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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to start my own build thread instead of further blowing up this poor guy's thread: (http://forums.mtbr.com/27-5-650b/2013-trek-remedy-9-9-18-5-650b-827148-2.html#post11080751)

Frame:

2013 Trek Remedy 9.9 carbon 17.5" (virtual), 16.5" (actual)

As it's a 2013 9.9, it includes carbon seatstays and chainstays. According to research I've done, the 17.5" (or smaller), with a full carbon frame, offers the least amount of rear clearance down by the BB/seat stay/seat tube junction.

Wheels, Tires:

Sun Ringle' Charger Pro SL 27.5
Front: Schwalbe Hans Dampf Trailstar, 2.35
Rear: Kenda Honey Badger Pro DTC, 2.2
(Maxxis Ardent 2.25, Geax Goma 2.25 and Vee Speed-R 2.35 were also tried in the rear. The 2.2 HB fit the best. Wanted to try a Bontrager XR3 2.2, but was unable to find one locally.)

Fork:

X-Fusion Sweep RL2 150
Custom X-Fusion factory tune RL2 damper (making L/O a Trail or medium compression knob and setup the Mid-Valve for my weight).
(Also tried a Fox 34 150 Talas CTD. The Sweep was lighter, had a shorter a2c and had more offset... making it better for a conversion. Wanted to try a Pike, but it's offset was even smaller than the 34 and I couldn't past paying $850-1000 for a fork).

Frame:

Product Musical instrument accessory Cap Wind instrument Bicycle part


Wheels:

Bicycle wheel rim Automotive tire Spoke Bicycle tire Rim

Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle frame


Clearance:

My 17.5" (virtual) R9.9 conversion, with a 27.5/650b HB 2.2, has a touch more clearance than my buddy's Ibis Mojo HD with a Maxxis Ardent 26 x 2.25.

Synthetic rubber Bicycle part Carbon Tread Coquelicot

Bicycle tire Bicycle part Bicycle drivetrain part Bicycle chain Spoke

Bicycle part Bicycle accessory Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
BB height research and discussion:

After much research, I'm not worried about the static BB height. Trek (where ABP is basically a modified single pivot rear end) uses really low leverage ratios for their rear suspensions. I also noticed that Trek's static BB heights are higher than most of the competition's bikes. I found some geo charts from 2012 where Trek actually listed two BBH's:
Static and at sag for a 2012 Remedy (same geo as my 2013 bike).

While they don't list % sag (assuming 25%), the chart shows that the bike settles (read: bb drops) 3-3.5 cm (1.2-1.4") at sag.

Long story short: A 27.5 conversion on my 2013 R9.9, with the R9.9's Mino-Link in the Low (67* HA) position, the BB height of my R9.9 conversion (with a 27.5 specific, 34mm stanchion, 150mm fork) will be around an 1/8" higher than stock 26" 2013 Remedy with the Mino-Link in the "high" (67.5* HA) position.

With a 27.5 specific, 34mm stanchion, 140mm fork, the BB height will actually be exactly the same as a stock, 26er 2013 Remedy in the 'high' position for the Mino link.

More research & market comparison (to support why I'm not worried about the R9.9's BBH):

Long story short: At sag, the BB height of my 650B Remedy 9.9 conversion (with 150mm fork) will be around an 1/8" higher than my 2010 Gary Fisher Roscoe and the 26" 2013 Remedy with the Mino-Link in the "high" (67.5* HA) position.
Read the MTBR review about the Orbea Rallon. It has a cocentric rear pivot (like ABP, probably a DW Split Link licensed design) and they specifically call out how the low BB causes them issues. With 170mm cranks nonetheless!

I'd be a bit scared to have to worry about busting my cranks on a DH section of a trail!

Another rider had a few issues with pedal strikes through more technical climbing sections due to its rather low 13.3-inch bottom bracket height. Pedal strikes were also a slight issue on downhill sections as well, forcing riders to be mindful of crank angle and pedaling through corners, especially with the rear suspension compressed. It should also be noted that the test bike only had 170mm long cranks, which would make pedal strikes with 175mm cranks even more common.
The Bad
•Low bottom bracket causes pedal strikes
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RWC/Enduro Needle bearing kit:

My frame was a warranty frame and did not come with a new rear shock. I had to re-use my 2010 Trek/Fox DRCV shock that was from a Gary Fisher Roscoe (which had a linkage driven shock, as opposed to the Remedy's "Full Floater" design)

I had a hell of a time sorting out the rear, lower suspension bushing. Trek was worthless and Fox couldn't help either. I finally turned to RWC/Enduro for one of their needle bearing kits. It even took two tries with them to get something that worked. The good news is that a 35.56 RWC needle bearing with qty: 2 shim kits (they come in pairs, so 4 total 0.5mm shims used) and my frame is up and running.

I will say, the RWC needle bearing is ridiculously smooth. With bearings on both sides of the DRCV shock mounts, the Full Floater rear end is literally like buttah. I read reports of people having to run higher PSI and rebound settings as the RWC needle bearing put them deeper into their sag.

Chris with RWC is great to work with. Can't speak highly enough of their product, support and the whole experience.

I needed the following items to get my shock up and running:

qty: 1
nbkrwc3556
RWC Shock NB Kit, 35.56mm

qty: 2 (2 shims per kit, so a total of 4 shims)
ss8x15x0.5
Shim Kit 8x15x0.5 SS

Bicycle part Bicycle accessory Bicycle Carbon Spoke

Pipe Black Cable Cylinder Wire
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Built

Finally got it built up last Friday night in the hotel in Grand Junction:

Fun & nitty gritty build details:

Drivetrain:
SRAM 2014, ball bearing, Zero-Loss X0 rear shifter
SRAM 2014 X9 Type II rear D
Shimano SP41 full housing
Shimano XT M771 cassette 11-36
WolfTooth GC 42 Shimano ring (not shown)
SRAM PC1091 chain (not shown)
SLX M660 triple crankset
RaceFace N/W 30T single ring in 'middle' (inner 104BCD) position
BBG drilled 32T bashguard in outer 104BCD position

Cockpit and fit
Ibis forged stem, 70mm
Renthal FatBar Lite Carbon bar 740mm, 10mm rise
ODI Rogue grips
Shimano XT M785 brakes
Shimano XT SM-RT86 IceTech rotors
RockShox Reverb dropper post, 31.6
Bontrager Evoke saddle

Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Wheel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First ride impressions:

In a word - AWESOME.

Fast! Stable. Climbs tech wonderfully. We had 3 light, slack and aggressive carbon trail bikes with us that day - with all 3 wheel sizes represented. (Ibis Mojo HD, Trek R9.9 650b conversion, Spesh Stumpy EVO Expert 29er)

Compared to my old Gary Fisher Roscoe (which has previously been used on same trails), the 27.5/650b conversion carried more momentum and climbed tech better. I noticed it 'felt ' faster (but that could also be attributed to the carbon frame and lighter wheels). I was really able to hammer through the roughest of sections that the Grand Valley had to offer.

Specifically: I cleaned lines on Holy Cross that I had never cleaned on either of my old, aggressive, 26" trail bikes (2011 Spesh Enduro Comp, 2010 Gary Fisher Roscoe).

Going down the Ribbon Trail, the 29er wheels of the Spesh Stumpy EVO Expert 29er definitely rolled fast... But my 27.5's were not sluggish at all. Looking at the GoPro footage, you can see the two larger wheel'd bikes take off and accelerate, while the 26er Ibis Mojo HD would lag behind. The 26er also seemed to hang up more on some of the tech climbs and tech transitions.

The Grand Valley definitely favors a larger wheelsize. Be it flow at 18 rd or tech at Kokopelli and Tabaguache/Lunch Loops.

VERY pleased with the fast roll and cornering grip of the Kenda Honey Badger Pro DTC 2.2 on the rear. The 2.35 Schwalbe Hans Dampf Trailstar griped and cornered wonderfully. It rolls a touch slower than my old Bontrager XR4 2.35 and the side lugs don't seem quite as well supported as the XR4. When the HD wears out, I'll probably replace it with a Bonty XR4.

Saturday, April 12 - AM

Kokopelli's - Fruita, CO

Trails ridden:

Mary's Loop
Horsethief Bench
Steve's Loop
Handcuffs
Moore Fun

Saturday, April 12 - PM

Tabaguache/Lunch Loops - GJ, CO

Trails ridden:

Ribbon Trail
Andy's Loop
Gunnector
Tabaguache Trail
Pre-Nup
Holy Cross
Ali-Alley
Raven Ridge
 

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This is a timely post as I'm currently building up the exact same frame and considering a 650 conversion. Have you tried to fit a more aggressive tire in the rear? Doesn't look very promising for running a High Roller or Trail King in the back.

This frame is replacing my "big" bike and will keep the Fox 36 from my old Remedy so its going to be a heavier build. I may have to stick with 26" wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't tried any other tires than those mentioned. I typically don't like a super aggressive tire in the rear. I would maybe consider a Trail King 2.2 in the back, but would probably be happier with a TK 2.4/MK 2.2 combo.

That 36 will be similar in length to my 27.5 specific Sweep. My head angle was slackened (I think I'm sub 66.5*). I haven't done a sustained, sit 'n spin monster climb (that the CO Front Range is so well known for), so I can't comment on how the front end tracks. So far, I don't expect there to be any concerns.
 

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That's probably about the same HT angle on my old Remedy. Felt a little squirrelly on steep climbs at first but I quickly got used to shifting my weight to compensate and don't really notice it anymore. Besides, I don't choose the AM bike when my goal is efficient climbing. I hope this frame is up for a burly build - they were all out of Slashes.

Anyway, thanks for the good write-up. I'm still waiting for a new axle for my hub so I can't test fit any tires yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did a gut busting, 1800' sustained climb today. Front end tracks just fine. Obviously not as well as my 70.5* HA Giant AX29, but it was not a limiting factor on the climb.

My lungs/legs, on the other hand, were definitely limiting! Lol

Descending though... Holy Crap.

I've ridden this trail many times over the years on my old 2012 Spesh Enduro and 2010 GF Roscoe. 650b is faster. Maybe it's in my head, but I felt like I was charging lines harder and faster. Bike still feels plenty nimble. Not 'steamroller-esque' like the 2013 Enduro 29 I demoed last year.

BB might be a touch high. This bike feels great, but it's not quite that "on rails" feeling I used to get on the Enduro. I've got an RWC needle bearing in there right now, but I might explore the idea of an offset shock bushing for the lower mount. It would reduce the BBH another 7-8mm (0.3").

In the short run, I'll install the PUSH DRCV air volume tuning kit. Maybe if I sag the hell outta the shock (30-35%) and make the bottom of the stroke really progressive, it'll "settle" into a line a touch better.

But, let me reiterate, I came down harder and faster than ever before. Transition sections that used to be a touch pedally... Or rocky and punchy, tech climbs... All just disappeared under high volume, 650b wheels/tires.

Sold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
More about the xfusion RL2 compression conversion? Did you have to send them your fork or just the L/O compression damper. Was there a cost involved.
It is an adder at time of purchase. More expensive to tune a fork you already own. You have to send your fork to them.

I hope you didn't get any grease on the sheets!
HA. I think some green Park Tool Synlube did end up on the sheets on the corner of the bed. Lol. I accidentally used a towel as tag... It was far from white afterwards. Whoops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HTA, fork offset

Measured my HTA last night and learned something interesting. On my Fox forks, I've always measured HA off of the stanchion. Doing the same on the Sweep on my Remedy led to weird numbers (67.8*, which is 0.8* STEEPER than the stock HTA... which is the exact opposite of what it should be). Learned that the stanchions aren't always parallel to the headtube/steerer. See the pic. Red is HTA, green is stanchion angle.

I was swapping stems anyway, so I measured the angle off of the steerer tube itself (as the molded head tube does not have a flat surface). It measures a (quite slack) 65.8-66* after the conversion. (Which is exactly where I calculated it to be)

Funny part is, the fork doesn't feel thaaaat slack. Must be something to say about the 46mm offset of the Sweep fork. (For reference, a 650b Pike is 42mm and a 650b 34 is 44mm). Really doesn't wander that bad on steep, sustained climbs. To the point that I might eventually try it at 160mm (just for sh1ts and giggles).
 

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