I took advantage of an "out of use" frame, my spare parts bin, and winter season bike shop madness to put together a nice little trail bike for my significant other. This is the first of a series of 3 project rebuilds I'll report on this winter, as I juggle around the fleet a little.
Click on any of the photos below for a little more detailed view.
I used to ride this bike.
It used to look like this
It was set up with a very different parts kit, and it was intended to go on gnarlier trails than it will probably ever see now. A few months ago, I unexpectedly picked up a new Intense 6.6 frame, and frankly the parts I had on this Gary Fisher better suited the Intense, and the Intense better suited me.
So, with my woman's new found interest in all terrain cycling starting to take root at the end of this past season, I thought that putting a little nicer "sled" together for her would be a good way of keeping her keen on looking forward to next season, and keep her interested in developing the skills she started gaining in 2008. Her previous bike was a noble little hard tail that while not totally crappy, it was pretty useless on anything other than paths in the park.
I had intended to try and keep the price down on this project and for the most part I think I picked parts wisely and used what I had on hand pretty well. I did pick up some new pieces however, but my awesome pals Barry and Jay at HARDCORE BIKES in Edmonton
hooked me up with some "friend deals". As well,"wrench to the stars
" and all around good mensch Jay
(PB user: toooldschool
) handling the assembly for me. The guy puts together a really clean drive train and he routes cable like a NASA tech. His pride shows in his work.So here's a rundown of what's on the bike and maybe a little insight why I selected what I did
First was the 2007 Gary Fisher Fat Possum XT frame (6" travel) with a brand new 2008 Fox RP23 air shock. The shock was what actually came on the Intense, but I run a coil...leaving this left over. I've had no experience with this shock but it looks like typically awesome FOX product. Saddle and post are Bontrager, also from the garage pile, the saddle is a woman's edition from her old bike.
It's a medium, which was almost too small for me and will be just about right for her, as Betty's a little taller than some girls, at around 5'8" which is within the recommended sizing guidelines.Then I dug around the garage and pulled together a combination of spares as well as some salvage from her hard tail:
This bar was cut down to 26" wide, which is an INCREASE from the average width spec'd on most "woman's specific" bikes. Betty used to always say she thought my bars looked "too wide" , then she tried a wider bar....an lo and behold "Oh my gawd....you have way more stable steering!" The stem is a Bontrager XC piece with 5deg rise and only 70mm of reach, shortening the control
-pit to better suit a shorter upper body.
This was a virtually new Deore derailleur and a slightly pre-enjoyed SRAM 970 cogset (ignore the 990 on the box.) These were from my "mad science" box, as was the front derailleur too. The bar and stem/spacers came off her old bike. Brakes are Avid BB7 mechanicals from her last ride but the crankset/bb is new in the box Deore as were the ODI lock-ons (plush and comfy Rogue grip pattern). Shifter pods are Shimano LX, and I don't remember where they came from, but they were still in the package...probably grabbed up off a clearance sale table sometime or another.
Now when this bike was mine, it had Iron Cross decals and racer boy sponsor style logos. That was not going to go over well with Betty the boss. So when I ordered some vanity decals for the 6.6, I picked up the "Bad Betty" and hibiscus flower stickers to "ghurl-i-tize this machine. Also, pink shift cable housing and white brake lines from Jagwire.
And some spinnage
Deore these days is an inexpensive and very consistent performing group-set of components. Shimano's policy of trickling down technology from the more upmarket gear means that this crankset with BB and Hollowtech 2 design lists at an MSRP of $129.00 CDN. Can't beat that. I picked 170mm crank arms, to better match her shorter inseam.
These will pull on the Avid BB7's. These levers are slender and have a good angle that will better suit a woman's hands.
The white DMR's were on hand at Hardcore Bikes, they were around 40$, not stupidly heavy and they tied into the white brake cables and the wheel graphics nicely. A note on the wheel choice, I had a really nice set of Bontrager wheels on her hard tail that were going to migrate over to this frame...but these were in the shop yesterday...really reduced to clear...and you just can't beat Mavic for all around use. They are Mavic's entry level trail wheel, the Crossride Disc. 1905 grams for the pair. I know an animal of a bike mechanic who has whipped a set of these for months, and they are holding up nicely. More trickle down technology at work. They did have really heavy, ugly QR skewers that were swapped out in favor of lighter and prettier Bontrager items off her old wheelset. Kenda Nevegal DTC rubbers in size 2.10 round out the rolling bits. The Nevegal is my new fave trail tire, and I'm running the 2.35 version on my Intense.
The last bit is the best in a way...the 2009 edition of maybe the most venerable and tested and versatile trail fork ever. The Fox Vanilla R
. Coil, oil and rebound. 140mm of plush travel. Reliable and confidence inspiring. Betty doesn't like to endlessly "tune" her bike. The less buttons and knobs the better. It's the cheapest fork in Fox's catalog...but not the least useful in my opinion. It weighs a mere 4.16 (yes, really) lbs. My how time brings changes.
So...drum roll please...it weighs 31.20 lbs
...which is not exceptional these days,...but think for a moment...This is a 6x6 AM bike
with a steel sprung fork, Deore cranks, Mechanical disc brakes, a cheap mid-grade chain, a comfort saddle and completely sturdy ENTRY level
wheels, and utility market inner-tubes. I thought 32.5 was an optimistic number.
So...I'd say 31.20
is pretty dang good. Shows you that shopping around can pay off, and that sometimes advertising hype on upmarket gear is just that...hype.
I rode it home from the shop...It's fast. Real fast
. Again, mad props to my homestars at Hardcore Bikes
The Whiskey Faerie will be coming for Xmas this year I'm sure.