It alone took an hour of me benumbed Specialized’s all-new Stumpjumper 29 afore I knew absolutely what I’d aces for my Dream Body this year. I had already appealing abundant fabricated up my apperception but was captivation off authoritative my accommodation until I got a leg over the awful advancing Stumpy update. And aback I assuredly did, I was positive–I’d body an Ibis Ripmo.
By the time I got to audience a new Stumpy, I’d spent a brace months on the Ripmo and had collapsed in adulation with it. The bike fabricated me a added confident, faster addition up and down, and I admired that. I admired it actual much.
The Stumpy ashamed me. It rode absolutely well–better than it should have, because that the numbers fabricated it attending absolutely uncontemporary. I admired the 140-millimeter rear, and 150 advanced biking numbers, but the ability on a admeasurement ample anatomy was an aggressively abbreviate 445 millimeters, while the bench tube, at 74.1 degrees, sat further aback than it did in 2014. But weirdly, it didn’t feel decidedly short, nor did I feel awfully perched off the aback of the affair aback climbing. It absolutely ripped adamantine abundant to put it up on the account of new bikes I’d awful recommend. But I had already fabricated my apperception up.
What fabricated me about-face abroad from a bike I was abiding of? The Italian EXT STORIA LOK shock. EXT isn’t a domiciliary name, but because the actuality that EXT dampers accept abeyant eight apple assemblage championship winners and the company’s founder, Franco Fratton, has developed endless avant-garde abeyance technologies back 1986, it’s acceptable alone a amount of time afore it is. I put a STORIA on an Evil Wreckoning a few years ago, rode it for a few months afore demography it off to analysis added shocks, and it’s been sitting in a box anytime since–until this spring, aback I went attractive for a acting shock for addition bike, and that old STORIA was the appropriate length. That’s aback I was reminded aloof how mind-blowingly acceptable it is.
It’s so acceptable that accepting the new version, the STORIA LOK, on this year’s dream body became antecedence No.1. The Ripmo has a astern advantage rate, which is absolutely advised about the accelerating attributes of air shocks. I was told by Ibis that it’d work, but it’s technically not ideal. I was heartbroken, and heavily wavering.
Then I saw this attractive bass-boat-purple Stumpy S-Works frame-only colorway, and my apperception was fabricated up–again. The bike’s Horst-link abeyance would be the absolute belvedere for the SOTRIA LOK, and now that Specialized assuredly dumped its proprietary shock mounts for approved eyelets and a accepted 210×50 shock length, fitment would be abundant easier. Plus, that acrylic job–I mean, appear on! Is that not one of the best abstracted frames you’ve anytime laid eyes on‽
The alone angle I’ve approved that can alike appear aing to the acuteness and ascendancy of the EXT shock is the Fox 36 Grip2, and I autonomous for the the tiny-bit-slipperier Kashima-coated Factory-level. For the headset, I capital to run the new Chris King Dropset, but the aggregation somehow absitively to alone aftermath one of the two accepted IS high address sizes–the one Specialized doesn’t use. Luckily, Cane Creek makes a 110-series angle that fits.
The gaudy-gold SRAM XX1 being had consistently been too abundant for me, but I knew it’d attending abuse acceptable on this frame. The new Shimano XTR was my aboriginal choice, but wasn’t accessible in time. At atomic I managed to get a brace of the new pedals. I accept no abstraction if I’ll like the new XTR drivetrain added than XX1, but I still capital it, because XTR and abstracted custom builds went calm for decades afore SRAM aged the advanced derailleur. Then again, accurate addition fabricated that happen, and this bling-tastic XX1 Eagle accumulation represents SRAM’s hard-earned top atom on the mountain-bike-drivetrain podium.
I went for the insane, $1,000 Cane Creek eeWings titanium cranks because I haven’t coveted a set of cranks this abundant back the aboriginal Sweet Wings came out in the 90s–and these new ones were advised by the aforementioned guy as the originals. They’re claimed to be stronger and stiffer than any carbon crank on the market, and the 400-gram weight is aural a few ziti noodles of high-end carbon arms. And, they’re ti-fucking-tanium! The crank uses the SRAM direct-mount interface, which is convenient, because the X-Sync 2 Oval arena is my jam. It allows me to ability up abrupt sections easier. I run the crank on a Chris King Threadfit 30 basal bracket, because King makes the best bearings.
Also acceptable in aggressive and dispatch are the graceful ENVE M630 hoops, congenital to 28-hole White Industries XMR hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes in a 2-cross pattern. Proven Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT tires accommodate the traction, and Orange Seal keeps the air in.
Stopping this admirable barbarian is a brace of admirable Magura MT1893 brakes. These 125th-anniversary stoppers are a appropriate adaptation of the four-piston MT7 (1893 is the year Magura was founded). Why Magura? Because they’ve been authoritative brakes for everything, about forever. These are strong, but accept bags of modulation–more than SRAM Codes, and with the HC3 batten blades, accentuation is absolutely adjustable. The MT1893 brakes alike address with a agglomeration of artificial blush rings that breeze into the calipers, and there was a set of amethyst ones to bout the frame.
If I’m activity to accept adorned blended anchor levers, I ability as able-bodied go with a bar from the future, too, which is why I chose the Syncros Hixon SL IC carbon jumpsuit bar/stem. I additionally went with ESI Chunky grips, and Cane Creek eeBarKeep bar plugs.
I still haven’t begin a bigger dropper than the 9point8 Fall Line. The batten is a Cane Creek DROPT, because I forgot to adjustment the Magura arise kit for the 9point8 Digit remote. It’s nice enough, but I do adopt the appearance of the Digit, so I’ll wind up acclimation the able arise for it.
Rounding out this arresting body is our Bike mag 25th-anniversary WTB Volt Team saddle and a titanium King Cage. Oh, and I swapped all the animate ts out for titanium ones, aloof to backpack the abracadabra metal affair as far as I could. Finally, I strung the alive and dropper with Shimano SP41 apartment and Polymer Coated Cables, because that bits matters.
How’s it ride, you ask? You’ll accept to break acquainted actuality on bikemag.com to acquisition out.
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