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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Working with Scott @ Switchback Bikes, I got a Hammerhead Thumper Frame leftover that I will be building up as a Unveil 9. This thread will document my build, parts choice explanations, and observations as I go along.

It will be getting a full custom powder coat job with the Unveil 9 graphics, and a M8d grade parts buildout, to keep the theme of "bang for your buck".

I wont be posting prices or bro deals, as it would be rude to my suppliers, sponsors, and people who provide discounts. PM me if you have pricing questions if I mention a deal I got.

Now, for pics of the teardown and initial observations.

The frame. Sorry for the poor lighting.


In pieces.


Needle bearings in the rear chainstay pivot. A nice touch, most frames have a bushing here. The fitment was nice and snug as well.


Updated delrin shock hardware on the Fox CTD Trail Adjust. Sweet. Inside the shock there is a medium air volume spacer installed. Combined with the medium compression tune and a approx leverage ratio of 2.5, it should be a nice, bottomless feel.


Beefy Hanger. I like the two bolt mounting as well. Direct mount would have been a nice touch.


Quality hardware, blue loctite throughout. Note, tighten down hardware when you receive a frame, everything was snug but not tight.


Nicely made rocker. Feels plenty stiff, unlike some carbon rockers floating around.


Nice clean BB threads. Not faced, it looks like it doesnt need it, but I always face them anyways. Large bearings in the lower pivot. Most frames I have seen have two rows, may be a decent upgrade later.


Full length cable routing.


Post mount rear brake, I approve.


Nice beefy chainstay and seatstay.



Overall impressions. The frame is a high quality frame. The welds and paint quality are both top notch. Its a shame the graphics and color choice (black/expresso/purple) dont do it for everyone. I almost feel bad stripping the paint, since its done so well. The frame feels very durable and stiff in the hand, squeezing areas to check for flex. the Fox CTD's controls are sharp and positive. Better than the RP23, be performance will be the real measure. The through axle rear, full length cable routing, ZS headset, post mount rear, needle bearings, and horst link suspension check all the right blocks for a modern frame. For the current price, the frame is a absolute deal, and sure to be a performer.

More to follow as the build progresses.

Sent from my LG-LS995 using Tapatalk
 

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29ers Forever
2021 Rocky Mountain Altitude A70
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3,425 Posts
Subbing to this thread! Can't wait to see the Unveil 9 come alive.
 

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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quick update for today. I pushed the bearing out of the main pivot and seatstays this morning, 3 of the 4 came out with a quick smack from the rubber mallet. One, however, did'nt wanna move. It took a multitude of whacks from a 8lb minisledge for it to come out. Once out, it was obvious it was just a tight fit. The difference between tight and holy crap its not coming out is very little. The bad news, is I buggered up the bearing beating it out. It rotates, but not so smooth anymore. I think it may be a good opportunity to try some bearings from Enduro to see if I can tell a difference in quality.

That said, all that dissasembly paid off, I am dropping the frame at the PC shop during lunch. I wont divulge any details of the work to be done until next post, as I am a tease. I will say, its going to be nice, and I am laying out the decals differently than the artwork posted for the Unveil 9.
 

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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@TwoNin9r - do your cables rub on the headtube at all? Definitely post some pics of common place to put some of the 3M protectant film, I got lots of nice rub spots on my Inbred frame.
I going to try and remember later to post a picture of where my rear brake cable rubs my frame so you can make sure to use some clear fame protectant as not to mess up that Purdy pc
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I am undecided about it at this point, but I have a buddy that does professional 3M film jobs on cars. He does bicycles for $70 a frame, but that is literally every square inch is covered, and you almost cant even tell. Its that good.

However, with proper prep and care, just a few patches here and there is all you need. I will be doing the sides of the headtube, parts of the seattube, and a portion of the seatstays. The downtube and fork lowers will be done as well.

They best way to prep the area is with 3M adhesive remover. Alcohol works for 90% of stuff on the frame, but if you have any waxes or silicon based coatings, the film wont stick.
 

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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would imagine about 50 grams. On a carbon frame, you can do it very slick since there are no welds to work around. I left my carbon hardtail (On One Lurcher) alone since its a matte finish, and it wouldve made it shiny.

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Why are you repainting it yourself? Doesn't Switchback bikes offer this service for an upcharge on the old Thumper frames?

What color are you going with?
 

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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why are you bothering to strip and paint the frame? Part of the bro deal advertising or something?
1. Its cheap.
2. I get all my aluminum or steel bikes redone to my liking.
3. Its going to be sick.
4. Im a boss.
5. The Thumper graphics arent my thing.

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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Why are you repainting it yourself? Doesn't Switchback bikes offer this service for an upcharge on the old Thumper frames?

What color are you going with?
They do. And its a good price. However, I am doing a multi stage powder job, thats going to be a step above the one stage that is available from Switchback.

I am not devulging the details on the plan until after lunch, when it is finalized with the powder coater.
 

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As the owner of this bikes illegitimate brother (Kona Satori), let me say:
- Yes, the derailleur hanger bolts sheer before the hanger
- You really need the right bushings to set the pivot bearings. Don't go for the hammer and socket approach.
- The stock bearings work well but don't have water proof grease. Mine lasted a season and were then replaced with Enduro Super Max.
- Get an Enduro needle bearing for the shock on the swing link side. Very noticeable improvement in small bump.
- If you have the means, I highly recommend a 2014 Monarch Plus with high volume can.
 

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The Fastest of Bananas
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As the owner of this bikes illegitimate brother (Kona Satori), let me say:
- Yes, the derailleur hanger bolts sheer before the hanger
- You really need the right bushings to set the pivot bearings. Don't go for the hammer and socket approach.
- The stock bearings work well but don't have water proof grease. Mine lasted a season and were then replaced with Enduro Super Max.
- Get an Enduro needle bearing for the shock on the swing link side. Very noticeable improvement in small bump.
- If you have the means, I highly recommend a 2014 Monarch Plus with high volume can.
Thanks for the input.

The enduro needle bearing on the shock was part of my plan, as moving the linkage by hand, I feel a ton of drag on the stock shock bushing. Also, removing the bearings by hammer was a last resort, the one was in there super tight. At that point I didn't care if I killed it.

Do you have a specific bearing puller you like? Or did you make one from hardware?

On the shock, I've ridden bikes with the Monarch, its a great shock. That said, I like the Fox just as much, and a CCDB would be the upgrade of choice. However, I disagree 10000% on the high volume can. The high volume can makes a very linear suspension feel, and I like a progressive suspension. Hence the Medium velocity tune and medium air volume spacer on a low volume can. It will not bottom out, unless you are running way too much sag. My FTM has an identical suspension setup, and its perfect. JMHO.
 

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Removal was just a punch and hammer as the bearings were already trashed. If you're going ccdb, then that is obviously a step above the Plus. I started with a Plus and the normal can. It just wasn't enough. I'd have to run 35% sag if I wanted to hit 90% travel trying to bottom it out. The high volume can will definitely need some spacers though.
Can't wait to see the paint you're going with!
EDIT: Sorry, powder coat.
 
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