Hoping I can learn to love my Spearfish- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hoping I can learn to love my Spearfish

    Hi all,

    Built up my '13 SF1 from a frame, but from day one, I never bonded with this bike the way I did with my previous FS bike (26" Turner Flux).

    I had in my head that the 71* head angle had a lot to do with the bike just not having that "in the trail" feel, where I was having to point the bike around obstacles, even at speed, instead of using body english and countersteering. My 29er Stumpy SS accomplishes that with virtually identical geometry, so I'm at a loss.

    At the beginning of April, I did a big race in Arkansas, and the bike literally beat the hell out of me to the point where I was convinced it was going up for sale as soon as I got it cleaned up.

    I've taken a few weeks and decided to give it another chance.

    First up - I've about convinced myself that I'd like a little extra travel up front. I felt that my Fox F32 Evolution CTD 100mm wasn't giving me full travel, or was just not working all that well. Felt like a much lower quality fork, regardless of sag or what mode I ran it in. I did a little research and found my "OEM takeoff deal" that I originally thought was a deal, was a mistake. Push has told me that the evolution series fork is basically one they don't even put time into trying to fix, and quoted me $409 to gut it and fill it with FIT4 internals, but there's no option to make my 100mm into a 120 that way.

    I can get a new Reba RL 120 from my shop for the same price so I'm going that route - plus, I've always been a RockShox guy.

    I'm also thinking that I'm at the upper end of rider weight for my Crests, and might benefit from rehooping at least the front wheel with Arches or Pacenti TL-28's.

    Hoping the longer fork also slacks the Head Angle just a hair - I kept the offset at 46, so that I'll get the full benefit of raising the headtube.

    Brakes have been a nother problem - I went light with 160/140, and think I need to bump to 180/160 rotors.

  2. #2
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    i get what you are saying. i have had my Fish for a bit over a year, and it just was not my favorite mountain bike. that may have changed. i put my 27.5+ wheel set on it this weend and took for a ride. WOW, that changed things up quite a bit. grip, cush, rolls over any and everything. the only problem is that i really loved those wheels on my EL Mar too, so i may have to build another set.

  3. #3
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    OK Killarbb, you got us there. Tell us more about your 27.5+ setup....year, fork, rims, tires & clearance. Like the OP, I'm looking for ways to love my 2013 SF, although mine is a more or less stock SF2. I'm trying to decide whether to part ways or make some upgrades.
    TIA,
    FZ6.

  4. #4
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    mine is a 2015. running a 100mm RockShox SID xx fork. wheels are Velocity blunt 35s laced to I9 hubs. running WTB trailblazer 27.5x2.8's. tire clearance is about 3-4 mm on the upper part of the rear triangle, more on the chainstays. i rode somewhat aggressive last weekend with about 15 PSI in the tires and experienced no rubbing. it is a different way to ride, having the extra volume in the tires to "flop" when you corner hard. it is very easy to learn and very nice eto have the extra cush.

    ill try to get pictures up sometime.

  5. #5
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    so, after todays ride, i took the 27.5+s off of the Fish. in dry conditions everything worked flawlessly. today there were a couple of moist areas. there is just not enough clearance to be happy with for me.


    it was a fun spring project.

  6. #6
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    Little followup to this: I finally got my Fish back to a dry trail with a new '16 Reba RL 120mm mounted up.

    From the first test spin around the block after I put it together, I could tell if nothing else this new fork was going to feel much better through its travel than my Fox ever did.

    Bike weighed 24.16lbs going in, and came out weighing 24.18, so I didn't pay any penalty there. I even left myself .75" more steer tube on the new fork.

    On the trail the slightly taller/slacker effective headtube felt much improved, especially through high speed corners. Climbed as good as it ever did, and dropped into steep roll-ins well. I think I have the fork tuned pretty close to where I want it, now I have to make the rear end setup match. That may be difficult as I am running my folk on the plush/cushy side of the range, and I may be using up my 80mm travel in the rear before my fork is done bottoming on bigger hits.

    I've also realized I don't have enough brakes on the bike to make me happy - I'm running light 160/140mm rotors and I just can't get the bike whoaed up at the end of long fast runs, and as a result I'm dragging a brake through the run-ins where I normally would let the bike roll. I think this was causing me some of may hand/wrist pain. I've already ordered the brackets to make the swap - need to pick some rotors now. XT Icetech seems like a good place to start.

    At least, I don't hate the handling like I was last month.

  7. #7
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    I don't understand why ANYONE would want to run a 140 rotor on a mtb. I prefer 180/160 in most cases, but my Bucksaw is set up with 180/180.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I don't understand why ANYONE would want to run a 140 rotor on a mtb. I prefer 180/160 in most cases, but my Bucksaw is set up with 180/180.
    Yeah - it was an experiment on my part, I have some flyweight buddies that get away with it, but I'm closer to 180 with gear on, and 6' tall, combined with a carver floating rotor lite setup, and the tradeoff just didn't work out.

    I'll upgrade to 160/160 for now, but I have the adapter to go 180 in the front on the way too if I want to go that way.

    what I think I'm realizing is I'd built an XC bike, when what I want to ride is more like a 120/130 Trail rig. Should have built a Horsethief.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky View Post
    what I think I'm realizing is I'd built an XC bike, when what I want to ride is more like a 120/130 Trail rig. Should have built a Horsethief.
    You are correct! i just piked up a 2016 Horsethief Carbon and really like it. I was a riding a more xc oriented squishy bike and really liked it until i got the Horsethief. If you think the reba rides nice wait until you ride a pike.

  10. #10
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    More followup on this, I've gotten several trail rides in with this new setup and I'm still really liking the front end setup. Getting the rear shock tuned though is proving troublesome.

    If I set sag at ~12mm as recommended, it is plush, but no matter how smooth I try to pedal there's a good bit of bob going on. If I pump it up to where the pedal bob gets better, now the shock is so active that over jumps/drops the rear end is running a much higher spring rate and trying to kick me over the top. To defeat that, I crank in a lot of rebound, which really makes the rear end "pack up" over rough rooty/chattery terrain and traction suffers.

    I have a push-tuned RP23 w/ ProPedal in the same e2e/stroke dimensions on an old bike and I am very much considering swapping it in just to see if it has a significant difference in feel.

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