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  1. #1
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    help me lighten my trail bike

    so, here's my deal. i ride a 5" trail bike (azonic saber) and currently only have 2 bikes, this one and a freeride hardtail/dirt jump bike. i want to shed some weight from my trail bike because it's a porker. BUT, it still needs to be strong as i use it for a lot more than trail riding. i'll often do local shuttle runs with the dh'ers (and use both my hardtail and Saber), and i use it for jumping sometimes. so i use the bike for everything, and as a former DH, i beat the hell out of my bikes, especially the wheels. right now the bike is around 36 lbs, and i know it's not gonna be sub 30, but it'd be nice to shed some pounds for the climbs so i can keep up with my XC racing friends. i also plan on using it for racing some collegiate XC this fall. oh yeah, and i'm poor, so i can't afford to go too crazy. here's the build-

    Azonic saber with Romic shock (steel spring)
    '03 Rock Shox Psylo SL
    Deore disc hubs, 14g spokes, brass nipples, rhyno lite rims
    normal tubes, Michelin Hot S 2.5 tires
    Avid mechanical disc brakes with XTR levers
    SRAM X9 shifters and rear derailleur
    LX front derailleur
    Deore hollowtech cranks/bb
    SRAM PC69 chain
    26-36 chainrings (cheap shimano ones) with E13 DRS dual ring chainguide and bashguard
    LX cassette
    Thomson post and Titec Berserker saddle
    salsa stem and Easton EA70 bar
    FSA Pig headset
    Shimano M646 pedals

    i don't want to be difficult, but i'm not likely to change my rims/tires. rhyno lites have served me well for years and i don't want to run rims narrower than 28mm or tires less than 2.5. if i had a shorter travel, more XCish bike, i'd be fine with narrower treads, but on this bike, they gotta be burly.
    now, if i'm not gonna lose rotating weight, is this project even worth spending the money on? i know, i gotta ditch the headset (i had it laying around), a Ti spring would help ($!), and i could have lighter pedals, but i do like the stability of the 646's over little dinky pedals. i'm not adverse to the idea of a lighter set of pedals, but i'd still keep the 646's, so they've gotta be Shimano.
    so, thanks for any help, lemme know if you need more info.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: gonzostrike's Avatar
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    good questions, smelly... and thanks for stating what things you want to keep, because that helps us understand what types of parts will work for you. one of the things that many MTBR readers/participants seem to forget is that one person's "burly, technical XC" is another person's insane DH/FR. when 3 of my Missoula riding buddies went to compete in the Cascade Creampuff in Oregon this summer, they got some funny sideways glances for their "DH-looking" rides... everyone elsewhere seems to be able to get by on the lightest XC equipment, but if you use that stuff where I live and ride, you'd better be either 100 lbs or lighter, or just plain not riding. it won't hold up here.

    I'll assume your riding is tough on equipment like ours is here, and will move on with that assumption.

    First, the wheels -- Deore disc hubs are fairly heavy, especially the rear one. But hub weight isn't nearly as bad as rim/tube/tire weight when it comes time to slim down the bike for longer rides. If you can muster the $$ for a wheel rebuild, I would suggest going to 14/15 double-butted spokes and a lighter rim than the Rhyno Lite. Several other rims are as wide but lighter. Don't be fooled into thinking that the Rhyno Lite rim is what makes your wheel strong. The build is what counts more than the rim. If you want burly and light, have your LBS order some Arrow XC rims, very wide and surprisingly light, with Arrow's reputation for super strong design.

    Second, the saddle -- the Titec Berserkr is a pig of a saddle, and I'll bet you can find something that weighs almost half as much with equal comfort. First suggestion is the WTB Laser V Stealth.

    Third, the fork -- the Psylo is junk, no better way to say it. It's heavy for what sorry performance it delivers, and it's gonna rob some energy from you if you climb out of the saddle, because it's just too danged active. I would seek a lighter fork with equal travel but stronger construction and better damping. There are many choices, and depending on what burliness you need, you could be satisfied with one or more of the following forks:

    * Manitou Minute 1:00 (if you're really heavy or ride very fast, might be too spindly)
    * Fox Vanilla 125 RLC
    * Manitou Sherman Firefly
    * Marzocchi Z1 FR

    and you could wait until October for some of these new upcoming 2005 forks, which will be even better:

    * Fox 36
    * Manitou Nixon
    * Marzocchi 66

    There isn't much else I'd change. Everything else seems to strike a great balance of lightness and toughness. Also, the rotating mass (perimeter of the wheels most specifically) is the most clever place to lose weight, and you're pretty well along that path.

    The sad thing is, the rest is left up to you -- it's a matter of riding fitness.

  3. #3
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    no offense taken on the psylo. i hate the fork, and once i have the money for a new one i'd like to tie a sign saying something that rhymes with Duck Poo and throw it thru a window at the Rock Shox offices. i'm still kicking myself in the a$$ for wanting to save the money as i built the bike and not get a z1fr, but oh well. at least now there are more options.

    hopefully by springtime i'll have the money for a king hubset as a new wheelset has been on my wish list for awhile. you're absolutely right on the importance of the quality of the build. these were just a cheap-o handbuilt set by QBP, and they did a fantastic job. twice i've ridden the rim 3 miles back to the trailhead after getting a flat, and they've barely needed any truing. i'll ask around about the arrows. any other rim suggestions? i like time tested products over new stuff. i run rhyno's because they've served me well. i've heard good things about arrows DH rims though. does anyone have actual weights of a few different rims in this size catagory? i've thought about mavic 721's (aka 521), but the 721 isn't much lighter than the rhyno lite (twice the price too), maybe a matter of 50-75 grams. how noticeable would less than a quarter pound (per wheel) of rotating be given the weight of my tires? as for the saddle, anyone got any suggestions? i'm in the market for a more comfortable one anyway. oh, another question. how would a 240 rear hub hold up for me do you guys think? any other cheaper, high quality, strong, proven alternatives to King hubs? or are they truly in a class of their own?

    i totally agree with you that it has more to do with my fitness than the weight of my bike, and although i'm in decent shape currently (better than most people ,sadly, which is how i rationalize it), it wouldn't hurt to lose 10-15 lbs off me, so off i go to the fitness board ! dropping a couple pounds from my bike would certainly be nice, but if only rotating weight is gonna make a significant difference, it's not worth the money to me unless something breaks.

  4. #4
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    if you're saving for the King headset, just put that money into the new saddle.

    the FSA Pig is a great headset, probably the best for the money, and you're not going to get any real performance improvement going to a King. what King headsets do best is travel from frame to frame without replacement... I run FSA Pig headsets on two of my MTBs, and one of my MTBs has a King that has seen 5 different frames. I won't splurge on a King again, because it's not a real performance increase. but it does last. in other words, if the Pig keeps working, keep using it... THEN when it dies, get the King.

    the Arrow XC rims are silly light. under 500 gms.

    Arrow DH rims are VERY heavy but very strong.

    in between are the Arrow FR rims, which are kinda porky but also very strong. if you don't mind the weight, the Arrow FR is a good, durable rim that will build well. another good rim is the Mavic XM321, which was called the F219 last year.

  5. #5
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    How about Mavic f519's? Pricepoint has them on sale for $30. They may be thinner than you want, though.

    Cool thread.

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