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Ritchey Timberwolf 27.5 rigid build

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Ritchey Timberwolf 27.5 rigid build

Old 10-03-18, 01:03 PM
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Ritchey Timberwolf 27.5 rigid build

Now is the right time to start a thread for my current build project. Looking for some help and some ideas...

My primary drive for this project came from the inadequacy of the rim brakes on my other GT rigid build which has no disc brake mounts. I wanted a frame with more modern geometry and disc brakes. Wasn't planning on anything really, just cruising around getting ideas when I saw a great deal on the Timberwolf frame at Merlin.

The great price of $350 was due to a defect in the clear-coat which is rather hard to see under normal conditions:




Considering that the frame is steel, I am really trying to limit the weight for most of the components. Group-set is a 2x10 XTR 980. Crank: 44x28; cassette: 11-36. This set-up works just fine on the GT and totally retains full capability for up, down and the flats.

I couldn't find a carbon seatpost in 410x30.9 so went with the old-faithful, Thomson. At 410mm it leaves only about 5cm of extra play (5+10cm of minimum safe insertion=15cm actual) after adjusted to my inseam. Aliexpress has a promising 400x30.9mm seatpost that comes in at only 180g. Considering the price I rolled the dice and will at least try it out.

Ritchey makes a 27.5 rigid carbon fork but is only available for QR... Therefore I went again to Aliexpress and found a perfect carbon fork for 27.5 and 15mm thru-axle. It weighs in at only 667g with axle! I just hope it holds up. Time will tell.





I still have a lot to do including deciding on hubs to go with the crest MK3 rims. There I have a bit of an issue although I am pretty much settled on the 28h White Industries XMR's.My only conflict is whether or not I want the extra weight in the hub. I am not heavy at 150lbs and don't really require such rugged hubs. The other options would be DT 240s which are a dime-a-dozen out here in Switzerland and the DT 180 which are super light but also very expensive and I don't know if 100g is that valuable to me, especially in such an area as the hub.

The stem will be replaced with a 110mm matte Ritchey C260 and a 30mm conical carbon spacer will be used between head-tube and stem. The lines should end up being pretty smooth.

The brakes, as I have said, are very important to me and I have decided on the Magura MT7's. A bit heavy but who gives a rat's a$$ when you can stop on a dime, any time, all day. The MT Trail's also look really good to me and are a good second option. I think though, that I break pretty heavy in the rear so the MT7's would be better for me.

The issue that I am now faced with is the silver color of the XTR 980 components. It really doesn't match with this build and I am contemplating all options including: painting, powder-coating or anodizing the components. What is my best bet? I don't like the look of PC, paint would most likely be too fragile in such an area as the crank and anodizing...is that even possible for the crank and derailleurs which contain also hard plastic and painted parts?? This is something I have to look into if I want to get the colors right for this build. What I want to do is color all silver parts the same orange as the frame. The orange and black of the M980 race crankset would look particularly great.
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Old 10-04-18, 11:09 AM
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Found a great thread about anodizing. This will be pretty hard to pull off unless I can completely disassemble the two derailleurs and somehow temporarily seal off the steel crank axle for the process.
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Old 10-18-18, 07:28 PM
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I'd just build the bike. You're adding a lot of complication worrying about the color of the components.
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Old 10-22-18, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the input. I agree that the bike would be more fun to build and ride than to have sit around in an undecided state for the next year. But I have time and already a couple bikes, so I would rather get it perfect the first time around and not have to rebuild later. Never liked the orange anyway. It is surely not my color. I'm thinking something more shiny...

I have decided to strip, polish and chrome the frame. If anyone has suggestions or wants to talk me out of it, now would be the time!

I am also considering other options for the fork. A 650B CroMo disc fork would be ideal but searches have turned up only 29ers thus far. Another option would be prep and paint the current fork. I'm thinking a nice deep blue? Maybe silver to match the frame? Anyway. The chromed frame and black/blue components would look great. I particularly like the look of the Magura MT trail brakes. If I were to get them, a second 4 piston caliper would be purchased to achieve the stopping power of the MT7's which I had previously decided on.



I think this is a win-win. Chrome is beautiful and it would go well with the XTR M980 group. Plus blue accessories could be easily procured.
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Old 10-27-18, 08:48 PM
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Looks like the start of a great build. I would love a modern steel hardtail.
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Old 11-04-18, 03:19 PM
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Thanks Dmag. Things are in full swing. Just waiting for the paint to be professionally removed by the bike-shop/manufacturer, Stolz. These guys are really great and put a lot of passion into their work.

Anyway the parts are on order.

The white industries XMR's in blue should complement the overall chrome/blue color scheme quite well!



Those are being paired with the polished Crest Mk3 rims, sapim CX ray's and blue sapim nipples. I really don't like aluminum nipples but make an exception in this case. The blue will look great against the polished steel/aluminum. I will never forget buying a used scott scale LTD with top-shelf DT-Swiss carbon rims and wanting to true them. The aluminum nipples just disintegrated upon attempting to turn. I had to rebuild the wheels to true them. I really hope that will not be the case for me here. If you guys think otherwise, let me know and I will stick with brass nipples!

I need to start sanding the fork. Plan is to have it painted chrome, if possible. Tomorrow I will contact the automotive paint shop which did such a great job on the clear-coat for my Kuota project. Hopefully they can get it done. I am really not digging the trend of black carbon forks on all these non-carbon bikes. To deviate further from trend, I plan to have the carbon seatpost painted the same chrome. If not possible, will be going with a Thomson Elite in silver.
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Old 11-04-18, 07:11 PM
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Wow, good stuff.
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Old 11-08-18, 01:09 PM
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Thanks koolerb!

Today the frame and rims went from stripping directly to the polishing and chroming company, Walt AG in Fällanden. They were very professional and the guy knows his stuff, but the price was admittedly steeper than my last build which required nearly exactly the same amount of polishing and chroming. End results will be ready to pick up in 4 weeks.


*


That grit on the frame is residue and not the steel.

Last edited by pressed001; 11-08-18 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Thanks
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Old 11-15-18, 12:24 PM
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cool project!
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Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
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Old 12-07-18, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
cool project!
Thanks! Frame should be done soon.
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Old 12-15-18, 10:02 AM
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I want to see how this goes. Nice frame!
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Old 12-17-18, 01:47 PM
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Well, the metalwork shop did not live up to the agreed upon date. They had the frame and rims for nearly 5 weeks and were going to charge me an arm and a leg. I would have thought that they would do an express job for that price.

So anyway, I have decided to polish the frame myself and then perhaps have it only nickel coated to avoid the blueish tone from chroming. This depends on if the nickel coating would be as durable as the chrome...?

I have tooled up as much as I could find out how regarding polishing: Scotch pads, power drill adapter, dremmel adapters and pads, a couple various polishing wheels and two types of polishing paste. I can't find a decent flexible sand paper of 400, 800 and 1200 grit and hope that the pad will suffice. What grit it is I can only guess, perhaps between 250 and 400. I am hoping that the majority of the work can be done with the wheel and polish made for more raw surfaces. I think the wheels are great, measuring 2.5cm thick and 150mm in diameter. Should make quick work of the frame I hope.

Honestly I am a bit weary of this job and expect it to take quite some time. At least I save a lot of cash by doing it myself and I might just end up doing a better job being the picky bastard that I am.

I have next week and the week after off of work and so plan to hit it hard. If you guys know of other polishing things that I would need please say so now, as many shops are closed over the holidays here.
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Old 12-17-18, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dgodave View Post
I want to see how this goes. Nice frame!
Thank you! Got it for a deal.

Hey, speaking of SW CO:

Mesa Verde:

same:

route 550 heading out of Durango:

OK so, not SW any more:

and Black Canyon of Gunnison is also not SW:


Took those pics in 2007. One of my favorite parts of the country!
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Old 12-21-18, 10:01 AM
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What a great bike snd labor if love
kinda over the top given its not a cudtom one off mt bike but i do sdmire your tenacity and derp pockets
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Old 12-23-18, 12:41 PM
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Had some time for the frame today:

Bare steel:


Close up:


Buffing material:


After one simple buff, I realized that I probably should start sanding:


After some scotch pads and another buff, I then knew that I had to start sanding!


I've got my work cut out for me. Lesson learned: chemically remove paint from steel frames. 2 weeks to go and I have plenty of sandpaper... Not particularly looking forward to all the handwork. Most of all I regret having the paint removed by sand-blasting. Now I've got to remove some of this steel to achieve a smooth surface.
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Old 12-24-18, 11:33 AM
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Blast media for coating removal is still best. You have to make sure who ever is doing the work is using the correct media for the job. Plastic bead is what I've always used, I've heard walnut shell does a good job. If the surface of the steel was affected they were using the wrong product. Bummer, someone caused you a lot of extra work. No Christmas card for them.
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Old 12-24-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
Blast media for coating removal is still best. You have to make sure who ever is doing the work is using the correct media for the job. Plastic bead is what I've always used, I've heard walnut shell does a good job. If the surface of the steel was affected they were using the wrong product. Bummer, someone caused you a lot of extra work. No Christmas card for them.
When agreeing on the job they assured me that they knew what they were doing and that they did it often for steel frames. When I picked it up, they did tell me how unusually difficult the paint was to remove. He said that the clear-coat was easy but that the orange had maybe too much hardener. This was perhaps the reason for the cracked paint in the first place.
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Old 12-25-18, 05:00 PM
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Worked some more on the frame today with primarily 120 grit sandpaper. If you ask me, that's pretty coarse. It looks however that I need to go even lower if I want to get the job done this decade.

Here is a good shot of an interesting effect left over from the defective paint job:


Starting to shine a little:


The 120 grit is not working so well. Even after quite a bit of time, the blasting can still be easily seen:



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Old 12-26-18, 06:28 PM
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Hang in there. It's gonna be great.
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Old 12-27-18, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for the motivation, koolerb.

Went to town on the rear triangle with the 80 grit. Now we're getting somewhere! Polished one small place to see how it was coming, the sandblasting is still visible. I think that I may have to settle for a non-perfect surface, as I don't want to end up removing too much steel. We will see how it goes.





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Old 12-28-18, 11:27 AM
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Finished the whole bike with 80 grit and moving on to 150 grit. What a chore. Next time, I either tool up better or pay someone else to do this.

Anyone know a better sanding tool than hands to use for this? I assume there isn't one that's "better" than hands. But perhaps a better question is, "anyone know a good tool that can get this job done much faster than by hand?"

I am really getting a feel for knowing whether or not the steel is ready for the next grit. You can simply feel it. But, wow, this takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r! Best part is, at the end of this I won't even know if my frame is even safe to ride!
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Old 12-29-18, 01:39 PM
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So I answered my own question, mounted flap wheel. Purchased a couple of these today and went to town again on the frame. All it needs now is a last fine sanding and then polishing.



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Old 12-29-18, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
What a great bike snd labor if love
kinda over the top given its not a cudtom one off mt bike but i do sdmire your tenacity and derp pockets
Thanks for the compliment, HammerDog. Being tenacious is certainly something to be proud of.

The only reason I have any money at all is because my wife regulates my lust for collecting both bikes and bike parts...
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Old 12-31-18, 11:48 AM
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So I have only to polish the rear triangle and some touching up in other places. The buffing is going well but it is indeed tiresome.



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Old 12-31-18, 09:06 PM
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love the frame
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