, in the last few years you've put up with a lot of things from me. Chasing every single gram, polishing everything that can be polished and running stems longer than dropper travel. Even routing cables not just through the headset, but through the steerer tube and handlebars as well. A far cry from the sensible bikes and components you usually prefer and praise.
It has honestly always surprised me a bit that you've been so positive overall to my rather crazy ideas and work. I guess it comes down to you as passionate cyclists recognizing that there's been a lot of passion poured into these builds, coming from a small town garage in Sweden. And that they're built to actually ride well. Even if it's not your usual style or something you'd ever want to ride yourself, interesting and cool bikes are always a good thing. Or maybe it's just about the short shorts, but what do I know?
Either way I'm incredibly thankful for all of this, it truly means a lot. No matter if it's a funny comment or a good discussion.
The bike presented here takes a step away from the usual Dangerholm route though. Sure, you'll find plenty of fancy components and a quite special paint job. But there's no weightweenie-ism, no cables going through the headset, no Dr... almost no Dremel work and there's barely any carbon fiber either. Instead you'll find a heavy-duty, performance oriented aluminum bike. It's almost like a normal bike.
So in a way - this one's for you guys.Frame, Flashbacks and General Enduro Thoughts
To be honest this is actually my first true enduro bike. At least in the sense that it's based on an enduro labeled frame with a good few enduro labeled components.
As a funny coincidence my first ever Scott bike was a 2006 Ransom 30, which was the very first generation of the Ransom. Back then I think it was labeled as "All Mountain," but it was quite something with its massive Equalizer shock and pretty cool looks. And with modern enduro bikes being used for a lot more than actual enduro stage racing, I guess you could say I've had a few bikes that could fall into this bracket. Most notably perhaps when I slapped a 1x12 Eagle cassette and derailleur along with a dropper on my "World's Lightest 29" DH" Gambler. At 14.60kg / 32.19lbs (including pedals and CushCore) it was a very cool setup to ride, and with a climb switch on the rear shock and a steeper seat angle it would've been an absolute beast.
But fast forward to 2022 and I get my hands on a very different Scott Ransom 30 compared to my old one. This 170mm frame chassis was introduced to the market in 2019, and received high praise in the Pinkbike Field Test for that model year.
So even a few years after its launch I think it's fair to say that it's a very good and well-rounded bike, and the aluminum Ransom 30 has probably been one of the most popular from the range.
While it was tempting to go for a raw aluminum look, I ended up painting the bike in a flip-paint called "Golden Night". It flips between a golden brown hue to blueish purple, and completely messes with your head in a good way when watching the bike in certain lights. A few small parts were painted to match, as well as white logos to add some contrast.
For once there were very few modifications to do, although I did have to Dremel out the cable opening hole a little in the shock cradle of the frame to create clearance for the Intend Hover Gamechanger rear shock.Suspension
Speaking of suspension, it is of course a crucial part of what makes a good enduro bike. While I'm generally a big fan of rear shock remotes, for this build I decided to skip it and focus purely on downhill performance. This bike wasn't going to be a lightweight punchy climber also used for occasional trail riding, so a fire road friendly lock-out lever would be sufficient in that aspect.
After considering a coil shock for a while, I ended up going for the unique looking Intend Hover Gamechanger rear shock. I had simply been so blown away by its performance when using the non-lockout version on my Gambler downhill bike.
The mantra for air shocks has been "coil-like feel" for years and years now, but this thing really does deliver. It feels almost impossibly supple at the beginning of its stroke. There's a huge negative air chamber that you set to a slightly higher pressure than the positive chamber. You start by filling up both chambers, then you close the small silver dial to close the chambers off and add more to the negative one. The Hover is constructed to run very high pressures, and normally you set the negative chamber around 5 bar higher than the positive.
You also have low speed rebound and low speed compression dials, and while impossible to reach with your fingers on this bike they can be turned without removing the shock. The upside-down placement of the trunnion mount, due to the stock shock and its remote cable, means that it's a very tight fit and not recommended in general. As mentioned above the shock won't even fit without a little bit of warranty voiding. But on a one-off build like this, trying to push performance to the max, it works.
Luckily the lockout switch is quite easy to reach, and interestingly this shock truly locks out. Not just firming up the compression, but a better lockout than most cross-country bike shocks. You can also easily adjust the ramp up, by emptying the air chambers and installing o-rings that sit behind the flush looking bolt next to the air valve.
Another interesting thing is that the damper sits separately from the air spring, instead of a traditional setup with the damper in the center of the air spring. So if you worry about heat management, this along with the huge surface area means that this might just be the shock for you.
If the rear shock looks special the fork is even more attention grabbing. Also from Intend, the Ebonite Bandit is the brand's "regular side up" fork and the Bandit addition means it's a 1.5" crown fork.
While it's easy to think that the extra stanchion and crown is there for stiffness reasons, that is just a positive side effect since it's all about air spring performance. The extra stanchion threads on instead of the usual top cap, and it's super easy to install since you just use the crown to tighten it with. Inside sits a second positive air chamber, which is set to twice the pressure of the regular first air chamber. The latter you adjust from a valve at the bottom of the fork, and self-equalizes with the negative chamber just like on most other forks these days. But why two positive chambers?
As the fork compresses it will only use the first positive chamber, but as you go deeper you will activate the second positive air chamber, with them functioning as one huge single air spring. The benefit is that the beginning stroke of your travel will be super supple since it operates as a lower pressure, but for the bigger bumps you get more support thanks to the second air chamber. Looking at the spring curve it is almost linear like a coil spring.
So in the end you get absolutely great small bump sensitivity while maintaining support and control. You can also set the limit of the separating piston, which effectively gives you control over the progression of the last 20mm of travel.
And finally, let's not forget the beautiful looks of this fork. Everything is machined including the lowers, and the cable routing is super clean with the brake hose being fastened in place with a carbon fiber plate on the back of the fork bridge. If you can't get over the Bandit extension, just remember you can run it as a traditional single crown as well.Brakes
I could probably just leave it at that, and have the comment section point out that the wait for them is long and that they're expensive. And while that is true, let's not forget that they're probably the best performing brakes on the market. Incredible braking power, super consistent and with great lever feel. So while the wait to get a set is unfortunate they're on the other hand an upgrade you probably take with you from bike to bike.
Compared to many other options it's also nice that you can get any spare part for them to keep them running for years and years. In fact, I'm quite sure that you still can get the spare parts for the first brakes Trickstuff ever released, so it's a great brand in that aspect.
As for the price, I find it both interesting and strange that brakes on mountain bikes for some reason almost always are supposed to be great value and that good enough is... well, good enough. You see every other bike with Kashima coating, expensive carbon bits and what not but if you buy a set of brakes for around €1000 you're suddenly a madman. We're seeking marginal gains in almost all areas of the bike but braking performance is often a low priority.
Personally I find it extremely important, especially for gravity focused bikes. It lets you ride with more confidence and keeps your arms and hands fresh longer, things that in the end most likely will allow you to go faster. And while Trickstuff Maxima with their Trickstuff Power brake pads and nice 200mm (or bigger) brake discs are the dream, I welcome this discussion on all levels. From how we're finally starting to get bigger discs on entry level bikes to the top level stuff.
But first, just look at these beauties!Wheels
Next on the list of important things for a good enduro bike: bombproof wheels.
At the center you'll find some of the coolest hubs ever. Made in the U.S.A to extremely good tolerances, the Onyx Racing Products with their sprag clutch system is something quite unique. Instead of using pawls or ratchet rings like traditional hubs, their patented sprag clutch means instant engagement and completely silent coasting. The latter is a real eye opener (ear opener?) since it really transforms your riding experience. All you hear when coasting is the tires grabbing the dirt, your brakes working and the wind. Well, if you managed to silence your chain slap and other possible noises that is.
I'm the first to say that I enjoy a good freewheel sound coming from a quality hub, but this is just another dimension.
Used here you'll find their Classic rear hub and a Helix front hub, and just like all Onyx hubs they come stock with hybrid ceramic bearings. I opted for powder coat white but you can get them in most colors you can think of, including monthly limited editions.
They were then built up by German wheelset specialist Radsporttechnik Müller using their in-house brand MFX Carbon rims. While these guys can build you carbon spoke sub1000g 29" wheels I went in the opposite direction with the burliest rim they have to offer. In fact they do have an MDURO Carbon rim aimed specifically for the enduro crowd, but I chose the slightly heavier DH rim since bombproof was the goal.
The wall thickness on these 30mm inner width rims is ridiculous, and judging from how they've handled all the serious hits and sharp rocks up until this point I've never had more monstertrucking-friendly wheels. They're definitely on the stiffer end of the spectrum, so if that's your thing these rims could be a really good option.
Built up with Sapim spokes they weigh 2181g and look absolutely massive.
For tires my go to option is Maxxis Assegai in DD or DH version. There's just something about the predictability in any lean angle that makes me able to go faster on them. But it's easy to get comfortable just riding your favorites year after year and possibly miss out on great alternatives, so to try something new I went for the 2,4" Krypotal Front and Rear from Continental's new line-up. I won't turn this into a personal tire review, but they've definitely stepped it up with these new tires and seem to be getting good reviews in general.
It's all set up tubeless with Syncros Eco Sealant and so far I haven't been running any inserts.Drivetrain
Up front there is an Intend Rocksteady crankset in silver finish. While I'm not the one to shy away from carbon fiber cranksets, it's nice to never have to worry about rock strike damage or any other problems. Except for good looks they feature a 30mm spindle and a Cinch chainring interface, leaving you with plenty of options.
I went with what's perhaps one of the nicest chainrings on the market at the moment, the Actofive Signature chainring. Probably better known for their amazing CNC machined frames made in Germany, they offer a few select drivetrain components separately too.
The bottom bracket comes from CeramicSpeed and your first thought upon reading this might be "Why on earth would you run ceramic bearings on an enduro bike?" But there actually is some sound reasoning for it. Yes they are expensive and most people get them to save a bit of drivetrain friction, but the overall quality really is great and they're super easy to service as well. The Rocky Mountain EWS team running them with Jesse Melamed doing the full season on the same bottom bracket, can be taken as some real world proof of that.
Shifting is done with a SRAM GX AXS derailleur matched to a SRAM XX1 AXS shifter, the latter simply because it better matches the color of the AXS dropper remote. The derailleur has also been upgraded with CeramicSpeed pulley wheels that have been custom polished to go nicely with the silver Garbaruk 12-speed cassette. Silver cassettes keep on being my favorites since they stay looking fresh longer.
For pedals I'm running a set of Crankbrothers Mallet E in a custom silver finish.Cockpit
There are plenty of Intend bits to match the machined looks of the suspension, and first out is the Stiffmaster upper headset. As the name suggests this unique headset is meant to improve stiffness, perhaps making it a little bit overkill together with the Ebonite Bandit fork. But it's perfect if ever running the fork as a regular single crown, and either way the well sealed huge bearing inside should mean trouble free ownership. Because compared to traditional headsets with their rather small bearings with angled interface, this heavy duty bearing looks more like it belongs in your bottom bracket.
The stem is a rather beautiful Intend Grace EN in 50mm which is held in place with their Smarty top cap system. As one of the few really lightweight parts on this build it's a perfect match to the Schmolke Carbon Lowriser DH handlebar which is about as light as things get considering the 780mm width. Having pulled this from my old Scott Gambler "British Racing Green" it weighed in at a mere 178g before paint. At 6 degrees it features a little less back sweep than most handlebars, but I've always felt surprisingly comfortable on it.
The grips are Syncros AM Lock-On and they're available in two diameters, with me going for the bigger. It's a welcome sight to see more grips offered in different diameters, since it can make such a dramatic difference in comfort and control.
The seat post is a regular RockShox Reverb AXS in 170mm drop held in place by an Intend Corona seat clamp, and on top there's a Syncros Tofino 1.0 R saddle with carbon fiber rails.
To round things up there's a Syncros iS Cache bottle cage with a neat little multitool, chain breaker and missing link holder built in.Scott Ransom 30 - Weight: 15.91kg / 35.08lbs including pedals
While lacking some of the crazy carbon parts and modifications of my other builds, this turned into an amazing bike.
Any rider would be hard pressed to find a weak link, as everything pretty much breathes performance and reliability through and through. Some might argue that it should've been built with a carbon frame, but I'd say that if there are any bikes where it makes sense to run solid aluminum frames with top level components its enduro and downhill bikes.
The weight at around a very much normal 16kg / 35lbs is a big change for me personally. I can definitely feel the 2.5kg difference to my Gambler downhill bike, and while I can see the appeal of a heavier bike for gravity riding I must say that I prefer the lower weight. But that aspect comes down to personal preference, and either way you can definitely go stupid fast on this Ransom.
Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments what you think and feel free to keep up all the other builds via my Instagram
PS. Unfortunately I didn't have a short shorts photo with the Ransom, but here's one with the brand new Genius which you can take as a hint of things to come. Because with two "World's lightest" projects and cables to be routed where no cable has ever been routed before, there's a lot in the pipeline.
But maybe I should build a Genius "PB Edition" with external cables first?
I only wish I didn't need to hold @notoutsideceo for ransom to afford to build one for myself!
Obviously, (and especially to you), the bash guard is important.
Besides, even if I had the dough, I couldn’t stand the pain to crash with that ride. Bodily, no problem, it does heal - but the bike!!!!!
For carbon fiber it's very different. I do have a video on my YouTube channel, although it's a bit old and could use a remake. But search for "Dangerholm" on there and you'll find my channel/the video.
While it's marginal, there is a small difference in lever feel/performance with braided. If it's worth the risk and necessity of a careful setup is a different question though. I placed rubber bits on all contact points for mine.
With respect to the brakes it's like anything - they will be incrementally better, but it is up to the individual to decide if the cost is worth it to them... From memory these are stronger than Saints with better modulation? Add in lower production numbers, lower weight, increased machining costs, etc. and it all adds up to a much more expensive brake very quickly...
(To the jerk who stole Remi's bike- Remi wants his bike back (including the CeramicSpeed BB!))
Also….obligatory nod to the leg game
PS: Goddamn that is a beautiful build!
"FLY INTO THE DANGERHOLM!"
I've got a friend that has Onyx hubs, and when I asked them to convince me not to get some (they're expensive lol) they said "I'm not the person to ask... I've got three bikes. One's a beater commuter, and the other two have Onyx hubs." Those things have a way of converting people.
Pretty much everyone I know that's gotten a set of Onyx ends up putting them on all their bikes and never going back. Loud is cool, but silent instant engagement is just so addicting. Everything else feels cheap and clunky in comparison after a ride on Onyx.
I would say this Dangerholm version is heavy more due to the heavy duty parts, although the alloy frame is going to add almost 2 lbs as well. I would have preferred to see a build more similar to his Gambler build, how light can we make a true big hit Enduro bike ?
>I know the guy who designed this frame.
Well tell him thanks from me, been very happy with my Ransom.
Currently building an $1,100 wheelset with Berd spokes that weighs 1,515g and is strong enough for enduro (I'm also going to run cushcore)
NEWMEN Front Hub MTB FADE Straightpull 6-Bolt silver 15x110mm Thru Axle BOOST
DT SWISS Rear Hub 350 Straightpull 6-Hole 12x148 mm BOOST Thru Axle Freehub SRAM XD
NOTUBES Rim 29" ZTR Flow MK4 28 Hole
RACE FACE Rim 27,5" 650B ARC 30 Offset 28 Hole
Alloy rims because carbon is garbage.
(Running different brand rims front and rear for weight savings, Raceface 29 is heavier than NoTubes 29, and NoTubes 27.5 is heavier than Raceface 27.5)
I would have gone with slightly lighter hubs but the price increase would be absurd.
76projects High Flow Valves (lighter, higher flow, and cheaper than SantaCruz Fillmore valves)
Formula steel brake caliper screws (lighter than other steel screws, and cheaper than titanium).
I'm also running KCNC 7075 thru axles which are 93g lighter than the stock rockshox maxle ultimate pair.
Got a lot of parts of the r2 bike site, because they measure, list, and allow you to sort by weight in grams.
He probably did Onyx Classics because he's got monstrous power and rides hard. The Vesper hubs are lighter, but since they have a smaller sprag clutch they're prone to slipping with heavier/aggressive riders. I've ridden both, and while I'm not heavy enough to get the Vesper to slip, I could definitely see it for someone stronger and heavier than I am and did notice a feel difference between the two.
I'll be building up a set of Onyx Classic hubs with (probably) Nobl TR32 rims and Sapim CX-Ray spokes soon to put on my XC hardtail. Light rims for snappy handling, heavier hubs for durability, silence and feel and quality being higher priorities than weight for me. Really looking forward to it!
Only thing for me is that while I've been super happy with PiRope wheels, and probably will run Berd at some point soon, I think that carbon rims and textile spokes actually are the best match. You run less risk of having to true your wheels (which of course is possible but not as straight forward as with traditional spokes) and the textile spokes in most cases will be a bit more compliant/softer which can compensate for the harshness of carbon rims.
As for this bike, since I (refreshingly enough) had no focus on weight I went with the traditional and quite bombproof Classic hubs. And it was super important to have bombproof rims when going carbon for enduro, hence the rather heavy but great performing wheel set.
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