Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently picked up a leftover 2005 Switch SL, I kind of got it on a whim, which is unusual for me. Its a bit of a special build for EMS (or so I am told). The bike is built with a DHX 4.0 coil (as opposed to a RP3) and a Marz Z1 FR1 in the front. The rest of the build is the same as the one on Rocky's Website.

I had the bike for a week, but had to bring it back because the front fork was only getting about 100mm of travel (and I could only get 100mm out of it by jumping on it like a mad man). EMS did some tests and finally sent the fork back to Marz for warranty repair, I should get it back late this week or next.

In the two weeks I've been without the bike, I've done the research I normally would do BEFORE buying anything. I can't wait to get the bike back in my hands and really try it out! My other bike is a Titus RX100, I've been half looking for a bigger bike over the last year or so. The Titus is great, I've got it set up fairly heavy to put up with the abuse I throw at it here in the NE "rockies" :D .

I have a couple of questions:

I think I got a really good deal ($1800 US), is that as good a deal as I think it is? My RX100 frame alone was $1650.

From everything I've read it seems like it should be a fairly burly frame for me, I won't be doing any huge hucks, but I will be doing aggressive AM riding - what's your opinion of this bike for AM riding? Too heavy? I weigh 170lbs with all my bike stuff, so I'm no clydesdale.

When looking at the bike initially I thought it was a four bar suspension - I've seen reference to this being a faux bar - which is it? If its "faux bar" how will that affect the ride?

Thanks for any opinions,
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
I got a 2005 Switch SL frame as a warrentee replacement for my 2003 Switch. I built it up myself with a Z1 FR1 and it's an awesome pairing. The Z1 did take a few rides to break in but now it's awesome. I'm 170 with gear too and I run 5psi in the Z1 with the rebound damping in the midrange (don't add too much damping) and it feels great and I can only bottom it if I'm really nose heavy on about a 5-6 foot drop. If you don't do any drops over 3 feet then you can run 0 psi but watch out for adding too much rebound damping because if you slow it down too much then it won't rebound all the way before the next bump and you end up losing the first 2" of plush travel which makes a big difference. Once it's broken in the ETA drops you down to 3" of travel roughly and it works much faster....I can push the fork down once and it's 80% of the way there compared to new when it takes like 2 min of bouncing to get it down.

Q) Is $1800 US a good deal:
A) Yes that seems like a great deal considering it's got a FR1 but I'd need more info on the spec's to really say. I paid $869 US for my 2003 Switch frame on clearance (in early 2005) and it was warrenteed right away for the 05 SL (2003 came with a crack). I spent 6 mths building up the frame looking for deals and I spent $550 on the fork plus I went with a nice spec (SRAM X9, Diabolus, Hadley Hubs ($350 for the rear) etc). My total price was probably close to $4g but it's always more expensive to build a bike then to buy a complete one.

Q) How is this bike for AM
A) Great...it's little heavier than ideal but if you crank the propedal up on your shock (Does the DHX 4.0 have propedal) it pedals so much better...it's amazing. Combine that with the ETA on the Z1 FR1 and you have an amazingly capable AM bike other than the weight which you can work at over time (ie. save 1-2 lbs converting to Ghetto tubeless for $25). For AM riding, a 2006 Slayer is gonna be slightly better but only slightly if you use the propedal. It makes a world of difference. I've ridden both and as long as your seat post is cut long enough you'll be ripping the trails. I ride AM on mine (35lbs) twice a week for about 2hrs each time and it's fine up hills and amazing down them....get your weight over the front wheel a bit around corners and set your rear shock up so it matches the fork (ie. when you bounce on the pedals the front and rear suspensions both compress equal amounts.)

Q) Faux 4 -Bar vs. 4-Bar
A) I'm not really sure of the difference. The Switch is an honest 4-bar bike but it doesn't have a Horst link so I think the elitists with Horst link bikes call it a Faux 4-bar which really means a fake 4-bar I think. Anyways, like I said before, propedal is amazing...if your DHX 4.0 doesn't have it try to trade it or sell it and buy a Float RP3 (or RP23 whatever they're calling it now). My 2005 Float RP3 has a 3 position flick switch and I normally ride with it in the middle for AM riding. It pedals awesome like that and still rocks the down hills. With max propedal it's pedals like a HT but it's a little insensitive over the bumps. I only use no propedal for DH riding...even then it pedals alright as long as you spin instead of mash and stay seated.
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks!

Dan:

Thanks a bunch for the detailed response. I appreciate you taking the time. The DHX4.0 has Propedal - sounds like that's a good thing. I have ETA on my current ride and I really like that for the right situation. Here in CT, I don't use it a great deal since the ups are fairly short.

I know I can save weight right away by changing to 959 pedals, which I might do, depending on how it feels. I could also move to an air rear shock, but I've have to sell the coil to afford that.

The build is like this:
Fork : Marz Z1 FR1
Rear Shock : Fox DHX 4.0 Coil
Head Set : FSA Orbit
Stem : Easton Vice - 31.8mm
Handlebar : Easton EA50 - 31.8mm
Brakes : Hayes HFX-9
Brake Levers : Hayes HFX-9 Carbon
Shifters : SRAM 7.0 TrIggers
Gearing (RR/FR) : SRAM 9.0 / Shimano LX
Cranks & Chainrings : RACE FACE Evolve XC X-Type
Bottom Bracket : RACE FACE Evolve X-Type
Pedals : Shimano M424
Hubs (RR/FR) : Shimano M525 / RMB 20mm CARBON
Cog-Set : SRAM 970
Chain : SRAM PC59
Spokes : DT Champion
Rims : Mavic XM 321 Disc
Tires (RR/FR) : Maxxis Minion Lite 2.5? - 60 TPI
Seat Post : Easton EA50
Saddle : Avocet O2 (changed from the RMB FR saddle)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
$1800 sounds like a nice deal for all of that. That Switch seems well spec'd by whoever was working on it. The HFX-9 Carbon brakes are really cool. That bike should weight around 33lbs I'd guess which is very reasonable. The only concern I have with the spec is the Evolve XC cranks. They should be okay if you avoid big drops and because the plush suspension should make it easy on them but I gotta warn you, a Switch gives you so much confidence you'll probably find yourself not be able to avoid some drops so just don't go too big and they should be okay. Also, the 31.8mm bars and stem seem a bit contradictory with some of the other XC parts. It's not a bad thing but if you're looking to save weight you could switch back to 25.4mm.
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Great

Thanks again for looking. My Titus is just about all Shimano, I only know what I have on there. I'll keep an eye on those cranks and look for some deals on handlebars/stems.

<edit - I just looked at the reviews for those cranks, wow, they suck. I'll have to keep a careful eye on them>

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Are the shifters and derailleurs really SRAM 7.0 and 9.0 (old) or are they X7 and X9? The older stuff is fine but the 2005 products with the 'X' are amazing. I've converted over from Shimano and I think you'll really dig the thumb shifting as long as you get the shifter positioned right on the bar so you're not having to reach your thumb too far. I like to not snug the bolt too tight so I can rotate it a little on the fly for the first ride to dial in where I want it.

Anyways, the 1:1 actuation ratio should keep it shifting consistantly for a longer time and in muddier conditions. Also, not have the cable loop on the back is great because you don't snag branches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Here's my Switch:

2003 Switch LTD (dang this was a sexy frame). After it was built up right before I discovered the crack (I actually saw it the day I got the frame in the mail but I figured it must just have been the paint that was cracked. Then I rode it and there was grease oozing out. The pivot right behind the BB has cracked.




Here's a 2003 Switch frame I almost bought and I was gonna sell my 05 Switch SL and buy this for $300 on eBay. Unfortunately I asked the seller the serial # (to verify it was a 2003) and he got scared (it was probably stolen) and blocked me as a bidder so some other lucky chap got it for like $250.


Then I got my 2005 Switch SL and I had to get a new headset (the 2003 had a 1.5"...luckily I used a reducer headset instead of a 1.5" fork) and a new seatpost (now Diabolus instead of Thomson) and I also replaced the seat to match better. Fortunately I was able to keep the Vanilla R shock from the 2003 Switch that I had just got improved by Push Industries. I sold it for $200 which covered by losses for the headset and seatpost.




My Spec:
Frame: 2005 Switch SL with Float RP3 (7.9lbs)
Fork: 2005 Marz. Z1 FR1
Headset: FSA Pig DH Pro (sealed cartidge bearings)
Handlebars: Azonic WorldForce 25.4mm
Grips: Lizard Skins lock ons
Stem: Race Face Diabolus 50mm, 25.4mm
Shifters: SRAM X9
Derailleur: SRAM X9 / Shimano XT
Chain: SRAM PC99 Hollowpin
Cassette: SRAM 990
Brake Levers: Avid FR-5
Brakes: Avid BB7 8"
Rims: Sun MTX (converted to tubeless)
Tires: Maxxis Holy Rollers 2.4"
Hubs: Marz. 20mm (front) and Hadley 108pt engagement (rear)
Housing: Avid Flak Jacket
Seat Post: Race Face Diabolus
Seat: Funn Full Throttle
Cranks: Race Face Evolve DH with X-type BB
Chainguide: e13 DRS
Pedals: Azonic Xtension
Bar Ends: eNYy (R.I.P...I fell over on a muddy climb and one got lost when my handlebar jammed into the mud)
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
X series...

I think they are X series SRAM stuff, but I don't remember.

I just talked to the bike shop and I should have it back today or tomorrow. I'll put some pics up tomorrow (hopefully!).

Oh - and that's a nice looking bike!

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Cool...I'll be waiting for those pics.

I'm not sure what I think about the airshock...I've never ridden an airshock before and it feels good and I'm stoked about saving over a pound off my ride but I'm just a little concerned that it might not hold up. Until it does though I'll be enjoying the ligher ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,294 Posts
While there's a big Swtich party going on here, would any of you chaps happen to know what rear shock mounting hardware the Switch takes? I'm looking at a rear shock off fleabay, but all the seller can tell me about the mounting hardware is that it's off a Switch. It's not really a big deal, but it would be sorta crappy to get the shock, order mounting hardware, then have the shock show up to find out that I have two sets of the same thing. Unlikely, but I still wanted to check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
If you're talking about the eyelets, they seems pretty normal but I don't know any specifics. I think you're talking about the mounting bolts though. The mounting bolts are basically a sleeve that slides in from one side and then the bolt screws in from the other side. I have an extra set of these bolts if you need them because my 2003 Switch frame that I bought came with a crack so I sent it back for warrentee but you remove the shock to do so and the new frame came with new bolts so I just have the old ones sitting around in perfect condition. I compared the 2003 and 2005 bolts and they appear to be identical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,294 Posts
That's how pretty much all rear shocks get mounted. I was looking more specifically for the size. The two parameters are the diameter of the bolt, and the overall width of the bushing. Both are measured in millimeters. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,381 Posts
Switch Party!

Heres my 2004 SL. Love it. It is pretty much a FR set up right now. Good for Eastern bike parks like Diablo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
Alright I did the deed:

Both the front and rear bolts use a 5mm allan key. Like many bikes, the shaft slides in from one side then and then the bolt screws into that from the other side. The outer diameter of the shaft is 8mm and the bolt that screws into it appears to be a 6mm bolt.

At the rear of the shock, the total width between the bolt heads is 47mm. However the shaft doesn't quite reach this far (because if it did then you couldn't get it tight) so the actual length of the shaft is 45-46mm. This is the total width including the shock and the two frame bars that the bolt goes through.

At the front the total width is 32mm so the actual shaft is 30-31mm. At the front the frame that it goes through is quite a bit skinner (maybe 5mm) compared to the back (maybe 12mm) so the actual width of the shock eyelets may be the same. I didn't check.

Oh, if you look on the end of the bolts (where the allan key fit in) it says 'T' which I'm not sure what that stands for (Titanium?). Lastly, the bolts have sort of a polished aluminum or chrome finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
hey jisch i have the same bike as you lol (bought from same store) thats pretty weird we bought ours at the same store. definately a good deal for 1800. they charged me 2000 for mine. the bike was marked down from 3000 though so its definately a good deal. i have to say ive been doing 90 percent downhill freeride riding (diablo) and 10 percent all mountain (state parks) and i must say the bike feels too heavy to all mountain but feels perfect for dh. i do have heavy duty dh tubes and maxxis 2.7 front/2.5 rear sry minions though which takes it to about 39/40 pounds. i also put big flat pedals on it and an e13 drs which might add to the weight as well. i think if you use the stock tires and xc tubes along with the stock pedals it would be lighter. also the bashgaurd combined with the chainguide is pretty heavy. i think im getting a ti spring for it too which should shave some weight. anyway well see. maybe we can go riding sometime when im in ct!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top