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Old 04-07-18, 08:19 PM   #26
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I checked out a Timberjack today and looks like it's the one. Just waiting for some waterfowl to align.

The only sour note was that the brakes squealed, hard, and lost their bite when I tried a stoppie. The one I rode was the GX model with SRAM Level brakes.
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Old 04-09-18, 10:05 AM   #27
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Ah, the infamous "Turkey Gobble" for which Avid/Sram brakes are infamous. I think they've gotten better since over the past few years. Make sure the pads are very well bedded in, and consider taking a file to soften any sharp leading edges of your rotors, try a little tape to secure the hydraulic lines to make sure they're not contributing to any vibration feedback loops, but what finally did the trick for me: spread a little dab of grease on the backs of the pads.

If you can't quiet them down within a few miles of testing/bedding, I would seriously consider buying Shimano hydraulics, so you can sell the Levels as as-new takeoffs. Deore should be fine. And the added bonus is they use non-toxic mineral oil instead of DOT fluid, and the bleed procedure is straightforward, where as the SRAM procedure is crazy complicated (all these steps to induce vacuum at the bottom then at the top to make sure all air bubbles get removed)
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Old 04-09-18, 11:33 AM   #28
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Well. The one I'm buying comes with even cheaper Tektro's
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Old 04-09-18, 12:24 PM   #29
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Well then maybe just garden variety screeching. Still couldn't hurt to dab some grease on the back of the pads, and should bed in really well in any case. Still might be worth upgrading to Shimano hydros. Even these M315s might be better than the tektros. Just watch out for those super cheap deals, know whether they're coming pre-setup as right-rear or right-front. If you're up for redoing the hyraulic cabling (or reversing your instincts), you can get some crazy deals on right-front sets.
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Old 04-09-18, 03:25 PM   #30
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The Diamondback full squish bike I just sold had Shimano M365 brakes with organic pads and they seemed lovely. It’s likely I wouldn’t go that low for an upgrade. Brakes are important! Especially with a large payload like a 40lb kiddo.

and that would give me an opportunity to add colored hoses.
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Old 04-09-18, 06:12 PM   #31
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Cool beenz. This thread seems to imply that 365 is (a) also lower than Deore, and (b) just fine.

$53 delivered from China

$42 delivered from WA (new/take-offs)
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Old 04-09-18, 06:56 PM   #32
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The Diamondback full squish bike I just sold had Shimano M365 brakes with organic pads and they seemed lovely. It’s likely I wouldn’t go that low for an upgrade. Brakes are important! Especially with a large payload like a 40lb kiddo.

and that would give me an opportunity to add colored hoses.

If it is not too late, how about these?


Merida BIG.SEVEN XT-EDITION


Merida BIG.SEVEN XT-EDITION


Merida BIG.NINE XT-EDITION


Merida BIG.NINE XT-EDITION
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Old 04-09-18, 08:13 PM   #33
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Not in this country...
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Old 04-15-18, 01:24 PM   #34
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I ordered a Timberjack. So, to summarize...

I wanted an up-to-date mountain bike (short rear end, raked out steering, short stem and wide bars) whose frame had dropper post routing and lower rack mounts. You'd be surprised how many times these features are mutually exclusive. There are a lot of bikes like I wanted in the price range I wanted that just didn't have the rack mounts. I was willing to buy some extra parts to mount the accessories. I had some requirements on the build, but that was the gist. I expect to upgrade the components once the bike is done with kid duty and becomes a full time mountain bike again.

I found the following candidates and here are some notes.

Salsa Timberjack won out for a few reasons. The REI availability winds up being a great deal... eventually. (Nearly all the money back is dividend or gift card). The frame is only on its second model year and it's Boost-spaced with Salsa's modular dropouts, and it can take a wide range of tire sizes, which means, in spite of the rapid change in MTB parts, it will last a while for wheelset and drivetrain upgrades. The NX model I picked is 141 QR and that means it will take the trailer hitch no problem, but it will be able to take 148 thru axle, or indeed it would take a 142 thru or 135 QR, with a change in chips. It's missing the upper rack mounts so I'll need a rack mount seat collar. The kid seat is going to sit a little high.

Surly Karate Monkey and Krampus frames can work. There are some issues with the stock builds that would cause some extra work. Some versions have cable brakes that interfere with the rack, but hydraulics are ok. Some versions have thru axles which require a special aftermarket thru axle to use the trailer. The factory wheelset (2in rims and 3in 29er tires) on the Krampus are too big to clear the rack but it would be fine with somewhat smaller. The biggest problem I had with these bikes was the price tag. The complete Karate Monkey is $1500 and it seems only a little higher spec than other bikes here that cost under $1000. Nothing else I shopped at that price had a rigid fork. Some other Surly models would probably also work but they were all more heavy-duty than I wanted.

Trek Roscoe and X-Caliber would have been strong contenders if they were in stock. Marin Pine Mountain looked pretty good. It was missing the dropper routing. Neither of these frames can be upgraded to thru-axles but there are ways to use some thru axle wheels in the "141 QR" mode and both frames are fairly standard for suspension upgrades.

REI Co-Op DRT 2.1 would have been a contender if it came in a lower spec and brighter paint. I can understand selling bikes in flat camo colors, it just doesn't appeal to me personally.

I'm looking forward to kitting out and riding my Timberjack and reporting back how it works for me.
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Old 04-15-18, 06:44 PM   #35
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REI is it? Maybe yours is like that one in DC. The one I ride by everyday has less than 30 bikes, usually Ghost, or Diamondback. (They did have a heck of a deal on a to small Carbon Ultegra Roadie that sat for almost two years) Anyway....interesting discussion.
I will wait for something to turn up, 2, 5, 10 years from now in a thrift.
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Old 04-15-18, 08:31 PM   #36
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Maybe yours is like...
Or maybe it's not! Only a few stock Salsa but they sell through the website for in-store delivery.
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I will wait for something to turn up, 2, 5, 10 years from now in a thrift.
Maybe it will be mine! You never know what is going to happen.
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Old 04-16-18, 09:40 AM   #37
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Solid research, sounds like you made a good decision.

Since I don't need to tow a kid, I'm still set on a Krampus, but I'm patient, hoping I'll be able to pick up a used one for $1000 instead of paying $1500 MSRP.
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