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  1. #1
    KVW
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    Hope Nother 650b 456c

    First, I know these kind of whoring build threads are mainly for the OP so I admittedly do this for my own satisfaction but just in case you're even mildly interested in converting your 456c to 650b wheels, maybe you'll be interested too. Or maybe you're just bored like I am at work.

    Let me start off with the fact that I'm very happy with this bike build. But it wasn't an easy road to get here. Through a combination of bad luck and On-One US weak customer service, it took me nearly 2 months and lots of frustration to get a working frame to build (first one arrived damaged). I literally have a 2-page document logging in meticulous detail, every transaction/communication between On-One rep(s) and me regarding my situation. Why? I don't know - I guess I figured if didn't have a happy ending I'd share my story. The good news is my story had a (relatively) satisfactory ending.

    Now before die-hard On-One fans and possibly On-One employees get upset, please let me say that I *do* understand it was unfortunate circumstances out of their control and I did get a feeling they were genuinely apologetic about the delays, but it was mainly the communication, or the lack thereof that was the most aggravating issue. Being in a CS based business for over a decade myself, I'm both empathetic yet blown away that it would even remotely be deemed acceptable by them.

    OK - nuff with the boring stuff. How bout a some pics!

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    Here's the parts list & cost:

    Frame: On-One Red/Black 456c: $420 + $20 shipping (shop.titusti)
    Headset: On-One headset: $30 (shop.titusti)
    Stem: FSA OS-115 Stem 100mm: $42 (ebay)
    Handlebar: Sunline V1 OS 19mm Riser Handlebar, 711mm length: $30 (HnR)
    Fork: Fox 32 F120 RLC 15mm, 120mm travel: $450 + $35 tax (JensonUSA)
    Front Brake: Shimano SLX M666 IceTech + 180mm rotor: $100 + $15 tax&ship (bluesky)
    Rear Brake: Shimano SLX M666 IceTech + 160mm rotor: $90 + $15 tax&ship (bluesky)
    Crankset: 175mm FSA Comet MegaExo: $100 estimated (came /w my old motobecane bike)
    Cassette: Sram PG-1070 11-36 10 speed: $73 (ebay)
    Chain: Cutter 10 Speed Chain: $20 (HnR)
    Shifter: Sram X9 10speed right-only: $56 (bikerbob)
    Derailleur: Sram X9 rear 10speed: $80 +$7 ship (bikerbob)
    Wheelset: Stan's Flows w/ 3.30 rear hub, 3.30 15mm front hub: $440 +25 ship (bikerbob)
    Rear tire: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 650b 2.25" (Q-tube w/ sealant): $52 +10 ship (bikerbob)
    Front tire: Kenda Nevegal 650b 2.35" (tubeless w/ sealant): $40 (JensonUSA)
    Seatpost: Specialized Command Post (older gen) 30.9: $160 +10 ship (bikerbob)
    Seatpost clamp: Thomson seatpost collar: $10 (Performance Bike)
    Seat: Sette Flex X Saddle: $20 +$8 ship (Pricepoint)
    Pedals: Wellgo MG1 pedals + Ti Spindles: $84 (ebay)


    Misc cost:

    Cost to ship frame back to On-One: $12 (fedex)
    Chainring: FSA DH 3mm chainring 34t: $24 (ebay)
    Bashguard: FSA Facet Bashguard: $30 (amazon)
    Chain management: Paul Chain Keeper BB mount: $42 (ebikestop)
    Seatpost shim: Wheels Manufacturing Seatpost Shim 30.9 - 31.6: $16 +$3ship (Universal Cycles)
    Paint Protection: 3M Clear Ure Protect Film: $28 (amazon)
    Toe clip: Zefal "Cristophe" Mountain Bicycle Half Toe Clip $7 (amazon)

    Total:

    $2574

    Holy OUCH! Nothing on that list cost more than $500 dollars yet the total cost broke 25 hundred!
    Out of curiosity, I subtracted just the tax and shipping on each component that charged me and it only knocks off $148 making the total still $2426. Building a bike definitely cost more than just buying a fully built but at least everything on there, belongs there and doesn't immediately need to be replaced ...at least you hope.

    The build: Building the bike was a pleasure. Surprisingly good tolerances (for such an affordable CF frame). BB threads/face were clean as hell and the BB easily threaded with my hands unlike my Moto Ti Fantom frame (which fought with me with the tool even when threaded correctly). Love the red anodized dropouts. Lots of options to route cables. Frame just looks good when up close and personal with it.

    The ride: I've only taken it on one ride so far and almost immediately I knew I need to change the cockpit. Enough so that I had to change it on the field. The headtube is small...REALLY small. Usually I'm reversing my stem to lower the handlebar but not on the 456c! Since those pictures above, I have rearranged the stem spacers to stack 45mm spacers below the stem and flipped the stem up now! Immediately felt much better although looks a tad awkward with such a tall skinny steertube exposed. Also, I believe this bike begs for a shorter stem so I'll be shopping around for that as well.

    The bike feels FAST. That's the first thing that came to my head once I hit my familiar XC'ish, tight but flowy single track. This could be because I've been exclusively using my tall, power-robbing, full-squish Jamis trail bike for a bit too long and this conclusion would be made going back to any hardtail (my old hardtail was a big ole 29er too) but Wow! Snappy, responsive, holds momentum well and is just plain fast! My old Moto Ti 29er hardtail was plenty fast and held momentum too but it definitely didn't feel nearly as responsive, snappy and manipulable as this frame. Stiff Carbon vs flexy Ti or ...size difference? ...perhaps a combination of both. Also, love love love the 456c slack HA. Not a fan of any HA steeper than 69*, even for XC duties!

    The frame has a long'ish top tube allowing you to get away with a one size smaller seattube frame (this is a 16" while I normally ride a 17-18"). With tons of room under my legs, the bike feels seriously manipulable - a friggin' toy under my legs! The 650b tires raise the bike up nearly an inch so it had me playing with my new pedal strike distance - I feel like I'm getting away with something being able to pedal where I normally can't. I'm sure this is at a cost of having a slightly higher center of gravity in the corners but I haven't noticed... yet.

    The Fox fit 32 RLC fork was never meant for bigger 650b wheels. The tire DOES strike the crown at full compression. However, in order to get it to occur, I have to purposely and willfully lift up and slam my front with all my weight to get it to rub. I'm sure I looked like an idiot in the parking lot, riding around lifting up and slamming my front over and over again, trying to get it to rub hard but I wanted to see how much contact it makes - does it slow the bike down when the tire contacts the arch? Worse, does it threaten to throw me off, over the handlebars? Thankfully, not even close. You definitely hear it the loud tire buzz, but it doesn't suddenly slow the bike down with any significant speed loss and toss you. It does chip off some paint under the arch though...

    Gripes?: Perhaps a few. What's with that fugly white "splat" logo? What an eye sore on that beautiful red/black frame: This big ole white splat on the side of headtube. That same eye sore staring back at me with the On-One stem cap. It just looks... cheap. On-One might want to change their logo... or keep it dark and small. And why is the headtube so small? I don't even know if it's safe to stack so many spacers under the stem. It certainly looks ugly doing that. I suppose I can try and replace just the top of the headset with a taller one. Lastly, why's the seattube so slack? You get so much more power when you're more over the pedals while seated - It's almost like you're mimicking standing-and-pedaling. It's also hell on my knees to pedal so far back. I might have to flip my seatpost to get a more forward pedaling position.

    These issues are minor to me though and I fully admit are personal preference. Maybe that splat looks good to some people and the small headtube allows greater flexibility for those who like to be in a roadie position while riding (Nino Schurter?). And I know there are people who actually refer a slack seattube angle and the seated pedal position it provides. I suppose you can't make everyone happy.

    I have yet to ride it in more AM'ish territory but I am looking forward to it, perhaps this weekend I'll have a more well rounded assessment of this frame.

    Oh and one more thing. As configured this bike weighed in at just a hair under 26lbs.


    The only easy way I can see to knock off another couple pounds:

    -Lose the dropper post (or a install lighter dropper post - these old spec' command posts aren't that light)
    -Lighter seat (this sette saddle is weighty at about 350g but i do love it)
    -Carbon handlebar
    -Lighter crankset (this FSA one is a tank!)
    -Lose the toe clips (with hardware it adds another 150g to your pedals)
    -Lose the bashguard
    -Lighter model front tire (and lose the tube in the rear)
    That's about it, I suppose. It gets much more expensive to lighten it more beyond that.

    Btw if you're wondering, those 650b 2.35" nevegal's weigh 712g


    It's nice for once when a company doesn't understate the weight, right?

    Thanks for reading and see ya on the trails.
    Last edited by KVW; 09-28-2012 at 02:01 PM.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

  2. #2
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    Nice build! How do you like the conversion v. 29 for bay area trails (e.g. Demo or Skeggs)? Have you ridden it as a 26er at all?

  3. #3
    KVW
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    I haven't taken this to Skeggs yet, maybe this weekend if my schedule works out well. I haven't ridden in Santa Cruz with any bike but plan too.

    I was never really truly comfortable on my 29er. Actually, let me correct that, it worked well for what it was but I never really found it *very fun* compared to the other bikes I've experienced I should say. This bike however just oozes fun!! I'm sort of in disbelief about it myself. By the second ride out, I found my confidence boosted as well. Almost too much, it caused me to get a little cocky with my last ride and a tree "tapped" my left shoulder as a helpful reminder to come back down to reality. Got a nice shiner there now, lol

    I haven't ridden this as a 26er though - I purchased the frame with 650b wheels in mind from the start so I don't know how much better or worse the frame would be with the smaller wheels. The last 26er I owned was short lived. A 2010 Marin Mount Vision 5.8 which I did NOT like. But I don't blame the wheel size, I think it was just the geo and suspension design that didn't jive with me. Before that was 26er GT hardtail I rode back in the mid 90s before I stopped mountain biking for nearly a 15yr hiatus.

    I plan to take this to downieville about 3 weeks from now so I'll follow up with a long term report after I have more miles on the bike, how it did at the big D, how it's been holding up, new raves, new gripes, etc.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

  4. #4
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    Nice build. I plan on building one very similar to that, if I can ever get a frame.

  5. #5
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    Nice! I've got a 456c that I'm thinking of changing to 650b. I've never tried 650 but I find that, on my local rocky trails, that the front wheel does seem to get slowed by rocks.
    Looking forward to hearing the long term review

  6. #6
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    I was wondering if you considered the whippet for your build?

  7. #7
    KVW
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    I was wondering if you considered the whippet for your build?
    I knew of it but never really considered it even though the price was better. Mainly because of its more XC'ish geometry and its greater fragility. Being that carbon already has its current stigmas, I like the idea of the 456c being 'over-built' for AM duties even if I never bring it to that level of abuse provided the cost in weight isn't too great, which it isn't.

    I really dislike steep head angles too. I would easily sacrifice some slow speed precision for some high speed stability. The cost of a mistake is far greater at high speed than slower speeds. If a too-slack HA's vague steering causes me to make a mistake at slower speeds, I can easily recover with a foot dab. High speeds descents however... well you get it.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

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