Monday, April 22, 2013


It's Monday and I already have so much to catch up on...

a fruitless quest to find a missing bottle.

a fun race that felt more like a fast group ride.

the start of something new.

I guess I'll have to start with the story that has already leaked by the wonders of social media through no one's fault but my own.  Who can blame me, it's hard to contain a beauty like this.

As you can see from the picture above, it's complete!!  What started way back in October with the acquisition of a One9 frame has FINALLY ended in a complete, and working, bike!!  Yeah yeah, I know.  Having the frame sit for about 5 1/2 months sounds like a sin, but I had to jump on the deal to get the frame and then wait to start spending the monies to acquire all the other beautiful parts.

The biggest purchase (other than the frame itself) was, of course, the wheels.  The wheels in of themselves were a bit of a hard decision - do I go with some stock Stan's wheels and upgrade later - or go for broke from the start?  When I decided to go for the gold I immediately knew who would build them for me - Dustin at Southern Wheelworks.

Crest rims with Hope hubs
I've long been a member of singletracks, a great resource for trail info, gear reviews, and all things mountain biking.  Dustin is a contributing writer there, but I think I even recognized him from around the forums before he got the sweet gig writing.  When I saw that he had started building up wheels I knew I'd go to him if I indeed went the custom wheel route.  Other than being a mountain biker through and through, he's a mechanical engineer - so there is a little extra cred as to why you might feel comfortable letting him set you up.

What can I say about my experience working
with Dustin?  It was phenomenally easy.  The process all starts out with a survey that Dustin asks everyone to fill out to give him a better sense of what you are looking for in your wheels.  If you know the exact specs you are looking for you can add that right into the survey and send them on over.  Dustin got back to me quickly with a few more questions to help him provide me with all my options.  My initial intention was to go the I9 route, but with it being bike building season and a new hub coming from I9 it was like looking for a bison burger at McDonald's.  Dustin provided me with detailed specs on performance, weight, and cost on many of the big name hubs to help me decided if I wanted to wait for the illusive I9s to become available or go with someone else.  He presents your options in a open and honest manner that allows you, the customer, to decide what you want to go with.  At no point did I feel undo pressure to go with any of his suggestions over my own desires.  My final decision was to go with the Hopes, and I couldn't be happier.

The kicker to the whole deal - Dustin doesn't charge a build fee - just what it costs to get your parts together to build.  Once Dustin got my hubs in, the turn around was super quick.  I think he got the hubs in on Tuesday and I got my wheels on Friday - and even that was held up due to a decal issue.  You can't beat that!!  Dustin can also provide you with everything you need to get your wheels up and ready to roll (sealant, tape, stems, and tires).

Maxxis Ardent up front, Maxxis Ignitor in the rear
If you are in the market for a custom set of wheels, road or mountain, I'd strongly suggest you talk to Dustin over at Southern Wheelworks - he's good people.

Ok, to the build itself.  Saturday I headed over to Good Guy Greg's bright and early to get the build on.  Good Guy Greg has all the tools one could want or need when it comes to bike building, plus he's just a good guy and likes to help out.  TheMutt showed up for "advising" purposes.

Bike Buffet
 Although it was on the table to start, no beer was consumed during the build.  I know, sacrilege!  But we started early and time flew by so fast it never felt that we were working that long or that it got "late enough" to start drinking.  I did, however, come away with some nice sunburn on my head, back of my neck, hands, and arms.

think we might have to trim the brake line?
Yup!!  Oh, and check out those sweet zip ties I had to use because I forgot the real clips somewhere (got them on the fork though!)
Good Guy Greg bleeding the brakes until they were perfect.  TheMutt... petting a cat.
 Overall it was a team effort, although a BIG THANKS goes out to Good Guy Greg for letting us invade his space, use his tools, and watch him do the hard stuff.  TheMutt showed me the ins and outs of the EBB and chain tension and showed me how to get a straight chain-line.

All finished and begging to be riddin
The saddle will be switched for something white, hopefully a Selle Italia SLR XC Gel like on the HiFi.

I did an unofficial weighing (bathroom scale) and it came out to 22.4lbs.  That is pretty freakin light compared to the 29 something the HiFi weighs.

For those that are interested, here's a build list:
Headset - Cane Creek 110 (black)
Spacers - Forte Carbon Spacer Kit (carbon)
Stem - Ritchey Comp 4-Axis (white)
Handlebar - Ritchey WCS Carbon Flat 5D (carbon)
Brakes - Avid Elixir 5 (white)
Grips - Sette Type-H Lock On (white)
Fork - Niner Reynolds Rigid (green)
Seatpost - Sette Edge Carbon (carbon)
Saddle - Bontrager take off from the HiFi (black)
Cranks - SRAM X5 (GXP BB)
Pedals - Shimano M540 (I had laying around)
Cages - Forte Omega Carbon (white)
Chainring - Surly (32)
Cog - Surly (20)

We did get out for a quick shakedown at Renni hitting up the short track.  First impressions, I felt fast in the berms and quicker on the exit into the gravel road.  Of course, we weren't at race pace, but this thing flew.  Being fully rigid was just fine as well.  The bike feels so light it's so easy to whip around the trail and lift up and over anything coming my way.  AND nothing fell off.  The seatpost slide down, I had forgotten to tighten that.  Even after tightening it slide... so Good Guy Greg to the rescue with some carbon grip that I later used and seems to be doing the job now.

So, what will the One9 be called...  While we were finishing up the build the question was thrown out there.
Kosher Dill first popped into my head.
TheMutt enthusiastically liked calling it just Dill.
After our first lap at Renni a short discussion about the worms came up and I then suggested calling it Big Worm, which again garnered support.
Annie later suggested calling it The Goblin, but Airborne already has one of those.
With all the green and white I can't help but think about the Celtics.  I did like the worm idea... put that together with Larry Bird (favorite Celtic of all time) and you've got Larry Worm... or The Early Bird (gets the worm).  Or just Bird.
I run 32 up front = Kevin McHale... so... I could call it... Kevin... I guess?

As you can see, I'm not quite there yet with the name.  I'm sure TheMutt will tell you that it's already named Worm, and it may in fact stick... maybe I'll put out a naming poll tomorrow.


  1. nice ride! how fun it must have been on that first ride after the long wait. Larry Bird or worm sounds awesome I like that a lot if you pick it, welcome to the rigid ss world enjoy! Your carbon bits got me thinking about my build............enjoy

  2. Michael - thanks for the kind words, glad you're stoked on the wheels, and glad we have another member of the SSfamily. Riding it a lot will make you a better rider. You'll get a lot stronger, and learn a new way to attack the trail. I know I've had a lot fewer issues with cramping once I started riding a SS a lot, every ride is like interval training haha. And I love the simplicity of it. Just pedal and don't run into anything.