The Bike...

Posted on 7:42 AM by Schottler

My bike arrived March 19th... and I was to leave on the Mizzou Cycling spring break trip on the 20th. Of course, I had to bring the bike, because there is no better way to get used to a bike than a 30 hour riding week in Moab. The bike came set up very well out of the box, full XT with XTR shifters, Fox 32 fork with remote lockout (one of the best designs I have seen.) But I have always had a problem with building bikes up differently from stock to make them my own. A few changes were made.

I have replaced the XT cranks with an FSA K-Force Light 2x9 setup, with a 44/29 gearing setup, with a seperate 42 tooth depending on the course. These cranks are one of the stiffest and lightest on the market, with a ceramic BB, and shift very well. I have replaced the rear derailleur with an XTR shadow, and the front is also an XTR. The stem was replaced with a Thomson Elite X4, and the seatpost is Thomson Masterpiece set back. The bars were replaced with a Truvativ Noir Team. Fizik came out with a new mountain saddle that I just had to try out, the white Tundra with carbon braided rails, and I have to say it is one of the most comfortable I have ridden on, especially for long rides. I have a couple sets of wheels that I have been using that I can seem to part with. The first set is the Mavic Crossmax SLRs, which are the fastest and lightest wheels I have ever ridden, and are generally just used when racing. I built up my first set of wheels a couple of months ago that I have been using for training rides, which are red 28 hole Chris King hubs laced to Bontrager Race-X-Lite rims with red spoke nipples and DT Revolution spokes. As for pedals, I am using Time Atac Carbon.

I chose to go with an XL frame because the large Zaskar we have at my shop is a little short for me. At first glance and first stand over, I was afraid this frame was way too big for me, but after riding I have found it is a perfect fit, almost identical to my last bike which I am very used too. My first impression on the ride is how incredibly stiff the frame is, and how stout the front end is. There is no flex in the huge head tube, giving a very solid, stable, and predictable ride.

The maiden voyage of this beautiful bike was on our spring break trip, so I was really hoping everything would work perfectly, more to read on the trip later...


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