Project LTHT- Singular Buzzard: Components- by Guitar Ted
In my previous post on Project LTHT, I gave you the particulars on the frame I chose for the project. Now in this post I will detail the components chosen and why. For a look at the frame details please click here.
Project Intentions: My intent for this project is to see if a bicycle designed for aggressive, gravity oriented fun can work as an ‘all arounder” as well. Can something with slack angles and short chain stays go up as well as it does down? Would something like this cover more ground as your “fun”, everyday mountain bike, or is it relegated to only the most extreme trails? The components needed to reflect this intention and yet retain the “heart” of what these bikes are about.
Components: The fork I wanted needed to be a 140mm travel fork and I wanted wide rims, burly tires, and a 2X 10 drive train for the low climbing gear. A dropper seat post was a must, and wide handle bars with a short-ish stem were also on my list. Here is what I was able to track down to build up the Buzzard….
- Rock Shox XX Reba 140mm travel, 20mm through axle.
- Velocity “Dually” rims laced to Velocity U.S.A. hubs (newest version)
- Shimano 2X10 SLX drive train with RapidFire shifters and Clutch derailluer.
- Shimano SLX Ice Tech disc brakes- 180mm front/160mm rear
- Specialized “Command Post” dropper post w/remote.
- Shimano “PRO” series “Tharsis” riser bar w/740mm width.
- KORE “B-52″ stem @ 75mm length.
- On One Smorgasbord 29 X 2.25″ rear and On One Chunky Monkey 29 X 2.4″ tires set up tubeless.
- Ergon grips and Bontrager saddle.
- Cane Creek 40 series head set for 44mm head tube and 1 1/8th-1 1/5 tapered steer tube.
The Velocity “Dually” rims and Velocity hubs are new for 2014 and the Project LTHT is sporting these wide track wheels. The rims measure a full 45mm wide and unlike many really wide rims, the Dually is a double wall extrusion. I selected the polished versions of these new rims to go along with the classic looking paint scheme of the Buzzard. Purple alloy nipples…….just because I like purple!
The new rims are laced to the new versions of the Velocity hubs with better bearings and a better free hub engagement than the previous hubs. They also will convert to 9mm quick release, 15mm through axle, 20mm through axle, and out back the rear hub will also convert to 12mm through axle standard.
The Dually rims also are designed to be set up tubeless. The old tape that Velocity has sold will work, (and that is what I used), but they are working on a specific tubeless kit just for these ultra-wide 29″er rims. We hope to get our hands on a kit when they are available. But for now, the standard Velocity tape has been working fine so far. By the way, these are not “light wheels”, but for their purpose, that is okay. Front wheel weight is 1040 gms and the rear clocked in at 1100 gms .
The wide rims really spread out the On One tires. I measured 61.5mm in the back and 63.1mm up front for widths after setting up the tires tubeless. In fact, I have to wonder how long I’ll be able to keep the Reba XX fork on this rig, or I will maybe have to go with a Smorgasbord up front, because the clearance with the Chunky Monkey is minimal at best!
As I alluded to above, the tires set up tubeless fine and have held air really well so far. While the On One tires are not recommended as tubeless ready, I have had no issues with using them that way, so far, so good. But you may want to remember these are not truly tubeless tires!
To finish out these wheels I used Shimano six bolt compatible Ice Tech rotors and a 9mm skewer out back and converted the front hub easily to the 20mm through axle standard for use with the Maxle through axle.
The levers are the newer SLX hydraulic type with Servo Wave which Shimano says has a quicker engagement and a 25% higher lever input with less free stroke for aggressive riding. The free stroke and lever position are both adjustable. Of course, the calipers feature the Ice Tech pads with their radiating fins sticking off the pads above the calipers.
The brake levers are set next to the excellent Rapid Fire SLX shifters with Dual Release, which I like since sometimes I prefer a “SRAM” type “push-push” activation with regard to shifting, but there are always a few times a ride I end up pulling the release lever as Shimano intended. (It’s nice to have options!) The bar gets a little busy with that Command Post remote nestled in there, but I got it where I needed it to be and it works out well. The shifters, remote lever, and brakes all set neat as can be expected on a Shimano “PRO” series Tharsis riser bar which features a 740mm length and a 20mm rise. It is a light 270 gms in weight and differs from the previous Tharsis bar in that this one is made from alloy and is much less expensive than the original carbon version. Everything is capped off by my old standby Ergon grips here.
Let’s see, what have I forgotten? The cassette is an SLX version 11-36T, the crankset is geared at a nice, wide ratio of 38T/24T, and the pedals are Shimano’s cage type PD-M530 models in white. The build is not aimed at being light, but I think it reflects “reasonable” choices well within the realm of what someone putting together a “play bike” like this might spend on such a project. I expect a build like this to have a high degree of performance at the expense of weight, but again- at a reasonable cost. Sure- one could use XTR/XT components, carbon bits, lighter, less wide wheels, and maybe dispose of the dropper post and shave off several pounds from what I ended up with as a total here, but I am not at all shocked by the final weight of 31.3lbs ready to ride. I built this up to be able to ride anywhere without much, if any compromises- at least from the perspective of riding a hard tail is concerned. So, the weight is a reflection of all of the above, and again- I am at peace with that.
So, there are the build details. Project LTHT has already been out on the trails, so in my next update, I will give my First Impressions on how everything is working out so far and try to see if my intentions are being met so far. Stay tuned…..
NOTE: Parts for Project LTHT were submitted to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for test and review including the frame, fork, and drive train. We are not being paid, nor bribed by any of the companies who sent in parts for this project and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.