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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm in the process of making my 2001 Giant AC into a true AM setup, and am currently running it mostly stock except for a Romic rear shock, XT/Rhyno Lites, Weirwolf 2.4's, and a Titec Hellbent seatpost. Problem is: its heavy (36#) and I lose a lot of energy in the fork travel (stock Marzocchi Z1 FR). Most of my riding is on a lot of short uphills and downhills, so getting up out of the pedals and mashing up steep but short hills is best for me. I'm also heavy, at 195#.

Question is: I have a couple hundred clams to spend, and should I get a fork w/ a lockout for the short uphills or get some lighter parts for the bike (carbon handlebar, lighter tires, etc)? I'm thinking a fork w/ a lockout and the platform of the Romic might be a good combo, but I'm interested in what people might advise. Also, if you think the fork is the way to go, any suggestions on what kind of fork (I have a 20 mm front, and would like to stick w/ it, FYI)? I've heard good things about the Marz AM's, but am open to anything.

Thanks!
 

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%$#$*!
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For AM, I wouldn't get a fork with lock out, ETA would work better imo. And it might be tough to find a marz AM for around $200. I think your money could be better spent on the other parts. 36# for an AM bike is not unreasonable.

I would spend the $ on rotational weight. Get Kevlar beaded tires if you don't already have them. I don't know what you're running now, but a lighter crankset/bb helps too.

For non-rotational, I would look at the stem, handlebars, seat, seatpost in order of which is heaviest and which may need replacing first (ie break). I personally don't trust carbon bars but many people do.

For AM setups, losing a lot of energy on the fork means that you may have to adjust how you crank out of the saddle. AM is an amorphous definition, but for me I like to have my setup more active.
 

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Good options

Beefmagic had some very good suggestions. To go further on the shock and fork options look at going with air sprung models. You're not so heavy that air shouldn't be given serious consideration. As for the cockpit, I personally would pass on anything carbon. Thomson stem, seatpost and a resonably light set of bars will help. In addition to the kevlar beaded tires, check into lightweight tubes. Cranks can be an expensive replacement, but my guess is that bsed on the age of the bike, lighter, stronger cranks are probably available, and losing 1/4 to 1/2 lb (possibly more) isn't out of the realm of possibilities.

FWIW, I had a 35 lb AM rig, and it actually climbed pretty well. If you can drop 3 lbs from the AC as it stands today, I think you're doing well.

Bob
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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Its an AC, it will NEVER pedal well, especially for a heavier guy running 6" of travel. So, forget about the weight, 36 lbs is fine... get a fork with travel adjust, like a Pike or Domain coil U-turn (I'd go with a Domain). When youre out of the saddle, the bike will bob, but technique helps, pull up on the bars as you mash down on the cranks to control the motion of the fork. The RS MoCo forks are pretty much locked out with the compression on full, so those forks will do that, but I think you'll find it isn't necessary if you climb at reduced travel.

Heres a pic of my AC, it was around 38 lbs... replaced it w/ an Uzzi VpX. It has a '06 Boxxer Ride coil u-turn, 133-178mm travel. Great fork if you want to go a bit bigger.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
figured as much

thanks for the responses. i figured that i'd never get it to pedal great, just hopefully better! i've got no delusions about the AC's rear linkage not being great for pedaling efficiency...

so perhaps lighter tires/tubes w/ kevlar beads and low-ish rolling resistance, consider an air shock and lighter handlebars/seat post/cranks/BB as things wear out?

offhand, it is completely ridiculous to get an air shock and use it doing XC/AM rides but switch out to the Romic if I'm going to go hit some big stuff?

i've also thought about rebuilding my Marz Z1 dropoff that's on the bike w/ heavier oil, maybe 7.5 or 10W to slow it down a bit.

...and work on my technique!
 

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Not ridiculous at all

I'd go as far as to say that you should not only kep the Romic, but think about a big hit fork, too. 30-45 minutes to swap everything out and you have a bike for AM as well as FR/DH.

Bob
 

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Yeah, tires do make a huge difference. I've tried lots of them on my AC, some horrible like the Nevegal stick-e, which feels like youre riding thru mud all the time and then the knobs tear off. Mutano 2.4s are the lightest fastest rolling tires I've tried, but at the expense of durability, ultimate grip, and longevity. They are very good for what they are, they make the bike roll fast. Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.4 triple compound are a great trail tire, I'm using one on the front and a Minion 60a on the back. I really like that combo. I want to try out Schwalbe Big Bettys, Maxxis Advantage, and Panaracer Rampage too...

You might want to consider a Ti coil, about $200, instead of a whole new air shock. I'm not familiar w/ Romic shocks, but the AC does need a platform to pedal w/out tons of bob. If you have a spring w/ lots of preload you can try a stiffer spring w/ less preload to give you more mid-stroke support and less wallow on the climbs.

A fork like the Domain will do it all on the AC, and do it well. I set mine up w/ the Boxxer because I'm dreaming of a nice light trail bike to cover long distances when I get out of school. For now I'll suffer w/ a heavy bike that can still xc a bit too. A lot of the CO trails I ride are very rocky, but a sub 30 lb Intense 5.5 or 29er would sure be nice to have in the stable too.
 

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A thought about tires

I noticed you were using Weirwolf tires, I was running a set of 2.3FR Weirwolf's that are a reasonable 860grams per tire. But when I switched to an IRC Freedomcross V-Claw (735grams) not only did I feel the lighter weight, but the rolling resistance was WAY less. I've also run Panaracer Cinder 2.25 tires (765grams) that is pretty knobby, and it still rolls faster than the Weirwolf. The Weirwolf is just a really slow rolling tire IMO. If you like they way they handle, maybe you should look at the Weirwolf LT tire. The reduced center knobs will probably help quite a bit.

Also, as coil shocks go, the Romic is fairly light so I'd probably stay with that. As far as a fork, have you considered something with platform dampening? A Rock Shox Pike or a Manitou Nixon would complement that Romic quite nicely.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
rolling resistance

i've heard that weight is not all when it comes to tires. i don't ride a lot of loose trails or wet conditions, so something less sticky and with less rolling resistance would be my ideal tire, i guess.

i had considered a fork w/ some platform, but don't have much experience with forks other than Zokes. i've heard good things about RS's new stuff, though.

so many options....
 
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