New TrueFab 5" AM rig- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New TrueFab 5" AM rig

    I've got this up in the custom forum, but nobody reads there.

    About 30 months ago I took possession of my first TrueFabrication frame. As it happened it was the first production frame (I guess I was friend # 11).



    This sleek fast SS beauty was just what the Dr. ordered after my Niner RIP9 started to disappoint me as an all around bike.



    Well the disappointment from the RIP was not over once I was able to reclassify it as just a play bike. It continued to be a bland bike until one final ride, around 18 months ago, when the frame just gave up and cracked. RIP the RIP.

    Niner promptly replaced the frame which I had sold before it even showed up. So with a pile of cash and an interest in something fancy I started looking around. The shop I work at, Hammerhead Bikes, had decently large demo fleet and I took an immediate liking to our 4"/5" El Rey. I moved a bunch of my RIP9 parts over till the shop had a full 5" all mountain El Rey. I rode the crap out of it and pimped it to all who would listen. Around that time Cody, the shop owner and part owner of True offered me a solution. He and TF would build me my own TrueFab/Ventana. Only we would make it better.

    So Cody and I spent a lot of time talking, measuring, and calculating. Eventually we settled on a CAD plan and Clark/Cole/Mo went to work building. It took a lot of trial and error to get things put together, but here is the near final product:






    So the final setup is as follows:

    2010 True Fabrication 5" FS frame.
    Fox 36 Float 5" cut fork
    DHX Air 5.0
    Hammerschmidt
    XO Shifters
    XO Rear D
    Hope Tech X2 183mm brakes (F&R)
    Industry Nine Enduro 29r wheels


    I don't have any final photos, but I will have some tomorrow to post.

    On my local board I got a lot of people asking why a TF and not a Ventana and why in steel. My response:

    Steel provided me the opportunity to have the bike built by local builders who I know and trust. It let me spec the geometry just the way I wanted it. For this frame we moved the lower pivot point forward, giving the frame a shorter effective chainstay than a stock Ventana. Because Ventana uses a prefab Yoke, rather than individually welding the BB area this was not an option from them. We were also able to adjust the BB to sit a touch lower, making up for the uncomfortably high BB that results from using a 5" rocker set. We also played with the HT angle and ETT, but those are both available from the Ventana custom program.

    I like the ride of steel. I know this is a bastardization, with the rear Al, but the front end still has the feel of steel vs the vibration and feedback characteristics of Al.

    We spec'd the frame with a HUGE (by steel standards) down tube and a sleeved seat tube since these are the areas that fail most often on the larger travel 29'rs.

    In the end the weight of the frame was not that much heavier than the Ventana Al version, at least not considering all the extra bulk built into this frame to prevent future breakage. The normal weight of an El Rey is 6.35lbs. The TrueTanna came in at 6.9 lbs. Fine with me. And that includes the ISCG mount.


    I've got two short rides in, one a shake down and the other a more technical ride for suspension tuning. The tuning is going to take a little time, but I am confident in saying this bike climbs like a mountain goat on speed. It handles faster and more fluidly than I can ride at this point. I'm going to have to get better.

    More photos tomorrow.

  2. #2
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    Killer!

  3. #3
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    me likey
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  4. #4
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    Very nice. Ready for more pictures please.

  5. #5
    agu
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    Nice! Keeping it raw/clearcoated or will it have a snazzy paintjob?

  6. #6
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    I have seen this bike completed. It is a very nice looking bike.

  7. #7
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    Matt,

    I'm glad you like your bike. Its been a fun project and we look fwd to doing more. I think it turned out very well. Here are some photos that were taken today. Better pictures to come once the weather gets better.


  8. #8
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    Holy crap...that's awesome. Looks like that will be quite a bit of fun.

    Cheers,
    Andy

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Did they tweak the bb/seat tube pivot location? It looks like it lines up pretty darn close to the chainline of the Hammerschmidt. That should pedal great without much if any pedal feedback. I love the sleeved seat tube and the elegant brazed curved top tube/seat tube brace. Very impressive bike!
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  11. #11
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    Two more for now.





    And don't worry, even with chain growth still enough action in the rear D, without ripping **** up.
    Last edited by Haroldlikesbikes; 01-06-2010 at 09:03 PM.

  12. #12
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    Gave it the old dremeled arch treatment too - sweet!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by el-cid
    Did they tweak the bb/seat tube pivot location? It looks like it lines up pretty darn close to the chainline of the Hammerschmidt. That should pedal great without much if any pedal feedback. I love the sleeved seat tube and the elegant brazed curved top tube/seat tube brace. Very impressive bike!
    The lower pivot point was moved from the standard Ventana location, mostly to create a slightly shorter effective chainstay. The resulting chain relationship was to my knowledge not intentional, though clearly beneficial.

    Austin kills Ventanas. The sharp edges on our 1-3ft ledges seem to put undue stress on the seat-tube and we crack them more than most places in the US. So the sleeved seat tube and the location of the lower shock mount were important for reducing the likelyhood that I would see a failure in the same area.

    Lastly the curved brace was all me. I wanted something that tied this frame into the TF family. All of their bikes have beautiful hand bent stays with perfectly flowing braces and arches. This frame was going to be fairly linear, so I asked for a curved brace. The piece used is actually just a leftover seat stay arch brace.

    The bike was built to be a very utilitarian bike. It's spec'ed with the best parts I could imagine, with the sole purpose of being a riders bike. It is not a light bike, but by comparison it is not so bad. 34lbs as pictured. It could easily be a lb lighter if I wanted to throw some carbon on there, a lighter fork, or lighter tires, I just don't care. It really flys up hills as is. The 22t HS and the 34t cassette should be able to handle anything I could care to ride my heavy bike up.
    Last edited by Haroldlikesbikes; 01-07-2010 at 07:18 AM.

  14. #14
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    Great looking bike. Looks like fun. Keep the pictures coming.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sikocycles
    Great looking bike. Looks like fun. Keep the pictures coming.
    If it warms up this weekend I'll talk the camerawoman into a trip to the dirt jump/pump track to get some photos of the bike over there.

  16. #16
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    all mountain 29er .....sweet!

  17. #17
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    Very cool project. Have you posted a final geometry spec? BB height, CS lenght, HA, ST Angle, etc? I'm interested in how you've modified the Float 36. Sounds like you shortened the travel to 5" (how do you do that?) and ground out the arch for more clearance.

    Looks like True Fab would be a good place to start for a 650b TruTana. Did you consider that?
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  18. #18
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    Looks really sweet and the frame weight is comparable to others of it's kind out there, if not a tad lighter. You said you rode around the El Rey in 5" form for a while, how does this frame compare to that as far as stiffness is concerned?
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  19. #19
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    Awesome looking bike! The first fs that I like the look of. Congratulations :-)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Very cool project. Have you posted a final geometry spec? BB height, CS lenght, HA, ST Angle, etc? I'm interested in how you've modified the Float 36. Sounds like you shortened the travel to 5" (how do you do that?) and ground out the arch for more clearance.

    Looks like True Fab would be a good place to start for a 650b TruTana. Did you consider that?
    I'm a 29'r guy, not interested in messing around the the 650 stuff. Though if you did go the 650 route you could probably run an uncut fork.

    Fork travel is limited to 5", fairly easy to do. The AC measure was not changed. The mod is fairly common, and there are topics on here at MTBR.

    Geo data shortly.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    Looks really sweet and the frame weight is comparable to others of it's kind out there, if not a tad lighter. You said you rode around the El Rey in 5" form for a while, how does this frame compare to that as far as stiffness is concerned?
    The 5" El Rey is a stiff bike, feels good. But I was running the El REy with a Fluid 130, so the front end was not as stiff as the Fox 36 I am running now. So just on that I would say it is hard to compare the two. The TrueFab is stiff though.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haroldlikesbikes
    Fox 36 Float 5" cut fork
    Did Alex do your mod?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3DO
    Did Alex do your mod?
    Yes

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haroldlikesbikes
    Yes
    Thanks thought so- am looking at getting my 2nd one done, didn't know if anyone else was up to the task.
    Sweet rig by the way- can't wait to see it pimped out.

  25. #25
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    From our local board, a response from the builder on geometry, material, and availability.

    Quote Originally Posted by CBaron
    Thanks folks for all the compliments and thanks to Matt for his patience and partnership with us on this thing. I've re-read thru this thread and wanted to give some feedback to the questions and beyond.

    Why steel?
    -Mainly because its what we (TF) work with. We feel that we have a strong propensity for the material and we wanted to see what could be done. We've got other builder friends who have made 10-20 of these and they have turned out very well. We wanted to give it a try too. Many people think that steel will be flexy but it does not have to be the case. YES AL frames are stiffer and may be a near-ideal way to make FS. But frame stiffness is largely a factor of tubing diameter and we made Matt's frame out of some pretty large and stout tubes. The DT in Matt's bike is a True Temper SuperTherm tube. Its essentially a DH OX Platinum tube. Likewise we sleeved his ST about 2/3's the way down. This makes for a very strong and stiff junction. I've yet to ride it but I have a feeling it will ride just as a stiff steel FS mtn bike would ride. For those of you who own steel hardtails (or SS) then you'll know what this means.


    Truetana Geometry
    -Matt had spent considerable time on "the whore" (RIP) and had gathered his clues carefully in how he wanted this bike to be designed. We shortened the CS about 10mm, lowered the BB about .75", slackened the STa and then slightly steepened the HTA. We wanted to deliver a bike that was long-legged yet still nimble. It was definitely going to be ridden in an XC environment but if needed he could ride it anywhere his skills could take him.


    Will TF be offering this up?
    Definitely yes. I spoke with my other framebuilding partners before I wrote this reply just to make sure we are all on the same pages. Yes, it will be something we'll do more of. Yes, the wait will be the same as our regular frames. No, they won't cost as much as a custom Ventana. Prolly even less than a normal one (maybe). The Ventana rear end kits are EXPENSIVE. We need to do a good assessment of our time, materials and turnaround and then we'll set pricing. But I'd expect it to be between $1999-2199 (full custom).


    Matt's bike will be up at the shop tonight for HH Beer Blog Friday if any of you all want to look it over and take it for a parking lost test ride.
    http://www.hammerheadbikes.com/forum...p?topic=1562.0

    Thanks,
    CJB

  26. #26
    MoJo Moto
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    So...Matt,

    who's Harold?

    But yea sweet ride, the guys at TF do some cool stuff.

    and any word on the Vantana, still missing?

    tootles

    moto.
    Ride Hard or Ride Home Alone.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by motopail
    So...Matt,

    who's Harold?

    But yea sweet ride, the guys at TF do some cool stuff.

    and any word on the Vantana, still missing?

    tootles

    moto.
    I'm Harold. MH

    Nope, 'the whore' is still missing. None of her parts have shown up yet on the interwebs or on other bikes. So who knows what they did with her after they stole her.

  28. #28
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    That sucks...

    it was my first 29er ride... ruined me for sure.
    Ride Hard or Ride Home Alone.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by motopail
    That sucks...

    it was my first 29er ride... ruined me for sure.
    Yep. She was a lot of peoples first. A very comfy introduction to the world of big wheels.

    The Truefab is better in all ways.

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