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  1. #1
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    Helius FR - bring the bling

    Ok so Dan dropped me a line to say that he had received my raw state Helius FR... MINT.. Haven't picked it up yet but being the star that he is he sent me some pics.. He says that the front end mix of the 1.5 HT and the gusseting in naked alloy looks mental. I can see what he means in the pics.. God im tempted to keep it as it is and not polish it lol.. ..

    Anyway I will be picking it up this weekend and sending it to the polishers. I wont be able to get back for a couple of weeks however which should give me a chance to sort the rest of th kit. Forgive me as i go on a bit of a ramble.........

    I've decided to go for a CCDB via Err's black sheep cycles so can't wait to get that mounted although I wont get it for a couple of weeks. Still umming and arring about the forks but I think it will end up being a pair of solo air totems. I wish I could get them in black but apparently that is an OEM color only. Id like to run 66 ATA but the extra half a pound might be a bit much. The solo air can be lowered to what ever height I need manually via spacers so will probably end up running it at 170? I know its designed for a 55 or a 36 or a wotan but I really want that extra travel on the front to match my riding this year. We will see how it goes anyway.

    The rest of the kit will pick itself really.. haven't put too much thought into the wheels but im sure they will be hope IIs mounted to some sort of AM rim.. Running 5.1ds at the mo but not that impressed with them so will probably be something else. X9, race face cranks, Thomson stem, Easton DH carbon bars, Speedball, would love Chris King but they are twice the price of a Cane Creek in 1.5 format!

    Anyway here are a couple of pics... man the detailing on the frame is just lush.




  2. #2
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    It's sooooo beautiful
    Congrats
    Never enough singletracks !

  3. #3
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    Wow Jon, that looks wicked! It might be a bit high maintenance if you polish it up but keep it raw, because of the aluminium oxidizing if you don't polish it often enough, but looking at the pics, that might just be worth it Totem is pretty heavy duty on this bike, but with its massive stanchions it will match well with the raw 'I mean business' look I think.

  4. #4
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    That looks the muts nuts, I would just have it laquered to allow all the top notch welding to be seen.

    Polishing seems a little bling to me ! But if we where all the same the World would be boring.


    Scott
    Last edited by 5c0tty; 02-01-2008 at 12:47 PM.
    Nicolai Bikes in the South of England head to..
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  5. #5
    Err
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    Dude! Looks great Karve!

  6. #6
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    Congratulation Karve, looks good!

    What´s your frame-size/geo? I think you have customized a lot, any infos?

    Greetings from Cologne, Germany
    NoStyle

  7. #7
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    wow...that looks sweeeet!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoStyle

    What´s your frame-size/geo? I think you have customized a lot, any infos?

    NoStyle
    Cheers guys its with the polishers now though. I still have the linkages and stuff so will add to the pics above.

    Its a small with a medium top tube. In retrospect a small might have done for me but I will see how it goes. Looking forward to getting it built up but that wont be for a good 4 weeks or so

    Hey does anyone know if the facing of the BB and Disk mounts and the reaming of the headtube are done to an adequate standard in the factory or is it worth getting them done?
    Last edited by Karve; 02-02-2008 at 03:02 PM.

  9. #9
    lazy piston
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    Hey does anyone know if the facing of the BB and Disk mounts and the reaming of the headtube are done to an adequate standard in the factory of shall or is it worth getting them done?
    As far as I know, the Nicolai folks are very scrupulous about these details, so you most probably don't have to face or ream anything on your Nicolai frame.

  10. #10
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    Hey Karve nice frame make my anno black Helius look boring!
    Did you have to go the whole custom geometry route as I am just in the process of ordering a new frame and want to do the same i.e large TT and medium seat tube?

  11. #11
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    If i hadn't gone shiney bling I would have gone stealth.. love all the black ninja FRs out there!

    Yea I had to go the whole custom geo route.. works out pricey and despite me 'lovin' the nicolai experience so far i would criticize them for their odd sizing.. their meds have far to long seat tubes 18,7inch is maddness. Never really felt like ive had to mix and match sizes on other bikes.

    However i would say that there is a nice warm feeling about having a bike built just for you

    One last thing.. have a chat with the Nicolai Uk guys Simon and Mike.. there are lots of options to trim the stand over height not just custom geo.. You can order it without the third triangle I believe.. even have the seat tower cut down a bit etc. They can help suggest the most cost effective method to get what u need

  12. #12
    lazy piston
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve
    there are lots of options to trim the stand over height not just custom geo.. You can order it without the third triangle I believe.. even have the seat tower cut down a bit etc.
    Umm... I don't think either option will effectively decrease standover height.

    I had the same problem when I was ordering my frame: stadard sizing just didn't suit me well but I wanted the frame so bad I had to go custom.

    At first I sent Nicolai a picture with the tube lengths and angles that I wanted. They said something like "we can't register this order because we can't guarantee that the frame will work the way it is supposed to." It meant that with different placement of the pivots the behaviour of the suspension would change and they could not predict in what way. Later they said "ok we CAN build the frame the way you want it but we won't guarantee it will work as supposed". I was frustrated somehow: I thought that the extra 300 euros I was paying for custom geo implied building a computer model of my frame and tweaking it to make the suspension function as supposed.

    Well, in the end I chose to go the safe route and approached them from another direction: I asked them to build me a small frame with a long top tube, and they did so. The standover height is still a tad greater than I would've liked, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

  13. #13
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    Karve / Looks the bomb, the areas around the 1.5 Head Tube look awesome, mine built up looks like a tank....Going with a Totem is a big fork for the FR, with what mine has been handling, it shouldnt be a problem, you will be a good test pilot.

    Agree with you on the fact it sucks not being able to get a black Totem. Hence why I got mine powder coated. Err sorted that for me, the job was great. One minor downside is the fact it renders the warranty in the bin.... Of which has cost me 400 Euro, that is the price to buy a new internal fork leg in Spain, thieving pricks....

    Err has got me a Fox 40 for my TFR, so I have my Totem as a spare etc. It could be something that you may like to borrow so to speak to see if it is what you want. I leave for a weeks work in Ca, USA on Friday, then heading to Spain on Friday 15th Feb... Let me know your thoughts anyway, we may be able to work something out....

    Back on topic, lookign forward to seeing how she will look all raw and bombproof
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  14. #14
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    Sounds interesting Whafe ill drop you a PM

  15. #15
    a tight kick sound
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    waaaahhhhhhhhhhh, soooo hot. Want to touch....

    Very nice rig Karve!!

  16. #16
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    This is how Niclai's look best

  17. #17
    "Its All Good"
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    Most things in life tend to look best Naked............
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  18. #18
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    Mmm Naked !
    Nicolai Bikes in the South of England head to..
    http://www.head-for-the-hills.co.uk

  19. #19
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    Yea thats an interesting point actually about being naked..... in that with all the finishing options Nicolai don't offer this as one you can choose.. i wonder why? I did hear that they were not happy with the finish from the people who did it in the past but im sure that a raw and polished option would appeal to a lot of nicolai customers who love the industrial look!

    I notice that santa cruz have dropped the polished option recently too

  20. #20
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    Karve

    I popped into the shop to see if I could get a peak at your new pile of sexy pipes but you had left the shop about 15mins before I got there !

    So with the upset I bought some Easton MonkeyLite XC Bars to cheer me up. It worked and they look great. Need to update the Spec list as well.

    Scotty
    Nicolai Bikes in the South of England head to..
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  21. #21
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    Here is my M-pire after I hard anodize the frame.


    Military spec type II "clear" Hard anodize (you can also make it "Black" and then is very black)


    the red parts were tumble on dry wallnut shells for about 30 hours to achieve a perfect mirror finish.


    It cost me a lot of money to do it, even if I have some good connections in the industry.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5c0tty
    Karve

    I popped into the shop to see if I could get a peak at your new pile of sexy pipes but you had left the shop about 15mins before I got there !

    So with the upset I bought some Easton MonkeyLite XC Bars to cheer me up. It worked and they look great. Need to update the Spec list as well.

    Scotty
    LOL shame... it was all bubble wrapped up by the time i got there anyway. ill make sure I give u a buzz when im out in Dorking next and it is all built up. Must be quite a few Nicolai riders near Dorking.. the chaps there say they are selling one a week.

    Nice patineto i bet that is bad ass durable... looks like the knightrider of bikes

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karve

    Nice patineto i bet that is bad ass durable... looks like the knightrider of bikes
    you bet, sometimes the surface becomes so "hardened" (Depends on the alloy) you need to de-anodize the part before you can re-machine it, or at least require you to be far more careful when drilling on the surface since the bit will tend to skip and slide..

    I have motorcycles parts I made ten years ago cover with this (prep, treated, quemically alter, etc) that still looks like new when the rest of the finish on the bike is all messup. (and they are BMW's well know for their finish quality)

  24. #24
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    Hey Karve, lovely ride there my friend, looks awesome in the buff, so to speak. Let us know how the build progresses as I am very interested in your choice of fork. The Totem at 170mm is an interesting prospect. Keep us posted buddy

  25. #25
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    what`s the weight of all this blink blink parts. I mean a frame parts without the shock?

  26. #26
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    Scotty... nice to bump into you today.. that white FR of yours was looking mint Im getting ideas for another Nic in White now.. baaaaling

    Anyway almost there with this project.

    playbike the weight of my Medium front small rear no paint frame is 3.47kg or 7.73lbs... not bad. I think paint must add a couple hundred grams

    Waiting for a parts shipment from the States, Black Sheep Cycles, so once I have that I can really get going with the build. Eta another month or so. Really need it up and running by the end or March. The black stuff u see is residual polish I haven't manged to get off yet.

    Pleased with the result and im sure its not to everyones tastes but its good to see such a wide range of finishes on Nics from the stealth blacks to pimp whites, crazy camos to the au natural polish. I hope they start offering this as a factory option.

    In the meantime here are some pics.. always appreciated those who got their pics up in the past quickly so thought I would get these up now Apologies ive just got a new camera as well so im bombarding u all with .jpgs heheehe



























    Last edited by Karve; 02-24-2008 at 03:25 AM.

  27. #27
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    Ooh, shiny...

    It'd be cool if us London and surroundings based riders had a meat up in Chicksands someday, as there seem to be a lot of Nicolais around here

  28. #28
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    That's sick
    Never enough singletracks !

  29. #29
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    Awesome looking frame! Are you going to polish the other parts as well ?

  30. #30
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    Hey Karve, that polished frame looks the money. I must admit, I was sceptical when I first read about it, but it has polished up so so nicely.

    Boozzz. a little gathering at Chicksands sounds great. I must admit I am spoilt only living twenty minutes from it. It was riding very fast last week which was nice, as the dual slalom was mega quick which lead to some serious air. Let us know if you are up for a meet.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by lornibear
    Boozzz. a little gathering at Chicksands sounds great. I must admit I am spoilt only living twenty minutes from it. It was riding very fast last week which was nice, as the dual slalom was mega quick which lead to some serious air. Let us know if you are up for a meet.
    20 minutes, damn, I'm jealeous. Though I only live half an hour or so from Thetford Forest (some good bombholes, but that's about it). Never been in Chicksands, so really need to go. Just the lack of a car is a problem. Went to have a look at a rusty Skoda this weekend, but the seller wouldn't take my offer of £130 unfortunately. So still on the lookout for a sub £200 car

    Back on topic again: Karve, are you going to put some sort of clearcoat on the frame, or just keep it bare?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boozzz
    Ooh, shiny...

    It'd be cool if us London and surroundings based riders had a meat up in Chicksands someday, as there seem to be a lot of Nicolais around here
    Boozzz and Lornibear well up for that.. dont think Ill have it up and running for a month or so but super keen once its all set up. I can just imagine all the jump kids going like why is everyone riding bad ass looking german bikes today!

    Lorni 20 mins? Where abouts are u.. Im probably an hour as Im Epping way


    Quote Originally Posted by lornibear
    Hey Karve, that polished frame looks the money. I must admit, I was sceptical when I first read about it, but it has polished up so so nicely.
    Yep I knew it was risky and i was wondering myself at the time, but so far seems to have worked out ok.. saying that today I was looking at it going hmmm would look good in royal blue lol.. i guess with the frame quality it would look pimp with a coat of dulux on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Testmaen
    Awesome looking frame! Are you going to polish the other parts as well ?
    Some of the bits will be natively shiney.. like I have some atlas cranks for it but other than that no. Stripping and doing any of the other bits might be a bit to much effort and over bling it a bit i guess

    Quote Originally Posted by lornibear
    Back on topic again: Karve, are you going to put some sort of clearcoat on the frame, or just keep it bare?
    No clear coat.. it tends to yellow after a while and once it chips all you can do is start again. With bare metal it will show marks but u can rub them out if you want with the correct polish... either mothers mag polish or master formula come with a good reputation.....some maintainance every six months should keep it looking good. Thats the theory anyway. Lots of other people on this forum have had good success keeping theirs looking like new.
    Last edited by Karve; 02-24-2008 at 10:10 AM.

  33. #33
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    Boozzz

    off topic, but you're bikes ready to go at last. weighed it in yesterday without pedals at just over 35lb. Looking good. I'll get it off to you asap

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipper
    Boozzz

    off topic, but you're bikes ready to go at last. weighed it in yesterday without pedals at just over 35lb. Looking good. I'll get it off to you asap
    Aaiiight! Pretty damn heavy though, with the pedals it'll be over 15kg. Nowhere near my spreadsheet estimate. But I'll get used to it. I'll make a new topic here when I get it, don't want to hijack Karve's . Send me a mail when you're ready to ship, as I need to make sure I'll be at home and not in London for work.

    Back on topic now

  35. #35
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    Hey boozzz, I was aiming for 32lb but then re-thought and added some quality components, such as the CCDB with steel spring, the saint cranks and quality tyres. Mine comes in at a touch over 36lb, but it pedals like a 30lb machine. I am well chuffed with it and already trying to decide over an ST or a Knolly VTach for my FR/DH bike.

  36. #36
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    Hey Boozzz, check your PM buddy

  37. #37
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    That frame looks awesome polished, real nice, has come up great... Gave me the goosebumps.... AWESOME... looking forward to seeing her fully built...
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by lornibear
    Hey Boozzz, check your PM buddy
    Checked, and email sent

  39. #39
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    Karve, I am in Huntingdon, just up the A1 from Chicksands. I know Epping quite well, although never ridden there. I used to live in Surrey and loved riding over the areas around Pirbright and Aldershot.

  40. #40
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    I must say that as I rode up the road towards Head for the Hills I could see an almost blinding light emitting from the shop window ! I new there must be something rather special in the window. As I wiped the mud from my glasses there on the log stand was the most bling shiny bike that I have seen in ages.

    4 Minutes later it walked out the door. I new this must be Karve as i'm sure Dan would not have let anybody leave the shop with the Nicolai.

    A quick chat later and Karve was on his way to polish and take photo's as you see here.

    Great looking FR and thanks for the kind words regarding my White FR.

    I'm also a Chicksands virgin but would be well up for the trip, About 1.5 hour trip for me I think..

    5c0tty
    Nicolai Bikes in the South of England head to..
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  41. #41
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    Loving all this chat about FR's, I am beyond lust with mine, it is now pure LOVE...... keep them coming....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  42. #42
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    Holy shait, Karve!!!

    I'll start by saying that I have never been a fan of polished look (not even on my bike, which is polished rear)... It looks soooo 60's...

    But I gotta admit that your left me really out of wind... Man, that's awesome. The color combo with the red accents and the industrial look of the frame just makes an awesome combination.

    Big congrats! One of the best looking bikes I've seen!
    Luv it, luv it, luv it....
    Check my Site

  43. #43
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    Cheers all.. taking me ages to get all the bits sorted however... partly down to me umming and arrring

    Current list of bits on its way include

    Shock - CCDB with Ti Spring
    Forks - Totem solo Air @170 - hopefully in black more likely galvanised
    Bars - Easton Monkey DH
    Stem - Thompson 4x
    Shifters - X9
    Brakes - Formula The One
    Headset - Chris King 1.5 Red
    Chainset - Race Face Atlas Silver
    Derailleur's - X0 - or if someone beats sense into me X9's
    Cassette - PG970 - red bling
    Seatpost - Speedball with a remote
    Saddle - Not sure.. Charge spoon probably
    Seatclamp - Hope Silver
    Wheels - Hope Pro 2 on Syncros DS 28s in white with black Spokes
    Maxle front and rear.

    Saddle forks and derailleur's not yet ordered. Was thinking about getting some chunky halo SAS wheels for lift days but that will be a long way off.

    Shooting for anything under 35lbs anywere near 34 and I will be super stoked.

    I'm planning on doing things like the Portes du Soleil VT this year so Ill need some kit which lasts

  44. #44
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    Wink

    Good looking spec list there.
    Hurry up and get it all here in the UK so you can come play in the land of Specialized bikes. Mind you there is a US Spec M5 Enduro in my dinning room ! Not mine I must point out.

    The weight on mine is just over 34lb's and is a light weight build as I don't tend to ride heavy or bend or bust stuff. Mind you was getting a little OTT last weekend on some drops and jumps. Wheels are the only non light weight part of the build. But are still not heavy duty spec.

    So don't panic when it works out to be more than you planed as it will be one of the best bikes you ever built. Trust me it will be worth it.

    Would like to have a go to see how the CCDB feels if thats possible.

    Scotty
    Nicolai Bikes in the South of England head to..
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  45. #45
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    Agree with 5c0tty, this thing is going to be spanking.... Would like to whip my FR over to the UK and thrash about with a group of Nicolai's... Mmmmm will put the thinking cap on.

    I agree on the weight too, mine came in slightly heavier than I thought, I truly assure you, it will not hinder you in any way....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  46. #46
    Err
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    Karve, that frame looks insane! I love the polished look.

    I haven't looked at your order, did you go with the polished Formula Oro Bianco brakes?

  47. #47
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    Woooow!!!
    One of the most sexy bikes I’ve ever seen, very, very nice.

    Only one question, if I have understood, to avoid the oxidation of aluminium you must re-polish the frame twice by year?

    bye

    Meduix

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Err
    Karve, that frame looks insane! I love the polished look.

    I haven't looked at your order, did you go with the polished Formula Oro Bianco brakes?
    Went with the Formula One Minaars. See if you can slip in a black sheep head badge in the package as they look fab.

    Quote Originally Posted by meduix
    Only one question, if I have understood, to avoid the oxidation of aluminium you must re-polish the frame twice by year?
    Yep you can let it oxidize and it does it no harm.. in fact it acts as a protective barrier. However it does dull it gradually. So to keep it shiny you do have to polish it up every 6 months or so which involves.. wiping some polish on...then rubbing it off.. lol fairly low maintainence really.

    There is also a product from Master Formula which I have http://www.metalgloss.com/index.cfm?...7714&pageid=23 which stops oxidization for a year. I might give that a go and see how it stands up.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5c0tty
    Would like to have a go to see how the CCDB feels if thats possible.
    Ya no probs your more than welcome to give it a spin when we catch up. Im sure if there are a few of us there will be a flurry of bike swapping, prodding, fettleing and comparing... should be fun

  49. #49
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    Almost got all the bits.. eta end of the week for final build. Looks like I got the last pair of Formula The One Silver Minnars in the world... as they have 250 on them and there were only 250 made - Such a bike geek am I. .. couple of ?

    What size seat collar does the FR take
    Which way round is the best way to mount the shock.. I see people doing it both ways. any performance difference or is it just ease of access...

    Collecting bits : here



    Ill be at Chicksands on Saturday.... no Fr to test out though.. ill be bombing around on the trusty if slightly sketchy Prophet SL
    Last edited by Karve; 03-20-2008 at 06:02 PM.

  50. #50
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    sweet parts, Karve!

    mean build!

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