Search results for: "Project 24"

Project 24 Review: 2011 Ellsworth Truth SST.2 frame

Check out all of our Project 24 posts here!

As far as the pieces that make up a bicycle, nothing defines the ride like the frame. That’s especially true of full suspension frames. In a time where even the most mainstream of bicycle brands sells (or at least makes available) $3,000 carbon fiber frames, it’s easy to forget that it’s possible to find frames that are hand built in the USA for about 2/3 of that price.

Because its design has been around for nearly twenty years (and the model itself fifteen), people tend to overlook Ellsworth’s Truth. While other companies have gone through 3 and 4 major suspension designs in the same time, Tony Ellsworth has been applying- and tweaking- his patented Instant Center Tracking suspension design to the Truth since day one. A true four-bar design, ICT is designed such that the rear wheel’s Instant Center (or virtual pivot) is always located somewhere along the chain’s torque line. This means that, as chain torque is always acting perpendicular to the wheel’s arc, that torque is unable to cause suspension movement. Also, because the design is a true four bar, the rear brake does not effect the suspension either. At the end of the day, ICT leaves only the rider to cause unwanted suspension movement and doesn’t require excessive compression or platform damping to prevent it- allowing for truly active suspension. This is all well and good in theory- read on to see lots of pretty pictures and find out how the Truth performed as part of our Project 24 race bike…

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Project 24 Review: 2011 Magura Durin 100 Race suspension fork

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It’s been nearly a decade time since I’ve owned a suspension fork that could claim (with a straight face) to be anywhere in the neighborhood of 3lb. Somehow, after letting go of V-brakes and aluminum hardtails, I became attached to the idea of small bump compliance and, uh, front wheels receiving eventually messages from the handlebar. Not that race-oriented forks haven’t evolved in the intervening years, but my riding style has changed form NORBA-style sprints to longer, more epic days and events. Though I’ve participated in at least one 24-hour race every year since giving up my SID and ShokPost, I’ve never built a bike specifically with that sort of riding in mind. Project 24 was just such a build, and I knew that finding a suspension fork to match my preference for suppleness and steering precision could present a challenge. Enter Magura’s 2011 Durin 100 Race.

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Project 24 Review: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 26×2.25 SnakeSkin tire

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Here in the desert, our tire expectations do differ from those in loamier parts of the world. Most of us have been attracted by the siren call of 400 and 500g tires, only to find ourselves cursing our foolishness while walking towards a distant finish line, sealant dribbling from the paper-thin sidewalls of a brand new $65 tire. If I’m going to be riding hard, when tired, or at night, I want a fast rolling tire that will forgive a bit of rider error and save me from the ‘converted tire’ walk of shame.

When we approached them about our Project 24 build, Schwalbe offered to send out their most successful cross country tire: the Racing Ralph. Though the Racing Ralph is available in a 465g 2.1, the sturdier SnakeSkin casing is only available in a 2.25. The additional 50g (over a non-snakeskin 2.25, 100g over the 2.1) seemed like sensible insurance against Tucson’s sharp rocks and trailside cacti.

Looking at the Racing Ralph, one could be forgiven for wondering how on earth it could live up to it’s name. Honestly. It’s fat. It has actual knobs. It even has Schwalbe’s sturdy SnakeSkin casing. It must be heavy. And slow.

Actually, it isn’t. The honest-to-goodness 2.25in tire weighed in 565g. Not freakishly light, but certainly reasonable. And I’ll be darned if it doesn’t roll as well as anything I’ve ridden recently. Not to mention that it corners fantastically. What good is rolling fast if you’re spit off the outside of the first corner? Read on to see how the Ralphs handled 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo…
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Project 24 Review: American Classic MTB 26 Tubeless wheelset

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Seeing as the last thing I look for in a wheelset is on-trail excitement (especially in the middle of the night), American Classic were an easy choice for our Project 24 race bike.  Thanks in part to founder Bill Shook’s unique and lightweight engagement mechanism, American Classic’s hubs have to be some of the most criminally overlooked on the market.  At 225g, the high-flanged rear disc hub is among the lightest available- yet has proved surprisingly durable and remains reasonably priced.  My own experience with Shook’s freehub mechanism consisted of several years’ worth of singlespeeding on a pair of WTB hubs (which license the same mechanism).  Despite never seeing service of any kind, the rear hub was just quiet in coasting and solid in engagement when I passed it on as when the wheels were first built.  I’d heard good things about the company’s recently tubeless complete wheels so asked if they’d be willing to loan us a wheelset for the race: click ‘more‘ to find out how they fared…

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Project 24 Review: Crank Brothers Candy 3 pedals

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A long-time Eggbeater user, I can’t say that I was exactly looking forward to exchanging my pedals for a 24 hour race- even if it was within in the same family.  While I understand the attraction of adding a small platform to the frightening-looking Eggbeaters, I’d never had trouble clipping in to the minimalist pedals- in fact, I find it hard not to.  Besides, my experience with the first-generation (composite bodied) Candys was less than ideal.  The first time around, the Candy seemed to interfere with the shoe a bit more than the Eggbeaters, meaning that any given pair of shoes and cleats would only ever work well with one pedal or the other.  Still, with a new low-profile aluminum cage and surprisingly low 305g (actual) weight, I thought that the Candys would provide a bit more support of a long day’s riding- and be worth trying.  Little did I know how much I would end up liking them…

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Bikerumor Project 24: Success!

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Once again, Presidents’ Day Weekend has come and gone- and with it another 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. This year’s event was the biggest yet, with entry capped at 1,850 racers, to say nothing of the hundreds of friends, family, volunteers, and spectators who briefly made up the population of 24 Hour Town, 45 minutes North of Tucson, AZ.

As hoped, the event (and pressure to live up to the potential of our Project 24 race bike) kept me training right up until January’s nasty cold snap.  As promised by several of our Duelling Forecasts, race weekend saw reasonable temperatures turn cooler, accompanied by 40mph winds and periods of rain. As always, a mellow, friendly vibe dominated and most folks were happy to even be riding during what always seems like the coldest month. The Epic Rides folks put on a great show, with plenty of cozy camping, friendly on-course volunteers, a great course, and reasonable prices.  Hit the jump to find out how things went on our end!

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