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  1. #1
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    New Canfield

    Here's my new ride which is replacing my busted Preston, just like Nickle's. Small world..
    I've only ridden it twice and still have to get the chainguide dialed in but so far it's pretty amazing. The bike makes clearing the really tech. sections almost feel like cheating. Tons of traction for climbing and no bob, even with the pro-pedal completely off. Got one decent DH run in and I'm finding lines that I never knew were possible, even after riding there for 13 years.

    Build Specs:
    Med Balance frame w/DHX 5.0 Air
    '06 66SL
    King HS
    Hope Seat QR
    SDG I-Beam seat/post
    RaceFace cranks (way old Prodigy DH's)
    Wellgo Mag pedals
    RaceFace Evolve DH BB
    Mavic XM 321 wheels
    Atomlab rear hub
    Hope front hub
    Hayes discs (8" fr, 6" rear)
    Easton EA50 bars
    RaceFace Diabolus stem
    Total weight; 37 lbs
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    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  2. #2
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    Nice choice

    I am excited to see more and more people on these. I still absolutely love mine, even after a year and half of constant riding. Most fun frame I have ever owned.

    What do you run the front at for travel? I just built up a 66rc2 at 150 travel and it feels perfect there. Thought about a SL for the adjustability but can't get myself to go air. I have about 3 lbs on you though and XC this as much as anything else, if not more and wouldn't mind dropping some lb's if it didn't sacrifice anything.

  3. #3
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    Man, I love the way Balances look. They have all the right tubes and angles in all the right places. If that makes any sense.

    kenbentit, I have three pounds on you too... but in the opposite direction. :P I'm pretty sure mine sits at about 40 lbs. It hurts on the climbs, but worth it for the descents. It's hard to put a value on a good smile, but this bike delivers.
    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

  4. #4
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    Also thinking about one of these as Ken's is really sweet! The attention to detail on the frame appears impressive as does the burliness of the rear linkage. Nice post! If I do one it will most likely have a Talas 36 up front with 150mm and probably use the DHX Coil out back. Think air up front and Coil out back is a bad match? The guys at Canfield seem to have excellent service as I spoke to one who called me back on Sunday, that just doesn't happen these days!

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    I struggled to find a fork to match the rear end

    I ended up blowing my dhx 5 coil this spring and sent it in to Push. It came back making the Balance feel so incredible that nothing I could put on the front felt worthy. Started with a van 36 and was good overall but made the bike too slack. I have the steel front triangle so a degree slacker than the aluminum models. Tried a lyrik u-turn next and liked it overall, but fork felt a little overdampened and required more maintenance than I wanted. Eventually bought an 06 66rc2 in 170, ordered the 150 cartridges for it from Marzocchi and swapped them out. I know have a 150 66rc2 that feels perfect on the bike. I'm over 40lbs but it rides like a dream.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    I ended up blowing my dhx 5 coil this spring and sent it in to Push. It came back making the Balance feel so incredible that nothing I could put on the front felt worthy.
    I'm really happy to hear that because it's on my spring to-do list for the Balance. Send the DHX to Push and have the pro pedal removed (it's an unnecessary novelty on these bikes), upgrade the cranks and BB to something lighter (Hone maybe?), and upgrade my 5.1d's to some burlier hoops.

    One of the selling points for me with the Balance was the slack geometry and short stays. I think I'm somewhat of a minority, but I love the super slack HA with the 170mm 66. freeride bike meets trail bike and the offspring is the Balance.
    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

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    made it hard to corner

    I was running about 64 degrees with the 160mm travel forks. Great for steeps but it was tough to weight the front end in corners. I found the front tire pushing instead of carving. And with the 150 and the steel, I'd be surprised if I am as steep as 66 degrees, it feels perfect.

    Definitely with you on the shorter stays. I have switched back and forth several times and the suspension feels better and it climbs better in the longer stay setting but I love the indy car quickness and easy of manipulating the bike in the short setting. So fun.

    I had them pull propedal and revalve it for the frame. It actually pedalled better without propedal and I can't describe how good it is. It jumped better, tracked better, gave you a huge improvement in control feeling. Washboard brake bumps are handled so much better. Do it, push that DHX and you will know. You'll kick yourself for waiting.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the comments guys: aenema, I have the front set at approx 6" to match the rear. I say "approx" because this model doesn't have the travel adjust dial, you have to compress the fork while adding neg. pressure. It works but it's hard to be exact. tls36; I'm thinking the coil rear may actually be a better choice, my air front is nice but it's had a lot of time to get broken in properly. I hope the Fox does the same, I know the one on my Preston felt better after a few months but I also had it rebuilt in there (stuck down) so I'm not sure how much difference that made. I have a ROCO air that I'm waiting on a replacement for (no rebound) and I want to try it on the Balance. It felt much more plush on the Preston, closer to a coil than any other air shock I've tried. Does anyone know if PUSH is doing the DHX air shocks yet?
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

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    no go on Push'ing the air

    I'd be surprised to hear if they ever do as well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    I was running about 64 degrees with the 160mm travel forks. Great for steeps but it was tough to weight the front end in corners. I found the front tire pushing instead of carving. And with the 150 and the steel, I'd be surprised if I am as steep as 66 degrees, it feels perfect.

    Definitely with you on the shorter stays. I have switched back and forth several times and the suspension feels better and it climbs better in the longer stay setting but I love the indy car quickness and easy of manipulating the bike in the short setting. So fun.

    I had them pull propedal and revalve it for the frame. It actually pedalled better without propedal and I can't describe how good it is. It jumped better, tracked better, gave you a huge improvement in control feeling. Washboard brake bumps are handled so much better. Do it, push that DHX and you will know. You'll kick yourself for waiting.
    Are you sure about that 64 degree angle with the Van? I just got my brand new Balance and still thinking what fork to put on. I have a 08 Fox van 36, but if it gives the bike a 64 angle i would rather go with something lower than that..maybe a 06 Marzocchi Z1 which has 538mm AC

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    right around 64.5

    I have the steel front triangle though. If you got the all aluminum version you have a degree steeper front end. Same fork would give you just shy of 66. I really think 150mm is the perfect amount of travel for this frame. My bro-in-law bought the aluminum version and is running a lyrik on it and he leaves it at about 145mm for the downhill'in.

  12. #12
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    Nice Ken, I see some SOMO action in the back ground. Dude that garage has to be full by now.
    SHITBIRD

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    i also got cromo front...
    got this from balance owners manual: with rear travel set to 5" mode the balance has 66.3 degrees head tube angle with a fork length of 21". Add one degree(steeper) for 6" mode....

    so in 6" rear setting and a fork length of 21" the head tube angle is 67.3...now let's assume the numbers are for the full alu version...cromo is 1 degree slacker...so we're back 66.3 degrees

    fox van has 21.5" AC height....there's no way you could get down to 64.5 degrees...

  14. #14
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    what spring rates are you running on your coil shocks? i'm 145 lbs, i guess i should go with a 450??

  15. #15
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    I weight 145ish and run a 450 on my Balance in 6". If I drop to 5" I need a 400. I could get away with 50 lbs less if I wanted. Running in 5" I would go 400.
    I agree a shorter fork on these bikes are nice for gereral riding but It has DH numbers if you have equal length travel front and rear. It's a mini DH bike that is great for way more. Ideally I would have a 160 to 140 adjustable travel fork and would ride everything but the Dh trails in 140-45ish.

  16. #16
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    Dude that garage has to be full by now.

    Actually, I have a basement with lots of room for more toys. I've been thinning the herd believe it or not...
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    How about a compromise?

    Quote Originally Posted by madafaka
    i also got cromo front...
    got this from balance owners manual: with rear travel set to 5" mode the balance has 66.3 degrees head tube angle with a fork length of 21". Add one degree(steeper) for 6" mode....

    so in 6" rear setting and a fork length of 21" the head tube angle is 67.3...now let's assume the numbers are for the full alu version...cromo is 1 degree slacker...so we're back 66.3 degrees

    fox van has 21.5" AC height....there's no way you could get down to 64.5 degrees...
    I was going by the numbers on the website: http://www.canfieldbrothers.com/Balance%20Page.html

    and I was off. I was trying to figure out where I got the geo numbers in my head and found this. I didn't get a manual with my frame so maybe you have more up to date info but unless these numbers are for 5 inch mode, it is just over 65 degrees with a 545 a to c (pretty much all 160mm forks) Maybe flymybike can tell us the exact numbers with a 545 axle to crown.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    I was going by the numbers on the website: http://www.canfieldbrothers.com/Balance%20Page.html

    and I was off. I was trying to figure out where I got the geo numbers in my head and found this. I didn't get a manual with my frame so maybe you have more up to date info but unless these numbers are for 5 inch mode, it is just over 65 degrees with a 545 a to c (pretty much all 160mm forks) Maybe flymybike can tell us the exact numbers with a 545 axle to crown.
    Heres a screen shot of the 4130 Balance HT angles in 5" and 6". In 5" with a 545mm AtoC it should have a 64.75 degree head angle.

    edit- first picture is 5" and the second is 6".
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  19. #19
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    thanks

    Very cool, thanks for the comprehensive info.

  20. #20
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    Lance, do you have the same images of the aluminum version? I'd be very curious to see those numbers.
    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

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    should just be one degree steeper across the board.

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    mine...hope to get it done on saturday....i also have a preston and love it too:-)
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    nice

    Here is mine and my bro-in-law's. Mine is the gray in steel and his is the black in aluminum. Mine has since had the rear shock Push'd (highly recommend for this frame) and front fork is now a 150mm 66 rc2x
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  24. #24
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    i want to see the updated one

    what derailleurs do you have running on there?

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    I just so happen to have...

    My bike in the back of my truck and a camera in the center console. Be prepared I always say.

    Rear d. is a X.O mid cage. I kept peeling and bending x.9 and x.7's on stunts and heard the x.o was so much stronger I thought I'd try it out. If it lasted a summer I'd be putting less money into it than a lower model every two months. It has lasted. Not indestructable but the best part is they can be rebuilt. I've twice ordered small parts kits for it. Replaced snapped carbon cage. Stripped out the range adjustment when the chain broke once and pulled the deraileur hard enough to break any other model. Got replacement sleeve and bolts for free from SRAM, just had to pay shipping.
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  26. #26
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    aenema, I'm very seriously contemplating the Push service. I think that will likely happen before summer. Thanks for the good words because I was a little hesitant about having it done.

    madafaka and aenema, those are some nice rides you guys have their. I'm still running my 2006 66 at 170 and will likely keep it there. I like my 65.75 deg HA. It makes the steeps stupid-easy.

    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

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    good angles for sure Nickle

    I always target between 66 and 67 degrees for HA. I think I sit right over 66 with my current setup so I will aggree with your setup as fun. Do you guys have any more action shots? I have a few in my personal gallery and will check yours as well to see. I know Nickle had a bunch with those steep rollers back when bike was built. Keep those galleries fresh folks.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    I always target between 66 and 67 degrees for HA. I think I sit right over 66 with my current setup so I will aggree with your setup as fun.
    Same. When I was searching out hardtails, I couldn't find one with the geometry numbers I needed. I ended up drawing up my own and then had Dobermann Bikes build it. And what was my target HA? 67 degrees.

    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    Do you guys have any more action shots? I have a few in my personal gallery and will check yours as well to see. I know Nickle had a bunch with those steep rollers back when bike was built. Keep those galleries fresh folks.
    Nothing that breathtaking. The snow has forced me to hang up the Balance for now. I've been riding local trails on the hardtail. We did get out to some more southern trails for a little snow riding a couple weekends ago, but nothing since.

    Taken by DHPimp (This one was a little steeper than it looks... but I'm sure everyone says that. )


    Taken by Kristian


    Taken by Kristian
    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

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    just noticed Nickle

    in the top photo of just your bike, it looks like you have it in the 5 inch mode? Do you use that mode?, or are my eyes failing me? I played around with 5 inch but with the right spring in 6, I never really felt the desire. It does put you deeper into the travel so you are past the most progressive part of the travel so nice for jumping but then the slacker angle made the jumping feel sluggish. What are your thoughts if you have been using it?

  30. #30
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    You are correct. My Balance is in 5" mode and will stay there. One of the contingencies that Chris laid out when I bought this is that I can never put it into 6" mode. I'm speaking from memory here, but the XL aluminum's shock tabs on the front triangle were welded too far forward. When the bike is fully compressed in 6" mode, the cross braces on the seat stays make contact with the seat tube. I haven't tested this to be true and don't care to. I'm fine with 5" and the better leverage ratio. Plus, it was the only way Chris would sell me a Balance since they had technically already been dropped from the Canfield line and the one I received was one of the Balances being kept around in case of a warranty return. Works for me.
    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

  31. #31
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    The XL's are getting rebuilt into a slopestyle specific Balance with 1.5 ht and different tubeset. Geometry will be adjusted too.
    Nickle - The aluminum Balance is 1 degree steeper.
    A pic from Moab, playing on the slickrock trail.
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    "Action-ish" shot

    Not all that great but I haven't had a chance to get anything more impressive. This section is pretty short but lots of fun, not much room for error..
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  33. #33
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    kenbentit, that's tight. No literally, that's tight. "Not a lot of room for error" appears to be an accurate statement. Cool trail.
    A trail thatís too difficult wouldnít exist because itíd never be used. But, trails can exist thatíre too difficult for you.

  34. #34
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    Nice bikes guys! Lance, that geo chart is killer! Wish more folks made that stuff available. Thanks!
    People wait for me on the way up. I wait for them on the way down.

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    i meant what front derailleur do you use?

  36. #36
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    just a basic shimano LX

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    Quote Originally Posted by flymybike
    I weight 145ish and run a 450 on my Balance in 6". If I drop to 5" I need a 400. I could get away with 50 lbs less if I wanted. Running in 5" I would go 400.
    I agree a shorter fork on these bikes are nice for gereral riding but It has DH numbers if you have equal length travel front and rear. It's a mini DH bike that is great for way more. Ideally I would have a 160 to 140 adjustable travel fork and would ride everything but the Dh trails in 140-45ish.
    hmmm, that's strange, i weigh around 148 and my Balance came with a 600 spring, which should be too firm...but when i sit on the bike it sags around 25%???
    I run 110 psi in the dhx...

  38. #38
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    New photo

    I finally feel like I've got the suspension setup properly now. It's amazing how much difference 15-20 psi in the main air chamber makes. This jump is a natural outcropping on a fairly steep hill. The approach is pretty rough and rutted plus you have to make a right the left turn to get lined up. The landing isn't any better so being on line is critical... I've got some scars and busted bike parts from this thing over the years
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    His description of the take off and landing is accurate, there is always loose stuff and some ruts where you touch down. That makes this jump even more impressive due to how "on line" you have to be on both the approach and hitting the right line for the landing. A great jump on easy terrain, but just awesome in this terrain!! He makes it look easy, it is not.

  40. #40
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    Second photo

    Same jump, different angle. This one's from the uphill side, right at takeoff..
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    Soon......

    Waiting on a rear shock bolt. L Cro Mo front, can't wait to build her up. Will post more soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tls36
    Waiting on a rear shock bolt. L Cro Mo front, can't wait to build her up. Will post more soon.
    looks great...is it a Large?

  43. #43
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    That's a large. The XL has a gusset on top of the tt/st junction.

  44. #44
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    More pix...

    Got a couple of decent shots: first one is from NRA here in AZ, second is at Bootleg Canyon NV this weekend. Missed flymybike though, maybe next time...
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    nice shots

    I was in bootleg over halloween weekend but had to rent a bike. Specialized enduro felt all noodly up front and long in the cockpit for me to really enjoy the area. Had a good time but whole time I was wishing I had my Balance instead. Now I can live vicariously through you with the second pic.

  46. #46
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    Weird! TLS36 just sold his Enduro to buy the Balance... Small world indeed. We're heading back to BC in Feb. to race. Gonna give the SuperD a shot this time, maybe DH but not sure yet.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

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    Bolt arrived, the build is about to begin! Have to get over to Rage for a couple things-nice air shots from NRA and Bootleg!!

  48. #48
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    Get that thang built up so I can check it out!
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  49. #49
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    Bills, bills, bills but am piecing it together - may be a little while before she is ready to rock. Will post images as it progresses.............

  50. #50
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    Finally.............

    Here she is a L Balance 4130 CroMo front triangle. First ride yesterday at NRA. Thanks to all my buds for help and input on the build.......Eric, Danielle, Chris at CB-you guys rock, and my bud Ken!

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    where is it????
    can't see sh..

    oh...and here's my right before the ride

  52. #52
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    More pix

    Just a few shots from this weekend. Finally got to ride Tom's, still need to get the shock dialed on it though...
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  53. #53
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    That first jump looks really fun! Nice gradual sender.

  54. #54
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    Yeah, it's a blast hitting that one since it was rebuilt. Total gap is approx 22 ft but we're landing past that. The jump in the 3rd shot is super cool, you can hit as fast as you want then head down into the dual berms. You should make a trip out to Phoenix while it's still nice and green Oh BTW, I gave my fork some TLC after Bootleg and it actually works now. Amazing what a bit of maintenance will do for you.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

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    Here she is: L Balance
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  56. #56
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    You finally got the uploading thing sorted out huh? Still riding this wknd?
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

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    Yeah, connection issue, good now. Can't make Saturday, maybe Sunday. Rode a long loop for some miles at Estrella Thurs w D but had lots of front end push. Could not seem to get front end to stick-few scary rides off trail. How much can I preload the rear spring before I have to get the stiffer spring??

  58. #58
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    You don't really want to try correcting a soft spring with a lot of preload. If you're putting more than 3 turns on it you should go to the next stiffest weight.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  59. #59
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    Just ordered the 650 as per Chris from Curly at Rage-hope to get her on there SOON. How was the ride at SoMo today??

  60. #60
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    kenbentit,

    You should put your riding pics Canfiled Action Pics: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=476861

  61. #61
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    I attempted to use an x-7 low clamp front derailleur on my Balance but it doesn't jive with the seat tube angle. The chain drags on the bottom of the shift guide no matter how low you mount it. Sram derailleurs must be a no go?

    It looks like those of you with 2 rings were using LX low clamps. I know this thread is pretty old, and LX isn't around anymore so would a M665 SLX work?

    I am toying with the idea of a single ring+guide, but not sure it is a good idea living in the PacNW. Downhill fun is generally earned after uphill torture.

  62. #62
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    FWIW, on the Diggle (not at all a balance), the 667 or whatever top swing, "compact" FD was a no go, it didn't fit in the frame.
    Try an XT - minimal cost diff IIRC, and it fits perfect.
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
    Your not all mountain unless your runnin' crushed dew cans..
    '12 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1
    '13 SuperSix EVO Red Racing

  63. #63
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    n/m got it sorted out.
    Last edited by Kyle509; 03-16-2010 at 09:08 AM.

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