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Old 12-20-06, 06:38 AM   #1
ViperZ
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Project: Rocky Mountain ETSX-70 "The Canadian Connection"

Edit: 2007/06/03 She's Long Been Done








I suspected with the MTB Forum Crash I would lose the original post. Damn there was so much good information and suggestions I was wanting to read and research. There were some great recommendations to wheels and hubs, as well as component selection.... Thanks to everyone that posted in the original thread, and please feel free to submit your comments and suggestion again if you care to.


My New Project, a 2003 Rocky Mountain ETSX-70. This will be my first FS MTB, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it performs. My trails is comprised mainly of Single Track and Technical Single track. No real wide fire roads to bomb down .

The fork I'm planning on is a Fox Talas 32, however I was considering an older Fox Float RC, or even anything else that would not be a total arm and leg.

The project build and parts update may move a long at Glacial speed, as I have a lot to learn again regarding MTB equipment, however I'm in no real hurry, yet.















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Old 12-20-06, 07:12 AM   #2
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Wow, that frame looks like it is in perfect condition, hard to believe it its four years old! If it weren't for a little cable rub I would think it was NOS.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:19 AM   #3
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I said it in the other post, Anyone in this forum would be proud to have that in their stable. I still like the wedge though!
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Old 12-20-06, 07:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by LowCel
Wow, that frame looks like it is in perfect condition, hard to believe it its four years old! If it weren't for a little cable rub I would think it was NOS.

Thanks, it was said to have about 200 miles on it. That cable rub on the seat tube is the only significant mark on the frame. I'll try touching that up once I get the mix just right. The Powder coat section is the whitish silver metallic.



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I said it in the other post, Anyone in this forum would be proud to have that in their stable. I still like the wedge though!
Thanks, If the ETSX works as well as the Wedge has over the same trails, I'll be a happy person There is a purity to a HT bike, especially one that has been through as much as the Wedge and I.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:49 AM   #5
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looks good viper! will you be doing some sask cup xc races next season?
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Old 12-20-06, 07:59 AM   #6
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kay, erm for brakes, look towards Magura Marta's, Avid Juicy's or Hayes (I prefer Magura and Avid)

For wheels, if you want lightweight, Stan's ZTR Olympic Rims are good, American Classic are good too. My choices of wheels are Stan's, American Classic, Mavic, DT Swiss (must be a quality product because its Swiss, haha) and maybe there are more, just cant remember. Anyway some riders dont like Mavic wheels because they think there are overpriced ( I think the same too).

Oh yeah and what kind of riding are you planning to do with the bike. XC racing or XC and etc?
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Old 12-20-06, 08:05 AM   #7
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Again, very sweet.

I'll reiterate what I said in my lost post, although briefly:

Drivetrain - check out old 8 speed Shimano and Middleburn cranks from chainreactioncycles.com

Touchy bits - Raceface

Fork - look around for NOS Marzocchi Marathon SL's, the white ones. This bike needs a white fork. Other more expensive option would be to try the new (white) Marzocchi XC700. It looks like a perfect fit for this bike with adjustable travel between 90 and 130mm.

Wheels - I'd avoid American Classic. I have some, they are OK, not very durable, hubs have very poor seals, but they are light and cheap. They also look cheap, I suspect you don't want that. Go for a custom set with perhaps Hope Pro II hubs, DT Supercomp and either Mavic 717 (regular) or 819 (tubeless) rims. You can bling out a set of wheels like these by going with a colorful hub/nipple combo.

Brakes - personally when I built a bike with discs I'll be likely trying Hope Mini's. They are light, perform well, but are finicky from what I've heard. Best thing about them, they are the hottest looking brakes on the market. Definate OCP points there.
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Old 12-20-06, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot
Oh yeah and what kind of riding are you planning to do with the bike. XC racing or XC and etc?
i dont want to be mean and call you out, but he did say he's planning on doing singletrack/technical singletrack in his OP, so just to answer the question for ya there....

i believe in my previous post i recommended some nice hand built wheels, and chelboed recommended some sweet Mavics due to, among other things, the the warranty. Either would be an excellent choice. I love my hand builts cause they're a) different than what other people have and b) i built them myself. One of my co-workers recently built up a Ventana with a set of crossmax wheels and they're very cool, and he really likes them.

Crankset wise we were discussing race face stuff, chelboed if you could pop in with your race face opinions they were good, I dont remember them all. We also mentioned that the Hollowtech II stuff from Shimano is an excellent value and quality. The XT set are pretty and, since they're silver, would match the frame very well .

And then the Shimano Vs Sram stuff... I'd say go and try both of them if you can. They do feel different to me, so playing with them and getting some help here with longevity is going to be your best bet (Unfortunately I only own 8spd Shimano stuff... but its holding up great!)

And yet again, that thing is AMAZINGLY cool... if only it was an XL...
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Old 12-20-06, 08:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisA
Fork - look around for NOS Marzocchi Marathon SL's, the white ones. This bike needs a white fork. Other more expensive option would be to try the new (white) Marzocchi XC700. It looks like a perfect fit for this bike with adjustable travel between 90 and 130mm.
Just stay away from the 2005's, way to many problems with them that year. My 2005 Marathon SL was bad out of the box with what I consider to be poor customer service resulting.
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Old 12-20-06, 08:33 AM   #10
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Cranks, I heard that although Truvativ makes good chainrings, their crankarm since its not pinch bolted after awhile will get loose. Shimano makes good cranksets. I love my Shimano LX HollowTech II cranks.
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Old 12-20-06, 09:49 AM   #11
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arrrrrrrr!! stupid lost posts....

what was it i said in your other thread? something like "buy an all-mountain bike and give us a nice build thread" LOL

First off, let me say you've gotten a real score on that frame. its absolutly gorgeous, and i think it will fit your needs very well. not that i really know you, or know what your needs are, but from what i gather your in the perfect position to really love a nice "fun bike". thats kind of the way i think of the marketing term "all mountain", its just simply a bike that will be good enough over the largest variety of terrain to just simply be lots of fun.

So it needs to be pretty bombproof while keeping weight within a realistic margin. it needs to have enough travel to ride over about anything a normal person is brave enough to encounter, but not be a squishing boinging mess when you want to climb, you need brakes tough enough to handle descents, but not over the top DH stuff, and a drivetrain thats dead reliable and provides enough range to cover realisitic conditions.

seams like we are talking forks first, and i'm going to make a slighty diffrent recomendation that the others. look into something like a Marzocchi Z1 with the ETA. this way you get 150mm of cush travel when you point it down, and for climbing with the ETA engaged you get a reduced head angle and a near rigid platform. you can look at any of these from 2003-current as they havn't changed that much over the years. 20mm axles are definitly not for the weight weenies, but they do offer significant and noticable gains in rigidity.

brakes are kind of like a relegious discusion. everybody gets hooked onto whatever they believe in. my experience is limited, but i've found avid juicy's to be too graby, and new xtr's i tried were too mushy. the shimano saints i own are just lovely. hopes and magura's are bling. so heck i dunno, but of course your going with hydro's. i'd probobly go 180 or 160 in the rear, and 180 or 200 in the front depending on fork.

for your drivetrain, let me suggest you consider going with a 1x9 setup. you see, front derailures are the work of the devil, and unless your XC racing or trying to climb with a downhill/freeride bike and not worth the bother. if you go with a 9sp in the back, and a single chainring up front (with a guide, such as the MRP Slalom 3) you get a couple of good advantages. slightly reduced weight, slightly reduced cost, greatly reduced complexity and maintance, and a chain that will never fall off. what are you going to be missing? not much, with an 11x34 cassette and a 32-36t chainring (you might want to experiment a bit) you'll definitly be able to spin downhill faster than your mother would approve of, and anything you can't climb will be faster and easier to just hope off and push the bike up.

and oh god, lets not get into the sram vs. shimano thing. but let me just say this, i have two shimano xtr equiped xc bikes, and one sram x.9 equiped "heavy am/light freeride" hardtail, and now i'm bummed about having to replace the xtr stuff on the other bikes.


here's some 1x9 porn for ya.




edit: doh, i meant ETA not ETS while talking of marzocchi shocks.

Last edited by euroford; 12-20-06 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisA
Brakes - personally when I built a bike with discs I'll be likely trying Hope Mini's. They are light, perform well, but are finicky from what I've heard. Best thing about them, they are the hottest looking brakes on the market. Definate OCP points there.
What's finicky about Hope brakes? I heard that once too, from a bike shop employee(who I think really wanted me to buy a bike from him, which had Avid 7's, instead of my hope equipped Cannondale). Personally, I haven't had one bit of trouble from mine, the braking power and modulation are great, and they look OOH SO COOL! .....
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Old 12-20-06, 12:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by free_pizza
looks good viper! will you be doing some sask cup xc races next season?
You Know my club members have been pressuring me to race Road and or Off Road (MTB, CX), Of the ones that appeal to me I would like to race MTB. However I don't think the ETSX would be as good a race bike as a Hardtail XC bike. But I could be wrong on that too.... With the desire, any bike can be raced, Right?
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Old 12-20-06, 12:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ
You Know my club members have been pressuring me to race Road and or Off Road (MTB, CX), Of the ones that appeal to me I would like to race MTB. However I don't think the ETSX would be as good a race bike as a Hardtail XC bike. But I could be wrong on that too.... With the desire, any bike can be raced, Right?
You might be surprised! I was, Lap time on my hardtail was great for the first lap, but then rider fatigue sets in from getting beat to death by a super stiff bike that weighs nothing, and getting bounced around from one big rock to another. This is when the full susser really shines for me, the second and third lap. My full susser is 5.5 lbs heavier than the hardtail but lap times are better on it after the first one!
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Old 12-20-06, 12:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by euroford
what was it i said in your other thread? something like "buy an all-mountain bike and give us a nice build thread" LOL
Exactly right right Euroford, I took what you stated and knew it was what i had to do. So I blame you for this and Tequila Joe for putting the bug in my ear to get a Rocky ETSX

Thanks!

Nice Picture and good comments too.... I would like to put on the biggest brakes reasonable, as I like the look of the big rotors. Avids and Maguras are on my short list. The Front chain rings I think I would like to keep 3 rings, as it is a badge of honor amongst my riding buddies to not dismount, and be able to climb the gnarliest steep hill, even if it's at a crawl



KrisA, those hope Brakes look like very nice units, as do most of there parts. They are out of the UK correct? I'll have to check pricing of some of the components. Are the 9 speed systems really that problematic?

The Marzocchi is getting some good love around here, I'll have a look into those. Should I be staying air shock seeing as Rocky designed it as such, or should I convert to oil? My understanding is you want to keep both front and back the same. As such i have only been looking at an Air Sprung fork.


As for Cranks, I'm pretty sure I want the Race Face Deuce. I really like the shape of those cranks and the chain rings spiders. I think in silver they would look very nice as somebody else stated.

I was thinking a set of Chis King Hubs, thoughts? Not worth the expense? What about tubeless tires, do I need special rims for those, and are they a hot ticket?
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Old 12-20-06, 01:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by born2bahick
You might be surprised! I was, Lap time on my hardtail was great for the first lap, but then rider fatigue sets in from getting beat to death by a super stiff bike that weighs nothing, and getting bounced around from one big rock to another. This is when the full susser really shines for me, the second and third lap. My full susser is 5.5 lbs heavier than the hardtail but lap times are better on it after the first one!

True enough I'm sure...
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Old 12-20-06, 01:47 PM   #17
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The ETS-X would be fine for racing, especially if you race primarily for fun.

Is 9-speed bad? No but I, and others, just think that 8 speed is better. On my 8 speed setup all I'm losing is the 11 tooth cog, a useless one if you ask me. I can't ever think of a time I've spun out my 42X12 high gear on a trail. Perhaps it would be somewhat usefull if you were a masher.

Any and all forks you look at will have an oil dampening system. It is the spring that is either air or coil spring. It used to be that coils were noticably plusher, while this may still be true, the gap has been narrowed a lot. Air sprung forks are obviously much lighter. If you are not concerned with weight a coil sprung fork will still feel nicer. My coil MX Pro is very plush, makes my Sid feel like a rigid! The Marzocchi Marathon S or Fox Vanilla would be good choises.

Hope is UK, all their kit is made there. For rotor size I'd stick with 180mm front and 160 rear. Anything more than that will put too much strain on an XC fork.

King hubs are way overkill, IN MY OPINION. Others love them, but to me they are just way too much money. The Hopes offer 99% of the performance at a fraction of the price. Regarding tubeless, I'd give it a try. The weights of tubeless tires have come down to the point where they are rougly equal to weight of a tubed tire an non-lightweight tube combo (thanks largely to the efforts of Hutchinson and Schwalbe). The benefits less rolling resistance, increased traction and no possibility of pinch flatting. The one downside of UST tubeless is that if you are a weight-weenie the rims are heavy. To get lightish UST rims you have to buy a "factory" wheelset like Crossmax SL which uses a rim that is lighter than the 819. That said, a set of Crossmax SL wheels would look very hot on this bike, but they are quite expensive. You can find good deals on the "old" 2006 models as Mavic has slightly redesigned them for 2007.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:56 PM   #18
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Exactly right right Euroford, I took what you stated and knew it was what i had to do. So I blame you for this and Tequila Joe for putting the bug in my ear to get a Rocky ETSX
i'll gladly take the blame for this bike!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ
Nice Picture and good comments too.... I would like to put on the biggest brakes reasonable, as I like the look of the big rotors. Avids and Maguras are on my short list.
i'm just not much of a juicy fan, but allot of poeple seam to like them, so they can't be all bad. maybe somebody can add some substance to this, but i get an impression that avid's are known to be 'grabby', powerfull but without much modulation. if i was too choose between the two, i would definitly go Magura. The Louise BAT's are super nice looking, very lite, and you can go with a 203mm in the front and a 180mm in the rear. if you got the coin, those venti rotors are so friggin bling man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ
The Front chain rings I think I would like to keep 3 rings, as it is a badge of honor amongst my riding buddies to not dismount, and be able to climb the gnarliest steep hill, even if it's at a crawl
i'll give it one more shot to convince you on 1 ring, then work on convincing you 2 is enough. haha! go take your rocky wedge out for a spin, do some climbing and really pay attention to what gears you need to use. don't drop it in the granny and spin like a wheany, but go out on a day your feeling strong and really crank it. keep track of what gears you are and should be using for what kind of terrain your riding. but on climbs, descents and flat terrain. when you get home work out the gear/inches and compair those to what you can get with a 9spd 11-34 cassette and a single chainring. compair and contrast those findings with the added complexity of a front dir. vs. the reliability of a single/chainguide.

okay, so saying you need the granny gear, what you most certainly don't need is the big ring. run a bashring and a tensioner, such as the MRP LRP instead. on my ride, 11in the rear and a 36t chainring is dang sure faster than i ever plan to go technical terrain. unfortuantly, what you end up with is a setup even a bit more complicated with the addition of the guide/tensioner, but its very reliable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ViperZ
The Marzocchi is getting some good love around here, I'll have a look into those. Should I be staying air shock seeing as Rocky designed it as such, or should I convert to oil? My understanding is you want to keep both front and back the same. As such i have only been looking at an Air Sprung fork.
there is no need to keep front and back the same. the two systems act so diffrently, its just not really compairable like that, or really even compairable at all to tell you the truth. either system, front or rear, can be setup to work, they just both have to be setup correctly. too generalize, a coil spring is maintance free and generally smoother, an air spring will have to be checked and adjusted regularly but is lighter. i go coil, becouse i just don't want to jack around with the air. becouse i'm lazy....



edit: had a quick look through Marzochi's website. i think if i was you, i'd set my heart on that All Mountain 2 fork. 160mm of travel, 20mm axel, ETA and lighter than the Z1 (anybody have actual weight figures?). i think the metalic gray (do canadians spell it grey or gray?) would would look sharp.

Last edited by euroford; 12-20-06 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:06 PM   #19
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KrisA, right I meant coil or air sprung The Racing would just be for fun!

You think a 200mm rotor would stress a XC fork....? Do DH forks have thicker mounting bosses?

Your logic on the 8speed makes sense, but it just seems so old tech Like my 7 speed road bike.

Thanks for the comments on the tubeless tires, I'll have to look into that some more, so they do take specific rims... As for the CK hubs, they are just something I like the look and name of. The Mavic wheel set CaptMatt15 mentioned are nice too, however it would be a tubed set up I would be using , which isn't a big deal if I use them or not.


Euroford, Are brake rotors interchangeable between manufactures? IE can a same Diameter Hope be used on a Magura..etc?

It will be a while before I can go test your ring theory. A big ring probably will not be needed unless I'm pounding pavement with the bike. Which I may do most occasions for I can ride to my trails easily, they are close enough.

The same shock set up was something I had read, I'm not sure where, but it seemed to make sense. Part of why I wanted a Fox fork was to match the rear Fox shock. However if I'm going to change this eventually I may as well get the fork that would be the best for my application, which I don't know what that would be. Man there is a lot to consider to a modern MTB
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Old 12-20-06, 11:01 PM   #20
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The Racing would just be for fun!
the racing is a lot of fun. i really wasnt in it to race competitively, but more to have fun and meet some people.. i raced in the "sport" class, there was no way i was going to do the citizen class, doing a 1000km round trip (regina to NB) to race 1 lap in the citizen class didnt seem worth it to me. But i guess being in saskatoon, you are pretty close to Regina/PA/NB...

the only time racing sucked for me was when the elite guys would buzz past me at high speeds, and the races in saskatoon and PA where it rained non stop for the whole weekend (except for the drive home when it cleared up )
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Old 12-20-06, 11:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by euroford
i'll give it one more shot to convince you on 1 ring, then work on convincing you 2 is enough. haha! go take your rocky wedge out for a spin, do some climbing and really pay attention to what gears you need to use. don't drop it in the granny and spin like a wheany, but go out on a day your feeling strong and really crank it. keep track of what gears you are and should be using for what kind of terrain your riding. but on climbs, descents and flat terrain. when you get home work out the gear/inches and compair those to what you can get with a 9spd 11-34 cassette and a single chainring. compair and contrast those findings with the added complexity of a front dir. vs. the reliability of a single/chainguide.
It's tough to make generic recommendations regarding going single ring when everyone's terrain is so different. It'd be really tough getting by with a 1x9 setup with a moderate weight trail bike in my area...or at least you'd have to avoid a lot of the fun trails with good elevation gains.
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Old 12-21-06, 02:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by LowCel
Just stay away from the 2005's, way to many problems with them that year. My 2005 Marathon SL was bad out of the box with what I consider to be poor customer service resulting.
Maybe '05 was a bad year for forks and customer service. My 2005 Talas RLC sucked and the customer service from Fox was horrible.
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Old 12-21-06, 03:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ViperZ
You think a 200mm rotor would stress a XC fork....? Do DH forks have thicker mounting bosses?
It's related to the axel. You are not supposed to use front rotors 200mm or larger without a 20mm front hub.

With hydraulic brakes, 180mm is pretty grabby already for non-DH use.

And I have to agree that a larger rotor in front makes sense both functionally and aesthetically. Rotors larger than 160mm in the back have few advantages other than heat dissapation on long descents.
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Old 12-21-06, 07:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ViperZ
Euroford, Are brake rotors interchangeable between manufactures? IE can a same Diameter Hope be used on a Magura..etc?
generally speaking yes, but in the case of magura vs. hope, not necessary. if your digging hopes floating 2 piece rotos, maguras are even cooler!
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Old 12-21-06, 10:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by free_pizza
the racing is a lot of fun. i really wasnt in it to race competitively, but more to have fun and meet some people.. i raced in the "sport" class, there was no way i was going to do the citizen class, doing a 1000km round trip (regina to NB) to race 1 lap in the citizen class didnt seem worth it to me. But i guess being in saskatoon, you are pretty close to Regina/PA/NB...

the only time racing sucked for me was when the elite guys would buzz past me at high speeds, and the races in saskatoon and PA where it rained non stop for the whole weekend (except for the drive home when it cleared up )
Pizza, Your points are very compelling, I guess we'll see how the season plays out...
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