Dual Compound Trail Grips
so grips aren't very exciting. The fact remains that they are a very
important component. As it happens, I have fairly small hands for a
guy. I need the smallest diameter grips available that will still
perform adequately. These grips are in fact a bit smaller in
diameter; they grip well; and as a bonus, they're a bit lighter than
the stock set.
the stock grips were actually a pretty decent set (Avenir... do
these guys have a website?). They are dual-compound, like the WTB
set, grip well, and definitely don't twist on the bar! I thought I'd
never get them off the stock handlebar to remove the stock
levers/shifters. But, by the time I wrap a padded gloved hand around
them, they were just a little too large in diameter for me.
81.4g per pair
108.8g per pair
is making a fine carbon-fiber flatbar in the CT2.
I've had some experience working with composites (Army Aviation, and
R/C airplane fuselages and wing skins), and this is top quality
work. With a limited lifetime warranty of manufacturing and
workmanship, and a lifetime crash replacement policy, the CT2
is my pick as the best CF flatbar made. It got great reviews at mtbREVIEW.
is one of the few manufacturers whose quoted component weight (125g)
holds up to the scrutiny of the scale. This bar (580mm x 3° sweep)
is actually lighter than advertised!
a lot to say about the stock aluminum handlebar that came with the
bike. Obviously a fairly seriously swept riser bar, it works well
with the OE stem for a comfortable, upright "cruising"
position, but I prefer the flatbar for a better body position (for
me), much lighter weight, and face it... carbon-fiber simply looks
over my new Chris
King part got the better of me, and I forgot to take a
picture of my pewter colored NoThreadSet
prior to installation, so this blue one is from the King website.
It's simply a gorgeous part, screaming quality in every detail. See
some reviews of it at mtbREVIEW.
Great, detailed instructions
(pdf).... and smoooooooooth!!
not really all that bad of a headset, but simply not in the same
league with the King part. It already had a lot of dirt infiltration
after less than 200 road-only miles. I suspect it would have
demanded a great deal of maintenance as the XC miles start to build
up. And... it' about 33% heavier than the NoThreadSet.
Flite Ti TransAm
got back from my first ten miles on the Flite
Ti TransAm, and am well-pleased to say the least. Getting
the titanium rails is a little risky for my 220+ pounds, but it was
worth it, to get this saddles other features!
here's the DB part. It's not a "bad" saddle. In fact it's
a pretty good compromise to meet the wide range of tastes on
a consumer-level bike.
This saddle is quite a
bit narrower than the OE part which is great for MTB and it fits my
"4th point of contact" better too. The nose is a bit
longer, and notice how it has that little drop at the tip? This
seems to help prevent the seat from "snagging" a leg when
you push the bike around. And who could miss the "anatomical
split-cut".... Looks different, but sure cuts down on the
but certainly not least, this Flite
Ti TransAm actually weighs LESS than what the
manufacturer claims! Most manufacturers woefully under-estimate
(read: lie about) the weight on their products...
COLLAR: Maker Unknown
me the seat post height is a very infrequent adjustment so I don't
really "need" a quick release (QR) seat collar. They
are heavier than their non-QR cousins, and I am just a bit uneasy
trusting the support of my considerable "tonnage" to a
here is the OE part.
simply can't take a picture that does the Thomson Elite
seatpost justice. Gorgeous workmanship! I don't know exactly
how the tube/flange is fabricated, but it is a single piece.... no
welds or press fits to fail!! In addition the tube void is
elliptical with more material in the forward/rear portions of the
tube offering increased strength in the axis experiencing the
highest stresses. The fore/aft saddle setting is accomplished via
dual/opposed adjustment screws. The lower half of the saddle bracket
has an index mark, and the flange has a +/- degree scale with a 2
degree resolution (click
for closeup). Additionally, etched graphics, good
instructions, and a respectably light weight make this part is a
winner so far. Check the reviews over at mtbREVIEW
on this part. Surely wish Thomson had an internet presence, though!
here's what was replaced. This is the DB Response Sport OE seatpost
isn't bad.... just heavy! This is due primarily to the steel
upper and lower bracket and adjustment hardware. The flange appears
to be a press fit and bears the apparent maker's name,
226.5g (uncut 27.2mm x 330mm)
only thing I new for sure when I started researching levers,
shifters, brakes, etc was that I didn't want integrated
shifters/levers! Having small hands, I need the option of setting
the lever and shifter positions independently. Further, you also
have the option of later upgrades to either component individually.
At some point, I may give grip shifters a try, but for now, I'm
sticking with rapid-fire. Shimano
XTR is a pretty safe bet in the shifter department. Came
with a top notch ferule package with rubber boots for the final
cable exit/entry to help keep the crud out of the housing. Check the
reviews over at mtbREVIEW,
but take care in reading these as some of them refer to the
integrated ST-M952 rather than the shifter-only SL-M952
not find an info page on the stock Shimano ST-EF28 integrated
levers/shifters. And since they are integrated, direct
weight comparisons are not possible.... But the overall comparisons
still tell the tale:
Shimano XTR shifters, levers and
Shimano ST-EF28s and cables: 606.15g
606.15g (integrated lever/shifter w/ cables)
Face just flat-out makes seriously "no-nonsense"
parts!! Awesome machine work, and not a single weld to worry about.
I chose Gun Metal Grey to fit my black/grey/silver theme, but
you have 8 color choices in all. Click on the images to see larger
version, and see the reviews over at mtbREVIEW.
the OE part. Not a bad part. Does it's job, but the 130mm x 25°
size is more suited to recreational "cruising" than
serious MTB. The 110mm x 5° rise spec on the SYStem
combined with the flat bar will help to position my body better.
Stem spec selection is highly subjective, due to varying body
composition, bar selection, etc....
right, is a comparison shot of the Race
Face SYStem and the OE part from my DB Response Sport. There
is just no comparison in fit and finish. Notice how the Race
Face design keeps the steering tube clamp bolts out of
"knee range". And they use replaceable "Steer Tube
Clamp Pins" to receive the "Steer Tube Clamp Bolts",
instead of threading the clamp. Nice features, not to mention a
respectable weight reduction!
214.75g (110mm x 5° rise)