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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Build Goals:
First) Long Ride Endurance Bike to be used for unsupported 1 day and/or multi-day riding/racing
Second) XC style bike that with a couple of easy changes will work well for a fast group ride, XC race here and there, road training and with light tires the Leadville 100

Impressions are based on the following rides/hours:

Pueblo Colorado:
Fast smooth flowing desert style XC single track, a few rocky sections and small drops/ 3 hrs

Moab Utah:
Pre-ride loop that covered the last 1/3 of the Ride the Rim route including the Gold Bar Rim Road, GB rim ST, and Poison Spider Road, 15 miles of pavement and gravel road, 15 miles of typical Moab riding with technical slickrock, sand, more rock, lots of 1-2 foot ledges/drops, grunt climbs sandy washes etc/ 8 hrs

Bolder City Nevada:
Bootleg Canyon Trails, blue and green rated trails (no black ones for me thank you very much) Fast smooth single track, slow and fast rocky technical single track, bit of climbing/ 2.5 hrs

Moab Utah:
Ride the Rim ride (see Endurance Racing, http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=281483 )/ 18 hrs and change

Gallup New Mexico:
High Desert Trail System: Smooth, Flowing, FAST desert single track/ 1.5 hrs

Total ride hours so far – 33

Impressions:
La Ruta Frame, Titanium, 4.2 lbs, 100 mm rear travel, Custom geometry with slack angles.

Road/Trail “background buzz” – none/zip/nada, just love the inherent damping characteristics of Ti frames

Out of the Saddle Climbing – With the fork locked out and the rear shock flipped (an easy hand/arm motion due to shock position) to the stiff position the bike feels much like my old steel HT, in short it is as inflexible/rigid as any FS frame could be for standing power climbs. With the front suspension “open” it still climbs well in the standing position but I feel a bit of expected/mild bob. With the shock open I can look down and “see” some minor bob/movement but I don’t really “feel” it.
Seated Climbing – To save energy at the start and as the day wears on during a long endurance ride I do a lot of seated climbing/riding over the smaller ruts, rocks and bumps so this is a CRITICAL ride characteristic for me. Result?--It’s Perfect; with the shock set for maximum compliance this is the perfect frame for seated comfort/climbing/riding.

Steep Grunt Climbs (with traction (think slickrock)) – front end stays down, it has no tendency to “lift” but with a small rear-upward-pull wheelie/motion I can get the front up to clear a bump or ledge. As the speed drops to about 2mph the front end does flop just a bit but after a few rides I do not notice it anymore, but it is there.
r or

Cornering:
Fast Corners--With the slack HT angle most would probably say the handling is “slow” but for me I say it just Rails the high speed corners with more stability than any bike I have ever ridden (except the Lenz Lev). I find myself pushing harder and harder trying to find the “edge” in any set of fast corners. I do use a different body position/weighing than I used on my old 26ers but it’s a minor adjustment on my part, I like it, enough said.

Slow/tight Corners (think ½ to ¾ side to side lock)—Ok it is a 29er with a slack HT angle and I can tell it’s not as “sharp” as my 26er was in the slower/tighter stuff. I could probably improve this by experimenting with a longer/shorter stem, maybe set the fork to 80mm, lower and narrow up the bars a bit etc but it’s just not that big of a deal to me. With a bit more body English it works fine as is for my type of riding.

Descents, Drops, Downhill – Best I ever rode!! The combination of slack HT angle and 29 wheels works better for me than any other XC bike I have ever swung a leg over. Has me nonchalantly rolling off mid size drops and ledges I would never do on my 26er (remember I am out in the middle of nowhere by myself on most of my riding) I can relax on the high speed fire roads and just let the bike roll. Even at high speeds I can change a line at will. Note: I am not saying this is a downhill Free Ride Wonder ride, it’s not, but as I said, it does handle a wide variety of downhill conditions better than any XC style bike I have ridden.

Rear Suspension:
I have the shock set for full compliance but with a flip of the shock the rear suspension can feel almost like a classic XC bike. On shorter rides and with about 5-8 lbs more of air the rear does feel exactly like a typical/classic XC bike with 100mm suspension. Soaks up the stutter bumps entering a high speed corner, smoothes the fast bumps, in short it keeps the rear wheel on the ground and takes the hits as needed.
Note, many people look at the RS design and ask about “side to side flex”, I have not noticed any whatsoever, its just not there, period. Note: I do notice a minor amount of front and rear wheel “side to side flex” vs my old 26er wheels but that’s a wheel build/29er issue and not a frame issue




Shameless plug for Funk Frames:
I gave Daryl Funk a “shopping list” of wants for this frame, and he delivered exactly what I asked for in terms of HT angle, TT length, BB height, toe, tire and fork crown clearances etc for a very reasonable “custom Ti frame” price and on time! He even did a custom font La Ruta logo for me.
If the Funk La Ruta frame/design is of interest to you -- http://www.funkcycles.com/


Some Component Impressions:

Grips: Ergon’s, perfect for endurance riding, still felt good after the 18 ride, As others have mentioned about ergons I can notice the difference with this style grip on the downhills but it is not a problem for me, just a adaptation thing

Fork: Reba: Not as “stiff” as the WB fork I demoed on the Lenz Lev but the Reba’s small bump compliance feels much much better. I also like the pop-lock for standing on sharp short climbs and long road sections. I would probably use a WB for pure high paced XC racing if that’s all I did. But mostly I ride long and slow and love the damping of the Reba so….

Rims: Stans Archs, light, stiff and can be run even lighter with Stan’s yellow rim tape set up. I can not think of a better rim for me. I sometimes ride in thorny areas so the stans is great for that. Also if I am out in the middle of nowhere and if I did have a flat I could still stick a tube in!

Tires: Specialized Resolution 2.3, about 690-700 grams, fast rolling, all-round tire, rear slipped just a bit on off camber slick rock, fits the Arch rim Very Very tight so I will be able to run them tubeless with no blow off concerns, just a good all round choice for me

Pedals: Crank Bothers Egg Beaters, best off road pedal design on the market imho, lightest, Handles-Mud-Better than any other design, no tension concerns, easy to clip into and un-clip but Never-Never unexpectedly un-clips

Brakes: I finally switched from V-brakes to disks. Avid BB7’s, light, easy to set up and adjust, consistent smooth modulation from the start to the end of the 18 hr ride, note there was mud, wet sand etc, felt the same all day long! And get to keep using my Extralite UltraLevers that I have been using for over a year of endurance riding, only weigh 64 grams (that 64 g for Both levers)

Cables: Aztec Powerlines, lighter, smooth light action/feel, from past experience last about 1 and ½ to twice as long under sever riding conditions as a typical cable set

Bike just after Moab RTR
 

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3327333
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Hey man great ride out there on Saturday. I think we talked a bit in Seven Mile Canyon, I didn't notice what you were riding at the time - very nice!!

Good report and enjoy that bike. Nice way to break it in :thumbsup:

Ed E
 

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great report! and great the bike performs as you wanted. i've always liked that simple design. i was considering it too, but for my first serious bike i went more conservatively with an "off the shelf" sultan as Funk didn't offer a standard bike with a ETT of over 25". could you remind us your ETT, BB clearance and what rear shock you are using (rp23?)?? many thanx and enjoy your ride!
 

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Nice bike

I have been wondering how you liked this frame.

I am glad that it is working for you. It is a great looking frame and is very innovative.

Great job on the Rim Ride. Just finishing is a major accomplishment.

Wayne
 

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trail717,

Once again you come up with a La Ruta report in a timely fashion. Just got word my La Ruta ships next week and can't wait to build it and give it the trail test. I know it won't be extensive as yours but it will still be alot of fun. Glad to hear the bike meets all your needs as I'm sure it will meet mine!
 

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trail717 said:
Some Component Impressions:

Pedals: Crank Bothers Egg Beaters, best off road pedal design on the market imho, lightest, Handles-Mud-Better than any other design, no tension concerns, easy to clip into and un-clip but Never-Never unexpectedly un-clips
If your eggs never unexpectedly unclip you must either (A) not ride in rooty or rocky areas or (B) you are talented enough not to ever hit your pedals on a root or a rocks while climbing in such areas. That is one of my biggest complaints about those pedals. I will be climbing a trail strewn with 6 - 10 inch root sections and if I happen to bash my pedal slightly on one of those roots--up comes my foot straight up off of the pedal. Annoying, but not dangerous so far.

Very nice bike. Very clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Never say Never

Law said:
If your eggs never unexpectedly unclip you must either (A) not ride in rooty or rocky areas or (B) you are talented enough not to ever hit your pedals on a root or a rocks while climbing in such areas. That is one of my biggest complaints about those pedals. I will be climbing a trail strewn with 6 - 10 inch root sections and if I happen to bash my pedal slightly on one of those roots--up comes my foot straight up off of the pedal. Annoying, but not dangerous so far.

Very nice bike. Very clean.
I often ride in rocky areas, and I am an intermediate skilled rider at best. But I guess I have come occasionaly un-cliped with a pedal stike now that you mention it. But not any more often than with any other design I have used, and proably less often, I guess I just dont get that many pedal stikes (proabaly cause I slow down to much). I have also unexpectedly un-clipped in some big body english/trials type situations, but do not consider this to be a design issue/flaw

Also I think you hit the nail on the head, these type of un-clips are annoying but not dagerous, where as I have had high speed/dangerous un-clip fiascos with other pedal designs, but never yet (knock on wood) with my eggs
 

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TomOneTi
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Congratulations on your La Ruta! It's a real beauty. :thumbsup: I'm sure it will serve you well and then some. Mine has been totally great and problem free. I believe it's the ultimate bike for your stated riding objectives. Daryl is a great builder and a great guy. People always question the reliability of the pivotless blade but you should never be concerned about it. I have abused mine (and other test riders have too) on some pretty rough stuff and it's just not an issue. The bike also comes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner so just ride on and enjoy! :p Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Specs

starre said:
great report! and great the bike performs as you wanted. i've always liked that simple design. i was considering it too, but for my first serious bike i went more conservatively with an "off the shelf" sultan as Funk didn't offer a standard bike with a ETT of over 25". could you remind us your ETT, BB clearance and what rear shock you are using (rp23?)?? many thanx and enjoy your ride!
ETT is 23 1/4

HT Angle is 70.5

Chain Stay is 18 1/8

BBH is 12 7/8

Shock is a rp23,

note: today I lowered the bars (still have not done final ST cut) and upped the shock air and did 2.5 hrs of all out XC training, including some technical stuff, result-- I could really enjoy a XC race on this bike with a few set up changes

some pictures:
 

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Rohloff
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I got the funk la ruta on a trip to Mexico back in college. It cleared up nicely with an antibiotic.

Nice bike. Way nice bike. Maybe the coolest bike I've ever seen. I love Ti and I love the pivotless suspension idea ... all on top of 29 inch wheels! If I could dream up the perfect bike, this would be it.

I was pretty much set on a HiFi 29 Pro. Pretty good bike. I looked at Rip, Rey, Sultan, and Lev. Maybe one of these bikes is better, but nothing could touch the HiFi at $2850 complete.

Now there's La Ruta. Someone help me! Tell it's just not worth the price. Tell me the HiFi is 90% as good for half the price. Tell me I'm too old, fat and out of shape to appreciate a cross country/trail weapon like the La Ruta.
 

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I'm old (61), I'm healthy (215) and I'm usual in some sort of shape. Have the latest version of the La Ruta, Daryl changed the flex plate (improvement) on my bike. I get full travel out of the Fox RP23 shock on the rear with no flex problems of any type. Bike is light, strong and an absolute blast to ride. I don't do big drops or super technical trails and the bike meets all my needs. Rides better then my Alu Asylum, my back up, back up Fisher 292. Bike costs as it is a custom Ti frame, but worth it to me!
 

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surfk9: how bout some La Ruta pics?

I'd love to see some more pics of the La Ruta.

Esp. the new flex plate.

As you can see from my handle...I like plate-type softtails :)
 

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Ripley,

tried to post some pictures but my pic files are to big for this site. Think of normal chainstays on a hardtail, but about two inches from the BB there isa 3 inch break where the ti plate is placed. It is held in place with CNC'd alu "bullets" in each end of the stay. There are set screws in the bottom of the chain stays to allow some movement of the ti plate similar to Paragon sliders for the rear. I wanted to be able to try SS on this frame and Daryl came up with this idea to prototype. Six months lots of miles and no movement of the plates. Running gears and haven't tried SS on it yet. I thing I'm getting about 3 inches of travel which is all I need. If I can get "smaller" pictures I'll post them.
 

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torsional rigidity?

I know, it's an old topic.
On the 29" La Ruta, the 2nd 'flexplate' connecting the rear stay to the seattube seems missing.
How can twisting the rear wheel be avoided?
The shock has to deal with forces coming from the side...
 

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Funk La Ruta Design

Dikkie,

I can't answer your question from an engineering perspective, but I can give you a few comments, thoughts, and examples. I have been riding my Funk La Ruta for 2 seasons, and have been very pleased. The bike has been ridden in Moab, Fruita, Grand Junction, and all trails on the Colorado Front Range. It has performed flawlessly, and I haven't had any issues with the suspension or frame flex.

Regarding the suspension (Reba front and an RP23 rear), I did take my bike up to Darren at Push Industries and requested he review the suspension and shock settings and determine if he could make any recommendations. He rebuilt the front fork with the new Push valving for the Reba, and he rebuilt the rear shock with a high-volume canister with new valving. The small bump compliance of the rear shock has greatly improved, and the travel is very linear.

Darren did make a few comments regarding the fact that he was impressed with how plush the suspension was, as well as how deep and smooth the travel felt. He also recommended a once a year shock rebuild (just in case). I purchased a few shock rebuild kits for $8.00 each.

I hope this helps, and enjoy the ride :thumbsup:
 

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Man, that has to be the top of the list for a clean, effective XC bike, cost be darned. I sure would be skeptical about the stress on the shock, but the proof is in the riding and that seems to be happiness.

Sweet stuff.:thumbsup:
 
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