Well, this thread looks pretty dead, so I thought I would revive it with my FTM build. First ride round the carpark today and it will hit some mud tomorrow, so likely never look this shiny again!
Frame bought from On-One at a knockdown price as this bike is now end of line. The frame came beautifully packaged but the carbon seatstay was chipped all the same. (Only a flesh wound - I hope). Other than that, the rear dropouts were so thick that I spent some time trying to get a QR skewer that would fit the thing. Hope and Mavic didn't cut it, only a couple of mm into the acorn for the QR which wasn't too hot IMHO. In the end I found an old XT skewer that I had lying around that provided just enough purchase to get the wheel on. (Each dropout was 11mm thick) If you are in a similar situation I'd recommend you get a 'trailer' skewer as these will fit well as they are designed for attaching trailers with a QR. 'Adventure' are the brand to go for.
On-one are a bit cheeky, they tend to remove bits from the frame that you need, and then charge you a fortune to put it back on. The seatpost QR is like that :-) it is custom for this frame so you don't have any choice. The tapered headset for this frame is a similarly specialised item, however Superstar components have one for less than half the money that On-one charge, sealed bearings and all and it seems super smooth.
Brakes are end of line as well - Formula K18s. As they are the budget brake for Formula you have the problem with this bike of breaking the hose, threading it thru the frame and out the other side. To avoid the sky high costs of Formula parts, Superstar again supplied the banjo's/olives/connections etc for the rear brake. (These brakes don't come with any parts to resize the hose which was a fixed length) I retained the Formula hose while using the Superstar stainless fittings. This was a challenge to put together, had to use a dremel with a diamond cutter to get the hose perfect and then bled the system using a Formula bleed kit from Epic bikes.
Gearing is SRAM XO 2x10, except for the front mech which is X9 (same as XO but slightly more shiny). Because of the poor design of the frame, the front derailleur wire ends up cutting into the back of the seat post. The rear mech hanger on the frame doesn't appear to be straight either from the factory, but fortunately the XO mech seems to tolerate it okay, I might have to resort to getting it to my local bike shop for some bending if the XO misbehaves too much..
Routing for the gears and brakes goes past the rear shock, I have zipties to keep this getting out of control but not sure how well it will work... we shall see. Again, not great design work there either.
Forks are the FOX 150 RLs... for 26in wheels so again heavily discounted. Although I was tempted by Crank brothers wheels which are also on special offer just about everywhere, their reputation was just too bad. Wheels were a special build, Hope Evo2s with the latest Stan's Arch EX rims. These rims have the 'feature' of being exceptionally big diameter for tubeless so changing a tire on the trail will be a challenge to put it mildly, as it took a long time & soap to fit the Nobby Nics. Some of my old tires just don't fit at all and the Arch rims have a very low pressure rating on them, so you can't squeeze the tire on then use high pressure to seat the bead properly... . Not sure I'd specify them again given the poor availability of tires to fit (e.g Schwalbe tires aren't recommended!!), however my old Mavics were never great with Tubeless set ups so I guess it is a bit of a tradeoff.
Anyway, it's all together now, and initial impressions are good. It feels very plush indeed and I'm looking forward to getting out on the trail with this. This frame may be a somewhat lower quality construction & design than others but for a full suspension bike with no titanium trick parts and heavy rubber, pedals etc (and 150mm travel), the all up weight of 25.5lb is great. For me, a light bike makes a massive difference to getting up hills, so here's hoping my new Taiwanese friend holds together!
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Thread: Post your FTMs