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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got O-such-a-deal on a SwitchBlade Frame (2nd hand from eBay) and I had a few questions about the frame and will post some pictures and more details about my build shortly for any criticism advice on my build job and component choice. I weigh about 225# which I understand is a bit heavy for this frame (I am working on this) but after the first few rides I like it so much that I am willing to work with it.

This is the information I have on the frame itself:
- The front end is one of the first batches of XL Switchblades made in late '02. It uses the 5.3in L headtube.
- The rear end is one of the newer "closed box" '03/'04/'05 rear ends (stronger than the prior open box model).
- It came with both the short and long travel kits and the rear shock is the Fox Float RL with AVA.

I'm a bit strapped for cash so the build was mostly just parts from my old bike. I am planning on replacing the fork and was hoping for some recommendations.

Also what in the heck is PUSHing a shock and should I do it?
 

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You'll Love it!

Hey 0gre, you're gonna love that bike!
I got my '04 SB new with Talas front and rear and it's been a great all around trailbike. I weigh 210-220 (depending on early-late season) and have taken some 3-5 ft drops with some not so good landings and it's performed flawlessly. I run mine almost exclusively in the long 5.6" travel mode. The only time I ever take it down is when I know there is going to be a big fireroad climb, and even then it's just so I can stay in site of the lightwieght climbing monkeys I ride with.
I'm a big fan of the Fox Shox/Forx, and am definitely looking to get the PUSH treatment.
PUSH Industries (http://www.pushindustries.com/) rebuilds and overhauls the shocks/forks to your wieght, ride style and etc... Browse the forums and you'll have a hard time finding anyone that didn't like what PUSH did for thier shock/fork. Although even out of the box the Fox Forxs ahve been great. Just this weekend mine saved me! Did a 4 ft drop to flat and hit the lip wrong, ended up diving front tire first and the fork just sucked it up!! Amazing!

My SB wieghs in right at 30lbs with the following
XL '04 SB Frame
TALAS Shock and Fork
DT/SWISS 240s Factory Wheelset
XTR/XT drivetrain
Magura Marta SLs (180/160)
Kenda BG 2.35 Front
Conti VertPro 2.35 Rear.
Thomson seatpost and Stem
Maxm 27" high rise bar

Have Fun!
 

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LOL! That sounds an awful lot like the SB I sold on ebay a few weeks ago. Its blue isn't it? :D Well I don't know what your build is but I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it. I think you're ok on the weight. The reason for the weight limit is because the SB has a pretty high leverage ratio so even with the Fox shock at max pressure it might not be enough to keep it from blowing through the travel easily. 220lbs I think is still a pretty conservative estimate on their part and you should be ok. The leverage ratio with the long travel linkage is a bit lower but you need to make sure you get the longer 7 7/8 shock for it. If you are willing to do the PUSH mod I would highly recommend it. They will customize the shocks damping to suite your weight and take into account the specific bike it goes into so that should address any concerns you have about max weight issues. They also upgrade the shock to improved seals among other things.
 

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3rd the Push idea

I 3rd the Push idea - it makes a big difference in how the bike climbs and descends - keeps it from squatting on steep uphills, and sucks up big hits much better.
For a fork, I like the feel of the Talas I had on mine, but at your weight you really should invest in a 20mm front hub and fork to go with it. I'm 190, and I couldn't believe how much more accurately my bike steered when I traded out the Talas for a Manitou Firefly. You might want a fork that has better travel adjustment than the Firefly, tho - at full travel, the front is pretty tall for climbing, and it's lower setting is compromised for travel quality as the spring is preloaded in that position. Maybe you can find a good deal on a Nixon w/ thru axle. There aren't a lot of options for 20mm thru axle forks w/ good travel adjustment for cheap (Fox 36 would be my choice if it was cheaper).
Good luck and have fun!
 

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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Blue SB from PR

Hecubus said:
LOL! That sounds an awful lot like the SB I sold on ebay a few weeks ago. Its blue isn't it? :D
I didn't actually buy it on eBay, I got it from someone I was riding with at the price he said he paid for it ($600). He was planning on building this up but then found a Quasi-Moto he liked better before he built it up. The likelyhood it's the one you sold goes up to about 100% since he said he bought it from someone in PR.

Well I don't know what your build is but I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it. I think you're ok on the weight. The reason for the weight limit is because the SB has a pretty high leverage ratio so even with the Fox shock at max pressure it might not be enough to keep it from blowing through the travel easily. 220lbs I think is still a pretty conservative estimate on their part and you should be ok.
Any idea what max pressure for the Fox Float AVA is? I couldn't find that information on their web site (I checked the owners manual). Right now I'm running it at about 240lbs. Never mind I found it.

The leverage ratio with the long travel linkage is a bit lower but you need to make sure you get the longer 7 7/8 shock for it. If you are willing to do the PUSH mod I would highly recommend it. They will customize the shocks damping to suite your weight and take into account the specific bike it goes into so that should address any concerns you have about max weight issues. They also upgrade the shock to improved seals among other things.
Do you think I should get the shock for the long travel option and then push the bigger shock? What do you suggest for a bigger shock? Does the TALAS work with the long travel setup?
 

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Yep, thats the one. That was my frame. :D There are two long travel linkages for that bike. The ones you have are the 5.7" ones. Those linkages were designed specifically for a 7.875" X 2" Fox Float R or RL. These can be found on ebay for very cheap. The standard rockers use a 6.5"X 1.5" shock. The long travel kit requires the shock be mounted with the big part backwards in between the two black links. Last year Titus did a limited production run of a new 5.25" long travel linkage for the 02 frames which had a sort of bulge to them making them able to accomodate the fatter air cilynder of newer shocks like the 5th Element or Float AVA. They are very hard to get a hold of because they are sold out. The long travel setup with the Push mod would be an incredibly sweet setup. Its really up to you how you prefer to run the bike in order to decide which way to go with the long travel or standard travel config. Or you can just do nothing and ride it like it is. Its still a great ride. The Talas rear shock will unfortunately not fit that frame because of the length and the big bulge at the end. That is precisely what they redesigned in the newer versions of the SB. I actually bought a Talas SB which is the reason I sold that one. What fork and how much travel are you running up front now?
 

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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Current Setup

Hecubus said:
Yep, thats the one. That was my frame. :D There are two long travel linkages for that bike. The ones you have are the 5.7" ones. Those linkages were designed specifically for a 7.875" X 2" Fox Float R or RL. These can be found on ebay for very cheap. The long travel setup with the Push mod would be an incredibly sweet setup. Its really up to you how you prefer to run the bike in order to decide which way to go with the long travel or standard travel config. Or you can just do nothing and ride it like it is. Its still a great ride. The Talas rear shock will unfortunately not fit that frame because of the length and the big bulge at the end.
Hmm don't see any Float R or RLs on eBay right now, I'll have to keep looking. Will the RP3 work? I saw one of those. I'll probably just go with a Float R and PUSH it. I'm really not big into adjustability, usually just means I wind up riding with the wrong settings and figure it out at the end of the day.
That is precisely what they redesigned in the newer versions of the SB. I actually bought a Talas SB which is the reason I sold that one. What fork and how much travel are you running up front now?
Right now I'm running a Rock Shox - Psylo because that was what was on my other bike. I'm not very fond of the shock and will probably replace it shortly. Personally I like Marzochi shocks and was actually going to mount a Bomber on this but the steer tube was too short on it so I put the Psylo on it for now.

I was looking at dbabusers advice but I'm not certain about the 20MM through axel thing. I do ride fast and hard but I don't do drops or big jumps (mostly because I haven't figured out how to) so I'm not certain I need the 20MM and would like to keep the weight down if possible.
 

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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fork

dbabuser said:
I 3rd the Push idea - it makes a big difference in how the bike climbs and descends - keeps it from squatting on steep uphills, and sucks up big hits much better.
For a fork, I like the feel of the Talas I had on mine, but at your weight you really should invest in a 20mm front hub and fork to go with it. I'm 190, and I couldn't believe how much more accurately my bike steered when I traded out the Talas for a Manitou Firefly. You might want a fork that has better travel adjustment than the Firefly, tho - at full travel, the front is pretty tall for climbing, and it's lower setting is compromised for travel quality as the spring is preloaded in that position. Maybe you can find a good deal on a Nixon w/ thru axle. There aren't a lot of options for 20mm thru axle forks w/ good travel adjustment for cheap (Fox 36 would be my choice if it was cheaper).
Good luck and have fun!
Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using a 20MM hub with a Psylo for a short time and I'm not certain I think it's worth the weight and trouble. This is something I'll have to think about a bit more before I spend the money.
 

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I have an '02 Switchblade 5.7" long-travel with 7.785x2.0 RP3. I'm 225lbs and have the RP3 at 240lbs (a little higher than recommended max air pressure). I normally ride the RP3 in (+) even on descents unless there are a lot of rocks or steps.

I originally had a 2003 Z1 FR QR20 but recently switched to a Pike SL. Both are great shocks but I think the Pike is a bit better match for the Switchblade.

Some quick suggestions:
  • Psylo stanchions and crown aren't all that stiff and Tullio axle clamps aren't the stiffest either. Psylo is not the best that a 20mm can be. Try a Pike or a Z1 for the real deal. The 20mm makes the most difference when bombing rock-gardens.
  • The short-travel links will work with an RP3 6.5x1.5 shock.
  • The original long-travel (5.7") links are too narrow for the RP3 7.875x2.0 end-can, but you can use wider spacers or ghetto rig it with washers (6 washers per side for total of 12 washers to increase the spacing by about 2mm.)
  • The RP3 is noticably better than the stock Float: less bob, more controlled rebound, lighter, etc. but I understand why some folks would argue for revalving the Float rather than swapping for the RP3. It is cheaper to Push than buy a new RP3 and I've heard great things about them.
 

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If you get a float and PUSH it try to get a Float R. The lockout function on the RL is disabled for the mod so its pointless to get an RL unless you get a better deal on it. Personally I'd recommend the R because the rebound knob sits on top and is easier to access when the shock is mounted. The RL rebound knob is accessible on the sides only and this is very difficult when the shock is sitting between the narrow long travel plates.
 

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Let's ride
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Ogre, you should give Gus at Titus a call. I spoke to him at SO about the very same frame and weight. He did not suggest going with the SB due to too high of pressure in the shock, regardless of air or coil. His words. The weight i threw out was 220.
Just passing along info to a fellow Titus owner.

So, drop 20lbs and you'll be fine... :cool:
 

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OOOOOOOh Gee Are Eee
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
20 lbs

rensho said:
Ogre, you should give Gus at Titus a call. I spoke to him at SO about the very same frame and weight. He did not suggest going with the SB due to too high of pressure in the shock, regardless of air or coil. His words. The weight i threw out was 220.
Just passing along info to a fellow Titus owner.

So, drop 20lbs and you'll be fine... :cool:
Yet another reason to drop 20lbs. My list is a mile long but I just can't seem to manage it. Grrrr
 

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Paper or plastic?
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Here is a thought

0gre said:
Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using a 20MM hub with a Psylo for a short time and I'm not certain I think it's worth the weight and trouble. This is something I'll have to think about a bit more before I spend the money.
If you're not into 20mm TA, and still want a 130mm travel fork, you could wait for the new Rock Shox. I held and took a look at the new Revelation fork at Sea Otter, and it looks very sweet. It has the pop lock thingy, travel adjustment from 100 to 130, and seemed fairly light. It's basically a long travel Reba. Of course, they won't release them for another few months, AFAIK, but I figured I'd throw in that option too.
 
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