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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... New member! Rocky Mountain ETSX Build! (Been out of the game for 12 years!!!)

    Hello all!

    As the title states I've recently picked up a Rocky Mountain ETSX bike to use as a commuter/trail bike! Its very much used, but the frame and some of the components are certainly workable! For the price I couldn't resist picking it up to wrench on! Going to document the restoration and hopefully get some input along the way!

    First thing I changed on the bike was a new set of hydraulic disc brakes from Avid. The Elixr 1 model with a 160mm rear disc and a 180mm front. The old brakes needed all new mechanical hardware and found a great deal on the Avid brakes that was near the same cost.

    The next item on the agenda was a complete tuneup and new shifter cables and guides. Previous owner couldn't get the slack out of the head tube, much less dialing in the front and rear derailleurs. Now the bike shifts smoothly and has nice taught steering again!

    Next parts to replace is the wheel set. Currently awaiting on a new set of Vuelta ZeroLite Pro to come in the mail. They seemed like great bang for the buck and will certainly be an improvement from the bent and cracking wheels on the bike at the moment. The new wheels are white, but I am considering putting some paint on em.

    Anyways on to a quick picture of the bike! Behold the ugly duckling!



    The main plan for this bike is to do as much bargain hunting as possible and to make some minor improvements when practical. I'm honestly considering putting on some proper paint on the frame as the rattle can paint job from the prior owner is pretty sad looking.

    I'm planning to overhaul the bike over a long weekend with some new bearings, a fresh coat of paint, and hopefully service the suspension. Which brings me to my first major issue. I have no idea who makes the front fork! Would anyone here be able to identify this fork?



    It has two air valves on the top crown, and on the bottom side has one plastic adjustment valve while the other has a socket cap screw.

    More to come later on! Thank you for looking and for any help/council you can provide!
    Last edited by zerodrift; 03-17-2013 at 11:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on the acquisition.

    Judging by the crown finish and shape of the lowers, the fork looks like it might be a Rock Shox Psylo from 2003 or 2004.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the info on the fork! It sure looks like the one you named from searching through some pictures. Is this fork worth servicing, or am I better off looking for another new/used fork?

  4. #4
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    If there's no obvious wear on the stanchions it's worth a shot at servicing it. Fork damping technology has improved a lot in 10 years, and you'd likely benefit from a more modern adjustable travel fork like the ETSX50 and ETSX70 were shipped with (Fox 32 TALAS)
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  5. #5
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    Thank you Rockyuphill. Your advice has been very helpful.

    Upon closer inspection the front stanchions have a few minor blemishes, so I am looking into replacements. I've found a great deal on a pair of new Suntour shocks. The model is: SR Suntour Epicon TAD. I know the brand isn't the best, but for my needs would this be a good investment? As this was for a pair of shocks, I would outfit the other on my wife's Iron Horse 4.5 Maverick bike.

  6. #6
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    They look like an OK fork, and they have travel adjust of 100-140mm, so that should work well.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  7. #7
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    I just acquired an ETSX Scandium frame myself. As of right now, it sits on the workbench. All the paint has been removed, so it's bare aluminum. I'm debating powder or anodizing it. I'm trying to build this thing on the cheap. The biggest investment will be the fork. I'll start a new post when I get it going.

  8. #8
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    Rocky's Scandium Team frames have always been wet painted because the temperatures for powder coating weren't compatible with the heat treating of the scandium frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by hack-man162 View Post
    I just acquired an ETSX Scandium frame myself. As of right now, it sits on the workbench. All the paint has been removed, so it's bare aluminum. I'm debating powder or anodizing it. I'm trying to build this thing on the cheap. The biggest investment will be the fork. I'll start a new post when I get it going.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  9. #9
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    Good to know that! I will be painting mine later on this year. So far have somewhere between 250 and 300 miles on mine and I need to replace the crank bearings. The bearings just started to make some sounds that are less than ear pleasing. Also decided to stick with the normal for for a bit more. Figured it'd be best to put something nice up front that will last.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Rocky's Scandium Team frames have always been wet painted because the temperatures for powder coating weren't compatible with the heat treating of the scandium frames.
    Do you know if the Scandium can be anodized without hurting the integrity of the frame? Otherwise, I'm good to go on my graphic-less, somewhat polished ride!

    Also, does anyone know if the newer rear triangle, linkage and shock can be adapted to the older front?

  11. #11
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    From Easton's Scandium fabrication instructions

    2.8 Frame Finishing

    2.8.1 Wet Paint
    Wet paint is the preferred finish for SC7000 to promote an attractive finish and maximize material properties.

    2.8.2 Anodizing
    Anodizing SC7000 frames should not be performed. Anodizing will significantly reduce frame fatigue life. In addition, the unusual grain structure of SC7000 tubes will become visible after anodize resulting in an undesirable cosmetic finish.

    2.8.3 Powder Coating
    Traditional powder coating can not be used on SC7000 frames due to the curing temperatures. Powder coating (or any other thermal process) can only be performed as long as the curing temperature is not higher than 325 degrees and the cure time is less than 30 minutes.

    These lower temperature powder coat materials can be obtained from:

    SPRAYLAT Corp.
    3333 N. Interstate 35
    Gainesville TX 76240
    (817) 665-9590
    Toll Free: (888) 725-7250

    There are some limitations to rear triangle interchangeability of the later models. You'd need to compare the tech manual exploded diagrams and parts list from the years of interest to see if they are compatible.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  12. #12
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    Thanks for that info, rockyuphill. Maybe I'll just rattle-can this thing some obnoxious fluorescent color on the front triangle, and a contrasting fluorescent on the rear! Nobody will want to steal it then!

  13. #13
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    Neon + spatter... then they'll steal it because they will think it's some exotic MTB from 1986
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  14. #14
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    Back to the top! Need a bit of advice!

    I've had the frame apart for the last few months and am collecting new parts to restore everything. I could use some advice on a new crankset and bottom bracket. Now, from my limited understanding, I think I need a 73x113 crankset with a 175mm crank. I have a shimano XTR 8 cog cassette in the rear and would like to keep a 3 cog set up front. Most of what I am seeing now is a 68mm bottom bracket and cranksets geared for 10 speed, which I assume uses an incompatible chain to my 8 cog rear cassette. Any help clearing this up or recommended parts/manufactures will be greatly appreciated!

  15. #15
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    All current MTB cranksets are 68/73 compatible, they just use BB spacers on the bearings, so you'd end up with just one 2.5mm spacer under the drive side bearing with a 73mm BB.

    But if you do use a shiny new crankset, they are mostly 10 speed cranks which are not going to be ideally suited to mating with an 8 speed cassette, the 8 speed chain will be sloppy on the 10 speed chainrings and a 10 speed chain will be a snug fit on an 8 speed cassette cog. And 8 speed chain will be snug in a 10 speed front derailleur and a 10 speed chain will be a sloppy fit with an 8 speed front derailleur.

    But there lots of people selling older 9 speed cranks when they upgrade to a 10 speed drivetrain, and a 9 speed 3 ring crankset will work with an 8 speed drivetrain. And you can still buy 8/9 speed compatible chainrings for older cranks.

    There's still some new 3x9 speed cranks out there

    SRAM X.7 GXP 3X9 Crankset 2013 | SRAM | Brand | www.PricePoint.com

    Universal Cycles -- Race Face Ride XC Crankset - 9 Speed

    Universal Cycles -- Shimano FC-M970 XTR Triple Crankset

    or buy a 2x9 crank and add a big ring

    Race Face Turbine 2x9 Crankset with Bash | Race Face | Brand | www.PricePoint.com
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  16. #16
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    Overhaul is mostly finished at this point. Frame is ceramic coated, new suspension bearings, new 3x9 drivetrain, new crankset with an external bearing bottom bracket. Only remaining plan is to replace the front fork, but with the recent upgrades- that will have to wait for a while...














  17. #17
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    Looks good, liking the paint finish. That's the toughest looking ETSX I've seen
    Rocky Mountain 2003 Hammer, 2009 Vertex 70 RSL, 2012 Element 970
    2012 Wilier Triestina Gran Turismo

  18. #18
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    Great job :-)

    My version: My ETSX - version 2014

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