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Dormouse morphed again...

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Dormouse morphed again...

Old 10-04-08, 10:54 AM
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Dormouse morphed again...

The hardtail, front suspension MTB has morphed yet again. This time its a full blown hybred, comfortable on smooth dirt and on asphault as well.

When last visited, the Marzocchi fork was leaning up against the corner in the workshop and had been rplaced by a steel disc brake fork with less length (not as "suspension corrected"). The handling improved without becoming too twitchey. The reduced fork angle with the nose lower made the bike feel more like a roadbike.

Well, using the theory of "if some is good, then more is better", off came the steel fork and on went a fork with almost no extra height. For the experiment at a price, a cheap Hong Kong aluminium for was tried. There are a lot of good carbon MTB forks available if the experiment works. With the inexpensive aluminium fork (under 1.5lbs total) I was not interested in using the front disc brake package as I'm nervous about the strain on the bottom of those thin little bearcan legs. On with the avid brakes.........and a carbon riser bar laying around in the shop to help with the vibes coming up that fork.

Success, the bike is very nice, almost too fast in the steering department, but the average roadie would be comfortable with it. Not so nice for rough dirt, rocks as the front end wants to get knocked around a bit. Off with the knobbies and on with the Kenda Kosmic Light II's (semi slick with knobs only on the sides) and volia, a comfortable hybrid for smooth dirt and asphault. No suspension, but large volumn 2.1 tires to absorb the bumps. All the changes took a ton of weight off the bike so it even climbs reasonably well. The gear ratio is a massive 26/36/48 front with an 11/32 on the back.

I can still recomend this sort of bike as a general purpose all around"er. Even better if your a 50/50 road and dirt rider. The bike is tougher than a cross bike, faster on dirt and almost as fast on pavement. The marketplace is loaded with cheap (insert picture of beercan here) MTB frames that would be a perfect start for this sort of project.

Sorry, Blues Dawg.............no drop bars yet..................but I did go to carbon which I swore I wouldn/t do.
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Old 10-04-08, 11:01 AM
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Hmmph
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Old 10-04-08, 11:01 AM
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Maddmaxx, what kind of frame is this bike?

BTW, the Stumpjumper project bike that some of you helped me pick out is coming along. It had its first two commutes to work this week (including 20 miles RT yesterday in the rain). It was a stock no-suspension Stumpjumper -- I've added fenders, Schwalbe Marathon 26 * 1.75 tires, a rear rack, and Nashbar trekking bars. I need to change the stem (the former owner had an ultra-long stem on it) and have one on order.

I agree w/your comments above - a bike like this is ultra comfortable, good for general purpose riding/commuting. There are some dirt and gravel paths in a park near my house that are similar to rough gravel roads / dirt fire roads, and this bike does fine on them.
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Old 10-04-08, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
Hmmph
I can't believe I'm agreeing with DeeGee on anything, but the man does have a point.
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Old 10-04-08, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
but the man does have a point.
And we have pictures to prove it!
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Old 10-04-08, 12:47 PM
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Glad to see this project progressing. But the greatest accomplishment of the Dormouse has been to encourage me to build Kemo Sabe, which is my favorite configuration to date of my Trek 970 frame. I finally took it out for some smooth singletrack last weekend. The Origin 8 Gary (dirt drop) bars handled it beautifully. I even managed hopping a 9" log with no trouble.

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Old 10-04-08, 01:03 PM
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OK...ok. Intermediate pics with the knobby tires and rear disc still on.

Benge Boy, the frame is a Leader 510H, the fork is a Mosso "aluminium" Ebay'ed from Hong Kong. About the end of the month I will do a full hi-res photo spread on my Web Page with detailled pics.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
The hardtail, front suspension MTB has morphed yet again. This time its a full blown hybred, comfortable on smooth dirt and on asphault as well.
This poor bike is having an identity crisis
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Old 10-04-08, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
And we have pictures to prove it!
Good point.
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Old 10-04-08, 01:29 PM
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Going back to when I was into MTB's in a big way- First thing I used to look at on Rigid bikes was the Head tube angle. Less than 70 and the bike would be stable but slow to react. Above 71.5 and it would be twitchy. I always used to buy bikes that I liked after test rides- but from experience- I knew that those with 71.5 deg head angle were going to handle right for me. Only tried a couple with 72 deg and They were twitchy- in fact almost unridable on tricky descents.

Problem came about when I started fitting Suspension forks and The Kona Changed its handling drastically with a pogo stick on the front. Fine uphill and OK on the flats but first lumpy descent and I nearly lost it. Reckon the forks compressed as I landed and gave me a head tube angle well above the 71.5 I liked. The Bianchi I got with Suspension and That wasn't too bad. but it only really worked when I fitted a pair of 80mm travel forks with the hardest Elastomers fitted in it. At least I could steer the damn thing downhill ( Or at least get it going roughly where I wanted it to go) without too many trips to A & E.
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Old 10-04-08, 02:38 PM
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Your right Stapfam, this is no longer a hard core MTB. It handles too much like a road frame to be happy in the rough stuff. This is a mixed duty around town bike where the road/trail surface could be almost anything, but not rocks, roots and other nasty's.

All of the real MTB parts are being put aside for next years project. That will start with my old Haro V3 frame, but first it will be stripped and I will try a low buck/high labor paint job. It will not be white. If the members want to advise on a color, by all means do so. The fork is predominately silver and chrome with the Marzocchi Label and will not be repainted. I'd rather avoid the more mundane. I'm leaning toward something from the 60's like "Candy Apple Red" or one of the heavy metalflakes......................


And Bev......yes this poor bike has been the subject of far too many experiments. I think the present "Hybrid" form may be where it stays. It needs more time on the road and less time in the shop.
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Old 10-04-08, 03:25 PM
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Between Oct. 1 and April 1, I refuse to admire bikes without fenders.

Add fenders; it will confuse the bike even more.
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