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Ancient Chinese Secret
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still have a relatively stocker '05 VP Free. Comes in around 42 lbs, with light tires with tubes. Looking to lighten it up some for trail riding.

I already had a second wheelset built up (Hope hubs on 729's) to replace the crap WTB's on 729's that it came with, thinking about a more all-mountain build. Going with 819's on Hopes or CK's. Thoughts?

Also, looking into a new fork. Was thinking about the Totem coil or the Solo Air. I'll use that for trailriding, and perhaps go back to the 888 RCX when I do DH.

May go for Ti spring on the DHX 5. Any other ideas within reason? Maybe change the BB? If I change that, going to have to change cranks, etc..., so trying to hold off so it's not a complete swap.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

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legal alien
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118 Posts
this is what i did with my free to lighten it up:

721 rims (previously had 729s)
totem solo air (love it. previously had older 66)
gravity light cranks (could be a risk durability wise)
swapped e13 DRS with gamut bashguard with no chainguide since i don't find myself dropping chains anyway
swapped 2.5 nevegals for 2.35 excavators.

i haven't weighed the bike but it feels quite a bit lighter:)

hope this helps.
 

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i really haven't seen the need for a chain guide either. i still ride some nasty stuff (Geronimo and Holbert on South Mountain, AZ) and have dropped a chain less than a hand-full of times in three years.
 

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Ancient Chinese Secret
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1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Resident Alien said:
this is what i did with my free to lighten it up:

721 rims (previously had 729s)
totem solo air (love it. previously had older 66)
gravity light cranks (could be a risk durability wise)
swapped e13 DRS with gamut bashguard with no chainguide since i don't find myself dropping chains anyway
swapped 2.5 nevegals for 2.35 excavators.

i haven't weighed the bike but it feels quite a bit lighter:)

hope this helps.
Cool. Did you keep a coil shock on it? If so, how does it match the Solo Air? Why didn't you get a coil Totem? I have 888 RC, looking at the Totem, 66, and Fox 36. Do you have a 1 1/8" headset? How's the flex on the Totem Air with the 1 1/8"?

Did you swap out BB too? Curious about an external BB (like a Saint or Diabolus), but heard that many configs don't work on the Free.

I'm going with lighter wheels and tubeless too to reduce rotational mass. Fork comes next then other stuff. Great ideas.

Thanks.
 

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When I first built my medium Free, it was 32.93 pounds. This was with 2.35 Maxxis Highrollers, DHXa, 36 Talas, RaceFace Atlas cranks, Thomson seatpost/stem, DT Swiss 440 hubs/5.1d rims, Flite saddle, XO shifters and rear derailleur, XTR front derailleur. I haven't needed a chainguide even at Whistler.

Since, I have swapped in a 2.5 Nevegal in the front and a ti coiled CCDB in back. Now it weighs 34 pounds. When I ride it at the North Shore I have a 2007 66 ETA that raises weight to 36 pounds and when I take it to Whistler I add full DH rubber which puts it around 38.

It's been a durable build though I'm not a hucker. I ride fast and love gnarly terrain but I don't do any drops over probably 5 feet. The rear rim needs replacing, it's warped badly but is holding together.

I have a buddy that just built a Free "mostly like mine". Death by 1000 cuts, his weighs 39 pounds. Everything counts.
 

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i put a fox air shock on it- slightly shorter travel but it slacked it up a bit and lowered it's center of gravity. Best of all the bottom bracket isnt so high and it corners alot better. Changed the front fork to a 130mm-160mm Nixon from a Super T dual crown. Overall I think it's lost about 4 lbs. Kinda like a Nomad on Steroids : )
 

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legal alien
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118 Posts
Swell Guy said:
Cool. Did you keep a coil shock on it? If so, how does it match the Solo Air? Why didn't you get a coil Totem? I have 888 RC, looking at the Totem, 66, and Fox 36. Do you have a 1 1/8" headset? How's the flex on the Totem Air with the 1 1/8"?

Did you swap out BB too? Curious about an external BB (like a Saint or Diabolus), but heard that many configs don't work on the Free.

I'm going with lighter wheels and tubeless too to reduce rotational mass. Fork comes next then other stuff. Great ideas.

Thanks.
Yes, I still have a coil shock but I did eventually cough up for the Ti spring. The Totel Solo Air is really nice in my opinion--tunable, and ramps up nicely. I went with the air model because the coil one I tried seemed to linear and I knew the system (solo not two step) is proven from Boxxer world cups. Saving the weight was a bonus too... I do have the 1 1/8" headtub and the Totem is A-OK for me and very stiff. I don't doubt that the 1.5 would be stiffer, but I am happy with the stiffness, which is a noticeable (especially when going fast through rocks) over the 2007 66 I had.

I swapped the BB to use the one that designed for the Gravity Lights. The whole system is really light and easy to work on. The cranks attach much like shimanos (pinch bolts and preload washer) which I like better than the Truvativ Holzfeller system I had before.
 
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