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· Registered
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have only seen one thread on this board about somebody owning a Celsius 9, so I thought this might be of some interest. It's nice and cheap at $400 including a headset, yet it's not very popular. The sizes are fairly limited, so maybe I got lucky.

Before purchasing the Flyte, I had demo-ed a Rig and a Sugar 292. I liked the Rig a lot, but not the Sugar so much (I think it was way too small). I had also done my first season of mountain bike racing last fall on a Cannondale Jekyll, which made me desperately want a hardtail. I should also mention that I am a college student, so I am stereotypically stingy. I could justify the cost of a frame and wheels, but add a Reba to that, and the cost became astronomical, especially considering that I loved the fork on my Jekyll already, except that it was a 5" fork when I wanted something closer to 4". Luckily, I discovered that with a little bit of work, the Lefty Max could be reduced to be a more XC-ish fork for a 29er. This was great news, because it basically gave me everything that I wanted: 29" wheels, shorter travel, and I got to keep the Lefty.

I went to a local industrial supply store and bought 12" of 1.75" round 6061-T651 aluminum, as well as a length of 1" round acetal plastic. A few hours on a lathe later (with a very dull 7/8" drill), I had made myself a 1.125" steerer tube and a bumpstop for about $30 (as compared to $110 for eBay examples). I then proceeded to strip down the rest of my Jekyll, including de-lacing the wheels.

The result here is a new frame, new rims, spokes, tires, front derailleur (the Jekyll has a bottom pull FD), headset, handlebar, stem and steerer tube. The rest is basically a 2004 Jekyll 800. I chose the frame because it is way cheap, has an EBB so I can make it an SS if I want, is reasonably light, and I have an Airborne road bike (Airborne became Flyte last year), so I know the quality is good.

This turned out to be longer than I thought. So finally, here's the build:

Frame: 18" Flyte Celsius 9
Fork: Cannondale Lefty Max Alloy
Headset: FSA Sealed Bearing
Stem: Supergo Road OS 120mm x -7 deg ($6!)
Handlebar: Airborne 23" OS Flat Bar ($5!)
Shifters: Shimano Deore LX Rapidfire
Brakes: Hayes HFX-9
Seatpost: Ritchey Comp
Saddle: Fi'zi:k Plateau
Crankset: Truvativ FireX
BB: Truvativ ISIS Splined
Pedals: Shimano PD-M520
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore XT
Cassette: SRAM PG-970 11-34
Chain: Shimano something or other
Front Hub: Cannondale Lefty
Rear Hub: Cannondale Fire Disc
Spokes: Wheelsmith DB14 14/15/14
Rims: IRD Cadence VSR 32H
Tires: Maxxis Ignitor 29x2.1
Tubes: Performance Ultralight 26x1.95-2.25

Not sure what it weighs, but I think it's a little under 28 lbs. Not very light, but I can't really afford any lighter parts yet.

By the way, this is my first post on the 29er board, and I'd like to say that I appreciate all of the helpful discussion that goes on here.

Ok. Pictures!


· Re-friggin'-Lax!!!
631 Posts
You must live at home...

Because that floor is WAY too nice for any College student I've ever seen/heard of:skep: . I really like the bike too!

· Registered
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Because that floor is WAY too nice for any College student I've ever seen/heard of:skep: . I really like the bike too!
Good observation! That actually is my parents' house. I go to school in Michigan, and I'm back home in California for the summer. The funny thing about that is that I actually packed all of those bike parts into my suitcase full of clothes and checked them in on my flight home. Including the Lefty!

I also went for a nice easy shakedown ride yesterday. Just a few miles on some easy trails to make sure that my first wheel build wouldn't collapse under me. All I can say is that the frame is STIFF! I guess it's to be expected, because the stays on it are monstrous. Other than that, I really need a stiffer spring in the lefty now that I took over an inch of travel out of it. Other than that, I like it a lot. It climbs much better than the old Jekyll, which is the main reason that I wanted a hardtail. Haven't really experienced much tight singletrack yet, so I can't really comment on that. In conclusion, initial impression = stiff but fun.

· Registered
2,849 Posts
Very impressive job Kenneth. Bikes built up by hand - especially on a budget - are always exciting.

I've been a big fan of Airborne over the years and love my Lucky Strike. I was sad to see the change to Flyte, but it looks like they still pump out great frames at great prices.
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