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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hammerhead upgraditis results, thoughts, and a few pics

As you may remember, last month I solicited your help in upgrading my Hammerhead 100X and making it feel like new again.

Following your advice (mostly) here's what I did, what it cost, and what I think.

New bits:
Bars: Azonic CF-1 $70 on sale. These are supposed to be the same rise and shape as the monkey lites, but I get some wrist soreness with these. I've fiddled with the position but the problem persists and I don't care for the shiny finish as much as the matte finish of the Easton Monkey lites. Other than that they seem strong and work fine.

Grips: I just replaced the ODI Lock-on Yeti grips like I had before. $12.00. MMM. new grips feel better than you would think. I did notice that the skinny grips on my hard tail felt funny, were harder to hang on to, and made my hands hurt.

Cables and Housing: Avid Flak Jackets. $50.00 These installed pretty easy and though I don't like the red coffee stirrer look of of cable sheaths (thanks to alibi for sending my some black ones) they work really smooth and make the brakes and derailer action smooth and easy. I didn't realize just how much drag those old cables were causing.

Pedals: Time ATAC XS Carbon. New in the box off Ebay for $116 shipped. I've alway run SPDs but was looking for something with better mud clearing. I like the more connected feel they have compared to the SPDs. My foot is one with the pedal. The only slop being my foot in my old stretched out cheapy Answer Speedsters. They are a little harder to clip into and out of but no fall-overs yet. We'll see how they do when I get in some technical stuff. Haven't tried them in mud yet either.

Brake Pads: Avid B4s $24.00 per set. $48.00. Now I remember why I switched from the Avid pads to the EBC last time. The Avids do not have great modulation. More stopping power and they don't squeel like the EBCs but they're a little ON/OFF.

Saddle: WTB Rocket V Race $40.00. I got this saddle because I wanted a little bit more padding compared to my Trans AM flite to stave off the numbness to the nethers. It does have more padding for my cheeks and sit bones which feels great at first but just creates more friction and heat as the ride progresses...... and I still get the numbness on long seated climbs. :mad: What I did discover though while I was riding my old hardtail waiting for my shock to come back from PUSH Indutries is that the old WTB SST seat doesn cause this problem. I may try the new Pure V Stealth which is shaped like the old SST with the dropped nose.

Fork: I got an '04TALAS RLC from Charles for $400. I cut the steer tube down and it went right on. I set the air pressure to 72 lbs which gives me about 20mm of sag, backed the rebound about 5 clicks from full tight and set the travel at 101mm (80mm then out 7 clicks). Honestly the fork doesn't feel too much different than my 100R (which is a great fork btw) except I do like the adjustable travel and I was surprised by this, but I do like the lock-out on paved sections and ultra smooth rolling pole line roads where I like to stand and hammer. It may feel a little better on small bump compliance but when in the longer travel mode for steep downs it seems to dive into the travel really deep with braking which then makes it feel harsh and defeats the purpose of the longer travel (slacker head angle). If the descent is faster and open and I can let it rip without much brake, it flat out floats over stuff. Very nice.

The PUSHed Fox Float shock with AVA sleeve.$215 I set it up with 7/16th of an inch of sag (95lbs for my weight) and the AVA chamber on two. When I first climbed on the bike I noticed the rear end felt different. It pedalled efficiently and felt like it bobbed even less than before (an area I didn't think needed any improving), yet soaked up the small irregularities better than before and felt more plush... Not worlds better, but a noticeable improvement. Climbing rougher terrain felt like the rear wheel tracked over things almost like a good coil shock. I'm anxious to try it somewhere with some rocky techy sections like Bootleg Canyon or the Cowboy Trails. The platform feels a little different when bunny hopping and lifting off wheelie drops and jumps. It's a shade harder to preload the suspension to use it as a spring off jumps. Very subtle but noticeable.

Frame: I'm ashamed to say, I was too lazy to do the polishing up of the aluminum ($0). I did peel off the old HH head sticker and add a new Titus head badge Alan was kind enough to send. It looks cool. The frame didn't need any functional improvements....except I found a spot where the rear derailer cable has worn a flat spot on the seat tube. I'll have to get something on there to protect it. Oh, I almost forgot, I did add the three piece X link ($60). I can't say that I've felt any difference there. Perhap when I get it on some rooty, rockier, off-camber type terrain I'll be able to notice.

It's been a fun project and in many ways the bike feels new again. I'm really liking how doing all the upgrades at the same time made the HH come alive again.
Total cost $1011.00

Next year... new wheels and new brakes and prolly a new drive train. The middle cogs feel just a little chunky with the new chain when putting down the power. Very subtle. Something I can feel in the pedals but don't hear. There's no skipping or ghost shifting and the shifting is as crisp and accurate as ever.... but with much less effort thanks to the new cables and housing. I guess I passed my first attempt at setting up and adjusting derailers thanks to sheldon brown's web page :).

I'll get some pics once I clean it up a bit and find a nice couch to lean it up against. ;)

Thanks for the help and advice guys..... Now.... LET'S GO RIDE!!
 

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it's a lot of money to drop...I would have spent it a little diff (I see times now as way more expensive than leg-eaters with no real advantages..heavier too)...

overall it's good though, I got those bars and they are doing good. I try not to think about they fact they are carbon when I do a little drop or jump :D
 

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AMAZING! I never knew a bike could feel so "right." I posted a lenghty post in the Titus section. But ya, the bike just feels like one piece working together instead of a bunch of parts. Sooo responsive.
 

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Still chuggin' along
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What? No new wheels?!! :D j/k

Very nice! The pictures are great! They came out nice and sharp. I bet it'll be a while before you feel the need to upgrade. Well, in my case anyway I spent about the same this spring with new wheels,fork, brakes and cranks and it feels like a completely new ride (on my XCE).

Have fun!!
 

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Do It Yourself
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Ahhh...upgrades...

I know some small changes can make a big difference and you made a lot of them. I just changed the oil in my Minute 1 and it now feels like a whole new fork/bike. MUCH better.

On the AVA, I would crank the volume down some more. I have mine set about 3.5 to 4 and have no troubles getting full travel. The numbers aren't exactly accurate though. Depends on where the sticker was placed. I have 2 AVA shocks and there is probably a full number difference between them on sticker placement.

Anyway, congrats on the "new" ride.
 

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Daniel the Dog
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I love polished bikes!

Very pretty bike! The best upgrade you could make is a Turner 5 Spot. Kidding.

Jaybo
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Homebrew said:
I have mine set about 3.5 to 4 and have no troubles getting full travel. The numbers aren't exactly accurate though.

Anyway, congrats on the "new" ride.
Thanks. So bigger numbers = less volume? Have you had any problems with bottoming?
I'm getting pretty close to full travel (1 7/8" out of 2") at position #2. I would like a little more plushness if it doesn't cause harsh bottoming. Actually I cranked it out past two a little today just to see, but I forgot to reset the travel idicator rubber band thingy. I didn't feel it bottom. I also tightend up the rebound one click and that felt a little too damped so I'll prolly go back to four clicks out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
dirtpaws said:
Wow!

This is one of the most severe cases of upgradtitis I've seen posted.

That is a new bike for practical purposes. Enjoy the ride!
LOL. No kidding. What's that they say about an addict and his money? :D And like Kpicha implied, I was considering new 3.1 mavic UST (852s?) with CK hubs and some Marta or Juicy Hydros too!!...... Common sense won out in the end or I would have been into it another $1000.

You've really got to love a frame to upgrade like this.


Hey Jaybo.....don't tempt me. I love the 5-spot and if I could justify two high dollar high end bikes I would love to have a 5-6" burly coil trail bike like the 5 Spot or the 5.5 or the X-5... maybe even go bigger like a Titus SuperMoto or the Santa Cruz VP Free.... then pair the HH down to a lean mean 25 pound trail/race terror. Yeah, that's the ticket. I know, I know..... I'm sick. I admit it.
 

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KRob said:
Thanks. So bigger numbers = less volume?
Correct. The "increase" and "decrease" listed on the sticker are referring to spring rate not volume. As you dial the adjuster inward exposing more threads, you are making the air volume smaller and increasing the spring rate (more ramp up). Even dialed out like your shock is now, it probably won't bottom out hard without a huge hit. I am more concerned with wear and tear on the shock bushings and the longer term effects of repetitive smaller impacts rather than the occasional big whack. Per Charles and others, you really need to keep it on the smaller half of the scale in terms of volume (between 3 and 5 on the dial) to play it safe.
 
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