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Always Learning
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to head out to the Wild West for some vacation riding and decided to get the Sugar 293 built and ready to go even though my Chris King/Velocity Dyad/Sapim spoke wheelset is not yet built as the builder and I wait for the slow boat from Australia to arrive with the Dyads. That's okay, I didn't expect the wheels until the end of August early September when I ordered the rims from Velocity.

So, I am "borrowing" the Speedcity's off of my Karate Monkey for the trip.

Somebody on this forum mentioned something about an ultimate super plush ride of a Sugar and a Thudbuster on top of the Fisher to ice the cake. What the heck - I had a Thudbuster sitting around in the correct diameter, so I threw it on to try it out and set it to ignore most of the small trail chatter.

Against all better advice and counsel from Marzocchi itself - I used the Avid 185mm's since I had them. To help guard against thorns and what I might face in the Wild West, I mounted up the Bonty's with the Bonty slime filled two niner tubes both back and front. The slime filled tubes, Thudbuster and Mavic Speedcity wheelset add that extra "oomph" to my boat anchor.

First observations after some riding (I'm still dialing in the suspension): This XL size bike feels "small" compared to my XL Karate Monkey. I may have to get a longer stem and make sure to use a set back seatpost. However, I can really maneuver this bike through the turns and short switch backs with its current stem length. Gotta remind myself the right hand now has the front brake, but that shouldn't take too long to get used to for this bike. SRAM X.9 goodies are just as sweet as the X.0 goodies. Hope the chain is the correct length. Without any cutting and running the chain big cog and big ring (not through the rear derailleur of course), only one link overlapped right out of the box. Added the masterlink and it looks good to go, but I hope that is long enough to take into consideration the rear suspension.

Here are a few shots:
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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8,821 Posts
Nice ride.
Why the heck do you have a thudbuster considering you already have 3" of travel?
on another note...
it doesn't seem to boat anchor to me...
my rigid 29er SS is over 30lbs...
 

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Always Learning
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Discussion Starter #3
<i>Why the heck do you have a thudbuster considering you already have 3" of travel?
on another note...
it doesn't seem to boat anchor to me...
my rigid 29er SS is over 30lbs...</i>

I guess I really needed something to take my boat anchor up and over 30 pounds. ;-)

Not to worry - I have a nice new featherlight Bontrager seatpost that Nathan sold me along with the frame which will soon be mounted. I didn't want to scratch it all up or fade the paint on it as I took the bike in and out of the work stand a dozen or so times, so I popped the Thudbuster in there since it was already used and didn't have to worry about scratching it up. Plus it was the only 31.6mm post I had besides the new Bonty sitting around the house.

The Thud is only being used on my first shake down rides as I get most everything dialed in - so I popped in two black elastomers to stiffen it up and set the tension for minimal motion. I'll get the Bonty post mounted up in the next day or two before heading out west.

With the new wheelset that will be coming in the weeks ahead, WTB tubes and the featherlight Bonty post - the bike will end up being in the 28.x pound class. A smaller boat anchor than it currently is with the Thud, heavier tubes and heavier wheelset.

A few other "work arounds" on this build. The fork was purchased on eBay to use on my Karate Monkey until I realized I liked the rigid fork so much. In case I eventually move it over to the KM, I kept the steerer tube the length that it is as the headtube is much larger on the XL KM frame than it is on the Fisher. Therefore, I have way too many spacers on my Sugar to get me in the best riding position using a riser bar. I'll probably either flip the stem or move the spacers above the stem for my trip out west. And the fork is only a 80mm travel fork and this particular Sugar frame is designed for a 100mm travel fork. If Cloxxki's calculations were correct, that puts my BB shell about 8mm lower than it would be with a 100mm travel fork.

That REBA fork looks interesting to me if and when it comes out to the public. I never had any issues running my Avid 185mm's on the RockShox Duke on my Trek, so maybe now that RockShox and Avid are owned by SRAM they will certainly be designing forks that endorse running the larger rotors on them. Of course a new fork involves $$$ and at the moment I'll make do with what I have as the wheelset was my major purchase.

For now - the Sugar is what it is the way I have it set up. A used frame married to a a used fork, used Avid disc brakes running "borrowed" wheels and tires from my Karate Monkey and decked out with new SRAM X.9 parts as well as an XT crankset and BB which I had. The new pedals are the stainless steel pedals put out by the Xpedo line.

BB
 

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Bruce, if your adventure brings you to CB please be sure and look me up for a ride! The only Poor in the phone book.

Bob
 

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Always Learning
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Discussion Starter #5
Bigwheel said:
Bruce, if your adventure brings you to CB please be sure and look me up for a ride! The only Poor in the phone book.

Bob
Not sure if you got my reply email, Bob. But - yeah, that sounds great. We would be heading through on I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction on to Park City/Salt Lake City via Moab with the eventual goal of San Francisco for the inlaw visit. Would certainly like to stop in the area and get a few rides in Colorado under our belt on the way out (or on the way back).

1 monkey wrench just got thrown into the pot. My wife went in for a "routine" procedure on Tuesday to remove a small sun damage/skin cancer spot on her cheek. They ended up taking out a lot more than originally thought which led to some pretty hefty plastic surgery the next day requiring a skin flap and a ton of stitches. We were supposed to be on the road this past Wednesday. Stitches come out tomorrow and if all goes smoothly - we will be on the road Tuesday (nearly a week late). She is feeling a little self-conscious about her looks at the moment and may not make the trip - so it could end up being just my son and I. It's all up in the air until Monday's stitch removal. We're due out in San Fran as I have to sing at a family 25th wedding anniversary and we have tickets to a pair of Giants vs. the Expos games (figured the Expos may actually pitch to Barry making it worthwhile to see the games). By leaving this late - we may have to make a more direct trip on I-80 to California and take the Moab and Colorado loop on the way home in a couple of weeks.

Either way - I'll look up the only Poor in CB and ask for trail suggestions in the area if and when we pass through. If not this time - certainly in the future (I've got an Uncle in Breckenridge).

BB

P.S. I saw a familiar Sugar frame of yours on the internet last night...
 

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BruceBrown said:
Not sure if you got my reply email, Bob...
I didn't, but the offer stands if you get by this way. We are a good bit off the main byways through CO however. I am taking off for BC on the 24th or so to get my son enrolled in University also.

Yeah, I put the 292 on eBay, sure wish someone from the board had just snagged it because it will make someone a fine bike.

Anyway good luck in your travels and have fun at the ballgame! SF is a great destination.
 

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Always Learning
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Discussion Starter #7
Bigwheel said:
Yeah, I put the 292 on eBay, sure wish someone from the board had just snagged it because it will make someone a fine bike. .
Maybe our wives should get together and talk trash about our buying/selling habits of bike goodies. I see what your "garage sale" is raising money to replace. ;-)

Anyway - for anyone who is interested in a very nice plush ride, I can attest to what Bigwheel says about the 292/293 frame making somebody a fine ride. Run over to eBay and do a search for Gary Fisher 292 FS Frame where his auction will pop up and you can bid on the size L frame.

Yesterday was my first real test of the 293 frame that I bought in terms of soaking up some big hits. Same frame as Bigwheel's - just a year newer. I took it to an area called Sugar Bottom in Iowa which is an ICORR mountain biking singletrack trail system with oodles of miles of singletrack and probably the best riding available in the state of Iowa. Each trail is marked with its level of difficulty and the Black Diamond or most advanced trails are filled with logs, log piles, narrow wooden bridges, jumps, roots, endless switchbacks and everything that could test one's mettle and nerve. Almost too contrived if you ask me, but hey it was fun and I'll take what I can get. I headed down a few of these trails to see how the FS did. The Fisher 293 made it all seem way too easy for me. I went over stuff that would have rattled my innards and brains on my Karate Monkey - and I didn't hardly even feel a thing on the Fisher. After a while, I asked myself why I was even standing (out of habit) for every root, log and bump that I encountered. It's a plush and different kind of riding from a 29" hardtail and I enjoyed the plushness.

If anyone is in the market for such a ride - check out Bigwheel's eBay auction for the frame. There's got to be somebody reading this board that would enjoy the benefits of adding a FS to their garage stable and fits the L sized frame.

BB
 

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The Duuude, man...
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Bruce,

I'm glad the bike is working out for you...it's cool to see another board regular riding and liking a bike (frame) I've ridden and passed on, and liking it at that.....

Quick question: you had mentioned how it looked/felt smaller than the 22" monkey at first. I know what you mean, but my perception is that it's becuase of the bent/funky TT. It's actually a bigger frame by about .5" of TT....have your perceptions about size changed after some trail time?

_N
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I've been thinking out that comment as well. Could it be the higher BB of the FS frame making the front relatively low to the seat causing the "small" feel? That, or perhaps the FS has less setback in the seatpost or the seat more forward on it?
 

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SNGLSPD
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KgB

BruceBrown said:
. We would be heading through on I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction on to Park City/Salt Lake City via Moab with the eventual goal of San Francisco for the inlaw visit. Would certainly like to stop in the area and get a few rides in Colorado under our belt on the way out (or on the way back).
...
Stop in Over the Edge Sports in Fruita on your way through.two of us have twenty-niners.
I'll gladly show you some good riding.
 

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Always Learning
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Discussion Starter #11
ncj01 said:
Quick question: you had mentioned how it looked/felt smaller than the 22" monkey at first. I know what you mean, but my perception is that it's becuase of the bent/funky TT. It's actually a bigger frame by about .5" of TT....have your perceptions about size changed after some trail time?

_N
I just went out with the tape measure to see if my mind is playing tricks with me.

I guess it sure is.

Every single measurement with regard to effective top tube and other lengths from handlebar to middle of seat, bar to middle of seatpost, center of headset cap to center of seat tube, middle of seat to middle of stem, etc... and any way you measure it sure enough has the Sugar larger than the Monkey by a 1/2 inch to a full inch depending on what I am measuring (because the stem I am using is longer on the Fisher than the Surly). I even have nearly the same amount of spacers on the Surly fork as I do on the Fisher.

Yet, the Sugar "feels" smaller to me when I mount up because the reach or riding position is not as aggressive or as stretched out for some reason. Or at least it sure seems that way to me while I'm riding. That's odd because everything measures out on the Fisher that I'm reaching or stretching a little more on it than on the Surly frame. Go figure. Could it be for some reason that the angles on the Fisher frame have me sitting more "upright" than on the Surly - or at some slight bit of difference in angle that "feels" more comfortable or "less aggressive"? I use a set back Easton seatpost on the Surly which might account for my "reach" feeling on that bike.

Too bad Cloxxki doesn't have a 2004 XL Sugar 292/293 frame sitting around to put his gyroscope, telescope, microscope and stethoscope to and compare why it feels "smaller" than the XL Surly Karate Monkey frame....

I cannot complain as I like the "feel" of the Sugar. The only problem to date is one gear shift I made going from middle to small chainring while the rear suspension was "active" presented a nasty chainsuck where I had to get off the bike and dislodge the chain from between the ring and the chainstay. That was the only time it happened to date. Add another break in scratch to the frame.

BB
 

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Always Learning
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Cloxxki said:
I've been thinking out that comment as well. Could it be the higher BB of the FS frame making the front relatively low to the seat causing the "small" feel? That, or perhaps the FS has less setback in the seatpost or the seat more forward on it?
Seat measures further away on the Fisher than on the Surly (where I do use a setback Easton post). Keep in mind I am using an 80mm (actually a 79mm according to Marzocchi) fork instead of the 100mm that the frame was designed to be using. I have the sag set correctly. The front feels relatively "high" to the seat on the Fisher compared to the Surly. This puts me in more of an upright or "comfort" position. Yet both bikes measure exactly 81.5 cm from center of BB to top of saddle. A little more saddle to handlebar drop on the Surly than the Fisher (in spite of using a longer and less angled stem on the Fisher). What I need to do is flip the stem or place the spacers (or at least some of them) on top of the stem to see what that does to my riding position and feel.

I'm not saying that I mind the position on the Fisher at all - or on the Surly for that matter. I just find it odd that it feels smaller or that I am in more of a "comfort" position on the XL Fisher even though it measures larger. I thought that this "comfort" position would effect my climbing compared to the Surly, but the Fisher climbs just fine.

Is it possible within the geometry of the two bikes that the headtube is simply a little bit higher on the Fisher XL than it is on the Surly XL? What happens to the headtube position with a Karate Monkey when using a suspension fork as opposed to the rigid Surly fork?

BB
 

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The Duuude, man...
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BruceBrown said:
Is it possible within the geometry of the two bikes that the headtube is simply a little bit higher on the Fisher XL than it is on the Surly XL? What happens to the headtube position with a Karate Monkey when using a suspension fork as opposed to the rigid Surly fork?
BB
I think it's really as simple as the different in looking down at that "in your face" (read: very high and therefore closer to you) TT of the Monkey, versus the "way down there" bent TT of the Sugar. I also felt like the bike didn't "feel" like a XL, much less with a 25.5" TT...and at that particular time, I was riding my 22" monkey, and that Sugar was owned by my buddy, who let me take a 5-10 minute turn on it....Monkey felt larger before and after...
 

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MTB Rider
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3,007 Posts
Brake switching ...

BruceBrown said:
Gotta remind myself the right hand now has the front brake, but that shouldn't take too long to get used to for this bike.
Hmm... does the Fisher come with the left and right brakes switched around???

I've thought about doing this on my bike since the rear break is used more than the front (if you don't want to endo). It would also allow you to feather break going downhill while dropping gears on a gripshift.

Anyone else out there switch their brake levers around???
 

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Old School
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75 Posts
swtiching brakes?

I switched the brakes once, thinking it would make it easier to go back n forth between my dirt bike (yes, I ride with a motor sometimes). I still have scars - be verrrrRRRRy careful if you think swtiching brakes sounds like fun. it hurt me real bad. I grabbed a huge handful of front brake in a fast sweeper and cartwheeled over n over n over (shiver)
 
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