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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    VP-Free questions

    Hi guys, I'm in the process of buying a new Santa Cruz VP Free.

    Could anybody post their VP Free setups?

    The build I was considering consists of these parts:

    Frame: VP Free Large (I'm 6.6)
    Fork:Marzocchi 66SL
    Seatpost: Thomson
    Saddle: Fizik Gobi
    Hubs: Draco
    Rims: Sun Singletrack welded
    Front and rear derailleur: XT
    Crankset and BB: XT Hollowtech II
    Cassette: XT
    Tires: Maxxis Minion 2.35
    Stem: Race Face Diabolus
    Handlebar: Race Face Diabolus
    Brakes: Juicy 5's (203 rotor front and 160 rear)
    Headset: Chris King
    Shifters: XT
    Grips: ODI lock on

    What do you guys think of this?

    Thomas

  2. #2
    Freeriding Feline
    Reputation: SuperKat's Avatar
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    Mine...

    Frame: VP Free, Medium (5'7")
    Fork: Marzocchi 888 RC w/ low rider crowns
    Shock: Fox DHX 5.0
    Brakes: Hayes
    Grips: ODI Lock Ons
    Pedals: Truv Holz
    Saddle WTB Laser V
    Cranks: Truvative
    Handlebars: WTB
    Tires: Maxxis Highrollers front and back
    Wheelset: WTB
    Seatpost: Easton

    There are pics of it around on this site but I don't have any on this computer.
    "If you give up your dream, you die."
    Twitter - KIKat1029

  3. #3
    The king is on fire
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    Frame: Medium...was black now powercoated white w/ enduro max bearings
    Fork: Shiver (40 midseason)
    Shock: Fox DHX 5.0
    Brakes: Juicy
    Grips: Intense
    Headset: Cane Creek S2
    Pedals: NYC freeride
    Saddle WTB pure V
    Seatpost clamp: NYC freeride
    Cranks: Truvativ Holzfeller
    Handlebars: SIC race
    Tires: Michelin tubeless
    Wheelset: Hadley/823/DT DB
    Seatpost: Thomson
    Cassette: PG-990
    Shifter/Der: X.9
    Guide: E.thirteen

    Waiting on the wheels then my pics will be up in the VP pic thread
    Have fun.

  4. #4
    truth seeker
    Reputation: Reptile's Avatar
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    Here's mine:



    Frame: VP Free Large (I'm 6.0 and wish I'd gone for the medium)
    Fork: Fox 40 RC2
    Seatpost: Thomson
    Saddle: WTB
    Hubs: Hadley F and R
    Rims: Mavic 823 UST
    Front derailleur: XT
    Rear derailleur: SRAM X-9
    Crankset and BB: Saint 22/32
    Guide: e13 DRS
    Pedals: NYC Freeride Race-lites
    Cassette: XT 11-34
    Tires: Maxxis Mobster 2.5
    Stem: Thomson X4
    Handlebar: Easton EA70 os
    Brakes: Hayes Mag
    Headset: Chris King
    Shifters: SRAM twist F, SRAM X-9 trigger R
    Grips: ODI Ruffian lock on

  5. #5
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    I am waiting for this one to arrive. What do you think?

    Frame: VP Free Large, anodized, slate (i'm also 6 feet)
    Fork: Marzocchi 66rc2x 2006 170mm
    Seatpost: Raceface Evolve DH
    Saddle: SDG Bel Air Titanium
    Wheels: Mavic DEEMAX 2006
    Rear derailleur: SRAM X-9
    Crankset and BB: Raceface Evolve DH X-type
    Guide: Raceface
    Pedals: DMR V12 magnesium
    Cassette: SRAM PG990
    Tires: Maxxis HighRoller UST
    Stem: Raceface Evolve DH
    Handlebar: RAceface Evolve DH
    Brakes: Avid Juicy 5
    Headset: Chris King NoThreadset
    Shifters: SRAM X-9 trigger R

  6. #6
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    Med Ano Slate Grey - I'm 6'1"
    DHX5
    Hope Bulbs on Mavic EX721 (85gms lighter than EX729's per rim, and narrower so tyres have a rounder profile)
    2.5 Maxxis High-Rollers Super-Tacky
    Easton EA70 bars and post, Havoc stem
    66RC's
    SDG Bel-Air saddle
    XTR shifters and rear mech
    Raceface cranks
    E13 DRS
    DMR V12 Mag pedals
    Raceface Diabolous lockons
    Hope Mono M4's, 200mm front and 160 rear
    King headset
    Truvatic Gigapipe BB

    Weighs 40lbs and I love it.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Mine comes with the 5th element shox, but now I see that the new VP Free is sold with the Fox DHX5.

    Is the 5th element really that bad? Anything I should worry about?

    Thomas

  8. #8
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    It's still a good shock mate, but with the VPP you shouldn't really need to have the pedal platform on. With the DHX5 you can turn the Pro-Pedal right off, not so sure about the 5th.

    Here's my bike http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/?op=view&image=457288

    Got the DRS on now though.

  9. #9
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    {QUOTE} Frame: VP Free Large (I'm 6.6)


    Why the small frames & tall guys ? I see this more often than not. Really tall guys running med & large frames. Is it an ex. BMX thing or ??? I am 6'4" and will be purchasing an XL Free. I currently ride an XL Bullit from trail to DH.

  10. #10
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    Great Build list, but i'm just curious about a couple of your decisions. Did you know that the VPfree uses a wider bb? Now i have seen a couple xt cranksets on these frames but its not a perfect fit. What made you choose that wheel set? I had never heard of Draco hubs untill this. It would seem like your trying to build this as a pretty versatile bike, so why not check into the new mavic deemax, they now make a them in a 150x12mm

    Heres my build

    Ano Slate VPfree dhx5
    Fox 40rc2
    Hadley hubs with dt 6.1 rims
    Holzefeler cranks and bars
    Thomson post and stem
    Wtb seat
    Juicy 7's
    Xt shifters and Fr der and cassette
    Saint fr der
    Odi rogue grips
    Kenda nevegals 2.5 wires set up tubeless

    weighs in at about 37lbs

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crashtdp
    Great Build list, but i'm just curious about a couple of your decisions. Did you know that the VPfree uses a wider bb? Now i have seen a couple xt cranksets on these frames but its not a perfect fit. What made you choose that wheel set? I had never heard of Draco hubs untill this. It would seem like your trying to build this as a pretty versatile bike, so why not check into the new mavic deemax, they now make a them in a 150x12mm

    Heres my build

    Ano Slate VPfree dhx5
    Fox 40rc2
    Hadley hubs with dt 6.1 rims
    Holzefeler cranks and bars
    Thomson post and stem
    Wtb seat
    Juicy 7's
    Xt shifters and Fr der and cassette
    Saint fr der
    Odi rogue grips
    Kenda nevegals 2.5 wires set up tubeless

    weighs in at about 37lbs
    I asked the LBS to make it a versatile bike, so they just came up with this build. Does the XT crank set mean trouble in any way? The dude at the shop said he wanted to make the wheels as light as possible considering it should be a multi-puprose bike?

    I don't know about the Draco hubs, but they seem to be ok.

    Thomas

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maskedman
    I asked the LBS to make it a versatile bike, so they just came up with this build. Does the XT crank set mean trouble in any way? The dude at the shop said he wanted to make the wheels as light as possible considering it should be a multi-puprose bike?

    I don't know about the Draco hubs, but they seem to be ok.

    Thomas
    Santa Cruz strongly advice not to use cranksets with outer bearings since they disturb the chainline for this frame.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by msxx
    Santa Cruz strongly advice not to use cranksets with outer bearings since they disturb the chainline for this frame.
    Dang, guess I have to change it before they assemble the bike. Any suggestions on a different crankset?

  14. #14
    truth seeker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maskedman
    Dang, guess I have to change it before they assemble the bike. Any suggestions on a different crankset?
    I would check with your LBS before changing your mind. I run Saint cranks on my VP-Free, and have no chainline issues. You could likely make the XT crankset work if that's what you want.

  15. #15
    All Mt, DH
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    I did run the Saint intially on my VPFree. I had some shifting issues.
    I have since changed to Truvativ Hussfelts and have no issues 128mm spindle as per SC recommends.
    You should be aiming for a 55mm chainline. Check Santa Cruzs data and do some reasearch on mtbr and you will see why.

    Good luck
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  16. #16
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    They're all right about the XT crankset on the VPFree. I put them on mine and although they are light and strong, the chainline is all messed up and I drop they chain all the time. I run mine with a LRP dual ring guide which helped keep the chain on a little better, but I also had to modify the guide to fit correctly with these cranks.

    I'm going to try to find some Truvativ Holzfellers (also light and strong) to replace them with. I have the Holzfellers on my heckler and they've been great. If anyone has a set, or something similar, that they want to trade for a nice, almost new, XT crankset then let me know!

    Oh, and my bike is built up as follows:

    Large powdercoat black frame with DHX 5.0
    888 RC "Works" model with marzocchi lowrider crowns
    Mavic D3.1 UST wheelest on Hope hubs with Hutchinson Octopus 2.5 UST tires
    XT crankset (new style with outboard bearings), Time Z pedals
    Hayes Mag brakes 8" with Dangerboy levers
    Thompson post
    Easton bars, ODI oury lock on grips
    WTB laser-V saddle
    Sram X.O drivetrain
    Weight = 39.5 lbs.

  17. #17
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    When you really want to run X-type cranksets like the XT you will run into chainline problems. However there it is possible to avoid such problems by using a lot of spacers

    quote from speedgoat site:

    Then we tried to install a new RaceFace Diabolus two-piece crank/bottom-bracket assembly.
    All these new super-stiff, super-simple, crazy-strong two-piece cranks use massive bearings that sit outside the frame's shell. The sit outside the shell because they're bigger in diameter than the shell itself-they literally wouldn't fit in the frame. Problem here is, again, that little protrusion. Isn't that an ugly word, "protrusion"? Well, it really fits here, 'cause by now we were getting pretty sick of that thing. We were going to use a Diabolus crankset, damn it, and it was going to work perfectly. To the rescue came an array of spacers we keep around here for just such an occasion. The Diabolus-like any new two-piece system-includes "shell spacers," little spacers necessary to compensate for different frames and derailleur configurations. By dividing the width of one of these spacers into two thinner spacers, the Diabolus can be installed. Our custom spacer configuration maintained a precise chainline while repositioning the crankset just slightly toward the non-drive side of the bike. Just enough for the big bearing cup to clear that evil little protrusion. This is a permanent solution and should let us dial in any of the two-pieces on a Free frame.

    Unquote

    Bottomline: Do yourself a favour, and don't use a crankset with outer bearings, but if you really want to, it's possible.

    Ow, a tip, have a look at the description of speedgoat, building a VP into a complete bike, nice weblog

    Weblog

  18. #18
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    From the Santacruz website:

    Raceface now offers a version of the Diabolus/ Evolve DH that will work. You need the 83mm bb shell version, which offers a 57.5mm chainline. You also need the 73mm shell adaptor kit. The normal version of the Diabolus/Evolve DH/Atlas will work poorly due to improper chainline.

  19. #19
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    Right bike?

    I was gunna say a bit more about the whole crank issue when it all hit me. Does this guy really want a VPFree? If he were to walk into my store asking looking for this kinda setup i would point out that the Nomad might be a better match for his riding. After all when the Santa Cruz team guys are out riding Northstar, the owner of the company is out there riding with them on Nomad, all setup with the dhx air and 36 talas. If he wanted more of the plush dh feel he could throw a 66rc2 on the front of that thing with a coil shock in the rear. The cranks he wants would fit perfectly and it would turn out to be a bit lighter.

    Just a thought

  20. #20
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    many options

    Quote Originally Posted by Crashtdp
    I was gunna say a bit more about the whole crank issue when it all hit me. Does this guy really want a VPFree? If he were to walk into my store asking looking for this kinda setup i would point out that the Nomad might be a better match for his riding. After all when the Santa Cruz team guys are out riding Northstar, the owner of the company is out there riding with them on Nomad, all setup with the dhx air and 36 talas. If he wanted more of the plush dh feel he could throw a 66rc2 on the front of that thing with a coil shock in the rear. The cranks he wants would fit perfectly and it would turn out to be a bit lighter.

    Just a thought
    But.........wait a minute

    The weight difference between a VPF with DHXAir and a Nomad DHXAir is almost negligable enough, that with the wrong choice of components you could easily build a Nomad heavier than an "all air" VPF.

    With the advent of the DHXAir and Fox36's (also look at 06 Marz 66 SL's) you can now transform a VPF into a true light weight, big hit & trail machine in the low to mid 30 pounds.

    This means trailriding with your buddies is no great strain and if you went to Whistler for a holiday or you wanted to enter a DH race, you'd have a machine that is "truely" capable of the big stuff.

    I guess there's (too many) options for a perfect trailbike.....lucky us.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    VP Free set up

    I have a medium Free (I am 5'11"), my neighbour has a size Large Bullit and when the bikes are side by side they look almost exactly the same size for standover height and top tube length. Having said that we did not break out the tape measure to check everything out. But it looks like the Free is a little on the big side for the size.

    My set up is as follows:
    VP Free PC Black Frame size Medium
    Manitou Sherman Slider Plus
    Truvative Holzefeller cranks
    Race Face bottom bracket
    Hope MonoM4 brakes
    Race Face Diabolus 31.8 bar and stem (in retrospect I think this stem is overkill for me, it is a seriously big block of metal)
    Mavic 729 rims (very strong and relatively light) laced to DT spokes
    e13 single ring Chainguide
    SRAM X9 rear derailleur
    Cane Creek headset
    Titec El Norte saddle
    Thomson post
    Maxxis Minion/Highroller tire combo 2.5
    Fox DXH 5 shock
    Onyx/White hubs (these got laced to my wheels by mistake, and I will be changing them in the spring)

    I gave a review on my bike here VP-Free 6 month review
    if you want more info.

    enjoy the bike, it's fantastic!

  22. #22
    All Mt, DH
    Reputation: rogue's Avatar
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    Thats great news about the new Diablous cranks with 57.5 chainline.... I may be interested in them later.
    One thing people need to be aware of it that running outboard bearings cranks like XT, Saint... etc is that the bearing cups that screw into the BB are only so deep on Shimano ... and u can only put say 2 spacers per side (safely) to ensure proper that engagement. I think Raceface cups are a bit deeper which would allow a few more spacers.

    Back to the bikes:
    I have a:
    VPFree 888RC 170, 5th...
    Nomad VAN 36RC2 (installed last night - had Talas 36RC2), DHX Air

    Overall the Free feels more suited to really rough, but the Nomad is quite a bit lighter so less tiring on longer rides. The Free seems to pedal more efficiently (still playing with DHX setup a bit) ie Free seems to have less bob.

    Some people ask why I didnt get a Blur instead of the Nomad... my answer is simple... I did have a Blur LT for 3 months and although it was ok I didnt feel comfortable 100% on that bike so I sold it and went with a Nomad. The Nomad and LT are quite different actually. Oh I have a Chameleon also which is built strong which I really like too.. it keeps me honest.
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  23. #23
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crashtdp
    I was gunna say a bit more about the whole crank issue when it all hit me. Does this guy really want a VPFree? If he were to walk into my store asking looking for this kinda setup i would point out that the Nomad might be a better match for his riding. After all when the Santa Cruz team guys are out riding Northstar, the owner of the company is out there riding with them on Nomad, all setup with the dhx air and 36 talas. If he wanted more of the plush dh feel he could throw a 66rc2 on the front of that thing with a coil shock in the rear. The cranks he wants would fit perfectly and it would turn out to be a bit lighter.

    Just a thought
    I know what you mean, and I was actually thinking the same thing at some point. But the problem is the bike situation in Denmark, I can't just pick and choose like you can in the USA. Regarding Santa Cruz, there are actually isn't any importers in Denmark, so it's not available, only through special shops and what they have in stock is what you can choose from (which isn't a lot).

    So basically I was going to go with the VP Free over a Kona Coilair, because of the better quality I hope. But it's going to cost me a lot of money, the final build is going to cost me around 4714$ which sounds crazy, but that's the price I pay for having a rare hobby in Denmark

    Thomas

  24. #24
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    Cranks

    This issue has come up a few times, I contacted my local SC importer and here is what they say:

    "The Saint stuff was more of an issue when they only had one BB axle length (too short) - the 2005 stuff has a longer axle version for compatibility with 150mm rear dropouts."

    This is my wifes new bike:

    Frame - Small - Trans Red
    Shock upgrade to Fox DHX5.0 coil (400)
    Fox 40 RC2 Forks
    Wheels (Black 729's on Hope pro2 hubs (black), black spokes)
    Headset (chris king no thread - Black)
    Bar (race face Diabolus- Black - 31.8)
    Stem (Race Face Diabolus - Black- 30mm - 31.8 )
    Seatpost (Thompson Elite -Black - 410mm inline)
    Saint Chainset
    E13
    XT front mech
    XT rear mech
    Shifters (XT)
    Tyres (Maxxis High Roller - 2.5)
    Pedals (Crank bros 5050 X silver/red - black screws)
    Front Brake (hope 6 ti 205mm, Floating disk - braided hoses red rotor)
    Rear Brake (Hope 6 ti 205mm Floating disk - braided hoses -red rotor)
    Rear Cassette (SRAM PG 980)
    Grips (Race face Diabolus lock on)
    Seat (Specialized BG Jett Womens)
    Chain (SRAM)

    Just got to wait another month for mine to come in.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Ghostrider - TDP; 02-19-2006 at 05:08 AM.

  25. #25
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    Have anyone tried saint 805 cranks (designed for 57.5mm chainline) on vpfree? I have been using truvativ's 128mm bb, but availability is poor here up in north europe. Shimano would be easier to get than truvativ's dh bb's.

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