RFX as an all around bike.....advice please.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    RFX as an all around bike.....advice please.

    I'm currently on a Sultan and absolutely love it. The thing is I've kind of fallen out of love with the 29" wheel and want to try something with a little more travel.
    My question to the homer team is, would an RFX be a sound trail bike for a marginal climbing/aggressive decending trail rider, riding primarily in SW CO?
    or
    should I be looking more at the Spot given my riding charistics and local terrain (tons of climbing)?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
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    Absolutely.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick.
    Absolutely.
    Seriously.

    I'm not a d1ck head that doesn't use the search function, I used it and didn't get the specific info that I was looking for.

    I understand that they are both top shelf bikes (so is the Sultan), what I am wondering is, not having ever ridden either model, which one would better suit my riding style and the local terrain (long, steep climbing/long, steep descending).
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  4. #4
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    Are you talking about the Durango area? An appropriately built RFX weighs 35 pounds. Do you really want to lug all that weight up the peaks, when you don't need a DH bike for the ST descents? I'd look at a Spot targeted at 30 pounds for this task. Those peaks are high and the air is thin. Disclaimer: I live at sea level.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    Are you talking about the Durango area? An appropriately built RFX weighs 35 pounds. Do you really want to lug all that weight up the peaks, when you don't need a DH bike for the ST descents? I'd look at a Spot targeted at 30 pounds for this task. Those peaks are high and the air is thin. Disclaimer: I live at sea level.
    The reason the I'm asking about the RFX is, I've read a lot of threads lately about the RFX being a great "Trail" bike which has lead me to believe that guys are using them as all around rides, not just DH bikes.
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  6. #6
    I wasn't Kung Fu fighting
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    I live on the Central Coast of Cali

    The tallest "mountain" here is about 2K. However, the climbs are plentiful and steep. I had a 07 RFX built down to about 29.5lbs. I used a Marz AM SL fork and Easton Havoc AM wheels, Kenda Nevi's 2.35 and an XT group. It was an awesome trail bike.

    As nice as that setup was, I sure as hell wouldn't jump it... nor risk casing a 6 footer. So I guess it depends on how 'aggressive' your down hill is... If you love speed, like me... that set up worked supremely. If you love air, you'll have to go 4-5 lbs heavier and I wouldn't want to pedal that tank up a real mountain.

    ps I'm 210lbs and it all held up great.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    Are you talking about the Durango area? An appropriately built RFX weighs 35 pounds. Do you really want to lug all that weight up the peaks, when you don't need a DH bike for the ST descents? I'd look at a Spot targeted at 30 pounds for this task. Those peaks are high and the air is thin. Disclaimer: I live at sea level.
    Are you calling my build inappropriate?

    This bike is new to me, but it's just as comfortable climbing as my XCE (not directly comparable to the Spot)...and it's a hell of a lot more fun on the DH. The adjustable fork really helps round this bike into a worthy all-day trailbike.

    Just because some fat local still crushes me on the uphills while riding his CCDB-powered Highline should have no meaning in your decision. I'm just sluggish.
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  8. #8
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    I had a dusty bottoms approved 35 pound 06 RFX - I loved the bike but got tired of lugging it around - it had coil suspension, 823 wheels etc...so I swapped it for a 5.5 Spot. However, I did love the geometry of the RFX and would have no qualms in building up an 07/08 RFX with air suspension and 819 rims and X9 or XT parts - that would make it a long legged 31 pound trail bike. Plenty have done this. I frankly don't get why dusty thinks an RFX has to be 35 pounds? appropriate for what? a bike is an individual thing and should be appropriate for the individuals needs - not someone else's opinion. I thought the whole reason DT was changing the RFX so much for 09 was because there was next to no seperation between the Spot and RFX currently - which makes them fairly interchangeable. If you like the idea of a 68 degree head angle and over 6 inches of travel consider building up a light 07/08 RFX.

  9. #9
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones get broke
    My question to the homer team is, would an RFX be a sound trail bike for a marginal climbing/aggressive decending trail rider, riding primarily in SW CO?
    You have described my riding style to a T.

    I ride an RFX. Perhaps not as nimble as the Spot on climbs, but will be better on the DH. And you can easily build one up around 32-33 lbs.

  10. #10
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    I am a huge fan of the RFX as an all-arounder. I use mine for everything from epic rides(61miles 7000ft elvation gain) to fun after work 1-2 hr rides, I think it climbs and descends great. It does everything I want a bike to do and I haven't came close to finding the bike's limit, I know it can handle more than I throw at it. Mine comes in at 32.76lbs with a strong, reliable build. http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...&postcount=101

  11. #11
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    one must consider that D.Bottoms does inappropriate things to said bikes....

  12. #12
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    Got a Six-Pack, air suspension, XT \ SRAM-X9 level parts.
    got 2 wheelsets, one for FR and one for trail riding, 4.5 lb difference between the two.

    I thought that 33 lb for trails would be great, well it is, but it is not an XC bike.
    The geometry and the pedaling is very different than an XC bike.

    I have seen people on Spots do amazing stuff, when I grow up and stop doing silly stuff, I'd get a spot.
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  13. #13
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    First, to the OP, I'd say go for it! Keep the build light and it'll climb fine.

    If you're going to be doing a lot of climbing and rolly singletrack, definitely lean towards a TALAS fork. Besides being light&stiff, the 130mm mode helps make for a killer 5-spot impersonation.

    As to the whole weight topic.
    I really can't take DB seriously after seeing wimpy crank bro's XC pedals on his highline?
    Is he one of these guys that runs spinners and lo-profile tires on his SUV?

    Regardless of year, the beauty of the RFX has always been the versatility. Throw air suspension, SPD's and light wheels on, and it makes a great all-day trail bike. Throw on some heavy wheels, flat pedals, big tires and coil suspension, it's ready for lifts, jumps and drops. There is no "right way" to build this bike for every possible trail. This is a swiss-army knife of a bike.

  14. #14
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    Lots of good posts here and I think either would work for you depending on your build. For me there was a pronounced difference with a 36# RFX spec'd with more FR wheels (Hadley/621/14g spokes), 900g tires and so on - it was a lot more work on the climbs. I found myself riding the Spot almost exclusively because I would get so burned on climbs. It still goes up better than many due to Turner's stellar pedaling characteristics, but I could really feel the extra 8# over the Spot.

    This spring I sold the RFX and the Spot and built one of the new 5.5 Spot's fairly light with the Dusty unapproved 2009 36 Talas up front. Being able to go 160/130/100 up front makes a huge difference and the extra pound up front over the Pike/Z1 from the 5-Spot isn't a hinderance at all. The larger air volume over the 32mm forks makes it uber-plush. The longer fork (compared to Spot standard 140mm forks) raises the BB by about 1/2" or so and massages the angles to a very comfortable range -- for me that's a good thing.

    The cool thing with either is you can go air/air and light wheels and tires for the XC days and slap a coil for the DH days and still ride up and down. The RFX is a little heavier (more stout front tri, they share the same rear) and has an extra 3/4" travel. For me, my setup strikes a nice balance in the middle of the Spot/RFX overlap. If I want to go more XC I can slap a Pike and some 2.3's or I can put the 2.7's on, drop the seat, extend the fork and motor.

    I've had a number of bikes over the last 14 years - somewhere on the other side of 20 - and the only one I've had for more than 2 years is the Spot (5 years and counting). Its the Swiss Army Knife of MTB's, can do a little of everything. From the other posts, the RFX is just more of a good thing.
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  15. #15
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    word! also it all depends on rider weight, style and terms of use. what works for me may not work for a 210 lb guy doin 20' gaps and 15' drops.

    30lbs

    32 lbs

    35 lbs
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  16. #16
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    I ride RFX because I ride trail and lift serviced. One bike --> two sets of tires (one set wheels: 721/Hadley/DB or 5.1/Hope/DB spokes). Spot would be good unless you factor in DH I'd think.
    All about the ride

  17. #17
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    I just purchased an 08' RFX to replace my Blur LT frame. I sold my FR/ DH bike & my Blur LT to have single bike that would primarily be trail ridden. I saw the same RFX / Spot debates on the SC forums for the Nomad and the BLT ( I had both a Nomad and BLT). What it ultimatly boiled down to for me was 5" vs. 6.5" travel. Geometry was close but they both rode differnt - one pedalled better one descended better period. Which is your cup of tea ? I chose my components first then chose a frame.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick.
    Absolutely
    Quote Originally Posted by bones get broke
    Seriously.

    I'm not a d1ck head that doesn't use the search function, I used it and didn't get the specific info that I was looking for.

    Whoa Bones ... I wasn't being a d1ck either. You asked "would an RFX be a sound trail bike for a marginal climbing/aggressive decending trail rider?" ... and I started replying right about then. I've had an RFX since '02 and consider it a very versatile bike ... as long as I'm not racing anyone to the top.
    Last edited by Nick.; 07-24-2008 at 12:38 PM.

  19. #19
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    I'd go Spot.

  20. #20
    how heavy are you ??
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    So if I had a 5 Spot...

    And put a F36 on the front. Would I have the killer climber/decender... Is this what we are looking for???

  21. #21
    MK_
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    There is nothing wrong with a few extra pounds. It all depends on your personal preference and riding style. Whether you like rocking the climb or the descent. Either way, it won't hold you back at altitude.

    Having a frame that weights a pound more is like not taking a piss before riding. Main thing is your wheels and tire choice (as Tony Ellsworth would argue, especially if their life begins in a Buddhist Temple). I run my RFX ('06) with a 5 Spot rear end for a little lower BB and slacker angles with a 55ATA up front and PUSHed RP2 in the back. I ride it all over CO. This is my Swiss Army build that rocks the Crested Butte single track and eats up Moab sandstone and anything in between. It's sitting at 32lbs right now. It's been as heavy as 36lbs and I can feel the lackluster performance in the downhills now that's its lighter. A compromise. On the long days when I'm 6 hours in the saddle those 4lbs seem to make a difference. Or is it that I'm just getting more fit?

    Historically, the 5 Spot was the one bike that I measure all my other bikes by. The RFX fits very similarly with a shorter stem.

    _MK

  22. #22
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    I'm the limiting factor in my RFX's capability.

  23. #23
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I own a Sultan, Spot, and RFX, and based on the OP's (somewhat limited) description of his needs, I'd lean towards the Spot. Best trail bike ever conceived, period.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  24. #24
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    I'm on an '06 RFX w/ the 5-Spot HL rear triangle and a fairly XC oriented build and I think it may be the perfect compromise for both up and down. And, if I'm going to do a more DH type of ride, the RFX rear end is only a 15 minute switch out. MK said it...Swiss Army Bike.

  25. #25
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    Trigger pulled.

    A XXL Smoke black Spot has my name on it and will be headed my way shortly.

    Thanks R.T.R. your shop kicks the a$$ of every other shop ever.
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  26. #26
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    Congrats. You will love it.

  27. #27
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    I have to hit you guys up for one more favor.
    This is the build kit I have come up with, let me know if I'm on the right track.
    Thanks again (in advance again)


    Fork: Pike 454 or Talas 32 *HELP ME OUT HERE*
    Wheels: DT 5.1
    Hubs: Hadley 20mm front and standard rear (black)
    Headset: King (black)
    Stem: Thompson X-4 (80mm 7deg. rise 31.8mm clamp)
    Post: Thompson Elite
    Crank/BB: Shimano XT (external bearing BB).
    Front Der: Sram X-9
    Rear Der: Sram X-9
    Shifters: Sram X-0 Twist shifters
    Handle bar: 28" RaceFace Diabolous
    Breaks: Formula Oro K24 front and rear
    Rotors: 200mm front and 160mm rear.
    Cassette: Sram pc-980
    Chain: Sram pc-991
    Seat: WTB Laser V
    Pedals: Time ATAC's
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  28. #28
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    1] go with a 10mm thru-bolt rear hub to tighten up the rear end
    2] shorten your stem by 10 or 20 mm

    Enjoy!!
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  29. #29
    No, that's not phonetic
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    BGB- get the Pike. It suits the Spot magnificently. Then head down to Kodiak. The riding is fine. Here's Barny and Bearbait, both on... wait for it... SPOTS with PIKES!!!:

    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  30. #30
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    X2 on the pike - it's perfect for a Spot - plus consider a 180mm front rotor - I have 180mm K18s and have used them at mt snow and diablo and think they are plety powerful.

  31. #31
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    Wow

    Clayton you are chuggin' the kool-aid! Way to go.

    Pike is a great call. So far on my Spots, I've had a Vanilla, Marz AM1, tscheezy's AM SL, Float, Talas, and now a Pike on the FrankenSpot. So far the Pike suits the Spot and my riding style the best. Pike Air that is.

    I'm running 180/180 rotors on this one, with Louise's it's lots of brake. Expect to see pics when you get 'er. You did say black right? Something like this......
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones get broke
    I have to hit you guys up for one more favor.
    This is the build kit I have come up with, let me know if I'm on the right track.
    Thanks again (in advance again)


    Fork: Pike 454 or Talas 32 *HELP ME OUT HERE*
    Wheels: DT 5.1
    Hubs: Hadley 20mm front and standard rear (black)
    Headset: King (black)
    Stem: Thompson X-4 (80mm 7deg. rise 31.8mm clamp)
    Post: Thompson Elite
    Crank/BB: Shimano XT (external bearing BB).
    Front Der: Sram X-9
    Rear Der: Sram X-9
    Shifters: Sram X-0 Twist shifters
    Handle bar: 28" RaceFace Diabolous
    Breaks: Formula Oro K24 front and rear
    Rotors: 200mm front and 160mm rear.
    Cassette: Sram pc-980
    Chain: Sram pc-991
    Seat: WTB Laser V
    Pedals: Time ATAC's
    loooks great. My only personal preferences/changes from my 25 years of riding would be:

    1 king headset...IMO can find just as good (better is some respecte) for less $$ (dont want to start 'it' again..but much info can be found by searching).

    2 Diabolus bars are WAY over built for this build...the equivalent of 3 piece cro-mo BMX cranks on this build. Sunline (V1) (and other brands as well) makes a great DH worthy bar at almost 1/2 the weight

    3 IMO the XT cassette is a better cassette for the $. I think they last longer and shift better. It will work perfectly with the rest of the SRAM parts.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones get broke
    I have to hit you guys up for one more favor.
    This is the build kit I have come up with, let me know if I'm on the right track.
    Thanks again (in advance again)


    Fork: Pike 454 or Talas 32 *HELP ME OUT HERE*
    Wheels: DT 5.1
    Hubs: Hadley 20mm front and standard rear (black)
    Headset: King (black)
    Stem: Thompson X-4 (80mm 7deg. rise 31.8mm clamp)
    Post: Thompson Elite
    Crank/BB: Shimano XT (external bearing BB).
    Front Der: Sram X-9
    Rear Der: Sram X-9
    Shifters: Sram X-0 Twist shifters
    Handle bar: 28" RaceFace Diabolous
    Breaks: Formula Oro K24 front and rear
    Rotors: 200mm front and 160mm rear.
    Cassette: Sram pc-980
    Chain: Sram pc-991
    Seat: WTB Laser V
    Pedals: Time ATAC's
    Electric motor as well.
    My Ventana and I are tired of dragging you and your Turners up all the climbs!
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman
    Electric motor as well.
    My Ventana and I are tired of dragging you and your Turners up all the climbs!
    Screw the electric motor, imagine the weight penalty. Plus I'd never find one that would match the smoke black color.

    I was thinking more along the lines of having you wear something like this...



    and just pull my lard as$ to the top of all of the climbs.

    My build kit is in and my frame should ship from Turner today........totally stoked.
    .....cheatin' life, and peelin' out on the lawn.........
    -Sage Francis

  35. #35
    trail fairy
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    Word up on the PIKE

    Get in quick should get a good price on the 454s sounds like your area a 454uturn would be perfect I love mine!

    Also reason get in quick sounds like in 09 Pikes won't change except that there will only be a coil PIKE line!

    The new Revelation 140mm will take over the PIKE airs
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  36. #36
    Daniel the Dog
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    It is funny

    Quote Originally Posted by wilks
    I had a dusty bottoms approved 35 pound 06 RFX - I loved the bike but got tired of lugging it around - it had coil suspension, 823 wheels etc...so I swapped it for a 5.5 Spot. However, I did love the geometry of the RFX and would have no qualms in building up an 07/08 RFX with air suspension and 819 rims and X9 or XT parts - that would make it a long legged 31 pound trail bike. Plenty have done this. I frankly don't get why dusty thinks an RFX has to be 35 pounds? appropriate for what? a bike is an individual thing and should be appropriate for the individuals needs - not someone else's opinion. I thought the whole reason DT was changing the RFX so much for 09 was because there was next to no seperation between the Spot and RFX currently - which makes them fairly interchangeable. If you like the idea of a 68 degree head angle and over 6 inches of travel consider building up a light 07/08 RFX.
    I don't understand the idea that one's bike has to weigh a certain amount. I want the lightest and strongest bike I can find; however, I'm certainly not wiling to spend a crazy amount of money on parts to lost a pound or two. Weight is all relative.

    I do believe bigger, slacker bikes certainly give up a bit on climbs and tend to be less nimble; therefore, one has look at their desired riding and what they enjoy or end up dragging a ton of weight around for nothing. Plus, look at the type of terrain you ride on normally. If you ride on smooth trails in Iowa why ride a 6" travel bike.

    Jaybo

  37. #37
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop
    1] go with a 10mm thru-bolt rear hub to tighten up the rear en
    I'd do the same. Nice thing about the Hadleys is that you can do it at a later date.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndoRando
    Clayton you are chuggin' the kool-aid! Way to go.

    Pike is a great call. So far on my Spots, I've had a Vanilla, Marz AM1, tscheezy's AM SL, Float, Talas, and now a Pike on the FrankenSpot. So far the Pike suits the Spot and my riding style the best. Pike Air that is.

    I'm running 180/180 rotors on this one, with Louise's it's lots of brake. Expect to see pics when you get 'er. You did say black right? Something like this......
    Ooo, shock booties. It's like 2000 all over again.

  39. #39
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    Uh.. maybe..

    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I own a Sultan, Spot, and RFX, and based on the OP's (somewhat limited) description of his needs, I'd lean towards the Spot. Best trail bike ever conceived, period.
    I agree with Tscheezy that the Spot is most likely the best trail bike ever, but Bones described himself as a marginal climber/aggressive descender. IMHO, that points to the RFX.

    I say that because I've had a 26lb Flux, 28lb Spot and now ride a 32-ish RFX. If you like climbing, pick the Spot. If you like descending, pick the RFX. 32lbs is 32lbs. You won't feel in in the first hour, but you will after.

    The RFX and the Spot are pretty much on par for technical climbing. There is, in fact, more than I can clean with the RFX but it does take a little more muscling. If you're not making it up a section with the RFX, don't expect to make it up because you now have a 28lb Spot. The climbs where the Spot will beat the RFX are smoother, longer climbs (e.g. fireroads and buff singletrack).

    These are my opinions after having the RFX as my only bike for a whole year, just like Bones plans to do.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    If you ride on smooth trails in Iowa why ride a 6" travel bike.

    Jaybo
    ill guess that was a stab at me, at least in part.

    drag i dont only ride smooth iowa trails or yould have a leg to stand on. too bad not everyone is young, in killer shape and can take the hammering a older, less able 45+ year old body cant or ya might have a point. damn shame we dont all buy cookie cutter bikes off a database that tells us what we want or ya just might be right.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactuscorn
    ill guess that was a stab at me, at least in part.

    drag i dont only ride smooth iowa trails or yould have a leg to stand on. too bad not everyone is young, in killer shape and can take the hammering a older, less able 45+ year old body cant or ya might have a point. damn shame we dont all buy cookie cutter bikes off a database that tells us what we want or ya just might be right.
    Ha yeah Im confused by that, even in your light state you showed some rocking shots of your RFX going nar!
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  42. #42
    mtbr member
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    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    70
    I just finished my RFX build. I have to say that I started with the components first, ie, I really liked the Hone grouppo. I wasted a little money on Ebay buying Hone hubs with cheap rims only to find that the QR didn't work with the Fox Talus 36. So then I bought a set of Saint hubs/Mavic wheels and found the rear hub didn't work, so I had to blend the two. Anyway, here's what I came up with:

    2008 Medium RFX, Hone integrated shifter/brakes. DuraAce 7700 chain, M760 cassette, Saint front hub - 20mm, Hone rear hub and deraillure, Hone front deraillure, Sunline bars, Thompson seat post, RP23 shock, Fox Talus RC2 fork, Selle SMP saddle, Mavic 729 rims hand laced, Kenda Nevegal 2.35 tires with Stans No-Tube, Crankbrothers Eggbeaters.

    I've put about 200 miles on it so far. Still getting it dialed in. Seems like I need a LOT of pressure in the rear shock, like 225 lbs (about what my ride weight is with the water pack). 90 pounds in the front fork. Still playing with tire pressure and inching down from 30 to maybe 22psi (next ride).

    Build came out to 34 pounds including front and rear custom candy red powdercoat.

    This thing climbs well, especially with the pro pedal lever set. Wish that was a remote on the bars. Wish also the front ride height was remote on the bars.

    Seems to descend pretty well. My old bike was a Fisher Cake and I was over the bars too many times on that (once really bad). This Turner is like a Trail Eraser. I don't get out of the saddle as much. But I do wish it had a slightly longer wheel base and more relaxed head tube angle. I suppose 68 will be fine and I hope that there won't be any over the bars any more. It sure seems to corner better.

    One thing that is apparent, this bike handles better than my skill so its time to increase the skill level.

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