped off so not a huge concern but rather annoying and odd.

    Once my front DHR II gets chewed down more I will throw on the other DHF DC I have on the shelf, I am curious to see if I notice a big difference in the harder compound up front. Time will tell.

    Evan
    I thought you mentioned previously SC was going to give you the hookup because you kept breaking the hubs, but yeah I'm very curious how the reserves work for you. So far they have been great for me.

    I really like my DC tires they definitely last.

    I recently switched from Stan's to the new Finishline sealant, giving it a try. Never experienced the weeping you mention though.

    I am surprised you were able to fit the 2.5 dhf on the rear...i may have to try that...

    Don't give up the LT already! it's a 2018!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowball View Post
    Got it, that makes sense but you're still pending money! LOL

    But I'm sure the cost is not huge based on sell the old one at a good price still and then get a good price on the new one too! Sounds like a good program! LOL
    Yeah, i think we've all established Evan is a beast in more ways that one haha

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowball View Post
    Got it, that makes sense but you're still spending money! LOL
    It all comes down to what I can get for the bike. I don't doubt there will be some out of pocket expense when it comes time to "upgrade" given I have made some small modifications and sometimes it can be hard to find the right buyer but the way I see it if I play my cards right the out of pocket amount SHOULD be minimal and if someone said to you, "you can have a brand new bike every year for $200." Seems like a nice deal! We will see how it plays out. I should probably start letting all the clydesdales out there know about my future plans to sell.

    Quote Originally Posted by forealz View Post
    I thought you mentioned previously SC was going to give you the hookup because you kept breaking the hubs, but yeah I'm very curious how the reserves work for you. So far they have been great for me.

    I am surprised you were able to fit the 2.5 dhf on the rear...i may have to try that...
    Yea, they offered some replacement wheels for a great price, they were i9 hubs laced to the same E13 rims. I still might go through with that but hard to spend more money when what I have is working fine (although a bit overwhelmed with my use). It would be a nice peace of mind to have another set of wheels as a backup.

    I am sure reserve wheels would be excellent in many ways (less weight and warranty) but that being said the E13 rims have been great, aside from a few sessions re-truing the rear they have been drama free.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    It all comes down to what I can get for the bike. I don't doubt there will be some out of pocket expense when it comes time to "upgrade" given I have made some small modifications and sometimes it can be hard to find the right buyer but the way I see it if I play my cards right the out of pocket amount SHOULD be minimal and if someone said to you, "you can have a brand new bike every year for $200." Seems like a nice deal! We will see how it plays out. I should probably start letting all the clydesdales out there know about my future plans to sell.
    aaaaaaaaahhhh...hell yes! LOL - yeah that's the game anyway...or how I have to do it anyway...buy, sell, upgrade, spend some money! All good! LOL
    10 TransAM SS
    S-Works M2
    Nomad3cc xx1 - Sold
    Hightower LT - 2018 LG

  80. #80
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    AAAAAAAAALLLLLLLMOST THERE....


    Wagon!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2413.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2412.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2417.jpg

  81. #81
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    Rode Elfin Forest last weekend and noticed cranks were a bit wonky on the ride down "The Way Up." I noticed my preload collar had been split apart where the screw head sits. I chalked this up as possibly me overtightening it but I am pretty aware of torque values while working on bikes/cars.

    Under closer inspection it turns out the collar was compromised due to the drive-side BB cup snapping. Thankfully no damage to the spindle, frame, or anything but the BB cup and I was able to easily remove the threads from the frame.

    More research on the internet informs me that this is a byproduct of stuffing a 30mm diameter spindle through the bottom bracket. With the old standard (current for many like Shimano) being 24mm it seems like 30mm is really pushing it with not leaving much thickness for the threaded BB cups. Steel cups would probably help a lot of consider the small amount of material used, probably not implement much weight penalty.

    As it is I have a new RaceFace BSA 30 BB on the way.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2475.jpg


    Here are some pics from Elfin. Tough tecky climbs going up "The Way Up" I made it up some sections but had to hike many, there isn't much traction with the powder like dirt dusting all the rocks ... I am sure my below average climbing skills didn't help.

    Scenic views once up top Equine Incline and Lake Hodges Overlook are fun, I rode both C-Clockwise. Coming down The Way Up was the real fun with tight switchbacks and some technical rock gardens. The rocky stuff reminded me of a PG version of what I would ride in Santa Barbara so I was right at home. Definitely avoid weekends if you can, hikers can really kill the flow!

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2456.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2457.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_e2470.jpg

  82. #82
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    Replacement RF BSA 30 BB arrived. I added a 28T chainring to the order to give it a shot in place of the 30T that came stock. I don't hit massive jumps where I need to be pinned to clear it so sacrificing this for the added climbing ability is something I am happy to do. I went with the steel chainring, although it is ~x4 as heavy as the aluminum variant it is also ~x4 cheaper so it's great for experimenting. The durability of steel is also a nice feature but doesn't seem to be as critical for the front chainring.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2498.jpg

    Old vs New!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2499.jpg

    Took the opportunity to deep clean the chain
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2496.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2497.jpg

    BB Installed
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2500.jpg

    All back together
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2502.jpg


    I logged ~16 miles and 2,000ft with the new 28T ring where I rode some of the tougher (for me) climbs on my local trails and also some of the steeper descents. Although the difference climbing on 28T vs 30T was subtle it was noticeable and welcomed. On one DH run I found myself out of gears when sprinting but I much prefer this than continually probing the shifter with my thumb on climbs to only remind myself I am already in my lowest gear. So far so good I suppose!

    Here is the ride:
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1533915823

    Cheers,
    Evan

  83. #83
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    Hey Evan, been following for a bit now. Im curious how much clearance you have between the chain and chainstay protector now with the new 28 cr when you are in the highest gear? Thinking about a 30 tooth oval but it is dimensionally the same as a 28 tooth in the dead zone and i dont want it to dip into the protector. Im using an XX1 10-42.

    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nismomike View Post
    Hey Evan, been following for a bit now. Im curious how much clearance you have between the chain and chainstay protector now with the new 28 cr when you are in the highest gear? Thinking about a 30 tooth oval but it is dimensionally the same as a 28 tooth in the dead zone and i dont want it to dip into the protector. Im using an XX1 10-42.
    Sure thing. Here are some pics.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2520.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2521.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2522.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2523.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2524.jpg  


  85. #85
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    Awesome thank you! Have you noticed any difference in pedal kick-back with the smaller chainring?

    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nismomike View Post
    Awesome thank you! Have you noticed any difference in pedal kick-back with the smaller chainring?
    No problem. Regarding the pedal kick back, I have not noticed any difference but then again, I haven't been paying attention specifically to that.

  87. #87
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    Through the warranty program at Santa Cruz I was able to get a great deal on a "replacement" wheel set which consisted of i9 hubs laced to E13 TRS+ rims. My current Novatec (120poe) + TRS+ combo is working just fine but I figured it was a nice opportunity to get a extra set of wheels, always nice to have a backup.

    Naturally after unboxing the first thing I do is spin the freehub and it sounded nothing like I was expecting, it sounded like it was packed with grease, which it was. Not sure exactly why SC did this but I ordered a tube of Dumonde Tech freehub oil which i9 recommends. I love loud hubs, I like the way they sound when freewheeling and the "noise" doubles as a safety feature to give hikers or other bikers a heads up on the trail.

    In addition to removing the grease in favor of some light freehub oil I am considering the upgrade to the steel freehub driver i9 offers. It is a bit pricey IMO but with how important wheel durability is to me I will probably go for it.

    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2525.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2529.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2530.jpg

    So much grease!
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2526.jpgHightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2527.jpg

  88. #88
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    Does a steel XD driver really make that much of a difference? I can see it making a difference on a Shimano, but not a SRAM.
    I wouldn't **** you, you're my favorite turd.

  89. #89
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    i9 Recommends Dumonde Tech freehub grease. Yours has the perfect amount and will get louder in short order.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by askibum02 View Post
    Does a steel XD driver really make that much of a difference? I can see it making a difference on a Shimano, but not a SRAM.
    For the majority of people, probably not but for the big/heavy/powerful riders, yes I believe so. I haven't ridden the i9 freehub yet but considering how I deform/break other freehubs it seems like a wise move. I called i9 to talk about it and they have a local ripper with a build similar to mine who has been running the steel freehub for a few seasons with zero issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    i9 Recommends Dumonde Tech freehub grease. Yours has the perfect amount and will get louder in short order.
    The service guide .pdf on their website states Dumonde Tech freehub OIL for the pawls. The internet tells me people have received loose recommendations on how to lube the freehub; dry, oil, grease, etc. so I am just off what the .pdf says.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucsbwsr View Post
    The service guide .pdf on their website states Dumonde Tech freehub OIL for the pawls. The internet tells me people have received loose recommendations on how to lube the freehub; dry, oil, grease, etc. so I am just off what the .pdf says.
    You are correct. When I talked with them last year they said they had switched to grease in all the new wheels and that depending on climate I could use either one. Oil would be better in very cold places and would give a loader sound.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  92. #92
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    Put the ol' girl on the scales, DH bike weight but that's OK since she is DH bike strong. Steel chainring, steel cassette, alloy handlebars, and cushcores all add up. #WorthIt
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2537.jpg

    Maxxis 2.5 DHF clearance on the rear.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_e2535.jpg

    Preventative Maintenance. Have a rebuild kit for the frame on had for when that time comes.
    Hightower LT Build Log:  Big Boy Bike!-img_2542.jpg

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