So – here are the built-up pics at last. I did build her up and go for a test ride not long after the frame arrived, but that reminded me that the front end felt really high, so I wanted to get it set up properly before taking any pictures!
I’ve seen race shots of me on Ti-Bride and I look like a hunchback trying to compensate for the riser stem and bar, this was because the bike was originally designed with a nod towards being a Hardcore Hardtail. Time for a bit of a Jey makeover, I thought, so on went a flat 70mm Hope stem and the hunt started for a decent width flat bar. Now I’d really like a pair of the Ritchey carbon ‘flat yet bent like a riser bar’ bars but they clock in at £110 so I had to make do with a pair of Truvative ‘Singlespeeders’ instead! These come in a serious 700mm width with a comfy 10 degree bend, I’ve cut them down to 26″ which appears perfect for my setup. Overall the bar height will have come down by about 2″.
Building the frame up was easy as everything seemed spot on, all the threads were clean and everything was straight and where it should be. The chainline seems better than on the last frame too, but I might still shift the cranks over to the left by a spacer.
Parts were carried over from Ti-Bride so it’s sensibly light stuff, the Fox F120 forks are A1 and the bolt through option keeps the steering sharp. Wheels are Hope hubs with Syncros XC rims, Aerozine cranks and XT transmission and brakes.
Overall weight is a surprisingly light 22lbs, I thought it might be heavier but then again I am using the bathroom scales! Handling seems very good, it doesn’t have the tendency to ‘jack-knife’ under very tight cornering as Ti-Bride did and the stability at speed seems good. Despite the increase in wheelbase it doesn’t appears to have affected the ability to thread through woodsy singletrack like a Speeder Bike from Star Wars!
I’ve ended up with a bike that’s an evolution of an XC race bike with a longer travel fork – it should be perfect for my mix of XC racing, Enduro’s and general messing around in the woods!
Special thanks to Jase from The Big Adventure Store in Swindon who did a lightening headset cup swap for me when I popped in the other week!