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NSMB - 2022 - Hardtail Thread...

Dec. 31, 2021, 9:41 a.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

2019

I got my custom Daambuilt and figured I'd try riding a "modern" hardtail on the trails from time to time. I didn't have any expectations from it nor did I expect it to displace my FS bikes...but it did over that winter.  Prior to this I had enjoyed riding bikes like my Surly Krampus rigid & hardtail for bikepacking trips. Some of those trips were singletrack based and got a bit shreddy, but every time I had unleashed the Krampus on my local trails I just wasn't loving it. Of course it was the geo not the lack of suspension that was the issue, but my brain was set of a FS bike for "real" mountain biking so I didn't think too deeply about it. 

2020

Riding the Daambuilt through the winter more and more I started thinking "Maybe I'll ride a hardtail as my main MTB through the summer as well" and I got a 2nd hardtail [Cotic BFeMAX] so I could have one setup for gravel/touring and one for shredding. That experiment went pretty well in that I put a lot more KMs on hardtails than my FS bike.

2021

I rode my FS bike 2 or 3 times in 2021. I refined what I wanted out of my trail hardtail and moved on from the Cotic [only after riding it steadily for well over a year]. Moving the parts to a Pipedream Sirius things totally clicked for me and really pushed my riding performance up a whole level in speed and confidence.

2022

Building off what I learned from the Sirius I've built up a Bird Forge so I'd have SS and geared shreddy MTB options in the garage for 2022. I plan to focus on SS, but I'll lean on the geared bike for longer more challenging rides. Especially with other people. As I learn more about the new trail network and push my boundaries I figure I'll follow up geared rides with missions on my SS bike. It's a lot easier to ride SS when you know what's around the next corner. I can see trying a full year SS challenge, but it won't be in 2022. 

For folks that prefer the naked look I've posted a "before" photo of the Bird and an "after". All the best to the NSMB crew and readers for 2022!

Dec. 31, 2021, 12:34 p.m.
Posts: 288
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Coloured cables....

https://youtu.be/PWFF7ecArBk

Dec. 31, 2021, 2:54 p.m.
Posts: 1242
Joined: May 11, 2018

Looks great Vic 👍.

I'm a bit jealous as I'm still waiting for my frame and that bird looks so nice. It looks like a really nice ride with those slender seat stays. Love the colour as well. Have you had it out yet? Looking forward to hearing your first impressions.

Dec. 31, 2021, 5:04 p.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: earleb

Coloured cables....

Sure. Happy to give you more housing porn. ;-)

Dec. 31, 2021, 5:14 p.m.
Posts: 257
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

The Bird looks great. What travel is the fork, and how high is the BB?

I'm having a lot of fun with my MoXie, but have a - 2° Works on the bench, and want to lower the fork at the same time. The only concern is pedal strikes, I can already drag my heel in the dirt with the crank at 6 o'clock and the bike vertical, and things are only going to get lower.

Dec. 31, 2021, 5:16 p.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: RAHrider

Looks great Vic 👍.

I'm a bit jealous as I'm still waiting for my frame and that bird looks so nice. It looks like a really nice ride with those slender seat stays. Love the colour as well. Have you had it out yet? Looking forward to hearing your first impressions.

The waiting is hard. I've been lucky with stuff being in stock when I wanted it the last few years...at least most of the time. It'll be worth it once you get it. How has Marino been for updating you on progress?

The Bird has just been cruising around the neighbourhood. I'd like to get used to it and get it dialed under "normal" conditions. Just waiting for this current weather system to clear and I'll get on it. I'm going to ride SS as my primary setup so the Bird will be a less frequently used geared machine.

Dec. 31, 2021, 5:40 p.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: velocipedestrian

The Bird looks great. What travel is the fork, and how high is the BB?

I'm having a lot of fun with my MoXie, but have a - 2° Works on the bench, and want to lower the fork at the same time. The only concern is pedal strikes, I can already drag my heel in the dirt with the crank at 6 o'clock and the bike vertical, and things are only going to get lower.

BBH measured is ~305mm with 170mm cranks and a 140mm fork [unsagged]. This is definitely on the low side for me as I tend to like higher BB's. If I recall correctly the Sirius BBH is ~330mm so a full inch higher, but I did overfork it 20mm.  The Bird's lower BB is a bit of an experiment to see if #1 I can get away with that height here where the trails are less slow tech and more speed tech and #2 if the lower BB does something really positive for bike handling.

Dec. 31, 2021, 5:40 p.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: velocipedestrian

The Bird looks great. What travel is the fork, and how high is the BB?

BBH measured is ~305mm with 170mm cranks and a 140mm fork [unsagged]. This is definitely on the low side for me as I tend to like higher BB's. If I recall correctly the Sirius BBH is ~330mm so a full inch higher, but I did overfork it 20mm. The Bird's lower BB is a bit of an experiment to see if #1 I can get away with that height here where the trails are less slow tech and more speed tech and #2 if the lower BB does something really positive for bike handling.

The Forge is designed for up to a 160mm fork so I could raise the BB that way if needed.


 Last edited by: Vikb on Dec. 31, 2021, 5:41 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Dec. 31, 2021, 5:42 p.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: velocipedestrian

I'm having a lot of fun with my MoXie, but have a - 2° Works on the bench, and want to lower the fork at the same time. The only concern is pedal strikes, I can already drag my heel in the dirt with the crank at 6 o'clock and the bike vertical, and things are only going to get lower.

I'd give it a shot and see what happens. Can you reduce crank length as part of the process? What's the current fork length and what are you wanting to use after the headset is installed?


 Last edited by: Vikb on Dec. 31, 2021, 5:44 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 31, 2021, 6:04 p.m.
Posts: 257
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Cheers!

I plan to give it a shot, the idea is to go 130 (down from 160) with the fork, while fitting a 25mm higher bar and fine tuning with spacers. 

Cranks are 175, and I'd rather not have different lengths in the fleet. 

Once I have the parts to change the fork travel that will be the what I use to adjust the BB height. I'm hoping 130-140 will be enough to keep the pedals out of the dirt, but I'll compromise at 150 if I'm losing pins. 

I took it down a new-to-me trail for the last ride of the year and loved how it didn't throw me over the bars while I was getting scared down the steep chunks, though I did get my bum wiped by the 27" tyre once.

Jan. 1, 2022, 9:06 a.m.
Posts: 551
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

330 is mega high on a hardtail imo, for general trail riding anyways. 

I like 310 on 175mm cranks, 305 on 170 seems like it should be pretty good. 

I generally dislike low BBs as well but find on a HT I can get away with a pretty low BB, personally.

Jan. 1, 2022, 9:22 a.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: Kenny

330 is mega high on a hardtail imo, for general trail riding anyways. 

I like 310 on 175mm cranks, 305 on 170 seems like it should be pretty good. 

I generally dislike low BBs as well but find on a HT I can get away with a pretty low BB, personally.

The Sirius was designed for a 120mm fork so I've got the front end jacked up 20mm. I wasn't sure how I would like that, but it handles really great on the trail. Riding slippery mud/roots and now snow really tests a bike's handling and the Sirius has come through with an A+ so no plans to change anything, but I agree on paper a 330mm BBH is high.

I am very curious to see how I find the lower BBH as a comparison. An inch is a big differential given they are running the same length forks.

It's fun to experiment a bit and really the only way to learn what I like and what I don't.

Jan. 1, 2022, 10:54 a.m.
Posts: 287
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I've been a lurker in the 20XX Hardtail Threads every year, but this year I should be able to contribute! :)

I have a Honzo ESD frameset on the way to replace my old Voodoo Bizango on 26". The Voodoo is an amazing bike to look at, filled with memories and loaded with some of the best components I've accumulated in the past 20 years...but the reality is that its geometry is from another era and it doesn't really fulfill its intended purpose of being a second bike anymore. It's OK on mellow trails for family rides, but the steep head angle and QR fork is no fun on the actual trails I like to ride. Also, I like being able to swap parts between bikes, which I can't do at the moment.

I'm in no rush to build the ESD. Hopefully, I'll be able to find the missing parts in the next few months to finish the build. :)

Jan. 1, 2022, 11:52 a.m.
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: FlipSide

I've been a lurker in the 20XX Hardtail Threads every year, but this year I should be able to contribute! :)

I have a Honzo ESD frameset on the way to replace my old Voodoo Bizango on 26". The Voodoo is an amazing bike to look at, filled with memories and loaded with some of the best components I've accumulated in the past 20 years...but the reality is that its geometry is from another era and it doesn't really fulfill its intended purpose of being a second bike anymore. It's OK on mellow trails for family rides, but the steep head angle and QR fork is no fun on the actual trails I like to ride. Also, I like being able to swap parts between bikes, which I can't do at the moment.

I'm in no rush to build the ESD. Hopefully, I'll be able to find the missing parts in the next few months to finish the build. :)

A Kona ESD will be a lot of fun. Congrats. I found parts supply not to be an issue when I built my Bird. I mean as long as you are not crazy picky there seems to be a lot of decent options available at any one time.

NSMB ESD review --> https://nsmb.com/articles/2021-kona-honzo-esd-full-review/

Maybe the Voodoo could be turned into a town bike or gravel-esque bike?

Jan. 1, 2022, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 165
Joined: March 1, 2017

I can't figure out how to post photos on here, but here's my Chromag on BC's:

https://nsmb.com/photos/view/20430/

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