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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Took delivery of mine on Monday! Whoo-hoo! Stripped it naked to get it ready for a custom build, and my is she a pretty frame!

The boring numbers: This 21" MkIII is listed as 24" ETT, compared to 24.8" for 2004 and 24.2" for 2003. In comparison, the 2003 Medium Hollowpoint I'm retiring is 23.4" and was 23.8" in 2004. Just so you all know that the geometry has varied a bit over these Hollowpoint models.

The question of the day is, What does the frame weigh? Sans shock, headset cups, and seatpost binder, my Large (21") tips the scales just shy of 7 pounds.

(This is the Feedback Sports digital scale I recently picked up. 55 lb capacity, +/-5g resolution, accurate to within 10 grams of my 13-pound kitchen scale (+/-1g resolution), sensitive enough to detect small changes such as removing the 20g seatpost binder or headset cups.)



The graphics have been cleaned up this year, letting the beautiful green paint speak for itself.

What I assumed was an Olive Drab paint scheme is really more of a lighter pea green, which came out pretty true in most of these photos.









The drive-side elevated chainstay is the most striking feature of the frame, although it gets lost when the rear wheel is installed. The Cunningham-esq design gives needed front derailleur clearance under compression, while allowing the bike to maintain a somewhat compact 16.9" chainstay.

It's a particularly odd view from the rear of the bike (centered on the frame) to see how much the stay has been contorted to make this concession.







Nice touch! It appears the disc tabs have been faced after painting.



Engineering or fashion? The nicely gusseted head tube is beefier than my '03 (which had a lower gusset only), but I'm curious if the open (unwelded) end serves a purpose.





Phat replaceable derailleur hangar, with a spare included in the box. Thanks!



I don't know what subtle nuance has been massaged into this iteration of the dw-link, but the new forged hardware looks tasty.

These linkages allow for a 5" travel setting only, but with the low compression ratio achieved through the use of a 2.0" stroke shock, big boys won't face the problem of maxing out their PSI.

Note the seat tube doubler at the main pivot. Last season's linkage shuttle got a face lift and makes another appearance.









The Taiwanese welding isn't as pretty as some boutique manufacturers spin out, but it gets better and better as each year passes. The welds on this frame aren't flawless, but they are of excellent consistency, and there is a lot of detail work that went into the nooks and crannies of this design.





Lots of work to do, so this frame won't be on the trail for a couple of weeks. More pictures to come as I settle on the final build.
 

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Stand back
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very very nice

That was truly the Playboy of new bike porn, as it was close up, all by itself, with no action shots. ;) Exactly what I've been looking for, even tho I'm waiting on the big brother of the MkIII. That color looks awesome up close, too. So this was a complete, like the last one, and I'm guessing there will be another ebay blowout coming for the stock parts? Are you sticking with the Xvert?
Dammm I can't wait for my new frame. I got all excited when I saw that S'go's website lists them in stock, but unfortunately, none have reached Westsinister store as of today, so I can't go fondle one just yet... :(
Congrats, and keep up the good work!
 

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Derailleurless
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, guys.

For the build I'm going with the Speedhub setup (of course) and a Cane Creek AD-12 in the rear (mine has worked too well for me on my Hollowpoint and my NRS for me to give up on it now), and I'm contemplating a White Brothers VT fork. I'll stick with the Avids for stopping and the LX cranks for going. Can't wait to get it rolling!

I'm way excited about the 2.0" shock stroke and I'm expecting the ride to be the shiznit!
 

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Nate,

Why the custom build other than your obvious speedhub use? What do you have against the stock components on the bike - I really thought this bike was spec'd out super super well right from the get go.

ARe you trying to lighten it up a bit through your build (although the roloff will negate a lot of that won't it?)?

Great photos and descriptions!!

You rock for taking all those shots.

Mark
 

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Wow! Fantastic pictures. Nice work. I was slightly disappointed by the near 7 pound frame weight without shock, but the efficiency and ride quality will surely make up for it.

I really like the parts spec on the Expert. I'm thinking that I would throw on a Thompson post and stem, EA70 bars, my WTB seat, and King wheels and call it good. Not much left for improving!

Keep us posted and thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MMcG said:
Why the custom build other than your obvious speedhub use? What do you have against the stock components on the bike - I really thought this bike was spec'd out super super well right from the get go.

ARe you trying to lighten it up a bit through your build (although the roloff will negate a lot of that won't it?)?
Probably the same motivation that caused me to install a 3" body lift and 30" tires on my '75 Datsun pickup -- just to have something different.

But seriously, the Speedhub accounts for the whole drivetrain, including the crankset. No need to get rid of old parts that continue to be servicable.

I'm in love with Avid mechanicals and have no desire to use a hydraulic system.

Nothing against the 5th Element Air, which by all accounts is an excellent shock, but Cane Creek's shocks are the most reliable, fully at-home rebuildable, simple contraption going -- plus I dig the chamber volume adjustment.

I'm considering a White Brothers fork because I've been using them on my 29"er for a couple years now, and I've dealt with Eko Sport back when I ran Total Air cartridges in my Judy, and to be perfectly straight, their service rocks, they're consistant, and it would just make sense for me to plunge one of their forks into my head tube. I haven't received that standard of service from Answer, Rock Shox (or SRAM), or Marzocchi. I understand those guys are big players and it makes sense that they have to do things through dealers, not consumer-direct, but personal service has some value to me.

I'm not that concerned about weight and am definitely not counting grams -- even if I wanted to, I couldn't afford to! Sometimes it's better not to have a scale!
 

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Awsome pics. Don't think we need to ask you to keep us posted, as I'm sure you will.
Be very interested to hear how it compares to your '03. I'm happy with my '04, but in 2006, who knows?

Steve
 

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Riding a Rig.
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Nate, How tall are you? I'm around 6' and went with a 19" It feels pretty good to me, though I'm going to have a quite a bit of seat post showing.

BTW: I wish I had the money to spend on a custom build. But being only 15, no not going to happen. 2000 was already about 1000 more than I had initialy planed to spend and it took me more than a year to save it up.
 

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well. I'm going to take it as a positive... it must mean the frame is overbuilt and is going to take trail riding without any complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Vulcan said:
Nate, How tall are you? I'm around 6' and went with a 19" It feels pretty good to me, though I'm going to have a quite a bit of seat post showing.

BTW: I wish I had the money to spend on a custom build. But being only 15, no not going to happen. 2000 was already about 1000 more than I had initialy planed to spend and it took me more than a year to save it up.
I'm 6'1", with a 33.5" inseam. I really stressed over the size decision with my '03, and while I made the right choice at the time going with the Medium, you can see in this photo I've got a ton of seatpost and stem spacers showing.

With the '04 I definitely would have stuck with the medium, but I swing towards the large given the 2005 geometry. 'Course, this is all educated theory -- I have yet to ride the thing.

Part of the beauty of the Speedhub drivetrain is it wears forever, allowing me to sell off the new drivetrain components to defray the cost of the bike. But the parts spec on the Experts is excellent, something most riders are envious of, so I wouldn't fret one minute.
 

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well, I'm abit under 6' and have about a 33"inseam. I could have gone either way probably.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
But seriously, the Speedhub accounts for the whole drivetrain, including the crankset. No need to get rid of old parts that continue to be servicable.

I'm in love with Avid mechanicals and have no desire to use a hydraulic system.

Nothing against the 5th Element Air, which by all accounts is an excellent shock, but Cane Creek's shocks are the most reliable, fully at-home rebuildable, simple contraption going -- plus I dig the chamber volume adjustment.

I'm considering a White Brothers fork because I've been using them on my 29"er for a couple years now, and I've dealt with Eko Sport back when I ran Total Air cartridges in my Judy, and to be perfectly straight, their service rocks, they're consistant, and it would just make sense for me to plunge one of their forks into my head tube. I haven't received that standard of service from Answer, Rock Shox (or SRAM), or Marzocchi. I understand those guys are big players and it makes sense that they have to do things through dealers, not consumer-direct, but personal service has some value to me.
You have great answers on all points. I too have been impressed with White Brothers customer service - I had a DH2 dual crown fork on my FR/DH bike for a while and they were super cool to deal with. Their forks aren't cheap though.

Which white brothers fork are you considering? Their variable travel model?

Also, why the AD-12 over the Cloud Nine - just don't need all the adjustability that the Cloud Nine gives because of the dw-link?

Will you be planning on recouping some of the extra money on the new shock, fork etc. by selling off the stock components??

If so, keep me in mind when you put that Pike and front wheel combo up for sale! ;)

What parts will you be keeping to use on the Mkiii?? Must be some, otherwise wouldn't it have been more economical to go with a frame-only purchase? Or will you be able to recoup enough from the parts you aren't using to actually make this approach the wiser way to go ( I suspect that's where you are headed)?

Congrats again on a sweet ride.
 

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Those are some great shots. I thought the color was crappier than that, but that looks really nice. Do you think you can take a picture of the non-drive chainsta and rear end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
b12yan88 said:
Those are some great shots. I thought the color was crappier than that, but that looks really nice. Do you think you can take a picture of the non-drive chainsta and rear end.
Thanks. This what you're looking for?

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
MMcG said:
I too have been impressed with White Brothers customer service - I had a DH2 dual crown fork on my FR/DH bike for a while and they were super cool to deal with. Their forks aren't cheap though.

Which white brothers fork are you considering? Their variable travel model?
Yeah, I think the VT will be a good match to this bike.

MMcG said:
Also, why the AD-12 over the Cloud Nine - just don't need all the adjustability that the Cloud Nine gives because of the dw-link?
The Cloud Nine offers a better range of compression and rebound adjustment, but the AD-12 is no slouch (it improved significantly over the AD-10). And while the Cloud Nine has the psuedo lockout (which I don't need on the dw-link), it doesn't have the air chamber volume adjustment plate that the AD-12 features. This has been very valuable to me in tuning my bikes.

MMcG said:
...wouldn't it have been more economical to go with a frame-only purchase?
Buying the full bike has been the way to go. You can probably imagine how difficult it is to handle all these sweet components and not keep them. The new SRAM drivetrain is awsome, and the FSA Mega Exo cranks are bad-ass. And yes, the Rock Shox Pike is very tempting.
 
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