Mac wanted a lightweight 29er that’d climb like a scalded monkey.
We set him up with a custom build from the ground up, starting with this lovely offering from Marin.
We started with the Marin CXR Carbon 29 chassis. The frame weighs a scant 2.6 lbs, has a great racy geometry, and has some nice details that appealed to use such as internal cable routing, and under the bottom bracket brake line routing. The chain stay mounted brake caliper orientation was a bonus too, knowing it’d offer a solid, no-squeal method for stopping power. With all that in place, we set to building the right bike for Mac from the ground up.
We picked out everything part by part. I’ve become a real fan of Shimano brakes… maybe Shimano everything? We’ll start with the brakes.
They work. Really, really well. The new generation XT stoppers have an enticing lever feel and an overall power to the rotor that’s entirely unparalleled by just about anything else we’ve ridden. And they look good. And, from a shop perspective, we’ve hardly had to work on them. And that’s not to say we haven’t had plenty come through the shop– it’s to say that they just working flawlessly without much maintenance.
We went with forged FSA stem for light weight, a Crank Brothers bar for good looks, low weight, and comfort. Ditto for the FSA carbon post.
The Fizik Gobi saddle has a great shell flex that works with your body mile and mile. And the ESI grips offer huge weight savings, vibration absorption, and a tacky feel that satisfies.
The new 2013 Fox 32 Float FIT CTD 15mm fork. Holy moley, that’s a godawful techy name. I mean, how many specs do we need to get on a label, right?
Well, as it turns out, plenty. Fox offers a vast lineup these days, and I mean that in a good way. We were able to select the *perfect* fork for Mac’s riding, The new CTD system (Climb, Trail, Descend) takes a fair amount of guesswork out of the suspension damping parameters and allows for three very usable settings for Mac to choose from. We set it up ahead of time, Mac rides and has fun. Simple as that. High quality, tuned damping in a lightweight, stiff tracking package.
The drivetrain. Have you ridden a 2×10 drivetrain yet? It’s all that. Twenty gears, every one them 100% useful. Three shifts at a swipe down, two up. Light action. It’s so nice that you want to shift even when you don’t have to.
We set up Mac’s bike with a full 2×10 XT drivetain, rolling on a set of hand built wheels. The wheel set is comprised of a pair of NoTubes Crest 29 rims (light, stiff, good volume) laced up with DT SuperComp spokes (triple butted, perhaps the most perfect 29″ spoke ever) to a pair of Chris King hubs. Those CK hubs spin and spin and spin and spin, plus offer instant engagement, easy maintenance, light weight, and great looks. Plus, they offer angry bee sound.
Can you dig it? I can. This bike weighs 21 lbs, is race ready, and can be ridden hard day after day with relatively minimal maintenance.