Switch Ltd -03 upgrades? A few questions...
Ok, first post here.
I have a Switch Ltd -03, which I got almost unused in Fall -04.
I rode the bike pretty hard the whole last season, average two rides a week (from may to say october). Mostly trail/xcish + one week in Lake Garda, Italy (some lift serviced/shuttle + few longish climbs + even longer downhills!) + couple of times in a bike park / urban goofing around.
The bike is stock, except wheel set (magura hubs + mavic D Max UST + the rear shock might be (=some weird eye to eye lenght of like 173mm which is ~6,9!", basic fox vanilla R)
I learned to use the SPD's last summer, and somehow also got more into xc-ish rides. And yes, I used Switch for that (w/ that set-up). Call me crazy but the uphills are not long here, and trails are technical: often wet, very rooty, and nice steep slickrock, where you can find short but challenging lines.
Now, the frame is still in very good condition (except rear lingage bushings - but that's easy to fix) and I don't like to sell the frame yet, just when I got really familiar with it's handling. However, I'd like to do a few upgrades and make the set up a bit lighter for versatility (even when knowing this isn't optimal trail/all mountain bike).
The first problem comes with the shocks and the high leverage ratio of 1:4. And the odd eye-to-eye lenght of the current shock. It seems like most of the shocks these days start at 2"stroke / 8" eye-to-eye lenght. I was thinking about an air shock but the local shop owner didn't recommend any air shock to the high leverage ratio frame!(opinions?). Now I'm thinking either Romic (can be found at 165mm lenght, pedal friendly?) or basic Fox Vanilla RC w/ pro pedal (also short lenght available, tested, mainteinance sure, pro pedal making it reasonable to pedal too?). Any other options? Air shock would be a nice, easy way of making the bike a tad lighter but it doesn't seem like a realistic option...or does it?
I'd like to buy a Rock Shoxx Pike to the front, and was thinking that a bit shorter shock will suit with that fork nicely: the shorter shock will make the rear end a bit lower and maybe shorten the real travel just a tad, maybe 0,5 inch. This should fit the (max.) 140mm Pike just nicely, I guess. Any opinions to that? I've calculated that this will steepen the head angle just about 0,5 degree, maybe even less with the shorter shock (Current Manitou Sherman Breakout, axle to crown height 532 vs. Pike's 520). But hopefully this isn't too steep for freeride type of riding? (which I still like to do occasionally), knowing RM has added longer forks (170mm) to the current Switch versions?
Then the wheels: I need lighter wheels which still take the abuse of rough trail riding and/or the occasional drops/jumps. Mavic Crossmax Enduro set maybe? Or Mavic 719 (or 321 XM, which seems a bit sturdier) with some decent hubs. Any recommendations here are appreciated, since I don't have that much experience with wheel sets generally. (The wheels don't have to be UST, since I've had some problems with that, tubes seems simpler to me...)
Sorry for the long post.
Any info is really appreciated. Give your opinions / experience on similar cases...
EDIT: some essential info: the frame is M, 18", which is maybe just a bit small for me (but on the other hand quite nimble and well handling). Thinking about adding a longer (90mm) stem instead of the short (5cm) stock stem. Own measurements are 183cm (~6feet), 83kg (~180lbs). Riding style maybe a bit rough, quite powerful but not the smoothest...
Last edited by JJN; 05-16-2006 at 05:19 AM.
I had a 2003 briefly as I bought the frame in late early 2005 on clearout online at supergo but it came with a crack in it so Rocky warrenteed it for an 05. I didn't notice the crank right away though so had it all built up and got 1 ride on it. Actually I did notice the crack, I just thought it was a paint crack but it wasn't, grease was oozing out of the pivot.
Anyways, I did some research into the rear shock because that was a concern for me too and I ended up sending my Vanilla R to Push Industries for new internals which makes it stronger and more able to hold up to a tall leverage ratio. They dial it in for your weight and riding style. There service was great and reviews of them are all positive but I didn't get to put any time on the shock before the service and only 1-2hrs on it after so I won't comment on how well it worked cuz I really don't know.
Another shock option is a 5th Element. I think you can get both coil and air versions but the total length of the shock is 7.5" instead of 7.75 stock and the stroke is 1.5" instead of 1.75" stock so you end up with about 5.5" of travel instead of 6". Other than that it works fine though. BTW, the stock leverage ratio is about 3.4:1 (6/1.75). As well, I think that new Marzocchi ROCO might come in the length you need and the new Cane Creek/Ohlins Double Barrell shock does and that shock is super good but it's $800 roughly.
About your wheel, I went with Sun MTX rims cuz they are beefy yet not too heavy and then I converted them to tubeless using the ghetto method (stretch 20" bmx tubes on your rims, split them open, but your tire on, add Stans sealant and then cut of the edges) it worked great and I saved a pound or so. This is what I'm using on my 2005 switch now.
If you're doing mainly XC riding though you could go with a lighter wheelset like the crossmax's.
I totally disagree with putting a Pike on your switch though. I hate R/S and that has something to do with it but you gotta atleast put a 6" fork on there. RM's already have steep headangles for riding skinnies and technical trails and the pike will make it too steep. The fork for you is a 2006 Marz 66SL. It's really light because it's all air and you can adjust it from 3" - 7" by playing with the positive and negative air chambers. It's pricy but it's a way better fork than the Pike. If you aren't going to go marzocchi atleast go with like a Fox 36 or something...anything but Manipoo and RS.
Thanks for your thoughful answer.
Damn. That's what couple of friends are allready saying too. The price is the only concern though. But maybe I should just wait a little longer and save the dough for that cause I was already worried about the steep head angle. That is one sexy fork must say! And everybody with it seems to praise it too...
The fork for you is a 2006 Marz 66SL
Riding on a single speed with 85mm suspension on the front at the moment. Just cant wait to get on the full susser again when the upgrades are made. But I guess it's good to go "back to basics" for a while, riding a big bike after that must be some great fun! (and I wish I'll be a better rider then too...???)
Going back to a big bike is so nice. I had a 5" RM Edge back in 2001 and I was hitting everything but with no style so I sold it for a Kona Roast hardtail. I learned how to do a real bunny hop and a ton more skill and now that I'm back on a full squish bike I can really haul.