Again, I would like to thank everyone for the kind words. I'm glad I could share my creation with all of you guys. I disagree with the general consensus that my bike is a work of art. All I did was measure angles and distances and talked to Lynskey. Then I just ordered parts from various sources and assembled the bike.
It is not like I went to the lengths of trying to find a 1 in 200 frame produced more than 10 years ago only to have to then strip the paint off and entirely refinish it. You guys who rebuild all these cool bikes from the past are the true artists out there. My hats off to all you guys who do that. Trying to find a single rear derailleur from a 952 NOS XTR is difficult. Trying to do the same by finding all the parts to make up the gruppo must be insanely hard.
Crell: As for the front fork it performs well. It is plusher, and better dampened than the older sids with 28 mm stancions. I used to ride an older SID SL on a M2 Specialized Stumpjumper. The fork was beyond repair and I gave it to a friend. I remember that fork well as I had used it for a number of years. It flexed a lot. I remember riding through fast tight single track full of tree roots with the bike leaned over carving the single track. The fork flex of the SID was its downfall... flex in the torsional sense in that the front wheel doesn't want to track where you want it to.
Then I went to Fox F series forks and it was night and day. The Manitou is in between a Fox F80/F100 fork for torsional stiffness. It tracks well. But the dampening is not as smooth as Fox. Do I like the Manitou fork? The answer is yes. Do I like it more than a 2009 Fox F100 RLC fork? The answer is no, even if I were to put the weight factor into consideration.
My Manitou fork suffers from the dreaded "click" noise as it hits a bump. It clicks A LOT! because there are lots of bumps on the mountain bike trails.
Thankfully it hasn't lost any travel yet. Which is a 2nd sympton this fork will have if the O rings rupture.
I'm most unhappy that this fork came in at 1360g, when the originally claimed weight was 1270g. My is also a later batch made in Taiwan and not Made in USA that Manitou was touting when they released this fork in 2007. I did only pay 299 USD brand new for it rather than 799 USD.
I may see about upgrading the dampening cartridge to the new Absolute+ dampener that Manitou is releasing for this season... It will fit in all R7 forks.
http://seaotter.mtbr.com/2009/04/24/man ... -absolute/
As for my bike. I had to make some changes to it since its first inception. I had to ditch the Easton EC90 Seatpost. The metal insert that is bonded to the top carbon clamp seperated. Once this happend there was no clamping pressure for the bolt to hold the upper and lower clamps to the seatpost head. THe saddle could not be sat on. I repaired this by cleaning off all the old epoxy and using Hysol 934A structural aerospace epoxy. This fixed that problem fine. It held the required 100 in-lbs of torque required by Easton. But the seatpost head has ridges that prevent the saddle from rocking back and forth in angle. This ridges were not deep enough. So what happens is that if you hit a bump the saddle would change angles. POS! I thew the seatpost into the garbage (I bought it NOS off of ebay). Then I picked up a Thomson Masterpiece.
Then I ditched the saddle. The Cycle King Taiwanese saddle I got (which is really light) is really stiff. The other carbon saddles out there such as the Selle Italia SLR or Tune Concord shell flexes. So it has some give. This Cycle King saddle has none. It hurt to ride it. So i picked up a traditional SLR saddle.
Then those mimimalistic titanium bottle cages that are made in Taiwan broke. The mounting tabs broke as the bottle cages vibrate violently as you ride the bike on dirt. I put some Tacx Taos on for the time being, and I ordered a pair of Andrews King Titanium Cages.
So the bike gained a bit of weight...
Then I scored a brand new set of Chris King ISO Disc Hubs in black for a cheap price from a friend who was not using them. I had them built up with Sapim Laser spokes, Aluminum nipples, and Stan's Notunes ZTR Olympic 333g rims. Now I use this set of of wheels for racing so I wouldn't wear out the set of ultralight Ti spoked wheels (which ride amazing). Especially now that I've adapted the attitude during the races of "F it!", "hammer down" and go right through the course regardless of terrain and obstacles.
So far I've done 4 races on it and 2 endurance races. This is my 1st year racing in Ontario Cup. It's a lot different than the endurance races / relay races I've done for many years. The racers are all ultra fit and ultra athletes. I'm in the 19 to 29 age class. Sport class which is the lowest unless you go to the try a race day category. I thought I was decently quick, and decently fit. So far I've been placing near the bottom for each race. These guys sprint/hammer on the double track for the single track entrance and carry good speed through the singletrack. There is no passing on the singletrack because of the tight lines. I can keep up with them on the single track but I start losing out on the all out sprints on the double track. The race is 3 laps, 10 kms per lap. After the 1st lap I usually get dropped... and try to maintain a somewhat reasonable time gap between the lead group of riders and myself. The only really bad part is then the Expert women in my age class catch up to me and pass me by the end of the 2nd lap. Those are some fast women on bikes!
Here are some new pics of the ride: