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  1. #1
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    Dragon Team frame

    Just got mine a few days ago. Built it up the same day it came in, there's nothing more fun than building up your own sweet custom bike. I haven't had a chance to take a pic yet but it looks pretty nice. The flame decal is a little off from the rest of the paint but I didn't buy the bike for looks. The inaugural ride went well, there's still some dialing in to do w/ the fit but I think I made the right call with a 17" frame.

    I haven't been on a steel bike in over 15 years, and this was my first high quality steel ride. I'm hoping to keep this bike around for years.
    My one says BRAP!

  2. #2
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    Awesome

    hey plume, do feel that would be a good bike to race xc and some endurance races on? Im out here in west texas so it not real mountains but we do have our canyons, palo duro. Im more into keeping my wheels on the ground for racing than going in the air for jumps. yeah when you can put some pics up an tell us what ya built it up with. Congrats on the frame

  3. #3
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    Took it on the second ride today. Pace was brisk as I was riding with the boys and I felt great on this thing. I've never had a steel ride before and I can't believe how much more compliant of a bike it is compared to my aluminum hardtail. I was descending just as fast as I normally would on my old f/s bike. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I trust the bike more and know exactly how it would respond. I built it up with the best fork I could afford - the fox f100 and this makes for a wonderful all around fork. Very plush and confidence inspiring on the descents.

    A race bike it certainly is. What is surprising to me is how well it responded to the punishing rocky sections that I threw at it today. It just seems like the fastest bike I've ever owned. Highly recommended. Heck, I'll get to posting it up right now!

    My one says BRAP!

  4. #4
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    trail side photos of new dragon




    FRAME

    Reynolds 853 seamless air-hardened chromoly main tubes, reinforced head tube collars, double-butted cromo stays, Jamis lost wax dropouts

    FORK

    Fox 32F-100RL, air spring with lockout & rebound adjustor, 100mm travel

    HEADSET

    Chris King - Silver

    WHEELSET

    Mavic Crossmax STs

    TIRES

    Continental Explorer 2.1 - UST (rear)
    Scott Stroke 2.3 UST (front)

    DERAILLEURS

    Sram X.7 rear (place holder)
    Shimano Deore LX front

    SHIFTERS
    Sram X.0 grip shift

    CHAIN

    Shimano Dura Ace 9spd

    FREEWHEEL

    Shimano XT

    CRANKSET

    Shimano Deore XT M770, 44/32/22,
    175mm

    BOTTOM BRACKET

    Shimano Deore XT integrated

    PEDALS

    Shimano M560

    BRAKESET

    Shimano XT ('07 version) levers
    Shimano XT Caliper front
    Shimano XTR Caliper rear

    HANDLEBAR

    Easton Monkey Lite XC, 9 degree sweep

    STEM

    Thomson Mountain 100mm 6 degree

    GRIPS

    Odi Lockon Shorties

    SEATPOST

    Thompson Elite setback 410mm

    SADDLE

    WTB Laser V



    As I said I've had just two rides on this bike. The first was the "break in" ride and those are always hit and miss. The bike seemed harsh on the rough sections but a lot smoother than aluminum in the high frequency bump sections. The fit was troublesome, I still felt like I may have picked a frame size too small. I still think I could ride a 19" just fine. The handle bars are funky. I picked up a nice Easton Monkey Lite XC set that was nice and wide with a 9 degree upward sweep. I almost took them off after the first ride, then a friend suggested that I simply angle them back a few degrees. What an absolute difference this makes with these bars. They almost feel like some alt bars but a LOT less extreme. Hands felt comfy the whole 30+ miles today and the bike was handling a lot nicer. I just had to add that.

    I'll tell you the components that really really stand out for me. First the Fox fork is a dream. It's really plush (I'm coming off an 80mm fork) and forgiving on the descents, I was keeping up with folks who can usually drop me easily. Today I was mostly able to stay in front. Secondly these Mavic wheels are amazing, I can't say enough good things about them. Just as hardy as a lot of hand builts and a decent price point makes these a seller in my book. The wheels are very stiff and this is actually the third bike they've had the pleasure of seeing. This frame and wheel combo is great. XT cranks. Can't say enough about these things either. The BB lasts forever. They're light and stiff, I've been riding XT cranks for over 3 years now. Love them. X.O grip shift and X series dérailleurs. I've been a Shimano boy for years, sorry though Sram is still dominating in the crisp shifting / less maintenance department. That said, I don't enjoy Avid brakes so I opted for some Shimano XT/XTR blend for stopping power. I've run these for half a year now with 0 problems or bleeds. I wanted XTR in the rear because I prefer the IS mounts over post, sadly Fox is no longer producing forks with IS mounts so I'm rocking a post mount XT in the front. Saved me a little dough there.

    The small things worth mentioning. I freaking LOVE UST tires, I'll gladly take the weight penalty for the extreme durability that these things offer. I've had great luck with Continental for years so it's no surprise that I love their explorer for a rear tire. I'm trying a Scott Stroke for the front, it's good but not as aggressive as I would like for flat out trail riding. For racing I'm thinking it will be fine. I've been using the Scott as a front tire for almost a year now. Harsh Pisgah terrain has yet to shred these. Thomson makes great stuff that I don't have to think about. I like stiff stems, Thomson makes the stiffest. The seat post may get replaced with a cushier carbon Easton post. I'm having trouble finding the exact size and off set that I need though, so for now I'm just keeping the Thomson. The frame delivers so much compliance that may not even ever go that route.

    So... the verdict after my ride today... Fastest mountain bike I've ever ridden hands down. I've been on aluminum hardtails for years and I can't tell you how much better steel feels. I'll absolute never buy another aluminum HT ever. So, my goal was fast, yet comfy. Fast, yet compliant. Fast, and not so heavy. Did I mention fast? The smaller frame size certainly has a lot to do with how great this thing feels in the fast twisty sections. I will be keeping this bike for a long long time. I wanted a high zoot carbon f/s bike this year, I can't lie about that - however for someone with my budget it just wasn't going to happen. I had my eyes on the Dragon line for years so I really wanted to try it out. If you're a racer or even a trail rider who just wants a nice comfy hardtail that handles the descents as well as the climbs I highly recommend this bike.

    Total weight is 26.5 lbs. I'm not breaking any light weight records with this thing but I'm happy with how it pedals. The quality wheels really help reduce the rotating weight. I could probably drop significant weight with a tire change but I'm not willing to give up the burly side walls of my UST tires. Still has to be my do everything bike. I will be trail riding a lot more than racing this year, but I wanted something durable and pedal able throughout my mountainous region.

    I'm stoked about this bike!
    My one says BRAP!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chwesley
    hey plume, do feel that would be a good bike to race xc and some endurance races on? Im out here in west texas so it not real mountains but we do have our canyons, palo duro. Im more into keeping my wheels on the ground for racing than going in the air for jumps. yeah when you can put some pics up an tell us what ya built it up with. Congrats on the frame
    I race mostly endurance with a little XC thrown in, so I think this is a good choice for pedaling all day. Today we rode for about 5 hours. I felt fine the whole time, never beat up. I'll tell you man, this is definitely a XC bike no doubt about it, that said I caught some significant air today in some sections. It can do the steep stuff for sure. Pedals like a dream going up.

    I've been SSing exclusively this whole winter and it's a blast having a gears again.

    (they're faster!)
    My one says BRAP!

  6. #6
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    That is completly sweet, just solidified my choice on the dragon team frame.

    Yea CrossMax ST are great wheels have a set of them myself.

    great pics have fun riding

    Thanks

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