Thursday, February 16, 2006

From 44lbs to 35lbs... The Stinky D goes to Weight Watchers

Can a 44 lb, 7-inch travel freeride bike morph into a 35lb heavy-duty backcountry xc bike? I'm going to find out. I spoke with Tony at Manitou today, and we're talking about eliminating a ton of weight -- probably a good four to five pounds -- with a suspension component transplant. I'll probably reduce the travel to six inches front and rear using a single-crown Manitou fork (either a Nixon or Travis single crown, depending on how much I want to push the weight savings issue) and a Swinger 4-way air rear damper.

Above: The Teardown begins
Heavy Fork and Wheel: A Nixon Platinum fork and lighter front wheel could knock three-plus pounds off the weight of the front-end. The downside of the Nixon would be an inch less travel and slightly less ultimate thrashability -- this front-end is bombproof.

Heavy Crank: I've already replaced this RaceFace DH crank with an old Deore XT Octalink model I had laying around -- it's proven to be plenty strong for my type of riding, and the combination of crank and bottom bracked dropped more than a pound from the bike with no noticable performance decrease. Better yet, since I had the XT crank/bb laying in a box of parts, the weight savings cost me NOTHING! It doesn't get any better than that!
Heavy Rear Shock: While it still works great, the coil-sprung Fox Vanilla RC rear damper is about two pounds heavier than the Manitou Swinger 4-way damper that will replace it. An air spring on the Swinger makes up most of the weight savings there, but the stable platform valve (SPV) design of the Swinger will also help the bike pedal more efficiently, while still taking all types of hits in stride. I'm requesting the Swinger be 5mm shorter eye-to-eye than the stock Fox, which will bring the rear of the bike down about 13-14mm, balancing out the slightly shorter fork axle-to-crown length of the Nixon.
Other areas of potential weight savings include the saddle, seatpost, handlebar, cassette, brake rotors, stem and wheels -- so just about everywhere on the bike. That said, I'm trying not to do anything too crazy that would seriously compromize the hammerability (is that a word? it is now...) of the bike.

10 comments:

skinny d said...

aww cmon what are you doin?
youve already got a xc bike!

mg said...

yeah, i actually scrapped the nixon idea... 518mm axle-to-crown is too short. i need a fork that's more in the 540mm a-2-c range.

don't worry d... i'm keeping the jr. t around for jumping with you and da' boyz... speaking of which -- we need to do some jumpin' -- but once it warms up a few degrees.

cheers,
mg

3p0 said...

i don't think your gonna save much weight gettin ride of the lettering on your der dude.

welcome back to town buddy

mg said...

thanks cvo... it was good to talk to you last night. it'd been too long.
:-}
mg

3p0 said...

no kiddin, I can't wait for a nice warm night when I'm cruzin with you and w through the park again...

skinny d said...

dont get too carried away. you've still got your kikapu to go ride cross country. we definately need to go ride soon. to bad weve got such horrible weather. peace.

tj said...

hi big brother! i'm just downloading my cd collection to MY NEW IPOD and needed something to do to pass time instead of homework, i am sooooo sick of school, so i thought i would check out the dirtblog. haven't read it in awhile. how in the heck are you?

Chaybo said...

sounds like fruita mods to me !!

skinny d said...

remember its a stinky d. not a skinny d.

mg said...

well, i rode it through wilderness last night with cvo (don't tell hoss), and damn, that thing needs to be a skinny d to ride xc. the weight is impossible for me to get my head around most of the time. it just feels super heavy compared to my dos niner, or especially my ti bontrager singlespeed -- and it is. that's the point of that bike. i'm not really looking to change the abilities of the bike much, but more the character of it while pedaling.

i want to refine the sensory experience of pedaling the bike, without degrading it's rip-ability too much.

tj - i've been good. super... SUPER busy lately with work, but overall purdy good. we've had the warmest winter this year... other than brief cold snaps, we've had it pretty good. it'll be in the 50s and sunny today -- so we've all been riding lots. tell vince howdy, and give your son a big hug for me. he looks so cute with that long hair... :-}

cheers,
mg