Ritchey Timberwolf 27.5 rigid build- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ritchey Timberwolf 27.5 rigid build

    So I got this far with the build before deciding to change things up a bit more dramatically:



    The frame is going to the shop tomorrow for sand-blasting. It will then be promptly polished and chromed.

    What I really want is a 27.5 CroMo fork for 100x15 but that just aint working out! I will deal with this Aliexpress carbon fork for the time being (Ritchey only offers a rigid 27.5 fork for QR ).

    For the brakes I want to go with 2, 4 piston Magura MT Trail SL's because they will nicely match the chromed frame. The idea is to incorporate that blue elsewhere in the build:



    Other ideas for brakes are welcome. The MT7's rated so very well that I wanted them, but then found the Trail SL's. Original plan was XTR.

    Drivetrain will be the XTR M980 with 44/28 and 11/36. This is currently on my other rigid bike and is perfect for up, down and the flats. The rigid build is however only really good for 2 of the 3 but I live with it as up-hill and flats are more important for my riding. The whole reason for this build is because I want disc brakes and my other build won't support them.

    The wheelset that I am eyeballing right now is the Reynolds Blacklabel Trail with I9 hubs. That's a difficult decision though, as my original plan was to take these Crest Mk3 rims and lace them to White Industries XMR's with Sapim CX-ray's. I just think the reynolds will be much stiffer and only 100g heavier than my self-built Crest's. The costs will roughly be the same (if purchased, the reynolds will be 2nd hand).

    I hope all goes well with the polishing and chroming. I know that it is slightly risky with the thin steel tubing but I just don't see any other look which appeals to my bling-lust.

    Also, the frame was a steel as the clear-coat is damaged from wrong mix of thinner from the factory:
    Last edited by pressed001; 10-26-2018 at 03:09 PM. Reason: 100mm front hub spacing, not 110.

  2. #2
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    That frame is designed for a 120mm to 140mm fork. I would get a 100mm suspension corrected 29er fork and a 29er front wheel. Something like a niner rdo fork. If you were ever going to build a nice B9er this would be the frame to use.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerC View Post
    I would get a 100mm suspension corrected 29er fork and a 29er front wheel. Something like a niner rdo fork.
    The niner fork would be perfect but they don't make one with the right dimensions for 650B. ~469mm AtC. The Timby was designed for 140mm fork travel, sag corrected would put a rigid fork at exactly the AtC length of 469mm which is the spec for the ritchey rigid fork, and is also what mine measures (actually mine is 470). I just don't want to lift the front any more as I like going uphill and already have to often sit on the very end of the saddle and lean forward. With a lifted front end, this would get even more difficult.

    I also don't want a mixed wheelset.

    Does anyone have any input on the Magura MT Trail SL brakeset? It is hard to dig up good reviews for them.

  4. #4
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    This is the last time we will see her with the factory paint!


  5. #5
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    Things are in full swing. Just waiting for the paint to be professionally removed by the bike-shop/manufacturer, Stolz. These guys are really great and put a lot of passion into their work.

    Anyway the parts are on order.

    The white industries XMR's in blue should complement the overall chrome/blue color scheme quite well!



    Those are being paired with the polished Crest Mk3 rims, sapim CX ray's and blue sapim nipples. I really don't like aluminum nipples but make an exception in this case. The blue will look great against the polished steel/aluminum. I will never forget buying a used scott scale LTD with top-shelf DT-Swiss carbon rims and wanting to true them. The aluminum nipples just disintegrated upon attempting to turn. I had to rebuild the wheels to true them. I really hope that will not be the case for me here. If you guys think otherwise, let me know and I will stick with brass nipples!

    I need to start sanding the fork. Plan is to have it painted chrome, if possible. Tomorrow I will contact the automotive paint shop which did such a great job on the clear-coat for my Kuota project. Hopefully they can get it done. I am really not digging the trend of black carbon forks on all these non-carbon bikes. To deviate further from trend, I plan to have the carbon seatpost painted the same chrome. If not possible, will be going with a Thomson Elite in silver.

  6. #6
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    Today the frame and rims went from stripping directly to the polishing and chroming company, Walt AG in Fällanden. They were very professional and the guy knows his stuff, but the price was admittedly steeper than my last build which required nearly exactly the same amount of polishing and chroming. End results will be ready to pick up in 4 weeks.





    That grit on the frame is residue and not the steel.

  7. #7
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    Here's a little inspiration on the chrome and blue for you.

    Ritchey Timberwolf 27.5 rigid build-chrome_and_blue.jpg
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Here's a little inspiration...
    Not bad! This actually gets me thinking that the chromed steel already has a blue to it and therefore a warm secondary color may have been a better decision. Too late now though and we will see when she's all done.

  9. #9
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    So this build has already gone much further.

    The company doing the polishing and chroming did not live up to their side of the agreement, so I picked up the bare naked frame a couple weeks ago.

    I had decided to do the polishing myself and tooled up for the job. After about 14 hours of sanding, we are now here:





    The only thing needed now is a final fine sanding and then polishing. At that time the frame will go back to Walt AG for chroming only. At this point I don't care how long it takes them.

    The hubs were delivered to the house next door, which no longer exists, and then went back to Germany! Ha! They had sent them to my old address which is across the street and is now a construction site. So the wheel build is delayed, but I still have to polish the rims up, so we've got time.

    Next on the list, after the frame, is rims and getting the fork/seatpost sanded and prepped for painting.

    The shinier the frame gets, the more excited about the build I get.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pressed001 View Post
    So this build has already gone much further.

    The company doing the polishing and chroming did not live up to their side of the agreement, so I picked up the bare naked frame a couple weeks ago.

    I had decided to do the polishing myself and tooled up for the job. After about 14 hours of sanding, we are now here:





    The only thing needed now is a final fine sanding and then polishing. At that time the frame will go back to Walt AG for chroming only. At this point I don't care how long it takes them.

    The hubs were delivered to the house next door, which no longer exists, and then went back to Germany! Ha! They had sent them to my old address which is across the street and is now a construction site. So the wheel build is delayed, but I still have to polish the rims up, so we've got time.

    Next on the list, after the frame, is rims and getting the fork/seatpost sanded and prepped for painting.

    The shinier the frame gets, the more excited about the build I get.
    Nice to see another wolf on here. Interesting to see you going the rigid build line. I have my P-650b built up as a rigid with a similar build to yours and that comes in at 9.1kg. Be interested to know the final weight of the rigid wolf.

  11. #11
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    I should have weighed the frame before sending off for chroming this past Saturday. Oh well. It probably weighs a good 100g less from all the sanding! I am quite honestly a bit skeptical of the frame now and plan to put it through a bit of a stress test before taking it on any real rides. I sanded. And sanded. And sanded....and sanded....

    Here's the frame before I packed it up:






    I dropped it off in German on Saturday. Also used the time to pick up a Sram XX 11-36 cassette which I bought for really cheap on ebay-kleinanzeigen.de. Went for a bit of a jog too..



  12. #12
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    Received the wheel components this week but must wait for the rims before building.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pressed001 View Post
    I am quite honestly a bit skeptical of the frame now and plan to put it through a bit of a stress test before taking it on any real rides.
    Could you please elaborate on what you saw that makes you feel this way?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAU83 View Post
    Could you please elaborate on what you saw that makes you feel this way?
    Well, the roughly 1mm thick steel (said to be as thin as 0.8mm towards the middle of the triple butted tubes) was first sandblasted and then sanded and polished. A LOT of sanding took place which removed some of that 1mm. This is the whole danger of chroming for cosmetic reasons: it can weaken the steel as the whole sanding/polishing process removes some material.

    It would be nice to know exactly how much steel was removed but measuring devices for this cost $1500 and up. This one claims to measure from 0.6-150mm of steel. That is however beside the point, as a new frame costs only about $1000.

    Thus have I decided to just do my own stress test to ensure that the frame can still handle the types of loads which I will be placing on it.

  15. #15
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    Thank you for the detailed explanation.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAU83 View Post
    Thank you for the detailed explanation.

  17. #17
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    Excited!

















    Last edited by pressed001; 04-06-2019 at 01:01 PM. Reason: last photo

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowlickkid View Post
    Wow that turned out great!

  19. #19
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    Took her on a test run today:









    This bike's geometry is very different than the 1995 GT Tempest that I usually ride. So the ride will take some kilometers to get used to. That said, I took it out for a 40km ride today with 900m of elevation gain (and then loss!) and I must say that this bike is almost nearly impressive. I honestly can't say that I'm too impressed with the frame, but it aint bad. The build is but top notch and exactly what I needed as an upgrade to the GT.

    First off, the disc brakes make downhill an absolute breeze. With 1 finger I got all the power I needed. The wide(er) wheels allowed me also to run less tire pressure on my tubeless setup which allowed better handling and grip.

    The steel frame put together with the low tire pressure makes this ride feel like it has a suspension. With the front tire at 1.8bar and rear at 2.0, I took some seriously rocky terrain at speed and didn't feel a thing. This is where I was impressed.

    The frame itself is just okay. Nothing special. But damn it looks good.

    Note: chainsuck 3 times on the ride today gave the chain-stay it's first scars.

    Plans: My wife was right, this bike would look great in all-silver. I will sand the fork and seatpost before bringing them to my favorite auto shop for a professional paint-job of the most metallic, chrome-like paint they can do.

  20. #20
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    In summation: this is my new favorite mountain bike.

    Reasons: Wheels and brakes.

    Wheels: the wider Crest mk3 rims allow lower tire pressure which gives me more grip in the climbs and more cushion for the downhills. With reduced tire pressure I could effectively attack out of the saddle in the climbs without sacrificing much grip. I broke my old records for some local climbs already.

    The rocky and semi-technical downhills were much easier due to the superb braking power offered by the Magura's. The carbon fork, handlebars and lower tire pressure sufficiently damped the vibrations so that I could move with speed.

    The frame itself took me some getting used to. Initially I was very disappointed but found that most of the nervous feel was caused by an over-tightened headset. Once that was solved, the bike handles and steers well. I found myself attacking the hills successfully out of the saddle much more often than usual. Some of this can be attributed to the frame, but mostly the wheel/tire/pressure combo.

    Frame: Ritchey Timberwolf size M (purchased for $300 due to defective paint), stripped, polished and chromed
    Fork: Carbon AliExpress 27.5 15mm Thru-Axle
    Rims: NoTubes Crest MK3's, stripped and polished, tubeless
    Hubs: White Industries XMR 15x110 and 12x142
    Spokes: Sapim CX Ray
    Nipples: Sapim Polyax Alu 14mm
    Tires: Schwalbe Thunder Burt Liteskin Tubeless
    Crankset: XTR M980, 28x44
    Cassette: SRAM XX1099, 11x36 (purchased used)
    Chain: Shimano XT CN HG-95
    Shifters: XTR M980, 2-3x10
    Stem: Ritchey classic C220 100mm
    Handlebars: AliExpress Carbon EC90
    Brakes: Magura MT Trail SL with extra double caliper for rear
    Discs: Hope 180mm silver
    Brake-levers: Magura HC3 (purchased used)
    Brake-lines: Uberbike stainless kit
    Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11 Ti (purchased used)
    Saddle: Ritchey WCS carbon streem

    Weight: 9.3kg with pedals
    Cost: ~$3,000

    At a later time I will sand the seatpost and fork before having them painted to match the chrome frame. But for now, this build is finished.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowlickkid View Post
    Great project, great thread, thank you for contributing this!
    Thanks CLK! Glad to contribute, though at times I feel like I am talking to myself! I should honestly post more details so that they can help other's in the future.

    Looking forward to my next build --> 1993 Marin Team, frame strip down, plating and re-build.

  22. #22
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    To conclude my findings on the build I would like to say that:
    1) I made a big mistake on the frame size and
    2) I made a big mistake on the type of frame for this build

    I never bought a modern frame and thought that the size M would suffice. I was so wrong. The Timberwolf frame is already on the small side and I typically like size L traditional geometry frames. So this frame is way too small for my liking.

    I was also unfamiliar with the different frame geometries and what they entailed. The Timberwolf is a trail bike and I wanted a cross country bike. Oops. The timberwolf just isn't my cup of tea. I must however say that once the Timberwolf starts going downhill she comes alive and handles very well.

    All said and done I am purchasing another frame and will hang this beauty up until my kids are old enough for it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pressed001 View Post
    To conclude my findings on the build I would like to say that:
    1) I made a big mistake on the frame size and
    2) I made a big mistake on the type of frame for this build

    I never bought a modern frame and thought that the size M would suffice. I was so wrong. The Timberwolf frame is already on the small side and I typically like size L traditional geometry frames. So this frame is way too small for my liking.

    I was also unfamiliar with the different frame geometries and what they entailed. The Timberwolf is a trail bike and I wanted a cross country bike. Oops. The timberwolf just isn't my cup of tea. I must however say that once the Timberwolf starts going downhill she comes alive and handles very well.

    All said and done I am purchasing another frame and will hang this beauty up until my kids are old enough for it.
    The P-650b version or the P-29 in L would have been a better choice of frame for you. The Timberwolf is slack in the front and built around a 140mm travel fork. The P models are designed around a 100-120mm fork. I have a 014 P-650b in L that's fully rigid with the Ritchey carbon fork and it's in the 9kg range. Still enjoy the Timberwolf as it's a very versatile bike that can be loads of fun. Steel is a real ride!

  24. #24
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    I hate to let you down @conrad but I ended up swapping the frame for carbon. But yeah I agree, the P-29 would have been a much better decision over the Timby.

    For the new frame I used all components from the Timby that I could but had to purchase a new fork, stem, 29er rims, spokes and tires. Optionally I went with new Magura MT5 brakes and black Hope 2 piece rotors.

    So the weather is really crap here and I have only ridden the bike in the parking garage. It was steering like a gravel bike with the 460mm ATC fork but that also made the seat-tube angle very steep so decided to get a proper 490mm ATC fork which seems to be a good in-between even though I like the steep HTA of the gravel bikes.

    So the bike is pretty much done.This whole project was a big lesson in bike geometry for me. I spent a lot of hours researching nearly every frame on the market and comparing them to the 1995 GT Zaskar. In the end I was torn between this one and the Mondraker Podium Carbon RR.

    The Timby is hanging beautifully on the wall and is for sale on ebay-kleinanzeigen.de



    Happy riding.

  25. #25
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    Oh hahahahaha going carbon as long as you are happy and enjoy the geometry that works for you.
    The ride should be nice and hopefully close to the feel of the Timberwolf. I like the feel of a quality steel ride and my Morati 1.3 Ht with Morati Ti fork. That spring in the corners is what makes the ride so good.

    Pity your fame is a M, too small for me hahahahaha

  26. #26
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    Yeah and that Timby M is like a XS from any other manufacturer.

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