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  1. #1
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    Vintage Wheeler Ti hardtail

    There really is no information out there about this bike but I thought i would share...

    Recently I picked up this bare Ti frame for a great price from a friend on a whim, kind of blindly as there is really no information out there about these bikes. To the best of my knowledge it's a mid to late 90's frame. The frame weighed in at a feather 3.1#

    I initially built it up with all period correct xtr (950) /xt (739) parts with the first generation of race face forged cranks. fox f80 RLT fork, thomson seat post with crappy WTB saddle I had laying around and a set of wheels i borrowed from a friend. that ended up being over 25# and with the vintage crankset getting the chainline correct was becoming an absolute nightmare.

    Discouraged but not beated, i swapped out the raceface cranks for a set of LX hollowtech II cranks (which happened to be nearly 3/4 of a pound lighter), borrowed a different set of wheels from my 98 FSR (still ridiculously heavy but way lighter than the set of wheels i borrowed from a friend) I also popped on a bontrager x-lite Ti saddle I had in my garage. that got the weight down to 22.5#, solved the chainline issue and made it ready to be ridden.

    I have just finished building up a new wheelset for the bike (NOS mavic 217 SUP and XT 770 hubs) which will shave another ~ 1/2 from the bike.

    The results were phenomenal, very agile and compliant. I really didn't know what to expect going into the build, I half expected the wet noodle syndrome of the early Litespeed hardtails. We all were pleasantly surprised. Comparing this bike to my last hardtail (Gunnar Rockhound) I can definitely say it was a gamble that payed off big. Would take it in a heartbeat over my old hound, and I loved that bike.

    Here are a few photos of the bike
    Frame... it has very interesting dropouts sort of half shells at the end of the seat/chain stays



    partly built with RF cranks



    as it sits (muddy post 1st ride)




    Cheers!
    Last edited by markj2k4; 02-21-2010 at 02:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great looking bike and nice catch Mark! I have the same dropouts on my 2000 Moots YBB. They are defintely different then anything else I have seen on the market. I will see if I have any pictures of the dropouts on the computer.

    What size frame is it?

    Scott
    2011 Quiring 29er Steel Hardtail
    2009 Gt Peace 9'R SS
    2009 Surly Cross Check
    1997 GT Zaskar
    1985 Raleigh Elkhorn SS

  3. #3
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    Hey there Scott-

    That would be neat if you had pictures of the dropouts on your moots to see the similarities. If nearly identical I would imagine our dropouts are from the same manufacture.

    On the wheeler the frame size is 18", i should get a few other measurements (tt length, standover etc) of it when I get a chance.

  4. #4
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    Hi Mark,

    I was able to find an almost straight on drive side view of the dropout but you can make out the hood. There is an identical one on the other dropout as well. Have you hit any serious singletrack with it yet?

    2011 Quiring 29er Steel Hardtail
    2009 Gt Peace 9'R SS
    2009 Surly Cross Check
    1997 GT Zaskar
    1985 Raleigh Elkhorn SS

  5. #5
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    I can totally make out the shape of that dropout, It's nearly identical to the one on my wheeler. I'm a completely new to the Ti game, some poking around tells me that for Ti frames these breezer style dropouts are/were highly common. They definitely aren't something Ive seem on any other bike Ive owned.

    As far as saddle time, I have had it finished (late Jan) I've ridden about half a dozen times and about ~ 115 miles mostly on double and single track with some infrequent fire roads. I've been as confident or even more confident with this bike on technical stuff than I am with my normal rides (06 Kona Dawg Delux/98 FSR MAXbackbone).

    We just knocked out a 30 mile "epic" ride this past weekend which covered 2 mountains and 6200 feet of elevation gain, and the same amount of technical and steep elevation loss. It, while an exhausting ride was a very nice one.

    I actually plan on using this bike for a short route race series which kicks off in a few months that my friend talked me into. Admittedly I am a complete newb to XC racing so I am excited to see how it all pans out.

    I would be interested in finding someone locally who rides a Moots/Litespeed/Merlin etc. as a basis for comparison.

    -M

  6. #6
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    Added new (well second hand) carbon risers to replace the carbon flat bars last night... (save 40g and added comfort with the riser)

    Just finished building up a set of NOS mavic 217 SUP/770 xt wheelset and am intending on running a set of 127tpi panaracer fire xc (estimated 150g saving out of the wheelset and negligible weight with the tires)

    that should shave some more weight off the bike, and there still a lot of weight tied up in the race face stem and the granny gear on the crank (lx come with steel granny gears not Al)

  7. #7
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    Two months later....

    Bike is still going great. Transforming the bike into a single speed for the summer months is in the works, currently using it for a short course race series and it's performing very well even if I am not .

  8. #8
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    shes now a single speed, going on a maiden voyage tomorrow evening. because im a wuss we are going with a 32/18 gearing. I used a cheap forte single speed kit to convert, if all goes well ill build a new wheelset around a white industries eno hub.
    Last edited by markj2k4; 05-17-2010 at 06:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    She rides great as a single speed! Currently weighs in at 21# with pedals and a random 450mm seat post and old heavy seat. managed to get perfect chain tension without a tensioner (woohoo)! Very excited about the outcome, pretty fun to ride... will be the go-to bike when going out with the lady to learn some trials (she's still newish to mtb and rides cautiously)

    photos to follow soon!

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