Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Niner RLT Build

Ever since Niner revealed their plans to release a 'cross bike ("gravel grinder" sounds like I have to have a beard, some tattoos, and tour with paniers to ride one, so I'm calling it a 'cross bike) I've been intrigued. Needless to say I ordered a frame as soon as I could. I was tempted at first to stick with the more conservative Industry Grey color, but the flash of the "Colgate Green" (as my wife calls it) eventually drew me in. Despite my wife's constant quips ("so you're sponsored by Colgate now?") I actually really like the color and it looks even better in real life.

As I was planning the bike out, I was curious as to several details of the bike such as weight, geometry, accepted rotor sizes, etc. It took a while to find a lot of the information, which would be expected as the bike hadn't even been formally released yet.

The purpose of this post is to compile all the information on the Niner RLT I can into one spot. I'm a pretty big nerd and like to make spreadsheets when I build bikes, outlining every detail of the bike, including the price and weight of each component I'm planning on using. So on the off chance that there are any other bike nerds out there, the following will be a compilation of all the info I gather as I build the bike up. It'll be a work in progress as I complete the build, so feel free to check back for updated information.

First off, I'll start with some weights. (For a complete list see bottom of the post)

The Niner RLT size 53cm frame comes in at 1530 grams. A few more than the advertized 1395. I was a little disappointed. My goal was to get the whole build as close to or under 17lbs as possible, and a quarter pound is a bit to deal with. Either way, I'm sure I'll survive. Pretty sure 135 grams of frame weight isn't going to lose any races for me this year. I can probably just shave my obligatory "gravel grinder" beard to save 135 grams if I need to.

The fork came in at 620 grams. Uncut. I anticipate losing a few grams when I cut it down this afternoon. I'll post the update. The carbon compression plug weighs 46 grams. Not too bad. The included headset (minus the installed crown race, which I forgot to weigh before installing on the fork, but we can assume to be approx 10-15 grams) was only 69 grams. Not bad there either. The tapered head tube gives it a sturdy feel. I'm not sure how the weight will come out after its all said and done, but it does seem like it's going to be a little heavier than Niner's previous carbon rigid mountain bike fork. I know the RLT fork is built to MTB standards, but I was hoping for something a little lighter than a MTB fork on a 'cross bike.

The bike will take 140-160mm rotors on the front and rear. I chose 140's to save a few grams on weight. The Avid BB7 SL road calipers I got mount to the frame and fork's direct post mounts with no need for adapters. Which is a nice advantage of the RLT over a few other frames that still have the brake tabs that require adapters.

A slight disadvantage of the direct mount rear caliper position is how the frame gets in the way of the allen wrench when you're trying to install or adjust the caliper. It would be near impossible to get to the rear caliper bolts with a quick tool on the trail due to the bulk of the tool in case you had to make any adjustments on the trail. I'll admit I haven't had to adjust my brakes very often on the trail, but the occasional rubbing rotor has warranted a quick adjustment a time or two. I haven't had any other frames with the direct mounts to the frame before, so I am not sure how this compares to the positioning of other frames, but it was a definite source of frustration while installing the rear brakes. I'll post pictures shortly.

Either way, this is what it looks like so far. It's got Stan's Iron Cross Pro wheels, Shimano Pro Evo Stealth handlebars, Chris King PF30 BB, Force 10sp cranks, Force shifters, Red front der, Force rear der, Panaracer CX tires, Niner's RDO seatpost, and a Selle Italia SLR saddle. Should be a pretty sweet ride once it's all put together. I'll get a final weight posted shortly.

I am very excited about this bike. The construction is solid, the geometry is great, the paint job is amazing, and it looks pretty freaking awesome. Nice work, Niner on another functionally kick-A piece of art.

Party on Wayne.


Frame: 1530g
Uncut fork: 620g (Update: cutting the fork dropped it 30 grams. Updated fork weight: 590g)
Headset: 69g (plus another 10-15 for the crown race)
Niner seat clamp: 21g

Seatpost (Niner RDO 27.2x400): 218g
Saddle: 118g
Handlebars (integrated Shimano Pro): 400g
Force Shifters: 320g
King PF30 BB: 102g
Force BB30 Crankset: 608g
Force Rear Der: 174g
Red Yaw Front Der: 74g
Sram Braze-on Adapter for F Der: 19g
Cassette (Red OG 1090): 167g
Wheels (Stan's Iron Cross Pro, with tape and valve stem): 1440
Skewers (Stan's Carbon) 78g
Tires (Panaracer CrossBlasters): 560g
Rotors (KCNC Razors 140mm): 124g
Brakes (Avid BB7 SL w/ti hardware): 368g

Pedals (Wellgo Mg8): 240g
Chain KMC 10sp: 240g
Cables/Housing: TBD

Monday, February 10, 2014

Niner RLT's have shipped

So I don't know if anybody still reads this blog, and its been so long since I've posted that I don't even know my way around blogspot any more. However, in the name of public interest, I've decided to post the details of my new Niner RLT bike build. They've started shipping this week, which means I'll hopefully get it up and running by the weekend (depending on how soon the frame comes from Niner, and my BB comes from Chris King). I've been curious about real measured weights for the new RLT frame and fork, so I thought I'd post everything here as I get it weighed and built.


Monday, July 16, 2012

That time again...

So you know its that time again, when I'm "working" on writing my thesis, that I post a blog. Apparently its been over a year. I guess all that real work of collecting samples and analyzing data took me away from throwing some good time away on here.

Either way, its time to write my conclusions and defense, so of course I'm going to have to waste some time in the old blog world again.

I'll start off with a nice little choose your own adventure story. I hope you can remember those. I don't know if the stories were ever that good, but I liked the challenge of reading every possible combination of decisions so much that one of those books could keep me entertained through a solid week of SSRs (Silent Sustained Reading...duh) back in grade school.
 Our story today begins a little something like this:

One day you find yourself just riding along on your single speed off road mountain bicycle.  As you roll up to the mouth of the canyon in Orem you realize you can either ride up Provo canyon, or down to Provo and ride up Rock Canyon.

Where do you want to ride?

-Up Rock Canyon. Go to page A

-Up Provo Canyon. Go to page B

Page A
Are you serious? You are on a single speed! You spin out all the way down University Ave, looking like you belong on the short bus, pedaling 130 rpm the whole way, trying to match pace with every over-weight roadie, despite the insurmountable advantage they all have over you: a large chainring. When you finally do reach Rock Canyon you realize its kinda hard trying to mash a 34x18 up 2 miles and 3,000 ft of elevation.

Just as you summit the climb your knee caps blow off your femoral condyles with such force that they lacerate your jugular veins resulting in a bonk roughly 3 fold worse than the time Chucky rode around White Rim on 2 packs of Gu and a jolly rancher. You eventually pass out and fall to your demise somewhere just off the Squaw Peak dirt road where some zoobies find you, but can't get cell service to call their home teacher who has an off road truck in time to save you.

Page B
You stroll up Provo canyon, enjoying the delightful scenery.  When you get to Timpanogos Park, you see a gate closing off the dirt road to cars. As you roll around the gate at a very modest speed of 5 mph, your front wheel suddenly catches on a mysterious object and you find yourself being flung over your handlebars in manner that resembles nothing even remotely graceful. You land on your right forearm, which you are 95% certain is fractured.

How do you react?

-Politely apologize to the offending root that threw you off your bicycle, chuckle lightly to yourself, brush the dirt off your shorts, comment under your breath how silly those darn roots can be, and continue on your ride.
Go to page C

- Cry about your arm, write a blog about how you were JRA and crashed, update your facebook status that includes vital information such as the gear ratio you were using and the distance you were going to ride, then call your wife to come pick you up.
Go to page D

-Throw your bike down in outrage (yes, you did have to pick it up again in order to throw it back down). Yell at the heavens in complete bewilderment at how you could have crashed at such a slow speed.  Discover your attacker was a well hidden root, which you then spend the next 10 minutes unearthing with your bare hands while weaving a tapestry of profanity so thick, not even the shadow of which can even be begun to be described on any website hoping to ever claim a rating less vulgar than a Dane Cook comedy bit. When you've finally dug up the wretched monster of a creation, you fling it at the gate a seemingly infinite number of times, calling it names you wouldn't use to describe your (ex)best friend in high school that snuck off with your girlfriend at the senior ball.  In a final fit of rage you throw the worthless chunk of wood on top of the nearby building, curse its existence, and feel more alive than you ever have before.
Go to page HB

Page C
You finish your ride, go home, finish a chapter in Little House in the Big Woods, head over to the local shelter to support your non profit charity "Baking Waffles for Widows", then hand knit some hats for kids with early onset male pattern baldness. The next day you get caught up in the rapture but you forget to bring your bicycles along.

Page D
Once you get home, you realize just how many people do the same thing you do, so you invent Strava, make millions and retire so you actually lose your excuse for being "not really very fit this season because I have to work so much", go into depression and ease your pain by reading blogs about Lance, flying private jets, drinking spiked carbo rocket before noon, and riding a fixed gear until you fixie skid into the side of the Salt Lake Tracks train during the evening rush hour.

Page HB
You just pulled a Honey Badger on life. Win. As you finish your ride, you pay no attention to you arm, but make some resolutions to be even more aggressive in all your life pursuits. You pull a honey badger on school, work, marriage and soon, nobody even remembers Chuck Norris jokes. The only one they do remember, is the one about how Chuck Norris has to check his closet for YOU before going to bed at night.  Life is good.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stories to Share

I have a couple of stories I would like to share.

First off, Amazon had the Wayne's World/Wayne's World 2 double feature DVD set on sale for 11 bucks this week. Add a couple bucks for shipping and that's not a bad deal. When they arrive on May 17th, I can say my life will be just one step closer to becoming complete.

Secondly, I had a funny story to share from the bike race yesterday.
About 5 minutes into the first lap, we started catching a few of the expert 40+ers. The first few I managed to pass on the open double track sections of climbing. However, I managed to get stuck behind one for a bit of time on a longer single track climb. Now I am quite aware of proper passing etiquette (thanks to the more than helpful advice from Kendra), and am usually pretty chill about passing people. But these were the opening miles of the race and I was trying to get up the hill as fast as I could.
After a moment or two of riding behind said individual, a conversation ensued that continued something like this:

Me: Mind if I get by when you get a chance?
40+ Expert dude: Are you in my category?
Me: No
40+ Expert dude: No? (apparently he didn't believe me. Which leads to the conclusion that he obviously couldn't hear me breathing so hard my left lung was detaching itself from the parietal pleura of my chest cavity, clearly indicating I was on a single speed going up the eleventeen billion percent grade hill we were climbing)
Me: No. I'm not in your category. But you should let me by even if I was
40+ Expert dude: It's an F***ing race, dude
Me: Exactly, so if you're going to ride slow, you should let the fast people who are racing get by

I half expected him to kick me over when I did finally get by, but nothing more was said. That last comment on my part was definitely not necessary, but what kind of crap was that? I realize that it is a bike race, that strategy plays a part, and that you want to stay ahead of the competition. However, if you're climbing a hill and someone, even if they are in your category, is stuck behind you and has the balls to say something because they feel that they are that much faster than you that they need to get by, then have the sportsmanship to let them by if you can.

Ok, that was more of a rant than a story.

Feel free to come over this week to watch some Wayne's World and eat some steak.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Party on Phil

I've spent the last 8 years trying to figure out what I want. To be honest, I have no idea. I've come to a few conclusions as to things I would like to be a part of my life, but in all reality, I have no clue. I've been given an idea or two as to what I SHOULD be pursuing at the moment:
But lets be frank, who am I going to dupe into marrying me?
So I ride bikes.

But I digress.

The point of this little post was to comment on Phil. I have no idea who Phil is, what he does, or where he lives. But I do know he is magic. For you see, Phil has a world. Known simply as Phil's World. Phil somehow produced a miracle when he built Phil's world. Check it out here:

Phil's World is a mountain bike trail in Cortez, CO. Granted it is not perfect (ask any solo rider this weekend how their bum bum is feeling and they may confess that the trail has its bumpy parts) but its about as close as you can get.
Its like he got into my brain, figured out EXACTLY what I wanted, and made it a reality. Its that simple. Now if I could just get Phil to work on building my life for me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Greatest Honor of My Life

I've had a lot of good things happen to me in my life. Some of them I've worked for, some of them I've just gotten lucky, and some of them I've worked really really hard for. However, the highest honor I have ever received in my life came in an unlikely form this week.

Check it out here:

I wasn't sure how to respond. At first I was just going to make a witty comment about how the only way to beat Ted was to hire a cute girl to shmooze on him and cut his hair while he was passed out after one of his epic rides (yes that was a bible reference), or putting ex-lax in his Carbo Rocket (which after dealing with the GI issues I've dealt with probably wouldn't even slow me down that much) or something along those lines.

But then I realized I was whole heartedly honored by that blog post. I've never been so flattered in my life. Not even receiving the ever so prestigious Rogers High School class of 2000 "Sports Person of the Year" award can compare to this. To have someone I respect and look up to go through the time and energy to put a circle with a cross through it on a picture of me as motivation is about as flattering as it gets.

I think its finally a sign that I've made it in the cycling world. I can retire for real now.

And so, Rick, with the rest of the season ahead of us, its on. Maybe Kenny and Dan Z. will even start showing up to dance.

Just watch out for Ted Ferguson on his Sir9. You might think he's fast. But "yeah, well that's your opinion"

Monday, April 11, 2011

Winter/Spring Update

Well, its that time again. Its been a month or two, so it must be time to update the blog. Especially after getting called out by The KC Holley for not updating it.

First off, the retirement thing didn't last too long. I figured that between trying to get into a PhD program and dating a girl I wouldn't have time to train or race. So I retired. Well I didn't get into any grad schools and the girl turned out to be crazy (yes, she dumped me). So here I am. Right back where I started. Right where I've been the last 3 years of my life. In school. No direction. In love with riding bikes.

Apparently the 2 months off the bike didn't hurt too much. I came off last winter with well over 200 hours of base mileage ride time, but don't feel a whole lot slower this spring with a whopping total of 85 miles over the entire month of January. We'll see how this plays out once the later season endurance races start. I had relented to the fact that I would more than likely only be able to ride the Breck 68 this year, foregoing the more manly and much more expensive Breck 100 option. However, after becoming single and not getting into grad school this time around I found some extra time. And thanks to TurboTax for optimizing my return, I found some extra cash.

So back in the saddle it is.

I've been digging on the single speed lately. Mostly because my geared bike started crapping out on me, and I didn't feel like dishing out the monster cash to replace all my XX parts. So I went back to my roots and started riding the SIR9. Not a bad bike. Not bad at all. Granted even with a rigid fork it weighs as much as my front suspensioned Air9...but hey, weight isn't everything. And the best part is that single speed races are only an hour long. So nothing really even matters anyway. I mean if B. Tolbert can ride a full suspension single speed anything goes, right?

Well, back to "working on the thesis". I'll post some race updates soon enough.