Category Archives: Bikes

’09 Trek Fuel EX 9.8

Update: Sold on 05/09/13.

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After a bit of a break from biking, I decided to get back into it and bought my first “modern” bike. An ‘06 Specialized Epic, which turned out to be an awesome ride coming from a hardtail-only history. My next upgrade path was to something with a bit more travel and this is what I ended up with: an ’09 Trek Fule EX 9.8 with a carbon main triangle no less.

This is the bike I ride all the time. The others are really just wall hangers that i can’t seem to bring myself to part with, or what I ride if I loan this bike to a friend to ride.

All parts have been swapped from stock except for the headset, bottom bracket, and rear shock! I’m a tinkerer…

Just under 25lbs with pedals.

Highlights:

  • Fox Talas 150 RLC with tapered steerer; quick adjust from 110-130-150mm travel on the fly.
  • Stans Olympic wheelset to DT Swiss/Hugi 240s hubset
  • Specialized S-Works The Captain front and rear; tubeless with Stans sealant
  • XTR m960 crankset (I love the look of this crank)
  • XTR m970 shifters, levers, brakes, rear derailleur
  • Thompson setback post
  • Syncros FL saddle (pretty…)
  • Ritchey SuperLogic carbon low-riser bar
  • Ritchey WCS carbon stem 110mm and Ritchey True Grips
  • Ritchey v4 pedals
  • KMC X9 SL Gold chain (Bling!)
  • Can you tell who my favorite component manufacturer is yet?

2004 (05?) Omega Alchemy Ti 55cm

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To be honest, I never really ride this bike. Road riding is BORING. There, I said it. So…while I can still do it, I’m MTB all the way. I’m basically keeping this bike for my future golden years, since it looks like everyone who rides in my town is a roadie and like 80+…

Just under 17lbs with pedals, the Omega Alchemy is a Bri’ish made bike. The company is now defunct, but I believe reborn under another name (Enigma). When I decided I wanted a road bike (for the days I couldn’t manage a trail ride), I wasn’t really sure what to get. At first I looked at some carbon big brand bikes like the Specialized Tarmac and whatnot, but came across a listing online for this one. What caught my eye was that it was made of Ti and had brand new Dura Ace C24 carbon clinchers on it.

I’m not really an experienced road biker, so the handling feels skittish to me. I think that’s just how road bikes feel, though; they are just too light and tight so they feel every bump and crack.

Upgrades since I bought it:

  • Ultegra 6700 brifters and brakes
  • Syncros Ti post
  • KCNC seat clamp in red anno
  • Columbus Super Muscle full carbon fork to match the rear wishbone. Superlight and looks much nicer than the 3T bladed fork it came with when i bought it.

1997 GT Xizang Titanium (Sold!)

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Yikes(!). What can be said about one of the winningest, most iconic mountain bikes of all time? Yes, the GT Xizang is perhaps one of the most sought after bikes on the VRC scene…and I have one! In the 16" size no less (18" C-T), which is the perfect size “medium” and even harder to find. This one’s from ‘97, but with ’94 NOS decals applied. The little tab on the back of the seattube is for running canti-type brakes; an extra piece that served as a bolt-on canti hanger could be fitted there to act as the cable stop. Not sure why they kept the tab though, as v-brakes were by far the way to go by ’97.

As she sits: 20.6lbs.

Highlights:

  • ’08 SID Race. Wow, what an upgrade over the original ’98 blue SID, with its 32mm stanchions. 80mm travel. The v-brake model is a bit hard to find and I think they stopped making it in ’09. You can still buy v-brake lowers on eBay for about $160 if you’re desperate.
  • XTR m970 levers and shifters; XTR m952 rear
  • Race Face (RIP) Deus XC crankset
  • Mavic 517s to Hugi hubset (super lightweight; from an ’03 S-Works Epic)
  • Specialized carbon flat bar, Ritchey WCS bar ends/stem/post, Selle SLR saddle
  • Continental Speed King 2.1 black chili tires

Update: Sold(!) on fleaBay on 07/20/12 for $1999.99. Some changes to the final auction build were:

  • ’98 SID Blue 63mm fork
  • Styff Carbon flat bar
  • Dura Ace 9spd barcon shifters mounted to Paul Components Thumbies
  • XTR m952 wheelset to Mavic 517 black rims and Wheelsmith double-butted spokes
  • XTR m950 levers
  • Final weight was actually less, at only 19.90lbs. Not bad.
  • Sold it because, well, I never rode it and I am itching for something new…I think I got a good price, but eBay and PayPal gouged me at about 13.5%! Ouch…
Update 2: Bah! I found another 16" frame and decided it was a good deal so I bought it! This one is a ’93. I’m currently swapping over some parts from the Bonty to get it running so I can take it for a ride. You know, to give it another chance…yeah.

1992 Bridgestone MB-1

Another bike I always wanted BITD. We sold these at the shop I worked at in college. Cool, very classic. After finally tracking one down and then obtaining the ultra-rare Ritchey bi-plane crown fork, I thought the ride just sucked. Maybe the old school geometry was just too low for me now. I nearly got rid of it, but didn’t find a match on my local Craigslist. Of course, one of the offers was for the biplane fork alone. And a rather ridiculous one at that, so I parted it out and slapped on an old champagne Judy I had lying around to complete the bike again. For kicks, I took it for a spin and was a bit shocked to discover the ride had been transformed; the extra one inch or so of axle-to-crown height picked up the front end just enough to make the bike comfortable again! It’s now my “townie” bike; my go to ride for zipping through traffic and reliving my fearless college days…

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Highlights:

  • Set up 1×8 with XT m732 rear thumbshifter and XTR m900 rear derailleur and cassette
  • ‘97 Judy in factory “cream” color is a near perfect patch for the “Pearl Tusk” of the MB-1 (less the “pearl” part of course). 63mm travel and internal Speed Springs with my custom Judy decal repros (need NEW decals for your Judy?)
  • Ritchey “Special Edition” Zero hubset laced to Vantage Pro rims.
  • Ritchey Pro Logic bottom bracket (I have a NOS Ti one, but can’t seem to talk myself into installing it)
  • XTR M-900 headset
  • White Turbo perforated saddle
  • Ritchey Logic crankset and Logic Pro bottom bracket
  • Bontrager Titec titanium bar
  • Original spec Ritchey stem and post
  • Ritchey foam grips

Update: Sold June 2013 on craigslist for $625 to some jerk who tried to haggle me to no end, even after we settled on a sale price! In the end, I think I got a pretty good price for it. I had forgotten I already sold the rigid Ritchey biplane fork alone for $300 last year, so not bad considering!

1993 Bontrager Race

1993 Bontrager Race

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My 1993 Bontrager Race. Medium. Serial No. 1473, 22.4lbs. as pictured.

Here’s one of my bikes. It was originally blue with silver/white decals. It was pretty beat up when I picked it up off my local craigslist. I had it re-powdered a slick orange-sparkle with a gloss clear powder on top. I made the new decals myself (never really cared for the original ones much). They’re just white vinyl made from a home cutter (graphtec). The forks are 2007 SID Race mounted to a Bonty offset crown. I scored a strange lot of NOS Rock ShoxTitanium steerers off eBay a while back and was able to press this one together. I love the feel of the SID over the Judy it replaced. This is about as modern as you can get up front with a reasonable budget.

Notable parts:

  • [formerly] NOS Rolf Propel wheelset. Very light and so far bulletproof. Relatively rare to find these wheels these days. Very smooth and fit the Bonty nicely. Set up tubeless.
  • 2007 Rock Shox SID Race fork. 80mm travel. With the recommended sag, it’s a perfect A-C height of 425mm, just like the original 63mm Judy. I’ll take this fork ANY day over the Judy! The lowers were NOS off eBay, and otherwise exclusive to the carbon-crowned WC model.
  • Ritchey Logic Compact crankset. 175mm. Ti crank bolts. Rare blasted finish. I love these cranks. They were slightly modified to run as low as a 29T ring, but has a 30T on it now. Found I needed the smaller ring for the 1×9 setup!
  • Ti Bottom Bracket, unknown manufacturer.
  • Paul Thumbie(s) with Dura Ace 9spd barcon shifter. Paul chainkeeper.
  • Rock Shox suspension seatpost. I’m an admitted weight weenie, but this post works so well to take the edge off the rear that Can live with the weight hit…for now. I have a mint Syncros Ti post to swap in on those heavy days…
  • Other: Specialized carbon low-riser bar, Ritchey WCS Carbon saddle, Ritchey v4 pedals (light and work great; I ride these on all my bikes)

Update: Sold 06/29/13:

Sadly, I sold the Bonty today for what I think is a relative steal at $800. I’m now down to only 4 bikes(!). Did I mention I picked up a ratty Dekerf Team SL? I decided (for now) to keep that over the Bonty, partly due to it’s standard 1-1/8" headtube.

I swapped back in the rigid Vicious Cycles fork and kept the SID. I’ve also still got one Bonty Ti threadless crown left as well as the rare Paul Components crown. You know, just in case I come across that elusive Ti Lite one day!

The final build for the Bonty:

  • Vicious Cycles rigid fork
  • Ritchey WCS stem and Marathon saddle
  • XT 9spd m770 rear shifter pod
  • Race Face Turbine crankset 36t
  • Paul Chain Keeper
  • DT Swiss/Hugi 240 laced to Mavic 517 wheelset
  • XTR m950 v-brakes / m952 SGS rear derailleur
  • Bontrager/Titec Titanium bar
  • Curve seatpost 26.8 (debadged)
  • Intense System 2 tubeless tires

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