Titanium Single Speed Build

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In my opinion there is no greater satisfaction than building up a bike and having success on it at the races or any other bike adventure. I built up a Lynskey Ridgeline 26″ single speed a few years back with success and since then I have graduated to the 29″ platform, so it was time to add some 29″ metal to the fleet. Titanium is the perfect metal that possesses all of the properties that one could possibly want in a bike frame. I have carbon framed bikes and they are joy to ride but titanium has a unique quality that is hard to deny. I went with the Lynksey Ridgeline SL 29″ frame. Lynskey has been putting out solid titanium frames for years. I have always respected their craftsmanship and they are built in the USA. This bike aka “CAP” has become my fav bike. It truly rides like a dream and has a smooth disposition. I look forward to many years of fun and pain on this machine. My build comes in at 18.5 lbs and it is nimble in the technical and stiff in the railing.

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From the Lynksey description of the frame features and specs:

“Tapered/integrated headtube with internal stainless cartridge bearings
12×142 thru axle dropout configuration
Front fork: Best suited for 120mm
Tire size: Clearance for up to a 2.5 tire width
Front derailleur type: 34.9 low mount top pull front derailleur
Cable routing: all “under” top tube
Downtube cable routing for Shimano side pull front derailleur”

“Headtube Design Tapered/Integrated
Bottom Bracket Type 73mm standard english
Seatpost Diameter 27.2 mm
Seat Tube Diameter 34.9mm
Wheel Size 27.5 inch
Max Tire Width 2.5
Dropouts 12×142 Thru Axle Fixed Recommended DT Swiss 12x1mm thread pitch
Rear Spacing 142mm
Brake Type Disc”

I chose to outfit CAP with the following:

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Lynskey Ridgeline 29 SL Ti Frame- Small
Whisky Carbon Fork
Sram Avid XX Disc Brakes
Trucker Co Disc Brake Pads
Jagwire Brake Lines and Quick Fit Kit-Titanium
Hayes 160mm Disc Rotors, Ti Fasteners Trucker Co
Cane Creek 110 Headset- 42/52
Loaded Xlite 760 Carbon UD Handlebar- 760mm, Flat
Loaded AM XC Stem- 85mm, 27.2mm Gray
Loaded AM XC Seat Post- 30.9mm, Gray
Fizik M1 Carbon Saddle
Kogel Ceramic Bottom Bracket
Industry Nine Ultralite Torch 29 Blue Wheel Set
Maxxis Crossmark EXO TR 29×2.2
KMC Gold Chain- 10
Wolf Tooth Chain Rings 32×17, Black
Shimano XTR 9020 1x Crank + CRing Bolts
ESI Grips- Turquoise
Shimano XTR Pedals
Paragon Machine Works Ti SS Slider Hardware
Velo Solo Single Speed Spacer Kit
Titanium Fasteners for Brakes
Crankskins
Crank End Protectors
Trucker Co Valves
Togs
Spurcycle Bell

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2017 is starting to shape up to be a year of a solid mix of endurance racing and this bike will be at the forefront of most of those endeavors. This bike takes me back to a time when I was (still am) a child jumping that BMX bike off of concrete block board jumps in the driveway.

Cheers and a Happy 2017!!!

 

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Winter and the Year Ahead

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Its that time of the year…you either hibernate or make it count. If you choose to make it count well then you must endure the cold and wet. Proper clothing and layers make this possible, so don’t think that you have to ride the trainer all winter long. Don’t get me wrong, the trainer is a convenient alternative and less prep is needed on those super cold days and dark evenings after work. On those days that winter recedes during the winter months, one must take advantage. Recently, I was able to do just that with the Ohio Gravel Grinders in Scioto Trails State Park. Great day on the bike with 50+ riders slinging gravel in the hills of Chillicothe. Look for local riding groups or visit your local bike shop and ask about weekend/group rides. It is always more fun when you are playing in the winter with others. I find that when the temps are below freezing that the single track is a treat, especially if it has a layer of snow lacing it. Before you know it spring will reenter the picture and winter will be but a memory. Make it count and come spring you will be surprised at your level of fitness.

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2016 looks to be another great year to be racing. I’m starting to select races for the year. Mountain bike racing has really exploded across the multi-disciplines and the venues across the country are numerous. First, I will be meeting up with my good friend and racing partner Paul for some grinding in Indiana next month. This summer I’m looking forward to getting back out to New Mexico and ripping it up in the high desert. I will have an endurace focus as always along with some cross country thrown in for some variety throughout the year on the single speed.

I’m stoked to have all of my sponsors back for the year. One that Im really excited about is my continuation with the Truck Co Posse Mountain Bike Team. If you don’t know then you should know that Trucker Co kicks out some amazing products for your cycling needs: Tire Sealant, Brake Pads, Grips, Cables and Housing and Valve Stems. I recommend all of their products and I use them on all of my bikes. I have stood on podiums due to my bikes being equipped with Trucker Co products.12185505_10153236187867986_3259329151881781089_o-2

Jess will be in my corner throughout the year providing care and support on my crazy tests of Metal. A huge thanks, hugs and kisses to her for all that she does.

Cheers

CUPCAKE

 

20150928_120159_resized I decided to update my Single Speed frame and I’m thrilled with my selection. The Niner One 9 RDO is a beast. I dig the blue as it reminds me of childhood birthday cakes and cupcakes. You know the ones that had icing scribbled on them that spelled your name out on it and had a superhero stamped on it giving your imagination a dopamine release of invincibility all in honor of celebrating your 7th birthday. You know what I’m talking about!

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The One 9 RDO was designed for single speeding with its beefed up bottom bracket housing for stomping out that 60:1 gear ratio. It is agile-light and the geometry allows for Bambi Deer Flow through and over the course of your desire.

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I outfitted my cupcake with the already precise and tested components that I was using on my previous single speed and they bolted right up and I was on the trails in no time. The Niner Biocentric II is a dream and allows for chain adjustment to be done with ease and it holds tension over the course which allows you to ride without having to fumble over chain issues that other setups are prone to do.  I have it dialed in now after riding in Dayton and Cincinnati. I’m super stoked to push it further and line it up for future races.

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Niner hit it out of the park with the One 9 RDO frame and with my setup filling it out…oh yeah it is cupcake time!

Cheers

On One ‘OO’ Single Speed Build

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‘OO’ (Double-Ought Buckshot), my moniker for this beast. It is a lightweight, single-speed, carbonic-flexing puncher of a machine. I am so looking forward to getting this puncher out on the race courses this year. I expect it to slice and dice the single track in my endurance races over the year and beyond. I have tested it out over the winter in various places and I have been super impressed with it. I have swapped a few parts in and out over this time. I have settled on the below list of componentry, which I feel will accommodate my needs and style like a disco inferno going off in the pale moonlight. It is light and agile. It climbs and descends while sticking to the rail of the trail. The frame (On-One Lurcher) is solid and durable with a sleekly commando presence. The geometry seems to be dialed in well for a cued in responsiveness to the trail. A few noteworthy standouts on the frame: Optional hanger plates to run it as single speed or geared, beefy bottom bracket housing and tapered head set tube for steering stability, lightweight carbon that is stiff and responsive. The all black look is the look for me as I like to sneak around stealthily and “BAM” there I am, hahaha!

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As for the parts that I used to piece this solid frame together, well I did some research as I always do in my lab of madness and delved into my jumbled contortion of experience with builds and use of parts over the years with an emphasis towards effective and durable lightweight components. After all is said and done, the ‘OO’ weighs in at 18.5 lbs. 20150226_172333 (3)Yes, that is with pedals, grips, valve stems, water-bottle cage and tire sealant. The ‘OO’ is super light but yet strong and it will PUNCH!

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It will get a full test next weekend at the Tommy Knocker 10 Hour in Silver City, NM. Can’t wait to leave this snow encrusted tundra of the East and rock it in the sunshine of the southwest for spring break.

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Build Up:

Wheelset- Loaded Ultra X-Lite Carbon Tubeless Rims (29″, 32 H) with Industry 9 Classic Torch Hubs

Tires- Continental Race King 2.2

Crank- SRAM XX1 Carbon Crank 170 mm

Bottom Bracket- Kogel Ceramic Pressfit 92 mm

Pedals- xpedo M-Force 4 Ti

Chain Rings- Blackspire 32 T  on the front accompanied by a Chris King 19 T on the rear

Chain- Shimano XTR

Chain Tensioner- Surly Tuggnut

Fork- Whisky No. 9

Headset- Cane Creek 110 ZS 44 Upper 49 Lower

Handlebar- Loaded X-Lite Carbon Flat 710 mm

Stem- Loaded X-Lite w/Ti 90 mm

Seat Post- Loaded X-Lite w/Ti 31.6 mm

Saddle- SDG Fly

Grips- ESI

Brakes- Avid XX

Rotors- Clarks Floating 160 mm

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Cheerios!!!

Loaded Precision Cockpit Review

 

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I have been racing and training on the Loaded Precision cockpit (handlebar, stem and seat post) for about a year now. I have been very impressed with it  and in fact I just equipped another bike I built up with the same Loaded cockpit. Loaded makes stylishly impressive carbon fiber, lightweight aluminum and titanium components for mountain bikes. I have been running the Loaded: X-Lite Carbon UD Handlebar (Flat, 710mm), X-Lite Titanium Stem (90mm), X-Lite Ultra Aluminum Seatpost (400mm, 31.6mm).

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The X-Lite Carbon UD (Uni-directional)Flat Handlebar with a width of 710mm (27.95 inches) delivers a setup that I find spot on. The wide stance allows me to breathe fully while I climb, which I find myself mostly doing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The carbon makeup of the bar provides a sweet balance of responsive flex and stiffness that I find crucial as I navigate through rock gardens or come barreling into a sharp turn and burn. The weight of the bar is incredibly light and ones first impression might be ‘how strong can it really be’, but it is without a doubt. I mostly do ultra endurance racing, so having the ample width of the bar allows me to place my accessories (lights, bags, gps, etc) needed for such an event.

The X-Lite Titanium Stem with a 90mm length comes in all black aka ‘stealth cool’. Stem length is important as any racer or devoted rider knows when it comes to bike fit (effective comfort). The X-Lite Ti Stem is made out of T6 7075 Aluminum (light weight) with a carbon face plate while adorned with Titanium bolt hardware. It comes in at an impressive <100 grams. Titanium is very well-known for its weight to strength qualities. The X-Lite Ti Stem fits that bill without a doubt and provides the contact platform needed to take on the line grinding of single track. The milling on the stem provides an aesthetic quality that I find high-end classy.

The X-Lite Ultra Aluminum Seatpost comes in the varied sizes anyone might need for a typical mountain bike setup. I’m running the ‘stealth cool” version with a 31.6 mm diameter. Very light weight and comparable to any high-end seatpost when it comes to craftsmanship and quality. The X-Lite Seatpost comes with Titanium bolt hardware and is made out of T6 7075 Aluminum. I personally have an affinity to Titanium hardware due to its strength, light weight and rust avoidance properties. I have found that this seatpost provides me with a seamless integration on my bike to round out my cockpit. I swap saddles at certain times and setting up the saddle is easy and the mounting base is wide enough for the stability needed when it comes to the stresses placed by your rump on it.

Loaded Precision makes high-end quality components and you get what you pay for, atleast in my opinion. Aesthetically pleasing and more importantly functional and up to the task at hand. I will continue to adorn my racing rigs with Loaded. Loaded makes a lot more than just cockpit items and a nice color selection of select components. Check them out, I believe you will be impressed as I have been.