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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:17 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
Posts: 1540
Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
Bought this from a mate a while back. I'd been pestering and haggling for the best part of this decade for it! He rode it to 2nd place in the Scottish Nationals some time back, and was gutted because a puncture cost him victory.

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I swapped or sold most of the original bits from it other than the frame and wheels.
Thought about what I really another bike for, and how I could move forward with it. Slowly the mock build you see below started to appear. I'm almost settled on what you see as the final spec, but I do need to strip and rebuild each component before it's put to use. My B3 weighs in at 21.9lbs, but this feels a little bit heavier. Probably around the 23.5lb mark, but fear not, I shall be removing the excess weight in due course.

The first little project was setting up the Hope/Pace disc and suspension marriage which required bits from here and there. I must thank Tim (fork english) for his help with advice and supplying the shim required.

Next up was the rear brake, which I chose a Magura Race-Line. I bought some a while ago that needed a full strip and rebuild. I have detailed the pictures below, but it wasn't easy, as the adjuster knobs had stripped their thread inside the lever, and Magura never made replacements. Xesh is supplying me a spare two for my other levers, but I managed to salvage one for this build. Thank you Xesh.

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From this pile to this...

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Ti bolts used where applicable, and I'm waiting for a Carbon booster.

The levers were anodised Black and I wanted them to match the Hope levers on the other side. I used oven cleaner to strip the anodising and then wet'n'dry'd them using sandpaper to get the same look as the Hope. When I was happy, I carefully coated them with clear varnish to maintain and protect them.

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I bought another B4 a couple of months ago, just because it had the Risse air shock fitted. I removed and replaced it with my spring and sold it back on.

So, as it stands in mock build form...

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Last edited by Benandemu on Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:36 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
Posts: 1540
Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
I've made a few changes to the B4 over the last few weeks. I restored its original (and expensive) Gore cables, and swapped the seat stay for a longer and more laid back one. Fettled the gears and then pumped the risse rear shock up to 180psi and took her out for a spin.

It rides really nice across fields and on single track. It doesn't feel like suspension, just 'a little give' over the bumps. I will give it a thorough testing this Sunday, as I only went on local paths with a pocket full of tools to make the on-trail-tweeks.

As with all Amps, they are light and lively. It feels about the same weight as my '95 Marin Team Titanium, which comes in at 22.5lbs.

The disc works well when hot, but not great when cold. I will give it a little longer and if there's no improvement, then I'll get some new pads.

Also discovered some play in the White Industries rear hub, which will need attention. Never opened one of those before!

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The full spec is...

1997 Amp Research B4 frame with Risse Genesis air shock.
1997 Pace RC36 forks with alloy steerer
Onza Mongo headset with Ti ahead bolt
Control Tech stem with X-Lite Ti bolts
X-Lite Ti bars
Onza Ules grips
Hope front disc and hub with Pace fork adapter and braided hose
Magura HS33 rear brake with Ti bolts
White Industries rear hub
DT DB spokes with Mavic 217 Ceramic rims (a bit elaborate for the front perhaps)
Control Tech Ti allen key skewers
XTR 9 speed cassette
XTR M950 rear mech with new jockey wheels, Ti bolts and alloy pivot bolt
XTR front mech bottom pull, top swing etc. Looks cleaner anyway!
XT 9 speed shifters
Action Tec Ti bottom bracket
Middleburn RS7 cranks with Race Face and unknown rings
Black alloy chainring bolts and X-Lite alloy crank bolts
Full gore sealed cable set
Thomson Elite post
Flite Alpes saddle
Amp seatpost clamp with Ti bolt
Onza Ti pedals
Onza porc re-issue tyres and Michelin Latex tubes
And of course, my signature...

...a Rohloff chain.

I just want some Red alloy nipples now, and I can replace those heavy ones!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:02 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:37 pm
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Location: North West
Looks great 8)

What did they retail for BITD ?

WD :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:12 pm
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Location: Oh Canada!
I like the Pace forks you put on there, much better match than the yellow Rocks Shox. But of course, a set of Amp F4 would look even better! :wink:

Personally I think I liked the original stem on there better, as well as not have painting the black on the seat tube cover.

But overall, a very nice looking rig!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:35 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
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Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
I think the cost was somewhere around the grand mark, but depended on what spec you ordered, as the risse shocks are about £170 for the basic version.

I'm glad you like the bike, but the old X-Lite stem was too long at 135mm, and the seat stay is factory powder coated in Black. The Amp forks would be a nice addition, but I prefer the Pace, plus they are my original forks that I bought back in '97.

Just check out the difference between all 3 versions of the bike, and you'll see how I had to alter its geometry. What looked good, rode awful!
The headtubes are very small on Amps and I needed to raise the bars by over 3cm. The seat now sits about 5cm further back, due to the different seat stay I bought.

I'll let you know how it handles the bigger and rougher stuff this weekend...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:14 am
Posts: 1322
Location: Sunny? Devon
Looking much cleaner now, AMP's are best understated in my opinion, just needs some F3's to really set it off!

ATB

John


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:48 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:29 pm
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Location: London
Nice!

Forgive my ignorance but is the Risse shock a marked improvement over the original?

I've got an AMP B4 Mercedes Benz, wondering if it's a worthwhile upgrade

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Like what you've done with it...looks beautiful 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:41 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:32 pm
Posts: 1540
Location: Southport, UK Member No:411
Interestingly enough, my mate decided to also take his B4 out on its maiden voyage along with mine. He had chosen a little known route cross country in the old style. None of this modern bike trail nonsense, just a map, a bike, a thousand gates and a mind set on finishing.

The route was fairly flat, but very varied on its terrain, from rocky singletrack to what has to be the worst piece of trail I've ever ridden. Imagine a farmer ploughing a piece of singletrack side on for over a mile!
It was at this point I realised my hardtails would not make the same, if any progess on this very rough section of terrain.

The bike felt saggy and loose on tarmac on the way to my mates, and I was a little disappointed, but the more off road I did, the more I learned how much it was actually doing. But oddly enough, it actually felt like riding a hardtail, but on a very smooth trail all the time. I kept looking down to see if the trail was really smooth or the bike was doing its stuff, and each time I could see the shock throbbing away, doing its thing!

The more I rode it, the more I loved it. I would throw it down steep embankments and back up again, just to see what it would do, and whether I could catch it out, but it never faultered. It actually urges you to push harder and find the trails limits.

I also noticed that its climbing ability is a significant improvement over a hardtail, thanks to its constant rear wheel grip. The bike later revealed that it can corner like it's on rails, due to this same factor.

My mate had the standard spring and did report some movement at the rear end, but this could be bushes or spring seals. We couldn't really see a functional difference between the shocks to be fair, but I imagine the Risse one will outlast the Amp one more than 50 fold, due to its superior build quality. All I can tell you is that the Risse is as smooth as butter, despite its minimal travel.

The only downside was my rear wheel bearings need servicing desperately and I wouldn't recommend trials pads in Maguras. A bit 'on-off'! A sensible return to all weather Green pads will be on the cards.

Glad you like it, and for all those tempted to get one, then I can honestly recommend one. I need to know what a B5 is like now...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:43 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 11:03 am
Posts: 18710
Location: Sunny Glasgow
That looks mint 8)
Great job you've made of it,nice and clean


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