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  1. #1
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    Big Wheel Zealots - Proposed Sultan build submitted for Homer Approval

    My plan this year was to avoid buying any bikes but I think my annual review and some other work changes may allow for the stable to expand. This will be an XC slanted build long rides and maybe a race or two; I already have an RFX for the bigger, stupider stuff. I'm curious what looks right and what doesn't. I'm a heavy rider ~230lbs geared up and tend to be a little rough on gear. Idea is to stomp the guys on Epics and I already keep up w/ on the RFX

    Fork: WB Magic or Fluid 110 TA, Reba Team 29er w/ Maxle, Fox F29 120
    Headset: King or CC 110
    Stem: Thomson X4
    Handlebar: Ritchey Pro Carbon Rizer
    Brake, Front: Hope M4 183
    Brake, Rear: Hope Mono Mini 160
    Shifters: XO twist
    Grips: ODI Ruffian lock on
    Seatpost: Thomson Elite
    Saddle: WTB Silverado
    Crankset: Shimano XT 175mm (may end up being 2 ring plus bash)
    Pedals: Shimano PD M540
    Derailleur, Front: Sram x9
    Derailleur, Rear: Sram x0
    Cassette: Sram PG990 11-32
    Chain: Sram PC991
    Wheelset Option 1
    Hub, Front: CK ISO, axle dependant on fork choice
    Hub, Rear: CK ISO w/ steel freehub body (maybe fun bolts?)
    Rims: Stans Flow
    Spokes: DT Swiss straight 14 gauge
    Skewer(s): DT Swiss RWS
    Wheelset Option 2
    I9 built w/ Stans Flows
    Front hub set up for TA or 9mm DT Swiss RWS if Fox fork
    Rear hub set up for 10mm DT Swiss RWS
    Tires: Panaracer Rampage for everyday most likely, maybe Kenda small block 8 for dry conditions or racing.

    Real decisions left to be made are fork and wheelset. Any input would be great, I think I'll end up around 28.5 - 29 lbs with the above build, maybe high 27s with I9s and silly tires.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  2. #2
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    Re the fork:
    I had a WB Fluid TA 100mm fork, and ditched it when I got a Fox F29 100mm. I didn't notice any particular difference in stiffness, and think the wheelbuild is likely a more important source of flexiness. The fox just subjectively rode better to me. Hard to explain, but it just feels more controlled in all situations. The damping controls also seemed to work. I am having to run the pressures pretty low to get all travel out of it.

    Never tried the new Maxle Reba.

    The WB I had was originally a "Magic" IMV fork. Hated it like that. No plushness at all. Good for a rigid SS rider looking for a little cush. The Fluid was tons better.

    Wheels:
    I have a CK hub with fun bolts and find them a pain in the rear. Prefer the QR in most regards. Supposedly the bolt on is stiffer, but in reality, I don't notice a difference.

    The Flows with straight ga spokes are a solid set up with little weight penalty. I have 5 wheels built with flows and like them all. No idea how they compare to I9's
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  3. #3
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    i think your build looks great for the intended use.

    Either wheelset will be top-shelf

    You'll definitely wait longer for I-9s as opposed to having a set of CK's hand-laced.

    I'm a fan of the WB135 for the Sultan. Even though I haven't ridden it (nobody has), the soon-to-be-released Reba 120 w/maxle has to be given strong consideration.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    I'm a fan of the WB135 for the Sultan. Even though I haven't ridden it (nobody has), the soon-to-be-released Reba 120 w/maxle has to be given strong consideration.
    My only concern with the WB135 is slacking the bike out to much. I like the slacker feel of the RFX but would like the Sultan to be a little steeper but not as steep as a 100mm fork would make it. Talking as an arm chair rider, I think a head angle around 69.5ish would be what I'm looking for vs. the quoted 71 degrees with an A/C of 508mm.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  5. #5
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkty14
    My only concern with the WB135 is slacking the bike out to much. I like the slacker feel of the RFX but would like the Sultan to be a little steeper but not as steep as a 100mm fork would make it. Talking as an arm chair rider, I think a head angle around 69.5ish would be what I'm looking for vs. the quoted 71 degrees with an A/C of 508mm.

    FWIW, I don't find my Sultan with the WB135 to steer sluggishly at all. The A2C for that fork is pretty low for it's travel (I forget the exact number and am too lazy to measure it).

    In fact, I'd love to see DT slacken out the front end of the Sultan even more.

    Sounds like the Reba 120 would be perfect for you - when available.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    Even though I haven't ridden it (nobody has), the soon-to-be-released Reba 120 w/maxle has to be given strong consideration.
    Somebody has ridden it: LINKY
    Extreme stationary biker.

  7. #7
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    Nice sounding build - I'm also waiting for the 120 U-turn reba - the maxle will be a nice option on the front end. In the meantime I'm using the RWS skewers - really nice. On the wheels, I'd go with the I-9s on the Flows rims over the CKs. My set up has been great, and the front hub gives the option of easily swapping between various skewer options just by changing the end caps. The CKs are nice, but you will be limited on fork and skewer options by the hub. Mine is about 28.5 with Rampages so your weight estimate is right on for a large.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  8. #8
    TLL
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    Given your weight, you could certainly go with butted spokes like the comps and still have a pretty stiff wheel. I'd also go with an XTR FD--even though I like both I found the XTR shifted better on the Sultan than the X.9.

    Since you will be running an 11-32, I assume a 20t granny is not in the works for you.

    If you already have an RFX (a wise choice) I'd go with the shorter fork. The WB135 has an AC of 535, and while I never found the steering sluggish, I did feel the bike had more of an all mountain flavor, less XC. Think the 120 would be ideal, really, esp if you will do a race or two.

    One advantage the taller fork does have is bringing the bars up a bit--a real godsent for taller riders.

  9. #9
    Bodhisattva
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    TLL brings up a good point on the gearing.

    If you're not accustomed to niners then you may not realize that a given ring/cog combo on a niner feels 1-2 gears "harder" then it does on a 26er.

    I run 22/34/bash x 11-34 on my Sultan. That 34t rings comes in handy for long, steep Rocky Mtn climbs. I know people who have ditched the 11t cog and added an Action Tec 36t cog behind the cassette.

    I also agree on the XTR FD. It's superior to SRAM's FD.

    My Sultan weighs in at 29 on the nose with :
    XTR cassette & FD
    X.0 triggers, RD
    I-9, Rampage, Flow Stan'd
    WB 135
    carbon bar & post

    A different fork will save you 1/2-1 lb.
    Last edited by The Squeaky Wheel; 07-02-2008 at 09:00 PM.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    I know people who have ditched the 11t cog and added an Action Tec 36t cog behind the cassette.
    weak. Just weak.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  11. #11
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    weak. Just weak.
    LOL !!!!!!!!

    36t cogs are a crutch
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    If you're not accustomed to niners then you may not realize that a given ring/cog combo on a niner feels 1-2 gears "harder" then it does on a niner.
    OK, you totally lost me on this one!


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter
    OK, you totally lost me on this one!
    and that was before i started on the whiskey.
    edited for clarification
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    TLL brings up a good point on the gearing.

    If you're not accustomed to niners then you may not realize that a given ring/cog combo on a niner feels 1-2 gears "harder" then it does on a niner.

    I run 22/34/bash x 11-34 on my Sultan. That 34t rings comes in handy for long, steep Rocky Mtn climbs. I know people who have ditched the 11t cog and added an Action Tec 36t cog behind the cassette.

    I also agree on the XTR FD. It's superior to SRAM's FD.

    My Sultan weighs in at 29 on the nose with :
    XTR cassette & FD
    X.0 triggers, RD
    I-9, Rampage, Flow Stan'd
    WB 135
    carbon bar & post

    A different fork will save you 1/2-1 lb.
    I run 24/34/bash with 18/21/24/28/32 on a SS rear hub - definitely like 34T middle rings. I don't have top end with the partitioned cassette (PG-990 alloy spider) but don't need that on the east coast anyway - it's mostly short ups/downs.

    On my 1x9 Monocog Flight - 32T front, 11-34 XT cassette out back - pretty much the same as a 26" bike would run.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  15. #15
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    as others have said, lose the x-9 f der and get a xtr. wow, what a improvement. i tried real hard to like it and the x-gen before it. i failed both times.

    thats a huge disparity between f and r brakes. a 183 4 pot vs. a 160 2 pot? at 230 lb guy is gonna find the ground with his nose all too often id think.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  16. #16
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    You'll love the added stiffness that the 10x135 rear axle offers, esp with the I9's. I have the F135 and have also swapped in the 125mm spring kit. I can't feel the the difference between 125/135 but with the F110 on the front I sure can. I'm currently using a 20mm up front and will also be ready when the Reba comes out. The sultan is a great bike, no need to change anything.

  17. #17
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    If you're not accustomed to niners then you may not realize that a given ring/cog combo on a niner feels 1-2 gears "harder" then it does on a 26er.

    I run 22/34/bash x 11-34 on my Sultan. That 34t rings comes in handy for long, steep Rocky Mtn climbs. I know people who have ditched the 11t cog and added an Action Tec 36t cog behind the cassette.
    I was guessing that because skunkty was going with an 11-32 then gearing is not an issue, but you raise an interesting point. Not only does it make sense to go to a 34t cassette for the long climbs, but to also jump up to a 34t middle and ditch the big ring altogether, as you only lose your top top (compared to a 26er) when you do this. I'd go one step further and run a 20-34 up front, but shifting can be problematic with that spread. I've seen a Middleburn with a 20-34, but don't know how well it shifts.

    I run a 20t granny up front, but only because I am slow and fat. YMMV.

  18. #18
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    Welcome to the club

    Handlebar: Ritchey Pro Carbon Rizer
    Why a riser?? Lose some weight with a salsa flat carbon bar.

    Brake, Front: Hope M4 183
    Brake, Rear: Hope Mono Mini 160
    Love my Formula Oro's...
    Good idea going with a 180 up front.

    Derailleur, Rear: Sram x0
    I'd go with an x.9 and save money - put it into a lighter XTR cassette

    Cassette: Sram PG990 11-32
    I'd go with an 11-34 or XTR 12-34 (to save weight)

    Wheelset
    I've just replaced a Hope Pro II, DT 14/15 spokes / Bongtrager OSB rim wheelset with an i9 wheelset. The i9's have transformed the bike. It now steers much more precisely and is more predictable. I can't recommend them highly enough.

    Tires: Panaracer Rampage for everyday most likely, maybe Kenda small block 8 for dry conditions or racing.
    The Rampage is grippy but s l o w . I love it on the front in damp conditions. Try a Maxxis Crossmark or Racing Ralph on the back for much more grip than the SB8 in mixed conditions, whilst being a much faster roller (and 200g lighter) than the Rampage.
    Remember that a 29er tire has more grip than a 26 tire. I've been amazed at how good Crossmarks are when it's not dry.

    Front der - Whilst I run an XTR, on my last build (29er hardtail) used a x.9, and it shifted really well...better than the XTR on my Sultan...

  19. #19
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    Hey Squeaky or JC,

    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    FWIW, I don't find my Sultan with the WB135 to steer sluggishly at all. The A2C for that fork is pretty low for it's travel (I forget the exact number and am too lazy to measure it).

    In fact, I'd love to see DT slacken out the front end of the Sultan even more.

    Sounds like the Reba 120 would be perfect for you - when available.
    If you go with the 120 Reba on the Sultan can you still end with a "Quote" AM feel to the bike? Or does this only come with running a WB135..Thanks.CF...

  20. #20
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRAZY FRED
    If you go with the 120 Reba on the Sultan can you still end with a "Quote" AM feel to the bike? Or does this only come with running a WB135..Thanks.CF...
    I don't know. Haven't tried the Reba.

    But I doubt the 15mm travel difference makes that much of a difference. And the Reba has the maxle and likely better damping.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    I don't know. Haven't tried the Reba.

    But I doubt the 15mm travel difference makes that much of a difference. And the Reba has the maxle and likely better damping.
    Yea I didn't mean so much the Reba as I did the 120/135 end of it. Thanks SW.CF..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLightGo
    I run 24/34/bash with 18/21/24/28/32 on a SS rear hub - definitely like 34T middle rings. I don't have top end with the partitioned cassette (PG-990 alloy spider) but don't need that on the east coast anyway - it's mostly short ups/downs.
    You're 2x5 setup has definitely caught my eye in the past based on the gears I use most frequently on my RFX (I'm east coast as well). I'm all for simplicity but I need gears because I don't have the legs of a SSer so this looks like a nice compromise. I may look into this further down the road once I get this build sorted.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  23. #23
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    Bunch of great info here, thanks everyone. Couple thoughts

    XTR cassette vs. SRAM PG990: I'm a combination of a hack in terms of shift technique and coupling this with my weight results in literally folding over one or more of the top 4 cogs of a cassette on a bimonthly basis. XTR is nice but might hurt the wallet a bit which I trash it.

    CC, I'm on the fence w/ the 160 Hope MM in the rear. Thought was to save weight, but given that I normally run a 203/185 setup on the RFX, maybe a meatier rotor will help slow my fat azz down.

    bikesinmud, the 10mm rear RWS is what is making me hesitate on the King wheelset. I have a Hope with a 10mm RWS on my RFX and would need my arm twisted pretty hard to swap back to a regular QR.

    I'm rethinking the 11-32, forgot about the gearing issue Squeak mentioned w/ 29ers. Probably best to have the bailout of the 34T due to being slow and fat. I draw the line at 36T though.

    TLL, not so sure about butted spokes. My 26er wheels are straight gauge and I still manage to break a couple every season on the RFX. Could be due to rock dings though I suppose.
    Last edited by skunkty14; 07-03-2008 at 07:26 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  24. #24
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkty14
    CC, I'm on the fence w/ the 160 Hope MM in the rear. Thought was to save weight, but given that I normally run a 203/185 setup on the RFX, maybe a meatier rotor will help slow my fat azz down.

    bikesinmud, the 10mm rear RWS is what is making me hesitate on the King wheelset. I have a Hope with a 10mm RWS on my RFX and would need my arm twisted pretty hard to swap back to a regular QR.

    TLL, not so sure about butted spokes. My 26er wheels are straight gauge and I still manage to break a couple every season on the RFX. Could be due to rock dings though I suppose.
    I'm a big guy and run 160/180 on my 29er. Seems to work OK, even though I think XT brakes are substandard. If I was running Formulas I'd stick to 180/160. Like you, I run a 200/180 on my RFX.

    Another hubset to consider if you like the DT Swiss RWS is Hadley. You can convert them to a 9mm front TA, and of course you can order them with a 10mm rear TA. Silky smooth, and not quite as noisy as the Hopes.

    Sorry to hear you are busting spokes. I have had great luck with Comps, though I run 36h f/r on my 29er, and run them 32h on my RFX as well. I weigh 250, BTW. You could always run straight on the drive side and butted elsewhere. The weight savings is minimal, so not a big deal.

    Good luck with your build!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunkty14
    You're 2x5 setup has definitely caught my eye in the past based on the gears I use most frequently on my RFX (I'm east coast as well). I'm all for simplicity but I need gears because I don't have the legs of a SSer so this looks like a nice compromise. I may look into this further down the road once I get this build sorted.
    born out of conveince really - all the parts were a direct transfer from my hardtail, which was setup SS, then 1x5.

    I've got 1700+ miles on the dishless rear setup and it's been totally bomb-proof for me. I'm able to add a big ring to my cranks if I need more top end than the 34/18 provides - but as of yet, I have not ridden a trail on the east coast where I couldn't easily motor along at 18mph comfortably in that combo.

    My standard modus operandi (sp?) while tooling around is to run 34/24 giving me the option for two lower gears (28 and 32) and to higher gears (21 and 18). Running Shimano XT shifter and XTR M953 derailleur, I can dump two gears very quickly with one stroke of the lever so I don't waste time on the flats and w/ the rapid rise, upshifts are quick so it's turned out to be a fairly matched setup to the short up/down twisty east coast/southern terrain features. As far as I know - the SRAM mech's don't fully work when limited like this, Rainman did some tests with an X9 and couldn't set the limits sufficiently b/c of the design. I had just enough length in the limit screw to do this on the M953 without getting a longer one. See L-limit screw is all the way bottomed.



    So far, I've only used the granny on sustained climbs like the one at Oak Mtn in Birmingham. 2.3 miles of misery - but with a short 5 cog spread in the back, I can drop to the granny early (24t chainring) and stay in my middle 24T cog on the cassette and still have two more lower gears when the suckage reaches that level - this setup mitigates cross-chain issues a fair bit.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

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