I finally got my recycled Wily 29er built up yesterday and headed out for the first shakedown ride. Before I get to the ride report, here's a look at the parts spec for all you fellow bike geeks.
Frame: Wily 29er True Temper steel with sliding dropouts. The frame originally had Breezer dropouts but I had Wily cut them off and add the sliders so I could run it as a SS without a tensioner. They did a lovely job with the frame work. Paint is Spectrum powdercoat grey with a blue metallic sparkle in it. Sweet.
Fork: Wily Steel
Wheels: Industry Nine disc laced to DT Swiss TK7.1 with ALUMINUM spokes. Hubs are turned from solid rubies mined in the mountains of western North Carolina and the spokes were drawn from industrial grade diamonds. Looks like it anyway. Industry Nine is a local Asheville company that has just started cranking out these wheels and I have to say they're trick. Straight pull hubs with machined spokes make for an amazingly stiff, true ride. Vastly better than the Bonty racelites i tried on a previous 29er demo ride- no flex at all. The rear hub has the quickest engagement of any hub I have ridden. You can choose the number of pawls, which determines whether you get 3 or 6 degrees before engagement. I went with the 3 and it is instantaneous. You can also have the hubs/spokes made in any colors you want. When I picked up my set I saw a pair of pink hubs laced up with blue spokes. Crazy.
Exi front/Mythos rear. Tubes for now...
Bars: Jones H-Bar It's all been said before but they felt perfectly natural from the start. I really dig the choice of hand positions and forgiving feel. I had gotten into a bad habit of cocking one shoulder during hard grunts up steep stuff and most rides ended in a sore shoulder. Not anymore! My upper body felt great after a pretty big day.
Cranks: the new Shimano LX with Surly stainless ring. These cranks are the bomb. Super stiff, idiot easy to install, sweet looking and only $99 with the BB!
Titec ti post and Ti Berserker saddle- too bad they quit making them because this saddle keeps my taint happy.
Mallet pedals are my pick for SS bikes cause you can just hop on and mash away after the inevitable pushing sessions.
Brakes: Right now I have a Magura Marta front and Deore rear with a Dangerboy lever. I bought a set of Martas from a guy on MTBR and when they showed up, the mounting tabs on the front weren't flat. Looks like he overtightened the mounting bolts and deformed the tabs a little. His response- well, they worked for me. I have tried every possible combo of shims and just can't get them to run without significant drag and squealing. I sanded the fork mounting tab, gently filed the caliper tabs to get em flat- no success yet but I'll keep trying. I needed a longer hose for the rear and its on the way. For now the Deore works great and the Dangerboy levers are a great product. Especially nice with the H Bar
After only one ride I think I am smitten. The bike fits me perfectly- no issues with my 5'8" height. The dropped top tube looks great and gives me plenty of room to move around. Handling in the tight technical singletrack around here was spot on. I find that I have to commit to turns a tiny bit earlier, but once I set that edge it just rails. I was amazed how I gould blast through stuff, even with the rigid fork. Speaking of the fork, it really does a lot to smooth out the ride. Suprisingly so.
The bike outhandles my old 26 SS in just about every category I can think of. I have not decided which wheel is better on long gravel road climbs- I was hurting some, but I haven't been on a SS since I sold my Gunnar 3 months ago. I need to get that suffering mentality back. Traction is definitely better in tough sections.
I really like the modular sliding dropout setup. It is easy to adjust, lightweight, secure, and allows the option of gears if I ever want to go that route.
That's about it. Wily makes sweet frames and forks, the Industry Nine wheels (+/- 1800g) may be the answer to light stiff 29er wheel needs, and the H Bar is simply a great product.
Pisgah 29er gathering anyone?
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Thread: 29er Wily SS Bliss- X-post