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  1. #1
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    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)

    I'm getting itchy (pubic lice?), so time for a new build.

    I tend to flip-flip between hardtails and XC FS bikes, and as you can see from the thread title, I'm onto a Specialized Epic hardtail. It will be interesting to see as I've previously owned one (when it was called the Stumpjumper HT) back in 2015-ish, so I should be able to compare.

    Frame weight should be fantastic for a WW-style build, so that's a plus.

    As in past cases, I'll be selling off the frame, wheelset, and fork from my current bike/build:
    New Build - 2016 S-Works Epic 29 Di2

    By all means PM me if interested in any of it. (Di2 and MCFK cockpit stuff stays.)

    Thanks in advance for the interest and comments, and unlike the last "build", I'll remember to take lots of weights FIRST, instead of after, and doing it backwards. [duh]

  2. #2
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    I'm love that frame but I'm short on allowance after my current build. Good luck with the new build.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  3. #3
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    Thx Lenny. I think this frame is a great base for the new build. Just got it now, so I'll post up some weights, etc, soon.

  4. #4
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    Weight Claims

    Well, some impressive claims from Specialized around frame weight, specifically "less than 900g for a size Large frame".

    So is it? I guess so.

    To start, it is 970g as most people would typically use it, which is still great, but not sub 900g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-3.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-4.jpg




    This would include:

    ... the downtube bumper (to prevent fork smash given the updated geo), 17g (15g + 2 bolts):

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-7.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_192952.jpg

    ... the stock seat binder with Ti bolt, 11g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-6.jpg

    ... and everything else (various bolts) etc.


    However, there are some scenarios that are a bit lighter, a bit heavier, and I'll see if I can find the legendary 900g number for the core frame itself - next post(s).
    Last edited by phlegm; 09-08-2017 at 06:45 AM.

  5. #5
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    That is impressive. I just built up a generic large asian carbon 29er and it clocked in around 1150g. My finished build was just under 22 lbs. I do endurance races so have to have my boat anchor saddle and ergon grips.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  6. #6
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    Heaviest Setup

    So now that I've checked the typical frame weight, what is the heaviest scenario with this frame?

    First, we start with the 970g from above.

    Then, if you need a front derailleur, you'll add 28g by adding the adapter:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_192554.jpg

    This is ingenious actually, as if you're running 1X there's no weight penalty. Something to be aware of though, if you use the adapter it takes up 2 bolts on the front of the seat tube, thus eliminating the possibility of 2 water bottles on the frame.

    Next, if you opt to use the additional lower chainstay protector (comes with the frame), that's 8g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194843.jpg

    Again though, I'm impressed with what Specialized has done here. In the past we've seen bolt-on, or snap-on (strapon? ha!) chainstay protectors that were unnecessarily bulky. The installed one (about twice the size of the one above) is on top of the driveside chainstay as you'd expect, but again it is a lightweight, adhesive-backed item that likely only weights 16-18g (I won't peel it off to weigh it). Smart!

    Lastly, if you opt to run a SWAT box on the frame, you also get a rubber protector with the frame. (Thanks to S-Works Boy for confirming.) This would add 15g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194917.jpg

    So while some of these things are not technically frame-related, they would be part of the core frame weight in certain scenarios. So, the "heaviest" version of the frame for a build would be:

    970 + 28 + 8 + 15 = 1,021g

    Still amazing!

  7. #7
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    Pretty interested to see how this turns out. I will be building one up this winter as well but I'll probably spring for the non-sworks frame. Hoping for sub 19lbs. Will you be using the new SID for it?

  8. #8
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    Yep, I have a new SID World Cup (BOOST, 51mm offset) en route to me now, but just the standard RockShox version, not the Specialized "Brain" version. In fact, this will be the first "brainless" bike I've built in about 10 years or so.

  9. #9
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    You'll have to share your thoughts on that. Heard the new Charger damper is really good in the sid. Have you tried the Chisel fork yet? I'm sure you've seen this thread too right? 2017 S-Works Epic HT Single speed. - Weight Weenies

  10. #10
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    Thx for the URL - I remember seeing that thread a couple of months ago, but hadn't checked it recently. Is there a final weight posted? I can't find it. That said, my bike likely won't touch a SS, fully rigid machine in terms of weight. (Also the foam grips just don't work for me - trees like to take chunks off them!)

    I'm thinking sub-18 lbs is doable (dare I say sub-17 lbs?), with a Di2 battery stuffed in. We'll see.

  11. #11
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    Sub 900g Frame?

    As mentioned earlier, Specialized claims that a size Large frame is less than 900g. For fun, I wanted to test this. While not usable in this form, I wanted to weigh just the carbon shell, stripping everything else off - I believe this is how their claim is made.

    We start again at 970g, which is the typical use weight (assuming 1X gearing), and I'll remove stuff. Removing the downtube bumper, and seat binder shown above in post #4, -28g.

    Then, removing all frame bolts (5 on inner triangle, 1 on back of seat tube for optional FD mount), -6g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194206.jpg


    Next comes the cable routing form under the bottom bracket, which sheds 7g along with bolt & washer:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194749.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194333.jpg


    On a side note, this reveals a drain hole under the BB:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194733.jpg


    Next up for removal, and something I'll be doing for my build is removing the external cable stop on the chainstay. If you've looked at this frame, much of the cable routing is internal, but the rear derailleur cable is exposed underneath the chainstay. What's nice though is that Specialized has bolted the cable stop on, and it exposes a Di2 e-tube routing hole - nice! This removal lightens things by 4g more:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_193723.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_193833.jpg


    This is a tiny rubber plug at the bottom of the seat stay, which is another Di2 routing hole. Doesn't register on my scale:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194449.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194458.jpg


    We're now down to 920g for the frame so far:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194411.jpg


    But wait - there's more (less)!

    There are 2 more bits not part of the core carbon. The first is the derailleur hanger. I'm not going to remove this as I can't find the torque setting to re-install it, however I just happen to have an exact spare from a previous bike. Removing this piece (and bolt) lowers the weight by 15g more:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_194643.jpg


    Finally, there's the pre-installed chainstay protector. If you look in post #6 above, you'll see that the small version that is not installed is 8g. The installed one is slightly more than twice as long, so I'll say it is 18g. (I won't strip it off to weigh it.)

    We had 920g - 33g = 887g!

    So, while I've literally stripped the frame down as far as it will go, it indeed lives up to Specialized claims of sub-900g for a size Large!

  12. #12
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    Congrats on such a nice frame! Will be following this build for sure.

    Sucks a bit about claimed weights (as usual), perhaps they meant sub-900g unpainted or stripped of small parts as you did, but when companies claim any other weights than painted and rideable it feels a bit backwards. Still, impressive weight and it makes for a really nice starting point!

    Have you decided on wheels yet or will we have to wait and see?

  13. #13
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    Thx for the comment! I take your point on claimed weights in general, but honestly I'm impressed with what Spesh has done here. You could argue that anyone running a front derailleur must tack on weight to add the adapter, but at the same time they've been able to strip off weight for those running 1X.

    Good point re the paint - I think that can amount to ~50g if scraped off. Never could understand folks that do that though given that you eliminate resale value, and likely void warranty.

    As for the wheelset, I have a set of Roval Control SL 148 (BOOST) on the way.

  14. #14
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    Absolutely, 900ish grams is impressive no matter what, especially since the frame rides well too from what I've heard/read!

    Probably at least 50g, could very well be around 100g. Actually I am one of those folks haha, but I fully understand those who don't want to put a knife on their new expensive frames and parts. Comes down to how far you want to push it I guess, but luckily it's possible today to build both strong and really light without taking to extreme measures like that.

    Sounds great, looking forward to seeing it on wheels and getting built up!

  15. #15
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    My Medium was 890g with all the bits and 850g without.
    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-img_6106.jpg
    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-img_6112.jpg
    I know what it's like to be dead. "To Die & Live In LA."

  16. #16
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    Hey Matt, that's good for reference. Wish I was smaller - damn!

  17. #17
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    Stock Rear Thru Axle

    Semi-related to the frame is the stock thru axle that ships with it.

    In the past I've bought aftermarket ones as they've typically been quite a bit lighter, but this stock, Boost 148 one looks great at @33g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170907_192410.jpg


    That's pretty impressive, because the stock X-12 for my 2016 Epic, a shorter 142, actually weighed more at 39g:

    Name:  1118021d1485530887t-new-build-2016-s-works-epic-29-di2-img_1848.jpg
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    So Specialized has done well here too - but mostly I'm happy because I don't have to buy anything for now.

    As references, I've gone with Extralite Blacklock in the past. Their "12.b" version (X-12 BOOST), is 31g, but no way am I spending 72 EUR/93 USD + shipping/tax/duty for a 2g difference:
    Black Lock

    Also note the tightening on the Blacklock is reversed, which has messed with my head a couple of times, so happy to get a rightey-tightey back again.

    Alternatively one could go with Carbon Ti, but their version is 34g, and yet again more expensive. You get choice of colours though:
    X-Lock X-12, Thru Axles Bike,for Rear Wheel

    I've also used Tune in the past, their candidate, is 37g and also expensive (but also colourful, I believe):
    https://www.tune.de/produkt/steckach...hsspanner.html

    So, I have to admit I'm impressed with the stock part here.


    Next up: SID WC fork, and the stock Maxle on it. I'm told it comes with the "Maxle Stealth", which is relatively light - would be great to save some cash here too.

  18. #18
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    Roval Control SL 148s came in. I'll weigh and post pics shortly.

  19. #19
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    Shortly has come and gone... We want weights!!!

  20. #20
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    But the Tune is QR so considering it is only 37grams with a lever is impressive . Personally i would spend the extra extra and go with a blue or gold axle .

  21. #21
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    Whats your ruff spec for the bike?

    I'm currently building up an Medium

    S-Works Epic HT Frame

    Rockshox SiD Brain - 42mm offset
    M9000 - Brakes
    Aerozine seatpost
    Ritchey Steem WCS Saddle
    S-Works Powerness Handlebar
    XX1 Eagle groupset
    Extralite hubs converted to boost + 27mm chinese rims + CX Ray = 1280g
    Quarq Eagle Crankset with 38T chainring

    Think it will be light, but need to start over with getting it under 8kg. Of course to convert to 1x11 would save some weight with the cassette, chain, chainring size and derailleur. But would like to keep it.

    So think I'm almost done.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlownCivic View Post
    Shortly has come and gone... We want weights!!!
    Ha, sorry - I'll get right on it!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb K View Post
    But the Tune is QR so considering it is only 37grams with a lever is impressive . Personally i would spend the extra extra and go with a blue or gold axle .
    Great point in that the Tune offers a lever for just 4g more, but I'm fine with hex.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by plupp View Post
    Whats your ruff spec for the bike?

    I'm currently building up an Medium

    S-Works Epic HT Frame

    Rockshox SiD Brain - 42mm offset
    M9000 - Brakes
    Aerozine seatpost
    Ritchey Steem WCS Saddle
    S-Works Powerness Handlebar
    XX1 Eagle groupset
    Extralite hubs converted to boost + 27mm chinese rims + CX Ray = 1280g
    Quarq Eagle Crankset with 38T chainring

    Think it will be light, but need to start over with getting it under 8kg. Of course to convert to 1x11 would save some weight with the cassette, chain, chainring size and derailleur. But would like to keep it.

    So think I'm almost done.
    Thanks for the interest in the build - please post some pics and weights of your build as we'd love to see it.

    I have the size L HT frame, a SID WC (non-brain) is en route with 51mm offset, and I just got the Roval SL 148 wheelset. I think your wheelset build is impressive (1280g - nice!), and I must have worked out 12 different builds from LightBikes, NOBL, NOX, MCFK, etc, but ultimately settled of the Specialized wheels. Not ultra-light, but no weight limits that I'm aware of and I love the DT Swiss internals.

    As for the other bits, have a look in post #1 above, as I'm moving my MCFK cockpit over to this new frame, along with Di2.

    I'm targeting under 8kg (17-ish lbs), and you should be able to do the same for sure.

  25. #25
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    Going to be an awesome build. I love my 2018 EHT. Best bike I've owned.

  26. #26
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    Roval Control SL 29 148 Details

    Sorry for the delays here as I actually had a life for a while.

    Wheelset arrived with tape pre-installed as is always the case. Nicer black tape instead of the previous brownish stuff, and the job is perfectly done, with minimal overlap. I wanted to rip this off to test the plugs, but it's just too nicely done. Maybe if/when the tape tears.

    Anyway, from a previous source I believe Stan's tape is 7g per wheel, so 14g per wheelset. I think the Specialized tape is thicker, but who knows:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_155849.jpg
    Does anyone know what the "26" means on the tape? Weird.


    I did weigh the plugs though. This particular wheelset uses 24H up front, and 28H on the rear. 24 plugs weighs 7g (+/- 0.5g given the inaccuracy of my scale):

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_155610.jpg


    ...and 28 plugs flip-flopped between 8 and 9 g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_155704.jpg
    Specialized gives you 8 extra plugs. I think I lost 6 during this photo shoot!


    So, I'll say the plugs weigh ~16g, which seems roughly what tape would weight. If anyone has better detail here, please post and correct me.


    The Specialized valves weigh ~ 4.5g each:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_155253.jpg


    The front wheel, with valve and tape is 646g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_154347.jpg


    The rear is 787g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_154408.jpg


    ... and the math is correct as the full wheelset, tape and valves, is 1443g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170917_154330.jpg


    As reference, I had an older pair of non-boost, Roval Control SL 29s a few years ago, and they were 1414g with valves and tape:
    New Build - 2013 S-Works Stumpjumper HT


    As for claims of 1330g for the "total wheelset weight", I'm not sure we're close.

    1443 - 9g valves, -16g tape = 1418. While their claims about the frame were valid, I think the wheelset is a stretch.

  27. #27
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    For reference, my same wheels came within 6 grams of yours. I left the tape as well.
    I know the plugs are a good idea, but I KNOW tape works and is a small penalty to pay for 'perceived' reliability.

  28. #28
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    Is it tape or a strip like the brown previous version that just stretched on the rim? The 26 is width because the rim is 25 and the strips are always 1mm wider. If a strip they weigh near 30g each.

  29. #29
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    Not sure of the difference between a strip and tape, but the 30g weight is interesting, and seems beefy. I can only assume this is the same OEM application that came with the previous SL 29 wheelsets.

    Do you have more details on that?

  30. #30
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    The strip is not an adhesive, it stretches over the rim.

  31. #31
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    Rockshox SID World Cup

    The fork arrived, so I can finally move ahead with the actual build.

    Uncut fork is 1428g (without Maxle):

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170919_142538.jpg


    ...and I'd expect the cut to remove ~25g from the overall weight.


    As reference, a cut 2014 SID fork (with brain) weighs 1556 without axle:

    Name:  2014%20fork.jpg
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    Unfortunately the fork did not ship with a Maxle Stealth, as they suggested. Stock one weighs in @ 77g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170919_142620.jpg

    I'll have to figure out what to go with. Extralite's version is only 29g, but I'm not a fan of the reversed threads:
    Black Lock

  32. #32
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    Well, I wound up ordering the Extralite Blacklock. Found it at a decent price on R2, and also grabbed some Rocket Rons at the same time. (The non-Addix versions of Schwalbe tires, without the stripe, are super cheap now.)

    I was close to buying a carbon axle from Shift Up, but I actually got too scared: both of the price and the potential for failure. I'm usually pretty trustful of carbon composite engineering these days, but I just couldn't pull the trigger.

    It would have been only 22g, but 82.5 EUR / $100 US:

    X15 thru axle for ROCKSHOX fork

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-axe-x15-rock-shox-l148.jpg


    I'm now disassembling the Epic FSR, and I'll be more careful to weigh some of the stuff I've missed in the past like BB etc. Hopefully next few posts won't be too boring.
    Last edited by phlegm; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:51 AM.

  33. #33
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    Absoluteblack Top Cap

    Another part arrived this week, the Absoluteblack Top Cap:
    https://absoluteblack.cc/top-cap.html

    An interesting idea, as it integrates the bolt and cap in a single piece.

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170924_103936.jpg


    Claim is 4g and it flip-flops between 3-4g on my scale:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170924_103922.jpg


    My existing MCFK top cap (carbon chip & bolt) appeared to have a slight crack after several seasons, so I thought I'd give the Absoluteblack a shot. For reference, the MCFK assembly was 5g:

    Name:  IMG_0178.JPG
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  34. #34
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    Coming along nicely!

    The lightest rim tape I've come across is Orange Seal, but most tapes seem to be of similar weight. But as mentioned above, quite a lot of weight can be saved compared to various strips (Bontrager strips are also quite heavy for example).

    Good choice on the Extralite axle too, I've used several with no issue. Been running the ShiftUp carbon on one bike, and also broken one in a crash. Hard to tell if a lightweight alu axle would've survived but I think so, funny thing is that the carbon part held up but the alu is very thin where the thread ends and the carbon starts and that's where it snapped.

  35. #35
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    I've been using the absolute ahead cap for a few years. just make sure the star fangled nut/steerer expander is in straight, or the ahead cap wont seat flat

  36. #36
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    Thanks scant - I should be fine as I use an expander which can't go in off-angle.

  37. #37
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    Black Lock & Rocket Rons

    Have a couple more things, and should have some time to actually build.

    The Extralite Black Lock arrived. Claim is 29g, and this is 28g on my scale:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170928_132512.jpg


    Next up are the tires, and the weights are inevitably disappointing. Given the season, I'm going to mount some Rocket Rons. These aren't as light as the Thunder Burts, but I want a different pattern. The claim for these Liteskin versions (29 X 2.25) is 520g, but mine are 551g and 573g respectively - ouch!

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170928_132413.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170928_132728.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170928_132628.jpg

    It never ceases to amaze me how much variance there is with tires. Put "X" amount of tire goop in the mold each time, but wind up with 20 very different weights. The only other thing I can think of, is that Schwalbe is now showcasing their "Addix" compounds, denoted by the color-coded stripes. The ones I bought were the previous, unstriped Evolution version, so I wonder if the Addix compound is lighter?

    Anyway, these slightly older versions of the Rocket Ron are super-inexpensive now that the Addix versions are out, so I couldn't resist.

  38. #38
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    Those Rocket Rons roll pretty darn fast though. Probably not as fast as the Thunder Burts you had before...but these got good traction though.

    They do measure on the narrow side though. Mine measured out to ~2.14 with 21psi on 22mm IW rims.

  39. #39
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    Thanks RS - I don't have calipers - but I'll try to get a sense of how wide (narrow) they run. These are heavier than some tires, but I'll really need something chunkier for the next months.

  40. #40
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    Upset I'm Stupid: Bottom Bracket & Di2 Wiring

    As the post title suggests, I'm stupid. Allow me to elaborate...

    I've disassembled the 2016 Epic (FSR), and can finally start to build up the 2018 Epic (Hardtail). In my build, the core frame weighs 940g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_105926.jpg

    As for details, this includes the rear derailleur hanger. It does not include the front derailleur mount (running 1X), the chainstay cable stop (running Di2 internally), the under BB cable routing (not needed), and a rubber stopper on the seat tube (as the Di2 wire will use that opening - it is also there for FD cabling). All these are weighed in an earlier post, and it's nice to be able to drop some of the weight for unneeded items, especially the FD mount.

    It also does not include the stock seat binder, as I'll be using the MCFK "sub-5" model, which is oddly 6g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_120528.jpg
    Caption: Yep, it is just two, thin carbon straps.


    So, depending on how you measure typical frame weight, it is ~946g.


    OK, so I removed the Chris King bottom bracket from the old frame, and use the injector tool to relube/flush the bearings while still in the cups:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_110402-0-.jpg

    This is super-handy. Also, I have no idea how the Chris King compares in terms of weight, but I'd use it regardless of weight as it has been creak/squeak free since day 1, which is sometimes rare with PF30 frames. I've tried several other BBs in the past, and this has been bullet proof. In any event, the cups, sleeve, bearings, etc, amount to 105g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_113305.jpg

    Those are the non-ceramic bearings BTW, and I think the secret to success with the Chris King BB is the alloy cups versus plastic (Delrin) on some others I've used in the past.


    OK, so I've cleaned the BB and bearings, and carefully press it into the frame. Nice! Job done!


    Next I take the rear brake line, and run it through the opening in the non-driveside chainstay, slide it through, up the downtube, and out the cable opening in the head tube area:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_122057.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_122102.jpg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_122225.jpg

    Here's where I'll give myself a pat on the back before confirming my stupidity. If you look at the picture just above, you'll see a time-saver, or mostly mess-saver that I decided to try. I move hydraulic brake lines from bike-to-bike, and for internal cabling you must disconnect one end. I've done my best to drain the lines in the past, but inevitably it will drip, and make a mess. I've tried to tape over the end, but it just gets awkward.

    In this case, I found a tiny screw that nicely wedged into the end of the line, making a decent seal - circled in red. This allowed a clean cable routing, and I'll use this method in future.

    Build Points (TM) awarded: +2.



    This is going great!


    Now to pre-wire the Di2 before I start putting everything else on the frame. Hmmm, I should have remembered that this frame does not have a hatch underneath the BB area like the 2016 S-Works Epic, and 2015 S-Works Stumpjumper frames. It merely has some cable routing exits:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_122113.jpg

    Damn, how the hell am I going to do this???!!! I tried a couple of times to attach the flimsy Di2 wire (a.k.a. etubes) to an unused cable housing and fish it through, but there's no way to do this around the tight bend near the BB. Geez, this is really hard - I think this bike is offered in a Di2 option, how the heck does Specialized do it?

    Well, they definitely don't start by installing the bottom bracket first! I thought I recalled some cutouts in the BB area, and sure enough after hammering out the just-installed BB (using this BTW - great tool), we see the cutouts:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_125811.jpg

    Build Points (TM) awarded: -5.


    And guess what? It's super easy now to route it. It's almost as if that's how you're supposed to do it - duh!!!!

    In my case I'll use the same setup as on the 2016 Epic: front shifter, rear derailleur, battery, and external junction all connect to the 4 ports on the internal mini-junction shown, and I tuck it into the frame:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_133333.jpg


    Now to (re) install that bottom bracket...

  41. #41
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    Adding Weight & Dropping Weight: Brakes, Fork, Torque Caps

    Oddly enough, I've never used Ashima Ai2 rotors. Crazy right? They are probably the best price to weight ratio out there.

    To date, I have tried rotors from Magura, Formula, Kettle (carbon failures), KCNC, and Dartmoor (original Ashima knock-offs). Speaking of the Dartmoors, here are the outgoing rotors @ 83g (160mm):

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_163135.jpg
    I guess the black looked kinda good, but I'm going with Ai2.


    ... and while well known, here are an equivalent Ai2 @ 72g, so nice to shed 11g per wheel:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_161346.jpg


    Oh, and in case you were wondering, the bolts that ship with the Ai2 retail package are not Ti. A set of 6 weighs 12g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_161422.jpg


    While my previous Ti bolts, still slathered in anti-seize compound, save me 5g per wheel @ 7g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_161255.jpg


    Next, I'll gladly add a bit of weight by rolling an o-ring onto the fork, just below the crown. I first came across this with SID Brain forks back in 2013 (-ish?). While it's a measly 3g, it nicely seals up the lower bearing area which is far more prone to water ingress IME:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170930_130759.jpg


    ...and here's a shot of the head tube area so you can see how the o-ring sits - it does not interfere with the steerer movement:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170930_133912.jpg


    Lastly, and completely unrelated in this mish-mash post, are the torque caps. RockShox has increased the size of the hub interface with several of their forks over the past several years. Not a requirement, but since my Roval Control SL 148 wheelset came with the caps, I figured I'd give them a try. Outgoing are the regular caps @ 10g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_171351.jpg


    ..and adding more weight are the Torque Caps (not to be confused with the Torque Tube hub required for the RS-1 fork), which show a visibly larger interface, but add 10g to the front hub assembly:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170929_171405.jpg


    Still more to come as the build is progressing...

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny7 View Post
    That is impressive. I just built up a generic large asian carbon 29er and it clocked in around 1150g. My finished build was just under 22 lbs. I do endurance races so have to have my boat anchor saddle and ergon grips.
    Sorry Lenny - Missed this reply. Yep, you can't really give up comfort in the saddle (especially for Endurance), and bad grips can leave you in pain too. Tires are the 3rd piece - sometimes you can get away with light race-day-only rubber, but if conditions are bad you're screwed.

    I'll cover the saddle and grips in future posts. Guaranteed you'll hate my saddle!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerholm View Post
    Coming along nicely!

    The lightest rim tape I've come across is Orange Seal, but most tapes seem to be of similar weight. But as mentioned above, quite a lot of weight can be saved compared to various strips (Bontrager strips are also quite heavy for example).

    Good choice on the Extralite axle too, I've used several with no issue. Been running the ShiftUp carbon on one bike, and also broken one in a crash. Hard to tell if a lightweight alu axle would've survived but I think so, funny thing is that the carbon part held up but the alu is very thin where the thread ends and the carbon starts and that's where it snapped.
    Sorry, missed this too Danger. Geez, that's a scary failure. I suppose it failed where you'd expect.

    Do they offer warranty replacement? Also, how much is your body weight, kitted up?

  44. #44
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    Fork, Headset, Back to OEM Binder

    Moving forward, I've installed the fork.

    First off was the removal of the stock white decals, and switch to the included "stealth" version:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20170930_155120.jpg


    Cutting the steerer shed 29g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171001_135007.jpg


    ...which brings the SID World Cup down to 1397g, the lightest SID I've used to date:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171001_135049.jpg


    Next, the headset assembly. In the past I've used a Cane Creek 110 series lower bearing, which is a few grams lighter than the stock from "TH Industries" that Specialized ships with the frame. In this case I figured I'd stick with the stock headset assembly (but with Absoluteblack top cap/bolt). The bits total 70g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171001_135350.jpg


    Last shot are the spacers. Although there has been some debate, Rockshox specifies that carbon steerer should be cut flush with the top of the stem, not going slightly below the stem in order to accommodate the top cap. (For non-carbon they don't specify.) So below are 3 - 5mm spacers along with a 2mm which goes on top of the stem, allowing for the cap. 5g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171001_135507.jpg


    On an unrelated note, I'll have to use the stock Specialized binder, @ 11g. The MCFK "Sub-5" (weighs 6g) doesn't line up properly:

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  45. #45
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    Lookin’ awesome!!!

  46. #46
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    Thanks, here's the partial build:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171001_200331.jpg

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    Close to Complete - Misc Parts

    I'm pretty much done at this point.

    I've moved several of these parts from bike to bike, so I'll recycle some photos. You've seen these if you've followed recent builds, but I'll include them for completeness:

    MCFK saddle @ 70g:

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    MCFK bar, 119g:

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    MCFK straight seatpost and carbon arch @ 106g:

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    MCFK stem, 76g:

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    S-Works (Lightining) cranks, 373g (including spider nut) - older red versions:

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    ...and RaceFace crank boots, weighing 17g, but mandatory IMO:

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    ...and a shot of the Wolftooth 32T spiderless ring @ 71g (on the newer grey cranks):

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    MCFK Expander for the fork steerer, 12g:

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    Next up: The Di2 stuff crammed in, then final bike weight.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Have a couple more things, and should have some time to actually build.

    The Extralite Black Lock arrived. Claim is 29g, and this is 28g on my scale:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next up are the tires, and the weights are inevitably disappointing. Given the season, I'm going to mount some Rocket Rons. These aren't as light as the Thunder Burts, but I want a different pattern. The claim for these Liteskin versions (29 X 2.25) is 520g, but mine are 551g and 573g respectively - ouch!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    It never ceases to amaze me how much variance there is with tires. Put "X" amount of tire goop in the mold each time, but wind up with 20 very different weights. The only other thing I can think of, is that Schwalbe is now showcasing their "Addix" compounds, denoted by the color-coded stripes. The ones I bought were the previous, unstriped Evolution version, so I wonder if the Addix compound is lighter?

    Anyway, these slightly older versions of the Rocket Ron are super-inexpensive now that the Addix versions are out, so I couldn't resist.
    The Addix compound is much heavier. They did not update the weight specs though, so it leads to quite a dissapointment. I just got some Furious Fred Addix tires and they are about 50g heavier than my Pacestar FFs.
    2015 Niner Jet 9 Carbon
    2014 Focus Raven 27R
    2017 Lynskey GR250
    2016 Niner BSB
    1987 Haro RS1

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    The Addix compound is much heavier. They did not update the weight specs though, so it leads to quite a dissapointment. I just got some Furious Fred Addix tires and they are about 50g heavier than my Pacestar FFs.
    Damn, that's even more disappointing then. Thx for the heads up.

  50. #50
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    Di2 Stuff

    Thought I'd post the Di2 elements as I got a PM about it, and offer details on the internal routing.

    First off, I'm routing things identically to the 2016 Epic FSR. This cheesy MS Paint-based diagram shows a green etube coming from the front shifter, orange from the rear derailleur, and blue from the seatpost battery joining an internal 4-port junction box, aka "B Junction". In the case of the 2018 Epic, in an earlier post you can see me tucking that junction inside the BB area. They all then route externally via the yellow etube to an external "A Junction" for charging and adjusting:

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    On the 2018 Epic specifically, a hole on the seat tube allows that last wire to come out of the frame to that external junction:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171004_101323.jpg
    I'd prefer a fully stealth Di2 setup like I had on an earlier frame, but this is the best you can do on this one. The hole shown would facilitate the front derailleur.


    Next pic is where the etube leaves the chainstay (after removing the cable stop), and is exposed en route to the RD:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171004_101336.jpg
    I cover the etube in shrink wrap for extra protection, and to make it a bit thicker so it doesn't droop as much.


    Here you can see the shifter etube being combined with the front brake line, and running into the frame inside chunky shrinkwrap:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171004_101400.jpg
    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171004_101350.jpg
    It may be hard to see, but given the cable entry is right near the head tube area (as opposed to further down the downtube on earlier models), the cables make a funky bend when turning left. I may just have to turn right more often.


    Now here are the individual weights of the Di2 components for reference:

    External, junction "A" at 9g:

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    Damn, I forgot to weight the rubber strap that attaches it to the frame!


    You use Di2 dummy plugs to fill any unused ports, especially on external items. I use 2 on the Junction "A". 7 of them fluctuate between 2 & 3g on my scale, so let's say they weigh .4g each:


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    I use 2 of these on the external junction, just under 1g probably.


    The rear XTR Di2 derailleur is heavier than its non-digital counterpart, and weighs 290g:

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    ...but this is nicely offset by a crazy-light front shifter (a.k.a. "switch) which is only 64g:

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    You can swap out the springs to make the shifting clicks lighter, but in IMO it closely matches its mechanical cousin in terms of feel.


    Here's the battery, 51g, which is tucked in the seatpost with a rubber mount weighing 7g:

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    Next is the external 4-port junction, which is tiny, and only 4g:

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    ...and finally an assortment of wires (etubes):

    The longest for this build (front shifter to junction) is 600mm and 7g:

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    Next is 500mm (RD to junction), 6g:

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    Seatpost battery to junction is 250mm, 3g:

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    ..and the little baby one, from internal junction to external junction, 150mm, 2g:

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    I calculated a handy formula if you want to predetermine your etube weight on a build:

    g = (X / 100) + 1

    where "g" is the weight in grams of the wire, and "X" is the length of the wire in mm. It is a pretty close calculation.


    Next up: Final weight as-is, and potential "minimum" weight!

  51. #51
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    Current Weight

    OK, finally on the scale: 17.42 lbs / 7.9kg

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171003_103857.jpg


    I'm actually very pleased because this configuration is stashing a battery in the seat post, and is using among the chunkier tires I've used.

    Full pic:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171003_124732.jpg


    In terms of a lighter, typical configuration, in the summer months I can switch back to Thunder Burt tires. This example is 444g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171003_124308.jpg


    So, based on that, I can easily shed 200g+ just on the rubber from the Rocket Rons, which would drop the bike to sub-17 lbs.


    Thanks for all the input. I still have some random comments and observations to go.

  52. #52
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    killer bike, congrats

  53. #53
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    That is sexy.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    OK, finally on the scale: 17.42 lbs / 7.9kg

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm actually very pleased because this configuration is stashing a battery in the seat post, and is using among the chunkier tires I've used.

    Full pic:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice!!
    I know what it's like to be dead. "To Die & Live In LA."

  55. #55
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    Wow! Awesome, beautiful build man.

  56. #56
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    Awesome build. You'll enjoy the AI2 rotors. They give you a subtle audible cue to your deceleration rate (tick, tick, tick, tick,,tick,,,tick,,,,tick). Never any problems with mine, plenty of power.

  57. #57
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    Mine overheat quick on extended downhills. I use them on my fatbike for winter and they are usually great there. For flat midwestern XC, they'd be fine, for anything with longer descents, I'd stay away. Bad fade/glazing issues with hard braking. Maybe better with bigger rotor sizes, but then that negates your weight savings to some extent.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  58. #58
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    Might depend on how heavy you are and how steep the descents are too. I'm #145 and so far the Ai2's haven't given me any problems. I think the longest descent I've taken my bike with the Ai2's are about 6 miles down. Even with hard braking into turns...I haven't really come into brake fade problems. Now if you're dragging the brakes...then that's where I can see them really heating up.

  59. #59
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    Well this turned out great! Congrats on the build, really light but still quite bomb proof.
    Wheels and fork goes great with the frame, and the MCFK parts is a nice touch. That seat is a favorite for sure.

    Very tempted to go Di2 for my next build, just need to figure out a good way to go completely stealth.

    About the axle, it was a relatively high speed crash (30km/h) and I also ripped the front brake hose off and so on. So I actually didn't even ask for a replacement, it really was a shit happens scenario and it was way out of "normal riding". I have been meaning to tell them where it broke though, would be such an easy section to reinforce a bit.
    I'm around 75-78kg in the summer, so no heavy weight haha.
    Their customer service is great though, fast replies and fast service, and I've been happy with my damper cartridge from them.

  60. #60
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    Awesome build. I'm looking for something to supplement my Top Fuel for shorter events or stuff with lots of climbing and this looks just about perfect. Is that a size large frame?

    And a note on the Ashima rotors: I weigh 175#. I'm from Florida. I used them for ORAMM this year including a 30+ minute descent of the Heartbreak Enduro stage of Pisgah. No issues with the rotors fading one bit, even with Organic Pads on SRAM level brakes. Those rotors are a great way to cut weight IMO, alot better $/g ratio than some of the other things I've tried:
    https://blog.bikeminded.com/the-anal...-series-axles/
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  61. #61
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    Thanks for all the kind comments folks, appreciated!

    I keep forgetting that the frame and wheels are boost-based, so especially pleased with the final weight. It is a fully raceable, every day rideable build, with only compromise being the saddle, which isn't for everyone I realize. However in my case it fits and flexes nicely.

    I have noticed a weird waviness to the Absoluteblack top cap. I'm working with them to sort that out, and will keep you posted. I'll post some pics shortly, as I need to adjust my stem anyway - it's off center by 1-2 degrees and is driving me nuts!


    Quote Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
    Awesome build. I'm looking for something to supplement my Top Fuel for shorter events or stuff with lots of climbing and this looks just about perfect. Is that a size large frame?...[/url]
    Yep, size Large frame. Good pics on your blog, BTW.

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    Great job on the build and thanks for all the details and pics. Gives us all some ideas for upgrades and future builds.

    I was feeling really awesome about getting my HT down to 19.8 lbs race-ready, then I saw this!

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerholm View Post
    ...

    Very tempted to go Di2 for my next build, just need to figure out a good way to go completely stealth.

    ...
    Stealth can be done, and TBH I would have preferred it for this build. You just need to squeeze a Junction "A" (the bigger one with 3 ports) into the frame somehow. The other trick is ensuring it is accessible for charging.

    Have a look at my older build (the relevant bits start around post #65 or so). I made it work, but had to sand down the junction!

    New Build - 2015 S-Works Stumpjumper HT + XTR Di2

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty39 View Post
    Great job on the build and thanks for all the details and pics. Gives us all some ideas for upgrades and future builds.

    I was feeling really awesome about getting my HT down to 19.8 lbs race-ready, then I saw this!
    Ha - sorry man!

  65. #65
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    Forgotten Items

    For completeness I'll post scale shots of things not previously mentioned.

    Front and rear XTR brakes, lines cut. I also removed another 2g segment when cutting for this frame, so call it 380g although shot says 382g:

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    SRAM X01 cassette @ 265g:

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    KMC DLC 11 chain, 228g with MissingLink:

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    Scoop of Stans fluid for each tire (adjusted for scoop), 56g:

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-20171006_113929.jpg
    I used to skimp, and try 1/2 a scoop per tire, but now I don't give a crap.


    ESI Chunky (top), credit to RS VR6 for the pic with a more accurate scale, 31.7g each with end plug:

    Name:  grips.jpg
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    I don't have shots of my own for the the following:

    Crank Bros Eggbeater 11 pedals - 179g (pair, claimed)

    Ti Brake Caliper bolts - 13g (front and rear, with anti-seize slathered on)


    I think that covers it. I received a PM to post a build sheet, so I'll clean it up, and do that next.

  66. #66
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    Build Sheet

    Here's the build sheet. It's actually pretty close as it totals to 7.86 kg, whereas the scale weight is 7.90 (both rounded).

    Not sure where the ~40g is missing from, but that's typical of build lists and scale inaccuracy. I think someone once calculated a couple of grams of air in each tire - ha!

    New Build - 2018 S-Works Epic Hardtail (Di2)-2018_epic.jpg

    Much easier to read when clicked on.

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    Nicely done! Great detailed build thread too.

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    Cheers, thanks for the kind comment!

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    Impressive build. Well done, sir!!1

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    Looking forward to the first ride report. This thing's gotta feel like a rocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbadger1977 View Post
    Impressive build. Well done, sir!!1
    Quote Originally Posted by smitty39 View Post
    Looking forward to the first ride report. This thing's gotta feel like a rocket.
    Thanks for the comments!

    I've done a few rides on it, and I really like it. Seems to be more compliant than the 2015 HT, and the 2013. Part if it could be the slightly wider tires this time around.

    Typically when I switch from FS to HT (and I switch back and forth a lot), I dislike the punishment on the HT, but so far so good. Surprisingly really.

    On an unrelated note, I'm still working with Absoluteblack re the Top Cap. Interesting that it waves a bit under tension, then reverts to flat upon removal. Somehow it isn't getting even pressure we suspect. I'll post more details shortly. Their support has been great, and responsive so far.

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