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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two years ago I built a Giant NRS from the frame up with more money than brains. All told I built a 26.5 pound XC racing bike. That's right folks. Given, I was working entirely from manufacturer published weights, I ride a size Large frame, it had to double as a trail bike, I'm a heavier rider (180 pounds), and I race on very rocky stuff. But still. It's time I atone. Having started reading this forum recently I realize there's a lot of things I could do differently... so, I will list the build, and take any advice (and giggling) the field has to offer:

Frame 21.5" NRS 2002
Cranks/Drivetrain 100% 2002 XTR
Grips ODI lock on
Bar Monkeylite CT2
Stem 100mm Easton MG60
Post 30.9" Thomson with Salsa liplock (Yes, in a 30.8" hole - shimmed easton carbon snapped, never again. And no, it hasn't seized up, in two years. It's fine).
Saddle SI Flite
Wheels Spinergy Xyclone Disc (luna light tubes/ comp S tires)
Headset Aheadset (cane creek)
Fork (old: Marz X-Fly 80 new: Duke race)
Brakes: Hope XC4 (425 gram closed-system)
Pedals: Time ATAC Carbon (too many shoes with Time cleats, not changing)

My blessing (and curse) is that I have access to QBP, so, I tend to prefer stuff that they sell, because dealer cost is nice. And they don't sell Maguras, or Easton. They do sell Hope, Formula, Hayes, Ritchey, and Yeti ARC.

Brakes: Formula is the obvious winner here at $125 and some great weight stats, but I'm scared of their reliability. I like Hopes, but their Mono Mini weight appears to be very close to my XC4's in reality.

Bar: EC90 SL would be great, but I can get a Yeti ARC bar for about $50...
http://store.airbomb.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=HB0800
20 grams more, anyone actually weighed this thing, or know if it snaps like a twig?

Stem: Ritchey WCS 120mm seems to be the obvious best choice, but I'm open to suggestions.

Post: Does anyone but Thomson make a light 30.8 seatpost, anyway?

Saddle: Nothing truly painful...

Grips: Going foam. Stupid, stupid, stupid. sigh.

Shift cables: Got some Nokons, working on the install.

Fork: I seriously cannot ride a SID. It has to have some beef. Got my Duke for $300, Fox would have cost me nearly twice as much....

Anyway I'm working with what I've got here, love to hear any advice you guys have to toss my way.



Hey at least it kinda looked cool
 

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I love Pisgah
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So many parts to change..so little time. Yes...its heavy.

First of all, its a 20.5" frame. Never made a 21.5.

Hate list:
XTR cranks and BBs(any year)
lockon grips
MG60 stem(I've got a 0*x100 in my spares bin)
Salsa flip post collar(rersisting the Thomson at this point)
both forks mentioned
pedals

My "trail" size L 20.5 nrs. 23lbs 12oz as of today

32mm x 100mm Noleen fork
Hayes mags with ti and alum bolts with 160/140 formula rotors
Syncros 30.9mm carbon post(replaced my cut down 30.8 x 385mm Thomson)
Selle Aspide saddle(replaced my Flite ti)
Wheels:front AC hub/317/alum nips/XL17s with 14-15 disc side. Rear AC hub/VXC/brass nips/14-15s
Turbines-compact with Real chainrings and alum chainwear with all alum FRM BB/crankbolts. 12-34XTR cassette and RD. XT FD.
Stem-Ritchey WCS 110mm
Bars Titec Ti Helion riser cut down
xt pods w/o indicators
98% ti and alum bolts thru out bike
Tires are 2.25 RRalphs and 100gm tubes
Eggs



My race NRS at 21lbs 9oz. Size M 18.5"

Same fork(3lbs)
03 formula Pros with SL alum bolt kit with Stans front 160/steel 140 Formula rr
USE Alien carbon 27.2 post with shim(been bullet proof for 2.5yrs of racing/riding)
Flite Evolution all carbon saddle
wheels: 24 hole UST 3.1s with Marwi Ti spokes/alum nips/hugi 240 rr/Formula front hub
Cranks:RF Next LPs with ActionTec Ti BB and SRP crankbolts/Real rings and alum bolts/hollowpin 89R chain, Duraace 11-27 cassette(modified).
XTR RD and FD
Stem:Ritchey Pro w/ ti bolts
Bars: MaxM MX5
Sram Attack triggers
100% alum or ti bolts on bike
Tires for this weight:front RRalph 2.1 with Stans. Rear Conti Twister SS with Stans
Twin Ti Eggs

Enjoy....

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Syntace huh?

gofarther said:
Can't offer much...I kinda like it!

For the stem, consider a Syntace F99 from Dirt Boy at sales.light-bikes.com. Lighter & cheaper than the Ritchey if I remember correctly.

Good luck!
You (or anyone you know) ridden the f-99? I admit, it's lighter... but no mtbr reviews, Ritchey seems to be well liked. I'm touchy about fragile parts because I break stuff... Syntace megaforce appears to be their "mountain" stem though it is noted that the F-99 is available in a 25.4 for MTB.

Thanks for the advice, you've given me more to "weigh". :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Light bikes!

Ooops, yes, 20.5 frame size.

First off I have to note that if you managed to shim a 27.2 carbon post in this bike and didn't break it, there's a pretty huge difference in the amount of abuse we're putting into our bikes. Maybe you're like 100 pounds? :D Mine lasted around two weeks, and when the Easton went it was loud and scary. Either I'm fat, or I take bad lines, or I do a lot of riding on rocks. Actually it's probably all three. How is it you ride a medium and a large, anyway?

On the subject of forks, I actually considered trying to find one of those Noleens. What scared me off, honestly, was the lack of lockout but also the mtbr reviews. I know they're popular in this forum, but, a lot of people in the reviews have had air leak problems with them. I utterly destroyed my Marzocchi in under two years, with regular maintenance and two seal changes and that's a fork known for reliability. By the time I sent it back to california I had unseated the stanchions and bent the slider assembly. So, I break forks. And I think there's a good chance that with my 15-hour bike weeks, the Noleen would die an early death. As far as the Duke goes... we'll see. Appreciate the input though.

You've gotten away with that 30.9 carbon in your large NRS then? That's awful tempting... how would you rate the comfort on the Aspide for 3 hour+ rides?

Think I'm better running Stan's with Stan's rimstrip on my Xyclones instead of the Luna lights?

Stem: Glad you agree

Bars: Any reason you didn't go Easton EC90?

Pedals: I have to admit, the Times are costing me at a minimum 100 grams. Very tempted to change this.

Flite All Carbon? Seriously? I can't believe you're riding that mtb...

That's sick dude. :cool:

thanks
 

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Duckman, do you like the noleens a lot better than the skareb? They guy I ride with most has a Noleen, went through the usual difficulties. The initial leak was fixed right away (disassembly and rebuild, I think), but now (8 mos. old) it's smacking the top as it rebounds. Noleen (or maybe K2) is sending him a rebuild kit this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep

dusty said:
Duckman, do you like the noleens a lot better than the skareb? They guy I ride with most has a Noleen, went through the usual difficulties. The initial leak was fixed right away (disassembly and rebuild, I think), but now (8 mos. old) it's smacking the top as it rebounds. Noleen (or maybe K2) is sending him a rebuild kit this time.
See, that's what I was scared of. Same deal with the Skareb, I have friends with them and the bendy/flexy thing freaks me out.

My weight weenie license is definitely on probation.
 

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I love Pisgah
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I'm 5' 11.5" tall and 167lbs before gear. I'm in both frames spectrum of sizes. Just gotta run lots of post on the M. Its 2" difference, which you can see the diff in post length run.

I dunno...I ride tough as well. Old retired card carrying mx racer here.

The MaxM MX5 isogrid carbon bar is 135gms. Just as light as any Easton riser ever produced, and argubly stronger then any carbon bar out there. Hate flat bars.

Tubes vs Stans? Hard to say. You won't save weight really, but its more reliable.

The Aspide for 3hr+ rides? Its not the best, but I do it for long rides. The carbon Evo is actually much more comfy. It flexes alot. Raced it all season. Its gotten abit creaky tho. Damn!
The Syncros was $39.95 at Ebay recently. Actually not a bad deal IMHO.

The forks are smooth, stiff, and plush. The 99-00s were plagued with probs. These are 01s, and to date(since last Jan for both)I've not had 1 problem. Thats half a doz xc races, and one 60 Pisgah adventure race, plus tons of trail rides. No topping out..no leaks..nada.
Forks I've run on either/both bikes(besides the Noleens):
03 Sid Team
01 Sid XC
02 Duke SL100
02 Vanilla R
02 Zoke Marathon 100mm airfork

The Noleens are AS stiff as my Vanilla fork, and ALMOST as plush. They may not be as reliable, as time will tell. But at 3lbs, and $99 a piece....I'll chance it. So far..so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings/components.php?type=mtbhandlebars

Above web site argues with the quoted MaxM bar weight, but no clue if they're right. Your point about price is well taken.

The fact that you've been able to ride on a SID and live to tell about it means you're living in a different class. There's a difference between riding tough and riding stupid, and I think sometimes I fall in the latter category, at least from the frequency things break. I rode a SID at Gary Fischer demo day and killed it - rode it at Wakefield over a log pile and it made this great hissing noise and I had to take it back to the I.F. tent without any air in it. Felt pretty bad about that but it's also the reason I don't buy light forks, that and the fact that I kill Marz's.

My Duke cut down weighed in at 3.6, so, that's .6 pounds for remote lockout. I'll let you know if it was worth it next time I race... hey at least I got the machined Hope star-fangled nut replacement this time.

Right now I'm thinking:

Hope's 20gram seatpost collar, heavier than the extralite by 9 grams but cheaper, and I can Ti bolt it.
Going ritchey on grips and stem
Yeti on the bar (can't get your bar QBP)
gonna saw down my 410mm post to 100mm insertion
Stan's + Comp S light
brakes: undecided (though I like your rotor/hayes mix, the 300gram formulas scare me)
Nokon cables, nylon bolts in the water bottle holes,
Crank brothers Ti (gotta do it... 200 grams).
Flite SLR (reasonable compromise)

Thanks for all the info, honestly didn't know people could ride something that spooky light and not die.

peace.
 

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Gambrills said:
On the subject of forks, I actually considered trying to find one of those Noleens. What scared me off, honestly, was the lack of lockout but also the mtbr reviews. I know they're popular in this forum, but, a lot of people in the reviews have had air leak problems with them. I utterly destroyed my Marzocchi in under two years, with regular maintenance and two seal changes and that's a fork known for reliability. By the time I sent it back to california I had unseated the stanchions and bent the slider assembly. So, I break forks. And I think there's a good chance that with my 15-hour bike weeks, the Noleen would die an early death. As far as the Duke goes... we'll see. Appreciate the input though.
I had small air leaks in both of my Noleens (01's), I had to pump them up about once a week. 4 O-rings (50 cents each) on each fork, and no leaks since. Nothing but smooth ridin'. Best $99 (each) I ever spent on the bike, and far better than the Skareb Comp the bike came with.
 

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Got the Syntace from DB too

Gambrills said:
You (or anyone you know) ridden the f-99? I admit, it's lighter... but no mtbr reviews, Ritchey seems to be well liked. I'm touchy about fragile parts because I break stuff... Syntace megaforce appears to be their "mountain" stem though it is noted that the F-99 is available in a 25.4 for MTB.

Thanks for the advice, you've given me more to "weigh". :)
And I've been happy with it. I had a Ritchey WCS - 130mm. Paid more for the Ritchey and it weighed in at over 150g, not the claimed 120g. Love paying more for...um more.

The Ritchey Pros that I bought (1/3 price of the WCS) came in at the same weight as the WCS.

The Syntace has held up nice, I just made sure to install with a torque wrench and double check it after the first few rides. Mine with Steel bolts in the long 130mm length is 122g.

I'm bummed about the Ritchey WCS (can you tell?) Ritchey has not acknowledged any of the emails I've sent. They were pretty good before this. The local shop won't take it back because the stem was a 130mm and therefore a special order. Ritchey has earned the same place as Bonti products for me. I'll buy 'em again, but I'll have to see it (and weigh it) in person first.

JmZ
 

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Ha! your right on the bar. I cut .25" off each end. so I was 'ball parking' it. 8gms(?) more at 143gm for the uncut 610gm version. Surely I gotta be close.

I use Ritchey WCS grips on my HT and blue NRS. Love them. Might try Porkrinds on the blue ride, and move the WCS grips over to the black NRS, as it has heavyass RF grips ATM. I hate those grips.

Beware the Comp S lites with Stans. Haven't ran the combo myself, but I've read here numerous times of loose beads and blow off probs with Stans. My fav. race tire ATM is the Schwalbe Racing Ralgh 2.1s at 450-470gms. I do run the Comp S lites alot w tubes(have them in tubed and UST versions), and they are "ok". Sidewalls seem loose tho, and require more air for support..but then they get hard and skittery it seems.

The Sid forks? I HATE'm. bought that damn Team spring 03, to give a Sid ONE more chance. It about killed me 2-3 times. Just can't push it like I can the Zoke or Noleens. No way. Feels like 1" of travel even tho it got about 2.5". Oh boy.

The blue bike uses an SRP post clamp with ti bolt. The other the OEM clamp with a ti bolt.

My first 03 B4SLs got airleaks in both sides. Have yet to have any probs with the Pros. My Hayes are 2.5yrs old. Never been bleed...just ONE pad change. Don't modulate very well tho, but are stone reliable FWIW. Go to Stans and get the 140mm rotor, then Cambria to get the front frame adapter to run on the rear, to fit the 140 rotor. Presto.

Goodluck

Duck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can you actually buy a Noleen anymore?

DaFireMedic said:
I had small air leaks in both of my Noleens (01's), I had to pump them up about once a week. 4 O-rings (50 cents each) on each fork, and no leaks since. Nothing but smooth ridin'. Best $99 (each) I ever spent on the bike, and far better than the Skareb Comp the bike came with.
ediscountbike doesn't have any, there's only one for sale on ebay and it looks fake... K2 has a bunch of verbiage on their web site about it but you can't seem to buy one anywhere.

Are these forks still for sale?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Formula & Noleen

Looks like I can't get the B4 SL's at cost anyway, just the B4 Pro's. Still a lot lighter than what I'm running now. I can get HFX Mag plus at cost, so that will probably be the ticket.

Is anyone, anywhere still selling the Noleen? The one everyone talks about is the 2001... it's 2004! What happened to the last three years? Can you still buy this fork anywhere?

ediscountbike and ebay both turned up zilch for me...

As far as the major makes go, even the Fox is 3.5+ lbs, to go three pounds it's either the mythical Noleen or a SID, right?

Definitely gonna have to go egg beaters, was looking on Stan's site and Time's site and $300 modified Times weigh 270grams... same as the base model egg beaters. Hah!

Thanks again. You ever race the AMBS series (bikeracing.com)? Wondering if I've ever seen you out there...
 

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Of forks, brakes, and racing

No. They evidently bought out K2. Over the winter and Spring, they were blowing out FS frames($249-299 with shock)and the forks($99-129) on Ebay as well as their website. All were new take-offs from new bikes.

The Hayes Mag Plus sounds like the ticket to me. Solid brakes and sorta lightish. ;)

I used to love my Time ATAC carbons, that is until I tried some Eggs. The float and disengagment are much better to me. Plus of course the weight factor. Work at least as well in the mud.
Racing? I only race here in the SE. GAP(state series)and now SERC(southEast series). Small time stuff really. Sport Master II...the old guys. Love it tho. Some adventure stuff I guess, but not as a rule.

Heres some info that DeeEight posted last winter when your questions were being asked just about daily. This should answer all your questions.

""READ HERE FOR TOOO MUCH INFO...."
Amazing fork but production was farmed out to RST for the magnesium lowers as I recall, and part of the internals while the steerer/crown/stanchions were US made and final assembly in the usa also (dynamount on the other hand makes their rear shocks). Catch was, RST which already was licensing the Englund designed total air cartridges for their XMO products so they basically ripped off the much simpler, lower-pressure/higher-volume MegaAir internals design (which was designed and patented by Bob Girvin, whose still employed by K2 as a designer/consultant) for their Aerosa model forks (and thus didn't have to buy englund cartidges anymore). So K2/Noleen decided to get out of the fork business and not deal with RST anymore. Plus there'd been a couple manufacturing defects (a bottom out bumper issue that occasionaly could lead to the stanchion on one side slipping upwards in the crown, and o-ring issues for the air seals, they were using too cheap an o-ring basically) and all this came after the smartshock fiasco with the glitchy circuit boards that were never properly waterproofed, plus the recall on other RST made forks (like the Hi-5 which was produced also as the Girvin Chubby LT).
So that's basically why the fork went out of production, which is really bad since its an amazing fork, but then that's a good thing for us megaair loyalists who now get to buy MULTIPLE forks (I've bought 5 now over the past year, 3 of those in the past month) for the price that one fork sold for original. My last three from the ediscount auctions were for 99.99USD each. Plus ediscount has nice combined shipping rates for auctions so ya tend to end up getting a lot from them if you wanna stock up on bits. Other than the o-ring issue, there wasn't anything wrong with the 2001 version (and o-rings are easy to find and replace).

The forks they're currently listing on ebay are rated 75mm but in reality, all 2001 forks were VTO models (identifiable by the presence of WTB Greaseguard ports on the sliders) and all it takes to increase the travel to 100mm is deflating them, remove the sliders, unscrew the lower stanchion caps (2-prong park BB cup tool works best, the red handle one), pull out the shafts on both sides and remove the top-out spacers (there's a top out coil spring with a plastic spacer on each leg, the manual only shows it on the right leg, but its actually on both), then reassemble the forks and gas up up again (the range for 120-160 pound riders is 45-60psi) and there's an adjustable rebound on the left leg (2.5mm allen wrench thru a hollow bolt (remember that when reassembling the fork).

The weight for one with 8.25" of steerer (including the SFN installed in the steerer) is 3 Ibs 1.4 oz. Stanchions on the 2001s are hard chromed and nickle plated 32mm diameter aluminium alloy, 1-piece magnesium lowers, clearance for 2.4 tires just fine (WTB MotoRaptor 2.4 has room to spare), and ohhh so plush (picture a bomber fork, air sprung/air-damped, that's not 5 pounds). Rebounds a bit zippy though.
 

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Gambrills said:
ediscountbike doesn't have any, there's only one for sale on ebay and it looks fake... K2 has a bunch of verbiage on their web site about it but you can't seem to buy one anywhere.

Are these forks still for sale?
If you end up bidding on the one on Ebay right now, email him to ask if its an 2000 or a 2001 model. It says in the ad:

"This is the fork everyone is raving about on the MTBR.com site."

But its the 2001 model that everyone is raving about, not the 2000 model, so you need to confirm. The 2000 might be a good fork, but its not adjustable between 75mm and 100mm if I'm not mistaken. Also, the 2000 doesn't have the grease ports on the back of the fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Really looks like the Noleens are gone...

Meaning I'm stuck with buying a SID (yuck) a Marzocchi (heavier than a duke, no lockout) a duke (got one) or a fox. Fox is great, but, if I can buy a Duke at cost with remote lockout for $300, why spend $700 on a fox? Fox is heavier anyway.

Formula B4 Pro's are tempting, I can get the whole set for $220 (f/b) and they're lighter than the Hayes without being the retarded leaky B4 SL's.

I gotta say, if I had been reading this forum when I built my bike, it would be a VERY different bike...

oh well, NEXT TIME. :D
 

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Gambrills said:
Meaning I'm stuck with buying a SID (yuck) a Marzocchi (heavier than a duke, no lockout) a duke (got one) or a fox. Fox is great, but, if I can buy a Duke at cost with remote lockout for $300, why spend $700 on a fox? Fox is heavier anyway.

Formula B4 Pro's are tempting, I can get the whole set for $220 (f/b) and they're lighter than the Hayes without being the retarded leaky B4 SL's.

I gotta say, if I had been reading this forum when I built my bike, it would be a VERY different bike...

oh well, NEXT TIME. :D
Noleens come up on Ebay occasionally, it just depends on how soon you need it. I've seen an 01 on Ebay as recently as about 2 weeks ago.
 

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I have the 30.9 Syncros post like yours. Is yours turned around backwards? Or is mine: I have the height marks facing the back. I can't really make your pic out, but are your marks facing forward?
 

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Just scoped mine reeeeal close again, as I'm very capable of sticking something backass backwards on. :) Yes, the marks are to the front, but the logo and seat mount look correct. The logo would be upsidedown with the slant if I did it the other way(note all Thomsons are this way as well, as is all other posts that i've noticed), plus theres a small radius line machined into the silver mount that goes from the 2 bolt seats front to back. Notice its in a flat-ish plain if run my way. My HT Syncros alum post is the same way, but a bit more defined. Plusn note the rear bolt is tilted closer to the saddle(my way)to help not put the bolts in a bind because of the inherent tilt.
 
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