So finally I have a few moments to recant the major overhaul on my RIP 9.
To recap, the bike weighed 29.25 set up with a Reba, an older version of the Bike 29 Royale wheelset and pedals. While the nuts and bolts of the build didn’t really change that much, the two changes made were pretty significant.
I replaced the front end with a Maverick DUC 32 fork. Truly a thing to behold. Despite it’s stout look, it is almost the same weight as a Reba, but it’s packing another 22mm of travel in those legs. I felt like I was running out of travel with the Reba on this particular bike, so maybe this will be the ticket.
The Maverick is an inverted fork, the axle is mounted to the sliding portion of the fork, which telescopes into the uppers. The Reba has two lower legs connected by a crown, that slides up on the sliders. Because there is now lower casting and crown, the Maverick has less unsprung weight. Only the axle and sliders move, allowing it to soak up small bumps with ease. On top of that, the fork is very tunable. Things like the oil weight and oil height can be changed, along with the damping circuit shim stack. It can be pretty confusing, but one can really dial this fork in to suit their needs.
And it better, it costs $795! And then you need to buy the stem, and upper crown, and requires a proprietary 24mm axle front wheel.
Is it worth it? Well, for the ultimate in tunability, I think it very well could be. It will be a while before I can actually put it to use. The snow still lies thick up here.
With the aforementioned need for a proprietary 24mm front hub, I needed to rebuild the front wheel.
And while I was at it, I decided that I may as well try out one of the new Stan’s rims, the ZTR Flow. I made the jump to tubeless. I built a lot of the Stan’s ZTR 355 rims over the last year, but they were not suitable for my weight (don’t ask, let’s just say I’m a clydesdale). In January, they released the ZTR Arch, which is a beefed up 355, and the wider ZTR Flow rim, suitable for heavier riders, or getting aggro on full suspension bikes.
Because tire changing will now be more complicated, I also decided to try a Kenda Nevegal tire, in anticipation of the impending soggy trail conditions. These tires, while not light, have high marks in grip and cornering ability in sloppy riding conditions.
I also ran a tiny cockpit mod, the Avid Matchmaker. It’s a cool little clamp that replaces the rear clamp of one’s Avid Juicy hydraulic brakes, and allows you to directly mount a SRAM X0 or X9 trigger shifter. The only real benefit of this clamp, is that it frees up a bit more space on the handlebars by removing the shifter clamp. The actual weight of everything it replaces is 18g, which is how much the Matchmaker actually weight. You can adjust the trajectory of the shifters too, which is a nice feature for those that have to have it “just so”.
The final build weight now is 29.07lbs, I suspect that had I kept the Rampage (679g), the bike would be about a 1/2 lb lighter. The Nevegal weighs in at 786g.
This was not an exercise in weight reduction, rather a significant performance upgrade. I still need to crack open the Maverick and set everything up the way I want it, but all in all, I’d say I have great confidence in the new set up.
We’re talking about making a road trip down south in the next few weeks. Southern New Hampshire has some trails that might be rideable within the next few weeks.