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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:23 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Nr Cardiff
Here is the final incarnation of my Amplifier 2. As the title suggests there was no intention for this to be a historically accurate build, I just wanted to build it with a bit of what I fancied as if it had been updated here and there over the years - which is what a lot of people finish up doing. It was inevitabe that I choose an Amplifier as my first build as I also design and build vintage style valve guitar amplifiers for a living (well almost).

It started off with a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 and I liked it like that but the opportunity of getting hold of an almost pristine Noleen Cross-link CS fork was just too much to resist, though expensive with postage from US and VAT added. Wheels, saddle and a few other bits I had lying around. The humble Alivio groupset was NOS and all I could afford at the time. The brakes are Shimano DX from my son's old Club Roost dual slalom, refurbished by me courtesy of some Audi Laser Red touch up paint which is an amazing match. Bars, stem and grips are the only new modern bits, couldn't resist putting the 60mm Truvative stem on as they match the DX brakes fairly well and I don't like long vintage stems at all.

Frame was in good nick though quite tarnished when I picked it up but a couple of days of elbow work with a tube of Autosol and an infinite supply of rags brought it up nicely. A new sticker set was produced by Gil exactly to my requirements and look really great, though the photos don't really do them justice - they look great in the flesh. I managed to salvage the old foil FTW Frank the Welder sticker, slightly trimmed and refixed with double-sided tape.

All in all, as a first retro rebuild, I'm really happy with it and most of all it rides nicely, as well as turning a head or two, though the rear shock is in poor health - really stiff with swollen seals.

All I need to do now is fit some decent pedals to replace the cheap, nasty ones I had lying around, and to sort that rear shock. There may well be a case for a Risse shock when I get around to it. I may over a period of time replace the chainset and shifters with something like XT if I can find some decent old examples rather than the scruffy tat I mostly see advertised.

Cheers
Nigel


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:19 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:33 pm
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I really like that, love the forks!how do they ride?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:09 pm
Posts: 440
Location: The Netherlands
The rear end with the spring is from 1996 and the frame is from 1995 i think.

Nice bike :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:14 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Nr Cardiff
Cheers guys,

I've not ridden this in anger yet, just a few short rides to check everything's OK. The forks feel very different to the Bombers that were fitted for a few weeks before the Cross-links. The slight rearward travel of the wheel under compression can be a bit off-putting at first but I soon got used to it when I realised it wasn't going to trip up. From there on I found that the travel was very plush with excellent small bump sensitivity. I haven't done anything too rough yet to test out the rest of the travel but it does feel good under the hand. I've not found a great deal of difference between the three settings yet, but the automatic setting does seem to control the compression a little better for larger hits. Don't know how long the battery lasts though! Also it is easy to see how laterally stiff these forks are. They are a definite improvement in feel and stiffness over the Bombers. I always wanted a pair of these forks since seeing them on a CF K2 in a magazine back in about '99, so I got my wish.

I don't see any reason why it has been suggested that the frame and forks are from different years the consistency of the beautiful welding and materials on them and the labelling suggest otherwise. It was my impression that the early US Amplifier 2's were slightly different to those built later when production shifted to Taiwan. Early ones like mine had straight chainstays and rear mech cable routing along the top of the seatstay, while the later ones had downwardly kinked chainstay and routing along the sides of the seatstay. I may stand corrected though!

Nigel


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:35 pm 
eBay Outing Master
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:53 pm
Posts: 8000
On the noleens.... Were they a 1 1/8 or is it possible to get a 1 inch also did it need a specific headset or standard?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:44 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:55 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Mid Cornwall
that looks mental (in a good way ;) ) Ive never seen a fork setup like that or even knew it existed to be honest.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:35 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Nr Cardiff
sylus wrote:
On the noleens.... Were they a 1 1/8 or is it possible to get a 1 inch also did it need a specific headset or standard?


Steerer is 1 1/8, I don't believe it was produced in 1 inch. It doesn't need a specific headset, any aheadset will do, mine is just a fairly cheap standard cartridge bearing headset.

The fork used to come in two versions with different length steerers and spacing between upper and lower mount. One accomodating a headset stack height of up to 163mm and one for up to 200mm (known as the critical height in the manual). You picked the one that suited the head tube of your frame. If your stack height is less than the critical height you simply packed it out with spacers to exactly that dimension. The stack height with headset on my Mongoose frame was 155mm, so I used a 5mm and 3mm spacer between headset and upper mount. You don't cut the steerer just use spacers below the upper mount and below (or above) the stem. Its a little more involved to fit than a standard fork as you have to dismantle the lower pivot to detatch the steerer, but easy enough and if I can fit one anyone can. :o

The Carbon Crosslink CS with Smartshock was produced in 98-2000 by K2 after they took over Proflex and before they threw Proflex out of the window. It's just a posh development of the Girvin Crosslink and was fitted to the high-end carbon frame Proflex and K2 bikes.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:28 pm
Posts: 583
Thats just terrible! Good work :)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:27 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Nr Cardiff
A couple more pictures. A leisurely ride with the missus at Cardiff Bay.

That's me in the suit!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:44 pm 
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:36 am
Posts: 4715
Location: Burlington, ON Canada
nigelb wrote:
Image


Pretty posh to have a granite top coffee table on your deck. :wink:


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