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  1. #1
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    A year of Sultan

    So yesterday, I celebrated one year of Sultan riding and here's what I've learned: the bike has way more capability than I do and it'll have to stick around for another year so I can catch up. After swinging a leg over Cruzthepug's bronze bomber in the fall of '07 at the Monte Sano FTF - I was hooked.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed my 1184 miles of Sultan riding and despite all these swanky new DW linky link bikes being posted, I can't think of a good reason to upgrade.

    I've been through numerous configurations to find exactly what I like:

    -- L frame, 100mm fork, HV can, stock linkage plates, LV can, PUSH linkage plates, 110mm fork, XL frame, PUSH factory tune.....(thanks for the swap bikesinmud).

    I've settled on a durable XC build with racing in mind (endurance and local XC stuff), choosing parts that are light but still good enough to beat on for a week or two of hilly goodness when I head home to Colorado. The next year will see a few parts swaps (mostly components like stem/seatpost/grips) designed to reduce some weight, but a whole lotta ridin!

    Glamour shots

    First Edition




    Second and current edition - my BFF





    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
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    I'll respond to my own post, just so I don't have the big goose egg showing and the corresponding drop in self esteem.

    Here's my upgrade list for '09
    - Ritchey WCS 4axis 100x6 stem, saves me 49 grams and I can run inverted (which is what I really want - to adjust my bar a bit)
    - Easton EC70 carbon seat post, saves me 78 grams and will match my EC70 CNT bar (which I like very much)
    - Specy Phenom SL saddle, saves me 70 grams and won't catch my shorts like the Bonty (which is a great saddle aside from the point rear area)
    - Ergon GX1 grips, saves me 123 grams, but I love the GC2s until death do we part
    - if, and a big if, some $750ish falls out of the sky, 09 Reba Team, saves me 181 grams. Nothing wrong with the Fluid 110 though...this is least likely to happen
    - Thinking about a Racing Ralph 2.25 too, that would save me 140 grams over the Ardent. Again, not likely but I won't take it off the table. I love the Ardent and it loves me back.

    Also will do a late spring overhaul (i.e., start of rainy season in Miami).
    - Goodridge brake lines for J7s
    - gen 3 clean sweep rotors
    - PUSH red bushings b/c all the cool kids have 'em
    - Fork overhaul on the WB Fluid 110 by MTB Suspension Experts- any gouge on these guys would be great. After the PUSH tune on my RP23 this December, and the quick turn around these guys have (and great customer service so far), why not?
    - fresh go-fast PrepM in all the pivots

    Lastly, I bought the Friel book, the Morris book and the Lopes book. Watch out Absalon....I'm coming
    Last edited by GreenLightGo; 02-02-2009 at 03:48 PM.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
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    Hey man, didn't see this thread before I hijacked the other one. How did the advice about the hub bearings go?

  4. #4
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    There ya go.....blaming everything on me

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    What size are those frames? Did you swap to get a better fit?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Hey man, didn't see this thread before I hijacked the other one. How did the advice about the hub bearings go?
    It went very well - thanks
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruzthepug
    There ya go.....blaming everything on me

    if the shoe fits....
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by soslow
    What size are those frames? Did you swap to get a better fit?
    Bronze is a large, 24.5" ETT, 110mm stem, Raw is an XL, 25.5" ETT, 90mm stem. Cockpit is effectively a tad longer on the Raw, however, I did move up so I could start stretching out. Proportionally, it's a better fit for me too (and I kinda like the raw).

    I broke a vertebrae in 2000 and my L2 disc is compressed (the real reason I went from my hardtail to the Sultan). As my back improves and my flexibility increases, I'm stretching out more which is what my physicians assistant (a roadie, but alas, still a bike nut) recommended to let the muscles take more of the impact as opposed to my spine.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLightGo
    if the shoe fits....

    Ditto...I blame him too!

  10. #10
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    Nice job on the endurance Sultan GLG! I had my V1 Sultan set up for that too and it worked out really well. The difference between my old Sultan as a race bike and as a trail bike was a set of wheels/tires. That was the only thing that I would change in order to race it. I had planned on getting my Sultan a new PC job, spanky red bushings, and a PUSH'd shock before I heeded the call of the DW Link. Unfortunately, the V2 Sultan is a little too heavy to use as a race bike IMO. But man is it a blast for everything else!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough
    Nice job on the endurance Sultan GLG! I had my V1 Sultan set up for that too and it worked out really well. The difference between my old Sultan as a race bike and as a trail bike was a set of wheels/tires. That was the only thing that I would change in order to race it. I had planned on getting my Sultan a new PC job, spanky red bushings, and a PUSH'd shock before I heeded the call of the DW Link. Unfortunately, the V2 Sultan is a little too heavy to use as a race bike IMO. But man is it a blast for everything else!
    My wheels aren't the lightest (Kings/Flows) but they're durable, which I imagine counts too. The Python is fairly light for a TLR tire and it's working well for me. I tore the heck out of the side knobs practicing some Lopes cornering technique in the street ( ). Oops. I've got two more waiting.

    I think I'm going to shift my weight forward a bit too, 100mm inverted stem and zero offset post vs the 90 and setback. It should help me get into the corners a bit better, that's one area I really need work. The overall reach change is pretty negligible adding 10mm and a hair with the inverted stem, losing 16mm on the offset post, but it'll help me weight the front better. I'm pretty upright currently.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLightGo
    My wheels aren't the lightest (Kings/Flows) but they're durable, which I imagine counts too. The Python is fairly light for a TLR tire and it's working well for me. I tore the heck out of the side knobs practicing some Lopes cornering technique in the street ( ). Oops. I've got two more waiting.

    I think I'm going to shift my weight forward a bit too, 100mm inverted stem and zero offset post vs the 90 and setback. It should help me get into the corners a bit better, that's one area I really need work. The overall reach change is pretty negligible adding 10mm and a hair with the inverted stem, losing 16mm on the offset post, but it'll help me weight the front better. I'm pretty upright currently.
    My 'race' wheels are WTB Laserdisc Lite hubs on 355 rims w/Crossmark tires. Light, but not very confidence inspiring. My next set of wheels will likely be I9s with Arch rims and probably Racing Ralphs. A little extra mass, but they should be a lot less sketchy.

    I ended up with a 100mm -10 degree stem with low-rise Easton carbon risers and a zero offset post on the medium V1 Sultan. Nice setup for having a comfortable climbing position and a little more weight toward the front for better cornering.

  13. #13
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    So what's your final weight? I threw mine on the scale the other day and was pleased to see it at 28.5lbs. That's with I9/Flows, Rampage front and Ignitor rear, XT/X9 and Biancos, Thompson bits, 5.5 rockers and a Manitou 120 - works great for all around rough trail riding. The weight to durability ratio seems about perfect with this set up.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  14. #14
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    Great thread for a very worthy bike. I too have an XL 08 Sultan and my eyes never wander in awe at the latest and greatest. Though I've ridden a Lg Pivot - wow! Great bike! I see the desire folks show in the DW technology - but I am perfectly happy on the Sultan. It rips, and I too will have to learn to ride better to match the bike. I'm running DT hubs and Stans Arches with Ignitors tubeless, and these wheels are great. My bike weighs 27# even. How is the 120 mm forks on these bikes? I'm running 100mm Fox, and at times it feels like it could use more plush and travel. Any thoughts? All of us who got these 08 Sultans really scored that is for sure. But what about the fork travel...? Don't want to lose the good characteristics of the handling I have already, but I think 20mm would help...
    bikeone

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    So what's your final weight? I threw mine on the scale the other day and was pleased to see it at 28.5lbs. That's with I9/Flows, Rampage front and Ignitor rear, XT/X9 and Biancos, Thompson bits, 5.5 rockers and a Manitou 120 - works great for all around rough trail riding. The weight to durability ratio seems about perfect with this set up.
    28.5!!! I really need to weigh mine again. It was over 31 at the initial build but has since changed wheels and fork with X0/XTR drivetrain and Thomson bits.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough
    My 'race' wheels are WTB Laserdisc Lite hubs on 355 rims w/Crossmark tires. Light, but not very confidence inspiring. My next set of wheels will likely be I9s with Arch rims and probably Racing Ralphs. A little extra mass, but they should be a lot less sketchy.

    I ended up with a 100mm -10 degree stem with low-rise Easton carbon risers and a zero offset post on the medium V1 Sultan. Nice setup for having a comfortable climbing position and a little more weight toward the front for better cornering.
    Good info. I'll pick a little mass and the corresponding confidence any day. One of the guys I race with got a Pivot 429 over Christmas, decked out with American Classic light weight wheels. I race Clydesdale (6'3", 210), he's about an inch shorter but 30 lbs heavier. 3 rides and his rear hub ground to a halt. He's on Mavic Crossmax's now.

    Sounds like I'm headed the right way with stem/seat post for handling. I think it's dialed right now for an AM'ish position - but that's not where I'm headed. My only dilemma is do I get the white or black Ritchey WCS 4axis stem? Tough choice - these aesthetics.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    So what's your final weight? I threw mine on the scale the other day and was pleased to see it at 28.5lbs. That's with I9/Flows, Rampage front and Ignitor rear, XT/X9 and Biancos, Thompson bits, 5.5 rockers and a Manitou 120 - works great for all around rough trail riding. The weight to durability ratio seems about perfect with this set up.
    Not sure. I don't have a true scale, just the bathroom digital scale. 27.5 was last go around, but that is rounded to the nearest .5 and who knows how accurate that is.

    I like the versatility of the frame. Essentially, I could store away some 5.5 rockers and bigger meats for an easy swap to a trail bike setup. I sold my PUSH rockers, nice when I ran them on the Bronze frame but would like the 5.5s better for the easy of dealing with the top shock bushings/bolt.

    Later though - now, it's all about XC racing/Endurance riding. Durability Lightweight
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjensen
    Great thread for a very worthy bike. I too have an XL 08 Sultan and my eyes never wander in awe at the latest and greatest. Though I've ridden a Lg Pivot - wow! Great bike! I see the desire folks show in the DW technology - but I am perfectly happy on the Sultan. It rips, and I too will have to learn to ride better to match the bike. I'm running DT hubs and Stans Arches with Ignitors tubeless, and these wheels are great. My bike weighs 27# even. How is the 120 mm forks on these bikes? I'm running 100mm Fox, and at times it feels like it could use more plush and travel. Any thoughts? All of us who got these 08 Sultans really scored that is for sure. But what about the fork travel...? Don't want to lose the good characteristics of the handling I have already, but I think 20mm would help...
    I hear nothing but good on the 120mm forks and V1 Sultan. I'm stoked with the 110 - for two reasons. More travel, same AtoC (or close to it) as most 100mm forks, and the thru-axle. Adds a whole new level of stiffness. I don't know that I could go back to a normal QR front suspension.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  19. #19
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    Just did a great 70 deg ride around the foothills here in Boulder (I'm buying a camera for such trips - soon), and the bike descends just fine. But with 100 mm I do find myself holding back quite a bit. I was thinking today could be me - let go of the brakes you wimp - or indeed the bike overall does not just want to go flying and pouncing through really rough sections. I was also thinkig today I understand what long travel sturdy 26" wheeled bikers must be thinking - because it is not what I am thinking! I don't especially want to get a flat, or break something like me or my bike. Maybe 120mm makes one more brave?
    bikeone

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjensen
    Just did a great 70 deg ride around the foothills here in Boulder (I'm buying a camera for such trips - soon), and the bike descends just fine. But with 100 mm I do find myself holding back quite a bit. I was thinking today could be me - let go of the brakes you wimp - or indeed the bike overall does not just want to go flying and pouncing through really rough sections. I was also thinkig today I understand what long travel sturdy 26" wheeled bikers must be thinking - because it is not what I am thinking! I don't especially want to get a flat, or break something like me or my bike. Maybe 120mm makes one more brave?
    I don't think 120mm makes one more brave. It may open some more options or provide some reassurance/confidence - but your 100mm shouldn't hold you back. Just ride light...I ran 100mm for the first 8 months, now only 110, another good .4" of travel to the equation.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough
    Unfortunately, the V2 Sultan is a little too heavy to use as a race bike IMO.
    Really? For roughly one pound?

    I've got two back to back rides on V1 and V2 so far (full write up coming after the third long ride). Initially, I thought the same thing as you, but after two rides, I would say the combo of better pedaling AND more plush rear suspension would result in me choosing the V2 over the V1, especially for endurance races.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo
    Really? For roughly one pound?

    I've got two back to back rides on V1 and V2 so far (full write up coming after the third long ride). Initially, I thought the same thing as you, but after two rides, I would say the combo of better pedaling AND more plush rear suspension would result in me choosing the V2 over the V1, especially for endurance races.
    My V2 is just a burlier build than my V1. More frame, more fork (Reba 120 Team w/Maxle), more brakes (Louise vs. Marta), more tires, etc. So the weight ends up being about 2.5 lbs more total. And yes, that is a deal-breaker for me for racing. The extra weight just wears me down over time. But I have plans in the works to address my desire for a lighter FS 29er. When I'm not trying to go fast though, I will take the V2 Sultan any day . As I've gotten things dialed in on the new bike, I am really enjoying it.

  23. #23
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    Very nice build(s). I like that you have taken the time to try different components over a season to find what works and what doesn't. Why 2x9 on a quasi race rig?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjensen
    Just did a great 70 deg ride around the foothills here in Boulder (I'm buying a camera for such trips - soon), and the bike descends just fine. But with 100 mm I do find myself holding back quite a bit. I was thinking today could be me - let go of the brakes you wimp - or indeed the bike overall does not just want to go flying and pouncing through really rough sections. I was also thinkig today I understand what long travel sturdy 26" wheeled bikers must be thinking - because it is not what I am thinking! I don't especially want to get a flat, or break something like me or my bike. Maybe 120mm makes one more brave?
    That was my experience exactly with the Fox F29 100mm - between the lesser travel and the lower AC height, the bike just felt too forward biased on the descents. The Manitou 120 added 30mm of AC height to relax the HT angle to just under 70 degrees and the additional 20mm of travel (more than that actually since the Fox never really got the full100) just made things right. People seem lukewarm on the Manituo, but I have been very happy with mine after a few fixes. It's a very cheap experiment to add the fork with the Jenson blow-out prices.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  25. #25
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    Ditto what cutty said about the fork. I bought two for less than one new Reba.

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