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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just signed up to do the Megavalanche 2010 in Alpe d'Huez. This will be my first Mega. I want to do it on my '08 Enduro SL Expert (only bike I have) which is basically stock apart from a chain guide and bash guard.

What bike preparation/part upgrades would you recommend, if any?

After reading reports of the punishment wheels take on the event, I'm thinking maybe of upgrading are the DT Swiss X420 rims and spokes, plus change my Schwalbe Muddy Marys for some tough DH tires.

I don't really want to go for an all-out DH wheel setup because I really only do all mountain riding and light DH so I was thinking of a compromise setup that offered a decent amount of toughness. However, I'm willing to let myself be persuaded otherwise if you think it's worth it (I can always keep the stock wheels).

Can the stock front hub (designed to fit the 25mm Specialized through-axle) take 2mm spokes? Will the stock hubs suffice?

What other parts would be a good investment (please don't say a different bike! ;))?

I'm very interested and grateful for your suggestions.

Cheers
 

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FrankRizzo said:
Hi,

I just signed up to do the Megavalanche 2010 in Alpe d'Huez. This will be my first Mega. I want to do it on my '08 Enduro SL Expert (only bike I have) which is basically stock apart from a chain guide and bash guard.

What bike preparation/part upgrades would you recommend, if any?

After reading reports of the punishment wheels take on the event, I'm thinking maybe of upgrading are the DT Swiss X420 rims and spokes, plus change my Schwalbe Muddy Marys for some tough DH tires.

I don't really want to go for an all-out DH wheel setup because I really only do all mountain riding and light DH so I was thinking of a compromise setup that offered a decent amount of toughness. However, I'm willing to let myself be persuaded otherwise if you think it's worth it (I can always keep the stock wheels).

Can the stock front hub (designed to fit the 25mm Specialized through-axle) take 2mm spokes? Will the stock hubs suffice?

What other parts would be a good investment (please don't say a different bike! ;))?

I'm very interested and grateful for your suggestions.

Cheers
I know somebody who did it in his SL Expert. Only upgrades where Mavics 823 and Minions 2.35. He is a very light rider though, 67 kg only....
 

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Your Enduro will be about perfect with the right setup. I did it on my Pitch and it was fine, though I would have liked the Fox 36s I have now rather than the Pikes I had then and kind of trashed.

1. Tyres: 2.5" dual ply DH tyres, ideally highrollers. Tubeless or DH tubes. Essential; Big nasty rocks out there.
2. Big brakes, 203mm rotors and proper pads and well bled. You brake a lot, heat builds up, good brakes are important.
3. Forks, you want a min of 150mm of plush, big hit capable forks. Air is not the best option, and I'd go for coil. Buy some Fox 36s off Realcycles!
4. Wheels… you need ding resistant, well made DH wheels. Nothing less. If it does go pear shaped, the Mavic guys will have a stand.
5. Rear shock… coil… an air won't work as well, unless you are a light rider.
6. Gears: short cage mech, single 34 or 36 ring with a proper chain device. I don't think there is any need for a granny ring, most climbs are sprints or gentle. If you are going slow enough to need a granny, better getting off and running.
7. Use full length gear cable outers. Lots of dust and mud over the week, good gears are critical for the race.
8. Apply thread lock to EVERY bolt on your bike, as they will come off unless you do so.
9. Get a full service before you go, bleed brakes, service forks, check frame bearings, wheel bearings etc.
Some other good tips here

http://www.mtbrider.com/mtbr/showthread.php?t=23051

Something like Stan's Flow rims would be ideal imo. I had Mavic 819s and they were fine though, and I'm pretty heavy/clumsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback and the link, very informative.

Are the Mavic 823s tubeless like the 819s or not?

What about the brakes? Will the stock Juicy Ultimate 9s suffice or should I consider upgrading those too (front rotor is 203mm rear is 180mm)?
 

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If you don't want to invest too much, just need to get some big DH tires.
Something easy rolling on the rear but with decent grip on the front.
High Roller front + Larsen TT rear is a must but TT may be hard to find with the DH casing.

The rest of your bike should be OK.

Checking the brakes and bolts (loctite !!) a few weeks before is also a great advice.

All the rest (seatpost, bigger brakes...) are nice pluses but not mandatory to enjoy the event.

Mega is enjoyable on all kind of bikes, from full DH to pretty light all-mountain.
Depending on the bike you will just enjoy more some portions of it than others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Bike prep update

Well I'm finally ready for the Mega. I fly to France tomorrow to meet the transfer bus to Alpe d′Huez.

I only got the bike finished last week despite commencing with the upgrades in March. Due to delays with various suppliers etc. the whole thing dragged on for ages. Luckily I was only without the bike for the last 3 weeks of that time.

These are the upgrades I made:

2009 Specialized FRS rear shock (upgrade through Specialized exchange program).
2010 Specialized Command Post.
Crank Brothers Mallet 2 pedals, red.
203mm Avid rear rotor.
Organic compound brake pads front and rear.

2 new wheels:

Front:
DT Swiss F630 rim.
2.0/1.8 spokes.
Steel nipples.
Specialized e150 hub, red.
Maxxis High Roller downhill (dual ply), 2,35.

Rear:
DT Swiss F630 rim.
2.0/1.8 spokes.
Steel nipples.
Hope Pro II hub, Saint version, red, with 10mm DT Swiss skewer.
Maxxis High Roller downhill (dual ply), 2,35.

Here are some pictures of the end result:
 

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looks mint
Whats the Specialized exchange program with the rear shock
Good luck
 
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