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  1. #1
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    1996 Ted Wojcik Sof-Trac FS

    I've been riding full rigid bikes, and wanted to give full suspension a try without going too modern. I picked this up on ebay a couple weeks ago, and finally made the drive to get it a few days ago. Without a doubt this is the newest bike I'd consider posting on here, but it's got an M900 rear cassette, so I figured I'm good to go.



    The seller had no real experience with bikes at all, and I knew I'd be dealing with a lot of unknowns because of the age and complexity (over a standard vintage hardtail), but I decided to go for it as the size was right and it was 3 hours from here. It's got some cool parts-TNT hubs and crankset, Real Ti chainrings, Dean seatpost, and an odd one- a Sachs New Success front derailleur. The rest is XTR M950 or XT, so someone was paying attention to the build. I knew going into it the front hub was broken, and I suspected I'd be dealing with fork and shock issues, but was hoping for the best. My big worry was the Battle carbon rear triangle/swingarm, I really had my fingers crossed. At least I wasn't getting it shipped and could refuse it if the description was off-we did the whole thing through ebay/paypal.




    When I picked it up I was pleasantly surprised, but I missed a couple things, unfortunately. The non-drive crank arm is split at the taper, and the rear wheel is pretty loose, I need to evaluate whether it's toast or not. On the plus side, the Risse Elroy rear shock works great, and the Judy SL fork has Englund Air cartridges and so far it holds air and is in working order. The paint is really deep and looks great with the yellow accents. No problems with the carbon in the rear, and so far the pivots and bushings seem good, but I need to take a closer look before I can be sure.




    I'll post up more pics as I get the bike sorted and on the trails.





  2. #2
    artistic...
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    what's the name again of that type of suspension? Macpherson? i hope it rides as good as it looks.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  3. #3
    Stokeless Asshat
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    what's the name again of that type of suspension? Macpherson? i hope it rides as good as it looks.
    Mac Strut. Yes sir.

    That's a nice bike you've got there. Too bad about the crank arm though.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
    650B rims or wheel set. 80's vintage 32 or 36 x 135mm

  4. #4
    artistic...
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    Horst Leitner pivot?
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  5. #5
    illuminaughty
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    That rear triangle looks just like the one on my Battle frame. I guess the are pretty much interchangable with nearly any make frame of that design.

    do you see a pattern here?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    artistic...
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    Looks pretty different to me: seat stays are longer and his cstays don't have the kick up like yours. may be wrong on the latter..
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  7. #7
    illuminaughty
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Looks pretty different to me: seat stays are longer and his cstays don't have the kick up like yours. may be wrong on the latter..
    correct on both observations...i was talking more about the dropout design and overall construction design. Different frame design made differences neccesary but they look like they were made by the same builder.

    Shogun...sorry i didn't comment earlier..nice pickup with a nice build.... even if you didn't do it

  8. #8
    clueless
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    the later wojciks used to have the battle rear triangle, which were significantly stiffer than the ones delivered by amp.

  9. #9
    mountaingoatcycles.com
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  10. #10
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    I lust for your rear tire....

    Are those 'rings really Ti? I've got some aluminum Real rings that look the same.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  11. #11
    Machinist
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    Same after market rear shock my buddy had on his AMP B-3.
    "Ya can't argue logic with ignorance.''

  12. #12
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    Is it just me or is the front fork on First Flight's bike in need some replacement elastomers? Sweet bike though, looks like White Industries cranks too.

  13. #13
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    I had some time to look the bike over better, and the story is basically the same, some good, some stuff will need a little work. The main lower pivot has some side to side movement, and the left rear pivot could use another shim. The arm itself is really stiff and there are no signs of the carbon separating from the aluminum. The rear TNT hub is pretty sweet! I like the spoke lacing pattern, crossed on the drive side and radial on the left, gotta tighten some spokes though.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post

    That's a nice bike you've got there. Too bad about the crank arm though.
    Thanks, I'm really happy with it. I'm at a loss what to do about the crank, although the White Industries on FF's Wojcik is a great option. Maybe I should stick with a more pedestrian/durable (M737? Rough M900?) crankset as I'm over 200 lbs and smooth is not my middle name. Maybe I'll have the guys at the shop weld the freaking arm and just ride it until it breaks-I have a tidy little crank extractor and can just tape a spare old STX arm to the top tube.

    The bike has some sweet Scott carbon bars, am I too heavy for these? Not something I'd normally select but if they aren't going to kill me they will stay. There is a little play in the fork bushings I believe, if I can replace them easily I think the Judys will soldier on, I like the idea of keeping the build as correct as possible without it being a constant project. The Englund Air system has a really good reputation, although I have a 2000 SID waiting in the wings. It's blue....I bet a red one would look nice on this bike.

    Shayne, the Continental tires are awesome, really light. I have one for the front as well. The seller sprayed something really slippery on the whole bike (Armor All?), I'm hoping it won't affect them as they are otherwise pretty mint. The rings could certainly be aluminum, any way I can tell for sure?

    The First Flight bike looks awesome, and is that the AMP rear on yours Hoov? Nice frames.

  14. #14
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    I've got this apart now, and thought I would share some pics of the rear triangle and more info about the build from Mr. Wojcik-he was kind enough to help me out with sourcing the proper bushings, and glad to hear one of his early full suspension bikes was back in action. This is one of about 6 made with the carbon triangle, it wasn't all that much lighter or stiffer than the Battle aluminum rear and more expensive, so he switched. I'm sure it was pricey, it's a fine piece and I was pleasantly surprised by how stiff it is. The condition of the bushing mounts/carriers is amazing, no ovaling, no galling, nice crisp 90 degree corners, and the press fit for even the old bushings is nice and tight. With fresh parts, it should work like new.

    Top crown and shock mount:



    Seatstay bridge:



    The lower arm and pivot-some big holes there....



    The lower arm:


    Rear pivot detail:




    The Tomahawk!



    Rear pivot without pins and bushings:



    I pulled the pins and bushings, they really needed to be replaced before serious damage set in. I was surprised to find the stainless pivot worn, and not the bushing material. WTF? Not what I expected, although I was going to replace all of it anyway. The key seems to be the bushing material-I was going to have some made out of Delrin, but Ted said it's actually a composite material made by Igus that is self lubricating and extremely durable. The best part is that the sizes I need (with some slight modification for the rear) are available online. Nice! I'll be ordering those shortly.

    The pins are 5/8" OD stainless both front and rear, but the rears had a slightly thinner wall thickness and I had to buy more than I needed of both sizes-if anyone needs pins, let me know. I found the stainless in short lengths on...... amazon.com. Crazy. Ted also mentioned (as does the Igus site) that if the pins are too smooth it will shorten the bushing life-a certain amount of roughness is needed to activate the solid lubricants in the bushing material. I'll have to ask them about the finish on the stainless, might need to be roughed up a bit.

    Rears:


    Front:



    I picked up a USA-made White Industries crankset to replace the TNT, a replacement left arm is proving impossible to find and I'm probably too heavy for it anyway. Ebay offered up the exact TNT oversize Ti front hub I needed, but someone pulled the BIN trigger before I found it....bah. An M950/Bontrager Valiant will do the trick until another pops up.

    The bushings in the Judys are shot, but I have an early 80mm SID on there now and an 80mm Duke XC ready to go if the Sid is too flexy for my weight. I do like the yellow on the front though with the Judy, and the Englund kit in it is still kicking, might be worth doing the bushings and putting the front back to 'stock'.

    I'll post up more pics after the bushings arrive and I have some time to get it back together.
    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

  15. #15
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    What a great ride..... I alwasy admired TW bikes.... BTW, I have a Sachs New Success rear derailler laying around to match the front one on your TW...

  16. #16
    GMF
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    TW bikes have always been one of my favorites, too... I've also always thought a classic mac strut like these is the best looking full suspension bike there is. Maybe not the best performing, but just looks like a bad ass bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by schneidw View Post
    What a great ride..... I alwasy admired TW bikes.... BTW, I have a Sachs New Success rear derailler laying around to match the front one on your TW...

    Thanks for the offer. Unfortunately the front derailleur is shot (lots of play). I'll probably just put an M950/51 to match the rest of the drivetrain. It's puzzling to see that orphan FD on there, I'll have to ask Mr. Wojcik if there is any record of the original build.

    GMF, if find it very pleasing to look at as well, extremely clean for a full suspension. The work area you see in the pics is a porch attached to my kitchen, and I have a tendency to just stare at it through the window when I'm standing at the stove.
    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

  18. #18
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    I've been riding this regularly now and have picked up a few bits, here is the current build:



    I scored a red-ano Avid Tri-Align V-Brake that nicely matches the shock, and a blue Paul large diameter front hub that matches the frame really well. I also have a red ano Paul front derailleur to install, but I need the right shim, the clamp is huge. I was shocked to find the yellow bottle cage in my bag-o-cages, it's a perfect match.



    The fork is a 63mm Sid Race, I think it's an '01. It weighs less than 2.5 lbs and actually works pretty well considering I'm 200+ lbs, but I still prefer the look of the yellow Judy up front. I'd like to combine the Sid blue crown and internals with Judy lowers, but I'd have to mod the Judys to make that happen and I don't have time for that at the moment. The bike is pure joy to ride, although even with fresh bushings the rear has more movement than I'd like. It stays planted, but shifts a bit as you lean into a turn. I'll address that eventually, right now I'd rather just ride it.

    As pictured here, the bike weighs 26.2 lbs.

    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

  19. #19
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    That particular rear brake looks strangely familiar.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleCentury View Post
    That particular rear brake looks strangely familiar.

    LOL, I had no idea that was you-thanks again. The silver bolts are perfect, and I'm impressed with how well it works. Cool brake!
    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

  21. #21
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    Very cool bike, one of the rear suspension designs from back then that is still with us today, and executed beautifully. That rear brake looks like wide, the arms are not vertical- are your pads pushed in as far as they go?
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphiller View Post
    Very cool bike, one of the rear suspension designs from back then that is still with us today, and executed beautifully. That rear brake looks like wide, the arms are not vertical- are your pads pushed in as far as they go?
    Thanks for the compliment. Regarding the rear brake-the pads are in all the way. I originally had another 1st gen Single Digit on the back, and used the cartridge-style pads from it as it's simpler to change the pads out. The red brake came with really low profile Kool-Stop pads and I think I'll be going back to those as it will bring the arms closer, my size 13 feet need as much room as possible.

    I had the same issue when using XTR cartridge pads with a set of Avid Tri-Align cantilevers. You have to put everything at the adjustment limit to make it work-the pads all the way in, the holder is slid all the way down the arm and tilted down at the max angle to avoid tire rub. I apparently did not learn from that experience!
    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

  23. #23
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    So I've been riding this regularly, and appearance/correctness has given way somewhat to function. I'm also just too lazy to swap out the yellow cage, and the stem is a nice fit, just too much yellow and skinny steel tubing looks better with Controltech stems, this is too wide and make the front look top-heavy. I picked up a NOS XTR 950/Mavic 217 wheelset that made an enormous difference in how the bike feels vs. the used stuff I had been trying. The switch from the SID to Bomber makes the front track much better for my 220lb self. I have rebuilt the Judy and want it on there desperately, but for riding (as described below)...no. My new Continentals had a rude baptism!



    Several days ago I went on a bit more of an adventure than I was prepared for...lots of steeps, rocks, wet roots...typical northern New England stuff, but I'm no expert on a bike and tried my best-basically if I felt comfortable going full speed, I went, and if I hesitated, I stopped. Hesitation means thinking, and if I'm thinking, I'm about to get hurt. I remember coming off the bike a couple times on the uphill-stopped dead against roots because I was too tired to lift the front wheel, and my fork was set too soft and I'd just stuff it. Between the gasping/near heart attack going up, and the fun on the way down, I didn't notice that I'd gashed my leg open on that pretty rear brake, the one I'd changed the pads on without really fixing the setup. Ahh, the joy and pain of boutique parts!

    Please pardon the white socks and slippers...




    Hmmm, wonder what cut my leg? The rims aren't particularly wide, and I have the narrow pads on there, but I don't think I can move the arms in as far as I'd like. Maybe the best solution is to move that brakeset to the front and put the 1D's on the rear, or really go nuts and try the Pauls brake I have.

    I'm having a lot of fun on it, but need more practice in the steeps. The rear works, but to hold my weight the shock has to be pumped pretty stiff. My rebuild didn't take as much slop out of the rear as I had hoped, either, but I've adapted to a bit of rear steering, as long as I'm anticipating it, anyway. I'll check with Ted, I could have selected the wrong parts. I'd like to find a hardtail my size to compliment this one someday.

    I feel bad hammering on it, but not when I'm hammering on it.....
    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

  24. #24
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    Shogun700,
    Looks like a fun ride.

    First things first: Amp rear suspension frames are going to flex. The swingarm is a giant lever that is acting on some pretty small pivot bushings, and even if everything was brand new, you'd likely feel some movement. Also, I have found is that not only do the bushings and pivot pins wear out, but the aluminum races in the swingarm become ovalized and oversized as well. I have mitigated this problem somewhat by enlarging the swingarm races and pressing in stainless sleeves, but I'm guessing you don't have access to a machine shop. I also doubt you are as insane (idiotic) as me when it comes to fixing/building bikes.

    Looks like you never installed that Paul front mech. If you'd like, I'll check my toolbox as I likely have the spacer you need. My guess is that you are looking for a 35.0-28.6 spacer. I happen to know a guy who knows a guy who made these things back in the old days.

  25. #25
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    bucktruck, thanks for the info, and the offer on the Pauls reducer. That's why I didn't use it initially, but have since sold it along...bought a fixer-upper house and can't justify a $200 front mech when my garage roof is leaking, so I went with a budget option. If another proves too irresistible, I know where to look for parts!

    It's good to know the movement in the back is somewhat normal. When I pulled the rear all apart I was happy to find no significant ovalization, but I like your idea of pressing in stainless. I do have access to a machine shop, but trying to get them to do anything bicycle related is not easy, and I work there (not as a machinist). It's an old-school kind of place. For the time being I have lots of extra bushings and will keep swapping new ones in as necessary.

    Again, thanks for the info. I didn't ride this stuff back in the day and have no point of reference at all for what normal is.
    Looking for a TNT Titanium front hub....

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