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  1. #1
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    New Carbonal XC hardtail build

    Hey thought I would share the build process of my new bike. Hope it's in the right forum.
    It's a Carbonal SL hardtail frame. 1080 grams. I'm doing a semi-weight weenie build, and selected all the parts myself from deals scoured across the web.


    The frame is on its way here from Carbonal. I ordered it painted all white, since I'm tired of seeing all black carbon bikes, lol. Also ordered a headset, carbon seatpost, (white) carbon bars, and carbon rims all from Carbonal.

    Parts started arriving quickly, so I documented as much as I could while they're all clean and shiny new. The fork is a FOX F32 RLC, that was a take-off from a new bike.


    I wanted to run Sram XX grip-shift, and found good deals from various suppliers to piece the group together.


    I selected some weight weenie bling to add to the collection of parts.


    An FSA 386 carbon crankset, and Expedo Ti pedals.


    I found these superlight Mowa hubs on ebay, and thought I'd give em a try.


    Hygia SLP hydro brakes, alloy and ti bolts, Some Ritchey cockpit components, and I scored an awesome deal on this Selle Italia carbon rail saddle that really fits my tush well.





    I'll post up more progress pics as it happens!
    Last edited by turbogrover; 07-31-2013 at 07:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Rod
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    It looks great so far! It looks like it's going to be a light bike!
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  3. #3
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    Post the progress up in the weight weenie forum!

  4. #4
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    Thanks!
    Got the wheels assembled, but not trued up yet. They are superlight!
    I'm using DT revolution spokes/alloy nipples. Also going to have J&L Ti skewers.


  5. #5
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    Hey, my frame and parts showed up today!
    I'm going to start putting this thing together asap! What better way to spend a Friday evening, huh?


  6. #6
    wg
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    Nice.
    Don't harsh my mello

  7. #7
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    I like it. Where's the rest?

  8. #8
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    The frame has a BB30 bottom bracket. I'm not a fan, but it certainly is light. (I just don't like the way a BB30 is engineered.)
    The painter didn't do a good job of masking it off, so I had to clean it up before getting the BB installed.


    I should warn anyone considering tackling a custom build for the first time, that this is something I have plenty of experience with, and you might hit a lot of stumbling blocks along the way. For example, I got a great deal on the fork, (50% off) but it needed an adapter shim to fit the tapered headset. I just made one, and pressed it on myself. Also, I used a dial caliper to measure the BB before installing it, to get the correct fit, and I carefully pressed the bearings in place.


    I also scored an awesome deal on this brand new carbon crankset, but it was made for a standard English threaded BB, so I got this conversion BB from Origin8, that properly fit, and everything was good to go, and also saved a little weight.

  9. #9
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    Got it all built!


    It turned out very nice! Rides great, the BB area is super rigid, and the shifting is the best I've ever experienced.


    I had to use my everyday wheels to get it rolling. I have issues with my tire and rim choices. Apparently these rims don't have a deep center area for the bead to rest in while mounting the tire, so I couldn't get the Conti tires mounted. I also don't run tubeless, so my rim tape was also taking up some room in the center channel. I have yet to resolve that, and may have to run these rims tubeless.


  10. #10
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    The painter didn't do a good job of masking it off

  11. #11
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    I took my new ride out for its maiden voyage on Saturday, and it made a few things apparent. My previous ride was a 16" frame, and I wanted the longer TT of the 18", so that's what I ordered. My old fork was also a Fox F32, but it was an 80mm travel version. This frame has a taller headtube, and combined with the 100mm fork travel, I couldn't get the bars low enough for my preference. I have my Ritchey stem flipped at -6 degrees, and no spacers under it, and it's still about 2" higher than I'd like.


    Does anyone here know if I can lower the fork, by shortening the travel back to 80mm?
    I think if I can do that combined with a -10 degree stem, I could get it to sit a little closer to my liking.

  12. #12
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    I entered a local race today, to give the bike a real test. I gotta say it handles great, is an awesome climber, and is a perfect XC machine. On my warmup lap, the seatpost slipped down, and it started ghost shifting up a climb, but both were easily fixed. The brakes were perfect right out of the box, and for the price, I couldn't be happier if they were hundreds of dollars more.


    On to the race....I lined up at the back of the pack, and it was a long uphill start on grass. I left it in the big ring and made it up to front 15 or so riders by the time we entered the singletrack, and was happy that this bike seemed to fly uphill.
    About 2 miles into the singletrack, I felt the seat move. Damn! I stopped to give it a quick look, and tighten the bolts a little more. Alos started hearing a creak coming from the BB, and knew it was the bearing seat area of the BB. I'm gonna have to pull out the BB, and install it with some Loctite bearing mount. I covered it with grease the first time, but it started creaking after just two days! (I don't like BB30)
    Next, the stem slipped a little on a rocky decent, so I had to stop and straighten it out, and give the bolts a quick snug up. The shifts were flawless during the race. I'm most impressed with how well the front shifts no matter what the condition is.
    The superlight J&L skewers weren't strong enough to keep the wheels tight either, so they'll be replaced with something I have good experience with.
    During the last lap, my legs cramped hard, and I had to back off the pace and cruise in. The cleat on my right shoe also came loose, so I had to chalk it up to typical new bike issues. They always tell you never to ride a new bike on race day until you can break it in. The biggest thing for me was getting some ride time in, and getting familiar with the handling. The course was very winding, and rolling, so it suited me well, and I would've done well, if things went perfectly. I now need to get my riding position settled more to my liking, get some tires mounted on the new wheels, and finish the "fish" theme on the frame that I started on the forks.

  13. #13
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    Very nice. Just curious, for those of us not yet brave enough to attempt a ground up build - if you'd be willing to share.. approx . how much money do you have into the bike?

  14. #14
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    I have about $2100 into this bike, for a kickass all carbon wonderbike, with a top of the line parts group, and carbon wheelset. A relatively good deal considering what a bike may cost at this level. Also built to my exact specs and color!

  15. #15
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    I'm doing a similar build - I've read that carbon paste will really help with the slippage.
    Great looking build!

  16. #16
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    Finally got my tires mounted on the rims, by changing the rim tape to a thinner brand, and saved a tiny bit of weight too. The bike is right around 18 lbs even, with this configuration.


    I can't say whether or not I like the smaller version of the Race King tires. Need to try them out on real trails, and not just the local crushed limestone paths around here. They are remarkably light tires, but some people clain they have nowhere near the same excellent qualities as the Race King 2.2 versions.


    I also replaced the "too light for real world use" J&L skewers, with some Salsa ti skewers, and saw an instant improvement.




    Now I need to lower my fork down to 80mm travel and see how the bike fits.

  17. #17
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    Success! I lowered the fork, and it improved several things at the same time!


    I used the search function on mtbr, and saw how easy it was to work on the fork travel first, lol. I got the added side benefit of making the geometry a little quicker handling, lowering the bb height a little, and the fork feels a little stiffer. I also think the bike looks more badass with less fork leg showing.


    I'm gonna hit the trails tomorrow and test out my new changes. Most notably, the tires.

  18. #18
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    interesting read so far, thanks. I did this bout six years ago and never got the bike to do me justice so I fixed it up for the girl. good job making it work for yourself.

  19. #19
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    Thanks! I think this bike rocks!
    I've been able to work through all of my issues so far, except the creaky BB30 bottom bracket. It still creaks when I'm really standing on the gas. I'll take care of that after I get a few more rides in.

  20. #20
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    What a super nice bike. It looks stellar in white!!

  21. #21
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    that's a great looking bike - love the white.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Did you let your 6 year old decorate it. Sorry not a fan of that.

  24. #24
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    Nice build. I like the white. How do you like the hubs?

    Did you ever consider one of the Syntace stems while keeping the fork at 100mm?

    Syntace

    I have no affiliation with them just something that I've read some guys using on here who wanted less rise. There are also some negative 15 and more stems out there FYI.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Alberto_ View Post
    Nice build. I like the white. How do you like the hubs?
    Did you ever consider one of the Syntace stems while keeping the fork at 100mm?

    I have no affiliation with them just something that I've read some guys using on here who wanted less rise. There are also some negative 15 and more stems out there FYI.
    Yes, I considered one of these stems, thanks for the link!
    First, I don't need a 100mm fork on a XC race bike, and I don't really like how it affects the geometry. It makes the head angle too slack, and 4" of travel makes the bike feel really unstable if it actually compresses that far, without a matching amount of rear suspension.

    The other thing I don't like about the neg rise stem, is that it puts the stem that much closer to my face, lol.
    I think I have the setup all sorted to my liking, and the bike felt great during my race yesterday.

    BTW, I pulled out the bb30 conversion bottom bracket, and used loctite bearing mount on all the fitted surfaces, and replaced those crappy wave washers, with bushing spacers I made to fit. Spins great, and is perfectly quiet now.

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