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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I wanted to thank everyone for the valuable information on this forum. I have been lurking here on and off, while I was trying to find my ideal mountain bike. Since I now have had my 29er for a week, it was time to post.

I wanted a durable, reliable, and low maintenance bike that would last, so the Rohloff hub was the clear choice. I have a dual suspension 26er and an old hardtail converted into a rigid singlespeed, and preferred the feel of the hardtail as well as the reasons listed above. I don't want to buy a new bike every couple of years, but I wanted something a little softer than my steel hardtail. So a Ti Hardtail seemed like a good fit. After seeing PeT's Black Sheep, I knew that was the bike I wanted. The S&S couplers seemed like a great option for my style of traveling. So after looking at several builders, I decided to have James build up my dream bike. I didn't have alot of parts on hand, so I also had James build a complete bike. James had Mike Curiak build the wheels. Well, I got the bike about a week ago, put it together and have taken out for a couple of rides(specs below).

Chris King headset
Rohloff speed hub 16t
American Classic Front Hub
ENO crank 38t + FSA
DT Swiss TK 7.1 rims
DT Spokes comp spokes
SRAM PC58 chain
Avid mechanical brakes
On-One Fleegle Bar
Black Sheep Ti post
WTB Lazer stealth seat
WTB Exiwolf
WTB tubes
Oury Grips
Candy SL black

How do I like it?

The frame is a work of art. Looking at the pictures of 1strongone1's bike and others, I though it looked beautiful, but they look much better in person than they do in pictures. James does a really nice job building the frames. The only thing I have to get used to is the size, the bike just looks big compared my other bikes. I am 6ft 3in, so my bikes normally look big, but it still looks big. I almost went with a rigid only bike, but decided I wanted the versatility of both a rigid and front suspension forks. I have a BW 1.0 in the mail, that I will be testing soon.

During the first ride, I could feel the Rohloff, but only in gears 1-5. I must have gotten a good Speedhub though, because after 4 rides, I can't feel anything through the pedals anymore and can only hear it in gears 3 and 5. Once you get used to the Speedhub, the shifting is so much better than a derailleur. I don't see myself going back to a derailleur for off-road use. Precise shifting, no chain dropping, shifting while standing and climbing, all with the maintenance of a singlespeed. Even after 4 rides I am sold, can't imagine it getting better after the break-in.

The S & S Couplers add about a pound more, but since I am not a racer, the added convenience of taking the bike apart and throwing it in my trunk is priceless. I travel alot with the family and hate leaving the bike on top of the car while we take the kids for hikes. With the couplers, I can go from backpacking to biking on the same trip without having to worry about the bike. Then there is traveling by plane without having to bring a big box with me.

I don't know if it is the 29in wheels, the Ti, or geometry, but I feel the differences right away. The bike tracks better (not as twitchy), rolls through sand better, has better grip on the climbs. It feels more forgiving or smoother compared to my 26er hardtail. Not as forgiving as my dual suspension, but half way in between. The bike flexes some, but I don't notice it at all while I am riding. Exactly what I wanted, a bike with small bump compliance, yet still feels like a hardtail.

The Fleegle bars are very nice, will never go back to straight bars, or anything with less than 15 degree bend. I have a mary bar I will be trying soon.

As I become more used to how it feels and handles with each ride, the bike just gets better. I am looking forward to really getting used to the bike in the coming months. My dual suspension is already up for sale.

So I wanted to thank James for building up such a nice bike, and Mike for building the wheels.


Now for the pics
 

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Bikeoholic
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537 Posts
Beautiful...

Thats one beautiful solid bike.

I know you'll be loving it for years to come... Now I just have to graduate college, get a high paying job, pay off the student loans...

Then I'll be able to buy one...

I know you will enjoy it enough for you and me both...
 

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try driving your car less
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foock me gently that is awesome.

The ti hardtail S&S rohloff 29er. Lives in the minds of many. But only a select few make it a reality.

I wish you many miles of smiles on that.

Please post pics of the bike in cool locations...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the compliments.

The bike weights around 27.5 pounds. I probably will reduce the weight over time (Black Sheep handlebar and stem for one), but I am comfortable with the weight right now.

1strongone1, I am already kind of an outcast, so the name fits me well. It was very hard waiting for my bike while looking at yours.

burner, I ask James to build it to accept 700x2.5 and 26x3.0 tires and it looks like he delivered, lots of clearance. I want to use as a winter bike here in Minnesota.
 

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elecknight said:
After seeing PeT's Black Sheep, I knew that was the bike I wanted.
Wow! That's not something I hear very often. I must admit you've done me at least one better, but no... I think you've done me "four" better.

1). The S&S couplers -- that is a wonderful addition. I'm getting ready to head overseas for a few months and I wish now I had included that option when I had my frame built. I was in James' shop about a month ago and that must have been your frame he was showing me. Told me he'd add 'em to my frame for ~$500. Hmmm... My neighbor has two virtually identical Black Sheep cyclo-cross bikes (built to exactly the same dimensions). One is titanium and one is stainless steel with S&S couplers. Interestingly, he says they ride identically. The coupled bike has a lot of road and air miles on it...

2). I love the unicrown fork. My segmented version works and looks great, but there's something about the smooth lines of the unicrown fork.

3). The curves of the frame. Once again, I love my standard looking frame, but those curved tubes...yum!

4). The Black Sheep seatpost -- I like those. But that's something I could do something about without too much trouble.

elecknight said:
I must have gotten a good Speedhub though, because after 4 rides, I can't feel anything through the pedals anymore and can only hear it in gears 3 and 5.
That does sound like a good Speedhub. Mine works great and has gotten smoother with the miles, although it's been gathering dust in the basement as I've been running as a single speed exclusively since September. It's about time to put the Speedhub back on as the snow is leaving the higher trails.

That's a seriously nice bike and I can't imagine what could be done to improve upon it in any way. I don't think I even need to say "enjoy it", because how could you not?
 

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elecknight said:
I ask James to build it to accept 700x2.5 and 26x3.0 tires and it looks like he delivered, lots of clearance. I want to use as a winter bike here
Did that complicate things much? I'd like to do a similar build, but don't get too excited about the prospect of offset rear wheels, extra wide bottom bracket shells, etc.

Beautiful bike by the way.
 
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