Wednesday, December 16, 2015

AbsoluteBlack Oval Chainring for XX1 (32T)

AbsoluteBlack 32T Oval Chainring for XX1
Installed AbsoluteBlack 32T Oval Chainring on my medium Yeti SB6c. Perfect for enduro helps to climb and pedal more efficiently. When going down rough terrain in high speed, chain slap was more obvious. It may be caused by the lengthened oval geometry. Well, no chain drop so far. May looking at putting a chain guard as insurance.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Packing List for Overseas Ride

Packing List for Overseas Ride
My standard packing list for overseas ride. The items include:
  1. Yeti SB6c
  2. EVOC hydration bag with 3 litres bladder
  3. Multi-tools, lube, tyre & shock pumps
  4. Extra brake-pads
  5. First Aid Kit
  6. TLD A1 Enduro helmet
  7. Knee guards
  8. 5Ten Freeride shoes
  9. 3 x pair of gloves
  10. 6 set of riding outfits (more than one week ride)
  11. 10 pair of socks (more than one week ride)
  12. Jacket (wind & rain resistance)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yeti Green SB6C

Yeti SB6c

Yeti SB6c Green Frame
The joy of receiving this green Yeti SB6c frame is beyond words. The workmanship is so perfect and flawless. Glad that I bought the green color, the sight of it makes you want to shred the trails immediately. It looks like an art piece that can be displayed in art gallery.

Yeti SB6c
Fortunately, almost all the components on my Pivot Mach 6 could be transferred to Yeti SB6c accept the chain, crank arm and shift cable. The Pivot Mach 6 chainstay is much shorter than that of Yeti SB6c, as such new chain and shift cable are required for Yeti SB6c. The Pivot Mach 6 used straight XX1 crank arm, while Yeti SB6c needed a bend arm for frame clearance.

Install Press Fit BB
Install Chris King Headset
First, install seatpost so the frame can be cramped on bike stand. Next, install BB and headset with press tool.

Install XX1 Rear Derailleur
Install XX1 crankset
Install rear derailleur and crankset, then insert new shift cable housing through the internal routing holes.

Yeti SB6c Installation
Install the fork, stem and handle bar, follow by the brakes. The brake cables have to be detached from brake levers for routing. If needed, bleed the brakes after installation. Replace new shifter cable according to SRAM installation guide. Install the front wheel to provide better support to work on.

Wheelset - Chris King Hubs and Ex Flow Rims
My Enve wheelset was sent to USA for warranty claim. It will take more than one month for replacement wheel to arrive. Meanwhile, build a new wheelset at Jia Long's shop at Bukit Merah branch. These extra wheelset will be used as spare wheels.

Maxxis DHR 2.3 Tubeless & Enve M60HV
Bleed Shimano XTR Brake
Bleed Shimano XTR Brake
Bleed the front and rear Shimano XTR brakes. Love Shimano brakes, very easy to bleed. It took one full day to build this rig, including running to Tay Junction at Bukit Timah a couple of times to buy shift cable and XX1 crank arm; and collect wheelset at Bukit Merah. Very fulfilling to build the Yeti SB6c together with my kaki Reza, the attachment and ride will be more meaningful and awesome. Last but not least, test ride at local trails to tune the suspension.

Yeti SB6c
Frame: Yeti Green SB6C Medium
Fork: Rockshock Pike Solo Air 160mm
Shock: FoxFloat X CTD
Headset: Chris King
Crankset: XX1 175mm
Chainring: SRAM 32T
Rear Shifter: XX1
Cassette: XX1 11 Speed
Chain: SRAM XX1
Wheelset: Chris King Hubs with Enve M60 HV
Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHR & DHF 2.3 Tubeless
Brakeset: Shimano XTR Racing
Rotors: Shimano XT RT-86 203mm Ice-Tech Front & Rear
Handle Bar: Enve 740mm
Stem: Thomson 50mm
Grips: Yeti Lock-On
Saddle: Yeti WTB Volt Custom
Seatpost: RS Revert
Pedal: Point One Podium 2
Weight: 12.9kg (28.44 lbs)

Fox Evol Shock
Got a free Fox Evol Shock upgrade from Yeti BT. The performance is awesome, once you got it tuned correctly. Big impact and small bump, it ate all up. The Fox Evol Shock setting for my style of riding at Bukit Timah and Kent Ridge Mountain Bike Trails are 170psi and 8 clicks towards fast rebound. I was about 70kg on full gear. Watch the video below to see how the new Evol shock performed at BT MTB Trails.
Yeti customised green grip - sponsored by Yeti BT (Bro Reza)
Yeti SB6c - Enve M60HV wheelset first test ride at BT
Yeti SB6C Green
Ready to shred the trails

(Video: Test Ride Yeti SB6c)
(Video: Yeti SB6c Technical Switchback)

(Video: Testing new Evol Shock on Yeti SB6c)

Yeti SB6c Schedule Maintenance
Source: Yeti Service Manual

Will write detail review after Rotorua, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown riding trips.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail - Double Drop Section

(Video: BT MTB Double Drop)

This video demonstrates the fast line to ride this double drop at Bukit Timah mountain bike trails. The faster and safer line are along the middle of the 2 large boulders. Some riders took the left boulder line to gain more air time, but sacrifice on speed and smaller margin of error. During wet condition, best to roll down the drops on the left or right side, as the rock section can be very slippery. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

2007 Salsa El Mariachi 29er

Bought this 2007 Salsa El Mariachi 29er hardtail from the owner who owned it brand new 8 years ago. This made in USA steel frame only available approximately 300 pieces worldwide. In Singapore, less than 10 pieces. Components: True tempered XO Platinum tubing with matching suspension corrected rigid fork. Sram X9 1x9 drivetrain (Aerozine 40t single crankset, PG970 11-26 cassette, gold SL chain, 9spd gripshift). Avid BB7 disc brake. Thomson stem. DT Swiss X470 disc wheel set, XT hubs, with Geax Saguaro 29" 2.2 all-mountain tyres.

(Photo: El Mariachi converted to Road ride by ex-owner)

The ex-owner converted this rig into road bike with drop bar and road tyres. On the same day I bought this gem, I converted it back to its formal glory with my spare components that had been sleeping in my storeroom for ages (Refer to first photo).

(Photo: Thomson stem and Pivot 740mm carbon bar)

The original setup by the ex-owner was On-one 100mm stem. I replaced it with my spare Thomson 50mm stem. The original bar was cut to attach drop bar for road ride. I replaced it with a new Pivot 740mm carbon bar that came with my Pivot Mach6 (bought Enve bar for my Pivot Mach 6 instead).

(Photo: Sram X9 1x9 drivetrain)

This 2007 Salsa El Mariachi came with the reliable Sram X9 rear derailleur. Excellent condition, as good as new.

(Photo: Aerozine X-12 crankset with 40t chainring)

This Aerozine X-12 MTB crankset with 40T single chainring come originally with the El Mariachi. The 40T ring might be too big for trail ride at Bukit Timah and Ketam MTB trails, as some sections of the climb can be very steep. Did a off-road test ride at T15, experienced chain drop twice while going down rocky sections. Will replace it with absoluteBlack 34t oval ring in future.

(Photo left: Avid BB7 mechanical disc brake. Photo right: Shimano XT hydraulic brake)

This Avid BB7 disc brake came originally with the EI Mariachi. The modulation and reliability are  awesome. However, my hands were itchy and replaced it with Shimano XT hydraulic brakes that had been sleeping in my storeroom for ages. After all, the XT brakes fitted nicely on the Shimano rotors that come with the EI Mariachi.

(Photo: XT hubs)

What can I say, reliable and value for money XT hubs. It came together with the EI Mariachi when I bought from the ex-owner. 

(Photo: DT Swiss X470 disc wheel set with Geax Saguaro 29" 2.2 all-mountain tyres)

The DT Swiss X470 disc wheel set with XT hubs came together with the EI Mariachi. I replaced the road tyres with Geax Saguaro 29" 2.2 all-mountain tyres. These heavy tyres was designed for traction and grip, not a fast tyre.

(Photo: Flat rear tyre)
Did a off-road test ride at T15, the tyres failed miserably. It happened when I bombed down one short rock section, and did the usual unweight and push. The rear tyre just explored. Maybe the force onto the tyre was proven too great, especially the lack of suspension to divert the pressure. Will convert the wheels to tubeless and replace the tyres with Maxxis Ikon 29er 3C eXC tubeless ready tyres.

(Photo: True tempered XO Platinum tubing)


Monday, April 20, 2015

absoluteBLACK OVAL SRAM XX1 Style Spiderless chainring

(Photo: Left absoluteBLACK SRAM 30T Spiderless Oval Ring, Right SRAM XX1 30T chainring)

Just received my replacement absoluteBLACK oval ring today. The 30T oval ring weigh only 53.5g, about half the weight of SRAM XX1 30T ring at 92g. Besides saving weight, is has the unfair advantage of better traction and more power while pedalling. I have been riding absoluteBLACK oval ring for a while. It is addictive, pedalling can no longer be the same. The oval ring rotation stroke "felt" rounder than round ring. The pedalling pressure are consistence throughout the pedalling stroke. You can climb better, especially off-saddle. If you want to understand the physics and technicality of how the oval ring works, please visit absoluteBLACK website.    

(Photo: Install absoluteBLACK Oval Ring)

Installation is easy, no additional spacer or chain guide is needed for XX1 crankset. Dissemble the crank and remove the XX1 spider ring. Install the absoluteBLACK spiderless oval ring onto the XX1 crank. Clean, grease and assemble the crank back on the bike. Less than 15 minutes job.

(Photo: absoluteBLACK Oval Ring)

The above photo illustrates the assembled version of absoluteBLACK spiderless oval ring.

(Photo: absoluteBLACK 32T Oval Ring bend)

The first absoluteBLACK oval ring (32T) I had bend during my third ride. It happened at Bukit Timah mountain bike trail just after I shifted to low gear before the climb. The chain drop off the ring, and the bend oval ring no longer able to hold on the chain. I pushed the bike all the way back to the carpark.

(Photo: absoluteBLACK 32T Oval Ring banded)

Marcin, the CEO of absoluteBLACK personally attended to my query. According to him, mine was the only 2 cases worldwide. Obviously, no one believe my oval ring bend by leg power. However, the bend oval ring shows no evident that the bend was caused by crash or hitting hard object. It just bend under pressure.

(Photo: absoluteBLACK 32T Oval Ring banded)

Marcin was in the opinion that I should use 30T oval ring instead of 32T. The failed oval ring was sent back to absoluteBLACK for lab test. I seriously love this oval ring. As what my riding buddy Yew Weng said, "half the weight and twice the power!" Hopefully the lab test result enable absoluteBLACK to determine the underlying reasons for causing the spiderless oval ring to bend.

This was what I received from Marcin after the lab test,

"So it took me a while and we finally figured out what you did. It is not chainring fault. What must have happened is when you changed the gear, chain jumped up (from any reason like rough terrain or stone/small stick/etc) and while you were still pedaling and changing the gear you pushed hard where chain was only partially on the front chainring. The indicator for it is that 2 of the teeth are more damaged and it is very clear that chain fell off in this point to the inside of the frame (when you changed gear) and then you pushed and bent remaining of the chainring.

Like I wrote it is impossible to bent that chainring when chain is fully on it. It is clear  that chain was only half engaged with the chainring as there are marks from the chain itself to dig into the chainring from the inside of the chainring. That means chain actually clogged in and you were still pedaling regardless of it. It looks like chain actually clogged on the ring and not fell off on its own. So it was not a product fault after all."

(Video: absoluteBLACK Oval Ring)

(Video: testing absoluteBLACK Oval Ring at Bukit Timah MTB Trails)

The above video illustrates how the absoluteBLACK spiderless oval ring rotates flawlessly on my XX1 crankset.