I liked most of the components on my old Snap, so decided it was the most cost effective to keep as much as possible. I was initially hoping to get away with only swapping out my frame, fork and cassette (my Snap came with a SRAM 11-28T, much too tight for any riding with a single ring). Oh how wrong I was. It was just the beginning.
So what did I manage to salvage from my Snap? A few very good items, actually. A Nukeproof Generator wheelset, Shimano XT brakes with 180mm discs (front and back), SRAM X7 10 speed shifter, FUNN Fatboy handlebars, FUNN Strippa Stem, FUNN Combat II grips, and FUNN Bigfoot pedals. Ok, not much then. I say salvage, but we all know that when we're looking to purchase some new toys getting carried away is almost inevitable. The two key items were the brakes and wheels, though, as those saved a chunk of cash.
In the first part of this trail build series I showed you the beautiful Santa Cruz Blur TRc I finally settled on. I could easily make this bike a sub-12kg trail sweeper, but why? Why, when it is so much more capable than that? The wheels, while pretty heavy are plenty strong and clearly depict my viewpoint of strength over weight. I want to be able to man-handle my bike down a trail and not have to worry if it can take a hit or five along the way.
There is a line to draw though, and my Truvativ Hussefelt crankset didn't get past it. I replaced that with a Shimano Zee item, which is not a whole lot lighter, but is certainly stiffer and no doubt will stand the test of time.
The next decision was down to the drivetrain. I could have stayed with the normal clutch-less derailleur and chain guide as I was definitely keeping a 1x10 setup, or I could go the narrow/wide and clutch way. In for a penny, in for a pound: I couldn't resist. I went for the clutched version of my X9 rear derailleur and a fancy looking Race Face 32T green narrow/wide chainring.
I replaced my road-esque cassette with a SRAM 1070 11-36T, giving me as much range as possible without converting to a larger 40 or 42T cog. This may happen down the line though. It also left me with less weight as I could get away without using a chain guide. A new 1050 chain also accompanied the setup, which needed a couple of links removed to compensate for the single ring up front.
My Nukeproof Generator wheels are quite adaptable, which is another reason I like them so much. The rear hub had already been converted to accept a 12mm through-axle, but I had to replace the end caps with longer ones for the 142mm width of the Santa Cruz. Simple enough. I also decided that it was about time to go tubeless - enough with the thorns and pinches! Some Gorilla Tape generously applied onto the rims with some Stans NoTubes Tire Sealant did the trick.
And here I just couldn't resist trying out some new rubber. My experience on the WTB Wolverines has been spectacular, so a 2.2 one of those out back was a must. Up front I settled on a WTB Bronson 2.3, not being able to get a Vigilante for my 26ers. Both are the dual compound AM TCS versions with 60tpi in the centre with 50tpi outers. They both seated without the need of a compressor - very impressive for non-tubeless specific rims.
I got the frame, fork and seat post all together from Ian Williams. He happens to work at Cape Cycle Systems so was able to customise the shocks to his preference. The fork is a 2012 Revelation RLT with a 20mm through axle and a tapered steerer. This wasn't fettled with much – only the seals were replaced with updated ones. With the rear 2012 model Monarch RT3 shock, Ian changed some shims to reduce the tuning. Attaching the fork to the frame is a Cane Creek 40, which you absolutely cannot go wrong with.
Here comes the interesting part: the Rock Shox Reverb Stealth. Up until the new recently released Nomad, Santa Cruz has never done internal cable routing. I'm not sure if Ian figured it out himself or if he got the idea from this guy in the MTBR forums, but he converted the frame to accept a Reverb Stealth dropper post. Basically drilling out the metal thread inserts of one of the bottle mount holes, he painstakingly fed the hose over the bottom bracket and into position. It removes the option of having a bottle cage in the front triangle, but keeps everything nice and clean, so I'm not bothered.
That leaves me with the saddle, of which I do not have. I mean, sure, I have one to ride with, but I haven't actually bought one yet. Why? Well, I've tried a couple of saddles, and none have worked for me. At the moment I am borrowing a WTB Silverado, which is pretty damn comfortable, so I will be purchasing one of these in the near future.
So that's her then, my new friend, mistress, partner on the trails. I don't think I could have done much better with the frame choice and the bomb proof setup has been a pleasure on the trails thus far. Keep an eye out for the next instalment: the ride!
Check out the other instalments: Decisions, decisions