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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ever since my SL was new back in August of '07, I haven't been able to get my headset completely tight. There's always been a little play, even when the preload it tightened to the point where the headset binds.

After a good long bumpy ride at Oat Hill Mine a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my bike into The Pedaler in El Sobrante, a local shop with a great reputation for service, in the hope that they would be able to figure it out once and for all.

Not seeing anything obviously wrong with the cups, spacers, or bearings of the headset, the mechanic decided to pop the cups off and mic the headtube. Whaddaya know, the headtube was ovalized. He immediately phoned Specialized, and explained what was going on as I was standing there. About 3 minutes into the conversation, he leans over and asks me "2008 ano green or 2009 ano brown?" Specialized does not mess around.

By the time I got back from visiting my folks up the hill for Christmas, this bad boy was waiting for me at the shop:

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I received the call that the frame was in on Christmas Eve, so I had to make the most of my last couple of rides with my trusty ol' Silver Bullet.

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It snowed about 3 inches between Christmas Eve and Christmas day, just enough to make for a great ride.

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As my hour of departure neared, it was time to start the bittersweet process of stripping the frame.

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My dad let me use his sweet workshop, complete with wood burning stove.

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The implements of the dirty deed.

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Scalpel.

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It is the end of an era.

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Back home, time to build up the new frame. This would go a lot more slowly, since I took the opportunity to disassemble and clean EVERYTHING.

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2009 AFR. Sweet.

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I also took this opportunity to get a medium cage for my derailleur.

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The front derailleur cleaned up nicely.

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Time to add the fork. I decided to rob the 60mm from my wife's SL to see how I like it.

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Joe was right by my side as usual.

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Now the fun stuff.

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And just like that, she's done (it actually took me 8 hours since I was very meticulous).

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Getting ready to head out to China Camp for a shakedown ride, more to come…
 

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Now with More Wood
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2,964 Posts
CONGRATS BOB! Well done, a brand new frame just like that. I think I need to try ovalizing my headtube as well...uhm, no wait, I mean I think I have to take a close look at my headtube to see if it isn't ovalized, after all....:D

At the time I was looking into stems and such, I was told by my LBS that there is a slight difference in the width of the crowns (and thus the arch of the lowers as well) between the different frame sizes (maybe only the small has a slightly tighter stem) - any truth to that? I see you are running an XL....if your wife's bike was a small there may be an issue if what they told me is true (and if I remember it all correctly...). Worth checking up I think (you'll go mad trying to figure out why suddenly you have stiction in the fork otherwise...).

Tell us what you find....and congrats on a great looking build there again! :thumbsup:
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Iceman2058 said:
At the time I was looking into stems and such, I was told by my LBS that there is a slight difference in the width of the crowns (and thus the arch of the lowers as well) between the different frame sizes (maybe only the small has a slightly tighter stem) - any truth to that? I see you are running an XL....if your wife's bike was a small there may be an issue if what they told me is true (and if I remember it all correctly...). Worth checking up I think (you'll go mad trying to figure out why suddenly you have stiction in the fork otherwise...).

Tell us what you find....and congrats on a great looking build there again! :thumbsup:
I know the fork is longer for the XL frame than for the Sm-Lg, but that's the first I've heard about the width being narrower. It slid on easily, and the prelim ride around the 'hood felt fine. I'll have to look into it. The 60mm feels WAAAAAAY short. I'll have to decide if I like it.

-Erik (not Bob, I get that a lot).
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just got back from a great ride out at China Camp, and although I was on the fence a bit about the brown color, I must admit it looks pretty freakin' cool out on the trail.

It feels exactly like my 2007, with the exception of the shorter stem which I robbed from my wife's bike. I didn't like it for the first few miles, but once I hit the first downhill I began to warm up to it. I'll give it a few more rides before I make a decision.

The '09 AFR performs exactly as the '08 (replaced under warranty about a year ago) that was on the old frame: same efficiency on he way up, same prowess on the smooth swoopy downhills, and same small bump non-compliance. I guess you can't have it all, right?

The headset feels much better on the new frame, but there's still more play than I'd like. I'm thinking about going with an oversized King when I save up a few more dollars. Does anyone know about the potential frame warranty implications of installing an aftermarket headset?

From the trail today, the weatherman called for rain...
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
TrailRIDEtyler said:
Looks great! Did you use electrical tape for a chain stay?

Thinkin bout doin that I bought a Lizard Skin chain stay that didnt fit :rolleyes:
No, just cut an old tube into strips and wrapped it, secured with super stealth black zip ties. All the cool kids are doin' it.
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Iceman2058 said:
At the time I was looking into stems and such, I was told by my LBS that there is a slight difference in the width of the crowns (and thus the arch of the lowers as well) between the different frame sizes (maybe only the small has a slightly tighter stem) - any truth to that? I see you are running an XL....if your wife's bike was a small there may be an issue if what they told me is true (and if I remember it all correctly...). Worth checking up I think (you'll go mad trying to figure out why suddenly you have stiction in the fork otherwise...).

Tell us what you find....and congrats on a great looking build there again! :thumbsup:
Just got off the phone with Specialized, and all of the stems are the same width regardless of which frame they came off. I appreciate the heads up though; it would suck if I had jammed a narrower top crown onto the stanchions and screwed the fork up!
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
zauberer said:
your ano brown frame looks amazing:thumbsup:

I changed the original headset on my Stumpjumper HT to a Chris King and it was the right choice. Check the steerer length first, the Chris King needs 5mm more.
Good point, what about the Hope? An additional 5mm may be an issue.
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quick update:

Disaster was narrowly averted as I was heading home from my second ride on the new build Tuesday.

My pal Eric and I had just finished a group ride out at Annadel State Park when I mindlessly proceeded toward the freeway onramp, apparently having forgotten loading the bikes on the rack 5 minutes earlier.

I remembered the expensive cargo and hit the brakes just as the seat of my bike contacted the concrete overpass. His Ellsworth was unscathed, thankfully, and my seat sustained a minor tear. Good thing I had the bikes mounted rear-wheel first!

Some dude looking on from the top level of the parking garage that I almost drove under was clearly disappointed that I spoiled his entertainment.

I think I have a bit of PTSD now because every low hanging branch or bridge makes my heart beat faster, regardless of whether or not I'm carrying anything.
 

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Happy Trails
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1,190 Posts
Whoaaaaaa. I have a big Yukon and usually put bikes inside, but whenever I put them up top, the next step is to lock the garage door opener remote inside the glove box, so that it takes three mental steps (unlock the glove box, open the glove box, open the garage door) before driving into the garage. Nice save. Chalk it up to clean living.
 
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