a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: December 23, 2002
Strengths: Everything. I purchased the bike at Dean USA in Boulder, CO and the service was awesome. They were always willing to help me as best they could. The frame was handbuilt and handpainted. The Ti frame is super light and strong, Except for the rear triangle (see weaknesses) Buying the ride at the factory also helped me out with the price a great deal. Instead of paying $4600 retail, I recieved it for $3300 with everything I wanted.
Weaknesses: The Aluminum rear triangle seems to be a little weak. One day I was having trouble with my pedals and I couldn't un-clip before I fell over. I was at a complete halt and I fell to my right. I dusted myself off and looked at the bike to inspect it for dings. There was a dent in the rear triangle that, upon further inspection, bent the entire tube. It still rides nicely, but it shouldn't bent so easily. Like I said, it wans't a high speed crash, just a tip over. The wait time for a custom bike is also very slow. I ordered mine and then waited at least six or seven months before I finally got it.
Awesome. If you are going to buy a DEAN, ask for John. Hes a great guy and will be more than happy to help you. Its so easy to buy this bike completely custom rather than buying a bike off of the floor at your local bike shop. You can get everything you want on your bike for a great price.
Similar Products Used: nothing even in the ballpark
Bike Setup: Ace Ti frame, XTR cassette, XTR Crankset, XTR Derailleurs, XTR chain, XTR Bottom Bracket, Spinergy Xyclone Disc Wheels, Hutchison tires, SID Team fork, SID XC Shock, Thompson Ti seatpost, Thompson stem, Chris King headset, SRAM Rocket Shifters, Magura Marta Disc brakes, Sella Italia Gel seat. (23 LBS)
a Cross Country Rider
from Sydney, NSW, Australia
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2002
Strengths: Light, light and light. Did I say light? Oh, also very fast and climbs like a mountain goat.
Weaknesses: A little tight in the stay area.
I have been on and off FS rides since about '93, and have been on a HT for the past year. I chose the Ace over an Ellsworth or similar because it's Ti ( the prefered choice for my frames if I can aford it at the time) and light. Though Trek and its other associated companies (Klien, Fisher) will have you believe that the linkage on the Ace is "their" idea (Fuel, Adept whatever), the truth of the matter lies in the fact this linkage has been around for some time, and Dean has been using it for a few years. There is nothing new in it and that is the strong point o the design - it's been around, is proven and works.
The ride: So what does it ride like? Some might throw their hands up in the air with horror at the thought of a 2.5" FS, but I am finding it's just right for the XC I use it for (I am 6'3" and 165+ lbs). Don't get me wrong, it goes over some very, very rough and rocky stuff, but the 2.5" seems just the right amount to absorb it all without compromising the ride quality or thrashing the crap out of me. When mated with the Blacks up front this is about as plush as I want to go on a long ride Xc bike. Frame wise the Ace is damn quick. I did not think that it would out perform the HT, but as the geometry is very close the addition of the FS just makes the bike go faster; as an added bonus it climbs like a mountain goat, so all you have to do is sit and push - up it goes. Add to that, the fact that the frame has very generous standover, and I can say I have never ridden a more flickable/quick bike. The wheels I have on it are not light (I went for strength, not weight) and add a bit of weight to the ride, but once I put some race wheels on it, I am sure the bike will be even faster.
Build quality: The welds are mighty nice (even compared to the Litespeed) and everything lines up very well. I find though that I will have to run a 1.95 on the rear when it gets wet, as the clearance at the bridge/stay junction on the "seat" stays is a little tight and might become a mud trap. As this is a XC bike, I do not see this as a problem. I also had the issue with the rear wheel not coming out, but Dean sent out another hanger so now the wheel drops out nicely. On the negative I am not a huge fan of the satin finish (I'll be damned if I did not ask for brushed) as it does mark and burnish where the cables rub it, so I am thinking at some time I'll have it brushed or polished out. The only major complaint I have is that the seat tube sleeve is tight and tends to twist on removing the post. Overall though the frame is nicely put together and finished, the pivot is simple and sturdy and overall it should hold up to years and years of use without a problem.
OH! I am so not a fan of the SID Race (nothing to do with Dean) that even though I dialed it in, I will be looking at replacing it with a Fox RC unit at some point. The adjustment of the shock is just too fiddly to get it really spot on.
Value: For the price Dean asks for the frame it is good if not exceptional value, especially when weighed up against the other Ti offerings at this level out there (and trust me, I looked into everything going). Yes it is still a lot of money, and yes you could by a Trek or similar that does the same thing, but that is not what buying a Ti bike is about. The Ace just romps as a frame and if you can spend the cash you can't go far wrong if you want a lightweight, hardcore XC low travel rig. Also remember that the Ace is fully custom worked, hand built Ti, in a way, the Ace could out last you as it is a frame for life.
Favorite Trail: Ones that aren't burnt to the ground
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Factory & mail order for parts
Similar Products Used: San Andreas, Litespeed Ocee FS....
Bike Setup: Dean post, Titec Ti bars, Flite Ti saddle, SRAM 9.0SL drive train, XTR cranks, Black Super Elite forks, Hope XC4 discs, Custom Hope hubs laced to Mavic 519s.
a Weekend Warrior
from Las Vegas, NV
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2001
Strengths: Light weight F.S. without the flex Climbs like a hardtail Ti rules!
Weaknesses: My only complaint is you have to take the rear skewer off to take the wheel off. I guess you can get a new derailure hanger from the factory, but I haven't done so yet.
This bike is for anyone looking for a short travel full suspension rig. It is the best of both worlds. It climbs like a billy goat, and you don't get beat up on the descents. The best part of this bike is you don't know the suspension is working. You just ride and ride, but you don't feel all the irritating trail chatter.
After a bunch of rides dialing in the shock, and learning how to ride with rear suspension, my rides got faster and faster. Not to mention that I wasn't nearly as fatigued at the end of the rides as compared to my old hard tail.
The first big test was the 24 Hours of Moab. If any gremlins were gonna show up, it had to be then. Zero problems at the race. I have had a minor problem with the BB backing out, and thus making the granny gear rub on the main pivot. I haven't figured out a got fix yet for this, as I don't want to use lock-tite on Ti. I'll deal with Race Face on that issue though.
DEAN is a great company to work with. They can give you a custom bike without the outragous cost that is usually tagged along with it. They are very accomidating your requests. An extra plus was having the Interbike trade show in my backyard, so I got ride with the guy who actually built my bike. How cool is that?
Hi anyone knows if the joe blow ace with his two barrel push more air in per stroke than the specific mountain pumps like
Joe blow mountain - 44.4mm barrel
Sks aircon 6.0
Specialized airtool mtb floor pump claim 508cc barrel
Don't know the size of barrel of the other pumps anyone ... Read More »
Hi! Greetings from Boston. I ride a Montague Crosstown, in the midst of some major upgrades.
In fact, one of the reasons I joined today is because I'm swapping the UG body on my wheelset (DA7400/7402 with Mavic Open 4CD rims) for a compatible 7403 HG body but I haven't been able to find a LBS yet w ... Read More »
With a mind to build a period correct set of wheels, I got my hands on a NOS set of Dura Ace EX hubs.
I do not know which model, as neither the hubs nor the box identify them. The box says 36h, and they are 32h, so this may not even be the original box for these hubs.
They ... Read More »
Wondering who is running a 7901 DA chain on their 9 or 10 speed systems, and how it's going for you so far. No reviews of it, and with the slotted plates and hollow pins, I have to say it looks a bit light.
If you have experience with this chain on your mountain bike, please report.
-ERead More »
So I'm building a fatbike in preparation for some Alaskan Winter riding and want to use a Dura-Ace 10spd SL-BS79 bar end shifter I have mounted to a Paul Components Thumbie. I also have a never used XTR 10spd Dynasys RD-M981 rear derailleur laying about but I am aware of the issues involving the dyn ... Read More »