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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:47 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Aberdeen, UK
I've a titanium X-lite / Raleigh that has turned into a XC project which I thought might be interesting to fellow retrofans.

I bought the bike in 1996, while still a student. It was second-hand and was as far as my student loan stretched. I’m not sure if it was originally bought by the first owner as a frame and built up, or if it came as new with the mix of XT and LX parts. First to go after I bought it on was a set of Pace forks. This was back in the day when rigids were still the norm. I worked all summer (might have been 1997) while a student and saved for some state-of-the-art Pace RC36 EVO 2 forks. These were one of the lightest forks on the market at the time, and even today are considered pretty light. They look great too, with carbon legs and a magnesium brace. By today’s standards they don’t feel the plushest on the market, but they’ve served well and are definitely retro.

Next on the list was a new Flite titanium seat and X-lite post. The original post was a nasty alu thing, and the original WTB saddle was ripped after a fall. The FSA cranks broke too, so on went some extra strong downhill Middleburns and zero components bottom bracket. Over the next few years various bits were changed and improved as I used the bike for XC days while at university.

After graduating my hobbies gradually changed, and the bike was eventually relegated to the garage. Last year I rediscovered cycling when I dusted off the old X-lite and found it still great fun to ride. I also like the retro admiration it gets. Old is once again cool.

I’ve decided to see how modern I can take the bike. I’m sure there are a few gasps, some would undoubtedly like to see the bike restored to 1990’s glory. But for me, I’d like to see it brought into the 21st century with style. The frame itself is fantastic, so with the right parts it should be possible to turn it into a modern day XC weapon that can still keep up with the best at race days. The weight goal is comfortably sub 10kg from a starting point of exactly 12kg. Durability and longevity are important in the build spec too. It is no good racing with the lightest bike if things keep breaking.

Original Spec / starting point:
    X-Lite / Raleigh titanium medium frame, unpainted
    Pace RC36 EVO 2 forks
    Flite Ti saddle
    X-Lite 27.2mm seatpost
    Pace 0 degree stem
    Richey XC bars
    XT Levers and XT Vee brakes
    LX 8-speed shifters
    XT rear mech
    XT Front mech
    Middleburn RS-DH cranks
    XT 8-speed cassette
    LX SPDs
    Pace 42t outer chainring, XT inner and middle
    Zero components bottom bracket
    X-lite bar ends and stem plug
    Odyssey brake booster
    FSA Orbit headset
    Mavic X221 rims on LX hubs
    WTB Velocoraptor rear, Maxxis 1.9 front tyres
    Hope Skewers
    Total weight at start, exactly 12kg
To bring the frame up to today’s standards and reach the dream of a modern day XC race winner it needs a rear disc brake mount. The frame is very well built and it seems a shame to weld on a titanium brake mount, so I’m in the process of building a bolt-on custom brake mount. You can read more about it here: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=197265

Many of the parts will be changed. The parts I don’t need are up for sale to re-home them to new loving owners or are being given away free of charge in a flurry of bike karma:
To start the build I stripped the frame back to bare, and will gradually add the new parts. I’m a bit of a weight weenie, so every part, old or new is weighed. The first shock is the frame is surprisingly heavy for titanium. Mine is a medium size and comes in at 1680g. was8v has a large which he’s weighed at just under 1.7kg too: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... c&start=15

I’ve seen modern Lightspeeds half a kilo or more lighter than mine. But then, my frame is 16 years old, and perhaps the reason why so many of these Raleigh / X-lites are still going is because they were built with durability in mind. Who knows, but in the Zen of this retro build, it doesn’t seem right to change the frame for something new, even if it would be lighter.

I’ve a few pictures of the bike in the late 90’s which I will dig out and post, along with updates on how the build progresses.

Cheers
Rae


Last edited by Rae on Thu May 24, 2012 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:58 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Aberdeen, UK
The ti frame build is now well underway; most of the first phase of parts have arrived. I’ve opted for 9 speed kit rather than 10 because most lightweight cranks other than Shimano stuff are geared towards 9 speed. The full build spec includes:
    RaceFace Deus XC SL Chainset, ltd edition with titanium axle
    XTR 9 Speed Rear Mech
    XTR Chain 9 speed
    XTR 9 Speed Shifters
    XT 9 speed Front Mech
    XT 9 speed Cassette
    XT SPDs
    Racing Ralph and Nobby Nic tyres
    Crank Brothers Cobalt 11 XC carbon riser bar
    Sunline XC-1 Stem
    Crank Brothers Cobalt XC SL Headset
    eXotic Carbon Seatpost
    Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow Saddle
    Crank Brothers Split QR Seat Collar
Other than the frame itself, the old kit which has been re-used includes:
    XT Vee Brake Levers
    XT Vee Brakes
    Odyssey Brake Booster
    Pace RC36 Evo 2 Forks
    Mavic X221 wheels
    Hope Front and rear QR skewers

Total weight is now 9.8kg.
The Pace forks are due to go to Justbackdated soon for a rebuild and to fit a disc mount. Next on the list will be Crossmax / XTR wheels and XTR disc brakes, which should help shed further weight and improve stopping.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the pix – any feedback is always welcome :)
Rae


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:16 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:34 pm
Posts: 1510
Location: Surrey Hills
I'm a fan. Very nice indeed, even more so once you have the other bits added.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:22 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
Very nice indeed.

I would say that Im not a fan of the seatpost though, but dont want to sound like a miserable git. Silver thompson would look better in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:14 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:24 am
Posts: 7563
Location: Manchester
coomber wrote:
Very nice indeed.

I would say that Im not a fan of the seatpost though, but dont want to sound like a miserable git. Silver thompson would look better in my opinion.


Or an X-Lite click-on.....


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:34 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Aberdeen, UK
Haha like the one that was on the bike and I'm now selling: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=199755
A clikon doesn't work with oval carbon rails I'm afraid.

A Thomson elite was on the cards but I opted for a carbon post in the end. The idea was to match the look of the pace carbon forks. Seat, seatpost, headset spacer and bar are all carbon.

It is a carboncycles.cc post. I asked them if they could do a carbon post without the garish big red logo on the side or a titanium post without the extensive etching. They could, but it was going to cost a lot more and take 3 months to arrive. I've seen people on other forums sand the logo off and spray a coat of lacquer over the top so I thought I'd give it a go. For anyone wanting to try it, mask off the area and just use some very fine emery / wet and dry. Keep slowly going until the logo dissapears. If you are careful you dont go through the clear topcoat. You can then polish the post back to gloss with t-cut or diamond paste (what I used) and you'd never know a logo was there in the first place :)
Rae


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:40 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:23 pm
Posts: 1354
Stunning bike, I like a lot :D


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 8:46 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:38 pm
Posts: 1421
Location: Keighley
That is very nice 8)


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 9:17 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 3:44 pm
Posts: 1508
Location: Leeds
Very nice, helped in part by great photos


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 Post subject: x lite
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:12 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:36 pm
Posts: 446
Lovely looking bike mate, liking it alot!! :D


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