Monday, March 29, 2010

Precious Metal - Duster Ti

It has been a while since I indulged my addiction to bike building, but when I spotted a Charge Duster Ti frame on Singletrack Classifieds some weeks back it all kicked off again!
The long cold winter had made me think about rationalising my choice of bikes. The 5-Spot is now refined to the point I am completely happy with it for the rougher stuff. The other bike that I use most is the S-Works hardtail, but with only 80mm of travel I had been thinking of a longer travel hardtail. The Duster is about the same weight as the S-Works, but a more comfortable ride in theory.
Although I did carry over some bits from other bikes, the classifieds provided some quality bits to add to match my 'niche' frame - you will notice a red theme, (not sure what came over me here). Brakes are Avid Elixir, shifters SRAM X-9 with matching front mech and X-0 rear. Cranks came from On-One sale -FSA MegaExo Carbon 170mm. I did a deal with a guy on Ebay for the Fox F100RL forks. Wheels are Bontranger Rhythm tubeless ready off a Trek - came new with tyres, but I have added a pair of Racing Ralphs.

The 'build' did stretch out over more weeks than I had hoped and provided one or two challenges - the biggest puzzle was that the rear mech mounting fouled the chain as the hanger is quite thin and I ended up making a washer to solve this conflict.
Last Friday it all came together and I was able to get out for the first ride. The geometry and set-up is very different to the S-Works, which is now really set up as a road bike, so it felt like much harder work in places. I think the 2.25 tyres may be a bit OTT, but do offer a good ride. Trying a Fizik Gobi saddle again and this feel good, but realised that the seatpost is slipping down, which partially explained why it felt like hard work at times.
Sunday saw a longer ride with some nice off road sections - pleased to say that it felt very comfy and agile, so feel I am getting used to it. I had tried and given up on SRAM shifters before, but this time I am completely sold they work perfectly and I love the space-saver mounts on the Avids. Some will remember that i had 170mm cranks once before, (without knowing it), hopefully I wont regret this choice...certainly smaller tyres might just make it all a bit easier on the legs.
It will be sad to see the Specialized hardtail go, it has been with me a long time now and has covered more miles than any other bike, but hopefully the Duster will serve just as well and be a bit more versatile.


toons said...

Very nice build Geoff, is the red a mid-life crises?

uphilla said...

Way too late for a mid-life crisis :-) but do feel the need for a bit of colour in my life..

Forgot to say that weight comes out around 24lbs at the moment, so not super light. Think 22lbs might be possible with a bit of tinkering.

Dangerous Dave said...

You filthy bike tart!!!!

Farqui said...

Oh my, what a tasty rig for your local hacks. I see that your bling level is as high as ever - DD's comment says it all :p

Rob#2 said...

Wow, you really put some effort into the colour scheme....

I've been waiting to see what your 'winter project' would produce.

Looks like it needs testing in the of us will have to organise a ride!

uphilla said...

Chilterns would be good... maybe let it dry out a little more?