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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up my new ride from Wrench Science last Monday. I know there's some of you out there that may be interested in the 986 so I'll post some information on ride quality etc. once I spend some time on this rig. I've been riding, racing, building mountain bikes for over twenty years and may have some insight to offer. For now the build is as follows:

Frame Look 986
Fork 2009 Fox F80 RLC
Brake Magura Marta SL
Brake Magura Marta SL
Shifter SRAM X.O. Trigger
Crank Truvativ Noir 3.3
BottomBracket Truvativ GXP
FrontDerailleur SRAM X.9
FrontDerailleur Shimano XTR M971 Bottom Swing
Cassette SRAM PG-990
RearDerailleur SRAM X.O
Chain SRAM PC-991
Stem Ritchey WCS 4-Axis Carbon Matrix Stem
Handlebar Ritchey WCS-Carbon flat bar, (31.8) - black
Handlebar Ritchey WCS-SL bar ends, black
Grip Ritchey TrueGrip WCS Ergo grips, black, pair
Seatpost Look E-Post (integrated)
Saddle Ritchey Streem WCS 2008 saddle, CrN-Ti - white
Tire Ritchey Z-Max Evolution WCS K tire, 26 x 2.1"
Tube Michelin Aircomp Ultra Light Butyl
FrontWheel WCS DISC LTD FRONT 28H BLACK
RearWheel WCS DISC LTD REAR 28H BLACK
Pedals Crank Bros Eggbeaters 4ti
 

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69erSycip said:
What did that cost $6,000 or so? Jeezus dude, I'd rather buy a KTM with that kind of money

I'm sure it will be light and make you 5% faster. Enjoy! :)
Gee, I have a few nice bikes and a Husqvarna. What should I have done instead oh wise one?

Seriously man, either you are lost in the fact that you have a Sycip, (unless thats your last name), which isn't the cheapest most minimalist bike out there, or you just don't like people that can afford more expensive things because maybe they happen to have ended up making a decent coin. Or like me, I eat garbage and live in an alley so I can afford my bikes and beer.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
finally got a chance to jump on the saddle a pedal around a bit on the asphalt. I live on a hilly street so I can get a quick feel on climbing acceleration then check out the bike's basic handling by some real tight slalom turns on the coast back down the hill. Initially, the super long top tube is gonna take some getting used to. Real long cock pit for a what is essentially a 20 inch bike (24.6 inch effective). Previous bikes I've ridden all had 23.5 to 24 inch effective top tubes typically set up with a 120mm stem. I've set this bike up with a 110mm stem and hope to God I can hold the front end down on real steep walls. Should be OK given the slightly steeper than normal 71.2 degree head angle. The long top tube is a result of the slightly slacker than a 73 degree seat tube angle (72.2 degrees). The wheelbase measures 43.25 inches with an 80mm travel fork; which for me is a perfect length for both tight handling and zero nose wheelies on technical desents. Hitting the square curb edges (about 2 inches high) while seated feels like the carbon and the cushioned E-Post are gonna work real well taking the edge off big hits. Hammering down a lengthing set of concrete steps (5 inch risers) felt real solid and pretty damn compliant. The Ritchey WCS Streem saddle feels like a rock (my ass has gotten soft at age 50!!):D Sram shifters are flawless! Brakes modulate spot on. Crank/bottom bracket combo has zero flex. Lastly (for now), pedal input equates to rocket like forward acceleration, more so than any other light hardtail I've ever ridden. I'll get some pics posted soon.
 

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Treybiker said:
Gee, I have a few nice bikes and a Husqvarna. What should I have done instead oh wise one?
I'd buy one less bike in order to save more money to repair that Husqvarna :p ha!

Personally, I'm stoked for anyone to buy their dream bike. That is why Look makes it, and the good Dr. is keeping it real at his level.

Spending that much money on a carbon bike is what freaks me out. I've had two and the light weight never was worth the fragility of the frame. I broke the first one within the first 5 rides. :madman:

Anyway, I am jaded. I am a sponsored rider so I do get some amazing deals. I am picky so I will not ride anything that I don't feel confident will work.

Here is my stash. Total price for all (not including bits and pieces and upgrades over the years) is about 25% more than the Dr.'s Look. The Look is arguably better looking than any of these bikes. :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finally got to ride the 986 in the dirt two days in a row. Ride terrain is in San Juan Capistrano, CA and features abrupt, steep climbs, one long climb, tight, hillside single track on clayey soils. Before commenting on the ride performance, please understand I've spent the last couple of years riding fully suspended cross country racers such as the Specialized Carbon Epic. Lifting a leg over a very rigid hardtail was an eye opener. As expected the 986 climbs really well, even better than I anticipated. Literally every ounce of pedal energy transfers to the rear wheel so much so that I felt as if someone was pushing me up the climbs. I estimate its worth a two to three cog difference over the Epic. What really surprised me was the single track performance of this bike on slight down hills with lots of twists, turns and sharp rollies. This bike is on rails and builds confidence. I rode considerably faster on single tracks I've ridden a hundred times with the Epic. Overall, this is simply the most torsionally rigid bike I have ever ridden. The carbon fiber and the compressible spacer (I used the softest one) in the E-Post combine to achieve a relatively soft, compliant ride given how stiff the 986 is laterally. In a nut-shell, probably one of the fastest bikes available. Pro, Expert and top notch Sport Class racers are gonna dig on it hard!

One comment on riding a hard tail after several years of bikes with 3" to 4" of rear wheel travel is that I feel as though riding the hardtail recaptures the finesse of finding just the right line on challenging single track, not just blowing over it. Even though I'm nearing the physical end of riding a hard tail, I'm truly satisfied with having found this particular bike to rekindle my love for one of the greatest activities on the planet!

Here's a couple of pics. Hopefully this thread will shine some light on those of you considering a 986 purchase.



 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Forgot one thing....
props to Wrench Science in Berkeley, CA. for building me a very nice bike!! Very cool, knowledgeable people. Give 'em a crack at a bike deal!
 

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That's my favorite bike at the moment. I want one.

But your right about the long top tube. My Giant XTC C0 21" frame has a 24.5" top tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
gumbymark said:
That's my favorite bike at the moment. I want one.

But your right about the long top tube. My Giant XTC C0 21" frame has a 24.5" top tube.
Yeah... I shortened my usual stem length to 110mm, usual is 120mm. Increased the saddle to top of bar dimension from 3" to 3.5" and its tracking nicely up the walls. Cool thing about the longer top tube is I can breath better when bent forward at the waste, chin close to the bar on long hard climbs. On this bike the top tube is longer because of the slightly more relaxed seat tube angle. The benefit here is that I feel as though the rear wheel hooks up harder on climbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
wannabeRacer said:
very nice bike build

How's the Ritchey tires handle and do you think its good enough to use as a do it all type of riding condition tire?
The tread pattern on this particular Ritchey has been around for along time. We rode them 15 years ago. This newer version, called the Z-Max Evolution has the same looking knobs but somehow its developed into the narrowest 2.1 tire I've ever ridden; feels and looks closer to a 1.9. This WCS version as mounted on my bike currently is very light (455 grams) which is what you get anytime you buy WCS Ritchey stuff. I think this tire would have a use limit where the trail is really loose. It has a round profile versus straight edge corners so its pretty universal. If you like super light tires, this is a good one. We'll see how they hold up. Super light tires are not known for durability......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just wanted to address any concerns about this frame breaking as other carbon fiber mountain bikes have in the past. The main areas of concern are typically at the head tube, bottom bracket and seat tube to top tube intersection. These points on the 986 are are way oversized, check out the pics on how huge the carbon fiber tubes are on this bike....

 
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