Monday, April 28, 2008


Holy crap this build took a long time! I've actually been running this bike for a few weeks, but I finally finished it off tonight. I had scabbed it together with some old parts and the new brakes and drivetrain finally arrived. I had to special order some stuff through some different channels and I learned my lesson...not worth the wait.

Needless to say, I'm absolutely, positively stoked on this bike. With a very all-mountainish build and no attempts to save weight it comes in at 33 pounds. Yes, I know. That isn't super light-weight. does include a 6 inch fork, freeride tubes, 2.4 inch tires, a burly-ass headset, a chainguide and 8 inch discs. This also represents a significant weight savings over the prototype, so it's a joy to ride.

So. Here she is.

Oh. And up top too, of course. And...stories galore...

The Paint

Man, I've been sitting on this idea for a paint job for years. When I talked to my painter, Harald, he seemed pretty pumped on trying it out. The idea was pretty simple: Camouflage with cream, brown and blue. I picked out the colours and we talked a bit about it. Harald said "I can mask it like regular camouflage but it will take forever and be stupid expensive. If you'd like, I could square things off. It will still look good, but it will be a lot cheaper." Cheap is good so I told him to go for it.

I sort of imagined some sort of digital camo pattern, but I guess Harald was thinking of something else. When I picked up the bike I have to admit that I was super bummed. I realized that I hadn't communicated what I wanted well enough to Harald. Through nobodies fault but mine I had an expensive paint job that I didn't like. Hated really. I hauled it home and thought about hauling it to a powder coaters and eliminating it from my life. I couldn't face taking it back to Harald for a re-paint. I knew how long he'd spent on it and I couldn't do that to him.

But then a funny thing happened. I started to like it. I finally threw some decals on it and it looked even better. And when the parts arrived and it started to take was super pumped on what I saw. So, I'd probably never do it again, but I'm pretty stoked on the paint job for this bike. The colours are perfect and the pattern is probably something that has and never will be seen again. So, Harald, you obviously know better than I do. Thanks for the paint.

The Fork

I decided on a Lyrik coil for this bike. Hearing about all the air Totems blowing up, I didn't want to mess with it. Supposedly the Lyriks are okay, but I didn't want to chance it. Plus, the U-Turn travel adjust seemed pretty cool.

Let me tell you, this is the right fork for this bike. You could save a bit of weight but the coil feels amazing. The U-Turn is almost a necessity on a bike like this. The prototype had a 66 RC2X on it, and I hated that fork. Too much travel and too much weight. Plus it just never felt right.

But not all is rosy. Man, they put a lot of crap on the top of the crown on these forks. On a medium it's a pretty tight fit between the knobs and the downtube. The large that I'm running has a bit more clearance. I put a fairly high stack Cane Creek headset on to create a bit more room but come on! There's no need for that much stuff on the top of the crown.

Well...other than that...a bunch of the parts will hopefully be an NSMB gear shots in a month or two, so I won't blow my wad.


Blake said...

hey, I just read about you guys on NSMB, sweet looking frame. Having one do everything (including ice cream trips) make you happy hardtail is the way I went out of frustration with new fangled expensive stuff. Best of luck to you guys, and the square camo is awesome

mikek said...

hey dudes, take the same fundamentals and spirit you used to build the rented mule and hook us up with a fully! I'd be sure to dig in!