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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliz2z View Post
    Looks great Peter! Looking forward to hear your first riding impressions.
    ...
    Here are some more pics (I hope you don't mind that I post them in your thread ):
    Beautiful pics! Post away!

    I am blown away by the Horsethief so far. It's literally better that I expected, and I had high expectations. It is leaps and bounds better than the RIP 9 RDO I recently demoed (the last FS bike I was on, and a bike I was considering).

    I'm shocked at how easy it is to bunny hop with. I will do more riding with it tomorrow, but for now, here's a photo:
    Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!-img_4775a.jpg

    I have not cut or bled the XTs. The brakes are fine (I used the front XT on my other bike briefly while taking care of a brake under warranty) but the cables are longer than they should be. I'll eventually cut and "bleed" the brakes (mostly just throw a funnel on the XTs and ensure there are no bubbles or squishiness, not actually change the oil), but that can wait for a day that isn't good for riding.

  2. #27
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    In what ways is it better than the RIP 9 RDO to you?

    Nice bike BTW, it's always rewarding to build it up yourself. I've done my last three that way.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    In what ways is it better than the RIP 9 RDO to you?
    Here's a list of reasons I wasn't thrilled with the RIP 9 RDO:

    When I demoed the RIP 9 RDO, I road an XL frame, and an L frame. The XL, well, that is a big frame. The XL was just a tad too big to feel right, but the L frame felt small. Would making the stem shorter on an XL or adding a offset seat post to the L have helped? I'm sure at least one of those bikes could have fit me better, but I felt stuck in-between sizes.

    The initial XL I road had too much pressure in the shock, the rebound settings weren't well set, and when I said something about it, the L was set for my weight. The problem is that the L felt too small as a frame. I still felt like I was riding on the bike, but without either a longer stem and/or setback setpost, the L frame cockpit felt cramped, which made it difficult to try to appreciate the suspension on the L, while the experience on the XL was suboptimal.

    The RIP 9 RDOs were set up for 1x11. If you noticed I went 38/24 in the front and 11-36 in the back. And I used every gear my first time out. I want a granny gear and I want to pedal 38:11 in areas I can carry speed safely. Would I have liked the bike better with 2x10? Probably?

    The RIP 9 RDOs had Avid brakes, it was wet, and they doubled as a loud noisemaker to warn people I was coming. Super nitpicky, but just another thing to notice.

    The bike felt big. And I say that about a lot of Niner bikes. When riding my friend's Niner hardtail, you are riding on it more than in it, but I like that feel for their hardtails, but I did not like it on the RIP 9 RDOs. Coupled with a 780mm bar, the bike felt big, wide and unstable. The Horsethief front end is very light, but the bike feels much smaller, I feel much more like I'm riding in the bike and the unweighted front tire feels more playful than daunting.

    Lastly, the RIP 9 RDOs had 2.35 Nobby Nics on front and back and more tire pressure than I would have liked. That, plus a limited top gear thanks to 1x11, felt slow. I have a 2.4" Ardent (which I understand is almost exactly the same size as the Nobby Nics, since that 2.35" and 2.4" is about as consistent as frame size measurement) on the front, but I put a 2.25 Ardent in the rear to try to avoid going overkill on the tires. Wet conditions obviously didn't help, but all of those little things combined lead to me being underwhelmed.

    I know geometry is a lot of personal preference, but the feel, for me, of being in the bike on the Horsethief...it reminds me a bit of why I've kept my 26" bike, that fun aspect of being in a fast, nimble bike. I'm not sure any of my ramble is helpful, but hopefully there's something in there that helps you understand a little better.
    2014 Horsethief, 2013 Karakoram, NB-AT3, 2006 Giant XtC

  4. #29
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    I actually had the chance to ride this build yesterday. Thanks to peteer letting me beat on his brand new bike for a bit.


    Fit: I'm 6'2 with a broad frame, large torso, and average to slightly short arms and legs for my height, and the L fit me very well. I'd probably go with a 60mm stem but the 90 that is on there felt good too.

    Handling: I had been riding a rigid 26" bike all day up to that point so I had some adjustments to make. Once I made those adjustments though, I had zero problems in tight switch backs. Felt very confident making turns that I often have to dab a foot on with my hard tail 29er. The faster you go, the better the turns feel. His tire selection was spot on as well. I might go with more rear tire if it were my build but I love the Ardents for our trails. Tons of confidence over super dry sand and damp roots. I didn't ride it far since I was pretty whipped from chasing a CX bike around for an hour and a half but in the 1.5 miles I rode it I had everything from intermediate climbs to flowey single track to a fun little bowl you ride in and out of.

    Overall: If I were to build a Horsethief I might have set it up a bit differently, but Peteers choices were incredibly solid and my choices would only be different based on preference and riding style. The XT stuff performed flawlessly under my 240lbs, the Pike felt amazing and super plush. The Horsethief is an incredibly fun bike to ride. Inspired confidence in a rider who tends to not have a lot of confidence (except on the fast rooty downhills) and really made me feel like I had a lot of room to grow. It rides like a hard tail without the impact. Smooths out the natural style trails and is far more capable than I am. It feels lighter than it is on trail, and I was able to clear climbs that I can't on my steep head angle hard tail. Very very nice job to Salsa and Peteers build did the frame justice.
    Eric

  5. #30
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    Nice build guys! Looks like a very capable and fun bike.

  6. #31
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    Cutting cables, finalizing cockpit

    So I went ahead and cut the brake lines, bled the brakes, and have both shifting cables and brake lines of reasonable length.

    I also decided I was happy enough with the cockpit fit to pick up a Raceface stem (Turbine 90mm, 6 degree) and handlebar (Sixc 785mm):

    Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!-img_4871a.jpg

    I did not expect the weight difference to be as large as it was. The stem was supposed to be heavier than the one it's replacing, and I thought the bar was only 110g or so lighter. Here's the weight difference:Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!-img_4874a.jpg
    Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!-img_4877a.jpg

    Slightly higher rise, haven't ridden it yet to know how it feels, but went from 30mm of spacer to 10mm of spacers (with another 10mm on top, just in case), so the -7 degree stem and 6 degree stem put the handlebars in the exact same location due to the 20mm change in spacers.

    I also decided the Charger Pros would look nicer in plain white. The decals were too busy, so I took them off. Here's how the bike looks now:

    Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!-img_4878a.jpg
    Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!-img_4880a.jpg

    Looking forward to trying out the new stem and bar, and also riding with a tad less pressure in the Pike. Hopefully the weather and work both cooperate tomorrow and I get an evening ride in.
    2014 Horsethief, 2013 Karakoram, NB-AT3, 2006 Giant XtC

  7. #32
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    Re: Ordered my Horsethief L Frame today, looking forward to building it!

    Quote Originally Posted by peteer01 View Post
    So I went ahead and cut the brake lines, bled the brakes, and have both shifting cables and brake lines of reasonable length.

    I also decided I was happy enough with the cockpit fit to pick up a Raceface stem (Turbine 90mm, 6 degree) and handlebar (Sixc 785mm):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did not expect the weight difference to be as large as it was. The stem was supposed to be heavier than the one it's replacing, and I thought the bar was only 110g or so lighter. Here's the weight difference:Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Slightly higher rise, haven't ridden it yet to know how it feels, but went from 30mm of spacer to 10mm of spacers (with another 10mm on top, just in case), so the -7 degree stem and 6 degree stem put the handlebars in the exact same location due to the 20mm change in spacers.

    I also decided the Charger Pros would look nicer in plain white. The decals were too busy, so I took them off. Here's how the bike looks now:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looking forward to trying out the new stem and bar, and also riding with a tad less pressure in the Pike. Hopefully the weather and work both cooperate tomorrow and I get an evening ride in.
    Looks good. I'll be there but not until 630ish.
    Eric

  8. #33
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    Hi Peter, have you ever tried a shorter stem? Especially with the wide handlebar it will give your ride a complete different feeling.
    I would recommend you to test ride a 50 or 60mm stem. It might feel strange the first couple of miles but after you have ridden a couple of trails you will love it.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliz2z View Post
    Hi Peter, have you ever tried a shorter stem? Especially with the wide handlebar it will give your ride a complete different feeling.
    I would recommend you to test ride a 50 or 60mm stem. It might feel strange the first couple of miles but after you have ridden a couple of trails you will love it.
    No thanks. I've ridden a shorter stem on a FS demo bike, and did not like it. My arms are too long and I already prefer a smaller frame. I talk more about my height, arm length and a stem length in this post earlier this thread.

    The new handlebar is lightweight, strong, all the good things I want. Unfortunately, it felt off on my first ride with it. My issue was with the rise. The cockpit felt cramped, my left arm started going numb, and I felt I had too much pressure on my hands.

    I went from a 1/2" rise (12.7mm) to a 20mm rise, and while I went through the math to make sure the 10mm of spacers with the new stem would put the bar in the same location as the old stem with 30mm of spacers, I didn't account for the rise.

    I honestly didn't think the 7.3mm would matter. It did. It wasn't a huge difference, but it was noticeable. Numb hand was a first on the new bike. I just now changed it from 10mm spacers on top and bottom to a 5mm spacer on the bottom and a 15mm spacer on top. A quick ride up and down the street felt much more natural, and more like how the bike rode with the Answer bar. Hopefully the grip height is now only 2 or 3mm off where it was.

    I'm sure the bar will absolutely work. It's lighter than I expected, and looks and feels great. I just need to get the handlebars in the right place. I have a race on Sunday and probably won't have a chance to ride much, if at all, between now and then, so hopefully the 5mm drop makes things a tad better fit.
    2014 Horsethief, 2013 Karakoram, NB-AT3, 2006 Giant XtC

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