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  1. #1
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    Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics

    So, I recently purchased a Santa Cruz Nickel frame, on closeout from competitive cyclist dot com, for a crazy deal. I was actually originally in the market for a 4" travel 29'er frame, to swap all my parts over from my Surly Karate Monkey.

    However, 3 factors came into play that swayed my decision. The first factor was that I love the Karate Monkey the way it is and would be shamed to stripe 'er of parts for some new mistress. The second factor was geometry, I couldn't find a 29'er frame with the geometry I wanted, for the price I was looking for. Most of the 29'er frames have looong chainstays and steep angles. But the third reason is what pushed me back in the direction of 26" wheels, the Nickel frame on closeout for $699, with 16.7" chainstays....and then reading about the 140mm travel upgrade in other threads!

    The Karate Monkey gets the thumbs-up and lives as my smooth XC trail speed machine. The Nickel shall be built as a rough and tumble big-all-mountain bike, with concern for weigh. I have a lot of spare parts laying around to use, but need to build a new wheel set. Hopefully I can get a reasonable weight on this thing.

    Here is the Nickel frame, popped fresh out tha box:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel1.jpg  


  2. #2
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    The first thing I did was call up Marzocchi and inquired about end-of season deals on 2012 items. Big mistake, as I am now the owner of a Roco LO and a 44 RC3ti, and a big bag of Quinoa from Costco. The Quinoa should provide enough protein and sustenance to survive on while I get my finances back in the safe zone.

    The Roco LO is 200 x 57, bringing the rear travel of the Nickel up to 140mm, as demonstrated in other threads. The Marzocchi 44 RC3ti is 150mm of travel, with a tapered steartube. Should be nicely balanced...MTBer4Life has this same suspension setup on his Nickel, the reports have been very positive.

    Official frame weight on the local bike shop digital scale was just under 7 lbs, with the Roco LO...something like 6.95 lbs. The 44 RC3ti weighed in at 4.4 lbs. Not bad, so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel3.jpg  

    Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel4.jpg  


  3. #3
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    After some time, I place an order on parts. First up is the wheel build. This was a tough decision, but I finally settled on limited edition ano-electric-blue Halo Feedom Disc rims.

    I have black Halo Freedom Disc rims on my Karate Monkey, and have been very pleased with their weight and strength. They built up real true-like and have remained so. I am a fan.

    Halo also makes them in ano-red, but I have red parts on other bikes, so blue is the risk I shall take....laced to a green Chris King hub. What am I doing?!?

    btw, Universal Cycles has the Halo rim weight wrong...they show 645g, Halo's website shows 545g. The digital scale at the local bike shop weighed them at 540g.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel5.jpg  

    Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel6.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Are you seriously living off quinoa now?!
    Santa Cruz Blur TRc

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve.E View Post
    Are you seriously living off quinoa now?!
    Not seriously, but I did buy a big bag of quinoa to help out. Eggs, cans of tuna and homemade salsa are part of this bike build, too. I am on a serious spending budget now.

  6. #6
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    Secret Weapon

    Adding tension to the secret weapon, and 4th reason I went with this frame, dropouts compatible with this hub. I won't be conforming to the new standards for a while.

    An Alfine hub has been abused on my Karate Monkey for about 2 years now, without a single problem...one should be able to survive on this bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel7.jpg  


  7. #7
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    more eye candy....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel8.jpg  

    Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel9.jpg  


  8. #8
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
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    Mmmmmm. Nice. I wanna' hear how the frame gets along with the Alfine down the road.

    Love the idea of a IGH one my suspension bikes, but hate the idea of still needing a tensioner.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover View Post
    Love the idea of a IGH one my suspension bikes, but hate the idea of still needing a tensioner.
    I feel the same way...but my hate for the tensioner is less than my hate for the deraileur.

    One overlooked advantage of the IGH is being able to shift without pedaling. This is nice in technical little descents with steep gully climbs at the bottom.

    Hopefully I can come up with a low-profile tensioning setup.

  10. #10
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    Progress

    The bike stands on her own wheels! Still have some things to work out in the chain tensioning department, but this is more or less what I'm going for.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel12.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Borrowed the XTR cranks off of my Karate Monkey to start prototyping the chain tensioning devise. I have a feeling this would not work on it's own, but it was worth a shot. Even with a super high roller, the over all difference in chain growth above the cranks is still greater than the chain length shortening below the cranks. In conclusion, chain tension still gets tighter.

    I'm going to attempt to invent a spring-loaded roller to make this work.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel13.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Yup, Avid mechanical disc brakes...mis-mached pair of calipers, laying around in the garage. Currently rocking a pair on the KM, definitely a fan of these simple yet powerful brakes. Pretty easy to dial in a no-drag setup.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel15.jpg  

    Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel14.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Chubby ROCO.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel16.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Thieves beware!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-nickel11.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Very cool to see someone having fun with their build!!
    Thanks for sharing

  16. #16
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    Don't know that you'll get around the issue without using something out back. Something like this.

    ETR/D / bike chain tensioners and other goodies / your friends at yess labs

    Run your ring and cog as far inboard as you can, and I'd think it would minimize how much of the tensioner is sticking out to potentially be damanged.

    Rohloff makes one like that, and I think Shimano even has one. Or just trim down an old rear mech - seems like a short cage model would work well.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  17. #17
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    Or on the cheap, use an old rd and use the screws to set in one spot.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dansMTB View Post
    Or on the cheap, use an old rd and use the screws to set in one spot.
    I have a variety of hanger based chain tensioners at my disposal, in the garage...a Surly Singulator, a Paul's tensioner and a couple of old road deraileurs.

    Those are my back-up options. I want to try and tension the chain from the bottom bracket.

    I need to order an Alfine cog, that has the plastic chain guide built in, to keep the chain on track.

    Although I'm anxious to ride the Nickel, I'm kind of savoring this build for some unknown reason. I have a set of Shimano SLX cranks on order for this bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover View Post
    Don't know that you'll get around the issue without using something out back. Something like this.

    ETR/D / bike chain tensioners and other goodies / your friends at yess labs
    yess!!! Something along these lines is what I'm hoping to accomplish. I need to get the chain as short as possible, to pull it off.

    The Nickel has plenty of clearance in this area to position a BB tensioner, with the elevated chainstays.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-etrb-cutout_grande.jpg  

    Nickel Bike of Funk - build pics-etr_b_grande.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Belt drive

    Have you thought about going with a belt drive system. My understanding is some of the belt drive systems sold in Europe incorporate a belt that stretches so you do not need a tensioner.

  21. #21
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    Very Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by sriracha View Post
    The bike stands on her own wheels! Still have some things to work out in the chain tensioning department, but this is more or less what I'm going for.
    Nice Build. Here is an update on my build. I built this one to be a trailbike queen.

    Right now she weighs in at 28 pounds 4 ounces. I will post pics later.

    Cheers,

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBforlife View Post
    Have you thought about going with a belt drive system. My understanding is some of the belt drive systems sold in Europe incorporate a belt that stretches so you do not need a tensioner.
    Had not considered belt drive. I did not realize some of them stretched.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sriracha View Post
    Had not considered belt drive. I did not realize some of them stretched.
    One of my riding buddies is from accross the pond and when we first linked up he was using this belt drive system on a FSR to power his Rolf rear hub. No tensioner required. He said he liked it alot. The system did eventually wear out on his bike and he was unable to find a replacement belt at that time so he put a tradional set up on his rig. Unfortunately I am not able to remember the Manufactures name.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBforlife View Post
    One of my riding buddies is from accross the pond and when we first linked up he was using this belt drive system on a FSR to power his Rolf rear hub. No tensioner required. He said he liked it alot. The system did eventually wear out on his bike and he was unable to find a replacement belt at that time so he put a tradional set up on his rig. Unfortunately I am not able to remember the Manufactures name.
    Interesting. I wonder if you lose any power, due to the stretching belt? Or maybe it acts like a rubber band, storing potential energy and releasing it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sriracha View Post
    Interesting. I wonder if you lose any power, due to the stretching belt? Or maybe it acts like a rubber band, storing potential energy and releasing it.
    Do do remember him saying that he got no feedback at the pedals.

    This was like four years ago, too.

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