Thursday, June 20, 2013

Project White: Update

Current State of  The Project White Bike
It's been awhile now and I finally have the Project White Inbred rig dialed in. Sometimes it takes me longer than I want to in getting some of my personal bikes dialed due to my having duties with other bicycles and my life in general these days. However; this one is getting my stamp of "Done" now and besides some possible minor tweaking, this is it.

So, since the last mention of the bike here, I have swapped out the front fork for a Manitou Tower Pro in the 100mm travel option with the 15mm through axle. This fork is one of my favorite suspension forks I have ever used. It feels very linear, and I get all the travel out of it. With the Absolute+ damper I can dial out almost all the negative brake dive and standing climbing traits but still get supple, smooth suspension over all types of bumps. And yes......through axles do make a difference. That said, a stiff set of lowers do much more, and Manitou's latest cast magnesium lower assembly is the best yet. Besides the obnoxious graphics, this fork is stellar. Fortunately I can peel off the stickers! (I haven't yet, but I will be doing so.)

Last time I was running some XT 29"er wheels, and while they are decent, these Charger Pro wheels blow them out of the water from a stiffness standpoint and from a design standpoint. The  Charger Pro is a wide rim, which spreads out the tires quite nicely, and the rear wheel is noticeably stiffer laterally. Plus they look better to me as well. Yes- they are a bit heavy and the free hub is clackity-clack loud, but these are trail/light AM wheels fer cryin' out loud! I'm good with em.

The contrast situation makes riding interesting now!
Tires can make or break a rig, and I have to say that the combination of On One tires I am using is about the best I've used here. The Smorgasbord is out back with the Chunky Monkey 2.4"er up front. Both have ginormous volume for their respective sizes. Both grip like crazy. Yes- they are a bit heavy, but these are trail/light AM tires, fer cryin' out loud. I'm good with these too. Real good, in fact.

So.....what about the bike? I mentioned in the last update that the Inbred was neither "bad nor good- just different." I have more ride time on it now, and I can make a more definitive statement or two.

The Project Black Vassago, which the Inbred got a lot of its parts from, was a bike with a geometry that felt "dead" to me. I just could not cotton to it. This bike, the Inbred, does have a nice, smooth steel feel, but the chassis feels a bit longish in the back yet. That isn't a bad thing for climbing and for rider comfort though, so I am okay with it. The front end steers quick enough, and that stem, which I said I was going to change- I am good with it now because I can see that going shorter will unweight the front a bit and I like the steering feel now. This fork rides higher in its travel than the RST did, so that may be where I am getting the difference in feel from.

You must use a chain tug with this frame, which is not a surprise to me. A bolt on hub might even be a good idea as well, since I can make the XT skewer creak and pop once in a while on harder efforts. I have a Hope Pro 2/Salsa Gordo wheel set that I can use Hope's bolts on for the rear wheel, so I may go that route. Plus- those Hope hubs are red! Gotta keep the Union Jack theme going here.

More when I have something significant to add.....

1 comment:

Chad Q said...

GT I swapped out the Fulcum wheel's on the Big Mama for a set of the Charger's for that very reason. I was snapping spokes on the Fulcrom Red Metal wheels. Have not had issue one with the AM Charger wheels. I switched to the Manitou fork also and as far as I'm concerned I will not go back to the Reba.