Sometimes the fallen and forgotten are able to rise and fight another day.
This Racer X 29 was my full time race bike in 08 but I haven't used it much in the last couple years. It always seemed when the going got steep, I was dragging the back end of the bike up the hill and fighting the steering. My analysis was the RP23 would drift under it's platform and then the bike squatted, the steering accuracy and climbing performance suffered, mind you subtlety, but enough that the bike lost climbing "snap" compared to a hardtail, especially the Ti Kish 29er I've been using the last two seasons. So other than the occasional ride to confirm my impressions, the RX sat as a back up @ races and generally just gathered dust in the corner of the garage.
About 3 months ago, I'd decided the RX was going to get sold and replaced with a Pivot 429 [I'm not a huge fan of the Tallboy as a pure race bike]. Then I saw that Push was doing a version of the Monarch RT3 for 2011 and thought, the RX might still be a worthwhile platform with the 100mm front/80mm travel rear travel, short for a 29er FS, wheelbase and steep head [71.5], normal seat angle , in need of an update. I'll try the Monarch [this is the shock JHK was R & D'ing for Rockshox on his Superfly 100 race bike in 2010] before I give up on it. In short, shocks are cheaper than frames.
The Monarch has a completely different spring curve/damping than the RP23 and has utterly transformed the chassis. IT KILLS uphill and downhill. Best FS bike I've ever ridden, it climbs with the Kish and slaughters it on the descents. So, I decided to keep it. Any doubts that shock technology is the real driver in the performance of any of the latest and greatest full suspension 29er race bikes since the introduction of the RX have been erased.
About a month ago, I thought how can I get the weight down and improve the bike? Saw a thread @ MTBR @ the new Lefties. Bought a package fork/wheel package from Project 321. The 2011 Lefties use RS internals and the lockout is absolutely SOLID, like using a rigid fork on climbs. 110mm of travel with the @ the same axle to crown dimension as a 100mm Reba. Equal to slightly better steering precision from the Lefty/Crest as my Edge wheel/Fox Terralogic combo on the Kish. And it's 3/4lb lighter than it was with the Reba. The bike now weighs between 24 and 25lbs even, depending upon wheel and tire choice.
The rest of the parts list is a further monument to the fallen, forgotten and obscure:
Crankset: Raceface [gone] 58/94 Turbine Square taper with Middleburn chainrings.
Stem: Oval Concepts [gone] replaces the Ritchey in the pictures
Bar ends: Cut down Syncros Cattle horns [long gone]
Bottom Bracket: 113 mm Ti Phil Wood Square Taper ["obsolete"]
Shifters: Pauls/Dura-Ace 9 speed bar cons combination - thumb shifters
Brakes: 160/160 Hope Mini Pro X2's [last generation]
Tires: Schwalbe Little Albert [f]/Geax Barro Race[r]
Bars: 25.4 Salsa flat bars
And every part, still functional, reliable, and competitive with the latest and greatest. My Cream Puff and Tahoe Sierra 100 rig for this year. Once and again an amazing endurance race bike.
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Thread: Revenge Of The Fallen