Archive for June, 2011

Cool Shot From Whiskey 50

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2011 by bencycles

Just a quick narcissistic update with a cool photo I found in Mountain Flyer Magazine from the Whiskey 50 race. Shot by Brian Leddy Photography

Brian Leddy Photography

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2011 Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29er HT Custom Build

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2011 by bencycles

I Just picked up a sweet new custom built S-Works Stumpjumper from the gents at B&L Bikes. In my favorite color, no less.
I wanted something light, but also functional as a daily rider just by swapping out wheels or tires. I wanted a good cross country race bike, but I still wanted it to be a mountain bike that I could go ride on the weekends with friends. I used a hardtail exclusively for all my riding/racing last year and was satisfied with it in most cases. Plus the added simplicity, reliability, and clean lines just keeps bringing me back to hardtails. Full suspension is sweet, but there’s still so much to love about hardtails, I’m just not ready to let go.

So the guys at B&L Bikes started with a Specialized S-Works 29er hardtail frame and then built it up with a full SRAM XX group. Light and straightforward and simple to replace broken parts if I’m in a bind. I used SRAM all season last year and it held up really well, so why change now? The cockpit is all from the Big Red S as are the tires. The wheels are a custom set I had built with AC hubs and Crest rims last season. They’re still in great shape and pretty light at 1504g. Not as blingy as these but a lot easier to get a hold of at the moment.

So nothing really revolutionary about the build, just a lot of really good parts that make for one sweet bike. Oh, and it’s neon yellow!

Anyway, here’s a photo dump of green goodness. Most of the pics are after racing a 6 hour solo event, so the bike is a little dirty where I missed it while cleaning.

Here’s the part you probably wanted to see:

Sweet! That’s a XL frame built with pedals and bottle cage, too!

Purple bolts, of course.

I’m running a 140 mm rotor on post mounts in the back.

PF30 crank, 39X26 gearing in the front

…with an old set of Crank Bros 3-Ti pedals. I rebuild the pedals a few times a year and they just keep working.

And 11-36 in the rear. I like the dropouts for 2011, too.

And of course:

purple end caps.

Renegade tires are a good race-day choice. Tubeless setup was a breeze with my floor pump.

Don’t forget your sponsor’s logo!

I pulled off the dust cap from the cartridge headset. Too heavy… If you live in a rainy part of the world, it’s probably not worth the weight savings.

Good tire clearance as long as you’re not gonna go bigger than about 2.2 in the rear. I used 2.2’s on my hardtail at Breck Epic last year and they worked great. I probably wouldn’t go 2.3, though.

I love the Brain Damper in the fork. Really awesome when you’re so beat you can’t see straight, let alone fiddle with a lockout. I currently run it about 5 clicks out from fully closed.

I have also been impressed with the performance of the Reba fork, too. It goes through the travel a little faster than my Fox fork, but feels plusher. I’ll take the tradeoff, especially with the Brain damper.

Carbon crown/steerer.

My favorite saddle:

ESI grips, Specialized carbon bar, Specialized stem, and matchmaker clamps give a clean look.

Spare master link taped to the housing. When you need it, you really need it.

Full view

So yeah, pretty fu@kn sweet bike. The day after I picked it up, I raced the 6 h solo open men’s field at the SoCal Endurance series, Did 7 laps, 65 miles, 7,600′ climbing in 5:37 and got 5th out of 61 in my first attempt at a solo endurance event. Podium!

That bike is awesome. And best of all, it’s green.

Cheers.