Thursday, December 29, 2005
Nuts, bolts and things that go bump on the trail.
The Slayer is finally tweaked in....as far as stand adjustments are concerned. Here is the money shot. I really like the feel and actuation of the SRAM shifter/derail set up. The Marzocchi fork has bottomless travel (feels like it...) and the rear Fox RP3 Pro Pedal shock kicks the pants off the Manitou Swinger 3 Way regarding set up. I will focus on setting up the fork sag front and rear as trail day arrives. 20% sag of travel is the norm.
As I preach to everyone that's within an earshot, Rocky Moutain bikes are tight! Everything they do is in house. Tube mitering, welding, painting all under their tight quality control in the house of RMB. Except for OEM wheels such as these Mavics, they build all wheelsets in house. They build the hoops, inflate to 60lbs, deflate and true it a second time and sign off with a techincian autographed sticker.
Here are a few bits that have me scratching my bald head during the build. I would have liked to seen a SRAM Xgen front derail instead of Shimano LX.
The Avid Juicy 5s are stressful to set up if you care to have your bike not squeak. The Avid disc calipers (Hyd or mech) have a CPS, caliper positioning system? The concave washers that are inline with the attachment bolts are aluminum and bead blasted. The caliper is powder coated. The sand blasted washers against the powder coated caliper make adjusting/centering of the assembly difficult.
There is a lot of friction between the washers and the caliper. I would have like to see the Hayes MX brakes as they are way easy to set up. Break the bolts loose, squeeze the lever and tighten the bolts, done. Also the front derail in the low gear position is really close to the brace of the rear swing arm. With the low gear adjusted the trailing tip of the front derail all but rests on the frame. The cage should be in another millimeter to allow a quicker chain downshift but that mill will set the cage against the frame. I believe the Avid pads will have a longer than average break in period too. Giving the front lever a kung fu grip and pushing the bike foward yielded a slipping squeak, not normal on the Jamis Dakar XLTs we stock; ala Hayes brakes.
The Pro Pedal shock has 3 settings for dampening severity. Its like a platform level setting. I like this instead of the SPV system where you adjust the platform air chamber and can only change it via air pump. The Fox setting number 1 is active, 2 is less active and setting 3 is almost locked out until the bumps start knocking.
The Marzocchi fork is the All Mtn 2. Air preload, rebound adjustment at about 5 turns and Extended Travel Adjustment of 150 to 130 at the flick of a lever. That is super handy to lower the front end for better climbing.
The Race Face crankset is way tech. CNC'd ring and oversized external bearing system. The non driveside is at least 30 millimeter in diameter. No flexing going on there.
Mavic hoops that shouldn't need much truing during it's life span. Easton bars, stem, post with RMB lock on grips.
The machining and castings are beautiful on the lower end. The paint is metallic blue, darker than what you see here. Counter rotating linkage and stiff oversized bearings. 2.35 tires and don't think about putting more than 35 lbs of air pressure in them. Unless you want to bounce all around the trails. Squeezing a 2.35 tire at 35 lbs feels like its 50lbs. Remember that these are low pressure, high volume tires.
Rain falls as I type this. Once thing dry up or at least freeze enough, I'll take her for a flogging.
I took my nephews to the local moutain to spread the seed; taught them how to snowboard. Or at least attempted to. Ages 7 and 11. Man am I tired. It's more tiring for me to ride slow. The boys got the grasp of it and I feel a second day would help their learning development too. Lesson of that day, don't take your new board to the beginner hill to teach. It will get bitched up from the newbies bumping their ski tips into your rear while waiting in the lift lines.
I got to work on some bike candy today. Some tweaking and discussion of riding was on order. I love being able to see such a vast variety of frames that riders rock on. This cat was a local racer that has backing from Vellum Cycles. A new to the US company. The carbon frame has nice tube manipulation for compliancy and stiffness. Complete bike weight wasn't bad either. Pair that with a 1300g hoops and you have a bike that jets like a Stage 3 STI.