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  1. #1
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    SOLO/5010 upgrade advice wanted

    I've been obsessively lurking on the Santa Cruz forum for months researching a new bike to replace my 2005 S-Works Stumpy FSR. I've been mentally preparing myself to build a SOLO from the frame up, but on Friday a "too good to be true" deal fell into my lap, and I had to pull the trigger on an SPX build 5010 Carbon.

    While I wait for it to be delivered, I am wondering what upgrades I should do (to align it with my original plan for the bike) and what components I should keep, despite them not being what I would have built it up with if I did it from scratch.

    Bar/Stem:
    I think I'm sold on swapping the Havoc bar for a Haven Carbon bar (lighter weight, and I like the 711 mm length on my Beargrease.) I'm also thinking I'll swap the AKA stem for a Thomson (pure vanity here.)

    Fork:
    I was leaning towards a modded Pike (dropped to 140mm with new internals) but considering waiting for an X-Fusion Sweep (if that piece of vaporware ever hits the market...) but KRob's Solo review spoke highly of the 2014 Fox 32, and it has me thinking about keeping the fork. I'm not too concerned about the 1/4 lb weight penalty with the beefier fork, but I'm trying to assess my need. My stumpy has a non-tapered steer tube, and a PUSH'd TALAS 32 with a 9mm QR. Going to the tapered headtube and 15mm TA will obviously make for a stiffer front end than I am used to, but the extra fork length and travel may offset this effect. I tend to descend fast on my Colorado Front Range trails, but I try to find the smooth lines or skim over rough, and try to avoid just plowing though rock gardens. I'm 175 lb without gear, and typically ride with a 5-10 lb pack, but do one or two longish races per year. (30-90 miles). Would one of the beefier AM forks be of benefit for my riding style?

    Wheels:
    I had planned on building some wheels with I9 green hubs to go with the frame (yeah, I love the black and green thing) laced to some Light-bicycle or Derby CF rims. That said, the I9 Torch Trail wheelset is tempting too. Does anyone have any feedback who has been on both the stock wheelset and an I9 or other premium wheel? I know I stand to drop some weight and possibly gain some wheel stiffness with upgraded wheels, but I don't know how much I could expect to get for the stock wheels (if sold new), and how they perform. My impression is that they are a bit heavy, but don't have any numbers.

    Drivetrain:
    I had strongly considered an XX1/X01 blend of drivetrain, but this has an XT triple. I have a 3x10 on my stumpy, and rarely use the big ring except for fire road descents. Generally, I use all the granny available since some of my trails top 30% grade. (I was thinking the 28T XX1 crank might be right for me, with a 30 or 32 for the occasional endurance race.) I like Shimano components, and generally like the shifting action of the Shimano stuff more than the X7 shifters on the BG. I particularly like the 2-gear upshift thing on the XT and XTR shifters...do the X01/XX1 shifters have a similar feature, or is it one gear per push/pull? I'm thinking about riding the XT triple for a while and waiting to see what Shimano has up their sleeve in the 1x10 or 1x11 realm, but I know I will get more in resale for the XT stuff if new (direct replacement with SRAM 1x11) versus used (ride it while waiting for a potential Shimano answer).

    Dropper:
    Was planning on holding out for a Thomson stealth (if it shows up) or a KS LEV integra, but obviously the Reverb has good press too. I ride in mostly dry conditions, so cable fouling is not as much of an issue for me as for others in different climates, and I like the easier maintenence (my perception only) on the cable-actuated posts, as well as the lower profile remotes.


    I'm thrilled to be joining the Santa Cruz family, and too excited to not talk about the bike. Thanks for any insights on any of my long-winded topics! Sorry for the long read!


    Adam (MadTony)

  2. #2
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    SOLO/5010 upgrade advice wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by MadTony View Post
    I've been obsessively lurking on the Santa Cruz forum for months researching a new bike to replace my 2005 S-Works Stumpy FSR. I've been mentally preparing myself to build a SOLO from the frame up, but on Friday a "too good to be true" deal fell into my lap, and I had to pull the trigger on an SPX build 5010 Carbon.

    While I wait for it to be delivered, I am wondering what upgrades I should do (to align it with my original plan for the bike) and what components I should keep, despite them not being what I would have built it up with if I did it from scratch.

    Bar/Stem:
    I think I'm sold on swapping the Havoc bar for a Haven Carbon bar (lighter weight, and I like the 711 mm length on my Beargrease.) I'm also thinking I'll swap the AKA stem for a Thomson (pure vanity here.)

    Fork:
    I was leaning towards a modded Pike (dropped to 140mm with new internals) but considering waiting for an X-Fusion Sweep (if that piece of vaporware ever hits the market...) but KRob's Solo review spoke highly of the 2014 Fox 32, and it has me thinking about keeping the fork. I'm not too concerned about the 1/4 lb weight penalty with the beefier fork, but I'm trying to assess my need. My stumpy has a non-tapered steer tube, and a PUSH'd TALAS 32 with a 9mm QR. Going to the tapered headtube and 15mm TA will obviously make for a stiffer front end than I am used to, but the extra fork length and travel may offset this effect. I tend to descend fast on my Colorado Front Range trails, but I try to find the smooth lines or skim over rough, and try to avoid just plowing though rock gardens. I'm 175 lb without gear, and typically ride with a 5-10 lb pack, but do one or two longish races per year. (30-90 miles). Would one of the beefier AM forks be of benefit for my riding style?

    Wheels:
    I had planned on building some wheels with I9 green hubs to go with the frame (yeah, I love the black and green thing) laced to some Light-bicycle or Derby CF rims. That said, the I9 Torch Trail wheelset is tempting too. Does anyone have any feedback who has been on both the stock wheelset and an I9 or other premium wheel? I know I stand to drop some weight and possibly gain some wheel stiffness with upgraded wheels, but I don't know how much I could expect to get for the stock wheels (if sold new), and how they perform. My impression is that they are a bit heavy, but don't have any numbers.

    Drivetrain:
    I had strongly considered an XX1/X01 blend of drivetrain, but this has an XT triple. I have a 3x10 on my stumpy, and rarely use the big ring except for fire road descents. Generally, I use all the granny available since some of my trails top 30% grade. (I was thinking the 28T XX1 crank might be right for me, with a 30 or 32 for the occasional endurance race.) I like Shimano components, and generally like the shifting action of the Shimano stuff more than the X7 shifters on the BG. I particularly like the 2-gear upshift thing on the XT and XTR shifters...do the X01/XX1 shifters have a similar feature, or is it one gear per push/pull? I'm thinking about riding the XT triple for a while and waiting to see what Shimano has up their sleeve in the 1x10 or 1x11 realm, but I know I will get more in resale for the XT stuff if new (direct replacement with SRAM 1x11) versus used (ride it while waiting for a potential Shimano answer).

    Dropper:
    Was planning on holding out for a Thomson stealth (if it shows up) or a KS LEV integra, but obviously the Reverb has good press too. I ride in mostly dry conditions, so cable fouling is not as much of an issue for me as for others in different climates, and I like the easier maintenence (my perception only) on the cable-actuated posts, as well as the lower profile remotes.


    I'm thrilled to be joining the Santa Cruz family, and too excited to not talk about the bike. Thanks for any insights on any of my long-winded topics! Sorry for the long read!


    Adam (MadTony)
    Bars are personal preference. I prefer my bars around 710-20. Can't go wrong with Havens if they fit you right.

    Stem- I have a Thomson but if I were doing it again I'd get a RaceFace Turbine. Just as nice and a little lighter and cheaper.

    I'd ride the Fox for a bit before dumping 600-1k on a new fork.

    I'm on the Derby's and can't speak highly enough about them. Would be a very nice wheelset matched up with i9 hubs. My buddy had the stock Bronson wheelset, which I believe is the same, and he swapped out ASAP. He was not a fan of the engagement of the DT hubs.

    If you really need that low of gearing then xx1 with a 28 would be necessary. How would that work at the other end of the cassette. On my terrain I'd be spun out quite a bit. I'm 1x10 (34-11/36) but don't have too many super steep pitches that I hit regularly.

    Dropper - again I'd just ride what it comes with until you decide an upgrade is necessary.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Bars are personal preference. I prefer my bars around 710-20. Can't go wrong with Havens if they fit you right.

    Stem- I have a Thomson but if I were doing it again I'd get a RaceFace Turbine. Just as nice and a little lighter and cheaper.

    I'd ride the Fox for a bit before dumping 600-1k on a new fork.

    I'm on the Derby's and can't speak highly enough about them. Would be a very nice wheelset matched up with i9 hubs. My buddy had the stock Bronson wheelset, which I believe is the same, and he swapped out ASAP. He was not a fan of the engagement of the DT hubs.

    If you really need that low of gearing then xx1 with a 28 would be necessary. How would that work at the other end of the cassette. On my terrain I'd be spun out quite a bit. I'm 1x10 (34-11/36) but don't have too many super steep pitches that I hit regularly.

    Dropper - again I'd just ride what it comes with until you decide an upgrade is necessary.
    Great perspective! That turbine stem is intriguing! Do you find the Derbys to have any negative impact on rolling resistance? I love the idea of a wide footprint-I like to corner hard and lean the bike over, but I don't know if the huge width (with a slight weight penalty) is overkill, or if the extra 60 or so grams per rim is a fair price to pay for the increase in traction. If I put smaller-knobbed 2.2's on them for "race day", do you think they would be ok? I'm definitely not a contender...barely cracking the top 1/4th of the field on my best day. When I race, I mostly ride to finish the long events, so a reduction in rolling resistance compared to the 2.3 HRII's would probably be welcome in that scenario. (I plan to keep the HRII's for trail use).

  4. #4
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    I agree with mestapho about the bar width being personal preference, but, when I went from a Haven bar to the Havoc, the Havoc felt very different in a good way. It was noticeably stiffer, just felt really beefy compared to the Haven, but at the same time also strangely felt like it provided better damping. For that reason I would recommend the Havoc over the Haven. You can always cut the Havoc down if it's too wide.

    As far as the fork goes, same thing in terms of feel. You'll be fine with the 32, but there's a huge difference between the 32 and a Pike on a rough downhill. The Fox will get overwhelmed on anything fast and rocky, whereas the Pike will plough right through. I would recomend this upgrade as it will make a big difference to stability and confidence downhill.

    Wheels - I have some LB wheels and would recommend them.

    Drivetrain, seems like a waste of money to swap it out, but yes the SRAM stuff does multiple shifts up with one push - up to 5 shifts at a time - and a 28t will give you a big enough range of gears.

    Post - Gravity Dropper. The original and still the best. Who wants to mess with bleeding a fackin post?

  5. #5
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    I also ride a RF Turbine stem, for whatever it's worth.

    I would ditch the triple and decide between 2x10 and 1x11. If you go SRAM, I highly recommend twist shifters. Shift up 2 gears at once? Hah, how about sweeping the whole cassette up or down, while keeping your thumb around the grip and your index finger over the brake lever!

    2x10 advantages - cost. X9 drivetrain with X0 shifters is much cheaper than full X01, which is a little cheaper than XX1. gear range IF using 39T or 42T XC ring, but no advantage if using AM chainrings

    1x11 advantages - weight, no front shifting

    I would definitely ride the fork for now, but I'm positive the Pike is a better fork than the Float 32. If you want AM plushness, the Pike is in a class alone right now, unless you would consider a BOS. (I wouldn't.) By Spring the Manitou Mattoc will be out and it should give the Pike a run for its money.

    If you're more on the XC / Enduro / 4X race side of things, I would look at the Magura TS8R.

  6. #6
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    Bars: I swapped the Havoc 750mm for the Haven 711mm, which is plenty wide for me. My other bikes have 685mm bars, so the 711mm is still pretty wide for me.

    Stem: Thomsons are nice. The Easton EA90 stem is lighter and feels just as stiff to me.

    Drivetrain: I have XT drivetrains on 2 bikes and they are great. I would just replace the big ring with a bashguard and run it as a 2x10 setup, which will give you nice low granny gear for climbing. I like Shimano triggers. I hate SRAM triggers. SRAM only have single release vs. Shimano double release (dropping 1 or 2 smaller cogs per push). Shimano also has instant release and multiple release (either push or pull the lever to shift to smaller cogs). My Solo came with XX1 and I swapped the trigger for a grip shift. If I were you I'd stick with the XT drivetrain and wait and see what Shimano comes out with next year.

    Fork: I think the stock fork is a good fork, once you get the air pressure and other settings dialed in. I don't think it's as plush as the RockShox stuff, and it won't be as stiff as a Pike, but for 130mm travel I think it's fine.

  7. #7
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    SOLO/5010 upgrade advice wanted

    Race face turbine stems in 70 mm I have is very flexy when cranking uphills stick with the Thomson post.

    *stem
    Last edited by mint355; 10-10-2013 at 05:10 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mint355 View Post
    Race face turbine stems in 70 mm I have is very flexy when cranking uphills stick with the Thomson post.
    interesting, I have not noticed that. what bars are you using?

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the input! I got the bike yesterday, and have to say I'm more impressed seeing it in person! The 750mm bars feel "right" to me in my preliminary assessment, but I haven't done much more than sit on it and do some slow speed stuff in my basement. The fork sure feels dry...I will need to play around with it some more. I have to say, I'm really impressed with the packaging and shipping from backcountry.com/ competitive cyclist. Class act operation. Even included a build checklist as part of the paperwork. A few questions for you solo owners: Did you get a shock pump included from Santa Cruz with the bike? Also, the saddle is listed as the volt "team" on the websites, which is supposed to have Ti rails. Mine looks like the slightly heavier "pro" with the NiCr rails. Can anyone else weigh in on the saddle the got with their bike compared to that listed on the web?

    Thanks again for all the advice. Keep it coming!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadTony View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input! I got the bike yesterday, and have to say I'm more impressed seeing it in person! The 750mm bars feel "right" to me in my preliminary assessment, but I haven't done much more than sit on it and do some slow speed stuff in my basement. The fork sure feels dry...I will need to play around with it some more. I have to say, I'm really impressed with the packaging and shipping from backcountry.com/ competitive cyclist. Class act operation. Even included a build checklist as part of the paperwork. A few questions for you solo owners: Did you get a shock pump included from Santa Cruz with the bike? Also, the saddle is listed as the volt "team" on the websites, which is supposed to have Ti rails. Mine looks like the slightly heavier "pro" with the NiCr rails. Can anyone else weigh in on the saddle the got with their bike compared to that listed on the web?

    Thanks again for all the advice. Keep it coming!
    My Solo came straight from SC and yes, they shipped it with the cheaper Volt saddle. I noticed too, but the LBS said that their configs are subject to change. Turns out I didn't like the Volt anyway and after a few rides I traded in the Volt and upgraded to my favorite WTB Silverado SLT (TI rails, leather). Seats are a very personal item though. You may like the stock seat.

  11. #11
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    SOLO/5010 upgrade advice wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    interesting, I have not noticed that. what bars are you using?
    Renthal fatbars cut to 730mm so I doubt any flex is coming from them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mint355 View Post
    Renthal fatbars cut to 730mm so I doubt any flex is coming from them.
    I share that doubt. And the flex is upward, pulling when you pedal hard uphill?

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    Hi Fella's,
    Great info all round for me & others i'm sure.
    I hope I'm not jumping in on the forum with some 5010/bronson ? here.

    I am trying to decide between the Bronson and the 5010, I live and ride the nth shore up here in Vancouver, Canada.
    Its pretty rough steep terrain up here and I use to ride dh, but now a little older and wiser I tend to like the fitness side of all mtn riding to earn my turns and enjoy the great techie descents, I like to ride hard and tend to basically ride my small bike like it's a dh bike on trails that are equivalent to match the small travel bike.
    i currently ride a with a 5 " fork and 4 " rear shock 69 degree head angle ( which i'm itching to get something a little slacker, solo 68 & bronson 67 degree's )

    i guess I'm trying to work out what everyone thinks about these 2 bikes, can the 5010 be ridden aggressively and stay strong & maybe put a fox 34 and drop it to 5" travel on the 5010 or am i better off going for the bigger, more enduro style Bronson to ride hard for many years, maybe drop the fork to 5"
    I have been leaning towards the Bronson the whole time but more I read about the 5010 I like that too.
    Ok much appreciated
    thx

  14. #14
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    SOLO/5010 upgrade advice wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by MadTony View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input! I got the bike yesterday, and have to say I'm more impressed seeing it in person! The 750mm bars feel "right" to me in my preliminary assessment, but I haven't done much more than sit on it and do some slow speed stuff in my basement. The fork sure feels dry...I will need to play around with it some more. I have to say, I'm really impressed with the packaging and shipping from backcountry.com/ competitive cyclist. Class act operation. Even included a build checklist as part of the paperwork. A few questions for you solo owners: Did you get a shock pump included from Santa Cruz with the bike? Also, the saddle is listed as the volt "team" on the websites, which is supposed to have Ti rails. Mine looks like the slightly heavier "pro" with the NiCr rails. Can anyone else weigh in on the saddle the got with their bike compared to that listed on the web?

    Thanks again for all the advice. Keep it coming!
    My TRc also came with a pro version WTB instead of the team, pretty sure that's a typo/mistake on the SC site saying the SPX kit comes with the team saddle, it doesn't
    2013 Medium Santa Cruz Blur Trc in Matte/Silver, full XT kit, 1x10 with 32T wolftooth ring, 25 pounds 7 ounces

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdMoore View Post
    Hi Fella's,
    Great info all round for me & others i'm sure.
    I hope I'm not jumping in on the forum with some 5010/bronson ? here.

    I am trying to decide between the Bronson and the 5010, I live and ride the nth shore up here in Vancouver, Canada.
    Its pretty rough steep terrain up here and I use to ride dh, but now a little older and wiser I tend to like the fitness side of all mtn riding to earn my turns and enjoy the great techie descents, I like to ride hard and tend to basically ride my small bike like it's a dh bike on trails that are equivalent to match the small travel bike.
    i currently ride a with a 5 " fork and 4 " rear shock 69 degree head angle ( which i'm itching to get something a little slacker, solo 68 & bronson 67 degree's )

    i guess I'm trying to work out what everyone thinks about these 2 bikes, can the 5010 be ridden aggressively and stay strong & maybe put a fox 34 and drop it to 5" travel on the 5010 or am i better off going for the bigger, more enduro style Bronson to ride hard for many years, maybe drop the fork to 5"
    I have been leaning towards the Bronson the whole time but more I read about the 5010 I like that too.
    Ok much appreciated
    thx
    I was a bit in the same boat between the Bronson and the 5010. Ultimately I chose the 5010 for a few reasons. I knew either was going to be a big step up in descending capability from my stumpy (70.5 deg HT, 120 mm travel, 635mm bars). I was drawn to the 5010 for its extra climbing prowess over the Bronson. I ride the downhills hard enough, but I am relatively weak on the climbs. (as a strava dork, I am generally in the top 10% descending, but mid pack at best on the climbs.) I also like the idea of a more playful and maneuverable bike over the raw speed of the Bronson. I rode both, and liked both. In Colorado, I get a mix of smooth and rough, steep and mild. I generally ride for fun, but do the occasional long race or 4000-foot climbing day, and when I ride with someone else, it is usually my buddy who does Ironmans. In short, I wanted something that could hang when things got aerobic, without letting me down on the descents. I generally don't do drops bigger than 3 feet, although I get plenty of high speed rocky trail time. If you do big north shore type riding, you might want to check out the bronson, but if my type sounds familiar, the 5010 might be calling your name.

    One more thing: When demoing bikes, I set a PR down a gnarly section of my local trail on a 6" bike (SB66C, on the wall at Deer Creek ) The confidence I had on the 6" bike was crazy. Then I had the worst crash of my life a minute or two later when several factors combined to put me in a very bad situation. I ended up endoing off a 10 foot cliff into a creekbed full of jagged rocks. I managed to land feet first, but I was limping for a month. (sprained achilles at the heelbone, along with plenty of other scuffs and bruises.) The bike was fine, by the way, after a thorough inspection. I figured I would get myself in less trouble with a 5010 versus feeling like I had to rail every downhill to justify my bike choice on a bronson-I was pushing pretty hard on the demo. Depending on how aggressive you are, and your ability to get yourself out of trouble fast, this could be a good or bad thing. Also, learn the lesson from me-on a new ride, on any bike you are not familiar with, ease into it and don't bite off more than you can chew too soon.

    Ultimately, I felt like I couldn't go wrong with either bike. If you can, demo.

    Adam

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightofthefleming View Post
    My TRc also came with a pro version WTB instead of the team, pretty sure that's a typo/mistake on the SC site saying the SPX kit comes with the team saddle, it doesn't
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendbear View Post
    My Solo came straight from SC and yes, they shipped it with the cheaper Volt saddle. I noticed too, but the LBS said that their configs are subject to change. Turns out I didn't like the Volt anyway and after a few rides I traded in the Volt and upgraded to my favorite WTB Silverado SLT (TI rails, leather). Seats are a very personal item though. You may like the stock seat.
    Thanks guys for confirming that I'm not an isolated case!

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    I upgraded to the Fox 140mm Kashima and also kashima shock as I wanted that little extra, drive train I like Shimano always have, never got on with SRAM some do some hate them, shimano seems to be a good standard...

    best do the fork upgrade on purchase otherwise is a big hit later.

    My next upgrade is Hope Brakes and XT

  18. #18
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    In case folks still refer to this thread, one comment: I've upgraded my Solo/5010c to Pike lowered to 140mm. World of difference, unbelievable vs Fox 32. It's not just the extra 10mm, but the botomless feel, the better progression - it feels so plush up front even charging into gnarly rock gardens, that you start noticing the rear limitations a lot more!
    If you've bought a new one, then maybe not worth the swap, but if you're putting together a bike from scratch don't think twice!
    --
    If I work to pay for my rides - then why am I at work right now??

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirh1 View Post
    In case folks still refer to this thread, one comment: I've upgraded my Solo/5010c to Pike lowered to 140mm. World of difference, unbelievable vs Fox 32. It's not just the extra 10mm, but the botomless feel, the better progression - it feels so plush up front even charging into gnarly rock gardens, that you start noticing the rear limitations a lot more!
    If you've bought a new one, then maybe not worth the swap, but if you're putting together a bike from scratch don't think twice!
    Amir are they Pike 34 140s or Pike 32 140s ?
    I run Float 32 140MM and can relate to what your saying, I did test a Bronson this weekend for my wife although im running a large Solo, this was a Medium Bronson but the 5k version Alloy, it felt a lot more spongy, probably shocks setup differently, I also noticed I could go up hill better, unsure if it was a weight thing. My Solo is alloy and standard parts, so im going to slowly start upgrading everything to carbon, starting with some fatbars I think, then the chain set

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobamory View Post
    Amir are they Pike 34 140s or Pike 32 140s ?
    I run Float 32 140MM and can relate to what your saying, I did test a Bronson this weekend for my wife although im running a large Solo, this was a Medium Bronson but the 5k version Alloy, it felt a lot more spongy, probably shocks setup differently, I also noticed I could go up hill better, unsure if it was a weight thing. My Solo is alloy and standard parts, so im going to slowly start upgrading everything to carbon, starting with some fatbars I think, then the chain set
    I run a Pike 35 27.5, 150mm lowered to 140mm. These are new for 2013/14, I don't think they come in any other size.
    --
    If I work to pay for my rides - then why am I at work right now??

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