Back in 2001 I was lucky enough to live in Pittsburgh, ride weekends in the Laurel Mountains and call Speedgoat Cycles in Laughlintown my "local" bike shop... way back when they were a family store building dream bikes, run by Chris and Beth before they tried to expand and changed out of all recognition (and now seems to have closed completely - http://www.speedgoat.com
is dead as I write).
Anyway, back then I specc'ed my dream bike... Santa Cruz Superlight in anodized orange, plenty of M952 including a Ti cassette, Chris King, Thomson, USE Alien, Monkey bars, RaceFace Turbines, Crossmax USTs, Avid Ti's. You get the idea...I was lucky and happy.
It remained in pretty much that configuration (except for cables, chains and tyres) until last year I when I gave it a 10th birthday overhaul http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... p;t=184700
Now it's my turn for a birthday... my thirty-tenth
to be precise and my awesome wifey gave me (fairly) free reign to build a replacement...what a gal!
The hunt began... I thought about a Bronson, but wasn't 100% sure, I thought about a Pivot or Intense Carbine, but I'm a bargain hunter at heart so I needed to find "a deal" and then I found a new 2012 Tallboy Carbon in matt black frame, in large (same as my Superlight) with whopping £700 quid off...but would a large 29er fit? Should I take a punt?...it was a big gamble so I contacted the shop, http://www.addiktioncycles.com/
, to see if their demo Tallboy was available. Unfortunately it was booked out, but Neil at the store was fantastic, he rounded up a mate (Thanks Martin!) with a large Tallboy to come to the shop with his bike and let me have a quick test ride...awesome service and thankfully it fitted.
Sizing duly confirmed I tried to give Neil some more business, but with no 29er forks, cranks or wheels in stock I had to walk off with just the frame (SOOOOOO LIGHT!!) under my arm and a wealth of info and suggestions on build spec. Great little shop though.
24 hours of internet shopping and 3 days of packages arriving I ended up with this little pile
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and one evening and one morning later I had this....
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I had to butcher the Superlight a little for the M972 gears and Formula Rx brakes and cockpit
And a week later, the Superlight was looking a little more retro and ready to role with it's younger sibling.
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So a little comparison is deserved I think...
Firstly, the Tallboy absolutely FLIES! It weights about 24.5lb, which is a full 1.2lb less that the Superlight (now). The riding position is (as you can see) very similar to the Superlight, and will get closer still with a shorter stem I intend to try. It's also a little over geared as I had to take a guess on how a 29er would feel and I had a new 11-32t cassette waiting in the garage.
Spec-wise you will notice a lot of similarities, I know what I like!
Black for the black bike, orange
for the orange bike obviously
Frame - 2012 Tallboy Carbon Large vs 2001 Superlight Large
Frame protection - Invisiframe Matt finish.
Shock - Fox RP23 Kashima vs Fox Float RL (2001)
Headset - Chris King InSet3 vs Chris King Nothreadset (2001)
Fork - Rockshox SID 29er RCT3 Solo Air (2012) vs Rockshox SID RCT3 Dual Air (2011)
Drivetrain - XTR M972 9spd + M985 Dual vs XTR M953 + RaceFace Turbine (2001)
Wheels - Hope Hoops w. Stans Crest 29er ZTR vs Crossmax ST
Seatpost - Thomson Masterpiece (NICE!) vs USE Alien Alu (2001)
Tyres - Rocket Ron's vs Nobby Nic USTs
Bars - Easton MonkeyLite CT2 (2001) vs Easton MonkeyLite CT2 (2001)
Stem - Thomson Elite (2001) vs RaceFace (2001)
Saddle - Terry Fly Ti (2001) vs Terry Fly Ti (2001)
Cables - Gore Ride-on Sealed vs Gore Ride-on Sealed
Pedals - XT M780 SPD vs XT M752 SPD (2001)
Chain - KMC 9spd vs KMC 9spd
Cassette - XT M770 11-32 vs XT M770 11-32
Just a few more days and I'll be heading to Afan to give it a real shakedown...can't wait.
And for those of you patient enough to read this far...the Invisiframe kit is awesome! if you treat yourself to a new frame or respray on something "precious" treat it to one...it really is invisible and Vicky at Invisiframe was awesome when I had some questions about sizing differences.