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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

I've been sitting on this egg since early March -- yep, 6 months ago -- but I finally hatched it over Labor Day weekend! Hot damn was that a long wait.

Link to my MkIII Frame Porn post



This is first time being this particular about a build, and it cost me a lot of time getting it on the trail. Excuses abound.



The wheels were a pain in the butt -- Velocity VXC rims laced with Sapim CX-Rays in the "pushing" direction, countered up front with Sapim Lasers and in the rear by DT Competition.



The mixed spokes were a compromise, due to lack of availability of certain lengths. I was hoping the bladed black against the sliver would visually offset eachother. All in all, not the contrast I was hoping for, but a pair of strong, stiff wheels all the same.





Typical full-suspension disc-brake Rohloff Speedhub installation using a Speedbone, OEM2 axle plate & QR skewer.

Link to my old Hollowpoint Speedhub Installation post.



Again with the Cane Creek shock! I picked an AD-12 for this one, on account of how well my previous DW-link did with a non-platform shock. Compliant! And I'm all over that easy at-home servicability. Due to some of the comments that the MkIII suspension bottoms easily, I cracked the shock open and adjusted the air chamber volume to the smallest setting. This will give me a little more ramp up at the end of the stroke. I'll evaluate the performance in this setting for a while and perhaps try the other settings later down the trail.

Link to my Cane Creek AD-12 Volume Adjustment post.



I spent a long time demoing and choosing a fork and really, really, really liked the White Brothers DT 1.2 for this build. 120mm of deep travel, an excellent damping system, customized with an air spring, and a 20mm through-axle for starters.

It's an oil damped system, but changes to compression damping are made via air pressure applied to the right leg. It's got a wide range of adjustment and is extremely compliant. Rebound adjustment is made via a control on the bottom of the leg.

Link to 2006 White Brothers Technology post.

The air spring uses White Bros latest low-pressure air spring technology and I'm finding it very compliant and smooth, even though Eko Sport says to expect a 10 hour break-in period.

Combine the air spring & damper technologies and it's just a wonderful fork for aggressive climbing without becoming a bob monster, and without losing the small-bump sensitivity I expect.

By the way, this fork came with Enduro Fork Seals, which I've been waiting for for a long time and were only made available recently. According to White Brother's tech support, with Enduro seals in place, I'll be able to inject 15cc of oil in each leg to convert the fork to a semi-bath lubrication system.

Link to my White Brother's DT 1.2 Fork Porn post.



The fork's performance is awsome. I can only begin to go into how well the front end tracks and what firm control it provides. I'm completely sold on the stiffness resulting from the 20mm design, and expect that all of my forks in the future will use through-axles.



Mated to the WB fork is a White Industries CHUB front hub.



I used some Easy-Off to remove the blue anodizing off of the old LX cranks, which are still kicking strong and looking pretty decent with their new silver finish.

Link to my Stripping Anodization post.

I also drilled a drain hole into the bottom bracket shell, and detailed it and the bottom bracket installation in a separate post.

Link to my Bottom Bracket Installation Post



The chainring is a Surly stainless steel SS ring, which shines up bright and nicely complements my long-wearing drivetrain.



Of course I drilled out the cable stops -- would you expect otherwise? Full-length housing runs are truly the smoothest way to cable a bike.

Link to my Drilling Out Cable Stops post.



Although I always preach about the virtues of "generic" black housing sold by QBP and manufactured by Jagwire, I couldn't pass this stuff up: This is the exact same Jagwire housing, dressed up with a metallic weave, and sold under the Specialized brand. Identical to the everyday black housing, even priced identically in 100-foot rolls!

Link to my Cutting & Prepping Cable Housing post.



After going 'round and 'round with the Hopey steering damper for my wife's bike, I had to install one on the MkIII. I love what this damper does to track up climbs and keep my front end where I put it. Too early for me to review, but so far I'm impressed with the Hopey's performance.

Link to my Hopey installation post.



Although the Speedhub installation adds a bit of clutter and weight to the rear end of the bike...





...it pays back in spades in terms of drivetrain simplicity and reliability. Shifts everywhere, everytime, with the dependability of an oil bath gearbox and internal indexing.

Although I have to run a chain tensioner to allow for suspension movement, I retain the benefit of a singlespeed-like straight chainline...


...and the whole gear range I grasp in the palm of one hand. If you haven't tried a Speedhub, seek one out.



Did I mention that I stripped, polished and clearcoated my rear triangle? **A lot** of work -- probably something I won't attempt again -- but the results, far from perfect, aren't too shabby.

Link to my Frame Strip & Polish post.

 

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I dig trails!
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Nice write up Nate! Thanks for the quality info. I clicked around your links and replied to some.

Congrats on the truly unique build. It looks sweet.

Hats off for taking such a creative approach and really looking at all you bits from a critical and objective standpoint.

Let me know how the shock works out in the low volume setting. With the lower leverage of the MKiii I wonder how it plays out.

Thanks for the detailed post.

Mr. P
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Monte said:
Does the fork have travel adjustment?
No, the DT1.2 is fixed at 120mm. Since I never mess with travel adjustments while I'm out on a ride, I spent some time demoing MkIIIs trying to figure out what travel setting I wanted. The A-C height of this fork hit my sweet spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
baycat said:
Fullsusser with a single speed? Sorry I am ignorant to what a speedhub is?
Click on the Speedhub link I included in the post. The Speedhub essentially covers the gear range of a 24 speed drivetrain, evenly spaced over 14 gears, with no external parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
_hamilton said:
Have you owned that hub for a while?
Yeah, this is my original hub that I've owned since Fall of 2001. It's previously been installed on an '01 NRS and and '03 Hollowpoint. It's a luxury that fast became a necessity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
dante said:
all of that beauty and you've still got a welded stem??
...now go get out and ride!!
Welded stems are a sign of craftsmanship. Forged parts smack of mass-production. So there!

And hey, aren't the pock marks on the bottom of the chainstay indication enough that this bike already has a few miles on it? What gives? I though elevated chainstays were immune to chain slap! I demand warranty service!

I'll follow up in a few days with a more detailed ride report.
 

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Nice Job Nate - that definitely looks like it is a "Nate Specific Rig!"

Couple of questions if you don't mind.

1. Do you regret removing the paint from the rear chainstay? Unique, but it looks like it was A LOT of work.

2. Was there a reason behind the white rims? Were you going for an overall white, black, silver type of design with the wheel build?

3. What is that tire combination you are running?

That White Brothers fork looks super nice on that bike - looks so solid and stiff - and it sounds like it is super nice in terms of plushness and perfomance huh? Very cool.

Oh yeah and did you see the new Niner 29er FS prototype yet?? Could that be your next bike, if a dw-link 29er never sees the light of day??

Cheers,

Mark
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MMcG said:
1. Do you regret removing the paint from the rear chainstay? Unique, but it looks like it was A LOT of work.

2. Was there a reason behind the white rims? Were you going for an overall white, black, silver type of design with the wheel build?

3. What is that tire combination you are running?

That White Brothers fork looks super nice on that bike - looks so solid and stiff - and it sounds like it is super nice in terms of plushness and perfomance huh? Very cool.

Oh yeah and did you see the new Niner 29er FS prototype yet?? Could that be your next bike, if a dw-link 29er never sees the light of day??
Thanks Mark!

1. My only regret is the extra time it took. I began losing my patience towards the end and could have spent a little more time polishing and given a bit more care to the clearcoat application, but I am pleased with the outcome.

2. White rims? Just because. I wanted something different. My wife nixed yellow. Red didn't appeal to me. Burnt orange would have been cool but I couldn't find it. As it turned out, white matches the frame graphics very nicely, yes?

3. That's a WTB Mutanoraptor 2.4 in front and a (don't laugh) Continental Traction Pro 2.0 in the rear. The Conti is a great tire for where I ride but it's already obvious I need to replace it with something a bit wider and sturdier for this bike.

I'm really stoked about this fork, it's exactly what I wanted for this build. White Brothers does all their manufacturing in-house in Colorado and as a result, I was able to custom order the fork to include the air spring and an aluminum steerer (normally coil & steel).

That new Niner is incredible and the linkage smells of a dw clone -- it'll be very interesting to read the initial ride reports.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
Welded stems are a sign of craftsmanship. Forged parts smack of mass-production. So there!

And hey, aren't the pock marks on the bottom of the chainstay indication enough that this bike already has a few miles on it? What gives? I though elevated chainstays were immune to chain slap! I demand warranty service!

I'll follow up in a few days with a more detailed ride report.
Hmmm, you might want to wait a few days to see if you get any of the following "warranty" issues:

Flat tire
Worn grip
Taco'd wheel (11months after buying the bike)
Snapped chain
Derailleur in spokes
cross-threaded bb (which you removed and were trying to put back in)
Shifter doesn't shift "right".
etc.

Our CS guys love to hear these stories, and will do their utmost to get you a full brand new bike to help you out. did I hear you have some chain slap? new rear triangle is on the way, you'll have to strip it again yourself though. :D
 

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Truly inspiring...

Nate,
That build in awesome on so many levels. One, its a great new bike - and unlike any other I have seen. Two, way to mod it out - a Speedhub, polishing the rear traingle, full run cables. Three, nice use of parts that you already had, thanks for reminding me I dont need all new parts to have a new ride!

Good things come to those who wait. Way to take your time and do it right. ENJOY :D
 
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