Friday, October 5, 2012

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something shiny.

Parts, parts, parts.  Interbike is a bit of a time and energy sucker and, in turn, pays back very little. So I have been way less than interested in blogging.  And as far as riding goes, summer in SO Cal is hardly the pinnacle of trail conditions.  It is hot, dry, brown, and dusty, so epic rides are not really the deal.  So you make do with early and late rides and add in a few high country excursions to get out of the yuck.  Meh!

But I do have two things going on worthy of wordage...the Ti SS build and the upcoming bikepacking trip.  One at a time, here.

I was not really looking to make the Lynskey a ground-up, high zoot, damn the cost and the torpedoes build.  So it will be getting a bit of this and a bit of that.  The bars, headset and stem are really nice, new FSA goodies.  I have some Ergon GA-1 grips, the old ones and the good ones before they made them into a skinny DH grip, and the rest is a mixed bag.

As it is now:

  • FSA cockpit as mentioned
  • WTB Pure V saddle (what else?) and Syncros CF seat post from the stripped Blackbuck
  • Old Shimano Hollowtech II 180mm XT cranks and BB with 34T CR and ring guard from the Blackbuck
  • A Fox 110mm fork from the Camber.  110mm sounds tall, but a Fox 110 is still only the same height at the crown as a Manitou 100mm fork
  • White Industries hubs from the Blackbuck but with a new rim laced to them
  • Some Avid Elixir brakes I had sitting in a box
  • Tires TBD
The wheels were a real puzzler.  I wanted to use the fast rolling and bomber drive system of the WI hubs.  The polished hub shells and the decently fast engagement, the bolt on rear axle, the true non-dish rear wheel...well, they are really sweet hubs, but they come with some compromises.  They have that odd offset...47.5mm...that is the old Shimano standard for a middle ring chain line.  But no new cranks from the 'big guys' have that chain line.  Bummer.  So, you either run an older crank like the XT HTIIs ( a great crank BTW) or you buy into the WI cranks they offer to match or run any square taper crank with a Phil Wood BB and swing the chain line to whatever you need.

That is acceptable to me, but not convenient.  But the other thing is weight.  That is hardly a light set-up, that WI hub and freewheel.  Bulletproof, yes.  But not light, at least not compared to a DT Swiss 240 SS hub or a American Classic SS hub.  And there is the expense of gearing changes too.

So the wheels as they sat were a build using Stan's Flows (the old versions) and DT Swiss Comp spokes and alloy nips.  Those wheels with valve stems and tape were 2184g all in, no rotors, but with the freewheel included (and 47g for the cog taken off).  Basically as close as I could get to what a 'normal' free hub wheel set would represent.  OOOfff!!!  2200 grams!  Wow.  The American Classic SS wheels on the Carve are 1600-ish grams. I had some rims around that would be a bit more modern for the WI hubs and very wide and strong, but the same weight.  Not much of an improvement.  What would be absolutely fabulous would be carbon rims laced to the WI hubs...what a blend of classic and cutting end new...but no budget for that.  Besides, unless I go China carbon, the Enve hoops are too stiff for an XC hard tail from what I read.

So the folks from American Classic have a new rim that would drop 300gs off the wheel set and get in the ball park and the weight savings would be all at the rim where it counts the most.  the new 101 rim could be a Stan's Crest killer at 381g and 21mm internal width, the minimum for an SS rim (I would prefer 23mm or so, but...) and they way they build the rims, they give you a low rim sidewall height and that allows for more tire 'poofiness'.  

But are they strong enough?  They say they are.  But I was perplexed...lot of work (well, for JeffJ, anyway...I don't build wheels) for a 1900g wheel set.  I could run something like the Rovals I have from a few years ago or even a set of Eastons and get to 1800gs easy...maybe even under that.  And I would have chain line all over the place so i could run any crank/BB setup.

Makes sense.  But.

I really wanted to run those shiny, smooth yet odd and quirky WI hubs.  And although the Fox fork is just a 9mm lower for the axle config, the WI hubs are pretty big diameter at the axle flange surface, not as good as a 24mm Roval end cap, but pretty good.  And they convert to 15QR as a new fork comes along...if ever.  So, the AC 101 rims are on their way and a wheel building we will go.  We shall see.  There is always plan B.  

Meanwhile, the yet to be named Lynskey SS sits and waits.  Bigger fish are falling into the frying pan as we will talk about in the next blog.

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